Friday, August 16, 2019
What does it mean to have a good eye, or a bad eye? Yeshua the Messiah answered this very question; and the answer has everything to do with whether we are in the Light or in Darkness. Yeshua said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matt. 6:22-23). Still this doesn't explain what is a good eye or what it means to have a bad eye. Most people today think this has some kind of supersistious principle, as in giving someone the "evil eye"; but that is not at all what this expression is about. In order to understand what Messiah Yeshua is asking us; we need to understand the culture behind this expression.
Dr. David Stern, a foremost Messianic Jewish scholar explains: "The eye is the lamp of the body." Apparently Yeshua quotes a common proverb and comments on it. If you have a "good eye." This is in the Greek text, but the explanation, that is, if you are generous, is added by me the translator because in Judaism "having a good eye," an 'ayin tovah, means "being generous," and "having a bad eye," an 'ayin ra'ah, means "being stingy." That this is the correct interpretation is confirmed by the context, greed and anxiety about money being the topic in both the preceding and following verses."
So to look at this in "context" we do see what Stern is talking about. The pesukim preceding 22-23 speak about money:
...19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[c] destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:19-21).
Then again we see the same theme in the pesuk following verses 22-23:
...24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt. 6:24).
Obviously, a good eye, or a bad eye simply means you are either generous, or you are stingy. Why interpret it any other way?
The point Yeshua is making is if you have a bad eye, you, your soul; is full of darkness! But if you are a generous person, (i.e. having a good eye), then you are in the Light, and your soul is full of light. Who doesn't want to be in the light with Yeshua?
One of the main characteristics of the righteous is that they are generous, they are givers, not takers. Nor are they controlled by money, they cannot be bribed!
Infact in Hebrew, the word for righteousness is Tzedakah צדקה
A good definition for tzedakah can be found here: Tzedakah Definition
As you can see from the definition, the greatest Tzadik was Yeshua Himself. But we are called to be as He is, and He said our righteousness must surpass even that of the P'rushim. In order for that to happen, we definitely need the Ruach Hakodesh to change us and give us a "Good Eye".
In a couple of weeks, our congregation will once again have a 5th Shabbat on Aug. 31st. For years, we have been setting aside those days and all donations on those days to be made "Holy" for the building fund. This has been a huge blessing as it has provided us a way to finally move into our own place of worship and establish Cleveland's first ever, permanent Messianic Synagogue.
However, repairs are needed, new equipment is needed and we need a new Parking Lot! The goal for this coming 5th Shabbat is $4,000.00
If everyone in our community who loves and cares for this ministry will give "Above and Beyond their Regular Tithes) for this special offering; not only will the need be met, but your righteousness will be evident to Hashem! We will all be demonstrating to our Abba, that we, like Him, all have a Good Eye.
Please prepare now, pray and ask Hashem what you should do on 8-31-19.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Subject: Ask the Rabbi Submission
ASK THE RABBI RESPONSE FROM WEBSITE Is this the "Stump the Rabbi" forum? Well I do have a question that bothers me. (Perhaps not new to you.) The prophet Ezekiel talks about a temple to be built. If this Temple is to be in the future, why does it mention daily blood sacrifices as offerings for cleansing of sin when Jesus has already been the sacrificial lamb for all sins for all time?
Thank you for your submission and question regarding the Third Temple and sacrificial offerings that appear in prophetic Biblical texts speaking of a future time. Your question is very common among believers, and even secular people also have interest in this subject.
The reason questions like this even exist is mostly due to the last 1900 years of Dispensational and Replacement theologies that permeate much of Christian doctrine. The answer requires a believer to think outside of the dispensational box and also think outside a 21st century individualistic mindset that is so pervasive today within American Christianity.
The answer also requires an open mind, a teachable heart and a willingness to study the Levitical Sacrificial System in greater detail to understand better what it is, and what it’s purpose was and will be in the future.
A short email answer from me cannot fully do it justice or completely satisfy your curiosity. In other words, for a satisfactory answer, I will make suggestions on some studies and books that you may want to consider on the subject. However, I will give you some “food for thought” that I hope may wet your appetite for more study on the subject. Ok? So here it goes…
The future Third Temple, and its rituals and sacrifices will serve the same purposes as both the Tabernacle of Moses in the Exodus, in Gilgal and later in Shiloh, and the Temple’s final resting place in the City of David on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. The key to reconciling the Sacrifice of the Messiah and those of the Levitical system is first understanding that everything in the Torah, including the Levitical sacrificial system… all of it points us to the Messiah and who He is.
Romans 10:4 For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. (CJB) (Greek for “goal” is “Telos” which means the goal rather than “end”, end of the law is like the “endzone” of a football field, therein is the “goal post” the goal is to get to the “endzone”. Therefore, the goal of the Torah/Law is to get everyone to the Messiah. This is what Paul is saying not that the Torah is “ended”.)
In other words, everything done in the Levitical system is all about the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and was designed to teach and point us all to Him, both Jew and non-Jew. The purpose of the Levitical system established before the Messiah came on earth points us to Him – and therefore, the Levitical system that will be reestablished will also point us all back to Him and what He has done. If you understand this principle, you will be able to digest the rest….
Most modern believers forget, discard or look over the fact that the Levitical System operated fully and completely AFTER THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS; for 40 years. The first disciples Never had a theology that did not include the Levitical system. Furthermore, they fully participated in the sacrificial system even after the death and resurrection of Jesus as good Jews always did. And the New Testament gives even more evidence that even the Priests (Cohanim) many, became believers in the Messiah, and yet they continued in their duties as Levitical priests daily making the required offerings.
Acts 6:7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
7 The word of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem greatly multiplied; even a great number of the kohanim were becoming obedient to the faith.
One of the greatest examples of Messianic Jews participating in the Levitical sacrificial system “post-resurrection” of Messiah, is when Jacob (James), commands Shaul of Tarsus, to go and make a Nazarite vow, and also pay for the sacrifices of 4 other Jews, to show the world that the rumors of him teaching against the Law of Moses to Jews, was FALSE.
Acts 21: 18 On the next day, Paul went in with us to Jacob; all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he reported to them in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his service. 20 And when they heard, they began glorifying God.
They said, “You see, brother, how many myriads there are among the Jewish people who have believed—and they are all zealous for the Torah. 21 They have been told about you—that you teach all the Jewish people among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk according to the customs. 22 What’s to be done then? No doubt they will hear that you have come.
23 “So do what we tell you. We have four men who have a vow on themselves. 24 Take them, and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. That way, all will realize there is nothing to the things they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Torah.
Most American Christians have no idea what “vow” Paul was commanded to take here in these verses, nor do they have much of a clue the detailed ritual that went into taking these vows or how financially costly it was for Paul to pay for himself and four others “out of his own pocket”; this was in order to fully establish without any doubt what the truth is regarding our theology towards the Law of Moses as “Messianic Jews”. To understand this I recommend you study the laws of the Nazarite Vow in Numbers Ch. 6.
Dr. David Stern give an excellent commentary on what was happening here with Shaul from a Jewish perspective:
Stern says: “The accusation against Sha'ul, then, was that he was a traitor to the Jewish people who taught Jews all over the Diaspora to cease functioning as Jews. Here are three points to refute the charges:
(1) Sha'ul himself did not violate the Torah but continued to keep it after coming to trust in Yeshua. He had Timothy circumcised (16:3). He kept numerous Jewish customs-taking a vow (18:18) observing festivals (20:16) paying for the vow-ending sacrifices of four men at the Temple (here in vs 23-27), evidently fasting on Yom-Kippur (27:9) He regularly attended synagogue services and was welcome to teach in them (17:2). As a Messianic Jew he remained a Pharisee (23:6), Thus he could say that he believed everything that accords with the Torah (24:14) that he had committed no offense against the Torah (25:8) and that he had a clear conscience in the sight of God and man (24:16) against his claims his accusers failed to make a case in court (26:31-32) At the end of his ministry he continued to assert exactly the opposite of what he is charged with here, saying, "I have done nothing against either our people or the traditions of our fathers" (28:17) more evidence at 13:9.
(2) Sha'ul's teaching not to circumcise (I Cor. 7:18, Ga. 5:2-6, 6:12-15) and not to observe Jewish laws and customs were never directed to Jews but invariably and only to Gentiles. Gentiles had to be reassured that they were saved and incorporated into the people of God by trusting God through the Messiah Yeshua, not by observing this or that set of Jewish practices or by converting to Judaism; for, although Judaism acknowledged that the righteous Gentile had a share in the world to come, there was in the first century a strong movement for Jewish proselytism (Matt. 23:15)
(3) Sha'ul did not need to instruct Diaspora Jews to observe the Law, for there was no shortage of rabbis and teachers to exhort them (Acts 15:21) Moreover, what in the Tanakh (O.T.) could be clearer than that Jews are expected to keep the Torah? The New Testament does not repeat truths already evident from the Tanakh; it assumes them. Sha'ul assumed them too.
It's important too to understand that Stern does not suggest Jews keep Torah to merit their “salvation”, that is legalism. Rather, Messianic Jews keep Torah as a “RESULT” of our Salvation. Israel was given the Sacrificial System and the Torah in order to be a light to the Gentiles, to teach the nations about Salvation. Everything in the Tabernacle is about Messiah and our Salvation. By living it and doing it, we are demonstrating to the world – THIS IS OUR GOD AND THIS IS HOW HE DEALS WITH SIN, AND HE EARNS OUR SALVATION. We (Messianic Jews) keep the Law as a result of our salvation, NOT AS A MEANS TO IT. We obey because we are saved already by Messiah’s work, and because this is the culture of our people that we remain a part of the nation of Israel as “Natural Branches”. (Ro. 11:21-24).
In summary, there are also many other examples in the New Testament of Messianic Jews participating in the Levitical system, such as
Acts 3:1 One afternoon at three o’clock, the hour of minchah prayers, as Kefa and Yochanan were going up to the Temple…
Minchah was the “afternoon/evening sacrifice”, it always began at 3 p.m. in the Temple and the evening Tamid offering (see Leviticus 6) was offered. If the first Messianic Jews believed that Jesus did away with the sacrificial system it would make no sense for them to be going up to Temple at that hour and to participate in those prayers and sacrifices. Nor would it be appropriate for Paul of Tarsus to agree to obey Jacob and go and not only sacrifice his own offerings and shave his head and also pay for the offerings of four other Jews to perform the Nazarite vow – if he really believed that the Sacrifice of Jesus “did away” with the Levitical System! Furthermore, if he only did it to save face with the Jews in Jerusalem and the Messianic leadership (Jacob, Shimon Peter, & Yochanan John), as some teachers have suggested, then Paul is a “HYPOCRITE”, and everything he wrote (which is half of the New Testament), should be “THROWN OUT” because he says one thing (the law is done away with); yet his actions don’t line up with his words.
Of course this is not true. Paul is not a hypocrite, nor was he a traitor to the Jews, nor was he unfaithful to the Torah! His words have been misunderstood, misapplied, and the rumors that he taught against the Law back then are the same “rumors” that have continued to this day in the Church plagued by Dispensationalism and Replacement Theology.
The truth was, is and will be, that the Levitical system never took away sins in and of themselves. As it is written in
Hebrews 8:5 But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when Moshe was about to erect the Tent, God warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.”
Moshe’s Tabernacle and the Levitical system itself is only a copy of, and a shadow of something that is more real that what is here on earth. Namely, the Heavenly Tabernacle that Yeshua entered by His Own Blood. As it is written:
Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
You see, God is not limited by time or space. Time and space is His Creation, but He transcends His Creation. Therefore, His Blood and Salvation was existing from BEFORE CREATION. The same blood that saved you and me, is the SAME BLOOD that saved Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And it was NOT blood of bulls and goats. Nor was it the purpose of bulls and goats to EVER TAKE AWAY SINS…
Hebrews 10:3 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
The purpose of blood of bulls and goats in the Levitical system was only a “picture lesson” they were always just “symbols” pointing us to the Real Blood that was already available from before the World was Created! The job of the Levitical system is to teach unbelievers about this Real Blood, and what God requires, that there must be a death for atonement.
And therein lies the mystery to understand the purposes of the future Third Temple that will eventually come. There will be unbelievers on the earth, and even during the Millennial Reign of Messiah, those sacrifices are just a picture of what Messiah has ALREADY DONE FOR US. The Book of Zechariah says any nation that refuses to observe Sukkot/Tabernacles will be punished at that time (i.e. during the Millennium). Zech. 14.
They still have much purpose and value, just as Yeshua taught us to pray: “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” What is in Heaven must be manifested here on the earth, which was why it was necessary for Yeshua to take on flesh and manifest what was already in Heaven, literally here on the earth when He was crucified. It was One single act, done for all time, but it accomplished atonement for all sins of the past, present and future (during the days of Adam to Abraham) as well as for ALL TIME.
There is actually much more to all this beyond just the Levitical System, even the structure of the Tabernacle itself has great significance of who the Messiah is and His Work! I highly recommend if you are locally in N.E. Ohio to register for my class coming up next year in 2019:
Instructor Name: Rabbi Eric David Lakatos Date_Jan. 27 - Apr 28, 2019
Course Name: THE MISHKAN/TABERNACLE (Its Structure, Sacred Vessels, Garments & Sacrifices) Semester & Year_Spring- 2019 @ BETHESDA COLLEGE – Akron Campus.
I can send you more details if you’re interested in the class. If you are not in our area or cannot take the class, there is a great book/study I recommend for you. “What About the Sacrifices”, by D. Thomas Lancaster. Published by First Fruits of Zion. FFOZ.org it is a fantastic resource and will greatly assist any believer to dig deeper into the purposes of the Levitical system and how it relates to the Brit Chadasha. New Covenant.
My answer may have caused more questions for you, as I said it was only to wet the appetite, and I suggest the class and/or the book resource mentioned.
Again, thank you for your submission, and may you draw closer to Him in your studies and be blessed.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
This one came from Mark:
"Dear Rabbi, What is your response to the point that in Isaiah 7:14, the term is "young woman" and not "virgin?" I am a believer in Christ, yet find this confounding. Thank you for your time. Mark"
"Shalom Mark, and thank you for your question.
I highly recommend Dr. Michael Brown’s book “Answering Jewish Objections” as what you are referring to is very common among Jews. Yes it is true the word Almah (as in Isaiah 7:14); technically does translate to young woman, however elsewhere it is used to describe a virgin as well, as virgins are more often than not also technically “young women”. So the word can be used interchangeably.
Commenting on Matthew 1:23, Dr. David Stern in his brilliant Jewish New Testament Commentary says further: “The virgin will conceive and bear a son. This verse introduces a major controversy concerning the use of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament. Following are three objections which non-Messianic Jews and other skeptics often make to Mattityahu's quoting Isaiah 7:14; in this verse, along with Messianic Jewish replies.
(1) Objection: A virgin birth is impossible.
Reply: In liberal scholarship miracles are characteristically explained away as natural phenomena in disguise. One might pursue this line here by pointing to observed instances of parthenogenesis in the animal kingdom or modern cloning experiments. But there is no instance of human parthenogenesis. Therefore one must regard a virgin birth as supernatural.
Usually objection to a virgin birth as impossible follows as a logical consequence of objecting to any and all supernaturalism. But the God of the Bible is literally "supernatural," above nature, since he created nature and its laws. Therefore, if it suits his purpose he can suspend those laws. The Bible in both the Tanakh and the New Testament teaches repeatedly that God does intervene in human history and does sometimes overrule the natural course of events for his own reasons.
Frequently his reason, as in this instance, is to give humanity a sign of his sovereignty, presence and concern. In fact, Isaiah 7:14 immediately preceding the portion quoted, reads, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign." The Hebrew word for sign (" 'ot") means an extraordinary event that demonstrates and calls attention to God's direct involvement in human affairs. The "God" of Deism, pictured as starting the universe like a man winding a watch and leaving it to run by itself, is not the God of the Bible.
(2) Objection: Isaiah, in using the Hebrew word " 'almah," was referring to a "young woman"; had he meant "virgin" he would have written "b'tulah."
Reply: " 'Almah" is used seven times in the Hebrew Bible, and in each instance it either explicitly means a virgin or implies it, because in the Bible " 'almah" always refers to an unmarried woman of good reputation. In Gen. 24:43 it applies to Rebecca, Isaac's future bride, already spoken of in Gen. 24:16 as a b'tulah. In Exodus 2:8 it describes the infant Moshe's older sister Miryam, a nine-year-old girl and surely a virgin. (Thus the name of Yeshua's mother recalls this earlier virgin.) The other references are to young maidens playing on timbrels (Psalm 68:25) maidens being courted (Proverbs 30:19) and virgins of the royal court (Song of Songs 1:3; 6:8), In each case the context requires a young unmarried woman of good reputation, i.e., a virgin.
Moreover, Mattityahu here is quoting from the Septuagint, the first translation of the Tanakh into Greek. More than two centuries before Yeshua was born, the Jewish translators of the Septuagint chose the Greek word "parthenos" to render " 'almah." "Parthenos" unequivocally means "virgin." This was long before the New Testament made the matter controversial.
The most famous medieval Jewish Bible commentator, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki ("Rashi," 1040-), who determinedly opposed Christological interpretation of the Tanakh, nevertheless explained that in (Song of Songs 1:3), 'alamot" (the plural of " 'almah") means "b'tulot" (" virgins") and refers metaphorically to the nations.
Victor Buksbazen, a Hebrew Christian, in his commentary The Prophet Isaiah, quoted Rashi as writing that in Isaiah 7:14 "'almah" means "virgin." In the first four editions of the Jewish New Testament Commentary I cited this Rashi. It has been pointed out to me that Rashi did not write what I represented him as having written, so I have removed the citation from the main body of the JNTC and herewith apologize for not checking the original source.
In fact, the Hebrew text of Rashi as it appears in MikraCot G'dolot says something quite different and far less supportive of the case I am making that in Is. 7:14, "'almah" means "virgin." Following is a literal translation of Rashi's remarks in MikraCot G'dolot:
[Isaiah:] God gives you (plural) a sign.
[Rashi:] He gives it to you (plural) by himself upon you against your will.
[Rashi:]In the future she will be like we found with Manoach's wife, that was spoken to her by the angel and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and it was written, and he will say to her: here you are pregnant, etc. [Isaiah:] The young girl ['almah].
[Rashi:]My wife pregnant this year? and it will be the fourth year of King Achaz?
[Isaiah:] And she will call his name.
[Rashi:] The Holy Spirit will descend upon her.
[Rashi:] This will be to say that God is with us. And this is the sign that after the na'arah who will have never prophesied in all her life and with him (the son) will come the Holy Spirit. And that has been said in [Talmud tractate] Sotah, "and he will draw near to the prophetess," etc. We never find a prophet's wife is called a prophetess unless she prophesied. And there are some who understand this to be referring to Chizkiyahu (Hezekiah). But this is impossible. After you count the years you will find that Chizkiyahu would have been born nine years before his father's kingship began. And there are some who interpret this to mean that this is the sign, that she was an 'almah for whom it was not appropriate that she give birth ó or, with Hebrew r'uyah translated differently, the 'almah was not suited to giving birth, i.e., she was too young.
Contrary to the Buksbazen citation, Rashi never explicitly says that the na'arah has never in her life had intercourse with any man (i.e., is a virgin). Rather, he simply defines the 'almah as a na'arah and then says that some interpret this to mean either that it was improper for her to give birth (presumably because she was unmarried, in which case what would be proper is that she would be a virgin) or that she was too young to be physically capable of giving birth (in which case, unless she had been abused, she would be a virgin).
I regret misrepresenting Rashi. (Stern says), Nevertheless, even without the Rashi paragraph, I believe the overall case I have made for understanding the 'almah of Isaiah 7:14 as a virgin remains convincing.
(A friend says that Rashi did write the paragraph as quoted, but it is not in MikraCot G'dolot. However, until someone directs me to a genuine Rashi source for it, the matter remains as I have left it in this note.)
Also in the earlier editions I referred to a 1953 article in the Journal of Bible and Religion, in which the Jewish scholar Cyrus Gordon held that cognate languages support translating "'almah" in Isaiah 7:14 as "virgin." However, Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar with a Ph.D. in Semitics, informs me that Gordon's observations were based on an early incorrect reading of a key Ugaritic text. In this case, my error stemmed from unfamiliarity with recent scholarship.
However, the Bible itself shows us how we can know when an 'almah is a virgin. Rivkah is called an 'almah at Gen. 24:43 but it can be deduced from Gen. 24:16 ("Neither had any man known her") that she was a virgin. In the same way, we know that the 'almah Miryam was a virgin from Luke 1:34 where she asks the angel how she can be pregnant, "since I am a virgin?"
A possible reason for Isaiah's using the word " Almah" instead of b'tulah is that in Biblical (as opposed to later) Hebrew, "b'tulah" does not always unambiguously mean "virgin," as we learn from Joel 1:8 Lament like a b'tulah girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth." & Deut. 22:19 speaks of a woman after her wedding night as a b'tulah.” (Stern, 1992).
There are actually more “objections” in this argument that Dr. David Stern addresses and I have only quoted two here for you. I recommend both resources to you if you are interested in doing more research. Dr. Michael Brown’s “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”, as well as Dr. David Stern’s “Jewish New Testament Commentary”.
I hope I have helped you. Above all pray for the salvation of all of our Jewish people!
Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue
Deuteronomy 32:7-12 (6 p'sukim)
Deuteronomy 32:7-12 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
7 “Remember the days of antiquity,
understand the years across generations.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders and they will say to you.
8 When Elyon gave nations their heritage,
when He separated the sons of man,
He set boundaries for the people
by the number of Bnei-Yisrael.
9 But Adonai’s portion is His people—
Jacob is the share of His inheritance.
10 He found him in the wilderness land,
in the void of a howling waste.
He surrounded him, cared for him,
guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest,
hovers over its young,
He spreads His wings, catches him,
lifts him up on His pinions.
12 Adonai alone guided him—
there was no foreign god with him.
7 זְכֹר֙ יְמ֣וֹת עוֹלָ֔ם בִּ֖ינוּ שְׁנ֣וֹת דּוֹר־וָד֑וֹר שְׁאַ֤ל אָבִ֙יךָ֙ וְיַגֵּ֔דְךָ זְקֵנֶ֖יךָ וְיֹ֥אמְרוּ לָֽךְ׃
8 בְּהַנְחֵ֤ל עֶלְיוֹן֙ גּוֹיִ֔ם בְּהַפְרִיד֖וֹ בְּנֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם יַצֵּב֙ גְּבֻלֹ֣ת עַמִּ֔ים לְמִסְפַּ֖ר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
9 כִּ֛י חֵ֥לֶק יְהוָֹ֖ה עַמּ֑וֹ יַעֲקֹ֖ב חֶ֥בֶל נַחֲלָתֽוֹ׃
10 יִמְצָאֵ֙הוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִדְבָּ֔ר וּבְתֹ֖הוּ יְלֵ֣ל יְשִׁמֹ֑ן יְסֹֽבְבֶ֙נְהוּ֙ יְב֣וֹנְנֵ֔הוּ יִצְּרֶ֖נְהוּ כְּאִישׁ֥וֹן עֵינֽוֹ׃
11 כְּנֶ֙שֶׁר֙ יָעִ֣יר קִנּ֔וֹ עַל־גּוֹזָלָ֖יו יְרַחֵ֑ף יִפְרֹ֤שׂ כְּנָפָיו֙ יִקָּחֵ֔הוּ יִשָּׂאֵ֖הוּ עַל־אֶבְרָתֽוֹ׃
12 יְהוָ֖ה בָּדָ֣ד יַנְחֶ֑נּוּ וְאֵ֥ין עִמּ֖וֹ אֵ֥ל נֵכָֽר׃
Pesuk 8 gives us an often forgotten Biblical fact. God set the boundaries of the nations, according to the number of the Children of Israel. Rashi explains:
When the Most High gave nations their lot: When the Holy One, Blessed is He, gave those who provoked Him to anger their portion, He flooded them and drowned them [i.e., that was their lot].
בהנחל עליון גוים: כשהנחיל הקדוש ברוך הוא למכעיסיו את חלק נחלתן הציפן ושטפם:
when He separated the sons of man: When [God] scattered the Generation of the Dispersion [which built the tower of Babel], He had the power to remove them from the world [altogether], but He did not do so. Rather, “He set up the boundaries of peoples,” [i.e.,] He let them remain in existence and did not destroy them.
בהפרידו בני אדם: כשהפיץ דור הפלגה היה בידו להעבירם מן העולם ולא עשה כן, אלא יצב גבולות עמים קיימם ולא אבדם:
according to the number of the children of Israel: [God let man remain in existence] for the sake of a [small] number of the children of Israel who were destined to descend from the children of Shem, and [the sake of] the number of the seventy souls of the children of Israel who went down to Egypt, He “set up the boundaries of peoples,” [i.e., He separated man into seventy nations with] seventy languages.
למספר בני ישראל: בשביל מספר בני ישראל שעתידים לצאת מבני שם, ולמספר שבעים נפש של בני ישראל שירדו למצרים, הציב גבולות עמים שבעים לשון:
Often the sages of Israel reminds us that if it wasn't for Israel, there would be no "nations". The nations exist for the sake of Israel!
Keil & Delitzsch explain it similarly:
“ When the Most High portioned out inheritance to the nations, when He divided the children of men; He fixed the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the sons of Israel: for the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob the cord of His inheritance .” Moses commences his enumeration of the manifestations of divine mercy with the thought, that from the very commencement of the forming of nations God had cared for His people Israel. The meaning of Deuteronomy 32:8 is given in general correctly by Calvin: “In the whole arrangement of the world God had kept this before Him as the end: to consult the interests of His chosen people.” The words, “when the Most High portioned out inheritance to the nations,” etc., are not to be restricted to the one fact of the confusion of tongues and division of the nations as described in Gen 11, but embrace the whole period of the development of the one human family in separate tribes and nations, together with their settlement in different lands; for it is no doctrine of the Israelitish legend, as Kamphausen supposes, that the division of the nations was completed once for all. The book of Genesis simply teaches, that after the confusion of tongues at the building of the tower of Babel, God scattered men over the entire surface of the earth (Deuteronomy 11:9), and that the nations were divided, i.e., separate nations were formed from the families of the sons of Noah ( Genesis 10:32); that is to say, the nations were formed in the divinely-appointed way of generation and multiplication, and so spread over the earth. And the Scriptures say nothing about a division of the countries among the different nations at one particular time; they simply show, that, like the formation of the nations from families and tribes, the possession of the lands by the nations so formed was to be traced to God, - was the work of divine providence and government, - whereby God so determined the boundaries of the nations (“the nations” are neither the tribes of Israel, nor simply the nations round about Canaan, but the nations generally), that Israel might receive as its inheritance a land proportioned to its numbers.
This is precisely why that it is both foolish and dangerous for the nations to dispossess and exile the Jews from their God-given Land anymore. As it is written:
Joel 4 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Valley of Jehoshaphat
4 “For behold, in those days and at that time,
when I restore Judah and Jerusalem from exile,
2 I will gather all nations
and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
I will plead[a] with them there on behalf of My people,
even My inheritance, Israel,
whom they scattered among the nations
and they divided up My land.
3 They cast lots for My people,
traded a boy for a prostitute,
and sold a girl for wine, which they drank.”
(The word "plead" here is translated in Hebrew as "enter into judgement")
You see friend, God is a Zionist. It is not just a "political" issue regarding the Promised Land to the Children of Israel. Anyone who tries to touch God's Land and those whom He has given it to; are playing a dangerous game. It is arrogant and insolent to argue against God, His Word, Israel's right to exist as a nation, as the ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST. The only place in the mid-east where there is freedom of religion.
Some people accuse Israel of being an apartheid state. They accuse the Jews of genocide and they deny that the Holocaust ever happened. They plot against Israel in many ways, they terrorize her, they boycott and divest and sanction her; but no matter how much they try to undermine God's Covenant with Israel - they will ultimately fail and bring judgement upon themselves.
As believers, whether Messianic or if you are a Christian, it is critical that we align ourselves with God's Word, and with political and religious forces that are also in line with God's Word, otherwise, we can find ourselves on the WRONG SIDE of God's Plan for Israel, the Land and His Word.
Deuteronomy 32:1-6 (6 p'sukim)
32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak!
Let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching trickle like rain,
my speech distill like dew—
like gentle rain on new grass,
like showers on tender plants.
3 For I will proclaim Adonai’s Name,
ascribe greatness to our God!
4 The Rock—blameless is His work.
Indeed, all His ways are just.
God of faithfulness without iniquity,
righteous and upright is He.
5 Did it corrupt Him? No!
The blemish is His children’s—
a generation crooked and twisted.
6 Is this how you pay back Adonai,
O foolish, unwise people?
Isn’t He your Father who ransomed you?[a]
He made you and established you.
32 הַאֲזִ֥ינוּ הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וַאֲדַבֵּ֑רָה וְתִשְׁמַ֥ע הָאָ֖רֶץ אִמְרֵי־פִֽי׃
2 יַעֲרֹ֤ף כַּמָּטָר֙ לִקְחִ֔י תִּזַּ֥ל כַּטַּ֖ל אִמְרָתִ֑י כִּשְׂעִירִ֣ם עֲלֵי־דֶ֔שֶׁא וְכִרְבִיבִ֖ים עֲלֵי־עֵֽשֶׂב׃
3 כִּ֛י שֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה אֶקְרָ֑א הָב֥וּ גֹ֖דֶל לֵאלֹהֵֽינוּ׃
4 הַצּוּר֙ תָּמִ֣ים פָּעֳל֔וֹ כִּ֥י כָל־דְּרָכָ֖יו מִשְׁפָּ֑ט אֵ֤ל אֱמוּנָה֙ וְאֵ֣ין עָ֔וֶל צַדִּ֥יק וְיָשָׁ֖ר הֽוּא׃
5 שִׁחֵ֥ת ל֛וֹ לֹ֖א בָּנָ֣יו מוּמָ֑ם דּ֥וֹר עִקֵּ֖שׁ וּפְתַלְתֹּֽל׃
6 הֲ־לַיְהוָה֙ תִּגְמְלוּ־זֹ֔את עַ֥ם נָבָ֖ל וְלֹ֣א חָכָ֑ם הֲלוֹא־הוּא֙ אָבִ֣יךָ קָּנֶ֔ךָ ה֥וּא עָֽשְׂךָ֖ וַֽיְכֹנְנֶֽךָ׃
Pesuk 6 mentions that our Father has redeemed Israel. How did He redeem our ancestors? The Passover Seder reminds us with the Second Cup, the "Cup of Plagues" that Adonai poured out plagues upon the Egyptians, our captors. The last and final plague was a retribution for Pharaoh's decree to murder the first born males of the Hebrew slaves, (when Moshe was saved). Pharaoh's son would have been the next Pharoah, and each Pharaoh was worshipped as a "god". Our God punished each and every idol that was worshipped in Egypt demonstrating that He is the Only God and there is none other!
The B'nei Yisrael were redeemed by the blood of the first born sons of Egypt. They were purchased by God through blood. Which is why we diminish our cups during the seder and splash the wine onto our napkins or plates, which is a symbol of splashed blood, also the lambs that were slaughted and the blood was applied to the doorposts. The wooden doorposts (mezuzaot), where the mezuzah is nailed (which contains the Shema), is pierced onto that stake where also this first Pesach lamb's blood was applied.
So it is in the Brit Chadasha with us today, we all, Jew and non-Jew have been purchased and redeemed, ransomed by the Blood of the Lamb!
Matthew 20:25 But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 26 It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
And this is in accord with the teachings of our Shaliachim, and Rav Shaul:
1 Timothy 2:4 He desires all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men—a human, Messiah Yeshua, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony at the proper time.
Amen, may all Israel be saved! Shavuah Tov!
Deuteronomy 31:25-30 (6 p'sukim)
maf: 31:28-30 (3 p'sukim)
Deuteronomy 31:25-30 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
25 Moses commanded the Levites, carriers of the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai saying, 26 “Take this scroll of the Torah, and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 27 for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Indeed, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against Adonai—how much more then after my death? 28 Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officials, so that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will certainly act corruptly and turn aside from the way I have commanded you. So evil will fall upon you in the latter days, because you will do what is evil in the sight of Adonai, provoking Him to anger by the work of your hands.”
30 Moses spoke in the hearing of the whole community of Israel the words of this song, right to the end:
25 וַיְצַ֤ו מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֔ם נֹֽשְׂאֵ֛י אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃
26 לָקֹ֗חַ אֵ֣ת סֵ֤פֶר הַתּוֹרָה֙ הַזֶּ֔ה וְשַׂמְתֶּ֣ם אֹת֔וֹ מִצַּ֛ד אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם וְהָֽיָה־שָׁ֥ם בְּךָ֖ לְעֵֽד׃
27 כִּ֣י אָנֹכִ֤י יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙ אֶֽת־מֶרְיְךָ֔ וְאֶֽת־עָרְפְּךָ֖ הַקָּשֶׁ֑ה הֵ֣ן בְּעוֹדֶנִּי֩ חַ֨י עִמָּכֶ֜ם הַיּ֗וֹם מַמְרִ֤ים הֱיִתֶם֙ עִם־יְהוָֹ֔ה וְאַ֖ף כִּי־אַחֲרֵ֥י מוֹתִֽי׃
28 הַקְהִ֧ילוּ אֵלַ֛י אֶת־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֥י שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֖ם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶ֑ם וַאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה בְאָזְנֵיהֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְאָעִ֣ידָה בָּ֔ם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
29 כִּ֣י יָדַ֗עְתִּי אַחֲרֵ֤י מוֹתִי֙ כִּֽי־הַשְׁחֵ֣ת תַּשְׁחִת֔וּן וְסַרְתֶּ֣ם מִן־הַדֶּ֔רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְקָרָ֨את אֶתְכֶ֤ם הָֽרָעָה֙ בְּאַחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֔ים כִּֽי־תַעֲשׂ֤וּ אֶת־הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לְהַכְעִיס֖וֹ בְּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יְדֵיכֶֽם׃
30 וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֗ה בְּאָזְנֵי֙ כָּל־קְהַ֣ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַשִּׁירָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם׃ פ
Shabbat Shalom, today is "Shabbat Shuvah" the Sabbath of Repentance, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! Today's pesukim give us two types of witnesses against the B'nei Yisrael.
First, the Torah itself, Pesuk 26, and "Heaven & Earth" themselves. Why did Moshe give us the Torah as a witness against us and our ancestors, and why did he also call Nature itself, Creation, also as a witness against us?
The answer for New Covenant believers is obvious, the purpose of Torah was "NOT" to make us righteous, for the Torah cannot do that itself. The purpose of the Torah being a witness against us was to show us what Righteousness is, and that we are "NOT" righteous!
As Rav Shaul taught us in...
Romans 7:7 Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the Torah had not said, “Thou shalt not covet.”[a] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, worked in me all kinds of evil desires — for apart from Torah, sin is dead. 9 I was once alive outside the framework of Torah. But when the commandment really encountered me, sin sprang to life, 10 and I died. The commandment that was intended to bring me life was found to be bringing me death! 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me; and through the commandment, sin killed me. 12 So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good. (CJB).
So the Torah is a "witness against us". Think of it as in a court room. You are defending yourself (God is the judge), Satan is your accuser, and in walks Satan's first witness to testify against you that you are a lawbreaker. The bailiff introduces up the first witness, The Torah. The Torah gives it's testimony that you are unrighteous. Which without Yeshua, it is true we all are.
Then Satan calls his Second Witness against you, and in walks "Creation", (heaven & earth), and it also testifies against you. How?
Rav Shaul again says:
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth, 19 because what can be known about God is plain to them—for God has shown it to them. 20 His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made.[d] So people are without excuse— 21 for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark. [e] 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools. 23 They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the form of mortal man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.[f]
24 Therefore God gave them over in the evil desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies with one another. 25 They traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to shameful passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature. 27 Likewise the men abandoned natural relations with women and were burning with passion toward one another—men committing shameful acts with other men[g] and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what is not fitting. 29 They became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. 31 They are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree—that those who practice such things deserve death—they not only do them but also approve of others who practice the same.
So as we can see, both Moshe and Rav Shaul teach us clearly, that the Torah and Creation itself testify against us, the only hope we have is our advocate, the one who has cancelled the "death sentence" against us, who took our place, took the sentence upon Himself and gave to us our Eternal Righteousness, based on our faith in Him. Yeshua Hamashiach.
G'mar chatima Tovah!
Thursday, September 20, 2018
September 20th, 2018: The 100th anniversary of Allenby’s victory at Megiddo.
Before dawn on the morning of September 20th, 1918, Indian and Australian cavalry found their way east from the plain of Sharon across the Musmus pass; they approached the ancient hill or Megiddo (Har Megiddo, or Armageddon) guarding the legendary Esdraelon plain. Field Marshall Edmond Allenby was in command. Two months earlier, Allenby had been able to be reinforced with troops from France because of the arrival of the Americans in Europe. Opposing Allenby in the Levant were primarily Ottoman troops under the command of general Otto Liman von Sanders and several notable Turkish generals, including Mustafah Kemal Pasha (Ataturk). von Sanders and Kemal had crushed the allied British forces attacking the Bosporus; and they had now been sent to stop the British advance in the east and to put down the rebellion of Faisal and Lawrence (“of Arabia”).
While waiting for reinforcements, Allenby had been reading a newly published book, the first ever translation of Hieroglyphic inscriptions on a column in Luxor. This translation brought to light a successful strategy used by Pharaoh Thutmose II to attack the Canaanites at Megiddo in 1479 BC. The Pharaoh had sent his cavalry across the Musmus pass to attack from the rear. The strategy had been hidden in plain site on an inscrutable pillar for three millennia; it had not been used in any of the nearly 30 subsequent battles that had been fought at Megiddo.
Allenby had been hiding most of his army and artillery on farms in the plain of Sharon. He made it appear to von Sanders as though he would attack in the east, near the Jordan valley. He achieved complete surprise when he attacked with artillery and infantry along the Mediterranean coast on the 19th of September. The Ottoman retreat was so rapid that von Sanders himself was almost captured at Nazareth. The infantry attack allowed the cavalry access at night to the Musmus pass.
By dawn on the 20th, the cavalry had navigated the pass and emerged at Megiddo on the Plain of Esdraelon. They encountered a Turkish regiment. The Indian cavalry charged with lances alone. The surprise was complete; the unsuspecting Turks shot one Indian, while forty Turks were killed by the charging Lancers. The Turks surrendered. This was the last cavalry charge in history.
British forces poured onto the Palin of Esdraelon, where so many armies for four continents had fought before. They blocked the counterattack from the east (which was also hampered by Faisal and Lawrence) and cut the rail lines, preventing Turkish retreat to the north. The entire Turkish seventh and eight armies were encircled and captured.
Thereafter, Allenby and the allies drove the Ottomans and Germans out of Syria and Lebanon, despite heroic stands by the outnumbered Turks. Realizing that the Turkish mainland was indefensible, and that the English would have Kurdish support if they continued north into eastern Asia Minor, they negotiated an armistice.
This last cavalry charge in history was modeled after one of the first cavalry attacks in recorded history. Without it, the nation of Israel could not have been re-established 30 years later. Without it, the Ottoman Empire might have survived and continued to have controlled much of the Middle East, at least for a time. But it was also notable in that it followed in a remarkable and underappreciated tradition of major battles at Megiddo. Because of its location at the one major, pivotal intersection of routes between Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, armies from every major people group on the planet - except the Americas - have fought at Megiddo. The prophesy is no accident!
2350 BC Pharaoh Pepi I: Egyptians vs Canaanites
1479 BC Pharaoh Thutmose II: Egyptians and Africans vs. Canaanites
1125 BC: Barack and Deborah vs Sisera: Israelites vs Canaanites
1090 BC: Gideon vs. Midianites (Arabs)
1016 BC: Saul and Jonathan vs Philistines
925 BC: Pharaoh Shoshenq 1 vs. Israel
841 BC: Jehu vs Joran (Israel vs. Judah)
8th century BC: A series of Assyrian incursions
609 BC: Pharaoh Necho II (Egyptians and Africans) vs Josiah (on the campaign that led to Carchemish)
(Babylonians, after Carchemish, and later the Persians, conquer without a battle at Megiddo)
(330 BC: Alexander conquers without a battle at Megiddo)
218 BC: Antiochus II vs Ptolemy IV (Greeks)
2nd century BC: Romans
67 AD: Vespasian vs Jews (Romans)
975 AD: Byzantines vs Fatimids
1100-1300: various Northern Europeans (including Richard the Lion Hearted) vs. Arabs and allies
1258 AD: Hulegu (grandson of Genghis Khan; Mongols and Chinese) vs Mamlukes
1799 AD: Napoleon vs Ottomans
1918 AD: Allenby (with Indian and Australian allies) vs Ottomans and Germans
credits: Pastor Joe Abraham via Benjamin Gaston MD