Monday, February 5, 2018

Torah Portion - February 5, 2018

Today's Torah Reading: Gen. 26:1-13

Love for Yahweh - first and Supreme

Today we are continuing our study of the Statutes which relate to the first Commandment of having no other gods before Yahweh

Again, we will look at the third set of Statutes under the first Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," (Exodus 20:1-3). As we started to see in our study yesterday, the third set of Statutes, under the first Commandment, are about the priests. Specifically, the priests are to lead others in the worship of Yahweh by example, by instruction, and by provision. Let us continue our study of the Statutes in this subcategory.

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."
In this beautiful Statute, which instructs the priests (we are all priests and kings in Yah's service, when we are saved - Revelation 5:10) to speak a specific blessing over Yahweh's people. This special blessing is called "The Lord's Prayer of the Old Testament". It is also known as "The Priestly Blessing". Not only is it a beautiful blessing, but it contains a powerful promise. Yahweh promises that when we speak this blessing over His people, He will bless them with the blessings this prayer contains!

And just what does this prayer blessing contain? Let's take a moment to look at the deeper meaning in each part.

Priestly Blessing Part 1: "Yahweh bless you"
  • The word "bless" is to confer prosperity and well-being upon the receiver. Yahweh's blessings are conditional to obedience (and having been forgiven and cleansed for past rebellion) - Deuteronomy 28:1-6. But, when by Yahweh's Grace, we meet the conditions required to receive this blessing, it is very all-encompassing: 
  • Yahweh promises to make the nation of such people to lead the world (just as Israel did in the time of Solomon, and the United States did in its earlier time when our leaders and policies honored God - Deuteronomy 28:1.
  • Our work, in either city or country, will prosper  - Deuteronomy 28:3
  • The "fruit of our body" will be blessed - Deuteronomy 28:4. This means that our children will also be blessed.
  • The "fruit of our ground" will be blessed - Deuteronomy 28:4, meaning that we build or plant or make upon our land (or business) will be prospered.
  • The "fruit" of our animals will be blessed - Deuteronomy 28:4, meaning that our pets and livestock will prosper and be blessed of Yahweh.
  • Our "basket" and "store" will be blessed - Deuteronomy 28:5, meaning that our pantries and refrigerators will have food.
  • And we will be blessed in our "going out" and in our "coming in" - Deuteronomy 28:6.
Truly, this blessing is needed and much to be desired! What a wonderful God we serve, Who lovingly desires to give us these blessings, so much so, that He commanded us to speak this blessing over one another so that He could give it!

Priestly Blessing Part 2: "...and keep you"
To "keep" means to provide and care for. It is like a shepherd watching over and protecting His flock-Psalm 121:1-8.

Priestly Blessing Part 3: "Yahweh make His Face shine upon you"
  • "Make His Face shine" is a Hebrew expression. It means that the favor and attention of Yahweh would be upon you. We see its meaning from the context in: Psalm 31:16 and Psalm 80:3.
Priestly Blessing Part 4: "Yahweh lift up His Countenance upon you"
  • The concept of lifting up the Countenance is to lift up the corners of the mouth - in other words, SMILE. To live and walk in the blessing of the Smile of Yahweh is to abide in His favour.
Priestly Blessing Part 5: "...and give you His peace"
  • The peace that Yahweh gives us is not an absence of trouble, but a tranquility and confidence (in Him) amidst even the trials. It is the awareness that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. This is true peace!

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 121-140)
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 121-140, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 121-123 Summary:
(#121) We are to keep the first day of Unleavened Bread as a rehearsal. (#122) We are to hold a holy convocation on it. (#123) We are not to do any servile work on the first day (Sabbath) of Unleavened Bread.

Numbers 28:17-18 “And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein.” 
Statute 124 Summary:
Unleavened Bread is a feast of Judgment. We find this because if the leaven of sin (leaven is an agent, good or bad, so powerful that it leavens the whole lump of dough) is not removed from our lives and homes, we will be cut off from the Abrahamic Covenant. The true “Spring Cleaning” is (#124) removing all spiritual and physical leaven from our lives and homes in preparation for this special week. This is what we are commanded to do.

Exodus 12:15 “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”  

Statute 125-128 Summary:
(#125) During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we are commanded to eat unleavened bread every day for the full seven days. (#126) There is to be no leaven seen in all in any part of our property or possessions. (#127) Children are to be taught that the reason we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to commemorate deliverance from physical Egypt and continue the work of deliverance from spiritual Egypt. (#128) Keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread is part of the sign that we are preparing for the Sealing of Yahweh. (Rev. 7:3 and Rev. 14:9)

Exodus 13:6-9 “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Yahweh. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which Yahweh did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that Yahweh's Law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath Yahweh brought thee out of Egypt.”  

Statute 129-131 Summary:
(#129) The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Day of rest (Sabbath) and a holy Convocation day. (#130) The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Day of rest (Sabbath) and a holy Convocation day. (#131) On these two days of Unleavened Bread, no work is to be done, with one exception: cooking and preparing food is allowed.

Exodus 12:16 “And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.”  

Statute 132-134 Summary:
(#132) On the feast of First Fruits, which is the Sunday (morrow after the Sabbath) during Unleavened Bread, Yahweh’s people are to present the first fruits of the harvest unto Yahweh. The grain of first fruits represents Yahshua (1 Corinthians 15:20) and the 144,000 – first fruits of the final grain harvest (Revelation 14:4). The sheaf of firstfruits is a measurement of grain, representing judgment. (#133) We are to be prepared for first fruits judgment through the Blood of the Lamb and having been made an acceptable living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). (#134) During the day of First Fruits, we are to wait to eat food, until after we have brought the sacrifice.

Leviticus 23:10-14 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto Yahweh.  And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto Yahweh for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green earsuntil the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”

Statute 135-140 Summary:

(#135) To calculate the timing for the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), count from First Fruits. (#136) Count seven Seventh-day Sabbaths. (#137) The day after the seventh Sabbath (Sunday) is fifty days, numbered from First Fruits. (#138) This day is holy convocation day, a Sabbath. It is the Feast of Weeks. (#139) On this day, we are to claim the Blood of Yahshua by claiming His Sacrifice for our sins. (#140) We are also to wave to leavened loaves (we get unleavened with the sin of the world during these 50 days, and re-leavened with the Kingdom) representing the two candlesticks (churches) of Philadelphia (144,000) and Smyrna (end-time martyrs), both of which are filled with the Holy Spirit at the final Pentecost.

Leviticus 23:15-21 “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.  And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto Yahweh, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto Yahweh. Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before Yahweh with the two lambs: they shall be holy to Yahweh for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”

Daily Bible Reading - February 5, 2018

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's 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 SpiritAyin 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 AyinYahweh 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 hieyes 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: Yahweh our God is one Sovereign (One means He's "first" in our hearts, "supreme" in our lives, and there are no competing affections - idolatry) And thou shalt love the 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)."