weekly Torah studies

“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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Yitro (Jethro) Exodus 18:1–20:23; Isaiah 6:1–7:6; 9:5–6 (Ashk.); 1 John 5:1–11

Shalom All,  Welcome to Yitro (Jethro), this week’s Torah / Bible study section.  (A supplementary sermon on this part of scripture is “Law by which to be saved”). 

“Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.”  (Exodus 18:1).  In last week’s study section, God brought Israel out of Egypt and parted the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  God provided for the needs of His people in the wilderness by raining down manna from heaven and bringing forth water from a rock.  This week, in section “Yitro”, Moses’ father-in-law, Yitro (Jethro), comes from Midian along with Moses’ wife and two sons to meet him at the Israelites’ camp after hearing of all the great miracles that God had performed to deliver His people. 

Note Jethro was a priest of God.  Through Moses God told His people, the Israelite’s, of His ways.  Obviously Jethro knew how to be a priest before Aaron and must have learnt of the ways somewhere or from someone.  This shows the ways existed before they were, as many today claim, given to the Jews at Mount Sinai.  Remember Moses’ wife knew of the importance of circumcision before it was again passed on to the Israelites via Moses (Ex 4:25).  Two places in Exodus where we can see the pre-existence of God’s ways before Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) is His judgements were known and taught by Moses before God gave them to the people as a whole after Exodus 20.  Exo 16:28  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?   It was not Moses; but the people who did not keep them.  Exo 18:16  When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. See Also Gen 6:12. 

Moses Learns How to Delegate.

“So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing for the people?  Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?’”  (Exodus 18:14).

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Beshalach (When He Let Go). Exodus 13:17–17:16; Judges 4:4–5:31; 2 Peter 1.

Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section.  “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.'”  (Exodus 13:17). 

In last week’s study, after the last and most devastating of the Ten Plagues (Death of the Firstborn), Pharaoh finally relented in letting the Israelites go free.  We should have noted it marked the beginning of a new life, at the beginning of God’s year (Ex 12:2).  They were given annual holy days and similarities between the Passover lamb and that of the final Passover lamb in the Messiah, i.e. the meal took place in the night and neither had their feet broken (Ex 12:7, 46; John 19:36, 1Cor 5:7).  There is a separate article specifically on the Passover.  One is on www.forwardtoyahweh.com.  

This week, however, in study section titled “Beshalach”, Pharaoh changes his mind and races after them to bring them back into slavery.  God leads them through the sea to prevent them turning back into Egypt (13:17). Thinking they are lost in the wilderness, Pharaoh seemingly traps them against the Red Sea.  There is no escape, or so it seems.  God miraculously parts the waters so that His people pass through on dry land, while the Egyptians drown behind them.  They and Egyptians would know who is the real God (14:18).  In relief and thankfulness to God for this amazing victory over those who wished to enslave them, Moshe (Moses) and the Israelites sing a beautiful song called ShiratHaYam (שירתהים)‎, the Song of the Sea.  Some also call it AzYashir Moshe (then Moses sang), which are the first words of the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1). 

The Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–18) 

In true humility, this song gives no glory to the leadership of Moses or praise to the people for the faith it took to walk between walls of water, but totally gives the glory and praise to Yahweh God. 

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Bo (Come!), Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13–28; Revelation 9:1–21

Welcome to Bo (Come!), Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13–28; Revelation 9:1–21.    “Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Go [Bo / come] to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them.”  (Exodus 10:1). 

In last week’s study section, we read of the first seven calamities (makot), which God inflicted upon Egypt in order to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery.  This week, in section titled “Bo”, God sends the most devastating and final three plagues:  locust, darkness, and death of the firstborn. 

After the last plague, Pharaoh finally acquiesces, triggering the Exodus of the Hebrews; but what were the purposes of the ten plagues?  To pressure Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free?  Perhaps, but God is fully capable of setting His people free without a king’s permission.  We see in this section and the last that God does not see the Egyptians simply as an enemy to be overcome, but rather, He is committed to communicating something vital to them: 

"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt.  I am Yahweh God (translated as the LORD in bibles)." (Exodus 12:12). 

FROM DEVASTATION TO A NEW BEGINNING.

That is a theme of this study’s chapters.  When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were leaving behind their old culture. While in Egypt they had absorbed much of the wickedness and idolatry of Egyptian society. The unleavened bread symbolized a new beginning. They were starting over.  In a spiritual sense, we leave Egypt when Messiah saves us. That’s what it means to be born again. It is a matter of starting over. When we become believers, we are supposed to die to our old way of life and begin life again as new creatures.

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VA’ERA (And I Appeared), Exodus 6:2–9:35; Ezekiel 28:25–29:21, Revelation 15:1-16:20.

Shalom All, Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study Portion.  “And I appeared [Va’era] to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov as El Shaddai  [אלשדי] but by My name, YHVH [יהוה], I did not make Myself known to them.” (Exodus 6:2–3).  Note “God almighty” (El Shaddai) is NOT a name; but a quality just like the strongest man in the world or fastest runner). 

This week whilst preparing this study and the verse Ex 6:3, I was reminded of verses read a few days ago:

Gen 12:8  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto YHWH, and called upon the name of the LORD. Gen 13:4  Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.  Gen 22:14  And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh (or Yahovahjireh) : as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. 

To understand this seemingly contradiction we need to look at the verse and time when YHWH made or reiterated His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Gen 17:1  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  Gen 17:2  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 

Gen 35:11  And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; Gen 35:12  And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.  

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SHEMOT (Names): Exodus 1:1–6:1; Isaiah 27:6–28:13, 29:22–23; Jeremiah 1:1–2:3; Romans 12:1–21

Welcome to Shemot (Names), this week’s Torah / bible study Portion. Exodus 1:1–6:1; Isaiah 27:6–28:13, 29:22–23; Jeremiah 1:1–2:3; Romans 12:1–21  “These are the names [ve’elehshemot] of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family.”  (Exodus 1:1). 

In last week’s Torah portion (Parasha), the first of the five books of Moses, Genesis (Bereisheet, In the Beginning), ended with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph.  This week, we begin the second book of the Torah (God’s instructions), Exodus, called “Shemot” in Hebrew, which means names.  This section describes the suffering of the Israelites under bondage to the Egyptians, the birth of Moses, and his miraculous salvation from out of the Nile River.  It also describes his calling to deliver Israel and his encounter with Pharaoh. 

So far we have seen the ways of Yahweh God were firmly established and kept by His obedient followers (individuals and family) before the forming of a nation or group of people, Israel. Appointed times (Gen 1:14), burnt and other offering criteria (Gen 22:7) etc.  We also saw anti god worship and practices, some similar to Yahweh’s as adultery being forbidden (20:9).  We should now see this family had multiplied into a nation over 430 years.  Yahweh’s ways were passed onto the newly formed nation through Moses.  Neither had much knowledge of Yahweh’s ways having been under Egyptian rule and lifestyle for 430 years.  Even His name and way, that of their fathers, they had forgotten. They had become "Egyptian" in nature, knowledge and lifestyle and needed to be reborn into a new nation and lifestyle. 

Like Moses, Like Yahshua. “Exo1:5  And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already”. We should not think it was only 70 people who went into Egypt.

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Vayechi (And He Lived), Genesis 47:28–50:26; 1 Kings 2:1–12; John 10:1-21

Welcome to this week’s Torah / bible section study.   “And Jacob lived (Vayechi Yaacov) in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years.” (Genesis 47:28).

In last week’s study, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers and invited them, as well as his father, to live in Egypt in order to provide for them during the famine.  Joseph, his brothers, and his father were joyfully reunited and reconciled. This week’s section, Vayechi ends the first book of the Bible with the death of Jacob as well as that of Joseph.  What follows is the family and their households multiplying to become a nation named after Jacob whose name was changed by God to Israel. 

Jewish Longing for the Promised LandOn arrival in Egypt, the Hebrews are separated from the Egyptians and live in their own part of Egypt (Gen 46:34, 47:11).  In this section, Jacob compelled Joseph to vow to carry his body back to the Land of his Fathers and bury him there.  Joseph agreed to his dying father’s request not to leave his body in Egypt (Gen 47:29–30). To Jacob, where his body ended up after death was important as it should be with us today.  The promise of the land and life with our maker and saviour.  Although Jacob had lived the last 17 years of his life in Egypt, he never forgot the Land God had promised him by divine Covenant.  Jacob wanted to be buried with his fathers, Abraham and Isaac in the Machpelah cave back in the land of Canaan.  This indicates that, even in death, he still believed in the Abrahamic promises. He believed the land of Canaan would one day belong to his children, and he wanted to be buried there. Moreover, Jacob believed in life after death. That is what he means when he told his sons, "I am about to be gathered to my people" (Genesis 49:29). Jacob anticipated being reunited with his forefathers one day.

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VAYIGASH (Then He Drew Near) Genesis 44:18–47:27; Ezekiel 37:15–28; Eph 2:1-22

Shalom All,  Welcome to this week’s Torah / Bible study section, which is called Vayigash (Then He Drew Near).  “Then Judah came near [Vayigash וַיִּגַּשׁ] unto him and said, ‘Pardon your servant, my lord, let me speak a word to my lord.  Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself.’” (Genesis 44:18). 

In last week’s Torah / bible portion, Pharaoh appointed Joseph administrator over all of Egypt in order to save Egypt from the coming famine, which he did.  That famine affected much of the region, and the nations looked to Egypt as a source of food.  When Jacob sent his sons to Egypt for grain, Joseph recognized them but did not reveal himself, maybe wisely testing their integrity through a series of character challenges.  I forgot to point out a similarity between Gen 43:32 where Egyptians did not mix with Hebrews and visa versa (Gen 43:32  And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians). And Act 16:20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, Act 16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. See also 45:20, 46:34 they lived apart. For fear of conversion, God and false god worshippers are instructed not to mix. This is what led to the downfall of Israel. 

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Exodus 33:12–34:26; Ezekiel 38:18–39:16; Revelation 21:1–22:21

Shabbat Shalom at this Moadim L'Simcha (Appointed Times for Joy), 

This weekend ends the weeklong festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), so I thought to include somethings about it rather than the regular weekly Torah / Bible study.  Sukkot represents the sheltering presence of God and we shall be reading Exodus 33:12–34:26; Ezekiel 38:18–39:16; Revelation 21:1–22:21
 
“Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Yahweh: for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you”  (Exodus 34:10).  
 
What is Sukkot? 

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is a week-long feast during which the Jewish community builds temporary shelters (sukkot means “booths” in Hebrew) to remind each generation that our forefathers lived as nomads, wandering in the desert for forty years (Lev. 23:42-43). The Bible also refers to this holiday as the Feast of Ingathering, which celebrates the final reaping of the crops at the end of the harvest (Ex. 23:16). Throughout the holiday it is customary to wave the Lulav and Etrog, or the four species (date palm, myrtle, willow, citron), representing thankfulness and joy for the present harvest, along with hope for winter rains to ensure an abundant harvest the following spring (Lev 23:40). The waving of the Lulav and Etrog also represents God’s pervasive presence.

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