TorahScope: Vayikra – He called – “Sacrificial Identification” – 10 March, 2019

Vayikra

He called

Leviticus 1:1-5:26[6:7]
Isaiah 43:21-44:23

“Sacrificial Identification”


by Mark Huey

The Torah portion Vayikra begins the Book of Leviticus, and serves as the Hebrew name for the entire text. Chs. 1-7 detail sacrificial laws for individuals, for the congregation of Israel, and for priests. This is followed by chs. 8-10 describing the worship in the completed Tabernacle. Chs. 11-17 focus on the laws of clean and unclean, purity and purification, and conclude with the institution of the Day of Atonement. Chs. 18-26 compose laws of marriage, personal and social ethics, the appointed times, land tenure, and national welfare. The final chapter of Leviticus, ch. 27, deals with oath making and tithes.

If you will recall from Pequdei’s closing verses from the end of Exodus, the Tabernacle was completed and the glory of God took up residence in the midst of Israel (Exodus 40:34-38). Now that the means to offer sacrifices were available, a description of the sacrificial system is given. Please note how the Pentateuch is not necessarily narrated for us in absolute chronological order, because if this were the case, then Exodus 40 should be followed by Numbers 7, which records the consecration of the Tabernacle. Instead, the different books of the Pentateuch have been organized for us the way they have because of theological and literary reasons.

With the Tabernacle now in place at the end of Exodus, the Book of Leviticus begins by describing the sacrificial system which would be able to cover the sins of the Ancient Israelites. In our parashah for this week, the differentiations between the burnt offering,[1] grain offering,[2] peace offering,[3] sin offering,[4] and guilt offering[5] are described. There is also some clarification between unintentional sins and intentional sins, and how different people are supposed to handle the different offerings in order to receive forgiveness. One of the verses that immediate jumped out at me, when I started reading Vayikra, was Leviticus 1:4:

“He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.”

Offerings Defined

In contemplating all the different offerings, and the distinctions between the intentional and unintentional sins, seen in Vayikra, I thought about a number of things. Making free will offerings to God was an expected “given” among the Ancient Israelites. These offerings were to be presented before the Lord as a token of their appreciation of His goodness toward them. Perhaps, I reckoned, the people knew that as limited mortals they were not necessarily in right relationship with an Eternal God, and so they would feel led to just give something to Him. Such an innate desire to offer up the best of one’s flocks or herds as burnt offerings, or simply a sacrifice to please the Lord, might salve one’s conscience for a short time.

Early in our Torah reading, we encounter the Hebrew word qorban, used for “offering,” and simply means “offering, oblation” (BDB):[6]

“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering [qorban] to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering [qorban] from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD’” (Leviticus 1:2-3).

Apparently, there is not a completely accurate English word to describe all the things that qorban could fully entail. The term qorban is derived from the root qarav, basically meaning “come near, approach, enter into” (TWOT).[7] When an Israelite brought forth a qorban offering, it was designed by God to draw His people closer to Him. The physical act, of offering up a farm animal that had economic value, was a far greater “sacrifice” than simply taking the time to pray or observe the daily worship of the Tabernacle. There was a realized cost associated with offering up one’s prized agricultural possession. Some of the individual’s “treasures” or assets were losing their lives.

Millennia later, Yeshua described how one could tell where a heart was located. He taught, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

When one of the Ancient Israelites would make an offering of a prized animal, the individual was tangibly displaying his or her desire to be in communion with the Creator, frequently having to make restitution for some kind of sin or error committed. And on another level, by offering a living animal as a covering for sin, the message of substitution would be visibly communicated. The one who was offering up the animal had to identify with it, by laying his hands upon it right before it is killed:

“He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. He shall slay the young bull before the LORD; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting” (Leviticus 1:4-5).

In the Book of Leviticus, now that the Tabernacle was constructed and the sacrificial altar was erected, the priests had the venue and the God-given directions on how to properly offer sacrifices. Here in Vayikra, we are reminded once again that our Creator has required a blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin. As it will be later stated, animals’ lives will have to be offered before God in order to (temporarily) cover the errors committed by humans (Leviticus 17:11).

Identification

The next thing that really seemed to catch my attention, in reading through Vayikra this week, was the overwhelming reminder that various Israelites were frequently having to lay their hands on the heads of animals being sacrificed. By doing so, they were having to identify with these animals, and recognize that the shed blood of the animals were, in essence, covering for punishment that was rightfully theirs.Whether one was offering a bull, lamb, or goat, the laying on of hands was standard procedure. Consider the following passages from our selection:

“He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar” (Leviticus 3:2).

“If he is going to offer a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD, and he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it before the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar” (Leviticus 3:7-8).

“Moreover, if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD, and he shall lay his hand on its head and slay it before the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar” (Leviticus 3:12-13).

“He shall bring the bull to the doorway of the tent of meeting before the LORD, and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull and slay the bull before the LORD. Then the anointed priest is to take some of the blood of the bull and bring it to the tent of meeting, and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil of the sanctuary” (Leviticus 4:4-6).

What you also might have noticed is that after the identification with the animal by the laying on of hands, the person making the confession has to watch it being killed, and then witness its blood sprinkled. This method of covering for sin should have left a lasting impression on the one who has brought the live animal to the priest. Even if one became somewhat desensitized to seeing animals killed, the animal still had economic value—an economic value which in some way was being thrown away as a punishment for improper deeds.

It is difficult for us living in the Twenty-First Century to often identify with what is recorded in much of Leviticus. Most of us have never even seen a farm animal slaughtered, and then butchered so that we might enjoy some fresh, homegrown meat. But if you ever have seen this occur, then you should vividly remember how, as the blood drained from the animal, its life force leaves. By the laying on of hands for identification purposes, and then watching the blood being sprinkled around the altar and various places, the qorban achieves its purpose to bring some person a covering for sins.

From Shadow to Reality

For the most part, in order to really study the sacrificial system as described in this parashah, I had to turn to the Rabbinical authorities for answers. My examination did not uncover too many Messianic interpretations of these procedures, and evangelical Christian sources are often most concerned about what the sacrificial system meant within the religious milieu of the Ancient Near East. While such historical information is good, what does a Torah portion like Vayikra really communicate to Messianic Believers today?

I simply remembered how the Apostolic Scriptures have some excellent things to say about the sacrificial system seen in the Torah. The author of Hebrews summarizes the need for the ultimate sacrifice, only available through the shed blood of the Lamb. He asserts how the animal sacrifices of the Torah, because they have to be repeated over and over again, do not provide the permanent covering for sins that the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua provides for us:

“For the Law, since it hasa shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. THEN I SAID, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD”’ [Psalm 40:6-8]. After saying above, ‘SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them’ [Psalm 40:6] (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL’ [Psalm 40:7]. He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua the Messiah once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD [Psalm 110:1], waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET [Psalm 110:1]. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:1-14).

Here, the author of Hebrews reminds his audience of the need for a sacrifice, so that one can draw near to the Lord. And of course, what we find in this passage is that Yeshua Himself willingly became the offering for those who believe in Him, inaugurating a Melchizedkian priesthood before the Father in Heaven. In this post-resurrection era, animal sacrifices would at best be redundant reminders of how He had to come and provide a permanent sacrifice for sinful humanity. Our author plainly tells us, “by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14, NIV).

The challenge for us is that, by faith, we must believe the report that the Messiah has come and has died for our sins—providing permanent restitution that the animal sacrifices of Vayikra could not provide. We have to believe that He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, waiting for that day when His enemies will be made a footstool for His feet. We have to identify with Him, lay our hands upon His head, and let His blood atone for our sins. For many, confessing their sins before the Lord is very difficult, as it forces them to recognize that they are yet to be perfected. We are limited mortals in need of the mercy of an Eternal God!

As you consider the varied offerings of Vayikra, we need to pray for others who need to accept the precious blood of the Messiah of Israel and His willing sacrifice! We need to pray that as people read through these chapters of Leviticus, they might recognize how animal sacrifices can only go so far. (Click to Source)


NOTES

[1] Leviticus 1:1-17.

[2] Leviticus 2:1-16.

[3] Leviticus 3:1-17.

[4] Leviticus 4:1-35.

[5] Leviticus 5:1-6:7.

[6] Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), 898.

[7] Leonard J. Coppes, “qarav,” in TWOT, 2:811.

 

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One New Man Bible – Weekly Torah Readings: Vayikra – Mar 15, 2019

Vayikra

1.1. And the LORD* called to Moses, and spoke to him out of the Tent of Meeting saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, If any man of you brings an offering to the LORD*, you will bring your offering of the cattle, of the herd and of the flock.”

Burnt Offering

1:3. “If his offering is a burnt offering of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he will offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the Tent of Meeting before the LORD*. 4. And he will put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5. And he will kill the bull before the LORD*. The priests, Aaron’s sons, will bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the Tent of Meeting. 6. And he will flay the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. 7. And the sons of Aaron the priest will put fire upon the altar and lay the wood in order on the fire, 8. and the priests, Aaron’s sons, will lay the parts, the head and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is on the altar. 9. But its innards and its legs will be washed in water and the priest will burn all on the altar, a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD*.

1:10. “And if his offering is from the flocks, of the sheep or of the goats, for a burnt offering he will bring a male without blemish. 11. And he will kill it on the north side of the altar before the LORD*, and the priests, Aaron’s sons, will sprinkle its blood all around upon the altar. 12. And he will cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest will lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar, 13. but he will wash the innards and the legs with water and the priest will bring it all, and burn it upon the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD*.

1:14. “And if the burnt offering for his offering to the LORD* is of fowls, then he will bring his offering of turtle-doves or of young pigeons. 15. And the priest will bring it to the altar and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar, and its blood will be wrung out at the side of the altar. 16. And he will pluck its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes. 17. And he will split it with its wings, not dividing it in parts, and the priest will burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD*.”

Grain Offering

2.1. “And when anyone will offer a grain offering to the LORD*, his offering will be fine flour and he will pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. 2. And he will bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests and he will take out his handful of its flour and of its oil, with all its frankincense, and the priest will burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 3. And the remainder of the grain offering will be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD* made by fire.

2:4. “And if you bring an offering of a grain offering baked in the oven, it will be unleavened cakes and fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

2:5. “And if your offering is a grain offering baked in a pan, it will be unleavened fine flour mixed with oil. 6. You will break it in pieces and pour oil on it. It is a grain offering.

2:7. “And if your offering is a grain offering baked in a sauce pan, it will be of fine flour in oil.

2:8. “And you will bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the LORD* and when it is presented to the priest, he will bring it to the altar. 9. And the priest will take from the grain offering a memorial serving of it, and will burn it upon the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 10. And that which is left of the grain offering will be Aaron’s and his sons. It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD* made by fire. 11. No grain offering that you bring to the LORD* will be made with leaven, for you will burn no leaven, nor any honey, in an offering of the LORD* made by fire. 12. As for the offering of the First Fruits, you will offer them to the LORD*, but they will not be burned on the altar for a sweet savor. 13. And you will season with salt every offering of your grain offering. Neither will you permit the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering: with all your offerings you will offer salt.

2:14. “And if you offer a grain offering of your First Fruits to the LORD*, you will offer for the grain offering of your First Fruits green kernels of grain dried by the fire, grain beaten out of full kernals. 15. And you will put oil on it and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16. And the priest will burn the memorial serving of it, to be made of the beaten grain and the oil, with all the frankincense of it: it is an offering made by fire to the LORD*.”

Peace Offering

3.1. “And if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers from the herd, whether it is a male or female, he will offer it without blemish before the LORD*. 2. And he will lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the door of the Tent of Meeting and Aaron’s sons, the priests, will sprinkle the blood all around upon the altar. 3. And he will offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD*, the fat that covers the innards and all the fat that is on the innards, 4. the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the lobe above the liver with the kidneys, he will take it away. 5. And Aaron’s sons will burn it on the altar on the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD*.

3:6. “And if his offering for an offering of peace offering to the LORD* is of the flock, male or female, he will offer it without blemish. 7. If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he will offer it before the LORD*. And he will lay his hand 8. upon the head of his offering and kill it in front of the Tent of Meeting and Aaron’s sons will sprinkle its blood all around upon the altar. 9. And he will offer of the offering of the peace offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD*, its fat and the whole rump, he will take it off hard by the backbone, and the fat that covers the innards and all the fat that is on the innards, 10. the two kidneys and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and he will take away the lobe above the liver with the kidneys. 11. And the priest will burn it upon the altar: the food of the offering made by fire to the LORD*.

3:12. “And if his offering is a goat, then he will offer it before the LORD*. 13. And he will lay his hand upon its head and kill it in front of the Tent of Meeting and the sons of Aaron will sprinkle its blood upon the altar all around. 14. And he will bring from it his offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD*, the fat that covers the innards and all the fat that is upon the innards, 15. the two kidneys and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and he will take away the lobe above the liver with the kidneys. 16. And the priest will burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savor: all the fat is the LORD’s*. 17. It will be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

Sin Offerings

4.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, “If someone sins through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD*, things which ought not to be done and will do against any of them:

4:3. “If the priest that is anointed sins, putting guilt for the sin on the people, then let him bring for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull without blemish to the LORD* for a sin offering. 4. And he will bring the bull to the door of the Tent of Meeting before the LORD* and will lay his hand upon the bull’s head and kill the bull before the LORD*. 5. And the priest that is anointed will take of the bull’s blood and bring it to the Tent of Meeting, 6. and the priest will dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD*, before the veil of the Sanctuary. 7. And the priest will put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense, which is in the Tent of Meeting before the LORD* and will pour all the blood of the bull at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 8. And he will take off from it all the fat of the bull for the sin offering, the fat that covers the innards and all the fat that is upon the innards, 9. the two kidneys and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the lobe above the liver with the kidneys, he will take away, 10. as it was taken off from the bull of the offering of peace offerings and the priest will burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering. 11. And the skin of the bull and all its flesh, with its head, with its legs, its innards, and its dung, 12. even the whole bull he will carry forth outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on the wood with fire. It will be burned where the ashes are poured out.

4:13. “And if the whole congregation of Israel sins through ignorance and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done something against any of the commandments of the LORD*, things which should not be done, and are guilty: 14. when the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation will offer a young bull for the sin and bring it before the Tent of Meeting. 15. And the elders of the congregation will lay their hands upon the head of the bull before the LORD* and the bull will be killed before the LORD*. 16. And the priest that is anointed will bring some of the bull’s blood to the Tent of Meeting 17. and the priest will dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD*, in front of the veil. 18. And he will put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar, which is before the LORD* that is in the Tent of Meeting and will pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 19. And he will take all its fat from it and burn it upon the altar. 20. And he will do with the bull as he did with the bull for a sin offering, so will he do with this and the priest will make atonement for them, and it will be forgiven them. 21. And he will carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering for the congregation.

4:22. “When a leader has sinned and done something through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD* his God, things which should not be done, and is guilty, 23. or if his sin in which he has sinned comes to his knowledge, he will bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish, 24. and he will lay his hand upon the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD*. It is a sin offering. 25. And the priest will take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering and will pour out its blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. 26. And he will burn all its fat upon the altar, as the fat of the offering of peace offerings, and the priest will make atonement for him as concerning his sin and it will be forgiven him.

4:27. “And if anyone of the common people sins through ignorance, while he does something against any of the commandments of the LORD*, a thing which ought not to be done, and is guilty, 28. or if his sin, which he has sinned, comes to his knowledge, then he will bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has sinned. 29. And he will lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. 30. And the priest will take of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and will pour out all its blood at the bottom of the altar. 31. And he will take away all its fat, as the fat is taken away from off the offering of peace offerings, and the priest will burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor to the LORD* and the priest will make atonement for him, and it will be forgiven him.

4:32. “And if he brings a lamb for a sin offering, he will bring a female without blemish. 33. And he will lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. 34. And the priest will take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and will pour out all its blood at the bottom of the altar, 35. and he will take away all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the offering of the peace offerings, and the priest will burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD*, and the priest will make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it will be forgiven him.”

Oaths and Touching Unclean

5.1. “And if someone sins and hears the voice of swearing and is a witness, whether he has seen or known it; if he does not utter it, then he will bear his iniquity.

5:2. “Or if someone touches any unclean thing, whether it is a carcass of an unclean beast or a carcass of unclean cattle or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and it is hidden from him, he also will be unclean and guilty. 3. Or if he touches the uncleanness of a person, whatever uncleanness it is that a person will be defiled by, and it is hidden from him, when he knows of it, then he will be guilty. 4. Or if a person swears, pronouncing with his lips to do bad or to do good, whatever it is that a man will pronounce with an oath, and it is hidden from him, when he knows, then he will be guilty in one of these. 5. And it will be when he will be guilty in one of these things, that he will confess that he has sinned in that thing, 6. and he will bring his trespass offering to the LORD* for his sin which he has sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering and the priest will make atonement for him concerning his sin. 7. And if he is not able to bring a lamb, then he will bring for his sin, which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, to the LORD*; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. 8. And he will bring them to the priest who will offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off its head from its neck, but will not divide it asunder, 9. and he will sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar and the rest of the blood will be wrung out at the bottom of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10. And he will offer the second, a burnt offering, according to the manner and the priest will make atonement for him for his sin which he has sinned and it will be forgiven him.

5:11. “But if he is not able to bring two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, then he that sinned will bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He will put no oil upon it, neither will he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12. Then he will bring it to the priest and the priest will take his handful of it, a memorial of it, and burn it on the altar according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD*. It is a sin offering. 13. And the priest will make atonement for him as touching his sin that he has sinned in one of these, and it will be forgiven him, and the remnant will be the priest’s, as a grain offering.”

5:14. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 15. “If someone acts unfaithfully and sins through ignorance in the holy things of the LORD*, then he will bring for his guilt offering to the LORD* a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the Sanctuary, for a guilt offering 16. and he will make amends for the harm that he has done in the holy thing and will add the fifth part to it and give it to the priest and the priest will make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering and it will be forgiven him.

5:17. “And if someone sins and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD*, even though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and will bear his iniquity. 18. And he will bring a ram without blemish from the flock, with your estimation, for a guilt offering to the priest, and the priest will make atonement for him concerning his ignorance in which he erred and did not know, and it will be forgiven him. 19. It is a guilt offering: he is certainly guilty against the LORD*.”

5:20. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 21. “If someone sins and acts faithlessly against the LORD* and lies to his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or has deceived his neighbor, 22. or has found that which was lost and lies concerning it and swears falsely; in any of all these that a man does, sinning by that, 23. then it will be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he will restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he has deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing that he found, 24. or all that about which he has sworn falsely; he will even restore it in the principal and will add the fifth part more to it, giving it to him to whom it pertains on the day of his guilt offering. 25. And he will bring his guilt offering to the LORD*, a ram without blemish from the flock, with your estimation for a guilt offering, to the priest 26. and the priest will make atonement for him before the LORD*: and it will be forgiven him for anything of all that he has been guilty. (Click to Source)

Next week’s Torah readings: Tsav

 
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Weekly Torah Readings: P’kudei – Mar 8, 2019

P’kudei

38:21. These are the accounts of the Tabernacle, of the Tabernacle of Testimony (Rev. 15:5) as they were made, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Itamar, son of Aaron the priest. 22. And Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD* commanded Moses. 23. And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, a skillful workman, and an embroiderer of fine linen in blue, in purple, and in scarlet.

38:24. All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the Holy Place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary 25. And the silver in them that were numbered of the congregation was a hundred talents and a thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary. 26. A beka, a half shekel, for every man after the shekel of the Sanctuary, for everyone that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty men. 27. And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the Sanctuary and the sockets for the veil, a hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. 28. And of the thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars and covered their capitals and banded them.

38:29. And the bronze of the offering was seventy talents and two thousand four hundred shekels. 30. And with it he made the sockets for the door of the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grate for it, all the vessels of the altar, 31. the sockets of the court all around, and the sockets of the court gate, all the pegs of the Tabernacle and all the pegs of the court all around.

Cloths of Service and High Priest’s Garments

39.1. And they made cloths of service of the blue, purple, and scarlet, to do service in the Holy Place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:2. And he made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen. 3. And they beat the gold into thin plates and cut it into wires to work it in the blue, in the purple, in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, skillful work. 4. They made shoulder pieces for it, to join it together: it was joined together by the two edges. 5. And the belt for tying it on, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work of it; gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen, as the LORD* commanded Moses. 6. And they fashioned onyx stones enclosed in settings of gold, engraved as signets are engraved with the names of the children of Israel. 7. And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, to be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:8. And he made the breastplate of skillful work, like the work of the ephod, gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen. 9. It was square. They made the breastplate double: its length was a span and its breadth a span, being doubled. 10. And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: This was the first row. 11. And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 12. And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 13. And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were enclosed in gold settings. 14. And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, the engravings of a signet, each one with his name according to the twelve tribes. 15. And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of twisted work of pure gold. 16. And they made two gold settings and two gold rings and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate. 17. And they put the two twisted gold chains in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate. 18. And the two ends of the two twisted chains they fastened in the two settings and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, on the front. 19. And they made two rings of gold and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its border, which was on the side of the ephod inward. 20. And they made two other golden rings and put them on the two sides above the ephod, toward its front, over against the other connection, above the band of the ephod. 21. And they bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so it would be above the band of the ephod and that the breastplate would not fall from the ephod, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:22. And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. 23. And there was a hole in the middle of the robe, as the hole of a coat of mail, with a band around about the hole, so it would not tear. 24. And they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, of woven linen upon the hems of the robe. 25. And they made bells of pure gold and put the bells between the pomegranates on the hem of the robe, all around between the pomegranates; 26. a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe to minister in, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:27. And they made tunics of fine linen of woven work for Aaron and for his sons, 28. and a turban of fine linen, hats of fine linen, linen breeches of fine woven linen, 29. a belt of fine woven linen, blue, purple, and scarlet needlework, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:30. And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold and wrote upon it a writing, the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD*. 31. And they tied to it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the turban, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:32. Then all the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was finished and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD* commanded Moses, so they did.

39:33. And they brought the Tabernacle to Moses, the Tent and all its furniture, its hooks, its boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, 34. the covering of rams’ skins dyed red, the covering of badgers’ skins, and the veil of the covering, 35. the Ark of the Testimony and its poles, and the cover, 36. the table, all its vessels, and the showbread, 37. the pure menorah, with its lamps, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all its vessels, and the oil for light, 38. and the golden altar and the anointing oil, the sweet incense, and the hanging for the Tabernacle door, 39. the bronze altar and its bronze grate, its poles and all its vessels, the laver and its foot, 40. the hangings of the court, its pillars and its sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, its cords, and its pegs, and all the vessels of the service of the Tabernacle, for the Tent of Meeting, 41. the cloths of service to do service in the Holy Place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest and his sons’ garments, to minister in the priest’s office.

39:42. According to all that the LORD* commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 43. And Moses looked upon all the work and, behold, they had done it as the LORD* had commanded, even so had they done it, and Moses blessed them.

Tabernacle Erected

40.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “On the first day of the first month you will set up the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting. 3. And you will put the Ark of the Testimony in it and cover the Ark with the veil. 4. And you will bring in the table and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it, and you will bring in the menorah and light its lamps. 5. And you will set the altar of gold for the incense before the Ark of the Testimony and put the hanging of the door to the Tabernacle. 6. And you will set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting. 7. And you will set the laver between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and will put water in it. 8. And you will set up the court around it and hang up the hanging at the court gate. 9. And you will take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all that is in it and will sanctify it and all its vessels, and it will be holy. 10. And you will anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its vessels, and sanctify the altar, and it will be a most holy altar. 11. And you will anoint the laver and its base and sanctify it.

40:12. “And you will bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting and immerse them in water. 13. And you will put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and sanctify him, so he can minister to Me in the priest’s office. 14. And you will bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. 15. And you will anoint them as you anointed their father, so they can minister to Me in the priest’s office, for their anointing will surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”

40:16. And Moses did according to all that the LORD* commanded him, so he did.

40:17. And it was in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month that the Tabernacle was erected. 18. And Moses put up the Tabernacle and fastened its sockets and set up its boards and put in its bars and put up its pillars. 19. And he spread abroad the Tent over the Tabernacle and put the covering of the Tent over it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:20. And he took and put the Testimony in the Ark and set the poles on the Ark and put the cover over the Ark 21. and he brought the Ark into the Tabernacle, and set up the veil of the covering, and covered the Ark of the Testimony, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:22. And he put the table in the Tent of Meeting, on the north side of the Tabernacle, outside the veil. 23. And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD*, as the LORD* had commanded Moses.

40:24. And he put the menorah in the Tent of Meeting, over against the table on the south side of the Tabernacle. 25. And he lit the lamps before the LORD*, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:26. And he put the golden altar in the Tent of Meeting in front of the veil 27. and he burned sweet incense on it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:28. And he set up the hanging at the door of the Tabernacle. 29. And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting and offered the burnt offering and the grain offering on it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:30. And he set the laver between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water there for immersing. 31. And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet there 32. when they went into the Tent of Meeting and when they came near to the altar, they immersed as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:33. And he raised the court around the Tabernacle and the altar and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

Glory of the LORD* Filled the Tabernacle

40:34. Then a cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the LORD* filled the Tabernacle. (Rev. 15:5,8) 35. And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud stayed on it and the glory of the LORD* filled the Tabernacle. 36. And when the cloud was taken up from over the Tabernacle, the children of Israel went on in all their journeys. 37. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey until the day that it was taken up. 38. For the cloud of the LORD* was over the Tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night, in the sight of the entire House of Israel throughout all their journeys. (Click to Source)

Next week’s Torah readings: Vayikra

 
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Weekly Torah Readings: Vayak’hel – March 1, 2019

Vayak’hel

Exodus 35:1 – 38:20

35.1. And Moses assembled the whole congregation of the children of Israel together and said to them, “These are the words which the LORD* has commanded, that you should do them. 2. Six days will work be done, but on the seventh day there will be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD*: whoever does work on it will be put to death. 3. You will kindle no fire throughout your habitations on Sabbath.” 4. And Moses spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel saying, “This is the thing which the LORD* commanded saying, 5. Take from among you an offering to the LORD*. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering for the LORD*; gold, silver, bronze, 6. blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, 7. rams’ skins dyed red, badgers’ skins, acacia, 8. oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, for the sweet incense, 9. onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate. 10. And every wise-hearted among you will come and make all that the LORD* has commanded; 11. the Tabernacle, its Tent and its covering, its hooks, its boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, 12. the Ark, its poles, the cover, the veil of the covering, 13. the table and its poles, all its vessels, the showbread, 14. the menorah also for the light, its furniture, its lamps with the oil for the light, 15. the incense altar, its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the hanging for the door at the entrance of the Tabernacle, 16. the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grate, its poles, all its vessels, the laver and its base, 17. the hangings of the court, its pillars and their sockets, the hanging for the door of the court, 18. the pegs of the Tabernacle, the pegs of the court and their cords, 19. the crocheted garments, to do service in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons to minister in the priest’s office.”

35:20. And the entire congregation of the children of Israel left from the presence of Moses. 21. And they came, each one whose heart stirred him up and each one whose spirit made him willing, and they brought the LORD’s* offering for the work of the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, bringing bracelets, earrings, rings, and beads, all jewels of gold: each person who offered an offering of gold to the LORD*. 23. And every person with whom was found blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them. 24. Everyone that did offer an offering of silver and bronze brought the LORD’s* offering and every man with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25. And all the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands and brought that which they had spun, of blue, of purple, of scarlet, and of fine linen. 26. And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair. 27. And the leaders brought onyx stones and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate, 28. and spice and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29. The children of Israel brought a willing offering to the LORD*, every man and woman whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD* had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

Work Begins on the Tabernacle

35:30. And Moses said to the children of Israel, “See, the LORD* has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31. and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 32. and to devise astute works, to work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 33. and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of skillful work. 34. And he has put in his heart so he can teach, both he and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35. He has filled them with wisdom of heart to work all manner of work, of the engraver and of the skillful workman, and of the embroiderer in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, of those who do any work and of those who devise skillful work.” 36.1. Then Bezalel will make and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man in whom the LORD* put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the Sanctuary, according to all that the LORD* had commanded.

36:2. And Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab and every wise-hearted man, in whose heart the LORD* had put wisdom, even everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to the work to do it: 3. and they took the entire offering of Moses, which the children of Israel had brought to make everything for the work of the service of the Sanctuary. And they still brought freewill offerings to him every morning. 4. And all the wise men who wrought all the work of the Sanctuary every man came from his work which they made 5. and they spoke to Moses saying, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD* commanded to make.” 6. Then Moses gave a command, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp saying, “Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the Sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing. 7. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, even too much.

36:8. And all the wise-hearted among them who were doing the work of the Tabernacle made ten curtains of fine woven linen, blue, purple, and scarlet: they made them with cherubim of skillful work. 9. The length of one curtain was twenty-eight cubits and the breadth of one curtain four cubits. The curtains were all of one size. 10. And he joined the five curtains to one another and the other five curtains he joined to one another. 11. And he made loops of blue on the edge of one curtain from the selvage in the coupling. Likewise he made in the uttermost side of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 12. He made fifty loops in one curtain and he made fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which was joined to the second: the loops held one curtain to another. 13. And he made fifty hooks of gold and joined the curtains to one another with the hooks, so it became one Tabernacle.

36:14. And he made curtains of goats’ hair for the Tent over the Tabernacle: he made eleven curtains. 15. The length of one curtain was thirty cubits and the breadth of one curtain was four cubits: the eleven curtains were of one size. 16. And he joined five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. 17. And he made fifty loops on the uttermost edge of the curtain in the coupling and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain which joined the second. 18. And he made fifty bronze hooks to join the tent together so it would be one. 19. And he made a covering for the Tent of rams’ skins dyed red and a covering of badgers’ skins above that.

36:20. And he made boards for the Tabernacle of acacia, standing up. 21. The length of a board was ten cubits and the breadth of a board one cubit and a half. 22. One board had two pegs, equally distant one from another: thus he made for all the boards of the Tabernacle. 23. And he made boards for the Tabernacle; twenty boards for the south side southward. 24. And he made 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. 25. And for the other side of the Tabernacle, which is toward the north corner, he made twenty boards, 26. and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board and two sockets under another board. 27. And for the westward sides of the Tabernacle he made six boards. 28. And he made two boards for the corners of the Tabernacle on the two sides. 29. And they were joined beneath and joined together at its head to one ring: he did this to both of them in both the corners. 30. And there were eight boards and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, two sockets under every board.

36:31. And he made bars of acacia wood, five for the boards of the one side of the Tabernacle, 32. and five bars for the boards of the other side of the Tabernacle and five bars for the boards of the Tabernacle for the sides westward. 33. And he made the middle bar to slide through the boards from the one end to the other. 34. And he overlaid the boards with gold and made their rings of gold to be places for the bars and overlaid the bars with gold.

36:35. And he made a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet, fine woven linen. He made it with cherubim of skillful work. 36. And he made for it four pillars of acacia, and overlaid them with gold: their hooks were of gold and he cast for them four sockets of silver.

36:37. And he made a hanging for the Tabernacle door of blue, purple, and scarlet, fine woven linen, of needlework. 38. And its five pillars with their hooks and he overlaid their capitals and their joints with gold, but their five sockets were of bronze.

The Ark

37.1. And Bezalel made the Ark of acacia wood: its length was two and a half cubits, its width a cubit and a half, and its height a cubit and a half. 2. And he overlaid the inside and the outside with pure gold and made a crown of gold for it all around. 3. And he cast four rings of gold for it, for its four corners; even two rings on the one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. 4. And he made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. 5. And he put the poles into the rings by the sides of the Ark, to carry the Ark.

37:6. And he made the cover of pure gold: its length was two cubits and a half and its width one cubit and a half. 7. And he made two cherubim of gold, he made them beaten out of one piece, on the two ends of the cover, 8. one cherub on the end on this side and another cherub on the end on that side; he made the cherubim on the two ends of the cover. 9. And the cherubim spread out their wings on high and covered the cover with their wings, with their faces one to another, the faces of the cherubim were toward the cover.

37:10. And he made the table of acacia: its length was two cubits and its width a cubit and its height a cubit and a half, 11. and he overlaid it with pure gold and made for it a crown of gold all around. 12. Also he made for it a border of a handbreadth all around it and made a crown of gold for the border all around it. 13. And he cast four rings of gold for it and put the rings upon the four corners that were in its four feet. 14. The rings were against the border, the places for the poles to bear the table. 15. And he made the poles of acacia, and overlaid them with gold to bear the table. 16. And he made the vessels which were on the table, its dishes, its spoons, its purifying vessels, and its bowls for pouring, of pure gold.

The Menorah

37:17. And he made the menorah of pure gold: he made the menorah of beaten work; its shaft, its branch, its bowls, its knobs, and its flowers were of the same 18. and six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the menorah out of the one side of it and three branches of the menorah out of its other side. 19. Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knob and a flower and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knob and a flower; so throughout the six branches going out of the menorah. 20. And in the menorah were four bowls made like almonds, its knobs, and its flowers 21. and 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 going out of it. 22. Their knobs and their branches were of the same: all of it was one beaten work of pure gold. 23. And he made its seven lamps, its snuffers, and its snuff-dishes, of pure gold. 24. He made it and all its vessels with a talent of pure gold.

The Incense Altar

37:25. And he made the incense altar of acacia: its length was a cubit and its width a cubit. It was four-square and its height was two cubits, its horns were of the same. 26. And he overlaid it with pure gold, its top and its sides all around, and its horns: he also made a crown of gold all around for it. 27. And he made two rings of gold for it under its crown, by its two corners, on both sides, to be places for the poles to bear it. 28. And he made the poles of acacia and overlaid them with gold.

37:29. And he made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices according to the work of the perfumer.

The Altar

38.1. And he made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. Its length was five cubits and its breadth five cubits. It was four-square and its height three cubits. 2. And he made its horns on its four corners, its horns were from it, and he overlaid it with bronze. 3. And he made all the vessels of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the fleshhooks, and the fire-pans: he made all its vessels of bronze. 4. And he made for the altar a bronze grate of netting under its border to its center. 5. And he cast four rings for the four ends of the grate of bronze, to be places for the poles. 6. And he made the poles of acacia and overlaid them with bronze 7. and he put the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar to carry it. He made the altar hollow with boards.

The Laver

38:8. And he made the laver of bronze and its foot of bronze, from the mirrors of the women who gathered at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

The Court

38:9. And he made the court, on the south side southward the hangings of the court were fine woven linen, a hundred cubits. 10. There were twenty pillars and twenty bronze sockets; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver, 11. and for the north side the hangings were a hundred cubits, twenty pillars and twenty bronze sockets, the hooks of the pillars and their bands were silver. 12. And for the west side were hangings of fifty cubits with ten pillars and ten sockets, the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver. 13. And for the east side eastward fifty cubits. 14. The hangings of the one side of the gate were fifteen cubits with three pillars and three sockets. 15. And for the other side of the court gate, on this hand and that hand, were hangings of fifteen cubits, their pillars three and their sockets three. 16. All the hangings of the court all around were of fine woven linen. 17. And the sockets for the pillars were bronze, the hooks of the pillars and the platings were silver and the overlaying of their capitals was silver and all the pillars of the court were plated with silver.

38:18. And the hanging for the gate of the court was needlework; blue, purple, scarlet, and fine woven linen, and the length was twenty cubits and the height and the breadth were five cubits, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 19. And there were four pillars and their four bronze sockets, their hooks silver and the overlaying of their capitals and their platings of silver. 20. And all the pegs of the Tabernacle and of the court all around were bronze. (Click to Source)

 

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Torah Commentary – Tetsavah (You Are To Order) – Protocol – SCRIPTURES FOR February 24, 2017

Torah Commentary – Tetsavah (You Are To Order)
1977-jesus-of-naz-synagogue1
Exodus 27:20 – 30:10
Ezekiel 43:10-27
Philippians 4:10-20
Protocol
Last year I was given the honor of speaking at the “Trail of Tears” in Tennessee. It was there that I began to see the Tabernacle as the protocol for entering into the Creator’s presence. That revelation has affected the way I look at these chapters of Sh’mot in numerous ways. For someone who has taught on the Tabernacle for many years I have received a new appreciation. With that being said, I have to admit something. As much as I love the revelation of the Tabernacle, the garments of Aaron bog me down a bit. It is not that I see this as unimportant in any way, but I have not taken the time to delve into this like I have the Tabernacle.
Now that I have put myself out there as a target of lack of study on this topic, allow me to expound on what I do see. First of all, Aaron and his sons were not to approach in any old way. They were not to go to their closet the morning of their duty unto Yah and select anything off the rack that looked comfortable. No matter how their week or day was going, they were to “put on” the garments of righteousness before they began. Let’s stop right there for a moment. Before I go any further, I am not suggesting that we go back to the days of three piece suits and ties. I totally agree with a friend who said that he doubted the sanity of whoever came up with the idea of putting something around the neck of a man that would cut off even more oxygen to his brain. But just how do we come before Him? I had to face this myself as recent as last night.
Kathy and I had been out and came home just about dark. I came in and changed my shirt for a Carhartt t-shirt that I had been wearing that day while working on my truck. It had a few paint spots and an extra hole or two. You know the real comfortable ones! I knew it was the night of the New Moon so we went out on the porch. I looked up, saw the moon, sounded the shofar and we sang the shema. We then came back inside to give thanks for the previous month and say our blessings. Before I began to read from the siddur Kathy said, “So you dressed up for the occasion?” I did not say anything, but I have to admit when she said those words I knew she was not speaking on her own. I will still be leaving my ties in the closet, but next month they will have the company of my comfortable Carhartts.
Another part of the garments which really speaks to me are the names and representation of all the tribes upon his shoulders and the breastplate. When Aaron walked into the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle, he was not walking alone, but was carrying the “Whole House of Israel” with him. As he entered, Israel entered. Consider this in light of the numerous verses which reveal Yeshua as sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. The picture Aaron presented is revealed in Ephesians 2:6, as the whole house of Israel is presently seated with and in Messiah in unity before the Father. May the natural house follow suit and line up with the spiritual house!
The above picture brings in the word intercession. In Sh’mot 30 we are given just five verses concerning the Altar of Incense. As we consider its function we see it as a place of intercession and worship. It is a place of mysterious beauty as we can imagine the smoke transcending not only the Holy Place, the Holy of Holies and the courtyard, but reaching into each tent in the camp. This teaches us that intercession, whether it is His for us or ours for others, has no boundaries. It can reach to the most hidden cracks of a life.
One more point to ponder concerning the Altar of Incense. Remember that the Earthly Realm Tabernacle is a mirror of the Spiritual Realm Tabernacle. Take a moment to read Revelation 8:1-5. Yes, your prayers, your worship, your intercession are pictured here as incense which one day will be poured upon the altar. Those prayers you have been praying, but have not seen answered. Maybe they are just being stored for the right day and time! (Click to Source)
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Torah Commentary – T’ruma (Contribution) – That They May be One – SCRIPTURES FOR February 17, 2017

Torah Commentary – T’ruma (Contribution)

jesus-jw

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

torah-scroll

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

Torah Commentary – Mishpatim (Rulings)

jesus-jw

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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Torah Commentary – B’ha’alotcha (When you set up) – Moving With the Cloud – SCRIPTURES FOR Jun 10, 2017

Torah Commentary
B’ha’alotcha (When you set up)
Numbers 8:1-12:16
Zechariah 2:14-4:7
John 19:31-37
Hebrews 3:1-6

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Moving With the Cloud
I have heard it said so many times that the Hebrews “Wandered” in the wilderness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In Chapter Nine of this Torah portion it speaks of the Cloud which covered the Tabernacle. We read that as long as the Cloud stayed over the Tabernacle the peoples were to remain camped and as the Cloud moved, they were to move.  I would not call being guided by a Cloud of His Glory simply ‘wandering’.  I would refer to it as being “guided by His hand.” But what about us today? Are our lives guided at that same level?  My answer is yes. The only difference between  them and us is in their day they could see the Cloud with physical eyes. Today? For those who desire, we see the Cloud with spiritual eyes. He is still in the guiding business.
Of course, there are times in our lives in which we wonder if we are seeing very well, times we are looking for the cloud, but it seems more like a fog. What are we to do in those times? The answer is maybe too simple; trust and keep walking.
Go back to the first verses of the Torah portion. It speaks about the Menorah and a concept I have taught on many times. The Menorah was to be placed in the Tabernacle in such a way that the light would shine forward.  Message here; one I lived out recently.
This past weekend I went to Amarillo, TX to teach on the Tabernacle. Due to the fact I take the representation of the Tabernacle with me, I could not fly, but had to drive. 2508 miles in 5 days! It was a great time in Amarillo, but the last miles of the drive were a bit brutal. It had been lightly raining off and on most of the day so I had to keep a real watch for all the crazies on the road. I finally made it to the last leg of the trip, which is over a mountain pass. That is where the clouds I had seen in the distance now became a fog, which enveloped me. What was I to do? Pull over and stop? Absolutely not! My destination was too close. I slowed down a bit, made sure my lights were on and kept going. A few miles later I broke out of the fog and into some of the most beautiful mountain scenery I had ever seen.
What is my point? Many people I speak to believe themselves to be in a fog today. What is fog? It is a cloud which has come to our level. Maybe what you think is a fog today is really His Cloud, which has come to your level. Keep walking and see where it takes you.
One of the major points of this portion is found at the beginning of Chapter 11. It says they were complaining about their hardships. Really now? They are free people who have been given the Torah, Yah’s presence in their midst, an unlimited supply of fresh water to drink and bread which appears ever morning for their enjoyment. Besides that, they are walking in total health and their clothing and shoes are not wearing out. I am just not feeling the hardship going on here and apparently neither is The Almighty! To add further insult to injury they turn their minds back to the fish, cucumbers, melons, etc they ate in Egypt and say, “It cost us nothing!” Hold the bus here! Now how much are they paying for the free medical care, extended wear clothing, water and manna? I don’t read anywhere that they were being charged.
We could of course point our fingers at them all day on this one. Especially since none of us have ever uttered a word of unmerited complaint in our lives…?

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Torah Commentary – Day 19, Month 7, 5775; 21 October 2016

Torah Commentary
Deut 33:1-34:12
Joshua 1:1-9
Matt 17:1-9
Jude 3-4, 8-10

yeshuatheMessiah

Day 19, Month 7, 5775; 21 October 2016   

*I did not have time to write a Torah commentary this week for the Sukkot scriptures. This is an excerpt from my book “They Walked Toward the Promises.” I think it is fitting as we look to a new cycle, one which will take us a step further toward Home>
HaBrachah (This is the Blessing)

Moshe penned the last word of the scroll and delivered it to the Cohanim. He then turned to Y’hoshua and asked him to assemble the elders. As soon as they were assembled, he began to speak blessings over each of the tribes individually. While he was doing so, a strange yet comforting feeling came over him. It was as if he could see the words Israel had spoken so many years earlier coming from the past and uniting with his own words. As the words joined together, like the hooks which held the curtains of the Tabernacle, they took on a new life. It was as if the words were going forth to a time in the future and a people yet to be born.

With his last words, Moshe turned to face Mount N’vo. There was only one thing in the way between him and the mount, Y’hoshua. The two men stood staring at each other with eyes red from tears. The elders and people who had gathered stood in utter silence.

Finally, Moshe spoke, “Be bold, strong, and of good courage. Make me proud. Make Him proud!”

The two men embraced. Through his tears, Y’hoshua could see his destiny in the distance, the Promised Land. Moshe could see his own, very different path, Mount N’Vo.

In his flesh, Y’hosha did not want to let go. In his spirit, he knew he must. He had to let go of what was in order to obtain that which lies ahead. With all the emotional strength he could muster, Y’hoshua loosened his embrace. Through the lump in his throat, he finally mounted the words, “Yes sir,” then stepped aside.

Moshe reached down and picked up his staff. It all of a sudden struck him as funny; all these years, he had never really given any thought to the fact that he still picked it up by the tail end, the same as he had done in Egypt. Somewhere inside him, he still remembered being in the presence of Pharaoh and his magicians when it had been turned into a serpent.  A slight smile came to his face.  Not even Y’hoshua would ever know what that smile was all about. Moshe nodded to Y’hoshua, his people, and then took his first step to his end.

The whole camp stood and watched as Moshe began to climb Mount N’vo. Each person was silent, lost in thought, though none more than Y’hoshua.

It was a hard climb, and Moshe was exhausted when he finally reached the top of the mount. He felt as if his feet had truly taken their last steps. He noticed an outcropping of rock. In the center was a rock which looked almost like a couch. Moshe took it as a welcomed invitation from Him to rest. As he sat down, the view was more than he could take in all at once. His people dotted the ground much like the stars dotted the sky. He looked to the staff in his hand and pulled it up in his lap. The carvings he had done through so many years were like an autobiography before him; and Moshe stared at each mark, taking time to remember the event that had caused it.

Finally, Moshe looked to the heavens, “You have been a faithful friend. Thank you! Take care of them, these stars of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “

As the sun began to set, Moshe’s eyes were drawn to the horizon. He had never seen a day so clear. As Moshe gazed from north to south and to the sea to the west, he began to remember again the stories his Abba and Emma had passed down to him. He thought of Adam and Eve, wondering just which hill they were buried on. The Garden was — is somewhere out there. He thought of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others. He longed to meet them in this World to come.

As Moshe took his last, longing look at the land of His people, a particular mountain in the Northwest drew Moshe’s gaze. It was the same mountain he had noticed days before. The mountain seemed to be calling to him. It was as if his spirit knew something, but his mind could just not comprehend. With the thought of that mountain, Moshe leaned back on the rock behind him and his soul continued on to join in the sleep of his fathers.

Elohim would bury Moshe that day on Mount N’vo. The mountain stands as a reminder of the man called, “Yah’s friend.”

Y’hoshua continued to stare at the mountain, unknowing of Moshe’s passing. Eventually, Caleb walked up behind him and placed a hand on Y’hoshua’s shoulder, “We have to move on. “

“I know,” is all Y’hoshua could say. He turned toward his tent to be alone with his thoughts.

The people mourned Moshe’s death in the plains of Mo’av for thirty days. When their days of mourning came to an end, they began the process of breaking camp, looking to Y’hoshua to lead them the rest of the way.