Sunday, January 7, 2018

Torah Portion - January 7, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 6:9-22

The Hebrew Alphabet: Hey

Spiritual Meaning of the Hey

Hey  = 5 and is the H of Hebrew (pronounced by exhaling the breath)
·         Hey is the Hebrew letter for BREATH, SPIRIT and GRACE.
·         Hey is the first letter in the Hebrew world HINNEH (behold), suggesting something important is following, which can only be viewed and fully appreciated through the Holy Spirit. As in: “Behold the Bridgegroom cometh!” Matthew 25:6 and “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” John 1:29 & 36.

There are two Hey’s in God’s Holy Covenant Name: YHWH.

They show us that He BREATHED life into us in the beginning, and will again BREATHE Eternal Life into us. It also takes the Presence of the Holy Spirit in us to truly praise YHWH – which is shown by the Hey’s in HalleluYAH!

Hey represents God's Creative Power
"By the Word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Breath of His Mouth" (Psalm 33:6). In the Talmud (Menachot 29b) it is said that the "breath of His mouth" refers to the sound of the letter Hey - the outbreathing of Spirit.

In the fifth word of Genesis 2:4, the Hey appears smaller than usual.

This draws attention to the fact that the heavens and the earth were created, by YHWH’s Hey… the Word of YHWH, Who breathed forth creation.

YHWH changed the names of His people- adding the Hey- to signify the indwelling of His Spirit and Grace (Genesis 17:5 & 15):
  • ABRAM became ABRA-H-AM
  • SARAI became SARA-H

Prefixive Hey
Hey functions as the definite article in Hebrew, a sort of demonstrative that points to the object and makes it concrete and definite. Thus (ish), a man, becomes (ha-ish), THE MAN (the Spirit in a man makes him new into the LIVING Image of Yahshua THE MAN.

Suffixive Hey
Adding a Hey at the end of a noun "feminizes" it or allows it to be "fruitful" and reproductive – another work of the Holy Spirit in the life.

Hey and Teshuvah
Since Hey is formed from Dalet and Yod, it can also be a picture of returning to God by means of the transforming power of the Spirit. Opening the door of the heart then is a picture of the Spirit of God indwelling the believer.

The Hey Signifies the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life, Symbolized by the Holy Anointing Oil

The Holy Anointing Oil, significant of the Holy Spirit, was made up of 5 parts (5 is the number hey): Myrrh, cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil (Exodus 30:23-25). These ingredients reveal the meaning of the hey and the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

      myrrh (as distilling in drops, and also as bitter)
      “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Messiah Yahshua will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Spiritual Significance of the Myrrh
Myrrh symbolizes suffering, trials, tribulations, and afflictions. The church of Smyrna is known as the “Suffering Church”. This makes sense when one realizes that the name “Smyrna” comes from myrrh. Suffering and persecution is something that Yahshua experienced. In fact we are told that suffering was such an integral of Yahshua’s life that, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). And just as He was given the gift of myrrh by Wise Men, so we too, who are set apart for His holy use and anointed as priests, are to receive the gift of myrrh (suffering) from the hand of the Master. It is not done to destroy us, but to teach us obedience. 

      "qinnamown" meaning "to erect, cinnamon bark as in upright rolls"
Spiritual Significance of the Cinnamon
The second ingredient of the holy anointing oil was "sweet cinnamon". Sweet denotes the savour to God that is pure and holy, not that of a natural sweetener as honey, but that of cinnamon. "Cinnamon" is the Hebrew "qinnamown" meaning "to erect, cinnamon bark as in upright rolls". The sweet cinnamon speaks of the upright life, which we are enabled to live, through the Holy Spirit’s Grace and indwelling Power.

       "Calamus" is the Hebrew "qaneh" meaning "a reed (for measuring)."
Spiritual Significance of the Calamus
"Calamus" is the Hebrew "qaneh" meaning "a reed (for measuring)." The Law of YHWH is represented here. "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." (Revelation 11:1). The measuring rod, by which we are measured (judged) is the Law of YHWH, as it says in James 2:12. The Calamus is present in the anointing oil to remind us to live in obedience to the Holy Law, by Yah’s Grace.

       Cassia in Hebrew is qiddah, meaning shriveled rolls. It is from the root word which means to bend the body or neck in deference, or to bow down.
Spiritual Significance of the Cassia
Cassia is from the root word which means to bend the body or neck in deference, or to bow down. Cassia signifies humility and reverence for the Most High. As it says in Job 28:28 and Psalm 111:10, fearing YHWH is the beginning of wisdom. Also in 2 Chronicles 34:27, we see that humbling ourselves before YHWH is a vital part of prayer. Our prayers are only acceptable when presented with a humble and contrite spirit.

       Olive oil is from the Hebrew word zayith, meaning “illuminating oil.”
Spiritual Significance of the Olive Oil
It represents the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life. This is the fifth ingredient in anointing oil. We are only able to be set apart for holy use, serving as Heavenly priests, when we have the indwelling Presence of YAH’s Spirit.

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 21-40)
The Torah studies are provided in two formats for your convenience. The first option (below) is the blank worksheets for this week, which will allow you to print out the worksheets and hand-write the studies yourself. If you have less time, you may wish to read/print my completed Statute studies. The completed worksheets are the second option (below):

An Overview of this Week's Torah Studies:
This week we will be studying Statutes 21-40, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 21-22 Summary:
(21) Bind (write) the Torah upon your hands (actions). (22) Bind (write) the Torah upon your mind (thoughts).
Deuteronomy 6:8  “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”
Statute 23 Summary:
(23) Make and wear blue tzit tzits on the edges of your clothes to help you remember to be faithful and obedient to YHWH. (In Bible times, this Statute was understood to be meant the men, for women did not wear the tzit tzits).
Numbers 15:38-40  “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the Commandments of YAHWEH, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all My Commandments, and be holy unto your God.”
Statute 24 Summary:
(24) Preach and publish YHWH’s Law, putting it on the prominent places of your home and proclaiming it in the city.
Deuteronomy 6:9 “And thou shalt write them (YHWH’s Commands see Deut. 6:4-6) upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  
Statute 25-26 Summary:
(25) Gather and read the whole Torah at the Feast of Tabernacles every Sabbatical year (seventh year). (26) Keep the Feast of Tabernacles in the place which YHWH selects and finds acceptable.
Deuteronomy 31:10-12  “And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the Feast of Tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before YAHWEH thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this Law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear YAHWEH your God, and observe to do all the words of this Law.”
Statute 27 Summary:
(27) Kings (we are all kings – Revelation 5:10), under YHWH, must begin their service by writing out a personal copy of the Torah, which they are to study and read from daily, all their days.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20  “And it shall be, when he (a new king) sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the Commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
Statute 28 Summary:
YHWH has made His Law readily available to us, so that there is no excuse for not knowing and obeying it. Therefore, (28) we are to turn to YHWH with all our hearts and souls and obey His Commandments and Statutes.
Deuteronomy 30:10-14 “If thou shalt hearken unto the Voice of Yahweh thy God, to keep His Commandments and His Statutes which are written in this book of the Law, and if thou turn unto Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”
Statute 29 Summary:
Recognizing that everything you have (home, food, money, etc…) is from YHWH, (29) thank YHWH for everything He has given to you, regularly and often, lest you be tempted to think you got it by your own prowess or strength.
Deuteronomy 8:10-14 “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless Yahweh thy God for the good land which He hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not Yahweh thy God, in not keeping His Commandments, and His Judgments, and His Statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget Yahweh thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” 
Statute 30 Summary:
(30) Build the Holy House (Sanctuary) of YHWH so that He will dwell with you. (This is not a literal building of a physical temple. This building is first and foremost a spiritual one...  We are the temple of YAH, and His people are His Temple – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 1 Peter 2:5).
Exodus 25:8-9 “And let them make Me a Sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  According to all that I show thee, after the Pattern of the Tabernacle, and the Pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
Statutes 31 Summary:
(31) Reverence YHWH in His Holy Sanctuary, on His Holy Sabbaths.
Leviticus 19:30  “Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My Sanctuary: I Am Yahweh.”
Statute 32 Summary:
(32) Never set up an Asherah (which is another name for Easter) pole, icon or “Happy (Easter)” items, sun-god images, columns or memorial stones. These things should not in any way be joined to the altar (the worship) of YHWH.
Deuteronomy 16:21-22 “Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of Yahweh thy God, which thou shalt make thee. Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which Yahweh thy God hateth.”
Statute 33 Summary:
(33) Do not worship or revere any empty “gods,” nor make carved gods, nor set up pillars or memorials to false deities. Do not bow down to nor worship any false god of any kind, for they are all conceited imaginings.
Leviticus 26:1  “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I Am Yahweh your God.”  
Statutes 34 Summary:
(34) Do not spend time wishing about, or consider worshiping, nor speak the names of false gods. Their character, authority, or honor have no place in you.
Exodus 23:13 “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” 
Statutes 35 Summary:
(35) Do not teach or entice anyone to worship false gods, nor allow anyone to come into the Body of Yahweh enticing others to false worship. Idolatry and its teachings must be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 13:12-15 “If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which Yahweh thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;  Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you. Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.”
Statutes 36-37 Summary:
If a dear friend or family member comes to you to entice or pressure you into a practice that glorifies satan (purposely not capitalized), (36) do not listen or fall prey to the enticement. (37) Do not protect, cover for, or go easy on someone who encourages you to worship the devil in such ways.
Deuteronomy 13:6-8 “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him.”

Statutes 38-40 Summary:
(38) Destroy idols with fire. Do not desire or take any valuable parts of the idol that is being destroyed. (39) Do not bring any abominable objects into your home. (40) Abhor all abominations and abominable objects.
Deuteronomy 7:25-26 “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to Yahweh thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”  

Daily Bible Reading - January 7, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 8:26-56

Genesis 13:1-14:24

Psalm 7

Listen to the Bible






Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

One of the most interesting and enigmatic personages of the Bible is the king/priest Melchizedek. In Scripture, he appears only briefly mentioned, at least by this name. Yet, what is recorded of him is so profound that it foreshadows the work of the saints in the Last Days, and the role of Messiah, Himself!

In our reading in Genesis today, we find the story of a war which took place near the Dead Sea (see the map on the right). King Chedorlaomer, along with three Mesopotamian, allied kings; attacked Sodom and its surrounding kingdoms. In the conflict, Abraham's nephew, Lot, was taken captive and carried off northward. 

When Abram learned that Lot had been captured, he armed his trained servants (a band of about 300 men) and pursued the invaders to the northern borders of Dan. There, Abram defeated Chedorlaomer's armies, rescued Lot and reclaimed all the other captives along with the valuables stolen from these defeated cities. Abram glorified God, Who was the reason for his victory, and returned southward, by way of Salem.

To honor his victory, the king of Sodom met Abram in the Valley of Shaveh, just outside Salem (which would later be renamed "Jerusalem"). The king escorted Abram and his company to the city
of Salem, where Abram returned all the reclaimed valuables and possessions to the original owners, keeping no monetary rewards for the supernatural victory. Abram did not want anyone to get the idea that a heathen kingdom had made him wealthy. Abram wanted God and God Alone to get the rightful glory for his obviously blessed estate.

Now, on the scene comes the one whom the King James Bible calls Melchizedek. Melchizedek, who was the high priest and righteous king Salem, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram (Genesis 14:18).

But who is this mysterious priest/king of Salem? His name, which appears as Melchizedek in our English Bibles, was actually Malki-Tzedek in Hebrew. It means, "my king". As John J. Parsons points out in his website, in the online article "Who Was Melchizedek?":

The name "Malki-Tzedek" literally means "my king is righteous" (Malki = "my king" / "tzedek" = "just, righteous")...  It does not mean "King of righteousness" (as is sometimes claimed by Christian theologians), since the word "malki" contains a possessive personal pronoun (i.e., "MY king"). ("Who Was Melchizedek" by John Parsons)

The Hebrew Targum and the historical book of Jasher both identify Melchizedek as Shem. Shem was the most noble of the sons of Noah. He was the one to take up the mantle of Noah as the spiritual patriarch over the people of God.

It may seem impossible that Shem could indeed be Melchizedek, who blessed Abraham (Abram), and to whom Abram paid his tithe. After all, Abraham was the ninth generation from Shem. How could it be possible that Shem, who would have been Abraham's Great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather, might still be alive?

Actually, as the following chart shows, according to the genealogies of Scripture, Shem actually lived for so long that he didn't die until 110 years after Isaac - Abraham's son! 

What must it have been like for Abraham to be able to talk to Shem? What would it have been like to meet someone like him - to know him, personally? Shem had lived through the Great Flood. He had witnessed the judgment of God upon the world - firsthand. Hebrew history suggests that, after Shem settled in Salem, he founded a school of the prophets to teach others about God and to encourage mankind to serve the true God of Heaven. The writings further state that Shem was present at the circumcision of Abraham and Ishmael (Gen. 17:23). Later, Isaac studied with him. And Isaac's wife, Rebekah went to counsel with him, about the struggle of her pregnancy. Indeed the historical writings point out that it was Shem who gave the prophecy (recorded in Genesis 25:22-23) that the "older" of her twins would "serve the younger". 

When this prophecy came true and Jacob stole the birthright and blessing from Esau, the first place he fled was Shem's school in Salem. In other words, according to the Targum and book of Jasher, as well as Hebrew oral teachings, all three of the patriarchs of Israel (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) knew Shem - personally.

It is very likely that Melchizedek was indeed Shem, the firstborn son of Noah and one of 8 survivors of the Great Flood. But Melchizedek was more than just an interesting historical figure - the spiritual leader to whom even Abraham paid his tithes. As both king and priest, Melchizedek was the representative of the original priesthood - which predated both the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods. And when the Levitical priesthood ended, with the Death of our Saviour, Jesus Christ (Yahshua Messiah), the original priesthood after the order of Melchizedek was reinstated. It is to this role, ministry, and priestly order that every saved person is called:

Revelation 5:9-10 - "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

 Most significantly of all, Melchizedek prophetically foreshadowed (was a living picture parable of) Messiah, Who was to be our ultimate High Priest/King, after the order of Melchizedek

Psalm 110:4 - "The LORD (Yahweh) hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." 

Hebrews 6:20 - "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Yahshua, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." 

Hebrews 7:1-10 (ESV) - "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,[a] though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him."