We have kosher animals like sheep, goats and cattle and if it is first-born it is given to the Lord as a korban. How does a donkey fit in (Exo 34.20). It is not a kosher animal and if it is first-born you have the option to redeem the animal, but if not, its neck will be broken. The donkey may be alluding to the rebellious and stiff-necked individual (like a donkey) who, if not redeemed, will be broken.
Messiah as first-born is also open to anyone who who wants to join themselves to God (redeemed). You can’t join yourself to God outside of Israel and the Messiah Yeshua. It is the “gate in” and by the first century this meant that the non-Jew was to become Jewish through ritual circumcision to have a part in all of this. Acts 15 and the Book of Galatians deal with this issue. Galatians isn’t about observing the Torah, it is about observing the tradition of the elders (Beit Shammai) who said that circumcising non-Jews was essential to salvation They believed non-Jews would not inherit the kingdom of God. God had shown Peter and Paul that this decree was not accurate. Peter was shown this in Acts 10, and by Acts 15 they were against the 18 Edicts of Shammai that included this ruling (Acts 15.7-12). It was decided that non-Jews did not have to be ritually circumcised to be saved, which was the question in Acts 15.1 (We have an abundance of information on this on the website).
Christianity interpreted this as “God gave the commandments to Israel, but we don’t have to worry about all that, we are free.” We remember a class in Bible school on Galatians and the text that was used was a book called “Be Free” which was nothing but Replacement Theology. In truth, the Torah was for everyone as it applies. This means, if you are a Jew, there are certain commandments that apply to Jews. If you are a women, there are commandments that only apply to women. If you are a king, priest, high priest, non-Jew and so on, there are Torah commandments that apply to each group. If you live in the land, certain laws apply. If you don’t live in the land, certain laws apply, and so on.
Now, let’s touch on a portion of Scripture in Exo 34.26 dealing with the first-born. This portion can also be seen in Exo 23.19 and Deut 14.21. The portion says, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” There was a pagan practice that did this so they were not to mix pagan worship with true worship. Dairy was not allowed in the Temple. But, that is not the true meaning here, there is much more to this.
The word for “boil” here is “bashal” and it means to “ripen or mature.” They were not to let a kid “mature” or “ripen” in its mother’s milk (or delay, get older). They were to give the first-born of the flock (or herd) as required. Exo 22.29-30 says, “You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.”
In Exo 23.19, 34.26 and Deut 14.21 it is saying that you were not to let the first-born animal “ripen and mature.” In other words, don’t let it get older in order to produce more sheep for your flocks. Give it as required and the Lord will enlarge your flocks and your herds. It was to be given on the eighth day after the birth, not left to “ripen and mature.” This is similar to the word’s use in Geb 40.10, “its clusters ripened in to grapes.”
This has nothing to do with the rabbinical injunctions against eating meat and milk together, or cooking meat and milk together. The rabbis have derived this prohibition from these verses (Exo 23.19, 34.26; Deut 14.21). There is little in these verses that would suggest anything other than not allowing a kid to mature in its mother’s milk. The first-born animal was to be given right away (eighth day) after it was born. It was not to “ripen” in its mother’s milk as it feeds and gets bigger, thus adding to your herd and being able to reproduce later. Righteousness does not come through the Torah, it comes by “emunah” or faith. Once you have come to righteousness through faith, the Torah is our instruction on how to walk before God. It is a different walk than everyone else. Let’s look at the word “glory in Exo 33.18. That word “kivod” in Hebrew can mean “glory” or “radiance.” Here is a good example of it in Exo 34.29-35.
Moses has come down from the mountain for the second time. He has been in the presence of the Lord and when he comes down he is unaware that his face was radiating. It was so evident that he had to put a veil (cover) on his face because the people were afraid to come near him. He had been in the presence of God, so they were afraid to be in the presence of Moses. The kivod of God was on his face.
Now, it wasn’t something that disappeared after a few hours, it remained on him, so he had to wear a cover when he was in the camp, but he took it off when he went into the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting). Adam and chava in Gan Eden had this covering before they sinned. But after, they knew they were naked and the Lord took an animal skin and made a covering for them. This is believed to be the first Yom Kippur. God began the creation on Tishri 1, the first Sabbath was Tishri 7, and Adam and Chava sinned on Tishri 10.
When you look at Sunday school material and artwork from any time period, or any country in the world, they will show Adam and Chava in the garden standing by a tree with a serpent hanging around. They haven’t eaten the fruit yet, but the foliage or some branches of the tree will be hiding their private parts. This is before they ate, but they are as naked as can be. But, they weren’t naked. They had the radiance of God on them. This “kivod” was with them until they sinned. They were clothed in the radiance of God, like the face of Moses, before the fall.
This is an important concept. We are to worship the Lord and not mix it with the worship practices of the other nations. We are to observe the commandments as they apply to us, and God will deliver us from all our enemies. We are not to assimilate. The problem today is we mix truth with pagan error in some form. The Lord is a jealous God, which means he is passionate. Exo 34.14-15 says that if we let our guard down with “other gods” and those who follow them it can be a snare. While they are playing the harlot and offering sacrifices to their gods, they may invite you to eat his sacrifice. We are not to play for the other team.
In 1 Kings 18 we have the story of Elijah and his battle with 450 prophets of Ba’al and 400 prophets of the Asherah, his “escort” on Mount Carmel. They believed that Ba’al was the God who brought them out of Egypt. They build two altars, one for Yehovah and one for Ba’al. Everyone knows the story. Elijah brings water up the mountain and douses his altar three times. This is remarkable because they were in the midst of a three and half year drought. The people “hesitated” between two opinions.
The word for “hesitate” is “pasach” and it is related to the word “pesach” which means Passover. It means to “pass over, pass by.” The same word is used is verse 26 for “leaping”.” Elijah goes on to say, “If Yehovah is God, follow him. If Ba’al is God, follow him.” Now understand what he is saying. They were following Ba’al and Asherah, calling it the worship of God. Exo 34.1-28 is what the pagans do, what idolatry is. Then he tells them what they were to do.
So, it is a contrast. It is looking at the Torah, Mishkan and the Temple ceremonies compared to what everybody else does. Don’t forget that context if you take a passage here and there. Remember he is talking about the worship he wants as opposed to what he doesn’t want, in his Temple. Concepts found in Exo 35-40 have been dealt with earlier, so we will not deal with them here again.
In Part 64, we will pick up here and begin with a quick overview of Exodus, including concepts from Exo 35-40, and then look at the Exodus story from a more detailed view, which will give us more concepts, phrases and idioms that we have never gone over yet. The Torah is the foundation for our faith, and that is why we are spending so much time in it. When we understand the Torah, all the other Scriptures will fall into place, and that is why we are concentrating on these concepts.