Thursday, February 1, 2018

Torah Portion - February 1, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 24:27-67

Love is the Fulfilling of the Law

In Today's Torah Portion, I would like to share with you something mind-blowing...  Evidence of Creation in the Hebrew words...  Validation of the Torah, in Math!...  The actual movie starts at 3:54 min in...

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 101-120)
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 101-120, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 101-102 Summary:
Because only holy people can keep the Sabbath holy, Yahweh wants His Children to make double sure of their Cleansing on the Sabbath. For this reason, (101) twice the Lambs were to be sacrificed on the Sabbath (representing Yahshua’s Sacrifice for our sins). (102) Following the double Lamb sacrifice, Yahweh’s people are to offer double the meat (flour) and drink offerings (representing our acceptable living sacrifice–Romans 12:1–which is our thanks for Yahshua’s Sacrifice).

Numbers 28:9-10 “And on the Sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”
Statute 103-106 Summary:
Yahweh commands His Children to keep the New Moon by offering specific sacrifices. These sacrifices each point to specific aspects of Yahshua’s Atoning Gift. The point in commanding us to keep the New Moons with such offerings is that Yahweh wants us to specifically claim the Gift of Yahshua over our homes, family and lives in these specific roles. 

We no longer literally offer these animals, because they all pointed to Yahshua’s Death. But we can spiritually claim the Sacrifice of Yahshua in these Roles: 

(#103) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the most expensive Gift Heaven (bullock) had to offer. As we think of the high cost of our sins, sin become less attractive in our eyes. 
(#104) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Role as our Leader and Protector (Ram). As we think of the Saviour’s Role as our Leader, we study His Example and choose to follow Him more closely. 
(#105) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the Innocent and Pure One (lamb). As we think of this, we are able to claim Yahshua’s Atonement for our sins and be made pure and innocent through Him. 
(#106) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Sacrifice as our Substitute. The devil is compared to a goat, this is why a scapegoat was used to symbolize him. Yahshua had to die for the devil’s traits in us. As we think of this, we are able to repent for having “seeds” of darkness in our souls and be made clean of it. As with the daily and Sabbath offerings, we are to not only claim Yahshua’s Sacrifice, we are also to be the living oblation, returning our gratitude for the tremendous Gift of Salvation through living fully and being willing to die for Yahweh (emblemized in the meal and drink offerings). These offerings are acceptable in Yahweh’s Sight – demonstrated by fire. He sends fire (Pentecost) to consume acceptable sacrifices.

Numbers 28:11-15 “And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto Yahweh; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savoura sacrifice made by fire unto Yahweh. And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto Yahweh shall be offeredbeside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”

Statute 107-109 Summary:
(#107) Yahweh commands us the keep the New Moons. (#108) We are to especially pay attention to (or regard) the New Moon of the month Abib, for this is the first New Moon of the New Biblical Year. We are to calculate timing on Yahweh’s Calendar by the New Moons. (#109) Passover is kept in the first month (New Moon cycle) of the Biblical Year.

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib Yahweh thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” 

Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

Statute 110-111 Summary:
(#110) Yahweh’s people are to work for six days. (#111) But on the Seventh Day, we and all our households are to rest from our daily work and keep the Sabbath.

Exodus 23:12 “Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.”  

Statute 112 Summary:
(#112) On Friday, the preparation for the Sabbath is to be completed. Cooking for the Sabbath meals is to be done on Friday. No cooking, baking or boiling is to be done on the Seventh-day Sabbath.

Exodus 16:23 “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto Yahweh: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.”  

Statute 113-114 Summary:
(#113) Yahweh’s people are never to marry non-Torah-keeping, false-god-worshippers. (#114) Yahweh’s people are not to allow their children to inter-marry with the heathen (those who don’t follow Torah).

Deuteronomy 7:3 “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Statute 115 Summary:
When someone attempts to curse Yahweh's people, it is a serious offense before Yahweh! Even though Balaam was unable to curse Israel, the fact that the Moabites hired him to do it was sufficient reason for Yahweh to bar them from Life. People from groups which try to curse Yahweh’s Children cannot fellowship with Yahweh’s people or partake of Abraham’s blessings for ten generations. However, Ruth was a Moabite, and because she repented and chose Yahweh as her El, she was not only allowed in the fellowship of the Saved, she was also in the lineage of Christ! As it says in Exodus 20:6, Yahweh is merciful to those who love and obey Him.

Deuteronomy 23:3-4 “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of Yahweh; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of Yahweh for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 

Statute 116-117 Summary:
(#116) Spiritual Israel are not to loathe people who, like the Edomites, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people and have an affinity for Yahweh and the Truth. (#117) Spiritual Israel are also not to loathe people who, like the Egyptians, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people or Truth, yet are caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt. We are to be understanding and gentle with such folk, because we ourselves were once caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:7 “Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”  

Statutes 118 Summary:

When the Children of Israel tried to conquer Canaan, they were afraid of the giant and formidable people who blocked their way. Before final Spiritual Israel can possess ultimate Canaan, we too will face “giants” in ungodly earthly powers. But, (#118) Yahweh instructs us NOT to be afraid. We are to remember that Yahweh is with us. He is greater than any foe!

Deuteronomy 7:21 “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them (the nations of the earth of whom you would be afraid – see verse 19): for Yahweh thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.”

Statutes 119-120 Summary:

(#119) Yahweh’s people are never to bring contempt upon Yahweh’s Name, nor trifle with or make light of it nor curse it in any way. (#120) Also Yahweh’s people are never to make light of, bring into contempt, bitterly curse, despise or declare to be evil the leadership of the flock.

Exodus 22:28 “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

Daily Bible Reading - February 1, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 23:1-25

Genesis 41

Psalm 32

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Biblical archaeology truly fascinates me. Seeing the artifacts and evidences of the Bible stories is very faith-affirming - not that we need to see to believe, of course. 

Joseph is of great interest to me. The story of Joseph in the Scripture has been one of my favorites since I was a child. More recently, my husband and I were blessed to be the artists and designers creating a museum display on the life of Joseph for a Biblical History Museum.  All the research and work that went into building those displays and creating those informational videos only served to deepen my appreciation for the story of Joseph. As a result, I would like to share just a few of the things we learned in our research of Joseph and some of the displays we created for the museum. It may make the story of Joseph come alive for you as it did for us.

To start, I'm going to share with you a bit of the Egyptian backstory of Joseph. In our research, we found that Joseph went by another name in Egypt. Egyptians called him Imhotep. In our Bible reading today, we read of the dreams of the cows and corn. These dreams were God's Way of conveying a warning about the seven-year long famine and about the importance of preparing for that coming hardship during the seven-year long preparation period.

A life-like sculpture of Imhotep - Joseph
For many years, Egyptologists doubted that Imhotep had been a real person -- they
found it rather difficult to believe the various accomplishments credited to him in the accounts written over a thousand years after he was supposed to have lived. At times Imhotep has been termed the Leonardo da Vinci of ancient Egypt, but in fact he was more than that. Da Vinci gained the reputation of a genius -- Imhotep was eventually elevated to the status of a god (wrongly so, of course).

Ancient Greek historian, Manetho, wrote that "during his [Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty] reign lived Imouthes [i.e., Imhotep], who, because of his medical skill has the reputation of Asclepius [the Greek god of medicine] among the Egyptians and who was the inventor of the art of building with hewn stone." 

Joseph was the Architect of Saqqara - Egypt's 1st Pyramid
It was this statement that caused the specialists to doubt the existence of a real man named Imhotep. But in 1926, the question was settled once and for all -- Imhotep was a real man.

When excavations were carried out at the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, fragments of a statue of
pharaoh Djoser were found.
The Stele of Famine tells of Imhotep, who Saved Egypt from a Famine
The base was inscribed with the names of Djoser and of "Imhotep, Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt, Chief under the King, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary Lord, High Priest of Heliopolis, Imhotep the Builder, the Sculptor, the Maker of Stone Vases..."

A famous stone monolith, found on the island of Sihiel just below the First Cataract of the Nile, tells the story of how Imhotep saved Egypt from a seven-year-long famine. The huge stone, named the Stele of Famine is pictured on the right.

 There is so much more that I could share on this, but I will suffice it say that among the many titles which Joseph held, there is one that really caught my attention. One of Joseph's (Imhotep's) was "High Priest" of Egypt. Now this part makes the Bible story just come alive...  The High Priest is the religious leader for the whole country. As the High Priest, Joseph would have taught all of Egypt Who to Worship - and how to Worship. Most of us have been taught that the Egyptians were sun-worshipers, who also worshiped the many false gods for which Egypt is well-known. But, this was not true of Egypt, under the leadership of Joseph. During the time of Joseph's spiritual leadership, he taught the Egyptians to worship Yahweh - the God of Heaven! This was the function of Egypt's High Priest...  But there is also Scriptural evidence to show that Joseph taught the Egyptians to worship Yahweh (the Hebrew Name of God).
Psalm 81:1-5  "...Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon (this is the Feast of Trumpets, which takes place on the 7th New Moon), in the Time Appointed, on our solemn Feast Day. For this was a Statute for Israel, and a Law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt..." 
Here, Scripture tells us that Joseph was keeping the Feast of Trumpets and was teaching the Egyptians to keep it also! 

Joseph invented the pyramid, and built the first one (at Saqqara).  This was not to honor any pagan deities. The pyramid is most likely the shape of God's Throne. Thus, Joseph was honoring Yahweh in building the pyramid shape, which later came to be associated with paganism. 

Is there any Scriptural evidence to support the claim that God's Throne is shaped like a pyramid? Actually, yes! First, we are told that God's Throne is both 4-square and high and lifted up. A pyramid does fit this description. Additionally, the prophet Ezekiel told how the devil was once a covering cherub, who served God at His Throne. In this passage, God's Throne is described as a "holy Mountain" - which again fits the pyramid description... And it also says the Lucifer (as Satan was then called) walked up and down amidst the "stones of fire". Stones of fire is "fire-in-the-midst" or "pyramid".
Ezekiel 28:14-16  "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."
Because the pyramid originally represented the Throne of the one true God, the sphinx was also associated with it. A sphinx had the face of a man, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the feet of a bull. Sometimes the ancients changed it up a bit and made a sphinx with the face of a man, the body of bull, the feet of a lion and the wings of an eagle. But however they were combined, the same four creatures always made up the sphinx, even in other 
A Babylonian Sphinx
cultures outside of Egypt. This is because the sphinx was a representation of the four living creatures, which serve God at His Throne. These living creatures are Scripturally represented as a man, eagle, bull and lion - depicting the roles of our Messiah (Man - God became flesh and dwelt among us; Eagle - representing His Divinity; Bull - representing Christ's Burden Bearing; and Lion - representing His Kingship).

Next, Yahweh was really the One Who made Egypt great. This happened in the time of Joseph. During the seven-year-long famine, people had to come to Egypt from far and near to buy food. We know this historically and because the Bible tells us that even Jacob and his sons, who lived far away in another land, we afflicted by the famine. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food. 

First, the people paid for the food, which Egypt had in store. They paid with gold - and Egypt became rich. But as the famine persisted and the gold ran in short supply, people then came to Egypt and traded land for food. And Egypt grew in size. Lastly, when people no longer had anything to trade for food, they came to Egypt offering themselves. They traded their labor for food. And Egypt developed a tremendous labor force, allowing for a huge uptick in architectural projects (as we see happened in the time of Pharaoh Djoser - Djoser was Pharaoh in the time of Imhotep).

During the 7 Years of Preparation, Joseph stored grain like the sands of the sea
Egypt was being blessed under the leadership of Joseph! First, God revealed that a famine was coming, giving Egypt enough time to prepare for it. Then God provided a man (Joseph) who was wise (because the Spirit of Yah was in him) to head those preparations. And then, when the famine hit, there was not only enough food for Egypt, but for all the surrounding area - but it was provided to them at a cost, which made Egypt wealthy and powerful.

Now advance the story about 430 years into the future...  Joseph was dead. His God - the only God - was forgotten in Egypt. The Children of Israel had become enslaved. Things were dramatically different. Have you ever wondered why God was so "rough" on the Egyptians as to send those 10 devastating plagues upon them? It was God Who had made Egypt great in the first place! And Egyptwhich had been led to worship Yahweh under the leadership of Joseph (remember, he was the High Priest of all the land of Egypt) forsook God and returned to the worship of their former false gods. Yahweh judged Egypt because they knew better than to worship their former false gods! 

But when the Egyptians proudly resisted Yahweh and refused to worship Him, He began preaching in the plagues, taking down Egypt's false gods plague by plague... But that's a story for another day - another blog :-) For now, let's conclude with a video. This is the video which my husband and I made to play in the Joseph/Imhotep display of the Biblical History Museum. I hope you enjoy it! Here's the youtube link: