Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 39

The phrase in Exo 30.16, “that it may be a memorial” is discussed in the “Pentateuch and Haftorahs” by Rabbi Joseph Hertz, p. 353, where it says it was a memorial “that the Lord would remember the children of Israel in grace and grant them atonement for the blood shed in battle. In later ages, the half-shekel became an annual tax devoted to maintaining the public services of the Temple; daily worship was thus carried on by the entire people and not by the gifts of a few donors. The fact the rich were not to give more, nor the poor less than a half-shekel taught that, ‘weighed in the balance of the Sanctuary’ (which is the literal meaning of ‘b’shekel ha kodesh’), differences of rank and wealth do not exist. The fact, furthermore, that only a half-shekel was to be paid, taught that an individual’s contribution to the community was but a fragment. For any complete work to be achieved on behalf of the Sanctuary, the efforts of all, high and low, rich or poor alike, are required.”

“The Jews outside Palestine were throughout the ancient world, as zealous in their contributions of this Temple tax as the inhabitants of Judea. Antisemites, in consequence, even raised the cry that the Jews were sending too much money out of the country. One of the Roman provincial governors, who seized these offerings, was defended by Cicero in an anti-Jewish speech. After the destruction of the Temple, the Jews of the empire were compelled to pay this contribution to the Temple of Jupiter in Rome. When this iniquitous tax was eventually abolished, the contribution from the Jews in the diaspora was used for the support of the rabbinical academies in Palestine.”

“At the present day, the memory of the half-shekel is still kept alive by the reading of Exodus 10.11-16 on the Sabbath before the month of Adar, with a special haftorah, Shekelim; and by donating half the value of a current silver coin to some worthy charitable cause on Purim. With the rise of the Jewish Nationalist Movement, the payment of the shekel of an amount roughly equivalent to it in some modern currency, was revived as a token of sympathy with the aims of the movement.”

The word “memorial” is the word “zikoron” and this word is important in Hebrew. We have a festival called “Yom Ha Zikaron” or Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shannah). We have a book that is mentioned in Mal 3.16 called “the Book of Remembrance (Sefer Ha Zikaron). It was written before the Lord “for those who fear the Lord and who esteem his name.” This is one of the books that are opened on Yom Teruah (Dan 7.10). Saying “memorial” in English does not have the same impact as “zikaron” in Hebrew. In Exo 17.14 it says, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” It carries the idea of not only something you are to remember, but it also means you are to remember “continually.”

Exo 30.17-21 talks about the Kior, or the bronze laver. The kior is a vast subject and very interesting, but we can only touch on a few things right now. The idea was, until recently, that in the Temple the Kior was to the left of the door leading into the Ulam (porch) of the Sanctuary. The water was emptied out of the Kior at night because leaving water in a brass container made it impure. Then it was lowered into a cistern overnight, and filled up every morning. Supposedly, a machine was made called the “Muchni.” It was developed by a man named Ben Kattin, who was a high priest. Ben Kattin added ten spigots to it, for a total of twelve. There are writings about this. We are going to read about the kior here and look at several issues.

In Exo 30.18, it says the kior is to be placed “between the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed) and the altar.” Now, reading that, it seems like the kior should be placed between the Mishkan and the altar (east and west). The Temple Institute has a picture of it there, as does most pictures of the Mishkan we will see by many artists. They were to put water in it because “Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water that they may not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the Lord. SO they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they may not die and it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations” (Exo 30.19-21).

If they did not wash their hands and feet with water, the penalty was death. The word for wash is “rachatz” and that is not a full immersion of the body here. That would be “taval” where we get the word “tevilah” from. You cannot “approach” the Ohel Moed without washing the hands and the feet first. This is also true of the altar. So, here is a question. What does it mean “to approach?” Does it mean stepping into a room, or getting close to it? If so, how close? We need to have this defined because their life depended on it. We need to know the boundaries so we need to go to the Mishnah.

In Kelim 1.6-9 it says there are levels of kedusha. The Mishnah is not making these up, it is telling us what they were. Most people have an incorrect concept of kedusha (holiness). The Temple is called the “Beit Ha Mikdash” or House of Kedusha. The previously mentioned book will help develop this concept correctly, but we will need to start over in our understanding if we want to understand the Mishkan and the Temple. The levels of kedusha are: the land of Israel, the walled cities at the time of Joshua, within the walls of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, the Chel, Court of the Women, Court of Israel, Court of the Priests, between the porch and the altar, the Heichal and the Holy of Holies.

Between the tent of meeting (ohel moed) and the altar is between the eastern side of the Mishkan and the eastern side of the altar. In the Temple, it was between the western wall of the Ulam (porch) and the eastern side of the altar. This area in the Temple was 77 cubits, or 147.8 feet wide. Priests went to the kior that was located in building in the southeast corner of the Azarah called Beit Avtinas. This building opened up to the Azarah and it was between the porch and the altar. None who had a blemish or “wild hair” (priests were to have short hair) may enter there (between the porch and the altar).

There are five things where the space between the porch and the altar would be equal to the Heichal because none may enter there that has a blemish, wild hair (long, uncut), has drunk wine, or has crushed hands and feet. Men must keep far from between the porch and the altar at the time of the burning of incense. The kior, according to our passage, must be between the porch and the tent of meeting and the altar. You cannot approach this area unless you washed your hands and feet.

In the Tosefta (additions to the Mishnah), Kelim 1.6, it says that those whose hands and feet are not washed cannot enter the area between the porch and the altar (R. Meir). The Sages say they do not enter. When it says, the Sages say” that means it was a ruling of the Sanhedrin. R. Shimon the Modest said before R. Eleazar that he entered the area between the porch and the altar without having washed his hands and feet. R. Eleazar said “who is more beloved, you or the high priest? Shimon was silent. He said that “you are ashamed that even the dog of the high priest is more beloved than you.” Shimon said “You have said it.” He said that even the high priest, who without washing hands and feet, enters the area without washing hands and feet, enters the area between the porch and the altar, they break his hands with clubs. He then asks what Shimon is going to do that the guards not find him. Anyway, this was a serious offense if one was ever negligent.

In Part 40, we will pick up here and pick up some additional information about the Kior from the Mishnah, Middot 3.6, where it says that “the kior stood between the porch and the altar, towards the south.” We will develop this statement then.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 38

Everything in the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was gold. Everything outside was bronze, like the Bronze Altar in the courtyard, or Azarah. The ALtar of Incense will have similarities with some of the other items that were built for the Mishkan. It was made of Shittim wood (Acacia) and covered with gold. It was square and had four horns on the corners. We will have more on the shittim wood later. Notice that this altar was square, but why would that be important? There are Torah teachers who say that the Mishkan was circular (Breaking Israel News article called “Biblical Tabernacle is Nothing Like What You Think, Says Bible-Savvy Engineer” and available on the Internet). This is not true. The Mishkan was not circular. There are “corners” and the actual dimensions are given in the Scriptures. This teaching cannot possibly be true, but it is accepted. Why?

Antisemitism is rising in this country. Even in Bible teaching you will hear “The Jews are wrong” and is a Replacement Theology and antisemitism. There is another teaching that says the Temple was not on the Temple Mount, but near the Gihon Spring. That is impossible according to the archaeology, but it is taught and accepted by many. The bottom line of all this is if the Jews are wrong, then we must replace their error with something else, resulting in Replacement Theology.

This altar was overlaid with gold, as we have said, and its horns (power of God) were at the corners. There was a gold crown or molding around the top. It had two rings on two sides so that the poles to carry it could go through them. These poles were also made of shittim wood and covered with gold. It was applied like paint. This altar was put in front of the paroket (veil) in the Mishkan that was nearest to the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the kipporet (mercy seat) where God spoke (the Devir).

In 1 Cor 11.1-3 we have an example of order. We have God, Messiah, Man and Woman. This order does not mean man is above woman in the Kingdom of God, but it deals with roles and hierarchy. When we think of the Ark of the Covenant, we think of the Ark as the Ark. In Exo 30.6 we see something different. It says, “And you shall put the altar before the paroket that is before the Ark of the Testimonial Tablets (Aron ha Edut), in front of the kipporet (mercy seat) that is over the testimonial tablets, where I will meet with you.” This is saying that what makes the Ark important is the tablets (luchot), the two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments. But it is giving special significance to the kipporet, which is translated as “mercy seat” in English and that is a terrible translation. What is even more significant than the kipporet, is where God meets “with you.” The actual point of meeting in the Mishkan with the Lord himself.

Now, we have read that there is an atonement that is received by certain items, vessels and garments. We have all heard of Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. What needs to be conveyed is this. Our concept of atonement is greatly lacking. What we don’t understand about atonement is a lot. Our definition falls far short. There is more to it than what we see. Where is this brought out? In the Mishkan/Temple and its ceremonies.

Verse 6 brings out an order, culminating in a place where God himself will speak with you. 1 Kings 8.6 says, “Then the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place into the inner sanctuary (called the Devir) in the house, to the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim.” Solomon made these cherubim out of shittim wood, covered with gold, and were around 20 feet high, and the wing of one touched the north side wall of the most holy place, and the wing of the other touched the southern wall. Then, the two remaining wings were stretched over the Ark (1 Kings 6.26-28; 1 Chr 3.10-13). This is in the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies), also called the “Devir” in Hebrew which is a word related to “Davar” meaning “oracle or speaking.”

Any priest can burn the fragrant incense on the altar of incense, and he shall burn it every morning during the Shacharit service, when he trims the lamps of the Menorah. When he trims the lamps at “twilight” (bein ha eruvim), he shall burn incense again. There was to be incense before the Lord continually, so that is why it was done during the Tamid service twice daily. They were not to offer strange incenses on this altar, or an olah, or a minchah, or at a time not appointed by the Lord, and not two or more at a time. They were not to pour out a libation on it. These are some of the restrictions for this altar. Atonement is made on its horns on Yom Kippur, with the blood of the sin offering (blood of a bull and and goat-Lev 16.18).

Exo 30.11-16 tells us about the Law of the Shekel. Whenever a census of warriors was done, every adult Israelite was to pay a half-shekel, called the “Hotzi Shekel.” It was a ransom (“kapper”) for his soul as a potential life-taker, though not a deliberate murderer. This is done so that there be no plague among them. The word for plague there is “negef” and it has the same root as the Hebrew for “slaughter in battle.” Again, the word ransom is “kapper” (atonement, like “kippur”) and there is much more to this word than we realize.

The “soul” in Exo 30.11-15 is the word “nafshu” and it is related to the word “nefesh.” We are talking about an individual life, and blood sustains life. The life of the flesh is in the blood because it sustains life. The ruach is the spirit of man, and neshemah is the “God consciousness” that we have when born again. Everyone that passes before the officers mustering the forces to battle shall give a “hotzi shekel”, the full weight used in conjunction with the holy things. It is a “terumah” or contribution to the Lord. The same phrase is used in Num 31.52. A terumah is freely given, not a “i have to” attitude, so the heart plays a role here.

The rich did not pay more, and the poor did not pay less because all souls are of equal value in the eyes of the Lord. They have the same ransom. Everyone was mustered for war, from 20 years old and over. They all will give the half-shekel. The money raised was then taken and given for the service of the Sanctuary, “that it may be a memorial” for the sons of Israel before the Lord (Exo 30.16). The silver was used for the bases of the pillars and for the hooks to keep the borders of the Mishkan together (Exo 38.27).

We will pick here in Part 39, beginning with an explanation of the phrase, “that it may be a memorial” from the book “The Pentateuch and Haftorahs” by Rabbi Joseph Hertz.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 37

We are going to go back to the book “Vayikra” by Mesorah Publications on the Miluim (consecratioon offerings) and pick up a quote, where it says, “The chatat (sin offering) was a young bull. Its blood was applied to the Outer Altar, its emurim (innards) were burned upon it, and the rest of it was burned outside the camp (Exo 29.1, 10-14; Lev 8.1-17). In this last facet it resembled an inner chatat offering (blood offered inside the Mishkan), and it (and Aaron’s chatat on the eighth day) is the only outer offering which is treated so. Its purpose was to purify the Altar and to render it most sacred (Kodshai Kodeshim-Exo 29.36-37; Lev 8.15). The olah (elevation offering) was a ram which was offered in the conventional way (Exo 29.15-18; Lev 8.18-21). The last offering in this group was the shelamim (peace offering-Exo 29.27; Lev 8.22). Its blood service was similar to that of a regular shelamim offering, but it had kodshai kodeshim status, and it was therefore eaten exclusively by the Kohanim, in the courtyard of the Mishkan, and for only a day and a night (Exo 29.31-34).”

“In addition to the regular blood applications, its blood was also applied to the right ear, thumb, and big toe of Aaron and each of his sons. The disposition of the offering meat was unique. Its breast and right hind thigh were removed and waved (together with the emurim) as the regular shelamim offerings, but the thigh was burned (and not given to the Kohanim as usual). The breast was given to Moshe to eat (Exo 29.22, 24-26; Lev 8.29); and the rest went to the Kohanim. This offering was accompanied by three types of breads, each consisting of ten loaves: chalot (matzah) loaves; rekikim (wafers); and revuka (scalded loaves). Like the todah and nazir offerings, one loaf of each type was waved together with the emurim and breast and right hind thigh; however, these waved breads were not eaten by the Kohanim, like ordinary breads, but were burned upon the Altar. The rest of the loaves were eaten by Aaron and his sons for up to a day and a night, in the Courtyard of the Mishkan (Exo 29.22-32; Lev 8.26-28).”

“On the eighth day, the day of the inauguration, another complement of offerings were brought. Some were offerings for Aaron and others for the people. Aaron’s offerings were: a male calf as a chatat; its blood was applied to the Outer Altar, its emurim (innards) were burned on the Altar, and the remainder was burned outside of the camp (Lev 9.2, 8-11); a ram for an olah, offered according to the regular olah procedure (Lev 9.12-14). The people’s offerings were: a he-goat for a chatat offering; a male calf and a lamb as an olah offering; a bull and ram for a shelamim offering (Lev 9.2-3, 15-16, 18-21); a minchah offering; its kometz was offered on the Altar and its remainder was eaten by the Kohanim in the Tabernacle Courtyard (Lev 9.4, 17, 10, 12-13).”

The eighth day is after a period of seven days, and this is eschatological. We have Passover and Hag Ha Matzah, and Shemini Atzeret, the concluding eighth day of Sukkot. We also have the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) ceremony which is seven days, and on the eighth day you can participate in the Mishkan/Temple. In Hebrew thought when you have similarities like this it means they are connected. We know about the seven thousand year plan of God, and after that we have the Olam Haba, which is also known as the “eighth day” or new beginning.

So, the miluim offerings are specifically those that were only done one time. These were historic things and it was done at the installation of the kohanim (priests) and the altar. The Torah is giving us the instruction about how to do these offerings (Exo 29). As we get on into the Book of Vayikra (Leviticus) we will see the doing of it. So, we need to keep that in mind and put two and two together because there will be certain pieces of information that are present on one that is not present in the other account. But that is not unusual in Scripture.

Exo 25 through 40 is set up in what is called a Chiastic Structure. The Torah is set up in a chiastic structure, and they can be found all through the Scriptures. It is a Hebrew form of poetry. The classic form is “a, b, c, b, a.” It starts and builds to the center theme, then goes back with variants of the first ones. The Torah and the Psalms are set up this way. When you look at Exo 25 through 31, it then goes to Chapter 32, the Golden Calf incident. We have just gone through the consecration of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood, and Moses goes away and leaves Aaron in charge. What happens? Aaron builds the calf and leads the people into idolatry. They mixed the worship of God with idolatry and this is not a good thing. He was one of the first to repent, along with his family, and this tells us it isn’t what we have done, it’s how we repent before the Lord. Exo 33 through 39 is another chiastic structure, with Exo 40 being when the Mishkan is actually set up and God’s Sh’kinah and Kivod settle upon it, and Moses could not even enter into it.

We are going to pick up now with several different items in Exo 30, like the Altar of Incense, the Hotzi shekel (known later as the Temple tax), the Kior (laver), the Anointing Oil and the Incense. So, let’s begin with the Altar of Incense. In the Stone Edition of the Chumash, p.481-483, it says concerning the Incense Altar, “The last of the Tabernacle’s vessels is the Altar upon which incense was burned, every morning and every evening. It is known as the Mitzbe’ach Ha Kitoret, the Incense Altar, the Mitzbe’ach Ha Zahav, the Golden Altar; and the Mitzbe’ach Ha Panimi, the Inner Altar. The obvious difficulty, which is discussed by many commentators is why this Altar is not mentioned earlier, together with the Menorah and the Table, its neighbors in the Tabernacle. Rambam explains that the Golden Altar’s function was entirely different from that of the Tabernacle as a whole. As stated in the last few verses of the previous chapter, the Tabernacle provided an appropriate setting for God to rest his Presence upon Israel. However, his proximity creates the danger that those who do not honor his Presence are subject to the Attribute of Justice, which would not tolerate their infractions. Such was the case with Nadab and Avihu, who lost their lives when they brought an unbidden, and therefore forbidden, offering (Lev 10.1). Therefore, by means of this Altar and the incense service, God provided a means to shelter the nation from potential danger. When offered in obedience to God’s command, incense has the unique property of being able to quench the fire of Divinely inflicted plague. Consequently, once the agency of bringing his Presence to the nation was provided, God now gave Moses the means of protecting the people.”

“Sforno suggests that the Incense Altar was different from the other parts of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle structure brought God’s glory to the nation (Exo 25.8-9) and the sacrificial offering created the “meeting place” of God and Israel (Exo 29.43). Once the Tabernacle and its service brought his Presence to Israel, the incense was the prescribed means to welcome the King and show him honor. Therefore, because the Incense Altar was necessitated by the successful completion of the entire complex, it is mentioned at the very end.”

This altar was for prayer and it was located before the paroket (veil) that separated the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. As a side note here, the Menorah may have been shaped like this “/\” facing out, not like the menorot that are usually shown. The Scriptures say that the middle lamp, a type of Yeshua, was placed closest to the paroket. This lamp was called the “Ner Elohim” or the light of God. The only way that middle lamp could be the closest to the Holy of Holies is it had to be in this shape “/\” with the “point” closest to the paroket.

The Holy place is called “Ha Kodesh” in Hebrew and it is known as the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting). In the Temple, this room is also called the Heichal. Outside we have the Brazen (bronze) Altar, and animals will be offered there. The altar of incense will never be used that way. However, blood at times was placed on this inner altar. Certain ceremonies are called “outer ceremonies” and others are called “inner ceremonies.” There are korbanot, based on what happens with the blood, that are designated as “inner” and “outer” korbanot.

In Part 38 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 36

We are going to continue discussing the consecration of the priest and also the consecration of the altar (Exo 29.36-46). What is so important in these passages is that we are told that the altar is “Kodesh Ha Kodeshim” (Holy of Holies) in Exo 29.37. The altar had the the same kedusha as the Holy of Holies in the Mishkan and Temple, except that the priest could minister there. Only the high priest could enter the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim in the sanctuary. So, the rules and regulations of the altar are going to be very rigorous.

If you walk into the area that surrounds the altar without washing your hands and your feet at the Kior (laver), there was a death penalty. That is why the Kior was not located in the courts, as seen in most pictures of the Mishkan and Temple. It was in the southeast corner, in a tent, in the Mishkan, and in a building once the Temple was built called Beit Avtinas. If you were to come into this area and you were not a kohen, or a kohen not dressed in the priestly garments, there was a death penalty. This is because of the kedusha of the altar.

For a seven day period atonement is made for the altar and it is consecrated, then the altar will be “kodesh ha kodeshim” (most holy) and whatever touches the altar will need to be holy already. Hag 2.11 says that things were not made holy by touching them. This idea is being expressed by Yeshua in Matt 23.19. The altar is what gives the korban its kedusha. Before it was brought, it was common. But now that it is being brought to the altar, it must have the proper kedusha. Now, let’s move on to Exo 29.38-46.

Two one year old lambs were offered everyday, called the Tamid service. One lamb was offered in the morning, “bein ha boker” (“between the morning”) and the other was offered in the afternoon “bein ha eruvim” (“between the evenings”). Tamid means “eternal” or “continuous.” This will be discussed in more detail when we get to Concepts in Numbers (28.1-8). But, let’s talk about time in the Mishkan/Temple. You will have twelve hours in the day, and twelve hours in the night, for the most part. In the summer, we have longer days and shorter nights, and in the winter we have shorter days and longer nights. That is not the way it was done in the Mishkan/Temple.

You have twelve hours in the day, and twelve at night. So, sunrise to sundown was considered a day. Sundown to sunrise was considered a night. However long that time is, you will divide by ywelve. That will give you an “hour.” An “hour” is one-twelfth of the daylight. So, an “hour” in the summer is longer than an hour in the winter in the Mishkan/Temple. This also applies to the night time “hours.”

The day is divided into two parts, called morning and afternoon. The morning will be called “boker” and the afternoon will be called “evening” or “eruvim.” This confused people because “evening” means “after dark” to them, but in Hebrew thought it is afternoon. The word for “night” in Hebrew is “Lailah.” Bein ha Boker is the time you offer the Shacharit (morning) Tamid. It means “between the mornings.” It is the half-way point between the sunrise and high noon.

Then we come to the Mincha (afternoon) Korban which is offered “bein ha eruvim” or “between the evenings.” Eruvim means “mixture” and this alludes to the time between high noon and sunset. Basically, we are talking about 9 AM and 3 PM. They will offer these lambs in that time frame. In addition to the lamb, there will be one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour (solet) mixed with one-tenth of a hin (a hin is 1.5 gallons) of beaten oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a libation. The other lamb was offered “bein ha eruvim” and the same things were offered as in the morning. It was a continual burnt offering (Olah Tamid) at the doorway of the tent of meeting. God will meet and speak to the sons of Israel there. It will have a kedusha on it. They will also consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar, along with Aaron and his sons. The Lord will “dwell” (shkan’ti) among the sons of Israel (v 45). This alludes right back to Exo 25.8. Then they shall know (“yada”) that the Lord is their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that he may dwell (shach’ni) among them.

In the book “Vayikra” by Mesorah Publications, there is a section at the end of Vol 1 called “The Summary of the Laws of Korbanot”, p.305. It will discuss the consecration offerings of the Mishkan, so we are going to be dealing with the korbanot for the priests and the altar as well. This was done only once. “When the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was first erected and Aaron and his sons were inducted into the Kehunah (priesthood), a special set of offerings were made. These are known as the “miluim”-inauguration offerings. The procedure for these was as follows. The Mishkan was inaugurated on the the first of Nisan, the year after the Exodus. On each of the seven days before then, a group of extraordinary offerings was brought, whose purpose it was to formalize the installation of Aaron and his sons as Kohanim. The group consisted of three offerings: a chata’at, an olah, and a shelamim. It is tha latter which the verse refers to as the miluim, inauguration offering.”

So, they were to bring three korbanot. The chata’at is a sin offering, and it is burned outside of the camp (except the innards). Then there was the olah (burnt) offering that is totally consumed on the altar. Last, we have the shelemim (peace) offerings. They were instructed to cook and eat the breast and the right thigh of the peace offering. Now, where did they cook it? They can’t take it into the camp to cook it because it had a kedusha. They can’t cook it inside the courtyard because it had restrictions on what you could do there, and having a bunch of cooking pots out in the open just wasn’t “kosher.” They can’t hold them over the fire on the altar to cook them, the altar also had strict rules. What did they do?

There had to be tents set up on the corners, like the corner buildings of the Temple, to cook the korbanot. Even though it is peace offering and they can be cooked in the camp (the Passover lamb was a peace offering), this particular offering had special rules. They needed tents, with openings leading into the Mishkan courtyard, for the Kior, fire wood, the garments of the priests, to cook in, and many other things that had to stay in the Mishkan. The priests had to have a place to change that was not in the open, and they couldn’t enter the courtyard or go near the altar without their garments on, or having their hands and feet washed, so there had to have been a place for them to change out of view. The Kior (laver) could not be in the courtyard near the altar as in most pictures of the Mishkan. They couldn’t cook in pots in the open court, and where was the firewood for the altar stored? So, the conventional pictures of the Mishkan that we have all seen is not a functional facility without these corner tents. Later, these concepts and usages translated over into the corner buildings of the Temple, with a gate opening up to the courts.

In Part 37, we will pick up with more from the book “Vayikra” on the miluim (consecration offerings).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 35

Now we are going to discuss the consecration of a priest from Exo 29. It begins with the Lord saying, “This is the word (davar) you shall do to them” and goes on to give what is needed for this ceremony in verses 1-9. They will need one young bull, two rams with unleavened bread (lechem matzot), unleavened cakes (challot matzot), oil, unleavened wafers (mishuchim matzot) with oil, made with wheat flour (solet). These are placed in one basket and was presented with the bull and the two rams.

Then Aaron and his sons were brought to the doorway of the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed) and immersed in water. Then Aaron was clothed with the high priestly garments, and anointing oil was poured on his head and anointed. Then his sons were clothed in their priestly garments. So, let’s develop this.

The Mishkan had two rooms, one was called the Ha Kodesh (Holy Place) and the other was called the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies). Another name for this room was the “Devir” (1 Kings 6.16, 20, 21) which means “word.” It is because that is where the Lord would speak, between the wings of the Cheruvim on the Ark (Exo 25.22). The Ha Kodesh is the Ohel Moed. The expression “to bring near” to the doorway of the tent of meeting means the entry gate to the inner courts, the main door where the common people could enter.

We are told that on the southeast corner the Kior was placed, outside of the court area, in a tent. Josephus mentions it and we can assume there were other tents on the other corners where they cooked the most holy (korbanot (kodshai kodeshim). They could not cook these meats in the courtyard, so there had to be an area to do this. The Kior was also in a tent on the southeastern corner because the priests had to wash themselves before entering the courts. They also had to get dressed there.

Remember, these would have had gates opening to the inner courts. Now, we know that if a gate opened up to the inner courts in a building (tent), the tent had the kedusha of the inner court. In the Temple building, the Nicanor Gate is where they would have stood to be near the Ohel Moed. The Sanhedrin met in the chamber called “Beit Avtinas” and it opened up to the inner courts so they were “before the tent of meeting” or Ohel Moed (before the Lord). That building had the kedusha of the courts. This is why it is so important to know the words that are being communicated in the Scriptures. The words are going to define what is trying to be said.

In Exo 29.1, we mentioned that in Hebrew “the thing” (KJV) is the word “ha davar.” It is a very powerful word. It alludes to John 1.1 where it says, “In the beginning was the Word.” It has the definite article “the” before it meaning the Davar was the expression of God, or in other words, Yeshua had to be as divine as the Father, the exact expression (John 1.18) and in the “bosom” of the Father. Yeshua is the personification of the Davar (like words are the “logos” of thought). He is introducing to the readers of John someone whom he first names in verse 17 by using Divine conceptual pictures and paints an incredible picture of Yeshua by introducing titles and concepts from the Torah, including our verse in Exo 29.1. Notice that “davar” is used there in conjunction with the introduction and consecration of a priest! The priests are getting ready for spiritual warfare. Num 4.3 says, “From thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service (Hebrew “Tza’va” meaning warfare-4.23, 4.30) to do the work (melakah) in the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed).”

Exo 29.10 says the bull is going to be brought to the doorway before the tent of meeting and they will do “semicha” or the laying on of hands. Now, the semicha, or laying on of hands, is not what is practiced today in some areas of Christianity. It is not a magical gesture establishing contact between man and God, or to symbolically imply that the bull was a substitute for Aaron and his sons. Instead, it is a solemn attestation that the bull has come from Aaron and his sons who are performing the semicha on the animal’s head.

In Exo 29.11-14 the bull is slaughtered and some of the blood was put on the horns of the altar with the finger. Then the rest of the blood was poured out at the base (yesod) of the altar. The flesh of the bull, its hide, shall be burned outside the camp because it is a sin offering (Korban Chata’at). We want to make sure that we know that this first offering was a sin offering. Nobody was going to eat the bull. The fat (chelev) and the inner organs will be burned on the altar. Everything that is left will be taken outside of the camp.

Now, what do we know about that? North of the altar and the camp is where they would have gone, outside of the place where anyone has camped. It is the most holy of the kornanot. It is slaughtered north of the altar (Lev 1.1-12). When one came to Jerusalem, there was a place called the “Beit Seraph” meaning “House of Burning.” It is also called the “Beit Ha Deshen” or “House of Ashes.” Why is this important? Everything in Scripture means something. If the Lord gives us a detail it is for a reason. We may not know why a detail is important at first,but it is important because he put it there and eventually we will know why.

In the Scriptures we are going to have the House of Burning mentioned many times. Most people are totally unaware of it. In the Mishnah, it is mentioned hundreds of times. In the Talmud, even more times. We have something mentioned over and over again, and most people are unaware of it. So, when we think about it, we have to ask questions. Is it possible that this is an important concept?

Exo 29.15-35 tells us about the rest of the ceremony. The blood of the bull is put on the horns of the altar with his finger, and the remaining blood poured out at the base of the altar, as we have mentioned. Now, who is doing all this? It can’t be Aaron or his sons, they are the ones being consecrated. It is Moses doing all this. It will be the only time he was allowed to perform this function because from now on, Aaron and his sons will be doing the offerings.

We also know that the blood is put all around the altar, but how was this done. It will be put on all four sides of the altar. Moses took the blood which was in a vessel and he hits the corner of the altar, hitting two sides at once. Then he goes to the opposite side and does it there, hitting the two other sides. The first ram is cut into its pieces (called “rightly dividing”), and washes the entrails and the legs, and puts it with its pieces, with the head. The entire ram is then offered up on the altar as a Korban Olah (burnt offering) and it is treated differently than the bull (only the innards were burnt). So, so far, we have had a Korban Chata’at and a Korban Olah.

Now the other ram is brought, and Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head (semicha). The ram is slaughtered, and some of its blood is put on the right ear, the right thumb and the right big toe. The rest of the blood is put on the four sides of the altar like we described before, hitting the four corners. Remember, the priests are standing at the doorway (entrance) to the Mishkan. each priest will stick his head, hand and foot inside the door, facing the Mishkan, but not entering the court. This ceremony is similar to the cleansing of a Metzora (leper) in Lev 14. SO, what is being communicated here?

The right side is the side of strength. The ear symbolizes what we hear coming into our head, and it is going to be blessed of God. We should be governed by what we hear from God. That is why the Shema (“hear”) is so important and said daily in prayer. Hearing is one thing, but doing is another. That is where the right thumb comes into focus. What are we putting our hand to? It should be directed by the Lord. Where we go and what we participate in is where the right big toe comes into play. Where are we walking, and what are we walking in? All that we hear, do and walk should be in line with the Word (Davar) of God.

Then some of the blood and the anointing oil is sprinkled on the garments of Aaron and his sons. As a result, the garments are consecrated and have a kedusha. Then the fat of the ram and the fat tail, and the fat that covers the entrails, the fat that covers the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys, plus the right thigh are put in the hands of Aaron and his sons.

So, we have the bull as a Korban Chata’at, the first ram as a Korban Olah, and the second ram is called the Korban Miluim, or “consecration offering.” Then , one cake of bread (lechemL, one cake of bread mixed with oil, and one wafer (rekik) from the basket of unleavened bread (matzah) is also put into the hands of Aaron and his sons, and it is waved (tenufah) before the Lord. All of this will be together. After it is waved, it is taken from his palms, and offered up on the altar of burnt offering, an offering by fire.

The waving (tenufa) is done by waving three times toward the Holy of Holies, three times to the north, three times to the south, three times to heaven and three times to the earth. The breast of the Korban Miluim (second ram) is waved before the Lord in like manner, along with the right thigh. These portions will belong to Aaron and his sons. So, when someone brings an offering, unless it is an Olah, the breast and the right thigh belong to the priests.

The garments of sanctity (beged kodesh) shall be for distinction, that in them they may be consecrated and anointed. For seven days in a row the priests will put these garments on when they enter the Ohel Moed to minister. The ram of consecration is boiled in a place with a kedusha. They will eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket at the doorway of the Mishkan. A layman cannot eat them because of kedusha. It is set aside for the priests. If any of the flesh or bread is left over in the morning, they are burned with fire because of kedusha. Each of the seven days a bull is brought for a Korban Chata’at and the altar is purified. Whoever touches the altar will have a kedusha already (Hag 2.11; Matt 23.19; 1 Tim 4.1-4).

In Part 36, we will pick up here and talk about the consecration of the altar in Exo 29.36-46.

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 34

We learn that the priests have their garments when they come on duty on the Sabbath. The Mishmar (course) that is coming off duty will do the morning service and the oncoming Mishmar will do the afternoon service. The oncoming Mishmar must appear before the Sanhedrin first, however, before they can enter the service. The Sanhedrin will question each one to see if there were any ritual impurities among them. This was done person by person.

If everyone is ritually pure, a special feast was held. Then, they select the priests that will be serving on the first day (they will all serve for one week-Sabbath to Sabbath-2 Kings 11.7) Minchah (afternoon) service. There will be thirteen priests that will do this, and they go in and an attendant (a Levite) will help them get dressed in their priestly garments. They have their lockers and their garments. They start with thirteen at first, but eventually all the priests will need to be dressed, hundreds at one time. The garments would then be replaced as they were taken. These lockers would be in the chamber called Beit Avtinas, next to the Kior (laver), at the southeastern corner of the Azarah.

In the Mishkan, we always see the usual layout. The problem is, it won’t work. Josephus mentions a gate in the southeast corner of the Mishkan. So, if you look at a typical layout of the Mishkan, this gate would be at the southeast corner. Josephus says that the Kior was in this gate, and that is where it was placed in the Temple. So, there had to be a tent that was next to the Mishkan where they stored all the priestly garments, and they had to wash in the laver and have their garments on before they entered the courtyard. It is possible that they had tents in all four corners of the Mishkan, just like the four corner buildings in the Temple.

The high priest would have his garments in his chambers, which was called by three names. It is called Ha Etz (chamber of wood), Lishkat Palhedrin and Lishkat Parhedrin. This is also in Beit Avtinas at the southeast corner. When a priest was not on duty, they could wear their garments, except for the sash because it was wool and linen. They will stand in the Ezrat Kohanim.

Now, why can’t he wear the sash? Because there is a Torah command that says they were not to mix wool and linen. The only reason a priest can wear the sash when he is serving is because his priestly duty supersedes that command. He is in a different environment in the Temple and he is a picture of a glorified believer. The high priest wears garments of wool and linen because he is a picture of the perfect man. But, when he is not on duty, he cannot wear those particular items.

Whenever the Torah uses the word “Shesh” it is referring to flax (linen). Whenever the word “Techelet” is used it refers to wool, which is dyed sky blue. The term “Argamon” (purple) comes from the same murex shell from the creature called a “halozon.” It is wool dyed purple. Tolat Shanni (scarlet) is wool dyed with an insect called the “Tola” and it secretes a scarlet or crimson fluid. Whenever the Torah uses “Shesh” or “spun” it is necessary the strand be six-fold. Shesh, argamon, techelet and tolat shanni are six-ply threads, and six times four equals twenty-four.

When the Torah uses the term “a work of embroidery” it means that a design is woven into the fabric and can be seen on one side of the fabric. When it uses the term “a work of a craftsman” the intent is the design will be seen on both sides of the fabric (front and back).

The tunic of the priest was made with a box-like net. It had squares. The sleeves were sown on the tunic and made separately. The length of the tunic went to slightly above the heel (he is barefoot). The sleeve went to the wrist. The leggings extend from the loins to the thighs (knees). They had strands (suspenders) and they did not have an opening for the private parts. That means, every time a priest had to use the restroom they must take all these garments off, and the sash and the turban was very long. You had to be assisted and aware that these items had a kedusha. The turban was 25 feet long and the sash was three finger breadths. How much organization does it take to dress two thousand priests? How much room do you need? The sash was 51 feet long, twice as long as the turban. The priest would wrap it around himself, widening it slightly.

The Tzitz of the high priest (forehead plate) was two finger breadths wide and it extended over the forehead of the high priest, from one ear to the other. On it was written “Kodesh YHVH” written in Hebrew. It is said that “YHVH” was written, and below that “Kodesh” was written. At times they were written on one line, and it has been settled that it will be written on one line now. The letters projected outwards. A craftsman would engrave the letters on the back of the plate. It had holes on the two ends, and a techelet strand ran from hole to hole, and it tied at the back of the neck. What is interesting about all of this is that age old questions are being answered as they make these items and prepare for the coming Temple. What is controversial in the Mishnah or Mishneh Torah has now been settled in many areas, such as the color of argamon (purple) and how was Kodesh YHVH written on the tzitz.

The blue cloak (Me’il) was techelt wool, and its strands were twelve-fold (each thread) and it was like a “poncho.” It was joined at the throat. You couild not tear the opening or you would receive lashes (Exo 28.32). This applied to all priestly garments. We know that Caiaphas tore his garments, but he was in street clothes because he was not in the Temple courts (Matt 26.65).

Techelet, argamon and tolat shanni are spun eight-fold (8 x 3 = 24). They made pomegranates for the hem of this garment. They are made into shapes whose mouth are not open, and hung. He brings 72 cups and 72 clappers made of gold. From the cups and the clappers were hung were a series of bells and pomegranates suspended on the hem, 72 bells and 72 pomegranates.

The gold woven into the ephod and the breastplate is mentioned in the Torah. A strand of pure gold was taken and placed with six strands, making seven strands, for total of twenty-eight strands (7 x 4 = 28). The breastplate was woven from gold, techelet, argamon, shesh and tolat shanni. The only garment with gold in them was the ephod and breastplate of the high priest. The breastplate was 19.2 inches long and 9.6 inches wide, folded in two. This made it 9.6 inches square. Four rows of stones were fixed to it, square and set in gold. On these square stones were written the names of the twelve tribes, in their birth order.

Four gold rings were made for the four corners of the breastplate. The two upper rings held the breastplate and two cords were placed. In the two lower rings, two cords of techelet are placed. You will notice that these things are “cornered” alluding to the regathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth.

The ephod is the width of the person’s back from shoulder to shoulder. Its length was from the elbow to his feet.. Two bands extended from it and fastened, called the “belt of the ephod.” The entire garment was woven with gold, techelet, argamon, tolat shanni and shesh, making 28 strands. Two shoulder straps will extend to the shoulder of the high priest. On each shoulder there was a square sardonyx (black) stone, set in gold. The names of the tribes were engraved, six names on one stone and six on the other, according to their birth order.

Joseph’s name was written with the Hebrew letters “yod, heh, vav, samech and a closing “peh” (“f” sound). This will give 25 letters on one stone and 25 on the other. This speaks of balance. The stone with Reuben’s name was placed on the right shoulder, and the stone with Shimon’s name was on the left shoulder, then Levi on the right, Judah on the left and on down. Isa 9.6 alludes to this. Two rings were on each shoulder, one above the shoulder and one below the shoulder above the belt. Two gold cords were placed in the two upper rings. He places the end of the cords of the breastplate in the upper rings that are on the shoulders of the ephod, and he he placed two cords of techelet on the hem of the breastplate into the rings that are above the belt of the ephod.

The gold cords that are in the rings on the shoulders of the ephod should descend until the reach the upper rings of the breastplate so that they will be joined to each other and not separate. When he wears the ephod together with the breastplate, the breastplate will be flat over his heart. The belt of the ephod is tied over his heart below the breastplate. The two shoulders of the ephod lie on his two shoulders. The two cords of gold extend down from his shoulders on either side from the shoulders of the ephod to the rings of the breastplate. The two strands of techelet are tied below his elbows from the two lower rings of the breastplate from the two lower rings of the breastplate of the two lower rings of the shoulders of the ephod which are above the belt.

What is the order for putting on these garments? He puts on the leggings first, tying them above his navel, then the sash at elbow height. He would wind it fold after fold until it ends, and then tied. The sash and where it can be placed is according to tradition (Ezek 44.18) and it is not to be in a place where one perspires (arm pit) but over the heart. Afterwards he would arrange the headpiece as a hat. There was a Levite to help him dress. The high priest puts on the leggings, sash, the cloak and then the ephod and breastplate. The belt of the ephod over the cloak, below the breastplate. The cloak was called the “cloak of the ephod.” Then he winds the headgear like a turban. He ties the head plate behind his head above the turban.

Now, all of this takes time and it takes help from others. You didn’t just put on a 52 foot sash by yourself. We know that you also needed room to do this. The priests would get up very early and take an underground stairway through a tunnel to go to a mikvah for an immersion (tevilah). There were toilets there and it had locks so you could have some privacy (like stalls). Once you get into these garments, which takes time, you had to take them off to use the toilet. So, you would need a Levite to help you take them off. You could not wear them outside of the area with a certain kedusha (Ezek 44.19). When the priest was done, he had to have a Levite help him get dressed again. What we are talking about is time, a lot of space, and organization.

If the high priest or any priest served with less garments on than what he was required to wear, his service was invalid and he was liable to the death penalty at the hands of God. A non-priest who drew near to the service of the Mikdash shall die. This applied to one who wore extra garments also. That means the story about the high priest who wore a rope into the Holy of Holies is false and spread by people who don’t know what they are talking about, and that story is still out there.

Nothing should intervene between his flesh and the garments. If it did, his service is declared invalid. This holds true for immersions, which were done in the nude. Nothing should come between the water and the flesh (no jewelry, rings) and the hair was loosed.

The Urim and Thummim was not used in the Second Temple because the Ruach was not vested there, and there was no Ark of the Covenant. Whenever a priest does not speak with the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), and the Shk’inah does not rest there, inquiry was not made. Inquiry should not be made by an ordinary person when the Urim and Thummim was used. It is said that only a king, the court, or one who the community at large requires can inquire. This is derived from Num 27.21, “Before Eleazar the priest shall he stand…(he and all the children of Israel with him, and the entire congregation).” the “he” there refers to the king, “all the children of Israel” is the priest anointed for war, or someone whom the people need to make inquiry for them; and “all the congregation” refers to the court.

When inquiry was made, the high priest would face the Ark. The inquirer would ask “Should I go up to war or not?” He would ask in a low voice (not loud), like someone praying. The Ruach Ha Kodesh would come upon the high priest and he would get the answer through the Urim and Thummim. Then the high priest would give the answer. Two questions were not asked at one time If they were asked, one replies only to the first question. Of course, this was how this procedure was perceived to have happened.

In Part 35, we will pick up here with the consecration of the priest and the altar from Exo 29.1-46.

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 33

The tzitz is on the forehead of the high priest, so he shall “bear (“nasa” meaning “to lift, forgive”) the iniquity” of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrated in regard to all the holy gifts and it shall always be on his forehead (when he officiates). This is so that they may be accepted before the Lord. In other words, he “lifts their loads” and cares for these things. It was his responsibility to make sure they were ritually acceptable.

In the “The Pentateuch and Haftorahs” by Rabbi Joseph Hertz, on p. 343, it says about Exo 28.38, “Aaron shall bear….The meaning is probably this: What is presented to God must be without blemish, and the mode of presentation must be in agreement with the prescribed rites. Should there, however, be any imperfection in the sacrifice, or any error in the manner of offering, the High Priest assumes responsibility. He is the custodian of the Sanctuary; and, by virtue of his sacred office, exemplified by the gold plate on his forehead, he can secure Divine acceptance of the offerings brought to the altar of God.” They were also to make a tunic (Bitonet) of linen, with a sash (avnet), the work of a weaver (ma’aseh rokem). It was wool and of a bright color.

Exo 28.40-43 tells us about the priestly garments. They made tunics, sashes, headgear and linen breeches. These four articles of clothing was worn by all the priests, even the high priest. Again, from the book “The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong (writer of Strong’s Concordance), on p. 97-100, these garments are described, and we quote, “For all priests, however , a peculiar costume of “uniform” was imperatively ordered, while they were officially serving at the Sanctuary, although, of course, on other occasions and elsewhere they wore the ordinary dress of plain citizens. It is described in Exo 28.40-43 and 29.8-9, as consisting substantially of four articles, in which we may easily recognize the most essential of the above Oriental elements of apparel, with one additional note. This appears to be all that the ordinary priests were to wear, while the High Priest was to have the same with certain peculiarities and additions. In the case of common priests it served as a distinction from laical apparel and also from the Levitical, by being of a more ornamental style (A.V. lit. “for glory and for beauty,” the latter word being the same which we have above translated “ornament,” but here enhanced by a stronger term prefixed as an adjective, i.e., “an honorary ornament” or official badge).”

“THE DRAWERS OR TROUSERS…First was a pair of linen drawers worn for the sake of decency (as is expressly stated). These, we understand, were not in the Occidental form of trousers, but the outer covering for a modern Oriental dragoman or other elegant person, consisting merely of a single piece of linen cloth, but thin and of natural color. In the case of ordinary priests, they were about a yard wide and two yards long, doubled transversely into a square bag, stitched together at one side and at the bottom. With the selvedge top open so as to be drawn together by a cord around the waist, and a hole left in each bottom corner for the legs, they could be gathered by a similar cord at the upper part of the calf like a garter. It is loose and cool, and though somewhat clumsy (as the width hangs in folds between the legs, and stretches out in walking), yet not ungraceful, presenting a decent medium between frock skirts and pantaloons. Common people, who otherwise go entirely naked while at work in the open fields, especially in the sultry climate of Egypt, wear, in lieu of this, a simple loin cloth.”

“THE TUNIC…Next came the tunic either of unbleached linen of of wool, according to weather (plain for the ordinary priest), not long, for it was no doubt tucked into the drawers, like a shirt, and with sleeves, although none are alluded to in the Scriptures, and the statements of Josephus and the Rabbins are too late for this period, being evidently the common Oriental undress of the present day as above.”

“THE SASH…At the middle, where theses two articles met, and covering their union, was the sash consisting of a broad band of woolen cloth usually of bright color. In the case of an ordinary priest, to be different it is most likely at least two yards long, wound in the a girdle about the waist, and tied together in front, the ends hanging down like tassels. The high priest’s sash was quite different.”

“THE CAP…Surmounting the figure, and completing the sacerdotal apparel, was the cap (the material again not prescribed), for which a different term is employed respecting ordinary priests from that used in the case of the high priest. In the absence of all distinctive details, we are left to the mere etymological force of the word, aided some what by the customs of ancient and modern Orientals. There fore, we hazard the conjecture that the common priestly head covering was simply a skull cap, which is now worn by Syrian Mohammedans night and day (being frequently changed, of course), as they generally shave the head. The Hebrews, however, appear to have kept their full hair, and to have dispensed any headdress in ordinary avocations. We presume, however, that when greatly exposed out of doors, they wore something corresponding to the Beduin kefiyeh for men, and the veil for women. Both of these are nothing but a square piece of cloth cast over the head and hanging down over the shoulders, the men usually fancy gay colors, and holding theirs on by a cord around the head. If we are correct, the priestly cap was made to fit the head, and of this we shall find some confirmation when we come to consider the high priest headdress.”

There are three types of priestly garments. We have the garments of the High Priest called the Golden Garments. Then we have the garments of the ordinary priest (trousers, tunic, sash and cap), and then we have the white garments of the high priest. The sash alone was made of embroidered with techelet (blue wool), argamon (purple wool), tolat shanni (scarlet wool) and shesh linen.

So, we have a mixture of wool and linen which is prohibited by the Torah. We will talk about that later. The High Priest had four garments of the ordinary priest, plus four golden garments (blue tunic, ephod, breastplate and the headpiece of gold). The turban was the same as an ordinary priest, with the difference of the the high priest turban was more “coiled” than that of the ordinary priest according to Strong. Maimonides says they were the same in the Mishneh Torah (Repetition of the Torah) which he wrote expounding on the Torah.

The sash of the High Priest when he goes into the Holy of Holies is not wool and linen, but only linen. He also had two other tunics for Yom Kippur, one was worn in the morning and the other in the evening. When the leggings and sashes of the priests became soiled, they were used as wicks for the Menorah and the four lights at Sukkot. New ones were used from that point.

When the garments of the High Priest were soiled, they were buried. The white garment of the high priest on Yom Kippur were not worn again. They were buried where he took them off (Lev 16.23). He could not “benefit” from them. This called “meilah” which means “deriving benefit from something consecrated to the Temple.” The worn out or soiled leggings of ordinary priests were used as wicks for the lights at Sukkot, and the sashes were used as wicks for the Menorah. They could make an unbelievable amount of garments for the priests.

There will be 96 lockers in the Temple to place the priestly clothes. Four lockers for each course (Mishmar) with the name of the course on the lockers. These four lockers were for the four sets of garments they were to wear. In Tamid 1.1 of the Mishnah it says, “The priests kept watch at three places in the Temple: at the Chamber of Avtinas, at the Chamber of the Flame, and at the Chamber of the Hearth. The Chamber of Avtinas and the Chamber of the Flame were on the upper story and there the young men (from the priests) kept watch. The Chamber of the Hearth was vaulted; it was a large chamber and around it ran a raised stone pavement; and there the eldest of the father;s house used to sleep with the keys to the Temple Court in their hand. The young priests had each his mattress on the ground. They did not sleep in the sacred garments but stripped them off, folded them up and put them under their heads and dressed themselves in their own clothes. If one of them suffered a pollution he would go out and go along the passage that leads below the Temple building, where lamps were burning here and there, until he reached the Chamber of Immersion. There was a fire there and a privy, and this was its seemly use: if he found it locked he knew that someone was there; if open he knew that no one was there. He went down and immersed himself, came up and dried himself, and warmed himself before the fire. He returned and lay down beside his brethren the priests until the gates were opened, when he went out and left the Temple.” The priests would take their priestly garments off, place them under other clothing, and then use them as pillows when they slept.

In Part 34 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 32

Hos 3.4-5 says, “The sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar and without ephod (with the Urim and Thummim) or household idols. Afterward, the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king (Messiah) and they will come trembling to the Lord and do his goodness in the last days.” So, for many days, they will be without these things, like the ephod with the Urim and Thummim. All of the things mentioned above were means of knowing future things, either lawful or unlawful (Psa 74.9; Matt 16.3). But, in the last days they will seek true knowledge and worship and the service of the Lord.

Neh 7.65 says that when the people came back from captivity, there were those who said they were priests but couldn’t prove it. They could not eat from the kodshai kodashim (most holy things) until a priest arose with the Urim and Thummim. Num 27.15-21 says that Joshua would be the successor to Moses. He will inquire of the high priest with the Urim and Thummim and he shall tell Joshua what to do.

This is what the rabbis have never had since the Babylonian Captivity in order to judge cases, like they did before (Deut 17.9). Who says the rabbis are the judges today anyway? Deut 17 was written in the context that gives a hierarchy with a person at the top getting a direct answer from the Lord. If a person does not listen to that ruling, he is put to death. This is not the system the rabbis have invented. In fact, we have gone over the story of the Kosher Stove. That story teaches that the rabbis don’t need to listen to heaven (Bava Meztia 59b of the Talmud).

The robe was all techelet (blue) and wool, reaching down to about the knee. The bottom fringe had bells of gold and artificial pomegranates (alternating) made from techelt (blue), argamon (purple) and tolat shanni (scarlet). The pomegranate is a picture of the Messiah and it symbolized kingship and protection. For more information on the pomegranate, see the article “The Pomegranate and the Star of David” in our Temple 101 series on this site. The bells were there to draw attention to the pomegranates, and the pomegranate was red in color with many seeds inside (Gen 3.15).

The high priest did not wear this robe on Yom Kippur into the Holy of Holies. The Temple of Solomon was full of pomegranates (1 Kings 7.18). 1 Kings 7.42 says there were 400 pomegranates and we know that the Temple was seen as the Garden of Eden, it had a kedusha. Jewish coins had pomegranates on them. Archaeologists have found pomegranates on top of a staff with God’s name (YHVH) on it. It is believed that this staff was for the king or the high priest. The Menorah had pomegranates on it, and on Shavuot one of the Sheva Minim (seven species) was a pomegranate (Deut 8.8; 2 Chr 31.4-7).

We mentioned before that the pomegranate was a symbol of protection. The numerical value (gematria) of “tzitzit” is 613, which is the number of the commandments. a pomegranate was many seeds inside. Jewish tradition says there are 613, and these are the precepts of the Torah of God. There are 248 positive commands and 365 negative commands. Of course they know this is just a teaching, but it is said to illustrate the importance of the pomegranate.

Now, the word “magen” means “shield” (Psa 84.9; Prov 30.5-6; Isa 21.5). Psa 91 has every letter of the Hebrew alphabet in it except “zayin” which means “weapon.” Psa 91.4 has the word “pinion” which has the numerical value of 613, and a pinion resembles and arm. A “wing” in Hebrew is “kanaf” and that is where the tzitzit hang on a four cornered garment. These symbolize the commandments, and his truth is a “shield” (Psa 91.4). A six petaled pomegranate will form a “Magen David” (shield of David) if you fold the petals back. We have done this in a store, try it some time. In other words, all of this is not a new concept. Six petaled pomegranates have been found in a synagogue on Capernaum.

We also mentioned that a pomegranate symbolized kingship. The Kingdom of God is God’s rule in our life, and eventually in the world. The sceptor (kingship) will not depart from Judah (Gen 49.10). Num 24.17 says, “A star will come out of Jacob, and a sceptor shall rise from Israel.” Rev 22.16 says that Yeshua is the “offspring of David, the bright and morning star.” This verse is a direct allusion back to Gen 49.10 and Num 24.17. The Chachmim (wisemen) followed the “star” and this is because it was linked to the Messiah and prophecy (Matt 2.1-11).

So, the pomegranate had a lot of meaning in Hebrew thought and it was linked to protection and kingship, the commandments and the Messiah. One of the golden bells of the high priest may have been found in the City of David they believe. For more information on this, go to “City of David. Org.” The bells could be heard as the high priest ministered and moved about, but he did not wear the bells into the Holy of Holies as we have said (Exo 28.35). There is a myth that we have heard (and you can still find on the Internet) for over thirty years that says a rope was tied around the waist of the high priest as he ministered in the Holy of Holies so they could pull him out of there if he died if they could not hear the bells. However, this is not true for the following reasons. The high priest did not wear the golden vestments into the Holy of Holies, which had the bells. There were two veils that separated the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. These were very thick (four inches thick) and large (60 feet long, 30 feet wide, 300 priests were needed to manipulate it) and it would have been impossible to pull him out anyway because of the way the veils were configured.

The golden Plate was made of pure gold and it had the name of God written on it in the phrase “Holy to YHVH.” This crown was called the “Tzitz” (“to see”). Quoting from “The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong, p. 101-102, it states, “A noble addition to this pontifical headgear was a gold tablet tied with a violet string, doubtless by passing ti through a hole at each end around the head, displaying on the front the engraved motto, in the old Hebrew characters, ‘Sanctity to Jehovah,’ i.e., consecrated to his exclusive service. As the early Jewish writers are not agreed upon the width of this golden plate, nor whether the inscription was in one line or two, we have consulted the properties of the case, and the good taste of the majority of archaeologists, in the matter. Josephus states that the pontifical frontlet made by Solomon was in existence in his own day. In that case it was probably among the spoils of Jerusalem exhibited at the triumph of Titus, and finally deposited in the temple of Peace at Rome. Origen, however, asserts that it was the original one of Aaron, and that it remained till his time. Also it was inscribed with Samaritan characters by which, of course, he means antique Hebrew.”

The name of God was on his forehead, the seat of the intellect and it shows the headship of God (Exo 28.38). It is the outward expression or action of his acceptance of God and the Torah. Exo 13.8-16 tells us that the keeping of Hag Ha Matzah (Unleavened Bread) shall serve as a sign to you on your hand (action) and as a reminder on your forehead (intellect) that the Torah may be in their mouth (profession). They were to bear a clear testimony. This gives us insight into the usage of these same terms when talking about what the “mark of the Beast” is in Rev 13.16. The followers of the False Messiah will be bearing a clear testimony by their actions (hand) and thinking (forehead) that they reject the Lord and his Torah. This is how one can be a “marked” person (Ezek 9.1-8). This can be seen even today with people who reject God. They disregard the Sabbath, eat food that God has forbidden, teach and believe that the Torah does not apply to them. You know them by their actions and what they teach.

The “tzitz” goes on the front of the turban (miznefet) of the high priest. It literally means “to see.” Later, when we finish with these garments, we will go into more detail in the Jewish writings on them. The word “tzitzit” is a related word and it also means “to see.” This is very interesting when we talk about the tzitzit because it is worn in order to “see” them and remember the Torah. Now, here is a concept that is not generally taught. The tzitzit are for our own benefit, not necessarily for others to see. If the tzitzit are seen by others, that doesn’t necessarily benefit the person seeing them. The one wearing the tzitzit is the one who benefits.

We have a difference between western thought and eastern thought. To “see” in western thought means to visualize it, it is right in front of our eyes. But in Hebrew thought, it doesn’t always mean that. It means to be “aware of” in many cases. Sometimes it does mean to literally see. Many Orthodox Jews wear their tzitzit on the inside of their clothing, but they are aware of them (Num 15.39). They are not for someone else to see. The tzitz worn by the high priest was not for the high priest to see, it was far out of his range of vision. It was for the Lord to see. The golden vestments are going to represent royalty. The high priest represents Adam before he sinned. Adam had a kedusha and he was made in the image of God. When Adam sinned, he lost that kedusha. But now, in the golden plate called the “tzitz” it says that he has a kedusha (“Kodesh to YHVH”) and it shows that the high priest has a kedusha like Adam did in the Garden of Eden

In Part 33 we will pick up on this and more.

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 31

The Breastplate of Judgment is called the Choshen Mishpat. It is square (four corners) and it is 9.6 inches square. When unfolded it is rectangular. When the high priest wears it, it is square because it is folded, making a small pouch. It will be 9.6 inches and it had four rows of stones set in it. So, let’s look at these stones and what they symbolize.

The first stone is “Odem” and a ruby, and it stands for the tribe of Reuben and is red. The second stone is “Pitdah” is an emerald and it stands for the tribe of Shimon, and is green. The third stone is “Bareket” and is for Levi. It is a topaz and is red, white and black striped. The fourth stone is “Nophek” and it is for Judah. It is a carbunkle and is bluish green. The fifth stone is called “Sapir” and it is for Issachar. It is a sapphire and is blue. The sixth stone is called “Yahalom” for Zebulon. It is a quartz crystal and clear. The seventh stone is “Leshem” for Dan. It is a jacinth and the color blue. The eighth stone is “Shevo” for Naphtali. It is an amethyst and purple in color. The ninth stone is “Achlamah” for Gad, and is an agate that is grey in color. The tenth stone is “Tarshish” for Asher, and is a aquamarine, blue and green in color. The eleventh stone is “Shoham” for Joseph, which is an onyx, black in color. The twelfth stone is “Yashfeh” for Benjamin, which is an opal, which possessed all colors.

The Temple Institute went to great trouble to research theses stones when making the garments of the high priest, including this breastplate. They said that there is no way they can be definite about all of these because there are 30 or more opinions. The color of each stone is certain and the color matched the background of the flags of each tribe. The stones were arranged three across, and four down. These were also for remembrance (Exo 28.29).

There are two main opinions of how they were arranged. One by Yonaton Ben Uzziel that had it “Reuben-Simeon-Levi”, then “Judah-Dan-Naphtali”, then “Gad-Asher-Issachar”, then “Zebulon-Joseph-Benjamin.” Another Aramaic translation called the Targum Jerushalmi” places the order according to the matriarchs, “Reuben-Simeon-Levi”, then “Judah-Issachar-Zebulon”, then “Dan-Naphtali-Gad”, then “Asher-Joseph-Benjamin.” Both views are held in high esteem, but there are many more views. You can see the actual stones on the internet at the Temple Institute site, and there are others.

There were chains of twisted cord work for the breastplate that were all gold (all God). There were two rings of gold and they were on the two ends of the breastplate (two is the number of witness). These rings were in each corner, the two at the top were joined to the ephod by the twisted chains attached to the shoulder. The two bottom ones were attached by a cord to rings at the point where the straps branch off. This kept the breastplate extended and closed at the middle of the breast (the seat of affection). This breastplate was called the “Breastplate of Judgment” because it contained the Urim v’ Thummim.

There is a good book on the Mishkan called “The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong. He is the one who compiled Strong’s Concordance. In this book, Strong has a good and balanced description of the Urim v’ Thummim on page 110-112, which we would like to submit for you to read.

“The Urim and Thummim”
“Finally, the sacred pocket thus suspended over the very heart of the high priest, where it would be inviolably safe, and at the same time accessible at a moment’s notice, was designed, in a manner analogous (as we shall presently see fore fully) to the inmost Ark of the Sanctuary, as a place of deposit for the most priceless blessing of God to his fallen, erring children, a mode of ascertaining his will. The physical instrument of this form of divine communication was the famous Urim and Thummim, Hebrew terms that have greatly vexed the learning and ingenuity of interpreters, with less satisfactory results, perhaps, than any other part of the whole Tabernacle apparatus. The following is a condensed summary of all the positive information that philology and the Scriptures afford on this difficult but interesting topic. Neither Josephus not the Rabbins seem to have had access to anything further, while the conjectures of modern writers are mostly worse than worthless.”

“The words ‘Urim and Thummim’ are not proper names. ‘Urim’ is simply the plural of ‘ur’, which is occassionally used in the singular for ‘light’ (as is its congear ‘or’ constantly) in the sense of flame (Isa 31.9, 44.16, 47.14, 50.11; Ezek 5.2; for it is merely the infinitive of the common verb meaning ‘to shine’), and for ‘Ur’, the birthplace of Abraham; while the plural (besides the distinctive use here considered, occurring singly in Num 27.21; 1 Sam 28.6; and elsewhere in the compound phrase, Exo 28.30; Lev 8.8; Deut 33.8; Ezra 2.63; Neh 7.65) is used for the region of lights, i.e., the East (Isa 24.15, A.V. ‘fires’). ‘Thummim’ likewise is only the plural form of ‘tum’, meaning perfection, and usually rendered, in the singular, ‘integrity’ (Gen 20.5-6; 1 Kings 9.4; Psa 7.8, 25.21, 26.1,11; Psa 41.12, 78.72; Prov 19.1, 20.7), ‘uprightness,’ ‘upright,’ or ‘perfection’ (Psa 101.2; Isa 47.9), ‘simplicity’ (2 Sam 15.11), ‘full’ (Job 21.23), ‘at a venture’ (1 Kings 22.34; 2 Chron 18.33), but in the plural only in connection with the Urim. The plural form of both words does not necessarily imply that there were many of each kind of object, nor even that the two were distinct articles; but rather according to a frequent Hebrew idiom, these peculiarities of the phrase express as follows: the plural, emphasis or quantity; and the duplication, attribution or quality. Thus a free translation would be full light as to amount and perfect as to kind, i.e., complete illumination; in modern terminology, a definite oracle, in distinction from the vague and ambiguous intimations from other sources, whether heathen shrines, providential auguries, or even inspired vaticinations, such as had been the only resource of previous ages and other nations.”

“As to the actual applications of this instrumentality for predicting events, we find various significant facts. The object in question was small, light and non-fragile in order to be easily carried in the pouch of the breastplate. It (or its equivalent) was duplicated freely in the pontifical family (1 Sam 22.18), but the acting high priest alone had the prerogative of consulting it (1 Sam 23.2,4,6). The secret of using it was at length lost even to the hierarchy (Ezra 2.63). The questions put by its means were categorical, and the answers were explicit, although not only always a simple affirmative or negative (1 Sam 23.9-12; 2 Sam 5.23-24); and sometimes refused altogether (1 Sam 28.6). All this implies a material apparatus, a public consultation, and a palpable reply, either by visible or audible signs. It excludes all theories of priest craft, fortunetelling, or legerdemain, making the whole a bona fide supernatural indication of what no mortal could of himself discover or predict. Beyond this everything concerning it is uncertain, and the speculations of scholars are scarcely worth recounting.”

“Without entering in detail into the hopeless discussion on this mysterious object, we may safely say, in brief, that these terms designate some means of oracular response, on questions of public importance, by Jehovah through the high priest. The manner in which they are introduced (‘the Urim and the Thummim,’ like ‘the Cherubim,’ on their first mention), yet without any explanation, shows that they were well known already to the Israelites. This adds force to the presumption, confirmed by an inspection of the monuments, that they were originals of which the symbolical images, known to Egyptologists as those of the double goddess of Truth and Justice, and probably also the idolatrous Teraphim of the early Mesopotamians and later Syrians, were the counterfeits. We risk the opinion that this species of augury was by means of an image (probably of clay rudely modeled) representing truth as the essential attribute of the deity. It was worn on the bosom, which is the Oriental pocket, in order to be always at hand. Like the Cherubim, its purely ideal character relieved it of the charge of idolatry. The only clue to its mode of manipulation for obtaining an oracular response is given in 1 Sam 14.19 (for the ephod and not the ark must be there referred to; comp. v. 3, and Keil on the passage), where the expression ‘withdraw’ (literally ‘gather up’) thy hand’ shows that it was held in the open hand during consultation. It does not seem, however, to have been absolutely necessary in the process at all, for on occasions no mention of it whatever is made (1 Sam 23.2-4; 2 Sam 5.19, 23; 21.1). In one instance at least it was impliedly absent, the priestly vestment itself being an ordinary one of simple linen, such as appears to have been worn by the whole lineage of high priests (1 Sam 23.6; comp 22.18). This lends color to the suspicion that the response was not given by any peculiarity of the object in question itself; but was merely divined through some professional skill acquired by the officiator (comp. John 15.11). Finally, inasmuch as in several of the above cases even the priestly intervention is not positively stated, it may be that the king or any other public functionary was qualified to ascertain divine will by this means.”

“However that may be, we find this mode of divination in use among the Hebrews from this time forward, as it appears to have been in the patriarchal days (Gen 25.22-23), down to a late period of the Jewish commonwealth, when it suddenly and silently disappears altogether from history. This was because it was superseded by the clearer and fuller lights and perfections of personally inspired prophets, whose oral deliverances, afterwards compiled by themselves in permanent documents, have survived the vicissitudes of transcription and denationalization, and still guide and cheer the saints on their march to the heavenly home.”

In Part 32 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 30

There is a term that we need to look at that is found throughout the Tanak and that term is “Before the Tent of Meeting” (Ohel Moed). Many actions and details will relate to this term and it relates to the Holy Place of the Mishkan, and later the Temple. Now, what constitutes being “before the tent of meeting?” One of the concepts that we need to know is the Torah is going to be about “boundaries” and “declarations.” That is an important concept to remember. In addition, there is going to be a great difference between Hebrew thought and Greek/western thought.

For example, the Sabbath is to be set apart from the rest of the week. There is a boundary, and there is a boundary on what you may or may not do on that day. There is a boundary between what food can be eaten and what cannot be eaten. There are boundaries in the Temple as to where one can go and not go. The Torah commands are boundaries. So, let’s get back to the term “before the tent of meeting” and what this means. The tent of meeting is “ohel (tent) moed (meeting/appointment)” in Hebrew. This term will pass from the Mishkan to the future Temples that followed. The inner courtyard is defined as being “before the ohel moed.” However, some say that if you are “behind” the Mishkan or Temple, it still meets the requirement of being before the ohel moed.

In Exo 27.21 it says that the high priest or his sons can trim the Menorah. The High Priest can do it in any service he chooses. If he isn’t going to do it, a kohen (priest) is designated by lot to do it. There will be one exception to this, only the High Priest will officiate at the Yom Kippur service and he is required to do all of it. He will start all of the rituals, but another priest can finish them as the High Priest moves to do another part of the ritual service. This is called a “chukat olam” (everlasting statute) throughout the generations of the sons of Israel. So what is a “chukat?” Let’s look at some definitions that one must memorize in order to understand what is being communicated in the Scriptures. The word “Torah” means instruction, guidance and teaching. “Mitzvot” means commandments, or good works, that are fulfilled by a specific act. “Chukim” (like the above “chukat”) means statutes that can’t be explained, like the clean and unclean animals, or tevilah (immersion), that are hard to explain but you do them anyway. “Mishpatim” means ordinances and decrees. “Edut” means testimonies, witness and evidences (like prophecy). These terms must be understood.

Exo 28.1-2 begins to talk about the garments of the priests, and we have gone over them in our Temple 101 and 201 series, but we are going to discuss them again with more information. Garments with a kedusha will be made for Aaron, for “glory and for beauty.” So, let’s talk about kedusha. It is defined as the designation or the setting apart of something for the service of God. This done by formal and legal restrictions and limitations. The kedusha of time is marked by limitations an man’s activities concerning work and construction.

The position of high priest has a kedusha or sanctification. No individual in the entire Tanak is ever called “holy.” Aaron is never called holy. However, the office of high priest is called holy because it has a kedusha on it, but not the individual fulfilling that office. The garments and the vessels, once they are consecrated to God, has a kedusha. We have many misconceptions about the concept of “kedusha” (holy). We confuse the word holy with righteous. How many times have we heard that a Bible or a building is holy? That is a misuse of the word. We aren’t trying to put the Bible or a building down, but we need to understand what kedusha means. We need to use biblical terminology with correct meanings. Some will point to 2 Kings 4.9, where it says that a woman perceived that Elisha was a “holy man from God” in the KJV translation. But, in Hebrew it reads, “a man from the holy God” (“ish elohim kadosh”). Also, keep in mind, she would be referring to the office of prophet that Elisha was filling, not Elisha himself. The office of prophet had a kedusha on it, like the high priest, the priests, the king, and others had a kedusha, but at different levels.

The garments had a kedusha and when the priest puts on these garments he will be in a state of kedusha (Exo 28.3). That is why he must take the garments off in a consecrated area (Ezek 44.19). They cannot wear these garments outside of the areas with that level of kedusha. In other words, he can’t wear them in the streets, or even in parts of the Temple that have a lower kedusha.

Before these garments are set apart they do not have a kedusha. People have touched the garments of the coming high priest and the kohanim before they have been sanctified. But once they are, nobody but the kohanim can touch them and they are to remain in the proper sanctified areas because of kedusha. There comes a point when there is a boundary and a declaration. Now, let’s look at Exo 28.1-2 again.

These verses tell us that these garments will be made for “glory (kivod) and beauty (tiferet).” The Temple or Mishkan is about many things and there are objectives and accomplishments that happen within the Mishkan and Temple, but there are two primary aspects. We need to see the Temple as a place where people can come to worship God. That is an important aspect of the Mishkan/Temple. However, there is a difference in the Mishkan and the Temple, but the worship was designed by God and given to the people as a “tavnit” or blueprint.

So, while we have the Mishkan and Temple as a place to worship God, it is also a place for God to show man “how” to worship. The high priest is a picture of the “perfect man.” Adam was created in the image of God, so his garments are “L’kivod (for glory) ul tiferet (and beauty)” so that we can see man in this glory and beauty as he was created to be. Exo 28.3 says that his garments were to be made by people with a “ruach chachmah” (spirit of wisdom) from God, who are “chach’may lev” (wise in heart). There are many people who are followers but their hearts aren’t in it. They are double-minded and are unstable in all their ways (James 1.8). What it is referring to here in 28.3 are those whose face is turned towards God totally.

Exo 28.4-39 tells us what garments they are to make for the high priest. There will be eight garments in all (eight = new beginning). When we talk about the Mishkan or Temple, numbers will always be coming up and involved. We want to pay attention to those numbers because the Lord does not include them for no reason. God doesn’t waste words. If he is giving us a number it is for a reason. We may understand what it means or not, but it is still important.

Paul will allude to these garments in Eph 6.10-17. A priest was seen as engaging in spiritual warfare (Num 4.3). The word for service there is “tzava” and it means warfare (see also Psa 93.1; Isa 63.1-2). Each of the following will make one “thread” for the high priest garments. There will be one “strand” of zahav (gold) joined to six strands of techelet (blue) wool, six strands of argamon (purple) wool, six strands of tolat shanni (scarlet) wool, and six strands of shesh (linen) wool. That makes a strand of seven when you add one strand to each one, and with the gold it is the total of 28 strands to make one thread (4 x 7 = 28). In the paroket (veil) it was 24 (4 x 6).
Each color had six threads, plus a gold one. Six is the number of man (Hebrew letter “Vav”) and man was made in the image of God. The gold is added to the six, making it complete, or seven in total, to the garments of the high priest. Man (6) in incomplete without God (gold).

They were to take two onyx stones (shoham) and engraved on them will be the names of the sons of Israel. There will be six on one stone and six on the other, according to their birth order. These stones were on the shoulder. The stones on the breastplate will also be according to the birth order (Reuben to Benjamin). This engraving speaks of the eternal security of the believer, on the shoulder of the Lord. The shoulder speaks of strength and security. Israel is “borne” (Hebrew “nasa”= “to lift up”) on the shoulders of the Messiah (Isa 9.6). These stones are called the “Avnay Zikron” or “Stones of Remembrance.”

In Part 31, we will pick up here with the Breastplate of Judgment (“Choshen Mishpat”).

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 29

Isa 22.20-25 starts out with the eschatological term “in that day ” and we know this term talks about the coming of Messiah and the Redemption. Then it goes on to talk about Eliakim, who is a type of the Messiah. His name means “God will establish.” Eliakim will replace Shebna, who is a type of the False Messiah. Eliakim will be driven like a “yotaid” (tent peg, nail) into a firm place (v 23) and they will “hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, offspring and issue, all the least of vessels from bowls to all jars.”

Now, one or all of the five pillars that were at the doorway to the Mishkan are called “the Yotaid” because they had pegs/nails in the pillars in order to hang all the vessels used in the Mishkan and at the Altar. Ezra 9.8 says that God will have an escaped remnant and will give the people a “yotaid” (peg) in his Holy Place. Isa 22.25 says, “In that day (when Messiah comes) declares the Lord of Hosts, the peg (yotaid) driven in a firm place will give way and it will even break off and fall (the False Messiah) and the load hanging on it will be cut off (those who follow the False Messiah), for the Lord has spoken.” In other words, those that depended on the False Messiah will fall with him.

The yotaid looks like a nail and is the number six in Hebrew, the letter Vav. Three vavs together will look like the Hebrew letter Shin (this letter sands for God), but it isn’t that letter, but it will look like it if you don’t have wisdom. It will be just three vavs together (6,6,6). That will be the case with the False Messiah, he will “look like” people think the Messiah looks like, but he is a “false shin.” Eliakim is a type of the Messiah, a true yotaid, who will not fall when he driven into a firm place. Everything “hangs” on him (Matt 22.40). The vessels are the people who follow the true Messiah, and they will not fall. The vessels who hang on the false yotaid will fall.

The Mishkan itself was a huge building, woven with complex threads and massive panels. It had materials that were very expensive. Whether we are talking about cloth, gold, wood, silver or brass, it was expensive. Then we have the labor that went along with fashioning these things into what the Lord wanted. How many sheep do you need to sheer to get the wool that was needed? How many people would it take to get all of this together and work on it? This was a massive undertaking, and they were in the wilderness. They couldn’t just run down to Home Depot.

What about the crews that went out to cut down Acacia trees in order to get the boards? Some trees were very large and you had to trim and plane the trees so that you could use them. Everything had to be sturdy and put together as one unit (echad-Exo 26.6). All the parts of the Mishkan meant something and they had many applications, not just the Messiah.

In Exo 27.1-8 we have the Altar. It was made of acacia wood and it was five cubits (8 feet) long and three cubits (4 foot) high. It was overlaid with bronze, with four horns (power) on the four corners. Bronze is “nachoshet” in Hebrew and the same word is used when describing the Bronze Serpent in Num 21.9. There is a relationship between “nachash” (serpent) in Gen 3.1 and “nachoshet” (bronze) here.

Pails were made to remove the ashes from the Altar and it had shovels, basins, forks and fire pans also made of bronze. A grating work, a net of work (or lattice) was also bronze, with bronze rings attached to the grating. Wood and the korbanot were on this grate, half way down inside. It had poles made of acacia wood, overlaid with bronze to carry it. These poles were on two sides when carried. The Lord showed Moses how to make all these things on Mount Sinai. He had a picture of them and what the Lord wanted them to look like. This is a very important concept to remember. This altar was where you did “business” with God, a place of judgment and reconciliation, if you had the right motive and intent (kavanah).

Now, these verses about building the things for the Mishkan are telling us something. If you notice, starting in Exo 25.10, that these descriptions start from the inside, out. They come from the Lord’s perspective as he looks “inside” (Luke 17.21; Heb 8.8; Jer 31.31-34). This is how he builds us. We are assembled from the inside, out. Like us, the Mishkan was assembled, starting from the inside (Exo 40).

However, when coming into his presence the opposite is true. The first thing you encounter is the veil at the door. Then you encounter an anointed priest (Yeshua), then the altar (cross); then the Menorah (light and understanding); then the Shulchan Lechem ha Pannim (Table of the Bread of the faces, the Word of God, our daily bread); then the Altar of Incense (prayer). We are standing before the paroket (veil) which tells us we are going into a place with a higher kedusha. Then we encounter the Ark of the Covenant (the Throne of God, and his commands await us). This is how we come to the Lord, but many stop at the Altar of Incense. They have a problem with that “servant business.” They say, “All I need is back there on that altar.” They also say, “I want the mercy of God, but I don’t want what is down there in that box!” But in the New (means “Renewed”) Covenant, the Torah is written on our hearts (our “Ark”-Jer 31.33).

Are we following the tavnit (blueprint) that God gave us to approach him? How does a believer today react when he encounters these symbols? Will they follow God’s pattern given to Moses? Many Christians say if you follow the tavnit (blueprint), it is “legalism.” But God calls it obedience!. So, here is what to do when things aren’t going right.

Begin to do some checking and ask, “How is my Mishkan set up?” Evaluate whether you have everything, and is everything in the right place. Is there a fire on your altar? Is there bread on your table? Is your lamp lit? Is there incense on your table? Is the Ark of Testimony in your heart with the Torah deep inside? These are the things we need to check out if things aren’t right.

Exo 27.17-19 tells us that there were pillars around the outer courtyard. The dimensions of this courtyard was one hundred cubits long (160 feet) by fifty cubits wide (80 feet), and the height was five cubits (8 feet). The pillars had silver (redemption) bands with their hooks of silver, and their sockets were bronze (judgment). These “fence posts” were made of acacia wood and about five inches around. At the bottom they were held in place by a plate, or socket. They stayed upright by cords (Exo 38.18) fastened to pegs (Exo 27.19) driven into the ground (a yotaid).

Exo 27.20 tells us about the oil that was made of beaten olives. This was for the Menorah so that the lamps would “burn continually” (Ner Tamid). In a synagogue, there is a light near the Ark where the Torah scrolls are. This light is called the New Tamid. This was to bring to mind the light of the Menorah and the light of the Altar that burned continuously. Exo 27.21 says that the priests were to keep the tent of meeting, which is before the veil that separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies, in order from evening to evening. This verse tells us that the Holy Place is the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) now, replacing the Ohel Moed that was outside the camp. This is because the Mishkan is now built. There will be many laws in the Torah that are related to the Ohel Moed and there will be many details that will relate to this place. You will see the phrase “before the Lord” many times and this phrase relates to the Holy Place of the Mishkan, and later to the Holy Place of the Temple.

We will pick up here in Part 30.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 28

Now we are going to look at the boards of the Mishkan in Exo 26.15-30. They were vertical and were also called “beams.” They were 19.2 feet long and they went around the south and north side, twenty boards on each side. On the west end there were 6 boards. Two other boards connected the corners (Exo 26.24) showing that the Mishkan was square, nor circular as some think. These boards were made from acacia wood (or “shittim” wood), so let’s look at the acacia tree and apply some spiritual lessons to it..

It is a crooked tree when you look at it, but inside there is a potential board overlaid with gold, but you must be skilled enough to see it. It needed to be cut down after it was marked for its potential. This is like us. God sees us “crooked” and a sinner, but only he can see the potential in us because it is he who selects us, and we have been marked since before the foundation of the world (Eph 1.4). We have potential because he is going to impart his life into us. He sees us and he knows that we must be severed from our roots first. That could mean family, friends, where we live, a job, or many other things. A sharp saw will be needed, which is like the Word of God, which is sharp (Heb 4.12).

The tree is cut down and then it will lay there helpless, then the process of getting a log begins. The branches are cut off and the bulges and the crooked places are made straight. The tree must die in order to be used in the service of its maker. This can be a painful process for us. Every workman will seem “irksome” and rough but it is needed. The moisture and sap inside must be drained out (anger, bitterness, etc). There are further cuttings done until it is exactly the size needed and it “fits.” Then it is overlaid with gold, like we will be overlaid with the glory of God.

Now, we have an eschatological picture in these verses. We learn in Exo 26.22 that the west side had six boards. This is alluded to in Heb 6.18 where the Holy of Holies is described as a seventh place of refuge. There were six cities of refuge mentioned in Num 35.6, and in the Holy of Holies there were six boards on the west (towards God).
Heb 6.18 is related to our salvation and the Mishkan was the seventh place of refuge. Heb 6.18-19 says that believers have “fled for refuge” inside the veil. The sinner flees for refuge into God’s presence.

Are we guilty of of sin? Did our sins “kill” Yeshua? Is that murder? If so, the avenger of blood will take a sinner out and slay him. What is the purpose for the city of refuge? If there was a suspected murder, the avenger of blood (kinsman) can overtake the slayer and slay him. But if he goes to the city of refuge, then the suspect cannot be touched, and the case is investigated. If it was accidental manslaughter, then he can stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. If he is found to be a murderer, the avenger of blood can slay him as a murderer.

Now, if a sinner rejects Yeshua deliberately, the blood of Yeshua is on the hands of the sinner. The person who has faith and comes to the Lord, even though his sin caused his death, doesn’t realize the end result, so he is guilty of manslaughter. He is allowed to stay in the “refuge” as long as the high priest lives, and Yeshua lives forever (Heb 6.20, 7.24-25; John 3.18). His life is spared forever.

We learn that there are five bars that are for the boards and they will run horizontal. The middle bar goes from “end to end” and the other four bars compliment the middle bar. This is a chiastic structure. The middle bar speaks of the Messiah who is eternal. He goes from “end (pre-creation) to end (Olam Haba). He is the “shammash” of the vine like in a menorah (Mic 5.2; Rev 22.13; John 1.1-3). The five books of Torah are chiastic, with Leviticus being the central book because it is a book about Kedusha. The Mishkan was erected according to the plan that God gave Moses. The word “plan” is “mishpato” meaning judgement, court and justice. Like the Scriptures, the Mishkan foretells the coming of the Messiah in these bars and he is eternal (Exo 26.30).

Now we are going to talk about directions used in these verses. We are going to use as a source the Stone Chumash, Mesorah Publications, p. 457, where it says, “It is obvious that the word “mizrach” (east) is derived from “zerach”, the shining of the sun, and “ma’erev”, west, is derived from “zerev”, evening or the setting of the sun. Rambam explains the derivation of the other names for the various directions. Unlike the commonly used secular system that uses north as the primary point of reference, so that all maps have north on top, the Torah’s system assigns the role to the east, as will be seen below. East is primary because it is natural for people to look toward the sun, which rises in the east, and for this reason the east is nicknamed “kerem”, forward. Conversely,, west is nicknamed “achar”, rear (this word is used in Gen 22.13; Exo 3.1), because it is in back of someone facing eastward. The west is also nicknamed “yam”, sea, because the Mediterranean Sea is the western boundary of Eretz Israel. The proper name for south is “tayman”, and it is nicknamed “negev” which means dry, after the southern desert of Eretz Israel. Its other name, “darom” is a contraction of the word “dar rom”, dwelling on high, because as one goes south from Eretz Israel, the sun is higher in the sky. North is called “zaphon”, hidden, because as one goes toward the north, the sun is seen less and less, and in the extreme north it does not rise at all for part of the year. The south is also called “yamin”, right, and the north “shm’owl”, left, because they are on those sides of a person facing east, the primary direction.”

So, in Exo 26.18, south is “negev”, north in verse 20 is “zaphon” and west in verse 22 is “yamah” (yam is the sea). Yamah is the feminine form of yam (sea). What is it referring to? It refers to the Mediterranean Sea. But, where are they building the Mishkan? They are not in Israel, they are at Mount Sinai. The sea that is west of them there is the Gulf of Aqaba. So, as you can see, the words in these verses are not the typical words for these directions. In secular maps, north is the primary direction of reference. But in the Torah, it is east.

Exo 26.31-33 speaks about the veil, or “paroket.” There were four posts between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. This veil was the work of skilled workmen (“choshev”) who were able to make figures of keruvim (cherubim) appear on both sides of the veil. At the entry into the Holy Place, there will be five posts. The Ark is brought in, and the Paroket (veil) is hung as a partition between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. The poles of the Ark poked through against this paroket, and this veil separated between two levels of kedusha.

In Exo 26.34-37 says that the High Priest had the Shulchan Lechem Ha Pannim (Table of the Bread of the Faces), the Mizbeach Shell Zahav (Golden Incense Altar) and the Menorah brought into the Holy Place. Exo 26.36-37 says they they made a “misak” (screen) for the doorway into the Holy Place, which had five posts. In Isa 22.8, this word “misak” is translated as “defense” in the NASB, but it is “covering” in the KJV. In addition, Isa 22.8 mentions the “House of the Forest”, which is the House of the Forest of Lebanon in the First Temple, and it was an armory (1 Kings 7.2, 10.1`7, 10.21, 14.25-26). It was called the Beit Ha Otzrot (House of the Forest) in the Second Temple. This building was in Judah’s portion, and just north of there was the portion that Benjamin had.

It is believed that the four corner buildings of the Temple had domes on top of them, and these domes were made of brass. What Isa 22.8 is saying is, King Hezekiah (“they”) took the brass off of the House of the Forest of Lebanon (“misak” is this covering of brass) in Judah’s portion to finance the projects Hezekiah needed to finance in order to fortify Jerusalem against the Assyrians.

In Part 29 we will pick up with these five pillars and show how they are associated with the concept of the “Yotaid” (peg, nail) which is alluding to either the Messiah or the False Messiah.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 27

In Deut 33.2 it says, “The Lord came from Sinai and dawned on them from Seir. He shone forth from Mount Paran.” Judges 5.4 says, “The mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord, this Sinai, at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.” Hab 3.3-5 says, “God comes from Teman (southern Edom area), and the Holy one from Mount Paran (Sinai area).” This happened in the First Redemption, and Habakkuk writes about being delivered from Babylon. But, there is another fulfillment to this in the Second Redemption.

Isa 63.1 says, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah.” Edom is just north of Kadesh Baarnea (or Wadi Rum), the area we have been talking about. Isa 63.2-6 goes on to talk about the Messiah and his garments that are “red” like one who treads in a wine press. This imagery of a wine press can be seen in Rev 14.14-20 where it says, “The wine press was trodden outside the city and blood came out from the wine press up to the horse’s bridles for a distance of 200 miles.” This is the distance from Wadi Rum to Jerusalem. Gen 49.8-12 says, “He washes his garments in wine and his robes in the blood of grapes.” This is talking about the Messiah.

In Christianity it is taught that the Messiah will come as the “lightning out of the east.” As a result, everyone is thinking that he will come from “due east.” Edom is south in western thought. However, in Hebrew thought, it is east. This can be illustrated this way. Look at a map of this area. Draw a vertical line through Jerusalem going north and south. Everything to the right of that line is considered “east” and everything to the left of that line is considered “west.” Messiah is coming from Edom, which would be “east.”

Hab 3.12-13 says, “In indignation (a term for the Birth Pains) thou didst march through the earth (or “land”); in anger thou didst trample the nations (who resist him). Thou didst go forth for the salvation (Hebrew “Yesha”) of thy people, for thy salvation (Yesha is related to Yeshua) of thine anointed (mashiach or “Messiah))” This is literally “yesha et mashichaycha.” The word “et” is the Aleph and the Tav, the first and ast letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and we know this is a term for Yeshua the Messiah in Rev 1.8. So, it can mean Yeshua is the head (aleph) of the covenant (tav), your Messiah (mashiach). This is a verse that actually names Yeshua as the Messiah. He goes forth to “smite the head of the house of the evil one, to lay him open from thigh to neck.” In eschatological terms, he is going to crush Leviathan (the False Messiah). We need to know where Mount Sinai is and we need to know where Kadesh Barnea is. We need to understand the first Exodus so that we can understand the second Exodus. It will tell you the path that Yeshua will take when he comes.

When Jacob died, they will take the same path to Canaan to bury him that they will take in the Exodus from Egypt. From Mount Sinai, Yeshua will take the same path to Jerusalem Israel took with Mosses, and then Joshua. It is not just a story to entertain us or to draw principles from. The story is awe inspiring if you don’t learn the Hollywood version or what is taught in most of Christianity. When you can lay it all out and see it, there is a world of difference. There is no “lullaby effect.”

When the Messiah comes, we believe he will come to Mount Sinai first (Deut 33.2; Hab 3.3, possibly on Rosh Ha Shannah) and then move north to Jerusalem, picking up those who had fled the False Messiah and have been hidden away in the wilderness, protected by the Lord (Rev 12.6-17). He will cross at Gilgal like Joshua did and move towards Jerusalem. He will stand on the Mount of Olives on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29.31).

Now, we are going to take a look at the Mishkan we have been talking about and begin to pick up concepts that will help us in our understanding of the Tanak. Remember, the Lord is going to teach us about the concept of Kedusha and the Redemption. We have already given you the command to build the Mishkan in Exo 25. 8-9, so we are going to pick up some information on the curtains (or coverings) in Exo 26.1-14. We recommend that you get the book “The Tabernacle of Israel” by James Strong for more information.

The Mishkan had coverings that consisted of the colors “techelet” or blue wool, “argamon” which is a purple wool, “tolat shanni” which is a scarlet wool and “shesh” which is linen. The blue symbolizes heaven, and Yeshua is seen as the Son of God from heaven in the Book of John. The purple symbolizes royalty and Yeshua is seen as the King in the Book of Matthew. The scarlet symbolizes Yeshua as the suffering servant of God in the Book of Mark, and the linen symbolizes the humanity of Yeshua as the Son of God in the Book of Luke.

The size of the cubit used for the curtains/coverings was 19.2 inches, or five hand breadths. The Mishkan will be seen as “one” (Hebrew “echad” meaning a composite unity). This is the same word used in the Shema in Deut 6.4. These curtains, or coverings, were 44.8 feet long and the width was 32 feet. Each of them have four sections of linen, scarlet, purple and blue, with Cherubim on both sides. This was done by “skilled workmen” and the appearance of figures on both sides was called “choshev.” Some will say “How is that possible?” But, we must remember, the Temple and the Mishkan is not the same environment we live in. God is perfectly capable of giving these workmen the wisdom needed to accomplish what he wants. The Mishkan and the Temple went by a different set of rules.

Each thread of these curtains were made of strands. The techelet had six strands, the argamon was six strands, the tolat shanni was six strands and the linen was six strands, for a total of 24 strands. These were put together to make one thread. Israel is divided up into 24 districts, the Kohanim were divided into 24 Mishmarot (courses). The Levites had 24 Mishmarot. There are 24 elders in Rev 4.4. So, we learn that the number 24 is an important number. Israel is represented in each single thread. Now, how many threads are you going to have in a 44.8 by 32 foot Mishkan curtain? The Mishkan was 30 cubits long (48 feet) and 10 cubits in width and height (16 feet). There will be four coverings over the Mishkan.

The Mishkan will be rectangular in most pictures, but there are teachings in the last few years that say that the Mishkan was “circular” along with the courtyard. However, this is incorrect. What we will see as we go through this structure is that it was not circular. There is a word that will be seen throughout this building, and that word is “corners.” It will also talk about the “four corners” and terms like “north, south, east and west.” Those are terms used throughout the Scriptures. We will see the four corners of the earth from where the people will be gathered, the four cornered Talit with fringes, and the four corners of a field. So, look for those terms as we move along.

Exo 26 7-14 describes the second layer or covering made of goats hair (“Izim”). In Hebrew this verses says “You shall make curtains of goat’s hair for a tent over the Mishkan; you shall make eleven curtains in all.” Tent is being used there and it is the word “Ohel” and this will be an important term. This goat hair covering was to protect the finely-spun curtains of the Mishkan from the elements. This goat hair was like the outer appearance of Yeshua and his human nature (Son of Man). So, what you have is a Mishkan with a “tent” (ohel) over it. There will be a total of four coverings.

The third covering is ram’s skins dyed red and it speaks of being “under the blood.” Ram’s were used in the consecration of a priest and were males, which speaks of the active will. Rams were also seen as the leader of a flock. The last covering was “porpoise” skins (Hebrew “Tachash”). This may have been made out of a marine animal called the “Dugong.” They are 12-30 feet long and graze on seaweed. They are plentiful in the Red Sea. These curtains had an overhang so that no natural light can get in from the outside. The only light will be from the Menorah.

The word for “cover” and “covering” in Exo 26.13-14 is “L’Kasohto and “M’Kiseh.” We are familiar with the word “Kiseh” which means “covering” or “concealment.” Kiseh is a term for a “chair” in modern Hebrew, but in ancient Hebrew it was the word for a throne. The throne of the king had a covering on it called a canopy. That is why one of the names for Rosh Ha Shannah is called “Yom Ha Kiseh” of “Day of Concealment.”

In Part 28 we will pick up here and begin to talk about the boards of the Mishkan.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 26

In Lev 1.1, the Lord would call to Moses from the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed). What is interesting is in the word for “called” (“vayikra”), the last letter is a small aleph in Hebrew. The next word is “to” (“el”) and it has an enlarged aleph. God will raise up a prophet like Moses (Deut 18.18). John 1.2 says that he was in the beginning with God (the letter aleph is the beginning of the Hebrew alphabet and it is a letter that stands for God).

Exo 24.15-18 says that the kivod (glory/radiance) rested on Mount Sinai and the cloud covered the mountain for sis days. On the seventh day God called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. Moses entered the cloud and was on the mountain. This alludes to the fact that the glory of the Lord is a consuming fire. After 6000 years the Lord will call believers “up” to heaven on the seventh day.

Lev 9.23-24 says that Moses and Aaron go into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people and the kivod appeared to everyone. Then a fire came out from before the Lord and it consumed the burnt offering and the portions of the fat on the altar. The people saw it and they shouted, and fell on their faces. Now, there is a parallel between Exo 24 and Lev 9.

Zech 8.1-3 says “The Lord of Hosts” and it means the “Lord of the armies.” Anytime you see that expression it is always understood to be related to the coming of the Messiah and the fulfillment of the redemption. We have Mount Sinai being called the “mountain of the Lord” and it is also “adamat kodesh” (holy ground). Moses is to bring the people to that mountain to worship the Lord. Then he commands them to build a Mishkan or “mikdash” (House of Kedusha). When they left Sinai they could take the kedusha with them. This gives the people a place to meet with the Lord without having to go back to Mount Sinai. It will also allow the Lord to teach them about kedusha, the concept that they lost.

All of the Torah commands should be seen through this filter. The more you understand about the Mishkan, the Temple, the ceremonies and vessels, the more you will know about the Torah and the Scriptures. The Mishkan will move from Sinai to the wilderness, then it crosses the Jordan into the Promised Land, to Gilgal. From there it will move to Shiloh, then to Nob. Then it goes to Gibeon and then finally to Jerusalem. Once it arrives in Jerusalem, it will never move again. However, prophecy seems to indicate that the Mishkan will be found and accompany the believers as they flee from the False Messiah into the wilderness. The kedusha is relevant to the location of the Mishkan in the midst of the people.

Ezek 37.2-28 tells us that the ultimate sign of the redemption is the return of the exiles back to the land (Gen 48.19; Rom 11.26). The nation will be one nation. Where it says in Ezek 37.24 “My servant David” it is a term for the Messiah. He will be king and shepherd over the people (v 24) and he will be their “prince” or “nasi” (v 25). So, king, shepherd and prince are synonymous terms for the Messiah (1 Chr 11.2; Ezek 44.3; Acts 3.15, 5.30-31) Ezek 37 26-27 says the Lord will set his sanctuary in their midst (mikdash) and “my dwelling place also” (Mishkan). The nations will know that the Lord sanctifies Israel (kedusha) when “my sanctuary (house of kedusha) is in their midst forever” (v 28).

At Mount Sinai they became a nation (Exo 19.6), a priesthood and a holy nation. It was their commission to lead the world to an understanding of the Lord’s mission of redemption as the “bechor” or First Born among the nations (Exo 4.22). This is the first time they become his “assembly” or “kahal” (Deut 18.16). They came to the mountain because the Lord was at the mountain. They have come back for the first time as his “bechor” and a body of people in the presence (Shki’nah) of his kedusha. He gives them a kedusha now so they can come and meet with him.

When we come back with Messiah at the end of the Birth Pains, the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth (as it is in heaven), and the Torah will go forth over the entire earth. We not only come back to earth, but we are coming back where it all began. The return of the Shki’nah is the return of the kedusha among the people that Adam lost. This concept is described in the apocalyptic language in Rev 21.1-27.

In Exo 17.1-7 and Num 20.1, 8-13, we have two “waters of strife.” In Exo 17 .1 is a place called “Rephidim” and it means “lax”, and it the camp right before getting to Mount Sinai. In Num 20.8 the people are thirsty again and Moses is told to “speak to the rock” but in anger he strikes the rock. They are not at Sinai, but Kadesh Barnea (Wadi Rum). Moses got mad at the people and he struck the rock for his own purposes. In 1 Cor 10.4 it tells us the the “rock” was a picture of the Messiah. In striking the rock you have a picture of the Messiah being slain the first and only time. But once he has been struck (slain), there is no need for him to be struck again, you speak to him for salvation.

We believe that Wadi Rum (“valley of the moon”) is Kadesh Barnea (“holy wandering”). The largest underground lake in the Middle East is there and it goes from Wadi Rum down into Saudi Arabia. At some places, the porous surface rock is only an inch thick. If you know where to strike the rock, the water would come from it. Kadesh Barnea is not just a location, but it is 280 square miles. Israel will be at Kadesh Barnes for 38 years (Deut 2.14), and this area would allow them to move if needed to find wood, grazing, and for sanitary reasons. Num 34.1-4 gives the borders south of Kadesh Barnea. Deut 1.2-11 tells us that it is an eleven day journey from Mount Horeb (Sinai) to Kadesh Barnea.

So, they leave Kadesh Barnea and journey north to Petra, where Aaron dies. Then they come to the Zered Valley, the valley going east at the bottom of the Dead Sea. They are moving north. Wadi Rum is Kadesh Barnea in Deut 9.22-23, 32.51 and Judges 11.12-17. Many movies have been filmed there, like “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Red Planet”, “Passion in the Desert”, “The Face”, “Transformers”, “Revenge of the Fallen”, “The Frankincense Trail”, “Prometheus”, “May in the Summer” and “Hildago.” You can look at pictures on the internet of Wadi Rum and see what it is like, and the area is huge. Now, why is all this important?

Every word of Scripture is important and inspired of God. The Scriptures have a constant attack upon it by unbelievers. The festivals of Christianity are an attack on the Word of God. It gives a form of godliness. People will say, “It doesn’t matter when Yeshua was born” but it does matter. When he was born can be found in the Scriptures, and Christmas has a pagan root. Passover is from God, Easter has pagan roots. It is important because Mount Sinai is not where many say it is. It was placed there by the mother of Constantine, Helena.

The route of the Exodus is important and it will tell us where they crossed the sea. It relates to the three days agreed upon by Pharaoh and Moses in the Scripture. The biblical Kadesh Barnea is important. Wadi Rum comes from the name “Iram” and he was a chief of Edom (Gen 36.43). The name Iram in Hebrew means “city” (Ir) and “am” (people), or “city of my people.” We can tell where things will happen in the Birth Pains and the coming of the Messiah if we know where things happened in the past. We have more than established where Joseph was entombed and where Sukkot was, and this is where the Exodus began. We have established where they crossed the sea (Gulf of Suez). We have shown where they came up from the sea and took a road to the northeast to the Derek Seir, and traveled along the Derek Seir to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, where they encountered the Amalekites. We have established that after the battle, they went south to Midian, where Mount Sinai is, and we think Jabal al Lawz is the best candidate for it. We have also established where Madian-Polis is, the home of Yitro, 12 miles west of Jabal al Lawz. We have also shown where Kadesh Barnea is (Wadi Rum), where Israel spent 38 years. All of this is important.

In Part 27, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 25

Previously we went over the basic story of how they arrived to Mount Sinai, and most people read the Torah with that background. These events happened in a specific order for people to understand this. There is a book called “The Temple: It’s Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now” by Joshua Berman, and this book will get into this and it will change how you read the Torah. The book deals with subjects like “What is Kedusha”, “The Temple and Gan Eden”, and “Sinai and Sanctuary.” These are major concepts in the Scriptures.

Exo 15 alludes to the fact that one of the reasons the people are going to Sinai was to receive the Mishkan, along with the Torah and a government. The Targum Onkelos on this chapter tells us how Exo 15.2 (KJV) was viewed in the First century. There was a Targum Yonaton Ben Uzziel also that dealt with the Prophets. The largest Jewish population was in the Parthian Empire, the old Babylonian and Persian Empire. You did not speak Hebrew there but a related language called Aramaic.

If you lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the second largest Jewish population and community, you spoke Greek. In the synagogue, this is how it worked. You could not read from the Aramaic or from the Greek. You could only read from the Hebrew. Why? Because it was the only language with a “kedusha” (holy language). It was the only language you were allowed to read from in the Torah, the Prophets (Nevi’im) or the Writings (Ketuvim), known as the Tanak (T, N, K). Following this they had an interpreter stand up and he would quote the Septuagint in a Greek speaking area. He was not allowed to read from it. That would give the wrong idea to the Greek speaking people listening to it. It would put Greek as an equal to Hebrew, and there is no kedusha that we have in the Scriptures associated with Greek, only Hebrew. It is like today. There are people who think that the KJV is inspired and that was the language “Jesus” spoke. There is only one language and version that was inspired and had a kedusha on it, and that is the Hebrew Mount Sinai version!

The same thing can be said if you were in an Aramaic speaking area. The interpreter would stand and quote from the Targum. That is why the targums are important. It gives us a glimpse into how the people interpreted the Scriptures. The Targum Onkelos was written in the First Century, and the Targum Yonaton was written during the time of Paul at least.

Exo 24.1-3 tells us that Moses tells the people what the Lord had said concerning all the ordinances and words, and the people answered, “We will do!” They say the same thing in Exo 19.8 before God has even said anything yet from Sinai. By Exo 24, they have had the experience of the Lord coming down and speaking to them personally and audibly to them, and they were afraid because of what they saw (!9.18-19). So, they say “We will do” before and after the Ten Commandments were given.

Now, why would Moses be allowed to sprinkle blood in Exo 24.4-6? Would he be allowed to do it after Exo 28, where the family of Aaron is set to apart as priests, and the only ones who will be able to approach the Altar with blood? Even though Moses is from Levi, he is not from the family of Aaron. He is a Levite but not a kohen, and in Exo 24 we have not gotten to Exo 28 yet. What we want you to see is in Exo 24.7 the people say “We will do” again.

In Exo 24.8-10 we have a “Ma’aseh Merkavah” or a “Vision/Work of the Chariot.” When people say “Chariot of God” there is another name for “chariot.” The “chariot” is seen as the “throne” of God, like the Ark of the Covenant. The “Ma’aseh Merkavah” is the throne of God where people are allowed to see it. You will also see it in Exo 19; Exo 20; here in Exo 24; Ezek 1,3,10; Zech 6; and the Book of Revelation, to name a few.

Exo 24.11-13 we read where Moses goes up to receive the commandments and the Torah. Exo 24.14-18 tells us that he was there forty days and forty nights. Now, remember the sign God gave to Moses in Exo 3.12? The sign was that he would bring the people out of Egypt and they will come to Mount Sinai to serve the Lord. The mountain was “adamat kodesh” (holy ground-Exo 3.4-5)) so the mountain had a kedusha (holy). Now, the concept of kedusha (holy) in the Scriptures will not be what most people think it is.

Exo 25.1-9 tells us that a “terumah” (contribution) will be taken for the Mishkan. Now we know why the Egyptians gave up their gold, silver and clothing to Israel when they left. These materials were used in the Mishakn. From these materials they were to make a “mikdash” so that the Lord may “dwell” (shkan’ti) within (“b’tawcham”) them. The Garden of Eden was perfect in every way. Man was placed in the garden to be a “king” over the garden, under the Lord. Man had total authority. Adam, like Yeshua, could speak and it would happen.

Many people think that Adam was in the Garden for a long time. However, Adam sinned within a week after his creation. He was created on Tishri 6 and sinned on Tishri 10, according to many opinions. The Garden of Eden was a place of kedusha and man had a kedusha, he was made in the image of God. The Lord set apart Tishri 10 as a perpetual day of “atonement” and a day he would reestablish the earth. From Tishri 6 to Tishri 10 is four days, and a day to the Lord is like a “thousand years” (Psa 90.4). After four thousand years from creation, Yeshua appeared and brought the redemption, but not in its fullest just yet. It was the start of the redemption process. Why did he need to do that?

Man was no longer in the “image of God” because he lost the kedusha that was placed upon him at creation. Adam sinnsed, and was driven from the place of kedusha, the Garden of Eden, and from God’s Shki’nah (presence) because it would have destroyed him (Exo 19.20-23). The Levites were not to touch the articles in the Mishkan, they were not even to look at them “even for a moment” because of the kedusha that was on them (Num 4.15-20).

We have seen in Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 5.8 that the Mishkan was made so that it could be carried with them and there would be no need to go to Mount Sinai anymore. The Lord himself would descend and pitch his Mishkan among Israel and be present at their prayers. We have Mount Sinai as “adamat kodesh (holy ground) just like Gan Eden. Individuals had direct encounters with the Lord up to this point (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob). What happens at Mount Sinai is an entire nation encountered God.

The Mishkan will allow them to take a place of kedusha with them. They certainly couldn’t take Mount Sinai with them. They could enter the Mishkan and the Lord would manifest himself in front of them. Every commandment you have from Exo 25 to Lev 13 will relate somehow to the Mishkan. That is nearly 40 chapters! The reason that the Mishkan was given at that time is all these commandments were to be looked at through the “scope” of the Mishkan or the “scope” of kedusha.

We have the creation in Gen 1 and 2, and if you compare it with the building of the Miskan, you will find the same phrases used over and over. The Sinai experience will have a parallel with the Mishkan. We are instructed to remember the Exodus from Egypt. We do not have any commandment to remember the giving of the Torah on Sinai. When Moses goes up the mountain, a cloud comes down and it covers the mountain (Exo 24.25). When the Mishkan is built, the Lord will come down and a cloud covers the tent. The presence (Shki’nah) of God “dwelt” on Mount Sinai, and it would “dwell” in the Mishkan. When you look at the word “Mishkan” itself, you can see the word “shkan” in it, meaning to dwell.

Exo 30.36 says that the incense is put in the tent of meeting where “I shall meet with you.” Exo 40.34-35 says the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the “kivod” (glory, radiance) of God filled the Mishkan. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and kivod (radiance) of the Lord filled the Mishkan. When the cloud was taken up from over the Mishkan, the sons of Israel would set out. If it did not lift up, they stayed where they were (Exo 40.36-37). The cloud would be on it by day, and there was fire in it by night.

In Part 26, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 24

Now, let’s go to Exo 3, where we know that Moses has been sent back to the people so he can lead them out of Egypt to Mount Sinai. Sinai is called “Kodesh Adamat” in Hebrew, meaning “holy ground.” This is only the second time something is called “kodesh” (holy) in the Tanak. This will be the first time Moses is called a “shaliach” (3.10) or “sent one.” He is told to bring Israel to Mount Sinai. We have the plagues and how Moses must deal with Pharaoh. When they leave Egypt, they were only allowed to go for a period of three days, and we are told this three times (3.18, 5.3, 8.27).

They will leave Egypt on the 15th of Nisan, 430 years from the Covenant between the Halves in Gen 15 (Exo 12.41). They then begin their journey from a place called Sukkot, which is in the Faiyum and called “Succos” anciently. It is known as Harawa today. The Labyrinth is there and it has been shown to be a huge granary and mortuary temple.

Many in the Messianic, Sacred Name and Two House Movement today believe Israel crossed the Gulf of Aqaba. We have shown that this is impossible. We know this because they could only go three days into the wilderness, and we also know that is what they did because of the three camps mentioned in Exo 13.20-14.2). So, they had to have crossed the Gulf of Suez.

There may have been more than one “path” through the see as alluded to in Psa 77.19 and Psa 136.13. This would have allowed the tribes to pass through the sea quickly. Pharaoh dies in the sea, leaving no successor and Israel is free (Psa 136.15, 106.6-11, 74.13-14). The last Pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty was Dudimoses. He was the Pharaoh of the Exodus according to some scholars (“Pharaohs and Kings” by David Rohl). A Third Century BC Egyptian named Manetho described God (in the singular) smiting the Egyptians in the reign of Tutimaos (Greek for Dudimoses). He said, “This left the Egyptians powerless so that foreigners could take over Egypt without bloodshed.” The only time this happened was with the Hyksos at the end of the Middle Kingdom and the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period (1649-1539 BC).

When this dynasty fell, there was a tremendous vacuum. That is usually not the case when one Pharaoh dies and another takes his place. However, if Dudimoses was the Pharaoh, his demise and the demise of his army would explain the chaos. In addition, Egypt has also been devastated by the plagues. That would explain why Manetho said it was the work of God and why the 13th Dynasty ended abruptly.

We are told that Israel came out of Egypt along the path to the Gulf of Suez. Once across on the other side, they took a road leading up to the Derek Seir (Way to Seir) that cut across the northern end of the Sinai Peninsula to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is in this area that they are met by the Amalekites. A battle with the Amalekites is described in Exo 17 and it happened in the area around this northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, and before they got to Mount Sinai.

Edom is north of this area (Seir) and he had a descendant named Amalek. They became such a large group they were separate from the Edomites. They were to be a very war-like people and they were to be the perpetual enemy of Israel. The name “Amalekite” became a name for every enemy of the Jews, including Nazi Germany. We are told in Josephus that the Amalekites lived in the area of Petra. Some scholars like David Rohl suggest that the Amalekites were the Hyksos. We know from Scripture that news of the defeat of Egypt and the plagues spread abroad and the peoples of the region knew about the death of Pharaoh and the destruction of the chariot army. The Amalekites certainly would have known and they may have been moving to a vulnerable Egypt when they confronted Israel on their way to Sinai. The Amalekites were headed west and Israel was headed east.

At Sinai they were given the Torah, but Exo 18.16 says that Moses was teaching the statutes and laws before they were given the Torah at Sinai. In Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 5.8, it says that in addition to receiving the Torah and a government, they would also receive instruction about building a Mishkan. The Mishkan made it possible for the kedusha (“kodesh adamat” in Exo 3.5) that was on Mount Sinai to travel with the people in the Mishkan. That meant that they did not need to travel back down to Mount Sinai. Once they had the place for the Temple and it was built during the time of Solomon, the kedusha would move from the Mishkan to the Temple. Another name for the Temple was the “Beit Ha Mikdash” meaning “House of Kedusha.”

So, we have the Torah, the government and the Mishkan. The third time “kodesh” is used in the Scriptures is in Exo 19.6, when the Lord says, “And you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Israel is becoming a nation, not just a collection of tribes. Israel is being commissioned to lead the world to and understanding of God and the redemption. That is why Israel is called the “first born” in Exo 4.22. Peter reiterates this commission in 1 Pet 2.8-9.

In Gen 2.8 it says that the Lord planted a garden “toward the east in Eden.” East of where? The answer is found in Jer 17.12 where it says, “A glorious throne on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” This alludes back to Eden. The Garden was “east” of his throne on earth. Where it says, “from the beginning” it means from the beginning of time (“rishon”). So, the Mishkan and later the Temple, will be seen as Gan Eden. But it is more than that, it is Mount Sinai (holy ground).

Man was created in the image of God and he originally had a kedusha. When Adam sinned, man lost that kedusha and as a result, the world does not understand this concept. The commission of Israel will be to take the concept of kedusha to the rest of the world, among other things. Israel will live out the commandments which also have a kedusha (Rom 7.12). That is why when a believer keeps the Sabbath, he is telling the world that there is a kedusha of time. When he does not forbidden food he is testifying about kedusha. The world can look at Israel and a believer living out their lives before the Lord and see and have an understanding of kedusha (Deut 4.1-8, 11.1-32).

Now we are going to go to Exo 15.1-18 and see what is called the “Shirat Ha Yam” or “Song at the Sea.” This song is very eschatological. Exo 15.2 is translated “I will build him a sanctuary (habitation)” in the KJV, and it follows the Targum Onkelos, Rashi and Ibn Ezra. In the Stone Edition of the Chumash, Mesorah Publications, p. 317, it says, “And I will build him a sanctuary (lit., I will glorify him. Onkelos, Rashi, Ibn Ezra). All three agree that this is the primary interpretation, from “naveh”, home. It expresses Israel’s longing to build a Temple as the resting place of God’s presence. R’Mendel of Kotzak and R’Hirsch expand on this, rendering, I will make myself a sanctuary for him, for the greatest of all sanctuaries is the human being who makes himself holy.” The Hertz Pentateuch says, “And I will glorify him.” The rendering, ‘I will prepare him a habitation’ (KJV) follows Onkelos and the Rabbis, who translate, ‘I shall build thee a sanctuary.'”

We have always taught that we do not have the building of the Mishkan till Exo 25.8-9. There was a rabbinical discussion as to whether the Mishkan or Mikdash was built as a result of Exo 32, the Golden Calf incident. The answer to that discussion is “No.” However, it seems by Exo 15 and the Song at the Sea that they already had the concept of building a Mishkan and Mikdash. Onkelos, Rashi and Ibn Ezra all agree that Exo 15.2 gives the message of a Temple.

This is very important to understand as we talk about Mount Sinai. We know that the festival of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. We know the basic story of what happened on Mount Sinai. They arrive and the Lord comes down and speaks. The people actually hear the voice of God and it is divided into seventy tongues. Moses goes up on the mountain and receives the tablets of stone. We also have the Golden Calf incident and Moses destroys the Two Tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them. Moses makes the people choose who they are going to follow. The Tribe of Levi stands with the Lord and three thousand people are slain. Then Moses goes back up the mountain. As you know, when the Holy Spirit was given at Shavuot in Acts 2, we have God speaking an various tongues, wind, fire and three thousand people were saved (Acts 2.1-41). That is not a coincidence.

In Part 25 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 23

Our next key individual and series of events will be centered around Jacob. Jacob flees from Esau and goes to Paddan-Aram for 20 years. He has wives and children over the years, but he is losing favor with Laban and his sons in Gen 31.1. They accuse him of stealing all the wealth. Jacob will Laban with much wealth and this relates to the Covenant between the Halves and the promises there (Gen 15.14).

This also alludes to Israel coming out of Egypt in the First Redemption, and to the Jews fleeing Babylon (America) in the Birth-Pains. They will be going back to the land (Mic 4.9-10; Jer 51.6,45,50; Zech 2.6-7; Rev 18.4). Later, Joseph is sold into slavery. His brothers were going to do it but some Midianite traders got to the pit first and sold him to the Ishmaelites traders, and they took him to Egypt. When the brothers got to the pit, they found that Joseph was gone and they did not know exactly what happened to him. Joseph thinks he he has been kicked out of the family, that his father was involved, and they were the ones that sold him. We went over this in detail in the latter part of “Concepts in Genesis.”

Egypt has come out of the First Intermediate Period by this time, and they are now in what is called the Middle Kingdom. Amenemhat III is the Pharaoh of Joseph. He gained power over all of Egypt. A tributary of the Nile was dredged to a lake called Lake Moeris. A system of locks were made that could bring water in and out of the lake. This made it possible to always have water to grow produce in this area during a time of famine caused by drought or too much water. A huge granary was constructed at Harawa that was considered one of the wonders of the world. Grain could be stored there and then shipped up and down the Nile as needed.

This water system is known as the “Canals of Joseph.” This system, along with the huge granary was constructed during the reign of Amenemhat III. The most fertile region at this time was the Faiyum, it was not the Nile delta. This was where the children of Israel settled when they first came into the land. They will be in the land for a total of 210 years.

Joseph is 30 when he is made a ruler second only to Pharaoh. There were seven years of plenty, and two years into the seven years of famine his brothers show up to buy food. That makes Joseph 39 years old, and he will pass away at 110 years old. So, Joseph reigned for 80 years, deducting the seven years of famine, he reigned 73 years in Egypt and things were pretty good. It is not until after Joseph’s death that another dynasty comes along and everything changes. Israel has 139 years left in Egypt. When Moses was born they were already oppressed, and the Exodus will be another 80 years later, that brings our total to 59 years.

The Faiyum is where Jacob settled, where Amenemhat III reigned, along with Joseph. Herodotus wrote about this huge granary and called it the Labyrinth. It had 3000 rooms and 12 gates (Herodotus, History 2.148-149). The Greek historian Strabo also wrote about this Labyrinth in “Geography, 17.1.37-38). It was called one of the wonders of the ancient world (“7 Little Known Wonders of the Ancient World” by Evan Andrews). The Labyrinth was a mortuary Temple and a granary. It was also the tomb of a high Egyptian dignitary, but not the tomb of Amenemhat III He had his own pyramid. Was this dignitary Joseph?

We are told that this labyrinth is at Harawa, which is also called “Succos” in Greek. We are told in the Scriptures that when Israel started out on their three day journey into the wilderness to worship the Lord, they set out from a place called “Sukkot” (Harawa, “Coming Out of Egypt” by K.C. Stricker, p. 121). It is possible that this is ancient Succos. This labyrinth complex was built in the 12th Dynasty, and Moses comes along in the 13th Dynasty.

We are still in the Middle Kingdom, but we have a dynastic change. We do not believe that the Pharaoh of the Exodus is Rameses II. That is what all the movies will tell you, and the Christian world. Why do they say that? Because Israel is building a city called Rameses in Exo 1.11. However, the name Rameses was a common name, Rameses II is from the 19th Dynasty. Following the 13th Dynasty, we enter into the Second Intermediate Period. It is possible that the Exodus, the plagues, the loss of slaves, the destruction of Egypt’s Pharaoh and chariots caused this intermediate period.

A Third Century BC Egyptian named Manetho described God (in the singular) striking the Egyptians in the reign of Pharaoh Tutimaos (Greek for Dudimoses) saying, “This left the Egyptians powerless so that foreigners could take over Egypt without bloodshed.” The only time this happened was with the Hyksos (meaning “foreign rulers” and could be the Amalekites) at the end of the Middle Kingdom and the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period (1649-1539 BC). This means Manetho believed that God sent the plagues and wiped out Pharaoh Dudimoses and his forces at the sea before the Hyksos took over Egypt. The reign of Dudimoses was from 1653 to 1649 BC (“Thrown into the Sea: Recovering the Exodus” by Loren Rosson).

Now, the 18th Dynasty came about by the overthrow of the Hyksos by Ahmoses I, the brother or son of Kamoses, the last ruler of Dynasty 17. Ahmoses I finished the campaign to expel the Hyksos rulers. This is seen as the send of the Second Intermediate Period (“Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt” by Cyrstalinks). We know Moses was a prince of Egypt for 40 years but he falls out of favor with the Pharaoh for killing a taskmaster. Who this taskmaster was, we don’t know. Normally a prince of Egypt could do almost anything he wanted, especially a prince who was a war hero like Moses. But this Pharaoh was not very happy with Moses when he heard about this. Moses realized he was in trouble, gave his position up, and ran for the border of Midian and far, far away from Egypt. Why would Pharaoh even care about a taskmaster anyway? Was he a relative?

So, Moses goes to the land of Midian for 40 years. He meets a priest of the Lord named Yitro (Jethro). He is not a Midianite and we are told that he is a Kenite (Judges 1.11, 4.16; 1 Chr 2.55). He was not a pagan Midianite priest. That is important because later we find out that the Midianites were very pagan (Num 22-25) and tried to curse Israel by enticing them to sin with religious prostitutes at the advice of Balaam. Yitro was not a Midianite, but a priest who lived there. Archeology has identified a city called “Al-Bad.” Mount Sinai is just 12 miles northeast of this city. We believe that Sinai is now called Jabal Al Lawz (“almond mountain”). We believe that the city Yitro lived in, based on the Tanak and the writings of Josephus, was Madian-Polis” or “city of Madian” within Midian. It is now called Al-Bad (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 2, Chapter 11; Exo 2.16).

So, Madian-Polis was west of Sinai. Exo 3.1 says that Moses led the flocks of Yitro to the “backside” (Hebrew “achar”) of the wilderness. This would be the east side of Sinai. Achar can mean “west” and this would be the western end of the desert, which ended right before Sinai. Mount Sinai must be in that vicinity (Al-Bad today) and this tells us a number of things. The traditional site of Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula is not correct. That is according to Christian tradition. It also tells us they did not cross the Gulf of Aqaba.

We are not sure that Jabal Al Lawz is Mount Sinai, but Josephus said that Sinai was the highest mountain in the region and that is Jabal Al Lawz. Another reason to think this is the correct Mount Sinai is this mountain is called “Almond Mountain.” We know that Moses had a staff and Aaron had a staff, they were used to perform miracles. Num 17 speaks about the budding of Aaron’s staff because there was a contention about the role of Aaron by Korah in Num 16, and this ended in disaster for Korah. Just to make sure that everyone understood that Aaron and his family were the ones for the priesthood, the Lord had a rod from each tribe placed before him in the Ohel Moed, and they were to write Aaron’s name on the rod from Levi. The rod of Aaron sprouted blossoms and bore ripe almonds This rod was kept before the testimony as a sign (Heb 9.4; 1 Kings 8.9).

Moses may have gotten his staff on Mount Sinai. He had a staff at the burning bush and may have made it on his way up the mountain. Was it made from an almond branch from almond mountain? Was Aaron’s rod made from this mountain?
In Jer 1.11-12, Jeremiah sees a rod from an almond tree. The Lord says, “I am watching (hastening) over my word to perform it.” That means there will be no delay. In Hebrew, the for almond is “shaqed.” The word for hasten (watch) is “shaqad.” It has the same root and this is a play on words. The almond tree is called the “hastening tree” because it is the first tree to “awaken” (blossom) in the spring. It is also called the resurrection tree.

This is a picture of Yeshua. Aaron’s rod is a dead branch (Messiah died) and it came alive with almonds. We know that Yeshua was also a descendant of Levi through his mother, like Aaron. His cousin was Yochanon Ha Matvil, a priest. Yeshua was resurrected on the festival of Hag a Bikkurim (First Fruits).

So, Sinai is the highest mountain in the area and it is called “Almond Mountain (Jabal Al Lawz). In addition, we have the use of almonds in the rod of Aaron and with the almond tree that Jeremiah saw. Almonds are used as pictures of the Messiah. Cups shaped like almonds were used on the Menorah in Exo 25.31-34. Aaron’s name means “light-bringer.” However, we cannot “prove” this was Mount Sinai until real archaeological work is done there.

In Part 24 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 22

Josh 3.1-17 tells the story of the crossing of the Jordan by Israel. The Ark of the Covenant (Yeshua) is 2000 cubits ahead of the people. Yeshua will be 2000 years ahead of the people when they come to believe in him during the Birth Pains. They will cross the Jordan on Nisan 10, the same day that Yeshua passed before the people when he entered Jerusalem on Nisan 10 in what is called the “Triumphal Entry.” The False Messiah will enter the Temple on Nisan 10 and declare himself “God.” Nisan 10 is the exact halfway point of the Birth Pains.

The Jordan (meaning “descender”) is a type of death and it was spring when Israel wanted to cross it. It was the time of the spring floods and it had overflowed its banks. When the priests entered into the Jordan and their feet hit the water, the water stood up in a head all they back to a city called Adam (type of the first Adam). This city is beside another city called Zarethan, meaning “distress.” The meaning of this is clear. Man’s sin caused death all the way back to Adam. So, man (Adam) dwells near distress (Zarethan), always close to death (Jordan). The water flowing down to the Dead Sea was cut off. This means “death” has been cut off for those in faith. South is the direction of faith in the Scriptures. East is away from God. West is approaching God, and North is the direction of judgment.

So, the people crossed the Jordan where the Ark crossed, meaning there is only one way to go, one way to enter “death” safely. That place is where Yeshua (Joshua and the Ark) crossed. One day we all come to the Jordan (death). Without Yeshua, there is no safe crossing place into the “promised land” of the Olam Haba (John 14.16; Acts 16.31). He leads us (John 1.13, 6.44,65, 3.16; Acts 16.31) means that God’s influence on us caused us to believe and be saved. Now, we are going to look at Exo 17.6.

Moses is told to strike the rock at Horeb to cause water to come forth. The people are thirsty. The word “rock” is “tzur” and it is a plain rock, with no cleft (Isa 53.4; 1 Cor 10.4). But later in Num 20.8, the Lord tells Moses to speak to a rock to cause water to come forth. The word “rock” there is “sela” and this means a clefted rock, one you can enter into and take refuge in. The city of Petra is called Sela in Isa 16.1.

When Moses struck the rock the first time, it was a type of the Messiah being struck at the crucifixion. This brought forth the “water of life” (salvation). But Moses did not need to strike the rock again and was told not to by the Lord. He only had to speak to it. Yeshua does not need to be struck again a second time for salvation. Moses disobeyed the Lord and it ruined a picture that God wanted to present about the Messiah, and Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of it.

We have already talked about the route Israel took when they crossed the sea. They took a road east to the Yom Suf, crossed the sea, then took a road to the northeast that connected to the Derek Seir. Then they head east to Ezion Geber (Eilat) at the northern tip pf the Gulf of Aqaba. Then they head down to Jabal AL Lawz, the closest highest mountain to Al-Bad, which has been identified as the ancient city of Madian-polis. Josephus says that Yitro (Jethro) lived there.

We believe that Jabal AL Lawz (almond mountain) is the best candidate for Mount Sinai, and Moses took his sheep there to graze. It is there he saw the burning bush. From our text in Exo 17 they are fairly close to the mountain and are not very close to Egypt. The Lord tells Moses that he will “stand before you there on the rock at Horeb (Sinai) and you shall strike the rock.” We then learn about a battle with the Amalekites, so they are close to where Mount Sinai is.

Josephus writes in Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 2.1 that “The name of the Hebrews began already to be everywhere renowned, and rumors about them ran abroad. This made the inhabitants of those countries to be in no small fear. Accordingly they sent ambassadors to one another, and exhorted one another to defend themselves, and to endeavor to destroy these men. Those that induced the rest to do so, were such as inhabited Gobolitis (basically the Edom area) and Petra (a main city). They were called Amalekites, and were the most warlike of the nations that lived thereabout; and whose kings exhorted one another and their neighbors to go to this war against the Hebrews; telling them that an army of strangers, and such a one as had run away from slavery under the Egyptians, lay in wait to ruin them; which army they were not, in common prudence and regard to their own safety, to overlook, but to crush them before they gather strength, and come to be in prosperity; and perhaps attack them first.”

The battle with the Amalekites is a picture of the Chevlai Shell Mashiach, or Birth Pains of the Messiah. On their way to Mount Sinai they are attacked by the Amalek, who is a picture of the False Messiah in the Messianic level. Israel was free to go to the promised land for several reasons. Pharaoh was dead and there was a power vacuum in Egypt. There was no immediate successor to Pharaoh. Nobody took the throne within hours to say, “Hey, here I am and all the possessions of the previous Pharaoh are now mine.” Also, many of the main generals and chariot force was now gone.

Historically we are told there was a time of turmoil that came upon Egypt and the Pharaohs. A very strong, Semitic enemy came into the land. The Amalekites are Semitic and Amalek is the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s brother. He is the great nephew of Jacob. We are told by history that a Semitic enemy came upon Egypt. We are not told exactly who they were, but they were very warlike, powerful and there are some who think that they may have been Canaanites. However, we don’t see any Canaanite alliance that could be that powerful. We know they attacked Egypt during a time of chaos and established Egyptian dynasties. They were called the Hyksos which means “foreign rulers.” Then, all of a sudden, they disappear. Not only were the Amalekites coming out to challenge Israel, but they were on their way to Egypt to take over. Josephus said that everybody knew what had happened in Egypt. There is a possibility that they were going to Egypt to take advantage of the chaos there. After the battle in Exo 17, the Amalekites continued on and took over Lower Egypt. They ruled for 400 years during the Second Intermediate Period.

Ahmoses I and his father Seqenenre lead an uprising from Upper Egypt and drive the Hyksos (Amalekites?) out. They head north and they encounter Saul and David. Eventually, David wipes them out (2 Sam 8.8-13; 1 Chr 4.43). It is thought that this battle in Exo 17 took place around Ezion Geber at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, or very near to this area. Gobolitis and Petra are near also.

We have been taking pieces of the Exodus and developing them out, but sometimes we can lose the “big picture.” So, we want to take a look at the Exodus as a whole and tie it into the Second Redemption. We will also see other Bible truths come out as we move along. So, let’s pull all of this information together.

We have the beginning of the story of Israel, with Abraham, who is one of the “fathers” of Israel. Abraham goes into Egypt during what is called the First Intermediate Period, which is between the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. When “Intermediate” is used in Egyptian chronology it means it was a period of instability. It could be from any number of things or events, like war, climate and famine, changing politics and other things like that. The world is in an “intermediate” period for instance.

In Gen 15.1-21, Abraham enters the “Covenant between the Halves” at Mount Hermon it is believed. Christianity says it was Mount Tabor, but that is unlikely. Mount Hermon overlooks the country and this covenant plays a major role in Judaism. In Christianity, it is an interesting story, but it is not one of the foundational teachings or chapters. Abraham believes the Lord and it is accounted to him as righteousness. We have a picture of the Messiah in 15.17-18, who is passing between the pieces of the animals that had been cut in half. The “smoking oven” speaks of judgment and the “flaming torch” is a name for the Messiah. The word “torch” is “lapid” and we see this in Hab 3.4, Isa 62.1, Judges 4.4. Lappidot is the husband of Deborah. In Num 21.8, the “seraph” (“fiery serpent”) is a picture of the Messiah on a pole being lifted up (John 3.14). God will fulfill this promise of bringing the people out of Egypt 430 years to the exact day this covenant was given in Gen 15. The day was Nisan 15, and we know this is a key date in the Exodus story (Exo 12.41). There is a greater prophecy here about the Messiah.

In Part 23, we will pick up here and begin to talk about another key “father” and individual named Jacob.

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 21

Now we are going to go back to the journey to Sinai after they crossed the Red Sea (Yom Suf) and pick up some concepts that we will see played out all over Scripture. It will be 47 days once they cross the sea to get there by Sivan 3. On Sivan 6, the Lord descends and audibly gives the Ten Commandments. One week later, Moses will ascend Mount Sinai for the first time.

As we talked about this so far, we have shown that there are a number of levels to look at Scripture from. For example, they cross the sea on Nisan 17 and Yeshua resurrects on Nisan 17. The Ark of Noah rested on Nisan 17, the Temple was cleansed in the time of Hezekiah by Nisan 17 and Haman was hung on Nisan 17. The Book of Acts tells us that there was a journey from Yeshua’s resurrection to Shavuot in Acts 2. There are many events that took place at that time.

So, what do we have, and on what level should these events be looked at? First, we have the Historical level. Second, we have the Messiah’s first coming. Then we have the Messiah’s second coming. Then we have the Birth Pains level, a Messianic Kingdom level and finally the Olam Haba level. There six different levels that eschatology can be looked at. When you read the Book of Exodus, we must keep all of these levels in mind. This also applies whenever you read anything in Scripture as well.

It is believed that everything from the Egyptian Redemption will mirror what will happen in the Messianic Redemption, which begins at the Messiah’s first coming. For instance, we know that Yeshua rose on the 17th of Nisan, which was the first day of the week (Sunday) and the festival of Hag Ha Bikkurim (First Fruits). So, working back we have the seventh day (Saturday) as Nisan 16, the sixth day (Friday) as the 15th of Nisan, and he was crucified on the fifth day (Thursday), the 14th of Nisan. That means that Shavuot was Sivan 6 that year, the same day the first Shavuot took place on Mount Sinai in Exo 19, when the Lord spoke the Ten Commandments.

The counting of the Omer speaks of the journey to Sinai. It is also the barley harvest transitioning to the wheat harvest. The waving of the Omer is the first fruits of the barley, which is a very coarse grain, and it will be passed through 13 sieves (Mishnah, Menachot 10.4). In the process, it will go from being very coarse to very fine, from corruptible to incorruptible. It is changed to “Solet” or very fine flour. We have already gone over this ceremony in our Temple series, but you can read about the ceremony in the Mishnah, Menachot 10.1-4. What does this teach us?

There is a seventh level to be added to the other six we have mentioned earlier, and that is how does this apply to our life. We are born again and we pass through life, which is made up of many “sieves” and these will refine us. We pass from corruptible to incorruptible. This is the subject of 1 Cor 15.20-28, and Yeshua was raised from the dead on the very day the priests were plucking the barley for the Omer. The whole chapter speaks of resurrection (changing from corruptible to incorruptible).

Acts 2.1 says “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come” (KJV). Why does it say “fully come?” Why didn’t it say “arrived.” It is because they were counting the Omer and it was now the fiftieth day! That means that Shavuot is “attached” to Passover. Shavuot is the “atzeret” (conclusion) of the Passover season. IN other words, it is part of the journey out of Egypt.

1 Cor 15.51-58 says is talking about the “sowd” level when talking about the resurrection. It says “we shall all be changed” at the “last trump” which is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah. It goes on to say the “dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.” Now, when you read this, think about the ceremony we discussed concerning the waving of the Omer in the Temple. Paul is writing about this ceremony in 1 Cor 15. How did the Corinthians know the background about all this? They knew because they were being taught the Torah, the festivals and the eschatology associated with them.

1 Thes 5.1-11 tells us that the Thessalonians were taught about the “times” (the Moedim, festivals) and the “seasons” (associated with the festivals, like Passover season, the High Holy Day season, the season of Teshuvah, etc). If he taught the Thessalonians the festivals and the festival seasons, there is no reason to think he didn’t teach the Corinthians. The truth is, the non-Jewish believers in Yeshua were taught the festivals. They could go to Jerusalem and observe them, just like in Acts 2.5-11, when people came from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2.5), including non-Jews (Acts 2.10-11). The Gospels and Epistles are written in the “sub-language” of the festivals, the Temple, kosher and other Hebrew concepts, not just in Hebrew to Greek into English.

The coming out of Egypt is a picture of the first and second coming of the Messiah. So, with that in mind, we are going to go into several “lesser” known types of the coming of the Messiah. The first one can be found in Exo 16.1-13 and Num 11.10-33. Israel grumbles about being hungry, and the Lord sends quail and manna, which is called “bread out of heaven” and the people are saved. In Num 11.1-33, the quail is sent again and judgment hits Israel, and many are killed. The quail is a picture of Messiah who came out of heaven two times. The first time he came was to save Israel from spiritual hunger, and the second time he comes he will come in judgment.

We know from Gen 47.18-19 that the people belonged to Pharaoh. Joseph bought the people and the land during the famine. When Pharaoh dies in the sea, there was no successor, so Israel was free because his ownership was broken and Egypt was in chaos. In the “sowd” level, this is a type of Satan being defeated and his “ownership” over us is broken, and Yeshua has passed through the waters of death and has come out alive on the other side on our behalf. He will lead us through this because the power of Satan has been broken because of the resurrection. Now, let’s look at another lesser known picture found in Exo 17.

The people of Israel will be attacked on their journey to Sinai by the Amalekites. An account of a major battle can be found in Exo 17.1-15. Amalek is a picture of Satan and the False Messiah, the perpetual enemy of God’s people (v 15). When we talk about the third level of the seven levels we discussed (second coming of the Messiah), we have the Atid Lavo (Coming/Future Age), otherwise known as the “Day of the Lord.” The first seven years will be known as the Birth Pains (the time of Jacob’s trouble), or what is known as the “Tribulation Period” in Christianity. In Jewish eschatology, the Birth Pains will be the first seven years of the last 1000 years, called the Day of the Lord. In Christian eschatology, the seven year “tribulation” comes before the 1000 year “Millenium.” The Jewish view is the correct one according to many verses in the Scriptures, and we have gone over this many times on this site.

In our passage in Exo 17, Amalek (False Messiah) is at war with Israel and Moses stands on a hill. He holds his staff over his head with hos two hands, which is a picture of the crucifixion of Yeshua, the shaliach of the second redemption. The “rock” he rested on is his trust in YHVH (the Rock of Deut 32.4 and 2 Sam 22), and also a picture of the Messiah in 1 Cor 10.4 (like Jacob rested on a rock on Gen 28). Aaron (“light-bringer”) and Hur (“white, liberty”) hold his hands up after they realize that when Moses let his words down, Amalek prevailed. So, they held his hands up and they were steady until the sun set, an idiom for “the future” and which alludes to the end of the Day of the Lord (Olam Haba). The staff is a sign to the Lord to bring down his power (Exo 4.1-9). The people are too busy fighting to see him anyway, so it wasn’t for them to see.

It is the cross that defeats the enemy for all time, not anything we can do. Yeshua has victory over Satan and will bring everyone safely home (the promised land of the Olam Haba), just as Joshua overwhelmed Amalek with the edge of the sword (word) and led Israel into the promised land.

In Part 22, we will pick up here and begin with Josh 3.1-17 and the story of how Joshua (Yeshua) led the people across the Jordan and how it is a picture of what Yeshua has done for us.

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 20

Now we are going to talk about believers in Yeshua. In Acts 18.18, we learn that Paul had his haircut because he was coming out of a Nazarite Vow (Num 6.1-9). In Acts 21.15-26, we learn that Paul offered animal sacrifices in conjunction with coming out of this Nazarite Vow. To show he was a Torah observant believer, he paid for the offerings of four other Messianic believers who were coming out of a Nazarite Vow (21.23-26). The “elders” mentioned in these verses were not the Sanhedrin in those days, but they were the elders of the Messianic Community. They were the writers of the Gospels and Epistles in most cases.

We also see that there were “thousands” (myriads in Greek, and it equals at least 20,000) who believe in Yeshua and were zealous for the Torah. There was a rumor going around that Paul was teaching the Jews among the Gentiles to forsake Moses (Torah), telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs (halakah). In reality, he was teaching that non-Jews did not need to be circumcised according to the halakah set up by the 18 Edicts of the School of Shammai in 20 B.C, and he also disagreed with other oral traditions.

The “customs” were a part of Jewish Law, and there were five levels to Jewish Law. The first level was the written Torah itself. Then came something that was implied in the Torah. Third, there were laws found elsewhere in Scripture. Then came Rabbinic Decrees, and last came the customs. This was the lowest level, and communities had different customs. Paul was going to pay the expenses of four other Messianic believers who were coming out of a Nazarite Vow. in order to show anyone that there was nothing to the rumor about Paul, and that Paul himself walked “orderly, keeping the Torah.” All five levels are implied in this statement (21.24). This is 28 years after Yeshua was resurrected. We see here that believers in Yeshua continued to keep the Torah, and went to the Temple to offer animal sacrifices. This totally refutes what is being taught in churches today.

Acts 10 is set after a number of years after the resurrection and Peter has never eaten anything common or unclean. That means Peter kept the kosher laws after he became a believer. If Yeshua came to do away with the Torah (LAw), why is Peter, Paul and the Messianic community still following the Torah? Were they disobeying the Lord by continuing their Torah observance? Didn’t Yeshua tell them that after his death they were “free from the Law?” Yeshua had 40 days after his resurrection to tell Peter and the talmidim that. Why is Paul offering animal sacrifices in the Temple nearly 30 years after Yeshua? In addition, he was encouraged to do so by James the Nasi (President/spokesman) and the elders, some of whom wrote the Gospels and Epistles!

James says there were tens of thousands of believers who kept the Torah. Why didn’t the leaders of the Messianic Community, like the writers of the Gospels and Epistles (Peter, James John, etc) tell them they were “free from the Law?” Paul, like Yeshua, probably disagreed with some of the traditions in the oral law, in addition to the 18 Edicts of the School of Shammai. This was seen as “forsaking” the others by some people and embellished by Paul’s enemies, like in Acts 21.27-40. His enemies accused him of bringing a non-Jew into the Temple, which of course did not happen. Yeshua and Paul did not follow every oral law of the Jewish people. They took issue with some of it (Mark 7.1-23). Now, let’s talk about the so-called Oral Law.

There are hints in the Torah that there was no such thing as a divinely inspired Oral Law (Deut 4.2; Exo 24.2-12; Josh 1.8; Heb 9.19). Deut 17.14-20 says that a copy of the written law (Torah) was to be used, not an oral one (Deut 32.46-47, 17.9, 27.2-8, 28.58, 31.9-12, 24-26). Hezekiah found the written Torah, not an oral one. If there was an authoritative oral tradition in Josiah’s time, there is no indication of it. It was the written law that God used to work spiritual renewal (2 Chr 34.14-30; 2 Kings 22.8 to 23.3). Joshua 8.31-35 says, “There was not a word of all that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before the assembly of Israel, with the women and the little ones and the stranger who was living among them” (v 35).

Ezra read the Torah in Neh 8.1-18. All that Moses commanded (words) was written on stones on Mount Ebal (Deut 27.3) Josh 23.6-8 says to “keep and do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses.” If there was an Oral Law, why didn’t the Lord tell Joshua to cling to that also in verse 8? The bottom line is this. We don’t need experts in the Oral Law to explain the written Torah. The written word is clear. Each generation was to follow the written Torah as God led them, not with established, fixed interpretations called the Oral Law (Deut 30.11-14, 31.9-13; Rom 10.6-8; Deut 4.1-2; Rev 22.18). That doesn’t mean that we cannot follow an oral law, but it cannot invalidate or go against a written command in the Scriptures. We are not to blindly follow rabbinic teachings, or follow them if they contradict the Scriptures, even for the sake of unity. We are not to pursue unity at the expense of truth. The oral law has some valuable information that we can use to help our understanding of the Scriptures, or to see how certain things were done in the Temple and elsewhere. All of that is good, but that doesn’t mean it has any authority over us as a divinely inspired law given by God.

Now, this would also apply to the non-Jews. They should follow the written Torah as it applies to non-Jews. Judaizing is not teaching the Torah to non-Jews. There are many today who say that if you teach that the Torah applies to a non-Jew, like the Sabbath, or anything Jewish for that matter, to a non-Jew, you are guilty of “Judaizing.” This is a total misunderstanding of what the biblical definition is. Judaizing is telling the non-Jews that they need to become Jews in order to be saved. That was the number one issue in the First Century, as seen in Acts 15.1-35 and the Book of Galatians. You cannot gain righteousness with God by doing anything. Righteousness comes by faith, and it is the gift of God. Once you are saved, then you follow the Torah as it applies to you, as a way of life. This pleases the Lord because we walk out the ways of God.

Rabbinic teaching will tell you that the Sanhedrin was established in the wilderness and it continued till the Fifth Century A.D. This cannot be proved and seems to be an attempt to show a legal continuity through the ages. That is not to say that there were no courts, judges and legal networks in place, but to “prove” that there was a Sanhedrin all that time is a stretch.

In Part 21, we will go back to the journey to Sinai after the crossing of the sea in the peshat level (literal, then bring out what this teaches us in the sowd (hidden) level.

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