Monday, January 15, 2018

Torah Portion - January 15, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 13

The Hebrew Alphabet: 

The thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called “Mem” and has the sound of “M” as in “mom”. It has the numeric value of 40. There are two ways to write a Mem. A Mem appearing at the end of a word (stumah) looks more like a box, being closed at the base. It shows something CONCEALED. A regular Mem (pesucha) has an opening at the base and shows something REVEALED.

As mentioned above, Mem has two forms: an open form and a closed form. The open form (pesucha) is said to represent the revealed truth of God (as demonstrated by Moses), whereas the closed form (stumah) is said to represent the concealed truth of God (as demonstrated by the Mashiach, the revealer of mysteries). 

Mem is the letter of "water" (mayim), symbolizing the “spring” of the Torah. Just as the waters of an underground spring rise upward from an unknown source to reveal themselves, so does the spring of wisdom rise up from the mysterious Source that is God. This flowing stream of the inner wisdom can be expressed through the gift of man’s speech:

“The words a man speaks are deep waters, A flowing stream, a fountain of wisdom.” (Proverbs 18:4)

The letter Mem is composed of two parts: a Vav and a Kaf. The gematria of these parts is 26, the same value for the sacred Name YHWH. In traditional Hebrew gematria, Mem has the value of 40, and is associated with TRIAL and TESTING, as we see in the following:
  1. 40 days and nights of flood waters in the time of Noah.
  2. The Children of Israel were 40 years in the Wilderness
  3. 40 days Moses was upon Mount Sinai
  4. 40 days of Teshuvah before Rosh Hashanah
  5. 40 days of fasting by Yahshua the Mashiach
The Mem shows waves or rough waters. But the closed Mem, at the end of the word, shows how Yahshua makes our rough waters smooth, at the end. The word “SHALOM” is a perfect example of the Mem at the end of the word. “SHALOM” means “PEACE.” Messiah gives ETERNAL PEACE… in the End.

“The words a man speaks are deep waters, A flowing stream, a fountain of wisdom.” (Proverbs

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 41-60)
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 41-60, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 41-42 Summary:
(41) The priests bear the responsibility to be watchmen who safeguard Yahweh’s holy things and days (42) and lead in the worship of Yahweh. When the priests rightly serve in this post, people are protected by it..
Number 18:5  And ye (the priests) shall keep the charge of the Sanctuary, and the charge of the Altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.”
Statute 43-45 Summary:
(43) The priests are to serve as burden bearers (intercessors), helping others find pardon and peace with Heaven. (44) Priests are not to have an earthly inheritance. (45) The tithes are the support and inheritance of the priests.
Numbers 18:23-24  “But the Levites (priests) shall do the service of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a Statute forever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto Yahweh, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”  
Statute 46 Summary:
(46) We (since we are all called to be priests - Revelation 5:12) are to take care to come cleansed before Yahweh. We cannot worship Him, be an acceptable living sacrifice, or minister to others until we ourselves are made clean.
Exodus 30:18-21 “Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the Tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the Tabernacle of the Congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto Yahweh:  So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.” 
Statute 47-48 Summary:
(47) The Menorah is to be fueled only by pure olive oil. (48) The Menorah Light is never to burn out, but is to be always lit.
Exodus 27:20-21 “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the Light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the Tabernacle of the Congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”  
Statute 49 Summary:
(49) The priests are to regularly bless the people in Yahweh’s Name with the following Yah-given blessing:
Numbers 6:23-27 “Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Children of Israel, saying unto them, Yahweh bless thee, and keep thee: Yahweh make His Face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: Yahweh lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”
Statute 50 Summary:
(50) The priests are to set a show-bread table continually before Yahweh’s Presence.
Exodus 25:30 “And thou shalt set upon the Table Showbread before Me always.”
Statute 51-53 Summary:
When a foul and idolatrous building or city is judged and destroyed, (51) it is to remain a ruin forever. It must never be rebuilt. Also, (52) no items or gain from the judged place may be taken or used by the Children of Yahweh. (53) All proceeds and gain from the judged place must be destroyed and burned by fire.
Deuteronomy 13:16-17 “And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for Yahweh thy God: and it shall be an heap forever; it shall not be built again. And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that Yahweh may turn from the fierceness of His anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as He hath sworn unto thy fathers.”
Statute 54-55 Summary:
(54) A prophet who claims to speak in Yahweh's Name, the prophet must speak the Truth from the Word of God. When a prophet (teacher of “truth”) claims to speak in Yahweh’s Name, but does not speak the Truth from the Word of God, that presumptuous prophet will die. (55) And when person claims to teach truth, he/she must not do it in the name of a false god. Such a false prophet will also die.
Deuteronomy 18:20 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”
Statutes 56 Summary:
(56) If a false prophet (proclaimed teacher of “truth”) encourages people to do or believe things which honor false gods, you are not to listen to him/her.  Even if the false teacher “proves” his false teachings with miracles, you are not to listen to or allow yourself to in any way be influenced by him or her.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Yahweh your God proveth you, to know whether ye love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Statute 57-59 Summary:
(57) Yahweh’s people are not to assemble to hear a false prophet. (58) Yahweh's people must not show hospitality to a false prophet. (59) Yahweh's people are not to show deferential respect towards a false prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:22 “When a prophet speaketh in the Name of Yahweh, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Yahweh hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
Statute 60 Summary:
(60) Yahweh’s people are not to talk like, nor practice the worldly habits of, nor take on the ungodly customs of the unsaved people around us.

Leviticus 20:23 “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them." 

Daily Bible Reading - January 15, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 12:32-59

Genesis 22

Psalm 15


Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

One of the most amazing experiences in the Bible is found in today's chapter, Genesis 22. It is the story of how God tested Abraham, by commanding him to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. Can you imagine it?! A loving father, who absolutely dotes on his precious son, climbing the mountain knowing that every step brings them closer to the appointed place where he must take his son's life. Behind him follows a devoted young son, obediently carrying the wood of the sacrifice. Isaac trusts God and his father. What a testimony! One's heart skips a beat in the reading of it.

But there is much more going on in this story, than meets the eye. The unstated elements of the account are as vital as those which are written. And within the narrative, we see a future prophesy, powerfully being enacted, that we might better comprehend and appreciate the Plan of Redemption.

Unbeknownst to him, Isaac is a living shadow-picture of Messiah Himself. To fully see this prophetic shadow-picture, consider the following (quoted from Oxford Bible Church - quote is indented)
Genesis 22:3: “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”

Abraham rose early for his 3 day journey. He is an example to us of quick obedience. If you delay to obey, you will either forget, or convince yourself not to do it. He knew that God had spoken, and that God could be trusted. He put aside all his natural excuses, emotions and reasonings. He didn’t let himself dwell in the mental arena, but he brought his thoughts captive to God’s Word.

Genesis 22:4: “On the 3rd day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.”

As they approached from the South, God showed him the Mount by a glory cloud (v2). To obey God, he had to offer Isaac in a specific place. It was essential this was done at the right location, because it would lay the foundation for all future sacrifices, and especially because it was where our Lord Jesus Himself would be offered up 2,000 years later. This was a prophetic picture, that had to be acted out in the very place where Jesus would be crucified.

To Abraham, Isaac had died when God spoke, because he decided then to obey God. Thus he received him back ‘raised’ from the dead on the 3rd day, just like Jesus (Yahshua)!

Mt. Moriah is on 3 levels. As Abraham approached from the South, he would have first come to the lower level which was the southern ridge, on which was the town of Jerusalem, where Melchizedek was king.

1000 years later this was a Jebusite City, which David captured and made his capital. It is called the City of David.

Above it, to the right, which is to the North, you can see a higher level of Mount Moriah upon which David’s son, Solomon built the Temple.

How can we know which is the true Biblical Mount Moriah? Ask any observant Jew, and he will tell you where Mt. Moriah is, because it is central to their faith. The Jews have no doubt that Mt. Moriah is same Mount as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and in this they are on sure Biblical ground. They consider it the most holy place on earth, the place where Abraham offered up Isaac, the place that God has chosen for Himself.

There is a Plaque erected at the Western (Wailing) Wall of the Temple Compound (below) which confirms the Jewish belief that this is where Abraham offered up Isaac, and where the Temple was built, and that God has chosen this special place to manifest His Glory: 
We know where Mt. Moriah is, because 1000 years after Abraham, God revealed to King David that the Temple must be built on Mt. Moriah, the very same Hill where Abraham offered up Isaac. This is why the Temple Mount is the most holy and contested piece of real estate, even to this day.

In 2Samuel 24:16-25, the Angel of Judgement stood by the Threshing Floor of Ornan the Jebusite, on the higher ground (plateau) above the original City of David. He was ready to destroy Jerusalem. God told David to buy this Threshing Floor and build an Altar there, where he was to make atoning sacrifices to turn God’s Judgement away from Israel.

2Samuel 24:24: “So David bought the Threshing Floor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver.”

The story is also told in 1Chronicles 21:16-28, but this time we are told that: “he paid 600 shekels of gold for the Place” (v25).

Thus, we see that David must have bought the whole Mountain as well as the Threshing Floor, since he realised it was all holy ground.

When David saw that the Lord had answered him on the Threshing Floor of Ornan, he continued to sacrifice there (v28).

Soon after, Solomon built the Temple on this same ground that God had revealed to David as being a Holy Place for Sacrifice:

2Chronicles 3:1: “Now Solomon began to build the House (Temple) of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the Threshing Floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”

This is the only other mention of Mt. Moriah in the Bible apart from Genesis 22. Therefore, it is crucial in determining the location of Mt. Moriah. Notice from 2Chronicles 3:1 that the Mount where the Temple was built is called Mount Moriah, the very same Mount where Abraham offered up Isaac!

Therefore, if the Bible is to be trusted, Mount Moriah, the Mount where the Lord promised to provide Himself as the final Sacrifice in Genesis 22, is the very same Mount where the Temple was built.

So, in Solomon’s time, there was the City of David, and then above it (to the right in the pictures opposite), stood the Temple on the higher level, which a flat platform top that had been used as a Threshing Floor, for this is where God told David the Altar of the Temple had to be.

The Bible very clearly says that Mt. Moriah is the same Mount upon which the Temple stood. This fact (which is often overlooked) is essential in determining the location of Christ’s Death and Resurrection, as we shall see.

This large scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ (below), now at the Israel Museum, shows the view of the Temple from the bottom of Mt. Moriah at the South, as it looked then.

God, Who knows the end from the beginning, had picked this very spot to mark the place where His Temple would stand. He had picked the nearby escarpment as the spot where Christ - Heaven's Ultimate Lamb - would be slain. And it was to this precise location that God called Abraham.

Like Messiah, Who bore the wood of His Sacrifice to the hill of Calvary, Isaac carried the sacrificial wood upon his back. And when Isaac asked his father where the lamb was that would be slain, Abraham spoke a prophecy, which foretold the Death of the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. Abraham said, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering."

What an amazing picture - painted by God - on a canvas that transcends time... Makes one wonder if Abraham really understood what he was saying and doing...  Hmmm...  I kind of think he did. :-)