BEMIḎBAR (NUMBERS) 19:1-22:1 –ḤUQQAT – LAWS

This week’s Torah portion once again takes a look at some wonderful shadow pictures of Messiah and we see three predominant pictures outlined within each of the three chapters we are looking at. The Red Heifer, The Rock and the Bronze Serpent on the pole – all of which we will cover in this portion!

The name for this week’s portion is –חֻקַּתḥuqqatmeaning, ‘law’. Which law – the law of the Torah.

The phrase in Hebrew is – חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָהḥuqqat ha Toraha law of the Torah. The word “ḥuqqat” is a form of the word  חֻקָּה ḥuqqah – Strong’s H2708 which means, ordinances, custom, manner, something prescribed, an enactment, statute, fixed order’.

The reason for this word becoming ḥuqqat instead of remaining as ḥuqqah is that 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. When a feminine noun ending with the letter ה, such as ḥuqqah (חֻקָּה), is used in the construct state, the ה hey’ is converted to a תtaw’; in this case it becomes ‘ḥuqqat’ (חֻקַּת).

The reason for mentioning this is to simply highlight that this ḥuqqah  is a ḥuqqah (law) of the Torah, and when we get a clearer understanding of what this law pertaining to the Torah explains for us through the Red Heifer sacrifice we get a better and more clearer picture of the wonderful work of Messiah and that which He fully met in a powerful demonstration of His sacrificial love for us.

This word, חֻקָּה ḥuqqah is the feminine of חֹק ḥoq  Strong’s H2706 meaning, something prescribed or owed, boundary, allotment, portion, ordinance, statute. This word comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 which means, to cut, inscribe, hack, engrave, decree, carve, sceptre, lawgiver’. In essence we get the clear understanding of a  ḥuqqah as being a ‘law cut in stone’, which means that it is set and fixed!

So let us begin to look at this ‘fixed and set’ law regarding the red heifer; a law that for many is seen as mysterious; yet when understanding this law in its fullness it is not mysterious at all as it brings us a clear and precise picture of that which יהושע Messiah fully met for us; and in His onetime sacrifice He continues to fully meet the requirements of this ‘fixed’ ḥuqqah. For many Yehuḏi (Jews) who have not accepted יהושע Messiah, this may certainly present itself as a mysterious law, and this all due to the fact that they refuse to see how יהושע Messiah fully met these prescribed requirements!

A ḥuqqah is often seen as something that must simply be obeyed, even when the full understanding may not be available; and as we look at what has been labelled as a law that may not be fully understood we in fact come to learn that all is made clear and understandable through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah.

What is very clear here is that the requirements of this ḥuqqah had to have been fully met  by Messiah in order for Him to meet the requirements of the Torah as this ḥuqqah is ‘a’ law of the Torah; and in order for Him, The Living Torah, to fully meet all the requirements of the Torah, He had to fully meet these too. Let us now take a look at the ḥuqqah of the Red Heifer:

The word for ‘red’ is אָדֹם aḏom – Strong’s H122 meaning, ‘red, ruddy’ and in Hebrew the term suggests an earth-tone like that of red clay, and we know that Aḏam was made from the dust of the earth and the reason for the Heifer to be red, although not always understood as to why, may in fact be a clear picture of how Messiah had to come in the flesh and that through Him, the second Aḏam, we are able to be delivered from sin and bring restoration through His offering up of His own life for many who “in Him” shall be made righteous:

Romiyim/Romans 5:19 “For as through the disobedience of one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One many shall be made righteous.

The word for ‘heifer’ is פָּרָה parah – Strong’s H6510 which simply means, heifer, cow.

When I looked these two words together as being that ‘mysterious’ sacrifice I began to see more and more the wonderful and amazing picture of Messiah and how these two words themselves speak a great deal to us when we look at them in the ancient script!

Red Heifer in the Hebrew is actually written as ‘heifer that is red’ – פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה   – parah aḏumah.  The reason for the ‘hey’ at the end of ‘aḏom’ is that the word ‘parah’ is a feminine noun and therefore the adjective takes the form of the noun and so we see the term ‘parah aḏumah’ from the two root words – parah and aḏom.

Let us take a closer look at these two words in the ancient script:

 

Parah                    פָּרָה‘pey’ פָּ – ‘resh’ רָ  – ‘hey’ ה . In the ancient script we see the following:

heyreshpey

pey             the letter ‘pey’ – פָּ – which in the ancient script is pictured as 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!

resh                the letter ‘resh’ – רָ  – in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.

 hey               the letter ‘hey’ – ה  – in the ancient script is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out. We can get the essence of this when we think of someone shouting, ‘Look at that!’ It also carries the picture of ‘praise’ with arms raised in complete praise and surrender. And so we can then say that it is a ‘looking’ to that which has been revealed and seeing that which all else has pointed toward, resulting in exuberant praise!

 

aḏumah               אֲדֻמָּה – Aleph אֲ – Dalet דֻ – Mem מָּ – Hey ה : In the Ancient Script we see the following:

heymemdaletaleph

aleph              the letter ‘aleph’ -  אָ - which in the ancient script is pictured as a head of an ox and is symbolic of strength and power performed by the animal. The pictograph also represents and leader or chief, and speaks of the strength of the ‘head’ that leads!

dalet              the letter ‘dalet’ – דֹ – which in the ancient script is pictured as 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 and the only means of access.

mem               the letter ‘mem/final mem’ – ם – which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown as this letter is often used as a question word, for what, who, where, when, why and how. It also represents that which flows as in waters and or other liquids like grape juice or blood! It can also picture for us the water of the Word which we are to be immersed in as we look at the Bronze Laver of the Tabernacle picturing the cleansing water of the Word.

hey                the letter ‘hey’ – ה  – in the ancient script is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out. We can get the essence of this when we think of someone shouting, ‘Look at that!’ It also carries the picture of ‘praise’ with arms raised in complete praise and surrender. And so we can then say that it is a ‘looking’ to that which has been revealed and seeing that which all else has pointed toward, resulting in exuberant praise!

When we look at all these pictographic letters of the ‘red heifer’ we can see a wonderful proclamation being given in the collection of these letters that reveal to us the great work of Messiah in being the perfect Red Heifer sacrifice for us, and we can therefore confidently deduce the following summation from these letters/words that make up ‘red heifer’ in the ancient text as a collective message that says that we meet our Head/Leader/Chief at the Door of Appointment in order to be cleansed by His Word, which was made flesh and is our Head who is to be praised!

 

The “ALEPH”, that is  - the Head of all creation  - is the ONE who leads/draws us to Himself, as we meet Him at the DOOR of Appointment (His Appointed Times), that through His own sacrifice we have been granted access to His Waters of cleansing, which has been declared by the mouth/Word of our Head, Messiah – the One to whom we look upon and give praise  - for behold He has taken away the sins of the world.

When we see this beautiful and clear word picture through the term ‘red heifer’ we have to wonder why so many see this is a mystery!

Let us now take a further look at the requirements of the red heifer, for we need to clearly understand what the red heifer sacrifice entails in order to fully understand and embrace all aspects of the Torah and the sacrificial requirements for all sacrifices done in the Tabernacle. This chapter begins by telling us that the red heifer instructions are referred to as being the ‘law of the Torah’! This is the ‘חֻקָּה ḥuqqah’ of the Torah – that is that without the red heifer there can be no fulfilment and understanding of the Torah and without the red heifer there can be no service in the Tabernacle and without that there can be no cleansing, and without cleansing there can be no deliverance!!!

A perfect one!

The red heifer had to be a perfect one, with no blemish and on which there was never a yoke.

The root word used here for perfect in the Hebrew is תָּמִים  tamiym – Strong’s H8549 meaning, complete, whole, sound, perfect, without blemish, blameless, and comes from the primitive root word תָּמַם tamam – Strong’s H8552 meaning, to be complete, to be finished, be at an end.

Now when we see the requirements for this red heifer to be ‘tamiym’, we see just how יהושע, our High Priest met the requirements in being a blameless, prefect, complete sacrifice without defect:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:26 “For it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest – kind, innocent, undefiled, having been separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens,

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:19 “but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless

יהושע was without sin or defect and He was utterly unique and on which there had never come a yoke! A yoke was usually a wooden bar and frame with straps, used on animals for plowing and pulling loads, and so the red heifer was never to have been ‘worked’. The term ‘yoke’ in the Scriptures is metaphorically speaking of that which men are led by, either by their own choice or by enslavement and so speaks of being ‘driven’ in a direction of the one who owned the ‘yoke’ that was placed upon you. We were all under the ‘yoke’ of sin and bondage and  Messiah who had never been under any ‘yoke’ came as a perfect sacrifice to break the yoke of bondage over us in order to set us free and be enabled to take His yoke and be led in victory and peace.

 

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:13 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from being their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “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.

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

When we understand the clear instruction given that the red heifer must be one that has never had a yoke, we take note that Messiah never had a yoke as He is the One who leads and gives the instructions, and in humility he Himself subjected Himself to His own instructions in order to redeem us from the yoke of slavery and enabled to take His easy yoke upon ourselves and be led forth in truth.

The Hebrew word for ‘yoke’ is עֹל ol (ool) – Strong’s H5923 and comes from the primitive root verb עָלַל alal – Strong’s H5953 which means, to insert, thrust in, and this word speaks of relationships. It is used to indicate the exercise of power over another person, generally in a bad sense, hence meaning “to maltreat.”

Many ‘yokes of traditions’ have been thrusted upon people as the twisted and vain dogmas of man have exercised power over the masses causing them to submit to their heavy yoke of bondage by thrusting them into customs that are taught as truth! Messiah came to break the yoke of bondage in order to give us as easy yoke – His yoke – that is not heavy and negative, but rather a yoke that leads to life.

This Hebrew word for ‘yoke’ - עֹל ol (ool) – Strong’s H5923 – in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

 lamedayin

Ayin – ע:

the ancient script has this letter is pictured as ayin, which is ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge.

Lamed – לַ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as lamed,which is 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.

With the eye representing knowledge and experience and the shepherds rod representing a staff or yoke, we are able to see that these two pictures together render the clear meaning of, ‘experience the staff’!!!

The yoke is attached to the oxen for performing work, and so to do we recognise that we ‘experience the staff’ as we submit to the clear leading and guidance of our Good Shepherd, Master and Elohim, as we fix our eyes on the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our faith and submit to His authority! 

The red heifer was to be given to El’azar the priest, who would bring it outside the camp and it would be slain before him. The name El’azar - אֶלְעָזָר  - Strong’s H499 means,El has helped/assisted which comes from the two words: 1) אֵל ěl – Strong’s H410 meaning ‘mighty, power or mighty one’ and is also used as a title of יהוה, and 2) עָזַר azar – Strong’s H5826 which means, help, relief, aid, support. He was the son of Aharon who was to take over as high priest. What we recognise here is the powerful shadow picture of Messiah, our High Priest, is the One Elohim and Master who has helped us – for יהוה is our Help!

Tehillah/Psalm 54:4 “See, Elohim is my helper; יהוה is with those who sustain my life.

The root word used here in this Tehillah for ‘helper’ is עָזַר azar – Strong’s H5826 which means, help, relief, aid, support.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:5-6Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you,” 6 so that we boldly say, “יהוה is my helper, I shall not fear what man shall do to me.

 

When we look at the process of this red heifer sacrifice we notice that the one offering the sacrifice became unclean while the one who was sprinkled with the blood was cleansed! This is a wonderful shadow picture of the perfect work of Messiah, who being without sin became sin for us and cleansed us by the sprinkling of His Blood!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 5:21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Elohim.

This is a perfect illustration and clear evidence of His sacrificial love for us!

His Sprinkling of His Blood makes us clean while He took our sin upon Himself:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:2 “chosen according to the foreknowledge of Elohim the Father, set apart by the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of יהושע Messiah: Favour and peace be increased to you.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:24 “and to יהושע the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better than the blood of Heḇel.

His ‘blood of sprinkling’ speaks better than the ‘blood of Heḇel’ because by His Blood He has satisfied the punishment for sin. Heḇel’s blood cried out from the earth for his murder and we praise יהוה for hearing that cry and satisfying the punishment of sin through His own Blood that cleanses and restores.

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

 

Heḇel’s blood crying out could not satisfy as he too was born under the yoke on sin and his blood could never satisfy the redemption price, while Elohim, by His own Blood paid the price that speaks better than that of Heḇel! By the Blood of Elohim He purchased back for Himself a people who had been sold under slavery to sin!!!:

Ma’asei/Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Set-apart Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of Elohim which He has purchased with His own blood.

 

The heifer was to be a 3 year old indicating that it was to be an adult, a picture of maturity and not being too young. We identify that יהושע was clearly eligible and mature in being the perfect sacrifice, when in His 30th year He was of age to fulfil His Priestly role and not be too young, but was of the age of service in the priesthood, as 30 was the age whereby the priests were able to enter the service in the Tent of Appointment:

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4:3 “from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting.

We also take note that the first animal that Aḇraham was told to bring, when יהוה made Covenant with him, was a 3 year old heifer!

Berěshith/Genesis 15:9And He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, and a three-year-old female goat, and a three-year-old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘heifer’ is עֶגְלָה eglah – Strong’s H5697 which also has the meaning of, cow, heifer, and while it is not the same word used for ‘red heifer’ what is worth taking note of us the call for a 3 year old heifer being brought to make covenant! We know that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin but only served as a covering and pointing to the only blood that can cleanse, hence the heifer being brought by Aḇraham was not a perfect one, as the covenant being made would be fully perfected, renewed and made complete by the blood of Messiah, the perfect One! The picture of the perfect red heifer is a clear shadow picture for us of the perfect work of our Messiah who satisfies and secures the covenant in His Blood, so that we may be cleansed and our consciences sprinkled with His Blood!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:11-15 “But Messiah, having become a High Priest of the coming good matters, through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 entered into the Most Set-apart Place once for all, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained everlasting redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim? 15 And because of this He is the Mediator of a renewed covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance.

 

Everything was burned – outside the camp!

What we see in this red heifer sacrifice is that everything was burned – all its hide, flesh, blood and dung, apart from the 7 sprinklings of blood toward the front of the Tent of Appointment! Usually the blood of the sacrifices were poured out next to the altar, and here the blood is burned up with the rest! This is a complete and whole sacrifice and pictures for us a great deal as it clearly shadow pictures the fullness of the work of Messiah.

This sacrifice was to be done outside the camp as was יהושע taken outside:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:12-13 “And so יהושע also suffered outside the gate, to set apart the people with His own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

With the sprinkling of its blood 7 times toward the front of the Tent of Appointment we are able to firmly grasp the clear picture of this sacrifice pointing us to יהושע Messiah, who is The Door. This sprinkling of the blood seven times pictures for us the completion of the Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim which fully proclaim the full and complete work of Messiah, who cleanses His Bride through the washing of the Word by His Blood!

In Hebrew the number “7” is associated with the understanding of completion, especially with regards to fulfilling an oath, as the word for “7” in Hebrew is שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 and it is from this word that we get the word for ‘oath’ - שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 meaning, to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’. An ‘oath’ is typically and obligation taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you. To “swear” in Scripture (which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa) was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act. Occasionally we see in Scripture that one ‘swore’ that he freely acknowledged a truth and would continue to acknowledge it in the future by sticking to what he has heard. In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, that what was said would be accomplished.

What we see very clearly through this red heifer sacrifice is the firm assurance of the Word of Elohim being established in confirming to us that He Himself would cleanse us from our sin and graft us into His Covenants of Promise by His own blood, by coming outside of His Dwelling Place and meeting the requirements of this sacrifice outside the camp!!!

 

Hyssop, Scarlet and Cedar – burned up too!

Along with the whole burning of the Red Heifer we see that the priest was to also take hyssop, scarlet and cedar wood and throw them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer; and what we must take careful note of here is that all of these items were items that were used in the process of cleansing from sin or skin diseases!

This burning of everything together is a clear picture of the burning away of leaven and speaks of Pěsaḥ/Passover in getting rid of the leaven! יהושע took our sin away on a wooden stake (pole) – picture through the cedar wood, while the cedar wood also pictures for us the door posts  and lintel upon which the blood of the lamb was to be applied. The blood was to be applied using hyssop:

Shemoth/Exodus 12:22 “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin, and you, none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

Hyssop, scarlet and cedar wood was also used in the process of the cleansing of a leper as described in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14:4,6,49,51,52, and so reminds us of the total cleansing that the sacrifice of יהושע brings for us through Him fulfilling the requirements of the red Heifer sacrifice.

The word cedar in Hebrew is אֶרֶז erez – Strong’s H730 which comes from the primitive root אָרַז araz – Strong’s H729 that means, firm, strong.

In Tehillim/Psalm 92 Dawiḏ tells us that the righteous will grow like the cedars of Leḇanon. The Cedar is a strong and firm tree and a cedar tree is in itself a wonderful illustration of bringing us a picture of a person who is טוֹב to (good) and fully functional in Messiah. They have been known to grow up to 12 meters in circumference! The roots grow down extremely deep and wrap around rocks for anchorage, and grow upwards in heights of up to 45 meters!!! The fragrance of a cedar tree acts as a great defence against being attacked by insects and pests and it is ‘knot’ free and rot resistant, known for their longevity and are perennial evergreen trees. Cedar, as we know, is used in Scripture for the process of the cleaning of a leper – it is used is the Red Heifer sacrifice; Shelomoh used cedar wood to build the Temple. The cedar speaks of us being strong and trustworthy in Messiah and being the fragrance of Messiah, which to some will be death and to others life. It also speaks of trusting in יהוה and obeying the command of יהושע Messiah to not worry! The cedar also represents for us ‘storing up treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy’ and so as we do the good works prepared in advance for us we repel the need to store up the fleshly desires that are like pests that cause rot!

It was the ashes of this sacrifice – the ashes of all the components burnt together – that was kept for the water for uncleanness for the cleansing of sin! This water for uncleanness or water of separation, that this sacrifice made available, is a shadow picture of that which by His sacrifice He has made available to us in order that we may be cleansed from the impurity of sin and death, declaring His total love for us, His Bride!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-26 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.

We also see in this sacrifice the picture of the total cleansing work that Messiah brings by His Blood to His whole body, which was also foreshadowed by how Mosheh cleansed the Tent and the people using the elements that would be used in the red heifer sacrifice:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:19-22 “For when, according to Torah, every command had been spoken by Mosheh to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which Elohim commanded you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with blood both the Tent and all the vessels of the service. 22 And, according to the Torah, almost all is cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

 

The sacrifice of Messiah as pictured through the red heifer sacrifice is a complete cleansing of His people!

The use of the hyssop plant was a prophetic picture of the impaling of Messiah and the ‘application’ of His Blood upon our heart:

Yoḥanan/John 19:29-30 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth. 30 So when יהושע took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Dawiḏ also used the term ‘hyssop’ as a picture of cleansing and forgiveness by the Blood of Messiah:

Tehillah/Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; wash me, and I am whiter than snow.

The 2 doorposts that were to be struck with the blood using hyssop can also represent the 2 houses of Yisra’ĕlYehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl (Ephrayim), being brought together by the Blood of the Lamb – our Messiah!

Shemoth/Exodus 12:22 “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin, and you, none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

hyssop

Without the applying of the Blood of Messiah in our lives we have no cleansing and forgiveness!

Hyssop - A woody Eurasian plant (Hyssopus officinalis) having spikes of small blue flowers and aromatic leaves used in perfumery and as a condiment. The Hebrew word for hyssop - אֵזוֹב ezoḇ – Strong’s H231 and was used for sprinkling in some of the sacrifices and purifications of the Yisra’ĕlites. In consequence of its detergent qualities, or from its being associated with the purificatory Services, Dawiḏ makes use of the expression, "Purge me with ezoḇ." (Tehillah/Psalm 51:7). It is described in Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 4:33 as growing on or near walls. Besides being thus fit for sprinkling, having cleansing properties and growing on walls, the true hyssop should be a plant common to Mitsrayim, Sinai and Yisra’ĕl, and capable of producing a stick three or four feet long, since on a stalk of hyssop the sponge of vinegar was held up to Messiah on the stake. Yoḥanan/John 19:29 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.

Scarlet - תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – Strong’s H8439 being ‘worm’. This scarlet (red) colour came from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to a tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them--a wonderful picture of יהושע. The insect ‘coccus ilicis’ is related to the cochineal insect and found on the twigs and branches of evergreen oaks in Southern Europe and North Africa. They belong to the family of insects known as Coccidae or Scale-insects. When the female of the species is ready to lay eggs, she attaches her body firmly to the tree. The eggs are laid beneath her body and following the egg laying the insect dies. Thus the eggs are protected by the insects body until the larvae  are hatched. It was from the dead bodies of these insects that the scarlet dyes used in ancient times were extracted. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

And while scarlet typically refers to blood atonement and sacrifice, we also note how the harlot whore of Babylon rides on a scarlet beast and is dressed in purple and scarlet causing many to become drunk on here adulteries and twisted counterfeit teachings!!! We are to be on guard against false messages and be able to rightly divide the Truth, as the enemy certainly tries to mimic the Truth and causes many to fall for her falsehood!

Verse 10 – we see that whoever would gather the ashes for the heifer would be unclean until evening and this carries a great significance for us, as we see that when יהושע died, we see how a rich man – Yosĕph from Ramathayim came and asked Pilate for the body of Messiah and took it down and wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb, all before evening. He in effect ‘gathered the ashes of the heifer’ and would be unclean until evening – why would this be required? Well at evening on this specific day – if he was not clean at evening he would not have been allowed to eat the Pěsaḥ Meal and would have been ‘cut off’. At evening on the day when Messiah was placed in the tomb was the start of the 15th of the 1st month and so Yosĕph would be able to eat of the Pěsaḥ Meal and have the sign on His hand and forehead – that he belonged to Messiah!

Unclean for 7 days – be cleansed on the 3rd and on the 7th you are clean!

In verses 11-12 we see some very fitting requirements in regards to becoming clean. When we see these verses we must also take note of what Kěpha tells us to make sure we understand:

Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved ones, let not this one matter be hidden from you: that with יהוה one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Why Kěpha places a huge emphasis on this fact is that if we neglect to understand the Appointed Times of יהוה and how the 7 days of Creation reflect the 7 millennia and that by sticking to the much needed and required obedience of keeping His cycle of His Feasts then we will be lost and without a Shepherd!!!

Anyone who touches the dead is unclean for 7 days – well since Aḏam sinned, we have all been ‘born in sin’, since the uncleanness lasts for 7 days = 7000 years! It is only in the 8th day (8th Millennium) that we will see a total end to sin and death and a new heaven and new earth be established. In the 7 day period that we now find ourselves in, יהוה through His Torah provided a means for us to become clean. In this torah of being cleansed on the 3rd and 7th day we see the need for us to accept and apply the work of Messiah, who by the fulfilling of the red heifer sacrifice has provided for us the ‘water of cleansing’.

If we are not cleansed by the Blood of יהושע then we will not be able to reign with Him!

The 3rd day  - this speaks of the power of the resurrection of Messiah, who rose on the 3rd day, and so in effect to make oneself clean on the 3rd day is to accept the life, death and resurrection for Messiah, repent and be immersed in His Name for the forgiveness of sins.

Hoshěa/Hosea 6:2 “After two days He shall revive us, on the third day He shall raise us up, so that we live before Him.

The 7th day speaks of the final work of atonement being completed on the 7th day when Messiah comes out of His Set-Apart Hěḵal on Yom Kippur and treads the winepress of His wrath and gathers unto Himself a washed and cleansed Bride – that is those who have washed themselves in the 3rd day and have held fast to the testimony of Messiah and have guarded His commands.

This 3rd day and 7th day principle has varying pictures for us in Scripture which all point to the full and complete work of a Bride being made clean for Her Husband. In the ‘creation week’ we see that it was on the 3rd day that the dry land was brought forth and on the 7th day, when יהוה completed His work and rested, we can see in type a bringing forth of the ‘heavens’ or rather His heavenly reign! His Kingdom Come – that is that on the 7th day – His rule and reign will be firmly established here on earth, and in the mean time we who live as sojourners here and have been cleansed on the 3rd day, so to speak, by the work of Messiah, choose to live according to His Kingdom rules as set forth in His Torah.

Another aspect to the 3rd day and 7th day cleansing is seen at Mount Sinai when Yisra’ĕl were given to days to get ready and on the 3rd day present themselves at the foot of the Mountain. When we understand that it was on the 4th day of Creation that the lights were ‘made’ to rule the day and the night and the Appointed Times were established, we can recognise that יהושע, the Light of the world, came on the 4th day to separate the light from the dark and call a people out of darkness and has given us the means and the garments to get ready for 2 days and on the 3rd be presented unto Him as a ready Bride without blemish! From the 4th day when He came we have been given 2 daysday 5 and day 6 – to get ready and on the 7th be dressed and be ready as a Bride prepared, when He comes down to take up His Bride to be with Him forever!!!

If we do not receive the cleansing of the 3rd day – we cannot be cleansed on the 7th!

Another point to consider, is that in terms of Messiah’s resurrection on the 3rd day – we recognise that His resurrection was on the 7th day!!! The 3rd day is the 7th day in a manner of speaking. Messiah was hung on a pole on the 4th day of the week (wed) and was 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth and rose on the 3rd day – at the end of the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week at sunset (sat) – for more on the 3 days and 3 nights please see 2 articles on this topic on our website (http://atfotc.com)

The Torah of the red heifer has provided for us the necessary means to be clean and stay clean until our Messiah comes again!

Verse 12 tells us that we are to ‘cleanse ourselves’. The root word used here for ‘cleanse’ is  חָטָא ḥata – Strong’s H2398 meaning, ‘to miss the mark, do wrong, incur guilt, fail to reach’, and when understand the root meaning of Torah one clearly sees that to sin is to walk against or contrary to the Torah, for:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Now what this play on words in telling us here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 19:12 is that we are to be done with sin and to be done with sin means that we choose to walk in His Torah and no longer be lawless!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:6 “Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.

The way to be done with sin is to stay in the Master – and this is how we ‘cleanse ourselves’ – by staying in Him and walking in Righteousness – which is to hear, guard and do all His commands!!!

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

We are able to draw near to Elohim because of the red heifer sacrifice which, in a way pictures the fullness of all the sacrifices, which point to and foreshadow the complete work of Messiah!

Cleanse hands is an idiom to clean up our ‘works’ and ways and cleansing our hearts is an expression that tells us to get deceit out and ensure that through the meditation of His Torah we guard that which He writes upon our hearts – His Torah – His Renewed Covenant in the Blood of Messiah that cleanses us and sets us apart in Him. When we recognise just what He has done and how He has cleansed us form all defilement – even burnt up all the ‘dung’ so to speak, may we be careful to guard our hearts and minds in Messiah and keep ourselves from all defilement of the flesh as we stay in Him and are done with sin!

In understanding this concept of cleansing ourselves from sin, we see that by implication this renders the need to ‘die to self’ or in a sense ‘lose oneself’; and Messiah makes it clear for us in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:39 “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he that has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

Verse 13 

Anyone who touches the dead of a human being and does not cleanse himself defiles the dwelling place of יהוה!

In Scripture we see that those who are in sin or who are lawless (that is to be without Torah) are in effect called "dead" as Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:26 tells us that belief without works is dead; so this can also be a picture of those who refuse to receive the provision that יהוה has made for all to return to the covenants of Promise by the Blood of יהושע Messiah and reject the need to walk in the Torah.

And as we come into contact with many ‘walking dead’ so to speak, and in more ways than one find ourselves ‘touching’ them, we better be sure to ‘cleanse ourselves’ so as to not defile the dwelling place of  יהוה. Ways in which we may ‘defile’ His Dwelling Place today is by bringing in to the assembly all the bad attitudes and grumblings that we may have picked up in the world and have not cleansed ourselves from by the renewing of our minds through the washing of His Word! When we come into the gathering of the set-apart ones with a defiled mind-set, for whatever reason, we bring defilement into His Dwelling Place and this we must not do. We have a huge responsibility to come together in a clean manner, making sure than we have cleansed ourselves and are able to build up the Dwelling Place of Elohim and not defile it!

The root word for defiles is טָמֵא tame – Strong’s H2930 which means, to be or become unclean, be defiled.

Now while there are many ways that Yisra’ĕl certainly defiled themselves, what we see in Scripture is that many times they defiled themselves with their idols!

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the laws of your fathers, nor observe their rulings, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

Today many are still defiling themselves with their many idols, be it materialism, running after wealth, hobbies, and even people that others idolise!

Our words also cause us to become defiled, more often than we would care to recognise and Messiah tells us:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:18 “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and these defile the man.

If our hearts are not cleansed then our speech becomes defiled and we risk defiling the Dwelling Place by infecting others with words that are not pure and clean!

And if we become unclean through our defiled actions and speech and other ‘clean’ ones touch us, we are in danger of causing the rest in the Tent to become defiled!

 

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:9 “The defiled one destroys his neighbour with his mouth, but the righteous is delivered by knowledge.

The word translated as ‘defiled’ here in Mishlĕ/proverbs 11:9 is חָנֵף ḥaneph – Strong’s H2611 which means, profane, irreligious, hypocrite and at its root means, to be polluted or defiled, to be a hypocrite, turn to hypocrisy and profanity.

It is of vital importance that we cleanse ourselves and get rid of sin and all forms of hypocrisy.

 

Verse 15 tells us that every open vessel that has no cover fastened on it is unclean!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘vessel’ is כְּלִי keli – Strong’s H3627 which means, article, utensil, vessel, armour, weapon, tool for labour, which comes from the root verb כָּלָה kalah – Strong’s H3615 which means ‘finished, completed, come to an end or accomplished’ and is very similar to the root word כַּלָּה kallah – Strong’s H3618 which means ‘a bride’, which carries a wonderful picture for us of a bride prepared – a bride who has made herself ready and presents herself as one prepared. The clear warning seen in this verse is then very obvious – and that is that a Bride who has not prepared herself and is not covered, is not clean and will not enter into the reign!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘cover’ is צָמִיד tsamiḏ – Strong’s H6781 which means, bracelet, covering (of a vessel, which comes from the root verb צָמַד tsamaḏ - Strong’s H6775 which means, to bind, join, fasten. The plural of this word is צְמִידִים  – ts’miyḏiym’, which is used in speaking of Yisra’ĕl, where יהוה says the following in:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 16:11-13 “And I adorned you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 “And I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a crown of adorning on your head. 13 “Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, and honey, and oil. And you were exceedingly pretty, and became fit for royalty.

This is bridal language, and this is what is being severely warned against in the instruction given in regards to the red heifer! If you are not covered, adorned and fastened to the Master then you are not clean!

The word צְמִידִים  – ts’miyḏiym’ is also translated as ‘bracelets’ in Berěshith/Genesis 24:22 when the servant of Aḇraham put the gold bracelets on Riḇqah. In many ways we are able to see the clear choice of Riḇqah, who by accepting the bracelets from the servant of Aḇraham, accepted her being joined to Yitsḥaq and declared her faithfulness to the Husband she had not yet seen face to face!

She was a bride who had been covered and in many ways pictures for us a ‘vessel that had a cover fastened to it’.

Those who do not have a cover fastened to them are unclean!

The Hebrew word for ‘fastened’ is פָּתִיל pathiyl – Strong’s H6616 which means, cord, thread, string, and typically would be a chord or bracelet that would have been made of threads being twisted together in order to fastened an object to another. This is the same word used to describe the ‘chord of blue’ thread that was to be used to bind the breastplate to the rings of the ephod; as well as the blue chord used to attach the plate of clean gold to the high priest’s turban. This word is used in:

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 15:38 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners.

The Hebrew word פָּתִיל pathiyl – Strong’s H6616, translated here as ‘chord’, is also used to describe the ‘blue chord’ that is to be in the tzitzit of our garments; and we recognise clearly that this ‘chord’ can represent for us a reminder to keep the commands of Elohim as we recognise how His commands are fastened to us, and in guarding to do them we keep ourselves clean!

The Hebrew word for ‘unclean’ is טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2931 meaning, unclean, defiled and comes from the verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure and when written in the ‘piel form’ which expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action, it can render the following meaning, to defile: sexually, religiously, or ceremonially; to pronounce or declare unclean; profane the Name of Elohim.

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘unclean’ is ἀκάθαρτος akathartos – Strong’s G169 which means, unclean, impure, and we are told to not ‘touch’ that which is unclean but come out and be separate:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.

An adjective derived from this word is the Greek word ἀκαθαρσία akatharsia – Strong’s G167 which means, uncleanness, impurity – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living; which we are told should not even be named among us:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:3 “But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

 

We are to be clean and covered vessels of honour and respect! The Greek word used for ‘vessel’ is the LXX (Septuagint) is σκεῦος skeuos – Strong’s G4632 which means, vessel, implement, goods, article, jar, and is used in:

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

 

Verse 20 again makes it clear that the one who does not cleanse himself shall be cut off from the assembly.

We have been given garments of righteousness, by the work and ministry of Messiah, and by His 3rd day resurrection we have been given the ability to be cleansed in His Blood and are then clothed in Him, and we are to keep our garments from any defilement! The fine linen (our garments) is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones, and it is righteousness for us to guard to do all He has commanded us to as we lovingly and obediently walk in His Torah. If we do not do so and walk in Him, The Living Torah, and walk as He did, then we may just be found to be incorrectly clothed and risk being thrown out and cut off:

 

Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:11-13 “And when the sovereign came in to view the guests, he saw there a man who had not put on a wedding garment, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the sovereign said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him out into the outer darkness – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

This person had ‘faith without works’ and no true garments:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:7-9 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him praise, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife prepared herself.” 8 And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true words of Elohim.

We have a wedding to be cleanly dressed for and as a Bride who is prepared let us not neglect the need to keep clean and walk in His Torah as we allow His Word to continually wash us, because of His resurrection power now living in us by a 3rd day cleaning, where we will be collectively cleansed as a united Bride on the 7th day – for Messiah has met all the requirements of this Red Heifer sacrifice and provided the means for the Water of Cleansing!!!

CHAPTER 20

Here in the beginning of this chapter we are given the news that Miryam had died. Yisra’ĕl were at Qaḏĕsh, and it was at this stop in the Wilderness where they spent most of their time. קָדֵשׁ Qaḏĕsh – Strong’s H6946 means, set-apart and it is at this place where Mosheh struck the rock instead of speaking to it.

We see a period of around 38 years that have passed between the accounts in this chapter and the last, and this generation that you would have thought had learnt not to grumble, are once again in rebellion. The meaning of the name of  מִרְיָם Miryam – Strong’s H4813 is, bitterness, rebellion as it comes from the word מְרִי meri – Strong’s H4805 meaning, rebellious, rebels, bitter and comes from the primitive root word מָרָה  marah – Strong’s H4784 meaning, to be contentious, disobedient, hostile, provoke, openly defiant of authority.

 

So what we can see in type is the following – at the place where we are to be set-apart, all rebellion, defiance against authority, hostility and bitterness has to die and be buried – if we truly want to become a set-apart people.

What is also interesting to note is that Qaḏĕsh is also known as Ěn Mishpat:

Berěshith/Genesis 14:7 “And they turned back and came to Ěn Mishpat, that is Qaḏĕsh, and smote all the country of the Amalĕqites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Ḥatsetson Tamar.

עֵין מִשְׁפָּט  Ěn Mishpat – Strong’s H5880 means, spring of judgment, coming from two words - עַיִן ayin – Strong’s H5871 meaning, spring of water or fountainand מִשְׁפָּט Mishpat – Strong’s H4941 meaning, judgment, verdict, law, decree, ordinance’.

Here at Qaḏĕsh there should have been a spring or fountain of water, and I am pretty sure that there had been a constant source of water supply during the many months and years they had spent here, yet there is now no water! These rebels and grumblers had no water! It is from this that we clearly see and recognise that it is by the Right-Rulings of יהוה that waters will be brought forth and flow! Living set-apart lives according to His right-rulings will ensure a supply of water, but what we see here is what happens when right rulings are not followed – the water dries up! And it is only by right-ruling and judgement can they begin to flow again!

The people assembled against Mosheh and Aharon and here once again we see the picture of how people will come against the Torah and against  the work of Messiah as High Priest whenever they find themselves is a place of seeming lack! יהוה did not bring them into the Wilderness to kill them, despite their thinking this, and they claim that they would have been better off if they had died like the others had before יהוה. We just have to stop and pause for a moment and think about how absurd these words are! They are making it sound like their brothers who had previously died before יהוה as some heroic memorial, yet clearly יהוה put them to death because of their rebellion, and to want to die as the rebels did as a result of the wrath of יהוה being poured out is a very stupid thing to aspire to! Yet that is how the foolish and senseless will talk. The water that had now dried up made in a sense the manna dry and tasteless and the people could not take it anymore. This is a classic picture of a people who cannot stomach the Torah as they are unwilling to receive the True Living Water of the Torah and in a sense has been dried up as they are simply found to be rebelling through their actions against the need to submit to the Right Rulings of Elohim!

 

In verse 5 they call Qaḏĕsh an evil place!!! We see the same ridiculous remarks being made today as the primary message of the church today teaches a message that “Qaḏĕsh” is an evil place to live at! They say that to be set-apart through the submission to right-rulings of the Torah is restrictive and legalistic and call it an evil thing and label those of us who choose to become set-apart in Messiah by living in accordance with His Word as legalistic, which they see as a negative term as they proclaim  false freedom saying they are no longer ‘under law’.

What they fail to see is that through the flowing of His right-ruling/judgements/ordinances/decrees is set-apart living established and The Living Water flows abundantly! What is very ironic in the statements many make today and sound just as ridiculous as these rebels at Qaḏĕsh, is that when they say, “we are no longer under law”, we have to ask them the question, “Ok, so when were you under the law?” Those who claim a false grace message of lawless living have never even submitted under the teaching and guidance of the Torah (instructions) of Elohim, and therefore cannot actually claim that statement of ‘no longer’ being under Torah when in fact they never have been; just as these rebels at Qaḏĕsh had no right to call Qaḏĕsh and evil place!!!

By calling this place evil they were in effect saying that it was a dysfunctional place! I say that because when we understand the opposite to evil as being good, we learn that the word ‘good’ in Hebrew means to be ‘functional’.

The Hebrew word for ‘good’ is טוֹב  toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well.

Sounds all good – yet as we study further into the Hebraic mind-set in regards to this word we get a fuller understanding of what טוֹב  toḇ means.  To do that it does help to look at the ancient script and get a wider perspective of the true meaning of this word.

In the ancient script  - טוֹב  toḇ - is pictured as:

beitwawtet

Tet – ט:

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

Waw - וֹ:

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

Beyt - ב:

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.

טוֹב  toḇ -beitwawtet  -  we see that we as clay vessels are made secure through the Blood of Messiah that holds for us a secure covenant promise of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most High – where He that is Good  - The Potter - may dwell with those He created and called by name!

As we look at these letters we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב  toḇ News’!

The way we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim is by being secured by the peg! Listen to what it says in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:22-24 “And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. 23 ‘And I shall fasten him like a peg in a steadfast place, and he shall become a throne of esteem to his father’s house. 24 ‘And they shall hang on him all the weight of his father’s house, the offspring and the offshoots, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the jars.

We know that this is a great picture of how through  יהושע Messiah we are fastened in a steadfast place!

Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

This again is a wonderful promise given amidst a time of bondage due – that a peg is given in His set-apart place – a great picture of the loving-commitment and compassion יהוה has for His called out nation, that while the ‘House of Elohim’ had been neglected and broken down He would bring the necessary means to ‘secure’ His covenanted people to His House that he builds by His design! It is through the work of Messiah, who has become the very ‘peg’ that secures us and adds us, the clay vessels, to His House!

The Word of Elohim made flesh – The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah came down and secured for us the ability to be made into the House that He Elohim shall dwell in forever!

His House/Dwelling Place is built by His design and His plan and so when we see how that we are the ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most High, then we are able to get a clearer understanding that we are built up according to His plans as instructed in His Torah that was given through Mosheh and revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah. Just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be built exactly according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain of the true heavenly Tabernacle, so too do we need to recognise that the only way we can be built up into being the True Dwelling Place of Elohim is through carefully following His instructions as we walk in and stay in Messiah – The Living Torah.

In the true understanding of this word   טוֹב  toḇ we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this why it was ‘good’. When something is working properly we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So טוֹב  toḇ in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’ when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!

The opposite to טוֹב toḇ (good) is evil which is Hebrew is רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.  The tree of knowledge in the garden was of  טוֹב toḇ (good) and רַע ra (evil)!

Just as we understand that טוֹב toḇ represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals and abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.

We may often think something is good, yet if it is not ‘functional’ according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

The word used here for right is יָשָׁר yashar – Strong’s H3477 meaning, straight, right, upright, uprightness’. There are so many who think that they are walking upright, yet while they are not functioning according to the good design of the Word, their dysfunction way leads a path to death!

Ḥawwah made the same mistake of thinking something was good in her own eyes and presumed to do what she thought was best and seemed right:

Berěshith/Genesis 3:6 “And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

She saw in here own eyes that the tree was טוֹב toḇ and is a classic example of how in the flesh what may often be seen as good, does not also prove to be so, and here we see the three things that Yoḥanan warns us about in what a love for the world can make that which is dysfunctional and evil appear to be of some value and falsely appear as functional:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:15-16 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

Ḥawwah is an example of the wrong application of what is deemed to be good when it is not done according to יהוה’s will. The prophet Miḵah sums it up nicely for us what it is to be טוֹב toḇ:

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?

The greatest expression of humility is to walk as Messiah walked, which involves action and that action is to be in a functioning walk that is in complete line with His walk and that is a walk of total obedience in guarding to do all He has commanded us to do – then our walk will be טוֹב  toḇ!

Yeshayahu warns us about calling that which is dysfunctional good:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Luqas/Luke 11:34-35 “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, all your body also is enlightened. But when your eye is evil, your body also is darkened. 35 “See to it therefore that the light which is in you is not darkness.

The people were calling the ‘set-apart’ place an ‘evil’ place and were looking back to Mitsrayim as if that was the ‘good’ place and this is so typical of the many today who cannot stomach the Torah!

One of the greatest tests for us when we ‘come out’ of Mitsrayim and Baḇelon so to speak, is to completely trust in יהוה and not rely on the world and its seemingly convenient systems; and here after 38 years in the wilderness, the people of Yisra’ĕl began to see this ‘set-apart’ place as evil – and we are to guard ourselves from such thinking! Many people who begin walking in the Truth of the Torah tend to ‘give up’ after having walked in the Torah for some years simply because they begin to see that true set-apart living is not what they thought it would be and they begin to lose their ability to walk in the truth as they lock back to the comforts of the world and see that, which was once slavery, as good and soon forget that they were once enslaved to lies and the heavy yokes of the traditions of man!

No grain or figs or vines or pomegranates!

These fruits mentioned here were fruits that the spies would have brought back many years before after they had spied out the land and brought back an evil report, which resulted in the 40 year sojourning sentence! Yisra’ĕl was not yet in the Land and they should not have expected their journey in the Wilderness to be as perfect as their end goal of entering in to that which they had tasted!

What they did not recognise is that if יהוה had led them to this place of ‘set-apartness’ then how could it at all be bad? We can learn a great deal from these accounts in realising that as we sojourn and are led forth in peace as we follow Messiah, becoming more and more set-apart from the world, then we must not grumble and complain because we have not yet arrived at the soon coming destiny!

What we have to eat in our Wilderness journey is the Living Word – and when we scoff at his Word the Waters will dry up and we will be in danger of becoming a thirsty people who prefer the false comforts of the world.

Mosheh and Aharon again fall down on their faces in humility before יהוה and Mosheh is told to take the rod – that is the rod of Aharon that budded, showing the assembly that he was יהוה’s chosen leader, and told Mosheh to speak to the Rock. The reason for the use of the rod was not to strike the rock but the show the people that Mosheh was יהוה’s chosen and appointed leader whom they were to listen to! The Rock was not to be struck a second time but rather spoken to, yet Mosheh struck the Rock twice with his rod.

This striking of the rock is a picture of Messiah, the Rock being struck for us:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:4 “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed, and the Rock was Messiah.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:4 “Truly, He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Yet we reckoned Him stricken, smitten by Elohim, and afflicted.

The picture of Mosheh striking the rock when he was told to speak to the rock was in type a prophetic shadow picture and witness as to how יהושע would be rejected by the Yehuḏim and be struck and in a sense is a prophecy of rejection, for if Mosheh had spoken to the rock we would have seen the possibility of how those who rejected and struck Messiah would have actually accepted Him for who He is and what He had come to do and would have received Him, yet they rejected and ‘struck’ Him.

The Rock!

Here in verse 8 when Mosheh was told to ‘speak’ to ‘the Rock’ we are able to see a powerful picture in play, as we look back at the first time that Mosheh was told to ‘smite the Rock’ 38 years before in:

Shemoth/Exodus 17:6 “See, I am standing before you there on the rock in Ḥorĕḇ. And you shall smite the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people shall drink.” And Mosheh did so before the eyes of the elders of Yisra’ĕl.

Two events of similar nature that took place 38 years apart, yet what was now different? Well firstly there is the simple truth of obeying the Word of Elohim versus not obeying, and the relevant consequences that come from the choice to obey or not to obey. Yet what we need to also ask is why did יהוה tell Mosheh to speak to the Rock this time and not smite it as before. I believe there is a great lesson contained herein for us, as we look at the Hebrew wording that is used here, and dig further back by looking at the ancient pictographic symbols that give us the word for ‘rock’.

Here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:8 the Hebrew word used for ‘rock’ is סֶלַע sela – Strong’s H5553 which means, a crag, cliff, mountain, rock and also carries the figurative meaning of stronghold of  יהוה, of security. Here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:8 we take note that this is the first time that this Hebrew word is used in Scripture, and is therefore different to the Hebrew root word used for ‘rock’ in Shemoth/Exodus 17:6, which is the root word צוּר tsur – Strong’s H6697 which means, rock, cliff, stones, strength, block of stone, boulder. We are also able to see how it is here in Shemoth/Exodus 17:6 that it is the first time that this word is used in Scripture.

So we have two accounts of water coming forth from The Rock, after the people grumbled for lack of water, and both times we see a new Hebrew word being introduced to us for the first time! Two words that carry similar meanings, and throughout the rest of Scripture we are able to find them being used interchangeably for  ‘rock’, with some verses even having both words used together, as in:

Tehillah/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.

This is also the same wording of Dawiḏ we see in:

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:2-3And he said, “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer. 3 “My Elohim is my rock, I take refuge in Him, My shield and the horn of my deliverance, My high tower and my refuge. My Saviour, You save me from violence.

The first ‘rock’ is the root word סֶלַע sela – Strong’s H5553 written as סַלְעִי  sal’aiy – ‘my rock’ , while the second ‘rock’ is צוּר tsur – Strong’s H6697 written as צוּרִי  tsuriy – ‘my rock’.

In order to get a better understanding of why two different words are used on the two different occasion of water coming forth from The Rock in the wilderness, we need to look at these words in their ancient pictographic form.

Let us then look at this term ‘The Rock’, when we take note that ‘the Rock’ is a clear reference and shadow picture of יהושע Messiah.

The first word used in Shemoth/Exodus 17:6 for ‘The Rock’ – הַצּוּר ‘hatsur’ in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

reshwawtsadeyhey

Hey - הַ:

This letter is used to express ‘The’, and the original pictograph for this letter is hey, a man standing with his arms raised out. The Modern Hebrew and original name for this letter is “hey”. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” as one does when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter hey is ‘behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation’ from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

Tsadey - צּ:

The Ancient picture for this letter is tsadey, which is ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching I concealment, as well as ‘laying one’s self down for another’. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’.

Waw/vav - וּ:

The Ancient picture for this letter is waw, 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’.

Resh – ר:

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

As we consider this first word used in Scripture for ‘The Rock’, when looking at the ancient pictographic letters we are able to render the following meaning when understanding that the prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, The Rock in who we find strength and Living Waters:

Behold, the One who shall lay down His life for us and secure for us the Covenant, is our Elohim and Head.

The second word we find being used in reference to The Rock  that was struck in the Wilderness, here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:8 is הַסֶּלַע  ‘hasela’, and in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

ayinlamedsamekhey

Hey - הַ:

This letter is used to express ‘The’, and the original pictograph for this letter is hey, a man standing with his arms raised out. The Modern Hebrew and original name for this letter is “hey”. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” as one does when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter hey is ‘behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation’ from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

Samek – סֶּ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him!

Lamed – לַ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as lamed,which is 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.

Ayin – ע:

the ancient script has this letter is pictured as ayin, which is ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge.

As we consider this word used in Scripture for ‘The Rock’, when looking at the ancient pictographic letters we are able to render the following meaning when understanding that the prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, The Rock in who we find strength and Living Waters:

 

Behold, the One whom we fix our eyes upon is the One who was pierced for us, enabling us to grab hold of His Truth and cling to His Word that secures us in Him, as we are led under the Authority of the easy yoke of His Torah!

As we therefore consider the clear picture that these two words for ‘The Rock’ show us, we are able to recognise the True source of our strength and sustenance, as we look to our Rock, Refuge and Good Shepherd, our master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah.

What is worth taking note of here is how we are able to see the difference between the two words that were almost given 40 years apart, is how that by Messiah, having gone into the Wilderness for 40 days and then being struck for us when he lay down His life for us, is that we no longer need a sacrifice for our sins, but rather we have a High Priest and intercessor, to whom we can come and confess with the full assurance that He shall cleanse us from our sin:

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

We also recognise that, according to Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10, if we sin purposefully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins.

When we consider this second word for ‘rock’ - סֶלַע sela – Strong’s H5553, we are also able to recognise that there is another word that phonetically sounds the same, yet is spelt different and has a different meaning, and that is the Hebrew word סֶלָה selah – Strong’s H5542 which means, lift up, exalt, and is used frequently in the Tehillim/Psalms as a technical musical term probably showing accentuation, pause, or interruption, and is often understood as meaning, pause and think about, or ‘stop for a moment and consider what has just been said. You will notice that while these words sound the same, the difference is in the last letter, as this word has a ‘hey’, whereas the word for ‘rock’ ends with an ‘ayin’.

When considering that The Rock that was to be ‘spoken’ to was סֶלַע sela – Strong’s H5553, I see a great reference for us to actually stop and think about this for a moment, as we come to the master and confess our sins, as seen in a Psalm where we find the word סֶלָה selah – Strong’s H5542 in:

Tehillah/Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my crookedness I did not hide. I have said, “I confess my transgressions to יהוה,” and You forgave the crookedness of my sin. Selah.

Notice here the clear connection of ‘speaking to The Rock’ and receiving forgiveness! Also take note that here is another verse that, when placed alongside Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9, clearly shows us once again that יהוה is our Saviour – He is יהושע Messiah – The One to whom we confess and The One who forgives and cleanses – now stop and think about that!!!

Both of these words for The Rock continue to picture for us the greatness of our Elohim, and we often find that סֶלַע sela – Strong’s H5553 is primarily used in reference to the provision and sustenance of Elohim; while צוּר tsur – Strong’s H6697 is primarily used in reference to the strength and stronghold we find in Him!

Mosheh was told to ‘speak to הַסֶּלַע  ‘hasela’ – The Rock, and the word for ‘speak’ is דָּבַר  daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’, and is also the Hebrew word that is used for ‘WORD’, while in Shemoth/Exodus 17:6 he was told to ‘strikeהַצּוּר ‘hatsur’ – The Rock, and the word for ‘strike’ is נָכָה naḵahStrong’s H5221– means ‘strike, make physical contact with a blow, cause the destruction of an object, strike with the mouth of the sword, kill’.

What we can learn from this is that the ‘wrong’ use of the Torah can cause one to stumble in it; while the correct use of the Torah will cause one to walk in it and enter into the Covenant of Promise that the Blood of Messiah has brought us near to by His Blood. We cannot for one moment think that the Torah is done away with, as many ‘strike’ the Torah down as being of no effect, and to do this will cause you to not enter into the Reign of the Master. It is by the Torah that Messiah was struck for us, and it is by the Torah that we continue to stay in Him as we obey His Word and walk in it!

We then see that due to the actions of Mosheh, that both Mosheh and Aharon were told that they would not bring this people into the Promised Land. This is a picture of how Mosheh representing the Torah and Aharon representing the Priesthood cannot bring the people of Elohim into the Promised Land without Messiah – the Rock who would lay down His life for us and be struck, so that we can, by His Torah, become a priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq. While these elements are essential for us, both are not complete in fulfilling our redemption apart from יהושע Messiah; and it is only by יהושע being the fullness of the Torah – The Living Torah and becoming our High Priest that we can have redemption and enter into His Covenants of Promise.

Mosheh getting angry here and acting out his fleshly anger is a lesson for us in that when we operate from a place of anger we do not represent that which is of righteousness as we see in:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:20 “for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of Elohim.

Another picture of this punishment given to Mosheh and Aharon in not be able to take the people into the Promised Land we can see that by striking יהושע twice does not work--that would be like crucifying him twice, but יהושע did not die so we could remain as we always were; He came so we could escape sin. 

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Set-apart Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the powers of the age to come, 6 and fall away, to renew them again to repentance – having impaled for themselves the Son of Elohim again, and put Him to open shame.

What it says here is that if we have returned to the covenant once and turned away again, then there is no sacrifice left for us; it is as if we had struck and impaled יהושע the second time. 

When many people today use the phrase that Messiah died for them, which He did and He has died for us all, yet when they claim this truth yet continue to lead lawless lives and wilfully reject the instructions (Torah) of Elohim it is as though they are ‘striking’ Messiah all over again, instead of Living for Him by being faithful and obedient!!!

While we do proclaim His death once a year at Pěsaḥ/Passover, we continue to declare His life by living according to His commands, and refrain from wilfully ‘striking’ Him a second time!

Verse 13 – the waters of Meriḇah

מְרִיבָה  Meriḇah – Strong’s H4808 means, strife, contentionsand comes from the root word רִיב riḇ – Strong’s H7378 meaning, to strive, contend, argue, complain, find fault, quarrel. This was a place where they constantly found fault with their ‘Wilderness’ sojourning and having to listen to Mosheh and Aharon!

This was a place where, instead of their hearts being united in set-apartness, were hardened and cried out in contention against the Word of Elohim, the very thing we are to guard against:

Tehillah/Psalm 95:8 “Do not harden your hearts as in Meriḇah, And as in the day of Massah in the wilderness

We ought to be urging and encouraging each other on in remaining faithful and obedient in love:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:13 “but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.

We are to also learn not to refuse the voice of Elohim and His instructions as given through Mosheh and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:25 “Take 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

Hardened and unrepentant hearts are headed for destruction!

Romiyim/Romans 2:5 “But according to your hardness and your unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim

Verse 14 – 21 Do not drink or eat from Eḏom!

Mosheh sent a message to the king of Eḏom asking for a safe passage through their territory, and promised not to drink of their water, nor pass through their vineyards and fields but would go along the king’s highway, which the ling of Eḏom refused and came out against them. There is some great lessons pictured for us here and the clear message of a set-apart people who are sojourning here we too make the clear declaration that we will not drink of the wells or eat of the fields of Eḏom. Eḏom means ‘red’ and we know is the descendants of Ěsaw, which represent a picture for us of those who walk according to the flesh.  We are a set-apart people who are not to walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit:

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:16 “And I say: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh.

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 The Torah is spiritual and we walk according to the spirit and in so doing we choose not to partake of the things of the flesh as pictured by the wells and fields of Eḏom. The fields and wells of Eḏom do not contain pure Living Water or fresh manna, but rather their water is a ‘muddied water’ and their ‘bread’ is stale and defiled and of no value.

We must take note that at the time of Messiah, Herod the king was an Eḏomite, and much of the Pharisees and Sadducees had fallen prey to the rule and customs of Eḏom, and so by filling up in their flesh the lusts of the world they had turned the living waters of the Truth into a muddied concoction of man-made laws and traditions, and Messiah warned His Talmidim (disciples) to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, who by all accounts were only seeking to satisfy their own flesh through the abuse and misuse of the Truth!

If we, as sojourners, drink or eat of any man-made forms of religion and doctrines and follow man-made traditions that are not rooted and grounded in the Torah then we are in effect drinking and eating of Eḏom!

Eḏom refuses to allow Yisra’ĕl to walk in the Way.

Eḏom is often taken to be a symbol of Rome, and by extension, the Catholic church and all its daughters, as we know that Herod was appointed by Rome to be king. The church is the wrong place to be looking to be nourished and fed from, and the wrong place to be looking to for support; and so we must be like Mosheh and promise and be committed to not take of anything in Eḏom, and in no way compromise our walk of obedience!

By Eḏom refusing passage we can see too how when we begin to live in unity together as a community or assembly of Messiah that walks according to the instructions of the Torah and we keep the Sabbath and the Feasts and call upon the True Names and guard to do all that has been commanded to, we will face great opposition and resistance from the church and while today we see that Yehuḏah (modern day Judaism) is in many ways ‘courting’ Christianity in order to gain world favour, we see that this will only prove to be fatal!

In this account of Eḏom refusing to let Yisra’ĕl through and Yisra’ĕl turning away we can quickly be reminded of the account when Ya’aqoḇ met up with his brother Ěsaw after many years as recorded in Berěshith/Genesis 33.

What we notice from this encounter, after Ya’aqoḇ had wrestled with Elohim and had sent his family ahead of him with gifts for Ěsaw, that Ěsaw kissed Ya’aqoḇ’s neck while Ya’aqoḇ did not ‘kiss back’ and we also take note that Ya’aqoḇ did not ask or take anything from Ěsaw. In their ‘parting ways’ Ěsaw went to שֵׂעִיר Sĕʽir – Strong’s H8165 which means ‘hairy, shaggy’ and Ya’aqoḇ went on to סֻכֹּת Sukkoth – Strong’s H5523 which means, booths. This for me is a wonderful picture of the people of Elohim, Yisra’ĕl – that is you and me included, turn away from what the world has to offer as we see our dwelling is with the most high, who will come and tabernacle with us.

Sukkoth we know refers to the 7th Feast of Booths when it shadow picture for us the time when יהושע will come to take up His Bride and ‘Sukkoth’ with Her. What is a powerful picture for us in understanding where we are headed toward – Sukkoth – and our need to steer clear of what the world has to offer, we have full assurance that this promise is true as being sealed by the Blood of Messiah!!!

When we look at the word for Sukkot in the ancient Script we find a beautiful confirmation of this fact:

tawkaphsamek

Samech – סֻ :

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 - 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.

Kaph - כֹּ :

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

Taw -  ת :

The ancient for of this letter is taw - meaning two crossed sticks. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.

Now when we understand that these three letters make up סֻכֹּת Sukkoth I find it very fascinating as we see being pictured here that יהושע is Most certainly our Good Shepherd who has sealed us in His Blood as יהוה extended His Right Hand to us and we see that Messiah not only had a ‘crown of thorns’ put on His Head and had a reed placed in His right hand, as well as being stricken for us, but He willingly gave His Life for us in order to secure us and cause us to be made into the Dwelling Place of the Most High where He will Sukkoth with us when the two sticks (Yehuḏah and Ephrayim) are brought back together as One!

Verse23-29 Aharon dies

Yisra’ĕl now move from Qaḏĕsh to Mount Hor and יהוה speaks to both Mosheh and Aharon and in verse 24 the word ‘you’ is plural in referring to both Mosheh and Aharon. They had both rebelled against the mouth of יהוה. Many may ask how did Aharon rebel, and the answer is very clear –he did not stop Mosheh from striking the rock nor tell him that he had done wrong! This is a powerful lesson here for us in that Aharon should have warned his brother!

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:18 “When I say to the wrong, ‘You shall certainly die,’ and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand.

This was Aharon’s mistake – he did not warn Mosheh! This is also why Aharon was to die first – the wrong of Mosheh was required at Aharon’s hand for not standing up!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:19-20 “Brothers, if anyone among you goes astray from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the straying of his way shall save a life from death and cover a great number of sins.

El’azar the son of Aharon was then made high priest as the garments of Aharon were stripped off of him and placed on his son. It was Mosheh that stripped Aharon of his garments and this is a great picture of the fact that in this account picturing Messiah ascending and dying for us as High Priest pictures for us Messiah’s compete obedience in fulfilling all the requirements of the Torah. Then Mosheh and El’azar the new high priest came down, and this too us a critically important picture for us today as it clearly shows that by Mosheh coming down with El’azar we can recognise that the Torah is still applicable to us today. This event shadow pictures Messiah doing all according to Torah and with His coming to earth and dying, did not do away with the Torah but rather established it and revealed it through His life, death and resurrection.

CHAPTER 21

After having mourned for Aharon for 30 days, Yisra’ĕl was attacked by the king of Araḏ - עֲרַד  -Strong’s H6166 means, ‘wild donkey’. He heard that Yisra’ĕl was coming on the way to Atharim and went to fight against them. אֲתָרִים Atharim is a caravan route in the Negev trade route and is also translated as ‘spies’. A classic picture of how the world will come out and attack us like a wild donkey, which pictures those without the Torah and will do their best to ‘cut off’ our ability to trade – we see it happening more and more and in the last days those without the mark of the beast will not be able to buy or sell. Some were taken captive and is a sad reality of how some will fall away under the pressure of the enemy as he squeezes the monetary system tighter and tighter, causing some to fall in their ability to trust in and rely upon the provision and protection of יהוה. Community is a great necessity for us as we sojourn here in the last days, in order that we can encourage and support one another, not allowing our brothers to fall by the wayside, when the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth comes out to attack us!

Yisra’ĕl, under threat, made a vow to יהוה: that if He delivered these people into their hands then they would utterly destroy them.

The word used for the phrase ‘Put under the ban’ – H2763 חָרַםḥarammeans ‘to ban, utterly destroy’ as well as ‘devote to Elohim, which (once given) must then be destroyed so there will be no human use made of it’.

יהוה heard their voice and delivered up the Kenaʽanites and Yisra’ĕl put all under the ban and called the place חָרְמָה ḥormah – Strong’s H2767 meaning, devotion’.

 When we think about our acceptance of Messiah and our call for Him as our Saviour, Deliverer and King, we too declare our love for Him and in essence we make a vow before Him to put under the ban all that which does not belong and in so doing we proclaim our devotion to walk in His ways. Sadly many do this only to go back on their word and find themselves engaged in the very things that they were supposed to have cut off from their lives and are partaking in that which was to be utterly destroyed.

It wasn’t long after their declared devotion to יהוה that Yisra’ĕl grew impatient again and began to speak against Elohim and Mosheh. This is exactly what I was referring to in those who go back on their mere ‘lip service’ of devotion – it does not last too long for most! And guess what – they were complaining about having left Mitsrayim – again!!!

They grew tired of the provision of Elohim and they said in verse 5 – their beings loathed this light bread!!!

They were bored of the manna! The word ‘light’ is קְלֹקֵל qeloqel – Strong’s H7052 and also means, contemptible, miserable, worthless’. This bread that they called worthless and miserable represents both יהושע and the community/body of Messiah:

Yoḥanan/John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

They were in effect saying what so many say today – that the Torah is worthless and to build community is worthless as they continue in their contemptible and stubborn walk of pride.

This is nothing but a rejection of the Truth, and you have to ask why they saw this bread as worthless – they had been eating of this for many years already. Perhaps they saw some of the delicacies of the cities which they had just put under the ban and now grew jealous for what they could not have. These guys did not realise how well they had it – they did not have to sow or reap for their bread, their clothes and sandals never wore out and they had the protection of Elohim, who had just delivered their enemies up into their hands. Today we see how so many neglect to see just how good they have it in Messiah and as they look at what they ‘can’t’ have in that all that the world has to offer looks and smells a little nicer and then quickly turn to rejecting the wonderful provision of Elohim and call it worthless!

This angers יהוה, because we are to be a thankful people – all of the time regardless of circumstances.

In verse 10 we see that Yisra’ĕl camped at Oḇoth, which means that from Mount Hor they had already had two stops along the way:

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33:41-43 “So they departed from Mount Hor and camped at Tsalmonah. 42 And they departed from Tsalmonah and camped at Punon. 43 And they departed from Punon and camped at Oḇoth.

Mount Hor  is where Aharon died

Between mount Hor and the place where fiery serpents were sent from יהוה, they stopped at:

Tsalmonah - צלמנה H6758 = “shady”. Shade can be a blessing so that the "sun does not strike us by day", but we are not mean to be a "shady" people. This word is the feminine of the word that means ‘shadow of death’. They had just seen Aharon die and were now walking in that shadow, and more and more were dying as the generation who had left Mitsrayim were dying off as none but two would enter the Promised Land. Many were in fact living under the ‘shadow of death’ not knowing when they would perish.

We have assurance in the Word of safety, even while under the shadow of death:

Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Tehillah/Psalm 107:14 “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And He broke their chains in pieces.

The next stop: Punon – פּוּנן H6325 = “darkness”. It was here that the children of Yisra’ĕl moaned again as they grew impatient and יהוה sent fiery serpents among them for calling the bread worthless and moaning about their circumstances!

In verse 8 we see that Mosheh is commanded to make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole, and everyone that was bitten was to look at it in order for him to live.

The Hebrew word for ‘pole’ is נֵס nes – Strong’s H5251 which means, a standard, ensign, signal, sign, banner, distinguishing mark, and is the word translated as ‘banner’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 60:4 “You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it might be lifted up because of the truth. Selah.

But since they thought יהוה's provision was not enough, that was enough for Him, and this time He did not even give a warning that punishment was coming.

Praise be unto יהוה our Elohim that He has provided for our sin and that יהושע Messiah was lifted up on a pole to pay for our sin and our futile walk in darkness. Messiah is our banner, as He had to be lifted up and impaled for our sin, just as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness:

Yoḥanan/John 3:14-15 “And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Aḏam has to be lifted up, 15 so that whoever is believing in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life.

Messiah was exalted and given the Name above every Name:

Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:8-11 “And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake. 9 Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, 10 that at the Name of יהושע every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that יהושע Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father.

In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:10 we are told that the Root of Yishai would stand as a banner to the people; and this banner would be given for the nations to gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl and assemble the dispersed of Yehuḏah – the very work of Messiah our Banner who has by His sacrifice made it possible for us to be accepted in the Beloved, and be a set-apart nation in whom He can take great pleasure!

Shemoth/Exodus 17:15 “And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, יהוה Nissi

This altar was built after the victory Yehoshua had over Amalĕq, and the sure promise given to us that  יהוה would fight for us from generation to generation as we walk under His Banner of praise!

Ḥizqiyahחִזְקִיָּה Strong’s H2396 means,יהוה is my strength – was the 12th king of Yehuḏah, and he did what was right in the eyes of יהוה. He destroyed the Asherah poles, took away the high places and smashed down the pillars, and he even broke the bronze serpent that Mosheh had made, because up until those days Yisra’ĕl were burning incense to it and calling it Neḥushtan, which means, bronze thing’. This object became an object of worship to Yisra’ĕl and was abominable in the eyes of יהוה. In seeing this, we can see how Christianity has done the same thing as they idolise and worship the cross, which is a picture of a curse!!! Those whom יהוה strengthens to walk in righteousness are ready to destroy all forms of idolatry, and this angers the enemy, who seeks to be worshipped; and in the account of mockery from the king of Ashshur, with the promises of a counterfeit truth we are able to recognise more clearly how Christianity has done the same thing; as they are willing to accept false substitutes by replacing the True Feasts of יהוה with pagan sun-worship feasts; and in doing so they promote the image of a king who they believe persuades them to leave the Torah behind!

While we are certainly called to look to Him who has delivered us and cleansed us from our sin and was lifted up to take away the curse, we do not idolise the picture of His death and make images that reflect this.

We remember and proclaim His death once a year at Pěsaḥ (Passover) when we eat the Pěsaḥ Meal and begin the feats of Matzot (Unleavened bread).

We are children of light and must not walk in darkness – He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. In Hebrew darkness carries with it the understanding of ignorance whereas light can symbolise or mean knowledge. We have been called out of ignorance into the knowledge of His Truth and we must not walk in ignorance any longer:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth.

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light.

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Verse 10:

Oḇothאבת H88 = “waterskins” meaning water bottles made of skins. We are to be filled with the Living water ready to be poured out as refreshing

 

Verse 11:

Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarimעיּי העברים H5863 = “ruins of Aḇarim” and can also mean “ruins of sin/displacement”. Whenever you feel disconnected or lost you are going through this journey. An aimless life is a desolate one. Nothing is being built; every effort ends up going nowhere. The antithesis of displacement is feeling like you belong and you are connected; you sense that your life has purpose and that you are building something everlasting, reflecting your indispensable contribution. We need to learn from the ruins that are left as a result of sin – for sin cannot bring life and only leads to the decay of all and eventually all that is left is ruins. We are to rebuild the ancient ruins and restore that which has been lost through sin and displacement. We have the Promise that יהוה Himself will come and rebuild the ruins:

Ma’asei/Acts 15:16 “After this I shall return and rebuild the Booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall rebuild its ruins, and I shall set it up

Amos 9:11 “In that day I shall raise up the booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall repair its breaches and raise up its ruins. And I shall build it as in the days of old

What we can learn here is that no matter how much sin has left our lives in ruins and has displaced us, we have the sure promise that in Messiah we can and will be rebuilt and repaired by our Living Messiah! It is His Word that rebuilds that which has been ruined through lawlessness. So now from a state of lawlessness we are equipped to walk in the Torah and be built up in Truth by Messiah!

Verse 16 – Be’er

the Hebrew word for ‘well’ is בְּאֵר  be‘er – Strong’s H875 and means, well, pit which comes from the primitive root word בָּאַר  ba‘ar – Strong’s H874 which means, to make distinction, to make plain, expound on, inscribe and by analogy it means to engrave and figuratively it carries the understanding, to explain, make clear, declare. Now as we have come out of Mitsrayim, so to speak, and sojourn and dwell in a foreign land where there is much strife and confusion, we need to be able to make the necessary distinction between the set-apart and profane, and distinguish between the clean and the unclean; and to do that we need to come to the well/place where we get insight, understanding and clarity of vision and purpose.

As they journeyed and went from place to place being led from wadi to wadi Yisra’ĕl began to grow in maturity, as they too began to sing, where they went from the wilderness to מַתָּנָה Mattanah – Strong’s H4980 – meaning ‘gift’ and from there to נַחֲלִיאֵל  Naḥali’ĕl – Strong’s H5160 meaning ‘valley, steep valley, narrow gorge - of El’ and from there to בָּמוֹת Bamoth – Strong’s H1120 meaning ‘high places, great high place’.

I find this part of the journey very interesting in describing us who are growing in maturity as we sojourn and trust יהוה, because these 3 places speaks a great deal in their meanings, as we see that having just come from the place called be’er – a place of nourishment and learning they then passed on through these 3, and we see that in having drunk of the provision of Elohim at His well we receive His gift, that equips us to go from the steep and narrow valleys on to the heights in Messiah!

Verse 20 – from Bamoth to the top of Pisgah - פִּסְגָּה  - Strong’s H6449 means, cleft and is a mountain in Mo’aḇ and it comes from the primitive root word פָּסַג  pasag – Strong’s H6448 which means, to pass between, go through’.  

It was from here that Mosheh was told to go up and look west, north, south and then east, at the Promised Land that he would not be permitted to enter into! This also looked down upon the wasteland and would be a clear reminder to not shrink back but press on in the Master to go into that which has been promised.

Verse 21Yisra’ĕl came to the region of the Amorites and sent message to Siḥon the sovereign of the Amorites and asked him to let Yisra’ĕl pass through the land, which he refused and came out against Yisra’ĕl at יַהַץ Yahats – Strong’s H3096 which means, ‘trodden down’ and here Yisra’ĕl struck Siḥon and took possession of his land. סִיחֹן Siḥon – Strong’s H5511 means, ‘warrior’, and a great victory was had that day by Yisra’ĕl. What we can be sure of is that while the enemy (warrior) may attempt to come out against us with the thought of ‘treading us down’, we will see the enemy trodden down before us.

 

Yisra’ĕl struck down Siḥon and took his land from Arnon to the Yabboq. Here we see the same request being made, with the same answer being given, yet a different response to that which we see in Chapter 20 when Mosheh asked to pass through Eḏom and was refused. Mosheh conceded as they were ‘cousins’ of Yisra’ĕl so to speak; yet these Amorites were not as they were Kenaʽanites, and Mosheh had no patience with those who stood in the way of the people of Elohim.

We can stand as an established people in Messiah as He has given into our hand ‘Siḥon the Amorite, sovereign of Ḥeshbon

Siḥon - סִיחֹן  - Strong’s H5511 means, warrior and Amorite - אֱמֹרִי  Emori – Strong’s H567 which means, mountain dwellers comes from the word אָמַר  amar – Strong’s H559 meaning, to utter, say, speak, command’ and Ḥeshbonחֶשְׁבּוֹן  - Strong’s H2809 means, stronghold.

In verse 27 we are told of a proverb that used to be spoken of Ḥeshbon that warned of those who would come to Ḥeshbon, a fortified city that consumed Ar of Mo’aḇ with fire. This is a picture of the counterfeit Messiah, who claims to be the refuge of the people and mimics a fire. Yet we know that יהוה is a consuming fire and His Name is a strong tower and the righteous that rune into it are safe! The destruction of Siḥon and the taking of Ḥeshbon is a clear picture of the coming fire of יהוה, that with consume His opponents when He comes in wrath.

יהוה has delivered us from the stronghold of the warrior of mountain dwellers that speaks against the Most High!

After the great victories over Siḥon, we ‘turned’ – set our faces toward the way we should go and went up the way to Bashan!

and what we can certainly learn from these accounts is that we are continually to be ‘walking in Messiah’, going where He leads, never allowing ourselves to become ‘settled’ in a comfort zone because of recent victories – we are still on a journey of faith and we have not yet arrived, and our eyes must always be fixed on Messiah!

Bashan - בָּשָׁן  - Strong’s H1316 meaning, soft and smooth ground as well as fruitful. By this we can note that we are headed to a ‘fruitful’ land and also reminds us that the ‘soil of our hearts’ must be ‘good soil’ that has been worked and smoothed of any foreign substances in order that we may bear much fruit! Eḏreʽi - אֶדְרֶעִי  - Strong’s H154 means, goodly pasture and was a chief city of Bashan. We also note that there was a town in the allotted territory of Naphtali with the same name - Eḏreʽi as recorded in Yehoshua/Joshua 19:37. While these two are not the same place, what is interesting for me is the great lesson we can learn from the meanings of these places. Naphtali as we know means, ‘wrestling’ and when we see how we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies, then we can also see that the battle is to keep our hearts pure and the soil good in order to bear good fruit that lasts. Oḡ - עוֹג  - Strong’s H5747 means, long-necked – he was king of Bashan and was of the remnant of the giants. What we can recognise here is that whenever we re bearing much good fruit of righteousness in our walk, there will always be the ‘long-necked’ giants or haughty chirpers who will have something negative to say, and will battle against us at Eḏreʽi – we face battles because of the goodly pasture that we are a part of!

And it is when we start to bear good fruit that many will try to come up against us and we may even find that we have wrestling thoughts as there comes great opposition against us for bearing fruit of righteousness and even those who are close to us may try to drag us back and stop us from progressing forward in our walk of faith.

A repeated victory we are shown ion Scripture is the clear reference as to how יהוה defeated Siḥon and Oḡ, and this is the assurance we have in our Master and Elohim, who fights for us, that we can walk in victory and we sojourn here until He returns, with the full confidence that we need not fear the warriors and long-necked enemies of the Truth!

We have been redeemed, cleansed and set-apart in the Master, and we must stay in Him by guarding His Torah, for then we shall be prosperous in our walk of set-apartness

 

The vital lesson we can learn from this Torah portion is that during our wilderness wanderings may we be careful to guard and do all that we have been commanded to do in the Torah as we walk in יהושע Messiah who has bought us at a price becoming the Red Heifer sacrifice that in Him we have the assurance that He will come and Sukkoth with us, as we make ourselves ready, clothed in Righteousness, and delighting in His Good manna from Heaven that sustains us each and every day, finding great comfort and nourishment as we drink of the Living Waters of Life!

Shalom