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News Letter 5847-040
28th 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 24, 2011

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

Well last week’s News letter has brought out the knives of some who want to and are this day keeping Chanukah which began on this Wednesday past.

But I also received some encouraging emails this week and would like to share them. But the one article from the Karaites is a must read. Channukah: Festival of Dedication or Pagan Fire Festival?
http://www.karaitejudaism.org/talks/Channukah.pdf

This note was a post sent to me on FB.

Joseph several years back I prayed for what God wanted of me, to give me revelation to me. I found your site sightedmoon after I prayed that. It blew my mind away. Talk about the flesh warring with the spirit. It had me on my knees crying out to God from what i was learning. The truth of Torah. I watched your video back then, scary stuff. But what stays in my mind is the frog in the pot and he is being cooked. As you share what happens around the world or even in our own back yards, people still refuse to see or even believe that Jahovah is doing only what he said he would do. Durring this time my heart is saden to see people practice a faith that does not teach the truth. Jahovah has been laying on my heart to speak out even more about the truth of Torah. I had a friend ask me what church I go to after I posted a comment on FB how we hung Jesus on a tree, a Christmas tree. I sent her Leviticus 23. Sad to say but it is what I equate the world to be doing in the name of Jesus. Sometimes it is hard to refrain what my heart is feeling. Joseph you spend so much time and I wonder where you get so much information and putting it all out so the public can see it. I can not imagine the time and effort you put into getting this teaching out. Jahovah surely has given much strength to you to be such an obediant servent. I see that there are some who are stepping out to teach what you are teaching. I certainly do not have a following, nor do I have any place I can go in this area that are in search of the truth, though I would love to be with like minded so I could fellowship with them. Fellowship online is not the same as in person. So I pray that our Father opens the doors for me as he has opened doors for you. Shalom to you Joseph.
New Jersey

Shalom Grandpa

On this statement we stand as one for sure:
But coming from a christian religion and then realizing how much we were
lied too, has made me want to check each and everything else I am going to
now believe in. Chanukah was one of those I did check. And I found it
wanting.

grandpa tony

I have been learning more and more about YHWH and his plan in the last year than in the previous 40 years since I was baptised, from teachers such as yourself. Thank you so very much for your book and your weekly letters. I particularly liked the discussion this week regarding a day being like 1000 years. It made me think of the expression: ” It is better to be roughly right than to be precisely wrong”.
Thailand

And here is another email this past week;

It is sad to see so many Messianics jump out of the pan of Christian Tradition to just land right in the pot of Jewish Tradition and vice versa.

QUESTION: What festival is known as the feast of lights, also known as the feast of dedication, lasts 8 days, time of gift giving, time of gambling, time for eating pancakes and sometimes a goose, a man-made tradition, happens in December, sometimes uses a bush, and has a tradition of putting candles outside the home?

ANSWER: This festival was originally called Saturnalia, but now we call it Hanukkah.

Brothers and sisters please hear me and wake from deception. Study to show yourselves approved.

Read the following articles for more information:

Hanukkah and Christmas
http://www.nccg.org/mlt/sermons/3_234.html

The Legend of Hanukkah
http://www.seekgod.ca/legend.htm

Channukah: Festival of Dedication or Pagan Fire Festival?
http://www.karaitejudaism.org/talks/Channukah.pdf

Heathen Roots of the Hanukkah Bush

http://www.christianmediaresearch.com/Hanukkah.html

Chanukah and Its Pagan Tradtions
http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=324

Hanukkah and Yeshua
http://www.hebrew-streams.org/works/judaism/hanukkah.html

Hochen a Hanukah Hair Ball
http://www.sightedmoonnl.com/?page_id=758

I have been telling those who are keeping Chanukah about it but I do not want to neglect those of you who are now keeping Christmas. I want to share with you a teaching done by Jim Staley about where each and every tradition we now commemorate in Christmas comes from. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNuIz63zBjM&feature=share

It is one of the best teachings on this subject I have come across.

One of the great joys I get is when I see people come to understand the Sabbatical years and then begin to teach them to others. We have a group on FB which is doing this very thing, Helping others to understand the Prophecies of Abraham and the Sabbatical years. Good discussions and friendly dialogues.

The Group I sometimes attend now is also teaching the Sabbatical years and better yet they are not just copying what I have said, but researching it like the Bereans and finding other facts and more support that confirms we all need to keep the Sabbatical years. Here is the weekly News Letter Maranatha sent out this week.

Dears Loved Ones,
Shalom to each one. Shabbat was a wonderful time. We had 18 saints out. My family stayed home to rest and the Zulaufs were in Sarnia ministering with Dr. Hasdell. They had a good group of hungry souls who received the message of Abraham’s Prophecies very well. We are all rejoicing that we get to be the vessels the Father is using to spread the gospel much further than our little group in Hanover. (Dr. Hasdell’s messages are on the website.)

I gave a powerpoint presentation and I was very thankful once again that Harry and Connie Lim from Mississauga showed up: my laptop power cord stopped working and I had only 12 minutes of battery time left in my machine. Well, that wasn’t going to cut it (you know how long I preach and teach)! Harry immediately pulls an extra laptop and usb stick out of his back pocket and sets me up - deja-vu eh? Thanks Harry!

Be sure to listen to the teaching on YHVH’s divine cycle (Sabbaticals and Jubilees for DUMMIES) and avail yourself to the pdf for further reference. If you are WHOLEHEARTEDLY wanting to be prepared for Yeshuah’s return, you MUST educate yourself concerning the Father’s time and appointed times.

I thank the Father for brother Joseph Dumond of Orangeville, ON. He is a wonderful friend and a great help and encouragement especially when it comes to teaching and ministering the hard and sobering truth regarding Sabbaticals and end-time judgments preceding maranatha. The Father has given him much wisdom and has used him as a powerful catalyst to the awaken God’s people to this vital truth. Why? BECAUSE THE TIME IS SHORT! Thank you Joseph for your help in my Shabbat presentation and may the Father continue to bless and use you. Pray for Joseph for his upcoming teaching meetings in Scarborough and Texas.
Thank you for holding us up in prayer. Rich blessings to all who love our Yeshuah!

Sabbaticals and Jubilees for DUMMIES (http://maranathaourlordcometh.com/sajfd.mp3)- If the Father expects His children to KEEP Sabbath and Jubilee years because they are included in His Torah, then knowing WHEN these years occur is a must. Many believe we have lost YHVH’s ancient cycles and that there are just too many conflicting theories and teachings out there to really know the TRUTH. The Scriptures reveal all TRUTH including when the next sabbath year occurs. The Father has given us a benchmark date to enable us to find His divine cycle. Even your average encyclopedia has revealed this truth in a “erroneous” way. Find out more because the consequences of disobedience are upon us even today and they are far too costly to endure. Prepare for MARANATHA! (A pdf file for this teaching can be downloaded http://maranathaourlordcometh.com/2.html.)

www.maranathaourlordcometh.com

On My Way Rejoicing,

Brother Bennett

We are going to remind you each week of our upcoming Speaking engagements as they come along so that you can plan on being there.

If you are in Holland or Belgium or North Western Germany, and would like to hear this teaching on the sabbatical and Jubilee years along with the teachings of the Prophecies of Niddah send an email to contact@setapartpeople.com and let them know where you are and how many of you there are that are interested so we can organise a venue to come and teach this to you.

Go out and find your friends and invite them. If you know of any Church of God people invite them. Or SDA people or Baptists even tell them to come as the things I am going to share will blow them away. Things they can see in the bible which no one else is teaching.

None of the Church of Gods are teaching this. None of the Messianic groups are teaching this. None of the Christian groups teach this. But those who have seen this are motivated to tell others. It is that strong a message. We will try to share 20 hours of teachings in just 6 hours. So come prepared to learn what has been kept secret until now.

And this weekend on Shabbat Dec 24, 2011 I will be sharing this teaching in North York Toronto Canada. From 11AM to 5 PM. At 644 Sheppard Ave. East, North York, ON. M2K 1C1. The entrance of the party room is next to the entrance of 644 building. It is the third beige color building next to Bayview Village Mall (Chapter) at the North East corner of Sheppard Ave. East and Bayview.
Bayview Ave. and 401 area

NOTE: Change of Venue in Texas from the first announcement we made!!!

Dear family, we have been waiting on a quote for the brand new conference room at the Courtyard Mariott and it finally came. The cost of one day was going to be $750. This price is out of our price range. We are moving the meeting to:

Sleep Inn Abilene TX
3225 South Danville Drive
Abilene TX
Phone for reservations: 325-437-1525
Rooms are @ $89 per night. Tell them you are with our conference group and we can get a room for $80
January 7, 2012 10 AM to 8 PM

Also when you come bring a lunch, So we can visit you and we may continue right through lunch with questions and then get right back at the rest of the teachings after a short lunch break. After all it is Shabbat and we should not be going out and doing business of buying and selling on Shabbat. So please brown bag it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012 In Ashland Kentucky
Time 2:00pm until 6:00pm

The hall is in the Kyova Mall , Fairfield Inn 1/4 mile away 10945 US Rte.60, Ashland, Kentucky

We will explain in detail The Sabbatical years and how you can know them; The Prophecies of Abraham and what they show us now; The 70 Shabua and the Prophecy in The Law of Niddah and how they point to the coming war in just a few years time in the USA; Mathew 22 and the Deep Sleep of Abraham which warns us of the coming persecution.

Come out and learn these truths and bring your loved ones to hear these things. Then decide if they are true or not.

Keep in Mind The Reason I am doing this is because 270,000,000 Americans are about to die as a result of this war and the captivity that is also coming. 270 Million. This does not include the 53 Million Britain’s, or the 27 Million Canadians, or the 21 million Australians. All of these are prophesied to die in the next number of years. Do you know why? I will show you in no uncertain terms exactly why.

We have tried to share this with other groups, but to no avail; once you see it you will be telling them all about it. So come out and learn, there is a ton of biblical information to learn from.

And one couple who have read The Prophecies of Abraham and watched the DVD are now teaching this information to the world through their web site. It gives me great joy to see others using the scriptures and showing people the Sabbatical years and that we are to be keeping them. I featured them last week and in other weeks. I do so now again.
http://www.setapartpeople.com/sabbatical-year-commandment?utm_source=Set+Apart+People+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=b3aad3c9a4-MailChimp_RSS2EMAIL_CAMPAIGN

For some time I have wanted to write you and tell what is going on with this huge debt that is on the news all the time. To see if you know what all the commotion out of Europe is all about. The debts and countries on the verge of bankruptcy and why the panic. What does it all mean for each one of us today?

So this week I am going to share this with you. I will begin with a number of news articles which have just been published in the recent weeks.

The Day Europe Decided It Didn’t Need—or Want—Britain

It was 1940 all over again. One by one, each of Britain’s allies was overawed, intimidated or steamrolled. Seventyone years later, the British stand alone once more against a German dominated Europe. But this time, instead of Panzer tank barrels and V-2 rockets being aimed at the isles, it is the accusing fingers of Europe’s most powerful leaders.
But that does not make the threat to Britain any less dangerous.

On December 8 and 9, the heads of state for Europe’s 27 Union members met to resolve the future of Europe. It may be remembered as the day Europe finally decided to part ways with Britain.

In hindsight, it should not have been a shock. Great Britain historically opposed the various European powers attempting to dominate the Continent: the Habsburgs, Napoleon, Bismarck. To do this, it has always cultivated various continental allies to stand against would-be European kings.

But following its latest battle for survival—against Hitler’s Germany in World War ii—the United States and other nations pressured Great Britain into something radically different. Instead of teaming up with the underdog to oppose tyrants who were determined to unite the Continent, Britain signed up to a continental unification project. It ultimately abandoned its far-flung—and God-ordained—Commonwealth and bound itself to Europe, reversing what four centuries of British blood was spilled to oppose.

Today, a vindicated Margaret Thatcher is probably watching this spectacle with great sadness. “In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work,” she had said. The same is true of another vindicated news forecaster (if he were still alive), as we will talk about in a minute.

But as the meetings began on Thursday last week, to the casual observer there was little hint of the explosive detonations to come. When David Cameron strode confidently into that Brussels boardroom, he genuinely believed that, in return for British support for a new treaty, he could negotiate safeguards for British sovereignty, especially its treasured banking industry. He was sadly mistaken.

According to Reuters, he was ambushed. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso began by lecturing Europe’s leaders. “What I expect from all,” he said, “is that they don’t come saying what they cannot do, but what they will do for Europe.” It went downhill from there.

When it was Cameron’s turn to speak, it didn’t take long to realize that he was standing alone. The European elites were set on taxing and regulating the British banking sector— in effect legislating a wholesale Frankfurt-izing of the single last industry that gives Britain importance and clout within Europe. Cameron’s opt-out proposals fell on antagonistic European ears.

“There was no understanding for it,” said one unnamed official. “David Cameron obtained nothing. Just nothing.” It was a setup through and through. European elites knew Britain would never willingly give up custodianship of the world’s financial capital. France pounced. Sarkozy used British reluctance to justify an intergovernmental treaty that did not have to include all EU members. “Intentional or otherwise, Cameron played straight into Sarkozy’s hands,” the official said.

Then European Union President Herman Van Rompuy delivered the fait accompli. He proposed moving forward with an intergovernmental agreement of the 17 eurozone nations. The remaining European Union nations would be free to join if they wished.

France seconded the motion, immediately followed by Germany. Then one after another, each eurozone member backed the Franco-German plan. Minutes later, every other European Union member had fallen in line too. And Britain’s much-venerated veto power? Worthless to stop a proposal made at the eurozone level.

“The swing was very, very quick. Everybody was on board in a matter of minutes. I think it was obvious inside the room that Cameron was shocked by the swiftness with which his allies left him alone,” recounted another official.

“Cameron made demands that were unacceptable, even to me,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti told reporters. “Britain has shut itself out. It will be in certain isolation.”

The result leaves Britain once again confronting the prospect of facing fortress Europe by itself.

But the truth is, Britain didn’t shut itself out of Europe—it was deliberately kicked out. Europe has chosen sides.

And now the bayonets are being sharpened.

Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Monday that the City of London could not escape expanded European financial regulation. Brussels will use EU institutions to police the new “fiscal compact” even though Britain did not sign up. “If this move was intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations of the City from being regulated, that’s not going to happen,” he told reporters in Brussels. “The UK’s excessive deficit and debt will [also] be the subject of surveillance like other member states.”

“Now we must put pressure on the British and force them, by implementing tough regulations on financial markets, to decide if they want out of the EU or if they want to stay inside,” said Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the European Green Party leader. Elmar Brok, a German Christian Democrat member of parliament close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the EU “must now marginalize Britain, so that the country comes to feel its loss of influence.”

Britain’s days in the European Union are numbered.

European elites are working to subordinate national sovereignty. A new political and economic superpower is rising in Europe, and the knives are coming out for anyone or any nation that stands in the way.

Some nations know it and are getting in line. Other nations, like Britain, are about to find out.

That was the news of this past month. But what is going on? Why is this not a surprise to some?
The Children of Israel, the Children of Jacob, Joseph and His two sons are being separated from the Whore which is already winning the war that is soon going to be unleashed on those who will not go along with her.

Yes Brethren we are already at war and the thing is only Germany knows it. Do you realize that Germany has now become the world’s third-largest arms exporter? Yes it is and you can read more about it in http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Defence_Arms_13/The-Purpose-of-Arms-Exports.shtml

Stop and think about this. This is terrifying. Germany the Nation that went to war twice in the last Century in an attempt to dominate Europe and then the rest of the world with its military machine is now the number 3 exporter of German engineering in military armaments. And it has also now conquered Europe without shooting one bullet. It will soon take aim at the rest of the world.

In these News Letters and on the DVD I warned you of the coming Depression we were about to begin back then. That was in March of 2008 and everyone laughed. How many of you are now laughing? How many of you have lost your home and all that you valued back then?

Go ahead check out what I have just said. Watch the DVD and see exactly what I have said about the economic situation you are now in. Here is the section I was saying back then about the coming economy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84njauGSx54&feature=related

That fall of 2008 the great recession began in earnest with many bank failures and bailouts. How did I know; Because of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years cycles. 2009 was the next Sabbatical year.

We are commanded to release those who are indebted to us. That’s right you are to tell them, that what they owe you is cancelled and they can forget about paying it to you. How many of you did that? I did and I did not like doing it. It cost me thousands of dollars. But I did it none the less.

But here is the rub. I did that in obedience and now in this great recession I am now working 20 hour days 6 days a week. I get paid each week which is not common for a small businessman. I have been blessed beyond measure.

We all know the Lords Prayer. Are you aware of what you are actually saying when you recite it?
Mat 6:11 ‘Give us today our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

When are the debts forgiven? When did you write off the debts of those who owed you. I am not talking about sins, but actual financial debts. It is during the Sabbatical year right there in the Lords Prayer and you never knew it.

Deu 15:1 “At the end of every seven years you make a release of debts. 2 “And this is the word of the release: Every creditor is to release what he has loaned to his neighbour, he does not require it of his neighbour or his brother, because it is called the release of יהוה.

There it is. We are asking Yehovah to forgive us our debts, but have we forgiven those who owed us, which is part of the same verse? And because we did not forgive them, we now find ourselves in the debt situation we are now in. Read the rest of this Mitsvot.

3 “Of a foreigner you could require it, but your hand is to release whatever is owed by your brother. 4 “Only, there should be no poor among you. For יהוה does greatly bless you in the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 only if you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all these commands which I am commanding you today. 6 “For יהוה your Elohim shall bless you as He promised you. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And you shall rule over many nations, but they do not rule over you. 7 “When there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, within any of the gates in your land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 for you shall certainly open your hand to him and certainly lend him enough for his need, whatever he needs. 9 “Be on guard lest there be a thought of Beliyaʽal in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is near,’ and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him naught. And he shall cry out to יהוה against you, and it shall be a sin in you. 10 “You shall certainly give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this reason יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 “Because the poor one does not cease from the land. Therefore I am commanding you, saying, ‘You shall certainly open your hand to your brother, to your poor and to your needy one, in your land.’

So when do we forgive the debts of those who owe us? Again the Torah tells us very plainly to forgive the debts of those who owe us money at Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles in the Sabbatical year.

Deu 31:10 And Mosheh commanded them, saying, “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time, the year of release, at the Festival of Booths, 11 when all Yisra’ĕl comes to appear before יהוה your Elohim in the place which He chooses, read this Torah before all Yisra’ĕl in their hearing. 12 “Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and your sojourner who is within your gates, so that they hear, and so that they learn to fear יהוה your Elohim and guard to do all the Words of this Torah.

Friends of mine once told me that they have a rule that they use each week and they shared it with me. Instead of waiting for the Sabbatical year to forgive each other their debts or to forgive each other their sins, with each Shabbat they have chosen to forgive each other whatever trespasses they have caused each other. To forgive and forget.

WOW. What would this do to so many marriages today? If they would completely forgive each other at least once a week there would be far less domestic disputes. Is not the weekly Sabbath just a picture of the Sabbatical year? Think about this.

Forgive your spouse each week and never bring it up again.

Deu 28:1 “And it shall be, if you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands which I command you today, that יהוה your Elohim shall set you high above all nations of the earth.2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim:

Deu 28:11 “And יהוה shall make you to have plenty of what is good, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land of which יהוה swore to your fathers to give you. 12 “יהוה opens to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall lend to many nations, but you do not borrow. 13 “And יהוה shall make you the head and not the tail. And you shall be only on top, and not be beneath, if you obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim, which I command you today, to guard and do. 14 “And do not turn aside from any of the Words which I am commanding you today, right or left, to go after other mighty ones to serve them.

Deu 28:15 “And it shall be, if you do not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His laws which I command you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:

Deu 28:43 “The sojourner who is among you rises higher and higher above you, but you come down lower and lower. 44 “He lends to you, but you do not lend to him. He is the head, and you are the tail. 45 “And all these curses shall come upon you, and they shall pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard His commands and His laws which He commanded you.

Some very powerful words which each of you can plainly see is happening right now on the nightly news.

Now let’s get back to what is going on in the world, now that you have this biblical perspective.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/our-decade-from-hell-will-get-worse-in-2012-2011-12-13

Paul B. Farrell, Market Watch | December 13

Our Decade From Hell Will Get Worse in 2012

Fasten your seat belts: 2011 was far worse than expected. … As financial historian Niall Ferguson writes in Newsweek … “We forget that the Great Depression was like a soccer match, there were two halves.” The 1929 crash kicked off the first half. But what “made the depression truly ‘great’ … began with the European banking crisis of 1931.” Sound familiar?

Yes, huge warnings: But America’s deaf. In denial. When we predicted the 2011-2020 “decade from hell” we didn’t see the big macro events dead ahead: Arab Spring virus that’s now Occupy Wall Street, promising to explode into an even more powerful force in 2012 … war on the middle class … widening inequality gap. … Washington gridlock … the Super Rich’s blind resistance to all new taxes.

As Ferguson puts it: “To understand what has been happening in our own borderline depression, you need to know this history. But hardly anyone does.” Get it? America’s already in a “borderline depression,” and virtually nobody gets it. American leaders are dummies about history. Worse, nobody may be able to stop our depression from turning “great.” … “Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.” We’ve already forgotten the lessons of the 2008 disaster. No wonder we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s triggering the Second Great Depression. Soccer anyone?

Ferguson’s in good company with his dark forecast. Pimco’s Bill Gross asks rhetorically: “Where is the euro headed? More than likely down, perhaps significantly.” Gross warns of a “terrifying situation” where “the euro may fall … and take the U.S. recovery with it.”

Then there’s Jeremy Grantham, whose gmo firm manages $100 billion. He … [p]redicts “seven lean years” ahead, till 2016, the end of the next presidential term. …

More bad news: As we close out the first year of the “worst decade in American history,” economist … Gary Shilling just issued his semi-annual outlook: “Global recession likely” in 2012. OK, the best he can say is that this one “will be milder than the 2007- 2008 nosedive.” Of course, you’ve already forgotten those pains, right?

And over at Vanity Fair, Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz [warns] that in our ignorance of history we’re missing a fundamental economic “shift in the ‘real’ economy,” missing what will generate future jobs, just as we did back in the ’30s. Yes, we “risk a tragic replay” of the Great Depression.

In Britain, where politicians and the media have spent the past week celebrating Mr. Cameron’s bold rejection of the Franco-German plan to fix Europe’s debt crisis, few it seems have noticed the hatred festering in Europe—and how this welling anti-British sentiment might manifest itself in the coming weeks and months.

Conservative mep Daniel Hannan was in the European Parliament this week and reported on the scene. “I wish I could adequately convey the intensity of the anti-British feeling in the European Parliament,” he wrote. “In today’s debate on last week’s Brussels summit, speaker after speaker rose to denounce our entire nation as selfish, narrow-minded and arrogant. … You needed to be present, to hear the yowling and shrieking and desk-banging that accompanied every Anglophobic utterance” (emphasis added throughout).

The mainstream European officials spoke “vaguely but menacingly of retribution,” noted Hannan. British mep Nigel Farage was also in the European Parliament Tuesday, and reported via Twitter that there was a “real hatred of the UK in the EP chamber today.”

One of the most arresting diatribes came from Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium’s former prime minister and an mep. “When you are invited to a table,” he told Britain, “it is either as a guest or you are part of the menu.”

Europe, it seems, is preparing to step up its assault on Britain’s financial sector. Rebecca Harms, leader of the European Greens, warned that Britain’s “selfish strategy” for protecting London as financial hub “cannot [be] tolerate[d] any longer.” European Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn agreed. If Mr. Cameron’s decision to veto the plan was “intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations of the City from being regulated, that’s not going to happ en,” he warned.
EU officials are also openly talking about no longer paying Britain its annual rebate check, which last year amounted to £2.7 billion. “The British check … is now up for question,” stated
European People’s Party leader Joseph Daul on Tuesday. “Tax monies should be spent on someone else rather than compensating selfish nationalism.”

Asked if he was declaring financial war, Daul haughtily responded: “There will be no tanks, no Kalashnikovs before Christmas.” Britain needs to stop celebrating, start praying and realize: Now that it is no longer dining with Germany and its allies at Europe’s table, it is on the menu, waiting to be devoured!

Do you see it brethren? This financial crisis is being used as a form of war over those who do not agree with you policies. In the case above it is Britain that does not cow down to the European dictates.

So what does this mean?

With all of the information above to grasp and understand the following is just stunning to the say the least.

http://euobserver.com/19/114075
Merkel wants ‘permanent’ supervision of Greece, warns of war
26.10.11 @ 15:31
By Valentina Pop
Brussels - Peace should not be taken for granted if the euro fails, German chancellor Merkel told MPs Wednesday (26 October) ahead of the eurozone summit where an increase of the bail-out fund firepower may lead to Germany’s own state assets being taken as collateral.

In a dark blue jacket reflecting the mood in and about the eurozone, Merkel abandoned her usual cautious rhetoric warned outright of a war.
“Nobody should take for granted another 50 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They are not for granted. That’s why I say: If the euro fails, Europe fails,” Merkel said, followed by a long applause from all political groups.

“We have a historical obligation: To protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.”

“It cannot be that sometime in the future they say the political generation responsible for Europe in the second decade of the 21 century has failed in the face of history,” the chancellor continued.

She was asking for the parliament’s “political” green light on a negotiation mandate for the EU summit, beginning later today in Brussels. The summit is seeking to increase the firepower of the €440 billion-strong European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to stop the sovereign debt crisis spreading to countries like Italy and ultimately, France.

The Bundestag approved the measure by a large majority, with 503 members in favour, 89 opposing and four abstaining.
German ‘risks’

While stressing that Germany’s contribution to the EFSF loan guarantees would continue to be capped at €211 billion, she said she could not exclude there may be “risks” for Germany linked to the EFSF increase of firepower. Her own party colleagues had demanded that she clearly excludes German state assets, such as the central bank’s gold reserves, to be put as collateral for the EFSF lending power.

“Nobody can clearly estimate if there will be such risks. What I can say is that we cannot exclude it,” she said, insisting that the current situation is pushing European leaders into “uncharted territories”.

“Not to take these risks would be irresponsible. There is no better and more sensible alternative. Europe and the world are looking at Germany,” the chancellor said.

Looking ahead to the summit, the chancellor repeated her long-standing stance that “there is no silver bullet, no simple solutions. We will still deal with these topics for years from now.”

She repeated her insistence that the EU treaty had to be changed, in the medium term, to be more strict on countries breaching the euro deficit rules.

“Where does it say that any treaty change has to take 10 years or that there should be no more changes after the Lisbon Treaty,” she asked.

EU leaders last Sunday agreed to have an evaluation presented to them in December by council chief Herman Van Rompuy about the possibility for a “limited” treaty change.

‘Permanent supervision’ for Greece
On the three euro-countries currently propped by EU-IMF loans, Merkel said Ireland was on “the right path”, Portugal showed it could implement the promised reforms, while Greece was still “at the beginning of a long road.”

For the first time, as opposition MPs noted later on in the debate, Merkel had words of praise for the ordinary Greek citizens feeling the brunt of the austerity measures demanded by international lenders. “People in Greece have to stomach a lot of sacrifices. They deserve our respect and also a sustainable growth perspective in the eurozone.”

According to the latest report of the so-called troika, consisting of experts sent from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece will need even higher debt restructuring and losses for private lenders compared to what EU leaders had agreed upon on 21 July.

“But debt restructuring alone does not solve the problem. Painful structural reforms have to be made, otherwise even after debt restructuring we’re back to where we are today,” Merkel warned.

That’s why, she said, Greece would have to be “assisted” for quite some time. “It’s not enough that the troika comes and goes every three months. It would be desirable to have a permanent supervision in Greece,” she said, adding that this issue would be brought up at the summit.

In return for what seems to be an unprecedented sovereignty loss in an old EU member state, Merkel promised German investments and mentioned a meeting of local representatives from Germany and Greece in the coming weeks.

“We want Greece to be back on its feet again as soon as possible and will do everything we can to this end,” she concluded.
Her junior coalition party, the Liberal Free Democrats (FDP), had less sympathy for Greece, however. Rainer Bruederle, leader of the FDP group, said that the troika had given Athens a “D” and that “nobody expects Greece to turn into an A student over night,” as it was now just like eastern-European transition countries 20 years ago.

Sticking to the teacher-pupil metaphor, Bruederle urged Greeks to “do their homework” and said the country could not be funded endlessly like a “bottomless pit”.

The leftist opposition was outraged, with Die Linke leader Gregor Gysi pointing out that austerity has forced 27,000 small and medium enterprises to go bankrupt in Greece and that teachers earn as little as €1,000 a month. “What more do you want from them? Do you want them to starve to death?” he said.

Now look at what the Greeks have pictured Angel Merkel as. Go to this link.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054406/Furious-Greeks-lampoon-German-overlords-Nazis-picture-Merkel-dressed-SS-guard.html
Furious Greeks lampoon German ‘overlords’ as Nazis with picture of Merkel dressed as an SS guard

These are very chilling words indeed.

“Nobody should take for granted another 50 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They are not for granted. That’s why I say: If the euro fails, Europe fails,” Merkel said, followed by a long applause from all political groups.

“We have a historical obligation: To protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.”

By all means from Germany, means by all means, including military actions to enforce their rules.

Today, the world stands trembling between financial armagedon and War. Is this not what Daniel is speaking about when he talks about the 4th Beast, the Roman Empire one that has come and gone many times? It is being revived once again in front of your very eyes.

Dan 7:7 “After this I looked in the night visions and saw a fourth beast, fearsome and burly, exceedingly strong. And it had great iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

The Iron teeth is Germany which will trample down all those who oppose her by all means nessessary to ensure the European Union succeeds. This beast system right now is using money and debt to control those other nations who have allowed their greed to spend them into the current situation.

Jas 4:1 Where do fightings and strivings come from among you? Do they not come from your pleasures that battle in your members? 2 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask.3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures.

All the banks claim to be on the verge of collapse because they have lent out money to those who could not pay them back. In order to prevent the collapse of these banks the Governments have all stepped in to save them by giving them billions and even trillions of Taxpayers money. Now the Taxpayers through their governments own that debts.

So the Governments then print more money to pay that debts back to the banks.

All of this because people would not keep the command to forgive the debts of those who owe you.

Another thing; Banks live and breathe on usury. Is it bad? What does the Bible say?

Exo 22:22 “Do not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23 “If you do afflict them at all – if they cry out to Me at all, I shall certainly hear their cry, 24 and My wrath shall burn and I shall slay you with the sword, your wives shall be widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you do lend silver to any of My people, the poor among you, you are not to be like one that lends on interest to him. Do not lay interest on him. 26 “If you take your neighbour’s garment as a pledge at all, you are to return it to him before the sun goes down.27 “For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What does he sleep in? And it shall be that when he cries to Me, I shall hear, for I show favour.

Deu 23:19 “Do not lend at interest to your brother, interest of silver, interest of food, or interest of whatever is lent at interest. 20 “To a foreigner you lend at interest, but to your brother you do not lend at interest, so that יהוה your Elohim might bless you in all that you put your hand to in the land which you are entering to possess.

Pro 28:8 He who increases his possessions by interest and profit Gathers it for him who shows favour to the poor.

Then Yehshua spoke about Usury right after the parable of the ten virgins which is very interesting to me.

Mat 25:13 “Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Aḏam is coming, 14 for it is like a man going from home, who called his own servants and delivered his possessions to them. 15 “And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability, and went from home. 16 “And he who had received the five talents went and worked with them, and made another five talents. 17 “In the same way, he with the two also, he gained two more. 18 “But he who had received the one went away and dug in the ground, and hid the silver of his master. 19 “And after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “And he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents. See, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 “And his master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You were trustworthy over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 “Then he who had received two talents came and said, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents. See, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You were trustworthy over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 “And the one who had received the one talent also came and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed, 25 and being afraid, I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 “And his master answering, said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 ‘Then you should have put my silver with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to him who possesses ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who possesses, more shall be given, and he shall have overflowingly; but from him who does not possess, even what he possesses shall be taken away.1 Footnote:1See Lk. 8:18. 30 ‘And throw the worthless servant out into the outer darkness – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 31 “And when the Son of Aḏam comes in His esteem, and all the set-apart messengers with Him, then He shall sit on the throne of His esteem.

Usury is OK when it is done in reason and according to the Torah. But banks and nations do not obey Torah. So this is the root of wars as James has shown us. And war is the next Curse to come in the Sabbatical cycles starting in 2017.

In closing I want to point out that Iceland too was facing financial disaster. But instead of running around trying to save the banks who had made the bad loans they instead told the banks to deal with it themselves, the government was not going to bail them out.

Today, in spite of the many threats from the IMF banks Icelands economy is OK.

http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/the-icelandic-model-of-handling-debt-crises-37516/

European Dispatch November 2, 2011

The Icelandic Model of Handling Debt Crises

Iceland did something right in the credit crisis, perhaps offering lessons both for Greece and Occupy Wall Street protesters
By Michael Scott Moore

Protesters in Iceland (seen here in 2008) carry signs that translate to “Stop the Corruption.” The country’s reaction to its own credit crisis could be a model for Greece and the Occupy Wall Street movement. (Wikimedia Commons)

The latest euro rescue plan lurched into crisis this week after the Greek prime minister decided to put the package to a popular vote. This unexpected gesture of independence “sent tremors through Europe’s financial markets,” according to The New York Times, and “hammered” U.S. markets, “showing once again how the domestic politics of even the smallest members of the European Union can create troubles” beyond all proportion.

The panic over Greece, of course, is panic over the euro. Another European country, Iceland, took a far more radical path than did Greece, yet it went largely unnoticed. Iceland, in 2009, did what Greece would like to do now: it let its banks fail, and told their creditors to take a hike.

Two years on, Iceland’s economy is recovering, while Greece and Ireland and other euro-zone members struggle with huge taxpayer-funded bank bailouts and austerity measures that will probably fail to create jobs. “Iceland did the right thing by making sure its payment systems continued to function while creditors, not the taxpayers, shouldered the losses of banks,” Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, told Bloomberg. “Ireland’s done all the wrong things, on the other hand. That’s probably the worst model.”

Private bankers in Iceland piled up mountains of risky debt in the heady days of cheap money after 2001 — like bankers did around the world. But the crisis in Iceland quickly became so grave that a government bailout was impossible (although the sitting government tried). David Oddsson, head of Iceland’s central bank, now says there was a conscious decision to reject piling up a bailout fund for bankers, even in the years before the crisis. “They were collecting debt in such a fast pace, it would be stupid for us to build a mountain they could lean on if they failed,” Oddsson told Bloomberg. “The creditors that were lending to the banks recklessly had to face the losses.”

EUROPEAN DISPATCH
Michael Scott Moore complements his standing feature in Miller-McCune magazine with frequent posts on the policy challenges and solutions popping up on the other side of the pond.

Iceland is not a member of the euro or the EU, and independence became its main asset when the banks began to crash. Greece, Ireland, and Portugal haven’t been so nimble precisely because they belong to the common currency. If a euro-zone member lets its banks fail, the whole zone may suffer damaged credit (which helps explain the ongoing circus in Brussels.) But an independent Iceland could afford to devalue its currency and watch its credit be slashed — temporarily — to junk.

Lessons from Iceland won’t translate directly to the EU unless Greece returns to the drachma. But it would be nice to see Angela Merkel and other European leaders show more Icelandic spine toward Greek creditors -often German banks – as well as international credit-rating agencies. The new euro-rescue plan does involve haircuts for Greece’s creditors, but it may be too late for Greek voters.

In any case, Iceland’s president, Olafur Grimsson, has pointed out that credit raters like Moody’s and Fitch failed to predict the trouble in Iceland’s banks and also failed to predict the island’s recent recovery. It’s refreshing to hear him talk. “The financial institutions including the ratings agencies have an abysmal record of being utterly wrong in their conclusions … over the previous three or four or five years,” he told the BBC in July. “I have often said my mistake in 2006 was to respect what the rating agencies were saying” when they reported that Iceland’s banks were doing just fine.

Binar Einarsdottir, who runs one of Iceland’s restructured banks, says Iceland’s reputation on capital markets has recovered more quickly than expected. “In the beginning, banks and other financial institutions in Europe were telling us, ‘Never again will we lend to you,’” she said to Bloomberg. “Then it was 10 years, then five. Now they say they might soon be ready to lend again.”

But maybe the main lesson from Iceland is that brave behavior by political leaders can start from below. After the bank collapse in 2008, thousands took to the streets of Reykjavik to protest a deal by the sitting government, led by former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, to save foreign creditors and impose austerity measures. By January 2009, Haarde was gone. President Grimsson now sees those Facebook-organized protests as forerunners of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring.

“Iceland, in a nutshell, has become a case of what you’re now seeing in the United States,” Grimsson said recently to CNN. “I have even concluded that this so-called social media has now transformed our democracies in such a way … that I can’t see any chance for the traditional, formal institutions of our democratic systems to keep up.”

We are told in Torah to forgive the debts in the 7th year. The Banks will not do this. And it is the banks and the governments that continue to wrestle with the huge and growing debt problem.

Iceland told the banks to take their debts and deal with it themselves. Now consider what has happened to Iceland with what is going on with Europe. But Germany has stepped in with its huge finances and become the chief lender to other nations in Europe. Pro 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Watch out world if you owe Germany money and do not pay it. They well exact it from you by taking your land and businesses.

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at http://www.sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

24/12/2011 Lev 8 Jer 34-36 Prov 20 Acts 17

Leviticus 8 (keeping Chapter 8 this week to get back on track)

Aaronic Priesthood Consecrated (Leviticus 8)
The incredible mercy of God is demonstrated in the appointment of Aaron as Israel’s ecclesiastical leader. Aaron, after all, had presided over Israel’s idolatry with the golden calf. Yet, now forgiven, God gives him another chance—this time to serve as God’s own high priest, with Aaron’s sons serving as priests under him. Indeed, the priesthood was to be perpetuated through his family from then on.

This also serves as a reminder that when God forgives, He forgives us completely. In Psalm 103:12, King David proclaims that God removes our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west.” Isaiah 43:25 and Jeremiah 31:34 tell us that He remembers our sins no more. In Isaiah 1:18 God says that our sins, formerly as scarlet, “shall be white as snow.” God’s mercy and forgiveness toward Aaron are proof that God is equally merciful toward us, both forgiving and forgetting our sins. This is possible because, although God has perfect memory of the past, while we continue in the process of repentance and overcoming He looks on the new person within that He is forming and shaping as distinct from the sinful nature we battle (see Romans 7:17). Our old sinful self will one day be eliminated at our transformation to immortal incorruption (see 1 Corinthians 15) and only the sinless new self will remain. But thankfully, we don’t have to wait until then to be considered forgiven and reckoned as sinless. When we repent, God forgives us totally right then and there.

Leviticus 8 records the consecration, or setting apart, of Aaron and His sons for their important responsibility. The entire nation came out to witness the important event. As God’s prophet and chief servant on earth, Moses was the only one qualified to ordain Aaron and his sons to their offices. Aaron, as the high priest, was anointed through the pouring out of oil upon his head (Leviticus 8:12)—symbolic of a special dispensation of God’s Holy Spirit (compare Acts 10:38). In ancient Israel, the high priests and kings were anointed. Interestingly, both offices looked forward to the coming of an “Anointed One”—which is the meaning of Mashiach (or Messiah) in Hebrew and Christos (or Christ) in Greek. And indeed, Yahshua Messiah now fills both of these positions, king and high priest.

Though Aaron’s sons were not anointed in the same manner he was, they were, along with him, sprinkled with anointing oil and blood (Leviticus 8:30; compare 10:7). Furthermore, Aaron and his sons were all specially consecrated by the blood of a ram being applied to the right ear, right thumb and right big toe of each of them. Some have speculated that this anointing of their extremities, top to bottom, represented a total covering by the sacrificial blood. Or perhaps it meant something else. The ear often represents hearing—so perhaps their willingness to listen to and heed God’s instructions was being sanctified. After all, the phrase “this is what the Lord commanded,” or similar words, is stated 10 times in this chapter (verses 4, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 29, 34, 35, 36). The right thumb is the part of the right hand that allows it to function—and the right hand is often symbolic in the Bible of a person’s actions. The priest’s actions had to be holy. And as for the big toe, it enables balance in walking and standing—which are often representative in Scripture of walking with God, i.e., leading a godly life, and remaining steadfast in the faith respectively. These are important qualities for God’s priests—qualities we must exemplify too, as we are now God’s chosen holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9).

We should also take note of the washing of Aaron and his sons. The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary states regarding Leviticus 8:6 that Moses “directed them to wash themselves, no doubt all over, and not merely their hands and feet. This cleansing from bodily uncleanness was a symbol of the putting away of the filth of sin; the washing of the body, therefore, was a symbol of spiritual cleansing, without which no one could draw near to God, and least of all those who were to perform the duties of reconciliation” (Vol. 1, p. 544). Many of the washing rituals of the Old Testament foreshadowed the baptism of the New Testament, and that would seem to be true in this case. Again, the New Testament Church is a holy priesthood, each individual being cleansed symbolically through washing in water when baptized—although it is actually the grace of God through “the blood of Jesus Christ” that “cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Jeremiah 34-36

34. Chapter 34 begins with the prophet of Yehovah prophesying against the King of Judah, Zedekiah saying he will be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and that the city of Jerusalem will be burned. However he specifically tells Zedekiah he will not die by the sword of Babylon and he will be buried and revered by his people in peace. He said these things to the King while the last two cities of Lakish and Azeqah were still under siege.

We are told that King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people: to proclaim release to them! A hint to the Sabbath year during this time of seize, that everyone was to set free his male and female slave, the Hebrew man and the Hebrew woman, no one was to keep a Judaen, his brother, enslaved. So they went free. But afterward, they changed their minds! This is reminiscent of the Pharaoh in Egypt! Yehovah reminds them of His covenant He made with their fathers when He brought them out of the house of bondage in Egypt, that each one should be set free at the end of six years, proclaiming release to them in the seventh year. They had done well in their releasing the slaves and their Hebrew brethren, but now they have hardened their hearts and turned backed and have now profaned His Name in what they have done!

What is the response of Yehovah to what they have done? “See, I am proclaiming release to you,’ declares Yehovah, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the scarcity of food! And I shall make you a horror to all reigns of the earth.” Here there is no doubt about the consequences of not keeping the Sabbath year. He then prophesies the falling, burning, and destruction of the city of Jerusalem… under His own command!

Chapter 35
The events of this chapter transpired during the reign of Jehoiakim, following the initial invasion of Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. (see verse 11). His Chaldean host was accompanied by Syrians, as the Babylonians had just taken Syria from the Egyptians (compare same verse). The invading army prompted the Rechabites to quickly relocate to Jerusalem.

The Rechabites were descended from the Kenites and hence were related to Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law (see Judges 1:16; 1 Chronicles 2:55). Rechab was the father of Jehonadab (here called Jonadab), who supported Jehu in his purge of the Baal prophets from Israel (2 Kings 10:15-28).

Jeremiah brings the Rechabites—probably several of their representatives—into the temple for a test that others are to witness. “We know essentially nothing of the persons mentioned in vv. 3-4, except for Maaseiah, who was probably the father of Zephaniah the priest (cf. 21:1; 29:25; 37:3). He was in charge of the money given for the temple repair (cf. 2 Kings 12:10). Jaazaniah was probably the leader of the group. The name, not uncommon in Jeremiah’s day, has been found on a seal (c. 600 B.C.) at Tell en-Nasbeh…. ‘The sons of Hanan’ (a prophet of God [or, as “man of God” could also signify, merely a faithful priest]) were probably his disciples. He appears to have been in sympathy with Jeremiah. The three leaders (cf. 52:24; 2 Kings 25:18) probably had charge of the inner and outer court of the temple and the entrance door. They ranked next to the high priest and his deputy” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1986, note on Jeremiah 35:3-4).

Jeremiah sets wine before the Rechabites and tells them to drink (verse 5). Jonadab had apparently given strict commands to his descendants regarding the lifestyle they were to live (verses 6-10). Instead of settling down in houses or cultivating fields, they were to dwell in tents as nomads. Perhaps he was concerned over the fact that God had prophesied that once the people of Israel settled into private homes and lands that they would become forgetful of God because of their abundance (compare Deuteronomy 8) . Maybe he had even seen the truth of this in the society of his day. Jonadab also commanded his descendants to avoid wine. Perhaps this was motivated by the restriction against alcohol in the Nazirite vow or dangers of abuse he may have witnessed. Interestingly, the Rechabites saw that obedience to these commands from their forefather would allow them to “live many days in the land”—which was the blessing God promised for following the Fifth Commandment in obeying one’s parents (see Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16).

In any case, Jeremiah 35 doesn’t say that God approved of the restrictions Jonadab placed on his descendants. Indeed, the Bible nowhere condemns the use of alcohol—only its abuse and drunkenness. And housing and agriculture are certainly not forbidden. The lesson here is not one of refraining from settling down or abstinence from alcohol, but a lesson in obedience for Judah. The Rechabites were prepared to obey a human progenitor who had died many generations before. How much more should Judah have been willing to obey God Himself—their divine parent—who was still alive and still instructing them?

We should note that when Jeremiah put the wine before the Rechabites in verse 5, he did not say, “The Lord says, ‘Drink wine.’” That would have overruled their past commitment. Instead, he simply placed the wine before them and told them to drink, which they refused. Indeed, God certainly knew they would refuse and had Jeremiah perform the example for just this reason.

In verses 18-19, a blessing is pronounced on the Rechabites for their faithfulness to their father’s commands. Jonadab will never lack a descendant to stand before God. This may simply mean his family line would always continue, as everyone who exists is “before God.” But it could also signify that a descendant of Jonadab would always be in God’s service (compare 15:19). “The Mishnah [Jewish oral tradition later written down] indicates that in the Second Temple period a special day was set aside for the Rechabites to bring the wood offering (Ta’an 4.5)” (Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, editors, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 1993, “Rechabites,” p. 643). Perhaps this is just one way the Rechabites were to serve before God if standing before Him implied such service.

Baruch the Scribe; A Failed Attempt to Destroy God’s Word (Jeremiah 36:1-7; 45:1-5; 36:8-32)
At the start of the current reading, it is still the fourth year of Jehoiakim—March-April 605 B.C. to March-April 604 B.C. The Battle of Carchemish happened in the late spring of 605. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah sometime during the summer, carrying away a number of the Tribe of Judah, including Daniel and his friends. Jehoiakim had become a Babylonian vassal. And Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon in August to assume the imperial throne, which he did on September 7. Since the events in the past several readings occurred following Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion but apparently prior to the events described in the current reading, it appears likely that the events of the current reading begin in the early part of 604 B.C.

Jeremiah is told to write everything he has prophesied from the beginning of his ministry in Josiah’s day up till now in a book or scroll (Jeremiah 36:2). “Scrolls (Heb[rew] megilla; G[ree]k biblion) were made by gluing together, side by side, separate strips of papyrus, leather, parchment or vellum and then winding the long strip around a pole, which would often have handles at both ends to facilitate transporting and reading the scroll. Papyrus, or specifically the pith of the papyrus reed, had been used as a writing surface since the early 3rd millennium b.c.e. [B.C.] It was probably a papyrus scroll, written by Baruch while Jeremiah dictated, that King Jehoiakim ordered burned (Jer. 36)” (Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 2000, p. 1174).

The writing down of everything at this point does not mean that Jeremiah had written nothing before. Perhaps he had written many things and now dictated them into a single document—though God could have enabled him to reconstruct all he had said from memory. Jeremiah does not now personally write but instead dictates everything to Baruch the son of Neriah, a trained scribe.

While many people doubt the authenticity of the Bible, “through a most amazing combination of circumstances, it would appear that we now have two extraordinary reminders of reliability of the witness to Baruch’s presence in the time of Jeremiah…. One particular bulla [a lump of clay impressed with a seal]…bears the same name as the scribe in the book of Jeremiah. In three lines of ancient Hebrew text, writing in the formal cursive style of the seventh century B.C., the seal reads, ‘belonging to Berekhyahu, son of Neriyahu, the scribe.’ Berekhyahu is almost certainly the complete name of the shortened form Baruch, which means ‘Blessed of Yahweh.’ Baruch’s father, likewise, in its full form is also Neriyahu, called Neriah in the Bible.

“Now a second bulla has shown up…. The same seal that impressed the bulla just described as belonging to Baruch was used on this one, for the three registers of writing are identical…. On the back of this bulla are impressions of the papyrus fibers from the document to which it was once tied. What is remarkable about this second bulla is that the edge is embossed with a fingerprint on the edge, which is presumably that of Baruch the scribe himself. Baruch must have written and sealed the document to which it was attached” (Walter Kaiser Jr., The Old Testament Documents; Are They Reliable and Relevant?, 2001, pp. 158-159).

Not only does Jeremiah have Baruch write down all his words, but he informs the scribe that, because he is “confined” (verse 6)—either physically restrained as in our previous reading or, more likely as he is able to hide later, merely barred from entering the temple—Baruch must go into the temple on the next fast day and read the words.

This is a difficult assignment, considering the punishment previously heaped on Jeremiah. Turning to chapter 45, we find it one of the shortest in the Bible. But it has a vitally important message. We can all find ourselves like Baruch, sympathizing with his comment: “I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the LORD has added more! I am weary of my own sighing and can find no rest” (verse 3, New Living Translation). “Baruch came from a family of achievers. His grandfather was governor of Jerusalem in Josiah’s time (2 Chron. 34:8) and his brother [would later be] the staff officer in Zedekiah’s court (Jer. 51:59) [and was likely already involved in government]. He [Baruch] had expected to receive some high office, but found himself the secretary of the most hated man in Judah! God told Baruch what He tells us. Be the best you can be, but don’t expect to be more than you are ([Jeremiah 45] v. 5). Self-seeking ambition was hardly appropriate when the nation was facing divine judgment—or at any other time” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 1-5). Furthermore, although he couldn’t see it at the time, God was with him and would protect him wherever he went (compare Matthew 6:8, 25-32; Hebrews 13:5; Joshua 1:5; Deuteronomy 31:6; Philippians 4:11).

Baruch has to wait several months before carrying out his assigned duty but the fast day finally comes. Surprisingly, it is not God’s commanded fast day, the Day of Atonement in the seventh month. Apparently the people had already forsaken this command since Josiah’s death, which was only five years earlier. The fast mentioned in Jeremiah 36 occurs in the ninth month of Jehoiakim’s fifth year—November-December 604 B.C. (verse 9). There was no traditional fast at this time that we know of, but there is a historical context to perhaps explain the fast. In “604, Nebuchadnezzar was back again in the Hatti-territory to receive tribute from all its kings. This no doubt included Jehoiakim. At that time the march went as far south as [the Philistine city of] Askelon, which was captured in the month Kislev [the Hebrew ninth month]” (Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, 1983, p. 186). The fast was probably called by the elders or priests at the urging of the people, who may have had some fears regarding Nebuchadnezzar’s approach. The king, Jehoiakim, seems to have had no such fears. He was evidently secure in his position as a vassal to Babylon. In any case, with Nebuchadnezzar close at hand and the people perhaps somewhat softened by their fasting, it was a fit time to pronounce destruction on Jerusalem at the hands of Babylon.

Baruch reads aloud from the chamber of Gemariah. “Gemariah was the son of Shaphan, the scribe who read the scroll found during Josiah’s reign (see 2 Kin. 22:1-20). It seems Gemariah was sympathetic toward Jeremiah, allowing the use of the room in the upper court, a room overlooking the temple courts” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Jeremiah 36:9-10). Gemariah’s son Michaiah reports the gist of what Baruch was proclaiming to his father and the other national leaders at the palace (verses 11-13). Elnathan, mentioned here, was the one who, on orders from Jehoiakim, brought the prophet Urijah back from Egypt to suffer execution (see 26:22-23). He is probably the same Elnathan named in 2 Kings 24:8 as the father of Nehushta, Jehoiachin’s mother and therefore Jehoiakim’s wife—thus making him Jehoiakim’s father-in-law. Elnathan’s father Achbor “also played a role in the reading of the scroll in the days of Josiah’s reform. The parallels between Josiah’s reform and Jeremiah’s desire for national revival were included by Baruch deliberately, to remind the people of the earlier event” (note on 36:11-13).

The leaders send for Baruch to read the scroll to them. When he does, they become alarmed and decide that the king must be informed (verse 16). But, apparently fearing what Jehoiakim’s reaction might be, they tell Baruch and Jeremiah to go hide out somewhere (verse 19). Perhaps some of them actually had a change of heart—though it may have been just momentary fearfulness. We do see Elnathan beseeching the king not to destroy the scroll (verse 25).

Outrageously, however, the king does destroy it—brazenly and contemptuously. Jehoiakim would have a few columns of the scroll read, whereupon he would cut that part out and cast it into the fire in the hearth before him. This is repeated until the entire scroll is read and burned (verse 23). The king and his servants show no fear at all (verse 24). It is not clear whether his servants here include all the leaders who had previously heard the scroll’s contents. It may be that they did not all go to the king but sent just a few representatives, such as Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah, who did implore the king to not burn the scroll.

In verse 26, Jehoiakim sends men out to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch. Concerning Jerahmeel, the phrase “the king’s son” should probably instead be “the son of Hamelech,” as in the King James Version, since Jehoiakim had no grown sons at this time—his heir Jehoiachin being a 12-year-old boy. (It is also possible that “king’s son” was the title of a particular office.) Thankfully, God protected His servants from being arrested and probably murdered.

How utterly horrible all of this was. God was giving a last chance for repentance—a possibility for reform as in the days of Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father, who had responded positively to Jeremiah’s pronouncements and to finding the Word of God. But no, this king of Judah will not repent. Instead, he burns the words of God and seeks to kill God’s messengers. His actions are outrageous beyond description.

Jeremiah pronounces judgment on the king for his vile effrontery and blasphemy. He would die in disgrace. His lineage would not continue on David’s throne, as his son Jehoiachin would reign for just three months. And Jerusalem would be destroyed. The Word of God, on the other hand, which Jehoiakim had tried to destroy, would endure. God had Jeremiah and Baruch rewrite everything, with even more added to it. And we have it today, before our very eyes. As Isaiah had proclaimed under divine inspiration, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Proverb 20

Second Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d (Proverbs 20:5?21:8)
43. Various Proverbs (20:5?21:8)
“The proverbs of this section for the most part focus on the theme of discriminating between people of good character and people of evil character?.Verses 20:5 and 21:8 can be read as an envelope. The former articulates the importance of discernment in dealing with people?.The latter gives the simplest, most basic guideline in character discernment: the evil are twisted, but the good are upright. By itself 21:8 seems like a pointless tautology [i.e., a needless repetition]; but when read as the conclusion to the series of proverbs begun in 20:5, it is an apt closure to the whole. Like Jesus’ teaching that a tree is judged by its fruit, this text ends by saying that people can be evaluated by their conduct (Matt 7:17-19; 12:33; Luke 6:43-44). Several smaller collections are found in this larger unit?.”

? “DISCERNMENT AND INTEGRITY. Type: A-B Envelope, Thematic (20:5-12). This section begins by telling how difficult it is to discern a person’s inner [thoughts and] motives and ends by asserting that the ears and eyes, the means of discernment, are made by God. Thus God alone has perfect insight into human character, and he cannot be deceived” (NAC).

Verse 8 in the NKJV says that a king sitting as judge “scatters all evil with his eyes.” The NIV better renders this “winnows out all evil with his eyes.” Compare the first colon of verse 26: “A wise king sifts [or ‘winnows,’ NIV] out the wicked.” The New Living Translation paraphrases verse 8 this way: “When a king judges, he carefully weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.”

Verse 9 is a reminder that none of us are perfect, that we have all sinned and that, since we cannot cleanse our own hearts, all of us need mercy. This perspective will keep us humble in regard to our own character and is important to remember in making judgments about others.

As in 11:1, Proverbs 20:10 and verse 23 both show God’s loathing of crooked weights and measures for the purpose of cheating others. There may also be a further figurative meaning here in that God hates any kind of self-serving false pretense.

? “VARIOUS PROVERBS [ON MORAL CHARACTER]. Type: Individual Proverbs (20:13-21). Individual proverbs are various moral proverbs that of themselves do not tie to any particular topic. In this context, however, they may describe aspects of character for which one should be on the alert?. to determine where someone’s character, be it his own or someone else’s, will lead” (NAC).

Verse 13 does not mean that we should derive no enjoyment from taking a needed nap or getting a good night’s sleep. Rather, loving sleep here refers to excess?sleeping too much as part of habitual laziness (compare 6:6-11). Avoiding the personal productivity necessary to making a living and properly managing one’s affairs can lead to poverty. On a higher level, avoidance of spiritual responsibilities because of laziness and sleeping the day away will lead to spiritual impoverishment?and even ultimate destruction if not turned around.

Regarding Proverbs 20:16, the Israelites were not to hold overnight as collateral the outer garment of a debtor who might need it to keep warm (Exodus 22:25-27)?the law prohibiting creditor’s from depriving poor debtors of their belongings needed for survival. In the ironic tone of this proverb, a situation is described in which a lender had better go ahead and hold a debtor’s garment?where someone has foolishly “fallen into financial trouble by putting up security for a stranger?especially if he did it for an alluring woman. The message is that one should be wary of dealing with people who lack sound judgment” (New American Commentary, note on Proverbs 20:16). This proverb does not contravene the intent with which the law was given, as the law was not meant to protect foolish, impulsive venturers or schemers that might take advantage of lenders. Also the proverb says nothing about the predicament in which the loss of collateral would place the debtor in this case. All factors must be weighed in such dealings.

Verse 17 speaks of deceitful gain as initially sweet but afterward rather unpleasant and hard to swallow. “The Scriptures do not say that there is no pleasure in sinning, only that the reward doesn’t last (9:17, 18)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 20:17). Hebrews 11:25 mentions the “passing pleasures of sin.” On the other hand, choosing God’s way may sometimes be difficult and perhaps even unpleasant for the moment, but it yields lasting happiness in the end.

? “DEALING WITH THE KING AND WITH THE LORD. Type: Thematic (20:22?21:3). These verses concern dealings with the two arbiters of justice, namely, the king and Yahweh. Proverbs 20:22-25,27 and 21:2-3 concern Yahweh, while 20:26,28,30 concerns the king. Proverbs 21:1 draws the two together and asserts the superior power of Yahweh over the king; only 20:29 does not clearly fit in this context” (NAC).

Verse 22 says that it is not our place to get even or dole out vigilante justice. The Nelson Study Bible comments: “Because of our limited understanding and imperfection, we are not qualified to recompense evil. Instead we must commit our cause to God, whose vengeance is certain and perfectly just. God says, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay’ (see Matt. 5:38, 39; Rom. 12:17, 19; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Pet. 3:9)” (note on Proverbs 20:22).

Verse 24 (like 16:9) shows that God is ultimately in control of directing what happens in a person’s life. The second colon asks, “How then can a man understand his own way?” In an overall sense he can’t?so he must rely on God and God’s instructions for wisdom and direction. “The juxtaposition of human plans and intentions with God’s sovereign action in human affairs is not meant to discourage planning or activity but rather to guide it. The wise do well to seek counsel about this plan (20:18), listening instead of making rash or hurtful statements (20:19-20)” (NIV Application Commentary, note on verse 24). Of course, in our planning we must make allowance for God unexpectedly redirecting circumstances (see James 4:13-16).

Proverbs 20:25 warns against rash vows, calling to mind the costly mistake of Jephthah (see Judges 11:30-40). If we do make a vow to God, even a rash one?that is, a legitimate vow that does not contradict His law in other respects?then we are duty-bound to follow through (compare also Ecclesiastes 5:1-7).

Proverbs 20:27 in the New King James Version says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, /searching all the inner depths of his heart.” The ending phrase here, as the NKJV margin notes, is “literally the rooms of the belly”?as either the figurative seat of human emotion or representing the inner, hidden person. The NIV here has “inmost being.” The same phrase is used in verse 30. On the opening colon of verse 27, the NIV rearranges the translation to another that is possible: “The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man.” If this is correct, the Lord’s lamp here would connote “perhaps his eyes (cf. 5:21; 15:3?) or word (see 6:23 [Psalm 119:105]?cf. Heb 4:12-13)” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Proverbs 20:27). On the other hand, The Bible Reader’s Companion says that the NKJV translation, as footnoted in the NIV, is the preferred rendering, so that the human spirit is God’s lamp: “The rabbis understood this to mean that God’s image so shines in the human spirit that man is set apart from the animals. It’s this reflection of God which endows us with human abilities and witnesses to His existence through each of our unique capacities” (note on verse 27). Or perhaps the meaning is simply that God is able to look into the human spirit which, though dark and mysterious to human beings, is as bright as a lamp to God?revealing everything about the person.

Proverbs 21:1 shows God’s sovereignty even over rulers. The river illustration is not entirely clear. Some suggest the following meaning: that just as people sometimes redirect rivers through dams and irrigation canals, so can God redirect the thoughts and actions of kings to accomplish His purposes. Of course the latter is not so difficult for God as the former is for human beings. Another possible meaning is that just as God had the power to lay out the courses of all the world’s rivers, so He is easily able to direct the course of a king.

? “THE DEVICES AND THE DECLINE OF THE WICKED. Type: Thematic (21:4-8). These five verses focus upon the losses incurred by those who live wrongfully” (NAC).
The Jewish Soncino Commentary regards the plowing of the wicked in verse 4 metaphorically as their schemings.

Acts 17

We pick up this week in Paul’s travels, going through Amphipolis, Apollonia, and finally to Thessalonike where there was a ‘congregation of Judah.’ A significant statement is found in v.2 where we are told “And according to his practice, Sha’ul went into them, and for three Sabbaths was reasoning with them from the Scriptures.” He was explaining how the awaited Messiah had to suffer and die and be raised from the dead from the scripture, and this is now the same Messiah being proclaimed to them. Some did believe, along with Greeks and many leading women. But those Jewish Pharisees who were envious began to incite a mob to set all the city into an uproar.

The emissaries were staying at the house of a man named Jason and the mob went to this house looking for them to bring them out to the angered people of the city of Thessalonike. They did not find them there, but dragged Jason out crying “They who have turned the world upside down have come here too…” v6. They accused Jason and the emissaries of acting contrary to the dogmas of Caesar in that they were proclaiming another sovereign – Yahshua! This did have an effect on the people of the city. So they secreted Sha’ul and Silas out by night and they proceeded to Beroia. They also went first to the congregation of the Jews there, and they received the words with eagerness, trusting but verifying with Scripture, all that Sha’ul was telling them. Because of this, they were called noble. The religious Jews from Thessalonike got word of what was happening in Beroia and went there too to stir up trouble for them there! As a result, the Bereans hurried Sha’ul away toward the sea, but Silas and Timothy stayed there. Sha’ul ended up in Athens and was greatly troubled by the city because of the rampant idolatry. He was teaching everywhere there: to the Jews and Greeks in the congregations, on the street, and in the market place too.

V 18 And some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him (Sha’ul) And some were saying, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange mighty ones” – Because Sha’ul was proclaiming Yahshua and Him resurrected from the dead. So they grabbed Sha’ul and brought him to the Areopagus. The Areopagus or Areios Pagos (Ancient Greek: Ἄρειος Πάγος) is the “Rock of Ares”, north-west of the Acropolis, which in classical times functioned as the high Court of Appeal for criminal and civil cases[1] in Athens. Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon’s son Alirrothios. So anyone who had something “new” to say to them (as continual seekers of knowledge) was brought there so that people could hear this new thing and everyone could discuss it. In v. 21 “For all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their leisure time in doing naught but to speak or to hear what is fresh.”

This is where Sha’ul’s most wonderful proclaiming to the Athenians took place in verses 22-32. He expressed to them who is “THE UNKNOWN MIGHTY ONE” whom they did not know, His Works through time and creation of mankind, the judgment, and the resurrection. They were fascinated by these new words, but some believed and desired to know more. Among them were Dionusios and Damaris, and others with them.

We finish with our study of the 613 laws this week.
http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week during our septennial study. We shall study laws 610-613
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

(610)
Keep that place sanitary. “…For Yahweh your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14-15) Yahweh didn’t have Moses explain the science of the latrine thing, of course. The world wasn’t quite ready for that. He merely offered a plausible reason for the need to properly dispose of human waste, one a devout bronze age Israelite could easily understand—and no less true just because it’s a spiritual explanation for a physical issue. An Israelite soldier didn’t have to know his microbiology; he only had to trust Yahweh to know what was in his best interests, and having faith in his God, to act on that trust in obedience to His word.

And is there a lesson here for us who are blessed with indoor plumbing, who must battle the world with words and ideas instead of swords and spears? Yes, I believe there is. We, like the Israelites of old, need to “cover our refuse.” For the sake of a lost world, we need to make sure the evidence of our fallen human condition doesn’t pollute our environment. In practical terms, this translates into modesty, chastity, propriety, sobriety, and responsibility—all those “boring” attributes that are becoming so rare, so out of step with our unclean society as we barrel headlong toward the End of Days. Yes, the lost are going to “step in it” as they walk through the world. Let us at least make sure that what’s defiling them isn’t us.

(611)
Always remember what Amalek did. “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” (Deuteronomy 25:17-18) The last three mitzvot on Maimonides’ list of 613 have to do with the nation of Amalek—a sub-tribe of Edom. Amalek was a grandson of Esau, listed in Genesis 36:16 as one of Edom’s chiefs. The name is apparently derived from a word (’amal) meaning labor, toil, trouble—with an emphasis on the drudgery and grievous frustration of pointless work (as in Ecclesiastes 1:3). It may be instructive to re-read the passage at hand (including verse 19, quoted below), rendering the name “Amalek” as “pointless works.” Interesting, no?

It seems every time we meet Amalek, they’re a thorn in Israel’s side, one way or another. After the Israelites put Yahweh to the test at Horeb (Exodus 17), Amalek attacked them. You remember the story: when Moses held his hands up toward heaven, Israel’s armies prevailed; when he let them fall, Amalek gained ground. It’s an obvious picture of the efficacy of prayer. When it was all over, “Yahweh said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” (Exodus 17:14) Then the twelve spies (well, ten of them) came back from Canaan with tales of “a land that devours its inhabitants.” Israel balked, refusing to trust Yahweh to give them victory, but when they found out what their lack of faith had cost them (a whole generation wandering in the wilderness), they tried to take on Amalek in their own strength—and got soundly trounced. Even in Amalek’s waning hours, as Israel’s armies were finally carrying out God’s directive to wipe them out, they were causing trouble. King Saul (who had been specifically told to “kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey”—I Samuel 15:3) couldn’t resist “swooping down on the spoil” (verse 19). His disobedience cost him his throne. Even in defeat, Amalek was bad news.

(612)
The evil done to us by Amalek shall not be forgotten. “…Therefore it shall be, when Yahweh your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:19) Notice the contrast: “Remember what Amalek did to you” (verse 17) vs. “Blot out the remembrance of Amalek.” In the literal sense, we are to be forever cognizant of Yahweh’s displeasure with those who attack His people and do not revere Him. On the other hand, the Amalekite people have been history for the past three thousand years—their “remembrance” has been well and truly blotted out.

In the symbolic sense the same contrast is germane. We are to remember what “pointless works” do to us—they obfuscate the grace of God, attacking our faith by suggesting we can work our way into the kingdom of heaven. But the time is coming—and soon—when we will no longer even be able to remember why anyone would buy into such an obviously flawed theory. What will it take to achieve that? The physical presence of King Yahshua among us.

(613)
Destroy the seed of Amalek. “…Therefore it shall be, when Yahweh your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:19) If you buy into the error most reference sources try to sell you, the geography and related history of Israel’s brushes with Amalek make little sense. They’ll tell you that the Israelites didn’t really traverse the Red Sea, but rather an ankle-deep marsh (the “Reed Sea”) north of the Gulf of Suez. (Drowning Pharaoh’s entire army in that insignificant puddle would have taken a real miracle.) They subsequently place Mt. Sinai (Horeb) where Emperor Constantine’s mommy decided it should be—in the southern “Sinai” Peninsula. But Paul states quite clearly (see Galatians 4:25) that the Mt. Sinai to which Moses led his people was in Arabia—east of the Gulf of Aqaba (the north-eastern arm of the Red Sea, immediately to the south of Edom—in other words, just south of Amalekite territory). It all starts coming into focus when we realize that the Amalekites hadn’t gone hundreds of miles out of their way to attack the Israelites, but they were merely paranoid about protecting their own turf. The Israelites had asked permission to pass through harmlessly on their way north, but Amalek, not “fearing God,” harassed them at every turn, needlessly earning Yahweh’s wrath. Remember what we learned in Mitzvah #607—All Edomite territory (having been settled by Abraham’s grandson Esau) was off limits to Israelite settlement. Furthermore, Amalek was not listed among the seven Canaanite tribes slated for total destruction (see Mitzvah #601). So what Yahweh is saying is that the Amalekites must eventually be wiped out, but their land will not fall to Israel as an inheritance.

In a way, it’s ironic that we should finish Maimonides’ list of “613 Laws” with a discussion of Yahweh’s determination to destroy Amalek. If the linguistic root of the name is what it seems to be—’amal: labor, toil, and sorrow—then God is telling us precisely what the problem is with the rabbinical approach to the Torah. They see it as a list of tasks that must be meticulously performed in order to earn God’s favor. But the reality is quite different. Yahweh has in the Torah provided us with The Owner’s Manual we need to keep our mortal bodies in good working order—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If we follow his precepts, we will be—as the Psalmist says—blessed! “Blessed [’esher: happy, joyful, blissful, fortunate] are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of Yahweh! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (Psalm 119:1-2) I pray that this study has blessed you.

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