Now we are going to look at something different. We have been over 2 Thes 2, 1 Thes 4 and 1 Thes 5, but we have never been to the book of Ephesians. We believe Eph 5.14-33 was written in the context of Rosh Ha Shanah. We will have the same terms that are associated with that festival. For example, Eph 5.14 says, “Therefore, he says, ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Messiah will give you light!’ Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Notice the words “awake” and “arise.” We have the resurrection of the righteous and the Natzal on Rosh Ha Shanah, and this concept can also be seen in an ancient Rosh Ha Shanah prayer from the Temple.
In the Mishneh Torah by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam), commonly known as Maimonides, recorded the following, “Arise from your slumber, you who are asleep; wake up from your deep sleep, you who are fast asleep; search your deeds and repent; remember your creator. Those of you who forget the truth because of passing vanities, including throughout the year in the useless things that cannot profit you nor save you, look into your souls, amend your ways and deeds. Let everyone give up his evil way and his bad purposes.” This goes with the passage we just read in Eph 5.14 and it is an ancient Rosh Ha Shanah prayer from the Temple.
One of the concepts associated with Rosh Ha Shanah as we have seen is the Marriage of the Messiah (Psa 45.1-17). Eph 5.14-33 picks up with the concept of a marriage. We have already established that the Coronation of the Messiah occurs at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. This takes place in heaven on Rosh Ha Shanah. But Psa 45 links us to his wedding.
As a result, we believe that the book of Ephesians was written at the season of Rosh Ha Shanah to Yom Kippur (1 Thes 5.1). There are many Rosh Ha Shanah terms in this book as we have just mentioned. Yom Kippur terms and concepts can be seen in Eph 1.13-14, 4.30 and 5.26-27. To “be sealed until the day of redemption” (Yom Pedut) is a Yom Kippur term. Additionally, our passages in 1 Thes 4 and Ephesians reflect what we have seen in Isa 59.9-20 and 60.1.
If we look at the marriage as it is presented in Eph 5.23-33 we see terms relating to both Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. We have husbands being exhorted to be like the Messiah, and wives are a picture of the Eschatological Kahal. The word “church” is used in English, leaving the impression that Paul is talking about the Christian Church, but he isn’t. That organization did not even exist in the First century. The Hebrew “Kahal” means “assembly and it refers to the righteous eschatological congregation that was expected by the Jewish people in a Torah context, and the term goes back to the Tanak (Deut 9.10, 10.4, 18.16 for instance).
In Eph 5.26-27 we see that the Messiah will sanctify (give a kedusha to) the Kahal because he has cleansed her (a Yom Kippur term) and washed her (another Yom Kippur term). Why does he do this? So that he “might present to himself (another Rosh Ha Shanah term) a kahal in all her glory (at the Natzal or gathering), having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy (have a kedusha) and blameless.” This passage is full of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur terms and concepts.
This is how Chava was in Eden. These terms in Eph 5.26-27 also allude to the priests and the korbanot (offerings), and what our body will be like at the resurrection on Rosh Ha Shanah. Then Eph 5.31 says, “the two shall become one flesh” (echad) and this is in reference to Messiah and the Kahal. This is a great mystery or “sowd” which means something with a “deeper meaning” and not something that could never be understood.
Eph 6.10-17 tells us we should put on the whole armor of God. Where have we see seen this before? That is exactly what we have been told in 1 Thes 5, and that came from Isa 59.17, a passage connected to Rosh Ha Shanah. Isa 26 and 27 are written in what is called a Chiastic Structure and we have gone over that previously in this study. These two chapters give a chronological order of events that will occur during the Birth-pains, so that means it starts out on Rosh Ha Shanah in the first few verses and it ends in the last few verses of Isa 27 on Yom Kippur.
What we are going to do is take Isa 26 and we will open up to Isa 57. Then we are going to compare some concepts presented. What we will be doing is called Midrashic Pearl Stringing, which is laying one verse next to another to pick up meaning. If you are not familiar with this technique it is a good one to learn because it will help you interpret the Scriptures. Open up your Bible to Isa 26 and Isa 57 because then you can flip back and forth.
Isa 26.2 says, “Open the gates (immediately you know its Rosh Ha Shanah) that the righteous nation may enter, the one who remains faithful (“emunim” in Hebrew and related to the word “emunah” meaning “faith”).”. Now go to Isa 57.1 where it says, “The righteous man perishes and no one takes it to heart; the devout men are taken away (the Natzal on Rosh Ha Shanah) while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away (Hebrew “oseif”) from evil (the Birth-pains).” Notice they are all righteous who are entering the gates and being taken away.
Isa 26.3 says, “The steadfast in mind thou will keep in perfect peace.” Isa 57.2 says, “He enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walked in his upright way (Torah).” The word “peace” (shalom) is a word that is used for the Messianic Kingdom (Atid Lavo), or the “Millennium” which is a time of peace.
Here is a major concept. We have all types of passages in the Tanak where we have the dead resurrected (Job and Isaiah for instance). But in our two passages, we have the righteous who are still living. The righteous “perish” and people are seeing it. People are noticing that they are gone. These are living on the earth and not coming out of the grave so that is why they are noticed.
We can do the same thing with 1 Thes 4.16-17 and 2 Thes 2.3. 1 Thes 4.16-17 talks about the living righteous and how the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then those who are alive and remain (on earth) will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 2 Thes 2.3 says that we should not be deceived. The Day of the Lord will not come unless the “apostasia” or “physical departure” comes at the first (“Greek “proton” or beginning of the Day of the Lord on Rosh Ha Shanah, Tishri 1) and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (the False Messiah).”
Now, remember, we have the concept of the “nes” or standard, banner or signal. We see it in Isa 11.10, 18.3, 62.10 and many other passages. This word “nes” means “lifted up” especially on a high mountain or over the people. All the Rabbinical and Christian commentaries say this is the Messiah. Isa 11.10 says, “Then it will come about in that day (Day of the Lord) that the nations (non-Jews) will resort to the root of Jesse (Yeshua the Messiah) who will stand as a signal (“nes” meaning standard or banner) to the people; and his resting place will be glorious.”
Now, in 1 Thes 4 we learned that we will be caught up together with them in the clouds. In Isa 13 and Isa 18 we are going to see the banner being lifted up on the mountain. Both of these passages are going to be dealing with the resurrection of the living and the dead righteous. We need to look at the terminology carefully because terminology is the key.
In Isa 13.1-2 it says, “The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw. ‘Lift up a standard (the Messiah) on a high mountain (we are in the clouds with him), raise your voice to them (remember we have a shout, a teruah, in 1 Thes 4), wave the hand that they may enter the gates of the nobles (the gates are open because it is Rosh Ha Shanah).'” In the Temple on Rosh Ha Shanah, two shofarot (ram’s horns) and one silver trumpet (tzotzrot) was blown. There is a place in the Temple where they blew the trumpets and shofars and they have actually found the stone that said “The Place of Trumpeting.” It was found at the southwest corner of the Temple complex. In truth, trumpets were blown daily to signal different things, but they were also blown before the Sabbath and festivals (Num 10.1-9).
It tells you if they blow one silver trumpet the nobles and heads shall assemble before Yehovah (Num 10.4). On the Sabbath they will blow two silver trumpets (called “tzotzrot”) and one shofar, except for Rosh Ha Shanah. On Rosh Ha Shanah it changes and the emphasis is on the shofar, with two ram’s horns and a silver trumpet (Psa 81.3). In Isa 13.2 we expect that one silver trumpet has been blown to bring the nobles up to Yehovah, and that is done on Rosh Ha Shanah.
Isa 13.3 continues, “I have commanded my consecrated ones (the righteous by faith), I have even called my mighty warriors, my proudly exulting ones, to my anger (literally “nose” which means before the face of Yehovah).” In the Natzal and the catching away of the living righteous, we are brought before Yehovah as a pleasing aroma, like in the ancient Havdalah (“separation”) service with the spices and the havdalah candle. This service separates the Sabbath and certain festivals from the other days of the week and can be seen in Acts 20.7-8. God is separating the Olam Ha Zeh (this present world) from the Atid Lavo (“coming or future age” also known as the Day of the Lord) on Rosh Ha Shanah by bringing the righteous into his presence. God will rule during the Day of the Lord (Atid Lavo) and there will be peace and prosperity. This time period will be nothing when compared to the Olam Haba, the World to Come.
We will pick up here in Part 34.