Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 65

Stephen is giving the traditional teaching here and he speaks of the birth of Moses in Acts 7.20. In verse 22 it says that Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and was a man of power in words and deeds. This concept will play a role in interpreting Exo 4.10, which we will touch on later. Then it says something very interesting in verses 23-25. It says he was about 40 and he visited his people. He saw one of them being mistreated unjustly, and defended him by taking vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.

Then it says “He supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.” The principle is this. Moses was called to deliver Israel and he knew that at 40 years old. However, nobody else did because he had not been sent. He acted 40 years too early. He will not be sent until he stands on Mount Sinai 40 years later, when he was 80 years old.

Many people fell they are called to do something, but they have not been sent. Like Moses, they act and it ends in disaster. But, even that was part of God’s plan. So, even if we fail, that doesn’t mean God has not called us, but we must be patient and wait till we are sent.

We learn from Exo 2.24-25 that God “heard”, remembered and saw.” He has good hearing, a good memory and good eyes. When there is a delay of something we need from God, that doesn’t mean he didn’t hear, remember or saw us. The end of verse 25 says “God took notice” so he respected them and was going to act.

Exo 3.10-12 begins to deal with Moses being sent now. Moses, by this time, has probably given up his desire to deliver Israel from Egypt. He may have just thought he heard wrong about what he thought his calling was, and went on with his life. He asks, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” God is going to be with Moses, and says there is a sign he will give him to show it was God who sent him. The sign is “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship at this mountain.” The sign to Moses is: the people will come with you out of Egypt to Sinai. That would be impossible unless the Lord had sent Moses and was with him. There are different levels of signs in this narrative. There are signs to Pharaoh and signs for the people, but this was a sign to Moses.

Exo 3.13 it says that Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now, they may say to me ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say to them?” Exo 3.14 says that God told Moses to tell them “ehyeh asher ehyeh” has sent you to them. That basically means “I’ll be what I’ll be” or in other words, you have never seen anyone like me before, and I will do whatever it takes.

The four letters in Hebrew of “ehyeh” is aleph, hey, yod and hey, and it comes from the same root for “I’ll be.” Remember forty years earlier (Acts 7.25)? The Lord will be whatever Moses needs him to be to get the job done. It is the same with us. It will be by God’s hand that anything in our lives gets accomplished. Moses gets the message this time, unlike forty years earlier when he thought that God was granting them deliverance “through him.”

In Exo 3.15 God tells Moses to tell the people “The Lord (YHVH = “Yehovah”), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.” This was God’s name “forever.” It was his “memorial name” to all generations. The name Yehovah conveys the message of verse 14 above. Some say the name is pronounced “Yahweh” but that is “based on a second hand Samaritan tradition reported by a 5th century Christian author named Theodoret of Cyrus who didn’t know Hebrew and was writing in Greek” (“Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence” by Nehemiah Gordon, p. 69). Yehovah has now been found written out in Hebrew with full vowel markings in over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts, and some are the most accurate manuscripts in the world (The Aleppo and the Leningrad Codex to name a couple).

There are several combinations of Yehovah. HYH (hayah) means “He was” and speaks of the past. HVH (hoveh) means “He is” and speaks of the present. YHYH (yihyeh) means “He will be” and speaks of the future. When we call him by his name and say Yehovah, we are saying he was, he is and will be. These different combinations reveal a “one totality” and the past, present and future are seen as one “in Yehovah” with no time barriers. Heb 13.8 says, “Yeshua Ha Mashiach is the same yesterday, today and forever.” The writer of Hebrews is telling us that Yeshua is Yehovah, and the name is defined right there. Now read Rev 1.8 where it says, “I am the Alpha (Hebrew “Aleph”) and the Omega (Hebrew “Tav”)” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” God is telling Moses “I am everything you understand God to be.” People will say, “Are you saying that Yeshua is claiming to be the God of the Old Testament?” What we are saying is Yeshua said it about as clear as he could say it, and the writers of the Gospels and Epistles knew it.

Anciently, Hebrew was written with symbols. Gods name is “YHVH” (yod, hey, vav, hey). A “yod” was written in the shape of a hand, and a vav was written like a staff. What was the lesson God was trying to convey to Moses? It will not be by “your hand” or by “your staff” that the people will be delivered. But, it will be by my hand and staff, that I will deliver the people. That was one reason he tells Moses to cast his staff down and to put his hand into his bosom (Exo 4.1-8). The letter “hey” means “what comes from.” What comes from the hand and staff? Salvation, which is “Yeshua” in Hebrew.

The name of God (Yehovah) alone tells the story of the Exodus, not only the Egyptian Redemption (first), but the Messianic (second) Redemption. That is why he said that Yehovah will be the name that is delivering the people. Yeshua came like a good shepherd because he was what the picture was all about. He came as the “shaliach” (sent one) like Moses. He came (hey) with the hand (yod) of God, doing the work of a shepherd with a staff (vav).

In Exo 3.15 is a very important verse, and he says, “this is my name forever. This is my name of remembrance (memorial name).” The Hebrew word for “forever” is “L’Olam” and we have four letters again in Hebrew. Forever means the duration of the universe. The vowel markings for “L’Olam” is the same vowel markings for YHVH, pronounced Yehovah (the vowel markings are: sheva =”e”; cholam = “oh”; kamatz =”ah”). God gave us how to pronounce his name, with the same vowels markings, and how to remember it in a verse on his “memorial (memory/to remember) name.” If the pronunciation was ever lost, the vowel markings are right there. Moses is trying to get the essence of all this because he wants to go back to the people and know how to say the name of God. So should we, and we should want to sanctify or “hallow” his name, but if we don’t know how to say it, how can we do that? Yeshua said we should sanctify God’s name. Anyone who has been trying to know and understand the name of God is doing what Moses is doing here in verse 13. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to know how to say the name of God, it is a good desire. In these days, God has been revealing his name and how it has been hidden from most people by rabbinic decrees and authority (For more information on how the true pronunciation came about, go to “YouTube” and type in “name of God Nehemiah Gordon” and watch all the videos).

In Part 66, we will pick up with Exo 3.16 and the phrase “concerned about you.”

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 64

Now we are going to do a quick overview of Exodus and try to pull all of this together. We will bring out many more concepts, phrases and idioms as we do this. Then we are going to take a look at the Exodus story in a more detailed way than we have done before. Again, we aren’t going to go verse by verse but we will go into various concepts found in particular verses that will give us a good foundation for understanding the whole Tanak, as well as the Gospels and Epistles.

In Hebrew, Exodus is called “Shemot” meaning “Names.” The names of the sons of Israel who went into Egypt are listed. There are are many who are “unnamed.” No wives or children are mentioned in the list. The nation will grow and the Egyptians decide to initiate their form of “birth control” and began to kill the male children. This leads us up to the main issue of this portion of Scripture, the birth of Moses and his rescue. This is a great moment in Jewish history, yet there are no signs or announcements.

We find out in chapter two that a “man” married “a daughter of Levi” and she conceived a son. Because of Pharaoh’s decree, the child (Moses) is put into a basket or a floating “ark.” It is the same word (tayvah) used to describe what Noah built (Gen 6.14). Moses is put on the river Nile and his sister watches out for him. The daughter of Pharaoh rescues him, and he was brought into the house of Pharaoh.

But there is a major message here. Is this the story of the Deliverer, who works wonders, defeats a nation, shapes a people and brings the Torah to them direct from the mouth of God? No, it’s the story of an unnamed man and his wife and daughter, who love their son and brother. It is the story of an unnamed woman who shows kindness to a baby.

Nobody at this point knew the plan of God and there is no evidence for anyone believing this child was anything special. In a book called ‘Names” in a Torah portion called “Names” the real story is the actions of all the “unnamed” people in this story who ultimately play a role in God’s plan concerning the First Redemption. The choice is whether it is more important to do something or make a “name” for yourself. It is not important how many people knew the names (or ours). What is important is God knows our name.

That brings us to another concept. In Exo 3.5 God tells Moses that he is standing of “adamat kodesh” or “holy ground.” We have dealt with this concept in other teachings. It is the second time the word “kodesh” is used in the Torah. The first time it was used the Lord was talking about the Sabbath. So, the Sabbath and the kedusha of Sinai are linked.

In Exo 1.11 it says that Pharaoh knew the children of Israel were multiplying and so he decided to “afflict” the Israelites. The word for afflict is “anato” which has the root “aneh” which means to deprive. Now, this can refer to celibacy. In Gen 31.50 the word “mistreat” is “aneh.” Jacob swears he will not deprive Rachel and Leah. This same concept can be seen in 1 Cor 7.1-5. Is Pharaoh going to inflict hard labor on Israel so that they are so exhausted that they will refrain from marital relations? Well, if that was the plan it didn’t work because the nation increased. As a result, he decided to kill the male babies, but the women did not cooperate.

What was the real battle here? God promised that Israel would be fruitful and multiply, and Pharaoh is trying to limit that promise. The real battle is over fruitfulness and the women are the greatest warriors. In essence, by refusing to cooperate with Pharaoh’s edict, they did have a key role in the birth of the children of Israel as we know it. Even the word “Egypt” is revealing. In Hebrew it is “Mizraim” and it comes from “meitzar” which means “difficult.”

In Exo 1.1 it says that these are the “names of the sons of Israel who came.” One of the words used for the fertility of Israel is “vayishratzu” and it means “swarmed.” This alludes to Gen 1.21 and “shartzu” meaning “swarmed.” They become very numerous and “nameless.” Pharaoh decreed that the male children be thrown into the Nile River (Exo 1.22), yet the mother of Moses buts him into the river to preserve him. So, a “son” in Exo 2.2 and river are joined together for the purpose of life, not death. The very instrument Pharaoh uses to bring destruction is reversed by God to bring about Pharaoh’s destruction.

To really illustrate how God will do this, the name “Moshe” means to be “a child of” or “created him.” In other words, the Nile “created him” or he is a “child of” the Nile. Pharaoh said his name everyday. Was he blind about his own edict of throwing males into the Nile? God had a plan and he wanted Moshe (Moses) to live. He made sure that Pharaoh never realized the obvious. Israel is the only nation to be born with everything going against it (Ezek 16.1-5). Their testimony is that they had a God who saved them (Ezek 16.6-14). We have that testimony, too. God saves us from slavery, very often by “unnamed” individuals. Exodus shows us that the Lord is a Saviour, Redeemer and a Deliverer.

In Genesis, we saw how the Lord led Israel to Egypt. In Exodus, we will see how he gets them out. We learn in Exo 1.5 that seventy people went into Egypt. The number seventy is the number of nations (Deut 32.8). This tells us that the descent of Israel into Egypt would affect the nations. This is a continuation of God’s promise to Abraham, and it was always his plan. The Exodus is God’s way to show Pharaoh, Egypt and all mankind who he is. God’s plan has always been beyond the borders of Israel. He uses Israel in the status if a “bikur” or “first-born” to reach beyond the borders.

We know things changed for Israel in Egypt. They were prosperous, but now oppressed (Exo 1.1-22). Infanticide is initiated, but resisted, as we have seen. Moses now becomes the first central figure after the patriarchs (fathers). Some have asked, “Why did the mother of Moses go to the Nile?” It was because babies were being killed there, so the river would be the last placed they would look (Exo 2.1-3). She also knew the Nile was worshiped, so a baby in a basket would look like a gift from the Nile god, and he was.

We have talked about how the women were instrumental in the plan of God to save Moses (his mother, sister, the maidens, Pharaoh’s daughter). At Yeshua’s resurrection, it was the women who believed first. God uses women in his plans. He also knows how to thwart the plans of the enemy. Pharaoh tries to kill Moses, God saves him and has him raised in the very house of the man who tried to kill him. He actually plays a role in Israel’s deliverance as he is trying to destroy them.

Moses is about 40 years old when he kills the Egyptian who was abusing an Israelite, and he flees to Midian. He is 80 years old at the time of the Exodus, and 120 at the time of his death, as Israel is about to cross into the promised land. God has a long range plan in mind for Moses. In Acts 7.9-37 we have more details about Joseph through Moses given by Stephen before the Kohen ha Gadol (High Priest). He has been accused of being against the Temple and the Torah by false witnesses, which means he was not against the Temple and the Torah (Acts 6.13-15..”Moses” is Torah). As a side note, Christianity does teach against the Temple and the Torah, and yet they will say he was the first “Christian martyr.” But, teaching the Torah and being for the Temple is a strange testimony for the first “Christian.” In fact, it is Christianity that teaches against the Temple and the Torah, and who alters the customs Moses handed down. Stephen was the exact opposite of that.

We learn in the testimony of Stephen that seventy-five persons came to Joseph (Acts 7.14). This seems to be a contradiction from Gen 46.27, but Moses and Stephen are talking about two different things. Moses is talking about the seed of Jacob, those out of his loins. This number did not include the wives. Stephen speaks of all of them, including the wives, etc (Joseph’s eleven brothers, and sister Dinah, fifty-two of his brothers children, and eleven of his brother’s wives). This number conveys the idea of an eschatological congregation.

In Acts 7.16 the two burials of Jacob and Joseph are “mixed” together as one to show how close they were. The “tomb” refers to two places, Machpelah for Jacob and Shechem for Joseph. This is an example of “block logic.” Stephen is giving the traditional teaching here and he shows in verse 20 the birth of Moses. We will pick up here in Part 65.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 63

We have kosher animals like sheep, goats and cattle and if it is first-born it is given to the Lord as a korban. How does a donkey fit in (Exo 34.20). It is not a kosher animal and if it is first-born you have the option to redeem the animal, but if not, its neck will be broken. The donkey may be alluding to the rebellious and stiff-necked individual (like a donkey) who, if not redeemed, will be broken.

Messiah as first-born is also open to anyone who who wants to join themselves to God (redeemed). You can’t join yourself to God outside of Israel and the Messiah Yeshua. It is the “gate in” and by the first century this meant that the non-Jew was to become Jewish through ritual circumcision to have a part in all of this. Acts 15 and the Book of Galatians deal with this issue. Galatians isn’t about observing the Torah, it is about observing the tradition of the elders (Beit Shammai) who said that circumcising non-Jews was essential to salvation They believed non-Jews would not inherit the kingdom of God. God had shown Peter and Paul that this decree was not accurate. Peter was shown this in Acts 10, and by Acts 15 they were against the 18 Edicts of Shammai that included this ruling (Acts 15.7-12). It was decided that non-Jews did not have to be ritually circumcised to be saved, which was the question in Acts 15.1 (We have an abundance of information on this on the website).

Christianity interpreted this as “God gave the commandments to Israel, but we don’t have to worry about all that, we are free.” We remember a class in Bible school on Galatians and the text that was used was a book called “Be Free” which was nothing but Replacement Theology. In truth, the Torah was for everyone as it applies. This means, if you are a Jew, there are certain commandments that apply to Jews. If you are a women, there are commandments that only apply to women. If you are a king, priest, high priest, non-Jew and so on, there are Torah commandments that apply to each group. If you live in the land, certain laws apply. If you don’t live in the land, certain laws apply, and so on.

Now, let’s touch on a portion of Scripture in Exo 34.26 dealing with the first-born. This portion can also be seen in Exo 23.19 and Deut 14.21. The portion says, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” There was a pagan practice that did this so they were not to mix pagan worship with true worship. Dairy was not allowed in the Temple. But, that is not the true meaning here, there is much more to this.

The word for “boil” here is “bashal” and it means to “ripen or mature.” They were not to let a kid “mature” or “ripen” in its mother’s milk (or delay, get older). They were to give the first-born of the flock (or herd) as required. Exo 22.29-30 says, “You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.”

In Exo 23.19, 34.26 and Deut 14.21 it is saying that you were not to let the first-born animal “ripen and mature.” In other words, don’t let it get older in order to produce more sheep for your flocks. Give it as required and the Lord will enlarge your flocks and your herds. It was to be given on the eighth day after the birth, not left to “ripen and mature.” This is similar to the word’s use in Geb 40.10, “its clusters ripened in to grapes.”

This has nothing to do with the rabbinical injunctions against eating meat and milk together, or cooking meat and milk together. The rabbis have derived this prohibition from these verses (Exo 23.19, 34.26; Deut 14.21). There is little in these verses that would suggest anything other than not allowing a kid to mature in its mother’s milk. The first-born animal was to be given right away (eighth day) after it was born. It was not to “ripen” in its mother’s milk as it feeds and gets bigger, thus adding to your herd and being able to reproduce later. Righteousness does not come through the Torah, it comes by “emunah” or faith. Once you have come to righteousness through faith, the Torah is our instruction on how to walk before God. It is a different walk than everyone else. Let’s look at the word “glory in Exo 33.18. That word “kivod” in Hebrew can mean “glory” or “radiance.” Here is a good example of it in Exo 34.29-35.

Moses has come down from the mountain for the second time. He has been in the presence of the Lord and when he comes down he is unaware that his face was radiating. It was so evident that he had to put a veil (cover) on his face because the people were afraid to come near him. He had been in the presence of God, so they were afraid to be in the presence of Moses. The kivod of God was on his face.

Now, it wasn’t something that disappeared after a few hours, it remained on him, so he had to wear a cover when he was in the camp, but he took it off when he went into the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting). Adam and chava in Gan Eden had this covering before they sinned. But after, they knew they were naked and the Lord took an animal skin and made a covering for them. This is believed to be the first Yom Kippur. God began the creation on Tishri 1, the first Sabbath was Tishri 7, and Adam and Chava sinned on Tishri 10.

When you look at Sunday school material and artwork from any time period, or any country in the world, they will show Adam and Chava in the garden standing by a tree with a serpent hanging around. They haven’t eaten the fruit yet, but the foliage or some branches of the tree will be hiding their private parts. This is before they ate, but they are as naked as can be. But, they weren’t naked. They had the radiance of God on them. This “kivod” was with them until they sinned. They were clothed in the radiance of God, like the face of Moses, before the fall.

This is an important concept. We are to worship the Lord and not mix it with the worship practices of the other nations. We are to observe the commandments as they apply to us, and God will deliver us from all our enemies. We are not to assimilate. The problem today is we mix truth with pagan error in some form. The Lord is a jealous God, which means he is passionate. Exo 34.14-15 says that if we let our guard down with “other gods” and those who follow them it can be a snare. While they are playing the harlot and offering sacrifices to their gods, they may invite you to eat his sacrifice. We are not to play for the other team.

In 1 Kings 18 we have the story of Elijah and his battle with 450 prophets of Ba’al and 400 prophets of the Asherah, his “escort” on Mount Carmel. They believed that Ba’al was the God who brought them out of Egypt. They build two altars, one for Yehovah and one for Ba’al. Everyone knows the story. Elijah brings water up the mountain and douses his altar three times. This is remarkable because they were in the midst of a three and half year drought. The people “hesitated” between two opinions.

The word for “hesitate” is “pasach” and it is related to the word “pesach” which means Passover. It means to “pass over, pass by.” The same word is used is verse 26 for “leaping”.” Elijah goes on to say, “If Yehovah is God, follow him. If Ba’al is God, follow him.” Now understand what he is saying. They were following Ba’al and Asherah, calling it the worship of God. Exo 34.1-28 is what the pagans do, what idolatry is. Then he tells them what they were to do.

So, it is a contrast. It is looking at the Torah, Mishkan and the Temple ceremonies compared to what everybody else does. Don’t forget that context if you take a passage here and there. Remember he is talking about the worship he wants as opposed to what he doesn’t want, in his Temple. Concepts found in Exo 35-40 have been dealt with earlier, so we will not deal with them here again.

In Part 64, we will pick up here and begin with a quick overview of Exodus, including concepts from Exo 35-40, and then look at the Exodus story from a more detailed view, which will give us more concepts, phrases and idioms that we have never gone over yet. The Torah is the foundation for our faith, and that is why we are spending so much time in it. When we understand the Torah, all the other Scriptures will fall into place, and that is why we are concentrating on these concepts.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 62

Exo 34.6-7 gives us a list of the attributes of God called the Middot (virtues, values). We are going to go over these attributes briefly, using the Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 364-365, and where it says “adonay” in his comments, we will substitute that for Yehovah. Hertz’s comments begin with, “proclaimed…God reveals the name of the Lord, i.e. his characteristic qualities, to Moses. The Rabbis held that there are thirteen distinct attributes in these two verses; though there are differences as to their precise enumeration. The enumeration in the following comments is in accordance with the views of Rabbenu Tam, Ibn ezra, Mendelsohn and Reggio.

the Lord, the Lord…Hebrew Yehovah, Yehovah (1 and 2)); Yehovah denotes God in his attribute of mercy; and the repetition is explained in the Talmud as meaning ‘I am the merciful God before a man commits a sin, and I am the same merciful and forgiving God after a man has sinned. Whatever change has to be wrought, must be in the heart of the sinner; not in the nature of the Deity. He is the same after a man has sinned, as he was before a man has sinned.’

God…Hebrew El (3); the all-mighty Lord of the Universe, ruler of nature and mankind.

merciful…Hebrew rachum (4); full of affectionate sympathy for the sufferings and miseries of human frailty.

and gracious…Hebrew ve-channun (5); assisting and helping; consoling the afflicted and raising the oppressed. ‘In man these two qualities manifest themselves fitfully and temporarily. He is m’rachun ve-channun. It is otherwise with God; in him, compassion and grace are permanent, inherent and necessary emanations of his nature. Hence, he alone can be spoken of as rachun ve-channun (Mendelsohn).

long-suffering… or slow to anger. Hebrew erech appayim (6); not hastening to punish the sinner, but affording him the opportunities to retrace his evil courses.

abundant in goodness…or plenteous in mercy. Hebrew rav chessed (7); granting his gifts and blessings beyond the deserts of man.

and truth…Hebrew ve’emet (8); eternally true to himself, pursuing his inscrutable plans for the salvation of mankind, and rewarding those who are obedient to his will. Note that ‘chessed’, lovingkindness, preceded ’emet’, truth, both here and generally throughout Scripture; as if to say, ‘speak the truth by all means; but be quite sure that you speak the truth in love.’

keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation…Hebrew notzer chessed la-alafim (9). Remembering the good deeds of the ancestors to the thousandth generation, and reserving reward and recompense to the remotest descendants.

forgiving iniquity…Hebrew noseh avon (10); bearing with indulgence the failings of man, and by forgiveness restoring him to the original purity of his soul. The Hebrew for iniquity is avon; sins committed from evil disposition.

transgression…Hebrew pesha (11); evil deeds springing from malice and rebellion against the Divine.

sin…Hebrew chatah (12); shortcomings due to heedlessness and error.

will by no means clear the guilty. i.e. he will not allow the guilty to go unpunished. Hebrew venakeh lo yenakeh (13). The Rabbis explain: venakeh ‘acquitting the penitent; lo yenakeh, but not acquitting the impenitent.’ He is merciful and gracious and forgiving; but he will never obliterate the eternal and unbridgeable distinction between light and darkness, between good and evil. God cannot leave repeated wickedness and obstinate persistence in evil entirely unpunished. His goodness cannot destroy his justice. The sinner must suffer the consequences of his misdeeds. The unfailing and impartial consequences of sin help man to perceive that there is no ‘chance’ in morals. The punishment of sin are thus not vindictive, but remedial.

visiting… upon the children. This law relates only to the consequences of sin. Pardon is not the remission of the penalty, but the forgiveness of the guilt and the removal of the sinfulness. The misdeeds of those who are God’s enemies are visited only to the third and fourth generation, whereas his mercy to those who love him is unto the thousand generations.”

Exo 34.8 is a key verse for where we are going, especially where it says “And take us as thine own inheritance.” In the Temple there were four corner buildings and thirteen gates. One of these gates on the south side, between Beit Ha Otzrot and Beit Avtinas, was called the Sha’ar Ha Bikarot (Gate of the First-born). This has to do with the the statement in Exo 34.8 that we just mentioned above. God is going to make a covenant in Exo 34.10 that he will perform miracles like nothing they have ever seen. They are to observe what he has commanded. This is because they are a people with a kedusha and the commandments are the limitations and restrictions that come with the kedusha.

In Exo 34.11-18 he tells them to avoid making covenants with the other nations. They were to tear down their mazavot (sacred pillars) and the Asherim. They were not to worship other gods, sacrifice to other gods nor eat something sacrificed to other gods. They were not to take on or cause their children to play the harlot with other gods, nor make molten gods.

Now, Elijah told the people in 1 Kings 20.21 “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? Of the Lord is God, follow him; but if Ba’al, follow him.” But don’t mix the worship of Ba’al with the worship of Yehovah. Paganism is better than mixing it with the worship of God. Basically God is telling them to worship him and not mix in elements from other nations. They were to be a distinct (with a kedusha) people and they were not to bring in these foreign elements into their worship.

Exo 34.19-20 says, “The first offspring from every womb belongs to me, and all your male livestock, the first offspring from cattle and sheep. And you shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the first-born of your sons and none shall appear before me empty-handed.”

Exo 34.21-26 talks about the Sabbath, Shavuot and Sukkot. We have the Shelosh Regalim referred to (three “foot” or pilgrim festivals of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot and Sukkot). The Lord says that he is going to drive out the nations and nobody will covet their land when come up to the Lord three times a year, so they are not to worry about that when they come to worship. They were not to offer blood with leavened bread with the korbanot, and they were not to leave the passover lamb overnight. They were to bring in the first fruits of the soil into the Temple and they were not to “boil (bashal) a kid in its mother’s milk” (Exo 23.19; Deut 14.21).

These passages seem like he is talking about a variety of subjects. They seem like random thoughts but they are all connected with the concept of the first-born. In tefillin boxes there are four Scriptures: Exo 13.1-10, 11-16; Deut 6.4-9 and 11.13-21. In the first two passages we read about the importance of the first-born. The concept of the first-born played a role in the life of Joseph who acted as the “bikur” (first-born) and Israel in the Exodus as “bikur.” The first-born plays a role in the tenth plague, and if you are a bikur, what is your responsibility? We have a gate in the Temple that is named after the first-born, and we have the two passages in the tefillin. All of these are connected.

The first-born is more important than most people give it. God says it is important, and we must understand what it means. Being a bikur does not rely solely on birth order. We see this many times in Scripture where a child in a family can emerge as a child leader. It doesn’t matter where they were in the birth order. Being a bikur has less to do with biology as it does with the role you play in the family.

That is why Israel is not the oldest of the nations but has the status of bikur because of the role they play among those nations. This is a significant concept that must be understood to get a proper foundation in the Tanak, and all of the Scriptures for that matter. Israel must not think they are better than everyone else, they cannot have an attitude like that. They can’t think “I have this relationship with the parent and I am better than you.” Israel is a bikur for the benefit of the others (Exo 4.22).

Israel must realize that God is interested in all people, and must not reflect their mission to the other nations. They were the “salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Sorry Christianity, this does not apply to you! It was through them the world would hear about the creator God, sin, redemption through the Messiah and faith. The world must know the truth. When Israel neglected their mission as the bikur, the world suffered.

In each family, the bikur was the “priest” and God said as much in Exo 19.6. Priesthood is going to be equivalant to the first-born. The family of Aaron took the place of the first-born and they became the priests to the nation, but the first-born remained a priest in the family.

In Part 63 we will pick up here and then explain the real meaning of the verse that says “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 61

We learn from the cloud in Exo 33. 9 that it indicates the Shekinah (presence) of God. The cloud would indicate the presence of God and this concept is seen in the festival of Sukkot. Sukkahs, or booths, were made and built on a roof and it must be made so that you can see the “stars.” This is to remind the people of the “clouds of glory.” This concept means those who have gone before. Heb 11.1-40 tells us about the “hall of faith” and then in Heb 21.1 it says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us (referring back to Heb 11).”

But they are “dead”, or are they? Yeshua proved those that have gone on before us are not dead by saying that “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” to Moses. He didn’t say “I was” but “I am.” So, in the wilderness the concept of the cloud being a witness is a picture of the future kingdom, called the Atid Lavo or “future coming.” There will be people who will miss the “gathering” or the Natzal and have survived the Birth-pains in their natural bodies. They will not have glorified bodies because they are still having children, and they will eventually die (Isa 65.17-25). But there will also be people in the kingdom with glorified bodies. These are the one who were resurrected at the Natzal, and those who were alive at the time were changed into glorified bodies in the “twinkling of an eye” (1 Thes 4.13-17; 1 Cor 15.50-58).

The world will be different in the Atid Lavo, and people in physical bodies will have longer lifespans. So, we have the clouds (those with glorified bodies) living with those with physical bodies. This is what is conveyed in Heb 12.1 and what was pictured in the wilderness.

So we have two major pictures here with the cloud. We have the Shekinah and we have the cloud of witnesses. We have verses that say the Messiah will come with “many thousands of his holy ones” (Jude 14; Deut 33.1-2). Matt 24.30, Mark 14.62 and Rev 1.17 says that Yeshua is coming with the “clouds” and this means the holy ones (tzaddikim/saints). Dan 7.13-14 says that the Son of Man (Bar Enosh) came with the “clouds of heaven” up to the Ancient of Days and received authority and a kingdom.

In Exo 33.12-15 Moses says he wants to know who is going to help him, and he asks to know the way of the Lord. The Lord tells him “my presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.” The Mishkan will be the answer to all of these questions for Moses and the People. His Shekinah (presence) will be there and all the commandments associated with the Mishkan will show them the Way of God.”

Exo 33.16 says, “How then can it be known that I have found favor in they sight, I and thy people? Is it not by the going with us, so that we, I and they people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” Now, how are we distinguished or differentiated from the others on the face of the earth? We are distinguished by the commandments of God and by what we eat and don’t eat, etc (Deut 4.1-8; Est 3.8).

Many people believe that the clean and unclean food laws were given to Israel only, and that they were not for the non-Jew, but that is not true if you are in the Messiah. There is a misconceptions based upon many bible translations and multiple bad commentaries on the “new testament” that says believers can eat foods that were not permitted in Lev 11. For example, Matt 15.1-20 and Mark 7.1-23 is used to justify this. But the issue was over whether permitted food becomes unclean of one does not ritually wash his hands according to the tradition of the elders. Beit Hillel said you would ritually wash your hands only after a festive meal, Beit Shammai said you should ritually wash your hands at every meal. These verses are a halakic discussion between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, not an endorsement to eat what was not permitted in Lev 11. To say pork is now kosher is Replacement Theology, it is a golden calf.

In some translations, Mark 7.19 says that the digestive system eliminates the food we eat (into the toilet), purging all food. Some have translated this verse to say that Yeshua said “declaring all foods clean” here (NIV). That is not true and Replacement Theology. Matt 15.20 has a further explanation on this incident where it says, “But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

This is why understanding the Torah on the food laws is so important. Yeshua could not be the Messiah if he went around changing the commandments, something he said he did not come to do (Matt 5.17). We know he followed the commandments in the Torah because they found “no sin in him” and “sin is the transgression of the Torah” (1 John 3.4). Rom 3.20 says “By the Torah is the knowledge of sin” and Eph 2.8 says “By the grace of God we are saved through faith.” Now, do we make void the Torah through faith? No, we establish the Torah (Rom 3.31).

So, Exo 33 deals with the Ohel Moed and the start of the gathering together of all the things commanded in Exo 25.1-9. Now they could begin on the Mishkan, after the incident of the Golden Calf. Exo 33.17-23 says that Moses wanted to see the glory (kivod) of God. The Lord said he would make his goodness pass before Moses, but he could not see his face and live. So, he tells Moses to stand on the rock (tzur) and his glory will pass by as Moses is in the cleft of the rock. He will cover Moses with his hand until he passes by. Then he would take his hand away and Moses would see his “back” but not his face. Now, the terms “my back” is “acharey” and it can mean “west.” In Gen 22.13 Abraham looked “afterwards” and that is “achar” (west). Abraham looked west to where the Holy of Holies and the throne would stand. Worshipers look west to the Holy of Holies and the throne when in the Temple.

Exo 33.17 says “And I have known you by name” and this is related to the concept that God has engraved us by name on his hand (Isa 49.16). The word for “glory” is “kivod” and this is one of the manifestations of God, along with the Shekinah and the Ruach Ha Kodesh. What most people see in these verses is Moses in a cleft of a rock. Then all of a sudden a :fire” or something “wisps” by and he hears the name of Yehovah said aloud. When the Jews read the passage they see something different. There are many names and titles of God, but only one is the unique name. It is used nearly 7000 times in the Tanak. The name Yehovah symbolizes God’s mercy, it is his mercy being revealed here.

We know that Moses could not see his face, but there is a “makom” (place) near him. There is a “rock”, which is a term for God and the Messiah (Exo 17.6; Num 20.8; Isa 2.10; 1 Cor 10.4). Makom is another name of God and the Temple (Gen 28.11-22; John 11.48). There is more being alluded to (remez) here than the literal (peshat). What Moses is experiencing is the mission statement of the Mishkan, and later the Temple. Moses says “Show me yourself” and that is what the Mishkan/Temple will do. First, he shows his mercy (33.19) and then he will place Moses in a certain place (makom) and from there he will be able to see the Lord. That is what the Mishkan/Temple does. He tells Moses to “stand” and that is the posture in the Mishkan/Temnple.

Moses is covered by “my hand” and this is a term for the Messiah. Yad Vashem is the holocaust museum. It means “name in the hand.” Moses will see “my back” and that is the word “achar” and can mean “west.” But the face of the Lord will not be seen. In the Mishkan/Temple, you look to the west, towards the Holy of Holies and the throne of God. We can see the Lord, his nature and his attributes in the Mishkan/Temple. They also can be manifested before us if we are looking for the right things.

God is going to reveal his attributes to Moses when he goes up to receive the second set of tablets with the commandments. Moses will cut them out and the Lord will write on them again. God will proclaim his name, or attributes, and Yehovah is proclaimed twice in 33.6. These attributes will be read in times of crisis, asking God for mercy.

When God reveals his glory he is “passing by” but we don’t comprehend it sometimes. We need to ask him for understanding by “inviting him into the boat.” Mark 6.44-51 tells us that the Lord revealed his glory in 6.44 by the miracle of the loaves, but the talmidim did not gain any insight from the loaves. The Lord is not playing games and there is no guile in him. We need to ask him for wisdom, insight, understanding and discernment and he will give it to us, but we need to be willing to change.

In Part 62, we will look at the attributes of God in Exo 33.6-7 and basically define them.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 60

The sign that the Lord was going to give King Ahaz was a young woman was going to have a child, and before the child is old enough to eat curds and honey (milk and honey), he would send the Assyrians down to defeat the Syrians aligned with Israel, and Judah would be delivered. This will be fulfilled in Isa 8.1-3 when Isaiah will have relations with his wife and she conceived and gave birth to a son and they named him “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” which means “swift is the booty, speedy is the prey.” His second name was Immanuel (7.14).

Now, Isaiah’s wife was not a virgin, but a young, married woman. God chose a Hebrew word (almah) that could have several meanings for several fulfillments. Almah can mean “a young, married woman” to fit the peshat in the case of Isaiah’s wife, and it can mean a “virgin” in the sowd, as in the case of Miriam, the mother of Yeshua. When that verse was translated into Greek, it was translated with a Greek word that can only mean a “virgin” (parthenos). That is because they were looking to the future messianic fulfillment only. Isa 7.18 says “in that day” and this expression is a reference to the “Day of Yehovah” or the Lord. This tells us there will be a future fulfillment. Isa 7.19-25 says that the fields will be so devastated by this war they will only be able to eat curds and honey. The crops have been destroyed in the war. So, Exo 33.3 tells us Canaan is a land of milk and honey because it is uncultivated, it had no crops.

Exo 33.4-6 says they stripped their ornaments off. The Golden Calf has already happened. Why are they stripping these ornaments off? Moses has returned from the mountain. The people are starting to act upon what Moses told them from the Lord, in Exo 25.1-7. In Exo 33.4 it says, “Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, and called it the tent of meeting (ohel moed) and it came about, that everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp.”

Mount Sinai has two names: Sinai and Horeb. People today have a hard time understanding the concept of multiple names for people, places and things. Those words mean different things. Sinai may have derived from the Sumerian deity of the moon (Sin), or it simply comes from the Hebrew name for a thorn bush, “sineh.” Horeb is “Chorev” and means “dry, desert.” It is also though by some to mean “glowing heat” which may have been a reference to the sun.

There is another name for this mountain called “Har Ha Elohim” or “the mountain of God (Exo 3.1, 1 Kings 19.18). There are three mountains in Scripture called Har Ha Elohim. They are Mount Sinai, Mount Moriah and Mount Zion. Ohel Moed means “tent of meeting/appointment.” Ohel means “tent” and Moed means “appointment.” Anyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting.

Exo 33.8 says that whenever Moses would go out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Now, we see two things here. When you come into the inner courtyard of the Mishkan/Temple, you must be standing. Only a king descended from David was allowed to sit in the inner courtyard. The other things is you always faced towards the throne of God. This protocol will be used when coming to the Lord, standing and looking towards the throne of God. It is being established here and this will be used in the Mishkan/Temple.

Exo 33.9-11 says that a cloud would descend and stand at the entrance, and the Lord would speak to Moses. When the people saw this, they stood and worshiped at the entrance of their tents. So, God spoke with Moses “face to face” just as a man speaks to his friend (re’eh). A “chavur” is a friend, a “re’eh” is a shepherd friend, a deeper kind of friend (Gen 29.32-34. When Moses would leave, Joshua would stay at the tent. The phrase “face to face” is an idiom for Yom Kippur. Why? Because the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies, the throne of God, like Moses did. Names will be associated with the festivals. When we see this phrase (outside of this verse) in Scripture, it alludes to Yom Kippur.

Moses is doing this here. He is “face to face” with God before his throne. There is a prophecy in Num 11 that God took of the Spirit from Moses and placed that Spirit on 68 elders. Moses had complained earlier that he needed help. Two others were in the camp and also received the Spirit, for a total of 70. all of them prophesied. Joshua runs to Moses at the Ohel Moed and says, “Restrain them.” Moses says, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them.”

This was seen as a prophecy that when Messiah came, the Spirit of God (the Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit) would fall on mankind, not just a few. There is a time coming in the Olam Haba when all mankind will be face to face with God and we all will have the Spirit of God. So, this scenario is prophetic in nature.

In Exo 33.11 it says Joshua was a “young man.” He was from the tribe of Ephraim (Josh 5.14, 6.23). In Hebrew it is the word “na’ar.” Israel was described as a “lad” in Gen 22.5 and it is the same word used to describe Joshua (na’ar). We get the wrong idea from “young man” and “lad.” Isaac was around 33-37 years old at the time of Gen 22.5. Moses was 40 years old when he fled Egypt. We should not picture Joshua as some sort of “butler” or “servant” for Moses. He was a protege’ of Moses and he was being groomed for leadership. He was about 40 years old here, the same age Moses was when he fled from Egypt. Joshua died at 110 years old.

In Part 61 we will pick up here and begin to develop the concept of the “cloud” seen in Exo 33.9. It will allude to the Sh’kinah (presence) of God and this concept can be seen in the festival of Sukkot. It will also allude to the great “cloud of witnesses” or “clouds of glory” referred to in many places in the Scriptures. We will develop this out next time.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 59

In Exo 32.30-34 we find out that on the next day Moses tells the people that they have committed a great sin and he was going up to the Lord so that he can perhaps make atonement for their sin. Moses goes up the mountain and talks with the Lord and asks him to forgive their sin. If not, to blot out his name from “your book” which he has written. This book registers the living, the dead are erased. The Lord said, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book.” In other words, the soul that sins, it shall die unless repentance is done.

It’s not that anyone who is really in the Book of Life is ever blotted out, but there are some who think they are written in that book and part of the elect, but in reality are not. They are unrepentant sinners and they were never in that book, which is like being blotted out (Psa 69.28; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4).

Exo 32.35 tells us that the Lord “smote the people” because of what they did with the Golden Calf which Aaron had made. We know that all the people didn’t perish, but the Lord declares that whenever they would sin in the future, they would suffer some of the punishment that they should have received in retribution for the sin of the Golden Calf. Exo 32.34 says, “But go now, lead the people where I told you. Behold, my angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

The nature of what happens on the number killed are not recorded, but 1 Cor 11.29-32 says similar things happen today. Here is a theory. Everyone in the camp had to drink the ground up gold from the calf, except Moses and Joshua. All the people had to do was repent. Those that died probably didn’t. Just like in the Sotah, the bitter waters killed them because they were not honest. If they really failed to repent, the waters of the Golden Calf that they drank killed them. That was the plague. This connection is given at Mesora.Org/Golden Calf; Talmud Yoma 66b and Avodah Zara 44a.

Exo 33.1-3 begins to tell us about the Ohel Moed or the Tent of Meeting. The Lord tells Moses to depart and bring the people (not my people) whom you (not me) have brought up from the land of Egypt. He was going to send an angel (Joshua) before you and I will drive out the Canaanite (“merchants”-alludes to when Yeshua drove out the money changers), the Amorite (“talkers”-talk like they are believers but aren’t); the Hittites (terror); the Perizzite (“squatter” in spiritual things); the Hivite (“liver”-one who seems to have life but doesn’t); and the Jebusite (“trodden down”-they walk on godly things, find no value). These are our enemies as we try to take the promises. The Lord doesn’t say that the angel will drive them out, God will. Our enemy is a defeated enemy already, just like these nations. They had lost a war that hasn’t even started yet.

Israel was going to the “land of milk and honey” but the Lord will not go up in their midst because they were obstinate, lest he destroy them along the way. He didn’t do it in Exo 32.30-35. The term “land of milk and honey” is an idiom for a land that was “uncultivated” or “devastated by war” (see the book “Ancient Israel” by Roland Devaux). In Texas they call it “cattle country.” It is uncultivated with forest and wild vegetation. A good article on this is from Haaretz called “Simple Pleasures in the Land of Milk and Honey.” Let’s look at this idiom a little closer.

Isa 7.14 says that the Lord is going to give King Ahaz a sign to show that his enemies were going to be defeated. A young woman (almah) will bear a child and call his name Immanuel. Isa 7.15-16 says “He will eat curds (milk) and honey at the time he knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.” So, the boy will eat curds and honey because the land was going to be forsaken. Assyria is coming and the land will be uncultivated and devastated by war (Isa 7.20-25).

Remember, we have four levels that we work the Scriptures through when studying. These levels have been derived from the Scriptures themselves. The “Peshat” is the literal meaning. The “Remez” is what is alluding to the verse. The “Drash” is to explore and ask, and a threshing out of the meaning. The “Sowd” is the secret, deeper meaning.

These passages we have referenced are good ones to look at with this understanding. We have a prophecy in Isa 7.14 that is going to be fulfilled more than one time. In the “peshat” (literal), it was fulfilled in the days of the prophet Isaiah. The son being referred to here is the son of Isaiah. In the remez (alluding to), drash (ask, explore) and sowd (secret, deeper) it is fulfilled in the Messiah Yeshua. It has more than one fulfillment.

Now, the word “almah” means a “young woman.” It can mean a young, married woman. In Isa 7.14 it is applied to the Messiah by most people reading it, but in verse 15 it says “curds and honey” will be eaten at the time this child knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. Isa 7.17 says, “The Lord will bring on you, on your people, and on your father’s house such days as have never come since the day Ephraim separated from Judah, the king of Assyria.” So, what is going on here?

An alliance was made between the king of Syria (Aram) and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel (Isa 7.1). They went up against Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it. The Lord asks Ahaz to ask for a sign that this alliance will not be successful, but Ahaz doesn’t want to ask. So, the Lord says he will give Ahaz a sign anyway. All of this is in the peshat level (literal), in the eighth century B.C.

In Part 60 we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 58

In Exo 32.21-23, Moses asks Aaron what the people did to him to make him be involved in this great sin. He was disappointed in his brother, even shocked. Moses didn’t even know his brother evidently. He says they are prone to evil (the people) and they came to him to make an “Elohim” for them. In Exo 32.24-25 he says that he asked the people for gold and they gave it to him. Then he “threw it into the fire and out came this calf.” He makes excuses and blames something else. Adam and Chava do the same thing when they sinned. But, that is what we do.

How many times have we shown someone the the truth in Scripture, and they don’t, or won’t, see it. Maybe it is because they have been raised in a certain tradition. How many times have people shown us the truth of Scripture and we don’t, or won’t, see it. We like to point fingers, but we are guilty of what Aaron, Adam and Chava did. This chapter has similarities to Gen 3.

Aaron let things get “out of control” and it will be a scandal among their enemies because of God’s punishment. Exo 32.26 says that Moses stood in the “gate of the camp.” We tend to think that the camp was in a loose fashion. However, it is believed that the camp was arranged in the form of a cross. You had three tribes to the north with 157,600 people. Then you had 151,450 people to the south and 186,400 to the east, and 108,000 to the west. The Mishkan was at the center and around it, to the east, the sons of Aaron camped. To the north Merari was camped, to the south it was Kohath, and to the west was Gershom.

No wonder Balaam said in Num 22.41 that he could see a “portion of the people.” In Num 23.10 Balaam says, “Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number the fourth part of Israel.” This tells us they camped in four parts, and one part was bigger than the others (the east part with 186,400 people). In Num 23.13 it says that Balak said to Balaam, “Please come with me where you may see them (camped), although you will only see the extreme end of them” (the portion in 22.41 and 23.10).

There was a structure and a form to how they camped, and it looked like a cross from above. In movies and in pictures they will show them camping anywhere they wanted, with the Mishkan in the middle somewhere. But that cannot be true. In the form of a cross, you had four corps arranged for security if attacked. An attacking army would have problems attacking this formation. You also had a shorter walk to go outside the camp to relieve yourself or to gather wood, etc. They had avenues and could have the back of their tents in one direction, not facing each other for privacy.

Toward the perimeter there was a “wall” or some structure of bushes, stone or something that could be a barrier. There were “gates” (v 26) for security with guards. Moses tells the Levites to go from “gate to gate in the camp and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor” (v 27). So, there were gates from one end of the camp to the other. They had “borders.” The Torah is a book of borders and declarations.

Exo 32.28 says that the sons of Levi did what Moses instructed, and around three thousand people were slain. The tribe of Levi was made up of three sons, or family groups. We have Kohath (where Moses and Aaron came from), Gershon and Merari. These three sons constitute the tribe of Levi, and were the patriarchs of that tribe. The priests came from Aaron and his sons only. Basically, we are going to have 13 tribes. The tribe of Joseph has been divided into two tribes because of the double portion given to him. Those tribes are Ephraim and Manasseh. With the tribe of Levi, we have 13 tribes.

Now, these thousands and thousands of people come to stand with Moses “in the gate” (v 26). But only one complete tribe comes (Levi). The reason they come is to repent of the sin of the calf, and the majority of the tribes did come to Moses, even though they are not mentioned. But the whole tribe of Levi came. Moses tells Levi to go with their sword from “gate to gate” and slay everyone who did not repent.

Exo 32.29 says that Moses told them to dedicate themselves to the Lord, for every man has been against his son and against his brother in order that the Lord may bestow a blessing on them today. The word for “dedicate” is “milu” which is related to the word for the dedication of the kohanim (miluim). This words tells us what it means to accept authority. Literally it means to “fill your hand to the Lord.” This word is taken to mean that as a reward for their faithfulness and zealousness, they will be in charge of the Mishkan, and later the Temple. They are “kohanim-elect” in a sense like a “president-elect.” The president-elect does not have authority until he sworn in. The Levites did not have their authority until their dedication ceremony on Num 8.5-6. The tribe of Levi is set apart here.

All priests are Levites, but not all Levites are priests. Not all from Kohath are priests and Moses was not a priest because he was not a son of Aaron. But, all Levites will be set aside for the service of the Mishkan and the Temple. Remember, this chapter is in a chiastic structure of Chapters 25 through 40. Why did the people need a Mishkan and later a Temple?

People will say today “We don’t need a building built by man, we are the Temple.” First of all, the Temple was not built by man, it is from God. Zerubbabel was charged with building the Temple and it says in Zech 3.6 that it would not be built by the might and power of man, but by the Spirit of the Lord. The first thing God tells them in Exo 25.8-9 is to build him a Mishkan, and then there are 16 chapters about it in Exodus.

Why did the people need a Mishkan? They had not even heard the word “Mishkan” yet. They acted before Moses came back with that word. The reason the people needed the Mishkan was because of the Golden Calf. We need the Temple because of the Golden Calf. We have our own “golden calves” and things we use to represent the Lord that is forbidden in the camp.

People in some faiths believe that when you believe in “Jesus” that is the end of it, that’s where everything stops. On the contrary, that is where it begins. When Paul became a believer he didn’t stop being Torah observant, he really picked it up. He understood the Torah better because he saw Yeshua in it (Rom 10.4). In the same way, when one becomes a believer they should move toward the Torah and an understanding of the commandments. 271 commandments relate directly to the temple, that is nearly half of the 613 commandments in the Torah.

Do we want to understand the Torah, then we need to learn about the Mishkan/Temple. It will be the foundation of our understanding. All of this will be illuminated by the Spirit of God. Without it, we will be throwing gold into the fire and a calf will emerge and we will be calling it Yehovah. That is why we need a Temple and the concept of kedusha that is associated with it. This is why Exo 32 is not only the center point of a chiastic structure, but it is a turning point. But all of this is not over.

In Part 59 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 57

In Exo 32.7-10, the Lord tells Moses to go down from the mountain at once because “your people whom you brought up from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.” They had quickly turned aside from the way which God had commanded them, made a molten Golden Calf, worshiped and sacrificed to it and said, “This is your God (eloheycha), O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” The Lord says they are obstinate and he wants to destroy them and make Moses a great nation.

There are several truths to know. In Gan Eden they were quick to sin. Here the people were quick to sin. We would like to believe we wouldn’t have done that, but the truth is, we would have, too. That is the nature of man. Even the best of us would have been right in there with them like Aaron. It’s not the “no goods” in the community, it was the “esteemed ones” in the community. Its the same in our cities today. Moses has a powerful incentive in v 10, but he interceded for an unworthy people, like Yeshua. Destroying the people was conditional on Moses “leaving” God alone, but he doesn’t. He interceded for them.

Exo 32.11-14 in Jewish tradition was the 9th of Av. Readings for that day are Lamentations; Deut 4.25-40; Jer 8.13-9.23. The Haftorah (reading from the Prophets) is Isa 55.6-6.8. In the morning it is Exo 32.11-14 and the afternoon it is Exo 34.1-10. In a Siddur (prayer book) for Yom Kippur it says that God is asked for forgiveness in the merit of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, etc. Some get offended about that.

In Exo 32.13 we see Moses interceding for Israel, asking God to remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel (Jacob). We must realize that God does extend mercy to us because he is merciful, but he has made a covenant with promises and God is faithful to them. He did make promises to Abraham, and renewed them to Isaac and Jacob. As a result, we may deserve to be destroyed, like Israel, God will honor his promises. It is accurate to pray “In the merit of…” because God Made a promise to the people.

Moses asks God to “change his mind” and it says he does in 32.14, and here is how this works. God knows us from the foundation of the earth. He knew everything we would do, say,and think, both good and bad. He is not saying “Oh, you convinced me, Moses.” That is not what is happening here. What is happening is God already knew what was happening and it was part of his plan. For the sake of Moses he says this, to plead for the people. For Moses to bring out what is coming up. It was by the merits of those promises he made to their fathers that they survived.

God doesn’t “change his mind” or alters his plans and covenants. He controls everything and it works according to what his plan is. This is recorded here so that we can understand it. That’s why Replacement Theology Christianity, or any other religion, is false. He has not replaced Israel because he made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Torah has not been done away with. But for Replacement Theology to work, you have to do away with it because that is where the promises begin. The language here is called “anthropomorphic” because it describes human feelings (changed his mind) to a being or thing that is not human. God showed Moses a judgment, but didn’t do it because of his promises. This change is in accordance to his secret plans and purposes (Num 23.19; Hos 11.8; Amos 7.6). Other examples are Jer 26.1-15; Joel 2.13-14; Jonah 4.2; Judges 2.18; 2 Sam 24.16; Psa 106.45, 136.14; Jer 42.10; Num 23.19; 1 Sam 15.29-35; Psa 89.34; Psa 110.4; Ezek 24.14.

In Exo 32.15-16 Moses comes down with the two tablets, written by the hand of God, not angels and not men. He “engraved” the commands on the tablets. The word for “engraved” here is “charut.” The word for “freedom” is “cherut.” Liberty is found in the Torah, not in “freedom” from it (Psa 119.45; James 1.25; John 8.32; 1 John 5.3; 2 Cor 3.17; Rom 2.13; Jam 2.20; Luke 11.28; Luke 6.46-47; Jam 2.12). These tablets were written on both sides meaning that some of the command were on the right and some were on the left, and so the tablets wight be clapped together as a book is folded. They were not rounded at the top as in most pictures because they were to fit inside the Ark.

Exo 32.17-19 tells us that Joshua hears the people and tells Moses there is a sound of war in the camp. Moses, knowing better, says “No” but it was the sound of singing. Moses was very angry and he threw the tablets down and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. Exo 32.20 tells us that Moses took the calf and burned it down, then ground it to powder. He then scattered it on the surface of the water and made Israel drink the water. The water turned red because of the gold, and this act was very similar to the ashes of the Red Heifer.

Several rabbinic commentaries compared this to the woman suspected of adultery, called the Sotah in Num 5. She is made to drink “bitter waters.” So, there is a parallel between people drinking “bloody colored water” and the Red Heifer, and the woman accused of adultery called the Sotah. What makes the water “bitter?” They go inside the Temple and there was a place in the Heichal and there was a slab with a hook in it. They scrape dirt off the floor and they put it in the water, along with a parchment, for the Sotah to drink. When she drinks the water, her belly swells and she dies if she is guilty. If she is innocent, nothing happens. remember this because we are going to come back to it. Now, keep this in mind. This isn’t just a golden calf, it is a golden calf they are calling Yehovah, so there is a parallel between this calf and the Sotah.

In Part 58, we will pick here in this story and begin with what Moses had to say to Aaron. To say the least, he was very disappointed in his brother.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 56

We need a Mishkan that functions, or it is a fantasy. So, there had to be tents adjoining the Mishkan at the four corners for cooking, for eating, to store fire wood and to have cooking fires and a place for the priests to dress. But there are other reasons.

In a Siddur (prayer book), we have what is called the “Shacharit” or morning prayers. It will take us through the Temple. In the Artscroll Siddur, the Shacharit service, p. 31, it says, “Hashem spoke to Moses, saying: Make a laver (kior) of copper, and its base of copper, for washing; and place it between the Tent of Appointment and the Altar and put water there. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet from it. When they arrive at the tent of appointment they are to wash with water so they not die, or when they approach the altar to serve, to burn a fire-offering to Hashem. They are to wash their hands and feet so they not die; and this shall be an eternal decree for them-for him and for his offspring-throughout their generations.”

It is the first thing you read about in the section on the korbanot. Now, look at the usual configuration of the Mishkan. The Kior (laver) is between the Mishkan and the altar. At first reading, that is the way it appears. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and their feet. When they arrive at the Mishkan they are to wash with water so that they do not die. Also, they were to do this when they approach the altar to serve or to burn an offering. They were to wash so that they would not die. This was an eternal decree.

The penalty was death if they went in there without washing their hands and feet. The guards would make sure they did. So, look at the picture of the Mishkan. We learned from Kelim 1.6-9 that there were ten levels of kedusha. This is what is being taught in the Mishkan and the Temple. These levels are derived from the Torah. In Kelim 1.9 it says, “Between the Porch and the Altar is still more holy for none that has a blemish or whose hair is loosed may enter there. The Sanctuary is still more holy, for none may enter therein with hands and feet unwashed. The Holy of Holies is still more holy, for none may enter therein save only the High Priest on the Day of Atonement at the time of the Temple service. R. Jose said: In five things is the space between the Porch and the Altar equal to the Sanctuary: for they may not enter there that have a blemish, or that have drunk wine, or that have hands and feet unwashed, and men must keep far from between the Porch and the Altar at the time of burning the incense.”

The area between the Porch and the Altar goes from the east side of the altar to the west side of the Porch. You cannot enter that area until you have washed your hands and your feet. So, how can the Kior (laver) be where most illustrations put it? In Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 6.2, it talks about the door on the east side, but it also talks about “gates” (plural). Every picture we see of the Mishkan has only one gate, but it cannot function with only one gate. There had to be gates opening up to the inner court on the four corners in order to have the Kior and place for the priests to dress, a tent for the wood, a tent for cooking and eating of the kodshai kodashim, possibly a tent with a second fire in case the altar fire went out, and other things that could not be done outside the Mishkan. These tents would have a gate leading in and out into the courtyard. These were not used by non-priests. They entered at the east gate. The Temple had the four buildings to accomplish the very same things.

Now we are going to go to Exo 32 which contains one of the most famous incidents in the Scriptures, the incident of the Golden Calf. It is one of the most significant days in history and it was a turning point for Israel. In Exo 25 and going to Exo 40, we have the building of the Mishkan. It is set up in a chiastic structure. The Golden Calf is the center point of this structure.

Exo 32.1-2 tells us that Moses has been on the mountain for forty days and nights. He hasn’t been gone long. Joshua has been waiting on the mountain while Moses went into the cloud. They know he is coming back. They have heard the audible voice of God several days before. They have seen dramatic miracles, the Red Sea was crossed, the Egyptian army destroyed, the water, the military victories. The whole concept that they didn’t know what happened to Moses and the people felt a need to have “gods” is unwarranted.

The word that is used here is “Elohim” and it is used or God, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be referring to him. It can be used for a man, it can be used for an angel. In the case of men or angels it has to be plural. In the case of pagan gods it has to be plural, in the case of Yehovah it has to be plural. It is understood they meant God based on what is coming, not a pagan god. They wanted a visible representation of Yehovah (v 1).

Exo 32.4 says, “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” In Exo 32.5 Aaron saw this calf and he built an altar for it. Then he mad a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yehovah.” They are saying that this calf is a visible Yehovah! So, they were breaking the first audible commandments they heard from the Lord about forty days prior.

They haven’t heard what Moses has been told on the mountain. Before he is even off the mountain, and he is on the way down, they are worshiping this, and they did not make this in one day. While he is still on the mountain they began preparing a visible representation of God, violating the commandments. Deut 4.15-18 says that this was not to be done. They did not see a form on Mount Sinai and they were not to make a graven image in the form of any figure to represent God. They were not to make any female figure, any animal or winged bird, or any likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish.

In Exo 25.13 Moses has not gone up into the mountain yet, God tells Moses to tell the people to raise a contribution of gold, silver, etc, for the Mishkan. Now, Aaron has told them to bring that gold to make this calf. It was to be used for the Mishkan, not an image of Yehovah. They have really made a big mistake here. Aaron is going to be the leader in all this and a key to this chapter. They mixed paganism into it. It will happen again in 1 Kings 12.25-33 with Jereboam and 1 Kings 18.21 where they “hesitated” in their opinion about Baal and the Lord during the time of Elijah. They were worshiping Baal and Asherah and calling it the worship of God.

In Exo 32.6 they had korbanot of burnt and peace offerings, and sat down to eat and drink in a meal consecrated to God. It also says they “rose up to play” meaning to “revel” (Hebrew “L’tzakek”). To “revel” means to enjoy oneself in a lively and noisy way, especially with drinking and dancing. The word L’tzakek is similar to the word “Yitzak” (Isaac) which means “laughter.” It’s bad that they were making a graven image, but its worse that they called it Yehovah. It’s bad that they were having a pagan festival, but it was worse that they called it a “feast to Yehovah” (v 4-5). This is exactly what is done today.

In Part 57 we will pick up here and develop this chapter out even more, and begin with why this chapter is the key to the whole sequence of chapters from Exo 25 to Exo 40.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 55

There is a Mishkan/Temple that most people see, but it never existed. Most people see a Mishkan/Temple that will not work, including some rabbis. When you look at pictures of the Mishkan/Temple you will see things out of place and there will be things missing in the pictures.

Many Christian and even rabbinical books on the Mishkan/Temple will be dealing with what we call a “fantasy Mishkan/Temple” and that will not be good. Most pictures all look the same. We have a door to the east, an altar, the Kior and then the main Mishkan with the two rooms. The problem is, this won’t work or even function.

Did they offer korbanot in the wilderness? The answer is “Yes.” They did the services, but certain ones could not be done until they came into the land (like the festival services). If the animal was “kodesh kelim” (holy) it could be eaten outside the Mishkan/Temple, in the camp. You could not take it out of the camp. That was easy to do in the wilderness, everyone was compact together. However, once they crossed the Jordan and conquered the land, there were people in the north, south, east and west of the Mishkan.

So, the question became, is the “camp” going to be the whole land? No, the camp will be determined by where the Mishkan was at the time. Later on, it was determined by where the Temple was. So, the laws centered around the Mishkan/Temple. That is an other reason why we can’t keep the festivals today. The Korban Shelem (peace offering) was “kodesh kelim” (holy), like the Passover lamb. The most holy things are called the “kodshai kodeshim.” These can only be eaten by the kohanim and they must be eaten within the area of the Mishkan/Temple. Ezek 42.13-14 says that the offerings can only be eaten within this “holy” area.

But, we have a problem. You need to cook these offerings and you must eat them if you were a priest. When the sons of Aaron brought strange fire before the Lord on the eighth day of their consecration, they were struck dead by the Lord. That day Aaron and his remaining two sons failed to eat the kodshai kodashim offerings. Moses comes and he is very upset with them, and says they must eat them. Aaron says his heart was not right because of what just happened to his sons, and Moses understood and God overlooked this by his grace (Lev 10.1-20). But, they must be eaten. The priest can’t say, “I don’t feel good” or “I’m not hungry.” That was their duty, they must eat the korbanot. But, first they must cook the korbanot, they can’t just eat them raw, there is a Torah command about that.

We have this problem. What was taken from the Korban Chata (sin) and the Korban Asham (guilt) is called the “Emurim.” This includes the inner organs and the chelev (fat around those organs). That must be burned on the altar. But, the front leg is not offered on the altar unless it was a Korban Olah (burnt). Nobody eats the Olah. So, that is not put on the altar.

We have another problem, You cannot have any fire in the inner court except on the altar. The priests must eat the meat, but they can’t eat it raw. So, it must be cooked, with a fire, in this area (inner courtyard). Just how are they going to do that? They can’t have fires or cook the food in the inner courts, but you had to eat the food in this area if it was kodshai kodashim.

In the portion from Ezek 42 that we discussed earlier, there were buildings that adjoined the courts in the Temple. In the Second Temple, there were four chambers at the four corners, and we find out this was where they cooked the korbanot (in the chambers). There was a gate opening up to the inner court and the kedusha of the inner court extended to the buildings. Now, look at a typical configuration of the Mishkan. That is a “fantasy Mishkan” because it is not complete and will not work. In order to function, it has to have additional structures (tents) around it. We believe there were tents at the four corners, later replaced by four corner buildings adjoining the inner courtyard in the Temple.

The Torah describes that there was a gate to the east (Exo 27.9-16), but it does not describe any other gate. We read the Torah in our own cultural setting. For example, you check into a hotel and ask the clerk for the elevator. They tell you it is around the corner to the right. Now, we think there is only one elevator. A merchant comes to the hotel with clean linens. He asks for the elevator and they tell him it is around the corner to the left. This is because there are several elevators. One was for public use and the other was for those who worked there. Was the clerk being dishonest? No, the service elevator wasn’t necessary for the public to know. In Neh 10.34 it says, “Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people in order that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God as it is written in the law.”

Now, where does it say that in the Torah? It doesn’t, but Lev 6.12 says that a “fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.” The only way you can have a continual fire is you must have fuel. Nehemiah says that to have wood to burn is written in the Torah, but it only says to have a fire on the altar at all times. We are reading this verse like the guest at the hotel who is not told there are two elevators. There is such a thing as the direct mission and the indirect mission in the military. The direct mission is when the general says, “Take that hill.” The indirect mission is the plan devised by the officers on how to accomplish the command. The general doesn’t worry about all the minute details on how his officers take the hill, that is their problem to work out.

IN the same way, we have to have a Mishkan that functions, or it is a fantasy. In Part 56, we will pick up here and develop this out further.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 54

The Lord showed Moses the “tavnit” or the “blueprint” for the Mishkan. Now a blueprint has exact measurements and specifications, including all the furniture and vessels. Then it says, “So you shall construct them” or “so you shall do.” You cannot alter the tavnit. There are many parts to the Mishkan and Temple that are not discussed in the tavnit. We are told about buildings and chambers, but there is no description of them.

When Moses goes up to Mount Sinai, he is going up to receive the Torah. The very first thing the Lord tells him is to raise a “terumah” or a free will contribution for the Mishkan. He doesn’t say to set up a government first, or discuss any other law. What he says is “build me a Temple” (25.8). From this point to at least Lev 17 every passage will relate directly to the Mishkan/Temple. That is 32 chapters. There are 613 commands in the Torah, and at least 281 of those commands relate directly to the Mishkan/Temple.

When you come into a person’s house, you comply with their rules. This deals with God’s house (Beit means “house”) and he has rules. So, the Lord gives the instruction on the Mishkan/Temple (Beit Ha Mikdash), the korbanot, the priesthood, what ritually clean and unclean are at the beginning. However, laws will come up after Lev 17 that will deal with the Mishkan/Temple, such as in Num 19 and the Red Heifer, and Lev 23 and the festivals. The key to all this, and to the Torah, is that we are to look at all these commandments through the “lens” of the Mishkan/Temple first.

If we want to know how to run a house, we need to understand the Temple. If we want to know how to make a business work, we need to understand the Temple. It is the key to everything in the Scriptures. If our motivation is to see the Temple built because we want to see the Messiah come, then that is the wrong motivation. We want to see the Messiah come, but the Temple is learning how to understand kedusha. It is how to have a walk with God that deals with kedusha in this life. How do we approach God and pray? All of this comes from the Temple. The mistake we make is, we get away from the understanding of the Mishkan/Temple and the concept of kedusha.

We have mentioned earlier that the “tavnit” is the blueprint of God. We cannot deviate from that. With that in mind, the definition of “keep and observe” will be related to this concept. It is defined as “the incorporation of the things of God into our lives and to stay true to the tavnit (blueprint) God has given for a specific thing to be done and a specific place, at a specific time, by specific people.”

Often, tavnit is translated as “pattern” but that is not entirely accurate. When we say the word “pattern” we want you to understand we are not talking about tavnit (blueprint). The tavnit is something we cannot deviate from. However, there are patterns that reveal things to us as the Lord intended. When studying the Scriptures or the Temple, look for “patterns.” The Temple will also be discussed in the Mishnah, Talmud and Josephus. It is discussed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Let’s look a an example of a “pattern.”

In the Mishnah, in the tractate Midot, it describes things from the south, then moving into the Eastern Gate, the Court of the Women, then to the Nicanor Gate. Then it moves to the Court of Israel, the Duchan (where the Levitical choir stood), then to the Court of the Priests. Then it moves to the Great Altar, the twelve steps to the Ulam (Porch), then to the Heichal (Holy Place) and finally to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies). The reason for this is that it is given from the standpoint of man approaching the Lord. However, when the Lord presents the Mishkan in these chapters in Exodus, it reverses. It starts with the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim and the Ark and then moves outward. It is from the inside, out. Here is the lesson and the pattern.

Coming into the presence of the Lord, the first person we encounter is the anointed priest and the veil at the door (Yeshua). Then we come to the altar (cross) and then we we come to the Holy Place and the Shulchan Lechem Ha Pannim (Table of the Bread of the Faces, a type of “the Word”). Then we have the Mizbayach Shell Zahav (Altar of Gold, symbolizing prayer) and then the Menorah (light, wisdom and understanding). Then we come to the veils, and behind the veils we have the Ark of the Covenant, the throne of God with commandments. In these we find mercy, grace judgment and instruction. As we approach God, his commandments await. This is how we approach the Lord.

In truth, many stop at the altar of incense because they have a problem with the concept of “servant.” They will say, “All I need is Jesus (the priest)” or “All I need is back out there on the altar.” They want the mercy but they don’t want what is down there in that box! The Torah will be written on the heart (our Ark) and that is one of the promises of the New Covenant in Jer 31.31-34. The question is, are we following the “pattern” the Lord has given us to approach him?

How does a true believer react when he encounters these things? Will he follow the tavnit given to Moses? They should because a true believer always has followed the tavnit. Many Christians say that following the tavnit (blueprint) and the “patterns” is “legalism.” But God calls it obedience. Here is what we need to do. We need to check and see if our “Mishkan” (tabernacle) is set up according to the tavnit in Exo 40.1-35. In this chapter, the Mishkan was set up on a new moon, a festival that is a picture of being born again (Exo 40.2, 17).

When things don’t go right, we should go back and make sure everything was set up according to the tavnit. Is everything in order and in the right place? We should ask ourselves if there is fire on my altar, is there bread on the table (the Word of God), is my Menorah still burning (light and understanding), is there incense (prayer) on the altar of incense, are the commandments of God in my Ark (heart)?

In these chapters (Exo 25 to Lev 17), we have the concept of God meeting with man, and man meeting with God. In other words, God descends and man ascends. This concept is seen in Gen 28.12-22 and John 1.51 (the “ladder” at the “Gate of God” at Bethel, the House of God). This is seen at Sukkot in a ceremony called the Simchat Beit Ha Shoevah (Rejoicing in the House of the Water Pouring). This is when the priests descend and the people ascend into the Court of the Women. This ceremony is done at night for seven days.

In Exo 25.3-9, God assembled everything beforehand for the Mishkan. He does this with us as well. This alludes to the concept of “election” according to his sovereignty. Everything is arranged and assembled before we come to the Lord (Eph 1.4). In the Temple, there was a series of steps leading up from the outer courts to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies). This speaks of the “ascending and descending” spoken of in Gen 28.12 and John 1.51.

Exo 25 and Exo 40 tell us about how the Mishkan was to be set up, but it also tells us how we are “set up” by God when we become born again. It is from the inside, out. However, we approach the Lord in a reverse manner, from the outside, in. The pattern of these chapters tell us the story of how God sees us as we approach, and how we see God as we approach.

There is a Mishkan/Temple that most people see in pictures and in certain teachings, but it never existed. Most people see a Mishkan/Temple that will not function, including many rabbis and Christian scholars. When we look at pictures of the Mishkan/Temple we will see things that are out of place, or missing in the illustrations. Many Christian and rabbinical books on the Mishkan/Temple will be illustrating a “make believe” Mishkan/Temple, and in Part 55 we will pick up there and show you why.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 53

Israel has come out of Egypt, crossed the Gulf of Suez (Yom Suf/Red Sea), took a road northeast to the Derek Seir (Way to Seir), went east to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, had a battle with the Amalekites in the area, then turned right and went down to Mount Sinai on the border of Midian. Eventually, they will go to Canaan, almost straight north from where they are. Remember, when Moses went to Mount Sinai the first time, he saw a burning bush that was not consumed. He is told to take off his sandals because the ground he was standing on was “adamat kodesh” (holy ground). In this we learn that Mount Sinai has a kedusha, but we have a problem.

As the people travel to Canaan and live there, they will have to travel south to Mount Sinai every time they were to meet with God. That is where the kedusha was. The environment that is needed in order for man to meet with God has to have a certain level of kedusha. The land did not have it by itself for God to be in their “midst.” So, the Lord makes a place of kedusha for the people called the Mishkan, and later the Temple. That is why the festivals can’t be kept today. There is no place with that level of kedusha in order for man to meet with God.

Now Moses is on the mountain in Exo 24 to hear the word of God, and that brings us to Exo 25.1-9. The betrothal is in place, the vows have been made and ratified in blood, and a covenant meal has been shared (24.4-13). Moses will now be shown the “House of Kedusha.”

This is the beginning of the Torah portion called “Terumah” which means “contribution” and it goes from Exo 25.1 to 24.17. Terumah is a free will offering. After the list of things needed has been given (v 2-7), we come to a very important verse in verse 8 where it says, “Asooli mikdash, v’shkanti b’tawcham” or “They shall construct a sanctuary (mikdash) for me, that I may dwell within them.” We know the word “kodesh” or “kadosh.” Mikdash has the same root (miKDASH) meaning a sanctuary, but that can mean anything in English. The word “mikdash” has a relationship with the Lord and basically means “kedusha.”

When man was created he had a kedusha. How do we know that? Because we are told that the Lord said “I am holy (kadosh), you shall be holy (kadosh).” We know that man was created in the image of God, so he had a kedusha until he sinned. When he sinned, he lost his kedusha and he also lost the knowledge of kedusha. That is the case even today among believers. They have no true concept of kedusha.

We have the word “holy” and we use this word all over the place for many things. For instance, when money is collected for the poor some will say this is a “holy work.” No, it is a righteous work, and a righteous work does not make it a holy work. Every time you see the word “holy” in the Scripture there will be formal, legal restrictions on time, activity, location and people.

For example, the office of the High Priest has a kedusha. If someone other than the High Priest goes into the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim, he should expect to die. Even the High Priest cannot go in whenever he wants because of kedusha. He can only go in one day a year (Yom Kippur) and only in the prescribed manner. He can’t say, “oops. I forgot.”

Everything in the Mishkan and the Temple will evolve around the concept of kedusha. We will not be able to understand the Mishkan/Temple without it. Because man originally had a kedusha and lost it, the Mishkan will be more than just a place to meet with the Lord. It is a place where man learns how to approach God. It is a place where we learn to dwell in his presence. The message is, everything that is there specifically is there for a purpose and a reason. Even the measurements mean something. You could not come in and change something because it had a kedusha.

They were to make a Mikdash. Then the Lord will “v’shkanti” (dwell) in their midst. The people will be instructed to build the Mishkan right away, no delay. In all, there will be eight phases to the Mikdash. The “first” phase will be the Mishkan (meaning to dwell). Then we have the Mishkan on the other side of the Jordan. This was different than the Mishkan in the wilderness. They didn’t use the same Mishkan and it was expanded, but the principles will remain the same. The third phase will be the first Beit Ha Mikdash or the First Temple., also called Solomon’s Temple.

Now, Moses was told to build a “mikdash” but then he built a “mishkan.” Why did the Lord say “build me a mikdash?” First of all, the people had to learn about worship in the Temple but they weren’t ready for a Temple yet. They had no concept of kedusha. We all want our children to drive a car, but we get them a tricycle first. In time, they will desire more, and then we get them a bike with training wheels. Later, we can get them a regular bicycle, then a 10-speed and finally they will drive a car. God will do the same thing. He will add to the fullness of the worship so that he can enlarge the revelation of himself.

The first Beit Ha Mikdash (House of Kedusha) will be after the conquest of the land and then we have the Kingdom. If you have a kingdom, you must have a king. At the end of the First Temple period, the kingdom is gone. Two items will disappear, the Temple and the kingship. The Temple is coming back, but the kingship will not come back until Yeshua the Messiah.

The fourth phase was the second Beit Ha Mikdash, and it will be extended but with minor changes. In the first Beit Ha Mikdash, the palace of the kings was adjacent to it. In the second Temple, this will not be there. This Temple (second) will have three periods. The period of Ezra and Zerubbabel at the beginning of the return from Babylon (the fifth phase), then we will have the Hasmonean period and the Maccabees and they will enlarge the Temple. Then we have the sixth phase with the Herodian period with further enlargements. The ceremonies are based on the Torah and will not change.

The coming Temple is called “The Third Temple” and it has not been built yet, and this is the seventh phase. The eighth and final phase will be Ezekiel’s Temple in the Messianic Kingdom, after the Messiah returns. So, Moses was told to build a mikdash (sanctuary), but he built a mishkan (tabernacle) with the understanding that there would be additional phases to it. He did not understand the Mishkan only, but the mikdash also.

An example of this concept can be seen when God told Abraham that the land he was giving him was “all that he could see.” But, could he see everything? No, there were mountains in the way, there was more. In the same way, the Mishkan was going to be more, a “mikdash” that he couldn’t see with the natural eye.

We will pick up here in Part 54.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 52

The office of the high priest and his garments have a kedusha, but the person does not. In fact, when he puts on the garments he will be in a state of kedusha. We are told this in Exo 28.3, so the garments have a kedusha. However, before these garments are consecrated, anyone can touch them. There are garments for the coming high priest at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem today. Ordinary people have actually held them. But, once they are consecrated and have a kedusha, an ordinary person can no longer touch or hold them. There comes a point of separation, or boundary, with the concept of kedusha. At that point, only certain people can touch them, at certain times, in certain places, for certain reasons. That’s how kedusha works.

The garments of the high priest were for “glory” (kivod) and for “beauty” (tiferet/splendor). The high priest is a picture of the perfect man, made in the image of God before man sinned in the garden. Man had a kedusha. The Mishkan/Temple is about many objectives and accomplishments spiritually that happen. Tow primary aspects that are important is that we see the Mishkan/Temple as a place for the people to come to worship God.

We see synagogues and churches this way. People read billboards that say, “Come worship with us.” That is an important aspect of the Mishkan/Temple. However, there is a difference between the Mishkan/Temple, and synagogues and churches. The worship in the Mishkan/Temple was designed by the Lord as a “tavnit” (blueprint). So, while we have the Mishkan/Temple as a place of worship, it is also a place for God to show man how to worship. What passes for worship today is a far cry from what God showed as worship. The high priest is a picture of the perfect man. Adam was created in the image of God, and the garments are for “glory and for beauty (splendor). This is for us to see man in this state, as he was created to be.

Exo 28.3 says, “And you shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom (chachamh) so that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to me.” Many people are “attenders” and their heart isn’t there. The spirit of wisdom means “those whose face is turned towards God” and those are the ones he will use.

The high priest had eight garments, which is the number of completion. He had a breastplate called the “Choshen ha Mishpat” or Breastplate of Judgment (Exo 28.15-29). He had an ephod called a “Mi’el” with techelet blue, argamon purple, tolat shanni scarlet and gold (Exo 28.6-14). He had a tunic called the “K’tonet” of techelet blue (Exo 28.31-31). There was a head plate called a “Tzitz” or mitre of gold (Exo 28.36-38). Then there was a white tunic of linen, linen pants, a linen sash and a linen turban. The last four are called the “white garments” (Exo 28.39-43, 39.41).

The techelet blue, the argamon purple, the tolat shanni scarlet are wool strands used in the ephod. They will be combined together to make one thread. Each color was six-ply wool, the shesh linen was six-ply wool and the gold will be one ply (Exo 28.6). So, it would look like this. A gold thread is joined to the six-ply techelet blue, making seven. The one thread of gold is added to the six-ply argamon purple, making seven. It is added to the six-ply tolat shanni scarlet, making seven. And it is added to the six-ply shesh linen, making seven. So, you have seven times four equaling twenty eight. We know seven is the number of perfection, and six is the number of man. So, this alludes to the high priest being a picture of the perfect man, made in the image of God before he sinned. He had a kedusha in order to meet and talk to God “face to face.”

Let’s go over the concept of kedusha and the Mishkan/Temple. Kedusha is basically defined like this, “to designate, or to set apart, for the service of God. This is done by formal, legal restrictions and limitations. The kedusha of periods of time are marked by limits on what man can do, his activities, in regards to work and construction.” When we think of Chanukah (dedication), several themes come to mind for most people. We have the Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes, the story about the Menorah and so on. But, that is not what Chanukah is really about. It is about the Temple and its re-dedication back to God. They were restoring the kedusha. If we are going to study the Temple, we must study the Mishkan. That is why we spend so much time teaching about it here in Exodus. The Temple was called the “Beit Ha Mikdash” or “House of Kedusha.” We have already defined what kedusha is and the same concept that was in the Temple originated in the Mishkan.

In Exo 19, we learn that Israel has finally arrived at Mount Sinai. They set themselves apart for three days, and now we have come to Sivan 6 and they come out to the mountain. The people hear the audible voice of God giving the Ten Commandments. The people actually heard the voice of God, but after that they were very afraid. They wanted Moses to speak to them about whatever else God had to say (Exo 20.18-21).

In Exo 20.22-26 God gives commands for an altar, and it was not to made with cut stones (not a work of man) and it was not to have steps. Then starting in Exo 21, he gives many more commandments and Moses hasn’t even gone up to Mount Sinai yet. These commands are understood as being commands they already had and they are being repeated at Sinai. If you go to Exo 24.1-9, you will read where the Lord finally tells Moses, Aaron, Ndab, Abihu and seventy elders to “come up” and “they saw God.” This is called a “Ma’aseh Merkavah” or the “Work of the Chariot. Exo 24 is where the covenant is ratified in blood. A cloud covers Sinai (v 12-18) for six days, and on the seventh day God calls for Moses from the midst of the cloud to come up on the mountain, and he was there for forty days and forty nights.

So, in Exo 24.9-11 we have what is called the Ma’aseh Merkavah. The “chariot” is seen as the throne of God. The Ark of the Covenant (the covenant just ratified) is seen as the “Chariot of God” or his throne. That is why it went before the people. The Ark was carried with the long side facing you as you saw it coming, as if God was sitting on his throne. You didn’t carry a king sideways on his throne! God is in his “chariot” leading his people, like any king would ride in his chariot before his people. When the presence wasn’t there, God wasn’t there. We will see this concept in Ezekiel 1.1-28.

In Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 5, Paragraph 8, it says, “During the days of his absence he had suggested to him also that he would have a tabernacle built for him, into which he would descend when he came to them; and how we should carry it about with us when we remove from this place; and that there would be no longer any occasion for going up to Mount Sinai, but that he would himself come and pitch his tabernacle among us, and be present at our prayers; as also the tabernacle should be of such measures and construction as he had shown him; and that you are to fall to the work, and prosecute it diligently. When he had said this, he showed them the two tables, with the Ten Commandments engraved on them. Five upon each table; and the writing was by the hand of God.”

The first thing Moses says when he comes down from the mountain, according to Josephus, is he has given them their government because they were to be a “holy nation” and a “kingdom of priests.” God dictated what their government was going to be, not like our “Constitution” which was written by the hand of men in a constitutional convention. The Lord was not interested in any discussion about these laws or other opinions about it. The other thing he tells them is that they were to build him a Mishkan. So, two things were given at Sinai, the Torah and the Mishkan.

In Part 53, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 51

Now we are going to look at the curtains in the courtyard. (Exo 27.9-18). On the south side there were hangings for the court of twisted linen, 100 cubits long (160 feet) on that side. The court was a space enclosed around the Mishkan, and the Mishkan always faced east. The outer court of the Mishkan was 100 cubits long and 50 cubits (80 feet) wide. The pillars on the south side were 20, with their 20 sockets of bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands will be silver. It was the same on the north side.

On the west there were hangings of 50 cubits with 10 pillars and 10 sockets. The width on the east side was 50 cubits. The hangings for one side of the gate was 15 cubits (24 feet) with 3 pillars and 3 sockets. On the other side it was the same.

The gate of the court was a screen of 20 cubits (32 feet) which was made from techelet, argamon, tolat shanni and shesh (fine twisted linen). It was the work of a weaver with their 4 pillars and 4 sockets. They were using the 5 handbreadth cubit called the “cubit of Moses” which was 19.2 inches (Mishnah, Kelim 17.9-10). All the pillars around the court will be furnished with silver bands with hooks of silver and sockets of bronze. The length of the court was 100 cubits (160 feet), the width was 50 cubits (80 feet). The height was 5 cubits (8 feet) of fine twisted linen, and sockets of bronze.

Exo 27.19 tells us that all the utensils and the pegs used in the Mishkan and the services were bronze. Then Exo 27. 20-21 tells us that they were to bring clear oil of beaten olives for the Menorah. In the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting/holy place) outside the veil which is before the Ark, the priests were to keep the Menorah burning continually, from evening to morning. They were to “arrange” and tend to the Menorah, to keep the wicks burning. The lamp burning continually called the “Ner Tamid.” In a synagogue you will see a light always on near the Ark that contains a Torah scroll. This is also called the Ner Tamid, in remembrance of the Menorah that was to burn (be lit) continually. It was also something that recalled the fire on the altar that was to burn continually also.

There are many laws concerning the Ohel Moed. This was the area in the Mishkan that was outside of the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies), and where the Menorah, the Shulchan Ha Lechem Ha Pannim and the Mitz’bay’ach Shell Zahav were located. The Sanhedrin could not give a death sentence unless they were before the Ohel Moed and a metzora (leper) must conduct their ceremony of cleansing before the Ohel Moed. So, what constitutes being “before the tent of meeting (ohel moed)?”

One of the main concepts contained in the Torah is that it is about boundaries and declarations. This is a very, very important concept. For example, the Sabbath has boundaries on what you can and can’t do, what we can eat has boundaries, all the ceremonies in the Temple are declarations. What constitutes being before the tent of meeting? This concept will pass from the Mishkan to the Temple also. The inner courtyard is defined as being “before the tent of meeting.” That would include being “behind the Mishkan” on the west side. You were still considered to be “before the tent of meeting.”

When there is a commandment for Aaron to do such and such in the services, it also means his sons (27.21). This applies to everything except the Yom Kippur service. He is the only one that can do that service. In fact, the High Priest can do any service he wants, but he doesn’t have to. He can delegate those duties to other kohanim, but they must be chosen by lot, which means by God. But he can’t do that on Yom Kippur unless something tragic happens like he falls sick or becomes unclean. In that case, the service falls to the deputy High Priest called the “Sagan.”

As you can see, there is a lot more information here than the casual reader will pick up. The detail is important. The Lord wrote the Scriptures, having in mind that the reader would have been instructed in these details, the idioms, the phrases and the concepts. That is what is missing in churches and that is why they either don’t know anything, or what they do know is wrong. We talked to a woman the other day that was a churchgoer and she said, “I have never read the Bible.”

The phrase in v 21 “perpetual statute” is an interesting term. It is “chukat olam” in Hebrew and it means a command that we do, even if we don’t understand why. There are five basic terms we need to know that are used throughout the Scriptures about the word of the Lord. The word “Law” is “Torah” and it means “teaching, instruction and guidance.” The word “Commandments” is “Mitzvot”{ and it is the moral laws fulfilled by certain actions. Then we have “Statute” and that is the word “Chukim” and these laws can’t be understood, but we do them anyway. Next we have the word “Judgments” and that is the word “Mishpatim” and these are the ordinances and decrees, the social laws that we can understand. Lastly, we have “Testimonies” and that is the word “Edut” and it means evidences and this would include prophecies and the idea of a witness. Psalm 119 is the longest portion of Scripture with 176 verses. Every verse talks about the Scriptures using these words, or “word” or “precept” or something related to the Scriptures.

Let’s touch on the word “kedusha” and the High Priest. Kedusha is defined as the “setting apart or the designation of something or someone to be used in the service of God. This is done by formal restrictions and limitations. For example, the kedusha of time is marked by limits on what man can and can’t do in the area of work and construction.” The office of High Priest (Kohen Ha Gadol) has a kedusha on it. It is to be understood that no individual is ever called “holy” or having a kedusha in the Scriptures. In other words, the High Priest as a man is never called “holy” but the office of the High Priest has a kedusha. The garments and the kelim (vessels) have a kedusha on them once they have been set apart to God.

We have many misconceptions about the concept of “holy” or “kedusha.” We confuse the word “holy” with the word “righteous.” How many times have we heard that a building was “holy?” Have you ever heard that the “pulpit is holy?” Look at many bibles, does it say “Holy Bible?” This is a misuse of the word. We are trying to see bible results by using biblical terms. We are not saying we have to use Hebrew, but we need to have the proper meanings applied to words. These concepts are very important to having a proper foundation to the Tanak.

In Part 52, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 50

We are continuing our study of the various curtains in the Mishakn. In Exo 26.1 it says, “Moreover, you shall make the Mishkan with ten curtains of fine, twisted linen (shesh) and blue (techelet) and purple (argamon) and scarlet (tolat shannai); you shall make them with cherubim (keruvim), the work of a skillful workman (choshev).” If the techelet, argamon, and tolat shanni are wool, and the shesh is linen, how can they be mixed when the Torah says you can’t do that (Lev 19.19; Deut 22.11). Right away you have “kila’yim” (forbidden mixtures).

People have given many reasons as to why the Torah does not allow the mixing of wool and linen, except in the Temple garments and curtains. What people need to realize is the Temple is a different world. That is part of the message in this commandment. The priests in the Temple wore garments that were a mixture of wool and linen. They represent the “perfect man” Adam before the fall, and they have a higher level of kedusha. The High Priest also wore garments with a mixture of wool and linen, and he represents the Messiah and has a higher kedusha than the ordinary priest.

These curtains have a mixture of wool and linen, too. The term “skillful workman” is “choshev” and it will involve a particular type of weaving. There is another word “embroidered”with the meaning of a flat design, and on the back there will be a bunch of stitches. But, when the word “choshev” (skillful workman) is used, it means yuou have one design on the front and a different design on the back.

The strands of each are six-ply. You will have six strands of techelet, six argamon, six tolat shanni and six shesh. Six times four is twenty-four, and twenty-four parts equal one thread. Twenty-four is an allusion to twenty-four districts in Israel, the priests were divided into twenty-four mishmarot (divisions), the Levites were divided into twenty-four mishmarot (divisions), the Ma’amad (standing men) were divided into twenty-four delegations, the Book of Revelation describes twenty-four thrones.

The length of each curtain was 28 cubits (44.8 feet). The width of each curtain was 4 cubits (6.4 feet). These have the same measurements, or “one measure” for all the curtains, and they will be interconnected. We know the five handbreadth cubit of 19.2 inches was used here, called the cubit of Moses (Mishnah, Kelim 17.9-10). Now, how many threads would go into a 44.8 times 6.4 foot curtain? Each thread was made up of twenty-four strands. Like the stars, you can’t count them, but like the universe they are part of “one measure.” Right away we see there is a lot more that is there in Exo 26.1 than we would think on the surface.

Exo 26.3-6 tells us that five curtains shall be joined to one another, and the other five curtains joined to one another. There are fifty loops on one, fifty gold clamps on the second curtain every 10.7 inches (44.8 x 12 divided by fifty = 10.7) to each other. In Hebrew it says “sister piece (“ach’tah”). This is to make the Mishkan a “unit” (echad/composite unity). This is the first layer over the Mishkan

Exo 26.7-13 is the second layer over the Mishkan. It is made of goats hair for a tent over the Mishkan. They were to make eleven curtains in all. The length of each curtain would be 30 cubits (48 feet) and the width was 4 cubits (6.4 feet). They joined five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. The sixth curtain was doubled over in the front of the tent.

They made fifty loops at the edge of the curtain that is the outermost in the first set, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is the outermost on the second set. Fifty clasps (hooks) of bronze were made and put into the loops and joined together, that they may be a “unit” (echad/composite unity). The overlapping part that is left over in the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that is left, shall lap over the back of the Mishkan on the west side. And the cubit (19.2 inches) on one side and the cubit on the other (19.2 inches) on the other of what is left over in the length of the curtains of the tent shall lap over the sides of the Mishkan on one side, and on the other, to cover it.

Exo 26.14 says that the third covering was rams’skins dyed red (alluding to being under the blood). The fourth covering was made of “tachashim” or “dugong” (porpoise) skins. The dugong was a marine animal and very plentiful in the Red Sea. They were 12 to 30 feet long and easily caught. They grazed on seaweed. This fourth covering was exposed to rain, snow, sun, wind and all weather conditions. It looked drab, with no beauty in it. One had to be inside the Mishkan to see and appreciate the beauty. Let’s go back and pick up something. The word for “ram’s skins” dyed red is “m’adumim.” Now, that word alludes to the Messiah and the redemption in the following ways.

When we say “Shaddai” it is written with a shin, dalet, yud. When we want to say shaddai in writing, we don’t need to write it out, we just write a shin. The Aaronic Blessing is said with the hand forming a shin. The “aleph” alone can mean “Elohim” (aleph, lamed, hey, yud, mem). The word “Adam” is spelled with an aleph, dalet and mem. As we have seen, the “aleph” can mean “Elohim” (God) and the dalet and mem (dam) means “blood.” Put these together, one of the meanings for the name Adam is “blood (dam) of God (aleph).” The word “adumim” is the word used for the ram’s skins dyed “red.” They have the same root. The Parah Adumah is the “Red Heifer.”

When we think of Jacob and Esau, we shouldn’t think of Jacob as being perfect. He was a suplanter when it came to the rights of his brother as first-born. Now, granted, this was the plan of God before they were ever born, but Jacob saw the value in it when Esau didn’t. Esau was from Seir, meaning “goats” or “rough and hairy.” remember, one of the coverings was made from goat’s hair. When we think of Esau, we think of a hairy person. Esau was “earthy” which is what Adam means also. Esau was also called “Edom” meaning “red” in Gen 25.30, and Edom is spelled with an aleph, dalet vav and mem. It has the same root as Adam. Now, you won’t pick up these subtleties up in English, they can only be seen in Hebrew, but even the english renderings has some similarity.

In Part 51, we will pick up in Exo 27.9-18 with the curtains of the courtyard.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 49

In order to have a Temple, there is a list of things you are going to need. For example, you will need a floor plan, music, a liturgy, corrals for the animals, ceremonies and all of the things listed in Exo 25.1-7. You not only need the raw materials but you must have the technology and skill needed to make what is needed. You will need the biblical colors. We have covered how the techelet was solved, but they had another problem. They didn’t know if the argamon was purple, red, orange or whatever, but they knew it came from the same murex shell that the techelet came from. But, they did not know how to get it.

They had a laboratory that was working on the problem. They tried everything they could think of to get the argamon color. It would start out as techelet blue and end up techelet. In Israel at the time there was no air conditioning, except in a few buildings. SO you had the window open in the summer. A chemist was working on this problem and had a flask of techelet dye. It was lunch time, so he put the flask of dye in the window and went to lunch. When he came back, the flask was now purple. The exposure to the sunlight had turned it purple. They knew argamon was purple. Now they had techelet and argamon.

That brings us to the tolat shanni scarlet. They knew that this color came from an insect called a “Tola” and this insect was only found on a certain type of tree, and that type of tree disappeared from Israel. Another problem is how is they dye made from this insect, which was a worm/grub. They don’t get the dye from a living insect, but from the shell. This crimson worm is a picture of the crucifixion.

The worm climbs a tree all by itself. Nobody forces it to go there, it does so willingly. It knows it will die there. It attaches itself to the tree very securely because it would shelter the young ones when the eggs are laid. During the birthing process, she secretes a crimson fluid that covers her body and all the eggs. It also leaves a stain on the tree. After dying to birth the “family” the worm can be scraped from the tree three days and the crimson fluid can be used to make dye. On the fourth day, the worm has pulled itself up into a heart shaped, was-like white substance. This can be used as shellac to preserve wood (“The Crimson Worm” by Calvin Ray Evens).

Psalm 22 is called the “Crucifixion Psalm.” In Psa 22.6 it says, “But I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men, and despised by the people.” The word for “worm” there is “tola” and it is referring to the worm we have just discussed. That is not coincidence, it was used on purpose by the Lord to convey many spiritual principles, and it is the dye from this worm that was used in the tolat shanni for the curtains. The color can’t be just red, but it must be tolat shanni. Recently, shells of this insect have been purchased and they can now make tolat shanni for the first time in two thousand years. That is the color that the Lord requires. They discovered in Judea and Samaria a mountain covered with this certain tree and the trees were covered with this insect.

So, we have the techelet (blue), argamon (purple) and the tolat shanni (crimson). Another thing they were to give in Exo 25.3-7 is “shesh” or linen. They were to give goat hair, ram skins dyed red, porpoise skins and shittim wood. In addition, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the incense. Onyx stones and stones that were to be set in the ephod and the breastplate was also given. Shesh is white and it comes from a vegetable. It comes from the cellulose fibers that grow inside stalks of flax. Techelet, argamon and tolat shanni will be used in wool. Shesh in the Gesenius lexicon is #8336 and it is a loan word from Egyptian meaning “white” and it is translated as linen. It will be used in the curtains and the garments.

If Adam had never sinned, would we have been born and alive today? Yes. It was only when he sinned that death came into the world. Did Adam ever sweat before the fall? No, that came as part of the curse. Did Adam need to eat? No. If he didn’t eat he wasn’t going to die, that would have been impossible. We also asked this to say that his environment was different than our environment today. We don’t live with the same laws he lived with, as far as the natural life is concerned.

The children of Israel in the wilderness lived in a special environment because Moses was 80 years old when they left Egypt and we are told he dies at 120. He didn’t die because there was anything physical, or because he was old. He died because it was his appointed time. He could not enter into the land because he did not believe the Lord when he struck the rock (Num 20.12). He was as strong at 120 as he was at 80. Water follows them in the wilderness, food was provided, nobody was sick and their clothes did not wear out for 40 years. They are living in rough country, very difficult. They died because they could not enter the land either, not because of age.

When we have the Temple, it is a return to the Garden of Eden before man sinned. We would expect to have a different set of rules. What applies in one world would not apply in the Temple world, and vice versa. That concept is one of the most important concepts in the Tanak, Gospels and Epistles. Let’s do a comparison of the Garden of Eden and the Mishkan/Temple. If we were there in person, we would draw this on the board, so you will need to imagine the layout of the Mishkan/Temple and the Garden being similar. Let’s start with the Garden.

You entered from the east (coming from “east of Eden”) into the Land of Eden. It was there we have the altar of Cain and Abel. Moving east we have the two Keruvim who guard the entrance into the Garden of Eden. In the midst of the Garden we have the two trees, The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. Now let’s look at the Mishkan/Temple.

You entered from the east, from the non-Jewish areas, and entered the Court of Israel, where we have the Altar of Burnt Offering. Moving west, we enter the Ha Kodesh (Holy Place, Heichal) where we have the Shulchan Ha Lechem Ha Pannim (Table of Showbread) on the right, in the middle of the room we have the Mitz’bay’ach Shell Zahav (Golden Altar), and on the left we have the Menorah. Then we have the two curtains. Moving west, we enter into the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies, the Devir-“word”). There we have the pot of Manna, the Kipporet (mercy seat), the Ark of the Covenant with the commandments, and Aaron’s rod.

So, within the Garden (midst) we have Yehovah’s presence, the Tree of Life, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with entrance from the east. In the Mishkan/Temple, we have the Holy of Holies within the Sanctuary where we have the Shki’nah (presence) of God, Aaron’s rod, the Ark and entrance from the east.

Within Eden, we have the Garden with entrance from the east and the Keruvim to protect it (“shamar”). In the Mishkan/Temple, we have the Sanctuary within the Court of Israel, with entrance from the east and pillars at the entrance. We also have furniture, and priests and Levites to protect it (“shamar”).

The Land of Eden is within the Land of Nod. Cain and Abel’s altar was there and the source of four rivers. Entrance was from the east (Gen 4.16). The Court of Israel is within the land of the Non-Jews and we have the the Altar of Burnt Offerings and we have the Kior between the Porch and the Altar, with the Amah water conduit running like a river in the courts to cleanse the area every week. We also have an eye-witness named Aristeas (“The Letter of Aristeas”) who said he saw water “misting” from the altar at intervals to wash it down. Entrance was from the east.

The Land of Nod (Gen 4.16) is east of Eden and it is the wilderness where one is “cut off” from God. The Land of the Non-Jews is also outside the camp and cut off from God. As you can see, there is a very important concept here when it comes the Garden of Eden and the Mishkan/Temple. What we need to realize is that this comparison tells us that the Mishkan/Temple was a different world.

In Part 50, we will pick up in Exo 26.1 with the curtains and the mixing of wool and how they were made from mixing wool and linen together (not the only thing). How can they do that when the Torah says in Lev 19.19 and Deut 22.11 that you can’t? We have given the answer already, can you find it?

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 48

Exo 25.31-40 tells us about the Lampstand, or “Menorah.” The Menorah consisted of a base, shaft, cups, knops and flowers. The shape of the Menorah is somewhat controversial. Some say it looks like what we see on the Arch of Titus, with its base. Others believe the base was a tripod and the branches were in a “V” shape.

Even though we seldom see it this way, the tripod base may have been how it looked, with branches in a “V” shape, with the middle lamp closest to the Holy of Holies. This lamp had several names, but one of the names was the “western lamp.” That would only make sense if it was in a “V” shape. Another name was the “Ner Elohim” or “light of God. This middle lamp was from a central shaft, with the branches coming out of it. This is what Yeshua had in mind in John 15.5, “I am the vine and you are the branches.”

In the Talmud, Yoma 39b and in the book “History of the Jewish People: Second Temple Era” by Mesorah Publications, p. 153, it says, “During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot for the Yom Kippur sacrifice did not come in in the right hand of the High Priest, the ribbon did not turn white as a sign of forgiveness, the western lamp on the Menorah did not burn all day, the doors of the Sanctuary opened by themselves indicating that the enemy would enter easily. Then Rabban Yochanon Ben Zakkai rebuked them and said: ‘Temple, O Temple, why are you so frightened? I know that you will finally be destroyed, because Zechariah Ben Ido has prophesied about you (Zech 11.1): Open your doors, O Lebanon, that fire may devour your cedars'” (Yoma 39.b). To have a western lamp, it is thought that the Menorah’s branches were in the shape of a “V” with this lamp closest to the veil in the Holy Place. Also, notice these manifestations started the same year Yeshua was rejected and crucified.

The Menorah was on the southern wall. We would think that the Menorah ran parallel to the wall, and it has been depicted like that, but according to this description in the Talmud (Yoma 39b) the western lamp did not burn all day. If we have a standard “Menorah” at the standard place everyone puts it running parallel to the southern wall, the western lamb would be the one to the far right when looking at it.

However, it is generally thought that the Menorah stood with its back to the paroket (veil) that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The branches were “open” facing away from the veil. That would make the Ner Elohim (the middle light) the “western” most lamp and closest to the Holy of Holies. This would then correctly allude to the fact that this middle lamp was a picture of the Messiah, and his life was extinguished (light kept going out). This manifestation started the year Yeshua was killed (30 AD).

Zech 4.1-14 and Rev 11.1-4 tells us about the “two witnesses” personifying the Torah (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah), and these are seen as the two olive trees and two menorot (menorah’s). Num 16.41 through 17.11 tells the story of why Aaron’s rod budded with almonds. It also alludes to the fact that Messiah would be related to a descendant of Aaron (Zech 6.11-13; Jer 23.5-6, 33.15-16; Yeshua was first cousin and related to Yochanon Ha Matvil, or John the Immerser, who was a priest). The probable site for Mount Sinai is a mountain called “Jabal Al-Lawz” which means “almond mountain.” The Torah may have been given there. Is that where Aaron got his rod? This rod pictures a “dead branch” (Yeshua-Isa 11.1) coming alive (resurrected by sprouting blossoms). An almond tree is called the “hastening tree” because it is the first tree to blossom in the spring.

Jer 1.11-12 tells us about a vision Jeremiah sees, and he sees a rod of an almond tree (shaqed in Hebrew). The Lord says he is “watching” (shaqad) over his word to perform it. This a word play. The almond comes in the spring, so he is saying that his word will come to pass with no delay, an early execution. Yeshua was resurrected in the spring.

Over and over again we have the sign of the almond. The bowls (cups) on the Menorah will be shaped like an almond. This tells us that the Menorah will have some connection to the concept of resurrection (Aaron’s rod budding; Jeremiah’s almond tree vision). We also have the witnesses in Zechariah and Revelation compared to the Menorah. We are told that the Menorah is like eyes of God in Zech 4.10. It symbolizes the light of God that gives us light (understanding), but the other aspect is how the Lord will search out our hearts (Zeph 1.12; Rev 3.16).

So, the Menorah is a very interesting piece of furniture in the Mishkan/Temple, and it is controversial. We have depictions of a menorah on the Arch of Titus, but we have different depictions of it on ancient mosaics and on some drawings found in houses. Solomon made ten menorot (2 Chr 4.7) and it could be possible that the one on the Arch of Titus be one of those. We don’t really know, so we can’t say the one on the arch is the menorah that was in the Holy Place either.

Now we are going to take a look at the curtains of the Mishkan. In Exo 25.1-7, we leran that the Lord wanted certain materials raised as a “terumah” (contribution). It was to be a free-will offering and they were to raise gold, silver, brass, techelet (blue), argamon (purple), tolat shannai (scarlet), shesh (linen), rams skins dyed red, porpoise skins (dugong), shittim wood, oil, spices, onyx stones and setting stones.

Lets talk about the techelet and the argamon colors according to Jewish tradition. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, getting this color was a problem. People were using any type of blue for the tzitzit. The family that produced the two dyes for techelet (blue) and argamon (purple) disappeared. Nobody knew what happened to them. One of the problems is the people who did certain things and made certain things are unknown. There was a special herb in the incense that made it rise straight up. But that herb is a mystery because the family that made it is gone and these “recipes” were passed down from generation to generation. They guarded these secrets and they never told anyone else how to do it. The recipes for some of the bread offerings were hidden, too. These families may have been killed or sold into captivity and the Talmud criticizes these families for keeping these things secret.

Within fifty years of the destruction of the Temple, the availability of the techelet blue was running out. Professor Yigael Yadin discovered in some caves in Qumran a whole packet of letters from Bar Kochba. He gives the letters to David Ben Gurion and says, “We now have the last letters of the last president of Israel two thousand years ago.” In these letters Bar Kochba (who led a revolt against the Romans in 132-135 AD) says they have run out of techelet blue. He asks the Sanhedrin if it was permissible to use other colors of blue for their tzitzit. The letter from the Sanhedrin was in the stack of letters found, and it said they had considered his question and their answer was “No.” If they did not have techelet, then they should not have blue in the tzitzit. Why? Their reasoning was they did not have the authority to change what God said.

There have been various descriptions of the sea creature the techelt came from, but they are vague. It was a creature that washed up on the shore of the every seventy years. You could extract they dye from a gland. This creature is called the “Chilazon” and there were many opinions about what this creature was. Some thought it was a squid, others thought it was a sea shell. They finally came to the conclusion that it was a certain type of murex shell.

Archaeologists discovered that there was a huge dye industry along the coast of Israel at Dor. The Phoenicians were big in this industry and when they didn’t control Dor, Israel did. Some of the techelet blue and the argamon purple came from Dor. They discovered some big pits and the pits were filled with murex shells, the probable creature called the chilazon where the techelet and argamon came from. What was interesting was the shell. At a certain point, there was a hole that had been drilled into this shell. They took a living murex shell and they drilled there , and there was a little gland and it was a deep blue color. They used that gland for the blue and believe they have found the source of the techelet.

To have a Temple, there is a list of things that is needed. This list would include a floor plan, music, a liturgy, ceremonies and all of the things listed in Exo 25.1-17. They not only need the raw materials, but they need the technology and skill needed to make these things. The biblical colors are also needed. The techelet was solved and God had called several people to search out the techelet blue. But they had another problem. They did not know if the argamon was purple, red, orange or whatever, but they knew it came from the same murex shell creature. But, they did not know how to get it.

In Part 49, we will pick up here with the search for the argamon.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 47

Exo 25.17 tells us that they were to make a “Kapporet” of pure gold, 2.5 cubits long and 1.5 cubits wide. Kapporet is translated as “mercy seat” but it comes from the same word as “kippur” and it basically means a “covering.” The top was a covering for the Ark. Yom Kippur is translated as “atonement” but that is not an accurate translation. English has a hard time translating it. The kapporet is linked to “atonement” and the top of the Ark is a covering. So, Yom Kippur means “Day of Covering.”

The Ark had the two tablets with the ten commandments so it was also called the “Ark of the Testimony” or ‘Aron Edut.” The kapporet is where we will have the two keruvim at the two ends of it. The two keruvim were made of gold and their wings were spread upward, with their faces looking “to his brother” in literal Hebrew and were facing down (Exo 25.18-20). Exo 25.21-22 tells us that God will speak and meet with Moses and the High Priest there, from above the kapporet, between the two keruvim which were upon the Aron Edut. Because of that, in 1 Kings 6.19 the Holy of Holies is called the “inner sanctuary” in the NASB and “the oracle” in the KJV is called the “Devir” in Hebrew because the Lord would speak from there.

The two keruvim not only alludes to Gan Eden (Garden of Eden, but they speak of the two witnesses of the Torah and the Prophets that speak to us (Isa 8.20; Luke 16.31, 24.27; Rom 3.21). John 20.12 tells us that after the resurrection, two angels were seen sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, of where Yeshua was lying on the slab, very similar to the kapporet. The “covering” and the atonement was complete. We could go on further about the Ark but we are going to move on to the Shulchan Lechem ha Pannim, or the “Table of the Bread of the Faces.”

Most translations render this as the “Table of Showbread.” There will be twelve loaves of bread that will sit on this table that are continuously before the “faces” or presence of the Lord. These loaves were approximately twelve inches long and four inches thick, and arranged on the table in two rows of six loaves. These loaves were placed on the table without a plate or cloth. The whole mass of bread would be two feet long, two feet high and one foot wide (“The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong, p. 61). According to Exo 25.23, the table was two cubits long (3.2 feet), one cubit wide (19.2 inches), and 1.5 cubits high (2.4 feet). Lev 24.5-9 gives us some additional information. No other substance was to be set on the table except pure frankincense. It was put on each row in small receptacles or censors.

They were also to make dishes, pans, jars and bowls for the preparation of the bread. Where are they going to make the bread? This bread is going to have a kedusha upon it. It can’t be made outside of an area that does not have the same kedusha as the inner Azarah (court). As a result, a tent will need to be joined to the outer curtain of the Mishkan where this bread could be prepared, opening up to the inner Azarah (Mishnah, Menachot 11.2). It doesn’t tell us that in this passage from the Mishnah, but you had to have an understanding of kedusha and how it works. The bread was to be exchanged with the new bread every Sabbath. The bread has to be on the table at all times. As a result, when the bread was changed, one row was taken off and the new row put on exactly at the same time, always having twelve loaves on the table, no more and no less.

This ceremony is covered in the Mishnah tractate Menachot 11.7, where it says, “In the Porch at the entering of the House (Temple) were two tables, one of marble and the other of gold. On the table of marble they laid the Showbread when it was brought in and on the table of gold they laid the Showbread when it was brought out, since what is holy (kedusha) must be raised in honor and not brought down (in kedusha). And within was a table of gold whereon the Showbread lay continually. Four priests entered in, two having the two rows of Showbread in their hands and the two dishes of frankincense; and four went before them, two to take away the two rows and two to take away the two dishes. They that brought them in stood at the north side with their faces to the south; and they that took them away stood at the south side with their faces to the north. These drew the old loaves away and the others laid the new ones down, and always one handbreadth of the one overlay one handbreadth of the other, for it is written, ‘Before me continually.’ R. Jose says: Although these first took away the old loaves and then the others laid the new loaves down, even this fulfills the rule of ‘continually.’ They went out and laid them (the old bread) on the table of gold that was on the Porch. They burnt the dishes of frankincense and the loaves were shared among the priests. If the Day of Atonement fell on a sabbath the loaves were shared out at evening. If it fell on a Friday the he-goat of the Day of Atonement was consumed at evening. The Babylonians used to eat it raw since they were not squeamish.”

In Part 47 we will pick up in Exo 25.31-40 with the lampstand called the Menorah.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 46

Exo 25.10 gives the dimensions of the Ark. We have found out that the five hand breadth cubit was used (19.2 inches) by Moses (Kelim 17.9-10). SO, the length was 2.5 cubits (48 inches), the width was 1.5 cubits (28.8 inches) and the height was 1.5 cubits (28.8 inches). The wood of the Ark was covered with gold inside and out. It had a gold molding around it called a “zair.” Four rings were cast for it (arbah = 4).

Now, Revelation 4.1-3 says that there was a throne standing in heaven. We know the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies) in the Temple was God’s throne room. We know that what was in heaven was replicated on earth. This room had the Ark, God’s throne. So, what we are looking at with the Ark is a physical manifestation of God’s throne on earth. The number four plays a prominent role in the Temple. We have four corner buildings,we have four horns on two altars, we have four rings on the Ark and so on. Rev 4.6 says there were four living creatures (Chai’yot) around the throne. These chai’yot will equal what we see on the Ark, the four rings. These chai’yot are Keruvim (Cherubim).

These rings are called “taba’ot” and these rings look like a “washer” placed on the corners (the “feet”), two on one side and two on another. The Temple had the “sides” of the courtyards so this concept is important. This will relate to the human sides of a body. Poles (“vadai”) were made of shittim wood and covered with gold. These poles were inserted in the rings, and they remained there because of kedusha. Unnecessary handling of the Ark was forbidden. 2 Sam 6.6-7 says that Uzzah was killed because of this. 1 Kings 8.8 says that the poles were so long that the end of the poles could be seen poking the veil from the holy place. Now, the Holy of Holies was 20 cubits by 20 cubits, so the poles were from the back wall (west) of the Holy of Holies and could be seen poking the veil.

Most pictures of the Ark we have seen are inaccurate. In the Mishnah, the tractate “Yoma 5.1” says that the High Priest had to step over the poles in order to place himself in the middle before the kipporet (mercy seat). He couldn’t go around the poles because the poles touched the veil, so he had to step over them. The poles had to be low so he could put the fire pan down between the poles. S, the rings for the poles were at the bottom, and the poles were put through the rings at this low point.

Some think the rings served as “feet.” The word for circle is “gal” in Hebrew. A “wheel” is “galgal.” We have the word “Galilee” which means “circuit” and we have “Gilgal” which means to “roll away.” What we have with these rings is a “wheel (the pole is round, circular) within a wheel (the ring).” Where do we read about a wheel within a wheel? In Ezek 1.1-28 and the Ma’aseh Merkavah (Work of the Chariot). It explains the workings of the heavenly throne. We have the Holy of Holies on earth with the Ark, the place of the throne of God (Jer 17.12). So, Ezek 1 describes how the throne works.

We read in Ezek 1.4 it says there was “something like flowing metal (or “polished bronze”) in the midst of the fire” and that is the word “Chashmal” in Hebrew. It is a compound word combining “Chash” (silent, as in Ecc 3.7; Isa 62.1, 6) and “mal” (speak, the root for “malak” = messenger, angel). It is proper to be silent about its implications. It is an example of a prophetic idiom and that which is beyond the realm of comprehension. (Artscroll “Ezekiel”, p. 77). It basically means if you had a thousand words you could not describe what is being said. If you saw God and the throne, could you describe it? That is “chashmal.” No human could, and that is why we doubt every claim that says a person died and went to heaven and saw God and the throne. Not even Paul could put it into words (2 Cor 12. 1-4).

Ezekiel 1.5 then says that there were figures resembling four living creatures (“arbah chai’yot”). They were in human form, with four faces and four wings. In Isa 6.2, these creatures had six wings. They talked to God and they are humbled, so the two extra wings in Isaiah covered their face. Here, they were under the throne and they carry out God’s commands. The “face” speaks of the intellect, and the wings speak of spiritual movement to carry out his will. Their legs are straight and their feet like a calf’s hoof and gleamed like burnished brass.

Under their wings, on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings, their wings touched one another and their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight ahead. As for the faces, each had a face of a man, a face of a lion, a face of a bull and a face of an eagle. Their wings spread out above, and had two touching each other, and two covering their bodies. The Hebrew wording here is poetic and each word will have multiple meanings because they can’t be expressed in a single word. So, when it says the wings were joined together, it also says “like a sister to her sister.” So it doesn’t just mean “joined together” it means more than that. Each one went straight forward wherever the Spirit (purpose) was about to go, they would go without turning.

In the midst of the living creatures there was something like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the chai’yot. The fire was bright and lightning was flashing from the fire. The chai’yot ran to and fro like bolts of lightning. As Ezekiel looked at the chai’yot, there was one wheel on the earth beside the chai’yot. The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl and all four of them had the same form, being as if one wheel was within a wheel. These are the “wheels” of God’s chariot (throne). The “Taba’ot” (rings) with the “Vadai” (poles) through them on the Ark is basically a “wheel within a wheel.” The “wheel” is a type of angel called the “Ophan.” We have seen the Keruv (Cherub), but also we will have another type in Isa 6 called a “Seraph.” So, in other words, we have three types of angel here. We have the Ophanim (wheels), we have the Keruvim ( related to the word “karav” meaning to “draw near”), and we have the Seraphim (burning ones). The Ophanim are also called “Galgalim” in Dan 7.9.

Exo 25.13-15 says that the poles to carry the ark were made of shittim (acacia) wood and were overlaid with gold. They were put into the sides of the Ark in order to carry it. The rings will help protect the those carrying the Ark, so they wouldn’t touch it. The Ark was heavy, and these poles were over 20 cubits long, so that meant there could be a number of priests on each side. There may have been up to thirty priests carrying the Ark, so they had to walk in unison or things would get out of balance. This alludes to the fact that our walk should be in union with other believers or things will get out of balance, too. These poles would have to be strong, so there is much more to what we are reading in the Scripture in order to have it performed. The poles were to remain in the Ark and were never removed (1 Kings 8.8). When the Ark was carried it was like carrying a throne, with the long sides coming at you, like someone sitting on a throne. It was not carried with the poles along the long sides, like in movies. A king doesn’t get carried sideways on his throne. Imagine the Lord sitting on the throne, coming at you. That is how it was carried.

The two tablets of stone with the ten commandments were put inside the Ark (Exo 25.16) and the tablets were probably square shaped, one cubit square, and sat at the bottom of the Ark. There was also enough room for the fingers in order to handle them (“The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong, p. 90-94). We usually see the tablets of stone rounded at the top and large, but they would have never fit into the Ark. The Ark gives us an idea of their size. How did Moses carry these down from the mountain?

He has been there forty days and forty nights without food or water. He is in a supernatural state as it is, so were the people. They were provided water for millions of people a day, their clothes didn’t wear out, food was provided and they didn’t get sick. Moses was as strong at 120 as he was at 80, but his 80 is not our 80. He was not weak in any way, so the fact that he could carry these tablets of stone is not surprising. He was in a supernatural environment.

In Part 47 we will pick up in Exo 25.17 with the “Kapporet” or mercy seat.

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