WAYYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 25:1-26:2 – BEHAR SINAI – ‘IN MOUNT SINAI’

This week’s portion looks primarily at the Yoḇel (Jubilee) and we can glean a great deal of information from this powerful portion that reflects the power and joy of the true release that יהושע Messiah has bought for us!

Let us take a look at these powerful words given to Mosheh to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, on Mount Sinai.

The name of the portion is called בְּהַר סִינַי – ‘B’har Sinai’ meaning, ‘At Mount Sinai’, and it is very interesting to note that this terminology is used here. In fact this mentioning of Mount Sinai as the location is done after quite some time. The last time we see the mention of Mosheh receiving instructions or commands here is in Chapter 7:38, and while the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl had actually been at this location for the entire book, we note that these words were indeed spoken to Mosheh while he was standing on Mount Sinai, and is a clear reminder to us as to where we receive our instructions from. Mount Sinai is called ‘the Mountain of יהוה’:

Shemoth/Exodus 3:1 “And Mosheh was shepherding the flock of Yithro his father-in-law, the priest of Miḏyan. And he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to Ḥorĕḇ, the mountain of Elohim.

Shemoth/Exodus 3:12 “And He said, “Because I am with you. And this is to you the sign that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Mitsrayim, you are to serve Elohim on this mountain.

What we also take note of from the Scriptures is that the ‘Temple Mount’ in Yerushalayim is also called ‘the mountain of יהוה’:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2:3 “And many peoples shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths, for out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the Word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.

While both of these mountains are referred to as the mountain of יהוה, we clearly see that this, in Scripture, is almost as if they are considered as the same place; and what we can learn and understand from what is referred to as the mountain of יהוה, speaks of the place where we not only receive our instructions from Him, as His chosen and set-apart people, but also as the place where He meets with us.

In understanding the metaphor in Scripture for the mountain of יהוה as being the place where we can draw near to Him and come into His set-apart presence we realise that we are only able to do so by the Blood of Messiah which cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and we are to continually be reminded that in order to draw near to Elohim we are to remain in or stay in Messiah, by hearing His clear instructions and guarding to do them with all our being.

Dawiḏ asks in:

Tehillah/Psalm 24:3-4 “Who does go up into the mountain of יהוה? And who does stand in His set-apart place? 4 He who has innocent hands and a clean heart, who did not bring his life to naught, and did not swear deceivingly.

Just as Mosheh went up and met with Elohim on Mount Sinai, we see that this foreshadowed the work of Messiah in becoming the One who ascended to the Father and satisfied the instructions of Elohim that we, His Body, may have access to the Set-Apart presence of Elohim.

The only way we are able to go up into the mountain of יהוה is by having our hands cleansed from dead works and our hearts sprinkled having a clean conscience in Messiah; and therefore, we continue to draw near, by remaining in Messiah and not bringing our lives to nought through a disregard for His instructions, but rather we come close and listen attentively and do not swear falsely but hold fast to His commands and do them.

This is what the mountain of יהוה reminds us of – to recognise His great love for us in that He died for us and how we have now the responsibility to ‘keep our hands clean’ by hearing and doing His Good Word! This chapter emphasises straight up for us, by the location being given, that we are to take heed to listen carefully to what our Elohim instructs us to do through His Torah (Mosheh).

Verse 2

Knowing where our instructions come from is one very important and critical matter; and so too is the recognition of who it is who is giving them and realise that all we have is from Him!

In the Hebrew, the term ‘bring you in’ comes from the root word בּוֹא bo – Strong’s H935 which means, to come in, go in, bring in, enter, to cause to come in, to bring near.

It is יהוה who causes us to enter into the Promises through the Blood of Messiah!!!

The word used for ‘give’ is נָתַן Nathan – Strong’s H5414 which means, to give, put, set, ascribe, devote, give over, deliver up and a derivative of this word is נְתִינִים Nethinim – Strong’s H5411 which were the ‘temple servants’ or ‘given ones’ who served in the temple and often did menial tasks yet their lives were given over to service in the temple under the hand of the Lěwites.

He gave of Himself in order to give to us that which He promised to Aḇraham and in turn we too are enabled by His favour through the Blood of Messiah to ‘give’ ourselves totally over to Him as a daily living sacrifice serving Him with our all, in complete set-apartness.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the earth.

From this great promise of inheritance we can clearly see that we can be confident in our hope and expectation of what we shall inherit despite the intensity of pressure that may increase over our lives. This too further expels any notion of a falsely taught idea of a rapture of the set-apart ones, for clearly we are here to stay as we faithfully walk in righteousness!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:20-22 “So walk in the way of goodness, and guard the paths of righteousness. 21 For the straight shall dwell in the earth, and the perfect be left in it; 22 But the wrong shall be cut off from the earth, and the treacherous ones plucked out of it.

The above are great promises and assurances that were given to Yisra’ĕl who were enslaved and these promises are still His sure promises for us today! By His Mighty Right Hand He redeems us and delivers us and brings us out of darkness, to be unto Him a people called by His Name and to inherit the promises of His Covenants given to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ which has been renewed, refreshed, restored and sealed in the Blood of יהושע.

“…when you come into the land that I give you…”! All that we have is from יהוה and all that we are is of יהוה – something that we must always remember; and the Torah helps us to recognise and acknowledge this fact, for without Him we are nothing! It is all His and He has given the earth to us, and we had better be good stewards with what He has given us!!! This earth is our inheritance and we know that the meek shall inherit the earth and the wicked and rebellious will be plucked out of it.

Tehillah/Psalm 115:16 “The heavens are the heavens of יהוה; but He has given the earth to the children of men.

What we recognise here in the instruction to observe a Sabbath to יהוה when the children of Yisra’ĕl would enter the Promised Land, we see the wonderful shadow picture of how this instruction for us stands true in that when we come into the land He gives us we too shall observe a Sabbath to יהוה – the 7th Millennium will be a Sabbath to יהוה that we shall observe as we rule and reign with Him in the earth – our inheritance!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 27:5 “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the face of the earth, by My great power and by My outstretched arm. And I shall give it to whom it seemed right in My eyes.

 

Land to observe a Sabbath to יהוה

Observing a Sabbath rest of the land is critical in our ability in showing that we trust in יהוה, and as we come to understand through Scripture that this was critical to the life of Yisra’ĕl, we can see that to not observe this command would result in their being vomited out of the land!

Verse 3-7 explains the Sabbath year:

6 years fields were to be sown and vineyards pruned and fruit gathered in; but in the 7th year the land was to rest – no fields were to be sown or vineyards pruned and no fruit was to be gathered, and nothing that grows of its own was to be reaped! The land was to rest and this would have huge implications upon the entire nation; and so what we see happening here is the same picture of resting on the 7th day of the week, where no work is to be done and it further shadow pictures the completed work of Messiah in that the 7th Millennium will usher in the true reign of His Finished work upon the earth. The land up until that point had not had any rest and this command was for Yisra’ĕl when they would enter the Land, as it is only Yisra’ĕl that can give the land its rest when once they have entered in. The Kenaʽanites could not give it rest as they were only defiling it with their wicked and abominable practices. The land rests when Yisra’ĕl rests. The land’s rest rest is directly connected to our obedience in our actions--or rather, our obedience to cease from action when commanded to. Just as with the weekly Sabbath, there is a command to work during the other six years; and without the command to work for 6, the ceasing in the 7th means little. After any 6 units of struggle and toil, the pattern always has in the 7th a taste of the Kingdom, the seventh millennium.

So we see that from weeks to years we are continually reminded of the Promised rest and so as Iḇ’rim/Hebrews tells us that there still remains a Sabbath-keeping for the children of Yisra’ĕl we begin to understand why, for without these much needed rehearsals our ability to be ‘working’ the harvest field in the 6 days (6 Millennia) may be neglected!

If no work is done on the 6 the need to rest becomes neglected and then the ability to ‘count’ gets forgotten and leaves room for the enemy to sow the deception of his attempt at changing the appointed times and laws of Elohim, for which we must always be on guard to not allow this to happen.

Resting in the 7th year would certainly be an unthinkable act in the world’s eyes, yet this is what sets Yisra’ĕl apart from the rest! This resting on the 7th year was so that ALL Yisra’ĕl would put their trust in יהוה and His principles that would provide for their very existence and sustenance as a called out and set-apart people.

If Yisra’ĕl committed to this rest, and obeyed יהוה, there would be abundant provisions in the sixth year to help prepare and keep them in the seventh year of Sabbath rest. If the land were allowed to rest, יהוה would cleanse the land from all defilement (physical and spiritual) and keep the enemy far from their doorstep.

The resting in the 7th year was a means for Yisra’ĕl to draw closer to Elohim and be immersed totally in Him and His Word and express the true unity of the body in its fullness!

Understanding firstly that all the earth belongs to יהוה would further make this year a very fruitful experience in the life of any child of Elohim, as none would consider their possession as their own and would therefore share with all. This would be a year where the poor and needy would have the same access to that which would not readily be available in the other 6 years. We know that in the 6 years the strict command for farming was to not cut the corners of the field and not glean the fields a second time so that the poor and needy could have provision; but here in the 7th year it was an all access pass to eat the produce of the land for all! This is a wonderful picture of the complete restoration that will certainly take place in the 7th Millennium where sorrow and pain will be turned into laughter and joy as there will be an abundance of provision for those who heed the instructions of Elohim!

What we must take note of in this 7th year rest is that there would be no income generated from the crops of that year as the farmer would not be able to harvest and take his crop to the market but was required to leave it on the trees and vineyards and fields for all to eat from its produce. The crops in the 7th year are for food for all and this again is a shadow picture of the full provision of Elohim in Messiah who shall satisfy all as whoever is thirsty or hungry could come and ‘buy food without cost’. What we see in the adherence to this command is the clear pointing to Messiah being the One who sustains all as the invitation to the needy and poor is extended without cost!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:1 “Oh everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. And you who have no silver, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without price.

In verse 6 when we see that the crops of the 7th year is for food for all, we see a wonderful picture of complete provision and we see a wonderful fulfilment of this being lived out by those early believers in Messiah who had this mind-set of the 7th year rest as we see from the record in:

Ma’asei/Acts 4:32-35 “And the group of those who believed were of one heart and one being. And no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had all in common. 33 And with great power the emissaries gave witness to the resurrection of the Master יהושע, and great favour was upon them all. 34 For there was not anyone needy among them, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of what was sold, 35 and laid them at the feet of the emissaries, and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

This clearly pictures for us a great picture of unity – nobody considered their possession as their own and everyone was provided for as there was no needy among them – this is truly a wonderful picture of the ‘rest’ of Messiah in action! This also reveals for us the picture of release which we will look at now as we look at the next step up from the 7th year to counting 7 sets of 7 years to get to the year that follows as being a Yoḇel/Jubilee.

Verse 8 makes it clear that we shall count 7 Sabbaths of years – this is a similar command to that which we are given to count in days from Bikkurim (First Fruits) to Shaḇu’ot, where we do what has been traditionally called the counting of the omer and carries great insight for us in understanding how we are cleansed of sin through the Blood of Messiah and made into a community united in Him as an acceptable wave offering unto Elohim and are then filled with His Ruach (Spirit/Breath) equipping us to walk set-apart lives in Messiah, our Head!

When we look at 7 sets of 7 years we see again the leap from days to years as we see this repeated pattern that continually aids us in recognising the need to listen to the Torah of Elohim and walk in obedience to all He has commanded so that we are able to truly enter into His completed work at the fullness of time!

The 50th year is called a Yoḇel (Jubilee) – a year of release – let us look at the impact of this and the complete picture of the fullness of the work of Messiah:

In verse 9 the command is given to ‘sound a shofar sound’ on the 10th of the 7th month – on Yom haKippurim!

Now what we must take into account is that the word Yoḇel - יוֹבֵל – Strong’s H3104 means, ‘a ram, ram’s horn (a wind instrument) or trumpet’. This was how the year of release, the 50th year (Jubilee), would be announced and proclaimed – by the sounding of the ram’s horn on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

Now, in understanding the clear lesson of this picturing for us the release we have in Messiah, we see both a fulfilment of this in His first coming as well as the picture of His second coming. Typically, on every year, the Day of Yom haKippurim is a day of fasting and afflicting of our beings; yet only on the 50th year on Yom haKippurim is the command given to sound the shofar – in other words – sound the release!!!

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.

We know that on Yom haKippurim we shall hear the final sound of the last trumpet when Messiah will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place and bring the final release to us as a nation from sin and bondage, as He binds up the Devil and ushers in His reign of peace!

What is usually a day of mourning will, on that day when He returns on the Yoḇel, shall be a day where He shall turn our sorrow into joy and mourning into dancing!!! The year of His return the day of Yom haKippurim will be a day of great rejoicing for those in Messiah.

Many confuse the 2nd coming of Messiah with Yom Teruah and find themselves unable to explain Yom haKippurim; and what we must understand, is that on Yom Teruah there will most certainly be an awakening blast and a call to wake up from slumber and sleep, and in the heavenly Tabernacle we most certainly will celebrate the coronation of our King, who shall come on the clouds with the sound of the Last trumpet on this announcing of the Yoḇel at Yom haKippurim!

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:16 “Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first.

We understand this perfect timing as we also see the call for the assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation 2&3:

The assembly in Sardis is told to ‘wake up and strengthen what remains’ or else! There were only a few who had not defiled their garments and those who overcome shall be dressed in white. The assembly in Smurna is told not to be afraid of what they were about to suffer, and that they will have pressure 10 days and are called to remain trustworthy to the end!

It is at Yom Teruah where we see the trumpet sound and awakening blast of Elohim resounding and bringing forth His wrath – those who are sealed in Messiah must stand firm and hold fast for 10 days until Yom haKippurim when the last Trumpet will sound His spectacular entrance and the dead in Messiah will be raised and be gathered and assembled for this the last Yom Kippur when the Atonement of the House of Yisra’ĕl will completely fulfilled at His coming and as He treads the winepress of His wrath destroying the works of the enemy and bringing the release to His people at the sound of the Yoḇel!

We also know that יהושע Messiah was the perfect Pěsaḥ Lamb in a Yoḇel year, as He brought us release so that we may, as a people belonging to Him, return to Him. In Messiah, our release has been announced at His first coming when He died at the stake and rose on the 3rd day, and at the 50th day after His resurrection we see how the early assembly received the Spirit of Elohim, bringing a release and freedom from bondage to a called out and chosen people, who are now free to walk in the fullness of Messiah as they guard to do His Torah. We are cautioned to not use this freedom that he brought us at His death and resurrection as a license to be lawless!!!

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.

The language used here is clearly a pointing to a Yoḇel language as we see the words declaring that we have been ‘called to freedom’! This ‘called to freedom’ terminology is easily understood and is a clear picture in the mind of any true child of Elohim, who guards the Torah and keeps the appointed times of Elohim, that this shows us the power of the Yoḇel in the work of Messiah’s life, death and resurrection!  Now that the release has sounded and we as individuals can now return to our ‘clan’ (the body of Messiah) we must take care not to use our true freedom to walk in the flesh, but rather through love serve one another. This one verse has so much power in showing us our need to walk in the Torah and not walk as the nations who do not know Elohim walk!

Sha’ul tells us in Romiyim/Romans that the Torah is Spiritual and so we walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit and Yoḥanan tells us that this is how we know that we love one another – by loving Elohim and guarding His commands:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy.

At the death and resurrection of Messiah we see how He, being the Pěsaḥ Lamb that covers us, that by His Blood we are ‘sealed in Him’, and as long as we ‘remain in the House’ the messenger of death will have no power over us who are part of the first resurrection at His coming at the sound of the Yoḇel on Yom haKippurim.

This entire Torah portion points to the complete and full work of Messiah and how our deliverance will be made complete at His second coming at the sound of the Yoḇel!

We also see wonderful pictures of the fact that the year He laid His life down that it was in fact a Yoḇel year – and it had to have been or else we would not be able to reconcile the joy of His release that He brings and announces:

Luqas/Luke 4:16-21 “And He came to Natsareth, where He had been brought up. And according to His practice, He went into the congregation on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Yeshayahu was handed to Him. And having unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of יהוה is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed ones with a release, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה.” 20 And having rolled up the scroll, He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the congregation were fixed upon Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been filled in your hearing.

So much we can take from this passage! Firstly we see that He went into the congregation on the Sabbath, according to His practice!!! According to His practice – This is what He did in obedience to the commands of Elohim!

He tells us in Scripture that He only does that which the Father tells Him, and therefore His ‘practice’ would have only been according to the strict instructions (Torah) of Elohim and so He guarded the Sabbath as required; and we are told that we who ‘stay in Him’ ought to walk as He walked (Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John2:6). So the keeping of the Sabbath is critical to our life, and we better understand the importance of this when we see how each and every Sabbath we are in fact ‘rehearsing’ that which is to come at the Yoḇel.

It was here that יהושעproclaimed the release’ – He ‘sounded the Yoḇel’, as He is the perfect ram that Elohim provided for us, as foreshadowed on the day when יהוה provided a ram in the bush before Aḇraham sacrificed Yitsḥaq! Do you see this? Messiah, the Ram – by His voice – By His word, sounded the release of the captives!!!

This was a Yoḇel year – a year of release and who better to announce it than the Perfect Ram Himself!

In Verse 10 we see that the 50th year is set-apart and it was on Yom Kippur of year 49 that a release was to be proclaimed! The year of Yoḇel does not begin at Yom Kippur, but is simply ‘proclaimed’ on Yom Kippur, and at this sound of proclaiming, there would be a time of returning to one’s inheritance after the fruit harvest was brought in, and the Yoḇel; year would begin at the beginning of the next year! The Yoḇel year begins in the month of Aḇiḇ, as all years begin – the Yoḇel is simply the 50th year, that is ‘proclaimed’ on Yom Kippur before that year begins!

The Hebrew word for ‘proclaim’ is קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 which means, ‘to call, proclaim, read, make a proclamation, summons, read aloud, i.e., to speak aloud something, reciting what has been written down’. The term וַיִּקְרָא - ‘Vayyiqra’ is derived from this, which means, And He called; and so, in terms of the Yoḇel, we are further able to see the great freedom that our Master came and proclaimed to us, His called-out ones!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘release’ here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:10 is דְּרוֹר deror – Strong’s H1865 means ‘a flowing, free run, liberty’ and carries the wonderful picture for us of the Torah of Freedom and it is for freedom that Messiah has set us free – anointed for service has set us free from the world’s enslavement!

When we look at the price that He paid in relation to the Yoḇel instructions we see how Messiah paid the full price by coming on a Yoḇel and paying the fullness until the next great Yoḇel.

Another passage in Scripture which many may not recognise in its significance in relation to the Yoḇel is the account of the man who came to Messiah and asked what He should do to have everlasting life, to which Messiah responded that if you wish to enter into life one must guard the commands. He asked יהושע which ones and יהושע said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. The man then replied that he had done all of those since his youth and then came the real test of obedience!

He was told that if he wanted to be perfect that he should go and sell all he has and give it to the poor and then come and follow Messiah. This was too hard for him and he could not do this and left being sad because of all his possessions!!! (Mattithyahu/Matthew 19:16-24).

What was Messiah telling him here – it was more than just giving up one’s possessions – it was about the Yoḇel and the understanding thereof.

I mentioned earlier that the 7th Sabbath year would teach us to trust in יהוה and that in that year all the poor and needy would be taken care of. Now in the Yoḇel the responsibility of this reaches its ultimate fulfilment in that release is proclaimed and so when Messiah instructed this man to go and sell all he had we see both the Sabbath year picture as well as the Yoḇel picture being illustrated for us. This man could not release what he held to be precious and considered his own. We have also noted that the assembly in Ma’asei/Acts had the true understanding of ownership in that all belongs to יהוה and the need to care for each other is vital in the life of the body of Messiah. Messiah coming to proclaim the Yoḇel was a test for this man to lay all he had down and trust in יהושע totally, and this he could not do! Understanding the Yoḇel and the proclamation of release in our lives ought to stir us to love and good works in the body as we bear one another’s burdens and complete the Torah (Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 )

Verse 11 - In the Yoḇel sowing, reaping and gathering was also forbidden and one has to realise just how much trust and faith this would require, bearing in mind that the year before a Yoḇel year would be the 7th Sabbath year and so you would have essentially 2 years of no sowing, reaping or gathering – this requires a double trust if you will!

Can you imagine? 2 years being unable to gather in the harvest! And to top it off, each would return to his possessions – the Yoḇel year is a year of rejoicing and pictures for us the wonder of the Millennial reign in Messiah as we ‘return to our possession’ in Him!

What we must recognise here is that for anyone who would have been through 7 cycles of Sabbath years, the ability to trust יהוה in the Yoḇel would come easier than the one who had been disobedient!

We also note that while this day of Yom haKippurim in the Yoḇel year will be a great day of rejoicing for those in Messiah, it will be a day of despair for those who are not as this will certainly be a day of judgement if found on the wrong side of the equation!

Before this great and awesome day of יהוה, יהוה will send the spirit of Ěliyahu:

Mal’aḵi/Malachi 4:5 “See, I am sending you Ěliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of יהוה.

In these statements by Mal’aḵi we see that he also speaks that there will be a returning of the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. This carries great insight in light of the Yoḇel as we see in verse 13 of this Torah portion that in the year of the Yoḇel each one will return to his possession. The word possession also carries the meaning for property and in essence speaks of a returning home and can picture a returning of sons, as in the parable of the prodigal son who returns and is released from all debt and enters into a great celebration!

Many of the parables and teachings and instructions of Messiah we can begin to see picturing the very essence of the Yoḇel and the proclaiming of the release. Those who refuse to submit and understand the Torah can are never able to see the power and true work of Messiah – the true Yoḇel proclaimer!

While we are not ‘in the land’ and do not see the Land resting, we do see that these principles can and are most certainly beneficial on a physical level; however we also must recognise that Messiah has proclaimed the release and therefore we are to live in and walk in the mind-set of the release that Yoḇel brings each and every day.

What do I mean by that?

Well as one looks at this chapter we see that which the Yoḇel brings – a freedom from enslavement and a release from bondage as well as the clear instructions as to how we are to treat one another. We are not to oppress one another; we are not to take interest for lending to our brother and we are to not consider our possession as our own but ensure that we as a body are taking care of each other’s needs.

We are to ‘fear’ Elohim – we see in Hoshěa the picture of returning (which is a theme of Yoḇel) and a ‘fearing of Elohim’:

Hoshěa/Hosea 3:5 “Afterward the children of Yisra’ĕl shall return, and seek יהוה their Elohim, and Dawiḏ their sovereign, and fear יהוה and His goodness, in the latter days.

The Yoḇel has been proclaimed by Messiah and we are now to return and seek יהוה!

This is a call to walk in faith and not trust in the flesh but make יהוה our trust.

In Verse 13 we are told that in the year of the Yoḇel each one was to return to his possession; and so herein lies a very powerful call for us who have been bought at a price, who must return to our Master, for we are His treasured possession; and it is on the Yoḇel that He Himself will return to His possession – that is us!!!

What we also recognise here is that since our Master and redeemer has come and proclaimed our release, we are to make sure that we are ‘returning’ to Him, and here the root word used for ‘return’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, to turn back, return, repent, recover, and it is only by His Word being that we are able to return, for it is His instructions or Torah that cause us to be a people who can return!

In Tehillah/Psalm 19:7 we are told that The Torah of יהוה is perfect, bringing back the being, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘bringing back’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725, meaning to turn away from sin and turn back to Elohim and follow in His ways. When we truly repent and turn back to יהוה we will ‘obey’ His Word, which is the same as to ‘hear and do’ His Word, as we intelligibly hear His clear voice – which is always in accordance to His Torah, and guard to do all that He commands us. The Hebrew word translated as ‘being’ is נֶפֶשׁ nepheshH5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’. Why I am highlighting these words is to simply show us that without the Torah, no true repentance can take place, and those who claim that Torah observance is no longer valid, do not understand what repentance means and can never truly turn their lives back to the True Living Elohim and Saviour of our souls. The PERFECT TORAH brings us back to יהוה, The Master of the heavens!

We see the root word שׁוּב shuḇ being used in: Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohim, for He pardons much.

In the LXX (Septuagint) the word translated as ‘return’ in the Greek is ἐπιστρέφω epistrephō – Strong’s G1994 which means, to turn, return, turn back and this word is seen in:

Ma’asei/Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master

The Greek word for ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’ and we see that when we repent and turn back to The Master we may receive a recovery of breath – His Word giving us our very life that we may live and breathe and praise His Name – for everything that has breath praise יהוה!

I trust that you are seeing the true ‘perfection’ of the Torah that ‘brings back the being of a man’!!!

The Torah is perfect, as it returns the soul of a man to His Maker!

When Messiah came, The Word made flesh, He clearly proclaimed a repentance back to Elohim:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:17 “From that time יהושע began to proclaim and to say, “Repent, for the reign of the heavens has drawn near.

In Luqas/Luke 13:5 Messiah makes it clear – if you do not repent you will perish!!! Those who claim to call upon the Master of the Heavens as their Saviour and Redeemer, yet refuse to walk in His Perfectthe Torah that lights our path, are sadly headed on a road to death! The Release has been proclaimed, the reign of the heavens is drawing near – are you ‘returning’ to Him to whom you now belong!

Verse 18-19

In these two verses, we see a valuable lesson in that when we actually obey the command to ‘hear, guard and do’ the commands of Elohim, then He shall cause us to bear fruit, be satisfied and dwell safely in Him! The Hebrew word for ‘do’ is 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. The verb עָשָׂה asah has the basic connotation of ‘do’ or ‘make’ and is used in many expressions. Aside from the numerous occurrences of the meaning “do” or “make” in a general sense, עָשָׂה asah is often used with the sense of ethical obligation. Yisra’ĕl were frequently commanded to “do” all that Elohim had commanded.  The numerous contexts in which this concept occurs attest to the importance of an ethical response to יהוה which goes beyond mere mental abstraction, and which is translatable into obedience which is evidenced in demonstrable acts יהושע tells us that we shall be known by our fruit and in a sense, this is what He was speaking about in saying that we will be seen as true obedient followers of Messiah through the clear evidence as seen in our demonstrated acts before Him and all.

The Hebrew word for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 meaning, keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.  We are to exercise great care over His Torah! When used in combination with other verbs the meaning is ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc.

We guard to do all He ‘speaks’, which is the Word, for the word for ‘speak’ is דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.

Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.

Yoḥanan/John 14:21-23 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Yehuḏah – not the one from Qerioth – said to Him, “Master, what has come about that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”23 יהושע answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:25-26Take heed not to refuse the One speaking. For if those did not escape who refused the warning on earth, much less we who turn away from Him from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.

 

TO GUARD HIS WORD IS TO HEAR AND DO HIS WORD!

Verse 20 – we see a typical response that יהוה anticipated from many – “What do we eat in the 7th year…” this comes before He states that He will command a blessing in the 6th year that would sustain them for 3 years.

What we see from this is the clear lesson that we take note of in Ya’aqoḇ’s letter which emphasises the need that we are to be a people who continually seek יהוה, and if we do not ask… well then, we will not have! יהוה gives the clue to simply ask – after all has already told us beforehand the typical questions and possible excuses one might have to not trust, and by doing this He is showing us that we must trust Him in ALL or else!

 

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:1-4 “Where do fightings and strivings come from among you? Do they not come from your pleasures that battle in your members? 2 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim?1 Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

 

יהוה, in His great loving commitment, pre-empted our question and He answers straight away – You want to know how you will eat when you are not sowing, reaping and gathering – He makes it clear - He will abundantly bless your 6th year, so that you will be able to sow in the 8th year and eat until the 9th.

The 6th year crop is bigger!

The picture being shadow picture for us here is a sure picture of how plentiful the harvest is at the end of the age – that is at the end of the 6th day (6th millennium)! Messiah told His talmidim (disciples) that the harvest is white but the workers are few and we must ask the Father for workers.

We must recognise the impact that a triple harvest would have in the 6th year for the farmer – he would need a larger labour force as well as more equipment and store houses to be able to cope with the abundant harvest and it is no different for us today.

The harvest of souls is great – 3 times as much as any other millennium and the workers are very few, and if we do not ask the Father for more workers and more equipment then how shall we bring in the plentiful harvest. There will be no reaping or gathering in the 7th Millennium – now is the time to gather – now is the time to harvest – are you working or are you slumbering?

The year of Yoḇel is in one way wonderfully being described in:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in יהוה, and whose trust is יהוה. 8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit.

Now while you may ask how this speaks of Yoḇel; what we have noted is that Yoḇel requires a total trust and so we see that blessed in that man who trust in יהוה; but what is also very interesting in these verses is the timing of trust and how trust relates to total provision, even in the year of drought.

The word for ‘drought’ is בַּצֹּרֶת batstsoreth – Strong’s H1226 and means, ‘a dearth, drought and is the intensive form of the word בָּצַר batsar – Strong’s H1219 which means, ‘to cut off, make inaccessible, enclose, as well as gather, gathers’.

This is interesting as we see from the play on words that this can give reference to the year where there is no gathering and that is the Sabbath year as well as the Yoḇel. The promise of obedience is that we will continue to yield fruit in its season. Being planted in Messiah, the Living Water, we are nourished and by obeying His Word we need not fear or worry about what we should eat, wear etc.

This is the power of trusting in and staying in Messiah and the Yoḇel that He has proclaimed for us!

 

Verse 24-55 – Torah of Redemption

In verse 24 the Hebrew word for redemption is גְּאֻלָּה geullah – Strong’s H1353 and simply means, ‘redemption, right of redemption, redemption rights’ and is the passive participle of the primitive root word גָּאַל ga’al – Strong’s H1350 meaning, ‘to redeem, act as kinsman, avenge, buy back, claim, redeemer, avenger of blood, rescue’. This word is also used to refer to our Redeemer in the form גֹּאֲלִי ga’ali meaning, ‘my Redeemer’ as in:

Iyoḇ/Job 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and as the Last shall rise over the dust

In Tehillah/Psalm 103 Dawiḏ reminds us not to forget the dealings of יהוה – as He has Redeemed our life from destruction!

He has bought us back from the grave; as we understand that the Hebrew word translated as ‘destruction’ is שַׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7845 which means, pit, ditch, grave and we see how Yonah cried out in recognition of how Elohim had redeemed him from the pit of destruction:

Yonah/Jonah 2:6 “I went down to the base of the mountains, the earth with its bars were behind me forever. But You brought up my life from the pit, O יהוה, my Elohim.

It is only Elohim, our Redeemer, who is able to redeem us from the grave:

Tehillah/Psalm 49:7 “A brother does not redeem anyone at all, neither give to Elohim a ransom for him

Tehillah/Psalm 49:15 “But Elohim does redeem my being from the power of the grave, for He does receive me. Selah.”

It is in these very passages that we get some greater insight and clarity as to the very price that Messiah paid for us through His Blood and He is our Kinsman Redeemer. The right of redemption is a very clear and extremely important concept for any Hebrew, as it sets the stage for our Kinsman Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, buying us back after we had sold ourselves into sin and the false security system of being just like one more of the nations of the world. Because of our sin we need a redeemer to buy us back so that we are able to return to where we belong!

יהושע is also referred to as the first-born among many brothers (Romiyim/Romans 8:29) and so He therefore fully meets the requirements of being our ‘brother’ who is lawfully able to redeem us.

And being the first born, He is the closest relative who has the first right to redeem us!

In verse 27 we see the instruction that the one who has no one to redeem his possessions that he is able to redeem it himself and must calculate the years since its sale of his property and return the remainder to the man to whom he sold it in order to be able to return to his possession. Now while we have a redeemer who has bought us back and paid the full price, as we will see later in verses 50-52; but what we can learn from this practical instruction that would have been literally carried out in the Land every Yoḇel, we see a wonderful picture of how we too have a responsibility in our return that has been ‘paid’ for by the Blood of Messiah. That responsibility is simply this – we, as Yisra’ĕlites have the obligation to fill our proper position in coming home; and in order to do that we must get rid of all the baggage that kept us away from home in the first place, so that we can rightfully reclaim what we have lost!

This is a wonderful picture of letting go to the things that we have been holding on to for so long in order to get back to the true roots of our faith in Messiah. The rich man who could not let go of his possessions is an example of how so many are unwilling to let go of the things that they think gives their life meaning and purpose and as a result are unable to ‘let go’ of worldly baggage in order to follow our Kinsman Redeemer home!

The Law of Redemption was given to all twelve tribes of Ya’aqoḇ/Yisra’ĕl and this includes all of us who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise and without Elohim, but have now been brought near by the Blood of Messiah and by His Redeeming Blood He has paid the price for our redemption and has grafted us in to Yisra’ĕl, His chosen for which we have the clear right of redemption that enables us to ‘return’ home! The parable of the prodigal son is another wonderful shadow picture of the Yoḇel, as יהושע teaches us through this the very Torah of redemption!

In the story, as recorded in Luqas/Luke 15:11-32, we are given the account of two sons which represent the 2 Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah – the older representing the House of Yehuḏah the older brother and the younger brother representing the House of Yisra’ĕl. The younger son took his inheritance while his father was still alive and in effect this would be a picture of declaring his father ‘dead’ while he was still alive!

He then went and left his father’s house to live among the nations and in so doing he left his father’s teaching and instructions for right living standards, as he forsook that which truly gave him substance and provision and went to seek after the world and its pleasures thinking that they would satisfy, while squandering his inheritance in abandoning the blessing of his father’s house.

Time went by and the more he was out of his father’s presence the more he began to forget who he was and where he came from and lost his identity by chasing after the way of the world and in so doing he exhausted all his resources that were freely given to him, and he fell into a state of poverty, both physically, emotionally and spiritually, selling himself as a slave to the world just to make ends meet.

What he found was that no matter how hard he worked in the world he did not advance as he would have liked but fell deeper and deeper into debt and depression and he saw that even the pigs he was tending ate better than he did. After having spent all he had there was a famine in the land! Now this famine certainly in regards to the parable would point to a Yoḇel year, as we read earlier that Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah tells us that blessed is the man who trust in יהוה and who makes יהוה his trust, for he will be like a tree whose leaves do not wither when the drought comes – in other words he would keep producing fruit. As mentioned earlier this word drought in its root form speaks of gathering and pictures for us a shadow picture of a year of a Sabbath year when no work is done.

Now if one had been walking in obedience then the provision from the 6th year would sustain one for long enough; however, if not then rain would be withheld and the ground would not yield its crops! So here we have the lost son who is ‘scattered’ in the world without an identity and without a father and this drought of the Sabbatical year humbled him greatly.

It was at the point of his humility and being broken in spirit that his eyes were once again opened that caused him to remember his father and in his desperate point of need he realised that his father’s servants always had bread to spare, and thought to go back and ask his father to make him like one of the servants, as he reckoned himself no longer worthy to be called a son. His father’s food was the Torah and the servants always had ‘bread’ to spare and he realised that this ‘bread’ would nourish and satisfy his hunger.

Hunger for his father’s food caused him to return with a repentant heart and while he was still on his way, the father saw him from afar and ran joyfully toward him. This running with joy to his son expresses the picture of Yoḇel – a season of great joy!

While the son was repenting, the father cut him short and restored his son to full status and called for a feast and so fulfilled the law of redemption and restoration of a son returning to his property. This parable lines up with the words of Mal’aḵi/Malachi that we have looked at as well as verse 13 from our Torah portion that declares the year of Yoḇel each one shall return to his possession/property!

This parable carries many great and wonderful shadow pictures for us, and we also see that when our Kinsman Redeemer came to redeem us in order that we may return He made it very clear that He came only for the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl – He came to redeem those who had been sold into slavery and bondage, in order to proclaim and bring release and deliverance! We have a Redeemer and He lives!

This living parable foreshadows the Messiah our kinsman redeemer, redeeming the lost sheep of the House of Yisra’ĕl, who as the younger son, squandered their inheritance and identity. It was the Messiah from the tribe of Yehuḏah, the House of Yehuḏah, who "purchased" his brother back and offered him the Right of Return through redemption according to the Covenant promises of Aḇraham. In doing so יהושע also restored both brothers back to the land which we will one day return to when He comes and fulfils the law of redemption at Yom haKippurim!

Our Redeemer is יהוה of Hosts:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 47:4 “Our Redeemer, יהוה of hosts is His Name, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

A wonderful proof text that declares that our Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, is יהוה of hosts!!!

The Book of Ruth – the story of Redemption

When we read the Book of Ruth we find this very picture of redemption by our Kinsman Redeemer being shadow pictured through these wonderful events that caused Ruth to be redeemed and as a result the child that Bo’az and Ruth had become the ancestor of king Dawiḏ, the line of Messiah.

In Chapter 4 of the Book of Ruth we see how Bo‘az became the ‘kinsman redeemer’ for the land of Na‘omi and Ruth and so married Ruth as part of the redemption price.  The law of the kinsman redeemer is given in this Torah portion (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25), and the law governing levirate Marriage is in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 25; and the purpose of these laws was to preserve the names and property of the families in Yisra’ĕl and ensured that a dead man’s family name did not die with him and that his property was not sold outside of the tribe or clan.

The Word Redemption means “to set free by paying a price”. And in the case of Ruth and Na‘omi, Elimeleḵ’s property was up for sale or under mortgage and that they couldn’t pay the redemption price and the rights to the property had passed to Ruth’s husband Maḥlon who was dead, and she was too poor to redeem the land.

This is an amazing picture for us, as when it comes to our spiritual redemption, for none of us are able to redeem our lives back – all of us have sinned and fallen short and were in bondage to sin, unable to free ourselves, then יהושע came and gave His life as a redemption price – as a ransom for sinners – and faith in Him sets captives free!

Not everybody could perform the duties of a kinsman redeemer – there were certain criteria, let us look at these:

1 – THE KINSMAN REDEEMER HAD TO BE RELATED – Bo‘az was related to Ruth, although there was one who was closer. יהושע Messiah was born in order that He too would become related to us so as to redeem us. He became flesh and Blood – The Very Word – the Very Torah became Flesh and Blood and dwelt among us – called us - taught us – showed us the Way and then died for us. When He was born He became our kinsman redeemer – the one who could redeem us from sin and HE remains our kinsman Redeemer for eternity, amen – there is no other!

 

2 – THE KINSMAN REDEEMER HAD TO BE ABLE TO PAY THE REDEMPTION PRICE

To qualify the kinsman had to be related and able to pay. Now Ruth and Na‘omi definitely could not pay the redemption price of the land – they were too poor to redeem themselves, but Bo‘az had all the resources to set them free! You see when it comes to the redemption of sinners, nobody and I mean nobody but יהושע Messiah is rich enough to pay the price. It is sad to see that in the early years of church history the Catholic Church devised a money making scheme telling people they could pay for ‘indulgences’. Let me make one thing clear – you can be the richest person alive – none of that money can save you!!! It doesn’t matter how many charities you give to or how many hand-outs you give – that cannot pay for your sin. No amount of money can set you free – you get people who are slaving away for money thinking it can buy them freedom – money cannot buy your freedom – only the shedding of the precious Blood of יהושע the Messiah has once and for all accomplished redemption for all who will believe and receive it. Freedom has been purchased by His Blood – there is redemption in the Blood of יהושע, aměn!

 

3 – THE KINSMAN REDEEMER HAD TO BE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE

Not only did the kinsman redeemer have to be related and able to redeem, he had to be willing to redeem. In this story of Ruth we see that there was a nearer kinsman than Bo‘az who had the money, but was unwilling to redeem in fear of his own estate. This opened up the way for Bo‘az to redeem the land together with Na‘omi and Ruth.

Now we know that there is no one other than יהושע who could pay the redemption price and He was willing. The Father loved us so much – he was so willing – that He sent His only Son to die for us. יהושע was related to us in birth – in that He took on flesh and became like us, he paid the price for us – with His death and He willingly came that while we were still sinners He died for us – how awesome is His redemptive love!!

The words ‘redeem’, ‘purchase’ or ‘buy’ is used at least 15 times in Ruth Chapter 4 and so amplifies the point that there can be no redemption without a price! From our point of view, salvation and redemption is free – a free gift by grace through faith, but from YHWH’s point of view, according to His Torah there had to be a price paid and it was a costly one too – it cost יהושע His life!

Bo‘az was related, he was able and willing and paid the redemption price and then married Ruth to whom Oḇed was born, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David from whom was given the great privilege of being the ancestor of the Messiah!

The marriage of Bo‘az to Ruth is a picture of יהושע Messiah and His Bride – He has paid the redemption price and at Shaḇu’ot we remember to celebrate our marriage contract that has been written on our hearts, having been redeemed and renewed through the shed Blood of Messiah יהושע. His love language – His Torah – His marriage contract is written on the hearts of every believer as they receive יהושע Messiah as Saviour. We have His Torah on our hearts and when יהושע  said to the woman at the well that a day will come when the true worshippers will worship יהוה in Spirit and in Truth, he was speaking of the day that the very Spirit of Elohim would be poured out into the hearts of His followers, equipping them by His grace to live Torah –to live the married life faithfully unto Him. And now we await the great and awesome day of יהוה, when יהושע will come out of the Most Set-Part Place and fulfil the law of redemption at the Yoḇel sound causing us to be able to be caught up with Him and return to the Land where we belong!

In this chapter it is well worth noting the repetition of the clear instruction “…but you shall fear your Elohim”, as it is used 3 times (verses 17, 36 and 43). Each time we see what precedes this instruction as being a command in regards to how we treat our brother:

Verse 17 – Do not oppress one another

Verse 36 – Take no interest or profit

Verse 43 – Do not rule over him with harshness

In order for us to live with a Yoḇel mind-set as we live and walk in Messiah who has redeemed us and set us free, we recognise that our ability to love our brother is made possible when we walk in the fear of Elohim; for when we walk in the fear of Elohim we will guard His commands and as Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5 tells us, we know that we love the children of Elohim when we love Elohim and guard His commands! Pretty simply to understand, yet very critical in recognising our need to live it out faithfully as we walk in the fear of Elohim.

In order for us to understand how we are to fear our Elohim, I would like to explain just what this means and look at this concept of the fear of יהוה, that will only benefit our understanding as to how to live faithfully with the Yoḇel mind-set of Freedom in Messiah, our Redeemer.

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!

The Hebrew root word for fear is - יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 which means, to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect, this word is used to describe the reverence and respect we ought to have for Elohim, by being dutiful in our obedience, yet when one is disobedient this ‘fear’ is not out of reverence but out of being afraid for being disobedient and the consequences of the punishment for disobedience that are due!

It is used in:

Berěshith/Genesis 3:10 “And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.

Here Aḏam was afraid because he had sinned, however we see this same root word - יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 being used in a positive sense in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:13 “Fear יהוה your Elohim and serve Him, and swear by His Name.

It is this same positive command of our need to ‘fear our Elohim’ that is being used here in this Torah portion.

Now having seen these two examples, as well as the 3 from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:17, 36 and 43 it could be thought that the same word has two different meanings – that of fear and reverence, however this is not the case as each Hebrew word has one meaning but can carry different applications.

The word - יָרָא yara’ Strong’s H3372 (b) can also means “to shoot or cast off or pour”.

The literal concrete meaning of “yara” is a “flowing out of the gut,” which can be applied to “fear” or “reverence.”

Have you ever been so scared or been in the presence of something so amazing that you could feel it in your gut? This “feeling” is the meaning of this word. The Hebrews were a very emotional people, and in many cases their words are filled with emotional expressions and are often describing a “feeling,” rather than an “action.”

It is almost like saying, “You know that inner feeling you get deep in the gut, especially when you know you should not do something that you thought of doing or when you are in such awe of the presence of יהוה or someone in authority you respect highly that it can be felt in the gut, almost as nervousness.” This is how ‘yara’ could in one sense be described!

The one that fears יהוה will refrain from doing that which is displeasing to Him. Fear of Him does not cause us to shrink back as one would from a fierce enemy or wild beast, but rather it causes us to draw near to Him and fills us with a reverent awe doing our utmost to please Him in every way!

In Scripture, we frequently see the term ‘the fear of יהוה’, as in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:1-6 “My son, if you accept my words, and treasure up my commands with you, 2 so that you make your ear attend to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; 3 for if you cry for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek her as silver, And search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim. 6 For יהוה gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

We all want to understand the fear of יהוה and so as we look deeper at the Hebrew we definitely get a clearer picture of what the fear of יהוה is and what fearing Him entails. In all of the verse from Mishlĕ that I have just read, the root word for “fear” is the noun H3374 - יִרְאָה yirah’ derived from the verb H3372 (a) - יָרֵא yare’. Now the common interpretation and understanding of Mishlĕ 9:10 and 1:7 that we read is that if someone is ‘afraid’ or is in awe of יהוה he shall have wisdom, however as we shall see from this beautiful Hebrew language, this cannot be a consistent interpretation – there is more to it than meets the eye.

Think about it – you cannot think you will suddenly get wisdom just because you have an awe of His presence or if you are afraid of Him, so let us look at this phrase in the Hebrew.

The fear of יהוה is written with two nouns – “יהוה יִרְאַת” = “yirat Yahweh”. When a noun precedes another noun, the first noun is in the construct state, meaning it is connected to the second noun—two words together forming one concept. Are you with me so far? Please bear with me for this is amazing in uncovering a greater meaning of the fear of יהוה. When a feminine noun ending with the letter ה, such as yirah (יִרְאָה), is used in the construct state, the ה is converted to a ת, in this case it becomes ‘yirat’ (יִרְאַת).

 

In Berěshith/Genesis we find many construct phrases where the second word of the construct is יהוה such as the face of יהוה or the word of יהוה, or the Mount of יהוה, the voice of יהוה to name a few whereby each time the first word (word, voice, face etc.) belong to the second word (יהוה). Why am I telling you all this? Simply to raise the question that if ‘The Fear of יהוה’ is the construct phrase of ‘fear’ as that of יהוה’s, then why should we think that this fear is ‘ours’ and not His? Now we are all attentive listeners here and we know for a fact that Elohim does not ‘fear’ as we come to understand the concept of fear, right?

However, if you recall, I mentioned that the root word יָרָא yara’ means a “flowing out of the gut,” therefore the question becomes, “What flows out of the gut of יהוה?”

In order to answer this, let us look at another two constructs that will shed more light upon the fear of יהוה:

1 - Tehillah/Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.

The word Torah H8451  תּוֹרָה- means utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim’ and it is derived from the word H3384- יָרָא yara’ meaning to shoot or throw or flow in the sense of flowing – as in rivers of water and is closely related to the word we have been looking at, carrying the same definition. The construct becomes יהוה תּוֹרָת - ‘torat Yahweh’ – His instructions!

2 – Miḵah/Micah 3:8 “But truly I am filled with power, with the Spirit of יהוה, and with right-ruling and with might, to declare to Yaʽaqoḇ his transgression and to Yisra’ĕl his sin.

The word for spirit is - רוּחַ ruaḥ H7307and means ‘breath, wind or spirit’ and here in this construct it becomes יהוה רוּת – ‘ruat Yahweh’ – the breath/spirit of יהוהanother type of ‘flowing’ as well as describing character as with the fruit of the Spirit.

I hope you are still with me – because understanding this we can once again ask what flows out of the gut of יהוה?

His teachings and His character!!!

When understanding this we can go back to Mishlĕ 9:10 and get a clearer understanding and in essence could be translated as “The flowing’s of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

The flowing’s as in that which flows out from His gut – His teachings – His Character – is the beginning of wisdom!!!

That hopefully clears the answer for ‘what does the fear of יהוה mean?”

Now in our current Torah portion we see this same concept of two nouns being used in reference to the fear of Elohim.

We see this construct on each occasion being used here:  וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ - ‘And fear your Elohim’.

As discussed you will see the focus here being the ‘fear of Elohim’ which keeps us able to walk in His instructions and love our neighbour as ourselves!

We are able to live with a Yoḇel mind-set and fear our Elohim when we continue to walk in His Torah and recognise His Appointed Times and keep our feet in line with His Word, as we guard His Shabbat and all Feasts, and live as true redeemed people of Elohim!

 

The price of his release:

The Hebrew word used in verse 50 and is translated as ‘release’ is מִמְכָּר mimkar – Strong’s H4465 which means, sale, ware, merchandise, and the Hebrew word for ‘price’ is כֶּסֶף keseph – Strong’s H3701 which in translated as, silver, money, purchase price and comes from the root word כָּסַף kasaph – Strong’s H3700 which means, to long for, eager, shame.

As we know in Scripture ‘silver’ is often symbolic of the redemption price that has been paid for us in the Blood of Messiah. Silver is also likened to the pure Word of Elohim that has been tried:

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

Tehillah/Psalm 66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.

When we see this word translated as ‘silver’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic script we are further able to recognise this clear Truth of the redemptive work of Messiah:

The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ - כֶּסֶף keseph is pictured in the Early Script as:

peysamekkaph

Kaph - כֶּ:

The ancient form of this letter is pictured as kaph - which is an 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.
Samechסֶ:

The modern name for this letter is samech, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.

This letter is 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 his 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.

Pey ף:

This letter in the ancient script 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!

 

When we consider these 3 letters in the understanding of the word ‘silver’, when considering this as representing the redemption price, brought to us by the Blood of Messiah we are able to see from these pictures, the following:

THE OPEN HAND OF ELOHIM, AS REVEALED TO US THROUGH יהושע MESSIAH, WAS PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSION AND TOOK THE THORN (SIN) UPON HIMSELF, HAVING BEEN NAILED IN HIS HANDS AND FEET, BECOMING A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO CALL UPON HIM AND GRAB HOLD OF HIS COMMANDS, AS SPOKEN IN HIS WORD!

 

After His resurrection, when Messiah showed T’oma (Thomas) His hands that took the nails, T’oma acknowledged the redemptive work of יהושע Messiah and called Him His Master and Elohim. T’oma now fully believed the Word of Elohim, and he was told that those who believe and have not seen:

Yoḥanan/John 20:27-29 “Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

Our True redemption is in יהושע Messiah, who is the open hand of Elohim that took our sin upon Himself, as spoken in His written Word that does not return empty, for the release that He has proclaimed He shall complete in us when He comes again!

This chapter of Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25 ends with a reminder of who we belong to, as we have been bought at a price!

We are servants of the Most-High, יהוה our Elohim and we must not forget that!

That is why the portion does not end here, but rather continues to group the first two verses of Chapter 26 as a critical part of understanding our redemption being pictured through this Torah portion; as we are a people who have come to the Mountain of יהוה, not by our own strength or wisdom but by His mighty power and His Outstretched Arm that has saved and delivered us from bondage and brought us into Covenant as His people.

Delivered by His loving mercy and commitment and now as a people who have been grafted in to the Covenants of Promise and redeemed by the Blood of Messiah, we must recognise to whom we belong and live as He has commanded us to.

The first 2 verses of Chapter 26 make it clear as to how we should do this:

Do not make idols or carve images and bow down to them! We must also be very careful not to ‘carve’ in our minds an image of Elohim that is not true! Christianity as well as Rabbinic Judaism has ‘carved out’ false images of who our Elohim is and so worship Him not according to what has been prescribed in His Word but rather according to their false and vain ‘images’ and doctrines that add or take away from His Word. To make an idol can also be done by turning to that which is false and wicked, and in doing so results in a turning away from the Truth.

The word for ‘idols’ used here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26 is אֱלִיל elil – Strong’s H457 and means, ‘insufficiency, worthlessness, things of nought, idol, no value, good for nothing’.

The instruction is clear – do not turn to worthless, things of nought – things that do not matter! Do not turn to things that do not exist in the false hope of allusions that can never deliver what you expect – in fact anything outside of יהוה is worthless! Do not put your trust in things of nought:

Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 12:21 “and do not turn aside after worthless matters which do not profit or deliver, for they are worthless.

How will we be best equipped to recognise that which is worthless against that which is not? By knowing the real thing with great intimacy! We are to be intimately engaged in seeking out and knowing the set-apart matters of Elohim, and intimacy takes effort, diligence and much well laboured time with our Creator, Redeemer and King learning His True ways that we will be able to separate the worthless from the Truth!

Dawiḏ expressed his desire to only look at and seek the matters that matter:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at falsehood, and revive me in Your way.

So many today are not turning their eyes from falsehood and as a result they are finding themselves turning to worthless matters that are only enslaving them to falsehood and are unable to be truly revived in The Way – for our Messiah, יהושע, the Word made flesh – the Living Torah, is The Way, The Truth and The Life!!! When we turn to the True Master the veil of worthless falsehood that has gripped so many to destruction is removed!

The bottom line is this – anything that we find ourselves submitting to that is not clearly defined by the Torah is in danger of being an idol; whether it be a physical object or a commitment to a purpose that seems right or even an idea that will in the end prove to be pursued in vain!

The root word for ‘pillars’ is מַצֵּבָה matstseḇah – Strong’s H4676 meaning, a pillar or stump, obelisk and also can refer to a pillar represented by a monument or personal memorial statue; as it comes from the word נָצַב  natsaḇ - Strong’s H5324 meaning, stand, to take one’s stand, erected.

In Shemoth/Exodus 34:13, Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:5 and Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:3 Yisra’ĕl was clearly instructed to ‘smash’ and ‘break down’ the pillars, and knowing this makes it clear that no pillars should be erected or made or set up for worship!

 

We must hold fast to His Word and the way to start this in a correct way is to ‘guard His Sabbaths’ and ‘reverence His Set-Apart Place’. Two critical factors that will equip us to gain great wisdom and understanding of who we are and how we are to live as a redeemed people, living with a True Yoḇel mind-set. When we guard His Sabbaths each week we further our understanding in recognising His Appointed Times and are able to reconcile what the Yoḇel means to us as a people.

Part of ‘guarding’ His Sabbath is to have the utmost reverence for His set-apart place – we are the Dwelling Place of Elohim and when we come and gather on His Shabbat we must not come with ulterior motives and attitudes that have no regard for His Dwelling Place and the reverence required for being set-apart in His presence. Do not come with all your issues and take it out on the rest of the body, get cleaned up before you enter – that is what the bronze laver of washing (Word) is for!

Proper reverence for His set-apart place is of utmost importance! The Hebrew word that is used for ‘set-apart place’ is The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Set-Apart Place’ is מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720 which means, a set-apart place, sanctuary and this comes from the primitive root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, set-apart, consecrated, dedicated!!!

Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath! With the Set-Apart Place being called מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720 we take note of the following form the ancient pictographic script, as it is rendered as follows:

shindaletquphmem

You will notice that with the Hebrew word מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash the letter ‘mem’ (מִ) is at the front of the three letters that are used to describe or represent set-apartness, which comes from the primitive root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, to be set-apart, consecrated, dedicated– and that is what we have been called to be, and it is from this root that we get the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏeshStrong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’ and this word is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:

shindaletquph

 Quph – קֹ:

This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as quph , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.

Dalet – דֶ:

This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as dalet, which is a ‘tent door. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!

Shin - שׁ:

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 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.

 

Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏeshStrong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning:

CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!

Now, when we take a look at the word used for ‘set-apart place’, we see the addition of the letter ‘mem’ being added to make the word מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash:

Mem – ם:

The ancient script has this letter as  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. Water is also a very clear picture for us of that which washes or cleanses us, as we understand from the picture of the bronze laver in the Tabernacle that was used to clean the priests, and was made from the bronze mirrors that was used by the women who worshipped at the Door of the Tabernacle.

As we look into the mirror of the Word of Elohim, we are to allow it to cleanse us and cause us to remember how we are to look, speak and act, in complete adherence to His clear words of instructions contained therein!

As we study the clear and precise pattern of the Tabernacle and Dwelling Place we are able to get a great picture from these ancient pictographic renderings of the word מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720, especially as we see that the bronze laver that was used for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Dwelling Place.

As we allow the Word of Elohim to wash us and set us apart we recognise that we are cleansed through proper obedience to His Word and the proper coming to the Door of Appointment and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts with joy!

It is by the Blood of Messiah that we have been grafted in to His covenants of promise and through the complete washing of the Word we are equipped through His Word to be:

CLEANSED TO CONTIUNALLY COME TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE OF THE WORD!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘reverence’ comes from the root word - יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 which means, to fear, be afraid, be in awe, show reverence and respect. True obedience and set-apart servanthood begins with the proper fear of יהוה, which was greatly lacking back then and is still lacking today! The root word יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 is used in:

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!

This word יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 is used to describe the reverence and respect we ought to have for Elohim, by being dutiful in our obedience, yet when one is disobedient this ‘fear’ is not out of reverence, but is rather a fear as a result of being afraid for being disobedient and the consequences of the punishment for disobedience that are due!

It is used in:

Berěshith/Genesis 3:10 “And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.

Here Aḏam was afraid because he had sinned, however we see this same root word - יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 being used in a positive sense in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:13 “Fear יהוה your Elohim and serve Him, and swear by His Name.

The one that fears יהוה will refrain from doing that which is displeasing to Him. Fear of Him does not cause us to shrink back as one would from a fierce enemy or wild beast, but rather it causes us to draw near to Him and fills us with a reverent awe with the urgent zeal and desire in doing our utmost to please Him in every way!

Proper fear of Elohim will lead to a proper service unto Him, revealing who His true set-apart servants are – which are those who guard His commands and hold fast and overcome!

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:7The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.

Messiah has proclaimed the release – have you heard – He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the assembly of the redeemed and live in the Freedom of His life-giving Torah!

Shalom

He who has an ear

He who has an ear