Friday, February 9, 2018

Torah Portion - February 9, 2018

Today's Torah Reading: Gen. 28:1-5

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. Having looked at the Statutes in the first three sub-categories, we are ready to look at the fourth area which is: Statutes on how to worship Yahweh effectively, in the ways that He desires.

Now we are studying the fourth 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 fourth set of Statutes, under the first Commandment, are about effective worship. Let us continue our study of the Statutes in this subcategory.

Leviticus 6:12-13 - 
"And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; 
it shall never go out."

 As we have already seen in the prior studies, in the Statutes, Yahweh used the Wilderness Sanctuary to represent the soul-temple of each saved person. The furniture and design of the Sanctuary display the process of Justification (in the Courtyard), Sanctification (in the Holy Place) and Glorification (in the Most Holy Place. Effective worship is demonstrated through the furniture of the Tabernacle. And from understanding how the furniture was physically placed and used, we can gain much spiritual insight into effective worship of Yahweh

Every morning and evening offerings were presented each day in the sanctuary - specifically on the Altar of Burnt Sacrifice.

The animal sacrifices requiring a shedding of blood pointed to our Saviour’s ultimate Sacrifice. The meal and drink offerings pointed to our thankful response to His sacrifice. As the meal offering was consumed, and the drink offering was poured out, so we are to be totally surrendered to God.  As Paul said, present your bodies a living sacrifice -Romans 12:1. 

The Brazen Altar where the animals were sacrificed also had meaning. It was made of acacia wood – which is flammable. In our mortal state, the Presence of Yahweh is a consuming Fire which we could not endure.

The Altar is covered with brass, making it no longer flammable. We must be hidden in Christ to become inflammable.

The horns show the strength and power of the sacrifice Yahshua made for us.

The altar was elevated signifying that it was approaching God.

The Fire which lit the altar had fallen from Heaven – coming directly from God. This is like the Lake of Fire in Revelation.

Either we will have the sin burned out of us now, and be covered with the glorious Robe of Yahshua, or we will be burned with our sins later.

Keeping the Fire on the Altar alight is a spiritual lesson which involves keeping the Flame of love for Yahweh always burning. This involves some effort on our parts - we must tend the fire, in a spiritual way, as the priests tended the Altar fire long ago.

Leviticus 24:2-3- 
"Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before Yahweh continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations."

In the Bible olive oil is mentioned several times as the oil used for lighting lamps (Leviticus 24:2Exodus 27:20). Olive oil was also used for anointing oil (Exodus 30:23–25) and as part of the grain offerings (Leviticus 2:1–10). Kings were anointed with olive oil as a sign that they were chosen by God to rule (1 Samuel 16:1). As an important ingredient in the recipe for anointing oil, olive oil was used to sanctify priests (Exodus 29:7) and the tabernacle and all its furnishings (Exodus 40:9). 

Olive oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (or possibly of faith) in Yahshua’s parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1–13). The five wise virgins in the wedding party had made sure they had olive oil for their lamps as they waited for the bridegroom to come. The five foolish virgins did not think ahead and had brought no oil. As the bridegroom drew near, the five foolish virgins begged the wise ones for some of their oil. But the wise virgins could not spare any. While the foolish virgins were out buying more oil, the bridegroom came, and their chance to join the wedding celebration was gone forever.

Yahshua gave the point of the parable: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13). At the end of the age, when Yahshua comes back, some will be ready for His Arrival (illustrated by the wise virgins who had olive oil); others will not be ready (symbolized by the foolish virgins who had no oil). 

The Statute in Leviticus 24:2-3 is a reminder that the Olive Oil of the Holy Spirit is to be kept continually in our lives. This involves daily refreshing, asking again for the Spirit to in-dwell in each of us. As seek this daily, our lives are the oil-filled candlestick, which gives light to all - Matthew 5:14-16.

Numbers 10:2, 9-10- 
"Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.." And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before Yahweh your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I Am Yahweh your God."

Bible trumpets were made in different ways. For example, in Numbers 10:2, Yahweh told His people to make two long silver trumpets. These trumpets were blown by the priests to announce approaching festivals and in giving signals of war.

On the Feast of Trumpets, two silver trumpets were to be blown, representing justice and mercy. 

In Scripture, the sound of the trumpet is associated with shouting. Notice the connection between the blast of trumpets and shouting in 2 Samuel 6:15, Job 39:24-25 and in Amos 2:2.

What was the meaning of the silver trumpets? To understand this, we need to look at the Biblical meaning of silver. It actually has several meanings – all of which apply in the silver trumpets. 

The first meaning of silver is that it represents the PURE WORD of Yahweh - Psalm 12:6

Silver also represents wisdom and knowledge, so the blast of the trumpet is a call to seek the wisdom of YahProverbs 2:2-5

Silver represents righteous speech - Proverbs 10:19-20

Finally, in Scripture, silver represents the price of Redemption - Zechariah 11:12. All of these spiritual lessons in silver and trumpets play out in this Statute. They are the Message and Meaning behind the clarion blasts of the two silver trumpets, which are to be blown in Yahweh's worship services - at the specified times.

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 9, 2018

Today's Reading:

Hebrews 6:13-20

Exodus 1:1-2:25

Psalm 40

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:


Moses’ Adopted Mother: Princess Nefure - Queen Hatshepsut

Moses came to live at the palace at about age 12, which, according to Egyptian records was about the same time his Egyptian “grandfather” became main emperor over all Egypt. At this time, they moved from the palace at Memphis where the co-regent ruled, to Thebes where the main palace was.
Hatshepsut, whose birth name was Nefure, was Moses' Egyptian Mom

At about age 18, Moses was designated the future “heir apparent”, with his mother, Nefure as his regent. She was now given the additional royal name of “Hatshepsut” (pictured in the statue above) and referred to as “queen” instead of princess. It gets very confusing from this point on because some Egyptologists have come up with a very elaborate scenario whereby they say that Hatshepsut proclaimed herself king. Now, a few words about this theory may help give a little understanding.

For one thing, the Egyptian line of royalty descent was based on very sacred beliefs - beliefs which would not in any way allow for a woman to become the “earthly embodiment” of the god. She could become the “royal wife”, the “great queen”, and in some cases possess the royal power to appoint a new pharaoh in instances whereby the throne may be empty at one point in time. But this fantastic scenario whereby the scholars say Hatshepsut proclaimed herself “king” is simply not possible, in Egyptian society.
Hatshepsut's Temple - built for her by Moses
In her temple at Deir El Bahri (shown on the right), there is a wall which depicts the birth of the future heir to the throne, which many believe is showing the birth of Hatshepsut. But there are a couple of problems with this scenario, as many recent archaeologists have noted. One, is that the baby is definitely a boy baby! And secondly, one scene shows the baby in the arms of Hatshepsut (Hatshepsut is plainly identified as the adult, holding the baby in this relief)! Many biblical scholars believe this carving showed Hatshepsut holding her SON – Moses!

Moses: Known in Egypt as Thutmoses II

Hatshepsut holding her son, who was given to her at 12
The name Hatshepsut Xnem Amen was Hatshepsut’s SON’s Title: The evidence on which many build the case for Hatshepsut declaring herself king is the inscriptions of “king Hatshepsut Xnem Amen / MaatKaRe”. It is assumed that “Hatshepsut Xnem Amen” is Hatshepsut, herself, with a few additions to her royal name. But let’s examine this “king’s” name: “Hatshepsut Xnem Amen” means “Hatshepsut united with Amen”. “Amen” is the supreme god of the 18th dynasty, another name for “Re/Ra”, the sun. This name means that the “king” of this name is the product of Hatshepsut being united with Amen, or the offspring, so to speak, of Hatshepsut by the god, Amen.

This “king”, who was not really king, but was being designated as the future heir to the throne, was Moses, with Hatshepsut as his regent. In ancient Egypt, once someone was designated as the future heir to the throne, his inscriptions refer to him as “king”.

That Moses was always closely associated with his adopted mother is very apparent- after all, she was his only connection to the royal family. To justify his elevation to such royal position had to be carefully documented in a manner that would be acceptable to the system.

The evidence shows that he was elevated to this position, as “heir apparent” when he was about 24 years old.

Moses = Thutmoses II - Finally, when Moses was about 33 years old, he was designated
Thutmoses II = Moses
as the crown prince and became “Thutmoses II”. The numbers after the Egyptian kings’ names are not actually a part of their name- they are simply designations given them by the Egyptologists to identify each succeeding person of the same name. Some suggest that Thutmoses II married Hatshepsut. This is incorrect, but an understandable confusion since Moses was so closely associated – politically – with his adoptive mother.

Ancient historian, Josephus, tells that Moses, whom he said was called Thutmoses, was the general of the army and that he was very popular with the Egyptians. He attributes Moses as the general who pacified Nubia, which in turn served to increase the wealth of Egypt greatly by the gold paid as tribute by the Nubians.

Moses was Thutmoses II – Evidence from Royal Tomb No. 71
Near ancient Thebes, there is a magnificent building called “Deir el Bahri”, which is a temple Moses built (as architect) to honor his adopted mother, Nefure. Above it is a tomb for Moses which has an unfinished statue carved above the entrance, in the virgin rock of the mountain, of a woman holding a small child. Biblical historians recognize this as Moses and his adoptive mother.
The records of the building of this tomb show that it was begun when Moses was about 18- the year he was designated as the royal son of pharaoh’s daughter and placed in line as the possible future heir-apparent. The name “Senmut” (another name for Moses or Thutmoses II) and “Nefure” are the names mentioned in this tomb.

The Burial Chamber of Hatnofer
Just below this tomb, excavators found a small rock-cut chamber that held the mummies of Hatnofer (whose Hebrew name, found in the Bible, was Jocabed) and Ramose (whom the Bible calls Amram), the Egyptian names for Moses’ actual Hebrew birth parents. His mother was embalmed and given a royal funeral (her gold-guilded funerary mask is shown on the left), which indicates that she was buried here at the time of her death. The body of her husband, Ramose, however, was clearly a secondary burial- his body had been removed from its original burial site and transferred to this grave- and it was clearly a non-royal burial.

Jocabed - Moses' Hebrew birth Mother
This tomb was never finished and no one was ever buried in it. One reason being that another more elaborate, royal tomb was begun for Moses when he was about age 33/34- the year he was designated as Thutmoses II.

Moses was Thutmoses II – Evidence from Royal Tomb No. 353
This tomb is equally as fascinating as the first (No. 71), for there was never a burial in it. This was the second tomb built for Moses and was intended to have been his royal tomb. It is very exciting to go down into the tomb and see how, at the time Moses fled and gave up his claim to the future throne, all work stopped on this tomb! It remains exactly as it was left to this day. It is finished down to the lower section of hieroglyphs and pictures- then, where the workmen stopped working, the pictures are drawn onto the wall in black ink.
One of the unfinished hieroglyphs from Moses' unfinished tomb
The unfinished hieroglyphs, left only in line drawing form appear as shown on the left.

Equally amazing is the fact that, unlike other Egyptian tombs where the deceased is pictured with a wife and family, Moses is shown with only his mother and father, Hatnofer (whose Hebrew name was Jocabed) and Ramose (whose Hebrew name was Amram). After all, Moses was never married while he was in Egypt.

On an interesting side note, Tomb 353, or the Tomb of Senenmut (Thutmoses II), contains star an constellation charts, such as the one shown below. This shows Thutmoses II had an interest in astronomy, which for those who know the significance of the Mazzaroth will fully appreciate.

Hatshephsut: According to Historians

There have been a few historians, who have made the connection between Hatshepsut, Moses’ Mother, Tuthmoses II and Moses. One of these is Sir Charles Marston, who, in his book “New Bible Evidence”, from 1934, recognized that the Exodus had to occur during the 18th dynasty. Marston also recorded that Hatshepsut was indeed the “pharaoh’s daughter” mentioned in the Bible.

Marston brings out the fact that Josephus (who was a Jewish historian from about the Time of Christ, pictured on the left) gives some vital information as to this “Pharaoh’s daughter’s” identity. On p. 162 of his above mentioned book: “He does, however, mention the name of the princess who found Moses in the ark of bulrushes.”

Thutmoses III: The Man Who Took Moses’ Place

When Moses fled Egypt at age 40, after having slain the Egyptian guard who was whipping the Hebrew slave, the emperor, Amen-hotep 1 (shown below) was very elderly. He had been preparing Moses for the throne for the past 22 years. Now, there was a big problem. Who would now be the future king?

In Memphis, a young man was being groomed to be appointed co-regent for Moses when he became emperor. This young man was immediately elevated to the rank of co-regent and given the same name of Thutmoses. The records show that he assumed the throne at his 22nd year in office (his 22 year). Now, this is a strange statement and tells much more than one might at first notice. A co-regent, or royal heir-apparent, begins counting his years when he is designated as the “heir-apparent”. That becomes his year one. Here, we have a man assuming office in year 22 and he assumes it under that same name as Moses had.

Keep in mind, that as the royal heir assumes each stage of office, “heir-apparent”, crown prince and co-regent, he also in some places counts his years from that particular appointment. This is why the years of “Thutmoses III are given as 54 years, while the years of Amenhotep II are given as 26 to 32 years (depending on what author you are reading). The problem with Thutmoses III, who took Moses’ place, is that there are no records of his rise through the ranks. He just suddenly appears, taking the throne in his year 22.

32 years

22 years

Thutmoses II (Moses)

Thutmoses III (replaces Moses)

When Moses fled, in order to continue the reign of the earthly embodiment of “Thoth” in the “Thutmoses” co-regent, this man simply assumed the years that Moses had held that position. In other cases, when a royal personage would die, the god is said to “fly to the heavens” and then re-descend into the body of whoever becomes the next earthly embodiment of the god. In this case, there was no death- there had to be an immediate transfer, which is exactly what took place. Everything that had belonged to Moses was simply figuratively transferred to this “new” “Thutmoses” and things went along without missing a step. This man is now referred to by scholars as Thutmoses III. All of the statuary 
This bust of Thutmoses II shows what Moses looked like in his youth
attributed to him are actually the statues that had been made of Moses.

It was to this Thutmoses that scholars attribute 54 years of rule. However, 22 of those years belonged to the man he replaced, Moses. And the historic evidence proves this, too. If we subtract the 22 years from the 54 year total, we are left with 32 years. Now, instead of going through all the evidence, let’s just read what one historian has to say about this Thutmoses III:

“He passed away after a rule of thirty-two years (this only appears to be in conflict with the well-known fifty-four year reign of Thutmoses until one understands that the reign of Thutmoses II was ADDED to the reign of Thutmoses III TOTALING 54 years TOGETHER), having made Egyptian leadership in the Mediterranean world complete.”
The Story of Civilization, Vol. 1 by Will Durant, (1954) p. 155.

Truly, it was 32 years later when the man who became emperor after taking Moses’ place, died. Amenhotep II was perhaps the greatest ruler of all ancient Egypt. By the time of his death, Egypt was truly the world power and the wealthiest nation. Hatshepsut remained alive for many years after Moses fled, and is named as queen on monuments very late into this king’s rule.

And that's probably sufficient for this part of the story. I'll try to share more - giving the identities of the Exodus Pharaoh and his first born son, who died in the 10th plague, later - when we get to that part of the story in our reading.