Sunday, February 5, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - February 5, 2017

Today's Reading:

Hebrews 1

Genesis 45:1-46:27

Psalm 36

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

We are told, in Isaiah 55:11, that no part of God' Word is void (empty of meaning). But, then we come up on details, in our process of reading the Bible through, which appear to be nothing more than trivia. For example, in today's reading we learned that there were 70 souls in Jacob's family at the time when they all resettled in Goshen.
Genesis 46:27 "...all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore (a score is 20, so 3 x 20 = 60) and ten (60+10 more = 70 people)."
So why did Moses, who wrote the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible), bother to tell us that there were 70 souls in the house of Jacob at this time? Why does that matter? We know it matters, or it wouldn't have been recorded in Scripture. But to find the spiritual significance in this verse, we must look into the meaning of Hebrew letter ayin, which is also the number 70. As we do, we will find the keys to the family of Jacob. In other words, we'll find what it takes to be considered the spiritual seed of Jacob - the house of Israel and heirs of the Promise.

Ayin = 70 and means “EYE”, “SIGHT” or “ENLIGHTENMENT”.
Ayin is for the word “Eye”. The Ayin shows two “Eyes” portraying how Yahweh is able to see both sides of every situation. It also appears that the two “Eyes” on top of the Ayin are looking to the left… to the Heart. This shows that Yahweh’s Sight penetrates the inward being, seeing the heart of every man. 

1 Samuel 16:7“… For Yahweh seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looketh on the heart.”

Ayin: The Word and the Spirit
Ayin is constructed from two Hebrew letters which we have already studied: zayin (on the left), attached to a large yod (on the right). It appears in Torah scrolls as shown below:

Zayin represents the “weapon” or “Sword of the Spirit”- the Word of Yahweh. The Yod represents the Works of Yah – His Creation – done through His Spirit. By combining these two letters to form the Ayin, Yahweh is illustrating that if we will walk according to His Word and His Spirit, the sons of Jacob (or us as true spiritual Israel) will dwell in true enlightenment, having the spiritual eyes to truly see Him.
Therefore –

If my spirit is filled with His Spirit (represented by the yod)…
And my mind is filled with His Thoughts (represented by the zayin – the Word of God) Then my vision (represented by the Ayin) will be filled with Him and my eye will truly be SINGLE for God.

What does it mean to have a "single eye" for God? To explain, let's use an illustration from nature. The chameleon is a strange little lizard with the amazing ability to change the color of his skin to blend in with his environment and to express his emotional state. 

He can also move his eyes independently of each other. So, with one eye, the chameleon can be looking for prey off to his left. And with the other eye, he can be visually searching around on his right. In other words, the chameleon spends a good part of his life looking at two things at once. But when this lizard spots his prey, immediately he focuses both of his eyes upon it. If he didn't the chameleon would not be able to catch his next meal. For without both eyes centered on the same object, he has no depth perception.

Spiritually, we try to be like the chameleon. We want to have one eye on the world and one eye on Heaven. But God can only be the full Master of our souls when we stop idolatrously gazing upon the things of this world and turn our full focus upon God. When God has our full attention and is the supreme center of our lives, we are said to have a "single eye" for Him. Having a single eye is a key ingredient in true worship.
Matthew 6:19-24  "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."  
Messiah said that those who worship God must do so “in spirit” (yod) and in Truth (zayin), for they are the kind of worshipers the Father looks for (Ayin – the eye of Yahweh goes to and fro throughout the whole earth, seeking hearts true to Him). These two components (the Word and Spirit) not only affect OUR eyes, but God’s EYES as well. Scripture tells us that the Eye of Yahweh is upon those who walk in the Spirit and the Word. The Bible instructs us to “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).  Faith, however, must be grounded in the reliable Word of Yahweh.

These truths are also supported by the fact that, in Aramaic, the word “Ayin” means “sheep”. In Hebrew thought, the eye of the sheep is continuously looking towards the Shepherd, while the Eye of the Shepherd is continually watching over His sheep. In other words, identifying the family of Jacob with the number 70 shows that they were the "sheep" of God's "Pasture". We too, are called to be His sheep.

The Significance of 70

Ayin is the number 70, which is one of the most significant, Scriptural numbers. In Scripture we read that:
  • 70 souls went into Egypt, from Jacob’s family.
  • 70 elders of Israel met with Yahweh on Mt. Sinai
  •  70 sacrifices were made for the nations (during the festival of Sukkot)
  •  Israel was subject to 70 years of exile in Babylon, for their failure to keep the Sabbaticals.
  • There were 70 languages given to mankind, when God struck the builders of Babel
  •  There were 70 nations in the ancient world, formed by the joining of those who spoke the same language.
  •  Joseph, according to the book of Jasher, had to address the Pharaoh in all 70 of these ancient languages.
  • There are 70 Names of God.
  • There are 70 Holy Days in the Biblical Calendar: 
    • 52 Sabbaths, 
    • 7 days of Unleavened Bread, 
    • 1 day of Pentecost, 
    • 1 day of Trumpets, 
    • 1 day of Atonement, 
    • 7 days of Tabernacles, 
    • 1 day of the Last Great Day 
    • = 70 Holy Days

Ayin’s ע Connection with the Aleph א

Ayin is closely connected with the letter Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph, the “Master” of the alphabet, is similar in Ayin in that they are both silent letters. An important lesson is to be learned from this. We know that the aleph represents Yahweh – the one true and sovereign God. But why did He also designate ayin as a silent letter? The answer can be found in the Psalms. It says, “Be still and know that I Am God,” Psalm 46:10. The letter representing Yahweh and the letter representing SIGHT are both silent, because it is only in stillness (silence) that we may truly know (see) Him.
Only in silent intimacy do we grow to know Him and experience Him as He is. This is also illustrated by the fact that the word עין (ayin) means “a well”. When we commune with Yah in silence, we are able to drink deeply from the “Well” of Salvation. Only then will our spiritual thirst be satisfied (John 7:37).

Warnings in the Ayin

Ayin also contains several warnings against walking according to mere human sight. During the times of the Judges, God’s primary criticism of His people was that every man “did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). And in the Sermon on the Mount, Yahshua refers to the “eye” twelve times (the number of His Kingdom), warning against its misuse. Let us examine some of His remarks and consider how they are illustrated by the Hebrew alphabet.
Matthew 5:29 “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” 
If our conduct is dictated only by what we see, then we have little hope of seeing the Kingdom of Heaven. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon used the phrase “under the sun” twenty-seven times, and emphasized each time that the things which we can see and pursue in this physical realm (“under the sun”) are all “vanity” (empty, pertaining to death and fruitless).
This truth is demonstrated by what happens to the WORD AYIN, when the first letter ayin is replaced by the letter aleph:
Hebrew Word
First letter
עין (word: ayin)
ע (letter ayin)
Ayin means that we keep our sight by keeping our eyes on the Shepherd and His Word.
אין (word: iyin)
א (letter aleph)
This substitution in first letters changes ayin (eye and sight) to iyin, which means “nothingness, falsehood, or vanity”.  When we “self-contain” god… we lose sight of the true God, becoming temporal and idolatrous. Our imaginations (beliefs and thinking) are iniquity.

Scripture records that there were 70 souls in the family of Jacob. It seems cryptic and trivial at first. But the record of the 70 souls contains the key of what it takes to be a part of spiritual Israel (the family of Jacob). The number seventy (the ayin) contains a tremendous message. Our spirits are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our minds are to be centered on His Word. Then, in this state, our vision will be focused upon God and our eyes will be single for Him. True Israel has a single "eye", meaning that God is our first love, with no competing affections - free from idolatry. 

Seventy souls were in the house of Jacob. And, in spiritual message, it is still true today. Only those who Shema (the Hebrew word for hearing God's Voice and obeying Him)  can be spiritual Israel (by God's Grace). And the Shema (which is also the Hebrew name for the passage of Scripture found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is the message of the ayin, spelled out:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5  "Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Yahweh) our God is one LORD (One means He's "first" in our hearts, "supreme" in our lives, and there are no competing affections - idolatry) And thou shalt love the LORD (Yahweh) thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (when every fiber of our beings is centered upon God and Him alone, we have a single eye)."

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)