WAYYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 21:1-24:23 – EMOR – ‘SAY/SPEAK’

This portion is called ‘emor’ which comes from the root word אָמַר amar – Strong’s H559 which means, utter, say, speak’. We begin this Torah portion with further instructions for the priesthood, as Mosheh is once again commanded to ‘speak’ to the priests, the sons of Aharon; and after being warned and forbidden from any form of communication with the dead, they are now instructed to not even be defiled for the dead.

Here in verse 1 we are given the clear instructions that were to be given to the priests: “no one is to be defiled for the dead among his people”. The Hebrew word for ‘defiled’ is טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’. To be ‘defiled’ would render a priest unfit for service as they would be ceremonially unclean and unable to perform the requires set-apart duties of the priesthood. The previous chapter ended with the clear instruction forbidding any communication with the dead, as mediums and spiritists were to be put to death. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that there should not be found anyone in our midst who calls up the dead! Any communication with the dead is prohibited, and now here at the beginning of this chapter the instructions expand to making it clear that the priesthood must not be made unclean for the dead!

The Torah represents life, and the priesthood, who are to be the teachers and instructors of the Torah, are to remain far from the dead as possible. To be defiled for the dead simply means the touching of the body of a dead person.

In verse 2 the exception is made for a priest’s close relatives, as there may be an occasion where a close relative dies in their household and the Torah grants that this form of ‘defilement’ is as far as it is permitted for the priesthood, as even a dead body in a home would defile the home and the priest living there would be defiled by such.

In ancient Yisra’ĕl there was no funeral services to come and deal with the dead bodies and therefore it was the responsibility for the direct families to take care of burying the dead. A dead corpse is nothing more than meat and bone with no life (נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315) in it, and is therefore defiled as it has no life; and so one would become defiled and ritually unclean just by being in the same room as a corpse.

In ancient times the direct family would have to prepare the body for burial; a process of washing and wrapping the body in grave clothes, which would require a significant amount of touching; and so the exception for a priest to be able to do such for an immediate family member was allowed, however a priest could not do the same for more extended family such as cousins or uncles etc.; and this shows how יהוה shows us that precedence over one’s true responsibility for family is taken over any priestly duties in the Tabernacle, and shows what a high regard יהוה actually places on the need to ‘serve’ one’s family, even in the event of death!

The Torah represents life and so it is with great caution that the priesthood must at all times remain undefiled so that they may serve the entire community of Yisra’ĕl, and so the only exception to being exempt from performing such duties would be for the death of a close relative. However, we do remember how even Aharon, the high priest, was not allowed to mourn for his two sons who were struck by יהוה and killed for bringing strange fire; bearing in mind that Aharon was still busy with the duty in the Tabernacle and so was unable to mourn the loss of his sons; as the Torah does and must always represent life, for it is our life!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.

 

Verse 4-5 further stipulates that a leader may not defile himself among his people to profane himself, and not to make any bald spots on their head nor shave the corners of their beards, nor cut themselves. We must remember that these were typical practices of the pagan nations in mourning their dead, and we see how a leader is one who should lead with integrity and soundness in the Torah.

What does it mean to profane? The word profane means ‘to treat something set-apart with abuse, irreverence or contempt’. The Hebrew word is חלל - ḥālal - Strong’s H2490 (chalal – with a ‘ch...’ sound as in ‘loch’) and means, ‘to bore or pierce through or kill or wound or defile’.

What is very interesting to me is that the word for praise in Hebrew is הללhalal - Strong’s H1984 (with a soft sound as in ha) and in essence carries the meaning, ‘to shine, be boastful, give praise’.

These two words differ with a slight difference is the stroke of the pen by means of a little tiny gap! In Praise, the letter ה (hey) is used and in profane the letter ח (ḥet) is used. Similar looking letters at a glance and hence the words, even at a glance, may seem to be the same, while they are the total opposite of each other and the difference in the written form is but a tiny little gap on the top left corner of the first letter! This may sound a little pedantic to some of you, but for me it makes me realise just how fine line it is between pure worship and profanity!

Let me tell you why I find the closeness of these words very interesting – we see in the world today that there are many who claim to be born again believers of the Almighty yet in their worship they are offering profane worship and they cannot distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! The ‘church’ today is profaning the Name of יהוה and have not only brought His Name to nought but have profaned it by treating it with abuse, irreverence and contempt!

A leader here refers also to the head of the home, i.e. the husband who is expected to lead his family according the clear instructions of the Torah and not be found to do as the nations do. Some of these practices of cutting one’s flesh or shaving one’s head is still practiced in many cultures as a form of mourning rites for the dead. Some African cultures call for relatives to cut off the tip of their small finger to mourn for a close relative.

In ancient times the cultic practice of shaving of one’s beard for the dead was done so that the shaved hair would be placed upon the deceased face so as to not make them recognisable to the dead spirits, and was a means to appease the spirits of the underworld. Once again, as we discussed in the last Torah Portion, the cutting or shaving one’s beard is strictly forbidden; and while many may argue that they do not shave for the dead, we must listen to the strict instructions of not cutting the corners of one’s beard, and while in chapter 19 it is clear that this command to not ‘shave’ is for all Yisra’ĕl, here we see the further emphasis placed on leadership, as they are the ones who are to lead the family and community in the correct manner; and so we once again reiterate the strict command to not shave one’s head nor shave one’s beard!!! I again make my concern known that there are many today who are claiming to be true torah teachers and leaders in the greater community of the returning tribes of Yisra’ĕl, while they neglect to heed this command, and when I see a ‘torah’ teacher who is clean shaven or has a ‘goatee’ or even a ‘shaped’ beard that has the majority of the ‘corners or sides’ shaven away, I have to question their validity as true teachers of the torah of Elohim!

While there is much debate over shaving, I am of the firm belief that Scripture makes it clear that men should have beards, as discussed in the last Torah portion. There is the view that this instruction refers specifically to the mourning of the dead and therefore based on this view it is thought that it is ok then to shave for any other reason. While at first glance this may sound like a valid point, let us consider the obvious; and that is that in Scripture the instruction to not shave for the dead presupposes that one has a beard! Secondly, if the argument is used that this instruction on not to shave applies only to the mourning for the dead then one has to ask in the same breath in regards to the instruction given in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19 if it is then ok to have a tattoo if not done for the mourning of the dead? The answer is pretty obvious – NO – no markings or cuttings in the flesh is allowed, period!

These practices, such as tattoos and cutting temporary or permanent designs into one's body were pagan mourning rituals practiced throughout the whole Near East. This generation of priests had grown up in Mitsrayim, where preparation for death consumed the greatest energies of one's life, especially among leaders, as proven by the thousands of mummified bodies found there in the past century of archaeology. But Yisra’ĕl is not to be a people that focuses on death, but on the Torah, which is life.

The Hebrew word for ‘shave’ is גָּלַח gala – Strong’s H1548 which means, to be bald, shave, shave off, cut, and means to be bare, smooth or naked! Among Semites shaving off hair or the beard was a sign of lamentation and distress, as in clearly forbidden for a Yisra’ĕlite!

The word translated as ‘corner’ is פֵּאָה peah – Strong’s H6285 meaning, ‘corner, side, boundary, edges’.

The shaving of the beard was considered a great indignity and in Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 10:4-5 we see that Dawiḏ instructed his servants, who had been captured and had their garments cut to the buttocks and half of their beard shaved off, to stay at Yeriḥo until their beards had grown and then return. By shaving half their beard Ḥanun not only treated Dawiḏ’s ambassadors with contempt, but made them objects of ridicule and shaving the beard of a slave was also recognised as a sign of servitude and a stripping away of authority. Now if one was permitted to shave your beard then why did Dawiḏ tell them to wait until the beard grew back instead of telling them to shave of the other half? Well that is easy – because we are supposed to have full beards!!!

Dawiḏ had a beard and we see in the account when he came before Aḵish the sovereign of Gath, that he acted like a madman and let his saliva run down his beard (Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 21:13). Aharon, the high priest had a beard upon which the oil of anointing ran down upon as a picture of unity of brothers dwelling together (Tehillah/Psalm 133).

יהושע Messiah, our High Priest and King had a beard as we see in the prophetic words describing Him being handed over to be tortured and having His beard plucked out of his cheeks in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 50:6 “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard, I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting.

My point in stressing the issue of not cutting (shaving or rounding) the corner of the beard is the fact that we are to heed these very simply instructions.

I want to make it very clear that we are not to cut off or make bald patches on our heads and circle them as the monks do for example nor shave the head in a circular fashion as we have already discussed; and we are not to cut off the edges of our beards – that part which grows on our cheeks! A goatee is not acceptable for a Torah observant follower of Messiah; a moustache alone is not acceptable for a Torah observant follower of Messiah, nor is any fashioned or ‘styled’ beard acceptable! We are to grow a full beard and keep it tidy, and we are not to grow our hair too long as we see when speaking of the priesthood in the Millennial Reign the instruction in:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 44: 20 “And their heads they shall not shave, nor shall they let their hair grow long – they shall keep their hair well-trimmed.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘well-trimmed’ is כָּסַם kasam – Strong’s H3697 which means, to shear, clip (only trim – not shave), and in this we recognise our need to be ‘tidy’ and well-groomed with a FULL BEARD!!! This does not allow for any ‘shaping’ or styling by shaving parts of the beard, but rather it tells us, as a royal priesthood, that we are to keep a well-trimmed FULL beard!!!

We are a royal priesthood and are expected to look like it! Any Torah claiming follower of Messiah that tells you he is allowed to shave his beard, neglects the authority of the Torah, and if the outward picture is neglected who knows what is in the heart!!!

When the world makes a statement that “a best a man can get” is to be clean shaven, as we see being promoted by Gillette’s advertising campaigns, we certainly recognise how this goes totally against the plumb-line of the Torah, and that they are wrong in their promoting of falsehood and lies. It further reveals a lack of submission to the authority of the instructions of יהוה in order to rule self, which will only lead to destruction. The best a man can get is to walk as Messiah walked and guard the commands of Elohim – so men – GROW YOUR FULL BEARDS!!!

For a more in-depth look at the much-debated topic of beards, please see the article on our site (http://atfotc.com) called, The Beard – All Set-Apart men should have one! from the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=534:the-beard-all-set-apart-men-should-have-one&catid=9&Itemid=313

No cuttings in the flesh! The Hebrew word for ‘cutting’ is שֶׂרֶט seret – Strong’s H8296 which means, incision, cut, and comes from the root verb שָׂרַט sarat – Strong’s H8295 which means, to incise, scratch, make cuts, severely injure. The ritual of cutting oneself for the dead is a common pagan practice in many cultures and is strictly forbidden. We are reminded of the Ba’al prophets on Mount Karmel who contended with Eliyahu and cut themselves trying to appease their falsely worshipped Ba’al. Cutting for the dead is a form of ancestral worship in trying to bring the strength of the dead ancestor into one’s own body – a custom practiced in many rural cultures to this day, and in fact ancestralism is one of the main forms of worship throughout the continent of Africa as many tribes worship their dead ancestors and cut themselves in rituals in the hope of enticing the ancestral spirits to bring fertility and blessing.

 

Verse 6 makes it very clear that this instruction to the priests given here in this chapter is to remind them that they were to continually be set-apart unto Elohim and not be found to profane His Name, as they were the ones who drew near on behalf of the nation. The word for set-apart is קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated’ and so these instructions follow on from the command for us to be ‘qeḏoshim’ – set-apart ones unto Elohim.

There was a stricter expectation placed upon the priests who served in the Tabernacle and the requirement to ensure complete set-apartness was extremely vital, or else they would find themselves being struck by the fire of Elohim, as they had witnessed by the example of Aharon’s two sons who brought profane/strange fire and paid the price for their ignorance and pride. What we must understand now is that we, collectively as the body of Messiah, are a royal priesthood and therefore set-apartness is vital for us all, as we are reminded through the very clear words of Kěpha:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. 11 Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

We who have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light, must walk ‘in’ Messiah our High Priest and King and therefore we serve as a royal priesthood, able to draw near to Elohim having our conscience sprinkled by the Blood of Messiah. If we do live set-apart according to is Torah we are in great danger of profaning His Name which we ought to bear as His children!

The word used for profane is חָלַל ḥalal – Strong’s H2490 which means, ‘to bore, tear to pieces, wound or kill’. Now how do we wound, tear to pieces or kill His Name? Well that is very simple – in a nutshell it means that when you misrepresent or misuse His Name through walking in lawlessness and sin while proclaiming to be ‘in’ Him you are profaning or wounding the very name that saves. Walking in disobedience after having been brought into His marvellous light is a way of profaning His Name. In essence, what this verse is saying is this: when you do not live set-apart lives you profane the very Name that sets apart! When misusing His Name, or when you make it common, or represent Him wrongly in allowing that which is strictly forbidden to be lived out without regard or reverence for his set-apart instructions we profane His Name; or if we render His Name of no effect by not using it at all, but rather substitute euphemisms or translations or pagan inherited titles for His actual name, יהוה, then we too wound or profane His set-apart Name.

The priests had a job to do – tend to the service in the Tabernacle and bring the fire and the bread to יהוה.

Fire as we know represents the presence of יהוה and the bread is symbolic of His Word that came down to earth as daily provision for His set-apart people, ultimately fulfilled in Messiah, the Bread of Life – the Word made flesh, came and dwelt among us and unless we eat of Him we have no part in Him; and therefore the bread brought before יהוה also represents the body/community and the priests would bring a ‘united’ body of Yisra’ĕl into the presence of יהוה and then teach them the needed unity of יהוה to His people. So when we see this strict and very serious set-apart call on the priests, let us be reminded as stated above in Kěpha that we as the body of Messiah are His priesthood and so be set-apart for He is set-apart; and do not be found to be profaning His Set-Apart Name in any way, means or form!

 

The pattern of the priesthood of ministering before יהוה is the clear pattern for us as believers in יהושע today; for by His life, death and resurrection the way was made possible for all to approach a Set-Apart Elohim; and therefore the ‘ministry’ of the Tabernacle is still the same, for we ‘in Messiah’ are the Tabernacle of the Most High and now that we have entered through the ‘Door’, which is Messiah, we have a strict protocol to follow in how we are to draw near our Set-Apart Elohim and walk upright in His Kingdom.

The Bride of יהושע walks obediently ‘in’ the Covenants of Promise b which we have been brought near, by His Blood and therefore it is vital that we continually remind ourselves to live set-apart lives unto Messiah!

 

Verse 7 speaks of how marriage is held in the highest regard, especially for the priesthood. A priest was not allowed to marry a whore or defiled woman, or one who has been put away by her husband. Marriage is a picture of that union between יהוה and His Chosen Bride, Yisra’ĕl and is also referred to as the mystery, for what we must realise is that every single marriage has the opportunity to represent the true Marriage between us and our Elohim.

The Hebrew word for ‘whore’ is זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 which means, be a harlot, commit fornication, adulterous, prostitute, unfaithful, and herein lies the very clear call for true Set-Apart believers – do not be joined to a whore! This is a literal command as well as being a clear metaphor for not being joined to following the luring ways of the sinful world and the wicked temptations of Satan!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:27 “For a whore is a deep pit, and a strange woman is a narrow well.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:3 “He who loves wisdom gladdens his father, but a companion of whores destroys wealth.

Tehillah/Psalm 73:27 “For look, those who are far from You perish; You shall cut off all those who go whoring away from You.

Recognising that we are to be a faithful priesthood, we are also able to recognise how we are to be a faithful bride unto our Master and Husband to whom we have been joined to Him by His Blood.

A wife of a priest is to be reverent, not false accusers, sober, and trustworthy in every way (Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:11).

Hoshěa was told to do the opposite of this command – why? To show just how defiled Yisra’ĕl had become and reveal how serious her spiritual condition was. It is only the Blood of Messiah that can cleanse all unrighteousness, and so by his Blood He has cleansed for Himself a Bride who was defiled. This is important for us to understand as not just anybody can be the Bride of Messiah – only those who have been ‘washed’ in His Blood through immersion in Water and the eating of the Pěsaḥ Meal.

Sha’ul also warned of the union of a believer with a defiled partner and reminds us that we must not be unequally yoked, for we as children of light must not be yoked with darkness.

Now what we also must realise is that we have all sinned and fallen short – we have all ‘whored’ and ‘defiled’ ourselves and therefore יהושע had to die and be raised again in order to firstly ‘cleanse’ His defiled Bride who had whored after the nations and then be able to take up an undefiled, set-apart wife, now cleansed in His Blood from all defilement.

What we also learn from this today is that while many of us may query if we can marry someone who has defiled themselves before marriage, we must note that despite a person’s past, if they call upon the Name that saves, יהושע, and are immersed in Him and washed and cleansed by His Saving Blood sacrificed that was once for all, then that person becomes a new creature where the old has gone and the new has come and all defilement is washed away!!! And so, having said that we must take marriage very seriously and ensure that we do not enter into a marriage covenant that is defiled from the start but make sure that we ensure that the person we are to become one with is also walking in Messiah, and realise that as one in Him the responsibility to remain in a set-apart lifestyle is critical.

Sadly, there are many today who have entered into a marriage that is or has become unequally yoked for varying reasons, so let us see what Sha’ul tells us in these circumstances:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 7:10-16 “And to the married I command, not I, but the Master: A wife should not separate from a husband. 11 But if she is indeed separated, let her remain unmarried or be restored to favour with her husband, and let a husband not send away a wife. 12 And to the rest I say, not the Master: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she thinks well to live with him, let him not send her away. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he thinks well to live with her, let her not send him away. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been set-apart in the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been set-apart in the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are set-apart. 15 And, if the unbelieving one separates, let him separate himself. A brother or a sister has not been enslaved in such matters. But Elohim has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you shall save your wife?

Verse 9 warns that even by the whoring of a daughter a priest is defiled. Titos/Titus 1:6 tells us that the children of a leader are to be believers that are not to be found being accused of loose behaviour or unruly. This is how serious Elohim takes the role of headship of the home and leadership in the community, for even the priests children are to live set-apart lives, as the sons would inevitably become priests, and daughters are expected to live true set-apart lives. If a daughter is found to be whoring she would have profaned her father who would not be able to serve in the Tabernacle and therefore she would be burned with fire. Now when we see this picture we must recognise that as harsh as it sounds, we shall see the punishment of this at the end of the judgement after the second resurrection where those ‘daughters’ (nations) who are not found in the book of life and have whored shall be burned with fire!

It is only through fire that the lineage of the one who whored can be purged. What we must recognise is that the mother harlot has had many ‘daughters’ who are not walking set-apart lives and are whoring after man’s ways and defile the set-apart name of Elohim and will face their just punishment should they not repent. Once again, Hoshěa is a picture of the daughter who was born to him and was called Lo-Ruḥamah, which means ‘not loved or have no compassion’ and represents the ‘daughters’ of whoring, who are to strive with their mother and come out from her and remove the name of the ‘Ba’al’s’ off of her lips and call upon יהוה, Her husband and he will take her who had no compassion as a Bride to Himself in righteousness as He shows compassion upon His repentant Bride!

Verse 10 – The High Priest ordained to wear the garments and who has had the anointing oil poured on his head was not allowed to unbind his head or tear his garments. Unbinding of the head speaks of having the anointed authority loosened from one’s head and was a strict command for the High Priest to not take the anointing for granted and so allow His anointing and authority to be trampled upon; and tearing of the garments was a sign of mourning and as we know not even Aharon was permitted to mourn for the loss of his two sons who were killed right before his eyes!

The word for ‘unbind’ is פָּרַע para – Strong’s H6544 and means ‘let go, let alone, lack of restraint, uncover, naked, neglect, out of control’, and is the same word that is translated as ‘let loose’ in:

Shemoth/Exodus 32:25 “And Mosheh saw that the people were let loose, for Aharon had let them loose, to their shame among their enemies.

We see the clear picture of the state of the people – they were ‘naked’ and lacked restraint as they simply followed after the flesh and what initially to Aharon may have seemed like a ‘keeping the peace’ in camp by allowing them to do what they wanted actually turned out to be the reality of him not standing up for what is right and so many fall into this trap today as they prefer to keep quiet for the sake of peace – and this we cannot do. We must stand up for truth and guard it all costs and allow no breach in the camp so to speak!

 

At the time of the trial of  יהושע, the presiding High Priest, Qayapha, tore his garments and declared that Messiah had blasphemed and so by his actions Qayapha broke this very command, and what becomes very clear is that he may have in fact been an illegitimate high priest, which was supposed to be passed down from father to son, however at the time of Messiah the position often went to the highest bidder as the Romans controlled and had usurped authority over the Temple and would appoint whom they wanted.

This tearing of the garments of the high priest is a powerful picture of the change of the priesthood that took place! By Qayapha tearing his garments rendered him unfit to be in the position of high priest and this can certainly explain a part of the ‘changing of the priesthood’ to the order of Malkitseḏeq, as described clearly in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews!

In Verse 11 we are further told that the high priest was not to come near any dead body nor defile himself for his father of mother, and we are further able to understand the words of Messiah who told one of his taught ones to let the dead bury the dead in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 8:21-22 “And another of His taught ones said to Him, “Master, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But יהושע said to him, “Follow Me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.

In this teaching, it is clear that this taught one who wanted to follow Messiah, was not mourning the death of his father, but rather that he wanted to return home and stay there until his father died, so that he could get an inheritance! This taught one’s father may still have lived for many years to come, which would have delayed the taught one from following the Master straight away, and when Messiah tells him that he should let the dead bury the dead, He was making it clear that the cost of following Him means forsaking all – even one’s inheritance!

We are the body of Messiah, and so being His Body, we recognise that we, as being a member of the body of the High Priest, we too need to recognise that we must not become defiled for our natural relatives! This means that when we follow and serve the Master in Spirit and Truth, that we must count the cost and realise that we cannot go back to old ways or try to hold on to those things that may cause us to be unfit for complete set-apartness!

Verse 12 with the instruction given to not go out of the set-apart place and not to profane the Name of Elohim for the sign of dedication is upon him, we are once again reminded that we can never stop being set-apart, as our lives must be continually set-apart as we hear, guard and do His instructions without compromise! His sign of dedication is upon us, as we are told that His Sabbath is a sign between us and Him forever; therefore, we recognise that we are to never compromise the Sabbath, not even for family!!! We have seen today how one’s own family may call for a set-apart believer to compromise the Sabbath or any other commands, for the sake of a family event or crisis, and in doing so they are calling for a set-apart priest of the Most High to take of the sign of dedication, which is clearly forbidden, and it is time for true worshippers to take heed of this clear instruction to not take of the sign of their dedication to the Master and His truth!

The rest of the chapter gives clear instructions of how we as priests in His Kingdom are to be found to be spotless in Messiah, in whom there is no defect or deformity. And what this pictures again for us is the wonderful work of Messiah, the Perfect Lamb, who has enabled us to draw near to Elohim. No offspring of Aharon the priest who had a defect was able to draw near to Elohim and bring the required offerings made by fire or the bread of Elohim. A son with a defect may eat of the bread of Elohim but was not allowed to bring it near. This is a marvellous picture for us in showing us that we, who are found to have defects and deformities due to our sinful nature and have fallen short, are unable to draw near in our own strength; however, as we partake in the Bread of Elohim – that is Messiah – we are brought near as we remain ‘in Him’ our perfect High Priest. The only way to draw near to Elohim and present our bodies as living sacrifices is by Messiah, and again this chapter proves clearly that there is only One way – and only by that which is perfect – יהושע our Messiah!

In verse 17-23 we are given a clear instruction of who is not able to draw near to bring the bread of his Elohim, and this further emphasises our need for the redemptive and atoning work of Messiah, through whom we have been given access to boldly come to the throne of favour is our time of need.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘defect’ is מוּם mum – Strong’s H3971 which means, blemish, defect, spot, stain and can represent both a physical defect as well as a moral stain. This word is used here 5 times between verses 17 and 23, and is translated as ‘defect’ in the ISR Scriptures 2009 edition. There is another Hebrew word that is also translated as ‘defect’ in this passage and is found in verse 20, which is the Hebrew root word תְּבַלֻּל teḇallul – Strong’s H8400 which means, defect (in vision), confusion, obscurity, and comes from the root verb balal – Strong’s H1101 meaning, to mingle, mix, confuse, confound. This clear restriction on who is able to draw near to Elohim is not a cruel command, but rather separates the clear distinction of who is serving and who is not, and if the animals that were brought as an offering were not to have any defects in them, then neither should the one who is offering them!

Verses 18-20 expand on what is considered as a defect, and we are told that no blind, lame, disfigured or deformed may draw near. Even if a man had a broken foot or hand was not permitted to draw near. No hunchback, dwarf or one who vision has been impaired, or one who has a skin problem, or a eunuch is permitted to draw near.

This clear instruction is clear on who may not draw near, and when we consider these on both a physical and a metaphoric level then we are able to recognise that we have all fallen short of the esteem of Elohim, and none of us are able to draw near to Elohim on our own physical and moral attributes!

The Hebrew word for ‘blind’ is עִוֵּר ivver – Strong’s H5787; and the Hebrew root word for ‘lame’ is פִּסֵּחַ pisseaḥ – Strong’s H6455 which comes from the root verb פָּסַח pasaḥ – Strong’s H6452 which means, to limp, hesitate, become lame, leaped; and it is from this root that we get the Hebrew word פֶּסַח Pěsaḥ – Strong’s H6453 which is the word for Passover. The Hebrew word translated as ‘disfigured’ is חָרַם ḥaram Strong’s H2763 means ‘to ban, utterly destroy’, and the word translated as ‘deformed’ is שָׂרַע sara – Strong’s H8311 which means, to extend, stretch, overgrown, deformed. We know that there are some tribal traditions still today that stretch and extend the neck of women with wire bands as a form of worship and identity, which is clearly prohibited in Scripture, for this would render one unable to draw near to Elohim!

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘defect’ is μῶμος mōmos – Strong’s G3470 which means, blemish, blame, disgrace, insult, of mean who are a disgrace to society, and this word is only used once in the Renewed Writings when speaking of the used in the objective and concrete sense of false teachers who by reason of their moral libertinism are felt to be “defacing blemishes” as they revel in their own deceptions while feasting with set-apart ones!

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:12-13 “But these, like natural unreasoning beasts, having been born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheme that which they do not know, shall be destroyed in their destruction, 13 being about to receive the wages of unrighteousness, deeming indulgence in the day of pleasure, spots and blemishes, revelling in their own deceptions while they feast with you

 

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:18 for ‘lame’ is χωλός chōlos – Strong’s G5560 which means, lame, halt, limping, cripple, and the Greek word used for ‘blind’ is τυφλός tuphlos – Strong’s G5185 which can mean physically or mentally blind and comes from the word τυφόω tuphoō – Strong’s G5187 which means, to be conceited, foolish, arrogance, vanity, to be lifted up with pride, high-minded. It can also render the understanding of being enveloped with smoke and blinded so as not to see.

Both of these Greek words for ‘lame’ and ‘blind’ we find in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:5 “Blind receive sight and lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, dead are raised up and poor are brought the Good News.

These were the words that יהושע Messiah told the two taught ones of Yoḥanan to report back to him, for he was in prison.

 

Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:30-31 “And large crowds came to Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, dumb, crippled, and many others. And they laid them down at the feet of יהושע, and He healed them, 31 so that the crowd marveled when they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled well, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl.

 

With Messiah healing the lame and the blind He was clearly revealing to the crowds that He was the Saviour and Elohim that Scripture prophesied of, who would come to save and heal; and those who believed could be strengthened and filled with great shalom!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:4-6 “Say to those with anxious heart, “Be strong, do not fear! See, your Elohim comes with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be opened. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing, because waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

The Hebrew word used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21 for ‘draw near’ is קָרַב qaraḇ – Strong’s H7126 which means ‘to come near, approach, appear, bring near, come forward, draw near, and it is from this word that we get the Hebrew word קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 which is understood as ‘offerings’.

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘draw near’ is προσέρχομαι proserchomai – Strong’s G4334 which means, to approach, draw near, agree, and comes from the 2 words: 1) - πρός pros – Strong’s G4314 which is a primary preposition meaning, advantageous for, at (denotes local proximity), toward (denotes motion toward a place), and 2) - ἔρχομαι erchomai – Strong’s G2064 which means, to come, go, arrive, brought.

This word προσέρχομαι proserchomai – Strong’s G4334 is used in:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of favour, in order to receive compassion, and find favour for timely help.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is also able to save completely those who draw near to Elohim through Him, ever living to make intercession for them.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:19-22 “So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of יהושע, 20 by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the House of Elohim, 22 let us 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.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:6 “But without belief it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Elohim has to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.

The reason for quoting all these verses from Iḇ’rim/Hebrews is simply to highlight the clear reality of what this powerful letter expresses to us, as we are able to identify the new and living way that the Blood of Messiah, who is the High Priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq, has brought to us who were ‘lame, blind, deformed, crippled, and had many blemishes or defects’!

In Berěshith/Genesis 48:10 Yosĕph’s sons were brought near and Ya’aqoḇ kissed them and embraced them. The Hebrew word translated as ‘drew near’ is נָגַשׁ nagash – Strong’s H5066 which means, to draw near, approach, come closer. As they drew near they were kissed and embraced by Ya’aqoḇ, now considered as their ‘father’ by adoption!

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) in this verse for ‘drew near’ is ἐγγίζω eggizō – Strong’s G1448 which means, to make near, come near, approach, draw near, come close, and we see this word used in:

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

Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:8 “You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.

Menashsheh and Ephrayim were brought near to Ya’aqoḇ by Yosĕph, and here we see the clear picture of how we are able to draw near to Elohim by no other means than by the Blood of our High priest and King, יהושע Messiah. No one comes to the father except through the son:

Yoḥanan/John 14:6 “יהושע said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

This is powerfully illustrated here in the metaphoric picture of Yosĕph and Ya’aqoḇ, and further emphasises how יהושע Messiah has no beginning or end and has existed for all time! There are some who try to deny that Messiah is Master and Elohim and make the false claim that He never existed before He came in the flesh, and is simply a Messenger of Elohim. This Scripture above makes it very clear that no one can come to the Father except through the son – metaphoric language of course – but what makes it very clear is that everyone who came to Elohim in the times of the Tanak (before the birth of Messiah), would not have been able to do so without יהושע actually being there and being the One whom they would see, in order to ‘see’ the Father!

The vital lesson we are able to take from the ending of this chapter in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21 is that it is יהוה who sets us apart, and without Him setting us apart through the Blood of Messiah, we are unable to draw near to Him!

CHAPTER 22

This chapter further emphasis the need for a priesthood to be completely set-apart and not profane the Name of יהוה by treating the set-apart matters of Elohim as common. There are many ‘worldly habits’ that we all still need to get rid of and here we see the instruction that reminds us of just that. A small example yet very critical in understanding for us today on a practical level is how we conduct ourselves in everyday circumstances; and even more importantly how we conduct ourselves when we are gathered together as an assembly/community in Messiah as a set-part gathering. All too often we sadly see that very presence of יהוה during a set-apart gathering is profaned in more ways than one when people use coarse joking or when people slander others and lose total regard for the sanctity of His presence when gathering to hear His set-apart counsel of His Word. What we can also glean from these instructions regarding true set-apartness is the fact that we need to make a concerted effort to ‘pull our lives out of’ those circumstances or events that most wold consider normal; as we recognise that having been in exile for so long we still have many ‘gentile-like’ habits and thought patterns that we desperately need to overcome, for if we are not careful, we will end up defiling the set-apart living standards that we are supposed to uphold!

The Sabbath is the first major change in living out a new set-apart life that others in the world may consider strange, yet we must do our utmost to guard an active set-apart lifestyle that must not be compromised in the least and when we truly delight in His Shabbat we will find that the rest of the week our ability to remove ourselves from the common/unclean matters will becomes a lot easier.

We also learn from these passages that we are to walk in the fear of יהוה, which is the beginning of wisdom and not treat those set-apart matters of יהוה as common. We are a set-apart people and therefore would not find ourselves engaging in what is not set-apart, lest we find ourselves profaning His Name which is upon us and be found guilty of profane living!

These instructions remind us that we are to be constantly aware of where we find ourselves and be sure that we do not ‘touch’ or engage in that which can render us unclean and unable to serve as a priesthood. Praise Elohim that we have an intercessor who intercedes day and night for us and when we sin or re made unclean in any way we can come and confess our sins to Him and be cleansed from all unrighteousness! This of course does not give us the license to sin and be lawless, but rather this should drive us to being ever aware of making sure we live our lives in total set-apartness unto our Saviour and Redeemer and King!

This chapter also pictures for us the work of Messiah as the Pěsaḥ Lamb, of which no stranger may eat of unless the priest buys a being with silver (verse 11).

יהושע Messiah has bought us with silver, as He has paid the price of our redemption and now we are no longer strangers or foreigners to the Covenants of Promise and without Elohim in the world, but have now been brought near by the Blood of Messiah (Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2).

Silver is also a picture of the purity of the Word:

Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.

We know that Messiah, the pure and clean Word made flesh, bought us and paid the price by His Blood and now we see in verse 11 that the one bought is not only ‘allowed’ to eat the set-apart offering, but rather he is ‘required’ to. We must partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal each year or we have no part in Him; and we are then further able to eat our daily Lawful Bread, having been ‘born’ in His House!

From this chapter, it is clear that the requirements for the offering by fire was to be without defect and picture for us Messiah, being our perfect ascending offering.

In verse 23 we are told that a bull or lamb that has any deformed limb or is dwarfed may be prepared as a voluntary offering, but not as a vow offering. What is this saying for us here?

Romiyim/Romans 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.

We offer up our lives daily as a living offering, as we continue to live set-apart lives that is well pleasing to Elohim and this we are able to do as we voluntarily surrender our lives unto Him. So, while we in and of ourselves can never be the ascending offering required, due to our inherent defects and sin, we can offer up our lives as a voluntary offering each and every day! What this also speaks to us is that we can give gifts to Elohim that is not perfect from our excess, yet that which is promised we cannot bring that is not perfect!

Set-apart living calls for a service that seeks to please Elohim and so when reading of all the offerings that are acceptable and those which are not we can deduce from these that what we offer up in rendering our lives in being set-apart must not be done with a half-hearted attempt but rather we must give our all.

What you offer represents yourself and so if your intention is not to bear fruit in the kingdom and let others eat of the good fruit you are supposed to bear; but you only serve when it is beneficial to yourself and you will only give of yourself when it suits and only you can enjoy the fruit of that which you give of yourself then do not offer yourself for service in His House!

CHAPTER 23 – HIS FEASTS – OUR REHEARSALS!

What is very interesting to note is the clear placement of this chapter is laying out for us the Appointed Times of Elohim, as it fits in well in the flow of the instructions for set-apart living, for by observing these Appointed Times we further become established as His set-apart Bride!

This is, in my opinion, one of the most critical chapters in Scripture and while I do not in any way attempt to diminish the importance of ALL Scripture; what I mean is that in these last days when many of the returning children of Elohim are coming out of Mitsrayim and Baḇelon, and are stripping away the inherited lies of false traditions we see the great need to get our timing of pure worship in order so that we can truly be a people who worship the Father in Spirit and Truth.

This is a chapter that many exiles need to study in great depth, and not only study but apply and allow the great understanding of the Feasts of יהוה to further our love for Him and grow in intimacy with our King, whose times are set as we eagerly await in great anticipation the return of our Redeeming King in accordance to the fulfilment of these very Feasts we see recorded in this chapter. Let us now glean through this chapter as we discover the wonder in His appointed times!

Verse 1 – an often-repeated verse throughout the Torah – ‘And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying’. Mosheh was the one whom יהוה chose to speak to and is a picture of Messiah who is our intercessor. Inevitably the words that often followed this phrase would be, as it is in this chapter, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl. What we clearly understand is that our instructions from יהוה come to us through Mosheh – or rather the Torah (first 5 books of the Tanak).

What we can realise is that if we only had this chapter of the Torah available for us, we would actually have enough to be able to ‘draw near’ to Elohim – so listen up!

Verse 2 – The Appointed Times of יהוה.

Like I have already said – the listed appointments given here in this chapter are יהוה’s appointments. Appointments that we are to rehearse each year. The word for ‘appointed times’ is – מוֹעֲדֵי -mo’eḏey’ the plural of מוֹעֵד moeḏ – Strong’s H4150 which means, ‘appointed time, place or meeting’.

We see this word being used in

Berěshith/Genesis 1:14 “And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years

Right in the beginning, during the Creation Week, Elohim announces to us that He will have ‘appointed times’ and the way we are to know when these times are would be determined by the lights in the expanse of the heavens which were given for us to not only determine the season and day and night but also for His All-important Appointed Times.

What makes these ‘Appointed Times’ different and special from other times?

They are to be ‘proclaimed’ as ‘set-apart gatherings’! The word for ‘proclaim’ is from the root word קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 meaning, ‘proclaim, call, read, summons, invite, to be called out,

Set-Apart Gatherings:

Let us look briefly at these terms to get a clearer understanding of what is commanded of us:

1 – Set-Apart:

Hebrew Word:  קֹדֶש- qoḏesh/ko-deshStrong’s H6944 – and it means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’. The word is really self-explanatory and carries with it great weight in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest. Set-apartness in the Greek is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying’, and the noun is the word ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40.  To ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’. We, as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim, and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, that we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah, as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession. In most cases the term ‘set-apart’ or ‘qoḏesh’ is used in a positive sense, a good sense in terms of being set-apart for good use or set-apart unto יהוה, describing the nature of a believer living a set-apart life having thrown off the things of the flesh that hinder and walking set-apart according to the spirit. However, set-apart can also be used in a negative sense too in that just as much as someone or something can be set-apart unto יהוה so can someone or something be set-apart unto evil and wicked cultic prostitution.

Understanding that ‘qoḏesh’ and ‘hagios’ both mean set-apart we must ask ourselves where the term in English ‘holy’ comes from and is this a correct term?

 

Holy – a term used frequently in ‘Christian’ language is used by many as a means for speaking of being ‘qoḏesh’ or ‘hagios’ and for most this is used simply because they have been taught that the word ‘holy’ means set-apart. However, when you dig a little further into the root of a word to understand its intended meaning, then certainly more surfaces than what many would care to consider. According to G. Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology and Folklore and Symbols, page 781 for the word ‘Holy’ it says: In practically all languages, the word for holy has been derived from the ‘divinely honoured sun’.

What is also interesting to discover is that the word ‘HOLI’ refers to “the Great Hindu festival and is a spring festival celebration held in honour of Krishna, as the spring sun-god… a personified woman called ‘Holi’ … Holi also tried to kill the babe Krishna…”

According to the Strong’s Concordance we find the G1506 – a word that refers to being judges by the sunlight and comes from the word ‘heile’ (which is the sun’s ray).

And this root form is very similar and almost identical to the German and Dutch equivalents of the English ‘holy’, realising that many of our English words today are in fact from German and Dutch descent. There is just too must similarity for us to not recognise and acknowledge the reference to the sun and the worship of sun-gods. For instance, the word ‘halo’ in referring to the ‘ring’ above a ‘saint’s’ head starts to make a clearer picture of deliberate sun-worship as it represents the ‘sun-disk’. The German and Dutch word for ‘holy’ is ‘heilig’ derived from the word ‘heil’. Now you have to just ask yourself who or what is ‘Heil’. Heil was a saxon idol!!! How disturbing this becomes for us when we recognise that in fact the lies we have inherited in accepting words and names that have their root in pagan worship as clearly the origin of heil or heilig shows and reveals to us how mixed many of our ancestor’s worship was as many of our German and Dutch ancestors were calling or referring to the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim by the name of their ancient idols that they worshipped. This is shocking know, but do the math and see that it is clear that we cannot and should not be referring to Elohim by any other names or titles other than that which He Himself has given us in Scripture – original Scripture as given in the Hebrew language!!! Satan’s plan is to redirect any form of worship toward Elohim back to him and sadly many, and I mean many are falling to his trickery, hence the need for writing this book among many others that are exposing the lies in order to set captives free and allow the very Truth of the Living Elohim to set free the prisoners who are in darkness (ignorance).

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel Chapter 8 tells us how Elohim in fact shows the prophet the very abominations of mixed sun-worship that was going on in the Temple. Many images are made as supposed pictures of Messiah and Mary and many other apostles and prophets with a sun-disc behind their heads in a wicked attempt at identifying them with sun-worship.

It is clear that when we see the overriding evidence that is available for us all to see as to just where the word for ‘holy’ comes from and what its derivatives actually refer to then we must take action in not using this very pagan rooted word in referring to the Spirit of Elohim or any other aspects of set-apart living, for if we do we are simply in great error and are giving homage to the Sun, which no matter how sincere is may be … it is sincerely wrong and an abomination in the eyes of יהוה. יהוה makes it very clear for us that we are not to adopt the worship practices and forms of the pagan nations and apply their forms and practices unto Him. He has given us His instructions in His Torah and we are not to add or take away from them!

Sacred is another word frequently used in Christianity in its attempt at referring to that which is ‘set-apart’ – ‘qoḏesh’ in Hebrew and ‘hagios’ in Greek. Interestingly you will find that this word, sacred, is in fact not seen in the King James Version but it used in later translations of the Scriptural text. Many words in English as I have said are traced back to Germanic and Dutch roots, and many also come from Latin and some even earlier languages known as Sanskrit. The word ‘sacred’ is traced back to the Sanskrit ‘Sakra’. Indra was one of the twelve forms of sun-deity and he was also known as Sakra and in the twelfth form he is known as Mitra – the origin of the Roman Mithras who was associated with sun-deity and apparently became the Sun-deity known as ‘Sol Invictus’ – the unconquered Sun-deity. Wow, many of you are thinking that this sounds much like the Roman Catholic Church – and you are right – Mithras was worshipped by the first Pope – Constantine who sought a way of blending the Truth with pagan worship as a means to gain the control of the world – he birthed Christianity giving it all its pagan rooted forms of worship – and it is time for the children of Elohim to come out of this wicked whore!

I encourage you to test all that you read as you go through this book, as it becomes very evident that we are to have a speech renewed and a pure tongue restored as we strip away pagan rooted words linked to pagan sun-deity worship. Therefore, we cannot use the terms ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ when referring to that which is ‘set-apart’ and separated unto Elohim. Therefore, know that in referring to the Spirit of Elohim – the Ruaḥ haQoḏesh – we cannot and must not use the pagan terminology of ‘Holy’ Spirit but rather ‘Set-Apart’ Spirit of Elohim.

We are to live set-apart lives – separated unto Elohim. We are to set-apart and treat as separate the Sabbath – set-apart from the rest, let us look at the term gathering;

2 – Gatherings:

Hebrew word: מִקְרָא miqra Strong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together, which comes from the root word קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 which we have already noted in the calling together to read.

The reason I am emphasising these words here is to help us clearly understand before proceeding into each appointed time that these are times we are to take careful note of!

If there are any appointments that you should never miss or be late for in life, it is these!!!

Sadly, what we see in the world today is a total neglect of these very clear appointments we are to have with our Creator, while the enemy has ‘attempted to change’ the times and seasons of Elohim and establish his own as well as keeping people so preoccupied with their own busy lifestyles and schedules that they neglect that most important appointments for the set-apart people of Elohim. These appointments were firmly established at creation and were always intended for all to keep.

Now in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 the instructions are given to Yisra’ĕl, a chosen nation, who was to be a light to the nations teaching them of these appointed times. So as a royal priesthood let us recognise the importance of understanding these appointments with the Creator of the heavens and the earth, so we are well equipped to teach the nations to follow and keep these set times of יהוה.

Each of the listed appointments are to be called out as set-apart gatherings that are to be rehearsed each year. A set-apart gathering is exactly what it says – a set-apart gathering! These appointments with our Creator cannot be kept alone, but rather must be kept together with the body of Messiah, wherever He chooses. So as the body of Messiah is being restored in these last days it is of vital importance that each of understand that these appointments are not, ‘if we feel like it’ appointments – NO – they are set, and have been set from the beginning and will never change and therefore there should never be an excuse for any child of Yisra’ĕl to miss any of these! A gathering is where the body comes together to hear the reading of The Word and celebrate together as we not only look back to what has already been fulfilled but also forward to what will be fulfilled in every way through our Righteous Living King!

So, I urge all of you reading this to make it clear in one’s mind that according to the instructions of our Elohim, these appointed Times cannot and must not be missed or neglected in any way; and I say this to emphasise the importance of hearing such a command before even looking at each appointment we have with our Maker!

Verse 3 – The Sabbath

Now that we have established that the appointed times of יהוה are set and will not change, we see straight away the emphasis that יהוה places upon His Sabbath/Shabbat. Of all the Appointments that He has set, He sets apart the Sabbath from the rest in a sense by giving it first mention and so we must therefore recognise that this weekly Sabbath carries a great significance for us, and we are to realise that we must not miss our weekly appointment with our Elohim! יהוה repeats very clearly that His Sabbath is a set-apart gathering and the repetition of this only highlights the importance of gathering as commanded. Sabbath cannot be kept alone and it was never to be kept alone by individual families either. The Sabbath is the times for us to gather together as communities/assemblies all over the world and have a set-apart meeting or assembling of set-apart ones and hear the Torah. The command not to work rules out any excuse for any member of Yisra’ĕl to not be gathered!

The Sabbath is a ‘qoḏesh miqra’ – set-apart gathering and I continue to repeat myself in this regard for it is of vital importance that each one of us gets it! You cannot sit at home alone and read a few verses, say a few prayers and then sleep the day away and think you are guarding the Sabbath – GATHER is the command!

Why is the Sabbath so important you may ask and does it really matter which day is the Sabbath? Well to answer that bluntly – yes it does matter – it matters a great deal and it is of vital importance for us and that is what I want us to look at – the Truth and validity of the importance of the Sabbath.

We have seen that יהוה had set the Sabbath apart already in the Creation week and this stands firm forever as we, each week, get to ‘rehearse’ by remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath as it foreshadows our reign with Him.

But just how important is the Sabbath? What is the significance of us getting it right? For many it seemingly does not matter which day is the Sabbath as they erroneously regard ‘every day’ as a Sabbath, but is that what Scripture says? No – Scripture is clear that it is the 7th day, not the 1st or 2nd or 3rd or any other day but the 7th! In the hearing of the Ten Words, commonly known today as the Ten Commandments, it is clear that the Sabbath is set-apart from the rest of the week and the direct command is to remember it and to set it apart. Set the whole day apart not just some of it but the whole day as in a whole 24-hour period or rather from sunset to sunset! Look at the following verses from the account of the hearing of the 10 Words:

Shemoth/Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

As you will notice that in terms of the Ten Words, commonly known to us as the ‘Ten Commandments’ – this 4th commandment regarding the Sabbath is the longest of the 10. Longest of the 10 spoken to an entire nation!

In the original King James translation into English this command contained 97 words – and that in itself ought to tell us the significance of this day! This was and always is to be a day of rest and a day set-apart unto Elohim. No work is to be done on this day – no work for you, or your servants or your animals or for any ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’ within your gates. This is a day of rest form your weekly labour – that is that which earns you your wages and keep! This is a day set-apart for us to ‘rest’ in Him, יהוה our Elohim and as we see from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2 in speaking of His Appointed Times and set-apart gatherings, we see clearly the first of these is in fact the weekly Sabbath.

Sabbath is a day of rest from your daily work, but that does not mean you hide out and sleep it away – no – it is to be proclaimed as a set-apart gathering. That means we, as the body of Messiah, are to have a set-apart gathering unto יהוה in all our dwellings. Where two or three are ‘gathered’ there He is in the midst of them! This is a day when we get to spend intimate quality time with our Maker and as His Bride we get to engage in fellowship together as a Bride who is preparing herself with her betrothed Husband.

 

What we must realise here is that the Sabbath is a set-apart day from the rest; and it is a day of gathering together as His body. We are to come together to worship our Elohim. We are to collectively set-apart the Sabbath as we set-aside our own desires and pleasures and work that takes up our time for the previous 6 days and delight ourselves as one in Him. Many today do not see the need for gathering and claim that they are happy to ‘keep’ Sabbath on their own. As well and easy as this sounds – according to the Word of Elohim this is not Scriptural – we are required to gather. And it is more than just gathering and having a kind of social – it is a gathering especially set-apart unto spending the day in fellowship in the Word. There is not too much I can say to add to the simplicity of understanding this term – the Sabbath is a set-apart ‘gathering’, and this happens in the world today in the form of gathering in various size groups that יהוה establishes and builds. When one thinks of the term gathering, one automatically can see the picture of more than just one or two people – it speaks of a body of believers coming together in obedience to Scripture.

I must admit that churches have had a seemingly good way of gathering a crowd – sadly though it is not on the correct day and what is even worse – each one attending feels good about themselves that they gave up an hour or two!!!

We as children of the Living Elohim are to gather – and gather for His Sabbath.

Here at ‘At the Foot of the Covenant Ministries’ we gather in our home, firstly on the evening of Sabbath (that is Friday night for those who still have not understood when a day starts and then more specifically when Sabbath starts) for a time of worship followed by teaching in the Word and fellowship. Then on the morning (Saturday) we gather from 10:00am for more worship and then sit together and go through our weekly Torah portion together with the relevant writings form the Prophets and rest of the Tanak (O.T.) and Renewed Writings (N.T.). We enjoy a ‘bring and share’ lunch together and end the day late in the afternoon having truly set-apart the Sabbath and ‘gathered’ together having immersed ourselves in the wonder and joy of His Word that strengthens us and builds us up in the faith, maturing us in Him. Gathering is critical to the life of the Body of Messiah.

Ok, so now we have looked at when a day begins and which of these days is in fact the Sabbath of Elohim and that we are to proclaim the Sabbath as set-apart gatherings; now let us look a little more at just what the importance of this is for us and just what Scripture instructs us with in regards to His Sabbaths.

 

The Sabbath is a sign

Why the Sabbath is of utmost importance to us, and what we are to quickly realise is that our sign or mark of our worship unto יהוה our Elohim is in fact our remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath. Sabbath observance is key to worship, in fact it is our definitive sign that sets us apart from others.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, to know that I AM יהוה who sets them apart!

Shemoth/Exodus 31:16-17 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

We as his children are to ‘guard’ and ‘observe’ the Sabbath for all time! יהוה makes it very clear in the above two passages that the Sabbath is in fact the sign that we are His!!! How awesome is that! His Sabbath is a sign of His power to create and His power to redeem. In the Scriptures, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.

Elohim's sign, the Sabbath, represents His mighty power to rule as Creator and Saviour, and it is a sign forever between us as children of Yisra’ĕl and Elohim!!!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:9 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.

You cannot get any clearer than this verse, although it has sadly been twisted into teaching that this Sabbath rest being spoken of only refers to the millennial reign. The Greek word used here for ‘Sabbath-keeping’ is:

Strong’s G4520σαββατισμόςsabbatismos – which literally means ‘a Sabbath keeping’ or ‘Sabbath observance’ and is very clear in its instruction for us today that to keep Sabbath is still of vital importance – after all it is an everlasting sign for us – a sign that will prove to be a critical dividing factor in showing who truly worships Elohim and who does not! The weekly Sabbath-keeping is for us not only a sign, but it is also the first of His Commanded Appointed times according to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2. יהוה has given us this day as a sign of His everlasting covenant and what we must therefore also realise is that the enemy will always have a counterfeit sign in seeking any means at luring people into the delusion of false worship, making people believe that they are in fact worshipping the Creator when clearly, they are in error by having the wrong ‘sign’ of their worship.

Verse 4 – יהוה now repeats once again the emphasis of how His Appointed Times are to be set-apart gatherings, proclaimed at the correct appointed times and not at man’s inherited appointed lies of tradition. After understanding the vital significance, the Sabbath plays and is for us each week, we are then further equipped to gather on the rest of our Creator’s Appointments!

Let us now take a look at the yearly cycle of the appointed Times of יהוה:

Verse 5 – 14:

PESAHMATZOT OMER RESHIYTH: PASSOVERUNLEAVENED BREADWAVING OF THE FIRST SHEAF

In the first new moon on the 14th day between the evenings is the Pěsaḥ to יהוה. Here we see that right at the beginning of the year we see the first of the yearly appointed times, and what we must first understand is when does the year begin, because if we do not know that we will be unable to correctly keep this feast of Pěsaḥ; and if that be the case the rest of the year would be out of sync too – Timing is important!

So, when does the year begin for us?

The answer is found in Shemoth/Exodus Chapter 12:2 “This new moon is the beginning of new moons for you, it is the first new moon of the year for you.

A highly critical verse for a nation being delivered from many generations of slavery – one we today need also take very careful care to hear, guard and do as we also have come out of many years/centuries of inherited lies. You will also notice that in Shemoth/Exodus 12: 1 that יהוה spoke to Mosheh in Mitsrayim – that is to also show us today just how He also clearly spoke to us while we were still in Mitsrayim (Church) so to speak and it is now clear that a new way of things was truly about to begin. What we must take careful not of here is that יהוה did NOT at this point change His own established order and calendar of His Appointed Times. What He was doing was telling His called-out nation to strip away all that they had followed under an enslaved regime and return now to His Way and His reckoning of time!

Yisra’ĕl for over 400 years or so were under the influence of a sun/solar calendar which was a direct worship unto the pagan deity Ra, which יהוה had now clearly shown by His Mighty wonders and power that Ra was no mighty one at all and destroyed the seeming evidence of such erroneous beliefs. In order for Yisra’ĕl to be on their wonderful journey of freedom having been set free from bondage by the Mighty work Hand of Elohim they had to get back to the beginning! This was and always is the beginning of the year according to יהוה, and Yisra’ĕl had lost this under the Mitsrayim way of calendar keeping centred around sun-worship. יהוה was setting back in order His timing and calendar that was instituted at Creation. This was the first instruction given to a nation and the essence was simply this, “have nothing to do with sun-worship and get in line with My Word!”.

For us who have come out of Mitsrayim have too found it very confusing at first to keep track of יהוה’s Scriptural calendar that begins in this month of Aḇiḇ, when the barley is ripe in the ear. Months begin at the sighting of the renewed moon (first sliver) and it is the moon that ‘renews’ every month.

There are many in the Torah walk that have sadly missed the mark with this vital truth – and why I say vital is because if we get the beginning wrong then the rest of the year will be out and we may find ourselves celebrating His Feasts at the wrong times due to ignorance of the True starting point!

Many torah observant believers claim to follow what has been labelled the ‘Enoch calendar’ which sets aside the renewal of the moon for determining the months and holds that the moon is merely there for various ‘planting’ seasons of various plants and vegetables. I will quote a couple of verses from Ḥanoḵ which clearly speaks of the moon giving the marker for months:

 

Ḥanoḵ chapter 78:

: 6-7 “When the moon begins its cycle, it appears in the sky one half of a seventh part; it will become fully illumined from the fourteenth day; 7 it completes its illumination the fifteenth, becoming fulfilled according to the sign of the year and becoming fifteen parts. Thus the moon waxes in fifteen parts.

Here we see the description of how the moon ‘waxes’ – that is to become full which is completed on the 15th of the month and then begins to ‘wane’ – which is to decrease in its illumination from the sun.

: 11 “During all the seasons when the moon is made to run its cycle, the light is being beamed into it the moon facing the sun until the illumination of the moon is completed in the course of fourteen days; and when it is lit completely, it radiates light in the sky.

During all the seasons, the moon is made to run its cycle of illumination – so it clearly not only appointed for seasons but also for the marker of the monthly cycle!

This next verse is the one that I like to show as it is clear when the month begins and lines up with our text in Shemoth:

: 12 “On the first day, it is called the new moon because on that day the illumination begins to set upon it.

The first day of the month is when we ‘SEE’ the illumination begin and so it is also clear that the month cannot begin on what some call the ‘dark moon’ either.

Other arguments to whether our text here in Shemoth/Exodus is referring to the moon are that moon and month are not the same, and so I briefly want to explain a couple of key Hebrew words or terms with Scriptural evidence that show that when speaking the new/renewed month it is clearly speaking of the cycle of the moon.

For many of you this may seem insignificant, but I want to briefly present to you from Scripture when our year begins and this is very significant. So please bear with me!

The Hebrew root words used for ‘beginning of new moons’ in the Scriptures 2009 translation or in other translations as ‘beginning of months’ transliterated as ‘rosh ḥoḏesh’ is:

H7218 - ראֹשׁ rosh’ – and means ‘head or beginning or source – that is the beginning point. It speaks of the starting point and also carries the meaning of ‘head’ as in the crucial part of the body, and is also translated as chief. In the context of the passage in question it is a clear beginning point of the year.

H2320 - חֹדֶשׁḥoḏesh – means ‘month’ and by extension also translated and understood as moon

Many argue that this word does not mean moon as the word for moon in Hebrew is:

H3394 - יָרֵחַyareaḥ – the word used for moon as is first used in Berěshith/Genesis 37:9. In the Scriptural text it is understood that the word ḥoḏesh also refers to the moon. In fact, there is another word that also describes the moon, when it is full as in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:9 “He took a bag of silver with him; He comes home on the day of the new moon.

This is a wonderful pointer to our Messiah coming to be united with His Bride for Sukkot/Tabernacles which begins on the 15th of the 7th month (which is the full moon).

The Hebrew root for full moon here is;

H3677 - כֶּסֶא kese’ – means full moon or the full covering of the moon – that is when it is fully illumined!

Another Hebrew word used for moon is:

H3842 - לְבָנָהleḇanah’ – refers to the full moon when it is fully ‘white’ coming from the root word which means to be or become white and is used in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24:23 “And the moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, for יהוה of hosts shall reign on Mount Tsiyon, and in Yerushalayim, and before His elders, in esteem!

This speaking once again of His second coming when the ‘white moon’ will be turned red – Blood Moon – at His Appointed Time!!!

Now why I am showing you these is to show you various words used to describe the moon and now through a couple of Scriptures I will too show you why month and moon are interchangeable and thought of as the same in the Hebraic mind:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:38 “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, the eighth month, the house was completed in all its matters and according to all its plans. Thus he built it for seven years.

Month – this is the Hebrew word H3394 - יָרֵחַyareaḥ, while the next word for month – is H2320 - חֹדֶשׁḥoḏesh.

Here in the same verse we have both words being used to describe the month, showing us that month and moon are interchangeably used in Scripture. Another example is in:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 8:2 “And all the men of Yisra’ĕl assembled to Sovereign Shelomoh at the festival in the month of Ěythanim, which is the seventh month.(colour coded as above)

Another witness that shows 2 verses referring to the same reference to a specific month/moon:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:1 “And it came to be, in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Yisra’ĕl had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, in the fourth year of the reign of Shelomoh over Yisra’ĕl, in the month of Ziw, which is the second month, that he began to build the House of יהוה.

The reference or definitive marker of time here for us is the month of Ziw – month here using the word - H2320 - חֹדֶשׁḥoḏesh, while in reference to the same month in:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:37 “In the fourth year the foundation of the House of יהוה was laid, in the month Ziw.”

Same month name but this time the word for month is H3394 - יָרֵחַyareaḥ.

If that is not enough for you, just one verse later I have a 3rd witness of both words being used in the same verse for the month:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:38 “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, the eighth month, the house was completed in all its matters and according to all its plans. Thus he built it for seven years.

Both yareaḥ and ḥoḏesh used in reference to the month showing us that moon and month are the same!

Now in clearing all that up, verse 2 here in Shemoth/Exodus 12 tells us that this month/new moon of their departure from Mitsrayim will be the beginning of new moons and it is the first of the year – in other words this is the beginning of the year. ‘Year’ in Hebrew is H8141 - שָׁנָה shanah’ and usually has a ה (hey) before it to make it ‘the year’ – ‘hashanah’ – In Hebrew the New Year is known as Rosh Hashanah – the ‘head’ of the year!

 

In this verse2 the phrase ‘it is the first new moon of the year for you’ is written as follows:

 

רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה  – ‘rishon huw laḵam l’ḥaḏshey hashana and broken down is as follows:

 

רִאשׁוֹןrishon – Strong’s H7223 which means, former, first, chief, before, beginning and this is from the root word ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 meaning, head, beginning, topas already discussed.

 

הוּאhuw – Strong’s H1931  which is a pronoun that means, he, she, it 

 

לָכֶםlaḵam – this is from the word אַתָּה attah – Strong’s H859 which means, you (masculine singular), and with the ‘lamed – לָ – being used as a preposition meaning, to, for, the construct of the word changes to the plural rendering it as meaning, for you (plural)’.

 

לְחָדְשֵׁיl’ḥaḏshey is from the root word חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320 meaning, new moon, month as already discussed.

 

הַשָּׁנָהhashana – ‘the year’ from שָׁנָה shanah Strong’s H8141 meaning, a year, annual, yearly, annually.

 

The reason for breaking this down in this manner is to simply show that the clear instruction being given to Yisra’ĕl is that this first month will be for you (Yisra’ĕl) the month that begins the year!!!

 

In Rabbinical Judaism, there are errors in their man made calendars that call Rosh Hashanah at the 1st of the 7th month, when it is Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets). In fact, some rabbinic teachings have 4 ‘new years’ in the year to signify different seasons and agriculture. This is simply crazy and very confusing, which the Word of יהוה is not to those who will but just hear and obey! The Rabbinic way of naming the 7th month as the head of the year is in no way different to the major error that Christianity has done in replacing the 7th day Sabbath with the sun-worship practice of worshipping on the 1st day of the week, hence the pagan name of the day called after its man-driven purpose of falsified worship – Sun-Day! Both have tried to change – and I say tried to because no one can change יהוה’s order of Appointed Times as set in the Creation Week – Both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity has attempted to change 7 for 1! Rosh Hashanah always was and is always at the 1st month – the month known as the month of Aḇiḇ - the month Yisra’ĕl came out of Mitsrayim! Aḇiḇ is referred to as the clear marker of which month will be the first in Chapter 13:4 and will briefly explain it in the context of where we are at in discussing the timing of the New Year:

What is Aḇiḇ (Aviv)?

Aḇiḇ refers to a stage that occurs in the development of the barley crops. The meaning of the word Aḇiḇ is the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds have reached full size and are filling with starch, but have not dried yet.

Shemoth/Exodus 9:31 “And the flax and the barley were smitten, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.

The word used for ‘in the head’ is אָבִיב Aḇiḇ - Strong’s H24 which means, fresh young ears, fresh heads of grain, and indicates for us the stage of the barley at the time of the plague of hail. What is interesting for us to notice here is that the barley was damaged but as you read the next verse we see that the wheat and the spelt were not. This gives us clear indication that ‘Aḇiḇ’ is a stage of growth that has passed the early development of ‘green ears’, for as they develop they become lighter in colour and more brittle. The reason that the barley was destroyed and the wheat was not, is that the barley had reached the stage in its development called Aḇiḇ and as a result had become brittle enough to be damaged by the hail. In contrast, the wheat and spelt were still early enough in their development, at a stage when they were flexible and not susceptible to being damaged by hail. 

The first month of the year begins at the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon, when the barley is ‘Aḇiḇ’ – or ‘ripe in the ear’.

The first month of the year begins at the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon closest to the equinox, when the barley is ‘Aḇiḇ’ – or ‘ripe in the ear’. We have certainly taken note over the past few years in our own observations that the barley is ALWAYS ‘Aḇiḇ’ after the equinox (spring in Northern Hemisphere and autumn in Southern Hemisphere).

The timing of the beginning of the year is crucial, so that the rest of the year can be in sync with יהוה's correct seasons and that His Feasts take place at the correct times. What many fail to recognise is that by going simply according to a barley report alone is incorrect and not 100% Scriptural. While barley plays a significant role it is not the deciding factor alone that determines the year start.

Berěshith/Genesis 1:14 clearly tells us that the two lights in the expanse (sun and moon) are for signs and appointed times, and for days and years which teaches us our need to recognise the cycles of the sun and moon.

The sun divides the year into its four seasons and the moon is renewed monthly which give us the months. The timing of the first new moon must line up with the correct season, which is Aḇiḇ, when the ripening starts. Understanding that the sun divides the seasons, we are therefore able to take not that the new moon closest to the equinox (fall equinox here in southern hemisphere and spring equinox in the northern hemisphere) will be the beginning of months for us, in the season on Aḇiḇ. At the ‘turn of the year’ is when Sukkoth is held as it is the time of bringing in the fruit harvest (according to spring equinox in northern hemisphere). The ‘turn of the year’ is the time of the year when the sun ‘turns’ in its cycles and changes the seasons.

What the barley report does do for us is simply confirm the season that we are entering into or have entered in to and this not only marks for us the clear starting point but also carries great symbolic significance for us as we know that a phrase used very often in Scripture is, ‘he who has an ear to hear’, and what this shows us is the following: That when you are ripe in the ear – that is that when your ear is attentive to the very Living Word – the Torah (instructions) of יהוה, then you are able to begin your ‘journey’ of faith in the Living Word!

2-3 weeks after the beginning of the first month the barley moves on from being ‘Aḇiḇ’ and is ready to be brought as a ‘wave-sheaf’ offering which is a sacrifice brought from the first stalks cut in the harvest and is brought on the day after the Sabbath during the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread) – on the 1st day of the week known as the wave offering of the first – which is a wave offering of the sheaf of the first as described in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:10-11.

So now that we have established when a year begins, and that it is on the 14th of the first month that we keep the Pěsaḥ between the evenings, and so let us look at this term:

"Between the evenings": the Hebrew word that is used for "evening" is עֶרֶב ereḇand from its root it carries the idea of the time of day when it is becoming or growing dark (sunset/dusk)’, so it is done between the time we can first notice the decline of daylight and the time daylight transitions into night at sunset and so between the evenings can be better translated as between the sunsets which is a wonderful proof text for us as to the beginning and end of day – from sunset to sunset. Sunset of the 13th day, which would begin the 14th day, to sunset on the 14th day, which would begin the 15th! Here the Pěsaḥ is slaughtered as the 14th of the month is fading into the 15th. By the time of the second Temple, it was offered between the first and second evening oblation, which translates to the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.) on the 14th, which is exactly when יהושע was slain on Passover.

Why the 14th?

The way to write the number 14 in Hebrew (יד) is with the letters yod י (10) and dalet ד (4), which spell the word for "hand" H3027 - יָד yaḏ. Indeed, יהוה had said He would stretch out His hand over Mitsrayim:

Shemoth/Exodus3:20 “And I shall stretch out My hand and smite Mitsrayim with all My wonders which I shall do in its midst. And after that he shall let you go. - and lay His hand on it:

Shemoth/Exodus 7:4 “And Pharaoh is not going to listen to you, and I shall lay My hand on Mitsrayim, and bring My divisions and My people, the children of Yisra’ĕl, out of the land of Mitsrayim by great judgments.

The Pěsaḥ/Passover lamb was therefore to be kept until the fullness of יהוה's hand (Messiah) comes. יהושע, thus, is the one who strikes Mitsrayim down!

All the assembly of the congregation shall slay it – we are all guilty for His death, yet He lay down His own life showing His intense love for us – taking our sin upon Himself. He died because of our sinfulness. He took our sins upon Himself and died our death. He is the Pěsaḥ/Passover Lamb. He is our redemption. No other sacrifice is needed for our sins. It is finished.

So, when do we eat the Pěsaḥ meal?

The Meal is eaten at the beginning of the 15th which starts the Feast of Matzot/Unleavened Bread – Shemoth/Exodus 12:8 confirms this for us: “And they shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted in fire – with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

On that night is referring the 15th of the 1st month (in the month the barley is Aḇiḇ), which marks the beginning of the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread). When the Lamb has been prepared on the 14th then after sunset, which starts the new day of the 15th we have the Pěsaḥ/Passover Meal.

Matzot – No leaven for 7 days!

The 15th of the 1st month marks not only for us when we eat the Pěsaḥ Meal, but also the beginning of the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread), and it is during this week that we eat bread without leaven and there is to be no leaven found within our borders before the feast begins and is a picture of getting rid of sin, which is often pictured in Scripture as leaven.

On the 1st day there is a set-apart gathering and then on the 7th day too. What we normally do is on every other day we gather for a time of worship and fellowship and so ‘bring an offering made by fire’ for 7 days as we come each day with a burning passion to rejoice together as a body being knit and having been cleansed of all leaven!

Waving of the first sheaf – omer rěshiyth

The waving of the ‘first sheaf of barley’ takes place during Matzot. It takes place on the 1st day of the week, and always will! Why? Because the command is clear – ‘on the morrow after THE Sabbath the priest waves it.

It is very clear here in Scripture that the Sabbath is the key marker for the waving of the first sheaf of barley. Remember in verse 3 how Elohim makes it very clear that the Sabbath is set-apart and by doing so sets the tone for the rest of the chapter and any reference thereafter is clearly referencing the weekly Sabbath.

I want to make it abundantly clear that there is only one Sabbath of יהוה which is on the 7th day each week, besides there only being one other day in the feasts that is referred to as a Sabbath – and that is Yom Kippur, which we will look at shortly.

It is critical in understanding this wave offering taking place on the 1st day of the week; for if we miss this we will certainly miss the work of our Messiah, who became the firstborn among the dead and offered up the first fruit offering of a sure and promised harvest to come at the end of the age!

In the process of revealing His plan of salvation for mankind, יהוה established His Annual Appointed Days around the harvest seasons in the Middle East. Just as His people harvested their crops around these three Festival seasons, יהוה’s Appointed Days show us how He is harvesting people for eternal life in His Kingdom. The Appointed Feasts have meanings that build upon each other. Together they progressively reveal how יהוה works with humanity. The fifteenth of Aviv (1st month) begins the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread). It is a seven-day feast to יהוה. The day following the Sabbath during Matzot, which will always be on the 1st day of the week, is called the Feast of First Fruits.

In 2012 the beginning of Matzot (15th of Aḇiḇ) and the eating of the Pěsaḥ Meal happened to fall on the weekly Sabbath and therefore the 16th of Aḇiḇ was reckoned as the day we see in Scripture in reference to: “on the morrow after the Sabbath”, which falls during Matzot where we bring a wave offering of the first fruits/Bikkurim. The wave offering is always done on the day after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot and therefore Shaḇu’othh will always be on a 1st day of the week. In Yehoshua/Joshua 5 we see an example of this timing that we are following this year where the Pěsaḥ meal was also eaten on the weekly Sabbath and the roasted grain was eaten the day after Pěsaḥ:

Yehoshua/Joshua 5:10-11 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl camped in Gilgal, and performed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening on the desert plains of Yeriḥo. 11 And they ate of the stored grain of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened bread and roasted grain on this same day.”

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23: 11-15 makes it clear that no roasted grain was to be eaten until the same day that the sheaf of the wave offering was brought which can only be on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath!

Sadly, many follow the erroneous rabbinic teaching that states the counting of the omer begins on the 16th every year as they claim that the morrow after the Sabbath is referring to the first day of Unleavened Bread, while this day is never referred to as a Sabbath. Although this happens from time to time, like 2012 and as recorded in Yehoshua, where we will begin the count on the 16th because it falls on the day after the Sabbath during Matzot and the counting of the omer must begin on the first day of the week and to assume that it will always fall on the 16th regardless of what day of the week it is, simply denies the work of Messiah! יהושע was 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth and what we celebrate on this day is His offering up of the first fruits of those who were raised after His resurrection, giving us a guarantee of a harvest to come. So, while Messiah fulfilled the requirements of this Feast, we will always have, as commanded, the wave offering of the sheaf of the first, which has commonly become known as Bikkurim, on the day after ‘the’ Sabbath during Matzot and begin to count the omer on this day!

In 2015 the Pěsaḥ Meal was eaten at the end of the weekly Sabbath where the 15th of the 1st month fell on the 1st day of the week, and therefore the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits took place on the morrow after the Sabbath that would follow, meaning that the Feast of Matzot lasts for 7 days and ended at the end of the Sabbath, making the day after the Feast (the morrow after the Sabbath) as being the day of the waving of the sheaf and the beginning of the count to 50.

When the barley harvest was ready to be reaped, a sheaf of the first grain would be brought to the priest who would wave it before יהוה. This was called the ‘the sheaf of the first fruits’ and would take place on the day after the weekly Sabbath that would fall during or, as in 2015, at the end of Matzot! There will always be a weekly Sabbath during Matzot and it is on the morrow after that Sabbath that the waving of the sheaf of the first fruit takes place!

 

Sheaf of the first fruits:

This is the command as seen in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:10 – on the morrow after the Sabbath during Matzot – you wave the sheaf of the first fruits. First fruits is typically understood as referring to ‘bikkurim’ yet what we see here in the Hebrew text is the following wording for ‘sheaf of the first fruits’: עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית  – omer rěshiyth. The word translated as ‘sheaf’ is עֹמֶר omer – Strong’s H6016 and the word translated as ‘first-fruits’ is רֵאשִׁית rěshiyth – Strong’s H7225 which means, beginning, chief, first fruits, foremost and comes from the primitive root word ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, head, beginning, top, chief.

The term ‘Bikkurim’ is found in verse 17, when commanded to wave the two loaves of bread on Shaḇu’othh, as the word here for ‘first fruits’ is בִּכּוּרִים bikkurim – Strong’s H1601 meaning, first fruits, early ripened thing, ripe fruit, and comes from בָּכַר baḵar – Strong’s H1069 which means, to bear new fruit, to constitute as first born’.

So, while the ‘bikkurim’ is waved on Shaḇu’othh, it is on the morrow after the Sabbath during Matzot that we in fact wave the sheaf of the first, or better understood as the first of the first, or the first of the bikkurim; and this gives us the full assurance of the fullness of the harvest to come.

What is vitally important for us to realise is that without this day there is no assurance that there will be a first fruit harvest and offering and if no first fruit harvest and offering then there is no assurance for the end-time harvest, making the remembrance and celebration of this day extremely important.

 יהוה commanded the people to bring a sheaf of the harvest. The term ‘sheaf’ in the Hebrew is ‘omer’, which was the dry measure of food stuffs, and was a 1/10th part of an ephah – a dry measurement of grain equalling to the approximate amount of 22 litres, therefore an omer was around 2,2 litres dry equivalent. It is described as the measure of the seed resulting from one sheaf of grain. An omer was also deemed by יהוה to be the sufficient measure of ‘manna’ that an average person could eat in one day. Therefore, an omer or sheaf also symbolises a single person and is in fact a picture of oneself being turned over to יהוה for the process of becoming useful to His community – His Bride!

Let us further discover the value of an omer:

Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 “And if a man sets apart to יהוה a field he owns, then your evaluation shall be according to the seed for it – a ḥomer of barley seed at fifty sheqels of silver.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 45:11Let the ĕphah and the bath be of the same measure, so that the bath contains one-tenth of a ḥomer, and the ĕphah one-tenth of a ḥomer. Let their measure be according to the ḥomer.

From these verses, we are able to see something very significant in the sheaf that is waved as a first of the first!

Here we see the terms omer, ĕphah and ḥomer. We know that the sheaf is an omer, yet we take note that Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 tells us that the evaluation of a field that is set apart to יהוה is done according to the seed for it and a ḥomer of barley seed is 50 sheqels of silver!

That being said, we take note that an ĕphah is 1/10th of a ḥomer, which would make an ĕphah of barley seed to be valued at 5 sheqels. Are you with me so far? With an omer being 1/10th of and ĕphah that would make an omer of barley seed to be valued at half a sheqel of silver! Why is the half a sheqel of silver important for us to understand?

Shemoth/Exodus 30:12-14 “When you take the census of the children of Yisra’ĕl, to register them, then each one shall give an atonement for his life to יהוה, when you register them, so that there is no plague among them when you register them. 13 “Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה. 14 “Everyone passing over to be registered, from twenty years old and above, gives a contribution to יהוה.

The half sheqel was the price of atonement for each one who was registered in Yisra’ĕl and this atonement price was to be taken as a remembrance before יהוה. The grain that was associated with the ‘sheaf’ (omer) of first fruits was barley as it was the first grain that would be harvested each year. The Hebrew word for ‘barley’ is שְׂעֹרָה seorah – Strong’s H8184 and comes from the root word שֵׂעָר sear – Strong’s H8181 which means, hair, hairy; and from this root word we get the word for goat which is שָׂעִיר saiyr – Strong’s H8163. Why am I mentioning this? The sheaf of barley that is waved was estimated at the price of atonement for each person registered and we are able to therefore see the relationship between the goat that is slaughtered for the sin offering in order to make atonement being a shadow picture of the atonement that our Master bought for us by His Own Blood, in order that we can be counted in Him!

What I also found very interesting and certainly a significant nugget of truth is when looking at another word that has similar lettering to the root word from which we get the words for goat and barley. The root word שֵׂעָר sear – Strong’s H8181 is spelt with a ‘sin’(שֵׂ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר). A word that has the similar letters is the word we get for ‘gate’, which in Hebrew is שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 meaning, gate, door, entrance and comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’. These words are spelt with a ‘shin’(שַׁ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר). One has a ‘sin’ (שֵׂ) and the other a ‘shin’(שַׁ)! Why did I find this interesting and significant in terms of this day? Well the Hebrew word for gate - שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 – is the word that is used for the ‘gate’ of the courtyard of the Tabernacle. The Greek equivalent that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) is the word πύλη pulē – Strong’s G4439 and this word is used in describing the narrow gate that we are to strive to enter through:

Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.

Ok, so what does this have to do with barley and atonement and the sheaf (omer)? We know that Messiah is the Door, and we also know that it was at the gates of a city where right-ruling and justice was administered and where a proper check was done before anyone could enter in. Our Master, therefore, has provided for us the entrance into His Reign, according to His proper right-ruling and justice. As I began to ponder on these various words and the significance thereof I searched the Word and found a very powerful passage which echoes the news of deliverance which some will not hear while others will.

Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 7:1And Elisha said, “Hear the word of יהוה. Thus said יהוה, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah of fine flour for a sheqel, and two seahs of barley for a sheqel, at the gate of Shomeron.’

Here we see both root words for barley שְׂעֹרָה seorah and gate שַׁעַר sha’ar being used in Elisha’s words.

Elisha was proclaiming good news of deliverance to the people in Shomeron. They were surrounded by the Arameans and were facing severe famine and a lack of provision as they were under immense attack and threat of the enemy. One of the officers of the sovereign did not believe this good news and died in the gate as he was trampled! I encourage you to go and read this account of how it took four leprous men who went to see if they could find food and when they came to the enemy camp the enemy was gone but all the provisions had been left behind! What you will notice from the words of Elisha is that the price that was being declared for wheat and barley was a lot lower than it had been and this is why some did not believe. What is worth taking note of here is the relationship between the barley and the gate. The price of two measures of barley was 1 sheqel, which is the price for atonement for each person as one measure or omer of barley is a half a sheqel! This is a clear parable of deliverance being proclaimed! Who has believed our report, we might say, as we consider these events, especially in light of this day that we are here to celebrate and proclaim as Good News, for entrance into the reign of our Master has been opened by His life, death, resurrection and waving of the sheaf of the first!

The omer price has been paid and we can be legally grafted into Messiah as His Body, in order to serve Him forever!

Therefore, an omer or sheaf also symbolises a single person and is in fact a picture of oneself being turned over to יהוה for the process of becoming useful to His community – His Bride!

Shemoth/Exodus 16:16 “This is the word which יהוה has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, an omer for each being, according to the number of beings. Let every man take for those who are in his tent.’

Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.

 

Wave the sheaf before יהוה: וְהֵנִיף אֶת־הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי יהוהvehayniyph eth haomer liphney יהוה

This can literally be expressed as – “…and wave/present the sheaf/omer before the face of יהוה

The Hebrew word for wave is נוּף nuph – Strong’s H5130 and its fuller meaning is to, move to and fro, shake back and forth, sprinkle, waveand is essence carries the broader meaning to present. It is from this root verb that we get the word for ‘wave offering’ is תְּנוּפָה tenuphah – Strong’s H8573 and means, a swinging, waving, offering, which is done to the first fruits on Shaḇuoth.

This wave sheaf offering of the first of the first was a public acknowledgement of the great and perfect goodness, provision and protection of יהוה, done with a sure belief/faith in the One who is the provider for all we need!

This day is a day where each one gets to publicly declare their acknowledgment of Elohim their Redeemer and Saviour and Provider, and they get to do it physically with their goods!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:9-10Esteem יהוה with your goods, and with the first-fruits of all your increase; 10 then your storehouses shall be filled with plenty, and your vats overflow with new wine.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 44:30And the first of all the first-fruits of all, and every contribution of all, of all your contributions, belong to the priests. And the first of your ground meal you give to the priest, so that a blessing rests on your house.

In fact, I will even go so far as to say that if you are not bringing a wave offering to the priest then you are not guarding this day as commanded.

What we are to remember and celebrate is that Messiah, as High Priest, offered up on this day of the wave offering the first of the first fruits when He presented those who were raised after His resurrection! This offering of the sheaf of the first fruits secures for us the fullness of the harvest to come, for without this wave offering we would not have complete assurance of the promise – and so what took place on this day assures us that we have an expectation that is sure and will not fail, as it is waved before the face of the One in whom we put our trust and is our trust!

In Bemiḏbar/Numbers 8:11 we see how Aharon was to ‘wave’ – that is present – the Lěwites before יהוה, as a ‘wave offering’ from the children of Yisra’ĕl, and from this very clear picture we are able to see how Messiah, as High Priest and first of the first, being first born of all creation and first born from among the dead, presented the first fruits of the new priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq. This in itself is a powerful revelation as to the great significance of this day, as we recognise that when Qayapha, who was high priest at the time of Messiah’s death, tore his garments just before the sentencing and death of Messiah, that he in fact tore away his office of high priest in this act of rebellion and in the process a clear change of the priesthood would take place and Messiah could therefore become the True High Priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq, after His death and resurrection and His Blood be used to cleanse and set-apart His own priesthood forever!

By His life, death and resurrection He, as High Priest, presented the first fruits before the Father, and symbolically therefore presents us as a royal set-apart priesthood that is able to serve and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth! When we consider this we realise how significant this day was, and is for us to continually remember – that we are a royal, chosen and set-apart priesthood!

As a called out and set-apart priesthood that has been cleansed by the Blood of Messiah, we get to present our lives as a wave offering before the Master and publicly declare our loving-commitment to Him, shown in the wave offering that we present before His face in total faith!

This day reminds us very clearly that we are to put יהוה first, and in putting Him first we declare our all unto Him!

יהושע has fully met the requirements for these feasts we are celebrating and speaking of right now – He is our Passover Lamb – the Bread of Life and the First Fruit offering!

יהושע was resurrected at the end of Shabbat and at the start of the first day of the week (at sunset), offering Himself as the first of the first fruits to all generations by fulfilling the sign of Yonah (Jonah) – 3 days and 3 nights, and becoming the first born among those who sleep!

יהושע is the head of the first fruit of the Barley Harvest that was ripe and ready to be presented and waved before the face of Elohim! Let us look at some Scriptures that speak of Messiah as the ‘first’:

1. יהושע is the firstborn of Miryam/Mary:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 1:23-25 ““See, a maiden shall conceive, and she shall give birth to a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanu’ĕl,” which translated, means, “Ěl with us.” 24 And Yosĕph, awaking from his sleep, did as the messenger of יהוה commanded him and took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she gave birth to her Son, the first-born. And he called His Name יהושע.

2. יהושע is the first-born of the Father:

 Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 1:6 “And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, “Let all the messengers of Elohim do reverence to Him.

3. יהושע is the firstborn over all creation:

Qolasim/Colossians 1:15 “who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation.

4. יהושע is the firstborn from the dead:

Ḥazon/Revelation 1:5 “and from יהושע Messiah, the trustworthy witness, the first-born from the dead, and the ruler of the sovereigns of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

5. יהושע is the firstborn of many brethren:

Romiyim/Romans 8:29 “Because those whom He knew beforehand, He also ordained beforehand to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, for Him to be the first-born among many brothers.

6. יהושע is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:20 “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep.

7. יהושע is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Aleph and the Taw:

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:13 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

8. יהושע is the head of the body, the assembly – First in all:

Qolasim/Colossians 1:18 “And He is the Head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that He might become the One who is first in all.

He is the most set-apart One of ELOHIM and He is both the first born of ELOHIM and the first fruit unto ELOHIM.

In Messiah, what assurance we have is that ‘in Him’ we are redeemed – Pěsaḥ speaks of our redemption, Matzot or Unleavened Bread speaks of our sanctification –being set-apart (cleaned up from leaven) and First Fruits is the assurance of our promise of eternal life and resurrection in Messiah. Blessed are those who have part in the first resurrection for the second death has no power over them!!!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:20-24 “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah. 23 And each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming, 24 then the end, when He delivers up the reign to Elohim the Father, when He has brought to naught all rule and all authority and power.

A wonderful passage that Sha’ul is writing to describe truly what we are celebrating on First Fruits – Messiah is the first fruit among those who have fallen asleep (died) and it is in Messiah that we are made alive. This passage is read as a commentary on the order of resurrection but Sha’ul is also referring here to First Fruits – In that יהושע in being the first to be raised has fulfilled this Feast – securing the future harvest. So, at this Feast we celebrate the resurrection of יהושע and in so doing we also celebrate the future completed resurrection of His Bride as each are made alive in Messiah - each in his own order!

יהושע’s resurrection was in effect a sheaf wave offering presented before the Father as first fruits of the harvest to come! He also presented His first-fruits offering, as High Priest, to the Father on this day:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 27:52-53 “and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.

A scripture not often understood and even very quickly skipped through lack of understanding – יהושע presented a first fruit offering of souls unto the father. Those graves that were opened when He died lay open for 3 days and3 nights and after His resurrection, the dead from the tombs that were opened came out of the tombs and appeared unto many – picture the scene – at His death the temple veil was torn, there was a huge earth quake and tombs of many were opened and they stayed open for 3 days and 3 nights until יהושע was raised, after which the dead of those who were in those tombs came out and appeared to many. These raised ones were taken up when He ascended and presented the first fruit offering unto the Father on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot – fulfilling this Feast and its requirements:

Wayyiqra 23:12 “And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה.

He is our High Priest who presented the wave offering, being the ‘year old perfect lamb’ ascended up to the Father!

Yoḥanan/John 20:17 “יהושע said to her, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim.’

That day He ascended and presented the sheaf of the first fruit offering and the next evening He came and stood in the midst of His taught ones and breathed on them and they received the Set-Apart Spirit – a first fruit of the Spirit that would later be poured out on many at Shaḇuoth!

 

COUNTING OF THE OMER – Verse 15-16

From the morrow after the Sabbath during Matzot we begin counting off 50 days until we come to the Feast of Weeks or Shaḇu’oth. What is critical, as I said, in understanding this timing and the beginning of the count is that the time between the waving of the sheaf of the first and Shaḇu’oth there must be ‘7 completed Sabbaths’. If one begins counting strictly on the 16th of the first month regardless of what day it is, it is possible to count 50 days and have only 6 “completed” Sabbaths (7 full weeks – from 1-7) within the 50 days. 7 completed Sabbaths – 7 weeks = 49 days and then the morrow after the 7th Sabbath will bring us to the 50th day being Shaḇu’oth! Before we look at Shaḇu’oth I want to highlight the significance of counting these days and what they symbolise for us:

Counting the omer is not a time to sit back and relax and in a sense, have the misconceived idea of a ‘once saved always saved’ mind-set, no – this is a time of diligent preparation and humble obedience to walking in and becoming more effective as part of His Bride who has prepared Herself.

The Hebrew word that is used for ‘count’, in our instruction to count 50 days to Shaḇuoth, is the word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 – which means, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune. This word is used 161 times also being translated into English as, ‘tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering’.

סָפַר  saphar is the denominative root verb of the word סֵפֶר sepher – Strong’s H5612 which means, a missive, document, writing, book, scroll, letters, and is used to describe the Book of the Torah!

As we consider the clear importance of this commanded ‘counting period to 50’ we recognise how this is a great season that teaches us to continually be a ‘counting people’ who daily ‘count the cost’ of following our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah. And to be faithful in being a ‘counting people’, we need to realise that we cannot do this without the Word of Elohim – as we are to meditate on His Torah day and night and allow this סֵפֶר sepher or Book of the Torah to lead us each and every day:

Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.

If we do not count we cannot be cleansed! To count means to reflect on where we are and repent of our sin.

The word סָפַר saphar (spelt from right to left is with a סָ - samek, פַ - pey, ר – resh).

Now when we see these symbols as written in the ancient script we get a wonderful picture of what true cleansing entails when we ‘count’:

reshpeysamek- THE ANCIENT FORM OF WRITING THE WORD “COUNT” – SAPHAR!

Samek - סָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.

The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His Word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.

Pey – פָּ:

This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as pey, which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!

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!

When seeing the construct of this word for count in its ancient form we have a clear picture of how cleansing entails true repentance through being able to correctly count! This ancient grouping of letters can carry various meanings for us, and in terms of being a people who count, we realise that this can only be done when we:

GRAB HOLD OF THE WORD OF THE HEAD!

This picture, in terms of counting, teaches us that our shield and refuge is in our Head and Master, who teaches us through His Word to number our days and we recognise that When we bring our sins (pictured by the thorn) and confess them (open mouth) to יהושע our Messiah (head of a man); then He is the one who cleanses us!

On the morrow after The Sabbath during Matzot a wave offering of the first sheaf of barley is waved and at Shaḇu’oth we see 2 loaves of ‘leavened bread’ being waved before Elohim as Bikkurim – first fruits. Now what is interesting for us to note is that there is a process of being made into a bread (community) of people that is pleasing and acceptable as a wave offering to יהוה and understanding 10 steps of making bread helps understand just how He gathers, refines and shapes us into His Body:

10 steps:

1 – SOWING OR PLANTING: The Hebrew term used for sowing or planting also carries with it the meaning of ‘scattering’ – picture as a farmer ‘scatters his seed. The ancient practice of scattering was called to ‘broadcast’ the seed from a bag that was hung over one’s shoulder. We as a people of Elohim have been scattered over the whole earth and long to be replanted, if you will, into our native soil. I am sure we are all aware of the sowing and reaping principle – nothing can be reaped from what was not sown and you cannot reap something different from what has been sown – you reap what you sow – be it attitudes, thoughts, actions or even priorities – do not expect to get something out from that which you did not sow! You want an intimate growing relationship with יהוה - then sow the time and effort in seeking Him! יהוה scattered Yisra’ĕl and we get a greater understanding of this from the book of Hoshěa which I encourage you to read. Scattered but watched over – for this scattered seed will bring in a bountiful harvest for reaping!

The root word for sow or sowing is זֶרַע zera – Strong’s H2233 and means, ‘a sowing, seed, offspring’ and comes from the primitive root זָרַע zara – Strong’s H2232 meaning, ‘to sow or scatter seed’.

Hoshěa/Hosea 2:23 “And I shall sow her for Myself in the earth, and I shall have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion. And I shall say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people,’ while they say, ‘My Elohim!’

Hoshěa/Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap according to kindness, break up your tillable ground, it is time to seek יהוה, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

The beginning process of being made into the Body of Messiah is critical in our sowing righteousness and seek יהוה!

 

2 – GROWING: There is always a season or period between sowing and reaping – it never happens immediately. It is during this time where growth occurs and this season of growth is a time in a sense for us to think about what was done wrong and how we can do better. One of the keys to overcoming the period of growth or period of ‘exile’ if you will, is simply just that – grow and grow and grow – and to grow we have to realise that we have inherited some lies – ok more than just some – a whole lot!!! But in realising this we also begin to grow and realise and know יהוה’s power and more importantly – His NAME!!!

To ‘know’ is to walk in His Torah – for as Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3 says that we know that we know Him when we guard His commands! And as love for יהוה and one another grows through obediently guarding his commands we can ‘outgrow’ our ‘exile’ from the Promised Land – the more the world grows dim before our eyes and has no effect on pulling us away from obedience and therefore be ready to be lifted up when He comes and be replanted where we belong – together with Him in His Land!!!  

Two root words translated as grow or growing are 1) הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 meaning, ‘walk, to go or come, grow, wander, traveland 2) צָמַח tsamaḥ – Strong’s H6779 meaning, ‘to sprout, spring up, grow’ – we know that a derivative of this word is used in prophetically referring to Messiah who shall come forth from the Branch of Dawiḏ. When looking at these two words it makes the verse in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 very clear: The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. – as we stay in and walk in Messiah we will grow!

The Greek word for ‘walk’ is περιπατέω peripateō – Strong’s G4043 and carries the meaning, ‘to walk, behaviour, to conduct one’s self, to make one’s way, to tread with the feet, to make one’s life’. 

Miḵah/Micah 6:8 “He has declared to you, O man, what is good. And what does יהוה require of you but to do right, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?

Miḵah tells us that we are required to walk ‘humbly’ with Elohim. The root word used here for humble is צָנַע tsana – Strong’s H6800 meaning, ‘to be modest or humble’.

In Miḵah/Micah 6:8 it is expressed as follows: וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת ve-ha-ts’nea lechet’ which literally expresses ‘a making humble to walk’ or ‘showing a humble walk’, again emphasising that our humility is seen in our walk – that is our walk of obedience.

 

3 – REAPING: This reaping process is simply separating the harvest from the field that it grew in. Grain must be reaped or else it cannot be used. We too, just as Aḇraham, may have to be reaped out of our circumstances and even our families. Grain when reaped is gathered into storehouses – and this is a wonderful picture of what we see happening more and more in these last days – pretty much the equivalent of Him gathering or assembling His grain into communities – because to put is plainly – a single kernel of grain cannot make much bread - and certainly not enough for an offering unto יהוה! Once gathered together this is when the real preparation begins – say what – yes this is when it begins! What has erroneously been taught in the church today is that this is the final stage for those blinded hopefuls and they do not realise what lies ahead in the process of making bread! This is only the beginning and the next steps are what shape us into what we need to become in order to be presented to יהוה as a prepared Bride! This is His storehouse or rather one of His storehouses where He will gather together much grain – grain that is ready to be prepared to be made into an acceptable offering of bread unto יהוה!

Reaping is translated from קָצַר qatsar – Strong’s H7114 – ‘to reap, harvest

 

4 – THRESHING: Ouch – the sound of this word already makes you realise why the church chooses to stop blindly at reaping, and why they developed a false rapture teaching that sadly for them seemingly removes them from the rest of the bread making process! Admittedly most would prefer to stay at the reaping stage – sitting quietly in a barn being no use to anyone at all and it is easy to understand why – nobody likes to be ‘threshed’. It almost sounds like ‘thrashing’ and guess what – it is!!! Boy – many who have left the reaping stage into threshing or thrashing soon want to jump back to the safe old barn of no good premature stop! The Hebrew word for ‘teach’ literally means to ‘prod with a stick’; and so it is with threshing – which is simply the applying of pressure to grain – be it from beating it or grinding it or letting heavy animals trample on it – with the purpose in mind to loosen the shells and separate the grain from the chaff – or the stalks from the husks – which is still pretty much useless at this stage. It is the stalk that represents that which attached us to the field that we came out of and we do not want that to be an ingredient in the bread!!! Most of what we bring in from the field – be it dogmas of Rome, doctrines of man, theologies, misguided moral codes and even wrong priorities that we have picked up along the way – is no longer useful to us once we have grown enough and been separated from the system – threshed out in other words – not always painless I might add – and are now threshed out enough to begin studying the Torah. The omer basket is filled with kernels and each one has a husk that has to be removed. All too often though we don’t want this to happen as we can so often find ourselves hiding from one another behind the husks so to speak – those very things that need to go! We cannot be a part of the bread if we hang on to the ‘hull’ – the ‘hull’ is the outer part of a seed or fruit. We must begin to be honest and give an account for ourselves and ask, “What am I still attached to that is useless to the Kingdom?

In this threshing process, we must allow other trusted brothers and sisters in the body to ‘loosen’ our kernels – after all in the process of making bread it is people who do the job!!! Each of us is responsible to help one another in these processes – and is a great honour and privilege that requires faithfulness and trustworthiness!

For we are, in effect, taking what ‘protects’ people into our hands and whatever we learn about them in the process must be used to help them and build them – not harm or destroy them! We need to be ‘threshed’ out of the field from which we have come from and we must realise that we cannot keep holding on to those things that previously shaped our thinking, especially when it contradicts the Torah! All we can do is repent, which is a critical step in being able to move on – threshing is a must – not easy but a must – those husks and hulls must be loosened off of us and we need to let go of those things that we thought gave us security as we realise that in our vulnerable state our only security is in יהוה!

Threshing is the Hebrew word דַּיִשׁ dayish – Strong’s H1786 and is from the primitive root דּוּשׁ dush – Strong’s H1758 meaning, ‘to tread, thresh or trample’, and this root word we see being used in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 25:4 “Do not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.

Sha’ul teaches us the meaning behind these instructions is making it clear to us that a worker is worthy of his wages – a worker that is threshing that is – those who are out there teaching and calling many out of Babel and Mitsrayim so to speak!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 9:9 “For it has been written in the Torah of Mosheh, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it about oxen Elohim is concerned?

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 5:17-18 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double respect, especially those who labour in the word and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The labourer is worthy of his wages.

To ‘muzzle’ is to put a stop to one’s mouth and this is exactly what man-made traditions and dogmas have enforced through their twisted theologies – putting a stop to the speaking of the Truth, yet the Word of Truth must be proclaimed, and anyone who is proclaiming the Truth must not be muzzled – especially when it is treading out the grain – a clear picture of very sobering and often deep cutting words that most do not want to hear but would rather gather around themselves those who tickle the ears! The sharp Word spoken in Truth will tread out the grain and separate the chaff from the wheat and many will do their utmost to stop this process from happening as they would rather remain in their ‘shells’ of chaff that renders them useless in terms of being made into a set-apart Bread/community that is acceptable before Elohim!

The muzzle was an object placed over the mouth of the ox to prevent it from eating the grain as it was treading on it.

In treading out the grain the ox would either be walked across the threshing floor, thus separating the grains from the ears, or else it would pull a threshing sledge across the floor (or, platform). According to this law the ox should be allowed to eat some of the ears of grain as it worked.

Alternative ways of expressing this verse are:

     You shall not put anything on the mouth of an ox to prevent it from eating while it is treading out the grain.

     You must not prevent an ox from eating while ….

In other words when understood that this refers to those who are teaching the Truth we see that those who are teaching must be able to eat from the ‘threshing floor’ they are treading! There is a duty for those who are being taught the Truth to make sure that the one teaching has sufficient provision and does not lack in any way!

 

5 – WINNOWING: Another step in the process, that involves a ‘fork’ that looks like a rake. The threshed grain is thrown up into the air in order to expose it to the wind which will blow away the lightweight particles and the heavier – that is the more important – will be left behind!

This process worked better on a hill top and so you find many threshing floors being on higher ground to allow this process to take place after threshing. This process reflects to us an elevating of one another – lifting one another up in prayer and edifying each other up into the presence of the Almighty where the ‘wind’ or Ruach blow away the unneeded stuff in our lives as we immerse in His presence – letting that which is useless be blown away and what will simply be left is better refined kernels with no chaff! Sha’ul said to the Corinthians that he desires that they all speak in tongues but he would rather prefer that they all prophesy – why? Because prophesy builds up the body – tongues is for the individual unless there is an interpretation for the body but prophesy in itself is there to edify others – edify the body and in so doing elevates others to a place where the Spirit can remove the chaff!

Winnowing is translated from the word זָרָה zarah – Strong’s H2219 meaning, ‘scatter, fan or winnow’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:16 “You winnow them, the wind lifts them up, and the whirlwind scatters them; but you, you rejoice in יהוה, and boast in the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

 

6 – PARCHING: After being separated from the lighter elements – all that airy fairy fluffy junk that just clogs up our lives and is actually of no use – all the ‘hot puffed up air’ so to speak – once that is gone guess what? The heat is turned up!!! What – seriously? Yes – it gets hotter! Once we are a taught people who have been elevated we can be exposed to things that we would never have considered before.

 It is interesting to note at this stage that is would be useless to ‘parch’ a single kernel – so we are all parched together! No one has to go through this alone! This is not a ‘burning’ of the grain but rather a process of removing moisture from the kernels and makes the grain even lighter, and what this pictures for us is that at this stage we begin to give less weight to the ‘me, myself and mine’ attitude and rather consider what is best for one another and the whole bread, so to speak! You know it is so difficult to ‘give up’ individual rights – but we can when we are in it together! Parching may cause tears – in fact more often than not it will as one lets go off selfishness and pride – the removal of moisture!

To parch in Hebrew is the word קָלָה qalah – Strong’s H7033 meaning, to toast, parch, and scorch slowly.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 29:22 “And because of them all the exiles of Yehuḏah who are in Baḇel shall use a curse, saying, “יהוה make you like Tsiḏqiyahu and Aḥaḇ, whom the sovereign of Baḇel roasted in the fire,

7 – CRUSHING: Come on Craig, crushing… when does it stop? This is even a scarier process I know! In Ancient times, all bread was what you would call, ‘stone ground’. In fact, at many archaeological sites many ancient ‘millstones’ were found. A millstone is where two huge concrete stones are used from crushing – grains were crushed between two stones – the two stone of a millstone picture the two stone tablets upon which the Torah was written. The kernels are not destroyed in this process – far from it – they in fact now become very useful and fully useable – for now all the kernels have actually become part of one flour mix – inseparable – a picture of a people with the same purpose. It is at this stage where we can safely say that a bird cannot come and snatch away a single kernel as there is no way to identify the part of a single kernel as they are now so mingled and mixed in together. You see it is like this – as we obey the Torah, love יהוה and love one another – what happens? We become inseparable and become as one!

To crush or grind is the Hebrew word טָחַן taḥan – Strong’s H2912 meaning, ‘to grind’ and the word טַחֲנָה taḥanah – Strong’s H2913 is a grinding mill!

 

8 – SIFTING: In the 2nd Temple times the wheat for the offering at Shaḇu’othh was sifted 13 times!!! Each time becoming finer and finer! 13 is the numerical value for the Hebrew word ‘eḥad’ – meaning one or unified and יהושע Himself prayed that we would be one! The closer we get together through obedient living and fellowship, the more refined we become. Those who are crushed with us are our true neighbours!!! One thing we must realise is simply that if I do not bring my part and am causing disruption in the body causing the refining of the body to stumble then as it is sifted again I may just be sifted out!!!

Here we have the Hebrew word for sift as נוּעַ nua – Strong’s H5128 and means, ‘to quiver, wave, waver, tremble, totter, disturb, move to and fro, shake,

Amos 9:9 “For look, I am commanding, and I shall sift the house of Yisra’ĕl among all the gentiles, as one sifts with a sieve, yet not a grain falls to the ground.

 

9 – TESTING: Then comes the testing – as a body or as a loaf! The Temple treasurer would come at this stage and plunge his hands into the refined flour and it needed to be so fine that no flour was to be seen on his arms. In fact, they were so strict that if any adhered to his flesh it would have to be sifted again. This although seemingly a strict procedure pictures for us that we are in this together – it is not a case of ‘well that is their problem’ or ‘it is someone else’s problem’ – no – until all of us are sufficiently refined together none of us can become the bread – this is everyone’s responsibility to become a part!

If you do not bring your part into the body or for sake of this teaching the loaf and the batch is failing the test due to your inconsistency then you may, as I have said, be simply sifted out. Satan is the one who desires to sift us out – he asked יהושע if he could sift Kěpha! Let us be careful that we are not sifted out by continually failing the tests!

נָסָה nasah – Strong’s H5254 – ‘to test, prove, try’:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 13:3 “do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.

10 – BAKING: Once tested it can now be baked and presented fresh unto יהוה as the first fruit of wheat. It is at the feast of Shaḇu’oth leavened bread – why? Because it has been permeated with the Kingdom:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:33 “Another parable He spoke to them, “The reign of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until all was leavened.

This bread is leavened with the Kingdom – not with sin as leaven represents for us at this feast we are in of Unleavened Bread.

At Shaḇu’oth 2 loaves are presented representing the 2 houses of Yisra’ĕl which once were scattered but now are being brought back and the promise of this is seen in the fulfilment of both these first fruit offerings of the barley and the wheat.

A couple of different Hebrew words are used for what we translate as ‘bake’ and 3 of them are: 1) אָפָה aphah – Strong’s H644 meaning ‘bake, cook’; 2) בָּשַׁל bashal – Strong’s H1310 – ‘bake, boil, seethe, ripen, grow ripe’ and 3) שָׂרַף seraph – Strong’s H8313 meaning, ‘burn or to be set on fire’. I find that all of these collectively give us a great idea of how the ultimate process of bringing us together as being presentable as an acceptable offering of Bread before the Father is that we are to grow and ‘be on fire’ for Him.

Another word which for me carries wonderful significance in the baking process is the Hebrew word לָבַן laḇan – Strong’s H3835 which means ‘to make bricks’ and in its primitive root means, ‘to make white’. This word was used in Berěshith/Genesis 11:3 when the men wanted to build a tower to the heavens and wanted to male bricks and bake them. This was a wicked time and a wicked plot which caused יהוה to come down and confuse the languages! But when we see these words in use in reference to how the bricks would be made through baking, I reflect on who we have been called to be as living stones being built up in Messiah as a Living Tabernacle/Dwelling Place for the Most High and Messiah tells us that those who overcome shall be given a white stone:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

The process of making bread carries great significance for us in understanding how we are to be overcomers in Messiah and be on fire for Him, aměn!

 

Feast of weeks – Shaḇu’oth – Pentecost

From Pěsaḥ to Shaḇu’oth we see several progressions:

1 – From barley to wheat

2 – From Matza (unleavened Bread – H4682) to Bread with leaven (Leḥem – H3899) 

3 – From impurity to purity

4 – From Mitsrayim/Egypt to Mount Sinai

What we see is that this truly a significant time for us to remember and recollect at how we have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light, how we have been delivered from bondage to slavery in Mitsrayim/Egypt – that is the world’s systems and enslaved dogmas and set free to live according to the very Torah of freedom! It represents for us a time of recognising how the impurity of sin is removed from our lives and how we are then filled with the good leaven of His Torah that brings us together as a body presentable before Elohim.

Shaḇu’oth is the Feast of the Wheat Harvest and is one of the 3 major feast times when all men were to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate – each of the 3 major Feasts were Harvest Feasts – Pěsaḥ and Unleavened Bread was at the time of the barley harvest, Shaḇu’oth the Wheat harvest and Sukkot the fruit harvest and all these are a picture of His Harvest of redeeming that which are His own.

There are great parallels between Mount Sinai and Mount Tsiyon in relation to Shaḇu’oth, and they are:

At Mount Sinai - Shaḇu’oth marks the day when יהוה entered into a covenant relationship with His people. When He gave the Torah in written form the people heard the trumpet of His voice – known as the 1st shofar which we will discuss on Shaḇu’oth and they saw and heard the thunder and lightning and the mountain in smoke – they heard and saw the fire of His voice announced with the first trumpet.

At this sound, they trembled and stayed at a distance and after hearing the first 10 Words they told Moshe to hear the rest and that they would do all he heard from יהוה.

At Mount TsiyonShaḇu’oth marks the establishment of the Renewed Covenant where he wrote the Torah on the tablets of the hearts of the talmidim/disciples of יהושע Messiah. This event marks and celebrates the fulfilment of the prophecy in Yirmeyahu 31 which speaks of a day when his Torah would be written upon the hearts of His Children, Yisra’ĕl! What they saw that day was what seemed to be ‘tongues of fire’ and they too heard the sound of a violent rushing wind form heaven and seeing the very fire of His voice resting upon them. This time they did not stand at a distance as they received the Spirit of Elohim and spoke in tongues and in essence this event was a reversal of the experience at Babel where the language of the people was confused by יהוה as a result of their disobedience in using their unity as a means for self-gain and wicked purposes. The people at babel had a wrong form of unity – worshipping themselves and what יהוה did at Mount Tsiyon on Shaḇu’oth was to cause the languages that had separated the people to now be brought together and understand what was being spoken resulting in praise and awe of יהוה – the correct use if unity bringing worship unto יהוה.

It is through our worship and fellowship together unto יהוה that He causes us by His Spirit to understand His Word which is no longer foreign or confusing. At Baḇel, they were confused due to disobedience and at Mount Tsiyon on Shaḇu’oth the confusion was now broken and they understood as a result of obedient worship – the people were obedient in keeping His Feast, enabling them to now receive His Marriage Covenant (Ketuḇah) on their hearts.

At Mount Sinai – in the Wilderness the people rebelled and in one day 3000 were killed

At Mount Tsiyon - on Shaḇu’oth 3000 people heard the message and believed and were added to the body of believers – A picture of renewal and restoration through obedience!

We now as believers are ministers of the Renewed Covenant! A covenant that יהושע Himself restored and repaired through His Blood, writing His very love letter on our hearts!!!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:3making it obvious that you are a letter of Messiah, served by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living Elohim, not on tablets of stone but on fleshly tablets of the heart.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 8:10 “Because this is the covenant that I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, says יהוה, giving My laws in their mind, and I shall write them on their hearts, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

I want to make it very clear at this point that Shaḇu’oth is a celebration time – in fact we are also commanded to rejoice! It is time to celebrate His Covenant with us and Him writing His Torah upon our hearts – we have His Marriage Covenant with us written on our hearts – we are betrothed to Him – and so this is not a ‘birthing of the church’ this is a wedding anniversary!!!!

It was at Mount Sinai that יהוה betrothed His Bride – Yisra’ĕl was now legally married and were the first fruit of His Harvest – they were the first fruit of the fullness of His Bride that was to make herself ready. It is at this time when we also recollect and recognise our need to make ourselves ready – not on our own that is – but as a body unified as one in Him found to be blameless and without spot by ridding ourselves of the leaven that kills – that is sin and being permeated with the good leaven of His Word that brings life. יהוה had saved His Bride, offered her salvation through the Blood of the Lamb on the doorposts at Passover and then He delivered her and washed her through the Sea of Reeds which had walls of water on both sides signifying full immersion and cleansed her and offered the Marriage covenant to His Bride to which she said, ‘I do’ before even hearing what the requirements for the marriage would be!!! In Shemoth/Exodus 19 the nation responded as one body “we shall do” and so they then received the Ketuḇah/Marriage Contract!

We know that Yisra’ĕl committed whoring and adulterated herself with the world and יהוה issued a certificate of divorce (Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3). According to the Torah – a divorced woman was not permitted to remarry until her husband had died. This is important for us to understand as here you had a divorced wife who could not re-enter the marriage covenant unless her husband died. יהושע came down Himself and died for His adulterous Bride that she would no longer be considered an adulterous woman if she remarried. He took up His Life again in order to renew the Marriage Covenant which His Bride had previously broken, but now could be renewed through His very own Blood that has washed His Bride. This is what יהוה did with Aḇraham when he cut Covenant with in in that he put Aḇraham to sleep and the fire of יהוה came down and passed through the sacrifices declaring that if Aḇraham or any of His descendants would break Covenant that He Himself would come down and pass through the sacrifice and take the punishment for our sins! What great love He has for us and it is here at Shaḇu’oth that we remember and rehearse this very truth that He has now written His Renewed Marriage Covenant on our hearts that we are presented as a pleasing Bride!

This is a celebration of His Love for His Bride! And one of the major themes of Shaḇu’oth is revival – a time to truly reflect that which is to be upon our hearts – is His Torah upon your heart and do you walk obediently according to it – this is often a time for many to recognise and realise their need for renewal and cleansing and a re-establishing of His ways in their lives!

Shaḇu’oth is a picture of Yoḇel (Jubilee) for the Yoḇel cycle consists of 7 weeks of 7 years each. Every 7th year is a Sabbatical year where the land is to rest and in the 50th year – (The year after 49 years – 7 completed 7’s) in the year of Yoḇel/Jubilee where debts are cancelled and land and property is returned to the original owners. Yoḇel serves to bring freedom to captives and the land would lie fallow in order to produce food for the poor.

Shaḇu’oth/Feast of Weeks was when the first fruits that had been picked between the barley and the wheat harvest was brought and presented as a freewill offering before יהוה and was presented as a wave offering with great joy and trust for יהוה to provide for the rest of the harvest to come. So, the sanctification of the first fruit harvest unto יהוה consecrates the entire harvest as being His – it is all His! The first represents the whole and so it is with those who were resurrected with יהושע and presented as a first fruit offering to Elohim represents and guarantees for us the whole harvest of souls upon the return of Messiah.

Shaḇu’oth and its meaning is to be lived out daily in our lives as we daily are inwardly renewed by His Word leading us in Spirit and Truth enabling us to continue to bear fruit – good fruit that lasts – the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness, gentleness and self-control which we are daily able to offer back to Him in a life of obedient living according to His Marriage Covenant – His Torah. This harvest festival is a harvest of freewill offerings and rejoicing and we come before Him giving ourselves completely to Him – which includes our time, talents, resources and present them to Him with a cheerful heart. As we know from the records recorded for us in Ma’asei/Acts we can clearly see the effect of living this life of an obedient Marriage out as we see that the true believers were devoted to the apostles teaching – that is to the Torah – they were devoted to fellowship – and this is critical as this is too what Shaḇu’oth represents – the two loaves of Bread being waved symbolic of the two houses coming together – Yehuḏah and Ephrayim as bread leavened with the “Besorah” – Good News and it is critical that we recognise this especially at this time of year that fellowship is critical in the life of the body.

They broke bread and prayed together – they lived for one another and when there was need it was taken care of by all – this is what Shaḇu’oth also speaks to us of – a unified body living as one in Messiah!

They met every day – you know the world tells you that if you see too much of each other you will irritate each other and ruin the friendship – well I want to say that is not Scriptural – for those filled with the Spirit of Elohim can fellowship daily and the relationship never weakens – it only strengthens!!! Can the Spirit of Elohim be seen in your life – does your life represent that of a Spirit filled Believer who has the Torah upon their heart?

This feast of Shaḇu’oth is not only a historical event that took place in the desert or in Yerushalayim – this is His Appointed Time – a Feast that has been fulfilled by the work of יהושע Messiah and it shows us how we are to walk and live before יהוה today.

This day, known in the Greek as ‘Pentecost’, is the day of Shaḇuoth and this Hebrew word שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇuoth is the plural for the word שָׁבוּעַ shaḇua – Strong’s H7620 which means, a period of 7 (days, years)’, which comes from the denominative verb - שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’; and from this root we get the Hebrew word for seven, which is the word שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651.

Having said that, we recognise then that this is, in a manner of speaking, the Feast of Oaths or Feast of Sevens, where we are able to joyfully celebrate the Covenants of Promise, that we were once excluded from and had no expectation and were without Elohim in the world, have now, in Messiah, been brought near, by His blood! We have not only been brought near, by His blood, as celebrated by the blood of the Passover Lamb that was slain, but in celebrating this Feast of Oaths/Sevens, we rejoice in the fact that His Covenants of Promise have now been written on our hearts, giving us a firm expectation in our Master, as we work out our deliverance, each and every day, with fear and trembling!

In order for you to get a clearer understanding of the significance of this Feast of שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇuoth I will show you a few Hebrew words and their meanings, along with the ancient pictographic rendering of these words that give us some wonderful insight into the perfect work of our Master and Elohim, along with our responsibility as a Bride that is making Herself ready for the soon return of our Coming Husband, Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah.

This word – שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇuoth – is the first word that I would like to show you, and as we look at this word in the ancient pictographic text we are able to glean a powerful understanding of our reason for rejoicing!

In the ancient pictographic script - שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇuoth meaning, ‘sevens, oaths’, looks like this:

tawwawayinbeitshin

Shin - שָׁ:

This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and this also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

 

Beyt בֻ:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

 

Ayin - ע:

The original pictograph for this letter is ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’, and can also render the concept of knowledge revealed!

Waw/Vav – וֹ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as  waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying down of 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’.

Taw – ת:

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

When we look at these pictographic symbols of the word for שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇuoth we can see the message being made clear through this Feast, as it can render for us the following meaning, in terms of the requirements of the Covenants of Oaths being secured by the Blood of Messiah, by which we have now been sealed by His Spirit:

THE WORD OF THE HOUSE HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN AND SEEN (WORD MADE FLESH) IN ORDER TO SECURE US AND SEAL US (FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION)!

 

In order for us to get to this Feast day of Shaḇuoth we are commanded to count to 50! In other words, we take note that our Master and Elohim requires us to be a people who can count. We are to be a ‘counting people’ and as we understand how we are continually reminded that we are to know how to count or else we may be in great danger of being in a place of not understanding His great plans for us, we see how He has taught us to count to 3,which we previously were unable to do when enslaved by false traditions; and He also taught us to count correctly to 7 in order to keep His Shabbat and so establish the sign between us and Him forever (Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12,20). Now that we can count to 3 and 7 – it does not stop there – we learn to take a great step forward in our counting ability by being able to count to 50! All these are very important numbers that any child of Elohim ought to be able to correctly count to as they all point us toward His work of Redemption and Deliverance for us!

Counting requires a concentrated effort and it requires a daily choice of choosing life over death, blessing over curse and the joy that this responsibility brings must result in our alert ability to call many out of darkness – for we know the times – after all we can now count!

The Hebrew word used for ‘count’, in our instruction to count 50 days to Shaḇuoth, is the word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 which means, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune, as already discussed in this commentary.

As we count the cost of following our Master and surrender and submit our lives to His Word that leads us, we then recognise how we are to be hearers and doers of His Word and not simply hearers only!

Doing” the Word implies a proper obedience that does what the Master commands us to do and here at Shaḇuoth we are commanded to ‘perform’ the Festival of Weeks to יהוה.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘perform’ comes from the root word עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 meaning, to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute and can also mean, celebrate, which I think is very fitting, as it is truly a great ‘joy’ TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed!

So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth – when we diligently observe and guard to do all He commands us to do – it is a great joy and a delight and not heavy at all!

A derivative of this root is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 and means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’. The Acts of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience.

Our obedience in ‘doing’ or ‘performing’ this Feast should be evidenced with great commitment and joy!

We shall be known by our fruits based on our proper reverence and submission to our Master, which shall be evidenced in our “acts of obedience”, as we walk in righteousness, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, all the time!!! We are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

As we consider this root verb עָשָׂה asah in terms of our need to ‘perform’ this Feast and be doers of the Word, we recognise that we can only be proper doers if we are in fact looking intently into the Word, and when we see this word in the ancient pictographic script we gain further understanding of what it is to be a proper doer of the Word!

In the ancient pictographic script, the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 which means, to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute, celebrate looks like this:

 

Ayin - עָ:

The original pictograph for this letter is: ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge.

 

Sin - שָׂ:

This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

 

Hey - ה:

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.

 

When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture, we can see the meaning of:

LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!

This teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!

Ok… we have counted… and having come to Shaḇuoth we are now commanded to perform this Feast!

As we look intently into the clear instructions given to us, in regards to performing the Feast of Shaḇuoth, we take note that a key component of our performing this Feast is one of rejoicing!

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘feast’ 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 – Strong’s H2287 which means, to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’.

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

The Feasts of יהוה, which includes His Sabbaths, are separated gatherings and cannot be properly performed alone!

We are commanded to rejoice before יהוה and the command to perform this separated gathering is to be done according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you.

The Hebrew word for ‘rejoice’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound! A derivative of the verb שָׂמַח samaḥ is the adjective שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ - Strong’s H8056 and carries the meaning, glad, joyful, merry, pleased, rejoicing.  

In the ancient pictographic script, this word שָׂמַח samaḥ and שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ looks like this:

chetmemshin

Shin - שָׂ:

This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

 

Mem – מַ:

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!

 

etח:

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!

When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:

THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!

 

This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!

 

This Feast has a clear commanded call for a formal observance of this event, done so with great joy, and even dancing!!!

While this may sound obvious, many still battle with the ‘HOW’ part of faithfully observing this Feast. So ‘How are we to perform this Feast?’ The text here in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:10-12 tells us ‘how’! Firstly, we are told that we perform this Feast to יהוה our Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you’! Other translations render this as, ‘with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand which you shall give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you’.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘according to’ or ‘with the tribute’ is from the root word מִסָּת missath – Strong’s H4530 which means, sufficiency, enough, tribute, full amount, proportion affordable’.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘voluntary offering’ is from the root word נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071 meaning, voluntariness, freewill offering, volunteer freely, willingly and comes from the word נָדַב naḏaḇ – Strong’s H5068 meaning, to incite, impel, make offerings willingly, volunteers.

Tehillah/Psalm 54:6 “Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your Name, O יהוה, for it is good.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:8 “Please accept the voluntary offerings of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.

This speaks of our willing choice to offer up our lives in wholehearted devotion to serving our Master – and to do so voluntarily is a great expression of our joy in loving Him as we should, with praise and thanksgiving. This speaks of our eagerness and willingness to freely offer up our lives as a living offering and incite others to do so too!

Therefore, we are able to see the ‘how to’ of keeping this Feast being clearly explained: you bring with your hand a sufficient voluntary offering! One’s ‘hand’ speaks of that which you do, or that which you have been equipped and enabled to work with, and this Feast therefore calls for one’s hand to be moved to bring a tribute unto יהוה – a tribute that is in accordance to His blessing upon your life! How has יהוה blessed you? This is a Feast to come and show it by the voluntary offering of your hand!

To do so ‘voluntarily’ is to do so with great joy and not under compulsion:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver.

 

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:16 we are told that a new grain offering was to be brought on Shaḇuoth and the Hebrew word that is used for ‘grain offering’ is מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present.

This ‘minḥah’ does not always require blood, and is most frequently referred to as the ‘grain offering’ which represents the gift being offered, that was prepared by the hands of the one bringing the gift, and given to the High Priest, to present before יהוה, and a remembrance portion was taken from the offering and offered up to יהוה, and the rest was set-apart for the priests only. At Shaḇuoth we wave two loaves of bread as the ‘wave offering’ – and this offering of bread is baked with leaven – and this is the ‘Bikkurim’ to יהוה!!! However, we take note that no portion of this offering was burnt on the slaughter place for a remembrance offering, for no leaven was to be burnt in an offering unto יהוה, and this leaven that is in the bread being waved is a picture of the ‘good leaven’ of the Kingdom that has permeated the whole body of Messiah, as the old leaven of sin has been cleansed and washed away!

Luqas/Luke 13:20-21 “And again He said, “To what shall I compare the reign of Elohim? 21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.

This parable teaches us that these three (3) measures of flour that leaven has been hidden in, until all is leavened, is a great picture of the three (3) times a year all men were to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate the Feasts of יהוה, which collectively would cover all seven (7) Feasts; and this wave offering of the ‘Leavened bread’ at Shaḇuoth is a clear picture of the establishment of a ‘renewed’ Covenant, sealed in the Blood of Messiah and confirmed by the outpouring of His Spirit, so that the 3 witness together – that is the water, blood and spirit - which can also represent the 3 measures of flour:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5: 6-8 “This is the One that came by water and blood: יהושע Messiah, not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the Truth. 7 Because there are three who bear witness: 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. And the three are in agreement.

 

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!!!

This can also be understood as:

BY THE BLOOD OF MESSIAH, WE (HIS BODY) HAVE BEEN WASHED, RENEWED AND SEPARATED UNTO HIM AND WE SUBMIT AND GIVE OUR LIVES AS A DAILY LIVING OFFERING!

The minḥah clearly pictures for us today how we are to be a ‘daily living offering’ and with it being a ‘newminḥah, we also recognise that from the Hebrew word for ‘new’ being חָדָשׁ ḥaḏash – Strong’s H2319 which means, new, new thing, something new and in its primitive root form means, to renew, repair, restore, how we are to be continually reminded, as Sha’ul teaches us in Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2, to offer our lives as a daily living offering and be transformed by the ‘renewing of our minds’.

The Wave offering:

The Hebrew word that is used for ‘wave offering’ is תְּנוּפָה tenuphah – Strong’s H8573 and means, ‘wave offering’, or ‘the offering that was lifted up and waved and presented before יהוה’, in a figurative way of giving it or releasing it fully to יהוה; and this carries great significance for us as we too need to realise that our lives are to be lifted up as a wave offering before יהוה; and that includes everything we have, as we lift up our hands in the declaration that all we have is presented to יהוה; and that we now belong to Him, having been bought at a price and betrothed by the Blood of the Lamb; and have been sealed with His Set-Apart Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:21-22But He who establishes us with you in Messiah and has anointed us is Elohim, 22 who also sealed us, and gave the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” 

On Shaḇuoth we wave the two loaves of Bread which represent the two Houses of Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl being brought together as one in the Hands of our Redeemer, High Priest and King, and it is also symbolic of the two tablets of the witness of the Ten Words, that the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl heard in the Wilderness, which were then written on stone as a witness. With the first two stones having been broken by Mosheh when he came down and saw the perverted worship in the camp, he was required to make two new stones like the first, upon which יהוה would write the 10 Words again.

This was a powerful shadow picture of the renewal that we celebrate on Shaḇuoth! With Yisra’ĕl, a called out, chosen and betrothed Bride, who broke her marriage vows and covenant with יהוה; יהוה was already declaring His promised provision, by Mosheh having to make two stones like the first, that יהוה had made and upon which יהוה would once again write His 10 words; prophetically declaring that the very Word of Elohim would be made flesh and come down to be broken for us, taking on the form of the flesh in order to redeem us from the sinful nature, and ‘make new’ the true witness of His Covenant seal and pledge over us, as His called out and chosen Bride in Messiah, who has now made it possible for His Torah to be written upon the fleshly tablets of our hearts by His Spirit through the Blood of Messiah!

The ‘wave offering’ celebrates the promise of renewal or rather the making of a renewed covenant.

In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word תְּנוּפָה tenuphah – Strong’s H8573 which means, ‘wave offering’, looks like this:

heypeywawnuntaw

Taw – תְּ:

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

Nun – נ:

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’.

Waw/Vav – וּ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as  waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying down of 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’.

Pey – פָ:

This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as pey, which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established – ‘The Spoken Word’!

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!

 

Therefore, we can see that this wave offering of the two loaves is a proclaiming of that which has been renewed, made new, and by these pictures we can see that it declares to us:

THE COVENANT OF LIFE HAS BEEN SECURED BY THE REVEALED WORD WHO IS TO BE PRAISED, or:

BEHOLD THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT THAT IS RENEWED AND SECURED BY THE WORD WHO WAS LIFTED UP AND WHO IS TO BE PRAISED!

Or:

BEHOLD THE COVENANT HAS BEEN RENEWED AND WE HAVE BEEN ADDED AND SECURED BY THE REVEALED WORD WHO IS TO BE PRAISED!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:31-33 “See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, 32 not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה. 33 “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

These verses are quoted in Iḇ’rim/Hebrew 8, and what we celebrate on Shaḇuoth is this very promise that has been given by יהוה, our Mighty Elohim – His Torah now on our hearts!!! At Mount Sinai 3000 died as a result of rebellion and on this day at Mount Tsiyon, and the renewal of the Covenant, sealed by the outpouring of the Spirit, 3000 were added to the number of the body that day – a complete restoration of death to life, that His Word proclaims for us who call upon His Name and guard to do His commands! Messiah has renewed the Covenant in His own Blood and secured for us the promise of everlasting life, sealing us by His Spirit and continually intercedes for us as He lifts us up, equipping us to be the wave offering of set-apartness and a faithful Bride!

Shaḇuoth celebrates our Marriage/Betrothal with our Kinsman Redeemer - יהושע Messiah, and the account of Ruth and Boaz is a very powerful and great shadow picture of us being redeemed and betrothed to the King!

It was around the Feast of Shaḇuoth that Ruth lay herself at Boaz’s feet to ask for his protection, and in the same way we come to the feet of the Messiah, the very Bread of Life, and receive His protection. Bo‘az gave her enough food for her and Na‘omi to see them through until he returned from making arrangements to redeem them together.

This is very symbolic for us, as it is through יהושע Messiah, Our Redeemer, that we are given His Spirit and Word to see us through while He is away making final arrangements for our complete redemption.

All of these words are certainly ancient pictures to remember! I would like us to look at one more Hebrew word that I feel is pictured prophetically in this Feast, despite it not being used in the instructions of this Feast. That word is the Hebrew word Yoḇel - יוֹבֵל – Strong’s H3104 means, ‘a ram, ram’s horn (a wind instrument) or trumpet’, and is also translated as jubilee, as it is used to mark or signal the year of release, which would be every 50th year, which is prophetically pictured through the counting of 49 days with Shaḇuoth being the 50th day, upon which the Spirit was poured out and the promise of release was sealed upon the hearts of the body of Messiah!

 

In the ancient pictographic script, this word Yoḇel - יוֹבֵל – Strong’s H3104 looks like this:

lamedbeitwawyad

Yod – י

The ancient script has this letter as yad which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

 

Waw/Vav – וֹ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as  waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying down of 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’.

 

Beyt בֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

 

Lamed - ל:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

 

As we consider this word in terms of the announcement of the release that our Master and Elohim came to proclaim we are able to see the following:

 

THE WORK OF THE ARM AND HAND OF יהוה SECURES THE HOUSE OF THE SHEPHERD!

With the House of the Shepherd being secured by the work of our Master we have the ability to hold fast to the expectation we have in Messiah, as we faithfully wait for the His soon return at the sounding of the Trumpets of Elohim.

The Yoḇel sounded long on Shaḇuoth in the Wilderness of Sinai when Yisra’ĕl heard the voice of יהוה speaking the 10 Words of the Marriage Covenant and on Shaḇuoth in Yerushalayim there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, as the Spirit of Elohim was poured out on the believers!

We are the Dwelling Place of Elohim, which has been secured by the work of His Outstretched Arm and Hand and are no longer slaves to sin, but are sons and daughters of the Most High Elohim!

Galatiyim/Galatians 4:6-7 “And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir of Elohim through Messiah.

On Shaḇuoth we gather together and celebrate the assurance we have in Elohim, as being a secured Dwelling Place where He will come and dwell in the midst of; and on Shaḇuoth we collectively celebrate our betrothal to Him, having been sealed with His Spirit in our hearts, giving us the ability to be the continual daily living offering that counts the cost of following our Redeemer, equipped to perform the set-apart service of a faithful priesthood that rejoices in our Master and King!

Shaḇuoth marks the celebration of the gift of the Set-Apart Spirit that we are able to receive by faith, through the Blood of Messiah, being made one in Him. Our responsibility as a called out and chosen Bride, is to walk steadfast in being a daily living offering, and offer up our lives as a voluntary sacrifice, giving Him, who has redeemed us, our all in all!

As we enjoy this Bread Feast of Weeks together, may we be reminded of the sure and promised hope of His soon return and hold fast to that which we have been brought near to….!

May we be faithful as a Bride who makes Herself ready – for all of us here have said the ‘I do’ – therefore let us remember our ‘Marriage vows’ and live accordingly as we walk by His Torah/Marriage covenant now written upon the fleshly tablets of our heart, sealed by His very breath – His very Set-apart Spirit.

In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:12 we are given further insight in ‘how’ we are to keep this Feast, and in doing this helps us embrace the true heart of voluntary rejoicing! We are told to ‘remember that we were slaves in Mitsrayim and we shall guard and do these laws’. The Hebrew word for ‘remember’ is זָכַרzaḵarH2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’, from which we get the word זִכָּרוֹןzikkaronH2146 meaning ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’. We are to remember that we were slaves in Mitsrayim – in other words we remember that we were once not a people, but now are a people of Elohim! We were bought at a price, by the Blood of Messiah, our Passover Lamb; and this call to remember that we were slaves in Mitsrayim is for the clear purpose of remembering who we now are! We were once a people who were enslaved to the world and held fast under the heavy burdens of false dogmas and vain traditions of man, but now have been delivered from the house of bondage and set free to obey the True Master of all creation! This verse is very clear – remember that you were once a slave in Mitsrayim, so now you shall obey the Torah!!! It was on Shaḇuoth that the children of Yisra’ĕl heard the voice of יהוה from Mount Sinai and entered into a Marriage Covenant with the Most High; and after hearing the Ten Words they said to Mosheh that they would die if they continued to hear the voice of יהוה and said that Mosheh should hear the rest and come and tell them the commands and instructions, which they said they would guard to do! They too had been delivered from slavery and on Shaḇuoth were called to be a ready bride that would guard the Marriage Covenant! We know that this did not happen and after Messiah came to die for us and set us free from our sin and enslavement to the world, we come now to Shaḇuoth where we remember that were once gentiles in the flesh, without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world, but now in Messiah יהושע we who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. With this remembrance is the clear reminder that we are to guard and do His Word!

Romiyim/Romans 6:17-18 “But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.

Set free to serve! Set free from sin and enslavement to sin and lawlessness, in order to serve in righteousness – which is to guard to do all He commands us to! Shaḇuoth is a time to remember and rejoice in our freedom, and do not use our freedom as a cloak for evil, but rather to serve Elohim:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:15-16 “as free, yet not using your freedom as a cloak for evil, but as servants of Elohim.

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:13 “For you, brothers, have been called to freedom, only do not use freedom as an occasion for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Shaḇuoth marks the celebration of the Torah written on our hearts and we who were once enslaved, now have a law to live by! It was on Shaḇuoth that the taught ones in Yerushalayim received the Spirit that they were told to wait for; and so we rejoice in the assurance we have as having received a spirit of adoption – and we now have a Father who loves us and has set us free from sin and lawlessness!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:17Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom.

יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 8 that if we stay in His Word then we are truly His taught ones and we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set make us free, for if the Son makes us free we will be free indeed! Free to obey – for His Spirit is given to us as a pledge and assurance that we are His:

Romiyim/Romans 8:15-16 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim

We who have turned to the Master and have had the veil of deception removed from our eyes are now able to look intently into His Torah – a Torah of Freedom – and not be hearers only but also doers of His Torah of Freedom!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:25 “But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

Remembering that we were slaves in Mitsrayim and having been delivered from bondage to sin and lawlessness, we are reminded to not go back to that which we have been delivered from:

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:1 “In the freedom with which Messiah has made us free, stand firm, then, and do not again be held with a yoke of slavery.

Do not go back to Mitsrayim!!!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Mitsrayim for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, nor seek יהוה!

We do not shrink back but press on in the Truth as we fix our eyes on our Master, by staying in His Word and guarding the Torah with joy! This feast is not only a historical event that took place in the desert or in Yerushalayim – this is His Appointed Time – a Feast that has been fulfilled by the work of יהושע Messiah and it shows us how we are to walk and live before יהוה today.

On Shaḇuoth we also wave the two loaves of Bread before יהוה, symbolising the two Houses of Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl, coming together as a perfect Bride – a body being made whole through the Blood of Messiah – rid of sin and filled with the Good News – His Torah that has permeated the entire batch and is now presentable as a Bride ready for her King; as a body/community of Believers living in unity in His Word and are so mixed in to each other, living as One.

Shaḇuoth is also considered as being referred to as the ‘First trumpet’, as the announcing of the betrothal is sounded, is connected with the marriage union between יהוה and His people! The Last trumpet will sound on Yom Kippur when our Husband, Master, Redeemer and King shall come out of the Most Set-Apart Place to trod the winepress and destroy His enemies, and then gather His Bride to Himself! It is at Yom Teruah that we hear the sound of the awakening blast and have a ‘remembrance of Teruah’ – that is a remembrance of the Trumpet sound that we are betrothed and the Bride had better be ready, dressed and with lamps filled with oil!

It is on Shaḇuoth that we celebrate the renewal of the Marriage Covenant and how we are now called to stay in the Word and guard to do His laws, for this is how we live set-apart lives unto the Master!

 

Yom Teruah – Verse 23-25

Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.

This verse is such a powerful declaration of how blessed the people are who know the sounding! The sounding of what, you may ask? Well, the Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘the sounding’ is the noun תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 which means,a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy, which comes from the root verb רוּעַ rua – Strong’s H7321 meaning, to raise a shout, give a blast, sound the alarm, shout for joy, and it is on the 1st day of the 7th month day that we certainly raise a shout and blow the shofar/trumpets as we have a remembrance of Teruah!

This day of Yom Teruah is a day where we have a qoḏesh miqra (set-apart gathering) – and on this day, we are to have a ‘remembrance of Teruah’.

The word for ‘remembrance’ in Hebrew is זִכָּרוֹןzikkaron’ – Strong’s H2146 meaning ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’ and comes from the root word זָכַרzaḵar’ – Strong’s H2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’. It is therefore a day for to remember Teruah.

 

As we consider the command to have a ‘remembrance of Teruah’ we also must take note that this is a command to be mindful of and therefore we can see how true blessed are those who ‘know the Teruah’!

What are we to know and what are we to remember? The Teruah!!!

The first thing that we are to most certainly remember is what took place at Mount Sinai when Yisra’ĕl ‘heard the sounding of the Yoḇel and the voice of the shofar’ on the third day. They were given two days to get ready and on the third day יהוה came down and spoke the 10 Words of the Marriage Covenant. The Bride was given ‘two days’ to get ready and on the third day they were to ‘meet’ with יהוה! This is a clear prophetic shadow picture of when He is coming down to be with us, His Bride. Therefore, on Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets we remember that we are betrothed and recognise our need to be a ready and spotless Bride.

We can also go back and be reminded about what took place in Yerushalayim in Ma’asei/Acts 2 on the Feast of Shaḇu’ot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, when the 120 believers who were gathered for this Feast were filled with the Set-Apart Spirit and the Torah was written upon their hearts, as the Marriage Covenant that was given at Mount Sinai, was now renewed in the Blood of Messiah and written on the hearts of the obedient believers!

On this day, there was the sound of fire that was similar to what was ‘heard’ at Mount Sinai, and so we therefore remember how the Marriage Covenant has been renewed/repaired/restored in the Blood of Messiah; which we who were once far off from are now able to be grafted back in to. In understanding that we are to remember that we are ‘betrothed’ to יהושע we must recognise the need to keep our garments of righteousness clean as we wait for our soon coming Bridegroom.

To put it plainly, it is a day that we are to guard in remembering that we are betrothed to our soon coming Master, Elohim and King! This day is also typically referred to by many as ‘The Day of the awakening blast’, and for good reason I might add, especially as we consider the clear use of this word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643.

The word תְּרוּעָה Teruah is used to signify an alarming sound that signals a distinctive sound that must be heard and properly responded to! The Hebrew word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 is used 36 times in 33 verses, and in order for us to get a better understanding of the call for us to remember the Teruah and how those who know the Teruah are blessed, I thought it best to take a look at each of the verses where this word is used and recognise how important it is for us to recognise the blessing of remembering the sounding!

I have already quoted 2 of the 33 verses that contain the Hebrew word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 (Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 & Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:24). Let us now take a look at the rest before coming back to Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 where we will be able to recognise and understand the blessing of knowing the sounding (Teruah) and the resulting action that comes to those who are blessed!

I will simply be going through Scripture in the order in which we find this word, based on the order of the books as found in the ISR Scriptures 2009 edition, which has followed the Hebraic order of the TaNaK (Torah (law/instructions), Neḇi’im (prophets), Kethuḇim (writings)), numbering the headings in the order in which they are found:

תְּרוּעָה Teruah – (2):

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:9 “You shall then sound a shofar-sound on the tenth day of the seventh new moon, on Yom haKippurim cause a shofar to sound through all your land.

Here we are given the clear instruction regarding the shofar sound that is to be sounded on Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement). It is used to signal the distinctive sound of the shofar on the day of Yom Kippur that would fall in the 49th year, in order to announce that the following year would be the Yoḇel (that is ‘the Jubilee’ – ‘the year of release’) and therefore proclaim the release with the Teruah sound of the shofar, giving people enough time to prepare for the release.

Please take note that the year of release does not start on the day of Yom Kippur in the 49thyear, as it is only proclaimed on this day, as there would still be another 5 months before the beginning of the Yoḇel (year of Jubilee)!

 

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(3&4):

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 10:5-7And when you blow a shout, the camps that lie on the east side shall depart. 6 “And when you blow a shout the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall depart – they blow a shout for them to depart. 7 “And when the assembly is to be assembled, you blow, but do not shout.

Here in this passage we take note that the Hebrew word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 is used 3 times (once in verse 5 and twice in verse 6) and is translated as ‘shout’. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘shout’ in verse 7 is the verb רוּעַ rua – Strong’s H7321, from which the noun תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 is derived.

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘blow’ is תָּקַע taqa – Strong’s H8628 that means, to thrust, strike or clap hands, blow, give a blast, trumpeter, pledge oneself. This word is often used in describing the ‘blast’ or ‘blow’ of the trumpet call, and in terms of praise we are able to see how we are to blow the shofar in praise!

Tehillah/Psalm 81:3 “Blow the ram’s horn at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our festival day.

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 10:10And in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed times, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over your peace offerings. And they shall be a remembrance for you before your Elohim. I am יהוה your Elohim.

What we can learn from the instructions given to blow a Teruah in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 10:5-6 regarding the proper order of departures is that this distinct sound had to be known by all, so that no camp would be left behind or out of order in any way and highlights for us the blessing of knowing the distinct sound that calls for the camps to move as commanded. This sound was blown from the two silver trumpets that was to be made for the calling the congregation and for breaking camp.

 

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(5):

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 23:21He has not looked upon wickedness in Yaʽaqoḇ, nor has He seen trouble in Yisra’ĕl. יהוה his Elohim is with him, and the shout of a Sovereign is in him.

The Hebrew word וּתְרוּעַתuteruath is translated as ‘and the shout’ and here it is used in the construct state with ‘Sovereign’, signifying that it is ‘the Sovereign’s shout’. When a feminine noun ending with the letter ה (hey), such as Teruah (תְּרוּעָה), is used in the construct state, the ה is converted to a ת (taw), in this case it becomes ‘torath’ (תְרוּעַת). These were the words that Bilʽam spoke as part of him blessing Yisra’ĕl when Balaq had hired him to curse Yisra’ĕl, and no matter how much Balaq, the wicked king of Mo’aḇ, wanted to curse Yisra’ĕl by hiring Bilʽam, the false prophet, Bilʽam could not curse but could only speak that which he was given to speak by יהוה. In this blessing of Yisra’ĕl he declared that the ‘shout’ of a Sovereign is in Yisra’ĕl; and so, we see a clear prophetic pointing to Yom Teruah, when the Trumpets will sound and the wrath of Elohim will begin to be poured out; and this will certainly be the time when the most intense efforts of the enemy to curse Ya’aqoḇ will be exercised. Those who know the sounding have the assurance of being under the shelter of the Most High! For though Yisra’ĕl was, in a manner of speaking, in the ‘valley of death’ they did not need to fear the evil cursing of the enemy for the shout of יהוה is in Yisra’ĕl!!!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(6):

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 29:1And in the seventh new moon, on the first day of the new moon, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work, it is Yom Teru’ah for you.

This verse is another clear command regarding the feasts that are to be kept as this chapter 29 of Bemiḏbar/Numbers deals primarily with the instructions regarding the Feasts of the 7th month.

This verse gives us the same clear instruction regarding the set-apart gathering we are to have on Yom Teruah as already discussed with the verse from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:24!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(7):

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 31:6And Mosheh sent them on the campaign, one thousand from each tribe, them and Pineḥas son of El‛azar the priest on the campaign, with the set-apart utensils and the trumpets for sounding in his hand.

Here the word הַתְּרוּעָהhateruah is translated as ‘for sounding’.

Mosheh sent 12 000 armed ones (1 000 from each tribe) to go and take vengeance on the Miḏyanites, along with Pineḥas who went with the set-apart utensils and the trumpets for sounding.

This was a sure way to make sure all the surrounding nations would see the power of יהוה whose vengeance it is to put to death and keep alive! So, 12 000 armed men against 5 kings and their armies would be a very powerful display of the mighty and power of יהוה. Each tribe had a 1 000, showing that each tribe is equally responsible in their role of guarding safety in the body and refuting all forms of strife, no matter how big or small you are! Pineḥas was sent with the 12 000 and this is a powerful picture of Messiah who is our Captain and Chief Priest who leads us and fights for us and Pineḥas is certainly a picture of being an agent of salvation as it was through his boldness of standing up and putting to death the whoring in the camp that the plague of death had stopped, therefore representing for us the need for us to always be armed for battle with Messiah as our head.

To try to fight any battles without our Master and Elohim leading us by the sound of His voice would be to do so in vain – but with Him we need not fear the size or strength of the enemy! Pineḥas had the trumpets for sounding in his hand and this too is a picture of Messiah, who calls us to battle:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 14:8 “For indeed, if the trumpet makes an indistinct sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?

We are told in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:4 “for יהוה your Elohim is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 4:20 “In whatever place you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, join us there. Our Elohim fights for us.

Pineḥas represents for us a physical and visible sign of the presence of יהוה who leads us and fights for us!

What we must also take very clear not of here is that not one of the 12 000 armed men were injured!!!

Blessed are those who know the sounding – that is the distinctive Teruah vice of Elohim, who calls us to stand and be armed in His Truth and not be found without oil when He comes!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(8&9):

Yehoshua/Joshua 6:5 “And it shall be, when they make a long blast with the horn of a yoḇel, and when you hear the voice of the shofar, that all the people shout with a great sound. And the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him.

Shout with a great sound! The word תְּרוּעָה Teruah is also used to signal the shout of a great sound that would cause the enemies walls to come down and the Hebrew root word translated as ‘shout’ is רוּעַ rua – Strong’s H7321; and the Hebrew word translated as ‘great’ is גָּדוֹל gaol – Strong’s H1419 and means, ‘great, highest, mighty, marvellous’; and the Hebrew word translated as ‘sound’ is תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643. This was the great sound of victory that was shouted by all the people at the sound of the shofar, as the walls of Yeriḥo came crashing down!

This was the instruction that was given and in verse 20 we see that it was carried out:

Yehoshua/Joshua 6:20 “And the people shouted when the priests blew the shopharot. And it came to be when the people heard the voice of the shofar, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. And the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.

What we can learn from this is that when we remember what happened at Yeriḥo we can be reminded to remember that we are to be strong and courageous and be a praising people as we shout a shout of victory, for then the ‘walls’ that we may be facing will come crashing down! 

Walls do not just fall down by themselves, however when we are obedient to the Instructions/Torah of Elohim, remembering daily to hear, guard and do His commands and keep His Appointed Times, then we will see how He fights for us and will cause the strongest walls that lie ahead of us to fall!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(10&11&12&31):

Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 4:5-7And when the ark of the covenant of יהוה came into the camp, all Yisra’ĕl shouted so loudly that the earth shook. 6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What is the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?” And when they knew that the ark of יהוה had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “Elohim has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For it has never been like this before.

Here in this passage we see word תְּרוּעָה Teruah being used 3 times. This event has both a positive and negative lesson for us. Yisra’ĕl had gone out to battle against the Philistines and were struck heavily as they lost about four thousand men, and when they camp into the camp the elders called for the Ark of The Covenant of יהוה from Shiloh; and when the ark entered the camp all Yisra’ĕl lifted their voices and shouted so loudly that the Philistines feared at the sound of Teruah!!! While we can certainly learn that the enemy will tremble at the sound of our ‘shouting’ of praise, we can see that from the events that followed that Yisra’ĕl were struck down and thirty thousand foot soldiers were killed and the ark of Elohim was captured, and the two sons of Ěli, Ḥophni and Pineḥas also died!

That same day Ěli, the high priest died at the news of the capture of the ark of Elohim; and his daughter in law, the wife of Pineḥas, who was pregnant died upon giving birth after hearing the news that her husband and her father-in-law had died and that the ark had been captured! Before she died she named the child she bore Iḵaḇoḏ - אִי־כָבוֹד – Strong’s H350 which means, no esteemas the esteem of יהוה had departed from Yisra’ĕl!!!

The great lesson we can learn and remember is that we cannot ‘manufacture’ the presence of יהוה in order to get our way! The sons of Ěli were wicked priests and therefore did not bear the Ark of Elohim or serve Him in the correct manner, and this cost the nation greatly!

We must remember that while the enemy will most certainly tremble at the sound of our praise and rejoicing of Elohim, the enemy will still come at us and attack; and if we have not been serving in faithful obedience to His commands then the enemy will strike us down. This is a picture of the many who claim, with their lips, praise unto Elohim, yet their hearts are far from Him as they disregard the Torah and the remembrance of keeping His Sabbaths and Feasts and as a result will face a great destruction and be caught speechless due to their lawlessness that wrongfully assumed a rightful standing, based on an empty confession of a dead faith!

We can learn from this that while there may be a sound of truth, if the Truth is not in the heart and has no love expressed through obedience then that sound simply becomes a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal!!!

Therefore, as we ‘remember Teruah’ we must ask ourselves if there is a true ‘sound of obedience’ being expressed in our lives, where our mouths and hearts match up, reflecting that the Torah is in our hearts and mouths to do it, or has the sound of our faith just become a big noise that does not adhere to the score sheet of the music of the Torah of Elohim that we are to be ‘playing’ to???

In the next use of the word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 we are able to see contrasting events where the true sound of victory is heard at the return of the Ark of Elohim

In Shemuʼěl Bět we read of the account of the return of the ark of Elohim and learn great lessons in the correct manner of carrying His presence and serving Him with every step!

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:15Thus Dawiḏ and all the house of Yisra’ĕl brought up the ark of יהוה with shouting and with a voice of a shofar.

In the above verse, we see that Yisra’ĕl brought up the ark of יהוה with ‘shouting’, which is translated from the Hebrew word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643; and we also take note that it was ‘with the voice of a shofar’.

This account is also recorded in:

Diḇre haYamim/1 Chronicles 15:28So all Yisra’ĕl brought up the ark of the covenant of יהוה with shouting and with a voice of a shophar, with trumpets and with cymbals, sounding with harps and lyres.

The ark of Elohim was returned to Yisra’ĕl after it had been with the Philistines for 7 months, as they had been struck with deadly tumors and destruction from יהוה. The ark of יהוה was sent to Bĕyth Shemesh and was then sent to Qiryath Yeʽarim and remained there for twenty years in the house of Aḇinaḏaḇ.

Dawiḏ then went and brought the Ark of Elohim from the house of Aḇinaḏaḇ and they set it on a new wagon! As they were dancing along the way the oxen stumbled and Uzzah took hold of the ark of Elohim and was struck dead. The ark then remained in the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom and remained there for 3 months and his entire household was blessed! Dawiḏ then came to fetch the Ark of Elohim; only this time they carried it correctly!!!

They went six steps and stopped and slaughtered bulls and sheep – and this is a picture of us carrying the presence of יהוה with joy each and every day, working and walking in accordance to His Torah each and every day and then coming to Shabbat on the 7th day and offering up a set-apart gathering of praise!

What we are able to remember and learn, from these accounts, is that we are to carry the presence of יהוה correctly and not in any corrupted man-made formula!

He has given us His clear instructions/Torah on how we are to walk in Him and when we walk in the straight path of His Torah, we can do so with great joy and raise a true shout or תְּרוּעָה Teruah.

What is also worth taking note of here in this account given to us in Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:15 is that we see connection between ‘shouting’, which is תְּרוּעָה Teruah, being done alongside the ‘voice of a shofar’. In the previous example in Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 4:5-7 you will notice that there is no ‘voice of a shofar’! The voice of a shofar points us back to Mount Sinai and the giving of the commands:

Shemoth/Exodus 19:16 “And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And a voice of a shofar was very strong, and all the people who were in the camp trembled.

The link is very clear – True shouting of תְּרוּעָה Teruah is in regards to being lined up with, and in obedience to, the Torah of Elohim. The way we ‘carry’ His presence and are able to ‘shout’ is by guarding to do all His commands and remembering to keep His Sabbath and His feasts, for without this remembrance to obey the shouting is incomplete!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(13):

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:19 “O my inward parts, my inward parts! I am in pain! O the walls of my heart! My heart pounds in me, I am not silent. For you have heard, O my being, a voice of a shophar, a shout of battle!

Here we are able to take note that תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 also speaks of the alarming sound of the judgement that is coming upon the disobedient. The Hebrew word translated as ‘shout’ is תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643!

Despite the urgent call given to a backsliding Yisra’ĕl to return to יהוה and wash their hearts from all defilement, we see that even though a voice of judgement and trouble that was coming had been made very clear, they refused to listen and here Yirmeyahu cries out in anguish that the voice of a shofar and the shout of battle has been heard! Yisra’ĕl were not listening to the ‘shout’ of battle and were not taking heed of the awakening blast of battle that was coming upon them as the wrath of Elohim was about to be unleashed! יהוה then says that His people are foolish and do not know Him:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:22 “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

This is a very sobering reality of what we see happening today! Many people are not hearing this sound of the shout of war and due to a lack of knowledge they shall die! The day of the wrath of יהוה is coming and those who have ears and are not hearing are going to be in severe trouble! Blessed are those who know the sounding!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(14):

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 20:16-17 “And let that man be like the cities which יהוה overthrew, and repented not. Let him hear the cry in the morning and the shouting at noon, 17 because I was not slain from the womb, so that my mother should have been my burial-site and her womb forever great.

Here in this verse Yirmeyahu is using the picture of being like the cities that did not repent and were overthrown, giving us a possible reminder of Seḏom and Amorah that was overthrown for its wickedness and depravity and refused to hear any call to repentance. Yirmeyahu is expressing deep emotions due to the intensity of the situation and not just of his own, but of the whole world as the ramifications of what was about to happen to Yerushalayim was extremely crippling for all. Yirmeyahu was gripped by the fact that many refused to hear the shouting of destruction that was coming and sadly we see the same thing today as many refuse to repent from their crookedness and sin and are not taking heed of the warning cry of the Day of the wrath of יהוה that is coming. Despite feeling helpless and alone amongst a wicked generation Yirmeyahu knew that while everyone had betrayed him, יהוה had not! In remembering the Teruah and knowing the sounding we can take comfort in eth refuge we have in our Master and therefore must do our utmost in guarding ourselves against the influences of corruption and sin.

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(15):

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 49:2 “Therefore see, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall sound a battle cry in Rabbah of the Ammonites. And it shall be a heap, a wasteland, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Yisra’ĕl shall dispossess those who dispossessed him,” declares יהוה .

These were words that Yirmeyahu was given concerning the Ammonites who had distressed Yisra’ĕl and that their day of destructions was coming from יהוה. The remembrance of this תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 musty encourage us to know that our Master and Elohim is coming to destroy our enemies and all those who have oppressed the Bride of Elohim.

The Hebrew word רַבָּה Rabbah – Strong’s H7328 was the name of the capital of the Ammonites and means, great, and what we can learn from this is that sure truth of how יהוה is coming to bring low the great and lofty ones as He is coming to destroy the proud and therefore we need not fear those in the world who are seemingly ‘great’ in worldly stature, for their days are numbered!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(16):

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 21:22In his right hand shall be the divination for Yerushalayim: to set up battering rams, to call for murder, to lift the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to heap up a siege mound, to build a wall.

In this Chapter 21 we take note of the very stern words of warning that the prophet Yeḥezqěl was to speak and prophesy against Yerushalayim and the land of Yisra’ĕl and how יהוה was going to use the sovereign of Babel to bring destruction upon Yerushalayim and while using divination the sovereign of babel would come up against Yerushalayim and lift up a voice with shouting! This shouting is the voice of destruction that was coming because of disobedience! This sounding was not a good and pleasant sounding as it was the sounding of war and destruction that was coming, bringing the crookedness of Yehuḏah to remembrance, so that they would be taken into captivity.

As we remember this תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 we must be on guard against any form of crookedness that hinders our called for set-apartness and recognise the dangers that crookedness and sin can bring when the תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 sound is not remembered!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(17):

Amos 1:14 “So I shall kindle a fire upon the wall of Rabbah, and it shall consume its palaces, with a shout in the day of battle, with a storm in the day of the whirlwind.

As in the words of יהוה that we see in Yirmeyahu we are also able to see יהוה’s word of destruction against the Ammonites and their capital Rabbah as they will be consumed with a shot in the day of the battle of יהוה.

The destruction of the ‘great’ is made very clear as we also take note of the words we see in:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 25:2-7Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them. 3 “And you shall say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Master יהוה! Thus said the Master יהוה, “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My set-apart place when it was profaned, and against the land of Yisra’ĕl when it was ruined, and against the house of Yehuḏah when they went into exile, 4 therefore, see, I am giving you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you – they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 “And I shall make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. And you shall know that I am יהוה.” 6 ‘For this is what the Master יהוה said, “Because you clapped your hands, and you stamped your feet, and rejoiced with all the scorn of your being against the land of Yisra’ĕl, 7 therefore see, I Myself shall stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations. And I shall cut you off from the peoples, and make you perish from the lands. I shall destroy you, and you shall know that I am יהוה.

As we remember this תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 (shout) in Amos 1:14 we can be greatly encouraged in knowing that יהוה is coming to bring swift destruction upon those who have scorned at His land and His people, and that which was once cities of the great men of the world will become pastures for camels and resting places for flocks, signifying the peace that our Master and Elohim is bringing for His people!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(18):

Amos 2:2 “But I shall send fire upon Mo’aḇ, and it shall consume the palaces of Qeriyoth. And Mo’aḇ shall die amid uproar, with a cry and with a voice of a shophar.

The word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 is also used to sound the destruction that is coming on the enemies of Elohim!

The word translated as ‘cry’ is תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘uproar’ is שָׁאוֹן sha’on – Strong’s H7588 which means, a roar (of waters), an uproar, tumult, crash, big noise, clamour, destruction, and comes from the root verb שָׁאָה sha’ah – Strong’s H7582 which means, crash into ruins, devastate, lay waste, cause to be desolated. This root verb is translated as ‘laid waste in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:11 “Then I said, “יהוה, until when?” And He answered, “Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, and the houses are without a man, and the land is laid waste, a ruin

You will recall that this was the answer יהוה gave to Yeshayahu when he asked יהוה how long he was to speak to a people who would not listen!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(19):

Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 1:14-16 “Near is the great day of יהוה, near and hurrying greatly, the noise of the day of יהוה. Let the mighty man then bitterly cry out! 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and trouble, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 a day of a shofar and sounding – against the walled cities and against the corner towers.

It is a day of a shofar and תְּרוּעָה Teruah!!! This is the sound of warnings that we see being given in the prophets and the question we must always be asking ourselves is, “Am I listening?

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:11-12 “And all these came upon them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come, 12 so that he who thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall.

We need to ‘take heed’ and be sober and watchful as we make ourselves ready for our coming King!

As we consider the call to take heed, lest we fall, we must realise the real dangers that we face each and every day!

We must take heed against false teachers and those who mix their teachings with false traditions, teaching as teachings the commands of men while forsaking the Torah of Elohim! Messiah warns us in Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:4 that we must take heed that no one leads us astray and in Marqos/Mark 8:15 He tells us to beware against the leaven of the Pharisees and in Marqos/Mark 12:38 He tells us to beware of false scribes who love to be seen and make a show and be popular with the people! Sha’ul warns us in Pilipiyim/Philippians 3 to watch out for those who are falsely teaching others to get physically circumcised and calls them ‘evil workers’! He also warns us in Qolasim/Colossians 3:8 to not let anyone make a prey of us through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men and elementary matters of the word that are not of Messiah!

 

As we take heed and remember the shouting, and remember how we are all unique parts of the body of Messiah, we must not find ourselves neglecting our required set-apartness and responsibility to the body, and not be found hiding the talents He has given but make sure that we are building each other up in the Most Set-Apart faith and make sure that we do not stop running as we fix our eyes on our Master and Elohim!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(20):

Tehillah/Psalm 27:6 “And now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me; and I slaughter in His Tent with slaughters of sounding; I sing, yes, I sing praises to יהוה.

From the image of the psalmist saying that he slaughters in His tent with slaughters of sounding, we are able to grasp and understanding the picture of true obedience and worship as understood by the design of the Tabernacle, which we learn a great deal from in how we are to draw near to Elohim. This ‘sounding’, therefore, can help us to remember His Feasts and recognise what a joy it is to draw near to Elohim on His Appointed Times!!!

While we are certainly called to be a daily living sacrifice and offer up daily a slaughter offering of praise, we also recognise that we are to do this collectively as a body on His Sabbaths and His Feasts!

It is יהוה who fights for us and delivers us from our enemies all around and we are to walk in the victorious procession in Messiah as we praise and declare His praises and raise a shout to our King!

Here in this Tehillah/Psalm 27 the verb translated as ‘slaughter’ is the word זָבַח zaḇaḥ - Strong’s H2076 which means, to offer a sacrifice, sacrificed’, from which we get the noun that is translated as ‘slaughters’, which is זֶבַח zeḇaḥ - Strong’s H2077 and both of these are also used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 4:5 “Offer slaughterings of righteousness, and trust in יהוה.

We ‘offer’ up our lives as a living ‘sacrifice’ with joy and thanksgiving, and we take note that with the זֶבַח zeḇaḥ offering, there is to be a pure expression of appreciation:

Tehillah/Psalm 107:22 “And let them bring slaughterings of thanksgiving, and relate His works with rejoicing.

Tehillah/Psalm 116:17 “I bring You a slaughtering of thanksgiving, and call upon the Name of יהוה.”

In these two verses, we see again the two root words being used, and so we can begin to understand the following text:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.

Kěpha Aleph/ 1Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light

Our ability to slaughter a slaughtering of sounding must never be hindered and as we consider the blessing of knowing the sounding and remembering the sounding is that we must continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(21):

Tehillah/Psalm 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; play sweetly with a shout of joy.

Here the word בִּתְרוּעָהbiteruah is translated as ‘with a shout of joy’.

This verse is pretty much self-explanatory as we recognise that singing to our Master carries the distinct sound of תְּרוּעָה Teruah and the joyous remembrance of what He has done for us!

The Hebrew word used here in this psalm for ‘sweetly’ is יָטַב yataḇ – Strong’s H3190 which means, to be good, well, glad or pleasing and can carry the understanding of what it means to be in a state of having proper characteristics or performing an expected function. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘play’ is נָגַן nagan – Strong’s H5059 which is used 15 times in Scripture and has the meaning,to touch or play a stringed instrument, minstrel, pluck the strings’:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 38:20 “יהוה, come to save me! And let us sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of יהוה.

Making songs and singing songs to stringed instruments is a great expression of praise boastfully praising in יהוה, which we are blessed to enjoy here at ATFOTC, together!

What we can see here in terms of knowing the sounding and remembering the Teruah is that we are to make our boast in Elohim with good and pleasing praise done with instruments and voice, carrying the clear distinct sound of true praise and worship for our Mighty Elohim!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(22):

Tehillah/Psalm 47:5 “Elohim shall go up with a shout, יהוה with a voice of a shophar.

Here the word בִּתְרוּעָהbiteruah is translated as ‘with a shout’.

Our Master and Elohim is to be held in awe and is to be greatly feared because He is the Most High! The Hebrew word for ‘Most High’ is עֶלְיוֹן elyon – Strong’s H5945 which means, high, exalted, and is used a title for יהוה, and comes from the root word עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 which carries the meaning of, to go up, ascend, climb, offer, exalted!

This root verb עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 is used in verse 5 (verse 6 in Hebrew text) in telling us that Elohim ‘shall go up’ (עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927) with a shout.

Then we are told that it is יהוה with the sound of a shofar. This is clear covenant language as we are reminded again of the voice of a shofar that we have spoken of and recognise that it sounded very loud and the people trembled in:

Shemoth/Exodus 19:16 “And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And a voice of a shofar was very loud, and all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Shemoth/Exodus 19:19 “And when a voice of the shofar sounded long and became very strong, Mosheh spoke, and Elohim answered him by voice.

The ‘Last trumpet’ will be blown on Yom Kippur when our Master and Elohim shall come out of the Most Set-Apart Place, take off His High Priestly garments and put on His Kingly Robe and come and trample the winepress in His wrath and then fetch His Bride. The ‘first’ of the last 7 trumpets will sound on Yom Teruah with the 7th trumpet being sounded on Yom Kippur.

The root verb עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 is also used in a clear riddle that is found in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:4Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if you know it?

The answer is clear as we take note in verse 9 that the writer of this proverb recognised the danger of seizing the Name of Elohim by saying ‘who is יהוה’, and therefore answers this powerful riddle that many refuse to understand, by stating that the one who has gone up and come down is יהוה!  Sha’ul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:8-10 “That is why it says, “When He went up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” 9 But what does “He went up” mean, except that He also first went down into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who went down is also the One who went up far above all the heavens, to fill all.

Recognising that יהושע Messiah is the One who went up on High, after He first went down, we recognise that He is the Most High – He is עֶלְיוֹן elyon – Strong’s H5945!

In Tehillah/Psalm 47 we are told why יהוה Most High is awesome! It is because he has subdued all peoples and nations under us and has chosen our inheritance. Do you see what this means?

Our Mighty Saviour and King has destroyed the power of the enemy and secured for us our inheritance, for the meek shall inherit the earth, as the righteous shall be left in it while the wicked shall be plucked out! יהוה is to be worshipped because He is fearful –which describes His awe and majesty that inspires a proper praise! In a song of Asaph we see the clear declaration that יהוה is Most High over all the earth:

Tehillah/Psalm 83:18 “And let them know that You, whose Name is יהוה, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

He is has gone up with a shout and with the voice of a shofar sits on High and is the One unto whom all praise is due and as we remember the sounding we are reminded to continually praise the Most High Elohim, who is our Saviour and King!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(23):

Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.

We will look at this verse after the others!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(24):

Tehillah/Psalm 150:5 “Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals!

This second last verse in the Psalms reminds us of the resounding praise we are to be giving to our Master and here it emphasises the distinct sound of cymbals or percussion instruments, which are instruments that are sounded by striking, shaking, or scraping in a skillful manner.  The picture we get here is one of a unified orchestral sound where all the instruments blend to make a powerful praise unto our King and while this has a literal call to play instruments awe also recognise how awesome the sound of true united praise is before our Master when done with both instruments and voices that are in unity!

What this verse reminds us of in terms of making a resounding sound of praise with cymbals is that we are to be bold in our praise and not be held back or intimidated in any way, as we make a confident boast in our Elohim and Saviour!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(25):

Iyoḇ/Job 8:21While He fills your mouth with laughter, and your lips with rejoicing

The word translated as ‘rejoicing’ is תְּרוּעָה Teruah and we are reminded that it is יהוה who fills us and it is He who fills our mouth with laughter and our lips with the true ability to praise, through His life-giving Word that is our daily and lawful bread!

What we are to remember in terms of this is that we are to be a people who ‘rejoice always’, and so at the ‘remembrance of תְּרוּעָה Teruah’ we find that it is a good time to reflect on our attitudes! Are we truly rejoicing always and do we rejoice when we face all kinds of trials, or do we find ourselves moaning and groaning at some of the pressures and hardships we face along the way??? Let us be reminded to be a rejoicing people – for we have truly nothing to moan about as we walk in Messiah who gives us abundant life!

Those who know the sound remember to rejoice, no matter the circumstances!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(26):

Iyoḇ/Job 33:26He prays to Eloah, and He accepts him. And he sees His face with joy, and He restores to man his righteousness.

Here the word בִּתְרוּעָהbiteruah is translated as ‘with joy’.

In these words of Elihu to Iyoḇ he spoke much about the relationship between man and Elohim and here he makes it clear that the one who prays to Eloah and is accepted by Him shall see His face with ‘joy’ as He restores man to righteousness!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘accepts’ comes from the root word רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, to be pleased with, accept favourably, delight, take pleasure in, which we see being used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His loving-commitment.

He clearly ‘accepts favourably’ those who ‘fear’ Him, and the Hebrew root word here for ‘fear’ is יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3373 meaning, to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect, and also is used as an adjective to describe one who is wise, and therefore giving us the better meaning of, to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, and respect.

The use of the word תְּרוּעָה Teruah here in Iyoḇ/Job 33:26 can cause us to be reminded of the fact that one day we shall see our Master and Elohim face to face!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.

What a joyous day this will be!!! Having said that we take note of the joy that we are to walk in now, as we look intently in to the mirror of the Word and do not forget what we look like, as we put on the full armour of Elohim and are dressed in the righteousness that He has restored unto us through the Blood of Messiah!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(27):

Iyoḇ/Job 39:25At the blast of the shophar he says, ‘Aha!’ And from afar he smells the battle, the thunder of commanders and shouting.

The Hebrew word וּתְרוּעָהuteruah is translated as ‘and shouting’. From the beginning of Chapter 38 we see יהוה speaking directly to Iyoḇ by asking him a series of 50 questions from Chapter 38:1-40:1, after which Iyoḇ answered by saying that he was insignificant and there was nothing that he could do but put his hand over his mouth.

This verse is speaking about the splendour of a horse that is described from verse 19-25, and is one of the animals that יהוה asks Iyoḇ if he had given the horse its strength or covered its neck with a mane or if he was able to make it leap like a locust.

When one takes an in-depth look at the closing chapters of Iyoḇ and the series of questions that יהוה asks and leaves Iyoḇ speechless we take note that we too must never presume to know how יהוה has made everything the way it is, for His ways are higher than ours and in terms of the description of the fearlessness of a horse and how it smells the battle from afar and can hear the sounding, we take note that we too are to know the sounding, which can only do when we are walking according to the functional design of our Creator and guarding to do what He commands us to do from His Word!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(28&29&30):

Ezra 3:11-13 “And they responded by praising and giving thanks to יהוה, “For He is good, for His loving-commitment towards Yisra’ĕl is forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised יהוה, because the foundation of the House of יהוה was laid. 12 And many of the priests and Lěwites and heads of the fathers’ houses, the old men who had seen the first House, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this House was laid before their eyes, and many shouted aloud for joy, 13 and the people could not distinguish the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.

 

Here again we see the use of the words גָּדוֹל gadol, רוּעַ rua, and of course - תְּרוּעָה  -Teruah!!!

This chapter begins with telling us that in the 7th new moon they kept Sukkot and from the first day of the 7th new moon they began to offer up ascending offerings, while the foundation of the Hěḵal had not yet been laid, so money and provision was given to the builders and they had completed laying the foundation in the second new moon of the following year and at the completion of the foundation of the House they all raised a shout and praised Elohim!

We are reminded that יהושע is the Chief Cornerstone and the foundation has been laid for the House of Elohim and we are the living stones that are being built up together in Him; and as we remember this we too can have a remembrance of shouting as we praise our King and shout a great shout! The shout here was heard far away!!! We are not to be silent in our walk of faith but must proclaim with a loud voice and so the remembrance of תְּרוּעָה Teruah can also cause us to realise that we are not to hide our light but rather shine it through faithful obedience and tell others of His great Besorah (Good News)!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(31):

Diḇre haYamim/1 Chronicles 15:28So all Yisra’ĕl brought up the ark of the covenant of יהוה with shouting and with a voice of a shophar, with trumpets and with cymbals, sounding with harps and lyres.

Discussed above along with (10&11&12)

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(32):

Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 13:12And see, with us as Head is Elohim Himself, and His priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Yisra’ĕl, do not fight against יהוה Elohim of your fathers, for you are not going to prosper!”

Here the word בִּתְרוּעָהbiteruah is translated as ‘with sounding’.

These were some of the words that were spoken against Yaroḇ’am who was the first king of the House of Yisra’ĕl and has rejected the Lěwites from being priests and had appointed his own priesthood. In this chapter, we see Aḇiyah who was the son of Reḥaḇ’am and the second king of the House of Yehuḏah, speaking out against Yaroḇ’am and in this speech he made it clear that the true priests of Elohim have the sounding trumpets with which to sound the alarm against Yaroḇ’am and made it clear that for them to fight against יהוה would not be a prosperous move for them, for they did not have יהוה as Head and certainly did not have יהוה’s appointed priesthood!

From this we can learn a great deal about listening to those who our Master and Elohim has appointed to equip His body to maturity, for the true appointed priesthood has the sounding trumpets with which to sound the alarm against those who go astray! In a time where we see so many who are doing whatever is right in their own eyes we recognise that many would do well to remember the sounding alarm against walking contrary to sound teaching by being led astray by false ear tickling messages that do not line up with the plumb line of the Word and certainly carry a different sound that is Not the awakening תְּרוּעָה Teruah sound of Truth! Yaroḇ’am did not listen to the warning and set an ambush against Yehuḏah and when the men of Yehuḏah cried out to יהוה and the priests shouted with the trumpets, יהוה smote Yaroḇ’am and all Yisra’ĕl before Aḇiyah and Yehuḏah and 500 000 men of Yisra’ĕl were killed! This is a clear lesson on knowing the sounding, which Yaroḇ’am did not as he did not take heed of the clear warning and so too do we recognise how those who do not know the sounding shall be smitten in the Day of יהוה!

תְּרוּעָה Teruah –(33):

Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 15:14And they swore to יהוה with a loud voice, with shouting and with trumpets and with rams’ horns.

Here Yisra’ĕl was gathered in the third new moon!!! What happens in the third new moon? SHAḆU’OT - FEAST OF WEEKS – PENTECOST!!! This is the Feast where the renewed Marriage Covenant with Yisra’ĕl was written on hearts of believers and what is for us a great shadow picture of this event is what we are given by the accounts we see being spoken of here in Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 15 where it was in the 15th year of the reign of Asa that they entered into a covenant to ‘seek’ יהוה Elohim of their fathers (Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, Ya’aqoḇ) with all their heart and with all their being!

In verse 13 it says that whoever would not seek יהוה would be put to death, no matter your status in society – big or small if you did not seek יהוה you died!!! And as we can see from verse 14, they swore an oath with a loud voice, with shouting – that is – with תְּרוּעָה Teruah, with trumpets and with the shofar!!! 

Verse 15 goes on to say that they rejoiced concerning the oath that they had sworn with all their heart and being and that יהוה gave them rest all around!!!

This is a very powerful illustration that helps us remember what יהושע has given us access back into, by His Blood – the Covenants of Promise which we were once far off from and strangers to! We too, as a restored Bride, must shout and rejoice with all our hearts as we swear an oath to walk faithfully in Him and to guard to do His commands, for it is a joy for us to do and should cause us to rejoice – it is not hard or impossible as many false doctrines teach!

Remembering the sounding is to remember the joy of guarding the Marriage Covenant we have been grafted in to by walking in obedience to the Torah of our Husband and King.

Well there you have it – all 33 verses that contain the 36 times we see the root word תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643 being used and when we consider the command to have a Zikkaron Teru’ah - a remembrance of תְּרוּעָה Teruah we are certainly able to have a lot to remember and brig to remembrance as we consider each of these passages that contain the word תְּרוּעָה Teruah. For those who do not know the sounding (תְּרוּעָה Teruah - Strong’s H8643) there is not much hope whereas there is a sure blessing for those who know the sounding! Let us therefore take a deeper look into the verse that I started with – number 23 in the listed occurrences of the word תְּרוּעָה Teruah.

 

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO KNOW THE SOUNDING!

Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.

What a powerful verse this is!!! Blessed are those who know the festal trumpet call is how this could also be translated as we certainly recognise that the Appointed Times of Elohim are critical to our understanding of Scripture and the ability to know and walk in His commands as we follow His cycles and seasons gives us the blessing of walking in His light!

The Hebrew root word used here for ‘know’ is יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 and means ‘to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’ and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice and this verb can also render the ability to know by experience.

Those who know the sounding clearly know יהוה and are known by יהוה, for He knows those who take refuge in Him!

Naḥum/Nahum 1:7יהוה is good, as a stronghold in the day of distress. And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

יהוה chose Yisra’ĕl to be a people for Himself, not because they were more numerous that other peoples, but because of His loving-commitment to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ with whom He established the sure Covenants of Promise! Despite this clear choosing, Yisra’ĕl continually rejected the need to walk in set-apartness, and chose to follow after the ways of the world. The nation that was chosen to be a light to the nations did not shine the light of the Truth and as a result were unable to clearly make known to the nations who יהוה is.

Despite Yisra’ĕl’s claim to ‘knowיהוה, while they were clearly walking in rebellion to His commands, יהוה made it clear that despite their lip service, their actions proved that they did not ‘know’ Him!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:3-4 “An ox knows its owner and a donkey its master’s crib – Yisra’ĕl does not know, My people have not understood.” 4 Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, they went backward.

In this rebuke given to a rebellious and apostate people, it is made clear that even an ox ‘knows’ its owner and a donkey knows its master’s crib, yet Yisra’ĕl do not know יהוה. Here this word ‘know’ is also the Hebrew word יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice.

Yoḥanan/John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

To ‘knowיהוה implies the clear ability to ‘hear’ His voice and guard to do what He commands, for then He shall know His own!!! To know His voice implies that one is able to know the sounding and take heed of what is coming, making sure that they hear His voice and follow Him!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.

To love Elohim, gives us the sure promise that we are known by Him! Sadly, many do not ‘know’ what love for Elohim is:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.

The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of. As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah. There are so many liars out there today who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!! It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running claiming they know Him, yet will be rejected!

Those that know the Elohim and know the sounding are blessed!

The Hebrew word that is used here in Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 for ‘blessed’ is אַשְׁרֵיasherey which comes from the root word אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 which means, happiness, blessedness, bliss, and comes from the root verb אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 which means, blessed, lead, guide, to go straight, make progress to be advanced, to be led forth.

אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 is used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that יהוה is good; blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him!

A ‘blessed’ - אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 – man is one who fears יהוה, takes refuge in יהוה and who trusts in יהוה completely, submitting completely under the authority of His Torah:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, but blessed is he who guards the Torah.

It is also a blessing for man to not follow wrong advice:

Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.

The blessing of knowing the sounding is a clear picture of one who guards, meditates and walks in the Torah of Elohim, and that is why the second part of Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 tells us what the blessed people who know the sounding do:

They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.

 

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘walk’ is הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 which carries the meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’, and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life and also carries the meaning, to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively).

The root word for walk - הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

 kaphlamedhey

Hey – הָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is 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!

 

 

Lamed - לַ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

 

Kaph - ךְ:

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!

When we look at the letters that spell out the root word that for ‘walk’ we are able to see a great declaration:

BEHOLD THE STAFF IN THE PALM!

With the picture of the shepherd’s staff and the open palm of the hand we are able to see the concept of ‘staff in the palm’ and we take note that a nomad that travelled on foot would have a staff in his hand in order to provide proper support in walking, as well as having a weapon in his hand to defend against predators and thieves!

When we walk as we should we submit under the proper authority of our Good Shepherd and guard to do all he has commanded us to as we give Him the proper praise in all we do, being armed in His Truth that gives us boldness to walk upright amidst a crooked world, for we are able to know the sounding of our Good Shepherd as we know His voice!

 

The word used for ‘light’ here in Tehillim/Psalm 89:15 is אוֹר oor’ – Strong’s H216 which we know in Scripture, in being the opposite to darkness, carries with it the clear significance it has for us in speaking of knowledge and insight and understanding as opposed to ignorance and confusion.

Walking in the light of His face is a clear reference to obedience as we also take note of Dawiḏ’s appeal to יהוה to not turn His face away in displeasure:

Tehillah/Psalm 27:9 “Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in displeasure; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O Elohim of my deliverance.

In Yeshayahu we see the clear call to walk in the light of יהוה:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2:5 “O house of Ya’aqoḇ̱, come and let us walk in the light of יהוה.

When Yeshayahu was describing the coming reign of our King, he urged all to be urgent in their walking in the Truth and Light of the Torah of יהוה. The urgency of this command is clear in saying ‘come and let us walk’ and we see the repetition of the root word to walk in the intensive form literally commanding the following, ‘walk, let us walk!

This call identifies that there is no time to be sitting still and waiting for The Day to come – we are to be about walking in Him right now! This urgency in commanding and calling for an active walk was due to the current circumstances that had plagued YehuḏahYehuḏah had grown comfortable in their circumstances and as a result were being filled with all the wrong stuff! Yeshayahu was calling the people to walk in the light and as he looked around he saw what could be described as ‘dark living’ by a people who claimed to follow יהוה!

As we consider the blessing of knowing the sounding – that is ‘knowing תְּרוּעָה Teruah’ we recognise that the blessing is not just simply a knowledge alone but is an active application of obedience to the knowledge of Elohim as seen in one’s ability to walk in the light of His face.

Remembering תְּרוּעָה Teruah and knowing תְּרוּעָה Teruah is a blessing when one is actually taking heed to the voice of Elohim and following His Word and learning from the remembrance of all the תְּרוּעָה Teruah that we have looked at, teachings us the blessing of knowing and the curse of not knowing; and above all the need to remember that we are a betrothed Bride that must be ready for our Husband and King’s imminent return!

In closing this section on Yom Teruah I would like to show you the Hebrew word for Teruah as it is written in the ancient pictographic script.

As already mentioned, the Hebrew ‘Teruahתְּרוּעָה - Strong’s H8643 – means a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy which comes from the primitive root word רוּעַ ruaStrong’s H7321 meaning, to raise a shout, give a blast, sound the alarm, shout for joy, and it is on the day of Yom Teruah that we certainly are called to raise a shout and blow the shofar/trumpets.

This is how the word תְּרוּעָה Teruah looks in the ancient pictographic script:

 heyayinwawreshtaw

Taw – תְּ:

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

 

Resh – ר:

The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – resh – and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. This letter can mean ‘top’ – as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’ – as in head of a tribe or people, as well as the one who rules the people.

 

Waw/Vav – וּ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as waw, which is 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’. It is by the work of Messiah, in His own Blood, which has secured for us His Covenants of promise, to which we are added to; and His righteousness stands forever secured in Him!

 

Ayin - עָ:

The original pictograph for this letter is ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.

 

Hey - ה:

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.

 

BEHOLD THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT WITH OUR HEAD IS SECURED IN THOSE WHO KNOW HIM AND WHO FIX THEIR EYES UPON THE ONE TO BE PRAISED!

As you consider the תְּרוּעָה Teruah and its significant sounding let me ask you: DO YOU KNOW THE SOUNDING?

Can your answer be seen in your proper response of an obedient life that runs in the way of His commands and pursues set-apartness or have you found at times that your ear has been turned away from hearing the Truth as compromise has drowned out the true sound of the Good Shepherd?

 

Yom Kippur – verse 26-32

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27-32 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. 28 And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim. 29 For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.

We are reminded to take special note of the following:

 

1 – It shall be a set-apart gathering for you!

We will be coming together on the 10th of the 7th month (this coming 1st day) and have a SET-APART time of prayer, worship and fellowship – do not miss it! Just to recap on what set-apart gathering means:

A – Set-Apart:

Hebrew Word:  קֹדֶש- qoḏesh/ko-ḏeshStrong’s H6944 – and it means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’. The word is really self-explanatory and carries with it great weight in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest.

B – Gatherings:

Hebrew word: מִקְרָא - miqraStrong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together, which comes from the root word קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 meaning, ‘proclaim, call, read, summons, invite, to be called out.

2 – You shall afflict your beings! The Hebrew word used here for afflict is עָנָהanahH6031 and means, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’ and it can also carry the meaning ‘to be occupied or busy with’. Busy or occupied with what? Well the next word tells us – our beings! That is the word נֶפֶשׁnepheshH5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’. So then, it is a day that we are to humble ourselves and be busy with our being – that is, to be spending the time reflecting on our life; and that which needs to be dealt with must be dealt with. Typically, this is translated as the day when we deny our flesh of food or drink, and fast, with the sole focus on humbling ourselves in prayer before our Maker, and then come together as His body united as One!

עָנָהanah’ also carries the meaning of ‘giving an account or an answer. This carries the picture of the one who humbles himself and comes to give an account of what he has done. This can give us the picture of ‘coming clean’, so to speak, and confessing our sin. In order to do that one has to be looking at the One to whom you are coming clean to, and herein lies a powerful lesson in the ancient pictographic lettering of this word when understood in regards to Yom Kippur.

In the ancient pictographic text, the Hebrew word עָנָהanahH6031 looks like this:

heynunayin

Ayin - עָ:

The original pictograph for this letter is ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.

Nun – נָ:

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.

Hey - הּ:

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.

When we understand the command for us to be ‘busy with’ our beings, and ‘be occupied or bowed down and humbled’ before our High Priest and King, we are able to recognise through these ancient pictographic symbols, the concept of fixing our eyes on Messiah, the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our faith. The picture of the eye and the seed gives us the meaning of an ‘eye of continuance’, meaning that we continue to keep our eyes fixed on the One who is to be praised, for He has covered and cleansed us in His Blood!

 

3 – Bring an offering made by fire to יהוה! We know that the offering made by fire is a whole burnt offering – that is that we come to surrender all and allow our lives to be presented as a living sacrifice. It is on this day when the work that we have done in Messiah will be tested through fire!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is יהושע Messiah. 12 And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.

4 – It is the Sabbath of Sabbaths! – This is the only day outside of the weekly Sabbath that is actually referred to as a Sabbath. It is a Sabbath of rest to you – שׁבת שׁבתוןShabbat Shabbaton”.

Other feasts are referred to as ‘Shabbaton’ which is a ‘Sabbath like rest’, but this day specifically is referred to as a Sabbath, irrespective of what day it falls on – because this is the Day when יהוה finishes and completes His redemptive work for His Ready Bride! This is the Sabbath of Sabbaths!!! Now this Sabbath is unlike the others in that this is the day when we, as I mentioned, ‘afflict our beings’ and the stern warning we have here in is that anyone who does not afflict their being on this day, or if anyone works on this day, that being will be ‘cut off and destroyed from the midst of his people’! Scripture is very clear on this – so, no excuses!

This day signifies so much for us, and it is so much more than just a day of ‘fasting’, as it is a culmination of, and the bringing to completion, the work of Messiah in us, as His redeemed body!

This is the day when the Master is coming out of the Set-Apart Place to begin to “complete His work on the 7th day”; and on that day we will be able to show Him what we have made with that which He gave us - the talents which He has given us (each one according to his ability). Now for many this may not be a very pleasing day as they have only viewed the Master from a viewpoint of being a ‘hard man’, and have not lovingly laboured for Him and have done nothing with what they had. But for us who labour daily in Him, working with what He has apportioned each one of us – this will be a wonderful day of hearing the words we all would like to hear… “Well done, good and trustworthy servant”. The Parable of the Talents is a clear reference to this very day, when the Master comes back and the servants must give and account, as their ‘offering made by fire’, that is their works, are tested!

It is on this day when He comes back that we do not want to be found thinking about what we could have or should have done – for it will be too late. And so, as we keep this Feast as a shadow picture of what is to come, we should all be aware that it is certainly a time for us to take account of our walk in Messiah. Are you walking or running or simply standing still?

Yom Kippur – this day symbolises the complete purification of the Bride of Messiah – the Day of Atonement.

One might ask why do we have this day separate from Pěsaḥ – isn’t that when we were redeemed? This is a good question, yet יהוה’s Appointed Times are perfect shadow pictures for us, and so in understanding these great shadow pictures, it could best be explained as Pěsaḥ symbolising for us personal redemption – it was on that day we were bought at a price and received our personal deliverance. Pěsaḥ symbolises for us the personal deliverance from bondage to slavery, as each household would put the Blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, so would they be saved. We each must accept, receive and apply the Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb personally in our lives. The Day of Atonement speaks of the national redemption of a nation, as a cleansed Bride has made Herself ready for Her Husband.

Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’. The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant as there was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so what he translated it to was – ‘At-One-Ment’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’. This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’! So this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all, and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour, who is not only the Pěsaḥ Lamb, but is also the ‘ram’ that is provided for us, and the complete sin offering that covers us and cleanses us in His own Blood!

The Hebrew word for atonement is כִּפֻּרkippurH3725 and comes from the root word כָּפַרkapharH3722 and means: to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone. As a noun, it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour. It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’! Wow – we are ‘covered’ – that is - Atoned for by His Blood!!!

Noaḥ was commanded by יהוה to cover the ark inside and out with pitch – he was told to ‘Kaphar’ (cover) the ark with ‘Kopher’ - כֹּפֶר H3724 (a covering):

Berěshith/Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with a covering.

Kaphar’ also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us.

It also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished. Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!

 

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the very word we have been looking at, ‘kaphar’ is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times in the entire book! 39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system where the other times are descriptive regulations in regards to the instructions for the Day – this alone is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!

 

Scripture clearly teaches us that atonement involves something which is lacking (or leaking in respect to a boat not sealed), and is in danger of judgement (or sinking) – and then having that lack (which is caused by sin) covered with something that will restore and keep it from sinking or being destroyed, just as the pitch applied to ancient boats would keep them from sinking!

It is only by the favour and loving-kindness granted by יהוה, who has the power of life and death over us, that His liberal smearing or covering us inside and out, that is the covering of the soul of man with His favour and loving-kindness through the blood of יהושע, our High Priest, that man can be kept from sinking in a relationship with his Creator. When sin occurs, a price must be paid.

Yom Kippur is the day when יהוה will be reconciled with His creation – a day set aside and appointed for Him to pardon, to cleanse and to forgive. It was only on this one day of the year that ‘one’ among the children of Yisra’ĕl were able to come ‘face to face’ so to speak with יהוה and live! – This occurred when only the high priest in office entered the Most Set-Apart place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 gives us the entire ceremony that was instructed by יהוה, for the High Priest to perform, and clearly shadow pictures for us the perfect cleansing and atoning work of Messiah, our High Priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq.

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:29-34 “And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. 30 “For on that day he makes atonement for you, to cleanse you, to be clean from all your sins before יהוה. 31 “It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict your beings – a law forever. 32 “And the priest, who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, the set-apart garments, 33 and he shall make atonement for the Most Set-apart Place, and make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, and make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 “And this shall be for you a law forever, to make atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as יהוה commanded Mosheh.

This day of Yom Kippur was the day that was set-apart each year for the nation to be cleansed from all their sins before יהוה, and this is what we come to carefully consider, as we ‘afflict our beings’ each year, and recognise the perfect work of our High Priest and King, who has perfected for us the cleansing we need, in His own Blood. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin, and so was only a covering each year until the perfect Blood of Messiah that can take away sin, would come to cleanse us!

This Hebrew word for cleanse is טָהֵרtaherH2891 and means the following: “to be clean; to cleanse; purify’ made clean”, “properly to be bright; to be pure – that is physically sound, clear, unadulterated, morally innocent”, “to be purged, purify, to declare something or someone clean.

You get the picture; He makes us clean – really clean – by His Blood! This Word ‘taher’ is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:19, where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on the horns of the altar and all around, seven times. 7 as we know signifies perfection, and so by the Blood of יהושע there is a perfect cleansing, and a perfect reconciliation! It is also used twice in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:30, telling us that the atonement that is made for us is to cleanse us from all sin before יהוה!

And so we can clearly see how the picture of Atonement is fully met by His sacrifice, and our cleansing in His Blood is sufficient in cleansing a Bride that makes Herself ready for His soon return, equipping His Bride to be cleansed from dead works and ready to serve the Living Elohim.

Iḇ‘rim/Hebrews 9:11-14But Messiah, having become a High Priest of the coming good matters, through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 entered into the Most Set-apart Place once for all, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained everlasting redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?

It is through the one time atoning sacrifice of Messiah that He makes His Bride ‘taher’.

Because of this we have the full assurance that when we come to Him and confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Hebrew word for cleansing is טָֽהֳרָה tahorah – Strong’s H2893 meaning, ‘purifying, cleansing, becomes clean, purification’ and comes from the primary root verb טָהֵר taher – Strong’s H2891.

As we look at the Hebrew word טָֽהֳרָה tahorah we see a wonderful picture in this word alone that speaks of our need to come to Messiah who cleanses us from all sin. Why I say this is because, when we look at the ancient symbols of these letters we get a clearer picture of the very message of this total and complete cleansing that is given to us by the Blood of Messiah, contained in just one word!

טָֽהֳרָה tahorah – read from right to left, are the letters: ט -tet; ה -hey; ר -resh; הhey; and when you see this word as written in the ancient pictograph script we see the message clearly:

The original pictograph of these letters (from right to left):

heyreshheytet

Tet – ט:

The original pictograph for this letter is tet, which is ‘a container made of wicker or clay’. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are ‘basket, vessel, contain, store, clay vessel’.

Hey –ה:

The original pictograph for this letter is hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The Modern Hebrew and original name for this letter is “hey”. The meaning of the letter is ‘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!

 

Resh - ר:

The Ancient picture for this letter is resh, which is ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.

Now in terms of the cleansing we have in the Blood of Messiah, we see through this pictograph lettering of:

 טָֽהֳרָה tahorah the following message:

We, as ‘clay baskets’ come and surrender to Him, and ‘raise our hands’ in acknowledgement of His perfect atonement, and confess our sins/lawlessness before our ‘Head’ and High Priest, יהושע Messiah; and put our lives into the hands of Him who ‘lifts us up’ from the miry clay, and makes us clean and purifies us from all unrighteousness!

We have been covered and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and we will soon be with Him forever. Yom Kippur is a time for us to reflect and remember what our High Priest has done for us, and be reminded that we are to walk as His Spotless Bride, as He cleanses us through the washing of His Word. This is a day to afflict your beings – why?

Well it is a day to realise and remember that we are to lay down our lives – to put to death the flesh and intercede for the rest of the lost Bride, as we embrace His work of salvation that will be made complete on this Day of Yom Kippur, and so as we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, may we not take lightly the importance of this Great Day that pictures for us the work of Messiah יהושע who took His Blood into a temple not made with human hands and offered His Blood on the altar, perfecting for all time those who are set apart.

Covered and Cleansed is what Yom Kippur pictures and proclaims for us, as a Bride being made clean and ready to be reunited with her Groom forever!  As we wait for Him, we are cleansed in Him by the putting off of the fleshly, and clothing ourselves with His righteousness, which is to be walking in obedience to His Torah as we eagerly await His imminent return with great anticipation!

Sukkot – Verse 33-44

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:13-15Perform the Festival of Sukkot for seven days after the ingathering from your threshing-floor and from your winepress, 14 and you shall rejoice in your festival, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates. 15 “For seven days you shall celebrate to יהוה your Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses, because יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be only rejoicing!

The Hebrew word for ‘booths’ is סֻּכֹּת ‘Sukkoth’ which is the plural of the root word סֻכָּהsukkah’ H5521 which means, a thicket, booth, shelter, hut, temporary shelter, canopy, tent which comes from the noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den, which comes from the primitive root verb סָכַךְsaḵaḵ’ H5526 which means, ‘to overshadow, screen, cover, hedge or fence about or to entwine as a screen, weave together, knit together’, and helps us understand a little more of just how important this performing of the Feast of Sukkoth is, for we are being knit together as a body of Messiah, under whose wings we find rest, shelter and safety! Now that is something to rejoice about! This root verb is translated as ‘shelter’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because You shelter them; and let those who love Your Name exult in You.

Other translations have translated this word סָכַךְsaḵaḵin this verse as ‘defend’ or ‘protect’, which speaks not only of יהוה being our defender and protector but also pictures for us how His Booth or dwelling with us brings that protection in which we can freely rejoice.

The Hebrew noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den, in the ancient script, looks like this:

kaphsamek

Samek - סֹ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield, protection’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.

 

Kaph - ךְ:

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. The picture of the palm of the hand also represents ‘covering’.

When we look at these two pictographic letters we are able to see that the thorn that represents protection and the hand that represents covering, we get a combined meaning of ‘PROTECTED COVERING’!

Having said that, when we look further at the word סֻּכֹּת ‘Sukkoth’, we take note of the additional letter – ת – ‘taw’ that is added and looks like this:

tawkaphsamek

Taw – ת

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

Can you see the clear significance of Sukkoth? With the additional of this letter ‘taw’ that has the meaning of covenant or seal we take note that the Word סֻּכֹּת ‘Sukkoth’ in the ancient pictographic lettering can render for us the following:

PROTECTED COVERING OF THE COVENANT!

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:42-43 tells us that we are to dwell in booths for 7 days so that we know that יהוה made Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when He brought them up out of Mitsrayim, and also is a joyous reminder how He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.

The Greek word translated as ‘you should proclaim’ is ἐξαγγέλλω exaggellō – Strong’s G1804 which means, tell out, proclaim, publish, declare, make known by praising or proclaiming, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘we show forth’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 79:13 “And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we show forth Your praise.

The Greek word used in Kěpha’s letter for ‘praises’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise etc. In essence this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command!

Just one thing I need to clear up in keeping Sukkot! Many often question whether they should stay in a tent/temporary booth for 7 days as they claim that this command given in verse 42 is only for ‘native born’ and therefore does not apply to all.

Well for those who think so, I am going to burst your bubble! What is a native born or better put, what makes one a native born?

Shemoth/Exodus 12:48 “And when a stranger sojourns with you and shall perform the Passover to יהוה, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and perform it, and he shall be as a native of the land. But let no uncircumcised eat of it.

Do you see what this verse tells us? First of all, what we must recognise is that only those who are circumcised may eat the Pěsaḥ Meal (that is, those who have been immersed in Messiah, and we all need to be immersed as there is no slave nor free, Greek, male or female in Messiah), and by eating this Meal we become as a native of the land!!! There you have it – By eating of the Pěsaḥ Meal we become as a native born and there is one Torah, so all who are in Messiah must keep this feast by dwelling in ‘booths/temporary dwellings’ for 7 days. And just a quick note – a hotel is not regarded as a ‘booth’!

CHAPTER 24

In verse 1 we see the word ‘command’ being used in almost a militaristic way, emphasising the importance of doing what is being called for and here we see the clear instruction give to Yisra’ĕl in making sure that clear oil of pressed olives for the light is brought in so that the lamps burn continually!

There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me) to be bringing clear oil and allowing the lamp of His word to continually burn in us. We must not be found to be without oil like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps. The high priest was to arrange it day and night before יהוה and we see some very important lessons and picture contained herein. Firstly, clear oil could only be obtained by going through the process of being crushed under the weight of a millstone and then put in a mesh bag and placed under an olive press (gethsemane) where the oil would be squeezed out under the immense pressure of the weight of the olive press.

יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, intercedes for us day and night before the throne and He is the One who walks in the midst of the Lampstand, and we can understand from this that there is still a great requirement from each of us to bring the clear oil before our high Priest in order that the lampstand is continually lit!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘clear’ is זַךְ za – Strong’s H2134 which means, pure, clean, clear and comes from the root verb זָכַךְ zaḵaḵ – Strong’s H2141 meaning, to be pure, clean, to be bright. זַךְ za is used in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:8 “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the innocent, his work is right.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘pressed’ is כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, beaten and comes from a word that means ‘to be or crush by beating’, and this word for ‘pressed’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘light’ is מָאוֹר ma’or – Strong’s H3974 which means, a luminary, light, shining, and comes from the root word אוֹר or (oor) – Strong’s H215 meaning, to be or become light, give light, shine’.

The Word of Elohim – is both a lamp to our feet and a light for our path:

The word used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, lamp, candle, light. Now a lamp in ancient times would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid such as oil in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand! The picture here is that as we take each step, our hand (which speaks of our works) needs to hold up (that is to do) the lamp (which is the Word) in order to let our eyes see the path before us!

 

In the ancient pictographic script the word for נֵר nerlamp, would look as follows:

reshnun

nun  - This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as a ‘spouting seed’, and 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.

resh - This is the letter ‘resh’ (ר), which in the ancient text is pictured as ‘the head of a man’, and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.

In terms of us seeing these letters being expressed as ‘lamp’, we are able to clearly identify who gives us our light and who is our lamp – יהושע Messiah, who is our Head and is The Seed!

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:8Remember that יהושע Messiah, of the seed of Dawiḏ, was raised from the dead according to my Good News

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.

We who are grafted in to Messiah by His blood become the seed of Aḇraham:

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:29 “And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, has caused us to be equipped to shine His truth and be a light to the nations, as we walk according to His commands. As we, the remnant seed who are guarding the commands of Elohim and possess the witness of יהושע Messiah, and shine the Truth will be under severe attack from the enemy who will try to put out the Light of Elohim in our lives:

Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.

This word for lamp - נֵר ner – is also used in:

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:29For You are my lamp, O יהוה, And יהוה makes my darkness light.

Shemoth/Exodus 25:37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it.

This was part of the instructions given for the construction of the Tabernacle and the lampstand with its seven lamps that were to be in the Set-Part Place giving light over the table of showbread, and this is also a clear pointing to the seven lampstands as seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 & 3, and how יהושע walks in the midst of these!

To the assembly in Ephesos in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 יהושע reveals Himself as the One who walks in the midst of the 7 golden lampstands and warns the assembly at Ephesos that if they do not repent and return to their first works (that of walking in the Torah – the good works prepared beforehand for us to do!) then He would remove their lampstand!

Now understanding that Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 tells us that The Word of יהוה is a lamp for our feet, and as we understand that in the Hebraic mind-set that feet is often a term used in reference to keeping His Feasts and His commands and speaks of actively walking out in obedience in doing the works of faith, then it becomes clear that the ‘clear oil’ that we bring is in our ‘faith with works’ – works of obedience in being a set-apart people who guard His commands and keep His Feasts; and this we do as we walk ‘in’ Messiah and are then able to ‘bring our oil’, as we walk in the Spirit, to Him that He can continually keep our lampstand alight!

We have been instructed on how we are to be a set-apart people and we have seen that as a royal priesthood, set-apart and chosen, we are to be even more urgent in our daily lives in being continually set-apart in Him as we guard His charge and keep His Feasts – for this is well pleasing to Him and it comes at a price as the world and its ways may crush us and persecute us for His Name’s sake yet we rejoice in our trials that we may grow, become mature and be filled with oil and not lack anything as we faithfully serve our High Priest and King!

The lamp was to burn ‘continually’ which is translated from the word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually.

This is a clear picture for us in the command to keep our lamps burning continually:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:44 “That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever

How we keep our lamps burning continually is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘burn’ is עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 meaning, to go up, ascend, climb, approach, go. A derivative of this root is the term used for ‘whole burnt offering’ - עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway. The olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, just as Messiah offered up His Body as an ‘olah’ offering, so too are we to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and our lives are to be given totally up unto service and worship to יהוה. This instruction was to be given to the congregation – in other words the congregation was to totally be moved away from the tents of the wicked and be given totally up to יהוה.

The lamp is for our feet! The root word for ‘feet’ in Hebrew is רֶגֶלregel’ Strong’s H7272 and means ‘a foot/feet or to walk, and in Scripture this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and translated as ‘times’ in reference to the 3 times a year all males were to appear before Elohim at Yerushalayim which would collectively cover all 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim, marking out the clear need to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!

The Feasts were not limited to just 3 but rather all His Feasts were grouped in three – Pěsaḥ and Matzot were the one time you would celebrate in the 1st month; Shavuot the second time in the 3rd month and in the 7th month – Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) being the 3rd time. The term ‘celebrate’ in the Hebrew carries the implication of dancing and literally to dance in a circle or cycle – speaking that we keep this cycle every year with great rejoicing. Three is also symbolic of stability as a 3-legged stool is the most stable.

In the ancient script the Hebrew word רֶגֶל regel is written as follows:

lamedgimelresh

Resh - רֶ

The ancient script has this letter as resh and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.

 

Gimel - גֶ:

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!

 

 

Lamed – ל:

In the ancient script, this is pictured as lamed, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!

When looking at these pictographic letters, in terms of understanding our needed obedience to keeping the Feasts of יהוה, we are able to clearly understand the message in these, as: ‘In our walk of obedience, we gather as commanded, as we are led under the authority of our Head’. The beginning of our walk of obedience is to submit under the authority of our Good Shepherd and guard His Appointed Times of gathering!

In the parable of the ten virgins we also see the clear need to have our lamps filled with oil and not dare be found empty on the day of His visitation. And the command here in verse 21 for the priests to tend the lamps from evening until morning – a law forever – once again tells us how we too are to keep our lamps burning in these ‘dark times’ until the morning comes!

Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Now if our lamps are to be tended continually then we see the need to constantly be on guard as to what we set our eyes upon – for our eyes are to be looking to יהושע Messiah (Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2)!!!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, all your body shall be enlightened.

Our eyes are to be upon the Torah and we are to not be found sleeping and without oil!

Sleep is a reference to a believer having the principles of Torah but not appropriating them into their lifestyle or walk, thus scripture references them as one who is sleeping. We are reminded that the bride is to be “watchful” and to keep her lamp burning continually. The decorations on the lampstand/menorah in the tabernacle were fashioned after the almond blossom. The word for ‘almond’ in Hebrew שָׁקֵד shaqeḏStrong’s H8247 comes from the root of the same spelling שָׁקַד shaqaḏStrong’s H8245, which means ‘to watch, keep watch, and lie awake’. Thus, to keep our menorah burning oil continuously we are to remain active in His word and not be found sleeping or our lamp may go out.

Verse 5-8 – the Bread

The two rows of bread to be arranged every Sabbath is again the emphasis being placed on us coming together as a body on His Shabbat! The two rows of 6 cakes represent the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl being made up from the two Houses of Ephraim and Yehuḏah.

The Bread is that of community but also speaks of the Word – The Bread of Life – the Living Torah – that we eat each week in a set-apart place as we have a set-apart gathering! The clear frankincense on each row would provide a pleasing aroma before Elohim, and the term literally means in its root form ‘clear/transparent whiteness’ and it reminds us that we are the Bride of Messiah, who each week comes together to eat of the set-apart Bread and are continually being made more transparent and able to shine His Bright light as we spend more and more time in his set-apart presence together!

To the assembly in Sardis we see that a remnant will walk with Messiah in white, and we do this as we keep oil in our lamps and hold fast to our work of faith in love for Him and His Torah:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:4-5 “Nevertheless, you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5 “He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.

Verse 10-14 – get rid of the immoral

As we continue to shine His presence and be set-apart we find that the things of the world grow dim and we see clearly that we are to have no part of any darkness for what union does light have with darkness and straight after these commands we see the effect of unequal yoking.

A child who had a Yisra’ĕlite for a mother and a Mitsrian for a father blasphemed the Name of Elohim, and all who heard him had to lay their hands upon him and the entire nation then stoned him to death.

This laying hands upon the one who cursed is a picture of the goat for Azazel upon which the sins of Yisra’ĕl were placed and sent outside the camp.

Anyone who had witnessed the cursing and refused to put their hands upon the boy would have rendered themselves guilty of partaking in his sin.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:32 “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Aḏam, it shall be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Set-apart Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

יהושע made it clear here that there is a sin that is unforgiveable and that is to blaspheme and curse and speak against the Set-Apart Spirit which is what this boy did in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 24!

This example is also a stern warning for us as spoken of in not listening and guarding to do the commands of Elohim, especially after we have heard:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrew 10:26 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins

 

Verse 16 makes it clear – do not blaspheme the Name of יהוה, and so in a Torah portion where we see further instructions for us as a royal, set-apart priesthood not to blaspheme the Name we are given an example of what will happen if we do!

The closing verses emphasises that there is to always be right-ruling and justice according to the commands of Elohim in our midst. The command given for and eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth was not done away with when יהושע was here in the flesh! This command speaks of making a right restitution for what has been done; in other words, a fair payment should be given for the loss a victim incurs from another who harms him and the right compensation should be given. If a tooth is lost then the injured could not expect to get more than a tooth. Today we see people trying to get more than what they have suffered the loss of and when יהושע quoted this verse he was not replacing it but rather He was emphasising it!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:38-39 “You heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ 39 but I say to you, do not resist the wicked. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

What is interesting to note here is that יהושע does not say, ‘It has been written’, but rather, ‘You heard that it was said’, which implies that He was referring to the attempt of some who were trying to apply this passage here when someone offends our pride by teaching us a lesson. A slap on the cheek was often the prerogative of a master or teacher to his servant or student and we see in:

Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:30 “Let him give his cheek to the one who smites him – he is filled with reproach.

What is being said here is that when one is filled with reproach and is rebellious then give your cheek to the one who leads you or teaches you; and so, what יהושע was in essence saying, in quoting this verse from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 24, is that "an eye for an eye" did not fit the context of rebellion against authority, and a servant could in no way use this ‘eye for an eye’ concept to get back at their boss or teacher who disciplined or reprimanded them!

This is not a time to retaliate and strike back and so the correct response would be to drop one’s offended pride and humbly ask for more teaching so as to be able to understand why the slap came in the first place and learn from there. This was not about compensation for injury or harm, and so we see the clarity of yet another passage that many had twisted in His day and still do today to fuel their own rebellion against His Supreme Authority!

The Hebrew root word for ‘RIGHT-RULING’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us

There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!

 

There is one right-ruling for the native and stranger – now let us be set-apart!!!

Shalom!