Temple 201-The Ceremonies (Shavuot)-Part 20

Let’s go back to Acts 2.1 again. We read that Shavuot “had fully come” which means that they have arrived at the 50th day after counting the Omer. Today, we have the Christmas season beginning at Thanksgiving. It is the same way here. Passover to Shavuot is a “season” and on Shavuot it had fully come. They were all together “in one place” just like in Exo 19.2. The word “camped” there is in the singular before the mountain. Here is another concept. When the Lord came on Mount Sinai, this was seen as a Ma’aseh Merkaveh, or “vision of the chariot.” When the Lord manifests his throne like this, this is what it is called. We have other Ma’aseh Merkaveh manifestations in Ezek 1; Ezek 3; Ezek 10 and Exo 24.1-18. In Exo 20 and 24, it will not take long to go from the height of the Merkaveh and go backwards.

Now, when Yeshua came he was rejected. 40 years later we have the birth-pains with the Romans. There is an eschatological phrase that we need to keep in mind called the “Chevlai Shell Mashiach” which means the “Birth-pains of the Messiah. This is a biblical term, among others. For other names, go to the book “Rosh ha Shannah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, page 171-173. With that I mind, lets go to Isa 66.7-9 which says, “Before she (Israel) travailed (Birth-pains) she brought forth, before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy (Yeshua).” So, in the first coming you had the Messiah, then the Birth-pains. Now, lets go on to v 8-9, “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such a thing? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion (Israel) travailed she also brought forth her sons (the 144,000 will be saved at the beginning of the coming Birth-pains, the first fruits-Rev 14.4; Rev 7.3; Micah 5.3). Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God. In the second coming of Yeshua, there will be Birth-pains, then Yeshua the Messiah will come. Rev 12.1-5 talks about the Birth-pains and the Messiah. Exo 19.4 and Rev 12.14 talk about “eagles wings” when referring to how Israel was taken into the wilderness. There are prophecies, therefore, that have numerous fulfillments. Keep these terms in mind for later.

The original Shavuot was when the nation of Israel was established. When the Torah was given, they said “We will do” to the betrothal contract (Exo 19.8, 24.3). In Exo 19, he hasn’t told them very much yet. In Exo 19.10 he tells them to go “wash their garments” and this is a term meaning “do an immersion in a mikvah” (book “Waters of Eden” by Aryeh Kaplan). They are told to not touch the mountain (Exo 19.12; Heb 12.18). In the Temple, there were certain items that cannot be touched, except by the priests (Numbers chapters 1 through 6). The Levites were assigned to carry and to tend these items, but they could not even look on them unless they were first covered by the priests. If they did, the penalty was death (Tamid 1.4). The people cannot touch the mountain because of “Kedusha Adamat” or “holy ground.” Exo 19.13-17 says they could be put to death if they touch the mountain. They were also not to come near their wives for three days. Exo 19.18-19 says that the Lord answered after the shofar grew louder and louder.

There is a book on the Torah readings called “Tz’enah Ur’enah” by Artscroll with the best commentary on them. This book was designed for women who generally did not have the time for study like the men did. In the commentary on Gen 22 and the ram caught in the thicket, it says that the shofar blown at Sinai was the left horn of the ram in Gen 22 and called the “first trump.” The midrash says this was possible because the ram, after it was given as an Olah by Abraham, was resurrected. The right horn, or “last trump”, will be blown on Rosh ha Shannah. Now, this is Jewish midrashim, but it gives us the concepts that were taught concerning these things and what was seen. That’s why Paul used these concepts to convey concepts about the “last trump” at Rosh ha Shannah at the Natzal (rapture) of the believer in 1 Cor 15.52.

There is a third shofar in Jewish eschatology called the “Shofar ha Gadol” or “great trump” and that is blown on Yom Kippur. Matt 24.29-31 actually mentions this trump in conjunction with the second coming of Yeshua at the end of the Birth-pains, which tells you by using the term “great trump” that this is a Yom Kippur (see also Isa 27.12-13). The “great trump” is blown at the Neilah (closing of the gates) service on Yom Kippur. The “last trump’ is blown when the “gates are opened” on Rosh ha Shannah. That is why “a door is open” or “gates are opened” are idioms for Rosh ha Shannah. These doors are in relation to the “doors of repentance.”

In Exo 19.17 and 24.4 it says they “stood at the foot of the mountain.” Now, whether this is literal or not isn’t clear, but God could have done it. Remember, he did greater things than that a few weeks earlier in Egypt, and he parted the Red Sea so they could cross. This was a time for miracles like the manna, pillar of fire, no sickness, clothes didn’t wear out and so on. God can do what he wants. Now, Jer 2.1-3 says that God betrothed himself to Israel and they were the first fruits of his harvest. This alludes to Shavuot. Deut 24.1-4 says that one “takes a wife” which is betrothal, and “marries her” is full marriage. This is because there are two stages in this process. A contract is given at both stages. Shitre Erusin is given at betrothal and a Ketubah is given at Kiddushin (full marriage). More information on this can be found in the book “Sketches of Jewish Social Life” by Alfred Edersheim.

We are told in Jer 2.1-3 that God betrothed himself to Israel at Mount Sinai. The Torah is being given as a betrothal contract. Deut 24 says that if a man divorces his wife after full marriage and gives her a divorce, and she remarries someone else and that marriage ends, he cannot take her back. Has God ever given Israel a divorce? Yes. Israel even took other husbands (Assyrians, Babylonians). Then, how can he take Israel back? Because they were only in the betrothal stage. In betrothal, if he divorces her (like Joseph was considering in Matt 1.19) he can remarry her in a full marriage, even if she had other husbands. However, if they had reached full marriage, and he divorces her and she remarries, he cannot take her back. We need to look at these things through the eyes of Torah and not with the eyes of the nations. How does this apply? The first trump at Shavuot is the Shitre Erusin and the betrothal at Mount Sinai. The last trump is the kiddushin, or full marriage. Israel has not reached the full marriage stage yet, so he can remarry her. They have not been replaced by anyone, especially the “church.” One of the psalms for Rosh ha Shannah is Psalm 45, a psalm about Messiah and his bride. You need to understand the “layers” of the festivals to understand what is going on.

In Part 21, we will start to discuss this concept further and begin to talk about the Two Witnesses, the Chuppah and how this relates to Shavuot at Sinai and in Acts 2.

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

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