The Feasts of the Lord – Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23:1-44

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord‘s passover.

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.

35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:

38 Beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.

39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.

41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

(Leviticus 23:1-44King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

Turkey: Uniting An “Army of Islam” To Defeat Israel

BY UZAY BULUT/GATESTONE INSTITUTE FEBRUARY 22, 2019

Istanbul recently hosted the second “International Islamic Union Congress,” sponsored mainly by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), which is headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, a retired lieutenant general and an Islamist .
At the conference, Tanriverdi delivered a speech detailing the inner workings of the “Islamic Confederal State” that ASSAM aims to establish with 61 Muslim countries. In his address, Tanriverdi said that a “rapid deployment force” should be created.
Judging by an article Tanriverdi penned in 2009, the purpose of this joint Islamic force is to defeat Israel, which “should be made to get engaged [in war] and the length of the war should be extended.”
“If Israel has to call all of its reserve soldiers to duty,” he explained, “there will be no one left at home or in their businesses. It cannot continue like that for a long time.”
Tanriverdi also suggested how this could be accomplished:
“The Defense Ministers of Islamic Countries should be invited to an urgent meeting, at which possibilities for ‘defense cooperation’ should be examined; Turkey, Iran, Syria, the Iraqi Resistance Organization and Palestine should be the core of this cooperation.”
Within this context, he said, a “‘rapid Deployment Force of Islam,’ which will consist of an amphibious brigade, an armored brigade and an aero-landing brigade, should be encouraged.”
He went on:
“A peace force of Islamic countries should be deployed in Gaza… International efforts should continue, and the use of military force in Islamic countries should be encouraged. A joint military operation by our ground, naval and air forces should be carried out in the international waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Aid convoys from Turkey, accompanied by Turkish warplanes, should land at the Gaza port. The resistance movements in Gaza should be supported with anti-tank and low-altitude anti-aircraft weapons.
“An aid fund should be formed by Islamic countries; the monthly budget of the legitimate Palestinian government should be paid from this fund and every adult individual in [the Palestinian territories] should be paid a monthly salary… Egypt should be pressured to open the Rafah border crossing. Syria should be encouraged to enhance its military presence on the Israeli border.”
Tanriverdi also claimed that:

“Turkish states, throughout history, prevented 21 crusades through which the West targeted Islam. Turkey did not get involved in the invasions following World War II, the establishment of the State of Israel and the US invasion of Iraq, which we could call the 22nd, 23rd and 24th crusades. It is Turkey’s duty to rectify this. Avoiding this responsibility would be contrary to our historic mission, our commitment to the civilization to which we belong and to Turkey’s survival.”

Tanriverdi’s views are the impetus for the founding in 2012 of his company, “SADAT International Defense Consultancy.” On its official website, Tanriverdi writes:

“The Turkish Armed Forces give services of training, consultancy and equipment to 22 friendly Turkish and Muslim countries. But it is impossible for them to respond to all the needs of 60 Islamic countries in the defense sector.
“In order to give services in needed fields, to prevent dependence on crusader-minded colonialist countries, to help form an environment of defense industry and defense cooperation among Islamic countries, and to serve the Islamic alliance, SADAT was formed by 23 founding shareholders and with the support of 64 army officers and non-commissioned officers who have successfully served the Turkish armed forces and who are respectful of the religious sensitivities of Islamic countries.”
Four years after SADAT’s establishment, Necati Yılmaz, an MP from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), submitted a written parliamentary motion to then-Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, questioning SADAT’s activities and international connections. The motion read, in part:
SADAT states on its official website that that it tries to ‘help establish a military force in the Islamic world that will be self-sufficient.’ With what countries does SADAT have connections? Is there any other country to which SADAT gives military and intelligence training? Does it have camps in other countries?
“Is it true that Sadat has connections with al-Nusra, al-Qaeda and ISIS? Is it true that Sadat has trained ISIS militants?”
Yıldırım did not answer the motion during his tenure, but allegations about SADAT’s providing military training to jihadist organizations abroad and to some pro-Erdogan groups in “secret military camps” in Turkey have not subsided. Tanriverdi and other SADAT officials have repeatedly denied the accusations, going as far as to sue some newspapers that published pieces repeating them.
In an interview last January with the pro-government newspaper, Habertürk, Tanriverdi called claims about SADAT “slanderous” and “imaginary.” Replaying SADAT’s “founding objective,” he insisted that it “engages with the state organs of friendly nations and provides them with services of corporate consultancy, training and equipment in line with their laws in their own countries.”
He continued:
“With very pure and decent feelings, we just want to transfer the experiences of our armed forces to Islamic countries. That is all. We also want the Islamic countries to get united.”
He failed, however, to remind readers that SADAT’s objective is to unite against the West and Israel. He also omitted comments from his 2009 article entitled “Palestine too should have an army”, such as:
“The states whose peoples are Muslim should either protect Palestine with their own armed forces or form a modern armed force for Palestine to deal with Israel.”
Although Tanriverdi’s dream of an “army of Islam” to fight Israel has yet to be realized, his company, SADAT, seems to be aiding Palestinian-Arab jihadist organizations targeting Israel. In February 2018, for instance, Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that Hamas was funneling terror funds to the West Bank and Gaza through Turkey.
The Shin Bet statement also accused Turkey of aiding Hamas’ military build-up via SADAT. Kamil Tekeli, a Turkish law professor who was arrested in Israel in mid-January, told his interrogators that SADAT sends money and arms to Hamas. Tekeli, after being interrogated, was deported back to Turkey, according to the Israeli media. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, however, rejected the Shin Bet’s accusations.
Tanriverdi’s statements and his company nevertheless appear to reflect Erdogan’s worldview.
“We as Turkey and myself — as long as I am in charge — can never have a positive view of Israel,” Erdogan said in 2014. “The obvious reality is that Israel is the country that threatens peace in the world and in the Middle East.”
More recently, on December 15, Erdogan repeated one of many hostile claims he has made over the years — comparing Israel to the Nazis.
Erdogan and his chief military advisor are obviously engaging in projection. It is Turkey that has ethnically cleansed itself of Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, that refuses to recognize the religious rights of the Alevi minority and that is now targeting Syrian Kurds.
It is the Turkish government’s continued aggression against various peoples in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and other countries that is a threat to world peace, not Israel. It is Turkey, not Israel, whose destabilizing foreign policy needs to change.
Originally published at reposted with permission. (Click to Source)

 

 

Torah Commentary – Mikketz (At the end) – Making of a Man – SCRIPTURES FOR December 8, 2018

Torah Commentary
Mikketz (At the end)

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Genesis 41:1-44:17
1 Kings 3:15-4:1
Acts 7:9-16Making of a Man

Joseph’s life has been one of incredible twists and turns. In his dark prison cell, he has had a great deal of time to think through his winding and tumultuous journey. His list of, “If I could do that over!” has been etched into his mind, and maybe even the prison wall. He is not the same little boy he was when he had his first dream. He is not the same young man he was when he was sold into slavery. Joseph has matured to the place where he can now be the tool Yah will use to bring forth the next steps in building His family, Israel.

Joseph probably shuttered when he heard Pharaoh had a dream. Up until this time, dreams and Joseph have not turned out too well. The difference in the outcome will be one simple, but complex word: Humility.

Humility is what Joseph has learned because of his time in prison. It is humility, which has prepared him for his time in the palace. Without this trait, he is destined to think he can live his life in charge of his own destiny; but with it, he knows Who is truly in charge. It is a trait we find in all the “Greats” of Scripture.

So what is humility? Webster defines it as, “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” Is this really what humility is? I would like to put my own two shekels into this one.

Biblical humility is knowing you are important in the plans and working of HaShem, and also knowing you, by yourself, have no way of bringing those plans about. Humility is seeing you are fearfully and wonderfully made, are created for and with great potential and purpose, while simultaneously knowing you do not possess the strength on your own to get to where you were born to go.

We are, in a way, like the sleekest and fastest race car ever built. We have been designed with great care, each nut and bolt handmade for purpose, but without gas in our tank we are just a showpiece, which can never leave the starting line.

Joseph was beginning to fully understand an important Truth: His life was not just a hodgepodge of other people’s decisions; but rather, his life from his mother’s womb had been designed for a specific purpose. This caused him to stand in awe of the thoughts and wonders of One far greater than he. He possessed maybe the greatest possession a man or woman can ever possess: Biblical humility.

It was humility, which would allow him to look at his brothers with compassion and love. It was humility, which caused him to look to the heavens and ask for wisdom in how to deal with them. Humility would lead him through the maze called, “Life in Egypt.”

Approximately twenty-five percent of the Book of Genesis is devoted to Joseph. Within the pages of his life is more prophecy than you or I can ever fully comprehend. Possibly the greatest prophecy we can focus on is the one which teaches us that, without humility, we will never be able to fulfill our purpose in life. Without humility we are destined to live in a prison of exile. It is humility, which will unlock the cell door and put us on the road to final redemption. It is humility, which will allow our steps of redemption to be ordered by Yah. It is humility, which will cause us to understand our lives are much more than “all about us.” Humility teaches us The Truth: Our lives are about glorifying Him and serving others. (Click to Source)

Shalom and Be Strong,
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Torah Commentary – T’ruma (Contribution) – That They May be One – SCRIPTURES FOR February 17, 2017

Torah Commentary – T’ruma (Contribution)

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Exodus 25:1 – 27:19
1Kings 5:26 – 6:13
Hebrews 8:1-6; 9:23-24; 10:1
That They May be One
The building of the Tabernacle begins with the receiving of an offering. This in itself is interesting as it had not been many days since the Hebrews left the abject poverty of slavery to amazing riches from the plunder of their neighbors. At some point, they must have wondered just why they had all of this stuff. More on that thought in a bit.
Moshe calls for the people to give, they gave. He called for the people to work, they worked. The next chapters of Sh’mot will give the instructions of turning their acquired “stuff” into a dwelling place for the Almighty to reside in their midst. The thought of that sends my imagination in a multitude of directions.
The next few chapters are filled with great detail. For many people it is easy to get lost in these details and forget about the message. This is especially true when we look at the words in English where we see the word “and” used over and over. In English we are likely to eventually read the verse and not even see that little “and” as it is used so many times. Doing this will cause us to miss one of the most important messages of the Tabernacle.
To look at the verses in Hebrew we would not see the word and, but rather the letter vav. This letter brings forth an amazing message. The letter vav is likened to and even translated at times as a hook. It is what connects the Tabernacle together and makes it echad or one. Simply put, the Tabernacle is not to be looked at as separate pieces which are joined together to become one house, but rather as a single house consisting of joining pieces. Yep, go back over that one a few times. Let me say it a bit different. The Tabernacle is a single revelation of Yah dwelling in our midst through joining revelations. This is the Hebrew way of looking at the Tabernacle.
What is the revelation of the Tabernacle? It is a journey of redemption upon the altar leading us to His Word upon the laver, His Light through the Menorah, His provision and our sustenance in the Shewbread, His intercession leading us to worship at the altar of incense. We conclude with the purpose of it all, to stand in awe before Him as redeemed and free people.
What if we were to look at the Tabernacle through a Greek mindset? To do this we would first change the word “and” into the word “but.” Hebrew mindset joins all things into one, while Greek thinking separates and partitions everything. Consider the difference between thoughts, joining vs. separating! For now there is a greater message to look at.
Think about what it would have been like to stand before Moshe and hear his call for an offering. You and your family, until recent days, have only known a life of slavery. As far back as you can remember life has been a struggle of getting by day to day. Your earliest memories were those of long days of work, never quite enough food to go around. You haven’t allowed yourself to imagine what it would be to have anything more than “almost” enough for you and your family. This has all changed now. For the first time in your life your belly is full. Your children do not have hunger pains. Your thirst is totally quenched by this unending flow of water from a rock. You even took the first day off that you have ever had and called it Shabbat. To top all this off, you have a wagon full of gold, silver, cloth and other items you haven’t had time to sort through. All of this stuff your neighbors had given you before leaving Egypt. But then there is this guy Moshe standing in front of you asking for an offering. What do you do?
I can imagine the questions which would go through a person’s mind at a time like this. Such things as “How long will this trip take, where are we going, will there be work when I get there, what is the price of housing, new clothes for the children, education, retirement  and by the way, just what is this Moshe guy going to use this stuff for in the first place?” The list would go on and on as you would stand looking at Moshe questioning the stuff, Moshe, the stuff.
How do I know this? It is the same reaction we have today when we are given provision and a choice of what to do with it.
This past weekend I was in Tulsa OK. I was sitting talking to a friend and he reached in his wallet to show me a small picture he had found which had great meaning to him. When he opened his wallet he saw a five dollar bill. He pulled it out of his wallet and said, “How did that get there, I didn’t have any money with me.” Without hesitation or the batting of an eye, he handed it to another friend in the room and said, “I guess it was placed there to give to you.” My other friend’s reaction was to hand the money to me and say, “Bless Israel!” I did not react at the moment, but the scene keeps going over in my mind. Here were two people when given an unexpected blessing just gave it away as though it was not theirs in the first place. I am humbled and challenged by these two men.
What do we do when confronted with unexpected blessings? Do we already have a list in our heads of where they would go? Is that list more about blessing ourselves or blessing others? I know. I have gone to meddling. Truth is I am making myself as uncomfortable as I am probably making you!!
Consider as we read through the next few weeks in Sh’mot. Every connecting item in the Tabernacle was given by an individual or family. When they looked upon it in the end, could many of them see the item they had given? Could the sight of their item next to their neighbors help them to understand not only was the Tabernacle to be looked upon as a single message, but Israel as a people were to be looked upon as a single message as well? Dwell on that one for a while as you keep putting off reading the “ands”. (Click to Source)
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Weekly Torah Portion – the One New Man Bible – Terumah – Febuary 17, 2018

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Exodus 25:1- 27:19

The Offering for the Tabernacle

25.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses, saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, that they will bring Me an offering: you will take My offering from every man who gives it willingly with his heart.3. And this is the offering which you will take from them; gold, silver, bronze, 4. blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, 5. rams’ skins dyed red, badgers’ skins, acacia wood, 6. oil for the light, spices for anointing oil and for incense of spices, 7. onyx stones and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. 8. And they will make a Sanctuary for Me, and and I shall dwell in their midst. 9. According to all that I show you, the pattern of the Tabernacle, and the pattern of all its instruments, even so will you make it.”

The Ark of the Covenant

25:10. “And they will make an Ark of acacia: two cubits and a half will be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 11. And you will overlay it with pure gold, you will overlay it within and without, and will make upon it a crown of gold all around.12. And you will cast four rings of gold for it and put them in its four feet, and two rings will be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.

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13. And you will make poles of acacia and overlay them with gold. 14. And you will put the poles into the rings by the sides of the Ark, so the Ark can be borne with them. 15. The poles will be in the rings of the Ark, they will not be taken from it. 16. And you will put the Testimony, which I shall give you, into the Ark. 17. And you will make a cover of pure gold: two cubits and a half will be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18. And you will make two cherubim of gold; you will make them of beaten work, on the two ends of the cover. 19. And make one cherub on the one end and the other cherub on the other end of the cover; you will make the cherubim on the two ends of it. 20. And the cherubim will stretch forth their wings on high, covering the Ark cover with their wings, and their faces one to another; the faces of the cherubim will be toward the cover. 21. And you will put the cover above on the Ark, and in the Ark you will put the Testimony that I shall give you. 22. And there I shall meet with you and I shall speak with you from above the cover, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the Testimony, of all things which I shall give you in commandment for the children of Israel.”

The Furnishings

25:23. “You will also make a table of acacia: two cubits will be its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 24. And you will overlay it with pure gold and make a crown of gold all around it. 25. And you will make a border for it of a handbreadth all around it, and you will make a golden crown for its border all around. 26. And you will make for it four rings of gold and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. 27. The rings will be over against the border for places for the poles to bear the table. 28. And you will make the poles of acacia and overlay them with gold, so the table can be borne with them. 29. And you will make its dishes, spoons, bowls, and purifying vessels, to pour out their contents: you will make them of pure gold. 30. And you will set showbread upon the table before Me always.

25:31. “And you will make a pure gold menorah: of beaten work will the menorah be made: its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its knobs, and its flowers will be of the same. 32. And six branches will come out of its sides, three branches of the menorah out of the one side and three branches of the menorah out of the other side: 33. three bowls made like almonds, with a knob and a flower in one branch and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knob and a flower; so for the six branches that come out of the menorah. 34.And in the menorah will be four bowls made like almonds, with their knobs and their flowers. 35. And there will be a knob under two branches of the same, and a knob under two branches of the same, and a knob under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the menorah. 36. Their knobs and their branches will be of the same: all will be one beaten work of pure gold. 37.And you will make its seven lamps, and they will light its lamps, so they can give light over against it. 38. And its tongs and snuff dishes will be of pure gold. 39. He will make it ofa talent of pure gold, with all these vessels. 40. And see that you make them after their pattern, which was shown to you on the mountain.” (Heb. 8:5)

The Tabernacle

26.1. “Moreover you will make for the Tabernacle ten curtains of fine woven linen, blue, purple, and scarlet, you will make them with cherubim, with skillful work. 2. The length of one curtain will be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits, and each one of the curtains will have one measure. 3. The five curtains will be coupled together to one another, and five othercurtains will be coupled to one another. 4. And you will make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvage in the coupling, and likewise you will make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 5. You will make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you will make fifty loops in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second so the loops can take hold one of another. 6. And you will make fifty hooks of gold and couple the curtains together with the hooks, and it will be one Tabernacle.

26:7. “And you will make curtains of goats’ hair for a covering of the Tabernacle, you will make eleven curtains. 8. The length of one curtain will be thirty cubits and the breadth of one curtain four cubits, and the eleven curtains will be of one measure. 9. And you will couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and will double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the Tabernacle. 10. And you will make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain outermost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which joins the second. 11. And you will make fifty hooks of bronze and put the hooks into the loops and join the tent together, so it will be one.12. And the remnant that remains of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remains will hang over the back side of the Tabernacle. 13. And a cubit on the one side and a cubit on the other side of that which remains in the length of the curtains of the tent, it will hang over the sides of the Tabernacle on this side and on that side to cover it.

26:14. “And you will make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above. 15. And you will make boards for the Tabernacle of acacia standing up. 16.Ten cubits will be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half will be the width of one board. 17.There will be two pegs in one board, set in order one against another: thus will you make for all the boards of the Tabernacle. 18. And you will make the boards for the Tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. 19. And you will make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards, two sockets under one board for its two pegs and two sockets under another board for its two pegs. 20. And for the second side of the Tabernacle on the north side there will be twenty boards.21. And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board and two sockets under another board. 22. And for the sides of the Tabernacle westward you will make six boards. 23. And you will make two boards for the corners of the Tabernacle in the two sides. 24. And they will be joined together beneath, and they will be joined together above its head one ring: thus will it be for them both; they will be for the two corners. 25. And there will be eight boards and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board and two sockets under another board.

26:26. “And you will make bars of acacia; five for the boards of the one side of the Tabernacle, 27.and five bars for the boards of the other side of the Tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the Tabernacle, for the two sides westward. 28. And the middle bar in the midst of the boards will reach from end to end. 29. And you will overlay the boards with gold and make their rings of gold for places for the bars, and you will overlay the bars with gold. 30. And you will raise the Tabernacle according to the fashion of it that was shown to you on the mountain.

26:31. “And you will make a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet, fine woven linen of skillful work. It will be made with cherubim. 32. And you will hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold: their hooks will be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33. And you will hang up the veil under the hooks, so you can bring the Ark of the Testimony in there within the veil, and the veil will divide between the Holy Place and the Most Holy. 34. And you will put the cover on the Ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place. 35. And you will set the table outside the veil and the menorah opposite the table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the south, and you will put the table on the north side. 36. And you will make a hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, purple, and scarlet, fine woven linen, wrought with needlework. 37. And you will make for the hanging five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold. Their hooks will be of gold and you will cast five sockets of bronze for them.”

The Altar

27.1. “And you will make an altar of acacia, five cubits long and five cubits broad; the altar will be four-square and its height will be three cubits. 2. And you will make its horns upon its four corners: its horns will be of the same, and you will overlay it with bronze. 3. And you will make its pots to receive its ashes, its shovels, its basins, its flesh-hooks, and its fire-pans. All its vessels you will make of bronze. 4. And you will make for it a grate of network of bronze and upon the net you will make four bronze rings in the four corners. 5. And you will put it under the rim of the altar beneath, so the net will be even to the middle of the altar. 6. And you will make poles for the altar, poles of acacia and overlay them with bronze. 7.And the poles will be put into the rings, and the poles will be on the two sides of the altar, to carry it. 8. Hollow with boards will you make it, as it was shown you on the mountain, so will they make it.

The Court

27:9. “And you will make the court of the Tabernacle, for the south side southward there will be hangings for the court of fine woven linen of a hundred cubits long for one side. 10. And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets will be of bronze. The hooks of its pillars and their rods will be of silver. 11. And likewise for the north side in length there will be hangings of a hundred cubits long, and its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, the hooks of the pillars and their silver bands. 12. And for the width of the court on the west side will be hangings of fifty cubits, their pillars ten and their sockets ten. 13. And the width of the court on the east side eastward will be fifty cubits. 14. The hangings of one side of the gate will be fifteen cubits, their pillars three and their sockets three. 15. And the second panel will be fifteen, their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16. And there will be a hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, purple, and scarlet for the gate of the court, and fine woven linen, wrought with needlework. There will be four pillars and four sockets. 17. And the pillars around the court will be banded with silver, their hooks will be silver and their sockets bronze. 18. The length of the court will be a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty by fifty and the height five cubits of fine woven linen and their bronze sockets. 19. All the vessels of the Tabernacle in all the service of it and the pegs of the court will be of bronze.”

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TorahScope – Torah Reading – Mishpatim -Rulings – “Faithfully Do” – 4 February, 2018

Mishpatim – Rulings

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Exodus 21:1-24:18
Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

“Faithfully Do”


by Mark Huey

Last week, our Torah reading Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23[26]) centered on the dramatic events surrounding the appearance of the Almighty Creator God at Mount Sinai, as He conveyed the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel through His servant Moses. The original recipients of these foundational building blocks of faith were primed for embracing them, after they witnessed and participated in their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. So magnificent were the miracles and display of God’s power, that even before Moses went up on the mountain, the Ancient Israelites unanimously proclaimed a desire to faithfully do whatever He would proclaim:

“And all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do!’ And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I shall come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD” (Exodus 19:8-9).

After given the opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord proclaim His Instruction to the multitude stationed at the base of Mount Sinai, we find that the Israelites were terrified about their physical survival. So, they implored Moses to maintain his role as an intermediary between the Lord and them:

“And all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin” (Exodus 20:18-20).

Moses calmed the fears of the Israelites, by telling them that God’s display of His power was designed to test them, and so that they would fear Him and avoid any sin that would displease Him. However, the Lord did not give His people just the Ten Commandments, without some specific details about how one could make these directions an integral part of their walk and relationship with Him. So without leaving the recipients in the dark, Moses added some more actions, which should be avoided and/or taken, in order to please the Lord:

“So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves. You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it. And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be exposed on it”’” (Exodus 20:21-26).

Making idols of gold and silver was strictly forbidden, but the requirement to build an altar of uncut stones in order to present sacrifices is also witnessed here. From the giving of the Decalogue, God was very concerned about the Ancient Israelites falling into the pattern of many other people groups, who had a tendency to make physical tokens of gods out of gold and silver. Perhaps this was a forewarning about the infamous “golden calf incident” that was forthcoming (Exodus 32), so that there would be no excuses for deviant behavior. On the other hand, by describing the details of the construction of altars, the Lord was definitely reminding His chosen people from the very onset of their desert sojourn, that He desired to be worshipped at places and in ways that are not profaned.

With these reminders, Mishpatim or “Rulings,” largely deals with a selection of ordinances, which in many respects, adds details to how God wanted the Ancient Israelites to behave appropriately to His calling them into holiness (Exodus 19:6). Our Torah reading details about how people should interact with one another, given the challenges that ensue from the imperfections of our world. Surprisingly, perhaps, Mishpatim ends with a desire by the Ancient Israelites to be faithful to perform all the words that the Lord had spoken:

“Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!’” (Exodus 24:3).

With what appears to be another unanimous declaration that the people of Israel will do all of which the Lord had spoken, let us take a look at some of those very words.

A Covetous Overlay

The Ten Commandments undeniably have formed much of the basis for judicial and legal systems throughout the Judeo-Christian world. It can be argued that following the Sinai theophany of God delivering the Ten Words to Ancient Israel, that many of the instructions and regulations that are witnessed in the Torah thereafter, are somehow based upon the Ten Commandments. After delineating the Ten Words, adding a warning about making idols and describing proper altar worship, we should see how Mishpatim goes into great detail, further defining the rights and responsibilities of individuals when issues of life erupt. Much of this could be said to amplify what was communicated by the Tenth Commandment, the prohibition against coveting:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

The sin of covetousness in one’s heart is perhaps one of the most insidious offenses detailed in the Holy Scriptures—because it can be one of the most difficult to detect, and can be the seed of deceit that instigates other sins. Surely, sinful acts committed against fellow humans—such as murder, adultery, stealing, and bearing false witness, as forbidden in the Decalogue—are conceived when a person covets something that another has (James 1:13-15), be it life, a spouse, property, or position in the community. Additionally, it might be said that when one covets his or her own self or personhood, by becoming a god unto oneself or by idolizing oneself, one is exposed to be a violator of the immutable Law of the only One God. By acknowledging that there is a Supreme Being who desires worship, this should impose some limits and restraints on people who would be otherwise inclined by their own willful actions. Alas, though, when confronted with God’s Torah, many people know instinctively that they must obey—but they choose to instead reject it. When speaking of the person who struggles with the power of sin, Paul referenced the Tenth Commandment prohibition against covetousness:

“What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COVET’ [Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21]. But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead” (Romans 7:7-8).

As we turn to Mishpatim this week, its ordinances break down to a discussion of civil and criminal matters in Exodus 21:2-22:6, humanitarian considerations in Exodus 22:17-23:19, and warnings against assimilation into paganism in Exodus 23:20-33. I would ask you to try filtering these instructions through a fuller appreciation of what coveting entails. Even if someone were able to follow each of these ordinances to the presumed letter, there will likely be the nagging problem that people will still inevitably stumble over some covetous thoughts, which will convict us of our need for a Savior and His redeeming work. James the Just, half-brother of Yeshua the Messiah, starkly reminds us,

“For whoever keeps the whole Torah but stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10, TLV).

Slavery Defined

Mishpatim, perhaps ironically to some Bible readers, actually begins with God giving instructions to Ancient Israel on how to handle slavery. What makes this a bit odd—other than slaves being some of the lowliest of human beings on the social ladder—is that these directions were given to a group of people who had just been delivered from slavery themselves. Is this at all a bit strange to you? If you have thought that a group of former slaves being told that this is how they were to regulate their own slaves, appears a bit out of place in a Holy Bible ultimately authored by the God of Freedom—then you are not alone. The best answer, that conservative Jewish and Christian scholars can often provide, is that Hebrew slavery in the Tanakh largely pertained to economic status, and was significantly subversive to other Ancient Near Eastern forms of slavery, where masters or slaveowners were literally able to do whatever they wanted with the people whom they owned. Here, in the opening of Mishpatim, we clearly read that this was not the case in Ancient Israel. Limitations were placed upon the status of an eved:

“Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them: If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently” (Exodus 21:1-6).

As you read this small piece of instruction on slavery in Ancient Israel, note how the Lord was especially concerned about the relationship of the slaveowner and the slave. The slave was someone entirely reliant upon the owner—implying that he was someone destitute, who really had no other place to go for sustenance and basic needs. One of the expectations of the owner was to actually provide the slave with a wife with whom he could have children. While to many moderns, the concept of slavery is something that is rightfully repugnant—what we have to consider is the difference between slavery in Israel versus slavery among Israel’s neighbors. Israelite slavery may be regarded as being decisively “liberal.” The Torah’s instruction regarding slavery was greatly different when compared to many of the other law codes of the era, and it decisively laid the foundation back to the human equality that was lost in Eden, but which has been restored in Messiah Yeshua (cf. Galatians 3:28; Colossians 2:11).

A Civil Society

The balance of Mishpatim summarizes a variety of mundane circumstances that occur in practically every society. God foresaw a wide degree of challenges, which would plague a civilization, where people lived and interacted in relative proximity to one another. The Lord detailed a list of instructions that specified actions to be taken when various incidents arose. These included, but were not limited to, how to handle capital offenses ranging from murder to kidnapping, striking or cursing parents, physical abuse, controlling livestock, stealing, maintaining proper boundaries, borrowing implements and lending money practices, proper restitution claims, protecting innocent young women, prohibitions about bearing false witness, avoidance of bribes, and not oppressing strangers (Exodus 21:12-36). By assigning punishments that discourage harmful behavior or establishing guidelines that check greedy inclinations, these Torah commands were designed to mold Israel into God’s desired kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5-6).

Parents Considered

While volumes of commentaries and legal briefs have been written to deal with the different ordinances encounters in Mishpatim, the instruction to apply capital punishment to a person who strikes or curses parents, is something particularly difficult to encounter. Although we later find a repetition of this in Deuteronomy 21:19-21, there is no recorded evidence that it was ever actually practiced in the Holy Scriptures. However, to reflect back on the Decalogue, note how the Fifth Commandment is one of the instructions that offers its adherents a blessing if properly followed:

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12).

The Fifth Commandment was reiterated by the Apostle Paul in his instruction to Believers in Asia Minor, urging children to honor their parents:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH [Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16]” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Obviously, the family unit is a key unit of any ordered society. If families are found to be disintegrating, due to children not respecting their parents, further disrespect for civil and communal authority can devolve into blatant civil disobedience—resulting in societal deterioration.

Faithfully Do

When encountering Mishpatim, it can take a student of the Torah down many paths—as the variety of subjects to study or meditate upon range from Hebrew slavery to not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19). As you can imagine, there are many things one can consider during this week of examination. However, it is beneficial to once again recognize that even after these ordinances were given to the Ancient Israelites in the Thirteenth Century B.C.E., there was a universal acceptance by the people to strive to perform all that the Lord had spoken. Accordingly, Moses wrote down those words, and then at the foot of Mount Sinai after the offering of many sacrifices, he took blood, and sprinkled it on the altar, and then on the people who agreed to obey the words of the Lord:

“Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!’ Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!’ So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’” (Exodus 24:3-8; cf. Hebrews 9:19-22).

How should we approach Mishpatim? Our Torah reading undeniably demands that God’s people live in a different manner than those of the world at large, offering care and concern for other people. That those who are privileged should offer relief and mercy for the destitute is absolutely imperative to consider. Our Torah reading also forces Messianic readers today to exhibit considerable trust and reliance in our Eternal Creator, as we strive to understand His mind in interacting with ancient people with widely different values than our own—and as Twenty-First Century Messianics seek to adequately evaluate the trajectory of Holy Scripture. The faith to be exhibited in understanding the instructions given in Mishpatim, as I must personally confess (and I am sure I speak for many other Messianics), is significant. (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Joined To HaShem – Mishpatim (Rulings) – Getting Into His Mind – February 10, 2017

Torah Commentary – Mishpatim (Rulings)

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Exodus 21:1-24:18
Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
Matthew 5:38-42; 15:1-20
Acts 23:1-11
Hebrews 9:15-22; 10:28-39
Getting Into His Mind
If you ever want an interesting study, type in “Mind of Messiah” in a Bible search. Of course you may have to use the word “Christ”, but nonetheless it will take you on quite a journey. One of my favorite verses revealed in the search is Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yeshua.” One reason I find this so fascinating is because I see this verse in the Tabernacle. If we overlay a shadow of Messiah’s earthly body on a slide of the Tabernacle we find that the place His head would be is the place where the Ark resided. What is in the Ark? We find the Torah and the Mitzvot (The Ten Words and the instructions of how to carry them out.).  We see pictured in the Tabernacle the Torah is His mind. This thought is quite a ways from my denominational instruction which the “Mind of Messiah” was something up for interpretation.
We can look at the above illustration like this. Torah teaches us how Yah thinks. Torah teaches us His mind, how to get in His head. Stop and think about that for a moment. Can we really learn to think like He thinks, act like He acts, do what He would do and does do? The answer is an all too simple yes. We just need to look at the words revealed and allow those words to direct our thinking and actions.
This week the Torah portion is Mishpatim, Rulings. Now I would imagine most of you do not have slaves, nor are we slaves so these words may seem irrelevant. We might want to skip over these instructions. Not so fast. Are you an employer or an employee? Are you self employed hiring your services out to others? Do you volunteer in public service? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions then you can translate these words into your life and relationship with those you are interacting with. For example let’s say you work for a company and have a boss. Do you work with the attitude of doing the minimum to make it through the day and not get fired?  Or do you do your job with thanksgiving as unto the glory of our Heavenly Master?
Let’s look at another ruling.
In Exodus 22:17, we are not to allow a sorceress to live. Again, most of us probably do not have a sorceress living under our roof, but what about that horoscope you may read just because you are curious? How about the fortune cookie at your favorite Chinese restaurant? Maybe the Harry Potter book you have been meaning to throw out. Are these types of sorcerers we are allowing to live in our lives and homes?
As you can see through the examples, these rulings are all a part of learning how He thinks, putting on His mind.
What does this way of thinking do? It will set us apart and cause us to not only be peculiar unto Him, but peculiar to others. It will cause us to walk in a way different than the crowd. Oh, wait a minute that is part of His mind also. In Exodus 23:2 we are told to not follow the crowd. Why? Let me answer with a question. When has the crowd ever been right? Can you name one time? I can’t. All I see in history is the crowd heading toward destruction.
On this subject I see something happening in our day. It is based on of the words of Yeshua in Matthew 7:13-14 where He speaks of the narrow gate versus the broad gate. Allow me to ask another question in light of this verse. Do you see the road and the gate getting narrower in our day? I sure do. What I am wondering today is just how narrow the road and gate are going to be by the time this all wraps up.
To illustrate this I have added something to the teaching I do on the Tabernacle. I now have four posts which make an entrance to my representation of the Tabernacle. The teaching is in three sessions and at the beginning of each session we make the gate to enter a bit narrower. The illustration has made an impact on participants.
How do we deal with the narrowing gate of our day? First we must decide who we are going to follow, the Almighty or the crowd. If you are reading this commentary I think you have already answered that question. The next step is growing in our understanding of His mind more than we have in the past. Think of it this way. What you know about His mind has taken you to the place you are today. If you desire to move further you will need to know His mind better than you do today.
How do we do this? Is the answer just too easy for us? Is it as simple as slowing down while reading His Word instead of rushing through? Is it as easy as praying for further understanding?
One last thought on this. In Exodus 23:29 the Hebrews were told that when they went into the Land it would take time to drive out the enemies. Can we see this as part of our above thoughts? Does knowing His mind take time? Does it take time to replace our old way of thinking with His way of thinking? Is it an instant work? I think we all know the answer, but are we willing to pay the price and take the time? I can only answer that one for myself!  (Click to Source)
Shalom and Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem

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Weekly Torah Portion – One New Man Bible – Yitro (Jethro) – Feb 2, 2018

Yitro (Jethro)

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18.1. When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, that the LORD* had brought Israel out of Egypt, 2. then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after Moses had sent her back, 3. and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom, for he said, “I have been an alien in a strange land,” 4. and the name of the other was Eliezer, “For the God of my father was my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

18:5. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness, where he camped at the mountain of God 6. and he said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, come to you with your wife and her two sons with her.”

18:7. And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and paid homage and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent. 8.And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD* had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the travail that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD* delivered them. 9. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD* had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

18:10. And Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD*, Who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, Who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11. Now I know that the LORD* is greater than all gods, for in the thing in which they, Egyptians, acted presumptuously against them, Israel.” 12. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came with Moses’ father-in-law to eat a meal before God.

18:13. And it happened the next day that Moses sat to judge the people and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening. 14. And 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 only you yourself sit and all the people stand by you from morning to evening?” 15. And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people came to me to inquire of God. 16. When they have a matter, they come to me and I judge between one and another and I make known the statutes of God and His Teachings.”

Jethro Gives Sound Advice

18:17. And Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18. You will surely wear away, both you and this people that is with you, for this thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to perform it yourself alone. 19. Listen now to my voice! I shall give you counsel and God will be with you. You are an agent for the people to God, so you can bring the causes to God. 20. And you will teach them ordinances and Torah (Teaching) and will show them the Way in which they must walk and the work that they must do. 21. Moreover you will provide out of all the people able men, such as revere God, men of truth, hating unjust gain, and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22. And let them judge the people at all seasons. And it will be, every great matter they will bring to you, but every small matter they will judge, so it will be easier for you, yourself, and they will bear the burden with you. 23. If you will do this thing and God commands you so, then you will be able to endure and all the people will also go to their place in peace.”

18:24. So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26. And they judged the people at all seasons, bringing the hard cases to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

18:27. And Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land.

Torah (Teaching) Given

19.1. In the third month, after the children of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, that same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2. For they had left Refidim and had come to the desert of Sinai and pitched in the wilderness. And Israel camped there before the mountain. 3. And Moses went up to God. And the LORD* called to him out of the mountain saying, “Thus will you say to the House of Jacob and tell the children of Israel. 4. You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine. 6. And you will be a kingdom of priests to Me and a holy nation. (Isa. 61:6, 1 Pe. 2:5, Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6. See Ezek. 20:37) These are the words which you will speak to the children of Israel.”

19:7. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people and laid before them all these words which the LORD* commanded him. 8. And all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD* has spoken we will do.”

And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD*. 9. And the LORD* said to Moses, “See, I AM coming to you in a thick cloud, so the people can hear when I speak with you and believe you forever.” And Moses told the words of the people to the LORD*. 10. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow and let them wash their clothes 11. and be ready on the third day, for the third day the LORD* will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12. And you will set bounds for the people all around saying, Take heed for yourselves, do not go on the mountain or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death: 13. there will not a hand touch it, but he will surely be stoned or shot through, whether it is beast or man it will not live. When the horn sounds long, they will come to the mountain.”

19:14. And Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people and they washed their clothes.15. And he said to the people, “Be ready by the third day: do not come near a woman.”

19:16. And it was on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings (Rev. 4:5) and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and the sound of the shofar was exceedingly loud, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17.And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God and they stood at the base of the mountain. 18. And Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, because the LORD* descended upon it in fire and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. (Rev. 9:2; 11:19) 19. And when the sound of the shofar sounded long and grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him audibly. 20. And the LORD* came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain and the LORD* called Moses up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. (Rev. 4:1)

19:21. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Go down, charge the people lest they break through to the LORD* to gaze and many of them perish. 22. And let the priests also who come near to the LORD* sanctify themselves lest the LORD* break forth upon them.”

19:23. And Moses said to the LORD*, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You charged us saying, Set bounds about the mountain and sanctify it.”

19:24. And the LORD* said to him, “Go! Get yourself down! Then you will come up, you and Aaron with you, but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD*, lest He break forth upon them.” 25. So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.

Ten Statements

20.1. And God spoke all these words saying, 2. “I AM the LORD* your God Who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3. You will have no other gods before Me. 4. You will not make any graven image for yourself, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. You will not bow down yourself to them, or serve them, for I AM the LORD* your God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, 6. and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

20:7. “You will not take the name of the LORD* your God in vain, for the LORD* will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

20:8. “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. 9. You will labor six days and do all your work, 10. but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD* your God, you will not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your manservant or your maidservant or your cattle or your stranger who is within your gates. 11. For in six days the LORD* made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them and He rested the seventh day, therefore the LORD* blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it. (Rev. 10:6; 14:7)

20:12. “Honor your father and your mother, so your days will be long upon the land which the LORD* your God gives you. (Matt. 15:4, Eph. 6:3)

20:13 “You will not murder. You will not commit adultery. You will not steal. You will not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Matt. 5:21,27)

20:14. “You will not covet your neighbor’s house, you will not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Rom. 7:7; 13:9)

20:15. And all the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings, and the noise of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw it, they stood afar off. 16. And they said to Moses, “Speak with us and we will hear, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.” 17. And Moses said to the people. “Do not be in awe! God has come to prove you, and that His awe may be before your faces, so that you will not sin.” 18. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

20:19. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Say this to the children of Israel; You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 20. You will not make images with Me, gods of silver, neither will you make gods of gold for yourselves. 21. You will make an altar of earth for Me and will sacrifice your burnt offerings on it, your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In all places where I record My name I shall come to you and I shall bless you. 22. And if you will make Me an altar of stone, you will not build it of hewn stone, for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it. 23. Neither will you go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be discovered on it.”  (Click to Source)

(Exodus 18:1- 20:23) One New Man Bible translated by William Morford

Torah Reading – TorahScope – Outreach Israel Ministries – Yitro – Jethro – “Blind Faith” – 28 January, 2018

Yitro – Jethro

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Exodus 18:1-20:23[26]
Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6[6-7] (A); 6:1-13 (S)

“Blind Faith”


by Mark Huey

The trials and tribulations of Ancient Israel’s deliverance from Egypt continue in this week’s Torah reading, with particular emphasis on the Ten Commandments that are received while the people were encamped at Mount Sinai. After observing the many miracles performed by God to free them from the bondage of Egyptian slavery—including the ten plagues, the cloud and pillar of fire, the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptian army, making bitter water potable, provision of manna and quail, providing water from a rock, and defeating the Amalekites—the Israelites were definitely in awe of the power of their God. By experiencing and witnessing these visible, and in many respects, tangible acts of punishment, provision, and protection—Israel was prepared to do whatever the Lord declared, before even knowing what He was going to require. Accordingly, one might conclude that the people were finally at a point where they exhibited a “blind faith,” willing to follow the instruction of the Lord regardless of the outcome.

Jethro’s Counsel

Before the dramatic encounter with the Almighty, where the Ten Commandments would be issued, we are told about the wisdom imparted to Moses by his father-in-law Jethro. The importance of establishing a reasonable way to judge circumstances within the camp of Israel was proposed by Jethro. Jethro recognized that the people were relying solely on the judgment of Moses to resolve disputes. With thousands of people, and all of the problems that might ensue from human interaction, it was obvious to Jethro that Moses needed to delegate some responsibility to other leaders. These would be individuals who feared God, knew the truth, and hated dishonest gain:

“It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?’ Moses said to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.’ Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.’ So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land” (Exodus 18:13-27).

From the insertion of this encounter with Jethro, juxtaposed between the first few months of the deliverance from Egypt and the reception of the Decalogue, it is reasonable to conclude that God was concerned about an orderly means for Ancient Israel to govern itself. God is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). What is seen here in Yitro would later be integrated into many different judicial systems throughout the world. Note that Jethro still advised Moses to remain Israel’s representative before God, with the admonition to teach the statutes and laws of God. Moses did not relinquish his role as a mediator before the Holy One, but he did not need to have to be burdened with every single issue that might have arisen among the people.

 Preparing to Receive the Decalogue

After the departure of Jethro, our Torah portion turns to one of the most incredible events ever recorded in human history. The Creator God descended from Heaven and spoke the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel gathered at the base of Mount Sinai. But before this dramatic encounter occurred, the Lord had some extraordinary words for Moses to communicate to them:

“Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel’” (Exodus 19:3-6).

Here the Almighty summoned Moses to the mountain to hear this declaration, so that he would share it with Israel. In some opening remarks, God reminded Moses about what He had done to the Egyptians, and how He personally protected the Israelites during their deliverance from slavery and along the path they were traversing. Obviously, there was no need for the Ancient Israelites to take any credit for being at a place of relative safety from their enemies.

There are then some incredible words, which should bring both comfort and awe to each of us who read or hear these words today. In order to be regarded as God’s possession among all the peoples, and be considered a kingdom of priests and a holy nation—Israel was to obey Him. While on the surface, obeying God might sound somewhat doable, especially given anticipated blessings—but what we obviously discover from the remainder of too much of the Torah and Tanakh is that Israel inevitably failed over and over to obey. However, at this particular time in the history of Israel, given the preponderance of recent miracles and deliverance from enemies, and what could be considered a “blind faith,” the Israelites collectively responded to this proposition with a resounding affirmation:

“All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do!’And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, “Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.” When the ram’s horn [shofar, CJB] sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.’ So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman’” (Exodus 19:8-15).

Whether this positive response to do all that the Lord would speak, even before He had spoken it—from all the people of Israel—was a reflection of their awe for what the Lord had just done, or whether it was really just enthusiasm being caught up in the moment, the fact is there was a genuine desire of the Ancient Israelites to obey the Lord. Their response must have pleased Him. Yet, immediately following this the Lord began to relay to Moses some warnings about what was to be expected when He would descend upon Mount Sinai. The Lord wanted His people to hear His voice, but He knew that a certain amount of personal consecration was required in order to be prepared to hear Him speak.

Instruction came forth so that, for a three-day period, the people would consecrate themselves through washings and separation from sexual contact. A prohibition about even touching the mountain was included, to keep the people from defiling it before the Holy One descended. Eventually a blast from a ram’s horn would signal that they could approach the base of the mountain, but still not touch it. God was very concerned about protecting the people from their over zealousness to approach the mountain. When God did finally descend to Mount Sinai, it was accompanied with great thunder and lightning:

“So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, or else the LORD will break out against them.’ Moses said to the LORD, ‘The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, “Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.”’ Then the LORD said to him, ‘Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break forth upon them.’ So Moses went down to the people and told them” (Exodus 19:16-25).

This must have been an awesome sight to behold. After three days of being consecrated for the event, Israelites were gathered by Moses at the base of the mountain, as it turned ominously dark. A cloud descended, accompanied by thunder, lightning, and a trembling quake of the whole mountain. Then as the trumpet sounded, the Lord actually responded to the warning signal by thundering back, and calling Moses to join Him at the top of the mountain. It is difficult to imagine what this must have been like—despite a few attempts by motion pictures like The Ten Commandments or Prince of Egypt to try to portray it.

If you have ever been in a hurricane, coupled with an earthquake, while a tornado is raging by, with lightning lighting up the sky, as you gazed upon a fire blasting volcanic like smoke in the distance—perhaps you could envision this scene, sort of. If nothing else, the fear of the Lord would be an overwhelming emotion, because there would be so much out of your control, that you can only stand there in utter terror. And yet, as these types of natural phenomena are described in Yitro, Moses ascended the mountain to receive the Ten Words. The final warning regarding the priests kept them from touching the mountain, but there was one exception made for Aaron. So, the scene was set for Israel to receive the Word of the Lord from Mount Sinai.

The Decalogue is Spoken

The Holy One spoke forth the Ten Commandments, or the Ten Words, heard by all. These instructions are regarded as perhaps the most important and influential of Divine ordinances, with a resonating effect on all of humankind—most especially those of both Judaism and Christianity:

“Then God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:1-17).

Here, with an entire generation of Israelites to witness and hear, the Lord God proclaimed these Ten Words, which have become foundational building blocks and parameters for living life in a manner that loves Him and neighbor. In the first four commandments, the focus seen is on human relationships with God, and how He wants to be worshipped and followed. The last six commandments deal primarily with human interactions with others, and how God wants us to treat our fellow human beings. Without going into great detail about the specifics of each of these words, when men or women faithfully apply these words to their daily walk with the Lord, they will inevitably be adhering to what Yeshua defined as the greatest commandments in the Torah:

“One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND” [Deuteronomy 6:5]. ‘This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” [Leviticus 18:5]. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:35-40).

A Change of Mind

The Israelites had pledged, rather blindly we may say, to do all that the Lord had spoken—without even knowing what He was going to say (Exodus 19:8). They probably liked the idea of having this awesome God, who had delivered them from the Egyptians through a series of miracles, and helped defeat the dreaded Amalekites, speak to them. He was the God who was going to make them great, after all. But Israel’s initial response, to obey all that the Lord spoke, was perhaps being reevaluated by some, as they heard His commandments reverberating from the mountaintop.

After the Ten Words had been declared, we find a terrified people, who had just witnessed an incredible event as the voice of the Lord literally permeated their beings. Despite complying with the request to maintain a distance from the base of the mountain, the visible, audible, and tangible realities of the Creator God speaking directly to them must have been overwhelming—because they declared that if they heard God speak to them, they would die. We quickly discover that after hearing the Ten Words, the Israelites impulsively requested Moses to maintain his intermediary position, as their point of contact with the Holy One:

“All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.’ So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves. You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it. And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be exposed on it”’” (Exodus 20:18-26).

Moses listened to the requests of the Israelites, and responded with an explanation for why the Lord had allowed them to hear His audible voice. Apparently, this unique encounter by the Holy One, with His chosen people, was to test them. The Lord wanted the people to fear Him with a reverence that would help them avoid sin, and be genuine in following His instructions. By hearing His commands in this dramatic fashion, the Israelites were so awestruck, that they immediately asked Moses to be their mediator before God.

Without hesitation, Moses approached God in the thick of the cloud, while the Israelites stood at a distance. Some final instructions were given to Moses that deal specifically with avoiding making idols of precious metals and constructing a proper altar with uncut stones for various sacrifices. Moses did not exhibit any of the trepidation of the Lord, because by this point in time Moses had endured so much intimacy with the Lord, that he realized his position as a mediator for the people was secure.

What about the blind faith declarations of the Israelites a few days earlier? Had this close encounter with the Holy One changed their minds, as they had decided it would be better to let an intermediary act as a go-between with the Holy One?

Blind Faith

It is difficult with certainty to determine what made the Ancient Israelites want a mediator, rather than have direct communication from the Almighty. Perhaps it was simply a fear of physical life, because of the dangers posed by wandering too close to the mountain or the difficulty of being in the presence of holiness. On the other hand, is it possible that the pure vocal declaration of the Ten Commandments from the Holy One of Israel, reverberated with such a strong chord in their hearts, that there was literally a physical manifestation experiencing heart palpitations and other threatening actions?

The significance of the giving of the Ten Commandments has allowed me to realize that this formal delivery to Ancient Israel—may just well be a codification of a wide number of instructions that have already been impressed onto the human conscience/mind/heart, as all people are made in God’s image. In his letter to the Romans, Paul mentioned how the nations can do things of God’s Torah, even if they do not formally have God’s Torah:

“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Messiah Yeshua” (Romans 2:14-16).

Every person, in some form or fashion, is going to be held accountable for keeping or violating God’s Law.

When you consider the giving of the Ten Commandments, are you at all complying with them? When you think about breaking an ordinance etched in stone with God’s finger, do you at all think about the scene of fire and smoke in which it was given to Ancient Israel? Even if you do not think about disregarding or disobeying any of Ten Commandments, are you ever caught minimally obeying them?

While you are considering this week’s Torah portion, try placing yourself at the base of Mount Sinai, and imagine the Ten Words of God coming forth from a fire-belching, smoking, and trembling mountain top. Pray through each of the commands, reading them out loud so that you hear them (cf. Romans 10:17), and ascertain just where you presently may be in your heart of hearts when it comes to following them.

Will you discover that there is another god in your life, or that an idol is taking up your time? Will you find that you have been profaning the name of the Lord in some of your thoughts or statements? Could you be approaching the Sabbath in ways that need improvement? Have you ever dishonored your parents or your ancestors? Have you been harboring some thoughts about murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, or coveting something—which needs to be confessed and terminated?

Remember that the Ancient Israelites, who seemingly through a “blind faith,” initially had great intentions to do all that the Holy One spoke. But when the Lord did speak the Ten Commandments, the people rapidly turned to Moses because of their mortal fear, rather than press into the voice of God for their own benefit. Thankfully today, with the benefit of the arrival of Yeshua the Messiah onto the scene of history, all people can know that the penalty for breaking the instructions given to Moses and Ancient Israel has been remitted by His sacrifice! We simply have to acknowledge His sacrifice by faith, and receive permanent atonement and forgiveness for our violation of the Father’s commandments. Additionally, rather than being mortally afraid of the bellowing voice of the Holy One, those who are in Yeshua have the privilege of listening to the quiet still voice of the Spirit, as they seek Him in prayer, supplication, and worship.

I consider it a great blessing to be a part of the redeemed in Messiah, having the opportunity to learn more and more about my Creator and His ways, by studying the Torah. The Holy One still desires a people for His own possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). May we each be found faithful to be a part of this company of Believers! (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Joined To HaShem – Yitro (Jethro) – Words To Live By – SCRIPTURES FOR February 3, 2017

Torah Commentary
Yitro (Jethro)

jesus-in-the-synagogue

Exodus 18:1-20:23
Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Matthew 5:21-30; 15:1-11
Hebrews 12:18-29
James 2:8-13
Words To Live By
The Hebrews are free from life in Egypt. Pharaoh is among the dead on the sea shore. It is time for their journey to continue. In their minds, it is time to move on and make a bee line for the Promise Land. Not so fast though. There is a very important stop they have to make, and that is Mount Sinai. What is the purpose of this stop?
In Egypt, the Hebrews had for the most part forgotten who they were and lost their identity as Israel. Though they could have recited their lineage back to Abraham, they had forgotten what that lineage was all about. They had forgotten the responsibilities associated with their lineage. For this reason, they needed a stop to get their foundation set.
At Mount Sinai it is not that the Hebrews will be given the words of Torah, but rather these words will be reinstated into their lives.  The words of Torah go all the way back to the beginning, it is not just a new thing that Father makes up on the spot and gives to them. No, these words were alive and ingrained into the world already, but the people certainly needed to be reminded of them in a powerful way. It is these words which set them apart from all peoples of the earth. And guess what? They do the same to this day!
What are these Ten Words, the Ten Commandments, all about? Are they the “end all,” as some would think? Should they be looked at more as suggestions for life? Is Father really serious about these words? A look at these words from the angle of marriage may give us more insight.
The Ten Words are like the day a bride and groom stand before one another, share their vows and sign a document of marriage. The vows and document contain a foundation for their marriage, but does it spell out every response to every situation which will arise in their years of marriage? Of course not! When situations arise, the couple has to figure out how to walk out the marriage based upon the foundation that was agreed upon on the wedding day. Let’s try an example:
In most traditional marriages, a bride takes on the name of her husband. She states in her vows she will honor him. If, after her honeymoon, she goes to her friends and tells them how stupid he is because he does not know how to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom or put a roll of toilet paper on the holder the right way, what has she done? She has brought dishonor to his name in the eyes of her friends. What about if he decides to contact some of his old girlfriends? Could he say he thought “faithfulness” was just a suggestion?
The Ten Words provide a foundation for the covenant we enter into. The balance of Torah, the words of the prophets, apostles and even Yeshua Himself build upon this foundation.
Here is an interesting exercise you may want to try one day. There are 613 commandments in the Torah and over 1050 in the Renewed Covenant. Lists of these can be found on a web search. Print those lists and begin to read through them. You will find that every commandment can be linked to one of the 10. One example is the kosher diet.
Many will say they do not see a commandment in the Ten Words concerning what we eat. If you were asked the question of where kosher eating is in the Ten Words, what would you say? Give up? The answer is number 2, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” When a person says, “I don’t care what HaShem says, I will eat whatever I want,” food has become a god before Him. How about, “I can worship on whatever day I please?” Go back and read Ex 20:8-11. The word is Shabbat which can only be translated into one day of the week, the seventh. Is that just a suggestion or did He mean it?
I could go on and on with this, but to put it in the way of an old board game, “Now it is your turn to move your Monopoly piece.” Remember, you don’t pass “go” to get to the Promise Land and you don’t get to “collect” milk and honey until you once and for all settle the fact in your own heart that the word “commandment” does not mean “suggestion.” (Click to Source)