Sunday, April 22, 2018

Torah Portion - April 22-28, 2018

This week we are continuing the health laws, found in the Statues... 

WEEK OF April 22-28, 2018: Overview of this week's Statutes (#362-382):

STATUTE #362-363:

(#362) All fish or water creatures which do not have fins and scales are not to be eaten. (#363) The carcasses of all fish or water creatures which do not have fins and scales are to be an abomination. This means that YHWH’s people are not to touch the carcasses of such water creatures. And if YHWH’s people do come in contact with their carcasses, we are to wash thoroughly with water and be unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:23-25).

Leviticus 11:10-12 “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

STATUTE #364-366:

(#364) YHWH commands His people to abstain from eating all unclean birds. Not only does He list certain kinds of birds as unclean, but YHWH also mentions that all birds of THIS KIND are also unclean. (#365) The kinds of birds that are unclean are scavengers, carrion eaters, and meat eaters. (#366) Such unclean birds are an abomination. This means that their carcasses are not to be touched. Accidental contact requires that the person wash immediately and be unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:23-25).

Leviticus 11:13-19 “And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;  Every raven after his kind;  And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind,  And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,  And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.”

STATUTE #367-370:

(#367) Flying creatures which swarm are unclean and must not be eaten. (#368) Flightless birds are unclean. (#369) Locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers are clean and may be eaten. (#370) All other creatures, like insects, which have multiple legs and can jump are unclean and are an abomination. (#370) Accidental contact requires that the person wash immediately and be unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:23-25). Many believe that the statutes about unclean foods are set aside because of Peter’s vision. But, Peter’s vision (Acts 10:9-19 & 28) was not about foods, but people. Peter had viewed Gentiles as “unclean.” The Bible itself tells that the vision was to open Peter’s mind to ministering to the Gentiles. This how Peter and the Jewish Christians interpreted this vision (Acts 11:1-18).

Leviticus 11:20-23 “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.  

STATUTE #371-374:

(#371) YHWH’s people are not to eat anything that wriggles, crawling upon the ground on its belly (like a snake, worm, or slug) (#372) YHWH’s people are not to eat anything that creeps along the ground with multiple feet (like a centipede, etc…) (#373) Eating unclean creeping things makes a person loathsome and filthy in YHWH’s Sight.  (#374) Accidental contact requires that the person wash immediately and be unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:23-25).

Leviticus 11:41-43 “And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.”

STATUTE #375-379:

(#375) YHWH’s people are to be sanctified and holy in diet. (#376) YHWH’s people are not to defile themselves with unclean creeping creatures. (#377) Choosing to eat only clean things is one way we honor YHWH for deliverance from Egypt (a symbol of bondage to sin). (#378) YHWH wants His children to make a distinction between clean and unclean foods, severing from eating practices involving unclean meats. (#379) YHWH’s people are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground (no reptiles).

Leviticus 11:44-47 “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I Am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I Am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I Am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.”  

WEEK OF April 22-28, 2018

Torah Reading for the week: Exodus 18:1-20:23

Statute Studies for the week: 

Daily Bible Reading - April 22, 2018

Today's Reading:

Acts 9:1-25

Joshua 3:1-5:1

Job 22

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

After yesterday's jaunt into history, today, I thought it would be fun to do a bit more, along with some biblical archaeology. In our day's reading from Job, we find a reference to the gold of Ophir

Job 22:23-25 "If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver."

Have you ever wondered about the gold of Ophir? It's mentioned 11 times in Scripture. Plainly from the context, the Gold of Ophir was exceedingly special, plenteous, and rich. It was believed to be the best gold in all the world, in the time of Solomon. But, as I research Ophir a bit more, I found that actually it was renowned as the biblical El Dorado! Some have gone so far as to speculate that the land of Ophir may well have been the basis for the legend of Atlantis!

Ophir in Genesis 10 (the Table of Nations) is said to be the name of one of the sons of Joktan.[Note 1] The Books of Kings and Chronicles tell of a joint expedition to Ophir by King Solomon and the Tyrian king Hiram I from Ezion-Geber, a port on the Red Sea, that brought back large amounts of gold, precious stones and 'algum wood' and of a later failed expedition by king Jehoshaphat of Judah.[Note 2] The famous 'gold of Ophir' is referenced in several other books of the Hebrew Bible.[Note 3] In Jewish tradition, Ophir is often associated with a place in India, named for one of the sons of Joktan.[2] The 10th-century lexicographer, David ben Abraham al-Fasi, identified Ophir with Serendip, the old Persian name for Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon).[3]

Details about the three of Joktan's sons, Sheba, Ophir and Havilah, were preserved in a tradition known in divergent forms from three early Christian (pre-Islamic) sources: the Arabic Kitab al-Magall (part of Clementine literature), the Syriac Cave of Treasures, and the Ethiopic Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan.[citation needed]

The Kitab al-Magall states that in the days of Reu, a king of Saba (Sheba) named "Pharaoh" annexed Ophir and Havilah to his kingdom, and "built Ophir with stones of gold, for the stones of its mountains are pure gold."[citation needed]

In the Cave of Treasures, this appears as: "And the children of Ophir, that is, Send, appointed to be their king Lophoron, who built Ophir with stones of gold; now, all the stones that are in Ophir are of gold."[4]
The version in the Conflict of Adam and Eve says: "Phar’an reigned over the children of Saphir [Ophir], and built the city of Saphir with stones of gold; and that is the land of Sarania, and because of these stones of gold, they say that the mountains of that country and the stones thereof are all of gold."

No one knows the exact location of Ophir anymore. It is lost in the dusty pages of history. Some speculate that Ophir was located north-west of Sri Lanka and the that it now lies beneath the Indian Ocean, having been flooded in ages past.

Solomon certainly knew where Ophir was located. In fact, his gold was known to have come from Ophir.

As Bible History Online reported:

This fragment of an ancient pottery jar was discovered at Tel Qasile near Jaffa in Israel. It contains an inscription which mentions "Ophir gold" and the temple of Horon, a Canaanite deity. The Gold of Ophir Inscription is important in the study of Biblical archaeology. It corresponds with what the Bible says about the gold at Solomon's Temple.

"Gold of Ophir to Beth-Horon...30 shekels"
"Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal." - I Chronicles 29:3-4 
The gold of Ophir was mentioned in the Bible in connection to Solomon's Temple. Ophir was a region probably located on the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is quite possible that Ophir was on the opposite of the Red Sea, on the eastern coast of Africa. According to the Bible it could be reached by ship from Ezion-geber (I Kings 9:28). King Solomon joined with the Phoenician king Hiram and uniting a fleet of ships to bring out the gold of Ophir.  
Ophir was a port or region mentioned in the Bible, famous for its wealth. King Solomon is supposed to have received a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, precious stones, ivory, apes and peacocks from Ophir, every three years. [Wikipedia]

Solomon's great wealth was largely attributed to his gold mines located in Ophir. As Historic Mysteries reported:

Having ruled on or around 970BC, the legendary King Solomon is arguably one of the most recognizable characters within the pages of the Old Testament. The third King of Israel, Solomon was a renowned ruler that oversaw a growth from a single state into a venerable superpower of the Middle East in biblical times. During his near four decade regency, the King had a reputation not too dissimilar to that of a certain James Bond. King Solomon had another aspect to his legend. That was his immense wealth from gold that historians say came from the lost mine of Ophir somewhere in the Middle East.

By today’s standards, Solomon was reputed to have a personal fortune in excess of $60 trillion. Much of this came in the form of pure gold. By the end of his sovereignty, estimations indicated that he owned 500 tons of gold. Modern gold usually comes in the form of bullion. But King Solomon used a portion of his gold to fashion items such as shields, cups and plates. King Solomon’s temple, built in the mid 10th century BC, was bedecked in gold. 

At his palace, builders constructed his throne from a combination of gold and another precious material, ivory. A gold footstool rested at its base. Leading up to his golden throne, a dozen life size replicas of lions formed a guard of honor on six steps.

But there is more to our study of Ophir's gold than just a treasure hunt, or the legend of lost Atlantis. The gold of Ophir bears spiritual meaning as well. And it is in the spiritual meaning that we may find the true treasure of this gold, even today.

Kethem is the Hebrew word which has been translated into the English word gold, in reference to the gold of Ophir. Kethem is a word which references the following:

1) The gold of Ophir represents wisdom and understanding.

2) The Bride of Christ, His queen, is decked with kethem.

4) God's Word fitly spoken is said to be "an ornament of "fine gold [kethem] in the mouth of  a wise reprover."

5) Only God Himself can make "light be darkness" and "change and dim fine gold" [kethem].

6) Christ's Word and His Truth "gird our loins in fine gold [kethem]." 

7) In judgment "in the day of the Lord" that man is to be made "more precious than the golden wedge [kethem] of Ophir." 

And it is in these seven spiritual references to the deeper significance of the gold of Ophir that we find our real treasure hunt. This is the gold that we must daily seek from our Heavenly King:

Revelation 3:18  "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."