weekly Torah studies

Re’eh (See/ Behold). Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17; Isaiah 54:11–55:5 [66:1-24]; Matthew 7:9–29.

Shalom All,   Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible Portion study.  “See (רְאֵה Re’eh),” says Moses to the people of Israel, “I place before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of YHWH your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of YHWH your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26–28). 

Last week in study section called “Eikev”, Moses promised the Israelites that if they were obedient to the commands of the Torah (Yahweh’s righteous living instructions), they would prosper in the Promised Land.  This week, as the children of Israel stand poised to cross over into the Jordan, God sets before the people two separate and distinct directions:  a way of blessing if they choose to obey God’s commandments and a way of cursing if they choose to walk in disobedience to those laws.  These are universal and eternal commands, so apply today.  These two directions, the blessing and the curse, are to be proclaimed on two mountain tops in the Land:  Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal.  “Now it shall be, when Yahweh your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal”  (Deuteronomy 11:29). 

Today, Nablus rests between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, the mountains on which the Israelites were commanded to pronounce the blessings and curses upon entering the Promised Land.  This is also the location of Biblical Shechem, the place where Abram built an altar to Yahweh (Genesis 12:6–8). 

After the giving of Gods instructions and His keeping of His covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to bring their descendants into a promised land, almost the whole bible after is the record of how they kept or broke His commandments.  The punishments, inclusive of exile, scattering and death of those that disobeyed.  It was an extremely serious matter that led Daniel to fast and pray for forgiveness of his sins and that of the nation.  Do you really think God would excuse those of today breaking the same instructions?  It makes no sense if that is your belief.  Deu 11:32  And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day. 

Each one of us has been given this same choice to follow Him or not; in fact, the entire direction of our lives depends on which path we choose, the path of the blessing or of the curse.  Yahshua (thought to be Jesus by many) the Messiah also told us of two paths, the narrow path that leads to life and the broad path that leads to destruction. Sadly, it seems that few choose the narrow path.  Most walk that broad path of destruction.

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“Eikev” (Because). Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25; Isaiah 49:14–51:3; John 14:1-31.

Shalom,  Last week, in study section Va'etchanan, Moses predicted that the people in future generations would be exiled from the Promised Land and scattered among the nations because they would turn from God and worship idols.  But Moses also foresaw that in the last days they would once again seek Him and obey His commandments.  The title of this week’s section, Eikev, means because.  It is used in this study as a conjunction to create a relationship between experiencing God’s blessings and obedience to His Torah.  In connection with this, the prophetic study section for this week contains an important prophecy that provides us with added insight into how to walk in the blessings of God through faith and obedience.  These three,  faith, obedience, and blessings, are seen operating in our forefather Abraham, who first believed and then out of faith, obeyed God and was circumcised.  Abraham exemplified the concept that obedience is more than exercising our will over our own flesh; it is faith in action.  Out of his faith flowed obedience to God. 

In Genesis 15:6, we see that his faith was counted to him as righteousness, and the ancient Hebrew prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) beckons us to look to Abraham, our father of faith.  We are to be like him; putting faith into action.  Then we too will experience the blessings that flow from obedience.  “Listen to me, you pursuers of justice, you who seek YHWH: consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug; consider Abraham your father and Sarah, who gave birth to you …”  (Isaiah 51:1–2). 

Eikev: The Heel of Messiah. 

The word eikev comes from the verb akav, which means to take by the heel.  Similarly, the Hebrew noun akev means heel, as in the heel of a foot.  All of these words share the root letters ayin-kof-vet.  The word akev is first used in Genesis in an important prophecy: the seed of Chava (Eve) will eventually crush the head of the serpent.  “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel [akev].”  (Genesis 3:15).

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“Va’etchanan” (And I Pleaded). Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11; Isaiah 40:1–26; John 10:1–42

Shalom All, Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study.  “Then I pleaded [va’etchanan] with Yahweh at that time, saying:  ‘O Yahweh God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?”  (Deuteronomy 3:23–24)

In last week’s study section “Devarim”, the Israelites stood poised at the edge of the Promised Land, on the east side of the Jordan, ready to cross over and possess the Land.  Before they crossed, Moses summarizes for the people their 40-year history of wandering in the wilderness. Included in this week’s section are several of the best known and fundamental passages of Scripture in the entire Tanakh (Old Testament), including what is termed the Ten Commandments and the Shema (Listen! or Hear and Do!) a call in Deuteronomy 6:4–9 to love the one true God with all our being.  This passage also exhorts us to pass on our faith to the next generation by faithfully teaching the Torah (Instructions of Yahweh God) to our children.  

Deut 6:4-5  [Hear, Isra’el! Yahweh our God, is one master]; and you are to love Yahweh your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.”  This is the first prayer spoken in the morning and the last said in the evening before sleep.  It is often the final prayer on the lips of a Jewish person on their deathbed, and it has been uttered by many Jewish martyrs as they gave up their spirits to Yahweh. 

These verses of Scriptures are so central to Judaism (and should be for all believers in Yahweh and Yahshua) that they are written on a parchment and placed in a small box worn on the forehead called tefillin (phylacteries) and also in small, decorated boxes called mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) on the doorposts of Jewish homes. This is done in literal fulfilment of commands found in this week’s study: “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:8–9).

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“Devarim” (Words). Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22; Isaiah 1:1–27; Mark 14:12–26.

Shalom All, 

Welcome to this week's Torah / Bible study.  “These are the words [Devarim] which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).  Last week’s readings in the Book of Bamidbar (Numbers) concluded with Torah portion “Matot–Masei”.  This week, we begin the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), with the Torah / bible section that is also called Devarim.  In this study section, Moses retells the wilderness saga and reviews with all the people everything that Yahweh had ordered them.  He begins with God’s directive at mount Horeb to get moving and take the Promised Land, which extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River, including the lands of Ammon, Moab, and Edom.  The book of Deuteronomy begins, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel.  Devarim in the Hebrew name of the book.  Deuteronomy comes from the Greek meaning of the repetition of the law.  A person should never consider himself to be above learning Torah. If the Torah really does convey the words of the living God, then it continues to impart revelation regardless of how many times a person has read it. It will always be new. When Moses recapitulated the Torah in the words of Deuteronomy, he delivered the same Torah, but it became like new material as he spoke it. 

The second redeemer, the Messiah, will be like the first redeemer. Just as Moses reiterated the Torah and it became like a new Torah as he did, the Messiah will reveal a “New Torah” to the world in the Messianic Era. Then the Torah will go out from Zion. All nations will ascend to Messianic Jerusalem to learn Torah from the Messiah. The Messiah’s “New Torah will go forth” to all nations, as it says, “A Torah will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples” (Isaiah 51:4). 

The New Torah of Messiah is not a different Torah, nor does it contradict anything in the Torah of Moses. Instead, the New Torah reveals the spiritual Torah behind the Torah of Moses, that is, the hidden will and wisdom of God. It will be the same Torah, but the Messiah will reveal the inner meanings. He will open the spiritual dimensions of the Torah and show us the things hidden in the Torah. The written scroll of Moses containing Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy can be compared to the physical body; the Torah of Messiah is like the divine soul which animates the body.

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Matot-Masei “Tribes-Journeys”. Numbers 30:2–36:13; Jeremiah 2:4–28, 3:4, 4:1–2; Matthew 23:1–25:46.

Shalom All, Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study.  "Moses said to the heads of the tribes [matot] of Israel:  'This is what Yahweh commands:  When a man makes a vow to Yahweh or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said'"  (Numbers 30:1–2). 

Last week, in section (Parasha) “Pinchas”, God rewarded Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas (Phinehas), a pact of peace and everlasting priesthood in response to his zeal for Yahweh.  In this week’s double section of Matot-Masei, the Israelites are coming to an end of their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.  Both Miriam and Aaron, the sister and brother of Moses, have died in the desert; and Moses, in preparing for the end his life in the desert as well, has passed on the mantle of leadership to his successor Joshua. 

This week’s reading begins with the instructions (laws) regarding vows and oaths, emphasizing our responsibility to be a people who keep our word and do what we have promised.  In Chapter 30 a man is bound by his vow or oath to Yahweh. In Judges 11:30 we read of Jephthah’s vow concerning his daughter and how he was bound by it.  A woman’s vow however can be annulled by either her father if she is unmarried, or husband providing it is done in the day he hears it.  An example is in 1 Sam with Hannah, Samuel’s mother. Num 30:13  Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.  Num 30:15  But if he shall any ways make them void after that(the day) he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. Widows or divorced women are bound to their vow like the man.  [See additional section on vows at the end]. 

Num 31:22  Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Num 31:23  Everything that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.  This is the same sterilising process done today when there is no chemicals.  Heat to a high temperature or wash.  Yet I constantly hear preachers say the laws were nailed to the cross.

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PINCHAS (Phinehas / Dark Skinned), Numbers 25:10 - 30:1; 1 Kings 18:46 – 19:21, Mark 11:27 – 12:37.

Shalom All,

Welcome to our weekly study of Yahweh’s Torah / bible / instructions and righteous living guidance called “Pinchas” (Phinehas).  May you be blessed, your knowledge increase and obedience to God’s requirements in your physical actions as you study.

“Pinchas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites.  Since he was as zealous for my honour among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal." (Numbers 25:11).   

Last week’s study section "Balak", concluded with a man named Pinchas ending a devastating plague that had come on Israel and already killed 24,000 Israelites.  The plague resulted from the Israelites participating in sexual immorality with the Midianite women.  A snare Balaam counselled Balak to set for them.  I can’t curse them; but we can tempt them to sin and step out of the conditional protective hedge of Yahweh their God.  The death toll ended when Pinchas (the grandson of Aaron) killed the Israelite Zimri, a Simeonite leader who openly brought a Midianite princess into his tent.  Pinchas entered his tent and plunged a spear through both of them.

Religion is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, faith in God, trust in Messiah and obedience to God's commandments is the narrow path that leads to life (Rev 12:17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yahshua.  See also 14:12).  It brings peace, joy and purpose to existence. On the other hand, religious convictions can become a source of strife, enmity and hatred between people and nations.

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“BALAK” [בָּלָק] (Destroyer), Numbers 22:2–25:9; Micah 5:6–6:8; 2 Peter 2:1–22.

Welcome to our Torah / Bible study section for this week “And Balak [בָּלָק] the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites” (Numbers 22:2). 

Last week’s study section “Chukat” ended with Israel seeking to pass through the land of the Amorites on their way to the Promised Land.  The Amorites responded with war; but with God's help, Israel defeated them.  In this week’s section, we see the overpowering strength of God’s blessing on Israel.  When Balak, the king of Moab, sent a sorcerer named Balaam to curse Israel, he found that he could not. 

Although Balaam was commissioned to pronounce a curse over Israel, he found he could only issue a blessing, saying, “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?”  (Numbers 23:8).  Many might come against the nation of Israel or a prophet of God like with Elijah in 2 Kings 1:12; but no one can curse those whom Yahweh Himself has blessed!   The Moabite King Balak, whose name means waste or to lay waste, wanted to lay waste the nation of Israel.  To his dismay, he found that he was unable to do so because of God’s blessing upon her.  Remember the “nation” included a mixed multitude of individuals from other nations who grafted themselves or were married in. 

Why did King Balak feel so threatened by Israel that he felt the need to have her cursed?  It is because Balak, along with his elders, had heard of the Israelites stunning victories over the mighty enemies of Sihon and Og.  Just like  Rahab and her city had heard in Joshua 2:9.  Therefore, deciding that it would be too risky to fight Israel directly, they hired a “spiritual mercenary,” Balaam, who was a heathen sorcerer, to put a “hex” on their enemies.  Although we may consider this an ancient superstition, many practice sorcery even today.  For instance, in the United States there exists a form of Louisiana Voodoo (also known as New Orleans Voodoo).  It is rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun went to the American south through the slave trade.

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CHUKAT (Statute or Decree) Numbers 19:1–22:1; Judges 11:1–33; Hebrews 9:1–28

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section called CHUKAT (Statute or Decree)  “This is a requirement [חֻקַּ֣ת / Chukat / statute] of the law [Torah] that Yahweh has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer [parahadumah]” (Numbers 19:2).   

Last week in section titled "Korach", the Levite Korach incited mutiny against Moses.  He and 250 tribe chiefs of Israel questioned the anointed position of Moses as leader and Aaron as high priest.  This week’s section Chukat, presents the ritual laws of the ParahAdumah (פָרָהאֲדֻמָּה / Red Heifer) and the deaths of Aaron and the prophetess Miriam, Moses and Aaron's sister.  

Chukat (חוקת | Statute)

Torah scriptures: Numbers 19:1-22:1.  Prophetic scriptures: Judges 11:1-33  [Jephthah and his vow].  New Testament scripture: Hebrews 9:1-28. 

Scriptures Summary.

Chukat is the thirty-ninth reading from the Torah. The word chukat (חוקת) means "statute." The name is derived from the second verse of the reading: "This is the statute of the law which YHWH has commanded" (Numbers 19:2). Chukat presents the mysterious laws of the red-heifer ceremony for purification after contact with human death. This reading also contains the story of Moses striking the rock, the stories of the deaths of Aaron and Miriam and the wars with the Amorites.  The section concludes with the host of Israel encamping on the edge of the Promised Land. 

Portion Outline.

TORAH Section:  Numbers 19:1 | Ceremony of the Red Heifer. Numbers 20:1 | The Waters of Meribah. Numbers 20:14 | Passage through Edom Refused.  Numbers 20:22 | The Death of Aaron. Numbers 21:1 | The Bronze Serpent. Numbers 21:10 | The Journey to Moab. Numbers 21:21 | King Sihon Defeated.  Numbers 21:33 | King Og Defeated. 

The Purity Paradox.

In Numbers 19, the Torah gives the laws for preparing the ashes of the red heifer. The red heifer is an unusual sacrifice which was slaughtered and burned outside of the Tabernacle.  Its ashes were then collected and mixed with water.  The water was sprinkled in a purification ceremony which removed ritual uncleanness engendered by contact with death.  Paradoxically, the preparation of the red heifer renders each person involved unclean.  The priest who oversees the slaughter and the burning becomes unclean and incurs first degree impurity.  The man who ignites the fire becomes unclean.  The man who gathers the ashes together is rendered unclean.  Moreover, the one who sprinkles the water of cleansing to remove the impurity of corpse contamination incurs first degree impurity.  Is this not a paradox, an inexplicable decree of the Almighty where those doing the cleaning become dirty.  I suppose like one who washes dirt off of cloths or cleaning their home.  They become dirty from the dirt coming off the cloths or home. 

Who decreed this? Was it not … God? We have learned that all the people engaged in preparing the water of the ashes of the red heifer, from beginning to end, defile garments, while the heifer itself makes garments ritually clean.

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“Korach”, קורח Numbers 16:1-18:32, 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22, Luke 18:35-19:28.

Welcome to “Korach”, קורח , "Korah "  the name of this week’s Torah / Bible study section.  

Scriptures are:  from the Torah (Law or instructions of God) Numbers 16:1-18:32,  [Now Korah the son of Izhar... took action].  From the Prophets: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22 and from the New Testament, gospel of  Luke 18:35-19:28. 

"Korach son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, became insolent and rose up against Moses”  (Numbers 16:1–2). 

In last week’s study section titled “ShelachLecha”, the seeds of rebellion were sown as the Israelites threatened to replace Moses as their leader.  So great was their fear of the giants in the Promised Land, and so great was their unbelief that they would be able to overcome those giants, that they wanted to forsake the promises of God and return to Egypt.  In this week’s Torah section study, the rebellion continues with the mutiny against Moses’ leadership by a man named Korach (קֹרַח), which means baldness, ice, hail, or frost. 

Portion Outline.  TORAH:

Numbers 16:1 | Revolt of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

Numbers 17:1 | The Budding of Aaron's Rod

Numbers 18:1 | Responsibility of Priests and Levites

Numbers 18:8 | The Priests' Portion. 

PROPHETS:

1Sa 11:1 | Saul Defeats the Ammonites

1Sa 12:1 | Samuel's Farewell Address. 

Portion Summary:

Korah (korach, קורח) was the name of a prominent Levite. This week’s Torah reading tells the story of how Korah led an unsuccessful rebellion against Moses and Aaron. After thwarting the insurrection, God confirms Aaron in the priesthood and provides additional legislation regarding priestly and Levitical privileges and responsibilities. 

A proverb says, "Woe to the wicked, and woe to his neighbour." This applies to Dathan and Abiram, the neighbours of Korah.  According to the arrangements for the tribal encampments, the Kohathites and the Reubenites both encamped on the south side of the Tabernacle (Numbers 2:10; 3:29).  Dathan and Abiram were neighbours with a contentious man. That is why they were punished with him and were swept from the world. Contention against leadership is contagious, and contentious people work hard to convince their companions to join their cause. Korah's initial grievances against Moses and Aaron had nothing to do with the Reubenites, but through frequent conversation and the subtle manipulation of ideas, Korah was able to draw his neighbours into sedition. 

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ShelachLecha (Send Forth). Numbers 13:1–15:41; Joshua 2:1–24; Romans 4:1–25.

Welcome to our Torah / Bible study for this week, which is called ShelachLecha (Send Forth).  “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, ‘Send out for yourself (shelachlechaשְׁלַח-לְך) men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers' tribes, everyone a leader among them."  (Numbers 13:1–2). 

Last week in study section “Behaalotecha”, God commanded Aaron to light the lamps of the Menorah and the tribe of Levi was initiated into the service of the Sanctuary.  This week’s Parasha (Scripture portion) describes how God tests the Israelites by sending out 12 meraglim (spies) to check out the situation in the Promised Land (as God had commanded them) before going in to take possession of it. 

The Promised Land Is Bountiful.

“Be of good courage.  And bring some of the fruit of the land.’  Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.”  (Numbers 13:20). 

God instructed Moses to send one chief from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to scout out the land of Canaan.  Among the spies were Caleb, son of Jephunneh from the Tribe of Judah and Hosea (Hoshea), son of Nun from the Tribe of Ephraim.  Later, Moses changed Hosea’s name to Joshua.  When Moses sent out the spies, it was the season of the first ripe grapes.  They were to go in with courage and bring back a sample of the fruit of the Land.  They were also to assess the characteristics of the inhabitants, the fortification of the cities and the existence of any trees. 

After 40 days, they returned with a cluster of grapes from the Valley of Eshkol (cluster), which was so bountiful that they had to tie the cluster to a pole and carry it on their shoulders.  Today in Israel, the grapes begin to ripen around mid-July in the heat of summer.  So it is likely that the spies went into the Promised Land around the end of July. 

The Number 40.

Why were the spies scouting the land of Canaan for 40 days?  Why not a month or two weeks? The number 40 is significant in the Torah / Bible as it is the number of testing, preparation and leadership, as well as the harbinger of something new (according to Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers).

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Beha'alotcha (בהעלותך (When you set up / ascend). Numbers 8:1-12:15: Zechariah 2:14-4:7: Luke 17:11-18:14.

Welcome to this weeks Torah / Bible study.  “Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and say to him, “When you set up (behaalotecha בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ) the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the Menorah.” 

When you set up / ascend the lamps" (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam. 

Outline: Numbers 8:1 The Seven Lamps; Numbers 8:5 Consecration and Service of the Levites; Numbers 9:1 The Passover at Sinai; Numbers 9:15  The Cloud and the Fire; Numbers 10:1 The Silver Trumpets; Numbers 10:11 Departure from Sinai; Numbers 11:1 Complaining in the Desert; Numbers 11:16 The Seventy Elders; Numbers 11:31 The Quails; Numbers 12:1 Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses; Zec 2:6 Interlude: An Appeal to the Exiles; Zec 3:1 Fourth Vision: Joshua and Satan; Zec 4:1 Fifth Vision: The Lampstand and Olive Trees. 

The Menorah: “Now this workmanship of the Menorah was hammered gold; from its shaft to its flowers it was hammered work.  According to the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.”  (Numbers 8:4). 

Section “Behaalotecha” opens with the kindling of the Menorah, the lampstand that is a symbol of the light of revelation and truth.  God commanded Moses to make it out of gold according to the pattern shown him on Mount Sinai.  Why gold and not bronze or silver?  Gold symbolizes something precious, of great value, and it is a metaphor for purity in the Bible.  The fire in the Menorah represents the fire of the Divine Light spreading throughout the entire world, beginning with Israel.  We can understand it also as Godliness; therefore, the fire can be seen as symbolic of God refining His people so that they may be as fine gold!

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“Nasso” (meaning Lift Up or Elevate). Numbers 4:21 – 7:89, Judges 13:2-5, Ephesians 1:1–23

Shabbot Shalom All,

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section titled “Nasso” (meaning Lift Up or Elevate). Numbers 4:21 – 7:89, Judges 13:2-5, Ephesians 1:1–23. “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers' houses and by their clans.’” (Numbers 4:21–22). Last week, in section Bamidbar, a census was taken of the Israelite men of draftable age. The Levites, who were given the duty to serve in the Sanctuary in the place of Israel’s firstborn, were excluded. The title of this week’s Torah section, Naso, means lift up or elevate. It was the term used to take a head count (census) of the children of Israel. In the Hebrew it reads, “Lift up the heads” (נָשֹׂא אֶת רֹאשׁ — naso et rosh). This week, the headcount of the Israelites is completed with a census of the Levites who are between the ages of 30 and 50. They are to do the work of transporting the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Besides discussing the duties of the Levites, this Scripture portion also provides the law of the nazir, or Nazirite, and the Aaronic Benediction (Birkat Kohanim — ברכת כהנים), more commonly known as the Priestly Blessing. THE PRIESTLY BLESSING. The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. Numbers 6 closes with the immortal words of the priestly blessing, a commandment for the sons of Aaron to bless Israel. To this day, the sons of Aaron lift their hands over the worshipers in the synagogue service while they utter the words, (I have added the name of God, Yahweh instead of the Lord or Adonai) “Yahweh bless you, and keep you; Yahweh make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; Yahweh lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
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“Bamidbar (In The Wilderness)”: Numbers 1:1 – 4:20; Hosea 1:10 – 2:22; Romans 15:1-7.

Shalom All,  Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study titled “Bamidbar (In The Wilderness)”: the service of the Levites. Numbers 1:1 – 4:20; Hosea 1:10 – 2:22; Romans 15:1-7. “Adonai spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert [Bamidbar].” (Numbers 1:1). Last week, we finished studying the Book of Leviticus with Parasha Bechukotai. This week’s Torah / Bible study begins the fourth of the five books of Moses, Bamidbar, which means “in the desert” or “wilderness”. While this name is taken from the fifth Hebrew word in verse one, it reflects one of the themes of this book. In this section, God makes it a priority to create an Israelite military force before they set out on their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. The Counting of the Army: Bamidbar is called “Numbers” in English because the first four chapters mention censuses of Israelites, the first of which number the men who are able to bear arms. An older Hebrew name for Bamidbar, Sefer Hapikudim (Book of the Countings) also reflects this theme of counting. In chapter one of Bamidbar, the Israelites still camp at Mount Sinai after having received the law, built the Tabernacle, and been instructed in worship. Now before they move forward to the Promised Land, they must be prepared for the threats that lie ahead on the journey. Yahweh commands Moses to take a census of all Israelite males able to bear arms from ages twenty and up. They assembled on the first day of the second month in the second year “And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai” (Numbers 1:19). All the people of God are real people. Moses and Aaron counted them according to their "genealogical registration by their families, by their fathers' households, according to the number of names, head by head" (Numbers 1:20). This method gave every Israelite the opportunity to tell his name and be counted as an individual of worth. Each person is valuable and unique, a special treasure to God. The census results reveal that the Israelites are mighty in number. The men capable of battle are listed by tribe, totalling 603,550 men:

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Behar-Bechukotai (On the Mount / In my Statutes)”. Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34; Jeremiah 32:6–27; Romans 6:1–23.

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study.  “Yahweh said to Moses at Mount Sinai, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to Yahweh’”  (Leviticus 25:1–2).  

Last week, in study section “Emor”, God called the Kohen (priests) to live lives that expressed a greater measure of holiness.  It also described seven essential festivals that are fundamental to Israel’s walk with Yahweh God which He calls His feasts, in addition to the weekly seventh day Sabbath (our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset).  This week, in “Behar” God gives Moses the law of the Shemitah (literally release; but commonly translated Sabbatical Year). 

STUDY TO LEARN, TO DO.

What was the purpose of God redeeming Israel from Egypt and giving them instructions?  What is the purpose of us going to church or reading our bibles?  Study to Learn, Learn to Do!  In Jewish thought, the purpose for studying is not the acquisition of knowledge; but to study to learn and we learn to do.  Most bible readers and church attendees do not follow the purpose.   To many it is to learn the scriptures, recite them, call on their promises or teach others them; but they do not do nor teach it is about the doing.  Infact, many teach the contrary.  That it is not about the doing; but the belief.  If you know your bible you should be aware of the numerous times the doing is emphasised in both Old and New Testaments.  Going to the tabernacle or synagogue was not about singing, definitely not about dancing; but about learning and doing.  The singing was reserved to the appointed Levites as part of their service.  Rom 2:13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Jas_1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 

The Torah portion begins by saying, "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out ... " (Leviticus 26:3).  What is the difference between (1) walking in the statutes, (2) keeping the commandments and (3) carrying them out?

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“Emor” meaning “speak” or “say”. Leviticus 21:1–24:23; Ezekiel 44:15–31; James 1:1–18

Shalom All, Welcome to this week’s torah / bible study. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak [emor] to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean.’” (Leviticus 21:1). Last week’s study “Kedoshim”, gave the laws concerning living a holy life, emphasizing its connection to loving our neighbour as ourselves. In this week’s Torah reading continues the study of holiness, providing the laws regarding purity of the priests and the sanctity of time through the moadim (God’s appointed holy feasts and festivals). God gives Moses instructions regarding rules of purity for the priests (כֹּהֲנִים, Kohanim), who are held to a stricter standard than the general population. Because the kohanim are set apart to serve Yahweh God by performing the daily and holy day offerings, additional laws of purity apply to them that do not apply to the general tribe of Levi or the Israelites as a whole. Contact with a dead body makes a person ritually unfit for seven days. This is not a problem for the average person. It is not a sin to become ritually unfit, but it is a good deed to attend to the dead and escort them to burial. For priests, though, this presents a problem. A priest is supposed to be in a state of ritual fitness to be able to serve in the Temple. Moreover, he must be in a ritually fit state before he can eat the priestly portions of food and the sacrifices. For that reason, priests are required to maintain ritual purity. One way to do that is to avoid coming into contact with a corpse. As regards the set apart status of priests, for instance, they are not allowed to marry a divorced woman. Also the priests are not to make themselves ceremonially unclean through contact with a person who had died, unless that person was a very close relative such as a father or mother, or son, or daughter. The laws of sexual purity for the kohanim are so rigorous that a daughter of a priest (kohen) who committed sexual immorality was to be burned by fire! The priests also have to carefully adhere to stringent laws of holiness; for example, a priest cannot marry a prostitute or a divorced woman. The Kohen Gadol (High Priest), who had been anointed with the holy anointing oil, is compelled to even higher standards: he must marry only an Israelite virgin “And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by whoring, profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire” (Leviticus 21:9). “The woman he marries must be a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy” (Leviticus 21:13–15).
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"Acharei Mot" (After Death). Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27; Ezekiel 22:1–19; Amos 9:7–15 ; 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 20

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section.   “Yahweh spoke to Moses after the death [acharei mot] of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached YHWH”  (Leviticus 16:1). 

“Acharei Mot” begins with God's instructions for Aharon (Aaron), the Cohen HaGadol  (The High Priest), regarding entering the innermost chamber of the Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, with the ketoret  (incense offering) and the preparations for the crucial once-a-year sacrifice on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).  It seems that YHWH is trying to prevent any more “accidental deaths” due to well-meaning Israelites coming too close to the holiness of God as Aaron’s two sons.  During this time, the Holy of Holies was placed behind a thick, heavy curtain or veil in front of the atonement cover on the Ark.  There YHWH appeared in a cloud:    “YHWH said to Moses: ‘Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die.’”  (Leviticus 16:2). 

Not just anyone could enter this most innermost sanctuary, but only the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol) and even then only one day out of the entire year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).   This week’s study emphasizes that it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).

The first section of the Torah portion (Acharei Mot) describes the Yom Kippur offering of two goats:  one for the offering and the other as the scapegoat (called the Azazel [עֲזָאזֵלin Hebrew).   “But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.”  (Leviticus 16:10).  Lots would be cast over two goat, one of which would be offered to God as a sin offering.  The High Priest would lay his hands upon the other goat, symbolically laying all the sins of Israel upon the Azazel.  The goat would then be banished into the wilderness, carrying away the sins of Israel along with it (Lev 16:21-22). 

The scapegoat's carrying away of sin is a beautiful picture of what is described in Isaiah 53: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6).  Just as this scapegoat took the sins of the Jewish People and carried them away into the wilderness, so did Yahshua carry away our sins.  When Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) saw Yahshua coming to the Jordan River, he said, “Hinei seh ha’Elohim, hanoseh chatat ha’olam (Here is the Lamb of God who carries away the sins of the world”  (John 1:29).  Once we begin to see these Scriptures in their Hebraic context, not only do they make more sense but they also bring a richness to our faith that we cannot have without this understanding of its Jewish roots.  The Hebrew term l'azazel in this Parasha means either for absolute removal or to Azazel (a name).  Azazel has been translated scapegoat in the King James Bible, but the Septuagint translates it the sent away or the sent away one.  Later rabbis believed l'azazel referred to azaz (rugged) and el (strong), interpreting it to be the rugged cliff from which the goat was thrown.

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"Tazria-Metzora" (She Conceives), Leviticus 12:1–15:33; 2 Kings 4:42-5:19; Luke 5:12–31.

Welcome to Tazria (She Conceives), this week’s Torah / bible study section.   “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If a woman conceives [tazria] and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean [tameh] seven days.  As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean [tameh].”  (Leviticus 12:1–2). 

In last week’s study section, God issued a fire to consume the offerings on the altar, and the Divine Presence came to dwell in the newly built Sanctuary; which was set up in the first month of the following year. He also commanded the kosher laws, identifying which animals were fit for consumption. It also discussed some of the laws of ritual purity, instructing the Israelites “to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean.” (Leviticus 10:10). This week’s double portion of Scripture (Tazria-Metzora) continues with the laws of ritual purity (tahorah) and impurity (tumah). God provides Moses with the laws of purification after childbirth. He also gives the laws concerning afflictions of the skin (otherwise known as leprosy). The name of this week’s Torah portion, Tazria, is related to the Hebrew root word zarah (זרע), meaning seed; therefore, an alternative translation of Tazria is She Bears Seed or Bearing Seed, rather than She Conceives. When considering the purification rituals that God gave for mothers following childbirth, many questions naturally arise: Why is a woman ritually impure when she gives birth? Why is there a need for an offering? “When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. ... He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.” (Leviticus 12:6–7). Why are there 7 days of isolation following the birth of a boy, coupled with 33 days of ritual purity? Why are there 14 days of isolation following the birth of a girl, coupled with 66 days of ritual purity? “But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation.” (Leviticus 12:5).
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Shemini” “Eighth”, Leviticus 9:1–11:47; 2 Samuel 6:1–7:17; Mark 9:1–13.

Shalom All, Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section. The study title arises from the opening verse: “On the eighth [shemini] day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel” (Leviticus 9:1). In our previous cycle study section “Tzav”, God instructed Moses to command Aaron and his sons how to prepare for their duties and rights as kohanim (priests). For seven days, Aaron and his sons stayed at the Tent of Meeting as part of their ordination process. On the eighth day, Moses called for them to begin presenting the offerings (קָרְבֳּנוֹת, korbanot) to Yahweh God. These offerings were given as a kind of “welcoming ceremony” to greet the arrival of God’s Shekhinah (Glory or Divine Presence): “Then Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.’” (Leviticus 9:6). There are many equally important things to cover; and all cannot be at the top of the article. Some had to be put at the end to keep the flow of topics in an order. Kindly read all the study. Chapter 9 starts with instructions for Aaron to make a sacrifice of a sin and burnt offering : Lev 9:6 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you. Lev 9:7 And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded. Also in the study is chapter 11 regarding clean and unclean animals. The same criteria as Noah followed before the flood. Note verse 23, 31- 32, 44-45 (see also Lev 19:2, 20:26, Isa 52:11, 2 Cor 6:17). They give a criteria to being holy and clean 1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
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Pesach (Exodus 12:21–51; Numbers 28:16–25; Joshua 5:2–6:1; John 1:29–31; 19:31- 20:1)

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach on this Passover, (Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Shabbath and Passover) Because tonight is the first night of Passover, the regular Torah / Bible reading cycle is interrupted with a special reading. “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.’” (Exodus 12:21). In today’s reading, Moses instructs the Israeli People concerning the details of the first Passover offering. Each family was required to choose a lamb, slaughter it, and place its blood on the top and sides of the door frame. “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the door frame.” (Exodus 12:22). The children of Israel to mark their homes with the blood of the Passover lambs. Although Passover was thereafter celebrated annually, the Israelite homes were never again smeared with blood from the Passover lambs. The smearing with blood was a one-time ritual. Every Passover thereafter, the blood of the Passover lambs was splashed on the altar in the Tabernacle/Temple as a remembrance of the plague of the firstborn and the blood on the doorposts of Israelite homes in Egypt. This lamb's blood on the doorposts caused the Angel of Death to pass over those within the house, and they were spared the plague that fell upon Egypt, the death of the firstborn. (Similar to the red thread around Rahab’s house in Joshua 2:18 and the area of protection God and His son gives when you enter into the given covenant with them). “When Yahweh goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” (Exodus 12:23).
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Tzav“ (meaning to order or Command): Leviticus 6:8 (1) –8:36; Jeremiah 7:21–8:3; 9:22–9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1–58

Shalom All,

Before I start this week’s study which follows below, I will add a word on this week which is being celebrated as Passion Week, Easter etc. Try not to get caught out with the Yahshua dying on Good Friday and rising and Easter Sunday theology.  Relevant scriptures are:

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Joh 11:9  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour(3pm) Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Mat 28:1  In the end of the Sabbath (weekly one; but NOT the annual one relevant to when He died), as it began to dawn toward the first (day) of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.  There is no way to get 3 complete days and 3 complete nights (to fulfil Jonas / Jonah) between 3pm Friday and 6a.m Sunday.  3p.m being ninth hour and Sunday being  PART OF THE 1st day of the week.  Christianity has His death and resurrection completely wrong. 

He died 3p.m Passover (not Friday) and rose complete 3 days and 3 nights after.  He was not discovered by Mary until after darkness of first day of week which starts after sunset the seventh day.  If sunset is say 6pm what we call Saturday night, He rose any time after then.  Remember in Genesis 1 evening and morning is 1st day etc not midnight to midnight!!  Mary went to tomb about sunrise what we call Sunday morning.  By then he had already risen for a few hours.  So in future when you see “first day of week” do not automatically think Sunday; but think in bible terms, from sunset Saturday night.

Shalom All Again,   Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible reading study called “Tzav“ (meaning to order or Command): Leviticus 6:8 (1) –8:36;  Jeremiah 7:21–8:3; 9:22–9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1–58.  “The LORD said to Moses: ‘Command [Tzav צַו] Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt-offering”  (Leviticus 6:8–9).  

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"Vayikra” (And He Called), Leviticus 1:1–5:26; Isaiah 43:21–44:23; Hebrews 9:1–28.

Shalom All, Welcome to “Vayikra” (And He Called), our study of the Torah / Bible section for this week. Leviticus 1:1–5:26; Isaiah 43:21–44:23; Hebrews 9:1–28. “YHWH called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting.” (Leviticus 1:1). Last week’s section, “Pekudei” was the final Torah portion in the book of Exodus. This week we begin studying the Book of Leviticus. In Hebrew, Leviticus is called Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means “And He called”. One thing to note is the various type of offerings. Burnt (1:3), Meat (2:1), Peace (3:1, 7:11), Sin (4:2, 6:24), Trespass (5:15). Later we shall also read of Heave offerings in Lev 7:32. Sin offerings were not only for known sins; but ones done in ignorance. Just as in today’s judicial system “ignorance is no excuse”, one still pays the penalty for a crime done, so it is with God. So we must find out and know what is sin otherwise we may pay for our ignorance with our lives Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,.. These sacrifices did not start with Moses or Israel. They were known of and practiced i.e. by Noah and Abraham (Gen 8:21, 22:2). “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to Yahweh, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before Yahweh.” (Leviticus 1:2–3). The Torah portion, Vayikra, presents the laws of korbanot (קָרְבָּנוֹת offerings), including the korban olah (קָרְבַּןעוֹלָה) or burnt offerings. The Hebrew noun “olah” means “goes up” because the priest would burn the offerings on the wood of the altar, the aroma would “go up” to be accepted by Yahweh God. The Hebrew word “korbanot” comes from the root word k-r-v (קרב), which means “to be close” (karov). The sacrifices, once accepted by God, restored closeness and intimacy between Him and His people.
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Vayakhel (And He Assembled/ Gathered), Exodus 35:1–40:38; 2 Kings 11:17–12:17; Matthew 25:14–30

Shalom All, Welcome to Vayakhel (And He Assembled/ Gathered), this week’s Torah / bible study section. Exodus 35:1–40:38; 2 Kings 11:17–12:17; Matthew 25:14–30. Last week, in study section“Ki Tisa”, the people made a golden calf and worshiped it when Moses did not return from Mount Sinai when they expected. In this week’s Torah / bible study, “Vayakhel”, a team of wise-hearted artisans implements the instructions to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and its furnishings, the instruction for which is detailed in the previous Torah readings of Terumah, Tetzaveh, and Ki Tisa. As an alternative support reading could be Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18, Mark 6:14 or John 6:1-71. On Moses’ descent from the Mount, the assembled people know the instructions being passed onto them are not of Moses; but Yahweh God. The building was not just Moses’ private project; it was a community affair, so each one contributed what they could from their material resources. Some prepared the holy garments, while others prepared the anointing oil, and the sacred vessels, etc. Everyone worked together toward this common goal. Similarly, none of us can do the work of Yahweh alone. Building up the body of Messiah must be a communal work, each one whose hearts are stirred by the Lord, giving what they are able. Some use their talents and others give their material resources (Romans 12:4-8; Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Moses’ message also included a set of instructions for living a Godly lifestyle. This Torah portion takes its name from the first Hebrew word of Exodus 35:1, “vaykhel.” The verb kahal (קהל) means “to assemble,” so vaykhel (ויקהל) means “and he assembled.” “Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, ‘These are the things that YHWH has commanded you to do.’” (Exodus 35:1).
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"Ki Tisa” (When You Take), Exodus 30:11–34:35; 1 Kings 18:1–39; 1 Kings 18:20–39; Matthew 17:1–13

Welcome to this week’s Torah / B
Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section of Yahweh God’s Law and prophets. This section titled “Ki Tisa” (When You Take), Exodus 30:11 – 34:35; 1 Kings 18:1–39 (Ashk.); 1 Kings 18:20–39 (Seph.); Matthew 17:1–13. “Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay Yahweh a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” (Exodus 30:11–12). Our last two Torah studies, Terumah and Tetzaveh, have focused on the design of the wilderness Tabernacle, furnishings, and priestly garments. This week continues with God’s instructions to Moses on the mountain. The Israelites are to create the Sanctuary’s water basin, anointing oil and incense. God tells Moses that He has chosen a “wise-hearted” artisan named Bezalel, along with his associate Oholiab and placed His spirit in him to lead the sacred construction project. "Exo 31:2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: Exo 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, Exo 31:4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, Exo 31:5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship”. In the Old Testament three times persons were “filled” with the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit)( Ex 28:3, 31:3, 35:31); but only once in the New Testament, specifically only the twelve apostles (Acts 2:4. See separate study). In order to fund the building of the Sanctuary, God commands Moses to take a census of the people of Israel and to instruct them to give a half shekel of silver. “This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel ... as a contribution to the LORD.” (Exodus 30:13).

TETZAVEH (You Command), Exodus 27:20–30:10; Ezekiel 43:10–27; 1 Peter 2:1–25.

Exodus 27:20–30:10; Ezekiel 43:10–27; 1 Peter 2:1–25. “Command [Tetzaveh] the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning.” (Exodus 27:20). 

In last week’s  study section, God instructed Moses and the Israelites to construct a Tabernacle (Mishkan) in the wilderness.  This week, God commands them to bring pure olive oil for the lamp and to create holy garments for the priests (cohanim).  I would like you to note that Moses wrote all God instructed between Exodus 20 and 24:4 in a book which became the covenant of 24:7.  Then God told Him to come up and get tables of stone on which He will write further laws and commandments (Ex 24:12).  Between Ex 25 and 31 are descriptions for things needed for the sanctuary system; from where Tetzaveh comes.  The tables of stone are given at the end of those descriptions at 31:18.  You decide if 25 – 31 is what was written on those stones.  If not what other references are there as to where and when were they written?   

The Role of Beauty and Splendor in Serving God.

“These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash.  They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve Me as priests.”  (Exodus 28:4).  In this section, sacred garments are to be made for the priests so they can serve God.  One of them is the Choshen Hamishpat (Breastplate of Judgment). 

The breastplate is associated with the Urim and Thummim, objects used to divine the will of Yahweh God. 

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Terumah (Offering), Exodus 25:1–27:19; 1 Kings 5:26 – 6:13; Hebrews 9:1–28.

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section of YHWH God’s instructions. “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying:  ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering [terumah].  From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.’”  (Exodus 25:1–2). 

Last week in section “Mishpatim”, God gave to the Israelites about 53 mitzvot (laws) out of the 613 commandments.  These laws included the treatment of parents, slaves, foreigners, as well as other people’s property.  The title of this week’s Torah reading, Terumah (תְּרוּמָה), is taken from a Hebrew word meaning offering, gift, or contribution.  In this section, Yahweh commands Moses to take up a free will offering from the people of Israel in order to build a sanctuary in the wilderness.  This sanctuary will be where He will dwell amongst them and from where He will forgive their transgression of His instructions between Ex 20 and about 24:4. 

I think it is very important you grasp this point.  At the mount, God spoke to and gave Moses two sets of instructions.  One for all the people and the second, once built, for the priests to administer forgiveness.

1)  Exodus 20 – 24:4 which the people were to keep (and subsequent commands given).

2)  Exodus 25 – 31:18 the tabernacle and forgiveness system for transgressions of 1).   Just like any legal system has the things one is not to do AND the prescribed penalty or absolution act for transgressions.  Whether it is going to prison for a certain period or paying a fine.  One does not exist without the other.  The latter may change i.e. from corporal punishment to life imprisonment, from 20 years in prison to 15 years for admittance of guilt and showing remorse or in the case of God, from animal sacrifices of Leviticus 16 to that of His son of Hebrews 9:21- 10:14; but the system and principle does not change.  

[You may note in some criminal cases there is a trial to assert if the person is guilty.  If so found, they return for judgement another date.  We will be tried during our life time until death to see if lived according to God's instructions.  If we did not, were deceived and did not name and repent for the transgression, then we appear for sentencing at the Messiah's second coming.]
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Mishpatim” (Instructions / Laws) Exodus 21:1–24:18; Jeremiah 34:8–22, 33:25–26; Colossians 3:1–25

Please make sure you read the Grace v’s Law Section and share.  “These are the ordinances [mishpatim  הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים] that you are to set before them.”  (Exodus 21:1).  In last week’s study section of Scripture, Israel received the Commandments at Mount Sinai (more than ten).  This week, YHWH God gives specific instructions (legislation or laws called mishpatim, which means judgements).  These are intended to guide the daily lives of His holy nation in justice and righteousness.   Deu 4:7  For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  Deu4:8  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?   2Sa 7:23  And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 

Torah (God in Human Terms).

Torah is God’s righteous instructions (mitzvahs).  Modern, Western readers find many of the laws in this Torah portion harsh, primitive, or otherwise distasteful. The laws reflect a different world from our own. When the Torah begins to speak in a matter-of-fact manner about the institution of slavery, about selling one’s daughter, about repaying measure-for-measure, it disconcerts the modern reader. He is tempted to comfort himself with the notion that the unpleasant laws have been done away with by the New Testament and replaced by kinder, gentler, and nobler virtues.  On the contrary, the mouth of God spoke every commandment of Torah. Human society may change, but God does not change. Each mitzvah is holy and eternal. Every commandment distils His essence and communicates a pure revelation of His person. The study of the commandments is the study of God.

As soon as we begin to discard commandments, we have begun editing God and reshaping the Almighty into an image which we deem more appropriate. The Torah contains both law and revelation. It provides a rule of conduct, but at the same time, it expresses God in human terms. If a person realizes that Torah is God’s own self-disclosure to the world, he will appreciate the enormous gravity of declaring that same Torah null or void or even changing a part of it. Even the smallest commandment of the Torah is suffused with godliness.  To declare a commandment irrelevant or obsolete denies the eternal and unchanging nature of God. (Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not).

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