News Letter 5847-037
7th day of the 9th month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 9th Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.
December 3, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
Last Shabbat after the Sun set The New Moon was sighted from Jerusalem.
Karaite Korner Newsletter #539
New Moon Report
Ninth Biblical Month
On Saturday November 26, 2011, the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted:
*from Ariel by Adina Mecklenburg at 4:45pm followed by Anna Coulter, Frank Mecklenburg, and David Coulter;
*from Poriya Illit by Zev Boer at 4:47pm followed by Devorah Boer;
*from Jerusalem by Yoel Halevi at 4:48pm followed by Willie Ondricek, Nehemia Gordon, and Zoran Vucinic.
Pictures of the new moon sighted from Jerusalem are posted at:
Keith Johnson and I recently did an interview on Truth2U.org speaking more on “Stand Against the Ban”. Jono’s wife Channi brought invaluable insights and stole the show with her first appearance on Truth2U!
We also did an interview on Jeff Gilbert’s program Talking Torah, which is supposed to be the first in a new series every New Moon:
Rosh Chodesh Sameach!
Happy New Moon!
On Shabbat Nov 26 in Barrie we had our meeting to share about the Sabbatical years and The Prophecies of Abraham. We also taught about the Prophecy of the Law of Niddah and the 70 Shabua all of which point to the coming war. And we concluded with Mathew 22.
Dr. Mathew Hasdell of Australia then followed and presented his teachings again based on The Prophecies of Abraham.
We had about 35 people from all over Southern Ontario come out. And most of them were very impressed with the things they had learned.
One lady commented… It was amazing yesterday! Both Joseph and Matthew humbled themselves and gave us truth. With that great overview I know I can dig into the rest of the book and begin to understand. Thank you, Joseph, for taking the time to teach.
Joseph’s teaching was actually 2 hours, but we got 20 hours worth of information!
Others who had come out were amazed at the fact that no one had ever taught them about the Sabbatical years and that you could actually know when they were and just how much prophecy they contained.
Many were eager to look into this subject with vigour and a new clarity.
We are part of that process of the restoration of ALL things. The Sabbath has been restored, then the Holy Days were restored, and then the sighting of the moon to start the month was restored, and now the information about the Sabbatical years has been restored to us. All we have to do is to begin to obey these appointed times.
We are coming to Texas and this time we are going to explain the Sabbatical years in great detail in the morning session. We will explain when they are and how to count them. Why the Jews have the year 5770 and I have 5847. What did Zuckermann and Wacholder hide and why. Why does Judah keep the Sabbatical years 1 and half years before we do? Why does the Earth Need a Sabbatical year at all? The controversy of 2 King 17-18 with Hezekiah and Hoshea and Pekah and how this misunderstanding has led to another false chronology. The Deception of Daniels Timeline. And much more.
In the After noon we will go through the Prophecies of Abraham in detail so you will understand it.
In the late afternoon we will explain the 70 Shabuwa and the Prophecy of Niddah and the prophecy of the Deep Sleep of Abraham and the terror that overcame him while Yehovah made the Covenant with him. This is brand new teachings only realised after the Barrie teaching was done.
When you come to this meeting you will never be the same after you learn these teachings. Bring your pastor, bring you friends, bring your loved ones and bring you whole assembly. I am not seeking a following, nor do I want to take over your group. I just want to share with you what Yehovah has shown us in the bible all these years and no one has bothered to teach you. Once you see it you will never read your bible the same again.
And if you want this to be taught in your state or province or country then contact “Lora Skeahan” firstname.lastname@example.org and begin to make arrangements today. We have Virginia and North Carolina making plans for this winter. Do not delay if you have an interest. Even if you are one person, ask and we will see if there are enough others interested near you.
If there is enough interest then we will rent a ballroom in a local Hotel if we can’t get a group to host us. We are doing this for free. I do not charge you for coming, I pay for the hotel room and I pay my own airfare. You provide the people who want to learn Torah and the Sabbatical years. You come and bring a learning desire to grow closer to Yehovah. You do this and I will share things with you that you have not heard from your teachers before.
You can help me do this by buying the book and or DVD and or making a donation to help defer the cost this is going to be to me. Once you have heard this you will realise exactly how short we are on the time left to do this work. This new teaching on the Terror of Abraham along with the Mathew 22 teachings scares me to death. The cost of airfare meals, hotel room and ballroom will be costing me about $2000-$3000 each time I go out. It just has to be done. And it is free to those who want me to share this. But if you can help then please do help by sending some donations for this purpose to;
Joseph F Dumond,
14 Willow Cres.
Canada L9V 1A5
And please state what the funds are for. Whether for the Farm which we are still raising money for or for the Teachings throughout the world.
We did attempt to create a video but when we recorded my teaching we forgot to turn on the microphone and for Mathew the video turned off for some reason. Dr. Hasdell is going to be speaking again in Hanover Ontario this weekend and we will try to record this one again.
From our group in Hanover we have the following message.
Blessings and Shalom to the body of Messiah,
This Shabbat (Dec. 3rd) at the Maranatha Fellowship http://maranathaourlordcometh.com we are pleased to have Dr. Matthew Hasdell with us all the way from Australia. Dr. Matthew will be sharing about his research on the “Prophecies in the Jubilees, and the prophecies of Abraham”. What do these timelines have to do with the church today? What does it have to say about what is to soon come upon the world and how do we prepare?
Please join us for this amazing opportunity to hear this insightful teaching. Meeting begins at 10:30 am, at the Hanover Seniors fellowship hall, 432, 15th Ave, Hanover, Ontario. You are also welcome to join us for a fellowship lunch (Kosher please) to follow the teaching, plus the reading of the Torah portion.
Please contact us for any questions or directions.
Blessings and Shalom!
Craig and Lorie Zulauf
This week I have something that is going once again stretch your mind in order to understand it. I have spoken with Dr. Dave Perry over the past few years about this subject and I never always understood what he was trying to explain.
Dave Perry is a brilliant scholar and has come to understand things that Paul was explaining which most of the world today screws up. Christians use Paul to do away with the Torah. Some Messianic who have believed the Christians now will not have anything to do with PAuls writings. As our title says Quoting from 2 Peter speaking things hard to understand, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist to their own destruction
Dr. Dave Perry goes right to the heart of the matter and once you can grasp this and it may take more than one reading, but once you grasp this you will then know how brilliant Paul was and how much more you and I both need to study and learn.
It is with great pleasure I share with you The Rightly Dividing Point - by Dr. David L. Perry Th.D. © 11/ 11/ 2011
Most of us have had our time of running around in the world. When we come to faith we are told of or automatically lose some, if not most of what we were doing before the Bible became important enough to study and actually follow. Many things come at us from others; Pastors, Teachers, family, other believers. Then if you find the Hebrew Roots – Watch out! Rabbi’s, Sages, Writings - Many more things; some are overwhelming – some we never heard of before. Some issues keep re-emerging and can drive you to the point of crazy making; especially if you don’t have a tool – something you can measure any issue by that comes your way. That’s the ‘point’ of identifying ‘The Rightly Dividing Point’. You are to be that diligent workman, not just the Pastor or Rabbi. Your sword is about to get longer and sharper!
2Tim.2:15 instructs us to; “Study to shew thyself approved unto (Yahweh), a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
This is a curious statement, one that we would do well to take a closer look at. This verse does not tell us to rightly divide errors from truth, it does not even tell us to rightly divide lies from truth. What 2Tim.2:15 does tell us is to ‘rightly divide truth’. The problem now being formed is; have we ever been taught what that ‘rightly dividing’ point is? I have been to many different Sunday keeping Churches, to many different Sabbath keeping Churches, to many different Messianic / Hebrew Roots Assemblies; that ‘rightly dividing’ point has never been taught in a biblically accurate, fully accounted for way. This ‘rightly dividing’ point certainly escapes the various factions of Orthodox, Reform and Conservative Judaism as well.
As stated I have been ‘around the block’ of the various religious venues. I wanted to know who was believing what and why. What I have found is that there is a ‘mix’ everywhere you go. This ‘mix’ is the blending of errors, out right lies and ‘truisms’ in some cases mixed with actual truth. A ‘truism’ being defined as part of the truth, but not the fully disclosed - fully accounted for truth. What I have found and have identified by personal experience; is that there is a ‘mix’ everywhere you go – the ‘recipes’ are different but it’s a ‘mix’ nonetheless. These groups all talk past and around the ‘point’. It is like the elephant in the room that is never identified fully in any meaningful decisive way.
Satan is crafty, he’s got many believing that he doesn’t even exist and smart enough to know that the only way to get masses of people to believe a lie, is to mix that lie with mostly truth. It has been said that ‘the devil is in the details’ – I would only add ‘or in the lack thereof’ (being closer to the truth). We would do well to realize that the best deception is to deceive the deceived into a deception that is not even discerned. That is; the deceit is that the deceived never realize that they are deceived. We have to remember all of us have been born into an already ongoing deception program that we will either legitimize or leave. In other words; we will either ultimately never discern a deception and thereby legitimize the ongoing current program or we will become aware of it, try to change it and/or leave.
Samuel Clemens alias ‘Mark Twain’ once said “It is not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble; it’s what we know for sure – that just ain’t so”. Even though ‘Mark Twain’ was an agnostic – truth is truth. Even the celebrated Jewish sage Maimonides AKA ‘Rambam’ once stated that; ‘truth has to be accepted where ever you find it’. Rabbi Judah stated that; ‘we have to be diligent to study carefully; for an error in study can lead to a presumptuous sin’. My own father said, ‘anything that’s worth doin’ is worth doin’ right’. What New Covenant believer would have a problem with any one of these statements? The awareness of Jer.16:19 in our modern times is equally applicable to both Jew and Gentile.
Jer.16:19 ‘ … Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.’
There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from the Judaic Hebrew Roots of the Judeao-Christian Church. Discernment must be the watchword though – for the Talmud, Mishnah, Gamarah, Avot, Targums, etc.; all contain valuable information and insights. However they can contain neutral information and sadly some absolute trash as well. Christian writings fair no better; Discernment must be used viewing any writings or hearing any teaching whether Jewish or Gentile. The best that any of these writings or teachings can be is commentary – for nothing can be above or change Yah’s Word found in Torah.
Most us that have found the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith have a Church background or upbringing of some kind. We all have had to repent and turn from many things – That learning-awareness-repenting process is not over. In some cases there are those with very little to no background at all; which may be a plus when coming to the truth for there is nothing to unlearn or defend. We all must realize that we are to be on that straight and narrow path (Mt.7:13), neither turning to the right or the left (Dt.5:32 – Prv.4:27). It is crucial to realize that there is a ‘Church’ ditch on one side and a ‘Rabbinic’ ditch on the other – that must be avoided.
There is a Messianic ‘Pastor’ that has changed a Sunday Church to a Messianic Jewish Assembly who did make the statement; “I am not about to give up a bunch of Church error only to embrace a bunch of Jewish error”. The intention of that statement is supremely accurate. Yet despite that correct statement many have embraced, adamantly defend and vigorously justify implementing Rabbinic Jewish error just the same. Many Messianic Assemblies exhibit a distinct slide into ever more increasing Rabbinics. The way I have said it is; ‘It’s as huge a mistake to trash everything Jewish just because it’s Jewish, as it is to embrace everything Jewish just because it’s Jewish’ – we must use discernment at all points.
“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies” - Lutheran turned atheist Friedrich Nietzsche.
Some that have come from the Church have become embittered at the Church, incensed at the prospect that the Church could be right about anything. I remember being angry about all the truisms, omissions, voids, sidesteps, lies and error postulations myself – We have all come from a ‘let-me-tell-you-what-this-means’ program. Most of us have already had to deal with and process through the religious sophistry – in other words, we have all been taught to disregard what is plainly there. Yet we all must remember that Satan’s best tool is to mix lies and errors with truth. Even so; a large percentage of the ‘truth’ the Church does have is taught in a way that tends to support the religious error. That necessarily means that the Church does have some ‘truth’; but we must prayerfully sift through it with fully-accounted-for Biblical, Scriptural, Torah and exercised Spiritual discernment.
Because of their Torah disregarding and/or minimizing theology; what the Church has produced the most of instead of ‘fully equipped disciples’ is ill-equipped Spiritual Schizophrenics. A ’schizophrenic’ has ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two legs, a mouth, a nose, etc. in short he looks normal, but his view of reality is not reality. In the same way these ‘Spiritual Schizophrenics’ have a view of religious reality that does not reflect biblical reality. Plainly; religious adherence is not the same as Scriptural Obedience. The highly sophisticated ‘Rabbinics’ of Judaism have their polished version of this same ‘Spiritual Schizophrenic’ scenario.
When we hear of ‘replacement theology’ we classically think of the Church placing themselves in the place of the biblical ‘nation of Israel’ now being the recipients of the blessings once promised to Israel. They see themselves as legitimate extensions of the blessing through Abraham upon all nations – which is partially correct (a truism). Yet they do not see themselves as part of biblical Israel, nor keep the Appointed Times of the Covenant despite all the New Testament evidence to the contrary (Rom.11:25; Eph.2:12/:19, etc.). Now go read Mt.15:3, Mk.7:9/:13 – Yahshua (Christ) basically says ‘you have transgressed the commandment of Yah with your traditions’ – ‘you-your’ is Jewish, Pharisees i.e. Rabbis ergo Jewish ‘replacement theology’. Both the ‘Church’ and the ‘Rabbi’s’ have their own ‘replacement theology’.
Acts 15:19-21 is the clearest New Testament directive that all believers whether Jewish or Gentile (’we’ v:21) are to be learning the words of Moses in Assembly on Shabbat. Yahshua Himself stated that ‘Moses wrote of Me’ (Jn.5:46). So; we are left with no other rational choice, if we want to learn of Yahshua HaMeshiach (Jesus) we will include the Torah. Yet there is a problem – most that revere Torah and revere Moses have nonetheless deferred to the replacement Rabbinics of the Rabbi’s. Much of the Church teachings of Law come ultimately from a Jewish and/or Rabbinic source. If we just accept what is said without studied investigation we have not learned our ex- ‘church’ error lesson very well.
Case in point; Most Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and Messianic Jews alike recite the ‘Shama’ of Dt.6:4 and the Aaronic Blessing of Num.6 saying ‘Adonai Eloheynu’ – ‘Adonai, Adonai this and that Adonai. The problem is Moses did not write ‘Adonai Eloheynu’ at Dt.6:4; he wrote ‘YHWH Elohim’. Num.6:27 uses the dynamic of Hebrew literature; restating to stress the point “ …they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them”; That “Name” occurring four times (Num.6:22-27) is Yahweh. The third commandment Ex.20:7 of the Book of the Covenant (Ex.19:5-24:8) suffers similar abuse. So; believer you decide are we learning the words of Moses or replacements of the Rabbi’s? Are we truly being ‘blessed’ by the disobedient as they disobey? However you feel about Nehemia Gordon – he is correct of this assessment ‘the Rabbi’s have turned what is supposed to be ‘the Aaronic Blessing’ into an “Ironic blessing”’.
Very briefly the problem is this; ‘adonai’ is a legitimate Hebrew word it occurs in scripture some 460 times. The ‘tetragrammaton’ YHWH (Yahweh) occurs at or over 7,000 times. Do you see the problem? They (the Pharisaic / Rabbi’s) have taken the 5% to cover up the 95% - taking the legitimate (’adonai’) and using it illegitimately. Like it or not, this is an example of twisting the Scripture even worse using Scripture to cover and obscure Scripture. Further to manipulate and alter Scripture under the most noble of pretense – Protecting His Name; - the problem is Yahweh never asks for His Name to be hidden from His people. Quite the contrary; He commands that His Name ‘Yahweh’ be placed on His people – That we use His name with caution, but that does not include ‘non-use’ - Thank you mister Rabbi, Pastor, Assembly leader sir.
I do concede that there are three main alternates of the ‘tetragrammaton’ - YHWH, YHVH and YHUH. I do also concede that none of us can know with absolute certainty what that correct pronunciation is. However; there are clues and evidences you may want to study, including; the Babylonian Jewish ‘vav’ originally being the Paleo-Hebrew ‘waw’. Clements of Alexandra (150 c.e.) phonetically sounding out the Greek: I A OU E – as ‘Yahweh’. Our own English ‘U, V, W’ showing a similarity of progression with ‘V’ being used as a ‘U’ in many Old English spellings. The fact that we say ‘double U’ but we write ‘double V’, etc. We do know one thing for certain; that ‘Adonai’ or it’s alternate ‘Lord’ is not that name – revealing Rabbinic tampering and Christian Cleric ignorance at best, disobedience at worst. Also see - http://www.truthseek.net/Yahweh.html or http://ha-shem.followersofyah.com/, etc.
Now that status-quo religion as usual has been exposed enough on both sides (for there is much more) – being that there is a fundamental problem with unstudied / unchecked spoon-fed theology; we can now return to our original topic - ‘The Rightly Dividing Point’. To grasp this concept; we must realize that we need to familiarize ourselves with issues we don’t normally hear of in Church or Assembly much. Like ‘the Book of the Covenant’, ‘the Book of the Law’, Covenant Class, Law Categories, Dedicated Phrases, the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Levitical Priesthood, what ‘remains’, what was ‘until’, how these covenants work, details specific to these respective covenants, etc. Realizing it is the Apostle Paul like no other; the Pharisee of Pharisee, taught at the feet of Gamaliel, excelling beyond all his peers, that tables these issues; having learned the Gospel from the risen Yahshua (Gal.1:11-12).
What I will say about the Apostle Paul is that he is an equal opportunity offender. He is not completely flattering to the status-quo Christian theology of the Christian Church. Oh; I know they pick-a-mix and ignore the rest, but when the whole counsel of Paul is allowed to weigh in; that error is revealed for what it is. He is not completely flattering to the Pharisaic - Rabbinics of Bible-period and post-modern Judaism. Messianics also have their own stealth and vested interests for doing so when quoting selected Pauline snippets. Other Messianics and other quasi-Torah observant groups ignore Paul and his New Testament evidences of Torah accounts contribution of assessments all together. This would certainly include the various factions of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism.
First; If I walked up to you and said ‘let’s talk about law’. With nothing else said would you know what to think? No, you would not. You would not know which ‘law’ or which category of law was being addressed until it was either initially identified or we started speaking. There are many types of ‘law’; Corporate, Civil, Criminal, Common, Canon, Maritime, Municipal, State, Federal, Gravity, Physics, Math, etc. Paul identifies 16 of 19 categories of law in your New Testament – The Law of; Rom.3 faith, works; Rom.7 [marriage v:1-4], (God), my members, the mind, sin, death; Rom.8 the spirit; Rom.9 righteousness; 1Cor.9 Moses; Gal.9 (Christ); Eph.2 commandments contained in ordinances; Heb.7 under the Levitical Priesthood (v:11). carnal commandment; and Jms.1 throws in the perfect law of liberty and; Jms.2 ‘the royal law’. Of course Yahshua at Mat.19 identifies keeping the commandments and that along with Paul also indirectly identifies another ‘law’ – Covenant Law (Heb.10:29). - So believer; when the church correctly but non-specifically says; ‘we’re not under the law’ – which one are they talk’n about? -
Acts 17:11 is usually mis-quoted or sloppily butchered; it reads - “These (Jews v:10) were more noble than those (Jews v:1) in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”
A ‘ready’ mind is not a closed mind. Weigh the evidence; study this out - add to your faith understanding – add to your understanding knowledge - add to your knowledge wisdom and to your wisdom resolve. (Eph.4:14)
Let’s deal with the primary objection first – I usually hear ‘you’re diminishing Torah’, you can’t divide the law, Paul makes no distinction of the law, the Torah is the Torah and cannot be divided, Yahshua said ‘I came not to abolish but to fulfill’, etc. I then ask: ‘does that include Gen.49:10′? Of course it would!
Gen.49:10 ‘The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; …’ (Shiloh – epithet [another name] for Messiah i.e. Yahshua)
This is more than a pronouncement (which is fundamental in itself) this is prophesy – ‘until’ being an awareness of impending change. That some would very much like to explain away. They would have a much easier time if it weren’t for the fact that the Apostle Paul gives evidence of this ‘change’ in the New Testament. The question to ask is; ‘where’d he get this stuff – Rabbi School?’ If that were so, the world should be filled with this knowledge but it’s not.
Gal 3:19 ‘Wherefore then serveth the law? (the Book of the Law v:10) It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; … ‘
Heb 9:10 ‘Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.’
Act 3:21 ‘ … until the times of restitution of all things …’ (from Peter v:12)
Heb 7:12 ‘For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.’ (Please read Heb.7:1-17 for your full edification enjoyment)
Remember Torah also states ‘that in the witness of two or three the matter is established’ (Dt.19:15). This then is the awareness we must realize – It is not a change of Torah to enact the change in Torah; that has in fact always been right there in the pages of Torah i.e. the first five books of Moses. ‘What a revolt’n development’ – Yosemite Sam. The truth of the matter becomes; to refuse the change that has always been there is to ‘diminish ought’ from Torah (Dt.4:2; 12:32).
Prv.25:2 It is the glory of Yah to hide a matter: … it is the honour of kings to search it out.
2Cor. 3:11 ‘if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious.’
Now let’s deal with ‘remain’; for we have a problem. We intelligently know that ‘remain’ cannot be ‘remain’ unless it was established before – Right? But by the same token there is no awareness sense to use ‘remain’ as an informational marker in a sentence unless something did not ‘remain’ – Right? What we now have is a ‘both-and’ situation not an ‘either or’- we have to use discernment. For that we must let the Bible interpret itself. The Apostle Paul is an indispensable resource, for he deals with these Gospel-Torah matters guided by Yahshua (Gal.1:11-12) studied for three years (v:18).
The Bible is one book; Dr. Chuck Missler rightly states that “the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed”. Those that say that ‘Brit HaDasha’ actually means the re-new-ed covenant tend to ignore that ‘dasha’ defined both can mean ‘new’ and ‘re-new-ed’. There are issues and components that are brand new; but the ‘new’ (’dasha’) of the New Testament also contains issues that have always been there from the beginning i.e. ‘re-new-ed’. This again is a ‘both-and’ situation not an ‘either-or’; one or the other choice. We must use Bible interpreting Bible discernment to know beyond all doubt what ‘remains’, what did not, what is ‘new’ and what is not.
Some tend to ignore the text of the Bible for they have the ‘Spirit’. While it is true that the Word is dead without the Spirit – for the Word has to be spiritually revealed; the wrong spirit without the Word is death. 1Jn.4:1 directs us to ‘test’ the spirits to know if they are from Yah. To test the spirits (which would include Yah’s Set-Apart Spirit) your gonna need to know or at least know how to find these things in your Bible; for any spirit from Yah will never violate, conceal or manipulate or misrepresent Yah’s Word i.e. What we call the Bible. In fact Jn.14:26 says Yah’s Spirit will bring all things to your remembrance – but that presupposes that you took the time to read and know it in the first place. This would include the evidences of Paul – on that note let’s continue.
Eph.2:12 ‘That at that time ye (former Gentiles v:11) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, without Yah in the world: …’
The term ‘the covenants of promise’ is a dedicated phrase. It has to do with those covenants that can be directly attached to Abraham’s Gen.15 Promise. These covenants primarily issue from that covenant Yahweh made with Abraham (and his descendants) – usually known as Abraham’s Promise Covenant of Gen.15. There are issues to consider between the ‘Oath’ of Gen.12 and the ‘Covenant’ of Gen.15 and the ancient rite of covenant cutting; but that will be for another article (if there is interest). Yahweh states to Abraham at Gen.15:13 that his descendants would be strangers, afflicted and serving in a land that was not theirs for ‘400 years’ – but would come out ‘in the fourth generation’ (v:16).
It would be helpful to understand a few points most have never heard of; one being the law of ‘first mention’ – being defined as the place in the Bible where an issue is first mentioned is usually the most defining. Also there is a law of last mention that helps to identify the parameters of certain biblical issues.
Abraham’s descendants were slaves in Egypt and did come out ‘in the fourth generation’ – this brings us to the 1st Passover in the 1st month (Ex.12:2). This takes us to Sinai ‘in the 3rd month’ (Ex.19:1). Not many have heard of ‘the Book of the Covenant’ let alone where to find it or how to define it. ‘The Book of the Covenant’ is found at Ex.19:5 to 24:8. The term ‘Book of the Covenant’ is stated at Ex.24:7. The parameters are established by the pre-acceptance (initial accepting) of Ex.19:7-8 and post acceptance (final accepting) of the people being Ex.24:7-8. This is identical to a modern day contract – signing before and after); with the opening words by Yahweh being Ex.19:5-6. Peter identifies YHWH’s same initial proposal of Ex.19:5-6 ‘if you will heed my voice’ at 1Pt.2:9 – ‘you have been called’). Hence ‘the Book of the Covenant’ (Here after BotC) is Ex.19:5-24:8 (first and last mentions in Torah).
If you ask your Pastor or Rabbi about the Book of the Covenant; he will invariably tell you that it is the same as the Book of the Law; for this is what is taught in yeshiva and seminary. And that is what you will find in virtually all the commentaries. There is a reason for this confusion – the phrase ‘Book of the Covenant’ only occurs in the Bible 3 times, while the phrase ‘Book of the Law’ (Here after BotL) occurs some 19 times; with 1 of those times being the only mention in the New Testament by Paul at Gal.3:10 (this will be defining).
Ex.24:7, 2Kg.23:2 and 2Chr.34:30 are the only 3 Bible mentions of ‘the Book of the Covenant’. Please note Ex.24:7 is from Torah; specifically the actual account of ‘the Book of the Covenant’; the other 2 are not. 2Kg. and 2Chr. are narrative accounts of rediscovery – that do seem to use these titles (BotC and BotL) interchangeably. We must realize that after King Solomon - Israel (actually House of Judah) under Jeroboam slipped into apostasy. This apostasy vacillated back and forth continuing into the reign of Ahaz. It was Josiah that determined to set things right.
Israel had not been keeping Torah for decades past any ones remembrance. Yet these confused accounts of re - implementing somehow are used to redefine Torah to a conclusion (being the BotC is the BotL) that Torah clearly does not define or support. And that without a thought of going to Torah first or deferring (giving place) to what Yahweh’s Torah actually defines.
You can view my Covenant Chart at www.YahsSpiritofTruth.com/index_files/Page993.htm
Gen.15 is the ‘Promise Covenant’ - ‘The Book of the Covenant’ (Ex.19:5-24:8 – also called ‘the inheritance’ at Gal.3:18) is the ‘Answer’ to the Promise made 430 years earlier (Gal.3:17/Ex.12:41- Gen15:13/16). Paul tells us that once a covenant is ‘confirmed’ i.e. ‘ratified’ you can neither add to it or take anything away from it (Gal.3:15). This is huge; for that means that the ‘law’ spoken of at Ex.24:12 is not – nor can it ever be covenant. This will be explained later being that Ex.24:12 is that place of first mention for what will be revealed as the parameters of the Book of the Law – With Dt.31:26 being that law of last mention; being Moses’ closing words actually coining the name ‘Book of the Law’. This has great bearing on the Apostle Paul’s Col.2:14 and what was “nailed” that was ‘Against Us’.
Dt.31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of YHWH your Elohim, that it may be there for a witness against you.
The Book of the Covenant could not be ‘Against Us’; it was the Marriage Katubah – it is how YHWH married Abraham’s descendants to become YHWH’s family. (Katubah – Hebrew Binding Marriage Proposal). Is your marriage vows against you? Confused? – ask your wife; go ahead I dare you .
Jer. 31:32 ‘ … although I was an husband unto them, saith the YHWH: …’
Notice – Paul again is using a dynamic of Hebrew literature (repeating to stress the point) in your KJV (Greek) New Testament – Gal.3:17 and :18 are structured in the same 1, 2, 3 order – Please note the number pointing. (See my Covenant Chart at www.YahsSpiritofTruth.com/index_files/Page993.htm).
Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant (1), that was confirmed before …, the law (2), which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise (3) of none effect. :18 For if the inheritance (1) be of the law (2), it is no more of promise (3): but Yah gave it to Abraham by promise (3). (KJV)
Note that (BotC) covenant is the inheritance answer to the promise covenant made at Gen.15. Also note that the inheritance covenant i.e. the BotC (1) along with the promise (3) made at Gen.15 are NOT part of the ‘law’ (2).
Note – ‘Torah’ bastardized to mean ‘Law’ does not contain the word or meaning of ‘law’ in it’s ‘root word’ make up. ‘Torah’ purely means – The Successive Light of Teaching and Instruction. The Torah instructs on and evidences many things; including; Creation, History, Life Accounts, Narratives, Protocols, Blessings, Cursings, Vows, Oaths, Melchizedek Issues, Levitical Issues, Prophecies, Pronouncements, Covenants and Laws, etc.
Gal 3:19 ‘Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made …’
Gal 3:19 becomes interesting as both an oddity and a comedy. It is a ‘conundrum’ that must be unpacked. Paul just got through jumping through hoops to tell us that the Covenant and the Promise are not part of the Law. The law Paul is speaking of is none other than ‘The Book of the Law’ (Gal 3:10) that is not part of the Covenant – that cannot be mixed in as Covenant. Now watch this; v:19 ‘Wherefore then serveth the law (BotL v:10). It was added because of transgressions …’ -??? - Transgressions? To what? The Law? Are we really to conclude that the law, was ‘added’ to the law, because of transgressions to the law? - Sorry folks, but that does not make any sense. Neither does the Torah being added to Torah …The only way that Gal 3:19 makes sense in light of v:17 & :18 is that the ‘Law’ which could never be Covenant was ‘added’ (along side) next to the Covenant because of ‘transgressions’ against the Covenant. That makes absolute sense.
The ‘Book of the Covenant ‘ is a Blood Ratified Covenant (Gal.3:15/Ex.24:8). Your own marriage – Human marriage is a Blood Ratified Covenant. If either spouse breaches that Marriage Covenant there is nothing in that covenant that legally judicates that infraction or breach of that covenant. You have to go to a court or magistrate of law that is outside that marriage covenant. In the same way Paul at Rom.7:1-4 explains an aspect of the Salvation Covenant (which is a Blood Ratified) using the example of human marriage that is also a ‘Blood Ratified’ covenant - Both being Melchizedek Priesthood covenants (to be explained later if there is room or perhaps in another article).
It is further of interest to note that the word ‘added’ (Gal 3:19) is translated from the Greek word ‘prostithemi’ – you can almost hear it; this is the family of Greek words that we understand in our English as ‘prosthetics’ and ‘prostheses’. If you lost an arm, you could put a ‘prosthetic’ - ‘added’ limb shape up against your body and cast the shadow of a whole body – but – you will never wiggle those fingers. In the same way the ‘added’/'prostithemi’ law cannot operate as covenant, just like that ‘prosthetic’ - ‘added’ limb cannot operate as the body. Rom.5:20 punctuates (explains) the same ‘law’ idea; the Greek word ‘pareiserchomai’ translated ‘entered’ means to ‘come in alongside’.
Gal 3:17 has another awareness – along with being the exact word picture of Ex.24; it also punctuates (verifies) the 400 year / 4th generation verbiage of Gen.15:13 & :16; with this awareness. Being that both the Inheritance Book of the Covenant and ‘the law’ which became ‘the Book of the Law (Gal.3:10/Dt.31:26) came on the scene at virtually the same proximity time frame. ‘Both’ (BotC Ex.19:5-24:8 and the ‘law’ Ex.24:12 i.e. 40 days and nights later) ‘Both’ being 430 years (and some 3 – 4 months) after the Gen.15 promise.
Now we have enough information to distinguish between the Melchizedek Priesthood and its issues and the Levitical Priesthood and its issues. When YHWH said;
“Ex.19:5 ‘… if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: :6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. ”
Just exactly which priesthood was that? This is simple; there are only 2 mentioned in your Bible – the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Levitical Priesthood. Some wanting to appear scholarly and not wanting to admit the obvious try to opt for a 3rd choice with assertions of a ‘priesthood of God’ – they don’t seem to realize they have just snagged themselves for the only 2 mentions in the Bible (Gen.14 and Heb.7) are tied directly to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Then there are those that assert ‘Aaron and His Sons’ as a 3rd choice. However Heb.7:11 all by itself shows that the Aaronic Priesthood is the Levitical Priesthood (Aaron being a Levite).
So; What priesthood was that? There was no such thing as an Aaronic / Levitical Priesthood at Ex.19:5-6. No one had ever heard of a Levi Tribe only priesthood at that point. The only choice left is the Melchizedek Priesthood. Rabbinic types will assert that Levi was given the priesthood long before the covenant at Sinai – sighting the Talmud, Mishnah, other writings and Gen.49:5. As stated; the best these Beyond Scripture / non-Torah writings can aspire to is commentary. Nothing can be above Torah – Nothing! Gen.49:5 is Torah; it reveals a curse on both Simeon and Levi for actions taken at Gen.34 involving both (only) Simeon and Levi – Now; ask yourself – Self; how can anyone split that verse (Gen.49:5) in half, wrench a priesthood (verbiage that is not there) for only Levi and cookie cut Simeon out of the picture?
So what we see at Ex.19:5-6 is Yahweh’s offer that if the people would keep the covenant, they would be His Kingdom of (Melchizedek) Priests. This was Plan ‘A’; that was lost with the Gold Calf incident of Ex.32 that thrust the Israelites into the Levitical Priesthood that was at best a damage control Plan ‘B’. There is a huge difference between being ‘a nation of priests’ and ‘a nation with priests’. Most of the Hebrew Root Teachers teach the cyclical nature of Hebrew – that is; it cycles - if you want to know the future; look to the beginning. We under Yahshua revert back to the original Melchizedek Priesthood Plan ‘A’. The same offer (of Ex.19:5-6) being identified at 1Ptr.2:9.
We; you, I, all of us are being called (1Ptr.2:9) into the original Melchizedek Priesthood – Under Yahshua our Melchizedek (Heb.9:11) High Priest. Most of us including Yahshua (Heb.7:13) could never be Levitical Priests; for the majority of us (including Yahshua) did not come from the Tribe of Levi (Heb.7:14). By way of clarity through definition – the Hebrew Melek means King and Zedek means Righteousness ergo; Melchizedek means -The King of Righteousness – ergo “the royal priesthood” (1Ptr.2:9). And the ‘royal law’ (Jms.2:8). Our calling is even attested to in Revelation (Rev.1:6 & 5:10) that directly attaches back to ‘Plan ‘A’ - Ex.19:5-6 through 1Ptr.2:9 post-crucifixition (Heb.7:14 & 8:4)
Heb.7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
This is not a change to ‘no law’ – this is not a change to ‘no priesthood’. This ‘change’
What does the Melchizedek Priesthood Book of the Covenant (Ex19:5-24:8) contain? The high points include – Ex.19 proposal, pre-acceptance and the nation sanctified (Set-Apart), Ex.20 The 10 Commandments, the people’s request not to hear YHWH’s voice, Ex.21 The Judgments that include – Ex.22 Civil Codes, Ex.23 National Appointed Times, 7th year Sabbath (Feast Days expanded at Lev.23), Ex.24 post acceptance and final acceptance (Note – one at v:3 “ all the words of YHWH and all the judgments”, and again at v:7), Blood Ratification and a Covenant Confirming Meal (v:9-11).
All Melchizedek Priesthood Covenants of Promise must have 1] a Proposal, 2] an Agreement, 3] a Blood Ratification 4] a Covenant Confirming Meal & 5] a direct attachment to Abraham’s Promise Covenant at Gen.15 (Please check – the other covenants do not have all of these considerations) Note other ratifications – salt, shoe, threshold & oath.
These Covenants of Promise include 1] Gen.15 The Promise Covenant, 2] The Book of the Covenant (Ex19:5- 24:8 – the Answer to the Promise), 3] The New/re-New-ed Covenant (Jer.31:31-33/Lk.22:20/Heb.8:8-10) 4] the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev.19:7) and a legitimate attachment to #5] being the ‘Oath’ (Yah’s promise vow at Gen.12/Heb.6:13).
If you would like a more detailed exhaustive summary of these and other Covenant Issues – consider ordering my book – ‘The Covenants of Promise’ ISBN: 978-1-103-07046-4 at www.lulu.com/starlight for other options (including PDF download with Covenant Chart, my dissertation) visit my website – www.YahsSpiritofTruth.com (use internet explorer).
Clearly stated; the parameters of the Book of the Covenant (BotC) are Ex.19:5 (consistent with the law of first mention) to Ex.24:8 (consistent with the law of last mention including the given name at v:7). Also clearly stated; the parameters of the Book of the Law (BotL) are Ex.24:12 (consistent with the law of first mention) to Dt.31:26 (consistent with the law of last mention including the given name at v:26).
Now let’s deal with the law side of the ‘Rightly Dividing’ point. Some of you may want to ask; ‘hold the phone’ – how can you say that Ex.24:12 is the start of the Book of the Law? There is no Levitical Priesthood at this point either. Which would both be a valid question and statement.
We have to account for and understand a few points. One being as stated; the law of first mention and the law of last mention. Another is realizing that Ex.24:12 is the 4th call up on the Mount that turns out to be the start of the infamous 40 days and 40 nights. With the Book of the Covenant already having been Blood Ratified; decisively meaning that nothing can be added or taken away (Gal.3:15). The Ex.24:12 statement includes ‘come up here; I will give you … a law … I have written’ – Not that we’ve agreed to. YHWH understands and abides by Law including the Law of a sealed ratified no plus no minus covenant. That’s why we can trust Him. By the same token YHWH knowing the end from the beginning, knew what the Israelites would do - Make a Golden Calf that would break the covenant and at that in less than 40 days (Ex.32). Note – Aaron himself made the Gold Calf. He also was no longer eligible to be a Melchizedek Priest.
The point is that from Ex.24:12 to Ex.32:1, the people had no idea what Moses was doing, where he was, what he was getting, or how long he’d be. Ex.24:12 to Ex.32:1 takes in the complete 40 days and 40 nights. Moses was getting an instruction that would double as a damage control back-up plan i.e. Plan ‘B’. It isn’t till Ex.27:21 that Aaron and his son’s are even mentioned. Paul makes a defining statement at Heb.7:11;
Heb 7:11 ‘If .. perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law..’
Now I can make my point – to do so I must ask the question; ‘in Hebrew thought, when does life begin? – at Birth or Conception?’ Conception – right? Ex.24:12 is the conception point of the ‘Law’ (post-covenant) that brought the Levitical Priesthood that the people had no idea about until Moses came down the mountain, but by then they had already breached the Covenant with the Golden Calf (Ex.32), and were now under the Levitical priesthood provision. Israel no longer would be; because of their covenant breach, a nation of (Melchizedek) priests (Ex.19:5-6); They would now (post covenant breach) be a nation with Levite priests (Ex.40:13-15/Num.8:16-19).
So Paul’s cryptic assessment at Heb.7:11 is correct. I do realize there are those that dispute Paul being the writer of the New Testament chapter called ‘Hebrews’. I have no doubt that Paul; whether the actual writer or not was the originating author of ‘Hebrews’. Whether pen written by Paul or a student, contemporary, disciple or scribe of Paul; Hebrews agrees so very closely with the rest of Paul’s New Testament evidences of Torah; dispute virtually evaporates. Those that discount or outright reject Paul, have to discount or outright reject his claim that he was taught the Gospel by Yahshua (Gal.1:11-12). They do so at their own peril.
2Ptr.3:15 And account that the longsuffering of YHWH is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you; :16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
It is taught in wilderness survival training, that there are 2 main reasons why people get and stay lost. 1] No remembered awareness – (forgetting the meadow, hill, boulder, tree-stand, river-fork, etc. you passed). 2] Disregarding those things that would indicate direction – (sun-rise, sun-set, moon-rise, star pattern, river-flow, compass setting, etc.). It is identically the same with the Bible, there are 2 main reasons why people get and stay lost. 1] No remembered awareness (Jms.1:25); and 2] Disregarding those things that would indicate direction (2Ptr.3:16/1Tm.1:7).
There is one particular objection that must be addressed. Some Church taught believers appeal to various apparent ‘proofs’ that only the 10 commandments are the covenant. Sadly there are revered ’scholars’, preachers and teachers that tend to or outright assert the same error. Some ’scholars’ appeal to the fact that the people asked (which was granted) not to hear YHWH’s audible Voice (Ex.20:19) which is then wrenched to prove the people only accepted what we call ‘the 10 Commandments’ as ‘the covenant’. They also appeal to such verses as Dt.5:22 ‘and He added no more’; They disregard Dt.5:1′…Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments …’, Dt.5:4 ‘…face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire…’; Even disregarding what Dt.5:22 actually says;
Dt.5:22 These words (including Dt.5:1) YHWH spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no
The Hebrew word
Dt.5:31 But as for thee (Moses), stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee ‘all’ the words, commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
Now couple this with; Dt.9:10 And YHWH delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of Yah; and on them was written according to ‘all’ the words, which YHWH spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
When we see ‘the tablets of stone’ – we think of what we call the ten commandments. The phrase ‘ten commandments’ only occurs in your Bible 3 times. The word ‘ten’ comes from the Hebrew
Dt.10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which YHWH spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and YHWH gave them unto me.
Deuteronomy is only the witness (a re-telling). A covenant has to be ratified. When I ask; ‘Where were only the 10 commandments blood ratified’? - of the ones that do answer; invariably the answer will be Ex.24:7-8. I then point them to v:3 - which is the actual account of the actual event of the entire Book of the Covenant;
Ex.24:3 ‘And Moses came and told the people ‘all’ the words of YHWH, ‘and’ ‘all’ the judgments: ‘and’ ‘all’ the people answered with one voice, ‘and’ said, ‘All’ the words which YHWH hath said will we do.’ *This is the 1st post acceptance of the entire Covenant Ex.19:5-24:8, the 2nd is v:7.*
Note – From the Blood Ratified Book of the Covenant; Ex.21:1 “…these are the judgments…” - Ex.24:3 “… ‘all’ the words … ‘and’ ‘all’ the judgments …”
Note – ‘in the day of the assembly’ is specific; coupled with all the other information evidence (in the mount, lightening, thunder, fire, smoke, voice, spake with you, will do, etc.) it can only mean the event of the Book of the Covenant (Ex.19:5-24:8 – specifically ‘the day’ of the assembly is Ex.19:16-24:3). There is a world of difference between ‘in the (1) day of (all) the assembly’ and the ‘40 days’ of the one man Moses –who neither ate nor slept; that’s a lot of time!
OK; lets recap and put this all together, with an observational word of caution. Eph.2:12 Tells us of ‘the covenants of promise’. This is a dedicated phrase. This subset class of covenants (absolutely part of the entire biblical covenant system) attach directly to the Promise Covenant made with Abraham by YHWH at Gen.15. This ‘promise’ to Abraham (and his descendants) had to have an ‘answer’. The Book of the Covenant (Ex.19:5-24:8) ratified 430 years later by Abraham’s descendants was that ‘Answer’. Up to this point, this was all under the Melchizedek Priesthood with the people originally being called into that same Melchizedek – The King of Righteousness - Priesthood (Ex.19:5-6/1Ptr.2:9).
The same ‘Plan A’ priesthood we are being called back into – under Yahshua our High (’Melchizedek’) Priest. But the people broke the covenant (Jer.31:31-33 see v:32) by making the ‘Golden Calf’. They defiled themselves; they broke the covenant and were no longer eligible to be that Nation ‘of’ (Melchizedek) Priests. They would now be a ‘Plan B’ Nation ‘with’ (Levitical) Priests. Ex24:12 is the introduction of that law (outside the already Blood Ratified Covenant v:8) that brought in the Levitical Priesthood (Ex.40:13-15). Gal.3:15 states that once a covenant is confirmed (ratified/confirmed) no one (including Yahweh) can add or take away even one thing. You either keep it or brake it.
That brings us to the ‘Rightly Dividing Point’ - The Book of the Covenant (Ex.19:5-24:8) is a Melchizedek Priesthood Covenant. The Melchizedek Priesthood is eternal, spanning from Pre-Creation to Re-Creation. That Melchizedek Priesthood preeminence (even though eternal) spanned biblically from Gen.1:1 to Ex.24:8 (actually v:11) until The Law (outside the already Blood Ratified Covenant v:8) that enacted the more directly eminent Levitical Priesthood because of the ‘Golden Calf’ covenant breach. The Melchizedek Priesthood is Spiritual; it is eternal it has never gone away (Heb.7:3). But the people transgressed/broke the covenant and made themselves ineligible to be Melchizedek Priests and a nation ‘of ‘ - they then were placed under a more direct form of micro-managing instruction of a more imminent organic Levitical Priesthood. The best word picture to describe this situation is a smaller umbrella under a much bigger – all encompassing umbrella. (Heb.7:7) – The larger / greater Melchizedek umbrella never went away.
It should be clear by now that The Melchizedek Book of the Covenant does contain Melchizedek Covenant Law that is still binding that is not the same as the Levitical Book of the Law. That being said; caution must be stressed – This is not a ‘party hardy’ - total ‘free skate’! I have identified the parameters of the Levitical Book of the Law as Ex.24:12 to Dt.31:26. We are no longer under a Levitical Priesthood with its Levitical Law (the specific particular law point that the Christian Church is right about) that does not ‘remain’ (2Cor.3:11/13). However; there are many Melchizedek Priesthood issues that have been re-stated in the Levitical Book of the Law (Ex.24:12 to Dt.31:26) under the Levitical Priesthood – originally stated before this Law under the Melchizedek Priesthood (Gen.1:1 to Ex.24:11). These stand in their original Melchizedek place and therefore ‘remain’ (2Cor.3:11). We must examine what has been thrust on us, what will be thrust on us; both the unconsidered and re-examine what we thought we knew – in the way we thought we knew it.
2Cor.3:13 ‘…that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: …’
The Rightly Dividing Point is to have a Biblically Rightly Dividing Tool – a jig, a model, a comparison to compare and measure Biblical issues by. You want to obey? - Perfect! But to do that we must know both what obedience is and more importantly; what obedience is not (Isa.1:12). We have been presented many things over the years – a list of dos and don’ts, varied Church and Rabbinic expectations and omissions, a dress code that includes – kippa’s, prayer shawls, zitzits (that include Rabbinic wraps and knots not found in Torah), beards, phylacteries, tefillin, 5 to 9 different lists of the 613 laws, a growing list of ‘Noahide’ laws that mix Melchizedek and Levitical issues and Rabbinic perspectives including halakah, manufactured constructs of various sorts, Circumcision, Oral Torah, Talmud, etc.
Messianics (including Hebrew roots) are besieged with many issues; some of which we have never heard of before – Lunar Sabbath, morning to morning Sabbath, daylight only Sabbath, Mow’edim issues – 2 days of Passover?, Do we eat on the 14th or the 15th?, Barley or equinox? Abib 16 or the day after the weekly Sabbath?, Shavout – is it the day after the 7th Sabbath or in the middle of the week?, which calendar to follow, when is the New Moon - sighted, dark or conjunction? Wranglings over the Day of Atonement., Yom Teruah or Rosh haShanah or Ex.12:2?, Babylonian pagan names of Jewish days and months not found in Torah - On and on and more on top and more to come no doubt.
We seriously need a Rightly Dividing tool to divide through all this subjective ambiguity, schizophrenic imagination, truistic assertions, religious wranglings, ill-researched errors and outright lies to find Yah’s Melek Zedek Truth. To do that we must know; what is Covenant and what is not? – What is Melchizedek and what is Levitical? – What does Torah say? – What do the actual accounts evidence? – What did Yahshua actually say?, What did Yahshua teach Paul and the other Disciples? - What ‘remains? What was until? We must allow the Bible to interpret the Bible – Yah’s Truth.
We are to be in Unity. We claim and attest to Unity. Consider this final awareness: If the Church would ‘rightly divide’ between Covenant issues and law issues, factoring back in Melchizedek Covenant - and - If the Rabbinic Jews would ‘rightly divide’ between Covenant issues and law issues, factoring out Levitical law. Then we would be standing on the same Melchizedek Covenant in a unity like we can only claim and attest to – But have (to this point) never known.
OK; since there’s room – A Covenant Confirming Meal is attached to all ‘Covenants of Promise’ – Your own marriage had a reception- Right? This is the first time that the Bride’s family and the Groom’s family, who just witnessed the Marriage Covenant Vows between their Son and Daughter will sit together in a ‘common-meal’ in ‘common–union’ (AKA ‘communion’) confirming that same Marriage Covenant. This is identical to the events of Ex.24:9-11. That means that your Bible based marriage is a Melchizedek Covenant within the Melchizedek Covenants. The Rabbi or Parson usually recites Genesis Creation accounts – these too are under the eternal Melchizedek Priesthood. This awareness should be included in all biblical Marriage proceedings. Rev 3:20 in particular contains Covenant dedicated phrasing.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (’my voice’ Ex.19:5-6 – ’sup’ Ex.24:9-11- BotC)
One last observation – I am finite - I don’t and can’t know everything; I strive to maintain an attitude that remains teachable – but - Yah has caused me to know some things. Three things I have learned about ‘The Truth’;
1) Volume will never make a lie a Truth.
2) Repetition will never make a lie a Truth.
3) Ignoring the details of The Truth will never make you honest.
‘The Rightly Dividing Point’ – by Dr. David L. Perry Th.D. © 11/ 11/ 2011 – adapted from his research and his book entitled ‘The Covenants of Promise’ which can be obtained at www.lulu.com/starlight for other options (including PDF with Chart, his Dissertation, Poems & more ) visit his website – www.YahsSpiritofTruth.com (use internet explorer).
Search Daily, Choose Wisely, Love ‘in Spirit and in (Fully-Accounted-For) Truth’ - Yah’s Esteem and Blessings
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at http://www.sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf
We had a reader last week inquire of the “Jukes” name in the commentaries. Here is a link where you can read about who he was… very interesting individual: http://www.alampthatburns.net/jukes/jukes.htm
03/12/2011 Lev 5 Jer 26-28 Prov 17 Acts 13-14
Trespass Offerings and Accompanying Regulations
Though the trespass offering is sometimes called a sin offering (compare 5:6-9), there is a general distinction to be made between sin and trespass. Some have argued that sin is against God while trespass is against fellow man. But the Bible makes it clear that it is possible to commit trespass against God (compare verses 15-19). What then, is the difference between sin and trespass? Jukes explains, “With our shortsightedness, our inability to see beyond the surface, we naturally look at what man does rather than at what he is; and while we are willing to allow that he does evil, we perhaps scarcely think that he is evil. But God judges what we are as well as what we do; our sin, the sin in us, as much as our trespasses. In His sight sin in us, our evil nature [compare Romans 7], is as clearly seen as our trespasses, which are but the fruit of that nature. He needs not wait to see the fruit put forth. He knows the root is evil, and so will be the buddings…. Thus in the Sin-offering no particular act of sin is mentioned, but a certain person is seen standing confessedly as a sinner: in the Trespass-offering certain acts are enumerated, and the person never appears. In the Sin-offering I see a person who needs atonement, offering an oblation for himself as a sinner: in the Trespass-offering I see certain acts which need atonement, and the offering offered for these particular offences….
“Of course, in the Sin-offering, though the man is seen rather than his acts, proof must needs be brought that he is a sinner. But let it be noticed that this is done, not by the enumeration of certain trespasses, but simply by a reference to the law; which, though no particular transgression is mentioned, is said to have been neglected or broken” (pp. 148-149). Of course, there will be particular acts to show that the person is guilty of sin. Yet the sin offering does not atone for these specifically—it atones for sinful nature in general, which stands in rebellion against God (compare Romans 8:7). “In the Trespass-offering, on the other hand, it is exactly the reverse. We have nothing but one detail after another of particular wrongs and offences; the first class being of wrongs done against God, the other of wrongs against our neighbor” (pp. 149-150). The trespass offerings, then, are to atone for specific sinful acts. It is these specific acts of trespass that require restitution, as detailed in this section.
Jeremiah on Trial for His Life (Jeremiah 26)
The incidents described in this chapter take place at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign—thus around 608 B.C. Some commentators believe this chapter is parallel with chapter 7 because in both places God has Jeremiah proclaim at the temple the object lesson of Shiloh. If they are the same incident, then chapters 7 through 10 should fall here in time order. And that may be. However, the wording of chapter 7 could imply that Josiah had not yet destroyed Tophet, the place of child sacrifice, which would lend support to the chronological arrangement followed in the Bible Reading Program. Jeremiah, therefore, may be essentially repeating a proclamation he gave more than 13 years earlier (as he likewise later repeats some of the statements concerning Tophet in chapter 19).
The reference to “all the cities of Judah” coming to worship (26:2) indicates that this was most likely one of the nation’s annual festivals. The essence of Jeremiah’s address to the people was that Judah needed to repent or Jerusalem would suffer the same fate as Shiloh. As explained in the highlights for Jeremiah 7, even though Shiloh had been the resting place of the tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant, God had allowed it to be destroyed. The people were at this time still placing too much trust in the temple and Jerusalem and their forms of worship. God, they reasoned, would never allow His holy temple and city to be destroyed. But they were wrong.
Verse 3 of chapter 26 highlights an important principle found throughout Scripture. Even though God threatens dire consequences, He is prepared to relent if the people respond and turn from their evil ways (see 18:7-8; 1 Kings 21:29; Joel 2:13; Jonah 3:10). If they don’t, the punishment would fall. Jerusalem would be made a “curse to all nations”—that is, destroyed to provide an example to all nations (Jeremiah 26:6).
The religious leaders then stirred up the assembled worshipers against Jeremiah. They basically arrested him, telling him he would receive the death penalty for what they saw as his blasphemy in saying God’s temple would be destroyed. Jesus would later suffer similar reaction from religious leaders over the many proclamations He made that they perceived as a threat to their continuing power, including His declaration that the temple would be destroyed (see Luke 21:5-6; 22:2).
In Jeremiah’s case, a hearing was convened before “all the princes and all the people” (Jeremiah 26:11-12), which may have denoted a bicameral national council or high court. The “princes” here didn’t necessarily belong to the royal family, even though they came from the king’s house. The Hebrew word from which the word “princes” is translated “may denote leaders, chieftains…. [The word] also appears frequently as a word representing royal rulers and officials, no doubt of sundry ranks and titles…. Thus Jeremiah 26:11 speaks of the princes of Judah, and the context (vv. 10-16) depicts them as occupying the ‘king’s house,’ to possessing judicial power, ordering Jeremiah to die or to be spared” (Harris, Archer and Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 1980, Vol. 2, p. 884). Verse 17 says that certain “elders of the land” addressed the “assembly of the people.” Perhaps these elders were members of this assembly, serving as clan or town representatives.
“Jeremiah gave a threefold defense on his own behalf. First, he announced that the Lord had sent him to deliver the message they had heard. He was not a false prophet. Second, he announced that his message was conditional. If the people would reform their ways (cf. 3:12; 7:3) God promised not to bring about the disaster. Thus Jeremiah’s message did offer some hope for the city. Third, Jeremiah warned that if they put him to death they would bring the guilt of innocent blood on themselves. They would be guilty in God’s sight of murdering an innocent man” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, note on Jeremiah 26:12-17).
While this may have caused some of them a measure of concern, the reaction of the officials in verse 16 is based more on legal technicality than on any belief in what Jeremiah was saying. A prophet could not be put to death unless he spoke in the name of another god or his prophecy turned out to be false. The latter could not as yet be determined. And the former had not been committed, as Jeremiah had spoken in the name of the true God of Israel. So Jeremiah seemed to be off the hook. But what really tipped the scales in his favor was the citing of a precedent by certain elders in verse 17—that of Micah’s proclamation of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple given more than 90 years earlier, in which King Hezekiah, the supreme judge of the time, did not have Micah executed. “This is really a fine defense, and the argument was perfectly conclusive. Some think that it was Ahikam [mentioned in verse 24] who undertook the prophet’s defense” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on verse 17).
The chapter ends with a brief story of another prophet of God named Urijah (or Uriah), mentioned only here in Scripture. Jehoiakim had sought to put him to death, so he fled to Egypt. But being a vassal of Egypt at this time, Judah had extradition rights and Urijah was brought home to his execution. This episode may have been inserted here to show that even though Jeremiah’s case seemed pretty ironclad, the state still posed a danger—as a corrupt king such as Jehoiakim could quite easily see to it that a prophet was executed. In any event, Jeremiah was saved with the help of Ahikam, which may refer to the preceding court defense or perhaps the prophet actually taking refuge with him.
Interestingly, Ahikam was the son of Shaphan, who had served under faithful King Josiah. “The family of Shaphan played an important part in the final years of Judah…. Shaphan was King Josiah’s secretary who reported the finding of the Law to Josiah (2 Kings 22:3-13). Shaphan had at least four sons—three of whom were mentioned in a positive way by Jeremiah (Ahikam, Gemariah, and Elasah). The fourth son, Jaazaniah, was the ‘black sheep’ of the family; his presence among the idol-worshipers in the temple caught Ezekiel by surprise (Ezek. 8:11). Ahikam’s son, Gedaliah, was appointed governor of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, note on verse 24).
The Yoke of Babylon (Jeremiah 27-28)
Jeremiah 27:1 says, “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah…” Most commentators take “Jehoiakim” to be an ancient copyist error in the Hebrew Masoretic Text, believing it should actually say “Zedekiah,” as in some other early manuscripts. It is true that chapter 27 is clearly set in the early part of Zedekiah’s reign, his fourth year to be exact, and not Jehoiakim’s (compare verses 3, 12; 28:1).
However, another explanation could be that the chapter break between Jeremiah 26 and 27 occurs in the wrong place. Jeremiah 26 is set “in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah” (26:1). Perhaps the last verse of chapter 26 should read, “Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah.” The first verse of chapter 27 would then read, “This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying…” While this may seem unlikely to some, we cannot rule it out as a possibility.
Moving into the substance of the chapter, we encounter a hotbed of political plotting during this fourth year of Zedekiah (594-593 B.C.). “Emissaries from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon met in Jerusalem to plan revolution [against Babylon]. In the Jewish court, pro-Egyptian conspirators probably looked to Egypt for help, especially with the accession of the new king, Psammetichus II (594-589 b.c.e.). Jeremiah [according to God’s direction] opposed rebellion, arguing that Judah’s only hope was to remain a vassal to the Babylonians” (HarperCollins Study Bible, note on 27:1-28:17).
God here again gives Jeremiah a seemingly strange, but dramatic, task to perform. The prophet is to make and then don “bonds and yokes”—and to give these to the gathered envoys for delivery to their national leaders as part of God’s message to them that they were all to submit to Babylon. “The yoke is that used by two oxen to pull a heavy load. Normally, yokes consisted of a crossbar with leather or rope nooses or rods of wood that would be placed around the animals’ necks. Attached to the crossbar was a wooden shaft for pulling the load (see Deut 21.3; 1 Sam 6.7; 11.5; 1 Kings 19.19). For the yoke as a symbol of servitude [Jeremiah 27:8, 12], see also 1 Kings 12.1-11″ (note on Jeremiah 27:2).
“The task assigned to Jeremiah required great faith, as it was sure to provoke alike his own countrymen and the foreign ambassadors and their kings, by a seeming insult, at the very time that all were full of confident hopes grounded on the confederacy” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 3).
God’s message through His prophet is intended to make it plain to the leaders of the surrounding nations that they wield power only so long as He allows it. He would promote Nebuchadnezzar and subjugate these leaders and their peoples under him. Yet in this exaltation of the Babylonian emperor, it is clear that God remains ultimately supreme. He even calls Nebuchadnezzar “My Servant” (verse 6). “With all of his military might and conquests, the king of Babylon was still a servant of the God of Israel, carrying out the Lord’s purposes—namely the judgment of Judah [and these other nations]” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 6-7).
In verse 8, the yoke symbol is explained to the emissaries: submit to Babylon or else, the alternative being punishment through the dreadful three-fold cycle of sword, famine and pestilence. Jeremiah then delivers to them a serious warning not to listen to prophets or various occult practitioners who were saying the opposite (verses 9-11). He then proclaims the same message to King Zedekiah, the priests and all the people he encounters as he wanders about wearing the yoke (verses 12-16).
Jeremiah then issues a challenge to the false prophets. Nebuchadnezzar had taken much of the temple furnishings in his prior invasions of Jerusalem (see Daniel 1:1-2; 2 Kings 24:11-13). The false prophets were claiming these would soon be brought back. But Jeremiah says “the vessels which are left” in the temple would also be taken to Babylon in the coming destruction of the city (Jeremiah 27:16-22). Jeremiah challenges the false prophets to intercede with God to try to stop his words from coming to pass and to bring to pass the things they have announced. This would prove who spoke for God.
It may not be quickly noticed but Jeremiah does offer words of hope and encouragement in the midst of this challenge and pronouncement of calamity. In verse 22, he says that Babylon would ultimately be punished and that the temple furnishings would then be brought back as part of Judah’s restoration. Surprisingly, these items were apparently well accounted for in Babylon, being returned in specific numbers when the Persians later took over (see Ezra 1:7-11). It is likely that Daniel played a part in the care and cataloging of them.
Hananiah’s Lies (Jeremiah 27-28)
Jeremiah 28 introduces the prophet Hananiah, who contradicts Jeremiah, falsely claiming that he speaks for God. “Hananiah had the temerity to use the same introductory formula as Jeremiah, implying a claim for inspiration similar to his. The form of the Hebrew verb sabarti (’I will break’) in verse 2 is the prophetic perfect, which emphasizes the certainty of a future event or promise. The yoke refers to the one Jeremiah had just made. Flatly contradicting Jeremiah’s God-given counsel of submission, Hananiah predicted a return of the captives and the temple vessels within two years, emphasizing the time element by putting it first (v. 3)” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Jeremiah 28:3) This was unbelievably bold—and utterly foolish.
Jeremiah responds to Hananiah’s message of Judah’s imminent national restoration by essentially saying, “Would that it were true!” (compare verses 5-6). But, he continues, this theme of immediate peace and prosperity runs contrary to the long tradition of the messages of God’s prophets (compare verses 7-8). If a purported prophet of God comes along saying everything’s just fine and predicting “smooth sailing,” the reaction should be as Jeremiah’s: “We’ll have to see it to believe it” (compare verse 9; Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
(We experience a similar situation today, with false ministers speaking a different message from that of God’s true servants. Only those close to God can determine who His ministers are. Thankfully, most people today have access to His Word and can check what religious teachers say against the Bible—see Acts 17:11.)
Hananiah, angry at the rebuke, breaks Jeremiah’s yoke and blasphemously makes his own “sign” out of it, issuing another false prophecy in God’s name. His announcement “reversed every statement by Jeremiah and advanced the cause of rebellion against Babylon by Judah and the surrounding nations, something King Zedekiah had desired all along” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 10-11). But Hananiah and those who trust in him soon learn an important lesson about pretending to represent the great Creator God. Hananiah might have broken the wooden yoke on Jeremiah’s neck, but those who embraced his message would soon suffer under a figurative yoke of “iron,” which is unbreakable (verses 13-15). Hananiah, in fact, learns that he won’t even be around long enough to have a yoke on his own neck—except the yoke of death (verse 16).
Remarkably, though Jeremiah said Hananiah would die “this year” (same verse), God doesn’t wait the whole year to fulfill the decree. Instead, the false prophet dies just two months later (compare verses 1, 17). “There was no way the people and priests of Judah, who witnessed the confrontation that took place (28:1), could avoid linking Jeremiah’s prediction with Hananiah’s demise. God shouts out His warnings” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verse 17). Yet the stubborn leaders and wayward populace refused to face reality—that all of Jeremiah’s other prophecies were true—and humbly repent.
The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day were powerful and influential, as we can see. Again, even today we need to be wary of false prophets—false preachers—who appear to be true servants of God (Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 1 John 4:1). The apostle Peter warns: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways…. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction will not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3). The Bible even foretells the rise of a great false prophet who will deceive the world at the end of the present age (see Revelation 19:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
Second Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d
34. Remarks on Behavior (17:2-8)
“TYPE: RANDOM PROVERBS….Although these verses contain the hint of an inclusio [as ‘wise’ in verse 2 and ‘prospers’ in verse 8 are both translated from the Hebrew word skal, referring to wise perception and dealing leading to success] and repeat certain themes and terms [family matters (verses 2, 6), divine judgment (verses 3, 5), the lips (verses 4, 7)], no specific pattern is apparent” (NAC).
Verse 2 shows that “ability and character can overcome the disadvantages of birth. At the same time, those born to advantage can forfeit their birthright through immorality and incompetence” (note on verse 2). We don’t have to stay where we are in life. Through wisdom we can rise above our circumstances. Conversely, through foolish disgrace, we can lose what we have.
Verse 8 apparently says that a gift given to others is very valuable to the one giving it as it leads him to success. This is not the same as Christ’s general maxim that “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The point in Proverbs 17:8 is not altruistic giving generally but a strategy of using gifts for gain. This could be a mere observation about the power of bribes (compare NIV), but it need not be so. While bribery to pervert justice is condemned (verse 23), other proverbs note that there is a proper social context for giving gifts to promote good relations and open doors (see 18:16; 19:6; Luke 16:9). It was proper in ancient times to come before kings with gifts and perhaps more mundane occasions called for this as well. Also recall Jacob’s giving of gifts to Esau to placate him and reconcile with him (Genesis 32:13-21).
35. Four Conjoined Collections (17:9-26)
“The proverbs of vv. 9-16 have many interconnections, but it is difficult to tell if any specific pattern is intended. It appears, however, that these verses divide into four inclusio or chiasmus collections (vv. 9-13, vv. 14-19, vv. 20-22, and vv. 23-26) on the basis of thematic parallels or catchwords. The connections among the proverbs are as follows:
? “THE SOCIAL AND ANTISOCIAL. Type: Chiasmus (17:9-13). This section describes those who are or are not sociable and easy to live with. The implied warning is that one should beware of antisocial, incorrigible, or vindictive behavior in oneself or others” (NAC).
Verse 9 on covering a transgression recalls 10:12.
Verse 11, as The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes, shows that “those bent on rebellion will surely meet with severe retribution…. That retribution will be sent in the form of a [’cruel messenger’]…(mal’ak ‘akzari). This expression could refer to a pitiless messenger that the king would send; but it also could refer to storms, pestilence, or any misfortune that was God’s messenger of retribution.”
? “QUICK TO QUARREL. Type: Inclusio (17:14-19). The boundaries of this text are set by the inclusio on quarreling in vv. 14,19″ (NAC).
Regarding verse 16, The NIV Application Commentary states: “The point of this satiric proverb is two-sided: It is folly to think one can buy wisdom since it is a gift of God and must be acquired through study (2:1-6), and even if wisdom could be bought, the fools lacks the sense (literally, ‘heart’) to know what to do with it. The sharp juxtaposition of having money and lacking sense makes it clear that heart, both as ‘desire’ and ‘mind’ (NRSV), is the prerequisite for learning wisdom. Some see a dunce showing up at the door of a teacher with fee in hand, but evidence for this in Israel is lacking. Rather, we see a fool who does not know what to do with good things like money, responsibility, or even a proverb (26:6-9)!” (note on 17:16).
Speaking of both quarrelling and money, we may note that money can lie at the root of tension between friends, as verse 18 warns about. The caution about becoming surety for a friend, such as in cosigning a loan, recalls 6:1-5 (and 11:15 warned against becoming surety as well, there in the case of a stranger as well as generally). The proverb does not mean you should never help out a friend in this way if you are well off and the friend defaulting would not hurt you or the friendship. But you had better know what you’re getting into. And odds are that this is generally an unwise course.
Verse 19 speaks of one who “exalts his gate” seeking or inviting destruction. The Soncino Commentary notes on verse 19 that “his gate” is literally “‘his opening’ which the Jewish commentators apply to the mouth (cf. Ps [119:]130), understanding the phrase as ‘talking big, in loud and arrogant language.’ Another explanation is: living in an ostentatious manner which attracts envious attention and can easily be the cause of ruin” (note on Proverbs 17:19).
? “HEART AND FAMILY. Type: Inclusio (17:20-22)” (NAC). The foolish and scoffing son of verse 21 is probably one with a deceitful heart and perverse tongue as in verse 20?a source of great sorrow to parents, in line with verse 25 and the opening proverb of Solomon’s core collection (10:1).
Proverbs 17:22 shows, in contrast, that a happy heart is the key to a full and healthy life. We may observe, too, that this proverb indirectly speaks well of the use of medicine. For consider that it does not say that a merry heart does good like a medicine poisons you. Rather, it implies that a merry heart does good like a medicine does good. This is not to say that everything labeled medicine is good for you, but clearly the use of some medicines promotes the wellness of the body as does staying happy.
? “JUSTICE AND FAMILY. Type: Chiasmus (17:23-26)…. Verse 25 would appear to have nothing to do with bribery and the miscarriage of justice [making it an exception to the other proverbs in this short section], but with v. 21 it provides a link to the previous text [see again the chart on the four conjoined collections here]. The ‘foolish son grieves his father’ verses in the contexts of vv. 20-22 and vv. 23-26 thus serve a didactic [teaching] purpose; they urge the reader (the implied ’son’) not to become the evil man described in these verses [of all four conjoined collections] and thus not to grieve either his real father or the implied father behind the Book of Proverbs” (NAC).
36. Appropriate Use of Words (17:27?18:4)
“TYPE: INCLUSIO AND PARALLEL….Sometimes the Book of Proverbs seems to value nothing so much as appropriate words. This is because it views words as the index to the soul. By paying attention to what a person says (and indeed to how much he or she says), one can determine whether a person is wise or a fool. Words are the fruit that show the quality of the heart. A parallel structure (17:28?18:3) is imbedded in an inclusio (17:27; 18:4).
The value of being reserved in speech (17:27) is bolstered by the fact that “even an imbecile can appear intelligent if he can avoid putting his foot in his mouth, but this is all but impossible for a fool (17:28:18:2 [compare 15:2])” (note on 17:27?18:4).
We pick up this week in Antioch and the scene is an Assembly of believing prophets and teachers, namely: Barnabas, Simon (called Niger), Lucius of Cyrene, Manahem, and Paul. They are fasting and praying, when they are visited by the Holy Spirit and they are told “separate unto Me Barnabas and Paul for the work for which I have called them” v.2. The believers laid hands on them and prayed over them and Paul and Barnabas went out from there.
Paul and Barnabas sail to Cyprus from the port city of Seleukeia where they preached the Word of God to the Jews in Salamais where John was also there. They preached the Word of God throughout all the island to Pamphos. Barnabas and Paul ran into a Proconsul there who desired to hear the Word of God who’s name was Sergius Paulus and so he sent for Paul and Barnabas to come and speak to him. However, there was also a magician there Elumas (his Jewish name was Bar-Joshua) who was against Paul and Barnabas and tried to steal the word which had been delivered to the Proconsul. At this, Paul reprimands this Elumas so greatly to the extent that Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, blinded this man! At this… the Proconsul believed because of the miracle.
Who was this Elumas (Elymus, Bar Jesus)? From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
bar-je’-zus (Bariesous): “A certain sorcerer (Greek magos), a false prophet, a Jew” whom Paul and Silas found at Paphos in Cyprus in the train of Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul (Acts 13:6). The proconsul was “a man of understanding” (literally, a prudent or sagacious man), of an inquiring mind, interested in the thought and magic of his times. This characteristic explains the presence of a magos among his staff and his desire to hear Barnabas and Saul. Bar-Jesus was the magician’s Jewish name. Elymas is said to be the interpretation of his name (Acts 13:8). It is the Greek transliteration of an Aramaic or Arabic word equivalent to Greek magos. From Arabic `alama, “to know” is derived `alim, “a wise” or “learned man.” In Koran, Sur note 106, Moses is called Sachir `alim, “wise magician.” Elymas therefore means “sorcerer” (compare Simon “Magus”). The East was flooding the Roman Empire with its new and wonderful religious systems, which, culminating in neo-Platonism, were the great rivals of Christianity both in their cruder and in their more strictly religious forms. Superstition was extremely prevalent, and wonder-workers of all kinds, whether imposters or honest exponents of some new faith, found their task easy through the credulity of the public. Babylonia was the home of magic, for charms are found on the oldest tablets. “Magos” was originally applied to the priests of the Persians who overran Babylonia, but the title degenerated when it was assumed by baser persons for baser articles Juvenal (vi.562, etc.), Horace (Sat. i0.2.1) and other Latin authors mention Chaldean astrologers and impostors, probably Babylonian Jews. Many of the Magians, however, were the scientists of their day, the heirs of the science of Babylon and the lore of Persia, and not merely pretenders or conjurers (see MAGIC). It may have been as the representative of some oriental system, a compound of “science” and religion, that Bar-Jesus was attached to the train of Sergius Paulus. Both Sergius and Elymas had heard about the teaching of the apostles, and this aroused the curiosity of Sergius and the fear of Elymas. When the apostles came, obedient to the command of the proconsul, their doctrine visibly produced on him a considerable impression. Fearing lest his position of influence and gain would be taken by the new teachers, Elymas “withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith” (Acts 13:8). Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, worked a wonder on the wonder-worker by striking him blind with his word, thus revealing to the proconsul that behind him was Divine power. Sergius Paulus believed, “being astonished at the teaching of the Lord” (Acts 13:12). S. F. Hunter
After this, there seems to be a small group traveling around with Paul and Barnabas, and they travel through Pamphulia and then to another Antioch in Pisidia. They go into a congregation there on the Sabbath day, sit, and listen to the Torah and Prophets being read before the people. After this was done, the leaders of the congregation – probably knowing they had some visitors, especially Paul – one of the… if not THE most well-known Pharisee of the day, asked them if they would like to speak to the people.
Paul begins to preach the history of the Israelites to all the congregation from regular men, to Israelite men, and then anyone fearing God. He spoke to them of the choosing of the Nation of Israel by God long ago through their fathers, how he delivered them from Egypt, how He sustained them in the Wilderness for forty years. He spoke of the seven nations that were destroyed and displaced by God for them, so that He delivered to them the land He had promised as an inheritance. How for four hundred and fifty years, they had judges until they asked for a king and He gave them Saul. He reviewed how Saul was removed by God and how He rose up David – a man after His own heart who would finally do His will in ruling over the people of Israel.
Then Paul teaches some and reminds others about the promise and what has happened in v23-24, “From this one’s seed, according to the promise, Elohim raised up for Israel a Savior, Yahshua, after John had first proclaimed the immersion of repentance to all the people of Israel, before His coming.” Paul recounts the words of John and reminded them that he said, “Who do you suppose I am? I am not He. But see, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.” V25 He tells them that unto them, this Word of deliverance has been sent.
Paul told the people how it came to be that Yahshua, the promised Savior, was put to death by the people, rulers of Jerusalem, and Pilot, who had no understanding of who He was even though the Prophets were read to them every Sabbath. He preached to them the Good News, that God raised Yahshua from the dead and many witnesses saw Him raised – from Galilee to Jerusalem. He proceeds to tell them of the fulfilled promises of God through the Word, the Prophets, and the Psalms with this Yahshua who has been raised from the dead, that through this One forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to them. He also admonishes them to not be like those men in Jerusalem who rejected Yahshua as the promised One and became the fulfillment of judgment of God spoken through the prophets.
The people were so joyful at this Good News, the Jews and the new coverts followed Paul and Barnabas and urged them to continue speaking and to stay for another Sabbath. The next Sabbath meeting, so many came to hear the word, almost the whole city. At this, the Jewish leaders became jealous, because of the crowds, they began opposing Paul and speaking evil against him. To this Paul says, v.46 “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you thrust it away, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we turn to the gentiles.” The Word continued to be spread across that region until the Jewish leaders (Pharisees) were able to gather the Nobles, Chiefs, Politicians of the city together against Paul and Barnabas and had them thrown out of the city. Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet and continued on to Ikonion – with all that had heard and believed, rejoicing in the Holy Spirit.
In Ikonion, many of both the Jews and Greeks believed in the congregations. Even though some of the Jews who did not believe stirred up strife between the brothers, Paul and Barnabas stayed there a while doing signs and wonders by the Set Apart Spirit. After a little bit, the city became divided between those who did believe and those who did not believe the Good News, until such a time Paul and Barnabas caught wind of a plan being forged by the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles (with the politicians) to stone them, they left the city and went to Lustra and Derbe to take the Good News there.
In Lustra and Derbe, Paul was able to heal a crippled man from birth who believed when he heard the Good News preached. At this, the people of the area began to say, v11 “The mighty ones have become like men and come down to us!” Thinking that Paul and Barnabas were gods themselves. They called Barnabas Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes. The pagan priest even brought them gifts, but Paul and Barnabas were appalled and they tore their cloths in protest! Paul and Barnabas cried aloud “Men, why are you doing this? We also are men with the same nature as you, bringing to you the Good News: to turn from these worthless matters to the living God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is in them, who in past generations allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.” But the people did not listen to their words, and the Pharisees came and swayed the crowd such that the crowd began to stone Paul and Barnabas, and dragged Paul out of the city nearly dead. After that, they left that city.
They went from there to Derbe proper, continued preaching the Good News and many believed there. They returned back the way they came, through Lustra, Ikonion, and Antioch, encouraging and strengthening all the believers they had come in contact with previously on their journey. They appointed elders in every assembly with prayer and fasting, and committed them to our Master Yahshua. They travelled through Pisidia, Pamphulia, Perge, and Attaleia and back to Antioch were they started. They spoke of all that had happened through the Power of God and that Elohim had opened the door of belief to the gentiles.
We continue with our study of the 613 laws.
We are doing 7 laws each week during our septennial study. We shall study laws 590-596
We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
We continue in the category of Politics
He shall not eat dried grapes (raisins). “Neither shall he…eat raisins.” (Numbers 6:3) Changing the form of the grape didn’t change the fact that partaking of the fruit of the vine implied an investment in the world, an attachment to it. Thus grapes in any form symbolized for the Nazirite a state of peace, even compromise, with the world he lived in. The clearest example I can think of that demonstrates this state of affairs is Lot’s life in Sodom. Though he was “oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked” (II Peter 2:7), Lot opted to stay there nevertheless, “tending his vineyard,” so to speak. While his neighbors drank their share of “wine and strong drink,” Lot (if I may stretch the metaphor) used his grapes to make raisins—doing what he could to make his settled life secure and impervious to the ravages of time, even if it did render his spiritual existence dry and wrinkled. Of course, merely being under a Nazirite vow didn’t automatically make you perfect either. The classic example of that is Samson, who for the most part ignored his holy calling. We’ll have more to say about him (and his hair) when we get to Mitzvah #594.
Nor did one have to take a Nazirite vow to live a life pleasing to God. The ultimate example of this is the life of Yahshua, who though fully consecrated to Yahweh (because He was Yahweh) never took any vow that we know of. He drank wine (and even made it on occasion), demonstrating a connection with humanity that was essential for Him—as the rightful Lord of Heaven—to possess if He were to have empathy with our plight on earth. And He was witnessed touching a dead body (see Matthew 9:25), though the corpse of the young girl had no choice but to reawaken at his touch. Indeed, anyone who is touched by Yahshua will find it impossible to remain dead.
Perhaps you’re wondering, as I was, if there was any connection between the Hebrew root of the word we translate Nazirite (nazar, meaning “to separate”) and the name of Yahshua’s home town, Nazareth (Greek: Nazoraios), especially in light of Matthew’s observation: “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” (Matthew 2:23) As it turns out, the answer is no—it’s a transliteration artifact. Matthew was referring to this Messianic prophecy: “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch [that’s the word] shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh.” (Isaiah 11:1-2) The word translated “branch” here is the Hebrew netser, which denotes a branch, bough, or limb, and by extension a shoot, scion, or root stock—in other words, one of the same kind of a succeeding generation. The “rod” here is King David, son of Jesse; the Messiah was thus prophesied to be a direct descendent of David.
It is not insignificant that we “Christians” were first called “Nazarenes,” being identified with Yahshua of Nazareth. (See for example Acts 24:5.) We believers are “branches” whose root and stem is Yahshua, whether we grew there naturally (as Jews) or were grafted in (as gentiles). This state was prophesied as well in reference to the restored Israel in Christ’s Millennial kingdom: “Also your people shall all be righteous. They shall inherit the land forever, the branch [netser] of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:21) Alas, while all believers in this life are netserim—branches of God’s Messiah—it seems that few are nazar—totally separated from the world and consecrated to Yahweh.
He shall not eat the kernels of the grapes. “All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.” (Numbers 6:4) Grapes aren’t all juicy sweetness. They’ve got seeds and skin that, though necessary and functional, aren’t something you’d want to eat for their own sake. We’ve already established the principle that a Nazirite’s abstinence from the fruit of the vine is symbolic of not becoming settled in the world—of maintaining a pilgrim mentality. The idea of eating grape seeds reminds us that some people, thoroughly rooted in this world, know nothing of its sweetness, for they know nothing of Yahshua’s love. They experience nothing but its bitterness, frustration, and pain. It’s why so many young Muslims can think of nothing better to do than kill as many people as they can, along with themselves. It’s why devotees of Buddhism long for release from the cycle of life—achieving “nirvana,” a state of nothingness, the extinction of the soul. The Nazirite abstains not only from whatever appealing sweetness the world can offer, but also its bitterness. He is set apart to God.
The Nazirite shall not eat of the skins of the grapes. “All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.” (Numbers 6:4) In the same way that the seeds of the grape aren’t really what you’re after when you eat one, neither is the skin. If the seeds represent the bitter core of a merely mortal life (I realize I’m stretching the metaphor to its breaking point here) then the skin represents the humdrum functionality, the boring but necessary routine of life in the world—earning a living, getting the job done, being responsible, holding it all together. The point is, if that’s all there is to life, it’s not much of a life. If you’re going to be settled in the promised land—a land, after all, to which Yahweh has led you, you should expect to experience the “whole grape,” a little work, a little pain or disappointment at times, but more sweetness and nourishment than anything else. The Nazirite, however, sets himself apart from all that—the good and the bad—in favor of a more intense encounter with his God. He is the one of whom Isaiah lamented his absence in the passage with which we opened this chapter: the man “who stirs himself up to take hold of [Yahweh].” You’ve heard of extreme sports; this is extreme spirituality. It’s like the difference between taking a walk in the park and climbing Mt. Everest. It’s not something you’d do on a whim.
The Nazirite shall permit his hair to grow. “All the days of the vow of his [the Nazirite’s] separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to Yahweh, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” (Numbers 6:5) Here Yahweh is using the hair of our head as a symbol of a significant truth. Hair is funny stuff. We can’t cause it to grow (or stop it from growing), though we might like to. We can’t change its rate of growth, texture, or color without tampering with it externally—cutting, curling, coloring it, or whatever. So our hair is a ready metaphor for God’s provision, His work in our lives. It comes on God’s terms, by His grace, and on His schedule. By abstaining from cutting his hair, the Nazirite is saying, “I will not stand in the way of Yahweh’s plan; I will not tamper with what He has provided or alter His modus operandi by imposing my will or “style” upon it.
The Nazirite shall not cut his hair. “All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to Yahweh, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” (Numbers 6:5) This isn’t really a separate mitzvah, but merely the negative restatement of the previous affirmative thought. Maimonides is padding the list so he can come up with the magic number 613.
The Nazirite we immediately think of in regard to this precept, of course, is Samson, whose story is told in Judges 13-16. We’ve all heard how Delilah tricked him into revealing the source of his strength so she could betray him. But it’s pretty clear that not even Samson himself recognized that his Nazirite vow had anything to do with it. Twice in the record of his life we read, “Then the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon him,” after which he went out and did something rude to a bunch of Philistines. Nowhere do we read of a connection between his hair and his strength until Delilah called for the barber—after she had proved her willingness to betray him on three separate occasions. The record plainly says that Samson was surprised to find his strength gone when his hair was cut off.
What had happened? I believe this is one of those rare occasions when Yahweh allowed one of the Torah’s many metaphors to get up and walk on all fours—giving substance to the symbol. Samson clearly didn’t have as much of a desire to remain as holy—set apart for God’s purposes—as his Nazirite status would have indicated. Every time he got in trouble it seems, there was a Philistine—read: enemy—woman in the picture. The Nazirite vow required (as we shall see) that he not touch any dead body. But killing a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass pretty much proves that Samson didn’t take that part of his Nazirite vow very seriously, even if they needed killin’. Furthermore, as we saw in Mitzvah #589, the Nazirite was not to eat grapes or drink wine, for this was a picture of being “settled in the land” instead of being settled in Yahweh. But Samson was apparently quite comfortable living among the enemies of his people and his God. So Yahweh tied the terms of the vow to the gifts that came with it—if his hair (symbolic of what God had provided) was cut, then his strength (the actual God-given gift) would be cut off as well. God takes His symbols seriously.
He shall not enter any covered structure where there is a dead body. “All the days that he [The Nazirite] separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body.” (Numbers 6:6) Yahweh’s instruction is more general than the rabbis’ because He’s interested in the heart’s attitude, while they’re looking for a loophole. The death of the body is in itself merely a symbol of something far more tragic—the death of the soul. Just as physical death is marked by the final departure of the soul from the body (something every living creature experiences at the end of its life), spiritual death is marked by the departure of the spirit from the soul. It is this death that Adam and Eve suffered when they ate the forbidden fruit. When they sinned, God’s living Spirit left them—the neshamah, or “breath of life” that had made them “living beings” in the Garden (see Genesis 2:7) departed or was emptied, though their physical bodies did not succumb for quite some time. And it is because of this death that we, their children, must be born anew—born spiritually from above, re-indwelled with the Holy Spirit—if our souls (nephesh) are to survive their separation from the body at our physical deaths. (See Future History, Chapter 29: “The Three Doors” for a full explanation).
The Nazirite’s separation to Yahweh reflects and foreshadows this new birth. By observing this vow, he is proclaiming in effect, “Death cannot touch the one who is consecrated to Yahweh.” In Yahweh’s world, life cannot coexist with death any more than light can coexist with darkness. Whether he knows it or not, that’s what the Nazirite is so eloquently saying by observing this part of his vow.
A Nazarite shall not defile himself for any dead person (by being in the presence of the corpse). “All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to Yahweh.” (Numbers 6:6-8) Back in Mitzvah #375, we learned that priests were not to touch dead bodies, for they were set apart for the service of Yahweh and thus must not become defiled. There, however, exceptions were specified: attending to the corpse of the priest’s nearest relatives (mother, father, son, daughter, brother or virgin sister) would not render him unclean, that is, ceremonially unfit to perform his priestly duties at the Sanctuary. Not so with the Nazirite. His (or her) separation was to be complete. And if contact with a dead body was unavoidable, the Nazirite’s vow went back to square one—he had to start all over again, offering both sin and trespass offerings and cutting his hair as at the inception of the vow (see verses 9-12).
Why the difference? The same symbol (a close encounter with a corpse) symbolized slightly different things for the priest and the Nazirite. For the priest, being defiled like this signified contamination by sin (an inevitable component of the human condition) that rendered one unfit (if only temporarily) for service to God and man. Cleansing through washing in water and the passage of time were required to rectify the situation. But with the Nazirite, contact with a dead body symbolized identification with spiritual death—something that was altogether incompatible with being set apart to Yahweh, who personifies life. Contact with death, then, rendered the vow moot.
Maimonides didn’t understand any of this fundamental difference between priests (prophetic of the Messiah as mediator between men and God) and Nazirites (symbolic of the redeemed believer). In his massive tome, the Mishneh Torah, he intimated that one can make himself a priest or Levite (which as we know are callings Yahweh assigned strictly on the basis of ancestry, so no one could logically aspire to a position of religious authority). The Rambam wrote: “Every person who enters this world, whose spirit moves him and his intellect instructs him to separate himself in order to stand before God, to truly serve Him, to be responsible to Him, to know Him, and to walk upright and straight in His paths as God created him; and he has freed himself from the yoke of petty human considerations that other people pursue—such a person has sanctified himself as being holy of holies, and the Lord is his share and inheritance for all time and all worlds, and he will receive in the World to Come his proper and fulfilling reward as God has given such to the Priests and the Levites.” The man Maimonides has so eloquently described, however, is not the priest or Levite, bound by Yahweh’s symbolic instructions for them; rather, he is defined by the vows of the Nazirite, for whom the Torah’s defining symbols mean far more: (1) avoidance of becoming settled in this world, (2) refusal to thwart or alter the plan and provision of Yahweh, and (3) the total reversal of the spiritual death that was brought upon mankind by the fall of Adam—in other words, the second birth into Yahweh’s family.