Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 78

We have talked about the Mishkan extensively in other teachings, but we are going to touch on a few other things found in Exo 25 through 27. These chapters will be telling us about the Mishkan and we have mentioned before that the Mishkan was seen as a miniature Garden of Eden. In addition, the Mishkan, and later the Temple, was seen as an extension of Mount Sinai (more on that later). It was where God taught the people about the concept of Kedusha.

When Adam was created he had a kedusha, but after he sinned he lost it. Eventually this concept was lost among men. At Mount Sinai, this concept was reintroduced to Moses and then transferred to the Mishkan once it was built. Anything pertaining to man’s fall is excluded at Sinai and in the Mishkan/Temple.

Exo 25.1-9 talks about a contribution (“Terumah”) that the people were to give for the building of the Mishkan. Where did the gold, silver and materials come from? It came from the Egyptians when they left (Exo 3.22; 12.35-36). The Lord said, “Take a contribution” not “give an offering.” The Sanctuary was where the spiritual and the physical met, God and man. But, we should not focus on the external.

If you take the Hebrew letter “mem” out of the word “terumah” you have the word “Torah” in Hebrew. The numerical value is 40, alluding to the 40 days and nights Moses was on Sinai. 40 is the number of testing. Studying and obeying the Torah is a “terumah” or an elevated contribution to the Lord, and we can contribute to the construction of our Mishkan (the body of Messiah) where the Shekinah can dwell (1 Cor 619-20; 1 Cor 12.27; Jer 7.4; Mal 3.1; 1 Pet 2.4-10). When the Lord spoke from a mountain, it was so powerful that it went right to the heart. There will be no need for a Mishkan or a Temple eventually (Jer 31.31-34; Rev 21.22). But, Israel went into idolatry very soon after this instruction about the Mishkan at the incident of the Golden Calf.

The word “Mishkan” is an interesting word. In Exo 25.8-9 God said they were to make a “sanctuary.” The word in Hebrew is “Mikdash” which means “kedusha.” They were to make a “tabernacle” or a Mishkan so that “I may dwell within them.” In Hebrew, it is “Asooli mikdash v’shkanti b’tawcham.” You can see the relationship in Hebrew between the word “shkanti” (I will dwell), “mishkan” (tabernacle) and “shekinah” (dwelling presence). All come from the same Hebrew root “shkn.”

The Lord was not only going to build a sanctuary, he was going to build a sanctuary within the people. It was more important for the Lord to make his presence in our hearts as a body than it was to make a sanctuary of cloth, metal and stone. Yeshua came to raise up the tabernacle in all of us. We have gone over this before in earlier teachings.

The Mishkan was made to be a “house of Kedusha.” When the people traveled, they could not take Mount Sinai with them, so the Mishkan was built so they could take the kedusha that was on Mount Sinai with them. The Mishkan had symbols that tell us what God is doing for us. What is deep inside us? What does God find? Would he find the Torah/commandments in our Ark/heart?

Adam had a kedusha about him. This kedusha involved the Shekinah (presence of God), the Kivod (glory of God) and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit-the power of God). Yeshua is the second Adam and he came to restore all of this back to mankind. There was that moment when the Shekinah, Kivod and Ruach Ha Kodesh came into the Mishkan or the Temple. The altar was “fired up” and the other manifestations were sensed and known. It is the same with the body of Messiah.

The Lord came to the Mishkan because it was a benefit to Israel, and it is the same with his body. Why would the Lord want to be with any of us? Why does he persist with us? These manifestations appeared at Mount Sinai, and later the Mishkan and the Temple. In Acts 2 they came upon the body of Messiah gathered at the Temple on Shavuot. That is because the Lord wants to be with us. What would happen if the richest person in the world came to stay with us? He would probably see we needed something and would meet that need. It is to our own benefit that he came to be with us.

Since we are talking about a contribution to the Lord, how do we give? Well, there is tithing but we can’t do biblical tithing today because there is no Temple, priesthood, holy things and we don’t live in the land. Tithing cannot be done today. Tithing involved agriculture, not money. They tithed if they lived off the land of Israel, and the tithe was given to the Levites or taken to the Temple. So, tithing cannot be done, but biblical giving can be, so let’s talk about that.

There is a concept called “secret giving.” There was a special room in the Temple where people came in and either gave or took money. Nobody knew what the person did but they believed God would reward the person in his own way. So, we can vive secretly. There is another level of giving and that is when you give all you have. We see this in the story of the “Widow’s Mite” (Mark 12.43). She gave everything, the rich young ruler didn’t (Mark 10.21).

There were other levels of giving like the “corners of the field.” A person that left extra on the corners was considered as having a “good eye” (generous) and it was giving. The person that left very little at the corners was said to have an “evil eye” (stingy). Then there was the “gleanings” like Boaz did for Ruth, and alms and so on.

This terumah is given from their abundance. It was not a secret, not a command and not all they had. The word terumah is similar to “Teruah” if you remove the Hebrew letter “mem.” The teruah is a trumpet blast. Yeshua makes a play on words in Matt 6.2 by saying, “Do not sound a trumpet (teruah) when you give alms.” There were receptacles in the Temple shaped like trumpets. How does that apply? Some people give and expect “special consideration” from the speaker, or minister. Maybe they expect that minister to spend more time with them due to his gift, or they would have a plaque or brick laid somewhere with their name on it. But our response should be to let the Lord do what he is going to do and to give graciously and be content.

God built the Mishkan from the inside out. He started with the Ark, then the Table of Bread, Menorah and the sanctuary to house them. Then came the veil, the bronze altar and the partitions, tents and courts. These things we would expect to find in a Temple. However, some things are missing on the list. We don’t see the Golden Altar.

The Golden Altar of Incense relates to our prayers, so the Father sees us flanked by the Menorah (light/understanding) and the Table of Bread (provision, the Word). When we pray, we know that a thing can be established with two witnesses. Each one aids us in what we pray. We pray with light and understanding and with what is in line with the Word of God. The greatest day in the life of a priest was to be chosen to go into the Heichal and put incense on the Golden Altar. The whole nation waited for this moment in the daily Temple service. To do this, you had to be chosen by lot (Luke 1.9), and you could only do this one time in your life. It was as close as they would come to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim and the Ark.

Spiritually, we get to put incense (prayer) on our Golden Altar. The veil (paroket) teaches us that there is a partition to and a mystery to our faith. It is to teach us we need to know the Lord more and to not get to the point that we have the Lord all figured out. There is that part in our walk that says we must do things his way. There are hidden things he knows about and we don’t, so we need to follow him. We can never be snug about this. The veil being torn tells us that there is a deeper revelation coming.

We will pick up here in Part 79.

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 77

Many “nuggets” of the Torah can be found in Exo 20 through 24. We are going to discuss the “essence” or “spirit” of the Torah. We know about the Ten Commandments, but what else can be found in this section? In Exo 21.1 it says “Set before them” and this tells us that there is a dedication to teaching. The word “Chinuch” there means “education” and it comes from the same root as “Chanuch” meaning “dedication.” The festival of Chanukah comes from this. In Exo 21.1-14 we have the Law of the Bond Servant which is a picture of our relationship with the Lord. In Exo 21.5 we have what happens to a child if they strike a parent. It was the death penalty, but there seems to be no record of this ever being carried out. In Exo 21.16 we have the laws about kidnapping and 21.17 deals with the “cursing” of parents. Both had the death penalty.

How many people have told you that the Torah isn’t relevant and will point to these verses? Let’s understand one thing, nobody does this. Some parents won’t even raise there voice to a rebellious child let alone turn him over to the courts. This is the age when everybody gets a participation trophy and there us no such thing as a bad child. We don’t do this today because we don’t live in the land where Torah law is enforced and we don’t have the judicial system set up by the Torah by the Lord. This includes Israel.

In Exo 21.20-21 we have the laws about treating servants different than a freeman. What is the essence of the Torah? What is the point? Many of these things are not being done today. We have civil laws, tort laws and compensation laws, but there is a key to the Torah. It is not the conditions in these cases posed here that is important, it is the results. These scenarios are relevant to the times they lived in, but the truth of the commandment (the essence/spirit) of the law still remains. We should try to restore balance and fairness in all our dealings.

For instance, a sin against one’s parents is greater that a sin against another person. A premeditated theft pays double because restitution is added to the theft. A widow or orphan who can’t take care of themselves is taken into consideration as opposed to a man who can take care of himself. There are many, many more things like this in the Torah.

Now, what was Yeshua’s view of the Torah? He believed every letter had meaning and will remain exactly as it has been written. Many people today believe that this isn’t true and the Torah is irrelevant (Matt 5.17-48). Is Yeshua teaching something contrary to what Moses taught? No, he clearly said he did not come to replace the Torah, but he came to give it meaning (fulfill).

Our own misunderstanding of these commandments is based on our own ignorance, it is not the commandments themselves. Matthew Chapters 5-7 explain what Moses meant, and they also show us that we cannot live like this. If you tried to keep everything Yeshua is saying there it would destroy us. The Torah guides us to conviction once we know that we sin. Yeshua is destroying the self-righteousness of his listeners here. This is done in order for them to listen about true righteousness by faith through grace. They will realize they can’t possibly walk in all that Yeshua is saying in their own strength and righteousness because they sin. They will realize they need a redeemer and he is letting them know what it would be like to stand before the Lord in their own works righteousness, a system that existed in their time (Rom 9.30-33).

So, the verses in Exo 21 about bond servants and slaves are a picture of us. We should do things in this manner so that we can be servants (sons) of our Father in heaven. We should not look to others for our reward, but to our Master. Don’t look for others to confirm you, look to our master. Don’t be concerned whether something is fair to you, be concerned about what the Master decides. If our brother is a servant also, then things should go well proving ourselves as a son/servant,too. We will get our reward from the Master, not the world. That is why there is a difference between freemen and servants in the Torah. A servant gets his due from his master, nobody else.

What are we supposed to be learning in the Torah? We are to love the Lord and do good to one another, don’t do damage. A civilization works when the people agree to obey the law. When we don’t, the place goes into chaos. Law enforcement comes to take these people out of society so it can work. Likewise, we must all agree to obey the Lord. If we don’t agree, we don’t complete one another. We must “cling” to the Lord (Exo 21.5). We come to the point where we cling to our master for the reason of love. We don’t want to leave so we choose to stay and be a servant.

Our spiritual debt has been paid and we are free to go with no more penalty. What will we do with our freedom? We choose to be a servant of God, not because of debt (that has been paid), but for love. We serve the Lord by walking in his Torah/commandments. Now, when a servant chooses to stay with his Master, a few things happen. They bring the servant to the doorpost and they pierce his ear with an awl. Likewise, we go to the doorpost of a congregation to hear the Word of the Lord, which should include the Torah. Where was the blood of the lamb placed at the first Passover? On the doorpost. Our spiritual “hearing” is related to the blood of the lamb.

We do not look to men for our reward. We don’t need to make other truth systems and justice systems ours. Yeshua told us about what Moses taught. We need to love, obey and cling to the Lord and we can do that by walking in the commandments as they apply to us. Our choice is we can be freemen, walking in our own righteousness and get our reward now, or we can be bond servants and get our reward when he returns (Isa 62.11; Rev 22.12). It is “Here now, but not yet” and we know it to be true, even though we don’t see it now.

Yeshua tells us to be a good servant and he is alluding to these verses in Exodus. He tells we need to be just in our dealings and listen to other views and bend our hearts towards others. This is what servants do. In the Kingdom of God, not everyone is equal (horizontal). The kingdom is “vertical.” There will be those who are called “great” and those who will be called “least” (Matt 5.19).

Now, here is the lesson and we should be encouraged. There are times we are all servants, bending over backwards. We shouldn’t say “Nobody sees me” or “I never get any pats on the back” or tells us “Good job.” Just go and serve, do what God has called you to do. The Lord sees us and we will get our reward, be assured of that. We all take the extra time and effort for our families, friends and congregation. Keep going when nobody is looking. Be encouraged and don’t get weary. The real essence of what the commandments are about are still valid today. We may not have oxen running into oxen, but we have cars running into cars. We don’t have rooftops where people sleep and eat to stay cool, but we have cracked sidewalks. Fix them so nobody gets hurt. So, if necessary, pay the damages.

If the Torah is “no more” then the principles are “no more.” Then man needs to make other laws, and now we have a separation of the spiritual with the civil. But, if the Torah is our guide, then there is no separation between the spiritual and the civil because everything we do comes from the essence of the Torah. It doesn’t matter if the civil law doesn’t “see us do something, or “let’s us off the hook.” We must give an account to the Lord, we are not freemen. All of this is about the maturing process.

In Part 78 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 76

We have a breakdown in faith in Exo 20.18-21. The people were to come up to the mountain when they heard the shofar, and Moses drew near but the people stood “afar off.” What made Moses draw near? It is the concept of faith in action. He knew the Lord, he had been on the mountain before (Da’at/knowledge). He had love for the Lord (Ahav) and the Lord told him to come up (Mitzvot/commnaments). All three components of faith were in action in Moses, but the people did not do this. They had never met the Lord and didn’t really “know” him, they had not learned to “love” him as yet and they disobeyed the “command” to draw near, a breakdown in faith.
When it came time to draw near they didn’t do it because they saw all the manifestations in 20.18. They “trembled” and “stood at a distance.” They wanted Moses to go up and hear the Lord, then tell them what he said. They did not want the Lord to speak directly to them.

In Exo 20.22-26 we have the command about an altar. It was to be made of “uncut stone” because it was not to be a work of man (Deut 27.6). The word for “uncut” is “shelemot” and the root is “shelem” meaning “peace.” The altar was associated with “peace” because that is what it did, it brought peace. It was where you would go when you wanted to do business with the Lord. The altar was to be made with stones that God had made (uncut). No iron tools were to be used on it. The altar was made to extend life and iron is sometimes used to make weapons which shorten life.

God uses altars to measure our hearts, like in the case of Cain and Abel, and in Rev 11.1. Altars are used to draw near to the Lord, and that is why the offerings were called “Korbanot” (draw near) not sacrifices. God is going to cut a covenant here at Sinai, and that will include a covenant meal with the Lord. The Temple was seen as a continuation of the covenant at Sinai and the korbanot were covenant meals with the Lord. This aspect of the korbanot is not taught outside of Judaism. For more information on this go to the book “The Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now” by Joshua Berman.

Altars can reveal God’s plan. Abraham had altars and these became locations where we have God’s promises to Abraham (Gen 12.1-3, 6-8, 13.18, 15.6-11, 22.9). The altar foreshadowed God’s plan for Yeshua and how it would “the four corners” of the earth. The altar is a witness. Isaac had enemies because his altars reminded God’s enemies of the promise and blessings to Abraham.

Altars set relationship examples. Jacob built one at Shechem (Gen 33.18-20). Shechem was going to be a part of the plan of God. It had an affect on Joseph’s life and became his burial place in the land. It is where Israel heard all the Torah which Moses had written. Not one word was left out. There is no hint of an “oral” Torah in addition to what was written (Josh 8.30-35).

Jacob built an altar at Bethel (another name for Jerusalem-Gen 28.19, 35.6-7) expressing thanksgiving and praise, which becomes the dominant purpose for altars as taught in the Torah. For example, the Korban Shelem is the only korban that is eaten by the offerer, and it is called the “peace offering.” Altars are patterned after the altar in heaven. They were uncut stones, no steps (a ramp), like a table (Lev 3.16). It has a kedusha and we are not to speak against this altar.

The blood is a covering for sin (Lev 17.11) and it must have a daily korban (continual) korban of a lamb upon it, morning and evening (Num 28.3-4) called the “Tamid.” Why does the Torah have these instructions. It is because it was to impress upon us that the altar belongs to God, it is his rules, his requirements and his business with us. The altar was his place in his house (Deut 12.11). But there is another aspect to it.

There is a primary aspect of the Temple that is not taught very often and that is the Temple was a place to rededicate to the covenant at Sinai. One of the primary words that appears in the korbanot sections in the Scriptures is the word “zevach” and it is a synonym for korban. It basically means a feast centered around meat. When covenants were cut between two parties, a feast was prepared (Gen 26.28-30, 31.44-46, 31.54). The Temple was a focal point to remember the covenant between God and Israel.The korban or zevach was a feast that included bread and wine (Num 15.1-14).

This brings us to the question “Does God eat?” We see in the Scriptures that the korbanot were described as “God’s bread” and we see statements like “a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” When the Torah describes this aspect of God’s “senses” it means that the korban/zevach is a shared meal; man literally and God figuratively by using anthropomorphisms. The korbanot were celebratory feasts. We see this concept in relation to the covenant at Sinai in Exo 24.3-11. Israel agrees to the terms of the covenant and they celebrate with a meal. That is the concept when offering korbanot/zevachim in the Temple.

We also have the concept of the “salt covenant” in Lev 2.13 and Num 18.19. This covenant is discussed in 2 Chr 13.4-4. The Torah commands that salt be sprinkled on every korban as the “salt of the covenant with God.” Salt symbolizes the everlasting nature of God’s promises and it is a preservative. The Korban Shelem is offered and the owner partakes of the meat and shares it with others, while God considers it “food” and a “pleasing aroma.” Then we have the concept of the “breaking bread” with the Lechem ha Panim in Lev 24.8 (the 12 loaves on the golden table in the Heichal), and in the various bread offerings. Wine was to accompany the korbanot as well. What we have is this. The korbanot in the Temple is ripe with feast imagery and “eating” is the most “holy” facet of worship that there is in the Scriptures, in remembrance of the covenant at Sinai.

Coming into the Temple you had to deal with the altar. Religious people consider the korbanot more important than the altar, but Yeshua would disagree with that. He said that the altar “sanctified” (gave it a kedusha) the korban (Matt 23.18-20). But, religious people will kill a lamb or buy a leg of lamb at Passover and think they are being obedient without ant altar at all. What does the altar have to do with God’s plan?

An altar is coming in Jerusalem and God will measure the people (Rev 11.1). The test is who will stand with the Lord and Yeshua and the Torah and who will not (Rev 12.17). The Lord is the rightful owner of the earth. God owns anything that touches the altar. The False Messiah will oppose this altar because it is God’s ownership mark. The False Messiah wants to steal the earth and everything in it. Many will join with him against this altar, not understanding it is a test.

Exo 21.1 through 24.18 teaches us about ethics and that man has been created in the image of God. There are around fifty-three separate laws here, giving the full range of social laws about slaves, servants, manslaughter, personal injury, damages, the three main pilgrim festivals, custodianship, the occult and money, etc.

Now, do the laws concerning the city we live in, the county, the state or nation nullify our faith? Do the civil laws nullify our faith? Do the criminal laws nullify our faith? Do the traffic laws nullify our faith? So, if man’s laws cannot nullify our faith, how can God’s laws? If we break God’s laws will we be in trouble with the Lord? Yes, so the laws are connected to our faith. Our behavior towards God and our neighbor is connected to our faith. That makes the Torah a “good thing” because it reveals what pleases God. It teaches, it instructs, it informs and it guides. Does the Torah nullify God’s promises? The answer is “No!”

These verses in Exo 21 through 24 deal with social justice in the land. These laws sort things out and Israel had to have laws in a civilized society. The bottom line of these commands is “Do good to one another, don’t do harm. By this they will know that you know me” (John 13.34). The Lord has given the Ten Commandments and Moses recounts what the Lord said we should do because the people did not want to hear God’s voice directly after that. Three times in Exo 24.4-8 they say they, “We will do all that the Lord has spoken.” In less than forty days they will build the Golden Calf, so what happened?

Some say they were eager at first, but made mistakes. They had no knowledge. But others say they were not whole-hearted. Both are bad positions to be in. A good attitude without knowledge doesn’t help us a whole lot. It won’t carry us through. Persistence and steadfastness is what we need. The Rabbis have said that God was always trying to get the people to “hear” when speaks to them. Moses repeated what God said and even wrote it down. But to hear is not the end of it. Hearing means obeying (Jam 1.22).

In Part 77 we will pick up here with some of the “nuggets” of the Torah.

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 75

Exo 17.1-7 is a clear case of “What have you done for me lately?” Israel has seen and experienced great miracles and they ask “Is the Lord among us or not?” They were in fear and thinking like slaves. They were in “new territory” and didn’t know how to act. He did wonders among them and he wasn’t going to abandon them. We need to remember this, too, when we take a new job or have a new family or business. We need to recognize that fear and know that God is still with us.

In Exo 17.8-15 we have the story of how Amalek attacked Israel at Rephidim (meaning “lax”). They chose warriors to go out against them and Moses would station himself on top of “the” hill. Aaron and Hur would go with him. Now, Moses had a staff in his hand. This was the same staff that was used in the judgments in Egypt would now be used in a different way. So, it came about that when Moses held his hands up that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hands down, Amalek prevailed.

Amalek is a picture of Satan and the False Messiah, a perpetual enemy. Aaron and Hur took a rock and put it under Moses and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur then supported the hands of Moses standing on either side of him. This would continue till sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and the battle was won. The Lord told Moses to write this in a book as memorial and recite it to Joshua that God would utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.

We have a picture in this story. Amalek is our enemy, and Moses is the shaliach sent from God in the First Redemption. The staff was held up over the head of Moses with two hands, like a crucifixion. The name Aaron means “light bringer” and Hur means “white and liberty.” The staff was a sign to God to bring his power down. It wasn’t for the warriors to see because in the heat of battle they couldn’t see him anyway. This is a picture of the crucifixion of Yeshua and how it relates to the defeat of Satan and the False Messiah. Interestingly enough, the crucifix will be the Abomination of Desolation that will be set up. The False Messiah will cause many to worship him using this idol (Rev 13.9-18), and this story with Moses alludes to his defeat by the crucifixion! So, let’s move to the Torah portion called “Yitro” or “Jethro” which goes from Exo 18.1 through Exo 20.23. We are going to pick up a few more concepts.

In this portion we have the story of Yitro (Jethro). We have discussed him previously, but there are a few more things we can learn here. He joins the Jewish people after hearing about what happened in Egypt. That news spread quickly through the ancient “internet” which was the trading caravans along the trade routes. He is wise enough to recognize only God could have done that. He “hears” with his heart and responds. James 1.22-25 tells us to be “doers of the Word, not just hearers only.”

We will also learn the concept of “Delegation” from this Torah portion. Moses could not judge the people alone, there were too many people and too many cases. So, able men were selected to help him. If a case was too hard to decide at the lower level, it came to Moses. This concept is the foundation of every judicial system from then on. This was at the advice of Yitro.

This also teaches us about our span of control, or what we can handle. By having lower courts and higher courts, Moses could provide the availability of justice for everyone, and they didn’t have to wait for long periods of time to see him.

In Exo 19.2 it says that Israel “camped” in front of Mount Sinai. The word “camped” is singular, which shows a united “Kahal” or assembly. They were in the wilderness, and a wilderness speaks of emptiness and humility, things that are essential if we are to hear the words of God.

When the time came for the Lord to give the Ten Commandments, there were “thunderings” (voices) and “lightning” and a very loud trumpet. The people, including Moses, trembled. The people were not prepared for God to speak to all of them from that mountain. God answered with “voices” (plural) in Hebrew (Heb 12.19). In Hebrew thought, it is believed that God spoke the commandments in the seventy languages of the world, or in “tongues.”

This is an interesting point because in Acts 2 we have the festival of Shavuot, the day day God spoke in these tongues and gave the Torah. The Lord sent the Ruach Ha Kodesh upon believers and they spoke in the languages of the world, or in tongues (Acts 2.8-11). The tongues (thunderings) was accompanied by wind and fire, the same manifestations seen at Sinai. Shavuot is called “the First Trump” because of the trumpet blown, and because this festival was seen as a betrothal (Jer 2.2). Now the Torah would be written on their hearts, not on stone.

When we look at the commandments, we notice something interesting. The first commandment talks about no other gods. And commandment six tells us that we are not to murder a person who is made in God’s image. The second commandment relates to commandment seven, worshiping other gods is like adultery. Commandment three relates to commandment eight, names are ownership marks. Commandment four relates to commandment nine, observing the Sabbath gives a true witness, not a false one. Commandment five relates to commandment ten, one who covets will bear children who will curse their parents, not honor them, and they will covet the possessions of their possessions.

These commandments speak of balance. The first five speak of loving the Lord, and the last five speak of loving your neighbor. The Torah teaches us that there is one truth, not based on what works for you. God wanted to restore “balance” and normalcy to any given situation, according to how he sees it, so he gave us the Torah.

The commandments were also seen as a betrothal covenant called the “Shitre Erusin.” If you agreed to “marry” this God, here is how you would live out your life with him. In Jer 31.31-34 it says that God will make a “new (renewed) covenant” with the House of Israel and Judah. In verse 33 it says the Torah will be “written on your heart.” That is one of the evidences that a person is born again.

Can you take the name of the Lord in vain, or with emptiness, or uselessly? That isn’t written in the “new testament.” How do you know about that command? It is written on our heart from the Torah. It is the Torah (law) that is written on our hearts (Jer 31.33). He is going to write these commandments on our hearts, not a different set of commandments according to Replacement Theology Christianity or Rabbinic Judaism. It was Satan who said “Has God really said?” They are the Ten Commandments, not any less. Israel could not bear to hear the voice of the Lord, so they told Moses to hear from God himself, and then tell them, and they would hear and obey (Exo 20.19).

What we are talking about is the written Torah (Law). The rabbis say the space between the words is the “Oral Law.” They also say we should make fences around the commandments, but that is religion, not God’s word. The Oral Law is now written down, and some follow it as if God said those things. They have added to and detracted from the Torah, something the Lord said not to do (Deut 4.2). Replacement Theology Christianity has done the same thing with their traditions. For more information on the Oral Law versus the Written Law, go to the teaching “A Case Against A Divinely Inspired Oral Law” on this website.

The Jewish people are experts at this. When all is said and done, they were preferring the Oral Law over the Written Law (Isa 29.13) and they still do. Israel hasn’t followed Moses for thousands of years. Yeshua said it was the Torah that bore witness of who he was, not the Oral Law (Psa 40.7; John 5.39-47). What happened was the “fences” around the Torah commands moved out and out and soon protected the fences themselves, and left out the actual commandment. Religious people always lose the point. What is the difference between legalism and keeping the commandments? Legalism is keeping man’s law and the other is keeping God’s law. So, the question is, “Whose commandments are written on your heart?” Think about it?

In Part 76 we will pick up here and show that we will have a breakdown in faith in Exo 20.18-21. Remember, biblical faith consists of three elements. We have Ahav, the love of God; we have Da’at, the knowledge of God based on his word and experience; and we have Mitzvot, the commandments of God. All of these must be operating at one time to have biblical faith, which is “Emunah” in Hebrew. This word is related to the word “amen” and it means “confidence/action.” With most people, when all is said and done, there is more “said than done.” That is not biblical faith.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 74

The Birth-pains of the Messiah (Tribulation) will last 2520 days, or seven biblical years. At the mid-point of the birth-pains (Nisan 10) the False Messiah will come to Jerusalem and the Abomination of Desolation will be set-up. He will declare himself to be the Messiah (“Jesus”) and God himself (2 Thes 2.4). When this happens, Rev 12.5-17 says that the believers in Yeshua (Israel now believes) will flee to the wilderness and this is the same wilderness we have been looking at. How did Israel come to believe in Yeshua?

Three years into the birth-pains, between Rosh Ha Shanna and Yom Kippur, Russia will invade Israel and be defeated. Israel will believe that Yeshua is the Messiah as a result because the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 have been preaching for three years about what was going to happen, and the people believe after they see what happens to Russia.

Within six months the False Messiah makes a move to destroy the rest of Russia and conquers them. This brings us up to Nisan 10 of the fourth year of the birth-pains and the exact half-way point. The False Messiah declares himself to be God and Messiah “Jesus” according to the model in Replacement Theology Christianity, but Israel has already accepted Yeshua six months earlier so they will know he is not the Messiah.

They will flee from him into the Jordanian/Moabite/Edomite wilderness that stretches from Pella in the north, south to the Arnon and Zered Valley, to biblical Kadesh Barnea (Wadi Rum), then south to Mount Sinai. What does this have to do with what will happen? The phrase “two wings of a great eagle” in Rev 12.14 was used before. It was used in the Exodus out of Egypt and the trip to Sinai (Exo 19.4). Israel will be in this wilderness for 1260 days. We are told in Isa 16.1-5 they are going to “Sela” which means “rock” and this happens to be the capital city of Edom and possibly an early name for Petra. We are told they are going to the Arnon Valley (Isa 16.2) and we know where that is. We know where they are going. Remember, God told Moses to bring the people to Sinai in order to serve him.

Isa 63.1-6 says, “Now who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing color from Bozrah.” There is blood on the garments like one who has been treading in a wine press. Rev 14.14-20 describes the same thing, along with Gen 49.11-12. Who is this who comes from Bozrah? Isa 42.10-16 tells us that the wilderness and its cities will lift up their voices and “let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud.” Now we are in the Petra area, like in Isa 16.1-5.

Deut 33.2 says, “The Lord came from Sinai and dawned on them from Seir (Edom).” People think that this is talking about the past, during the time of Moses, but it is also talking about the future. Messiah is coming from the east and Judges 5.4-5 tells us the Lord went out of Seir, and marched from Edom. The mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord, even Mount Sinai.

Hab 3.3-15 shows us that the Lord comes from Teman and the Holy One from Mount Paran. It goes on to describe what happens. These places are where Sinai is located and he is invading with his troops. His radiance is like the sunlight. Messiah is advancing from the east (Oba 6-9; Ezek 25.12-14; Lam 4.21; Jer 40.40-47; Isa 63.1; Isa 42.10-13; Deut 33.1-2; Judges 5.4-5; Matt 24.27-31).

In Rev 14.20 it says that the blood outside of the city of Jerusalem went for a distance of 200 miles. This could have several meanings. This means the bloodshed (like a wine press) when Yeshua comes will cover the whole land of Israel (approx. 200 miles long), or it refers to the distance from Wadi Rum to Jerusalem. The False Messiah has sent his army after the Jewish people when they fled from him into this wilderness (Rev 12.15-17)but he cannot touch them. Yeshua will come back to Mount Sinai on Rosh Ha Shanna at the end of the birth-pains. He will march for 10 days along the same route Moses took, picking up those who have fled three and a half years earlier and have been waiting for him.

He will arrive in Jerusalem out of the southeast on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur. Here are some other verses to look at concerning his coming (Jer 49.19-22; Zeph 1.7-9; Zeph 2.8-11; Hos 13.15; Ezek 25.1-14; Mic 2.12-13; Zech 14.3-5). He arrives in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.27-31; Isa 27.12-13; Mic 5.4; Joel 2.15-16; Song 8.5). Rev 19.19-21, Jer 19.1-5 and Matt 25.31-46 tells us what will happen after he arrives. This is a very quick overview of the Exodus and how it applies to the future coming of Yeshua.

Now, let’s go back to Exo 16 to see what other concepts we can pick up. When we get done with this very brief survey of the Exodus, we are going to look at the dynamics between Pharaoh and Moses, the plagues and the Passover at a different angle than what we have been talking about.

In Exo 16.13-36 we are introduced to the “manna” which is from the word “man-hu” which means “what is it?” God will give just enough manna for each day, just as he provides for us each day. The problem with Israel here is they still thought like slaves. They didn’t know how to act as free men and women. The truth is, we don’t either. We go back and forth to Egypt in our hearts and actions all the time.

We see in Exo 16.22-29 that the Sabbath was observed before Sinai, and manna is connected to it. First, this is how we know when the Sabbath is because there was no manna on the seventh day and Israel has been keeping track ever since. Manna is also a picture of Yeshua, the “bread out of heaven.” Likewise, the Sabbath is also a picture of Yeshua because we find out rest in him.

Manna is also connected to our thoughts. If our hearts are thankful, it was good. If it isn’t thankful, it tastes like “nothing” and we complain. Here is the lesson: Don’t go through life saying “what is it?” On the contrary, we need to challenge life with “is it what?” What we put into it is what we get out of it. We can approach life tasting and seeing the bread of life (Torah), or we can taste and see nothing, and complain.

These verses, especially verses 22-23, are used by some to say that cooking was not allowed on the Sabbath. The Hebrew word for Sabbath is “Shabbat” meaning “to cease.” We are to cease working at our occupation or gainful employment on certain days. There is nothing in the Scriptures that says we cannot cook on any Sabbath. There are no clear restrictions about it.

If we cook, and our job is cooking, then we shouldn’t cook. What we are “ceasing” is gainful employment because in the “spiritual” our “rest” has nothing to do with “works” to “gain” salvation. Cooking our own food is not an occupation through which we earn money. Now, what about Exo 16.23? The NASB says, “Then he (Moses) said to them, ‘This is what the Lord meant (to say). Tomorrow is a Sabbath observance, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over (to cook on the Sabbath) put aside to be kept till morning (of the Sabbath, it isn’t going to spoil like it does on the other days-Exo 16.20).'” Notice that it doesn’t say bake all of it so you don’t have to bake or boil it on the Sabbath. It is bake what you want, and what is left (what isn’t cooked) will keep for the Sabbath day. They were being allowed to keep extra, whereas on other days of the week they were not allowed to keep extra (16.19) because it would spoil.

So, in other words, they were not to gather it on the Sabbath, but will get twice as much on the sixth day. This is like today. Get enough by Friday so that it is not necessary to buy food on Saturday. It n ever says that we can’t cook on the Sabbath.

Exo 12.16 confirms this where it says, “And on the first day there shall be a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.” This verse seems to be confirming that nobody goes to work on a high holy day (Shabbaton), but you can cook what needs to be prepared. This view may anger some, but truth is truth. We don’t believe that the Torah is burdensome and we need to evaluate any verse related to this. We are not to “add to or detract from” the Torah (Deut 4.2). Many people have added to the Torah, but few take away. what is usually added is almost always restrictions, not positive things to do. What happens is the “body of law” which is almost always “oral” becomes larger that what God said in the first place.

We will pick up Exo 17.1-7 in Part 75.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 73

A whole generation of millions were brought to Kadesh Barnea to die. Where are all the bodies? They haven’t found them because Kadesh Barnea is not in the Sinai Peninsula. The scholars and the historians are looking in the wrong places. Kadesh Barnea is south of Edom. When you loo at the fact that Israel left the Faiyum, crossed the Gulf of Suez, then took the Derek Seir to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat on a current map), encountered the Amalekites who were based in Petra, then down to Midian and Sinai, you will see that the traditional site of Kadesh Barnea doesn’t work.

Kadesh Barnea is south of Edom and north of Mount Sinai, in the vicinity of the Red Sea. They were also near a highway called the “King’s Highway” (Num 21.22). They would travel north, east of the King’s Highway. The King’s Highway starts at Wadi Rum and then went north. It was a trade route that Moses wanted to take, but Sihom the king of the Amorites would not let him. He came to battle Israel (Num 21.23) and was defeated.

Wadi rum is a huge area and this is Kadesh Barnea, or the “Holy Desert of Wandering.” It fits all the descriptions. Deut 8.15-16 speaks of Wadi Rum. It was famous for serpents, vipers and scorpions. It is where the Bronze Serpent incident happened in Num 21.6-9. Lawrence of Arabia said the Beduin had a remedy for snakenite. They bound a plaster of snake-skin on the would, and read the Koran over the victim till he died (“Lawrence of Arabia” By R. H. Kiernan). Horned vipers (“fiery serpents”) are all over the area, and scorpions. You can go to the Internet and search “Wadi Rum” to see pictures of what this area looks like. This is where Israel was.

In Judges 11.13, the king of the sons of the Amorites accused Israel of taking away their land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok and the Jordan; therefore they wanted this area back peacefully. Jepthah told him Israel didn’t take the land, he says they came up from Egypt and Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and then came to Kadesh Barnea. However, the king of Edom would not let them pass through, neither did the king of Moab, so they returned to Kadesh Barnea. This tells us that Kadesh Barnea is near the Red Sea. Kadesh Barnea (Wadi Rum) is a very large area and it could easily accommodate two million people.

In Num 20.1 we learn of the death of Miriam at Kadesh Barnea (Wadi Rum). Josephus tells us in Antiquities, Book 4, Chapter 4, Paragraph 6, about her death, “Then it was that Miriam, the sister of Moses, came to her end, having completed her fortieth year since she left Egypt, on the first day of the lunar month Xanthicus (Nisan). They then made a public funeral for her, at great expense. She was buried upon a certain mountain, which they call Sin; and when they had mourned for her thirty days, Moses purified the people after this manner: he brought a heifer that had never been used to the plough or to husbandry, that was complete in all its parts and entirely of a red color, at a little distance from the camp, into a place perfectly clean. This heifer was slain by the high priest, and her blood sprinkled with his finger seven times before the tabernacle of God; after this, the entire heifer was burnt in that state together with its skin and entrails; and they threw cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet wool, into the midst of the fire; then a clean man gathered all her ashes together, and laid them in a place perfectly clean.” Miriam’s burial place is near Petra, the old Arabian capital city, and Aaron is buried not far off.

So, Miriam dies as they are leaving Kadesh Barnea and they have the Ashes of the Red Heifer ceremony. In Num 20.22 they set out from Kadesh Barnea and they come to the borders of Edom and then to Mount Hor (Deut 2.3-6, 28-29). In Num 20.24-29 we have the death of Aaron. This was also described by Josephus and Antiquities, Book 4, Chapter 4, Paragraph 7, “Now when this purification, which their leader made upon the mourning of his sister, as it has been now described, was over, he caused the army to remove and to march through the wilderness and through Arabia; and when he came to a place which the Arabians esteem their metropolis, which was formerly called Arce, but is now the name of Petra, at this place, which was encompassed with high mountains, Aaron went up one of them in the sight of the whole army, Moses having before told him that he was to die, for this place was over-against them. He put off his pontifical garments, and delivered them to Eleazar his son, to whom the high priesthood belonged, because he was the elder brother; and died while the multitude looked upon him. He died in the same year wherein he lost his sister, having lived in all a hundred and twenty-three years. He died on the first day of that lunar month which is called by the Athenians Heca tombeon, by the Macedonians Lous, but by the Hebrews Abba.”

Aaron dies at Petra, on a nearby mountain. Petra goes on for ten miles at least. Mount Hor is there and that is where he died (Num 20.27-28). From there they head north along the King’s Highway and in Num 21.12 they camp in the Zered Valley. In Num 21.13 they come to the Arnon Valley, then to Mount Nebo. In Num 21.25 they come to Heshbon, then to Jericho (Num 22.1).

Now, why is all this important? We know Messiah will come from the “east” but all this seems to be south of Jerusalem. However, “east” in the Bible lokks like this. If you draw a straight line north to south through Jerusalem, it goes straight to Mount Sinai (Jebel Al Lawz). Everything east of that line is considered east. That would include the areas that we have just been discussing.

People interpret the Bible using western thought, not Hebraic thought. We need to interpret the Scriptures using their train of thinking. That means Wadi Rum, Petra, the Zered Valley, the Arnon Valley, Mount Nebo, Heshbon and Jericho are east. When Yeshua comes “like lightning from the east” we think “due east.” However, that is not necessarily the case. He will not be coming from “due east” but from the “southeast” (like the Azazel bridge). Isa 63.1 says the Messiah will come from Edom (east).

The Jabbok Valley relates to prophecy. Jacob came there and that is where Peniel, Sukkot and Mahanaim is. David builds a fortress there and fled from Absalom to go there. We also have a place called Pella there. Believers in Yeshua fled there when the Romans came (Luke 19, Luke 21). It was near Pella that Elijah was hidden for 1260 days (time, times and a half a time, three and a half months, 42 months) during the famine.

From 132-135 A. D. during the Bar Kochba revolt against Rome, believers in Yeshua left the army and went to Pella. They left the army because Bar Kochba was declared the Messiah and these believers were not going to fight for a false Messiah, so they would not support him. In Part 74 we will discuss why all of this is important and why this fits into prophecy and why the Exodus is important to understand, and how knowing that will help us understand how all of this will apply in the future.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 72

Jebel Al-Lawz means “almond mountain” and that is very significant. Aaron’s rod was almond, and the almond is called the first fruits of spring, or the “awakening fruit.” Jebel Al-Lawz fits the biblical description for Mount Sinai in several ways. It is east of the Gulf of Aqaba and south of Edom. It is about 15 miles east from the town of Jethro called Al-Bad, It is in Midian and the tallest peak in the area. Now, the evidence presented in books for this mountain being Sinai is not evidence. You can’t prove it because get in there with archaeologists to check things out, but it is possible.

Sinai is called the “mountain of God” and Israel was taken out of Egypt so that they could come to this mountain to worship God (Exo 3.12). We know that the rod of Moses becomes a serpent in Exo 4.1-3. This rod was used in miracles. In Num 17.1-6 we have the story of Aaron’s rod. This rod comes back to like and sprouts almonds. Messiah was a dead branch that came back to like. Aaron’s rod was an almond branch. Was it taken from this mountain? The almond is called the “resurrection tree” in Israel. As seen in Jer 1.12-13, it is the first tree to bring forth fruit in the spring

Israel will stay at Sinai for 11 months, to the 20th of Iyar. It is calculated that Moses went up the mountain the second time on Elul 1 and came back down after 40 days and nights on Tishri 10, later to be the day for Yom Kippur. The Mishkan will be built at Sinai. There are verses that we will establish later that says Messiah will return to Mount Sinai first and then march to Jerusalem to stand on the Mount of Olives on Yom Kippur.

From Sinai they were to go north to Canaan, but they disobeyed the Lord and caused a 38 year stay at a place called Kadesh Barnea. When they leave Kadesh Barnea after 38 years they will travel north to Mount Hor, where Aaron dies. Then they will trek through the Zered Valley and the Arnon Valley to Heshbon, then to Mount Nebo, down the Heshbon Valley and cross the Jordan to Jericho.

The word Sinai is taken from the Babylonian moon god “Sin” and Horeb is thought to mean “glowing heat” which is a reference to the sun. Sinai and Horeb would be the mountain of the moon and the sun. Now, the sun is a picture of the Messiah in Mal 4.2, Gen 32.24-31 and Psa 19.4-6. The “light” of the sun gives “life.” The moon is a lesser light and speaks of the believer. It has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun to be seen. The New Moon Festival (Rosh Chodesh) is a festival that relates to women. The name is feminine and it is called the “Festival of the Born Again.”

Now, if Sinai is called the “Mountain of the Moon” and Horeb is the “Mountain of the Sun” then this speaks of the Messiah and his bride. We know that they went on to Kadesh Barnea, which means “holy desert of wandering.” If Kadesh Barnea is where the historians say it is, where are all the bodies of that generation that died off there? We will have 600,000 at least and probably more. None have ever been found and that is because they are looking in the wrong place. We believe Kadesh Barnea is a place called “Wadi Rum.” Many Hollywood movies have been filmed there, like “Lawrence of Arabia” for instance. Wadi Rum means “Valley of the Moon” and if Mount Sinai means “Mountain of the Moon” and they stayed at Kadesh Barnea (“Holy Desert of Wandering”), and that is a place called Wadi Rum (“Valley of the Moon”) today, we have a picture.

We have all sorts of concepts speaking of marriage, covenant and wedding all through this. God gives the commandments at Sinai and the instruction for the Mishkan. Moses went into a supernatural environment for 40 days and nights with no food or water. He comes back down with the tablets, and breaks them because of the Golden Calf. He goes back up the mountain on Elul 1 and comes back down the second time on Tishri 10, 40 days and nights later. We have a blueprint of what Yeshua will do.

They build a Mishkan and ceremonies are given. The Kivod, Shekinah and the Ruach Ha Kodesh come. Priests are set apart and festivals are given. A government is set up with a court system. The fullness of the Torah is given and it applies to everyone if they were going to serve this God.

The Lord said to come to this mountain to worship. We know that God created time, the environment we live in. It has a beginning and an end (Gen 1). We have a 6000 year period called the “Olam Ha Zeh” and it means “This Present Age.” Then there will be a 1000 year period called the “Atid Lavo” which means “Future or Coming Age.” After that we enter into the “Olam Haba” or the “World to Come.” In reality, the Olam Haba preexisted time and everything will be going back to that state after the 7000 year plan of God is over. Time in Hebrew thought is understood as circular, a cycle, not linear. In reality, it not “back to the future” but we are going “forward to the past.”

Why did the Lord put such emphasis on coming to Mount Sinai in the wilderness? Why didn’t he just bring them into the land and go to Mount Zion or Mount Moriah? What difference does it make of Israel was afraid of the Philistines (Exo 13.17-18)? The Lord just defeated the Egyptians. The reason is, they had to go to Sinai because that is where they were going to receive the Torah and instructions for the Mishkan before they went into the land. Does the Lord do anything without a plan?

We have said before that there are three mountains of God. We have Mount Sinai/Horeb in Exo 3, we have Mount Moriah in Isa 2 and we have Mount Zion in Jer 31. We must come to Sinai after we are delivered because there is a process. The Torah at Sinai was not for salvation because they were already delivered. It was for their instruction after they have been delivered by the blood of the lamb. Spiritually, it should be the same for us.

We are going to see that Messiah will come to Mount Sinai first when he comes at the end of the Birth-pains, then he will go to Petra, then the Zered and Arnon Valley, and then cross the Jordan around Jericho and arrive in Jerusalem. These are the very footsteps of Moses, the shaliach of the Egyptian (or first) Redemption. Yeshua is the shaliach of the Messianic (or second) Redemption and will follow in the footsteps of Moses as he takes the land. All of this will be pointed out without a reasonable doubt later. This will not be a case of Jewish tradition or midrashim, but Scripture upon Scripture.

So, why Mount Sinai? False teaching has robbed us of all the things God gave for our instruction. Everything that happened before will happen again, there is nothing new under the sun and that goes for prophecy as well (Ecc 1.8-9, 3.15). So, let’s take a look at Wadi Rum.

Deut 1.1-46 tells us that they came to Kadesh Barnea (holy desert of wandering) and scouts were sent out. They brought back a bad report and because of their unbelief, they would not be going into Canaan just yet. In Deut 2.1-5 it says they circled Mount Seir “for many days” which was for 38 years (Deut 2.14). They moved often because they needed firewood and there were sanitary needs for millions, and other reasons. Then he says in Deut 2.3 that they have “circled this mountain long enough.” He tells them to “turn north.” So, we know Kadesh Barnea is south of Edom and Canaan.

In Num 20.1, we have the death of Miriam at Kadesh Barnea. In Num 20.8-13, Moses strikes the rock when he was only to speak to it to get water. In Num 20.14, Moses sends a message to the king of Edom from Kadesh Barnea. In Num 20.16 to says that Kadesh Barnea is a “town on the edge of your border.” So, Kadesh Barnea is south of Edom. Why is there another site that is not anywhere near this seen as Kadesh Barnea? They found a piece of pottery with “Kadesh” on it! They excavated the site, but it was only a small city, not one with millions of people. No graves before the time of Solomon were found there. Where are all the bodies?

In Part 73 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 71

Israel will pass through the “midst” of the sea. The Hebrew word for “deep” in Exo 15.5,8 is “tehomot” meaning “subterranean deep, very deep.” Exo 15.8 says the waters were “piled up” like a wall, and the “tehomot” (deeps) were congealed. In Exo 15.10 it says that Pharaoh and his army “sank like lead in the mighty waters.” The Gulf of Suez certainly fits the description for very deep waters.

We have discussed the southern theory, or the traditional route, of the Exodus and it doesn’t work. There is no way they could get to a crossing site in the Gulf of Aqaba in less than three days from the Faiyum, or anyplace else in Egypt. So, we are going to talk about the “Middle Route.”\

Go to a map and you will see the Arabian Peninsula and it is a very big land mass. On a biblical map, you will see Midian running across the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. Moses fled there in Exo 2.11-15, and keeps the flocks of Yitro (Jethro) and he comes to Sinai, the tallest mountain in the area according to Philo and Josephus.

In Exo 3.1 it says that while he was pasturing the flock of Yitro, Moses came to Horeb, the “mountain of God.” It says this was the “back side” of the desert (Hebrew “achar”). This also means “west” or “edge, end” and it also alludes to a “future time” called the “acharit yamim” or “last days.” In other words, Moses came to a place on the western end of the desert or wilderness. Both meanings can apply. He took some sheep to where Sinai was to graze. This rules out going all the way to the Sinai Peninsula to the traditional site of Mount Sinai. Moses took his sheep to the edge of the desert.

We learn in Exo 17 that Israel is attacked by the Amalekites at Rephidim. The word “Rephidim” comes from the root “rapha” meaning “lax or slack.” This area is at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, near modern Eilat today. The people complain about water, and the Lord has Moses strike a rock at Horeb (Sinai), and water comes out. So, this tells us they were close to Sinai at Rephidim where they were camping (17.1).

Josephus tells us in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 2, Paragraph 1, that the reputation of the Hebrews spread everywhere. Among those who have heard of them were the inhabitants of Petra called the Amalekites. So, the Amalekites were just north of Midian. Arabia did not denote the whole peninsula between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf in the First Century, but only east and south of Israel, east of the Gulf of Aqaba. This area was settled by the Nabateans with their capital as Petra, exactly where the Amalekites were.

Israel crosses the sea and they take the Derek Seir (the Way to Edom) that went across the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. To know where Sinai is, we must know where Midian is. We must totally discard the traditional Mount Sinai “discovered” by Helena in 325 A.D. We know that Moses was tending sheep and went to Sinai. He was not going all the way to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula to do that. We know that the Amalekites were located at Petra and fought Israel before they reached Sinai. They wanted to crush Israel before they got any stronger.

They hear that Israel is coming on the Derek Seir, the main road. They have heard the reports about what happened in Egypt. From their capital in Petra and the area, they set out to confront Israel and go to battle with them near Sinai, but where is Sinai? In Gal 1.17 it says, “nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who where apostles before me; but I went to Arabia and returned once more to Damascus.” In the First Century, this area was seen as the habitation of the Nabateans, with Petra as capital. He possibly went to Sinai. In Gal 4.25 it says, “Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem; for she is is slavery with her children.”

This “Sinai in Arabia” is referring to the area immediately to the east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Therefore, Sinai is in an area known as Midian in Arabia. As Israel is moving east, they pass the Amalekites who lived in Petra in Edom. As a result, it cannot be in the Sinai Peninsula. Seir is the same thing as “Edom” and “Uz” (Job 1.1), so let’s talk about that.

Job 1.1 says “There was a man who lived in Uz, whose name was Iyov (Job).” Lam 4.21 says, “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, who dwells in the land of Uz.” Job 4.1 tells tells us “that there was a man called Eliphaz the Temanite.” Gen 36.1-11 tells us that Esau is Edom and he has a son named Eliphaz (v 10) and Eliphaz has a son named Teman (v 11). The Eliphaz in Job 4.1 was probably the son of Teman in Gen 36.11, Esau’s grandson. So, we have identified Midian, and Seir is Edom, Esau and Uz.

Let’s look at some passages as to where Mount Sinai is. In Deut 33.2 it says that the coming of the Lord is from Sinai, and it dawned on them from Seir (Edom).” Hab 3.3 says, “God comes from Teman (Uz, Edom) and the Holy One from Mount Paran (around Sinai).” Now we have another term, Mount Paran.

Judges 5.4-5 says that the Lord went out from Seir (Edom, Uz) and marched from Edom. The earth quaked, the heavens dripped and the clouds dripped water. The mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord, “this Sinai at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.” So, Mount Sinai must be around the border of Edom and Midian.

In Gen 46.13 we have the sons of Issachar listed. In Gen 46.11 we have the sons of Levi given as Gershom, Kohath and Merari. The sons of Issachar have “Iyov” (Job) listed, and he was the first cousin to Kohath. The sons of Iyov (Job) were second cousins to Moses (Kohath has Amram, the father of Moses). This indicates a very short period, and the Middle East is beginning to “shrink.” The stories in the Torah fit the genealogy.

Exo 12.40-41 tells us it was 430 years from Gen 15 and the Covenant between the Halves. It also implies that there were descendants to Israel in other parts of the world, where it says, “the sojourning of the sons of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt (at the time), was four hundred and thirty years.” This implies that there were Hebrews elsewhere, with the majority in Egypt. Iyov (Job) left Egypt and settled in Edom sometime before the Exodus. The timing of the book of Job is around the time of the Exodus. In verse 41 to says “to the very day” that the people went out, but to what day? We know it was Nisan 15 when the children of Israel went out. That means the Covenant between the Halves in Gen 15, where God told Abraham about what was going to happen in v 13-16, was Nisan 15 (“to the very day”).

In Exo 19, Israel arrives at Mount Sinai and it was Sivan 3. They get ready for three days (19.10-11). This tells us how many days it took to get from the Faiyum in Egypt to Mount Sinai, and it looks like this. On Nisan 14 they kill the Passover lamb. On Nisan 15 they eat the Passover in a hurry, and leave after midnight. They go less than three days, as agreed, into the wilderness and come up to the Red Sea on Nisan 17. Pharaoh has pursued them and God opens the the sea and Israel crosses the Gulf of Suez.

From Nisan 17 to Sivan 6 is 50 days and God comes down on Mount Sinai and speaks the Ten Commandments in the hearing of all the people. This day will be known as Shavuot. So, we have Passover on Nisan 14, Unleavened Bread on Nisan 15, Yom Ha Bikkurim (First Fruits) on Nisan 17 and Shavuot. Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Shavuot will relate to the coming of the Messiah in both comings.

What do we know about Mount Sinai so far? We know it was not where people say it is and we know it is east of the Gulf of Aqaba, and east of Midian, south of Edom. The mountain is not in the Sinai Peninsula, the traditional site. Josephus said in Antiquities of the Jews that Sinai was the highest peak in the area and good for pasturing. George Foot-Moore, an archaeologist, believed that a mountain called Jebel Al-Lawz could be it but wasn’t sure. It may be in southern Edom which was Midian at one time till they pushed south. Edom is Seir and it had wooded mountains. It is barren now because the Ottoman Turks had a law taxing people with trees, so they cut the trees down.

In Part 71 we will pick up here with Jebel Al-Lawz.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 70

In Exo 13.19 it says, “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear saying, ‘God shall surely take care of you and you shall carry my bones from here with you.'” The KJV uses the the term “visit you” for “take care of you.” This is related to what Joseph said in Gen 50.25 and to what Yeshua said in Luke 19.40-41.

In Hebrew this terms is “pakod yifkod” or “visit, visit.” Joseph is saying in Gen 50.25, and repeated in Exo 13.19, that God will “visit, visit” you. This alludes to the First and Second Redemption, and the two comings of the Messiah. The First Redemption that we are discussing now will teach us about the Second Redemption and the coming of the Messiah.

In Gen 50.26, Joseph is buried and put into a “coffin.” In Hebrew, the word is “b’aron” or into an ark (box). This is a receiving container in which his remains were kept. So, they took an “ark” (aron) or receiving container with Joseph’s remains together, leaving no doubt they were leaving to go back into the land. A simple thief would have robbed the aron, and left everything. They would have never taken the whole thing.

We know that Joseph was in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and they used “royal mausoleums” or “mortuary temples” in burials. That is what they found at Harawa. The Pharaohs preferred that over burial in a pyramid. The temple at Harawa had twelve chambers. Is it possible that these were for the twelve brothers of Joseph?

Now we are going to look at the crossing of the Red Sea. Moses journeys from Harawa (Succos/Sukkot) and Pharaohs hears that they have taken the remains of Joseph (Exo 14.5-8). He knew they were leaving because Joseph’s tomb was empty, the whole box is gone. In the Jewish writings, the prime minister of Egypt is referred to as Joseph of Ramah. Ramah means “seat of idolatry.” In Greek, it is Arimathea. In other words, the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea was empty!

In the book “Coming Out of Egypt: The Journey Out of Idolatry Begins”, Vol 1, P.422< by K. C. Stricker, it says, "An interesting parallel is that Yeshua is placed in the tomb of Joseph of Ramah (Arimathea in Greek). Ramah, the city of Joseph, means 'seat of idolatry in Hebrew. As noted, Moses had also gone to the tomb of another Joseph on the 15th, to receive Joseph's body: thereby leaving his tomb empty. Joseph of Egypt, the seat of idolatry, had been an excellent picture of the coming of the Messiah by all that had happened in his life: he was hated by his brothers, cast into a pit, sold as a slave, falsely accused, committed to the dungeon; but, through the Spirit of God, raised to be ruler in Egypt second only to Pharaoh. He was sent by God to preserve life, during the famine of death. In latter years, he revealed himself to his brothers, who all this time had thought him to be the ruler of the Gentiles, rather than one of their own brethren." So, as we have said, Joseph's bones were in a huge and very heavy "aron" or "box." The word "aron" has special meaning in Scripture. The Ark of the Covenant is also an "aron." So, that means in the wilderness the children of Israel had two "arons" with them. Why did they take the huge "box" with them? First, it was to fulfill their word to Joseph and secondly, to prove they took him and it wasn't some robber. After they had his remains, they set out east to the western prong of the Red Sea called the Gulf of Suez now, but back then it was just the Red Sea. (Yom Suf). They will cross the Gulf of Suez, and take a road that was at the other side to the northeast that links to the Derek Seir (the Way to Edom). They will go east on that road to Ezion-geber (Eilat) at the northern tip of the eastern prong of the Red Sea called the Gulf of Aqaba. It is in this area that they will encounter the Amalekites (Exo 17). From there they will go southeast, down into the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia to Mount Sinai, which was 18 miles east of a place called Madian-polis (Al-Bad today). The traditional route can't be the right route, and some of the new theories proposed by Ron Wyatt, Bob Cornuke and many others can't be it either. The traditional site of Mount Sinai is in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, and it was "found" by the mother of Constantine, Helena, and she was no bible scholar. This site has campgrounds for several million people and it does not fit the timeline. So, Israel was to go for three days into the wilderness, not forever like in the movies. The delegation that retrieved the bones of Joseph met up with everyone else at a designated point going towards the Gulf of Suez. Josephus says they crossed at a very hard place to navigate through. Pharaoh will pursue them, and Israel will cross the Gulf of Suez early in the morning of the 17th of Nisan (Exo 14.21-24). Num 33.1-8 says it was three days, then they crossed the sea. They went from Rameses to Sukkot (Succos/Harawa in the Faiyum), then to Etham, and then to Pi-Hahirot. They cross the sea at Pi-Hahirot on the third day (17th of Nisan). Pharaoh pursues them into the sea, and he, along with his army, perishes. Now, Israel was possessed by the Egyptian Pharaohs, and Pharaoh is a picture of Satan and the False Messiah. The Pharaohs had an emblem of a serpent on their crown ("nachash"-Gen 3.1). Israel will be redeemed from Pharaoh. So, we have the 10th of Nisan when the lamb was selected for the Passover (Exo 12). On the 14th of Nisan that lamb is killed "between the evenings" or about three o'clock in the afternoon. They will depart from Egypt after midnight on the 15th of Nisan, while it was still dark (Deut 16.1), and they are up against the sea on the 17th of Nisan, three days later. They cross the sea and are resurrected on the other side on the 17th, and Pharaoh is cut off. Now, go ahead 1500 years or so to 30 A. D. Yeshua rides into Jerusalem in what religious men call the "Triumphant Entry." This is Nisan 10 and the Passover lambs have been selected. The lamb is examined to see if there is any blemish, and Yeshua and his teachings are examined and they find no blemish in him. On the 14th of Nisan the lambs are slain "between the evenings" and Yeshua is crucified at the same time they are killing the lambs in the temple, and dies "between the evenings." Three days later (Nisan 17) Yeshua rises from the dead at the same time Israel came out of the watery grave of the Red Sea. Satan (Pharaoh) is cut off and we are now on our way to the Promised Land (Olam Haba). But, we need to stop at Mount Sinai first. And we have the tomb of another Joseph that is empty. The story of Yeshua matches the Exodus In Part 71 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 69

In Gen 46.11 we learn that Jacob had a son Named Levi, and he had three sons named Gershom, Kohath and Merari. Kohath would have a son named Amram, and Amram had two sons named Aaron and Moses. This will help us date the Exodus (Gen 15.12-16). We believe the Exodus occurred around 1441 B.C. In 1 Kings 6.1 it says that they began to build the Temple 480 years after the Exodus. We know this was 961 B.C. and the reign of Solomon. Add 480 to 961 and you have 1441 B.C. This is also supported by Judges 11.26.

But scholars say this can’t be true because the Exodus occurred during the reign of Rameses and the Israelites built the city of Rameses. However, we have seen that 210 years before this they called the whole land of Egypt Rameses.

So, the Exodus occurred in 1441 B.C. and Israel was in Egypt for 210 years, bringing us to 1651 B.C. when Jacob enters. Add 9 years (seven good years and 2 years into the famine) and you have 1660 B.C. when Joseph begins to reign. Add 13 years (Joseph was 17 when sold into Egypt and 30 when he began to reign) and you have 1673 B.C. when Joseph was sold.

Scholars have been looking in the wrong century and in the wrong place for a Jewish presence in Egypt. As a result, we need to be looking in Egypt around 1786 B.C. to 1552 B.C., in Middle Egypt, not Lower Egypt. We need to look at the Faiyum.

In the Faiyum there is a canal connecting a lake with the Nile River. This canal is man-made and nit is called the “Bahr Yusuf” or the “River of Joseph.” You can go to the internet and see pictures of this canal. There is a place called “El-lisht” and it was the capital of the Pharaoh at the time. The Faiyum had water for planting, helped by the canal, and it made the area very fertile. It had two prongs and it was made during the reign of a Pharaoh named Amenemhat III.

In the area of the Faiyum there is a lake that occupied one-fifth more area than it does now. It has “shrunk” since the lake was drained. As a result, it left behind “good soil.” Joseph reaps the harvest for seven years from this area and this shows the wisdom of God. The canal also had “locks” so water could be controlled going in and going out of the lake.

A huge warehouse system was also found. This “warehouse” had 3000 rooms in it and it was called “The Maze.” It was built around 1750 B.C. This is evidence of Joseph in the Faiyum because the archaeologists have been looking for evidence in the wrong places and at the wrong dates.

Now, the Bahr Yusuf, or the River of Joseph, had two prongs to it, as we have said. The lake could be drained, leaving behind good soil for planting, and this soil was used during the seven good years before the famine. The grain was floated down the canal to the granaries next to the Nile we have just discussed. A city called Harawa is located on the River of Joseph. It is here that this huge granary was located with the 3000 rooms. The historian Herodotus wrote about the granary and said, “its greatness surpasses even the temples.” Now, this area was called “Succos” in Greek, and if we recall at the time of the Exodus, they had to go to Sukkot (Succos) to retrieve the bones of Joseph (Exo 13.19-20).

This evidence seems to point to this area as the place where Joseph was, and where Jacob came when he came into the Egypt two years into the famine. We have the River of Joseph, the Faiyum called “Succos”, a lake that was used for planting extra crops and a huge granary found where grain was stored and could be sold during the famine. From this spot, the grain could be shipped up and down the Nile for distribution during the famine.

Egyptian history is divided into three parts. We have the Old Kingdom, famous for the pyramids used for burials. Then we have the Middle Kingdom when they didn’t build pyramids for burial, they built mortuary temples for that purpose. Then we have the New Kingdom when pyramids are again used in burials. During the Middle Kingdom, the sarcophagus was placed inside a temple for all to see. During the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom, how could you know if the sarcophagus was inside a pyramid because it was placed very deep inside? Joseph came into the land during the Middle Kingdom. Israel will leave Egypt and the New Kingdom began.

There was an ancient people called the Hyksos. They were a semitic people and the name means “foreign rulers.” They came into the land about the time of Joseph’s death and were expelled from Egypt about 1550 B.C. There are others who believe that the Hyksos were the Amalekites who invaded Egypt shortly after the Exodus, taking advantage of the massive chaos there. These invading Amalekites (Hyksos/foreign rulers) may have crossed paths with the departing Israelites after Israel camped at Rephidim (Exo 17). The city of Avaris was the Hyksos center. They have also found a place called “Tel Ha Yehudim” or the “Mound of the Jews” just north of the Faiyum. There was a camp located there that was rectangular (515 meters by 490 meters). It is not an Egyptian fort.

Let’s get back to the Exodus. We have seen that there is evidence of a Jewish presence in Egypt before the Exodus. They were asking Pharaoh to let them go into the wilderness for three days, not to be totally set free as you see in the movies. It was just for three days. That is what the Lord told Moses to say to Pharaoh, but Pharaoh refuses, which brings us up to the final plague, the killing of the first born.

Pharaoh killed God’s first born (Exo 4.12-13), now Egypt will lose theirs. The Passover is instituted and we all know what happened. Pharaoh relents, and Egypt is devastated. In Deut 16.1 it says they departed at night on the 15th of Nisan. They go to Succos (Sukkot) to retrieve the bones of Joseph and in Exo 13.17 it says that God did not lead them by the way of the Philistines. They left Goshen and Middle Egypt across east to the sea. Remember, Pharaoh is only letting them go for three days (we will get into that detail later).

The tomb of Joseph was in a mortuary temple which allowed people to see where his sarcophagus was and to take it. It was not buried deep within a pyramid. We know this because it was the Middle Kingdom and you knew that the sarcophagus was gone because it was in a mortuary temple. Joseph’s remains were placed in a stone “ark” (Gen 50.26). If you were going to “steal” something from the burial spot, you would not take the whole stone box. However, Moses did when they took the remains of Joseph, and that is why Pharaoh thought they were fleeing the land. Spiritually, how does the enemy know we are going to the “promised land?” ANother tomb of Joseph is empty. There is a midrash that said there was a sign in the tomb of Joseph that said, “When you see that this tomb is empty, then know we have gone to the promise land.” Yeshua left a sign, too. It was the “sign of Jonah.”

Let’s look at the location of Sukkot in Exo 13.20. We know that Goshen and Rameses are synonymous terms. There was a city in Goshen called Rameses. Amenemhat III was probably the Pharaoh of Joseph. The Faiyum was a fertile area called “Succos” in Greek and it had a lake that was used by Joseph during the seven good years to grow food. The River of Joseph is the name of the canal from the lake to the Nile River. This lake could be drained and used for planting. These canals could also be used for irrigation.

Joseph can float the grain down the canals to Harawa and the huge granaries there. The word “Harawa” means “fellowship” and it is similar to the Hebrew “Chavurah” which also means “fellowship.” We have said that the historian Herodotus (500 B.C.) said the granaries, also called the “Maze” and the “Labyrinth” surpassed the pyramids. It had 12 roofed courts and 3000 rooms, courts and columns. We believe that the Faiyum is “Succos” and “Sukkot.” Israel will journey from Sukkot and will camp at Etham (Exo 13.20).

In Part 70, we will pick up in Exo 13.19 with the phrase “and take care of you” and develop out the concept alluded to in that phrase and how it relates to the First (Egyptian) and Second (Messianic) Redemption. Then we will continue with the Exodus.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 68

In Exo 12 we have the Religious Calendar being instituted. The Civil calendar has been in operation up to this point. The Months of the Civil Calendar start off with Tishri, then Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar, Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av and Elul. The Religious Calendar starts off with Nisan, then Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishri, Chesvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar. All of the dates from Gen 1 to Exo 12 in the Bible are according to the Civil Calendar. All the dates from Exo 12 and afterward are according to the Religious Calendar. Both will be in operation as seen in Exo 23.16, 34.22; Deut 14.28, 31.10; Joel 2.23.

We are not going to get into the plagues too much right now, but we are going to look at what happens up to the crossing of the Red Sea briefly. We will deal with these plagues again later in this teaching where we will get into the heart of what was going on. But, for now, we are giving a basic overview of Exodus. We must always keep in mind that it is God who decides how he is to be worshiped, not us. He is communicating things to us by what he tells us. These concepts will relate to Prophecy and the Redemption.

In Exo 12.32, Pharaoh tells the people to “Go” but the word can mean “Come.” This tells us that it really wasn’t Pharaoh who did it, it was God who brought the people to himself, as in “come to me” (Matt 11.28). In Exo 13 we have the consecration of the Bechor (First Born). We have touched on this concept earlier but this teaches that when one has a child, it appears to happen “naturally” but it is not so simple. It requires miraculous intervention by God. Having a child is not simple, it is a miracle.

Exo 13.13 tells us that we have the case of a donkey. It is the only animal with first born status that could not be offered. It lost its potential if it wasn’t redeemed by a lamb. It could not benefit anyone unless redeemed. This is alluding to us, in our unconverted state. We must be redeemed with a lamb, too, or we are no benefit to anyone. So, let’s look at Exo 13 through 16 briefly (more detail later).

So, the judgments and plagues have fallen and Pharaoh sends the people out. We have three groups departing called Israel, Judah and the Erev Rav (mixed multitude). The Erev Rav were non-Jews who followed the God of Israel, although some may have wanted out of Egypt anyway or were spies sent in by Pharaoh. These three groups are seen again in the Second Redemption coming back into the land (Isa 11.11-12). Moses goes to the Faiyum for the bones of Joseph, while the others gathered gold, silver and clothing from their Egyptian neighbors. So, let’s take a look at the route of Israel to Mount Sinai, and also take a look at some of the myths and false teaching surrounding this event, and where was Joseph in reality, and where did Moses go after he retrieved his bones.

There are three mountains of God in the Scriptures. There is Mount Sinai, Mount Tzion and Mount Moriah. Most people are familiar with Mount Sinai and that is the one we want to look at because Moses was to bring all of Israel there. Its location will also relate to the Second Coming of Yeshua. There have been many books written in the last few years about how they think they have found the “real” Mount Sinai. One book is called “The Gold of Exodus” by Howard Blum, and people are using what is presented in that book as accurate information, but is it?

The route of the Exodus in the book takes Israel from the delta area, which he calls “Goshen” to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. He then says they crossed the Red Sea at the southern tip of the peninsula, crossed the Gulf of Aqaba and then went over to Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia. The author says they found several things relating to the Exodus, but are they correct? What we will find in this study are things relating to the coming of Messiah, the False Messiah, and things related to the Redemption. But, we will also see a horror story.

Some say the Exodus never happened, and we will touch on what they say. What we are going to see in subsequent teachings is what really happened in Egypt. Most of what is in the books about the Exodus written lately is not evidence, so their conclusions will have to be proven at another time. We are going to look at the general areas where these events took place. We will see where Joseph lived and ruled, a canal be built during the famine, the true Exodus route, a good possibility for Mount Sinai in Arabia, where Kadesh Barnea was, where Miriam and Aaron are buried and much more. You will see on any map that the Red Sea goes into two prongs around the Sinai Peninsula, and you will see Upper and Lower Egypt. The area called the Faiyum was where Joseph was, where Goshen was and is where Jacob lived.

There have been many questions raised by scholars. Some say the Exodus never happened. They say there is no evidence of a Jewish presence at all, anywhere. They say they have found Kadesh Barnea where the ten scouts were sent out, and where Israel lived for 38 years. The majority of Israel died there, yet they say there are no bones of anyone who died. The problem is they have identified and have been looking in the wrong place. They refuse to believe what the Torah has said, and it has led these “scholars” into blindness. In this study, we will show where the true Kadesh Barnea was located.

We know that Israel was in Egypt around 210 years. We have shown that earlier in this teaching. An estimated two million people came out of Egypt, with six hundred thousand in the army alone. Where is the evidence they were in Egypt? There are no buildings, no graves. Scholars teach the traditional route of the Exodus, and there are many sources that show this route. However, not much evidence has been found there, either. All of this happened around 1250-1200 B.C. David reigned around 1000 B.C., so where is the evidence for that? So, they conclude David is a myth. But, what do the Scriptures say?

Looking at Gen 15, we have what is called the “The Covenant Between the Parts (or halves).” In Gal 3.13 it says it was 430 years later that we have the giving of the Torah. We have broken down this timeline in previous studies and we have seen that Israel was in Egypt for about 210 years. Now, let’s deal with the question, “Where was Joseph?”

Israel was enslaved for about 80 years, so where is the evidence of Joseph in Egypt, and his people? He was 17 years old when he was sold, and 30 when he became ruler. There were seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Jacob and the family arrive in the second year of the famine (Gen 45.11). Jacob is 130 when he arrives (Gen 47.9). There is a place called “El-Lisht” and that is where Joseph was, and where Jacob came. There is a lake nearby and this area is called “Goshen” by Joseph, meaning “near.” Did Joseph name it or was it already called that? The word “Goshen” is close to the first words Joseph said in Gen 45.4 when he said “Geshu Na” (draw near).

Egypt is called “Rameses” at this point (Gen 47.11) and Goshen is called “Rameses” in Josephus and the Septuagint (see “Biblical Repository and Classical Review, Vol 2” by James Manning Sherwood, John Holmes Agnew, Walter Hilliard Bidwell; p. 746). As we have said, there were 210 years between the arrival of Jacob into the land and the Exodus.

Who was the Pharaoh of Joseph? We believe it was Amenemhat III. Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus? Tradition says it was Rameses in 1200 B.C., so Jacob came in 1410 B.C. However, the land was already being called Rameses and in Exo 1.11 says Israel built two cities called Pithom and Rameses. Rameses means “Ra (the sun god) meses (created him/delivered him).” Another way of saying “Meses” is “Moses.” This name was very poular in the Egyptian royal names (Ahmoses, Kamoses Thutmoses I, II, III, Kamoses, Dudimoses I, II, etc) and it is no wonder that Moses had that name. It is the same name. This name was used before the Pharaoh by that name ruled. So, the Exodus did not have to occur in 1200 B.C. There is a “stela” called “The Stela of Mernephtah.” This stela says Rameses conquered Israel, and he may be Rameses II by historians. How could he be the Pharaoh of the Exodus? There is a book called “Pharaohs and Kings” by David Rohl and he believes the Pharaoh of the Exodus was Dudimoses II.

In Part 69 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 67

In Exo 4.10-17, God answers another question. Moses says he is not “eloquent” when he is asked by God to go to the Hebrews and speak with them. We know from Acts 7.22 that he was a man powerful in words and deeds, so what does he mean? He is saying that he didn’t know the people and he didn’t know Hebrew, or the customs very well. He was not an “insider” when it came to speaking Hebrew. He was raised Egyptian. The Lord tells Moses that it will not be an issue, but Moses wants the Lord to send someone else. This is a clear case of Moses saying, “Here I am Lord, send Aaron.”

The Lord tells him that his brother Aaron speaks Hebrew fluently (4.14) and to tell him what to say to the people, so Moses departs. This language issue will only be for a short time. We will see later where Moses speaks to the people just fine, they just didn’t like what he had to say. In Exo 5.1-23 we learn about the first encounter with Pharaoh. Later in this teaching we will look at these encounters and plagues at a deeper level, so we are not going to deal with them right now, just a brief overview.

What was the purpose for the Exodus? It was for all to know the Lord, and this means Israel, Egypt, the nations and for all generations after that. This is why the Lord does anything. Moses was considered the greatest prophet next to the Messiah (Deut 18.15-22). We learn in Exo 6.9 that the people did not listen to Moses because they were despondent, or “broken in spirit” (Hebrew “kotzer ruach”). Slavery always devalues people and makes a person feel less than their “taskmasters.” Eventually we give up and quit trying. Israel was broken and so they were “comfortable.” God will deliver them from Egypt, but they were also victims of “gradualism.”

The core issue here is God isn’t trying to conquer Egypt, he already owned Egypt and could do that in a split second. It is the Egyptians who were in conflict with him as their creator God. This will be a core issue in the Birth-pains also. The Egyptians don’t know him and they followed many gods. It was monotheism versus polytheism, and it is the same today. Polytheism believes in many “gods” who have “competing” powers, and they are fickle. They can be “bribed” by offerings to get them to do what you want, if they want to. Biblical Monotheism is Yehovah who has all power, its just that simple. When the Birth-pains arrive, one of the centers of controversy will be the Temple and the Altar. We believe that the altar will go up first, based on Ezra 3.1-6. There we see an altar was put up for the korbanot before the Temple was built.

Most in Christianity will think that this altar will be an affront to the Messiah as “the final sacrifice.” What they don’t realize is believers in the first century offered animal sacrifices 28 years after Yeshua and after the book of Galatians was written (Acts 21.15-26, 24.17) and they will be offered again when Yeshua returns and Ezekiel’s Temple is built (Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48; Zech 14.16-19; Isa 66.23-24). The altar will do the same thing it always has done, going back to Genesis. The altar isn’t about salvation, it is about doing business with God. It is about the Lord who is over the whole earth that must be respected.

Moses was to go three days into the wilderness with the people to worship the Lord and to give korbanot (offerings). When you want to worship this God, or do business with this God, you must come to this altar. Jerusalem and the Temple is where he chose to put his name, it is where man can do business with the Lord. If you wanted to thank God, remember a covenant, deal with sin and so on, you set up an altar. Adam, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew that. It has always been about an altar.

Even in churches, when a preacher wants the people to get down to business with God, they are to come forward to an altar, or to the front where an altar would have been in the “old days.” It is the place where they recognize that God is God, and he rules. God told Israel that they should put put up an altar, a real stone altar. Most people don’t believe in that kind of thing anymore, it is not in their replacement theology. People do this in their heart, and even have an “altar” in their churches, why can’t Israel put up a real altar, according to how God sad to do it. We have seen altars of stone made out of blocks from Home depot on TV, and those altar are an abomination to the Lord. Those are man-made concrete blocks, not uncut stone.

He is God and we are men. By first recognizing he is God, he will be merciful to us in light of the same covenants he has made with our fathers. Moses needed to go out into the wilderness rather than stay in the land to worship (Exo 8.25-26). He told Pharaoh that the things he held as sacred (sheep, cattle) are the things they will slaughter when they worship God. Moses said they would offend the Egyptians if they saw them slit the throat, flay it and and lay it on an altar. Moses said that is why we need to go “out.” The only people who get offended at God’s altar are “Egyptians” and “unbelievers.” People speak against the Temple and the Altar and that is not a good attitude to have.

God’s purpose in the Exodus is to reveal himself, not only to Israel, but to the world. He wants the people to know who he is as deliverer, redeemer and savior. What the Lord did in Egypt will be nothing compared to what he is going to do in the Birth-pains. Mankind has never seen what is going to happen by the hands of this deliverer, redeemer and savior. There will be ten judgments in the Egyptian Redemption, but during the Birth-pains there will be vials, trumpets, seals, thunders and more. Slavery doesn’t happen all at once, neither did the Holocaust. It took years.

In the first five plagues it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exo 7.22-23, 8.1, 8.15, 8.28, 9.7). The next five a subtle shift occurs. The Lord “hardens” his heart (Exo 9.12, 9.27, 34-35, 10.1, 10.20, 10.27, 14.4-5). Pharaoh hardens his heart and lost his ability to see clearly. This is part of his punishment, his loss. He lost the ability to repent. He is not going to recognize this God of the Hebrews, a people he was abusing. He was not like the Pharaoh of Joseph. Te Pharaoh of Moses really believed he was a god and that limited his choices. To do what Yehovah told him to do would mean he was not a powerful god, as most thought he was, and it would have been very humbling for him to admit that. We are going to look at this in detail later.

In Exo 10 through 13, we will see that there are two realities. We have God’s reality and then we will have Pharaoh’s reality. Egypt lived in a delusion and God was going to impose his reality on Pharaoh and Egypt. God’s reality is how he thinks of history and its players. Society will crumble and this will turn the tables on Egypt. We don’t know how to handle absolute righteousness. These chapters (10-13) reveal the Lord in ways that are hard for us to understand. God isn’t far but he is just.

There is a story about Pharaoh. When he died, God put him at the door to Sheol, the abode of the dead. Every evil ruler who came through that door was confronted by him and heard him say, “Didn’t you learn anything from me?” This goes the same for every person who goes to Sheol. When they arrive at the door, Pharaoh also says, “Didn’t you learn anything from me?” We should not harden our hearts against the Lord. Pharaoh is our example, and we need to learn from his example.

In Rom 9.18 we have three words for harden. “Kashah” means “stubborn” (Exo 7.3, 13.15). The second word is “Kaved” meaning “heavy” (Exo 8.15, 32, 9.34, 10.1). This word is related to the word “kivod” meaning “radiance and glory.” The third word is “Chazak” and it means “to strengthen or encourage” (Exo 4.21, 7.13, 8.17, 9.12, 10.20, 27, 11.10).

In Part 68, we will pick up in Exo 12 and talk about the institution of the Religious Calendar.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 66

In Exo 3.16 it says in the NASB, “I am indeed concerned about you.” In the KJV it says, “indeed I have surely visited you.” In Hebrew it is “pakod pakodti” or “visit, visit.” This alludes to seevral visitations. This phrase is used two times, in Gen 50.24 when Joseph predicts these visitations, and Exo 3.19, and it is talking about the First and Second Redemption. It alludes not only to the Exodus, but also to the Messiah in Luke 1.68 and Luke 19.44, and the Second Redemption. Moses cannot explain the essence of God, he can only repeat what God said to him. Only Yeshua can take us beyond those barriers.

Heb 8.6 says there is one mediator between God and man. The Gospels and Epistles teach us about the work of the Messiah. It brings us into that essence so that we may know the Lord (Jer 9.23; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4). Yeshua said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14.9). If we want to know the deep things of God, we need to start with Moses and believe him. The fullness will be in Yeshua, and John 5.39-47 says if you start at the burning bush with Moses, you will end up with Yeshua.

How do you say the name of God (YHVH) used in Exo 3.15? Some Jews say “Hashem” (the Name) and others say “Adonai” while and others say it is “Yahweh.” We know that God’s name has a kedusha on it, and according to over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts where the name has now been found written out with full vowel markings, it is pronounced “Yehovah.” If God has told you otherwise, who are we to correct you, but according to all the available data and manuscripts it is written Yehovah, with full vowel markings, but we will go by the available knowledge and information that we have received in our studies and use Yehovah.

We learn from Exo 3.18 that Moses was to tell Pharaoh to let the people go for three days into the wilderness so they can worship Yehovah. Yehovah tells Moses what is going to happen. After much distress, they will be allowed to go and Israel will have favor in the sight of the Egyptians. They will not leave empty handed because they will ask the Egyptians for silver, gold and clothing and it will be given to them.

Then we come to an interesting phrase in Exo 3.22, where it says in English they will “plunder the Egyptians.” The word for “plunder” is “natzaltem” and the root is “natzal” and it means “to save or deliver.” But, how can they “save or deliver” the Egyptians by asking them for silver, gold and clothing? A good explanation for this phrase can be found in the book “The Pentateuch and Haftorahs” by Joseph Hertz.

In his commentary on p 217-218 it says, “Ye shall spoil the Egyptians. This rendering should be replaced by ‘ye shall save the Egyptians (B. Jacob)’ ‘Spoil the Egyptians’ (or strip Egypt) is an incorrect, nay impossible, rendering of the Hebrew text. The root ‘natzal’, which is here translated ‘spoil’ or ‘strip’ occurs 212 times in Scripture.; and in 210 instances its meaning is admitted by all to be, to snatch (from danger), to rescue (from a wild beast), to recover (property), also to plunder (booty). Its direct object is never the person or thing from whom the saving or the rescuing or the snatching has taken place, but always the person or thing rescued. The usual translation, both here and in 12.36, ‘ye shall spoil the Egyptians’ is therefore, unwarranted, for two reasons. It takes the persons from whom things are snatched as the direct object; and furthermore, it necessitates an entire reversal of the meaning of ‘natzal’ from save to despoil!

“There is no justification for departing, in this verse, or in 12.36, from the rendering which is absolutely unchallenged in 210 other places where it occurs. The words ‘v’natzaltem et Mizraim’ can only be translated, ‘and ye shall save the Egyptians’ i.e. clear the name, and vindicate the humanity of the Egyptians. Bitter memories and associations would have clung to the word ‘Egyptians’ in the mind of the Israelites, as the hereditary enslavers and oppressors of Israel. A friendly parting, and generous gifts, however, would banish that feeling. The Israelites would come to see that the oppressors were Pharaoh and his courtiers, not the Egyptian people. They would be enabled thereby to carry out the command to be given to them forty years later, ‘Thou shalt not abhor the Egyptian’ (Deut 23.8). It is for such reasons that the Isrealites are bidden to ask their neighbors for these gifts, in order to ensure such a parting in friendship and goodwill, with its consequent clearing of the name, and vindication of the honour, of the Egyptian people (B. Jacob).”

“Verses 21 and 22 lend a poetic and unforgettable touch of beauty to the going out of Egypt; and yet these verses, as few others, have been misunderstood and looked upon as a blot on the moral teaching of Scripture. The Talmud records a formal claim for indemnity put forward by the Egyptians before Alexander the Great for the vessels of gold and silver which the Israelites had taken with them at the Exodus! The Jewish spokesman, however, had little difficulty in proving to Alexander that, if any indemnity was to be paid, it was the Egyptians who were the debtors, seeing that they had enslaved and exploited the Israelites for many centuries without any pay for their labours.”

“In modern times, enemies of the Bible vie with one another in finding terms strong enough in which to condemn the ‘deceit’ practiced on the Egyptians. Apologists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, usually reply that this silver and gold was in exchange for the property the Israelites left behind them (Malbim); or they repeat the reply of the Alexandrian Jews: ‘Through God’s providence, the Israelites were enriched at the expense of their oppressors, and gained as it were a prize of victory in compensation for their long oppression’ (Dillman). Far better than any of these current explanations is that given by Rabbiner Dr. B. Jacob, which we have adopted. Thus, the phrase spoiling the Egyptians, which has become a proverbial expression, is, like the phrase ‘brand of Cain’ (Genesis, p. 15), due to a complete misunderstanding of the text.”

In Exo 4.1-9 we have two signs that God will give Moses in case the people don’t believe that God had sent him to lead them out of Egypt. That Lord says, “What is that in your hand?” Moses says, “A rod.” The Lord tells him to throw it down, and it becomes a serpent. Moses jumps back, and the Lord tells him to pick up the serpent “by its tail.” Now, you don’t pick up a serpent “by its tail.” That is serpent knowledge 101. You pick up a serpent by the head. But he believed the word of God and acted in faith, then it became a rod or staff again.

Then he tells Moses to put his hand in his bosom. When Moses pulled it out it had become leprous. Then the Lord tells him to do it again, and Moses put it into his bosom and pulled it out, and the hand was restored. What is the message of the two signs?

The Messiah was seen as “serpent on a pole” and cursed. We see a picture this in Num 21.6-9 and in John 3.14. When the people were bitten by the serpents in the wilderness, God told Moses to make “saraph” and put it on a pole. The word “saraph” is translated in English as “fiery” and a saraph means “a burning one.” It is a type of angel (Seraphim) seen in Isa 6.2.

So Moses makes a “nachash” (serpent) and puts it on a pole. When the people were bitten by a serpent and needed healing, they were to “look” at the serpent on a pole. Now, what the people saw was a serpent on a pole, a “nachash” but God saw a “saraph” or a “burning one.” Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (John 3.14), so shall the son of man (Messiah) be lifted up. When Yeshua was crucified, the people saw one who was cursed and hanging on a tree, but God saw his son, the Messiah, the angel or “shaliach” that he had sent to them for healing. Yeshua was telling Nicodemus in John 3 about being being again. He tells Nicodemus in 3.14 that in order for that to happen, Nicodemus must “Look to me when I am crucified.” What we need is faith to take the serpent by its tail. God knew it didn’t make any sense in the natural, but if they did it they would live. The message of the second sign is “that which was clean became unclean, and that which was unclean became clean.” That is the work and the message of the Messiah.

God’s name has a “yod” a “hey” and a “vav” in it. The ancient symbol for a yod was written like an arm or hand, the hey was arms extended and the vav like a nail, or a staff. The meaning is clear. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt will not be be the hand, arm or staff of Moses, but by the hand of God, using Moses as a shepherd.

In Part 67 we will pick up in Exo 4.10-17.

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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.”

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 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