WHO IS YOUR REFUGE?

“The Name of HaShem is a tower of strength; with it a righteous person will run and be strong.” Proverbs 18:10

As I put this very short Op together, it is 13 January 2021, the country is in turmoil, society is deeply divided, tyranny is falling on the land all in conjunction with a continuing pandemic which is now striking very close to home with my family members now testing positive. In short, life is VERY, VERY intense, and as such, felt HaShem urging me to post this short Op as a reminder to all of us, myself included, that in the midst of all the chaos around us, each of us must choose to whom we will serve! For me and my house we WILL serve HaShem!

One aspect of all that is happening in the world around us today with all the turmoil and division is people are looking upwards and towards prophecy more than usual, seeking something which might indicate how all this plays out. Problem is, getting a hold of legitimate and accurate prophetic information and not just some flowery vat of information which offers nothing but fluff and thin air.

We are on the cusp of entering into the biblical month of Shevat. This month is very interesting and I find it is not a coincidence all the chaos going on is happening now at this time as nothing is a coincidence with HaShem. The month of Shevat is the month in which Moshe began to deliver his final address to Israel i.e. the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy). His concluding verse in Devarim 33:29 is very apt for us today: “Fortunate are you, Israel. Who is like unto you, a nation who is saved by Elohim, the Shield Who assists you, the sword of your pride. Your enemies shall dwindle away before you and you shall tread upon their high places.” How much more does this verse apply to each of us today as we watch America collapse into tyranny around us? Keep this in mind as we proceed.

Always remember the following eternal, unchanging characteristics of HaShem for in all the chaos He IS our ONLY place of refuge, safety, security, provision, defense and health:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

The opening verse to this Op at the top from Proverbs is a very important verse. The commentary on this verse says “A person in need of refuge seeks shelter in an impregnable tower. The greatest tower, King Solomon teaches, is trust in HaShem! No material barrier can provide complete protection from an enemy, but a person who places himself completely in HaShem’s hands has nothing to fear. Just as good planning must go into the construction of a tower, so must a person consciously choose HaShem as his support. Just as a tower is the place to go to in times of danger, so must HaShem be a person’s source of security during the most trying situations.” HaShem is our ONLY place of refuge!

With regards to my opening statement about seeking out prophecy during these chaotic times, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, however, we just need to be sure of the source materials of whom we are listening too. In the bible, a prophet was in Hebrew called a ‘Navi’! The purpose of prophecy is singular in nature i.e. true prophecy keeps Israel on the path of Torah! This is why when we read in Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:29 Moshe says “Oh that ALL of HaShem’s people were prophets!” Point is, Torah and prophecy go hand in hand! Therefore if someone claims to be a prophet of HaShem and their message points people AWAY from His Torah, then there is a very serious problem! This is where the Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:3-5 test comes into play i.e. if they do not speak according to the Torah, then they are false and are not to be listened too!

It was through Moshe that HaShem gave the Torah to Israel and Moshe is also known to be a prophet as well. All the subsequent prophets HaShem sent to Israel, gave messages intending on keeping Israel on the path of Torah i.e. what Moshe taught. This is why Yeshua’s statement in John 5:46 is so vital where He says “If you had believed Moshe (Torah), you would have believed Me!” Further, HaShem tells us in Devarim 18:15-19 that the Messiah would come in the likeness of Moshe i.e. teaching the same message of the Torah!

Point is, now more than ever, when listening or reading statements from those who claim to be prophets of Elohim, examine their words very carefully and make sure they line up with what HaShem gave in the beginning, because He doesn’t change and there is nothing new under the sun! Now is NOT the time to embrace false teaching and be led astray. Now is the time we each draw closer to HaShem. The opportunity for each of us to get to study the Torah may quickly be coming to close, but it also does mean we each must commit ourselves more than ever to living out His Torah in the chaos around us! Yes, it will be very tough to do so and yes there are prices to be paid for doing so, but nothing worthwhile is free! Its time we each have to put our money where our mouth is….will we stand for HaShem or will we compromise and fall under the pressure?

There is a lot going on around each of us today and I can assure you it is only going to grow in intensity by the day. With that said, who will you declare today is your place of refuge in the midst of the lies, corruption, violence and oppression? For me and my house, I will serve HaShem!!! May it be so very soon in our days!

Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov
  • Mishlei (Proverbs) by Artscroll

MESSIAH BEN YOSEF = THE SUFFERING SERVANT AND FIRST-FRUITS

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“Do not remove from my mouth the word of utmost truth (Torah), because I hoped for Your judgment. I will safeguard Your Torah constantly, forever and ever. Then I will walk in broad pathways (Freedom), for I sought Your precepts.” Psalms 119:43-45

What did Messiah Yeshua truly come to do on His first coming as prophesied in the Tanakh (Old Testament)? If HaShem truly reveals the end out of the beginning and does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets first coupled with the fact there is nothing new under the sun, then there MUST be some indicators HaShem has left for us to find in His Tanakh! The answer is, yes He has done so, over and over and over again. Keep this in mind as we proceed in this Op.

There is much confusion today concerning the mission of the Messiah of HaShem. Many have and continue to teach that Messiah came solely to be the final Chatat (Sin) offering in order to free humanity from the Torah, to challenge and destroy the Temple Services, to end the korbonot (Offerings), to ‘fulfill’ Shabbat along with the annual Feasts of HaShem and then replace it all with a brand new, never before heard of covenant devoid of everything of what I mentioned here above.

Others have and continue to teach that before the advent of Messiah, the world was devoid of love and was bound under the dark, crushing oppression of the Law (Torah) and that through the fulfillment of the Law, Law was once and for all tossed aside and love finally came flooding into the world. Now the only requirement is for everyone to love each other. Is there any truth to any of this? Right up front, the answer is an emphatic NO!

In a recent Torah portion i.e. ‘Vayeshev’ which is found in Bereshit (Genesis) 37:1-40:23, this portion discusses Ya’akov settling down and the narrative for what will later become Messiah Ben Yosef (Messiah Son of Joseph) and I will briefly explain.

I should first note, with regards to the concept of Messiah in ancient Judaism, there two concepts i.e. Messiah Ben Yosef or otherwise known to be Messiah the Son of Yosef or Messiah the Suffering Servant. Then there is Messiah Ben David or Messiah Son of David, the Conquering and Ruling King. Yeshua first came as Messiah Ben Yosef, now we await HaShem sending Him as Messiah Ben David! Keep this all in mind as it is very important to this Op.

Yosef, the son of Ya’akov, favored by his father, grew up and experienced two prophetic dreams in which he saw himself being established as a ruler and leader. He then tells his dreams to his eleven brothers who end up hating and despising him for it. They initially conspire to kill him, but instead sell him to Ishmaelite traders who take Yosef to Egypt and sell him to Potiphar, the servant of Pharaoh. Yosef suffers greatly by this betrayal of his brothers, but HaShem is watching over him and Yosef NEVER forgets who he is nor does he forget to Whom he serves i.e. HaShem! Ultimately, Yosef is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, is thrown into prison and while in prison he interprets the dreams of two other prisoners which reaches the ears of Pharaoh. Then in the following Torah portion ‘Mikeitz’, Pharaoh has a troubling dream but no one could interpret it. Yosef is brought before him and is able to interpret it by the revealing of HaShem. The dream from HaShem warns of a coming famine which will be long and very severe. Pharaoh then declares Yosef to be the Viceroy over ALL of Egypt i.e. second in command and Yosef, by the hand of HaShem, mission is to prepare Egypt for this famine and he ends up saving all of Egypt along with Israel when Israel descends into Egypt during the time of this great famine. It is at this point that Yosef’s brothers approach him, not knowing who they are talking too. Yosef indeed knows who they are, he has not forgotten them. Yosef then reveals himself to them and they are all reunited and restored! All of which is a picture of Yeshua, second in command under HaShem, saving all of Israel along with the world, then He will one day rule over ALL of the world from Jerusalem, leading the world in service to HaShem! Baruch HaShem! May it be very soon in our days!

The following is an excerpt from the book, ‘The Messiah Texts’ by Raphael Patai. This book encapsulates what ancient Judaism understood and prepared for with regards to the concept of the Messiah of HaShem. For the record, it is not to be taken literally, but to understand the concepts and the pictures being painted by the author as he references the texts of ancient Judaism. As I have said before, it is an astounding book and helps to understand what the people of Israel during the time of Yeshua actually thought as it is vastly different from what Christendom teaches. I digress.

On page 104-105 of this book, it states “The Messiah himself, on the other hand, must spend his entire life, from the moment of his creation until the time of his advent many centuries or millennia later, in a state of constant and acute suffering. Despised and afflicted with unhealing wounds, he sits in the gates of Great Rome (Figuratively) and winds and unwinds his bandages of his festering sores; as a Midrash expresses it, ‘Pains have adopted him.’ According to one of the most moving and at the same time psychologically most meaningful, of all Messiah legends, Elohim, when He created the Messiah, gave him the choice whether or not to accept the sufferings for the sins of Israel. And the Messiah answered: ‘I accept it with joy, so that not a single soul of Israel should perish.’ In the later Zoharic formulation of this legend, the Messiah himself summons all the diseases, pains and sufferings of Israel to come upon him, in order thus to ease the anguish of Israel to which otherwise would be unbearable. In all this the Messiah becomes heir to the Suffering Servant of Elohim, who, figures prominently in the prophecies of Deutero-Isaiah, and who suffers undeservedly for the sins of others.”

So we can see ancient Judaism understood the concept of a Suffering Servant of HaShem Who would come twice…once to redeem Israel and the second to conquer, gather all of Israel from around the world, defeat the enemies of Israel once and for all and rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years from where the Torah will go out to the entire world, preparing the world for the World to Come.

You may be asking how, per the title, First-fruits plays into this? Glad you asked! We will discuss this shortly, but before we jump into this topic, always remember and consider the following:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
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‘Bikkurim’, the Hebrew word for ‘Firstfruits’ which is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Bechor’ are the Firstfruits of agriculture, kosher animals and firstborn human sons, which are all marked, set apart for HaShem, then are brought to the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem, redeemed and given to the Kohanim (Priests) and Levi’im (Levites). The Kohanim and Levi’im then offer them up on the Altar to HaShem and eat them within the walls of Jerusalem because they have a kedusha (Holiness) level attached to them. I will explain in much more detail as we proceed because HaShem is very much teaching us a concept and it will also explain what we are reading the Apostolic Writings!

Per Tractate Bechoros in the Talmud Bavli in the general introduction it states the following: “When Elohim redeemed the Children of Israel from Egypt and destroyed all the firstsborns of Egypt, from humans to livestock, in the last of the ten plagues, He forever sanctified the firstborns of Israel by sparing them per Bamidbar (Numbers) 3:13 (‘For every firstborn is Mine: On the day I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified every firstborn in Israel for Myself, from man to beast; they shall be Mine, I am HaShem.’) The laws defining this sanctification were then given to Moshe to teach the people per Shemot (Exodus) 13:2, 12-16.”

Lets examine Shemot 13:2 which says “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first issue of every womb among the Children of Israel, of man and beast, is Mine.”

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Now lets look at Shemot 13:12-16 which says “Then you shall set apart every first issue of the womb to HaShem, and every first issue that is dropped by livestock that belong to you, the males are HaShem’s. Every first issue donkey you shall redeem with a lamb or kid; if you do not redeem it, you shall axe the back of its neck. And you shall redeem every human firstborn among your sons. And it shall be when your son will ask you at some future time, ‘What is this?’ You shall say to him, ‘With a strong hand HaShem removed us from Egypt from the house of bondage. And it happened when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to send us out, that HaShem killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of man to the firstborn of beast. Therefore I offer to HaShem all male first issue of the womb, and I shall redeem all the firstborn of my sons. And it shall be a sign upon your arm, and an ornament between your eyes, for with a strong hand HaShem removed us from Egypt.'”

Very interesting verses!! Can you see the connection to the Exodus and deliverance from Egypt with the Firstfruits? If HaShem reveals the end from the beginning then what does this mean for us, here and now today at the end? Let’s keep exploring.

HaShem commands in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-5 says “It will be when you enter the Land that HaShem, your Elohim, gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it, and dwell in it, that you shall take the first of every fruit of the ground that you bring in from your Land that HaShem, your Elohim, gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that HaShem, your Elohim, will choose to make His Name rest there. You shall come to whoever will be the Kohen in those days, and you shall say to him, ‘I declare today to HaShem, your Elohim, that I have come to the Land that HaShem swore to our forefathers to give us.’ The Kohen shall take the basket from your hand, and lay it before the Altar of HaShem, your Elohim.”

Okay, so we now see HaShem is setting up the principles of His Kingdom via His Torah with the setting apart not just the firstborn sons and kosher animals, but also the agriculture of the field from the Land of Israel!

Then HaShem says in verses 5-10 “Then you shall call out and say before HaShem, your Elohim, ‘An Aramean tried to destroy my forefather (Laban who tried to deceive Ya’akov). He descended to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, strong and numerous. The Egyptians mistreated us and afflicted us, and placed hard work upon us. Then we cried out to HaShem, the Elohim of our forefathers, and HaShem heard our voice and saw our affliction, our travail, and our oppression. HaShem took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awesomeness, and with signs and with wonders. He brought us to this place, and He gave us this Land, a Land flowing with milk and honey. And now, behold! I have brought the first fruit of the ground that You have given me, O HaShem!’ And you shall lay it before HaShem, your Elohim, and you shall prostrate yourself before HaShem, your Elohim.”

Can you again see the connection to bringing the Bikkurim to the Temple and the Exodus from Egyptian bondage? I will say it for the umpteenth time….If He reveals the end from the beginning, then what does this mean today at the end?

Why do we bring our Bikkurim to the Temple? Devarim 26:11 says “You shall rejoice with all the goodness that HaShem, your Elohim, has given you and your household, you and the Levite and the proselyte who is in your midst.” So we do this to rejoice in what HaShem has blessed us with!!

So what Bikkurim are considered acceptable for bringing to the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem? Remember the Bikkurim have to be free of blemishes, no defects and must literally be the best of the crop is what is set apart to HaShem. This said, is any ole produce acceptable, whatever we decide? Actually, HaShem tells us what is acceptable and there are seven species of agriculture that are acceptable per Devarim 8:8:

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  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Grape
  • Fig
  • Pomegranate
  • Oil Olives
  • Date Honey

Of the animals, only the kosher animals are acceptable i.e.:

  • Cows
  • Sheep
  • Goats

When where the Bikkurim brought to the Temple of HaShem? They began bringing them on Shavuot (Erroneously known as Pentecost) per Shemot (Exodus) 23:16 in what is also known as ‘The Feast of Harvest’ as well as the ‘Feast of In-gathering’ which is another name for the Feast of Sukkot. They could continue to bring their Bikkurim through Chanukah which is very significant in itself which we will discuss shortly!

How did they bring the Bikkurim to the Temple of HaShem?

Tractate Bikkurim in the Mishnah is very clear that the time for bringing the Bikkurim into Jerusalem was a GIGANTIC celebration and rejoicing! One commentator said that a person has not observed true rejoicing and celebrating in their lives until they witness the Bikkurim celebration at Shavuot!!!

Chapter 3.2 from Tractate Bikkurim in the Mishnah says “How do we bring the bikkurim up to the Beit HaMikdash (Temple)? All the people of the cities in the maamad (Delegation of Israelis officials which correspond to one of the 24 weekly shifts of the Kohanim serving in the Temple) gather in the city of the maamad. They stay overnight in the town square and they would not enter the houses. And in the morning, the appointee would say ‘Let us rise and ascend to Zion, to the House of HaShem our Elohim’ quoting Jeremiah 31:5.”

Chapter 3.3 says “The near ones bring fresh figs and grapes, while the far ones bring dried figs and raisins. And the ox walks ahead of them, and his horns are overlaid with gold, and a wreath of olive branches is on his head. The flute plays before them, until they reach close to Jerusalem. When they reach close to Jerusalem, they sent messengers ahead of them, and they adorned their bikkurim. The princes, the leaders, and the treasurers go out to greet them according to the honor of those entering they would go out to greet them. And all the craftsmen of Jerusalem stand up before them and inquire into their welfare: ‘Our brethren, the people of such and such a place, have you arrived in peace?'”

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Chapter 3.4 says “The flute plays ahead of them until they reach the Temple Mount. When they reach the Temple Mount, even King Agrippas takes the basket on his shoulder and enters, until he reaches the Temple Courtyard. When he reaches the Courtyard, the Levi’im break out in song: ‘I will exalt You, O HaShem, for You have uplifted me and You have not let my enemies rejoice over me. HaShem, my Elohim, I cried out to You and You healed me. HaShem, You have raised up my soul from the Lower World, You have preserved me lest I descend into the Pit. Sing to HaShem, His devoted ones, and give thanks to His holy Name. For His anger endures but a moment; life results from his pleasure; in the evening one lies down weeping, but with dawn, a cry of joy! I had said in my serenity, ‘I would never falter.’ But HaShem, it was Your good will alone that supported my greatness with might. You but conceal Your face, I would be terrified. To You, HaShem I would call and to my Master I would appeal. What gain is there in my death, in my descent to the Pit? Will the dust acknowledge You? Will it tell of Your Truth (Torah)? Hear, HaShem, and favor me HaShem, be my helper! You have changed for me my lament into dancing, You undid my sackcloth and girded me with joy. So that my soul might sing to You and not be stilled, HaShem, my Elohim, forever will I thank You.'” Quoting Psalms 30.

It should be noted that each day of the week there is a daily Psalm which was and is recited. During the time of bringing in the Bikkurim they sing Psalms 30, which is listed above, but also during Chanukah, the daily Psalm which is read during the eight days is also Psalms 30! Coincidence? Not a chance!

Chapter 3.5 says “The young birds which were on the baskets were Olah (Burnt) Offerings, and that which was in their hands, they gave to the Kohanim.”

Chapter 3.6 says “While the basket is still on his shoulders, he reads from ‘I have declared today to HaShem your Elohim’ (The declaration we discussed above from Devarim 26) until he finishes the whole section. When he reaches ‘An Aramean planned to destroy my father’ he lowers the basket from his shoulder and holds it from its rim, and a Kohen places his hand under it and waves it before HaShem. And he reads from ‘An Aramean planned to destroy my father’ until he finishes the whole section. And he places it on the side of the Altar, and he bows and he leaves.”

Can you see there is a set protocol for how and when to bring the Bikkurim to HaShem in His Temple in Jerusalem? As I have said before, the Torah is the constitution per se for the system of government in the Kingdom of HaShem and at some point, hopefully very soon, the entire world will be living under the Torah with Yeshua leading from the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem! I digress…got ahead of myself a bit.

Now remember, HaShem is teaching us a concept here with the Bikkurim such as kedusha (Holiness), being set apart to Him, don’t be like the world, etc, for He commands we as His people are to be kadosh (Holy) as He is kadosh per Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:2/20:7/20:26/26:8 and I Kepha (Peter) 1:16, etc.

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So how does all of this tie in with Yeshua? First we must remember that in the end, Yeshua will be both King and Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) in the order of Melchizedek and will serve in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem per Ezekiel chapters 40-48! Very important to remember this because Yeshua is NOT a Levite, so how can He be Kohen HaGadol if that is reserved only for Levi? The answer is below!

Tractate Bechoros in the Talmud Bavli says “The unique esteem in which firstborns were held is evident not only from the fact that their destruction was the final blow that shattered Egyptian resistance to the emancipation of the Israelites. Long before this, from the times of Adam, it had been the practice to assign the performance of the avodah (Sacrificial Service) to the firstborns per Bereshit (Genesis) 25:31. This remained the practice of the Jews until the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was erected in the Wilderness. At that time, the firstborns were superseded in the avodah by the Kohanim and Levi’im, the only group that had not participated in the sin of the Golden Calf.”

WOW…do see how significant this is in relation to Yeshua? Yeshua is constantly prophesied to be the King and Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) in the order of Melchizedek. Yeshua is NOT a Levite therefore He technically cannot serve as Kohen HaGadol in the earthly Temple because that is only reserved for Levi, because Levi didn’t bow to the Golden Calf incident! If the Priesthood was originally relegated to the firstborn sons, beginning from Adam on down, and Yeshua is called the Last Adam (I Corinthians 15:45), and Adam functioned as both King and Kohen unto HaShem in the first Temple i.e. the Garden of Eden, then this is why Yeshua can be both King and Kohen unto HaShem in the end because He reveals the end from the beginning! Yeshua isn’t setting up some new Kohanim order, He is simply performing the avodah as the Firstborn of HaShem as originally intended by HaShem!! In other words Yeshua is RESTORING what was lost, NOT ushering in something brand new as Christendom in its Replacement Theology claims! Nothing changes, nothing new under the sun and He reveals the end out of the beginning!! Very exciting to understand this, Baruch HaShem!

Now it makes MUCH more sense when we read in the Apostolic Writings in I Corinthians 15:20-23 which says “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the FIRST FRUITS of those having fallen asleep. For since death is through a man (Adam), resurrection of the dead is also through a Man (Yeshua – The Last Adam). For as all die in Adam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah. And each in his own order: Messiah the FIRST FRUITS, THEN those who are of Messiah at His coming.”

Very interesting because Yeshua suffered as Messiah Ben Yosef i.e. the Suffering Messiah on behalf of Israel in order to redeem and restore Israel and as the First Fruits is raised up by HaShem on the Feast of First Fruits, three days after His death on Pesach, no coincidence by the way, He is the first of humanity to be raised from the grave into eternal life, serving HaShem for eternity free from the sin nature we all are born with!

Further evidence is found in Yochanan (John) 20:15 says “Yeshua said to her (Miryam), ‘Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek?’ Thinking He was the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Master, if You have carried Him away, say to me where You put Him, and I shall take Him away.'” Why is this significant? Because Miryam thought she was talking to the gardener. Why did she think this? Because Yeshua was wearing His all white, Priestly garments, which are worn when approaching the Most Holy Place. How do we know this?

Yochanan (John) 20:17 says “Yeshua said to her, ‘Do not hold onto Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim.'” When the Kohen HaGadol is set apart for approaching HaShem in the Most Holy Place, he is separated out and cannot be contaminated by anything, even a human touch could contaminate him and prevent his approaching HaShem! Here Yeshua tells Miryam NOT to touch Him for just this very reason while He is wearing His all white Priestly garments!! He is the FIRST FRUITS as confirmed in Colossians 1:15 which says “Who (Yeshua) is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the FIRST BORN of all creation.”

Now consider Revelation 14:1-4 which says “And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads. And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth. They are those who are not defiled with women, for they are maiden. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being the FIRST FRUITS to Elohim and to the Lamb.” Now does this make a little more sense when we read this? And how are they the First Fruits of HaShem?

Ya’akov (James) 1:18 tells us “Having purposed it, He brought us forth by the Word of Truth (Torah), for us to be a kind of FIRST FRUITS of His creatures.” Point is, once more, He tells us the only way to be set apart to Him as His people is by doing the Torah! Remember this is NOT talking about salvation…this is talking about walking in service to HaShem in our daily lives. Yeshua walked out the Torah perfectly and we are to emulate Him as He currently serves HaShem in the Heavenly Temple on our behalf as our Kohen HaGadol in the order of Melchizedek!

Its ALL about being the FIRST FRUITS i.e. kadosh unto HaShem!! This is why we need the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt soon in our days…may it be VERY VERY soon!!

Shabbat Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Stone Chumash by Artscroll
  • Tractate Bikkurim from the Mishnah
  • Tractate Bikkurim from the Talmud Bavli
  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • Tehillim – The Psalms by Artscroll
  • The Messiah Texts by Raphael Patai

DID YESHUA BRING ANIMAL OFFERINGS TO THE TEMPLE?

“Gather together the people, the men, the women, and the small children, and your stranger (Non-Jewish believers) who is in your cities, so that they will hear and so they will learn, and they shall fear HaShem, your Elohim, and be careful to perform all the words of this Torah.” Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:12

Did Yeshua personally bring animal and grain korbonot (Offerings) up and offer them to HaShem in the Temple? I know this question and its subsequent research and answer could ignite a firestorm, even though that is NOT my intention, however, I believe it is a very good question which needs to be asked, researched and answered!

Unfortunately Replacement Theology has done enormous amounts of damage to the Apostolic Writings and especially to tainting and corrupting just Who is the Messiah of HaShem! It is has presented an image of a Messiah who does not in any way, shape or form, fit in with the Prophecies and Scriptural references HaShem gave in His Tanakh. This must be addressed and must be corrected, especially in these unprecedented times we currently live in!

We will address this question in this Op, but keep in mind, the Apostolic Writings ARE in fact very Jewish writings, utilizing Jewish customs, references and idioms and carry on what was written in the Tanakh. It is Replacement Theology, going back hundreds and hundreds of years, which has taken the Apostolic Writings, and twisted them into what we see today, a compilation of letters which seemingly endorses separating from the Torah of HaShem, changing what HaShem established in the beginning, establishing new Feasts and presenting a figure head which when compared to the Torah of HaShem, appears to be teaching a message of rebellion and insurrection against HaShem and His Kingdom. The point I am attempting to make right off the bat per se, is DO NOT LISTEN to what Replacement Theology teaches about the Apostolic Writings! Replacement Theology is NOT in any way the expert interpreters of the letters! When 95% of the entire Bible is disregarded and ignored, how can Replacement Theology be qualified to render any definitive interpretation of the Apostolic Writings?

No, this Op is not a bash fest on Replacement Theology, I have to lay the foundation before we can proceed and explain why Replacement Theology is not qualified to be a credible source. Keep this in mind as we progress in this Op, but as always, never forget the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

The opening verse at the top of this Op from Devarim 31:12 is very interesting because HaShem is clearly saying the Torah is for EVERYONE and it is the vehicle through which we can have a relationship with our Great King! Torah doesn’t save or redeem, Torah is the natural result of true faith in HaShem! First Abraham believed and then he began his journey in striving to walk in the Torah of HaShem out of love, devotion and loyalty. I point this out because I do not want anyone to come away from any of my Ops thinking I am teaching a Torah based salvation, which is impossible, none of us can keep His Torah perfectly. I will reiterate, first we believe in HaShem, THEN we begin our Torah journey and learning the Torah each Shabbat. I digress.

In order to answer the question of whether Yeshua personally offered up animal korbonot to HaShem in the Temple, we need to first lay the foundation of what HaShem commanded in His Torah with regards to the korbonot.

Always remember the following from my previous Op’s because it is vital to our discussion concerning Yeshua: Yeshua MUST come in the likeness of Moshe (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) because it was Moshe, who was HaShem’s Agent i.e His Sheliach/Sent One, who brought the Torah to Israel. Remember as we have discussed in previous Op’s, an agent is likened to the one who sent him in the first place, therefore when read the words of Yeshua where He says “When you see Me, you have seen the Father” per John 14:9, now it makes much more sense in that Yeshua is re-affirming He is the AGENT of HaShem i.e. the Sheliach of HaShem and NOT literally HaShem in the flesh as that is just not possible for many, many Scriptural reasons.

The following is from the article ‘The Law of Agency’ from the Jewish Encyclopedia and it states: “The Law of Agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person. The person who binds a principal in this manner is his agent, known in Jewish law as sheluaḥ or sheliaḥ (one that is sent): the relation of the former to the latter is known as agency (sheliḥut). The general principle is enunciated thus: A man’s agent is like himself (Ḳid. 41b).” I digress.

Additionally, consider what Replacement Theology has taught over the centuries that Yeshua and Yosef were carpenters in the literal sense of working with wood is very likely not accurate. The word ‘Carpenter’ in Greek, as is used in the Apostolic Writings, is ‘Tekton’ which can mean a literal carpenter but also a ‘Builder’. This is VERY interesting because in Hebrew a builder is not just someone who constructs objects and buildings, etc, but per Tractate Shabbos 114a from the Talmud Bavli it says “Who are the Builders? The Builders are Torah scholars who are engaged in building the world all of their days.” Now wouldn’t this make much more sense for the Messiah of HaShem to be a Torah scholar especially if He is to come in the likeness of Moshe i.e. teach the Torah? Keep this in mind!

The Hebrew word ‘Korban’ means ‘To be close to someone. To draw near to HaShem’. The truest offering is when the owner brings himself as the offering. The owner of the animal or grain offering sets himself apart to HaShem to make himself subservient to the teachings of the Torah. The animal or grain offering is secondary in that it is an indication of what the owner feels and what the owner is striving for.

Per Vayikra (Leviticus) chapter 1 there are only three species of animals which are acceptable for korbonot i.e:

  • Cattle – Bull and Male/Female calf
  • Sheep – Male/Female lambs and Rams
  • Goats – Male/Female goats and male/female kids
  • Turtledoves and young pigeons are the one acceptable species of birds.

Minchah (Flour/Bread) korbonot are primarily made from wheat however on two occasions they are made from barley i.e. the Sotah Test (For a woman suspected and accused of adultery) per Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:15 and Vayikra (Leviticus) 2:15.

Wine korbonot are brought from unsweetened grapes.

There are eight categories of korbonot which may be brought:

  • Chatat (Sin)
  • Olah (Burnt)
  • Asham (Guilt/Trespass)
  • Shelamim (Peace)
  • Todah (Thanksgiving)
  • Bechor (Firstfruits)
  • Maaser (Tithes)
  • Pesach (Passover)

Of these eight korbonot they are divided up into two types of sanctity which will determine where in the Temple they are slaughtered:

  • Kodashim Kalim – Minor sanctity korbonot which means they can be slaughtered anywhere in the Azarah (Courtyard)
  • Kodashei Kodashim – Major sanctity korbonot which means they can only be slaughtered in a specific location i.e. north of the Mizbe’ach in the Beit HaMitbechayim (Slaughter House).

There are TWO Altar’s in the Temple of HaShem:

  • Inner Altar (Golden Altar) – Where the Daily Incense is burned and sits in the Holy Place just in front of the Parochet (Veil), which is one of FOUR Parochet in the Holy Place. There are TWO Parochet which separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, one Parochet upstairs in the Sanctuary building itself and one Parochet at the front entrance.
  • Outer Altar – This is where the fires burned continuously and where the korbonot are burned.

It is the application of the blood to the Mizbe’ach (Altar) which atones, not the burning of the fats or meat. The application of the blood is what fulfills the obligation of the owner of the korbonot.

Depending on where the blood was to be applied would determine if the korbonot was an: Internal or External Korbonot i.e. the blood applied either to the Inner Altar or the Outer Altar. Additionally, the korbonot were either an Individual or a Communal korbonot, offered up by one individual or offered up on behalf of all Israel.

What is the purpose for the korbonot? They are not just for obtaining forgiveness or redemption, but are for the purpose of communing with HaShem, drawing near to Him. To give thanks, gratitude, cleansing from ritual impurity (Not a sin BTW). It should be noted there is no korbonot which can be offered to atone for malicious or deliberate sins! Those can only be dealt with by HaShem on Yom Kippur! But, it should also be noted the korbonot are a picture of the Messiah!

There are two types of actions the owner of the korbonot will do depending on what type of korbonot they are bringing to HaShem. One is ‘Semichah’ or ‘Leaning’ in which the owner places their hands on the animals head and leans down with all their strength and recites their confession stating the sin for which the offering is intended to atone for. It can only be performed for personal animal korbonot, not on bird or minchah korbonot. The other is ‘Vidui’ which the owner recites or confesses words of praise to HaShem. This applies only to Shelamim or Todah korbonot.

The four steps of the animal korbonot are:

  • Shechitah/Slaughter
  • Keibalah/Receiving of the blood in a sanctified vessel
  • Holachah/Carrying of the blood to the Mizbe’ach (Altar)
  • Zerikah/Throwing of the blood onto the Mizbe’ach

The ‘Emurim’ are the sacrificial parts or the remainder of the korbonot which are salted and is to be eaten by the kohen (Priest) or by the owner of the korbonot or the owner and their guests in the required timeframe.

This all said, we need to explore what HaShem commanded in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:16-17 which says “THREE times a year ALL your males should appear before HaShem, your Elohim, in the place that He will choose (His Temple in Jerusalem): On the Festival of Matzos (Pesach/Passover), the Festival of Shavuos (Erroneously called Pentecost), and the Festival of Sukkot (Erroneously called Tabernacles); and he shall NOT appear before HaShem empty handed, everyone according to what he can give, according to the blessing that HaShem, your Elohim, has given to you.”

There a total of seven Feasts of HaShem per year, but these listed above are the three Pilgrimage Feasts! It should be noted the Festival of Matzos and Sukkot both last for seven days while the Festival of Shavuos lasts for only one day. This is important, so keep it in mind.

What is interesting to note is in the verses above from Devarim 16, the phrase ‘Shall not appear empty handed’ when translated into Hebrew actually points to a specific type of Olah (Burnt) korbonot which is called an ‘Olah R’iyah’.

The commentary on this from the Chumash says “Our pasuk (Verse) commands every adult Jewish male to appear in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) on the three Regalim (Pilgrimage Festivals): Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot and to bring an ‘Olah Re’iyah’, an olah (Burnt korbonot) of ‘Appearance’.”

Mitzvot #489 and 490 discuss this from the Book of the Mitzvot: Mitzvah 489 – “The obligation to appear in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) on the Festivals” plus Mitzvah 490 – “The prohibition to make the Festival pilgrimage without bringing an offering.” These give an answer to the one underlying question of this command from HaShem, which is why? What is the purpose? The purpose is “So that all the Jewish people should see and should take heart, through the act of bringing an offering, which arouses the heart, that all of them, from their youngest to their oldest, are the lot of HaShem and His heritage, a holy and chosen nation, which preserves His legacy, most treasured of all the nations under the Heavens, chosen to observe HaShem’s statutes and to uphold His decree. They are therefore brought to the Temple of HaShem three times each year, and by appearing there, it is as though they are declaring figuratively: ‘Behold, we are servants of the Almighty, entering and coming beneath the shade of His roof and into His domain, forever affirmed in love and fear of Him; no stranger may come along with us, for we alone are the members of His household.'”

Again we can see the whole point of this, is all about the heart. Not because of some religious rote, but out of love, devotion and loyalty to HaShem, Master of Legions! He doesn’t want people to strive to keep His Torah because there is a figurative gun to their heads, He wants people to strive to keep His Torah out of love, devotion and loyalty to Him…..remember as we discussed earlier, first faith then the Torah! I digress.

Per the Mishnah Torah by Rambam Hilchot Chagigah 2.3 it says “Whenever a child can hold his father’s hand and ascend from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount, his father is obligated to have him ascend and appear before HaShem to train him in the observance of the mitzvot, as implied by the phrase: ‘All your males shall appear’ (Devarim 16:16).” Tractate Chagigah 4a from the Talmud Bavli states the same with regards to when a child would accompany his father.

So thus far we can see Yeshua as a child would have had to go with Yosef up to the Temple at a minimm on these Regalim and participate in the offering of an Olah R’iyah! But, we need to address if He would have done this as an adult, during the time of His as a Rabbi. Hang on, we are getting there.

Let’s now quickly examine what all is involved with bringing an Olah R’iyah to the Temple!

Per the book ‘Avodas HaKorbanos’ by Artscroll, on page 449 it begins to list in detail the procedures of bringing an Olah R’iyah to the Temple. It begins with “On the first day of each festival (Regalim/Pilgrimage), when it falls on a weekday (If the first day fell on a Shabbat then this offering would be brought the following day), at the time that a Jewish male comes to appear before HaShem to fulfill the mitzvah to be seen before HaShem, he must bring with him an animal (Male lamb or goat in its first year).”

“He (The one bringing the korbonot) would give over the animal to the official appointed to inspect it for any blemish before designating it as an Olah (It is prohibited from verbally consecrating a blemished animal as an korbonot to HaShem). After it was inspected and deemed fit, the owner would lead the offering to the entrance of the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) (This is a specific place located in the Temple which is located at the Nikanor Gate which is in the Court of the Women and leads to the Court of Israel. See the picture to the right).”

It was here that the owner would verbally consecrate the animal as an Olah R’iyah to HaShem. “He would then bring it (the animal) into the Courtyard, to the norther side (Of the Outer Altar because the Torah deems an Olah R’iyah as an Kodshei Kodashim or a Most Holy Korbonot). He woud position it there in the north with its face to the west, with the owner, who was to perform the rite of semichah (Leaning), standing to the east of the animal, facing west. He would place both of his hands between the animal’s horns and lean with all his strength upon the head of the Olah; and in the place that they would perform the leaning, they would carry out the slaughter.” It should be noted again that an Olah korbonot is NOT for sin i.e. atonement. In this instance of an Olah R’iyah it is brought simply because HaShem commanded it and none of the meat is eaten, all of it is burned on the Outer Altar!

Okay, so the animal is slaughtered according to how HaShem commands in the Torah in order to ensure the slaughter is painless without any fear to the animal. “The Kohen who was to receive the blood would stand opposite the Kohen who was to perform the slaughter, on a diagonal, his face toward the southwest, and his back toward the northeast. He would receive all of the lifeblood to fulfill the mitzvah of receiving the blood. He would recite a blessing over the blood (Blessed are You, HaShem, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with the sanctity of Aharon and commanded us regarding receiving the blood of the Olah.)”

The Kohen who received the blood would then walk, “Holding the mizrak (Sanctified container) containing the blood, toward the northeastern corner of the Mizbe’ach (Altar) of the Olah, in order to fulfill the mitzvah of bringing the blood to the Mizbe’ach i.e. Holachah. He would recite the blessing upon the mitzvah of holachah (‘Blessed are You, HaShem, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with the sanctity of Aharon and commanded us regarding the bringing of the blood of the Olah’).”

“And when the Kohen reached the northeastern corner of the Mizbe’ach, he would stand on the Courtyard floor in front of the corner, and throw the blood in the mizrak, from a distance, against the corner, beneath the red line (Red line marked the middle of the Mizbe’ach and the blood of all animal Olah korbonot would be applied beneath it). He would aim his throw intending that the blood would spread onto the two sides of the corner, to the east as well as to the north. He would then circle the Mizbe’ach, walking to his right until he came to the southwestern corner, where he would throw the blood in the same manner, to fulfill which is written per Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:11 ‘and the sons of Aharon, the Kohanim, shall throw its blood on the Mizbe’ach all around.’ Any remaining blood was then poured onto the base of the Mizbe’ach of the Olah.”

The animal is then dismembered and the emurim (Sacrificial parts) are salted and the Kohen takes them and puts them on the fire on the Mizbe’ach to be completely burned as a pleasing aroma to HaShem.

Some may think the level of detail required in these korbonot is ridiculous or added by the mind of man, but the reality is, it is HaShem Himself Who gave the procedures for every action and korbonot in the Temple…man had nothing to do with it! We see this in Shemot (Exodus) 25 when HaShem gave Moshe the ‘Tavnit’ or Blueprints for the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to include all the details. He did so again with David in I Chronicles 28 by His Ruach (Holy Spirit) with regards to the blueprints for the Temple to include all the detailed procedures!

Thus far we see per the Torah Yeshua was required, as a male, to appear at a minimum of three times a year on the Regalim and bring His Olah R’iyah before HaShem. But in addition to His Olah R’iyah there is the Torah command for a Chagigah Shelamim korbonot!

Per the Avodas HaKorbonos book on page 461 it says “There is an additional obligation incumbent upon every Jewish male, when he comes to appear before HaShem in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) on the Regalim, to bring a chagigah korbonot, brought as a Shelamim (Peace) korbonot, as it is written in Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:41 ‘You shall celebrate it as a festival for HaShem, a seven day period.'”

So in addition to an Olah R’iyah korbonot, a Shelamim korbonot is also required! Per Vayikra (Leviticus) 3:1 it says “If his offering is a feast Peace (Shelamim) offering, if he offers it from the cattle whether male or female, unblemished shall he offer it before HaShem. He shall lean his hand upon the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting/Nikanor Gate in the Temple).” HaShem says the same thing in verses 6-11 with regards to a sheep being offered up and verses 12-16 with regards to a goat being offered up. In verse 17 He says “An ETERNAL DECREE for your generations in all your dwelling places; you may not consume any fat or any blood.”

The procedures for the Chagigah Shelamim are the virtually the same as the Olah R’iyah to include how the blood was applied to the Outer Altar beneath the red line. The one difference is after the emurim (Sacrificial parts) were salted and put on the fire to be burned, the chest section and the thigh of the Chagigah Shelamim are given to the Kohanim of that day’s service. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:34 says “For the chest of the waving and the thigh of the raising up have I taken from the Children of Israel from their slaughtered shelamim offerings; and I have given them to Aharon the Kohen and his sons as an eternal stipend from the Children of Israel.”

Can you see these Olah and Shelamim korbonot are commanded by HaShem in His Torah, therefore, Yeshua, by default, MUST have obeyed and brought these animals to the Temple as korbonot at a minimum on the Regalim otherwise He would have broken the Torah and been immediately disqualified as being the Messiah! Remember He is the AGENT of HaShem and is NOT HaShem in the flesh! The point is He wasn’t offering korbonot to Himself!

Consider did anyone ever confront Yeshua about NOT bringing the required korbonot to the Temple on the Regalim? At His illegal trial, did anyone accuse Him of not bringing the required korbonot? Nope, no one ever accused Him or challenged Him on this topic, which is another proof He DID so!

Yeshua kept on bringing these korbonot to the Temple on the Regalim up until His death and resurrection! What gets the blood to boiling in fury with many in Replacement Theology is the idea the animal korbonot will resume when He returns and assumes both the position of King and Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) in Yechezkel (Ezekiel’s) Temple! This time He will be offering them up as the Kohen HaGadol in the order of Melchizedek! Point is, His death and resurrection ended nothing nor was the Temple rendered to be something blasphemous and rejected by HaShem as is commonly taught. I will quickly prove it to you!

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 45:22 says “The Prince shall make on that day, for Himself and for the entire population a bull for a Chatat (Sin) korbonot.” The question is, who is this Prince? The commentary is clear this Prince is the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) and is the Messiah! Can we prove this Prince is Messiah? Yes we can! Yechezkel 37:23-25 says speaking of the future “And they will no longer be contaminated with their idols and their abhorrent things and with all their sins; and I shall save them from all their habitations in which they sinned, and I shall purify them, and they shall be a nation for Me, and I will be Elohim for them, with My servant David King over them, and a single shepherd will be for all of them. In my ordinance they will go and My decrees they will guard, and perform them, and they shall dwell on the land which I gave to My servant Jacob within which your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell upon it, they, their children and their children’s children forever, and MY SERVANT DAVID WILL BE PRINCE FOR THEM, FOREVER.”

Very interesting so we have King Messiah Yeshua Who is serving as not only King but also as Kohen HaGadol in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and He is offering up Chatat (Sin) korbonot as well as the daily Tamid (Burnt) korbonot, Festival korbonot, Minchah (Bread) korbonot, Nesachim (Wine libations), etc. If you wish to read up on this yourselves, Yechezkel chapters 40-48 discusses in detail the rebuilt Temple that Yeshua will oversee in Jerusalem after the Birth Pains are completed, the False Messiah has been destroyed and all of Israel has been gathered back into the Land of Israel forever and ever! Point is, NOTHING changes! HaShem reveals the end out of the beginning and there truly is nothing new under the sun! This in itself fully exposes Replacement Theology as well as the False Messiah!

I know this Op has thrown a ton of information at everyone, but this is just a tiny, minuscule glimpse at the complexity of the Beit HaMikdash and how astounding HaShem is and all that He is teaching us through His Beit HaMikdash if we will just stop listening to the garbage Replacement Theology pumps out and actually search this out for ourselves! There is SO much to learn it will literally take an eternity and even then it will just be scratching the surface! Always keep in mind the Torah is the Heart of HaShem and His Beit HaMikdash is His Throne on earth! No wonder the adversary has worked so hard to convince the masses both the Torah and the Beit HaMikdash are now relegated to dung and tossed onto the dung pile of history! Further, the Torah and the Beit HaMikdash reveal the real Messiah and expose the False one!

I could keep going on and on with this subject but will end it here and continue it in future Ops. Be encouraged and stay strong….All I can say is may it be so very soon in our days!

Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • Yechezkel by Artscroll
  • Avodas HaKorbanos by Artscroll
  • Mishnah Torah Hilchot Chagigah by Rambam
  • The Milstein Edition Chumash the Book of Exodus by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Chumash the Book of Leviticus by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Chumash the Book of Deuteronomy by Artscroll
  • Kunteres Avodas HaKorbonos by Johannesburg Cheder
  • Measure the Pattern Vol 1 by Joe Good HaTikvah Ministries
  • Tractate Chagigah Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
  • Tractate Chagigah Mishnah by Kehati
  • The Book of the Mitzvos by Artscroll

JUST HOW JEWISH ARE THE APOSTOLIC WRITINGS?

“My child, give your heart to Me, and your eyes will heed My ways.” Proverbs 23:26

The Apostolic Writings….a collection of writings and letters which, according to the audience, will either reveal a Torah abolishing person who claims to be the Messiah or will reveal a Torah observant person who claims to be the Messiah, depending on what lens is used to read and interpret them. Sounds confusing doesn’t it?

There is, unfortunately, so much angst and hostility today by many in Replacement Theology who hold strong and fast to the doctrine the Apostolic Writings reveal a Torah abolishing Messiah. Unfortunately Replacement Theology has adopted enormous amounts of antisemitism into its doctrine based upon the erroneous interpretations of the Apostolic Writings, which we will address at some point. The arguments which can very quickly ensue is very disheartening to the point where I just walk away in most cases as I am not in any way interested nor seeking out confrontations.

In the previous Op, ‘Just how Jewish is Yeshua’ I focused on very briefly showing how Yeshua and His talmidim (Students/Disciples) never once walked away from the Torah nor the right rulings of the Sanhedrin on how to walk in the Torah of HaShem i.e. the Mishnah/Talmud/Etc = The Oral Torah. In this Op it is my intention to focus on showing how the Apostolic Writings can only be properly understood through the lens of the Torah and the Oral Torah and any other interpretation devoid of the Torah will produce erroneous and destructive results that we see over the centuries via Replacement Theology.

I will be using many different resources to include the Tanakh, the Apostolic Writings themselves, to include the Mishnah, the Talmud Bavli as well reference various authors who have written their own books discussing the subject.

As always, before we delve into this large topic, now more than ever, never forget the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem as they are more relevant than ever before:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

You may be asking why I always include pictures of nature in my Ops? The most basic reason is I want people to look at these and see the Hand of HaShem, our Great King, in His creation and realize this is Who we are striving to serve! The same Elohim Who made all of creation, is the same One Who reaches out to each of us, seeking our attention, love, devotion and loyalty unto Him for only then will we know true peace and have life more abundantly in the Olam Haba i.e. the World to Come! I digress.

Now this Op is not intended to be a giant bash fest, on the contrary, it is to highlight what has been in front of our eyes all along, all these years and Baruch HaShem, He has sovereignly chosen to peel off the blinders we all, myself included, have had on.

In order to proceed, we need to understand what was going on at the time of Yeshua which will form the basis for what we read in the entire Apostolic Writings. The first and foremost issue is Shammai vs Hillel!!!

In the time of Yeshua there were several sects of beliefs and sects within Judaism such as: Sadducees, Boethusians, Essenes, Chassidim, Zealots and the Pharisees with the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel the predominate ones. Hillel was born around 70 Before Common Era (BCE) and died around 10 Common Era (CE). Shammai was born around 50 BCE and died around 30 CE. This is very important to know because it means their teachings were very much the talk of Israel during the time of Yeshua!

Replacement Theology has a VERY bad understanding of what a Pharisee really meant. It does NOT mean someone who is arrogant, prideful, self seeking, etc, it meant a person who was wholly devoted to their walk in the Torah of HaShem! Yeshua was a Pharisee. His talmidim were all Pharisees. Paul was a Pharisee…it just mattered as to which school of thought that person adhered too i.e. Shammai or Hillel. I digress.

Historically Shammai and Hillel opposed one another in their theology, even to the point of actual violence erupting between the two. Shammai thought Hillel was too lenient as it pertains to their interpretation of the Scriptures, and what was the controversy? How did non-Jews i.e. Gentiles fit in to the covenant with HaShem and the Torah? Shammai was VERY hostile towards non-Jews while Hillel was very open to bringing non-Jews into the covenant and learning the Torah. It should be noted that Yeshua agreed with Hillel’s teachings.

A statement which is made in Tractate Shabbos 31a in the Talmud Bavli says when describing the differences between Shammai and Hillel, “Shammai’s impatience sought to drive us (Non-Jews) from the world; Hillel’s patience brought us beneath the wings of the Divine Presence.”

In 30 BCE Hillel became the Nasi, (President) of the Sanhedrin, until his death in 10 CE. Remember what the mandate of the Sanhedrin was/is by HaShem? Devarim (Deuteronomy 16) says and I will paraphrase the authority given by HaShem to the Sanhedrin was for them to render right rulings on HOW TO WALK in the Torah of HaShem! They didn’t concern themselves with civil affairs, their focus was solely the Torah of HaShem and HOW to walk. Their right rulings are recorded for us in the Mishnah and then expounded upon with commentary in the two versions of the Talmud i.e. Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi. HaShem then commands that we are required to do what the Sanhedrin rules on and not to deviate to the right or to the left and to defy the Sanhedrin is the defy HaShem Himself because He bestowed the authority upon them. If the Sanhedrin should become corrupt or render a wrong ruling, then it is HaShem Who will intervene and correct the problem. This is another area in which it can erupt into a very explosive topic among people today. I digress.

An excerpt from the book ‘Galatians’ by Steve Salter, he says on page 8 “Around 20 BCE the House of Shammai gained the majority in the Sanhedrin and passed what has come to be called the Eighteen Measures, although these measures were not an official Sanhedrin ruling. These measures or edicts were designed to further separate Jews from non-Jews.” This is the basis for what we read about Peter and his vision of the sheet for it was these 18 measures that prohibited Jews from entering the home of a non-Jew let alone actually eat with a non-Jew. Shammai was so hostile towards non-Jews they believed that a non-Jew could never enter the Kingdom of HaShem! It didn’t matter if the non-Jews converted or were G-d-Fearers, in Shammai’s beliefs, a non-Jew was doomed, something HaShem not one time ever said or teaches in His Torah!

Steve Salter says on page 9 “This topic would continue to divide the faith for many decades after the resurrection of Yeshua. We can see several examples of this in the book of Acts. Some said that one must convert to Judaism, while others said that nothing a Gentile did could gain him eternal life. For the most part, most Jews that believed in Yeshua believed that non-Jews had to convert when they became believers in Yeshua. G-d showed Peter that this was a fallacy in his understanding of the Scriptures. The vision of the sheet from Heaven had nothing to do with kosher or non-kosher foods. The non-kosher foods were a picture of the non-Jew, whom the Jews considered to be unclean. Peter didn’t understand the analogy in the beginning, but he soon realized what G-d was saying. It would be Peter who first explained the vision to his brethren. In explaining the vision, Peter ties it in with the salvation of Cornelius and his family. By this time he clearly understood the vision and its purpose.”

The point that should be made here is nowhere, anywhere in the entirety of the Bible does HaShem ever say that obedience to the Torah is what secures salvation! It is ALWAYS faith i.e. believing what HaShem says that first secures salvation AND THEN striving to walk in the Torah as the EVIDENCE of that faith! Abraham first believed HaShem THEN he walked in the Torah! That is the crux of the entire Word of HaShem! Torah is the vehicle to develop a relationship and know HaShem! Without the Torah there cannot be a relationship with Him and why? Because Torah is the Heart of HaShem, it is Who He is! It is a great gift He has granted to us. Can we walk in His Torah perfectly? Sadly no, we cannot. We do the best we can out of love, devotion and loyalty unto Him as His servants.

It must be asked and clarified, are all 613 Commandments in the Torah for every single person? An emphatic NO! Some only apply in the Land of Israel, 271 of them apply to the Temple in Jerusalem, some only to the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) some only to the Levites, some only to women, some only to men, etc. Very important to understand! Moving on.

With this said, when we read in the Apostolic Writings Yeshua engaging the Pharisees, He is always engaging the Pharisees of the School of Shammai! He is NOT engaging ALL the Pharisees because after all He is a Pharisee from the School of Hillel! Keep this in mind!

It is so very sad when I read or hear leaders in Replacement Theology who bash the Jews and mock them for their Torah observance or some even go so far as to refer to them as the ‘Synagogue of Satan’ quoting Revelation 2:9 and 3:9. This has led to countless cases of anti-Semitic attacks on the Jews over the centuries! What Replacement Theology has failed to understand, because they refuse to do the research, is this term ‘Synagogue of Satan’ is actually referring one specific sect of the Pharisees!

On page 118 of the book ‘Jesus the Pharisee’ by Harvey Falk “It was a common practice to refer to those who followed the teachings of Shammai as ‘followers of Satan, vipers, Synagogue of Satan, etc.'” Point is, Yeshua was NOT condemning all of the Jews as some in Replacement Theology teach. Just the opposite, He was pointing to the School of Shammai because of their hostility towards non-Jews! What does this imply then? Yeshua’s goal was to bring the Torah to the non-Jews, just as was mandated by HaShem that Israel was to be a light to nations i.e. live out the Torah as an example and then the non-Jews would be drawn to HaShem and go to Israel to learn how to walk in the Torah!

Steve Salter on page 11 of his book says “Hillel and Shammai had many disciples that studied under them. These disciples in turn grew to become the leading Rabbis of their day. In the New Testament, all of the disciples of Yeshua were of one of the mainline groups with the exception of Judas, who was of the sect of the Sicarii (Sicarii primarily followed Shammai). It is hard to say for certain just which groups all of them followed. Paul, of course, was with the House of Hillel as he sat under Rabban Gamaliel. Gamaliel was the grandson of Hillel and the leader of the Sanhedrin during Paul’s time.

James, the brother of Yeshua, was most likely of the House of Shammai. This hypothesis is based on the fact that James was not a believer in Yeshua until after Yeshua had risen from the dead. A logical and viable explanation would be that they disagreed on halakah (How to walk in the Torah). James would have followed the halakah of Beit Shammai and Yeshua, would, for the most part, agree with the halakah of Beit Hillel. It would have been very difficult for James to follow Yeshua during the days that Yeshua walked the earth since they differed on the way that one was to live their lives (Halakah).”

Does this now, thus far, change your perception and understanding of the Apostolic Writings? We will keep going forward.

Over the years I have read many comments from people how much they despise the ‘customs’ of men as seemingly discussed in the Apostolic Writings. What is being missed is that word in Greek for ‘Custom’ is ‘Ethos’ which when taken to its Hebrew origin means ‘The way one lives his life, the way one is to walk, i.e. Halakah’. Point is, it is a reference to the right rulings of the Sanhedrin for how to walk in the Torah of HaShem!

To further add some confusion, historically there were several different sects of the Jewish faith such as ‘The G-dFearers’ or ‘Devout Ones’. These were not simply ones who feared HaShem, but were instead distinct class of people. This group will be the major problem that the believers have to contend with in the first and second centuries. For clarification a G-dFearer was a non-Jew that lived with the Jewish people, yet remained a non-Jew, but did follow the parts of the Torah that applied to them. They are known as ‘Geirim’ or ‘Strangers’.

Steve Salter says in his book on page 16 “Up until this time the G-dFearer would have departed from all aspects of paganism. He would have kept the Noahide Covenant, Shabbat, all the Feasts, ate Kosher and any of the other commandments in the Torah that applied to him. He was considered Torah observant in every respect if he kept the commandments that applied to him. This was all anyone had to do to claim the title ‘Torah Observant.'” Remember these G-dFearers were non-Jews, so the argument by Replacement Theology that the Torah is only for the Jews is destroyed! Keep this in mind when you read the Apostolic Writings for yourself!

The basis for the Oral Torah i.e. the Halakah, is discussed in the Perkei Avot 1.1 which says “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and passed it on to Joshua. Joshua passed it on to the elders; the elders to the Prophets; the Prophets passed it on to the Men of the Great Assembly. They, the Men of the Great Assembly, made three statements: ‘Be deliberate in judgment; raise up many students; and make a fence around the Torah.'” Now did these folks just one day get up and decide to do this or is there Scriptural support for making a fence around the Torah?

The commentary on Perkei Avot 1.1 says “And make a fence around the Torah – institute decrees and ordinances that will separate a person from sin. As HaShem said in Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:30 ‘And you shall observe My ordinances,’ which was interpreted by our Sages to mean, ‘Make a safeguard for My ordinances.'” The point here is a person can break a fence and it is not considered a sin, but breaking a Torah commandment is sin and will incur judgment from HaShem. The fence is what we read in the right rulings of the Sanhedrin!

When we read in Acts 18 how Paul took a Nazarite Vow and shaved his head, which we have discussed several times before in various Op’s, this is AFTER he had come to believe in Yeshua. Then he goes to Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts 21, meets with the council which are comprised of just about all the writers of the Apostolic Writings, who inform Paul of what he is being accused of i.e. teaching Israel to depart from the Torah and the ‘customs’ i.e. the Halakah, same things Replacement Theology teaches about Paul today. In order to prove these accusations are wrong, they tell Paul there are four other men, believers in Yeshua, who also took a Nazarite Vow, and all of them are ready to complete their Vows, per Bamidbar (Numbers) 6, which means they have to go up to the Temple, immerse, be purified by the ashes of the Red Heifer, bring three animal offerings each i.e. a Burnt, Peace and Sin offerings, Mincha (Bread) offerings and then shave their hair. Point is, if Yeshua ended the Torah and the Temple at His resurrection, as is commonly taught by Replacement Theology, then why is Paul still walking in the Halakah and bringing animal offerings to include sin offerings to the Temple some 30 years AFTER becoming a believer in Yeshua?

Its all through the Apostolic Writings that the Torah is THE only way to live in service to HaShem, NOT to obtain or maintain salvation, but as the evidence of faith in HaShem! Further, if Yeshua walked in the Torah and the Halakah, and then He says we are to imitate Him, how confusing is it then for people to read how Yeshua lived and then be told ‘Don’t do as He did! That is just legalistic bondage designed to destroy you!’ If HaShem is unchanging, reveals the end from the beginning and says there is nothing new under the sun, then can the Apostolic Writings teach a brand new doctrine that is devoid of everything from the beginning? No it is impossible and is the definition of insanity! I digress.

Consider what the Book of James in the Apostolic Writings chapter 2 verse 18 says “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works (Torah observance).’ Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith BY MY WORKS (Torah observance).” As Steve Salter says in his book on page 69 “Faith ALWAYS produces works, it is a spiritual law that cannot be changed or altered. James was not saying that works can save one, he was merely stating that one cannot have faith without the works….”

So with all this said thus far, let’s get to crux of the matter. What did Yeshua Himself in Matthew 5:17-20 regarding the Torah? When reading these verses remember what Replacement Theology teaches in that Yeshua came to toss the Torah out, replace HaShem’s Feasts with Christmas/Easter, change His Shabbat to Sunday and render all animals clean for food. Let’s see if Yeshua would agree with Replacement Theology: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.” We need to define some words in this very important verse.

Per page 72 of Steve Salter’s book: “When Yeshua says ‘I came’ it does NOT refer to Him leaving Heaven and coming to earth. It is an idiom that means ‘My intent’ or ‘My purpose’. The term ‘To destroy the Torah’ was a well known Rabbinic expression that meant that one was giving an incorrect interpretation of a verse or verses of Scripture. When a person disagreed on another’s interpretation he would accuse him of destroying the Torah by his interpretation. In response, the one accused would respond that he was not destroying the Torah, but fulfilling it i.e. rightly interpreting it.”

Has every single prophecy in HaShem’s Word come to pass yet? Nope, not yet, therefore it is an impossibility that Yeshua did away with the Prophets as some in Replacement Theology teach. Further, the word ‘Fulfill’ means “To cause HaShem’s will, as made known in the Torah, to be obeyed as it should be, and HaShem’s promises given through the prophets to receive fulfillment.” In other words, Yeshua showed us how the Torah was meant to be properly understood.

Verse 18 of Matthew 5 says “For truly, I say to you, till the heavens and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.” Well, are you and I still here reading this Op? There is your proof the Torah was NOT tossed out! The reference to a ‘Yod’ is the name of the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the ‘Tittle’ is a reference to the decorative markings on each of those letters. In other words, there is zero chance that even the smallest letter or decoration on that letter has been tossed out, despite what Replacement Theology teaches.

Verse 19 of Matthew 5 says “Whoever then breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” No one in history has ever been able to keep 100% of the Torah, just not possible, therefore we all are called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, however, there is One Who has, Yeshua and He will be called Great in the Kingdom.

Verse 20 of Matthew 5 says “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Yeshua was in no way disparaging the Scribes and Pharisees here in this verse, it was just the opposite, He was exalting them because the Scribes and the Pharisees were the best Israel had to offer, but even they could not merit in their own efforts entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember, first FAITH in HaShem, THEN Torah observance as the expression of that faith!

Its very interesting, for we see in Matthew 5 that Yeshua is flatly declaring the Torah IS still in effect and will always be in effect! Then we read through out the rest of the Apostolic Writings a continuation of the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament) message i.e. first faith in HaShem THEN Torah observance. Paul’s own letters bear this own, but who is Paul?

Paul or Shaul in Hebrew, is the most misunderstood person in the Apostolic Writings. Paul was a person of Jewish descent, specifically from the Tribe of Benjamin. He was a Pharisee of Beit Hillel and studied under Rabban Gamaliel, grandson of Hillel. Somehow, Replacement Theology, has adopted the insane doctrine that Paul was an anti-Semitic and anti-Torah zealot, yet Paul himself says we are to imitate him as he imitates Yeshua, per I Corinthians 11:1, so which is it? Was Torah tossed out or not? See how much confusion Replacement Theology has brought with its insane anti-Torah doctrine? So if the understanding of Paul’s letters are incorrect then our understanding of the rest of the Apostolic Writings will be incorrect.

For example, when Paul lists out the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5, his list is an abbreviated version of the list below which is from Perkei Avot 6.6 discussing the 48 ways a person acquires Torah learning:

  1. by audible study,
  2. by distinct pronunciation,
  3. by understanding,
  4. by discernment of the heart,
  5. by awe,
  6. by reverence,
  7. by meekness,
  8. by cheerfulness,
  9. by ministering to the sages,
  10. by attaching oneself to colleagues,
  11. by discussion with disciples,
  12. by sedateness,
  13. by knowledge of the Scripture,
  14. by knowledge of the Mishnah,
  15. by minimizing business,
  16. by minimizing worldly interests,
  17. by minimizing indulgence,
  18. by minimizing sleep,
  19. by minimizing conversation,
  20. by minimizing jesting,
  21. by patience,
  22. by a good heart,
  23. by faith in the sages,
  24. by resignation under affliction,
  25. by knowing one’s place,
  26. by rejoicing in one’s lot,
  27. by setting a limit to one’s words,
  28. by not claiming merit for oneself,
  29. by being one that is beloved,
  30. by loving God,
  31. by loving one’s fellow- men,
  32. by loving the ways of justice,
  33. by loving rectitude,
  34. by loving reproof,
  35. by keeping oneself far from the pursuit of honor,
  36. by not being arrogant in learning,
  37. by not delighting to lay down legal decisions,
  38. by bearing the yoke with one’s fellow student,
  39. by judging him favorably,
  40. by leading him to truth and peace,
  41. by being composed in one’s study,
  42. by questioning and answering,
  43. by hearing and adding to what one hears,
  44. by learning in order to teach,
  45. by learning in order to practice,
  46. by making one’s master wiser,
  47. by fixing attention upon his discourse, and
  48. by reporting a thing in the name of him who said it

Have you been overwhelmed yet by information? This Op is just barely scratching the surface!

Consider this final thought before we close out this Op. In the End of Days, who exactly are the ones the adversary is going after the most? Revelation 12:17 says “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those GUARDING THE COMMANDMENTS OF ELOHIM AND POSSESSING THE WITNESS OF YESHUA.” So if the Torah is tossed out then why would the adversary be enraged with those who are keeping the Torah, if what Replacement Theology doctrine is correct that the Torah is the epitome of blasphemy, deception, dung and destruction? Shouldn’t the adversary be high fiving these folks and encouraging them to keep the Torah knowing it will destroy them? Again, Replacement Theology is destroyed by the Word of HaShem simply because He never changes, He reveals the end from the beginning and there is nothing new under the sun!

We will continue this theme in future Op’s and explore further in discovering just how Jewish are the Apostolic Writings.

Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • Tractate Shabbos of the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
  • Mishlei (Proverbs) by Artscroll
  • Jesus the Pharisee by Harvey Falk
  • Galatians by Steve Salter

JUST HOW JEWISH IS YESHUA?

“Make me understand, so that I may cherish Your Torah, and I will keep it with all my heart.” Psalms 119:34

Let’s start this Op right off with an important question: ‘If Messiah Yeshua showed up today, where would He spend Shabbat? In a church? In a Messianic synagogue? In an Orthodox synagogue?’ When we reach the end of this Op we will re-visit this question and see if we can reach an answer based upon the evidence presented.

As I put this Op together it is 11 December 2020, the sixth day of the week, Preparation Day for the Shabbat coming tonight, Baruch HaShem! I was involved in a meeting last night and came across past notes of mine which caused me to re-visit a topic I had started to investigate in 2019, mainly asking the question ‘Just how Jewish is Yeshua?’ It always astounds me the lengths that Replacement Theology will go to present a Messiah who is completely separated from anything ‘Jewish’ per se or present a Messiah who may have been ‘Jewish’ but his living that way was solely to free his followers from having too do the same. It is complete absurdity and I hope and pray that by the end of this Op you will see for yourself just how Jewish Yeshua is!

I will tell you up front we will be using references from the Tanakh (Old Testament), the Apostolic Writings, the Mishnah, the Talmud Bavli and the Mishneh Torah by Rambam among others.

I believe now more than ever that in the midst of all the insanity, confusion and chaos going around us in this world, it is vitally important that we are able to recognize the real Messiah of HaShem via His Word and not be seduced by the tickle feather words of Replacement Theology. This may seem like a harsh statement, but I truly believe we are at the very End, which means we must be constantly on guard and resolved to carry on and press forward in the face of fierce opposition and tribulation.

Keep this in mind as we proceed with this Op, but as always, never forget the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem as they are vital to understanding Who He is, what He will do and Who is the real Messiah:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

As we begin to delve into this, just for a quick review, we must always remember why Yeshua MUST come in the likeness of Moshe (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) because it was Moshe, who was HaShem’s Agent i.e His Sheliach/Sent One, who brought the Torah to Israel. Remember as we have discussed in previous Op’s, an agent is likened to the one who sent him in the first place, therefore when read the words of Yeshua where He says “When you see Me, you have seen the Father” per John 14:9, now it makes much more sense in that Yeshua is re-affirming He is the AGENT of HaShem i.e. the Sheliach of HaShem and NOT literally HaShem in the flesh as that is just not possible for many, many Scriptural reasons.

The following is from the article ‘The Law of Agency’ from the Jewish Encyclopedia and it states: “The Law of Agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person. The person who binds a principal in this manner is his agent, known in Jewish law as sheluaḥ or sheliaḥ (one that is sent): the relation of the former to the latter is known as agency (sheliḥut). The general principle is enunciated thus: A man’s agent is like himself (Ḳid. 41b).”

How does this fit into our discussion here in this Op? It fits because it is a reminder of Who is and who the Messiah cannot be in light of the Word of HaShem! Yeshua is the embodiment of the Word of HaShem and as such can only teach the Torah of HaShem! Any message devoid of the Torah and Yeshua has been disqualified as being the Messiah!

Okay, so now that we have that established, we are going to focus on two areas spoken of in the Apostolic Writings, areas which I have not seen many focus on before. The first one we will examine in detail is what we know as being ‘The L-rd’s Prayer’! If you were raised in a Christian upbringing as I am sure most reading this Op were, we should know this by heart. However, how many would be surprised to find out this was NOT a brand new prayer Yeshua introduced for us, but He was pointing to a very, very important Jewish prayer found in the Siddur (Prayer book) and prayed before, during and after Yeshua had come and gone?

Consider what Yeshua says in Matthew 6:5-8 says “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the congregations and on the corners of the streets, to be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in the secret place. And your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly. And when praying, do not keep on babbling like the non-Jews. For they think that they shall be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Before moving forward, who are the hypocrites Yeshua is targeting here? Most in Replacement Theology would say the hypocrites are the Pharisees and leave it at that, however, that is not the whole story. I would refer to you a previous Op I did discussing the two main groups of Pharisees at the time of Yeshua i.e. Shammai and Hillel and that it was the Pharisees of Shammai He predominately railed against: https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2020/02/29/the-seat-of-moshe-who-exactly-was-yeshua-criticizing/.

The hypocrites He is speaking of here must be the Shammai Pharisees. It is also interesting to see how Yeshua is saying to go and pray in secret to HaShem but not to be like the non-Jews who babble on. What does this imply then? Pray like the Jews pray!

Continuing on.

Matthew 6:9-15 says “This, then, is the way you should pray: ‘Our Father Who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart, let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into trial, but deliver us from the wicked one, become Yours is the reign and the power and the esteem, forever. Amen.’ For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father shall also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither shall your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Now we were taught in Replacement Theology that this prayer was something brand new, never before heard before and was given to release from the bondage of Jewish prayer practices. However, this is NOT true whatsoever as we will shortly see.

The most important prayer in the synagogue is called ‘The Amidah’ or ‘Shemonei Esrei’ or ‘Standing’ prayer. It is comprised of 19 sections. I will paste it below:

“Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, G‑d of Abraham, G‑d of Isaac and G‑d of Jacob, the great, mighty and awesome G‑d, exalted G‑d, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the piety of the Patriarchs, and who, in love, brings a redeemer to their children’s children, for the sake of His Name.

O King, (You are) a helper, a savior and a shield. Blessed are You L-rd, Shield of Abraham. You are mighty forever, my L-rd; You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save.

He sustains the living with loving kindness, resurrects the dead with great mercy, supports the falling, heals the sick, releases the bound, and fulfills His trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, mighty One! And who can be compared to You, King, who brings death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth! You are trustworthy to revive the dead. Blessed are You L-rd, who revives the dead.

You are holy and Your Name is holy, and holy beings praise You daily for all eternity. Blessed are You L-rd, the holy G‑d. 

You graciously bestow knowledge upon man and teach mortals understanding. Graciously bestow upon us from You, wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Blessed are You L-rd, who graciously bestows knowledge.

Cause us to return, our Father, to Your Torah; draw us near, our King, to Your service; and bring us back to You in whole-hearted repentance. Blessed are You L-rd, who desires penitence.

Pardon us, our Father, for we have sinned; forgive us, our King, for we have transgressed; for You are a good and forgiving G‑d. Blessed are You L-rd, gracious One who pardons abundantly.

O behold our affliction and wage our battle; redeem us speedily for the sake of Your Name, for You G‑d are the mighty redeemer. Blessed are You L-rd, Redeemer of Israel.

Heal us, O L-rd, and we will be healed; help us and we will be saved; for You are our praise. Grant complete cure and healing to all our wounds; for You, Almighty King, are a faithful and merciful healer. Blessed are You L-rd, who heals the sick of His people Israel.

Bless for us, L-rd our G‑d, this year and all the varieties of its produce for good; and bestow (During the summer season say:) blessing (During the winter season say: dew and rain for blessing) upon the face of the earth. Satisfy us from Your bounty and bless our year like other good years, for blessing; for You are a generous G‑d who bestows goodness and blesses the years. Blessed are You L-rd, who blesses the years.

Sound the great shofar for our freedom; raise a banner to gather our exiles, and bring us together from the four corners of the earth into our land. Blessed are You L-rd, who gathers the dispersed of His people Israel.

Restore our judges as in former times, and our counsellors as of yore; remove from us sorrow and sighing, and reign over us, You alone, O L-rd, with kindness and compassion, with righteousness and justice. Blessed are You L-rd, King who loves righteousness and justice. 

Let there be no hope for informers, and may all the heretics and all the wicked instantly perish; may all the enemies of Your people be speedily extirpated; and may You swiftly uproot, break, crush and subdue the reign of wickedness speedily in our days. Blessed are You L-rd, who crushes enemies and subdues the wicked.

May Your mercies be aroused, L-rd our G‑d, upon the righteous, upon the pious, upon the elders of Your people, the House of Israel, upon the remnant of their sages, upon the righteous proselytes and upon us. Grant ample reward to all who truly trust in Your Name, and place our lot among them; may we never be disgraced, for we have put our trust in You. Blessed are You L-rd, the support and security of the righteous.

Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem. Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish, and increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day. Blessed are You L-rd, who causes the power of salvation to flourish.

Hear our voice, L-rd our G‑d; merciful Father, have compassion upon us and accept our prayers in mercy and favor, for You are G‑d who hears prayers and supplications; do not turn us away empty-handed from You, our King, for You hear the prayer of everyone. Blessed are You L-rd, who hears prayer.

Look with favor, L-rd our G‑d, on Your people Israel and pay heed to their prayer; restore the service to Your Sanctuary and accept with love and favor Israel’s fire-offerings and prayer; and may the service of Your people Israel always find favor.

May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy. Blessed are You L-rd, who restores His Divine Presence to Zion.

We thankfully acknowledge that You are the L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers forever. You are the strength of our life, the shield of our salvation in every generation. We will give thanks to You and recount Your praise, evening, morning and noon, for our lives which are committed into Your hand, for our souls which are entrusted to You, for Your miracles which are with us daily, and for Your continual wonders and beneficences. You are the Beneficent One, for Your mercies never cease; the Merciful One, for Your kindnesses never end; for we always place our hope in You. And for all these, may Your Name, our King, be continually blessed, exalted and extolled forever and all time.

Bestow peace, goodness and blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and mercy, upon us and upon all Your people Israel. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance. For by the light of Your countenance You gave us, L-rd our G‑d, the Torah of life and loving-kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace. May it be favorable in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment, with Your peace.

Blessed are You L-rd, who blesses His people Israel with peace. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer.

My G‑d, guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully. Let my soul be silent to those who curse me; let my soul be as dust to all. Open my heart to Your Torah, and let my soul eagerly pursue Your commandments. As for all those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design. Let them be as chaff before the wind; let the angel of the L-rd thrust them away. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me. Do it for the sake of Your Name; do it for the sake of Your right hand; do it for the sake of Your Torah; do it for the sake of Your holiness. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer.

He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

May it be Your will, L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, that the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) be speedily rebuilt in our days, and grant us our portion in Your Torah.”

The Amidah is what Yeshua was referencing! It is NOTHING new! He taught as a rabbi typically taught meaning when addressing a group of talmidim (Students) who already know by memory something in Scripture, then instead of repeating all of it, the rabbi would condense it and let the talmidim fill in the blanks in their minds. For example if I just said ‘The L-rd is my Shepherd….’ and then stop, most would know immediately what I was referring too and could fill in the rest by memory, in this case Psalms 23. Yeshua is teaching as a rabbi taught and still teach today!

Yeshua had condensed the entire Amidah down to those few verses in Matthew, but He was telling His talmidim to pray the entire Amidah and to do it the way the rabbis teach to do it! And further, as this prayer is the most important prayer in the synagogue, does this seem like to you Yeshua is preparing to sever His ties with His Jewish upbringing? No, just the opposite! You can’t get more Jewish than this!

I would encourage you to get a Siddur for yourself and read the prayers that are in there! I guarantee you, they are not just some random statements put together by some guy sitting around a campfire one day, but they are based upon Scripture! In many cases they are just a compilation of biblical verses! Something to keep in mind.

So we addressed how Yeshua commands us to pray like the Jews pray meaning learn the Siddur i.e. the Prayer Book! Now let’s look at something not spoken by Yeshua Himself, but He clearly adhered to the restrictions as well as His talmidim did; and what am I speaking of? A Shabbat’s day’s journey!

Acts 1:12 says “Then they (The Talmidim of Yeshua who just witnessed Him ascending into Heaven) went back to Yerushalayim from the Mount of Olives, which is near Yerushalayim, a Shabbat’s day’s journey.” I cite this because again, if Yeshua came to sever ties with anything Jewish, the Torah, the Feasts, the Temple, etc, then He has a very bad way of communicating that information to His talmidim, because what He teaches and does is completely in line with the Torah and the Oral Torah as we will shortly see.

Before we go further, let’s quickly review what the Oral Torah is as this topic alone can cause enormous angst. The Oral Torah is nothing more than the commentary of the Torah. It is comprised of the Mishnah, which are the recorded right rulings of the Sanhedrin i.e. the court system HaShem establishes. The two versions of the Talmud i.e Babylonian/Jerusalem, are the commentary of the Mishnah! They are written discussions and questions the rabbis have concerning how to walk in the Torah.

For the record, HaShem commands us that whatever the Sanhedrin rules upon, we are required by HaShem to do what they have ruled upon. Refusal to do so is considered to be sin by HaShem! This is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-20 and 17:8-13! This means the Mishnah/Talmud ARE indeed endorsed and supported by HaShem despite what many in Replacement Theology teach. If the Sanhedrin makes a wrong ruling, then HaShem as the Great King, will deal with them and fix it. Think of it like a military hierarchy…the officer is appointed and granted the authority to render rulings per the US President and Constitution. If that officer renders an illegal order, can we still disobey that order or are there provisions in place to address that potential illegal order and it is the senior levels which ultimately deal with the issue? Same concept here…HaShem establishes the courts, appoints the judges and if they make a wrong ruling, He as the Great King fixes the issue. We as the servants of HaShem are not allowed to rebel against what He has established! We see Yeshua Himself obey this even during the events which led to His execution! I digress.

So we see here in Acts 1, the Talmidim of Yeshua just witnessed Him ascend to heaven from the Mount of Olives. Then the verse tells us they returned to Jerusalem, a Shabbat’s day’s journey! How far is a Shabbat’s day’s journey? If Yeshua did away with everything in the Torah and the Oral Torah, then why are His Talmidim still adhering to it? Why is the writer of Acts highlighting this if it is all done away with? Shouldn’t this verse have read something akin too ‘They walked a distance beyond a Shabbat’s day’s journey now that the Torah has been nullified.’?

We need to research and find out if the Shabbat’s days journey restriction is indeed from HaShem as well as determining how far is this journey.

In the Book of the Mitzvah (Commandments), #24 out of 613, is ‘The prohibition to go beyond the techum (Boundaries) on the Shabbat.’ What is this based upon? Shemot (Exodus) 16:29 says “See that HaShem has given you the Shabbat; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two day portion of bread. Let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.”

Tractate Eiruvin 51a from the Talmud Bavli states the distance which constitutes the techum (Boundary) is 2,000 cubits or approximately 3,750 feet. This distance is determined based upon the meaning of the words in Shemot 16:29. Further, HaShem establishes the techum (Boundary) of a City of Refuge in Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:4. Point is, this restriction in distance is not based upon someone who just thought it up one day, as many in Replacement Theology would accuse, but it is based upon the Torah of HaShem and explained in the Oral Torah.

So again I have to ask, if Yeshua ended it all, then why are His talmidim still adhering to not just the Written Torah but the Oral Torah as well? Wouldn’t this have been the perfect time to start spreading the message the Torah is now tossed onto the dung pile of history? I digress.

Many may be asking what is the underlying purpose of such a prohibition by HaShem? The Book of the Mitzvah says “The underlying purpose of this mitzvah is that we should remember and always be aware that the universe is a creation of HaShem and not something that has always existed. This is actually the purpose of ALL the commandments pertaining to the Shabbat, as is explicitly written in Shemot (Exodus) 20:11 regarding the commandment to refrain from forbidden activity on the Shabbat, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, in order for us to remember this matter, it is appropriate for us to rest on the Shabbat, not merely by refraining from work, but also by remaining in one location; that is to say, that we should not walk a great distance from our residence, but should walk only in a leisurely and pleasurable manner, as befitting one who is at rest.” So again we see our focus is to be on HaShem and HaShem alone!

Now we have to remember the calendar in all of this! Yeshua died on Pesach (Passover), was buried over Unleavened Bread and HaShem brought Him out of the grave on Firstfruits. Yeshua then walked with His talmidim for 40 days and then ascended from the Mount of Olives, but He commands His talmidim to remain in Jerusalem ten more days…why? Because in ten days was the Feast of Shavuot (Erroneously called Pentecost), which is one of the three Pilgrimage Feasts (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot) in which all of Israel is to come before HaShem in the Temple in Jerusalem. Why is this important? Because it is ten days after Yeshua ascended, on Shavuot, His talmidim are in the Temple courtyard participating in the communal korbonot (Offerings) and performing their prayers that the Ruach of HaShem fell upon them as we read in Acts 2!

Did this event occur to usher in a completely brand new Torahless entity, devoid of the Temple, free of the Feasts, free from having to eat kosher, free of anything Jewish, etc as Replacement Theology teaches? No, its an utter impossibility! For further information, refer to a previous Op I did a long while ago discussing this further: https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2020/02/15/hashems-kingdom-is-orderly-the-kingdom-of-darkness-is-chaos/

With this said then, just how Jewish is Yeshua? He walks in the Torah of HaShem, he adheres to what the Sanhedrin has ruled concerning how to walk in the Torah, He goes up to the Temple which means He has to be purified which means He must be bringing korbonot (Offerings) to HaShem. He keeps Shabbat, He teaches as a Jewish rabbi does. He is praying the prayers from the Siddur and since His talmidim were adhering to the restrictions, must mean Yeshua did so as well as it pertains to a Shabbat’s day’s journey! So knowing this, just where would Yeshua spend Shabbat if He showed up today? My opinion is He would spend Shabbat in an Orthodox synagogue! Why is this important? Because when the False Messiah rises to the global stage will he be proclaiming the Torah, the Feasts of HaShem, etc? Nope, just the opposite, he will be proclaiming people are free from the Torah and the Feasts of HaShem. Remember he is described as ‘The Man of Lawlessness’ in 2 Thessalonians 2, and that word ‘Lawlessness’ in Greek is ‘Anomia/Anomos’ which means ‘WITHOUT THE TORAH OF HASHEM!’

With the darkness of the world encroaching and consuming the planet, now more than ever we have to be drawing closer to HaShem in order to recognize the subtle lies and not be consumed and overwhelmed.

I will close here. Hopefully this will spark more curiosity into the Jewishness of Yeshua and what we read in the Apostolic Writings, because remember, HaShem is unchanging, He reveals the end from the beginning and there is nothing new under the sun, therefore how can He send a Messiah who changes what is unchangeable, and utter new things when there is nothing new under the sun? Keep this in mind!

Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Milstein Edition the Chumash Exodus by Artscroll
  • Tehillim (Psalms) by Artscroll
  • The Book of the Mitzvot by Artscroll
  • Tractate Eiruvin Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz

LIGHT BANISHES DARKNESS – CHANUKAH

“For a commandment is a lamp and the Torah is light, and reproving discipline is the way of life.” Proverbs 6:23

As I put this Op together it is 9 December 2020 (I started putting this Op together yesterday), the day before Chanukah begins, the Festival of Lights or otherwise known as as the Feast of Dedication. How much more significant is this years Chanukah in relation to the darkness which consumes the world around us, more than ever before? We have unprecedented economic problems, a raging pandemic, a wholly divided country due to the corruption and fraud of the election, lockdowns, unprecedented restrictions placed upon the American people coupled with this year we are having to endure the sudden, unexpected deaths of our loved ones. And in the midst of all of this, the outlook for the next few weeks and months is not good!

Hope doesn’t seem to be in very abundant supply right now! The squeezing and pressures of the world around each of us is growing more intense by the day, yet we have to remember HaShem, the Elohim of Israel, told us the End of Days, just before The Day of HaShem which begins with the seven years of the Birth Pains of Messiah, would be VERY tough and literally unbearable, BUT when we BEGIN to see these things come to pass, to look up and rejoice because our redemption draws near! May it be so very, very soon in our days!!

This all said, tomorrow night, 10 December 2020, will begin the first night of Chanukah, Baruch HaShem! So in a world which is being ever consumed by darkness, HaShem will shine forth during this time of Chanukah (Means ‘Consecration’)!

This Op is not going to be a history of Chanukah, rather to help understand the significance of Chanukah in the midst of living in unprecedented darkness. The closer we choose to walk with HaShem, the more His Light will shine through us, Baruch HaShem! But it also means the more the adversary will target us! I will wholeheartedly admit things are very tough right now and my walk with HaShem has been rattled not just over things that have recently happened but also what could happen in the very near future should HaShem not intervene in time. It is a time of testing unlike anytime before, therefore we need encouragement but we also need resolve in that we have to dig deep down inside ourselves and decide, regardless of what it looks like around us, that we will not bow to the gods of this world, even if it costs me my life! I will bow only to One, HaShem, Master of Legions, Creator of all things, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel!

Before we jump into this, always remember the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

Since we know HaShem is unchanging and reveals the end out of the beginning, means if we want to know how the end will unfold, then we must go to the beginning! This said, as we enter into Chanukah here very shortly, it should be noted that Chanukah centers around the Temple of HaShem and therefore we must ask what does the Temple of HaShem primarily teach us? It is all about Kedusha (Holiness)! How do we as a unclean, sinful people approach a Holy Elohim and how do we live out our lives dedicated to being kadosh (Holy) in service to our Great King? His Temple teaches us these concepts, which is precisely why the adversary has worked so hard to convince people the Temple is the epitome of blasphemy, dung and has been tossed aside per the doctrine and theology of Replacement Theology!

What is the purpose of the Temple? Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:10-11 says “In order to distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the contaminated and the pure, and to teach the Children of Israel all the decrees that HaShem had spoken to them through Moshe.” The mandate HaShem placed upon the Levites and the Kohanim (Priests) is to teach Israel to know the difference between the kadosh (Holy) and the profane! Then Israel, as the chosen of HaShem, are to bring this to the world and draw the world to HaShem!

In Ezekiel 22, HaShem gives the reason why Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Babylon and Israel was taken into captivity. He says in verse 26 He says “Her kohanim have robbed My Torah and desecrated My sanctities. Between holy and profane THEY MADE NO DISTINCTION, and between contaminated and purified they did not make known. From My Shabbats they hid their eyes and I became profaned among them.” Does this not describe not only the time and society we live in today, but also aptly describes Replacement Theology? Replacement Theology, per its doctrine has robbed the people of the Torah of HaShem, desecrates not only HaShem’s Name but His sanctities; makes zero distinction between holy and profane by claiming it was all done away with. Then Replacement Theology hides its collective eyes from His Shabbat by again claiming it was all done away with and what happens is HaShem ends up becoming profaned, mocked and ridiculed! Very sad situation! I digress.

But, after what He says in Ezekiel 22, HaShem then issues a prophecy of hope in the End of Days and the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem in Ezekiel 44:21-24 says “Let no kohen drink wine when he enters the inner courtyard. Neither widow nor divorcee may they take themselves for wives, only a virgin from the offspring of the family of Israel. THEY ARE TO INSTRUCT MY PEOPLE CONCERNING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOLY AND PROFANE. Let them inform them of the difference between contaminated and clean. Concerning a grievance, let them stand in judgment, and according to My laws are they to be adjudicated. My teachings and decrees regarding My appointed times they are to protect, and My Shabbats they are to sanctify.” Clearly these Kohanim serving in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem are to fully embrace and teach the Torah of HaShem and by HaShem’s commandment and support and also shows they were NOT done away with, tossed aside or relegated as dung, further exposing and destroying Replacement Theology!

It is NOT my intention to focus on Replacement Theology in this Op, just simply pointing out how much has been lost and stolen because of Replacement Theology. The true message of this Op as it pertains to Chanukah is to focus these next eight days on examining our own lives in our service to HaShem and to purify ourselves as vessels used for service in His Temple must be purified.

For those who hold onto the thought that Chanukah should NOT be acknowledged because it was added by the rabbis and not something from HaShem, the message of Chanukah IS in the Word of HaShem and can be found in the Book of Haggai!

After 70 years of exile into Babylon, Israel allowed to return home. In Haggai chapter 1, it says “In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the Word of HaShem came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Yehoshua son of Yehozadak, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), saying: ‘Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions, saying: This nation has said, ‘The time has not yet come!’ But I say ‘It is time for the Temple of HaShem to be rebuilt!'” Interesting, just like today, Israel says it isn’t yet time to begin to rebuild the Temple and HaShem says just the opposite and says it is in fact time to rebuild the Temple!

HaShem further says in Haggai 1 “And the Word of HaShem came by the hand of Haggai the prophet saying: ‘Is this a time for you yourselves to sit in your houses with paneled roof, while this House (Temple of HaShem) is in ruins? So now, thus said, HaShem, Master of Legions: Set your heart to consider your ways! (Teshuvah/Repentance – Examine your lives) You have sown much but bring in little; eating without being satisfied, drinking without quenching thirst, dressing yet no one is warmed; and whoever earns money earns it for a purse with a hole. Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions: Set your heart to your ways (Teshuvah/Repentance – Examine your lives)! Go up to the mountain and bring wood and build the Temple; I will be pleased with it and I will be honored, said HaShem.” This sums up Chanukah!!

How did the people respond? “And so Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Yehoshua son of Yehozadak, the Kohen Gadol, and the entire remnant of the people listened to the voice of HaShem their Elohim and to the words of Haggai the prophet, according to what HaShem their Elohim had sent him to prophesy, and the people feared before HaShem. And Haggai, the agent of HaShem, in the agency of HaShem, spoke to the people, saying, ‘I am with you, the Word of HaShem.'” So the people heard the Voice of HaShem which means they repented and returned to Him!

“HaShem aroused the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judea, and the spirit of Yehoshua the son of Yehozadak, the Kohen Gadol, and the spirit of the entire remnant of the people, and they came and did work on the Temple of HaShem, Master of Legions, their Elohim, on the 24th day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.” Chanukah falls on the evening of the 24th day of the month of Kislev, however, here they began cutting stones and sawing trees on this day in the sixth month, but the actual construction of the Temple began three months later i.e. the Month of Kislev! Keep this in mind!

It should be noted they began to cut stones and saw trees for the rebuilding the Temple on the 24th day of the sixth month, which would be the month of Elul. This after HaShem calls for Israel to consider their ways i.e. Teshuvah/repent, which is significant because the month of Elul is known as the ‘Month of Reconciliation’. HaShem is always willing to hear someone who repents, but in the month of Elul, He is especially willing to hear. Elul then goes into the month of Tishrei in which the Feasts of Rosh HaShannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot take place. Then the month of Cheshvan, which is the month the First Temple was completed. It is a month known for bitterness for there are no Feasts in this month. Then the month of Kislev, which is the month of Chanukah!!

Per an excerpt from The Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Kitov, he states “When the Jews who returned from the Babylonian exile began to rebuild the Beit Ha-Mikdash (Temple of HaShem), their work was interrupted for twenty two years because of enemy intrigue and opposition. When the work was finally resumed, the foundation for the second Beit Ha-Mikdash was laid on the 24th of Kislev (First night of Chanukah).”

There is an allusion to Chanukah in the Torah which when counting from the word ‘Bereshis’ (Genesis), the first word in the Torah, the twenty fifth word is ‘Or’ which means ‘Light’ an allusion to the light of Chanukah when is lit on the twenty fifth day of Kislev.

How many days does Chanukah last? Eight days! Is this a coincidence? How many days of offerings does it take to consecrate the rebuilt Temple for use in service to HaShem? You guessed it, eight days! Remember, Chanukah i.e. Consecration, is all about purification, dedication to service to HaShem!

What is the significance of the number eight in HaShem’s Word? Per the book ‘Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers’ the number eight relates to everything that is above nature, rise above the limitations of the physical realm. It represents eternity! More importantly it represents ‘The 8th Era’ otherwise known as ‘Mashiach’. The excerpt from this book says “The miraculous oil of Chanukah is a harbinger of the anointing oil used to inaugurate the coming of the Messianic Era. This process can be traced to King David, who was the 8th of Yishai’s sons. The very name of the King, Messiah, refers to the anointing of the Davidic dynasty with oil. The oil used in the Menorah is related to the Messianic King who will illuminate the world with his light.” So, we can see again Chanukah points not only to the Torah of HaShem, but to His King Messiah i.e. Yeshua (Not the Jesus of Replacement Theology who rejects and teaches a doctrine against the Torah of HaShem). It is interesting that the harp used in the Bible has seven strings, but the harp that will be used in the Messianic Era will have eight strings as alluded too in Psalms 12:1!

Temple Painting by Alex Levin

Another excerpt from The Book of Our Heritage says “The eighth day of Chanukah parallels the festival of Shemini Atzeres, which follows the seven days of the festival of Sukkot. Just as Shemini Atzeres contains the essence of all the festivals that precede it, the atonement aspect of the Days of Awe and the joyous aspect of Sukkot, so too does the last day of Chanukah contain all of the aspects of happiness, salvation, praise, and thanksgiving of the previous days.”

Just very briefly I want to quickly include that Yeshua Himself kept Chanukah per what we read in John chapter 10! I would encourage you to check it out for yourselves. I digress.

Serving HaShem can be summed up by ‘It is the constant battle between purity and impurity!’ It is the war between Yehudah vs Greece/Rome, light vs darkness, Torah vs paganism, etc. As such it can get overwhelming at times due to the oppression and opposition of the adversary against HaShem and His people, but HaShem led me to a few verses to remind of one very important fact we need to remember:

2 Chronicles 32:7-9 says “‘Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid and do not be dismayed in the face of the king of Assyria and in the face of the entire multitude that is with him, for we have more with us than he has with him. With him is human might, BUT WITH US IS HASHEM, OUR ELOHIM, TO HELP US AND TO FIGHT OUR WARS!’ The people were reassured by the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.” Very important we all, myself included remember this! As long as we constantly examine ourselves, strive for purity in our service to HaShem, strive to walk in His Torah, then He will be our shield, our high-tower, our place of refuge, provision and security!

Some may ask why He allows adversity and tribulations in our lives, well, the simple answer is simply because He is the Boss…He knows what’s best for each of us. Another explanation is from Hosea 5:15 which says “I will go, I will return to My place until they will acknowledge their guilt and seek My Face; IN THEIR DISTRESS THEY WILL SEEK ME.” Its in distress and troubled times that we will seek His Face!

So, in summary, this Chanukah especially in light of all that is going on around us today, is a time of great darkness and trouble, what better time to draw near to HaShem, light the Menorah and see the light banish the darkness as we strive to examine ourselves and purify our service to HaShem!

May it be so VERY, VERY soon in our days that our Messiah Yeshua gathers HaShem’s Own and takes us to that place of protection He has already prepared for the seven years of the Birth Pains! It may be sooner than we realize! Let’s examine ourselves and purify our walk with Him. Have a blessed Chanukah.

Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Milstein Edition The Twelve Prophets – Hosea by Artscroll
  • The Writings I-II Chronicles by Artscroll
  • Mishlei by Artscroll
  • Tehillim by Artscroll
  • The Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov
  • The Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers by Artscroll

THE FOOTSTEPS OF MESSIAH – NEEDED ENCOURAGEMENT IN A WORLD OF MADNESS

“He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off, HaShem, our Elohim, will cut them off.” Psalms 94:23

As the world spins into deeper madness around us by the minute it seems, HaShem put it on me that I need to post something of encouragement, because, trust me folks, we haven’t seen anything yet with regards to how bad things are going to get and we are going to need His Word to fall back upon to get us through these appointed times! Why do I say these are appointed times? Because I firmly believe we are on the cusp of the Birth Pains of Messiah!

Consider the following excerpt from the Mishnah, Tractate 9:15 which says concerning the ancient Sages understanding of the state of the world just before Messiah shows up: “When the Temple was destroyed, the haverim (Torah Sages) and noblemen were shamed and covered their heads, and men of deeds were enfeebled, and men of arm and men of the tongue prevailed (Violent and slanderous people), and nobody examines and nobody intercedes, and nobody inquires. Upon whom can we rely? Upon our Father in Heaven. Rabbi Eliezer the Great says, ‘Since the day the Temple was destroyed, the Torah scholars became like school teachers, the the school teachers like common people, and the common people grew ever more feeble, and no one intercedes; upon whom can we rely? Upon our Father in Heaven. WITH THE FOOTSTEPS OF MESSIAH (An idiom to mean just before the end and the arrival of Messiah) insolence will increase and expensiveness will soar, the vine will yield its fruit but the wine will be costly; and the government will turn to heresy and there will be no rebuke; the House of Meeting will serve immorality (Places of worship will harbor prostitution, due to there being no Torah study i.e. Christendom!) and Galilee will be destroyed and Gavlan will be desolate; and the frontier people will wander about from city to city and not be pitied and the wisdom of the scholars will degenerate, and those who fear sin will be despised, AND TRUTH WILL BE ABSENT. Young men will humble elders, elders will rise before youngsters (Authority will be in the hands of impudent youngsters): ‘A son will revile his father, a daughter will rise against her mother, a daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his household’ quoting Micah 7:6. The face of the generation (The generation of the end) will be like the face of a hound (an idiom to mean ferocity and impudence, brazenness, shameless), a son will not be ashamed before his father (All sense of propriety, morals and decency will disappear), so upon whom must we rely? Upon our Father in Heaven, that He might redeem us soon and send us our righteous Messiah!'”

Does this not describe our current culture we live in today? Is truth not only condemned, shunned and ridiculed but also buried in favor of the agendas and lies? How fast can someone be triggered into furious anger over the most trivial issues? The rule of law means nothing now! Right is wrong and wrong is now right, the hallmark of Satanism.

I bring all of this up because we all are awaiting the coming of Messiah, and may it be SO very soon in our days! However, there is a ton of events which must come to pass before He can arrive and that is the part which can be demoralizing if we let it and we cannot let that happen! This Op, therefore, will focus on the state of the world AFTER Messiah has come back, sort of an attempt to give a glimpse of what we are striving towards. Part of the tools used to help soldiers on the battlefield keep going forward, to not get discouraged and give up, is to always keep your eye on the goal, never take your eye off what you are fighting for, much easier said than done!

But before we jump into this, always remember, now more than ever before, the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

This Op will focus on the prophecy of the Messianic Times as recorded in Yeshayah/Isaiah chapter 2! We will go verse by verse and explore significant events being discussed.

Yeshayah 2:1-2 says “The prophecy that Isaiah son of Amoz saw, concerning Judah and Jerusalem: It WILL happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of HaShem will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it.” Here is more absolute proof the physical/literal Temple in Jerusalem WILL be rebuilt and by HaShem’s command, endorsement and support despite all that Replacement Theology Christendom teaches on the topic! All the korbonot/offerings WILL resume. Further, the Temple of HaShem, described here as a mountain, will be firmly established, meaning the whole world will recognize the authority of HaShem and His Temple as being His Throne here on earth! ALL the nations of the world WILL come to the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem to bring korbonot/offerings.

These two verses here prove the Temple of HaShem in the End of Days was NOT done away with nor will be built solely to be the domain of the False Messiah and it certainly is not something HaShem rejects or has rendered to be demonic or the domain of Satan as Replacement Theology Christendom commonly teaches!

Yeshayah 2:3 says “Many peoples will go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the Mountain of HaShem, to the Temple of the Elohim of Ya’akov (Jacob), and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For from Zion will the Torah come forth, and the Word of HaShem from Jerusalem.” The world will come to the Temple to learn!!! So again, we see the Temple of HaShem is a teaching tool to teach us the concept of kedushah (Holiness)! This is precisely why Paul likened the followers of Yeshua as being the Temple! It is NOT a literal statement, he is pointing to the Temple of HaShem, recognizing it is a teaching tool to teach us HOW to walk and serve HaShem! Unfortunately Replacement Theology Christendom has completely twisted up this concept and turned it into a replacement concept!

Notice also how the people, Gentiles included, come to the Temple of HaShem to learn how to walk in His ways and they will walk in His paths? This all points to the Torah of HaShem! Again destroys the argument that the Torah is meant ONLY for the Jews! Torah is for ALL of humanity, the basis for Yeshua’s command in the Apostolic Writings to go into all the world and be a light to the nations i.e. bring the Torah to the world so all may know HaShem, walk in His ways and be blessed!

The ‘Word of HaShem’ is an idiom to mean the Messiah of HaShem! This means Yeshua will be teaching the Torah from the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem!

Yeshayah 2:4 says “He (Messiah Yeshua) will judge among the nations, and will settle the arguments of many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare.” Warfare will end under the leadership of Messiah!

Yeshayah 2:5 says “O House of Ya’akov (Jacob): Come, let us walk by the light of HaShem!” What is the ‘Light of HaShem?’ It is the Torah!! Come, let us walk by the Torah of HaShem! Consider what the commentary of this one verse says “In the previous verses, Isaiah has expounded on the glorious future when all the nations will flock to the service of HaShem. It will not come about through the efforts of the Jews who will leave their land to proselytize. Instead, Israel will be in Eretz Yisrael (The Land), and the Beit HaMikdash (The Temple) and its people will be at the zenith of holiness and service to HaShem. The people will achieve maximum attainable knowledge of HaShem and the Torah and their spiritual light will be so powerful that the nations will be drawn to it.”

The commentary goes on which asks the question, “According to the Talmud, Israel was exiled in order to gather sparks of holiness and bring non-Jews to the Torah. What would have happened to these sparks and potential converts if Israel had not sinned and been exiled? The answer is that if Israel had not fallen from its pedestal of holiness, they would have been like spiritual magnets, drawing seekers of holiness to the Land.” Again, the Torah is NOT just for Israel! Torah is for ALL of humanity which is precisely why I loathe Replacement Theology so much, because through its insidious doctrine, it is robbing people of having the blessings HaShem has in store for those who do strive to walk according to His Torah!

Yeshayah 2:6 says “For You have abandoned Your people, the House of Ya’akov, because they were filled with sorceries of the East and divinations, like the Philistines; and they content themselves with the children of foreigners.” This verse is explaining why HaShem exiled Israel, because of trading the Torah of HaShem for the sorceries and divinations of the Gentiles. To ‘content themselves with the children of foreigners’ is a metaphor for the modern, fashionable ides of the Gentiles. Israel traded the wisdom of HaShem and His Torah for modern heathen philosophies (Replacement Theology Christendom is a perfect example!).

Yeshayah 2:7 says “Its land became full of silver and gold, with no end to its treasuries; its land became full of horses, with no end to its chariots.” This verse summarizes that it was because Israel enjoyed great prosperity that they left the ways of the Torah which led them into idolatry. Do we not see this today in America?

Yeshayah 2:8 says “Then its land became full of false gods; each one of them bows to his own handiwork, to what his fingers have made.” Idolatry consumed the people! Another perfect picture of America today, especially this time of year i.e. November 2020, as America and Replacement Theology prepare for Christmas.

Yeshayah 2:9 says “Humankind will have bowed and man will have humbled himself; yet, You will not forgive them.” This is in reference to the time right after the Birth Pains when the armies of the world will launch one final assault against Jerusalem in an attempt to defeat Messiah Yeshua. Once they realize it is futile and they have put their hopes and trust in their false gods, gold and silver, etc, they will surrender. HaShem will exact retribution from all the nations for all the spiritual and physical havoc they wreaked upon Israel!

Yeshayah 2:10 says “Enter the rock and be hidden in the ground, because of the fear of HaShem, and from the glory of His greatness.” The nations of the world will so greatly fear HaShem they will say they should hide in the rocks in the ground to escape His judgment.

Yeshayah 2:11 says “Humankind’s haughty eyes will be brought low and men’s arrogance will be humbled; and HaShem alone will be exalted on that day.” On the Day of Judgment, all the world will finally recognize and know HaShem alone is Ruler of His Creation! The highlighted and underlined phrase in this verse is again pointing to a very specific day in the End i.e. the Day of HaShem, which will begin on a Rosh HaShannah and last 1,000 years in which the first seven years are the Birth Pains!

Yeshayah 2:12-16 says “For HaShem, Master of Legions, has a day for retribution against every proud and arrogant person and against every exalted person and he will be brought low; and against all the lofty and exalted cedars of Lebanon and against all the oaks of Bashan; and against all the lofty mountains and against all the exalted hills; and against every tall tower and against every fortified wall; and against all the ships of Tarshish and against all the splendid places.” His ‘Day of Retribution’ is the same as the Day of HaShem! Can you imagine all the corruption in the governments of the world will be exposed and destroyed. All the haughty, arrogant and wicked people and the false religious systems will be exposed and destroyed. There will be no place for these people to hide nor can they bribe HaShem to spare them!!

Can you imagine folks like Hillary Clinton and the like standing before Yeshua at that time and attempting to threaten Him into complying with her demands? Its no wonder we read about about Messiah Yeshua covered in blood stained garments in Yeshayah 63:1-6 as says He comes out from Edom (Esau/Rome/Replacement Theology Christendom) having destroyed them for their ruthless destruction of the Second Temple and subsequent bitter and merciless persecution of Israel throughout the current exile. I digress.

Yeshayah 2:17 says “He donned righteousness like armor and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He donned garments of vengeance as His attire and clothed Himself in zealousness like a coat.” Is it a coincidence this verse is recited on Rosh HaShanah? It is because the Day of Judgment/The Day of HaShem/The Day of Retribution will begin on a Rosh HaShanah and clearly HaShem is beyond angry!! The armor represents HaShem’s righteous salvation of Israel and His zealous revenge against His enemies. Each piece of armor represents some form of Divine manifestation at the time of the Final Redemption!

Yeshayah 2:18 says “Just like His earlier retributions, so shall He reciprocate wrath to His enemies, retribution to His adversaries; He will pay retribution to the islands.” Just as He meted out retribution to Pharaoh, Sennacherib and others of their ilk, so will He mete out retribution to the oppressor nations when He returns to Israel from its final exile!! This is one of the very important reasons why we must study and learn His Torah, because He reveals the end out of the beginning combined with the fact He is unchanging! What happened before WILL happen again! No wonder the Adversary has worked so hard to convince people to toss the Torah onto the dung pile of history and spit on the Temple as being replaced by the Replacement Theology Jesus, because doing so will separate people from HaShem!!!

Yeshayah 2:19 says “From the west people will fear the Name of HaShem, and from the east, rising of the sun, His glory; for travail will come like a river, the spirit of HaShem will gnaw at them.” The point of this verse is to show that HaShem WILL destroy our enemies once and for all, never to be heard from ever again throughout the rest of eternity! Baruch HaShem!! Tractate Sanhedrin 98a from the Talmud Bavli says very succinctly “If you saw a generation whose troubles inundate it like a river, await the coming of the Messiah!”

Yeshayah 2:20 says “A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those of Ya’akov who repent from willful sin, the Word of HaShem.” Those who repent i.e. return to HaShem and His Torah and forsake their willful sins will also be welcomed and enjoy the Final Redemption!

Yeshayah 2:21-22 says “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them, said HaShem, My spirit which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth will not be withdrawn from your mouth nor from the mouth of your offspring nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring, said HaShem, from this moment and forever.” HaShem is telling everyone that He WILL keep His covenant with Israel no matter how bitter the tribulations of exile and oppression! Again another nail in the coffin of Replacement Theology Christendom which teaches the covenant has been tossed out and replaced by a brand new covenant devoid of the Torah! I digress.

Additionally, HaShem is saying that even though Israel in the throes of exile may seem to be unworthy of redemption, but there is a Divine pledge that He WILL redeem Israel, not because of who we are, but solely because of Who He is and for His Great Name’s sake! This means again that His Torah is eternal!!

Finally, He is saying that this prophecy here in Yeshayah foretells that in the time of the Final Redemption all of Israel will not only repent, but the entire nation will reach such a high spiritual level that there will no longer be a desire to sin. When people recognize the truth with absolute clarity, sin will be inconceivable!!

I hope and pray you are encouraged by this!! It is very dark in the world today and it appears the corrupt, the wicked and the ruthless are ascending and succeeding, but HaShem promises He does this and allows them to fully come to fruition in order to then wipe them out of existence for all eternity!!

Keep your eyes on the goal i.e. the Final Redemption and the coming of Messiah Yeshua! And hold onto the promises of HaShem for it is the only way we will make it through the current times we live in!! May it be so very soon in our days!!!

Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Milstein Edition The Prophets Yeshayah by Artscroll
  • Steinsaltz Koren Talmud Bavli Tractate Sanhedrin

THE SUN RISES AND THE SUN SETS

Sunrise on the Lake Photograph by Darren White

“Length of days is at its (Torah) right; at its left, wealth and honor.” Proverbs 3:16

It has been almost an entire month since my last Op was posted. I apologize for the long delay, there has been a ton going on in the lives of my family and I, culminating with the passing of a dear family member and their subsequent burial last week. Now its time to get back up and keep going forward!

This election madness is truly historic in nature! For the record I side on the side of Pres Trump and the emerging evidence this entire election was stolen, not that Pres Trump’s/Republicans hands are entirely clean…both sides hands are dirty. It remains to be seen how HaShem will sort this out and what side He allows to assume power. Problem is American society is very, very far away from HaShem and the idolatry, debauchery and corruption is at unprecedented levels, therefore HaShem just may allow Biden to take power as judgment!

It is interesting however that this weeks Torah Portion is Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 and the Haftarah is 1 Kings 1:31! We know NOTHING is a coincidence with HaShem! This said, this Op will focus on the Haftarah as it discusses the attempted coup of David and the Israeli government! Gee, there is nothing like this going on today is there?

Keep this in mind as we proceed, but before we get started always remember the following characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says His of His Torah that length of days are at its right, at its left, wealth and honor per Proverbs 3:16
Index of /wp-content/uploads/revslider/Home

The main player, per se, spoken of in 1 Kings 1 is Adoniyah (Adonijah). Just for some background Adoniyah is NOT spoken of well in His Word! His name in Hebrew means ‘My Master is HaShem’ and he certainly ran the other direction on this as you will shortly see! He was the fourth son of David per 2 Samuel 3:4 and a Torah scholar but got caught up in the trappings of the world. So, now let’s delve into this weeks Haftarah i.e. 1 Kings 1 and see if there are any similarities to what we are witnessing in today’s news with regards to the election.

1 Kings 1:1-4 says “King David was old, advanced in years. They covered him with garments, but he did not become warm. His servants said to him, ‘Let there be sought for my master the king a young virgin, who will stand before the king and be his attendant; she will lie in your bosom and it will be warm for my master the king.’ They sought a beautiful girl throughout the boundary of Israel, and they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. The girl was exceedingly beautiful, and she became the king’s attendant and she served him, but the king was not intimate with her.”

So, we see King David was old and bed ridden, unable to stay warm. Clearly he was in poor health! His attendants attempted to keep him warm by bringing in a beautiful woman.

1 Kings 1:5 says “Adoniyah son of Haggith EXALTED HIMSELF saying ‘I SHALL REIGN!’ He provided himself with chariot and riders, and fifty men to run before him.” We see Adoniyah decided for himself to usurp the reign of his father, David, and exalted himself, declared himself the king and sent fifty men to run before him, declaring his ascendancy to the kingship! Does this sound familiar? The media going before Biden declaring him the new President of the US when they have ZERO authority to do so? Then we see Biden exalt himself on stage and publicly declare himself the successor to Trump, when nothing has been officially certified by any US state as required by the US Constitution!

What was the reason Adoniyah suddenly made this move?

1 Kings 1:6-8 says “All his days his father had never saddened him by saying, ‘Why have you done this?’ Moreover, he was very handsome and his mother bore him after Absolom. He discussed his intentions with Yoab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the Kohen (High Priest), and they assisted, following after Adoniyah. But Zadok the Kohen (High Priest), Benaiah son of Yehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s mighty men were NOT with Adoniyah.”

The commentary on these verses says “All his days his father had never saddened him. This is the first reason for Adoniyah’s self aggrandizement. Because his father had never reprimanded him for anything, he believed that David loved him more than any of his brothers and would not protest his public declaration that he would be the next king. Ultimately, however, David’s tolerance led to Adoniyah’s downfall. This verse teaches ‘He who refrains from disciplining his child ultimately leads him to his death.'”

How can we connect these verses and commentary to Biden? Has he ever been charged with any crime despite the evidence especially as of late with the laptop and his knowing about his son Hunter and the alleged drug use, extortion, child sex trafficking, child pornography, potential treason for colluding with America’s enemies? Nope, nothing has ever happened and as of late the laptop story has completely disappeared. Point is, the man obviously feels invincible and untouchable!

I Kings 1:9-10 says “Adoniyah slaughtered sheep, cattle and fatted bull at the Zoheleth Stone which is near En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the sons of the king, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. But Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, and his brother Solomon he did not invite.”

The commentary says “To celebrate and gather support for his assumption of the throne, Adoniyah tendered a lavish feast to most of his fellow princes and the leaders of his tribe of Judah. Regarding the Zoheleth Stone refers to snakes. Thus the verse means to suggest that whoever opposes the Davidic dynasty deserves to be bitten by a snake. Adoniayah did NOT invite the dignitaries he knew would oppose him.” How much has the media and Biden’s supporters been celebrating as of late over his ‘victory’, boasting of his garnering the most votes of any US presidential candidate in US history? How loudly has the press been mocking and calling for Pres Trump to just concede the election and vacate the White House now? Further, how many in the media and leaders supporting Biden are now calling for supporters of Trump and veterans to be rounded up and exterminated as they are a threat to Biden?

What happens next?

I Kings 1:11-14 says “Nathan spoke to Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother, saying, ‘Have you not heard that Adoniyah son of Haggith has become king? but our master David does not know. So now go, I will give you counsel now, so that you may save your soul and the soul of your son Solomon. Go and come to King David and say to him, ‘Have you not, my master the king, sworn to your maidservant saying, ‘Your son Solomon will reign after me and he will sit on my throne? Why has Adoniyah become king?’ While you are still speaking there with the king, I will come in after you and supplement your words.” Nathan was certain David didn’t know of this coup attempt otherwise David would have stomped the guts out of those who were plotting this! Further, Nathan knew it was HaShem Who had chosen and designated Solomon to become king after David died, therefore he knew Adoniyah would not allow Solomon to live in peace if this coup was successful which is why he tells Bath-sheba to secure herself and Solomon.

Are there things going on behind the scenes with regards to corruption and actions taken by Biden and his supporters? The evidence is becoming more and more credible by the day that yes this is exactly what has and is happening!

I Kings 1:15-16 says “So Bath-sheba came to the king, into the chamber, the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king. Bath-sheba bowed and prostrated herself to the king, and the king said, ‘What concerns you?'” Because Bath-sheba came before David and prostrated herself before him, he knew she had something very important to present before him. She, technically as the queen, was not required to prostrate herself before David.

I Kings 1:17-21 says “She said to him, ‘My master, you swore to your maidservant by HaShem, your Elohim, ‘only Solomon your son will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ But now, behold, Adoniyah has become king and now, my master the king, you did not know! He has slaughtered ox, fatted bull, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the kings sons, as well as Abiathar the Kohen and Yoab, the commander of the army; but he has not invited your servant Solomon. And you, my master the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you, to tell them who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him. For it will happen that when my master the king lies with his forefathers, I and my son Solomon will be deemed sinners.'”

The commentary on these verses says “By informing David explicitly of the highlights of Adoniyah’s guest list, she proved that the feast was NOT an innocent party, but was intended to celebrate his ascension to the throne. She assured David this was NOT an insurrection, which he would be unable to put down due to his health, rather, all eyes of Israel were upon him, to tell them who will sit on the throne and the nation would follow his wish. He just had to make it known to the nation. She ended her plea by telling David if Adoniyah is successful both her and Solomon would be killed as being threats to Adoniyah’s reign.” Notice how Adoniyah quickly sought out the support of Abiathar, the Kohen HaGadol at that time and Yoab the commander of the army? These two positions are where the power lies within the government! Now, notice how quickly Biden is clamoring to get his transition team into place focusing on the Dept of Defense?

I Kings 1:22-27 says “Behold she was still speaking with the king, when Nathan the prophet arrived. They told the king, saying, ‘Nathan the prophet is here.’ He came before the king and prostrated himself to the king with his face to the ground. Nathan said, ‘My master the king, have you said, ‘Adoniyah will reign after me and he will sit on my throne?’ For he has gone down today and slaughtered ox, fatted bull, and sheep in abundance, and he has invited all the kings sons, the generals of the army and Abiathar the Kohen; and behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and they have said, ‘Long live King Adoniyah!’ But me, I, your servant, Zadok the Kohen, Benaiah son of Yehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. Can it be that this matter has come from my master the king, and you have not informed your servant who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him?'” Adoniyah wasted no time in buying off his supporters who all quickly proclaimed him king! Gee, see anything similar today with Biden and his team clearly rewarding the media in their declarations which are akin to ‘Long live President Biden!’ across the airwaves?

I Kings 1:28-31 says “Then King David answered and said, ‘Summon Bath-sheba to me.’ She came before the king and stood before the king. The king swore and said, ‘As HaShem lives, Who has redeemed my life from every trouble, I swear that as I have sworn to you by HaShem, the Elohim of Israel, saying ‘Solomon your son will reign after me and he will sit on my throne in my place,’ so shall I fulfill it this very day. Bath-sheba bowed down to the ground and prostrated herself to the king, and she said, ‘May my master King David live forever!” So, now David is going to take measures to nip this attempted coup in the bud!

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I Kings 1:32-35 says “King David then said, ‘Summon Zadok the Kohen, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Yehoiada to me’; and they came before the king. The king said to them, ‘Take with you your master’s servants and mount my son Solomon upon my mule and take him down to Gihon (City of David). There Zadok the Kohen and Nathan the prophet shall anoint him as king over Israel; sound the shofar and proclaim, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then come back up after him, and let him come and sit upon my throne, and he shall reign in my place, for it is he whom I have commanded to become ruler over Israel and Judah.” Before Adoniyah can do much more damage, David, at the direction of HaShem, circumvents him!

I Kings 1:36-40 says “Benaiah son of Yehoiada then answered the king, saying ‘Amen! And so may HaShem, Elohim of my master the king, say! Just as HaShem was with my master the king, so may He be with Solomon, and may He make his throne even greater than the throne of my master King David! So Zadok the Kohen and Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Yehoiada and the archers and slingers went down and mounted Solomon upon King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. Zadok the Kohen had taken the horn of oil from the Tent (Tabernacle), and he anointed Solomon; they sounded the shofar, and all the people proclaimed ‘Long live King Solomon!’ All the people then ascended after him, and the people were playing flutes and rejoicing with great joy; the ground virtually burst from their noise.”

The commentary on these verses says “The public anointment of Solomon was greeted with joy and celebration by the people, exactly as David had expected. He knew the nation had not deserted him and that they would rally behind Solomon as soon as they saw that their revered king had made his choice known and that it had been ratified by the prophet, the Kohen HaGadol, and Benaiah and his followers. Exultantly the people cried out, ‘Long live King Solomon’ pointedly, they did not say merely ‘the king’ they mentioned Solomon by name, as if to make it clear they did NOT recognize Adoniyah’s claim.” How many people are today crying out that Trump is the President and NOT Biden! As I put this Op together, it is Shabbat, 14 Nov 2020 and there is a gigantic rally gathering in Washington DC to proclaim Trump is the President and NOT Biden!

So what was the reaction of Adoniyah?

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I Kings 1:41-42 says “Adoniyah and the guests who were with him heard this (The celebration and shofar blowing) just when they had finished eating. Yoab (Commander of the Army) heard the sound of the shofar and said, ‘Why is the sound of the city so turbulent?’ He was still speaking when Yonathan son of Abiathar the Kohen came. Adoniyah said, ‘Come, for you are a man of accomplishment and you will bring good tidings!'” The sound of the celebration and the shofar must have shocked Adoniyah and his gang! So then Adoniyah allows Yonathan to approach him thinking he is going to be giving him good news!

I Kings 1:43-48 says “Yonathan answered and said to Adoniyah, ‘To the contrary, our master King David has made Solomon King! The king sent with him Zadok the Kohen, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Yehoiada, and the archers and slingers, and they mounted him upon the king’s mule. Zadok the Kohen and Nathan the prophet anointed him as king at the Gihon. They ascended from their rejoicing, and the city became turbulent; that is the noise that you heard. Furthermore, Solomon has sat upon the royal throne, and the king’s servants have come to bless our master King David, saying, ‘May Elohim grant Solomon a reputation even better than your own reputation, and may He make his throne even greater than your throne,’ and the king prostrated himself on his bed. Furthermore, the king said thus, ‘Blessed is HaShem, Elohim of Israel, Who has granted today someone who sits upon my throne and my eyes can see it.'” Imagine how this news must have completely terrified Adoniyah! It must have taken the wind out of his sails per se!

I Kings 1:49-51 says “All of Adoniyah’s guests were alarmed and arose; each man went on his way. Adoniyah was afraid of Solomon, so he arose and went and took hold of the horns of the Altar. Solomon was told, saying, ‘Behold, Adoniyah is afraid of King Solomon, and behold, he has taken hold of the horns of the Altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me this very day that he will not execute his servant by the sword!'”

The commentary on these verses says “The protection of the Altar. Obviously Adoniyah thought that his best place of refuge was the Altar. This was based upon Exodus 21:4 which says ‘If a man shall act intentionally against his fellow to kill him with guile, from My Altar shall you take him to die.’ The implication is that the Altar provides refuge to anyone except a premeditated murderer who has been found guilty and sentenced to the death penalty. Thus, Adoniyah had a halachic basis for grasping the Altar and refusing to leave until Solomon guaranteed his safety. Adoniyah’s calculation was moral, rather than legal. If someone was afraid that his life was in danger, he would hold on to the horns of the Altar, so that the one who was threatening his life would be influenced by love of Elohim to forgive the transgression. Thus it became customary for a man who sought forgiveness to hold onto the Altar. By saying King Solomon and referring to himself as his servant, Adoniyah in effect, accepted Solomon’s sovereignty, and no doubt thought that this obeisance would influence the future king to spare him. Adoniyah asked for an oath, which Solomon would not give him.”

I Kings 1:52-53 says “Solomon said, ‘If he will be a loyal man, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if any evil will be found in him, he shall die.’ King Solomon sent messengers and they took him down from the Altar. He came and prostrated himself before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, ‘You may go to your home.'” In effect Solomon put Adoniyah on probation so long as he was loyal to Solomon! But was this the end of Adoniyah’s coup attempt? Nope!

I Kings 2:13-18 says “Adoniyah son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, ‘Do you come in peace?’ He replied, ‘I come in peace.’ He said, ‘I have something to say to you.’ She said, ‘Speak.’ He said, ‘You know that the kingship was mine, and that all of Israel looked to me to reign, but the kingship was diverted from me and became my brother’s, for it was his from HaShem. Now, I have one request to make of you; do not turn me away.’ She said to him ‘Speak.’ He said, ‘Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not turn you away, that he give me Abishag the Shunnamite as a wife.’ Bath-sheba said, ‘Very well. I shall speak to the king on your behalf.'” Now it may seem perfectly innocent for him to request Bath-sheba go before Solomon on his behalf to request Abishag as his wife, however, Adoniyah was plotting something, and clearly he was still bitter the kingship was in his words ‘diverted/taken’ from him. We will see here next what is going on.

I Kings 2:19-21 says “Bath-sheba came to King Solomon to speak to him concerning Adoniyah. The king rose to greet her and prostrated himself to her. He then sat upon his throne and placed a chair the king’s mother, and she sat to his right. She said, ‘I have one small request that I ask of you; do not turn me away.’ The king said to her ‘Ask, my mother, for I shall not turn you away.’ She said, ‘Let Abishag the Shunnamite be given to your brother Adoniyah for a wife.'” We can see the the way she phrased the question, she suspected Solomon will be offended by this!

I Kings 2:22-25 says “King Solomon answered, saying to his mother, ‘Why do you request Abishag the Shunnamite for Adoniyah? Request for him the kingship, for he is my older brother, for him, for Abiathar the Kohen, and for Yoab son of Zeruiah!’ King Solomon then swore by HaShem, saying ‘So should HaShem do to me and so should He do further…for Adoniyah has spoken of this matter at the cost of his life. And now, as HaShem lives, Who has established me and set me upon the throne of my father David, and Who has made a dynasty for me as He had spoken, I swear that today Adoniyah shall be put to death.’ So King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Yehoiada and he struck him, killing him.'”

The commentary on these verses explains why Adoniyah was killed. It says “King Solomon understood what his mother did not, that Adoniyah wanted to marry David’s companion only to help lay the ground for another attempt at usurping the throne. Solomon continued his analysis of Adoniyah’s strategy. After marrying Abishag, he would assert his own credentials, since he is my older brother, and would assert that he was next in line to succeed David. As for his allies, he would claim the High Priesthood for Abiathar, who served that capacity prior to Zadok, and commander of the army for Yoab, who had previously served in that position. The king said because he knew that Abiathar and Yoab were behind Adoniyah’s new renewed attempt at usurping the throne. Although Solomon had told Adoniyah that he would not be harmed, that was only on the condition of good behavior and loyalty to the king designated by HaShem and David. Now, however, Adoniyah had shown himself to be a traitor.” Adoniyah just wouldn’t give it up! In my opinion, just like what we see with the past four years with the Democrat party, just couldn’t give up the attempts to usurp the Presidency! And what happened in the end to Adoniyah and his supporters? They destroyed themselves!

The point for this Op is highlighting it is no coincidence we are reading about this conspiracy and coup attempt against David to displace the rightful leader of the nation at this time when the evidence is piling up there is an attempt underway to displace the rightful leader over America!

Now, for the record I am in NO WAY predicting how this election will end up! That is completely in the Hands of our Sovereign King, HaShem, Master of Legions, Who causes the sun to rise and and the sun to set per se i.e. only He establishes world leaders to arise and fall at His will and in His perfect design! He is THE Boss!

In my opinion, if Biden is successful and takes the Presidency, the destruction of America will come swiftly because of the utter debauchery, rebellion and betrayal of Israel which will follow soon after. Should Trump retain the Presidency, I believe the destruction of America will also come simply because of the rage of the enemies of America will have been ignited more so than ever before. But there is great hope in either scenario because HaShem has shown in His Word that before that judgment can fall, He MUST remove and ensure the safety of His people PRIOR to the judgment falling i.e. Noah and the Ark and the angels who come to escort Lot and his family out of Sodom!

This is why it is so important to pay attention to each week’s Torah portion because HaShem IS communicating something to each of us that is relevant to the events taking place around us! If we want to know how to survive in these times, HaShem has given us that information! We, myself included, have to be willing to hear what He is saying!

There is SO much happening today and I think we all can agree that the year 2020 is beyond history making! What will 2021 have in store? Only HaShem knows! Hopefully, HaShem willing, THE Gathering will occur, the Coronation of the King and the Wedding of Messiah take place! May it be SO very soon in our days!

Something to consider.

Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • Mishlei (Proverbs) by Artscroll
  • The Rubin Edition The Prophets – Kings by Artscroll

‘IN THE BEGINNING’…THE MASTERY OF HASHEM

“Remember the Word to Your servant, by which You gave me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word preserved me.” Psalms 119:49-50

Well here we are! As I write this Op it is 17 Oct 2020 and it is the first Shabbat in this new Torah reading cycle! The Torah portion for this new cycle is ‘Bereishis’ which begins in Genesis 1 and discusses HaShem, Sovereign of all Creation, fashioning His universe exactly as He has determined it to be!

In my opinion, in light of the days we currently live in, with all the chaos, madness, insanity, corruption, wickedness, violence and uncertainty we are surrounded with each day, it is now more vital than ever before we know exactly Who HaShem is and His Word and in doing so we will see and be reminded of His amazing and undeserving mercy, compassion, kindness, love and His unending desire to have that relationship with each and every one of us! When one really examines this, it will blow your mind that the Sovereign of the Universe, Who created everything desires to have an intimate and personal relationship with each of us!

Everything He created works to fulfill His Kingly decree and purpose! The sun gives its light to light the earth, but also to cause the plants to grow and warm the earth. If the sun was just a little closer the earth would burn, a little farther away and the earth would freeze…HaShem placed it exactly where He knows it needs to be. The laws of gravity are in place to keep everything in the universe where they were decreed to be by the King. The air we breathe with every breath we take that fills our lungs gives us life and every beat of our hearts to keep us alive are all ordained by HaShem…He has numbered each breath, each heartbeat and each day of our lives for in His books each day of our lives are recorded and determined according to His plan! I could go on and on, the point is HaShem, Sovereign and King is Master of ALL His Creation!

We look up into the night sky and see the stars, the moon, the planets and everything in the heavens and wonder at the Majesty and Mastery of HaShem for He tells us each object in the Heavens has a name and serves a distinct purpose! We look at the grandeur of the earth, the plants, the oceans, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, the animals, the countless varieties of foods, the colors of the flowers, the rain, snow, clouds, etc….ALL of which He controls and has ordained! NOTHING IS OUT OF HIS CONTROL!

This will be the focus of this Op is to examine this one seemingly insignificant Hebrew word ‘Bereishis’ and see how unbelievably in depth it is and what HaShem is revealing for it will absolutely astound you and I pray will stir your curiosity to want to explore the depths of HaShem’s Torah deeper, which will encourage and strengthen each of us to be able to endure these difficult and uncertain times we live in!

The previous Op I did discussing Proverbs 8 from the perspective of the Torah itself speaking, works with this Op as well, so I encourage you to read that Op in connection with this Op!

But before we begin, always remember and never forget the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem, Sovereign, King and Master over ALL His Creation:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

“Bereishis bara Elohim et hashamyim vayet ha’aretz” this is Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew! I could do many Op’s on this one verse alone because of how much HaShem has embedded and revealed in this one seeming insignificant verse, but I must stay on topic! I will allow this one rabbi trail per se….did you know Messiah is revealed in this one verse from the VERY beginning? Yes He is….the simple word ‘Et’ is in Hebrew comprised of two Hebrew letters i.e. the Aleph and the Tav…..Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so we have the first and last right in the middle of this verse! Remember Yeshua Himself said He is “The beginning and the end” in Revelation 22:13!

Further, the word ‘Et’ is the center of this verse and there are seven words in this verse which comprise a seven branch Menorah with ‘Et’ being the ‘Servant Branch’ in which all the branches light their candles from! Remember Yeshua said “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.” per John 8:12

Consider the below picture of a seven branch Menorah which has all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet listed in order on it, three letters per branch with four on the Servant Branch i.e. the center branch. I apologize the picture is so small, I couldn’t locate a larger one nor could I enlarge it. Those four Hebrew letters spell two Hebrew words i.e. ‘Yechelim’ which means “He will make them whole!” and ‘Malchi’ which means “My King!”

Can you see how much we have learned already? And we haven’t even started the topic of this Op yet!

The word we are going to focus on from Genesis 1:1 is the word ‘Bereishis’ which in English means “In the beginning.” I will be heavily referencing the Chumash, the Talmud Bavli and the Midrash Rabbah Bereishis for further insight to see what did the Torah Sages of old to include the time of Yeshua understand.

The commentary from the Chumash discussing Genesis 1:1 says “Ten things were created on the first day of Creation: The heavens, earth, tohu and bohu i.e. the complete, shocking emptiness that existed before anything else was created, light, darkness, wind, water, and the length of a day and of a night, so that each cycle lasts 24 hours. We know that heaven and earth were created on the first day, because it says ‘In the beginning, Elohim created heaven and earth.'”

Tractate Chagigah 12a from the Talmud Bavli says “All of these are derived from the Torah: Heaven and earth, as it is written ‘In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth per Genesis 1:1’. Tohu and bohu, as it is written ‘And the earth was unformed and void (Tohu vavohu) per Genesis 1:2.’ Light and darkness; darkness as it is written ‘And the darkness was upon the face of the deep per Genesis 1:2.’ Light, as it is written ‘And Elohim said, Let there be light per Genesis 1:3.’ Wind and water, as it is written ‘And the wind of HaShem hovered over the face of the waters per Genesis 1:2.’ The length of a day and the length of night, as it is written ‘And there was evening and there was morning, one day per Genesis 1:5.'”

This tractate tackles an interesting question which asks “And was light created on the first day? But isn’t it written ‘And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven per Genesis 1:17’, and it is also written ‘And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day per Genesis 1:19’, indicating that light was created on the fourth day.” So what light did HaShem create then?

This tractate answers the question: “This should be understood in accordance with Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: ‘The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was not that of the sun but a different kind of light, through which man could observe from one of the world to the other. But when the Holy One, Blessed be He, looked upon the generation of the Flood and the generation of the Diaspora (World exile we currently live in) and saw that their ways were corrupt and that they might misuse this light for evil, He arose and concealed it from them, as it is stated “And from the wicked their light is withheld per Job 38:15.”

“And for whom did HaShem conceal it (Light)? For the righteous people in the future, as it is stated ‘And Elohim saw the light, that it was good per Genesis 1:4, and good is referring to none other than the righteous, as it is stated ‘Say of the righteous that it shall be good for them, for they shall eat the fruit of their actions per Isaiah 3:10.'”

Now does Revelation 22:5 make more sense when HaShem says “And night shall be no more, and they shall have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because HaShem Elohim shall give them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Point is, in the end HaShem will restore the way He originally intended for everything to be because He reveals the end out of the beginning…He reveals the end out of Bereishis!

Again as I have pointed out in past Op’s, can you see then why the adversary works so hard to separate the people of HaShem from the Torah i.e. the Bereishis? This is the main reason why I so utterly loathe and despise Replace Theology Christendom because of how much is being lost and how many people are being led into bondage and destruction! I digress!

The opening paragraph of the commentary by Ohr HaChaim (The light of life) discussing this word ‘Bereishis’ says “When I began delving into the Torah’s opening verse, it was as if the Heavens opened up and I saw visions of HaShem, the Creator of the ends of the earth. I perceived that this verse’s brief description of Creation includes esoteric, hidden matters. I pondered what I am permitted to ponder with regard to the opening words of the Holy One, and I was struck by the word with which the Torah begins to cast it light, that is, its first word. The Torah begins by saying, ‘Bereishis’ which is unusual, for the implication of the word ‘Bereishis’ is ‘In the beginning of…’ such that it is connected to something that is supposed to follow it, as you might say ‘Reishis davar’ which means ‘The beginning of something.’ Here, though, the word ‘Bereishis’ i.e. ‘In the beginning of’ is missing a subject that ought to follow it; the verse does not say in the beginning of what. It goes without saying that this is no oversight, for who knows how to express himself as perfectly as our HaShem; why, all speech emanates from Him! How could He have begun His Torah with a word that is missing a subject?”

He goes on to say “In truth, the intent of the verse is as follows. Before I present my explanation, though, I want to spotlight a certain facet of our understanding of the greatness of the Creator. How great are His deeds! For the Master, blessed is He, can utter speech in a way that is unfathomable to the beings He created, as the Sages, of blessed memory, said, in explaining the verse, HaShem spoke all these statements, which introduces the Ten Commandments, and this is a quote of their words: ‘HaShem spoke His words in a way that the human mouth is not capable of speaking. That is, the Torah’s statement that HaShem spoke all these statements means that He said all Ten Commandments in one utterance, and no utterance preceded another.'”

“With this introduction in place, we can proceed to the elucidation of our verse (Genesis 1:1). It is this: The Master, exalted be His Name, all that He created in the world, which includes the four basic elements that are the building blocks of all matter, as well as everything that is in existence, as well as heaven and earth, in short, everything, but everything, was created by HaShem in one Utterance!'”

Can you see how unfathomable HaShem is? He created His world for us to live, enjoy and serve Him and ultimately have that intimate relationship with Him, but He also reserves and conceals parts of Himself and His Torah, reserved only for the righteous to learn, experience and enjoy in the World to Come…Baruch HaShem!

The Midrash Rabbah Bereshis is very interesting when it discusses this word ‘Bereishis’. It quotes and points to Proverbs 8. It says “The Torah describes its relationship with HaShem before the advent of Creation: ‘I was then His ‘amon’, I was then His delight day after day, etc per Proverbs 8:30.’ The word ‘Amon’ can be interpreted as related to ‘Omein’ which means ‘A nurse’, so that the Torah is saying, ‘I was then His nursling’; ‘amon’ can be interpreted as ‘covered’ (Lamentations 4:5); ‘amon’ can be interpreted as ‘hidden’ (Esther 2:7). It is the Torah that is likened to a nurse who raises the children of a king, meaning that it raises the one who studies it by guiding him in the right path.”

The Midrash goes on and says “The Torah is instructive like a nurse (Numbers 11:12) who raises and guides the child, it is covered, and it is hidden. Describing the Tablets given to Moshe at Sinai, the Midrash says the following: ‘The Tablets were six handbreadths long. Two handbreadths were in HaShem’s hand, as it were; two handbreadths were in Moshe’s hand; and two handbreadths separated between one hand and the other. This imagery signifies that the Torah consists of three parts: The revealed, the covered, and the hidden.”

“The revealed part contains the text and teachings that Moshe conveyed to Israel at Mount Sinai, primarily in connection to the 613 mitzvos (Commandments) that we are obliged to study and fulfill. We may not know why HaShem gave us these mitzvos or what purpose they serve, but we are still nonetheless bound to observe them in deference to His expressed will.”

“The covered portion of the Torah includes the reasons for all the mitzvos, the secrets behind them, the effects they have on the mitzvah observer and on the world at large. These aspects of HaShem’s wisdom have not been revealed in a public way, but when a person shows his commitment to performing the mitzvos for the sake of Heaven, HaShem enlightens him with insight into this restricted area of Torah knowledge.”

“The hidden portion of the Torah is not at all accessible to us in this world. Picturesquely described by the Sages as wine preserved in its grapes since the six days of Creation, it will be brought out and served i.e. revealed and taught, to the righteous in the Future, when mankind is restored to the purity it enjoyed before Adam’s sin. Of this future generation the prophet states per Isaiah 64:3 ‘No eye has seen…that which HaShem will do for those who hope to Him.'”

“Hence, the Midrash before us has three names for the Torah. Nurse is the part that imparts practical guidance on how to conduct our lives as servants of HaShem. Covered is the part that is not immediately discernible, but that awaits discovery by those worthy of it. And hidden is the part that will remain unknown to all until the World to Come, when HaShem will pour His Spirit upon us and open our eyes to His infinite wisdom.”

The point for these excerpts from the Midrash is again to point out that it is through the Torah that HaShem created everything! The Midrash later says “The Torah states, ‘Bereishis Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The word ‘Reishis’ is a reference to nothing other than the Torah, as it it states in the Torah’s own words, ‘HaShem made me as the beginning (Reishis) of His way per Proverbs 8:22’. Hence our verse means ‘With reishis (Using the Torah as His tool), Elohim created the heavens and the earth.'”

Why is this so important to understand? Because He reveals the end out of the beginning (Reishis i.e. the Torah)! Again as I have stated time and again, no wonder the adversary works so hard to convince people to stay away from the Torah! And no wonder why the adversary convinced the people to embrace a figure head who teaches against the Torah as something that has been done away with or rendered obsolete and replaced!

The Midrash goes on to say “It is not only the life of the individual that depends upon Torah. Rather, Torah is the source of life for ALL Creation. HaShem looked into the Torah and created the world. It follows that all life is a product of Torah. The Rabbis teach that had Israel not accepted the Torah, the world could not have continued, but would have returned to the desolation and emptiness that reigned prior to Creation, for without Torah, nothing can exist!” Gee is this another reason why the adversary wants people to reject the Torah because then Creation would theoretically collapse upon itself and everything be destroyed? Is this another explanation as to why the world is so dark, destructive, wicked, evil, violent and why the weather and other parts of Creation are reacting violently? My opinion is this is precisely why the world is in the mess its in today is because of the rejection of His Torah! Can you see the importance of His Torah in our lives?

HaShem, Elohim, Sovereign of the Universe is truly Master of His Creation! He reveals Himself in everything of His Creation if we would take the time to see Him! He is in absolute control over all things and nothing is just because! Everything serves a purpose according to His will, decrees and design! Baruch HaShem!

So in closing, as we begin this next Torah reading cycle, embrace His Torah with excitement and joy for the Master of all Creation has granted to us the great gift of His Torah! He could have left us wallowing where we were in the systems of religion, being fed lies and deception, all the while waltzing head first into destruction without a clue of what we were embracing. Instead, He in His infinite mercy, compassion, forgiveness and kindness has chosen to grant us His Torah to know, learn, study and apply to our lives and walk in service unto our Great King! Further, we will know exactly who the real Messiah of HaShem is and not embrace the False Messiah!

Further, next time you get a chance in this fast and unrelenting world, stop for just a second and look at creation around you, the night sky, the clouds, the trees, the mountains, the animals, the plants, everything and know you are looking at HaShem and His Torah in action; but more importantly know the One Who created all around you is calling out to you for He desires you come home to Him! Messiah Yeshua restored the broken covenant but the message is the same, Torah is the vehicle to have that intimate relationship with HaShem…Baruch HaShem!

There is much to look forward too in studying His Torah and to know there is an entire aspect of His Torah He has reserved only for the righteous in the World to Come that, HaShem willing, we will spend eternity learning and living out in service to Him! How awesome is HaShem!

“All you nations, join hands! Call out to HaShem with a cry of joy. For HaShem is Most High, awesome, a Great King over all of the earth!” Psalms 47:2-3

Much to consider!

Shabbat Shalom

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Milstein Edition Chumash by Artscroll
  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • Tractate Chagigah Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
  • Tractate Berakhot Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
  • Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah Bereshis by Artscroll
  • Or HaChaim Bereshis by Artscroll
  • Tehillim (Psalms) by Artscroll

“WHEN HE PREPARED THE HEAVENS, I WAS THERE!”

“Thus said HaShem: ‘If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth plumbed below, so too would I reject the entire seed of Israel because of everything they did, the Word of HaShem.'” Jeremiah 31:36

This will just be a quick Op. As I prepare this Op, it is 12 Oct 2020 and we are beginning a brand new annual Torah reading cycle, Baruch HaShem! The world is in chaos, being consumed by a pandemic, violence, confusion and America is being torn apart because of relentless enemies within. It is a very dark and very difficult time for each of us as no one who is a servant of HaShem and striving to walk in His Torah are having an easy and fun time.

This said, I thought it might be a benefit for some if we review what HaShem says about His Torah now that we are beginning a new reading cycle in the midst of a world gone mad. I pray it will encourage and strengthen people and their resolve to not let go of HaShem even when times get very tough and unimaginably difficult.

This Op will focus on a very unique chapter in the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament) which is written in such a fashion that it is the Torah itself that is speaking in the first person. What chapter am I referring too? Chapter 8 of the Book of Proverbs! But before we delve into this, always remember the following characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

For some background on the Book of Proverbs, it was written by Solomon and in chapter 8, Solomon “Turns to the benefits enjoyed by those who recognize the importance of the Torah. The Hebrew word ‘Chochma’ which means ‘Wisdom’ is the speaker. Throughout Proverbs, ‘Wisdom’ is synonymous with Torah. Verses 4-36 speak in the first person, as Torah describes some of its many virtues and benefits, and its pivotal role in Creation.” Very important to keep this in mind as we proceed.

Proverbs 8:1 says “Surely wisdom (Torah) will call out, and understanding will raise her voice.” So, HaShem’s Torah calls out to who? To EVERYONE on the planet i.e. mankind to come and learn!!

Proverbs 8:2-4 says “Atop the heights along the way, at the place where pathways diverge, she (Torah) stands. Near the gateways of the city, at the approach to its entrances, she cries out: ‘To you, O men, do I call, and my voice is to the sons of man.'” The commentary says “The Torah proclaims its message so that it can be heard from afar, as if it were standing on a high hill and on major highways. This is a metaphor for the public study halls and indicate the Torah speaks to people wherever they may be found in life!” This means that every single person will be at some point in their lives presented with the Torah and they will have to choose whom to serve, themselves or HaShem! We all have to make this choice!

Tractate Avodah Zarah 19a from the Talmud Bavli says with regards to the above verses:

A person must always study Torah and only then analyze and delve into it – לְעוֹלָם יִלְמַד אָדָם תּוֹרָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יֶהְגֶּה : Rashi explains that one should first learn the basic text and its meaning from his teacher, and only afterward analyze and study it in greater depth, since if he does not do this he might not find a teacher available for this first, indispensable stage. Others explain that without a broad base of knowledge, one cannot offer a profound or well-founded reasoning.” What does this imply? That learning the Torah is NOT an easy task BUT with the help of HaShem and His Ruach (Spirit) we CAN do so and the rewards are beyond comprehension and are eternal!

Proverbs 8:5 says “Simpletons, understand shrewdness; fools, understand in your heart.”

The commentary on these verse above describe the two types of human beings: Simpletons – “Lack the shrewdness to avoid being seduced by their Evil inclination; therefore they are exhorted to understand shrewdness so that they will be able to see through its wiles. Fools – Knows the wisdom of the Torah, but fails to apply it to their actions because their heart gives in to their Evil inclination; they deny wisdom because it stand in their way. Wisdom (Torah) tells the fools to ‘Let your heart control your desires so that you will be receptive to wisdom. Anyone who tries to fulfill his duties as a spouse, relative, citizen, or decent human being, without arming his mind with wisdom (Torah), will ultimately fail.'”

Proverbs 8:6-9 says “Listen, for I will speak noble thoughts; the opinion of my lips will be fair words. For my palate will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are said with righteousness; they contain no twisting or perversion. They are all correct to one who understands, and upright to those who find knowledge.”

The commentary on the above verses says “King Solomon teaches how to value the words of Torah. Its every letter is perfect; nothing in it is extraneous, redundant, or irrelevant. The exact phraseology and order of each statement is vital to its understanding; even a change in the spelling of a word may imply a vital halachic (How to walk in the Torah) determination. If someone fails to see the significance of the Torah’s words, it is due to his lack of understanding and not to any deficiency in the Torah. That its truth and righteousness are beyond question becomes more and more self evident the deeper one delves into it.” I can, from personal experience, attest that this is absolutely true! The deeper I go in studying the Torah, I am always astounded because it constantly reveals HaShem is absolute and is in absolute control over all things. Further, when applied to the Apostolic Writings, it completely and utterly exposes Jesus of Replacement Theology as a fraud and the very False Messiah, the Man of Lawlessness, HaShem warns us about while more importantly revealing Yeshua as being the Messiah of HaShem for He taught nothing but the Torah! I digress!

Proverbs 8:10-11 says “Accept my discipline and not silver, for knowledge is choicer than fine gold, for wisdom (Torah) is better than pearls, and all desires cannot compare to it.” I know this personally from experience! Torah is absolutely better than anything this world can offer or compare to it! Further, as the ancient Torah scholars have taught, silver, gold and pearls can all be acquired and then stolen by others, but Torah knowledge cannot be stolen and is far more valuable than what this world offers.

In verses 12-21 Solomon now will discuss how Torah is the truest success!!

Proverbs 8:12-21 says “I am wisdom; I dwell in shrewdness; I provide knowledge of designs. Fear of HaShem is hatred of evil. I hate pride and haughtiness, the way of evil, and a duplicitous mouth. With me there is counsel and wisdom; I am understanding; with me is strength. Through me, kings will reign, and rulers will decree righteousness; through me officials will rule, and nobles, all who judge righteously. I love those who love me, and those who search for me shall find me. Wealth and honor are with me, great fortune and righteousness. My fruits are better than fine gold, even choice gold, and my produce is choicer than silver. I will walk in the path of righteousness, amid the pathways of justice. I have what to bequeath to those who love me, and I shall fill their storehouses.”

The commentary on these verses says: “Wisdom of the Torah gives its students shrewdness i.e. the needed wisdom to deal with ALL areas of life and with the Evil Inclination that we have to contend with all the time. Homiletically, a person should use shrewdness to outwit their Evil Inclination.”

Walking with HaShem means we will strive to learn and apply His Torah to our daily lives, something much easier said than done! Further, Torah is the means to develop that intimate relationship with HaShem! Additionally, if we say we are going to imitate Yeshua, then Torah is the ONLY way to do that for He lived out and taught the Torah!

Proverbs 8:22-23 says “HaShem made me at the beginning of His way, before His deeds of yore. I have reigned since the distant past: from the beginning, from before there was the earth.” These two verses are absolute proof that HaShem used the Torah the create everything in existence!

Proverbs 8:24-31 says “When there were no depths, I was formed; when there were no springs rich with water, before mountains were settled, before hills, I was formed; when He had not yet made the earth and its environs or the first dust of the inhabited world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He etched out the globe upon the face of the depths; when He strengthened the heavens above; when He fortified the wellsprings of the depths; when He set for the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His word; when He forged the foundations of the earth; I was then His nursling, I was then His delight every day, playing before Him at all times, playing in the inhabited areas of His earth, my delights are with mankind.”

The commentary on these verses highlight the various stages of His Creation that were preceded by the Torah i.e. the sources of water, the mountains, land, the heavens and the earth and the division of earth into land and seas. Point is, HaShem used His Torah to create everything!! Do you really think then HaShem would have sent a Messiah to now render Torah obsolete and toss it aside? It is utterly absurd and an absolute impossibility!

“His Torah is a Tree of Life to those who take hold of it!”

Proverbs 8:32-36 says “And now, children, listen to me; praiseworthy aret hose who heed my ways. Harken unto discipline and grow wise and do not reject wisdom (Torah). Praiseworthy is the person who listens to me, to hasten to my doors every day, to guard the doorposts of my entrances. For one who finds me has found life and he has elicited favor from HaShem. But one who sins against me despoils his soul; all who hate me love death.” Can you again see the connection between life and the Torah? His Torah is a tree of life to those who take hold of it (Proverbs 3:18)!

On a side note, can you see why the adversary has worked so hard over the centuries to convince humanity that the Torah is something to be shunned, rejected, tossed aside or replaced? If he can get us to toss out the Torah of HaShem, then we just tossed aside the only truth there is, the only way to have a relationship with HaShem and the only means through which to identify the real Messiah vs the False Messiah! Consider that Replacement Theology ‘Jesus’ hides and conceals himself behind this theology that the Torah is now tossed aside, which is why he becomes so enraged when HaShem wakes up His people and brings them out of Replacement Theology and begin to embrace the Torah! Remember, who exactly is the adversary enraged by per Revelation 12:17? Those who have the testimony of Yeshua as Messiah AND who keep the Torah of HaShem! Why is he so enraged by this? Because he is fully exposed and his lies no longer have any effect! Keep this in mind when you are learning the Torah and the adversary attacks your life in order to try and discourage and prevent you from going any further with HaShem and His Torah!

Remember, Yeshua Himself commands us to keep the Torah via Matthew 23:1-3 which says “Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones saying, ‘The Scribes and the Pharisees (Shammai Pharisees were in power at that time, Shammai was very hostile towards non-Jews learning the Torah as opposed to the Hillel Pharisees who were very welcoming towards non-Jews learning the Torah. Yeshua’s rantings against the Pharisees were directed at the Shammai Pharisees) sit on the seat of Moshe. Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do'” (In other words they were hypocrites and didn’t do what they taught themselves. Further, it reveals Yeshua respected the position and authority they had per the Torah. For further info, refer to the following Op I did a while back discussing this) – https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2020/02/29/the-seat-of-moshe-who-exactly-was-yeshua-criticizing/

I will close with this quick thought from a book I have entitled “My Father My King” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin on page 146 which says “Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you: ‘I am always with you. I am with you when you realize I am with you, and I am with you when you forget. I am with you when all is going well, and when all seems to be going wrong. I am with you during your moments of joy, and during your moments of sadness and grief. I am with you when you are wide awake, and when you are asleep. I was with you from the moment you came into this world, and I will remain with you until your last breath. I am always with you, and want you to always be with Me.”

Rabbi Pliskin goes on further: “HaShem your guardian, HaShem is your shelter at your right hand (Psalms 121:5). In Hebrew the word translated here as ‘Shelter’ is ‘Tzilcho’ which means ‘Your shadow.’ Just as your shadow is always with you, so is your Creator. Whenever you notice your shadow, you have a reminder of this verse.”

Keep all of what we have discussed in this Op in mind when beginning this new Torah reading cycle as I hope it will enhance what we are learning and can better apply these principles to our lives in service to HaShem so that we may honor and esteem His Great Name because He is deserving of it! Baruch HaShem!

I am hopeful this Op will be helpful for some in these very stressful and difficult times we live in. All I can say is may it be so very soon in our days!

Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
  • The Writings – Proverbs by Artscroll
  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • Jewish Secrets Hidden in the New Testament by Rabbi Avraham Feld
  • My Father My King by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin