WAYYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 26:3-27:34 – BEḤUQQOTAI – IN MY LAWS

As we come to the last torah portion in Wayyiqra/Leviticus that covers the last 2 chapters, we see that the start of this portion, which begins at verse 3 of Chapter 26, sums up the very clear choice that we have to make each and every day of our lives; and יהוה sets forth the conditions or perhaps even better put, consequences, of what will happen in our lives based on the choices we make. And so straight up we see this portion starting with the word ‘if’… If you do this… ‘then’… this is what will be! Whenever we see an if we can know that there are definite consequences to our ability to follow carefully or not!

This portion is called בְּחֻקֹּתַי  - ‘beḥuqqotai’ and renders the meaning ‘In my laws’, and this word comes from the root word חֻקָּה ḥuqqah – Strong’s H2708 and carries the meaning of, ‘something prescribed, an enactment, a statute, fixed pattern, fixed order, appointed, ordinance’, and comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 and means, ‘to engrave, cut in, inscribe, decree’.

We are to ‘guard’ and ‘keep’ the regulations and decrees of יהוה that has been inscribed or ‘cut in’ – That is His ‘WRITTEN WORD’.

Shemoth/Exodus 24:4 “And Mosheh wrote down all the Words of יהוה, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve standing columns for the twelve tribes of Yisra’ĕl.

There was NO ORAL TORAH besides that which Mosheh wrote down, and he wrote ALL the Words of יהוה, and so we do not guard and keep man-made oral laws that have since thus been written down as a set of rules and regulations in the form of catechisms from Christianity and the Talmud and Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism; but guard to do all the Written Word of יהוה.

These ‘laws/rulings’ speaks of those very statutes that have been prescribed and are a fixed order that remains in effect permanently. We see that we are to ‘walk’ in His ‘laws’; and if His Words that He has prescribed remain in effect permanently, which they do, then we are to walk in them permanently!

Let us look further at some more key words that we find in verse 3 that will help us understand our need for true obedience of an active ‘hearing and doing’ faith:

The Hebrew word translated as ‘if’ is אִם im – Strong’s H518 which is a conditional participle or primary conjunction which renders, if, though, either, neither, when, whenever. The basic meaning is “if” and this meaning can be seen in most of its occurrences. In the hundreds of passages where the word occurs, several basic types of contexts can be seen. Firstly, it occurs most often in conditional clauses, for example as in:

Berěshith/Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, is there not acceptance? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should master it.

Secondly, we also find אִם im being used in oath contexts  in which, in reality, a larger context is assumed. In the larger, assumed context is an oath, only rarely stated in full, as in:

Iyoḇ/Job 1:11 “But stretch out Your hand, please, and strike all that he has – if he would not curse You to Your face!

The larger assumed context is that of the condition of an existing oath.

The use of אִם im here in the beginning of this Torah portion begins with a conditional concept of “If you do… then…”, and so we can clearly see the there is a clear requirement expected of us in response to the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into, with the assured promises given if the requirements called for are met.

So here in verse 3 we see the clear condition clause being laid out: IF you… WALKGUARD and DOTHEN…:

The word for ‘walk’ is  הָלַךְ hala – Strong’s H1980 and means, ‘to go, come, walk, manner of life, cause to live’, and literally speaks of how one lives, and it is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life.

Our ‘walk’ matters and how we walk before Elohim matters:

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?

What does יהוה require of us? Well as we see – that it is to do right, love kindness and walk humbly with our Elohim!

We are to actively and continually be walking in Messiah, and as 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 leḵet’ 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 as we clearly see and understand the words in:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.

The Greek word for ‘walk’ is περιπατέω peripateō – Strong’s G4043 and carries the same meaning and that is, ‘to walk, behaviour, to conduct one’s self, to make one’s way, to tread with the feet, to make one’s life’.  Why all the definitions? To clearly reiterate that to walk as Messiah walked involves action and that action is to be in complete line with His walk and that is a walk of total obedience – the greatest expression of humility!

WALK IN MY LAWS! The Hebrew word for ‘in My laws’ is בְּחֻקֹּתַי – ‘b’huqqothai’ (the name of this Torah portion) and comes from the root word already discussed, חֻקָּה ḥuqqah – Strong’s H2708.

The word used in verse 3 for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘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.  Another aspect of this word carries the meaning of having to guard carefully and tend to or ‘take care of’. When one takes care of a valued possession then the utmost diligence is exercised in ensuring that it is protected at all costs and it is taken care of through the correct maintenance and observance of its functional requirements to keep it in tact; and as it is with the Torah – we must guard it in our hearts and exercise it diligently, keeping ourselves free from the clutter or weeds of wickedness. Aḏam was commanded to ‘guard’ (Shamar) the garden which carried with it great responsibility and the need to be watchful and at work; and we are to guard the good deposit in the soil of our hearts as we do all that we are commanded, nurturing the very growth that the Good Seed of His Living Word produces in our lives!

What are we to ‘GUARD’? His Commands:

The word for commands used here is מִצְוֹתַי  - ‘mitsvotai’ – ‘my commands’ and is the plural of the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.

The primary difference we see between the חֻקָּה ḥuqqah (law/statute) and מִצְוָה mitzvah (command) is that His laws (ḥuqqot) are rulings that remain in effect permanently and we are to continually walk in His Right-rulings for set-apart living; whereas His commands (mitzvot) are those rules which apply to specific situations and are tailored for each unique situation in determining the correct action to be taken in a specific circumstance and so we ‘guard’ those carefully to know how to respond and take action for any given situation we may find ourselves in. We as his called out and chosen, royal priesthood must be a hearing people who not only hear, but also do and what we must understand is that in the Hebraic mind-set we come to realise that the ideal of ‘hearing’ the commands and laws will and should naturally cause us to want to walk in them and guard them.

And as we go through this chapter in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26 we have to ask ourselves, “Who would not want to obey such a just and righteous Elohim?” The sad reality is that there are many who refuse to obey and will ultimately suffer the consequences of not walking in and guarding to do all He instructs and commands!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘DO’ is 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.

Let us first look at what יהוה promises Yisra’ĕl ‘IF’ they walk in His laws and guard His commands:

Verse 4-13

The word ‘then’ used in verse 4 is the assurance of what will come if we hear, guard and do!

1 – Rain in season!

Rain in its right season is critical to bringing about the necessary harvest; and if one did not receive rain in season then one would face a crisis when coming to expect a harvest; and if rain came ‘out’ of season then that unwanted rain could actually wash away growing crops and even damage any harvested grain, in causing it to rot!

We also must recognise the picture that rain/water often symbolises for us in Scripture a picture of the teaching of the Torah; as we go through a yearly cycle we get to ‘learn’ in each season that which the Father reveals to us through His Feasts, which all take place around harvesting times of either barley, wheat or fruit. His Torah, through the keeping of His Feasts and Appointed Times, teaches us how to walk in each season that we find ourselves. For instance the period between Pěsaḥ and Shaḇu’ot, we are commanded to count 50 days from the morrow after the Sabbath during Matzot when we bring the wave offering of the barley until the morrow after 7 completed Sabbaths; and this time has become known as the ‘counting of the omer’, which is a critical time for us as his body to assess our lives to see who we are in Him and examine whether we are in fact ‘counting’ the cost of following Messiah and see whether in fact we are engaging in true community living as we allow His Torah to shape us into becoming a united body being made into two loaves of Bread that is waved before Elohim as an acceptable offering on Shaḇu’ot. It is during this season that we recognise how we are to be rid of sin and ‘bad leaven’ and be permeated with the Besorah (Good News) which is the good leaven of the Kingdom. It is a season of growing, however for growth there has to have been a planting and sowing of the Good Seed! At Shaḇu’ot we see the picture of the former rains in that יהוה rains down His strength upon us to be faithful witnesses, equipping us to go into the harvest field and be busy proclaiming the Besorah!

At Yom Teruah we learn the importance of being AWAKE and not sleeping in our faithful walk and ensure that we continually keep our lamps filled with oil as we guard to do all He commands, holding fast and persevering in remaining as a bride who keeps her garments white as she awaits for her soon coming husband.

Yom Teruah sound the much needed awakening blast, and leads us again into a period of intense inspection as we face ‘10 days’ of recognising our need to be totally set-apart taking us to Yom Kippur which teaches us the heart of repentance and our need to deny self. Sukkot (Tabernacles) teaches us unity and joy that we are to experience as a body who dwells in the presence of Elohim.

While we embrace each of these seasons daily in our walk of faith in Messiah, as Sha’ul told Timotiyos to be ready in and out of season, what we certainly see is that each year we learn some vital lesson of faith that pertain specifically to each Appointed Time and we can only learn these lessons if we are in fact walking in line with His Word and keeping His Appointed Times!

We must be a people who are continually preparing ourselves through the constant sowing of His Word in our lives so that when the ‘rain’ of His Appointed Times come, we will be able to grow and mature.

Verse 5 speaks of the blessing of walking in the Torah and guarding the commands in promising that there will always be enough supply! From harvest to harvest – season to season there will never be lack and with that there is the promise of security.

Further blessings of walking in His laws and guarding His commands are:

2 - Peace – the enemy will not be able to make you afraid (verse 6)

3 - Victory in battle (verse 7-8)

4 - Fruitfulness – (verse 9)

5 - Constant renewal (verse10)

6 - The Dwelling Presence of The Almighty (verse 11-12)

Now when we consider such great promises that are for us when we walk in His laws and guard His commands, there should be no inclination whatsoever to be found not walking in His ways!

In verse 10 we see the picture of the ‘old supply’ that will be eaten and cleared out because of the new – and form this we can also see a goof picture of how the ‘new’ supply cannot be eaten until the ‘old’ has been.

This text does not in any way mean, as some may suggest, that we get rid of what is erroneously called the ‘old testament’, but rather it is saying that we have to eat the ‘old’ first!!! Please note that there is certainly nothing ‘old’ about the Tanak! But for purposes of learning how critical it is for us today in understanding the need to be ‘eating the grain’ of the ‘old’ we look at this verse and see how vital it is for the life of any believer in Messiah to ‘eat’ ALL His Word and it begins at the BEGINNING!

יהושע tells us the following in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:52 “And He said to them, “Therefore every scholar of Scripture taught in the reign of the heavens is like a householder who brings out of his treasure matters, renewed, and old.

Do you hear what He is saying here? Every scholar of Scripture – that is you and me, as we all are to be scholars or talmidim/disciples of יהושע Messiah, The Living Word; and as we scholars of Scripture are taught in the reign of the heavens, we bring out those great treasures both of the renewed writings and of the old; and we must partake of the ‘old’ treasures before we can actively understand and make room for wisdom and understanding to be established by eating out the ‘old supply of grain’ first, before we partake in the ‘renewed’!

We cannot fully embrace and understand the Renewed Writings (N.T.) until we have fully taken in of the ‘Old’ (Tanak).

Sadly in the world today we see the repeated error of false shepherds and false prophets who are steering hungry seekers of the Truth away from the old and teach them to start at the Book of Yoḥanan/John; and while many think that they are getting the benefits if much needed nutrition through the Word is not the fullness of the True Bread of Life; and when one does not learn the ancient ways – the ability to walk in the new is skewed and without direction!

There is a sad detour off of the True way when teachers are pointing earnest seekers of the Truth away from the Torah, prophets and writings of the Tanak and explaining them away as done away with!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 18:15 “But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway.

‘Burning incense to what is false’ – that is ‘strange fire’, which is exactly what those who do not eat of the Tanak are doing!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus said יהוה, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We do not walk in it.

We are to ‘walk in’ the Good Way – and His Torah lights our path:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23 “For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life.

Without His Torah we will be in the dark! Praise יהוה for the fullness of His Word – the ancient writings as well as the renewed – let us be eating them both with great joy – for the ‘old’ brings greater clarity and further nourishment and enrichment to the ‘new’.

Verse 13

יהוה makes it very clear that He is the One who brought us out of Mitsrayim, from being slaves; and it is He who has broken the bars and yoke of enslavement to man-made dogmas and false traditions; and it is He who has made us walk ‘upright’. The Hebrew word translated as ‘upright’ in this verse is the word קוֹמְמִיּוּת qomemiyyuth – Strong’s H6968 which means, uprightness, and comes from the root קוּם qum – Strong’s H6965 meaning, to arise, stand up, stand, which can often give the meaning of to rise, to become powerful, to stand firm, to maintain oneself, to be established, endure. It is only our Master and Elohim that is able to cause us to be a people who can arise, stand firm and be established in Him to endure, until He comes to receive us to Himself!

יהוה has broken the bars of our yoke! The Hebrew word translated as ‘broken’ is שָׁבַר shaḇar – Strong’s H7665 which means, ‘break in pieces, crush, shatter’, and the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek Translation of the Tanak) for ‘break down’ is συντρίβω suntribō – Strong’s G4937 which means, break in pieces, crush, and is used in:

Romiyim/Romans 16:20 “And the Elohim of peace shall crush Satan under your feet shortly. The favour of our Master יהושע Messiah be with you. Aměn.

The Hebrew word for ‘bars’ is מוֹטָה motah – Strong’s H4133 which means, a pole, bar (of a yoke), which is the feminine of מוֹט mot – Strong’s H4132 which means, a shaking, pole, bar (of a yoke), carrying bars, which is from the primitive root verb מוֹט mot – Strong’s H4131 which means, to totter, shake, slip, bring down, fall, give way, stagger.

Understanding this root helps us to further see how  יהוה has broken the bars of enslavement to false lies and traditions that have for far too long been heavy upon us; and he has broken that which caused us to totter and fall from uprightness! This word מוֹטָה motah – Strong’s H4133 is also found in Yeḥezqěl, where we see very similar words of the promise of being fruitful, due to the powerful deliverance of our Master and Elohim, who has broken the bars of false yokes:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:27-30 “And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the earth yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land. And they shall know that I am יהוה, when I have broken the bars of their yoke. And I shall deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them, 28 and they shall no longer be a prey for the gentiles, and the beast of the earth shall not devour them. And they shall dwell safely, with no one to make them afraid. 29 “And I shall raise up for them a planting place of name, and they shall no longer be consumed by hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the gentiles any more. 30 “And they shall know that I, יהוה their Elohim, am with them, and that they, the house of Yisra’ĕl, are My people,” declares the Master יהוה.’

Our ability to now walk upright is made available to us who call upon יהוה and take up the easy yoke of our Wonderful Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I shall give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.

He has made us walk upright – as long as we stay in Him! The Hebrew word for ‘walk’, as already discussed, is הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 and means, ‘to go, come, walk, manner of life, cause to live’.

When we walk according to His commands we shall see the kingdom here on earth, and if we do things right, then we know for sure that He is the One who is coming to dwell/camp in our midst.

IF YOU DO NOT OBEY ME! – Verse 14-39

We now come to the section that outlines the reality of what will happen when His people do not obey Him!

In verse 15 we see some words that speak of outright disobedience – let us take a look at these:

REJECT - מָאַס mâ'as – Strong’s H3988 means, ‘reject, completely abhor, despise, refuse, cast away’. To reject His Laws takes a clear choice to despise and refuse to obey; and today so many have cast away His Torah as they render it null and void in their hearts and as a result they do not realise the consequences that this rejection of his laws will bring upon them, lest they repent.

Tehilliah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?

The word used in this verse for ‘cast’ is שָׁלַךְ shalaḵ – Strong’s H7993 which means, ‘cast away, throw down, throw away,  fling’.  A very true picture of many today who claim to take His Covenant in their mouth while having ‘cast away’ or ‘rejected His instruction and His Word!!!

The Hebrew word for ‘reject’ is also found in the clear words given in Hoshěa/Hosea which tells us how so many have rejected the Truth and are dying for lack of knowledge:

Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.

Reject, refuse, despise or cast away any of the Words of Elohim and He will reject, refuse and cast you away from His presence on the day when many will claim to have done great deeds in His Name, yet will be rejected for being lawless by their clear rejecting of His commands and instructions to walk in His Torah!

LOATHES - גָּעַל gâ‛al – Strong’s H1602 meaning, ‘abhor, loathe, reject, defiled’. To abhor something means to hate it and to hate His instructions is totally against the clear command to walk in Him and love Him. Love for Elohim is to guard His commands – if we are not guarding His commands and doing them then we are in danger of not loving Him but hating Him!!!

BREAK - פָּרַר pârar – Strong’s H6565 and means, ‘to break, frustrate, annul, do away with, nullify, make void, cease’. Wow when we see the clear understanding of this word then we see how so many today have clearly broken His Covenant when they make it void and nullify it with a false ‘grace’ message!

What is very clear here is that when anyone who claims to be of Messiah, casts away rejects, or nullifies the Torah and clear instructions of Elohim then the following verses will be rendered as the result of such wilful ignorance!

As we go through the verses of the effects of not obeying we can only but realise the need to be a loving, obeying people – why would anyone want to reject, despise, defile or cast away that which leads us and guides our path in Messiah???

In the verses that follow the ‘if’ you break, reject, loath His commands we see 5 clear warnings and effects of what will happen if one continues to walk contrary to His Word.

 

Warning 1 – verse 16-17

Sudden alarm, wasting disease and inflammation, destroying the eyes and consuming the life!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘sudden alarm’ is בֶּֽהָלָה behalah – Strong’s H928 which means, dismay, sudden terror, ruin, calamity, and comes from the root בָּהַל bahal – Strong’s H926 which means, to disturb, terrify, tremble.

Tehillah/Psalm 90:7 “For we have been consumed by Your displeasure, and by Your wrath we are alarmed.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘wasting disease’ is שַׁחֶפֶת shaḥepheth – Strong’s H7829 which means, consumption, wasting disease, and is also understood as the ‘wasting disease of the lungs, which in a manner of speaking speaks about that which consumes our breath and without breath we shall waste away and die!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘inflammation’ is קַדַּחַת qaddaḥath – Strong’s H6920 which means, fever, and comes from the root קָדַח qadaḥ – Strong’s H6919 which means, to be kindled, burn, which we find in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:22 “For a fire was kindled in My wrath And burns to the bottom of She’ol, And consumes the earth and its increase, And sets on fire the foundations of mountains.

The kindled fire of the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience and when we consider these words, we need to be sober in our estimation of how we are to walk upright before our Master and Elohim, and we take careful note of the Master’s words:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the being. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both being and body in Gehenna.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be thrown into the fire of Gehenna.

 

Mal’aḵi the prophet says:

Mal’aḵi/Malachi  4:1-2 “For look, the day shall come, burning like a furnace, and all the proud, and every wrongdoer shall be stubble. And the day that shall come shall burn them up,” said יהוה of hosts, “which leaves to them neither root nor branch. 2 “But to you who fear My Name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. And you shall go out and leap for joy like calves from the stall.

 

Here in Wayyiqra we are further instructed that any sowing that is done in disobedience to walking according to the Torah will be done in vain and יהוה will set His face against you and those who hate you will rule over you and you will flee in fear when no one is pursuing you! This is self-explanatory – not the kind of position any of us want to find ourselves in! None of us want to be in a state of panic or distress or depression – yet we see that these factors grip so many around the world today as people are even terrified of things that do not exist! All as a result of rejecting and despising the Torah!

 

One of the effect s of disobedience is the fact that the eyes become darkened to see the Truth and so the sinner/lawless do not see their own disobedience which in turn will cause so many to be groping around in the dark thinking that they are in the light and find that what they have sown will be in vain.

It makes me think of the words that so many will cry out on ‘that day’:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:22-23 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!

Warning 2 – verse 18-20

If the first effects of disobedience do not cause one to turn back due to ‘blindness’ as a result of casting away his commands and they still choose to disobey the commands, then יהוה says that He will punish the rebellious 7 times more for their sins/lawlessness!

Not only will the rebellious walk in a state of panic, distress and depression – but there stubbornness to humble themselves and submit will grow and they will find themselves slaving away to try to make ends meet only to find that their toil and labour will be in vain!

In verse 19 the use of bronze and iron are clear pictures that we see being used throughout Scripture of stubbornness and pride, which only results in a fruitless life of a stiff-necked person!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 48:4 “Because I knew that you were hard, and your neck was an iron sinew, and your forehead bronze.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:28 “All of them are rebels of rebels, walking as slanderers. They are bronze and iron, all of them are corrupters.

One of the effects of rebellious living is a stiff neck and a stubbornness to repent.

Warning 3 – verse 21-22

Things will just get worse the more people refuse to obey. The word used here for contrary in verse 21 is קְרִי qeri – Strong’s H7147 and means, ‘in opposition, hostility, contrary, perversely, hostile encounter’. The more one refuses to repent and obey, the more the hostility toward the Truth becomes greater and a decision to walk totally contrary to the Truth becomes a stand point for so many. Many say today, “I will not walk in that way… you are trying to put me under law and I refuse!’. This is a clear cut choice that has resulted in disobedience leading to stubbornness and then a flat refusal to submit! The result of this is that Elohim will remove all that has competed with Him for our affection and commitment and priorities.

Warning 4 – verse 23-26

If one still refuses to turn back then once again Elohim will strike the rebellious 7 times more for their sins.

It is at this stage that I want to make it clear that each time we see the term ‘7 times’, we see that this is a just and righteous punishment, as it is ‘for your sins’. יהוה is just – He does not punish for nothing!

Tehillah/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; kindness and truth go before Your face.

If one still walks contrary to His commands and still refuses to be instructed by Him, then He will walk contrary to you! So many still refuse to accept that sun-day is not the Sabbath and wilfully refuse to be instructed by His Torah and as a result will find that Elohim shall walk contrary to them, and He will bring against them a sword – that is His Word that will execute vengeance and send forth that which has been written. יהוה always rules rightly according to His written Word.

Notice in verse 25 how He says that ‘you shall gather in your cities’ – the result of this continued disobedience will cause many to gather themselves together in an assumed place of safety; and this is where he will strike them with pestilence – there is no hiding from יהוה!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:28-30 “Anyone who has disregarded the Torah of Mosheh dies without compassion on the witness of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think shall he deserve who has trampled the Son of Elohim underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was set apart as common, and insulted the Spirit of favour? 30 For we know Him who has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay, says יהוה.” And again, “יהוה shall judge His people.

In verse 26 we see the effect of famine when supply is cut off! 10 women will bake bread in 1 oven – there will be no need for many ovens as there will be so little to bake.

This is also a picture of the sending of a famine for His word!

Amos 8:11 “See, days are coming,” declares the Master יהוה, “that I shall send a hunger in the land, not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Words of יהוה.

The result of continued disobedience will result in a hunger in the land for a hearing of the True words of Elohim as many will continue in their whoring and never be satisfied as they build their own little kingdoms and empires while the House of יהוה is in ruins!

Ḥaggai/Haggai 1:6-7 “You have sown much, but brought in little; eat, but do not have enough; drink, but you are not filled with drink; clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” 7 Thus said יהוה of hosts, “Consider your ways!

Miḵah/Micah 6:14 “You shall eat but not be satisfied, and your inside be empty. And you shall store up but not save, and what you save I shall give to the sword.

Hoshěa/Hosea 4:10 “And they shall eat but not be satisfied, they shall whore but not increase, for they have stopped obeying יהוה.

Warning 5 – verse 27-33

If after all these warnings and punishments people still refuse to obey then once again they will be punished justly for their sins – 7-fold!

We see the effects of total disobedience and a casting away of His commands – verse 29 gives a gruesome picture of how they will eat each other’s flesh – the flesh of one’s own family!

All of these woes—even this one in verse 29 - took place when Yisra’ĕl’s cities were under siege by their enemies. יהוה was not exaggerating. What we must understand is that the devil did not do all of this to Yisra’ĕl; it was as a result of יהוה’s judgment, which is a very sober warning to us as we re-enter His covenant. This is a picture of the completion of His wrath and this ought to awaken us to obedience!

Ěḵah/Lamentations 4:10-11 “The hands of the compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became food for them In the destruction of the daughter of my people. 11 יהוה has completed His wrath, He has poured out His burning displeasure. And He kindled a fire in Tsiyon, and it consumed her foundations.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 5:10 “Therefore fathers are going to eat their sons in your midst, and sons eat their fathers. And I shall execute judgments among you and scatter all your remnant to all the winds.

When we consider these horrific pictures of the fullness of the wrath of Elohim being poured out, we can also begin to understand the woe that יהושע gave concerning ‘those days’ /last days as the wrath of יהוה is poured out, in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:19 “And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days!

Those nursing children – will we see a repeat of this severe punishment being poured out when mothers will eat their young?

When one considers all the effects of disobedience then we can further understand Sha’ul’s appeal in:

Qolasim/Colossians 3:5-7 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you also once walked when you lived in them.

 

The result of the continued disobedience and rebellion of Yisra’ĕl resulted in the words given in verse 33 of Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26, for Yisra’ĕl was scattered among the nations. The word ‘scatter’ is translated from the word זָרָה zarah – Strong’s H2219 meaning, ‘scatter, fan or winnow’, which we also read about and understand the effect of such in the Book of Hoshěa, which shows us how this word for scatter also carries the meaning of sowing, and therefore we see that while we as a rebellious people have been scattered abroad, we know that because of this scattering there will be a harvest of many from the ends of the earth who shall repent and return to the Covenants and Promise as they are grafted in by the Blood of Messiah and walk in His Laws and Guard His Commands! This is happening today as we speak!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:10-11 “Hear the word of יהוה, O gentiles, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Yisra’ĕl gathers him, and shall guard him as a shepherd his flock.’ 11 “For יהוה shall ransom Ya’aqoḇ, and redeem him from the hand of one stronger than he.

The effect of the scattering is that the Promised Land receives the rest it should.

In verse 34-35 we see how יהוה clearly told Yisra’ĕl that they would be disobedient and that He would do all of these words that He has written, and while being warned of their disobedience beforehand they still neglected to obey and guard His commands. We must learn from this today, as we too have His Word before us as a witness, and we must diligently hear, guard and do all His commands and not be found to be facing the effects of the details we see being written in this chapter form verse 14-33; but rather be a people who can daily live with the shalom and favour of Elohim, as described in verses 3-13 and hold on with great perseverance and steadfastness, the courage and strength of Messiah who lives in us by His Word and walk humbly before Elohim!

Verse 36 we see the effect of not being under the shadow of the Almighty; we see the effect of those who do not call upon His Name and walk in His ways – even a leaf will cause them to be flee as they are consumed with faintness of heart!

In Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 14 we read of the account when Dawiḏ faced some very intense battles and had learnt from previous mistakes, to call upon and inquire of יהוה in all circumstances, which resulted in a great ability to trust in and rely upon יהוה of hosts. And in verse 15 of that chapter, we see the instruction for Dawiḏ to go out to battle would be when he heard the sound of the stepping on the top of the mulberry trees, for Elohim would go before Him and destroy the Philistines!!! This is a great lesson for us who walk in His laws and guard His commands – we shall not fear when we hear the sounding of a leaf, but rather we shall continue to trust in and rely upon יהוה of Hosts who fights for us!

True repentance – verse 40-42

With יהוה there is always hope and those who confess their crookednesses will find favour with Him. One of the key aspects I see being brought forth very clear in these verses is the fact that we need to recognise not only our own crookedness and disobedience, but also that of our fathers! Neḥemyah/Nehemiah Chapter 1 is a great illustration of obeying this instructions and receiving the clear promises contained herein. (please read Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 1).

We need to acknowledge that we have inherited lies and that our fathers too have walked in error – this is critical in bringing about a true restoration of being able to walk humbly before Elohim and guard ourselves from falling back to erroneous teachings that has led so many generations astray!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19 “O יהוה, my strength and my stronghold and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited only falsehood, futility, and there is no value in them.

This is exactly what is happening today, as many of us have truly discovered that we have in fact inherited lies and the ability to acknowledge this is key to returning back into the joy of walking in the Covenants of Promise by the Blood of Messiah!

We need to right the wrong by walking in the Torah, as opposed to continuing in the errors of our fathers and allow the effects of such to continue! We need to acknowledge the uncircumcision of our hearts and recognize that which is due because of our wickedness and sin. When we do that we come to recognize and realise how great the Love of Elohim is toward us that He would offer up His own life to pay for our sins/lawlessness. We humbly accept the punishment for our crookedness – which is death and that by the Blood of Messiah we are raised to new life as we are immersed in Him and our hearts are circumcised with His Torah being penned on our hearts that we may walk in it!

Acknowledgement of the crookedness of our fathers will bring a great release to so many who for so long struggle with the concept of having been lied to! When we recognize and confess the error of our fathers, we will be further strengthened to go back to the Covenants of Promise given to our fathers who walked in the ways of Elohim!

Verse 42 tells us that when we do repent and confess that יהוה will remember His Covenant with our ancestors; and what is interesting here is that the order is reversed: Ya’aqoḇ, Yitsḥaq, and Aḇraham, as opposed to what we normally see in Scripture when referring to the Elohim of Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ and so what we see form this reading of the covenants in a ‘backwards’ sense we understand that we are moving back to our true roots and can pick up where our faithful ancestors left off.

Verse 43 – They loathed My laws!

Hoshěa/Hosea 8:12 “I have written for him numerous matters of My Torah – they were regarded as strange.

Many today regard the Torah as ‘strange’ and as a result ‘loathe’ the laws of Elohim, and this will simply result in being abandoned if they do not repent!

Verse 44 reminds us that יהוה shall not reject us, nor loathe us and he will not break his Covenant! The very things He warns His called out children to not do – Reject – Loathe – Break – He does not do; and so therefore let us be as He is and too not  - Reject – Loathe – Break His Laws or Commands!

 

CHAPTER 27

The teachings on vows and how to redeem them are placed at the very end of Wayyiqra/Leviticus and handled differently than the other instructions of יהוה.

In this Chapter we come to the instructions regarding the Torah of separating a vow unto יהוה and the evaluation given for all who do such a vow, whether male or female, young or old.

In Verse 2 we see the words, “separates a vow”; and the Hebrew root word translated as ‘separates’ is פָּלָא  pala – Strong’s H6381 meaning, to be surpassing or extraordinary, make marvellous, make special, wondrous work or deed, fulfil a special vow’. It is written in the Hiphil tense which can render the meaning, to do extraordinary or hard or difficult thing, to make wonderful, do wondrously. The Hebrew word translated as ‘vow’ is נֶדֶר neḏer – Strong’s H5088 meaning, vow and ‘to make a vow’ is the word נָדַר naḏar – Strong’s H5087; and to naḏar a neḏer” is to swear to Elohim with an ‘oath’, and therefore bind oneself with what proceeds from one’s mouth. A neder is something promised to Elohim verbally, and anyone who makes a vow is obliged to fulfil/do his promise! In Scripture a vow is always to Elohim and not to man. And the understanding behind a ‘vow’ carries the meaning, to bind or imprison, or to dedicate a specific object or creature to יהוה.

Tehillah/Psalm 61:8 “So I sing praise to Your Name forever, when I pay my vows day by day.

Tehillah/Psalm 116:14 “I pay my vows to יהוה now in the presence of all His people.

Yonah/Jonah 2:9 “But I offer to You with the voice of thanksgiving, I pay what I have vowed. Deliverance is of יהוה.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:33 “Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’

This can also cause us to recognise that we must be true to the words of our mouth as we do what we say we will, in offering up the commitment to follow Messiah and walk in Him daily!

 

This vow actually speaks of one coming before the priest and ‘vowing’ a person to יהוה, whether it be oneself or over someone else over which you have authority. You cannot vow that which does not belong to you, and so you cannot vow somebody else’s children! One can, as parents, dedicate your child at birth, and as we see from the account of Shemuʼěl (Samuel) that he was given over to the custody of the Temple and was raised in the House of יהוה, and became one of Yisra’ĕl’s greatest prophets, as his life was given totally over to יהוה.

One could dedicate a person to יהוה, which is to declare that he/she belongs to  יהוה and then be able to redeem them (get them back) by paying the price required based on the value as we see being described here in silver. What possibly is a foreign concept to us in putting a value upon a person, we must recognise that we see this right here in His Torah; and it declares just how important יהוה is and that by setting oneself apart to יהוה is something certainly a very highly honourable thing.

Up until this point the only form of sacrifice that has not been discussed is that of one being measured in the value of a human life. It is here that we now see the Torah introducing to us the concept of a human life as a subject for offering to יהוה; however it is stated that it must be in the form of a monetary payment of silver that would be used in the support of Temple treasury, and not for the Altar.

 

When we begin to see the very clear concept of making a vow to יהוה in regards to a person, we then see the wonderful picture of how יהושע Messiah has paid our full redemption price, that we may be set-apart unto יהוה, and live our lives as a daily living sacrifice!

The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ 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 therefore often would be seen as a symbol of blood, and here Yosĕph’s brothers would be reminded of how they would be unable to escape the responsibility for their brother .

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.

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!

In verse 3 we see the evaluation of  male from 20-60 years old is 50 sheqels of silver. At 20 years of age a Yisra’ĕlite was seen to be of ‘fighting age’ and those from 50-60 years old would train the younger. At 20 years old one was considered to be fully responsible for his actions.

In verse 4 we see the price for a woman being 30 sheqels. What is a powerful picture for us here in understanding how we have been redeemed by Messiah is that He paid the Bride Price for our redemption!

30 sheqels for a woman to be separated unto יהוה – This was the price that the High Priest determined for the value of יהושע’s life on the night He was betrayed. The payment was given to the priest but not put into the temple treasury and יהושע remained silent! He freely paid our redemption price of sin and death according to

יהוה’s will and governing principles.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 27:9 “Then was filled what was spoken by Yirmeyahu the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him who was pierced, on whom they of the children of Yisra’ĕl set a price.

Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 11:12-13 “And I said to them, “If it is good in your eyes, give me my wages. And if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 And יהוה said to me, “Throw it to the potter,” the splendid price at which I was valued by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the House of יהוה for the potter.

In verse 5 we see that the price of redemption from 5-20 years old for a male was 20 sheqels and for a female 10 sheqels. This was the price that Yosĕph’s brothers sold him for:

Berěshith/Genesis 37:28 “And men, Miḏyanite traders passed by, so they pulled Yosĕph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Yishmaʽĕlites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Yosĕph to Mitsrayim.

This, in a sense, gave him to יהוה, in order that many lives could be saved, and when he put the silver back in their sacks, he was in many ways telling them that he has already paid the price for their sin and was raised to bring about a restoration!

 

What we take from this chapter is the clear understanding that we, as a set-apart people unto Elohim, have been bought at a price:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.

By accepting the work and gift of Salvation that we Have been freely given in Messiah, we must take careful note that we were bought at a price, for He paid the price for a woman – His Bride – and now we are a set-apart people, vowed unto Elohim and therefore we are not our own and so we are to esteem Elohim in body and spirit!

 

Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited if he gains all the world, and loses his own life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

What shall we give in exchange for our life – Messiah has given His all and has now paid the full evaluation price for us and so let us not be found trying to gain worldly things to which we do not belong!

 

This chapter also teaches us to take serious our own individual ‘vows’ we make before יהוה. By that I mean this: whenever we promise to turn over any part of ourselves to יהוה, we must recognise that it belongs to Him and if we try in any way to take it back, we are stealing from Him! This can have application on various levels and various situations which one vows to do; however when we understand that our whole lives are to be given over to Him, then we must recognise that whenever we run after our own pleasures and are seeking only that which benefits self, we are in a sense stealing away from Him the life we now are now to live in Him! This is a call for total set-apartness.

Shemoth/Exodus 30:29 “And you shall set them apart, and they shall be most set-apart. Whatever touches them is to be set-apart.

What is this verse referring to? This was in regards to the instructions that יהוה gave to Mosheh to anoint and set-apart the Tent of Meeting, The Ark of Witness, and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand.

In other words everything in the Tabernacle was to be anointed and set-apart and anyone who touched any part of the Tabernacle and its furnishings is to be set-apart! That means if one was defiled in any way they would render themselves unworthy or unable to perform any duty in the Tabernacle.

Now when we understand that Sha’ul tells us in Romiyim/Romans 12: 1 that our ‘reasonable worship’ unto Elohim is to present our bodies as a living offering – which is well pleasing to Elohim, then we must recognise that in order to do that we must be set-apart!!! To come and offer our lives as a living offering while we have any defilement in us will result in our offering to be profane and not pleasing to Elohim.

Therefore in light of understanding that in Messiah, who has bought us at a price, we must do our utmost to be set-apart as He is set-apart and be able to ‘touch’ and do that which is pleasing to Elohim, and in the process we must ‘die’ to self and seek not after the lusts of this world – after all we are His and not or own!

One of the key lesson form this chapter is that our commitments and promises to Elohim must be free from profanities and compromise and we should guard what we commit to!

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 5:2 “Do not be hasty with your mouth, and let not your heart hurry to bring forth a word before Elohim. For Elohim is in the heavens, and you on earth, therefore let your words be few.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:25 “It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is set-apart,” And only later to reconsider his vows.

 

What we also must take note of here is that the vows spoken of in this chapter are all voluntary vows and are all expressions of pure worship unto יהוה for His blessings he bestows upon His children!

The redemption of property and its values was determined according to the years to the Yoḇel and as we know that the Yoḇel is the year of release and so we also understand that when Messiah came in the flesh, He came and proclaimed the Yoḇel in the year He died and so he paid the full redemption price for us His people and for all the earth! He is coming again at the Yoḇel when the field (the world) with its harvest will be returned to Him – for the earth and all that is in it belongs to Him!

Whatever was put under the ban was most set-apart to יהוה and whatever was under the ban, be it man, beast or field, could not be sold, redeemed or ransomed, but would be put to death! יהושע Messiah was ‘put under the ban’ as most set-apart to יהוה and was put to death and raised again. The fact that because He was put under the ban secures for us that His death and resurrection could not be sold or redeemed by another – it remains effective for all time and us who are in Him are now most set-apart unto Elohim forever.

We too must put under the ban and put to death the things of the flesh! There are things in our lives that must simply be done away with; there is no negotiating with יהוה to have them back.  Once we give יהוה a pledge to kill off something in our lives that hinders us, it cannot be taken back. 

This chapter closes with the reminder that tithes are not a question of being a voluntary vow offering but that they are a non-negotiable – they are set-apart to יהוה, and anyone who redeemed any of his tithes would have to add 1/5th to it. A tithe could not be ‘exchanged’, and if it was then both it and the one he exchanged for it are set-apart and not redeemed. This is a clear command that there is no way of getting out of tithes – to do so is robbing Elohim.

The bottom line is simply this: the tithes belongs to יהוה and when we obey by giving it back to Him, that earthly response to the original heavenly principle will reap future blessings and provision in our lives. No one likes a test, but if one understands the principle behind the sowing of the tithe then the result will be one of giving with great joy and thanksgiving unto Elohim. There is absolutely no use of holding on to what is set-apart to  יהוה, and after considering the clear warnings we have looked at for rejecting, loathing or breaking His laws and commands, we ought to carefully consider the consequences of any such disobedience and be careful to be a people who guard to do what He commands!

The tithe belongs to יהוה and so He asks his set-apart people for His tithe, not because He ‘needs’ it from us but because He desires to bless us according to His clear promises for obedience; for what we give to Him multiplies back to us over again. His seed is meant to be given away, so He can multiply it back, and we can give it away again, and again, and again. The tithe was used for maintaining the tabernacle and its service; priests included. The upkeep of the priesthood was imperative in maintaining the tabernacle. Today the ‘priests’ are those who maintain the principle of the tabernacle and teach these principles to others as they teach the people the difference between the clean and unclean and between the profane and the set-apart. This is where tithes are given today – to those whom יהוה has called to “service in the Dwelling Place”. Without the tithe being maintained - both the tabernacle and the priesthood will perish.

The Book of Mal’aḵi/Malachi is critical for us in understanding the foundational truth of tithing that is as very much a requirement today as it was in Scriptural Times. The whole tithe is to be brought in by the people of Elohim, and sadly many get distracted by the needs of other ‘causes’ while they neglect the tithe – yet we must remember that tithes must be brought in first before any other offerings, vows or gifts. Offerings and gifts are not to be taken from the tithes and substituting tithes comes at a cost!

Mal’aḵi/Malachi speaks of bringing the tithe into a storehouse. Today we too are to put our tithes into the storehouse, and the storehouse today is the place (person) that teaches us and feeds us יהוה’s true manna. Those who teach how to know the difference between set-apart and profane, and how to distinguish between clean and unclean and teach how to and keep יהוה’s Feasts and Appointed Times, and teach how to keep His Sabbaths set-apart – these are the true ‘priests and prophets’ who serve in His Tabernacle today!

The Hebrew word for ‘tithes’ is מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643tenth part, tithe’. We read in Berěshith/Genesis 14:20 that Aḇram gave Malkitseḏeq a tenth/tithe of all. We also read in:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:4-6 “Now see how great this one was, to whom even the ancestor Aḇraham gave a tenth of the choicest booty. 5 And truly, those who are of the sons of Lĕwi, who receive the priesthood, have a command to receive tithes from the people according to the Torah, that is, from their brothers, though they have come from the loins of Aḇraham, 6 however, the one whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Aḇraham, and blessed the one who held the promises.

The Lĕwitical priesthood and its functions serve as a type or picture of how we now serve in the order of  Malkitseḏeq, as tithes are still valid, and are given to those whom Messiah has appointed to serve and teach in equipping and building up of the body of Messiah unto maturity in Him. Let us look at this word in its ancient form:

מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643tenth part, tithe in the ancient script look like:

reshshinayinmem

mem   - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script 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.

ayin - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ayin’, which is pictured as an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed, look’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon.

shin  - this is the letter ‘sin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘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.

 resh   - this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘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.

From this pictographic description of this word we can see the following:

The nations have seen the destruction of the Head/first born!

יהוה told Aḇraham that He would make him a great nation, and then asked Aḇraham to sacrifice his only son (Yitsḥaq was the ‘only son’ according to the Promise). The word for ‘tithe’ can in many ways picture Aḇraham (the great nation), seeing the destruction of the first son (the son of the promise). Understanding this picture, we can also see how the tithe can in many ways represent the act that was reciprocated by Elohim, in part, due to Aḇraham’s obedience, and so Elohim ‘gave of  Himself’ as seen in His ‘Outstretched Arm and Hand’ as revealed through the ‘firstborn of all creation’ - יהושע Messiah – The Right Hand of Elohim! At the death of Messiah on the stake, the nations saw the destruction of Elohim’s firstborn, who is the head of all creation! Aḇrahamtithed’ to Malkitseḏeq, after having been blessed by him, and Aḇraham’s grandson, Lĕwi, got credit for it, as he received ‘tithes’ from the rest of the nation! Bearing in mind that Lĕwi means ‘joined to’, we see how we have become a royal priesthood, having been grafted in and joined to the Body of Messiah by His own Blood, and can therefore faithfully give back to Him, our all! Let us therefore look at Lĕwi in the ancient script to get a better understanding of the authority under which we are led, having been joined to our Head and King, יהושע Messiah – who has, by His own blood secured for us His Covenant Promises in Him, having worked redemption through Him taking the punishment of death on a stake, having nailed death to the stake, giving all who call upon Him the ability to be joined to Him, as Head, High Priest and King, making us, who are in Him, a royal priesthood that are able to serve in Him Spirit and Truth and walk with confidence in the Spirit, putting to death the flesh!

Lĕwiלֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 meaning, joined to, and in the ancient script looks like:

yadwawlamed

 lamed     - this is the Hebrew letter ‘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.

 waw      - this is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as 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 form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

yad    - this is the Hebrew letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘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!

By the Blood of Messiah we have been joined to Him and submit under His Authority, by His securing for us as a priesthood in His Covenant, through the work of His Hand

What better reason can you think of, regarding being faithful with your tithes and offerings, than to simply understand the true work of Messiah, and how יהוה Himself came down and blessed us in giving us of Himself, causing us to be a people who have been joined to Him, and in response give your all, in complete obedience, with ‘tithes’ simply being the beginning of the active obedience to which the body of Messiah faithfully responds to!

Shalom