Torah Portion

Dear Torah Portion Reader...

I am very excited that the Spring Feast is just around the corner! We are now in the final preparation count-down, which for us at Lighted Way Ministries is an "all-hands-on-deck" scenario. In the next few weeks and days, I will be finishing the book "God's Amazing Star Secret" (which I pray to have fresh from the press at Passover, on April 1, 2018), I will be writing the sermons, putting together the children's program, cooking (and freezing) the casseroles to serve during the Retreat week, and more...

In order to accomplish all of this, I will not be taking time to write the Torah portion commentaries during this period of time. However, that does not mean that anyone need to get behind. The following is the Torah reading and study schedule for the next few weeks. As you keep up with this schedule, you will be on track to complete all 613 Statutes this year. So, from now to April 14, the Torah portions will be posted without comment. Commentary and the usual Torah portions will resume on April 15. Thank you for your patience! And happy studying in the meantime :-)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Torah Portion - January 28, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 23

The Hebrew Alphabet:
Aleph and Tav 

Aleph Tav

Aleph and Tav are powerful in and of themselves, but, together, they are even more so. These two letters are written in the first verse of the first chapter of the written Scripture. In the account of the Creation:
Genesis 1:1

 New International Interlineal Hebrew-English Bible
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1(NIV)

Tav  Aleph

These two letters are Aleph and Tav read from right to left. As we have already seen, Aleph is the first letter of the 22 Hebrew alphabet, Tav is the last letter. Hebrew letters are not like the letters of today. One character has a lot to tell about. The Torah teachers knew this that even if the Torah is as old as Moses, it is still telling of things never known before. A letter has a number equivalent, and a picture word.

It is interesting to note that Aleph Tav is found at the center of the first verse; Genesis 1:1. It is untranslated, and independent of the rest of the words because Genesis 1:1 still conveys the message while Aleph Tav is silent. 

Now here is the picture equivalent of the letters Aleph Tav.

An Ox and a Cross!

An Ox is a symbol for strength/ head/ leader/ God. The cross symbolizes Covenant/completion/mark/ finished/perfection.

Zechariah 12:10 prophesied about the coming Messiah. Here again we see Aleph Tav after the word “me”.

  New International Interlineal Hebrew-English Bible
“They will look on me, the One they have pierced..." Zechariah 12:10(NIV)

Snapshot from the video "Meditate on God's Word and Receive Grace Upon Grace" by Joseph Prince

Numbers 15:36 spoke of the tassel as symbolic of the person GOD. The woman who had been bleeding for 12 years was healed when she touched the hem of Yahshua’s garment (Matthew 9:20-22). The hem of Jewish men’s’ garments have tassels (tzit tzit) on them. Here we see Aleph Tav again in the original text written after the word “remember”.  

  New International Interlineal Hebrew-English Bible

“You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them..." Numbers 15:39(NIV)

Aleph Tav is like a verification signature or seal of the Author. It appears in significant places that may be calling attention to the Author. We are only scratching the surface in the study of Aleph Tav. Aleph Tav is all over the written Scripture (Old Testament of the Bible), about 7,000x more!

And now, with this understanding of the Hebrew letters, we are ready to begin studying the Statutes at a greater depth. As we look up key words and search out the deep meanings to be found in the Torah, remember that the Hebrew words get their meanings by adding the meanings of each individual letter which forms the word.

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 81-100)
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 81-100, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 81-83 Summary:
(81)Do not tattoo your body in any way, nor inscribe anything which honors Babylon into your flesh. (82) Do not intentionally cut or gash your body. (83) Do not do anything to honor people (dead or living), by permanently altering your body.

Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I Am Yahweh.”  
Statute 84 Summary:
(84) Do not wear clothing or any form of apparel that mixes linen with wool. Linen and wool are not ever to be worn together at the same time.

Deuteronomy 22:11 “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.”  (See also Leviticus 19:19.)

Statute 85 Summary:
(85) Do not cut or trim your hair or beards in a way which honors the dead or is associated with Babylon (see Leviticus 19:26-28 for context). YAHWEH wants us to look like we belong to Him at a glance – no mixed messages.

(Note: Many believe that this statute means men cannot trim their beards or shave at all. This statute does not mean that we cannot cut our hair or trim our beards at all – Mephibosheth was an Israelite. We know that he normally trimmed his beard, because the Bible says he did not trim it while David was in exile and this was unusual, as a sign of mourning - 2 Samuel 19:24-25)

(See also Hebrews 13:11-13) (Also note: ashes was a mark or token of grief, humiliation, or penitence - Nehemiah 9:1Job 42:6)

Leviticus 19:27 “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.”  

Statute 86-88 Summary:
(86) YAHWEH’s people and leaders are not to amass weaponry nor plan to protect themselves with military might. (87) We are also not to do anything that causes our brethren to return to Egypt (spiritually represents bondage to sin) in order to find security. (88) We are never to go back to the sins of Egypt, which we have forsaken in following Yahshua.

Deuteronomy 17:16 “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as Yahweh hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.”

Statute 89 Summary:
(89) YAHWEH’s Children are to never make alliances, leagues, bargains, or enter into covenants with the common people of the world. Such compacts make it easy to slip into idolatry.

Exodus 34:14-15 “For thou shalt worship no other god: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice.”

Statute 90 Summary:
(90) YAHWEH’s people are not to hang out with, marry, keep house with, or settle down with those who worship false gods. Keeping such ones on our property brings their blame upon us, causing us to be caught by the enemy’s trap.

Exodus 23:33 “They (people who worship false gods) shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against Me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

Statute 91-96 Summary:
(91) Anointing is only to be done with Holy Anointing Oil, made from the Biblical formula: olive oil, myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, and cassia. (92) Holy Anointing Oil is used to anoint and dedicate a building which is to be set apart as YAHWEH’s House. (93) Holy Anointing Oil is used to anoint and dedicate people who are to be set apart as priests in YAHWEH’s ministry. (94) Holy Anointing Oil is never to be put upon the flesh of a common (uncleansed) man. (95) The recipe for Holy Anointing Oil may never be reproduced for any common use (like perfume). (96) Once something or someone has been set cleansed and set apart for holy use with this anointing oil, it and they may not be used for any unholy purpose.

Exodus 30:23-33 “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:  And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.”  

Statute 97 Summary:
(97We are not to be partial with those called to YAHWEH’s priesthood, simply because the person is not from “around here.” If another of Heaven’s “7000” who “have not bowed the knee to Baal” moves to our area and desires to serve YAHWEH in our priestly ministry circle, we are to welcome such a one and treat him and share with him as a full priest of YAHWEH. (See Mark 9:38-40).

Deuteronomy 18:6-8 “And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which Yahweh shall choose; Then he shall minister in the Name of Yahweh his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before Yahweh. They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.”

Statutes 98 Summary:

Yahshua is our Heavenly High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). He will only “marry” a Bride (people) who are spiritually virgins. As a shadow picture of this beautiful truth, (98) a high priest in YAHWEH’s service may only marry a virgin, who is a Torah-keeper and full believer.

Leviticus 21:13-14 “And he (a High Priest upon whom the Holy Anointing Oil has been poured) shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.”

Statutes 99-100 Summary:

(99) The Lamb, representing Yahshua’s Blood and Sacrifice, must be offered (prayerfully claimed over our sins) twice daily: morning and evening. (100) The oblation or thank offerings (meal and drink offering), representing our acceptable living sacrifice (fully living or dying for Yahshua) is also to be offered twice daily. This means that YAHWEH’s people are to recommit their lives as living sacrifices twice a day, a gift which naturally follows our claiming of His Blood as our perfect Lamb.

Numbers 28:3-7 “And thou shalt say unto them (Israel), This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto Yahweh; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.  The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;  And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto Yahweh. And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto Yahweh for a drink offering.”

Daily Bible Reading - January 28, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 20:27-47

Genesis 37

Psalm 28

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Today's reading of Genesis 37 is going to be my point of focus for my personal commentary. I love the story of Joseph. His story is amazing and bears so many lessons for us 

Joseph grew to be about 17 years old as the privileged son of a wealthy and devoted father. He was handsome, intelligent, beloved, and God had blessed him with a high calling, as was clear from his amazing dreams

Then one day the  picture changes dramatically. It seems to be the death of the "dream". Joseph's brothers plot against him. They even talk about killing him. In the end, they decided to sell him into slavery. Talk about a dysfunctional family!

I  can picture a woebegone young man, bound in ropes, tears dampening his cheeks as the camels bear him step by step away from his home, away from everything he has ever known, away from his father. What a difficult day! Hohopeless everything must have looked and how despairing it must have felt! 

But Joseph doesn't forget God, amidst the trial. He doesn't fall a prey to bitterness against God or his brothers. Joseph recognizes that God is his reality - not his circumstances. God is trustworthy when things are going "right" and when they are going "wrong". By trusting in God and standing faithful, Joseph was blessed amidst the trying circumstances. 

And one day, when he finally stood before his brothers again, he was able to comfort them with these wise words:
Genesis 50:20  "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
Joseph understood the reality that "all things work together for good to those who love God," Romans 8:28. May we all remember to be so faithful and trusting to God, no matter what our circumstances!

Of all the Bible stories, the life of Joseph gives one of the clearest pictures of Christ to be found in the Bible. So, as we start reading the part of the Bible which portrays the beautiful story of Joseph, I'd like to start off by showing how Joseph was a type of Christ:

Comparison List of Joseph and Jesus (Yahshua)
JosephJesus (Yahshua)
Joseph was beloved by his father - Genesis 37:3God said about Jesus (Yahshua) "this is My beloved Son" - Matthew 3:17
Joseph's brothers (his own "people") did not believe him and hated him - Genesis 37:4-5The Jews (His own "people") did not believe in Christ - John 7:5 and they hated Him - John 15:24
Joseph's brothers rejected God's Calling to make him a ruler - Genesis 37:8The Jewish leaders said "we will not have this man to rule over us" Luke 19:14
Joseph's brothers conspired against him and plotted to destroy him - Genesis 37:23The Jewish leaders conspired against Jesus (Yahshua) and plotted to destroy Him -  Matthew 27:1
They stripped Joseph of his garments -  Genesis 37:23They stripped Messiah of His garments -  Matthew 27:28
Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver - Genesis 37:28Jesus (Yahshua) was sold for 30 pieces of silver -  Matthew 26:15
Everything Joseph put his hand to prospered -  Genesis 39:3"… And the pleasure of the Lord (Yahweh) prospered in His Hand" - Isaiah 53:10
Because Joseph was faithful in all things, all things were entrusted into Joseph's hand -  Genesis 39:4-8Similarly, because Christ is trustworthy, God hath given all things into His Hand - John 3:35
Joseph's own brothers (his own people) did not recognize him.The Jews (Christ's own people) did not recognize their Messiah
Joseph was tempted and yet remained faithful to God, walking in victory -  Genesis 39:9Jesus (Yahshua) was tempted in all points yet was without sin - Hebrews 4:15
Joseph was bound - Genesis 39:20Jesus (Yahshua) was bound - Matthew 27:2
Joseph was imprisoned with two criminals - Genesis 40:2-3Jesus (Yahshua) was crucified with two criminals (the two thieves) - Luke 23:32
One criminal was given life and the other was condemned to death - Genesis 40:21-22One thief was given the promise of Eternal Life and the other (who mocked and failed to repent) received Eternal Death - Luke 23:39-43
Joseph was trustworthy and wise -    Genesis 41:39The Father testified of Christ "this is My beloved Son in Whom I well pleased" - Mark 1:11
The people of Egypt and Joseph's brothers all bowed before him -Genesis 41:43"At the name of Jesus (Yahshua) every knee will bow" - Philippians 2:10
Joseph was 30 years old, when he began his Calling to serve in Pharaoh's Court - Genesis 41:46Christ was "about 30 years old" when He began His Calling to serve as the Messiah - Luke 3:23
God took a situation that the devil meant for evil and brought much good out of Joseph's suffering - Genesis 50:21God brought much good out of Jesus' (Yahshua's) suffering - "God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved" - John 3:16
Joseph married a foreign bride who shared his glory - Genesis 41:45Believers in Christ are the Bride of Christ, made "joint heirs" with Him in His Glory - Romans 8:17
Joseph was cast into a pit and then later delivered out of it - Genesis 37:24-28When Christ died, He descended into the "lower parts" of the earth, and later ascended into Heaven - Ephesians 4:8-10
Joseph was imprisoned based on false charges - Genesis 39:19-20False witnesses testified against Christ as well - Mark 14:56
Joseph's brothers mourned for the evil they had done to him - Genesis 50:15-18"And they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn" - Zechariah 12:10
Joseph was a "type" patterned after the Life and Ministry of Christ.Jesus (Yahshua) is the Pattern which every believer's life is to follow.

Truly Joseph was a "type" of Christ. What does it mean to be a "type" of Christ? It means that we can all see Jesus (Yahshua) in Joseph. Think of that for a moment. Aren't we all called to be a "type" of Christ, in a way? May it be said of us that the world can all see Jesus (Yahshua) in you and in me.

Evangelist Glenn Coon begins his book The ABC’s of Bible Prayer with words written by Mildred Hill:

Lord, make me a nail upon the wall, fastened securely in its place. Then from this thing so common and so small hang a bright Picture of Thy Face that travelers may pause to look upon the Loveliness depicted there, and passing on their weary ways, each radiant face may bear stamped so that nothing can efface—the image of Thy Glory and Thy Grace. Lord, let not one soul think of me. Only let me be a nail upon the wall, holding Thy Picture in its place.