EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN AND NEVER LACK SALT!

A brief look at The Feast of Unleavened Bread

9th of the 1st month 2019/2020

Shalom to you all,

In this week we will begin celebrating the Feast of Matzot/Unleavened Bread. As a small fellowship, we will be coming together at the end of the 14th day of this month and celebrate Pěsaḥ together, as we will enjoy the great Feast, beginning at sunset on the 14th, which marks the beginning of the 15th of the 1st month and the beginning of Matzot/Unleavened Bread. This year this will fall on the Shabbat and we will be enjoying a wonderful evening, and night of watches, together as we delight in the Masters presence and partake of His Table.

Each year, as we draw closer to this week-long Feast, we find ourselves doing a lot of key preparations, in ensuring that we keep this Feast with great joy, in accordance to the clear instructions given to us in Scripture.

There always seems to be the same various debates, or views, that arise, in respect to what must be done and what must not be done, and so, in this message I want us to carefully consider what Scripture tells us and therefore get clarity, in understanding the simplicity of the Truth, without being infected with the ‘leaven’ of vain and false traditions that have often skewed interpretations which have led to mixed understandings.

Each year I like to send out this message, as a refreshing reminder of the wonderful season that we are in, in order to ensure that a clearer understanding is achieved, as we all continue to mature in the Word, growing in unity by the Spirit of Elohim

The Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot teaches us many vital life lessons, of which we can learn what things we are to get rid of in our lives, as well as that which we are to ensure is never lacking in our lives; and therefore, be fully able to draw near to our Master with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.

In a message called, “EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN AND NEVER LACK SALT!”, may we be fervently seeking to please our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!

On the evening of the 15th we will have our Pěsaḥ (Passover) Meal, with Unleavened Bread, and will keep the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread) for 7 days, with the 7th day being the last day when we will come together to close the Feast. This year the waving of the sheaf of the first, which is on the day after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot, will take place on the morrow after this Shabbat that starts the Feast, and happens to be the 16th of the 1st month, this year.

This day of the waving of the sheaf of the first, always being on the first day of the week, is also the day when יהושע offered up the Sheaf of the First Fruit offering, of the Harvest of souls unto the Father.

As we consider what we do, in preparation for this Feast, and how it speaks to us, not only physically or literally, but also spiritually and metaphorically, let us do so with a rejoicing heart, in great celebration of the redeeming work of יהושע Messiah for our lives.

In reference to this Feast, we take note of the instructions given in:

Shemoth/Exodus 12:14-17 “And this day shall become to you a remembrance. And you shall celebrate it as a festival to יהוה throughout your generations – celebrate it as a festival, an everlasting law. 15 ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Indeed on the first day you cause leaven to cease from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that being shall be cut off from Yisra’ĕl. 16 ‘And on the first day is a set-apart gathering, and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you. 17 ‘And you shall guard the Festival of Matzot, for on this same day I brought your divisions out of the land of Mitsrayim. And you shall guard this day throughout your generations, an everlasting law.

There are a number of key elements that stand out for us here in this passage, and first off, we need to realise that this Feast is a ‘remembrance’!

This Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot is to be a remembrance to us!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘remembrance’ comes from the root word זִכָּרוֹןzikkaronH2146 which means, ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’ and comes from the primitive root word זָכַרzaarH2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’.

There is NO WAY that we, as set apart and chosen people of Elohim, must ‘neglect to remember’ to Keep His Feasts!!! They should be in the forefront of our thinking, constantly remembering to guard and keep ALL His Appointed Times!

For His Feasts help us to continually be reminded of His Mighty work of redemption that He has bought for, and brought to, us, through His Own Blood!

And His Sabbaths and Feasts are a clear reminder that He is coming again to fetch His Ready Bride! A Bride that He has called out, cleansed and clothed with righteousness!!!

We are commanded to ‘remember’ the Sabbath day, to set it apart.

We are commanded on Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) to have a ‘remembrance of Teruah’, which causes us to ‘remember’ that we are a betrothed Bride that is to be set-apart, making Herself ready, and so, this ‘remembrance’ that Pěsaḥ and Matzot is to be for us is no different in recognising the continual theme of remembrance that all the Sabbaths and Feasts become for us, in order to be properly marked by the sign of set-apartness as we guard to keep all the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה.

 

When יהושע Messiah had His last meal with His taught ones He told them, when taking the cup and bread, that they were to do this in ‘remembrance’ of Him, which Sha’ul also reminds us of in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:23-25, showing us how this lines up with Shemoth/Exodus 12:14 with the instruction that this day, that is the first day of Matzot, which begins at sunset of the 14th, when we have the Pěsaḥ Meal, shall become a remembrance.

This has both, the meaning of how it is a day that must be continually remembered, as well as how it would become a remembrance to us; for when Messiah was impaled, and shed His Blood for us, this day became an everlasting remembrance, a continued remembrance of how we proclaim His death until He comes again!

 

For more on when we eat the Passover Meal, please see the notes of the message called, ‘PASSOVER MEAL – ON THE 14TH OR THE 15TH OF THE 1ST MONTH?’ under the sermons 2018/2019 menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2018-2019/743-passover-meal-on-the-14th-or-15th-of-the-1st-month

The Hebrew word זָכַרzaḵarH2142, which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’, is pictured in the ancient pictographic script as follows:

 reshkaphzayin 

Zayin – זְ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as zayin, which is a mattock (a sharp digging tool such as an axe or pick) and carries the meaning of ‘a weapon or tool that cuts, farming instrument’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. This picture clearly pictures a tool that is used to work and therefore can also render for us the meaning of work or a work that is done, and more specifically, the harvest that is brought forth!

Kaph - כְ:

The ancient form of this letter is kaph - meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!

Resh - ר:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as resh, which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!

As we consider this root word that is understood as ‘remember’, in its pictographic form, we are able to glean the following:

THE HARVEST WORKED BY OUR HEAD!

When looking at the word זִכָּרוֹןzikkaronH2146 which means, ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’, in the ancient pictographic text, we are able to get further understanding of the importance of that which is commanded for us to be a remembrance.

nunwawreshkaphzayin 

 

The additional two letters that we see being used to from this word זִכָּרוֹןzikkaronH2146, from the root word זָכַרzaḵarH2142 are the letters ‘waw’ (וֹ) and ‘nun’ (ן), which is represented as follows:

 

Waw - וֹ:

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

Nun – נְ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as nun, which pictures asprouting seedand gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy, and can carry the meaning of ‘new life or renewal, rebirth’.

When seeing this word, we are able ti understand the wonderful work of our Master and how by His Work, He has secured the harvest, giving us the promise of life to those that are in Him and are gathered unto Him!

THE HARVEST WORKED BY OUR HEAD SECURES THE RENEWAL OF LIFE!

This Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, which includes the waving of the sheaf of the first on the morrow after the Shabbat during Matzot, is started with us having the meal as a remembrance of the work of redemption that our Master has done, in His own blood, giving us the firm assurance of the hope we have, in the blessed expectation of eternal life for those who are grafted into His covenants of promise and stay in Him!

Secondly, we are to ‘celebrate it as a festival to יהוה’!!!

You cannot remember this feast without CELEBRATING it!!!

If one does not remember to ‘do’ this Feast of Pěsaḥ/Matzot, then how will one remember the work of deliverance that our Master has done for us, and if one cannot properly remember that which He has done, by not following His clear instructions in regards to keeping His Feasts, then they are in severe danger of being marked as those who work lawlessness and shall not be ‘remembered’ by our Master but cast out!

The True called-out, royal, set-apart bride of Messiah remembers and celebrates!!!

 

The Hebrew word translated as ‘celebrate’ is the verb חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 which means, to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’, and the Hebrew root word translated as ‘festival’ is the noun חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity, which comes from the root verb חָגַג ḥagag! We are to חָגַג ḥagag a חַג ḥag, so to speak!

The word solemnity means, a solemn event or occasion, formal or ceremonious observance of an occasion or event.

 

The Hebrew word חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity, in the ancient pictographic text, looks like this:

gimelchet 

 

etחַ:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, and separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

Gimel – ג:

This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as gimel which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk’, and therefore also pictures for us the idea of ‘gathering’.

 

This word, in its ancient pictographic form, can have the meaning of:

SEPARATED GATHERING

 

This teaches us the necessity of being gathered together as commanded, in order to properly celebrate and perform the Feasts of יהוה.

This Feast is a formal observance of this event, done so with great joy, and can even be done with dancing!!!

 

This Feast is also a ‘solemn event’, reminding us that this is not just some regular meeting, but rather it is a formal occasion that calls for our utmost respect, attention and reverent observance!

And this is what all His Feast are to be for us!

Understanding this, should cause us to make sure that we give the proper respect and commitment to all of the Feasts of יהוה. This means that we should never make excuses not to perform them nor be absent from attending them; making sure that we are always punctual with our complete observance.

Many people will never miss a business meeting or even a social event with their colleagues and friends, yet will often shrug off the need to show proper respect for gathering for The Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה, when we are clearly called to. Let us be reminded how we are to treat His Feasts with the utmost respect and joyful reverence, for these are our ‘scheduled meetings’ with our Master and Redeemer!

These are our ‘fixed dates’, so to speak, with our Husband and King!!!

We are told that this is an everlasting law! It is not a burdensome law!!!

We are commanded to have a great feast!

 

For seven days we are to eat ‘unleavened bread’ – this is a command, just so by the way!!!

I say that, because some are often so focused on getting all leaven out of their homes that they overlook the command to actually eat unleavened bread, every single day of Matzot!!!

A critical part of our proper remembrance, and observance, of this Feast, is to make sure that we eat unleavened bread every single day of this Feast!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘you shall eat’ is תֹּאכֵ֔לוּtoelu which comes from the root word אָכַל aal – H398 and means ‘eat, consume, devour or be devoured’.

This same root word אָכַל aal – H398 is used in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:19-20 “If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of יהוה has spoken.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘you shall eat’ is תֹּאכֵֽלוּtoelu and the word translated as ‘you shall be devoured’ is תְּאֻכְּל֔וּte’ukkelu, both coming from the same root word - אָכַל aal – H398.

 

So, in essence, what is being declared here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1, to a stubborn and rebellious Yisra’ĕl, is simply this:

If you submit and obey you will eat and enjoy the good of the land! If you rebel and refuse to submit and obey, you will be eaten by the sword! That is ‘His Word’ that will consume you up and devour you, in judgement, according to His righteous right ruling!

We have a choice – eat His Word and walk in Him and be satisfied, or eat all the junk that is on offer from the world and neglect His Word, and be eaten by the very Word that you have rejected.

It is not a difficult concept to grasp – the question remains – how is your diet, and more importantly – what is filling you?

EAT RIGHT AND LIVE OR LIVE WRONG AND BE EATEN:

Guard the command to get rid of leaven and then eat unleavened Bread for 7 days or disregard and you shall be consumed!

 

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘unleavened bread’ is מַצּוֹת Matzot, which is the plural of the word מַצָּה matstsah –Strong’s H4682, which means, unleavened bread, without leaven’ and comes from the primitive root word מָצַץ matsats – Strong’s H4711 which means, to drain out, suck.

 

Bread without leaven” is what I want to look at a little more closely, as well as what we are commanded to get rid of.

We are told that we are to cause leaven to cease from our houses, and the Hebrew root word that is translated as the ‘leaven’ that we are, ‘to cause to cease from having in our homes’, is שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 which means, ‘leaven, swelling by fermentation’ and this comes from the primitive root word שָׁאַר sha’ar – Strong’s H7604 which means, ‘to remain, left over and to swell up’.

The Hebrew word שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 describes that which causes fermentation or leavening.

In the ancient times שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 was understood as being the left-over batch of old dough that had been left long enough for fermentation to be reached, and sometimes this is called sourdough or yeast.

This remaining ‘old fermented left-over dough’, would be added to a new batch of dough in order to assist in the bread making process. שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 is not limited to bread alone, but generally refers to that which causes fermentation, and once it is added to a product it becomes ‘leavened’.

 

We are commanded to not consume that which is leavened, which is translated from the Hebrew noun חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2557 which means, that which is leavened, which comes from the primitive root verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556 – which means, ‘to be sour or leavened, or that which is leavened’.

We must take note that חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2557 is not the leaven itself, but rather it is that which had been leavened, and is typically understood as bread that has been leavened.

What is worth taking note of however, is that the Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘vinegar’ is derived from the verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556, and is the Hebrew noun that is spelt with the same letters, but has different vowel pointing’s, which is written as: חֹמֶץ ḥomets – Strong’s H2558, which is a clear indication for us that ‘vinegar’ is something that should also be removed from our homes during Matzot.

 

It is no coincidence that this word is closely related to that which is leavened, as it pictures for us the great work of our Master, who removed the bitterness of sin!

Tehillah/Psalm 69:21 “And they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

This verse in Tehillah/Psalm 69 was a prophetic wording of that which would be done to the Master, when He was on the stake, as we see in:

Yoḥanan/John 19:29 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.

Here we are able to see a clear picture of the removal of the last of the ‘leavened/soured’ product, representing our sin and lawlessness, as we take note that after this, we are able to see in the next verse, the clear words of Messiah declaring that the cleansing had been done, as He Himself had caused leaven to cease, before the great Feast:

Yoḥanan/John 19:30 “So when יהושע took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

The Greek word that is used here for ‘sour wine’ is ὄξος oxos – Strong’s G3690 and is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) as the equivalent for the Hebrew word חֹמֶץ ḥomets – Strong’s H2558.

 

What is worth taking note of at this time, is the notion that many have, in saying that alcoholic wine is something that is permitted during Pěsaḥ and Matzot.

Is it??? I don’t think so!!!

 

In Hebrew, there are 3 words that are used in referring to wine or grape juice, which is either fermented or unfermented.

The Hebrew word that is typically translated as ‘new wine’ is תִּירוֹשׁ tiyrosh – Strong’s H8492 which means, fresh or new wine, grape juice, must.

Must’ is the expressed juice of fruit, especially grapes, and is also understood as being the pulp and skins of crushed grapes, hence this word תִּירוֹשׁ tiyrosh, is understood as being a reference to the fresh grape juice that has just been squeezed out!

The Hebrew word that is translated more frequently as ‘wine’, is the Hebrew root word יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 which means, banquet, wine, grape.

While most assume that יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 is used exclusively in reference to fermented grape juice or alcoholic wine, we need to realise that there are many references in Scripture, where this word can also be understood as simply being ‘grape juice’.

 

While there are many examples I could mention, I will just highlight a couple, to show that יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 can refer interchangeably to both fermented and unfermented grape juice.

Here are a couple of examples of verses, where the word יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 is used, and when looking at the context of the passage, it clearly needs to be understood as meaning fresh grape juice and not being a reference to a fermented alcoholic drink.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 16:10 “Gladness is taken away, and joy from the orchard; in the vineyards there is no singing, nor shouting; no treaders tread out wine in their presses; I have made their acclamation cease.

The context of this passage relates to Elohim’s judgement upon Mo’aḇ for their pride, and part of this judgement is in the removal of gladness and joy from the orchards and vineyards.

Here we are told that there is no singing or rejoicing and that there are no treaders to tread out the wine in their presses!

While the Hebrew root word יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 is used here, it is clear that this word is referring to that which is tread out in the press, which is grapes – hence there will be no grape juice, or juice from the presses.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘presses’ is יֶקֶב yeqeḇ – Strong’s H3342 which is understood as being a container to mash the fruit of trees and plants, or press out the liquid of fruits and plants with weights and channel the juice into a vat or other types of containers, and these presses were sometimes carved out of bedrock. In the context of pressing it is either grape juice or olive oil that is pressed out by this piece of equipment.

 

Some may argue that this verse is being used as poetic imagery of allowing the grape juice or יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 to become alcoholic.

We see a similar passage in:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 48:33 “Joy and gladness have been taken away from the orchard and from the land of Mo’aḇ. And I have made wine to cease from the winepresses. No one treads with shouting – the shouting is no shouting!

Once again, we are given the imagery of the treading of grapes that will be made to cease!

The grape juice from the press would be made to cease!

The juice from the press is made to cease due to there being no grapes on the vine, as a result of the judgement for lawlessness and sin:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:13 “I shall snatch them away,” declares יהוה. “There are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf has faded. And what I gave them shall pass away from them.”

In another clear example of יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 not meaning an alcoholic beverage, is seen in:

Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:11-12My eyes are spent with tears, my inward parts ferment, my bile has been poured on the ground Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, as children and the infants languish in the streets of the city. 12 They say to their mothers, “Where is grain and wine?” As they languish like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out in their mothers’ bosom.

Once again, the Hebrew root word יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 is used here and is translated as ‘wine’, yet we need to look at who it is who is asking for this.

In verse 11 we see how the children and infants languish in the streets!

Children and infants – that is small babies and toddlers!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘children’ is עוֹלֵל olel – Strong’s H5768 which means, a child, babe, infant, little one and is understood as being a person from infancy to just prior mature adolescence.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘infants’ comes from the root word יָנַק yanaq – Strong’s H3243 which means, to suck, draw, milking, nursing, nursing infants and describes one that is still nursing on the breast of its mother.

It is the children and infants that are saying to their mothers – ‘where is grain and wine?’.

We need to understand the clear context here – there is absolutely no way that a child or infant is going to ask their mother for alcoholic wine!!!

While there are many other references I could make, I simply wanted to highlight that we can in no way limit the Hebrew word יַיִן yayin – Strong’s H3196 as that which refers only to a fermented grape juice or alcoholic wine, but, understand that while it certainly does refer to this, in many instances, it can also be rendered as the simple reference to fresh or unfermented grape juice.

 

The 3rd Hebrew word that we find in Scripture, that is used in connection with wine or strong fermented drink, is the root word שֵׁכָר sheḵar – Strong’s H7941 which means, intoxicating drink, liquor, string drink, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁכַר shaḵar – Strong’s H7937 which means, to be or become drunk, drunken, make yourself drunk.

What is also interesting to take note of, is that nowhere in Scripture is any reference made to the Cup that the Master took, when He had His Last Meal with His taught ones, as being alcoholic at all.

In fact, there is no mention of any wine or grape Juice, yet we understand that the grape juice, or understood as the ‘blood of the grapes’, refers to the Blood of Messiah.

 

We partake of the Cup of the Master, by drinking ‘grape juice’, in remembrance of His Blood that was shed for us, and we realise that He Himself has taken away the שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 (that which causes fermentation), when He took the ‘sour wine’ (ὄξος oxos – Strong’s G3690 and חֹמֶץ ḥomets – Strong’s H2558) and then said, ‘it is finished’!

 

Coming back therefore, to the Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, we find clear reference to making sure that we are to cause שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 to cease from our homes, and this includes that which causes bread to rise or ferment, as well as any vinegar or sour wine!

 

In the passage of Shemoth/Exodus 12:15 that we read, the instruction is very clear, saying that, “you cause leaven to cease from your houses”.

The Hebrew word that is translated as the phrase’ cause to cease’ is תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ tash’bithu which comes from the root word שָׁבַת shaḇath – Strong’s H7673 which means, to cease, desist, rest, observe, observe the rest, put an end, and here it is written in the ‘hiphil’ verb tense, which expresses a causative action that can be understood as meaning, to cease or put an end to, remove, exterminate, destroy, cause to desist from.

We are therefore commanded, in a manner of speaking, to ‘EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN’!!!

 

While we do this practical application, we realise that, in the practical observance of this command, we are reminded of how we are to rid ourselves of much leaven that can cause us to become full of pride and sin, which we need to cleanse ourselves of:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:7-8 “Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. 8 So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The Greek word for ‘leaven’ is ζύμη zumē – Strong’s G2219 and this is the Greek word that used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) as the equivalent to the Hebrew word שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603, and it is this ‘old leaven’ that we are to cleanse out and cause to cease from our dwellings.

This Hebrew word שָׁבַת shaḇath – Strong’s H7673, which means, cause to cease, exterminate, is also used in the hiphil tense in another passage of Scripture, which I feel is pertinent to this teaching:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 2:13 “And season with salt every offering of your grain offering, and do not allow the salt of the covenant of your Elohim to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you bring salt.

The phrase, ‘to be lacking’ is translated from this Hebrew word שָׁבַת shaḇath – Strong’s H7673, and so here we see a very vital lesson being given to us at this time of the year!

 

While we are to exterminate the leaven, we must never lack salt!

We are commanded in Scripture that with all our offerings we are to bring salt!

Romiyim/Romans 12:1 tells us that we are to offer up our bodies as a living offering, set-apart and well pleasing to Elohim for this is our reasonable worship.

Having said that, it is clear then that if we are to be an offering, living that is, unto יהוה, then we too are to be salted – for all offerings must have salt!

 

We are to season with salt every grain offering and the grain offering, in the Hebrew, is known as מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present.

This is a picture of something that a bride brings to please her husband!

There is no blood in this offering and therefore does not represent atonement for sin, however it does still represent the one bringing it and is symbolic of the work of our hands, as it is prepared by the one bringing the offering.

Once we accept the atoning work of Messiah, we must not stop there, but must rather continue daily in bringing Him our all as we recognise clearly that what we do daily does count.

 

In the ancient Hebrew script, the word מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 which means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present’, is pictured as:

heychetnunmem 

Mem – מִ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem  and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!

Nun – נְ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as nun, which pictures asprouting seedand gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy, and can carry the meaning of ‘new life or renewal, rebirth’.

etחָ:

The ancient script has this letter as chet  which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a ‘cutting off’ of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’.

As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. This word can also mean behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

As we look at this word in the understanding of a gift offering or tribute, we can see how this can represent our joy in bringing our lives daily before our Master and Redeemer, as a daily living sacrifice; for here in the ancient script we can see by this Word the Truth of how:

 

WE, WHO ARE IMMERSED IN MESSIAH, HAVING DIED TO SELF, ARE RAISED TO NEW LIFE IN HIM TO BECOME A PART OF HIS BODY, THAT IS – HIS TABERNACLE, AS PICTURED BY THE TENT WALL, IN ORDER TO OFFER UP THE DAILY PRAISE DUE TO HIS NAME!!!

 

 

Salt preserves, and so, it is a picture of eternity and the perpetuity of the covenant. 

Salt was a valuable commodity in Scriptural times, and often Roman soldiers would even be paid, at least in part, with salt rations.

There is a phrase that we often hear when someone doesn’t do a good job or their work is mediocre and substandard: “He is not worth his salt”.

Salt is also a cleansing and healing agent; it renders the slaughtered animal unsusceptible to outside influences, reminding us that the absolute Covenant of יהוה is not to be altered. It can be ground up finer and finer yet is still always salt.

In fact, the Hebrew word for salt מֶלַח melaḥStrong’s H4417 comes from the word that means ‘to rub together, pulverise’.

Salt cannot be destroyed by heat or water but can be destroyed by another chemical agent.

There is no safety net if salt loses its savour; there is nothing we can add to salt to make it salty again.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? For it is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and to be trodden down by men.

What יהושע was saying here was that if you mix in a chemical substance, such as false teachings and traditions of men to the pure Covenant of יהוה, then you can become tasteless and be thrown out and trodden down!!!

Living sacrifices, offered with salt – this is total dedication – excuses are a sign that there is no salt in you!!!

 

The context for יהושע's calling us ‘the salt of the earth’ was one of persecution and endurance.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens.

If we undergo His grinding up, we must put what it teaches us into practice right away, or its purpose will be lost and we may just get pulverised!!! 

Trying to excuse away pure dedication and devotion to following the unadulterated Word of יהוה shows that salt, His salt, is not in, or being produced in, you and one’s speech will be a clear reflection of whether you are a salty set-apart believer or not!

Marqos (Mark) 9:49-50 “For everyone shall be seasoned with fire, and every offering shall be seasoned with salt. 50 “Salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace among one another.

Luqas (Luke) 14:34-35 “The salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 “It is not fit for land, nor for manure, they throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

In the passages we have just read, we see the words of יהושע speaking of salt:

In Mattithyahu it is at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; In Marqos it is joined immediately to not causing offense or others to sin and in Luqas it is supplemented to a series of sayings regarding the conditions for discipleship. In other words, it is clear that salt carries with it significant meaning in our lives being offered up as a daily living offering. But why salt, what is it about salt that gives the offerings as being acceptable and carrying such depth of meaning?

In the offerings, salt was used as a preservative to typify the eternal nature of the ‘Covenant of Salt’ existing between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl. The term “covenant of salt” refers to an everlasting ordinance and is a figurative form of expression founded upon the conservative property of salt which keeps meat from corruption.

 

The context of יהושע’s words in calling us the ‘salt of the earth’ was, as I have already said, linked to persecution and endurance, for יהושע tells us that we are the salt of the earth straight after telling us how blessed we are when we are ‘persecuted for righteousness’ sake and for the sake of His Name.

It is the very persecutions and trials that will ‘grind’ us or rather ‘pulverise’ us to becoming effective salt that can be used. If we undergo the grinding process of His Word – Living obediently to it in a disobedient world, we must put in to practice straight away that which we learn and discover or else the purpose will be lost; and Ya’aqoḇ tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, as it matures us. If we complain instead, sadly the salt of the Word being worked out in us will be wasted!

 

With Salt being a reference to the everlasting ordinances, we are able to see how being ‘seasoned with salt’, gives a clear picture of us being a people who walk according to the Covenants of promise that we have been grafted in to by the Blood of Messiah.

When we realise that we are to ‘never lack salt’ we must understand that we are to be a people who never stray from the Covenants of which we are an integral part of; and therefore, we walk according to the Renewed Covenant that יהוה has written upon our hearts!

Ensuring that we walk in, and stay in, the Covenant, through our complete loving obedience to His commands, so that our words will be words that are seasoned with salt and we shall be able to boldly answer those who ask us about the hope/expectation that we have in our Master, יהושע Messiah!

Qolasim/Colossians 4:6 “Let your word always be with favour, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you ought to answer each one.

Our words can only be seasoned with salt when our actions are in line with true obedience to the Torah of Elohim!

As we all prepare for this up and coming Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, may we be a people who:

EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN AND NEVER LACK SALT!

This we can do when we walk in total set-apartness and recognise that we are to be rid of old leaven, that is the old teachings of falsehood and traditions of man and allow His Blood and His Word to cleanse us and set us apart for good use, aměn!

 

As we rid ourselves of the old leaven, and guard against getting poisoned with the leaven or false teachings of the Pharisees, and are never lacking salt, then we make ourselves available to be permeated with the ‘good leaven’ that Messiah speaks of, when He tells us what He can compare the reign of Elohim to:

Luqas/Luke 13:21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.

I find this to be an interesting parable in itself, as we can see the poetic imagery of the 3 measures being a very powerful reference to the ‘3 times a year’ that men would go to Yerushalayim, describing those who diligently and joyfully guard to keep all the Feasts of יהוה, for when we do this we shall be leavened with His Good Word, and equipped for His Reign.

Exterminating the leaven of the old ways of falsehood and lies, and never lacking salt, by being a daily living sacrifice, will cause us to be filled with the good and incorruptible Word!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.

The Greek word that is translated here as ‘cleansed’ is ἁγνίζω hagnizō – Strong’s G48 which means, to purify, cleanse from defilement which comes from the root word ἁγνός hagnos – Strong’s G53 which means, free from ceremonial defilement, innocent, pure.

The Greek word ἁγνίζω hagnizō – Strong’s G48 is used in the following verse, in reference to set themselves apart before the Pěsaḥ!

Yoḥanan/John 11:55Now the Pěsaḥ of the Yehuḏim was near, and many went from the country up to Yerushalayim before the Pěsaḥ, to set themselves apart.

It is also used in:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!

Here, we see that this word is translated as ‘cleanse’, as in ‘cleanse the hearts’, whereas the first word that is translated as ‘cleanse’, as in ‘cleanse hands’, is καθαρίζω katharizō – Strong’s G2511 from which we get the term "catharsis" which is a cleaning-out.

This is a call of repentance being given to all who are working lawlessness! A call to turn away from unrighteousness and clean up one’s works before the Master, by starting to be obedient to His Word, by which He has caused us to draw near to, in His own Blood!

The Greek word is used in the LXX, in reference to the command given to Mosheh, at Mount Sinai, to go and set them apart, in order that they be equipped to wash their garments and be prepared for יהוה to come down and be seen by all!

Shemoth/Exodus 19:10-11 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go to the people and set them apart today and tomorrow. And they shall wash their garments, 11 and shall be prepared by the third day. For on the third day יהוה shall come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.

 

The reason for me highlighting these verses is to indicate how important it is for us to obey the clear instructions for this Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, so that we are not found to be defiled in any way, but make sure that we have been properly set-apart, cleansed and prepared to partake of the Table of our Master.

This reminds me of the clear warning Sha’ul gives us in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:27-29 “So that whoever should eat this bread or drink this cup of the Master unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. 29 For the one who is eating and drinking unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Master.

 

While we do get rid of the physical leaven from our homes, we understand that the process of doing so, teaches us to allow the mirror of the Word to show us how we look, as we examine ourselves, in order to ensure that there is no ‘leaven of hypocrisy’ in our lives and make sure that we are properly set-apart, before partaking in this feast and the table of the Master!

I will once again repeat Sha’ul’s words in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:7-8 “Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. 8 So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

With the focus of ‘cleaning out’ and observing or serving without leaven, we recognise that in order to serve and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, the rotten stuff, or that which can cause rot, must be put out.

The Greek word that is translated as ‘sincerity’ comes from the root word εἰλικρινεία eilikrineia – Strong’s G1505 which means, clearness, purity, sincerity and, in the fuller sense of the Greek, it can mean, tested in the light of the sun, rendering one to be, spotless and completely pure!

We recognise that this is as a result of the ‘Light of the Word’ bringing to surface the impure and being tested and cleansed. In order to serve the Master in this way – that is in true sincerity - we cannot have anything that is still hidden in the dark from Him!

We must make sure that the light in us is not darkness!

 

The Greek word that is translated as ‘truth’ comes from the root word ἀλήθεια alētheia – Strong’s G225 which means, truth, truly, according to truth!

Our Master, יהושע Messiah, tells us clearly in Yoḥanan/John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life – and to walk in the Truth is to walk in Him – in Him in whom there is not spot or blemish!

To walk in Him, is to walk according to the Truth and in purity of the Truth, as we hear, guard and do His commands!

As we carefully consider His instructions, on a daily basis, meditating on His Torah day and night, we must make sure that we do not take lightly His work of redemption and the cleansing that He has brought us, in the washing away of our filth and dirt, giving us clear and true garments of righteousness, that we must keep clean until He returns.

If we do happen to spoil our garments through sin, we must confess to Him in order that He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, which He is faithful to do to all who come humbly to Him and acknowledge their sin and lawlessness and rebellion!

And so, as we approach this up and coming Feast of Unleavened Bread, we also recognise how we are to examine ourselves to ensure that we do not eat this Meal in an unworthy manner, lest we eat and drink judgement upon ourselves

The antonym (word of opposite meaning) to the Greek word εἰλικρινεία eilikrineia (sincerity) is the word ὑπόκρισις hupokrisis – Strong’s G5272 which means, hypocrisy, dissimulation (which is to hide under a false appearance), play acting, pretending, and our Master certainly condemned the actors of His day who tried to assume the appearance of righteousness, yet when confronted with the Light of the world, their pathetic act was exposed!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. 26 “Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Hypocrisy and lawlessness tend to be found in the same dish; and while many desperately try to make it appear that they are wearing the right garments, their lawlessness or rebellion to the Truth is exposed under the pure plumb line of the Truth of the Word of Elohim.

 

And therefore, I once again say that while the practical obedience to the command of ridding our homes of leaven must be adhered to on a physical level, we must be prepared to examine ourselves under the inspection and Light of the Truth, in order to ensure that the inside of our hearts is clean and rid of any leaven.

So, while there may be a frantic run around of reading labels and figuring out what must be removed from our homes and what can stay, let that exercise be a mirroring tool that reflects the true inspection of one’s heart, measured against the plumb line of the Truth of the Word!

Collectively, we are the ‘House’ or ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most-High, and if there is a little leaven in any of our lives, we are in danger of destroying the rest!!!

Serving the Master in sincerity and truth is not a game to be found playing without a care – it is the vital conduct necessary for daily living!

Just as Messiah was ‘inspected’ or ‘examined’ and found without blemish, worthy to be a perfect Lamb for our sins; may we too use this time wisely, to ‘inspect’ and ‘examine’ ourselves, allowing the Light of His Word to bring to surface that which must be put away, as we make the Good confession of our faith to fear יהוה and serve Him in perfection and truth.

Let us therefore draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water, able to come and eat with joy the Pěsaḥ Meal and guard the Festival of Matzot with great rejoicing, so that we may proclaim the One whom we fear and serve in sincerity and truth!

 

As we eagerly look forward to this Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, let us make sure that we all:

EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN AND NEVER LACK SALT!

Remove the שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 and do not consume that which is חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2557 and never lack מֶלַח melaḥStrong’s H4417

 

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!