BEMIḎBAR (NUMBERS) 25:10 – 29:40 –PINEḤAS – MOUTH OF BRASS

We pick up on this week’s torah portion from the account of Pineḥas who rose up and put to death the couple who whored in the camp. As I mentioned in the last Torah portion commentary: the name of this brave priest - פִּינְחָס  Pineḥas – Strong’s H6372 means, mouth of brass; and he certainly lived up to his name by taking no nonsense as he took a spear in his hand and thrust the spear through both of those who were whoring in the camp!

In fact, he thrust the spear through the belly of the woman – that is her קֵבָה qeḇah – Strong’s H6896 which means, ‘stomach or belly of a woman. In essence we see here that Pineḥas thrust the spear through her reproductive organs and so in effect was putting to death the sin of adultery and the curse that comes with it, by thrusting the spear through the very part of a woman where the seed of life would come forth! This word for belly comes from the root word קָבַב qaḇaḇ – Strong’s H6985 meaning, to utter a curse against, curse, blaspheme. This just strengthens the very bold act of Pineḥas as he put to death any curse or blasphemy that was uttered against Yisra’ĕl and while we saw that Bilʽam could not curse Yisra’ĕl as Balaq wanted, the cursing came another way – through the method of luring the men away to whoring; and this is what Pineḥas stood up against and took the necessary action that was required, when no one else would.

We begin this week’s portion which is named after Pineḥas and we see how he receives a great commendation from יהוה, as it was by his brave actions that he turned back the wrath of יהוה from Yisra’ĕl, so that they were not utterly consumed, after 24 000 had already died in the plague!

Pineḥas is commended for being ‘ardent’, and the word in Hebrew used here in verse 11 is קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 which means, to be jealous or zealous, ardour, zeal’.  It also carries the meaning of becoming intensely red in the face caused by a deep emotion! This word expresses an understanding of an intense passion and zeal that is shown in one’s pursuit of something or someone, revealing a very high level of dedication and commitment to what one is called to! This is a ‘burning passion’ for the truth that we see being carried out very effectively by Pineḥas.

This word is also translated into English as ‘envy’ and is used in a negative sense too, in carrying the understanding for us to not be ‘zealous’ for that which is not ours and not be envious of others who walk after wicked and corrupt ways that do not line up with the clearly prescribed righteous standards of the Torah!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:31 “Do not envy a cruel man, and choose none of his ways

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of יהוה all day long

The Hebrew root word used here in these two verses from Mishlĕ/Proverbs for ‘envy’ is קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent. It is written in the ‘piel’ tense which indicates the expression of an intensive or intentional action!

It is the same word used to describe Pineḥas who was ardent/zealous for יהוה and rose up and took a stand against the whoring of Yisra’ĕl! This word as we can see can have a dual meaning, depending on where your focus is on and on what your eyes are looking at! Our eyes are to be on יהוה and His Torah, which is to be the ‘apple of our eye’ (Tehillim/Psalm 7:2) as we guard his commands so that we live, and in doing so we can be like Pineḥas and Ěliyahu who expressed great zeal for יהוה, or if our eyes are turned away from the Truth for a split second and focused on the things of the flesh that do not satisfy, we are in danger of becoming extremely envious of what others have and in doing so find our feet in a slippery place!

The wrong ‘envy’ can cause you to make irrational choices instead of waiting on יהוה, and in Berěshith/Genesis we see a picture of Yosĕph’s brothers exercising envy in a negative sense:

Berěshith/Genesis 37:11And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.

Envy for or towards others, as opposed to a positive zeal toward Elohim, will cause one’s life to rot away:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:30A healthy heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:21 “envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.

So while we see this same root word being used in describing a passion or zeal for that is good versus that which envies what is not, we can better explain it as follows:

To ‘envy’ the wrong and their ways as opposed to being ‘zealous’ for following in the right way will produce fruit that is not fitting for set-apartness, whereas being zealous for the Truth will bring about the proper fruit worthy of repentance, being ardent to run in the way of the commands of יהוה.

What Pineḥas displayed was a jealousy or zeal for what was right in the eyes of יהוה and therefore he had a right to be zealous in putting to death the abominable act of whoring that had infiltrated the camp!

Often we may think of ‘jealousy’ in English as a negative thing, yet there is nothing negative about יהוה being jealous for us. In fact, it is because of Him being jealous for us that He willingly fights for us, and even gave His own life to put to death sin and lawlessness so that we can walk in Him and be zealous in guarding His way of set-apartness that befits His Bride and House!

The way I can describe it best is simply to say that there is a vast difference in being zealous for that which rightfully belongs to you and has been taken as opposed to being envious of that which is not yours and you have no right to! We, as servants of the Most High, have the right to put to death the misdeeds of the flesh. In fact, as a set-apart royal priesthood we should take note from the example of Pineḥas in recognising that we must be zealous for the righteous standards of set-apartness and in that zeal be ready to stand up for what is right and not back down when boldness against wickedness and sin needs to be effectively applied.

Set-Apartness befits the House of Elohim and we are to be zealous for this standard to be kept within the body of Messiah. This kind of zeal is a positive application of the word קָנָא qanah.

When we are envious over sinners and the ways of the wrong then that can be seen as the negative use of קָנָא qanah, while being jealous/zealous for having the righteous right-ruling and standards of the Torah upheld is the positive and right form or application of קָנָא qanah, which when acted upon will cause one to take a righteous stand of boldness as Pineḥas did!

The right kind of zeal that Pineḥas had was not being envious of what the wrong were doing but rather that he burned with the same passion that יהוה had against sin and lawlessness, and this kind of zeal is being called for today! If we have the same zeal for יהוה and His righteousness as He has towards us, then we would do our utmost to put to death all forms of compromise and flee all whoring!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee whoring. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits whoring sins against his own body.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:14 “Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:11 “But you, O man of Elohim, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, reverence, belief, love, endurance, meekness.

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:22And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 11:2For I am jealous for you with a jealousy according to Elohim. For I gave you in marriage to one husband, to present you as an innocent maiden to Messiah.

 

This kind of zeal, or ardour, that Pineḥas displays is the kind of zeal that we are to have for guarding the commands of Elohim and in doing that, have a great zeal for the House/Dwelling Palace of the Most High – for that is what we are! When we have a zeal for the House, we will keep the House clean; and in saying that I am reminded of the words of Dawiḏ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 69:8-9 “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and a foreigner to my mother’s children; 9 because ardour for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

The Hebrew noun used here for ‘ardour’ is קִנְאָה qinah – Strong’s H7068 which comes from the root verb קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065. When our ardour for the House ‘eats us up’ we must realise that we may indeed become a stranger to our families and friends who are not zealous for Elohim and His word!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:139 “My ardour has consumed me, for my adversaries have forgotten Your words.

Dawiḏ is expressing here how the forgetfulness of compromising people caused his ardour for the Torah of Elohim to consume him. The Hebrew root word translated here as ‘consumed’ is צָמַת tsamath – Strong’s H6789 which means, to put an end to, exterminate, cut off, destroy, consume, and while this word expresses a clear extermination, we take note how much the lawlessness of the enemies of Dawiḏ had utterly caused his ardour to consume him.

His ardour for the House had certainly eaten him up, as he saw how many so easily forgot the Words of יהוה.

We need to be challenged in our daily walk; and therefore as we see how so many have conveniently forgotten the Words of יהוה, we too ought to be consumed by an intense ardour for יהוה. Many today claim that they are zealous for יהוה, yet they cut corners, and allow compromise to go unchallenged and do not confront the mixed, lukewarm worship of so many. When our zeal for יהוה and His Word consumes us then we will be like Pineḥas who boldly stood up and put to death whoring and any attempts at a vain worship that has been compromised through mixing!

Zeal for יהוה consumed Ěliyahu too, and we see him expressing his zeal to יהוה in:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 19:10 “And he said, “I have been very jealous for יהוה Elohim of hosts, for the children of Yisra’ĕl have forsaken Your covenant. They have thrown down Your altars, and they have slain Your prophets with the sword, and I am left, I alone, and they seek my life, to take it.

The words ‘very jealous’ is written in the Hebrew texts as – קַנֹּא קִנֵּאתִי‘qano qineyathiy’, and emphasises just how zealous Ěliyahu was, as he in effect was saying, ‘I am zealous with my zeal for יהוה…’.

I believe from the patterns we see in Scripture, in seeing how the true worshippers and servants of Elohim have a zeal for יהוה, and boldly stood up amidst a crooked and perverse people,  that we too need to stand up today in an urgent and zealous zeal for יהוה and His Word! This is what Pineḥas did; he stood up and acted as he could no longer put up with the mixed compromise of people who claim to be worshipping the Elohim that he was extremely zealous for!

 

Pineḥas, the grandson of Aharon, was sick and tired of the blatant disregard for יהוה and the called for obedience to His Torah. We can learn from his name meaning, ‘mouth of brass’, along his father’s name, being El’azar, which means, ‘El has helped’ and Aharon’s name meaning, ‘light bringer’, that today we too can stand up and be bold, as we are helped by the Light of the world, יהושע Messiah, who strengthens us by His Spirit to speak words that we need to in our stand of destroying all forms of idolatry and whoring after Ba’al!

How many of you are sick and tired of the blatant disregard for יהוה in the world around us today?

We see everything else other than יהוה being worshiped today, even within the body of Messiah! And what are we doing about it? In light of the world that we live in, and the desperate need for us to walk consistently in our loving obedience to the commands of יהוה, there is a call to those who truly fear יהוה and are zealous for Him and His honour, to rise up and take a stand for the Truth!

We also take note of how jealous יהוה is:

Shemoth/Exodus 34:11-17 “Guard what I command you today. See, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Kena‛anite and the Ḥittite and the Perizzite and the Ḥiwwite and the Yeḇusite. 12 “Guard yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst.13 “But break down their slaughter-places, and smash their pillars, and cut down their Ashĕrim 14 for you do not bow yourselves to another mighty one, for יהוה, whose Name is jealous, is a jealous Ěl 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they whore after their mighty ones, and slaughter to their mighty ones, and one of them invites you and you eat of his slaughterings, 16  and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters whore after their mighty ones, and make your sons whore after their mighty ones. 17 “Do not make a moulded mighty one for yourselves.

These words that יהוה spoke to Mosheh make it very clear how jealous יהוה is and in His jealousy He will not accept any compromised form of worship, teaching us that in our zeal for Him we must be urgent in destroying all form of false worship and compromise!

Yisra’ĕl were completing their last year of their Wilderness Wanderings and were camped next to the Yardĕn River at Shittim. They would have known that they were in there last year for יהוה had told them that they would be in the Wilderness for 40 years for their disobedience – 1 year for every day they spied out the land and brought back a bad report. It was from this very place that Yehoshua would lead them across the Yardĕn into the Promised Land and destroy Yeriḥo and the surrounding nations. I want you to picture this for a moment as we look back in time: The journey in the Wilderness is nearly over and the Land of Promise is just across the river, which they can see: they were on the home stretch’, so to speak. The Wilderness years were certainly not easy, for well over 1 million adults that had left Mitsrayim were now dead. Mosheh’s brother and sister, Aharon and Miryam, were now dead and Mosheh didn’t have much longer to go, for he also knew that he would not go across, as יהוה told him after he hit the rock instead of speaking to it, for water, at Meriḇah. The years in the Wilderness were years of hardship and grumbling, plagues and battles, which was a result of their own disobedience I might add, yet through it all יהוה was with them and He had faithfully provided for them (food and water for over 2 million people for 40 years in the dessert!!!).

Yisra’ĕl was now about to ‘cross over’ into the Promised Land – about to embrace the victory of the Promises of יהוה. If you were to enter this camp site at this time, knowing all this, you would expect to find great excitement, expectation and enthusiasm; with people rejoicing, dancing, singing, giving thanks and worshipping before יהוה of Hosts.

Well, that is what you would expect to see, yet here we find and discover that this great scene of thankfulness that we would possibly expect to be there is not at all what was going on…!!! In fact the opposite was happening – they were whoring as a result of the seduction of the Mo’aḇites and were enticed into committing sexual acts of sin in worship to Ba’al.

Pineḥas displayed his love for יהוה, in his total obedience, while the majority of the camp was disregarding the commands of Elohim:

Yoḥanan Bět/2 John 1:6And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

The passion and zeal that was displayed that day by Pineḥas is what is being called for today, as what we see happening today in the world is no different to the whoring of being joined to Ba’al Peʽor that we see being spoken of here in this chapter. As mentioned in last week’s Torah portion commentary:

Ba’al Peʽor was a Mo’aḇite ‘mighty one’, which service of wicked worship unto this false mighty one included sexually immoral acts. The name Ba’al means ‘husband, land owner’ and its general meaning and term as used in pagan idolatry and worship is ‘lord’, which may be a little shocking to you if you have never realised this – the term lord is an inherited term from pagan worship used for thousands of years. פְּעוֹר Peʽor – Strong’s H6465 was the name of a mountain in Moaḇ. This name comes from the word פָּעַר pa’ar – Strong’s H6473 which is a verb meaning ‘open wide’ and so in essence, Ba’al Peʽor can be accurately rendered as ‘lord of the opening’ or the ‘lord that opens wide’. We know that יהושע says that ‘wide is the way that leads to destruction and many find it’!!!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it. 14 “Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Greek word that used to describe the ‘wide’ gate that leads to destruction is πλατύς platus – Strong’s G4116 which means, broad street, broad way, which is the word that used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘square’, in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:12Now in the street, now in the square, and at every corner she lurks.

The whore will not miss an opportunity to catch the fool who wanders the streets! She is everywhere and it is not hard to find her as she lurks at every corner, ready to lure a weary traveller!

The whore is in the wide gate – accepting all who will fall for her trickery and entertaining seductions!

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘square’ is רְחֹב reḥoḇ – Strong’s H7339 which means, a broad open place, plaza, square, market, and highlights for us just how wide and broad the way to destruction is, as we see the false worship being so widely advertised as being acceptable to the masses.

The Greek word used here in Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13 for ‘broad’ is εὐρύχωρος euruchōros – Strong’s G2149 which means, broad, spacious, and is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the ‘Tanak’ – O.T.) in the following verse:

Hoshěa/Hosea 4:16For Yisra’ĕl is stubborn, like a stubborn calf. Would יהוה now feed them like a lamb in a broad place?

The Hebrew word that translated here as ‘broad place’ is the noun מֶרְחָב merḥaḇ – Strong’s H4800 which means, a broad or roomy place, large field, and comes from the root verb רָחַב raḥaḇ - Strong’s H7337.

So many people are walking in the wide and broad way that leads to destruction and assume that are getting fed with truth while it is clear that the True Way is the narrow way!

The words translated here as ‘hard pressed’ is from the Greek word θλίβω  thlibō, – Strong’s G2346 which means, to press or afflict, to distress, suffer affliction, and in the literal sense can mean, to squash, press, hem in, rub, harassed, and also can be understood as beingnarrow or hard pressed and the Greek word translated as ‘narrow’ is στενός  stenos – Strong’s G4728 which means, narrow (space or passage) as a result of obstacles standing close about). In other words the true path of life is very narrow, and often it will feel like the pressure of so many obstacles of destruction that are pressing hard against us, are doing their best to cause us to not enter in, as we are continually hard pressed on every side – yet as faithful followers of Messiah, we are not crushed!

What becomes very clear through Scripture is that the wide open way that allows people to do as they feel is a destructive way that leads to death!

The occurrences of this verb ‘pa’ar’, meaning, ‘open wide’, indicate an adjunction with the strong passion or feeling, which is usually not very positive and described the wide opening of the mouth, hence alluding to other body cavities! Hoshěa remarks on the Ba’al Peʽor event (Hoshěa/Hosea 9:10) and it is clear that the Yisra’ĕlites defiled themselves with abundant fornication and sexual perversion as the Ba’al worship rites were celebrated by the grossest obscenity.

So here we can translate that being joined to Ba’al Peʽor meant being led on the wide path of destruction. We are to be the joined body of Messiah – joined to Messiah יהושע – being led in His narrow way, which few find!

In essence, Ba’al worship can also be understood as giving free reign to the carnal nature, which is the flesh, and is expressed in gluttony, drunkenness and sexual acts. This form of pagan worship comes from ancient Baḇelon as the worship of Nimroḏ was started by Semiramis, known as the Queen of heaven or Ishtar, which is today known as ‘Easter’ – who was the pagan goddess of fertility and mother of Tammuz, the worshipped son of Ba’al who would be reborn every year on December 25th. You see, celebrating these pagan festivals, under the misguided lie of worship unto יהושע, is in fact a way people today are engaging in Ba’al worship and following the wide open way of destruction!!!

Pineḥas is a great shadow picture of Messiah, who is coming as a lion who will devour and destroy the works of darkness and the wickedness of adultery against Elohim; for when He comes again, He is coming with vengeance and with extremely great zeal, for He is a jealous El and He will put to death the whoring and abominable acts of false worship!

Pineḥas was not going to simply sit by and shut up when others were too afraid to take a stand. Pineḥas stood up, not for himself, but for יהוה! As we see in this account – the path of zeal for יהוה’s Name, esteem and His Righteous Right standards is not easy, as it requires everything of you and is often a very lonely path – yet we who claim to live in יהושע must walk this very zealous path that He walked and declare the truth with unwavering boldness.

I also believe that Pineḥas was well trained and skilled in the use of weaponry and could, with precision, use the spear – which he did as he certainly must have used a very sharp spear. This speaks to me about our being trained and skilled in the Word. We must become skilled in the very Word that is sharper than a doubled edged sword and be ardent to use it for the esteem of יהוה. Let me tell you, when you take a stand and use the sharper Word of Elohim with precision that cuts, you will not necessarily be popular, so do not expect any applause but rather expect possible mockery, slander, course laughter, hatred and bitterness. But know this – your reward is not with men – it is with יהוה – He will applaud you and reward you for defending His esteem.

Wouldn’t it be something to hear the Father say, “You are as zealous as I am for My esteem!”

יהוה is waiting for His chosen to arise and have the courage to love Him and hate sin. Obedience to His Living Word is the highest expression of our love for Him. I am asking you today, “Will you arise and burn with zeal for יהוה’s esteem and be bold and courageous to declare His Truth as you see sin around you, as you see Ba‘al worship going on in the lives of believers? Will you take up a stand for His Torah – to live it, declare it and teach it, as you zealously expose the lies of the enemy and draw people back unto true worship?

May we not sit idly by as the false teachings and watered down doctrines that are leading many astray!

“Will you, in your own life, kill and put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and help others to do so as well?”

This is an ‘Ěliyahu message’ and call that I am laying out before you (no matter how often you go through this Torah portion and cycle – it is alive for you now!)  – Why do I say that? What is the Ěliyahu message? Well Ěliyahu was also very zealous for יהוה, and in his bold confrontation with Ba‘al worship we see that this call for zeal is also a call to forsake the worship of Ba’al and return to the commandments of יהוה. On the physical level the Ěliyahu message denounces sexual sin and all lusts of the flesh and on the spiritual level that is expressed in the desires of the flesh, it denounces the observance of pagan festivals – such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, to name a few.

The majority will continue to worship Ba’al (whether they realise it or not), yet there will be many ‘overcomers’, many like Pineḥas – that is, true believers who keep the commandments of יהוה and put their faith in יהושע Messiah. Endeavour to be amongst the few – amongst the remnant as you walk the path of zeal! It is time to rise up and take a stand and live, eat, hear and do the Truth! Do not let sin pull you away; do not be afraid to rise up and take a stand – walk in zeal for יהוה. Come on there are people out there dying – what are you going to do – be zealous for יהוה – rise up and take a stand!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60: 1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.

As you may know, ‘light’ in the Hebrew is also understood as metaphorically having the meaning of ‘knowledge’ and ‘darkness’ can therefore carry the meaning of ‘ignorance’ or being hidden from the truth. We see here in Yeshayahu that darkness/ignorance is over the earth, yet ‘thick darkness/ignorance’ is over many people. But we who walk in the Torah have the light, the light and knowledge of Messiah יהושע, as we walk in Him – and when we walk in Him His esteem is upon us – the question remains - will we be like Pineḥas and arise and stand up and defend the esteem of יהוה and take a stand for the Truth!!!

We too must learn from our Master and Elohim, which we see being shadow pictured through the example of Pineḥas, as we also are able to see how zealous Messiah was for His House:

Yoḥanan/John 2:14-17 “And He found in the Set-apart Place those selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers sitting. 15 And having made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Set-apart Place, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the moneychangers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those selling doves, “Take these away! Do not make the house of My Father a house of merchandise!” 17 And His taught ones remembered that it was written, “The ardour for Your house has eaten Me up.

How zealous are you for the House of Elohim? We see today how, even among those who claim to be Torah observant followers of Messiah, that so many are doing as they please and there are many so called ‘Torah-teachers’ who are marketing and selling their teachings on a Sabbath, and even place a premium price on their teachings, making it exclusive to those who can pay. This is no different to what was happening in the days that Messiah turned the tables of the moneychangers, as a true zeal for His House caused Him to turn the tables, so to speak!

 

I once confronted someone who had organised a ‘so-called Torah teaching seminar’ on the Sabbath, which took place in a church building, and the guest speaker’s materials were made available for sale. Some others had also petitioned against the ‘entrance fee’ that was originally advertised, which was later changed to ‘bring an offering to cover the costs for the speaker’. When confronted about the purchasing of the speakers books and materials on the Sabbath, the details were changed to purchasing the materials before Sabbath and collect on the day. They thought that if the physical transaction was done before Sabbath that it made it all ok, when in fact one of the primary purposes for the seminar/teaching was to promote his materials, and this was being done, in a church building on a Sabbath – to an audience of so-called Torah believers! I could not keep silent and confronted the organiser via email, and was told to get off of my religious high horse.

Why I am mentioning this is to make it clear that we see a subtle corruption of the Truth happening in our day, and most who have come out of a church system and desire to follow the Truth and obey the Torah, are sadly falling for compromised worship standards; and it is time for the True worshippers to stand up, be zealous with a great zeal for יהוה and not be afraid to confront those who are compromising the called for standard of set-apartness!

 

Verse 12-13

The promise given to Pineḥas was יהוה’s covenant of peace – literally He was given the ‘shalom’ of יהוה – and in Hebrew שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 means, ‘completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, prosperity, health, safety, security’. For those who stand up and are zealous for the esteem of יהוה, there shall be no lack!

The actions of one man turned the wrath of elohim away from a nation – a beautiful picture of how Pineḥas represents for us a type or shadow picture of Messiah, who by His actions appeased the wrath of Elohim!

And what we can learn from these accounts is that the difference between life and death is a matter of being in obedience to the proper order of Elohim or not!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘My covenant’ is the word בְּרִיתִיberiythiy, which comes from the noun בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 which means, covenant, confederacy, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance, agreement. What we find in Scripture is that there are alliances or agreements made between men as well as ordinances between a king and his subjects and pledges between man and man, or alliances of friendship such as in the case of Dawiḏ and Yehonathan!

Primarily, we take note that this term בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 is used to describe the agreement or constitution that is established between Elohim and man, and such ordinances are accompanied by a sign or pledge.

This promise of giving Pineḥas יהוה’s covenant of peace to him and his seed after him as an everlasting priesthood we take note that this was the assurance of being established to serve as a royal priesthood forever! This is not a separate covenant that stands outside of His covenant with Aḇraham that was established and confirmed with Yisra’ĕl, but rather that the establishment of a priesthood that is secured in the covenant of Peace.

For more on this word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 please see the article called, ‘UNDERSTANDING COVENANT!’ on our website (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘articles’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/653-understanding-covenant

For those who stand up and are zealous for the esteem of יהוה, there shall be no lack and they shall serve forever as a set-apart and royal priesthood unto Him, never to be shaken or moved!

The Righteous root will never be shaken or moved; therefore we who stay in the Righteous Root shall never be shaken! Another firm promise we have from Elohim is seen in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:10 “For though the mountains be removed and the hills be shaken, My kindness is not removed from you, nor is My covenant of peace shaken,” said יהוה, who has compassion on you.

The Covenant of peace will be a covenant of an everlasting priesthood! The phrase ‘everlasting priesthood’ is written in the Hebrew as follows: כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם – which transliterates as follows, kehunnath olam which comes from the two root words: 1) כְּהֻנָּה kehunnah – String’s H3550 which means, priesthood, priest’s office which comes from the root word כֹּהֵן kohen – Strong’s H3548 which means, priest, chief minister, officer, chief ruler, which comes from the primitive root verb כָּהַן kahan – Strong’s H3547 which means, to act as a priest, minister as a priest, serve as a priest.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘everlasting’ is עוֹלָם olam – Strong’s H5769 which means, long duration, antiquity, continual, all successive, everlasting, forever, permanent, unending, perpetual, and clearly represents for us that which pertains to an unlimited duration of time, with a focus of no anticipated end!

This covenant of a priesthood is exactly what is secured in Messiah, our King of Peace, as we are a royal priesthood that has been grafted in to His covenant of peace that stands forever, giving us the assurance that those who stay in Him will be secure in His Covenant of peace forever!

Pineḥas was ardent for יהוה and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl!

Pineḥas’ ardent action of putting to death sin in the camp and making atonement for the nation is a prophetic shadow picture of Messiah who came to put to death the curse of sin and be a secure covering for us by making atonement for us, His called out Bride!

 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘and made atonement’ is וַיְכַפֵּר vayḵapper which comes from the root verb כָּפַר kaphar – Strong’s H3722 which means: to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone. As a noun it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour. It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’!

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the word כָּפַר kaphar – Strong’s H3722 is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times in the entire book! 39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system, where the other 9 times it is used to highlight the regulations and instructions for the Day. This is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back (39) – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!

In the ancient script the word כָּפַרkaphar’ is pictured as:

reshpeykaph

Kaph – כָּ:

The ancient script for this letter ‘kaph’ is – kaph – and pictures ‘an open palm of a hand’, and can have the meaning of ‘bend, curve’ which is seen in the shape of the hand. It can also be understood to have the meaning of the ability to ‘tame, subdue’, as in the ‘bending of the will’, as an ‘open hand’ signifies ‘submission’.

Pey – פַ:

The ancient script for this letter ‘pey’ is – pey – and is pictured as an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can also have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. In representing the mouth it can also picture the lips of a mouth, which are the ‘edges of the mouth’, and can also refer to things with edges, such as a sword or beard!

Resh – ר:

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

When we understand these pictures in reference to a ‘covering’ as well as the ability to be afforded security and protection, we are able to see how we, who submit to our Master and Messiah, and acknowledge that He is our Head and chief and that He is the Beginning and the End, realise how by the Word of His mouth, that He has revealed to us in His own flesh, covers us as He has us written in the palm of His Hand, as His treasured possession!

 

Verse 14-15

As we look at the names of the couple who whored in the camp of Yisra’ĕl, we see further insights for us today:

The name of the Yisra’ĕlite man who was struck with the Mo’aḇite woman was זִמְרִי Zimri – Strong’s H2174 meaning, my music! He was the son of סַלּוּ Sallu – Strong’s H5543 which means, weighedor made light of.

Zimri was ‘weighed and was found wanting’, and as we should recognise, being a Shim’onite (from the tribe of Shim’on), he should not have been in the Tabernacle compound area unless he was bringing a sacrifice!

With his name meaning ‘my music’ we can clearly see how music today has a major impact on society and how through ‘music’ that much false and twisted worship is being ‘brought in to the camp’, so to speak, as so much of the so called worship music today that is being used to draw masses to church gatherings has found its way into many homes of many Torah keepers. Music is a very powerful tool in leading people into worship. What we must constantly and consistently be doing is exercising discernment as to what is the pure worship that esteem’s יהוה and His Name and what is not!

How often do you even find yourself going to the shops and hear a ‘jingle’ playing for just a sec, and find that before you know it you are humming away to the tune, which is in no way bringing esteem to our Creator – especially during pagan rooted feast times of man (you all know what I am referring to).

We praise יהוה for having blessed us as a fellowship in having the true gifts and talents of the Spirit being used here in bringing us worship that is pure and in line with the Word. All the songs we sing here have been written and composed here and it is a blessing to be able to sing and praise and worship with songs that do not take our minds back to Mitsrayim or Baḇel, so to speak, as we guard against the hearing and singing of falsified titles and names!

The Miḏyanite woman’s name was  כָּזְבִּי Kozbi – Strong’s H3579 which means, my lieand her father was a leader in Miḏyan whose name was צוּר Tsur – Strong’s H6698 meaning, rock. This is a classic picture for us of the ‘false bride’ who portrays herself as the real thing yet is a lie! She says she is ‘from the rock’, but she  is not from the True ROCK, which is יהושע Messiah; and when we see ‘my lie’ and ‘my music’ coming together to bring defilement into the camp, we are able to learn from these events the clear picture of seeing how many are being so easily led astray through the false worship practices of the whore who claims to have authority, yet it is not from above but is her own assumed authority that breeds and teaches lawlessness and compromise as being an acceptable standard!

The ‘religious’ counterfeiters today hate the fact that there is a remnant standing up and calling on the True Name of Messiah and walking according to His Torah – the same happened in the time of the Book of Ma’asei/Acts:

Ma’asei/Acts 17:6-7 “But not finding them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers to the city rulers, crying out, “They who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 whom Jason has received. And all of them are acting contrary to the dogmas of Caesar, saying there is another sovereign, יהושע.

Hear what this verse is saying – they were referring to the true worshippers and followers of Messiah as those who were turning the world upside down and acting contrary to the dogmas (man-made laws) of Rome (Church) – and were proclaiming ‘another’ king – יהושע!

Just like Pineḥas and the early believers, we too are to turn the world upside down and act contrary to church doctrines and theologies that have set aside the Torah of Elohim as we stand firm on the Truth of the Torah and proclaim the True Sovereign and Master – יהושע Messiah!

Verse 17-18 – distress the Miḏyanites!

The word for distress in the Hebrew isצָרַר  tsarar – Strong’s H6887 and means, bind up, tie, restrict, be restricted, narrow, cramp, frustrate, distress, trouble’.

This instruction carries the understanding for us as ‘make things tight for them and make it hard for them to breath’; in other words ‘do not give them any room and engage in hostility against them’. This may seem very ‘un-Christian-like’ to many yet this was clearly יהוה’s will! We are not to simply sit idly by while the whore is causing many to stay drunk with her blasphemous adulteries – we need to take a stand and to do that we are to be well versed and skilled in His Word, which takes a proper zeal, dedication and willingness to learn, meditate and walk in the Word each and every day. We are called to study the Scriptures so that we can expose the lie and reveal how ridiculous the practices of those who are worshipping Ba’al Peʽor - ‘lord of the opening’ are. We are then to ‘kill off’ the ‘self’ (my lie and my music) in them so they can become more like they are meant to be. 

Verse 18 tells us that they (Miḏyanites) had distressed Yisra’ĕl with their ‘tricks’ and deceived them in the matter of Peʽor and Kozbi. The word here in the Hebrew for ‘tricks’ is נָכַל naal – Strong’s H5230 meaning, to be crafty, deceitful, swindler.

When Bilʽam could not curse Yisra’ĕl he taught Balaq to lure the men away through seduction.

What is called for is a very severe response against anyone that seeks to use deceptive techniques of worship in leading יהוה's people away from being faithful and remaining steadfast to Him; and we must be willing to stand up against those who change the worship that He has prescribed in His Torah to something that is done everywhere else and has become, and is seen, as the acceptable norm and ‘culturally correct’, when in fact it is contrary to the prescribed order of the Torah!

CHAPTER 26

The census 

After the plague had killed 24 000 and Yisra’ĕl was in their last year of the wilderness journey, which meant that the generation of those 20 years and above who were counted in the first census when they came out of Mitsrayim, were dead, except for Kalěḇ and Yehoshua, and of course Mosheh would was not going to be around for much longer. So a new count was needed to be taken, as a new generation was going forth to lead the families of Yisra’ĕl, and what we see in this being a very significant count for us is in light of the recent events of whoring after Ba’al.

The term ‘take a census’ – שְׂאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ  – ‘seu et rosh’ literally means ‘lift up the heads’ as the word  שְׂאוּ - is from the primitive root נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 meaning, lift up, carry, take, bear, support, and you will notice that the first letter ‘nun (נָ)’ falls away as it is in the qal imperative and the ‘weak nun (נָ)’ falls away and the emphasis is placed on the command to ‘lift up and count’, and is seen as a very strong command or divine instruction from Elohim. So it is not a soft gesture to take a count, but rather comes across as a very strong ‘LIFT UP YOUR HEADS!!!’ The term ‘a census’ literally means, ‘the heads’ –אֶת־רֹאשׁ  - ‘et rosh’, ‘et’ - אֶת  is an untranslated particle in Hebrew often described in grammars (somewhat superficially) as the sign of the direct object after a transitive verb; and the function of et’ - אֶת  is to emphasize the word to which it is attached. In other words – what is being ‘taken up’? – The heads – which is ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 and means, head, beginning, census, captain, leader, top, topmost.

The mandate had been given to take a count, and this was a call to see who was paying attention, and who was committed to יהוה. This was time to stand up and be counted, especially after the recent events that caused many to perish under the wrath of יהוה. This was a check – to see who was still loyal. When a count would be taken of the men of fighting age, each one would literally be ‘counted’ or even touched by the one doing the census, and here we have the picture of this being a count you wanted to be part of or else!!!

This was a type of ‘looking eyeball to eyeball’ with the truth and seeing if you are truly committed to following יהוה. Yisra’ĕl was not married to Ba‘al, they were betrothed to יהוה and now the count of the faithful was taking place. What we must also recognise is that this census was a means to get those who were being counted to realise and recognise who they were. יהוה knew how many they were, yet Yisra’ĕl needed to know and Mosheh and El’azar needed to choose new leaders. This was a ‘stock take’ of who was still loyal and which tribes were doing well and which had suffered some major loss. This was a critical count to see who was willing to be faithful and committed – were they now paying attention. This was a military type call to get their eyes back on the ball and get focused and serve יהוה and serve each other, guarding the camp from the infiltration of Ba‘al worship!

The plague had swept away the last of that wickedly devoted generation which provoked יהוה to "swear in His wrath that they should not enter in to His rest"; and now, after an interval of 38 years, יהוה commands another census of the Yisra’ĕlites to be made, in order to preserve the distinction of families, and to regulate the tribes prior to their entry into the promised land, as well as to ascertain the proportion of land which should be allotted to each tribe. The land was to be divided by lot as an inheritance according to the number of names. To the large a larger inheritance was to be given and to the small a smaller inheritance and so we can clearly see why this census was extremely important!

A ‘count’ was to be made of every male ‘head by head’ from 20 years old and above – everyone going out to the army in Yisra’ĕl. What we recognise here is that 20 years of age was the age when one was considered to be of fighting age and able to go out and fight in the army of Yisra’ĕl. This is a wonderful lesson for us in coming to the point of being counted – and by that I mean being able to stand up and fight the good fight, which today is not limited to one’s physical age of being 20 years old and above, as we are lifted up in Messiah; but rather it speaks of those who are willing to stand up and be counted, by properly counting the cost of following Messiah.

So when a census or count is taken up of the Bride of Messiah, we clearly see that those who sit idly by will not be counted among Yisra’ĕl! ‘Pew-warmers’ are not counted!!!

Sha’ul told Timotiyos in:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in behaviour, in love, in spirit, in belief, in cleanliness.

Here we see that maturity in being able to be a good and faithful soldier in Messiah is not always linked to one’s physical age, as there are many people today who are well over 20 years of age, yet they are not mature in the Word as they follow after the lusts of youth, which we are commanded to flee from:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:22And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.

In Messiah we are to ‘fight the good fight of the belief’, and if we are not willing to stand up and fight then we cannot be counted!

A plague that was in the camp due to a compromised worship had just killed 24 000 people, and this was only stopped when Pineḥas, a man who was zealous with a great zeal for יהוה, stood up and took action; and here this Chapter 26 deals with a census! It was now time to count who was able to fight!

By His life, death and resurrection, Messiah came to put a stop to sin and has caused us who are in Him to be counted worthy of following Him!

The Hebrew word used for ‘army’ in verse 2 is צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635 which means, army, war, warfare, battle, conflict,  host (of organised army), and comes from the root verb צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, to wage war, perform, fight, serve, mustered, gone to war. This was a count to see who was truly enlisted in the army of Elohim! We take note that this word is also used in the instructions given the Lěwites who were to ‘perform the service’ in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4:23.

To perform the duty of the priesthood is seen as a critical service of ‘fighting the good fight’. We must remember that the Lěwites encamped around the Tabernacle and were camped between the Tabernacle and the rest of the tribes in order to ‘guard the duty’ lest the wrath of Elohim break out to the rest of Yisra’ĕl!  The Lěwites were no sissies but rather very strong and brave men who had to be fit and able to guard the charge of keeping the Tabernacle from defilement!

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.

We also take note that this root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635 is used over 250 times in the Tanak as a clear title or Name of our Elohim – יהוה צְבָאוֹת – ‘יהוה tseaot’ – meaning, ‘יהוה of Hosts’. He is not only our Commander and Chief who fights for us, He is also the one under whom we march and fight the good fight of belief; and the call is very clear – who is standing up and being counted in Messiah, our Head and Chief

BEING COUNTED:

יהושע tells us to count the cost of following Him and count the cost of being identified with Him. He also told the large crowds that came to Him that they should count the cost – for you can either be a fan or a follower – the difference is that fans will never enter in but always stay on the side-lines and have the most to say while are unwilling to do what is required!

Luqas/Luke 15:25-35 “And large crowds were going with Him, and turning, He said to them,  26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one. 27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one. 28 “For who of you, wishing to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation, and is unable to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was unable to finish.’ 31 “Or what sovereign, going to fight against another sovereign, does not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 “And if not, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 “So, then, everyone of you who does not give up all that he has, is unable to be My taught one. 34 “The salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 “It is not fit for land, nor for manure, they throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Pretty stern words from our Master, and so what we find here is that יהושע is on His way to Yerushalayim and large crowds were travelling with Him – mainly because they saw a whole lot of miracles and excitement, but did not realise that He was on His way to be impaled and die on a stake! יהושע, in seeing all the crowds with Him, turns to them and basically says to them, “Look, I am not looking for fans, I am looking for followers!

His message is still the same today to His Bride. It is easy to be a fan – fans are here today and gone tomorrow, fans take up no responsibility. Following takes commitment – it takes sacrifice.

It is interesting to note that in the passage above, we find the English word ‘unable’ three times (26,27,33). This is a compound word from two Greek words:

οὐ  - ‘ou’ – Strong’s G3756 and δύναμαι  - ‘dunamai’ – Strong’s G1410.

οὐ  - ‘ou’ is an adverb that simply means ‘no’ or ‘not’ and δύναμαι  - ‘dunamai’ means, ‘to have the capacity or ability, to be capable or have the power to’. So this compound word ‘unable’ from the Greek ‘οὐ δύναμαι’ simply means, ‘to have no capacity to or no ability to’. Therefore those who do not give יהושע their full commitment do not have the capacity, power or ability to be followers of Messiah. In other words what יהושע is saying is that in order to be able to be one of His followers or talmidim (disciples) involves a standard that is no less than total devotion, supreme commitment and absolute surrender to Him and His will.

So what יהושע was doing here was warning the multitudes that were trying to follow Him that they need to understand the level of commitment that is required to be a true follower or disciple instead of being a fan.

יהושע used several illustrations to make this very clear and in this passage He gives us five word pictures, snapshots or images, if you will, of what a true disciple is:

 

IMAGE 1 – FAMILY (26) - He says that if you come to Him and do not ‘hate’ your family then you are unable to be His taught one! The Greek word used here for ‘hate’ is μισέω miseō – Strong’s G3404 which means, hate, hatred and is seen as the opposite of the ability ‘to love’ or ‘to be a friend’ and is the equivalent of not loving or to “love less”!  What יהושע is doing here is contrasting love to family with love toward Him. He is asserting His ‘Elohimness’ here. Family members are all human beings and the love we show to them compared to the love we show for Messiah, who is Elohim in the flesh, must be so different, that the love for family will seem like hatred. The meaning of the word μισέω miseō is made clear in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

If there is in any form of compromising a walk of total obedience to His Torah for the sake of family, then one is unable to be His taught one! There are sadly so many today who are unwilling to stand up for the Truth and so compromise to ‘keep the peace’ so to speak and this simply shows that they are unable to be ‘counted’ as being a fighting fit follower of Messiah!

 

IMAGE 2 – THE STAKE (27) – It may seem harsh when we begin to understand the words of our Master – He first says that unless we ‘hate’ our family and then ‘unless we bear our stake’! Walking in Messiah and following Him through diligent obedience to His Torah is not for the faint hearted. We cannot just “love” Him supremely in the erroneous way that they church teaches as being a ‘lawless love’ in order to truly to follow Him; we must also ‘bear our stake’. And here the picture is typically to live like a dead person. For whenever someone was seen carrying a stake through the streets, everyone knew that persons fate – a horrible form of execution – it meant death! Although you were walking you were dead! And a real follower of יהושע is one who ‘bears his stake’. Sha’ul understood this very well and teaches us in:

Galatiyim/Galatians 2:20 “I have been impaled with Messiah, and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh I live by belief in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:24 “And those who are of Messiah have impaled the flesh with its passions and the desires.

What Sha’ul was saying is that there was nothing that this world had to offer that was of any interest to him.

Is the world and what it has to offer dead to you? Or do you find yourself laying down your stake and running to the pleasures, passions and lusts of the world? Do the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke out your ability to bear your stake? To walk as a true follower of יהושע Messiah means to be dead to the world, and the understanding that hears the call to not hold on to worldly stuff that has no value.

One of the major problems with Yisra’ĕl in the wilderness was their inability to put to death the need to follow the carnal nature and so they fell into the abominable and perverted worship of Ba‘al, and it was now time to count who had really now committed themselves to walk in the Truth as the Promised Land lay right ahead for them, and those who were counted would be led by Yehoshua – a great shadow picture of those who have counted the cost and follow Messiah!

 

IMAGE 3 – TOWER (28-30) - Here יהושע gives a picture of a man who plans to build a tower, and before he starts he must count the cost to see if he has enough to get the job done. When we become followers of יהושע we may even ask, “Do I have what it takes to finish?” And typically the answer is always no! But it is not our resources that are necessary, for Elohim provides all we need. What יהושע is talking about here is total commitment – an enduring persevering heart – not giving up when the times get bad and the going gets rough.

Do not be one who gives up on following wholeheartedly after יהושע; for if you do others will then look on and say that you began but couldn’t finish it or follow through. Let me tell you that as a true follower of יהושע does not shrink back and get destroyed, even when setbacks come, but a true follower is one who believes and is saved, one who lives by faith with works (Torah observance), even when it is rough and the chips are down! Often people are committed, but only for a while then through various reasons they drift away and walk away from following the Truth and walk away from יהוה. Do not be one of those. Are you willing to pay the price for true discipleship? Are you willing to be counted as a census is being taken before His great coming to lead us into the fullness of His Promises!!!

IMAGE 4 – A WAR (31-33) - The idea here is that of surrender – and how we need to surrender our lives to the leading and headship of Messiah, the King of Peace. So plainly here is the message – you cannot be a follower of יהושע if you are not willing to give up control, and for most people that is hard to do. יהוה is way stronger and mightier than we are and we need to make peace with Him and surrender to live in freedom. Most of the time people simply just don’t want to give up control. How many of you struggle to give control over to יהוה?

It takes humility to bow down and ask for terms of peace when there is a war raging in our lives. You cannot be a disciple of Messiah if you do not give complete control to יהוה.

IMAGE 5 – SALT (34-35) - The image and idea here is to remain pure – to stay pure. Salt was a valuable commodity in Scriptural times, and often Roman soldiers would even be paid, at least in part, with salt rations. There is a phrase that we often hear when someone doesn’t do a good job or their work is mediocre and substandard, “He is not worth his salt”. We also know that salt was to be brought with every offering. Salt is also a cleansing and healing agent; and it renders the slaughtered animal unsusceptible to outside influences, reminding us that the absolute Covenant of יהוה is not to be altered. It can be ground up finer and finer, yet is still always salt. In fact, the Hebrew word for salt מֶלַח melaḥStrong’s H4417 comes from the word that means ‘to rub together, pulverise’. Salt cannot be destroyed by heat or water, but can be destroyed by another chemical agent. There is no safety net if salt loses its savour; there is nothing we can add to salt to make it salty again.

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

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

So how can salt lose its taste? By sitting idle for long periods and not doing what is required or by adding foreign chemicals in the mix. The context for יהושע's calling us ‘the salt of the earth’ was persecution.

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

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

In light of this Torah portion and the events that led up to this census being taken as well as the words of our Master, the question put forward to each of us today and in fact every day is ‘‘Fan or follower’, which one are you?”

Back to Bemiḏbar/Numbers 26:

Verse 3 – here we see that El’azar is called priest for the first time, rather than the son of the priest! His authority was firmly established by the time of this census, possibly by the evidence that he had raised his son, Pineḥas, well and according to the righteous standards of the Torah, which is a prerequisite for a leader, as we see in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:5 “for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim?

Verse 5-56 – the list of names and numbers of each tribe:

1 – Re’uḇĕn  - רְאוּבֵן  - Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son

  • Ḥanoḵ -  חֲנוֹךְ  - Strong’s H2585 – ‘dedicated, teach, train
  • Pallu - פַּלּוּא - Strong’s H6396 – ‘distinguished
    1. oEliyaḇ - אֱלִיאָב  - Strong’s H446 – ‘my El is Father/my Father is El
      • §Nemu’ĕl - נְמוּאֵל  - Strong’s H5241 – ‘day of El
      • §Dathan - דָּתָן  - Strong’s H1885 – ‘belonging to a fountain
      • §Aḇiram  - אֲבִירָם  - Strong’s H48 – ‘my father is exalted
  • Ḥetsron - חֶצְרוֹן  - Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall
  • Karmi - כַּרְמִי  - Strong’s H3756 – ‘my vineyard

The number of the registered ones of Re’uḇĕn was 43 730, as opposed to the first census being 46 500 and so we see a reduction of 2 770. It was the children of Re’uḇĕn that rebelled against Mosheh and Aharon in the company of Qoraḥ and so we see how this tribe had lost some ground in a sense!

Verse 11 – sons of Qoraḥ did not die! This is a very interesting verse as we see that in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 16 that all who was with Qoraḥ was swallowed up, going down into the grave alive; and so what we can learn from this very small but powerful verse is that it is clear that not all of the sons of Qoraḥ were ‘with him’, and by this I mean that it stands to reason that there were of his sons that were not in agreement with their father’s falsehood and lies and rebellion! The same is true for us today who have discovered that our fathers have inherited lies – we have distanced ourselves from the rebellion in which they walked and have separated ourselves from all that represents disobedience to the Torah. When the congregation was told to get away from the tents of Qoraḥ, some of his sons had the wisdom to listen and move and so have their lives preserved as they heeded the warning and obeyed the instructions of Elohim as given through Mosheh! This fits in well with what Messiah speaks about in ‘leaving’ mother or father for the sake of the Kingdom and receiving an inheritance and eternal life! These sons would enter into the Promised Land and so we find a wonderful promise to all of us who have left houses and fathers and mothers for His sake:

Marqos/Mark 10:28-30 “And Kěpha began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and we have followed You.” 29 יהושע said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for the sake of Me and the Good News, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come, everlasting life.

As we are nearing the ‘entry’ into the Promised Land, we are called to be counted and we acknowledge the lies that our fathers inherited:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19-21 “O יהוה, my strength and my stronghold and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited only falsehood, futility, and there is no value in them.” 20 Would a man make mighty ones for himself, which are not mighty ones? 21 “Therefore see, I am causing them to know, this time I cause them to know My hand and My might. And they shall know that My Name is יהוה!

Just as Qoraḥ and all who were with him was swallowed up, so too will the church be swallowed up alive and all who are still in her house! In fact the church is already being ‘swallowed up’ by the world as it is unable to be distinguished from the world, but rather has ‘blended in’ and become ‘culturally and morally’ relevant to the world, running against the Torah of Elohim! And we being a part of Yisra’ĕl have left that ‘tent’ of Christianity that is filled with Ba‘al worship, yet we must be warned not to bring any of the ‘idols’ from that corrupt tent with us on our journey!

2 – Shim’on - שִׁמְעוֹן  - Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard

  • Nemu’ĕl - נְמוּאֵל - Strong’s H5241 – ‘day of El
  • Yamin - יָמִין  - Strong’s H3226 – ‘right hand
  • Yaḵin - יָכִין  - Strong’s H3199 – ‘He will establish
  • Sha’ul - שָׁאוּל  - Strong’s H7586 – ‘desired

The number of the registered ones of Shim’on was 22 200, as opposed the first census  being 59 300! This was a reduction of 37 100, and now this was the smallest tribe after the incident at Ba‘al Peʽor. We know that Zimri who was killed with the Miḏyanite woman was a son of a leader in Shim’on, and so it may just be that the majority of the 24 000 that were killed in the plague were from the tribe of Shim’on!

This tribe lost the most and is a reflection of the masses who are simply not hearing the Truth. Shim’on means ‘heard’ yet this is the tribe that had the most casualties!!! When we see in Scripture how our Master tells the 7 assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation that ‘he who has ears let him hear’, we need to recognise the need to be a ‘hearing’ people!

With a tribe that was almost 3 times bigger at Mount Sinai we see a shadow picture of how 2/3 of mankind will be ‘swallowed’ up by famine, plague and sword and only 1/3 will make it through the tribulation!

3 – Gaḏ - גָּד  - Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop

  • Tsephon - צְפוֹן  - Strong’s H6827 – ‘treasure, gaze
  • Ḥaggi - חַגִּי  - Strong’s H2291 – ‘festive
  • Shuni - שׁוּנִי  - Strong’s H7764 – ‘fortunate
  • Ozni - אָזְנִי  - Strong’s H244 – ‘my hearing
  • Ěri - עֵרִי  - Strong’s H6179 – ‘watchful
  • Aroḏ -  אֲרוֹד  - Strong’s H720 – ‘I will subdue/I shall roam

The number of the registered ones of Gaḏ was 40 500, as opposed the first census  being 45 650! They too had become less, by 5 150!

4 – Yehuḏah - יְהוּדָה  - Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised

  • Ěr - עֵר  - Strong’s H6147 – ‘awake
  • Onan - אוֹנָן  - Strong’s H209 – ‘strong
  • Shĕlah - שֵׁלָה  - Strong’s H7956 – ‘a petition
  • Perets - פֶּרֶץ  - Strong’s H6557 – ‘breach
    1. oḤetsron - חֶצְרוֹן  - Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall
    2. oḤamul - חָמוּל  - Strong’s H2538 – ‘spared
  • Zeraḥ - זֶרַח  - Strong’s H2226 – ‘rising

The number of the registered ones of Yehuḏah was 76 500, as opposed the first census  being 74 600! They increased by 1 900!

5 – Yissasḵar - יִשָּׂשכָר  - Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense

  • Tola - תּוֹלָע  - Strong’s H8439 – ‘crimson worm

While having a name that means ‘worm’ can be disturbing it is interesting to note that the word for Scarlet Material - תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – from the root of Strong’s H8439 and שָׁנִיshani’ – Strong’s H8144 – therefore - ‘tola‘ath’ being ‘worm’ and ‘shani’ being ‘scarlet/crimson’. 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. 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.

Very fitting when we consider the meaning of Yissasḵar (there is recompense) in Messiah coming to die for us!

  • Puwwah - פֻּוָּה  - Strong’s H6312 – ‘splendid
  • Yashuḇ - יָשׁוּב  - Strong’s H3437 – ‘he will return
  • Shimron - שִׁמְרוֹן  - Strong’s H8110 – ‘watch-height

The number of the registered ones of Yissasḵar was 64 300, as opposed the first census  being 54 400! They increased by 9 900!

 

6 – Zeḇulun - זְבוּלוּן  - Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted

  • Sereḏ - סֵרֶד  - Strong’s H5624 – ‘fear
  • Ělon - אֵילוֹן  - Strong’s H356 – ‘terebinth/mighty
  • Yaḥle’ĕl - יַחְלְאֵל  - Strong’s H3177 – ‘El waits

The number of the registered ones of Zeḇulun was 60 500, as opposed the first census  being 57 400! They increased by 3 100!

 

7 – 8 Yosĕph - יוֹסֵף  - Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases

  • 7 - Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה  - Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget
    1. oMaḵir - מָכִיר  - Strong’s H4353 – ‘sold
      • §Gilʽaḏ - גִּלְעָד  - Strong’s H1568 – ‘rocky region
        • Iyezer - אִיעֶזֶר  - Strong’s H372 – ‘no help
        • Ḥĕleq - חֵלֶק  - Strong’s H2507 – ‘portion
        • Asri’ĕl - אַשְׂרִיאֵל  - Strong’s H844 – ‘I shall be prince of El
        • Sheḵem - שֶׁכֶם  - Strong’s H7928 – ‘back/shoulder
        • Ḥĕpher - חֵפֶר  - Strong’s H2660 – ‘a well
        • Tselophḥaḏ - צְלָפְחָד  - Strong’s H6765 – ‘first born
          1. oDaughters of Tselophḥa:
          2. oMaḥlah - מַחְלָה  - Strong’s H4244 – ‘disease
          3. oNo’ah - נֹעָה  - Strong’s H5270 – ‘motion
          4. oḤoḡlah - חָגְלָה  - Strong’s H2295 – ‘partridge
          5. oMilkah - מִלְכָּה  - Strong’s H4435 – ‘queen
          6. oTirtsah - תִּרְצָה  - Strong’s H8656 – ‘favourable

The number of the registered ones of Menashsheh was 52 700, as opposed the first census  being 32 200! They had increased by 20 500!!!

  • 8 - Ephrayim  - אֶפְרַיִם  - Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful
    1. oShuthelaḥ - שׁוּתֶלַח  - Strong’s H7803 – ‘noise of breaking
      • §Ěran - עֵרָן  - Strong’s H6197 – ‘watcher
    1. oBeḵer - בֶּכֶר  - Strong’s H1071 – ‘young camel
    2. oTaḥan - תַּחַן  - Strong’s H8465 – ‘camp

The number of the registered ones of Ephrayim  was 32 500, as opposed the first census  being 40 500! They had decreased by 8000!

Collectively the tribe of ‘Yosĕph’ was the largest tribe with 85 200!

9 – Binyamin - בִּנְיָמִין  - Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand

  • Bela - בֶּלַע  - Strong’s H1106 – ‘destruction
    1. oArd - אַרְדְּ  - Strong’s H714 – ‘I will subdue
    2. oNaʽaman - נַעֲמָן  - Strong’s H5283 – ‘pleasantness
  • Ashbĕl - אַשְׁבֵּל  - Strong’s H788 – ‘a man in El, fire of bĕl, I will make a path
  • Aḥiram - אֲחִירָם  - Strong’s H297 – ‘my brother is exalted
  • Shephupham - שְׁפוּפָם  - Strong’s H8197 – ‘serpent, serpent-like
  • Ḥupham - חוּפָם  - Strong’s H2349 – ‘coast man

The number of the registered ones of Binyamin  was 45 600, as opposed the first census  being 35 400! They had increased by 10 200!

10 – Dan - דָּן  - Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge

  • Shuḥam - שׁוּחָם  - Strong’s H7748 – ‘pit-digger

The number of the registered ones of Dan  was 64 400, as opposed the first census  being 62 700! They had increased by 1 700! Did Dan have an increase like this through just one son!

11 – Ashĕr - אָשֵׁר  - Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one

  • Yimna - יִמְנָה  - Strong’s H3232 – ‘right hand
  • Yishwi - יִשְׁוִי  - Strong’s H3440 – ‘he resembles me
  • Beriʽah - בְּרִיעָה  - Strong’s H1283 – ‘with a friend
    1. oḤeḇer - חֶבֶר  - Strong’s H2268 – ‘comrade
    2. oMalki’ĕl - מַלְכִּיאֵל  - Strong’s H4439 – ‘my King is El
  • Daughter of Ashĕr:
  • Seraḥ - שֶׂרַח  - Strong’s H8294 – ‘the prince breathed

The number of the registered ones of Ashĕr was 53 400, as opposed the first census  being 41 500! They had increased by 11 900!

12 – Naphtali - נַפְתָּלִי  - Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling

  • Yaḥtse’ĕl - יַחְצְאֵל  - Strong’s H3183 – ‘El divides
  • Guni - גּוּנִי  - Strong’s H1476 – ‘my defender
  • Yĕtser - יֵצֶר  - Strong’s H3337 – ‘forming
  • Shillĕm - שִׁלֵּם  - Strong’s H8006 – ‘repaid

The number of the registered ones of Naphtali was 45 400, as opposed the first census  being 53 400! They had decreased by 8 000!

tribal numbers

The Total number of the registered ones, twenty years old and above, was 601 730, as opposed to the first census being 603 550. That is a total decrease in ‘fighting age’ registered ones of 1 770, after 38 years in the Wilderness!

By this count it was clear that this new generation had a lot of responsibility to not do as their fathers did!

 

Each tribe was to be allocated land according to size and was divided by lot, the land being divided between the larger and the smaller!

Verse 57-65 – Lěwites

Lĕwi - לֵוִי  - Strong’s H3878 – ‘joined to

  • Gĕrshon - גֵּרְשׁוֹן  - Strong’s H1648 – ‘exile
  • Qehath - קְהָת  - Strong’s H6955 – ‘assembly
    1. oAmram - עַמְרָם  - Strong’s H6019 – ‘exalted people’ –
      • §wifeYoḵeḇeḏ - יוֹכֶבֶד  - Strong’s H3115 – ‘יהוה is esteem
        • Aharon - אַהֲרוֹן  - Strong’s H175 – ‘light bringer
          1. oNaḏaḇ - נָדָב - Strong’s H5070 – ‘generous
          2. oAḇihu - אֲבִיהוּא - Strong’s H30 – ‘he is my father
          3. oEl’azar - אֶלְעָזָר - Strong’s H499 – ‘El has helped/assisted
          4. oIthamar - אִיתָמָר - Strong’s H385 – ‘land/coast of palms (oasis)
        • Mosheh - משֶׁה  - Strong’s H4872 – ‘drawn
        • Miryam - מִרְיָם  - Strong’s H4813 – ‘rebellion
  • Merari - מְרָרִי  - Strong’s H4847 – ‘bitter

Clans of the Lěwites:

  • Liḇnitesfrom לוּבִים Luḇim – Strong’s H3864 – ‘empty-hearted, afflicted’ (from Gĕrshon)
  • Ḥeḇronites – from - חֶבְרֹנִי Ḥeḇron – Strong’s H2275 – ‘association(from Qehath)
  • Maḥlites – from - מַחְלִי Mali – Strong’s H4250 – ‘my sickness’ (from Merari)
  • Mushites – from - מוּשִׁי Mushi – Strong’s H4188 – ‘yielding’ (from Merari)
  • Qorḥites. – from  - קָרְחִי Qori – Strong’s H7145 – ‘one of Qoraḥ, bald’ (from Qehath)

The registered ones of the Lěwites from a new moon old and above was 23 000, as opposed to 22 000 in the first census. These were not registered among the other children of Yisra’ĕl as they had no inheritance and were numbered from a new moon old and above as we see that the Lěwites belonged to יהוה.

In Bemiḏbar/Numbers 3:12 the firstborn male Yisra’ĕlites became unfit to be יהוה’s priesthood due to their participation in building and worshipping the golden calf. In their place, יהוה chose Lěwites who had not participated in that sin to stand in the place of the firstborn males. To redeem the firstborn, the Lěwites were counted in the first census taken as being 22,000, then the firstborn males of all the children of Yisra’ĕl, one-month-old and up were counted as being 22,273. With 273 more firstborn males than Lěwites, the firstborn males paid a redemption price of five shekels each to Aharon.

What we also see here is that the full redemption price has been paid and all the redeemed have been ‘given’ to יהושע the High Priest.

CHAPTER 27

Verse 1-11 – inheritance for daughters

The census and allotment of land was counted according to male gender; in other words land passed from a father to a son with the provision that the sons would support their widowed mothers and unmarried sisters. But here we have recorded a man named Tselophḥaḏ from the tribe of Menashsheh, who had been among those who had been rescued from Mitsrayim and later had died on the journey to the Land. He had no sons, but only five daughters. The process for dividing the land that Mosheh outlined had, up until this point, made no provision for the passing of an inheritance on to the daughters of a man who had no sons. As the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ had no male heir to inherit through, they approached and made their appeal to Mosheh. The women recognised that the Torah was silent on this issue, and so in a bold approach they responded to it appropriately by taking their case before Mosheh.

The daughters presented their case respectfully and in a logical manner, without harsh words of slanderous accusation, as we do not see being recorded any grumbling on their part. The manner in which they approached Mosheh and brought their concern before him was a great testimony to the upbringing of these daughters of Tselophḥaḏ, who must have taught his daughters well. As Tselophḥad’s daughters approached Mosheh they were not turned away for being young or for being women, and this shows there was respect for women in the camp and in יהוה’s Word, and that He desires both men and woman to freely approach Him.

These 5 daughters were clearly walking in an obedient Torah lifestyle  and by their request for a ruling to be made, a new law was granted for all Yisra’ĕl, which secured the inheritance for any family not having male descendants!

Give us a possession! The Hebrew word for ‘possession’ is אֲחֻזָּה aḥuzzah – Strong’s H272 which means, possession, property, site, and comes from the root word אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270 which means, grab hold of, take hold of, take possession, seize.  

These daughters did not come and demand to receive a possession, but brought their plea and request to Mosheh, in the correct manner. Mosheh then brought their case before יהוה and received a right ruling on the matter. We need to learn from this, that when we are seeking the correct right ruling over a situation that may not be plainly laid out in Scripture, we must come to יהוה and seek His right-ruling, that He will show to us through His Torah and clear instructions found in the Word. When we, who have come out from the inherited lies of our father’s, seek to possess the sure promises of Elohim in our Master and King, יהושע Messiah, then we must grab hold of the Torah and take possession of it in our lives, so that we seek to do all that is commanded, and diligently walk in loving obedience to our Master and Elohim, for then we will possess the life that He brings us through His Torah!

The idea of possessing carries a great picture of taking hold of that which you should and the verb אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270 is translated as ‘holds’ in:

Iyoḇ/Job 17:9 “And the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands becomes stronger and stronger.

Many people seek the possession that Elohim has promised for us, yet they are unwilling to take hold of it by holding firm to the pure walk of set-apartness. If our hands are holding on to the way of Elohim, then our ‘clean’ hands shall become stronger and stronger, whereas those who continue to compromise their walk of set-apartness, defile their hands by what they do and will become weaker and weaker.

The request of the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ was an earnest plea and a great desire to take hold of that which Elohim had promised, and their willingness to do what is required is clearly seen in their approach and the favourable response that was given to them from יהוה, through Mosheh!

These daughters knew that they had to take hold of the promised possession, and in light of the clear events that had recently happened, when many died as a result of the rebellion of Qoraḥ, these daughters came with urgency to Mosheh, in order to do what is right!

Dawiḏ tells us in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:53 “Rage has seized me because of the wrong who forsake Your Torah.

The Hebrew word translated here as ‘seized’ is אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270, and when we consider this, in terms of this Torah portion, we once again see the clear call for the righteous to grab hold of the Torah; which will only truly happen when rage seizes you because of the compromise of the wicked! These daughters did not want to end up like all those who had already perished, and in bold faith made their request clear, and they received a favourable answer, to which they would need to take hold of with both hands and possess the Truth!

Verse 12-23 - Yehoshua to succeed Mosheh

It is here in the Wilderness journey that יהוה speaks to Mosheh and tells him that he is about to be gathered to his people as his brother Aharon was, but first he would get to look at the land which has been promised to Yisra’ĕl.

Mosheh is told to go up into Mount Aḇarim -  עֲבָרִים  - Strong’s H5682 means, regions beyond, places that are across on the other side and comes from the primitive root עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 meaning, to pass over, through or by, pass on. Mosheh was not permitted to cross over into the Promised Land because of the incident at the waters of Meriḇah. This is where Mosheh got to see the Land from a distance, yet was not permitted to enter because he and Aharon rebelled against the mouth of יהוה at Qaḏĕsh. He got to see the regions beyond the Yardĕn! This carries wonderful significance for us in that the Torah points us to Messiah and leads us to the Promises of the Covenants we were once far off from but now through יהושע Messiah have been brought near. It is obedience to the Torah (instructions of Elohim) that we will truly enter in to the Promises of יהוה.

Yoḥanan/John 1:17 “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע Messiah.

The Torah is the instructions of Elohim and this above verse can be better explained as:

The instructions of Elohim, for His set-apart people, was given through Mosheh and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah! Torah is truth and is not opposed to the favour/grace of Elohim – Truth came through Mosheh and favour and Truth came through Messiah!

Mosheh was to go up and ‘see’, which is the Hebrew word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 meaning, to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider. This is a command that we all would do well to heed today – and that is to observe and pay close attention to that which lies ahead for us as we await the return of our King, so that we are able to discern and act wisely, as we follow the Torah (instructions) of Elohim.

We will not make it ‘home’ unless we too are ‘gathered, delivered and led’ by the Living Torah – The Word made flesh - יהושע Messiah and continue to walk in His ways!

Mosheh them asks יהוה to appoint a man in his place over the congregation, who would lead them out and bring them in, so that Yisra’ĕl will not be without a shepherd! The choice of a new leader could not be done by Yisra’ĕl, as they would choose according to the flesh and only יהוה knew who would be best to lead!

We see the wonderful picture of Messiah the True Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl through the life of Yehoshua who would be chosen to lead the people, and what we recognise is that without יהושע Messiah we are without a Shepherd!

Marqos/Mark 6:24 “And having gone out, יהושע saw a large crowd and was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. And He began to teach them many matters.

Without a shepherd sheep stray and become prey for the beasts of the field and we see how this happens when Yisra’ĕl do not listen to their Shepherd, but instead listen to their own appointed leaders:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:5 “And they were scattered because there was no shepherd. And they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.

And so through the provision of יהוה, He provided is our Shepherd, who guards and leads us!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:10 “Hear the word of יהוה, O gentiles, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Yisra’ĕl gathers him, and shall guard him as a shepherd his flock.

 

Mosheh’s task was now complete and it was now time for Yehoshua to lead the people into the Promised Land and this pictures for us how the Torah (as pictured by Mosheh) leads us or trains us unto Messiah (as pictured by Yehoshua) that under His leading will take the nation of Yisra’ĕl into the Promised Land:

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.

In order to be declared right, we need to come to Messiah, the Living Torah, and the Torah is that which trains us unto righteousness:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.

The sad reality we see today is how the church has disregarded the need for the Torah and the Prophets to be the instruction for righteousness and this is a part of the error of the teachings of Bilʽam who was a false prophet who taught compromise and syncretism of mixed worship, causing Yisra’ĕl to depart from the Torah, and by definition he was therefore a false prophet.

The Torah, as typified by Mosheh, brought us out of Mitsrayim, and got us past our rebellion and hard-hearted stubbornness, and instructed us to the point of being ready and able to enter the Promised Land. Those who are not walking in the Torah will not be among those who are being gathered to re-enter the Land. יהושע 's Kingdom will be established under the Torah's authority, as He the King will rule according the Kingdom rules as outlined in the Torah. But the Torah alone cannot take us all the way home – that is the keeping Torah alone by the letter without the Spirit cannot establish the Kingdom; only the one named יהושע can precede us into the Land; we cannot go in unless we are also following Him and Him alone – for He is the Living Torah.

Yehoshua was to be brought before El’azar the priest and before all the congregation and given command before all their eyes! This is a picture of how יהושע, when He was immersed before all the people Yoḥanan, who was in type a ‘priest’, as he certainly was in the priestly line, was given command as the Spirit descended upon Him from heaven and a voice came out of the heavens, “You are My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.” (Marqos/Mark 1:9-10)

And in a sense, just as Aharon could not enter the Promised Land, so too did Yoḥanan the immerser have to die before the Kingdom would come through יהושע:

Luqas/Luke 16:16 “The Torah and the prophets are until Yoḥanan. Since then the reign of Elohim is being announced, and everyone is doing violence upon it.

 

Verse 21 – at his word they go out and at his word they come in

This is military style language which speaks of going out to or coming in from war; and who best to lead Yisra’ĕl on the battlefield that Yehoshua who had certainly already proved himself to be the right choice to lead the gathered army of Yisra’ĕl! Mosheh was not a man of battle and so we see that it is the Torah that prepares us to fight the good fight, yet the Torah cannot fight for us – it is under the leading of our Commander and Chief – יהושע Messiah, that we are able to stand and fight, equipped and armed in the Torah! As long as we uphold the Torah we will be led forth in great victories – just as when Mosheh’s hands were lifted up that Yehoshua had victory on the battlefield against the Amalĕqites! And so as we walk in Him and uphold His Torah then we walk in victory:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:14But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Just think about what this is saying here – we get to manifest the fragrance of His knowledge in every place – how do we do that? By walking in the Truth and living according to His clear instructions, guarding to do all he has commanded us. This will be a pleasing smell to some and to others (that is most) it will be unpleasant, as the next verse tells us:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:15-16Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?

 

El’azar the priest would inquire before יהוה for Yehoshua by the right-ruling of the Urim!

We know that the Urim and the Tummim were components of the breast plate of the High Priest and was a means to seek right-ruling:

אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’, and is the plural of אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, a flame, fire, fires, lightor light of fire.

תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’, and is the plural of תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537, and carries the meaning ofcompleteness, prosperity, perfect integrity.

While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה. What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of ‘Tummim’ is the ת ‘taw’:

Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.

What are the urim and tummim? They are the things that illuminate and perfect. We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)

He writes His Torah on our hearts and so it is our hearts and mouths that we may do it!

The fact that here we only see the word Urim being used, we can understand that while elsewhere in Scripture Urim is always mentioned with Tummim, it shows us that with Urim being ‘lights, illuminations’ we see how that the ‘Urim’ represents the part that is seen, and by יהושע coming in the flesh, He made manifest the ‘Urim’ and with Him is also the Tummim – the perfections, through which He rules according to His right-ruling!

The ‘right-ruling’ is the Hebrew word - מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us

There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!

CHAPTER 28 – The Offerings

In this chapter we see the commands given regarding the offerings that were to be brought by Yisra’ĕl; and while this may seem like a repetition we must understand that this is a new generation, who had just been ‘recounted’ and so they needed to be instructed on how to draw near to יהוה according to his clear instructions regarding all the offerings for every day as well as at all the Appointed Times.

Yisra’ĕl had been led astray through the mixed worship that Mo’aḇ had enticed them with and so they had to be set straight again!

The instructions given here we see that יהוה told Mosheh to ‘command’ the children of Yisra’ĕl and in essence this was a ‘make sure that you do this!’ command!!!

Command – the Hebrew word used here is צַוtzav’ from צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge, give charge, command, order, decree, i.e., state with force/authority what others must do’.

This is militaristic language, for our Commander has spoken and if we do not heed these commands then we risk being unable to stand and fight the good fight!

The Hebrew word for offering is קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 and means more than what is described as ‘offering’ or ‘sacrifice’. Basically the root of this word denotes being or coming into the most near and intimate proximity of the object (or subject). A secondary meaning entails actual contact with the object. The root that this word comes from is  קָרַב qaraḇ – Strong’s H7126 which means ‘to come near, approach, appear, bring near, come forward, draw near’, and so what we must clearly understand is that these offerings that are being described here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers are not seen in the Hebrew mind-set as something cruel and terrible, but rather as the very means and way in which we are to ‘draw near’ to יהוה. The mind-set of cruelty and terrible sacrifices must be dispelled as we learn to understand the Hebrew way as opposed to westernised Greco-Roman influenced mind-sets! Qorban is about intimacy with יהוה, which is certainly never a sacrifice, but rather is a huge blessing. Too many people get very squeamish when they come to these parts of the Torah as they lack the ability in grasping the concept of drawing near to יהוה, so we are not to look at ‘qorban’ (offering) as something grotesque and vulgar but rather it is an approach to our Husband! It is not just simply about killing animals and feeding the priests, although these aspects play an important role; however in fulfilling those aspects we see just how it is a means of us, the Bride, drawing near to our Husband.

Now יהוה is calling as a Husband from His Tent, for Yisra’ĕl to come be with Him there and offer ourselves to Him. But He would not want us to come dirty and not having taking a bath first, or come dressed like a warrior or something else not very becoming of a prepared bride. He therefore begins to give clear instructions as to the way He wants to be approached, so we will know how to be a bride who is pleasing to Him and be able to fully draw near to Him.

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 told clearly that these ‘offerings’ we are to bring are יהוה’s offerings and His Food that we are to take heed to bring at the Appointed Times as a sweet fragrance to יהוה.

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.

To ‘walk in love’ is to walk in obedience to His commands and he has told us how we are to ‘draw near’ to Him and so we have the Appointed Times as well as the necessary ‘daily offering’ that we are to bring; as Sha’ul tells us:

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

The listing of the offerings shows us the clear order and importance of the Feasts of יהוה and gives us a greater revelation and appreciation for them as we understand that we cannot neglect our Appointments with our Maker. Through the offerings, יהוה is presenting us ways of protocol and increase in His Kingdom. Today, we do not offer animal sacrifices; but He has given us two commodities to use: one is finances and the other is our time.

Here we see that יהוה prescribes for us the method on how we are to draw near to Him, and we are commanded not to come empty handed into His presence. As we consider the offerings described here we can certainly see the intensity of being a daily sacrifice and how even on appointed Feast days, the daily offering was still required over and above the requirements for the specific set-apart day.

What this shows to me is how the intensity grows each and every day towards the Sabbath, and the other Feast Times of coming together as a body/community.

The daily sacrifice given in the morning and in the evening of 2 lambs (one in the morning and one between the evenings) pictures for us our need to be meditating day and night on the Torah as we continually recognise how יהושע – The Lamb that takes away the sins of the world – is the One whom we choose day and night to follow in keeping our lives set-apart and clean, in order to draw near to Elohim with boldness through the Blood of Messiah;

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

The continual ascending offering

The phrase ‘continual ascending offering’ in the Hebrew is  - עֹלָה תָמִיד – ‘olah tamiyḏ’:

Ascending offering - עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, whole burnt offeringand ‘continual’ - תָּמִיד tamiy– Strong’s H8548 meaning, continuity, all times, always, continuously, perpetual, constantly. When we look at these two words we get a very clear picture of how our lives are to be continually and constantly wholly offered up as a living sacrifice, for this is our reasonable worship!

This עֹלָה olah offering speaks of that which ‘goes up’ or ‘ascends’ and in the essence of these offerings unto יהוה this carries the meaning of, ‘to cause to ascend up to יהוה as a flame and smoke ascent by burning’.

The עֹלָה olah offering symbolises complete dedication and a giving of our all as we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice, so that we can be pleasing in presenting to Him our reasonable worship that is due:

Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.

 

The Grain offering

Once again the offering is ‘qorban’ – a way to draw near to יהוה. This ‘grain’ offering speaks of a meal offering or tribute to יהוה, and is seen as a tribute or gift and not as part of Tithes, as tithes are not ‘gifts’ as they are due by all and to hold back on tithes is to rob Elohim. These offerings are voluntary and are above that which is required or due!

The grain offering in the Hebrew is known as מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present. This is a picture of something that a bride brings to please her husband! There is no blood in this offering and therefore does not  represent atonement for sin, however it does still represent the one bringing it and is symbolic of the work of our hands, as it is prepared by the one bringing the offering.

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

We are told that the grain offering is to be with one-tenth of an ĕphah of fine flour. Now and ĕphah is made up of ten omers – so one-tenth of an ĕphah is an omer, and the question might be as to why not just say one omer!  Well and omer represents a single person and was valued at half a sheqel which is the price of redemption for one person:

Shemoth/Exodus 30:13 “Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה.

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

The reason for saying one-tenth of an ĕphah is that the emphasis here is the need for us to recognise that we are each part of a whole, and we in bringing our part is part of the entire community that we are to be joined to as each one brings their part, in order to fill the ĕphah basket for an ĕphah represents a whole congregation. What we see here is that our drawing near to יהוה is not an individual walk only, but rather must embrace the need for community gathering and as we see in a clear picture of true community living shown by the early believers in:

Ma’asei/Acts 2:46 “And day by day, continuing with one mind in the Set-apart Place, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart

Day to day they would break bread from house to house – community living in encouraging each other in daily drawing near to Elohim! So in our ‘drawing near’ we must recognise our need to be focused on the rest of the congregation and sadly today we see many confessing Torah observant believers who are not engaging in becoming a part of a community, and choose to rather walk the Torah walk alone or as a family alone having no regard for the building of unity in the body, or they jump from one fellowship/community to the next, each week, as they see fit so as to never have to actually commit to a community where יהוה is calling them to – this is not a true picture of the grain offering!

We need to build community and be committed to giving our part into a greater family where יהוה has chosen to make His Name Dwell, and submit to the leadership that יהוה has appointed!

In the ancient Hebrew script the word מִנְחָה minḥah is pictured as:

heychetnunmem

The letters are, from right to left, ‘mem, nun, ḥet, hey’:

The ‘mem’ מִ -  mem  is pictured as water;

The ‘nun’ נְ -    nun     is pictured as a sprouting seed;

The ‘ḥetחָ -   chet   is pictured as a tent wall;

They ‘hey’ ה -  hey   is pictured as a man with his arms raised.

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

We, who are immersed in Messiah, and having died to self, are raised to new life in Him to become a part of His body, that is His Tabernacle as pictured by the tent wall, in order to offer up the daily praise due to His Name!!!

The grain offering was to be mixed with one-fourth of a hin of ‘pressed oil’ and the words for ‘pressed oil’ is from the two root words: כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, beaten and comes from a word that means ‘to be or crush by beating and the second word is שֶׁמֶן shemenStrong’s H8081, which means ‘oils.’ This word for ‘beaten’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand, and as we know that with the reference here of bringing it with the fine flour we recognise how the fine flour (individuals) that makes up the loaf (community) must be held together or united by the right Spirit, and this is made possible by the ‘crushing’ that יהושע went through for us in order that we may receive His Spirit that will unite us, as each one does his part, and does it joyfully as represented by:

 

The Drink offering

The drink offering being that of wine, symbolises for us a picture of joy – we are to be cheerful givers and not give grudgingly:

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

What we must note here is that the ‘drink offering’ was poured out to יהוה, and not drank by the priests! As we know that Naḏab and Aḇihu brought strange fire possibly due to being drunk and it was then issued as a law that no priest may drink wine when bringing an offering and coming into the Set-Apart place! We are a royal priesthood and as we offer up our lives as a daily living sacrifice, we do not ‘drink wine’ meaning we do not partake in the drinking of alcoholic beverages!

What we are also able to learn from the shadow picture of the ‘drink offering’ is how יהושע Messiah’s blood was poured out for us, so that we too could be a pleasing and acceptable daily living offering.

Sha’ul tells us in:

Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:17-18 “In fact, even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the offering and service of your belief, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

 

The Hebrew word for ‘drink offering’ here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 28 is נֶסֶךְ neseḵ – Strong’s H5262 which means, drink offering, libation, something that is poured out. When we look at this word in its ancient pictographic script we are able to see a powerful shadow picture of Messiah being the perfect ‘drink offering’.

The Hebrew word for ‘drink offering’ - נֶסֶךְ neseḵ – Strong’s H5262 – in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

kaphsameknun

Nun - נֶ:

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

Samek - סֶ:

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!

 

Kaph - ךְ:

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

When looking at this word in these ancient pictographic letters, our understanding of the ‘drink offering’ that Messiah would be for us is made wonderfully clear, as we are able to determine by this word the following:

The Seed (that is Messiah) is the One who would be pierced for our transgressions and under who we submit our lives in total subjection, as we too pour out our lives as a drink offering for others, as Messiah poured Himself out for us.

 

The Sabbath offering – this was separate from the daily offerings, but included the daily continual ascending offering with its drink offering! Here we see a picture of how the Sabbath calls for even more than your daily offering and this is necessary as we each come together as commanded on His weekly Shabbat – it requires a ‘double effort’ and commitment and we can understand how the intensity to draw near to יהוה on Shabbat as a community together grows each day of the week as we with excitement look forward to each Shabbat and coming to be together as one in Him, giving Him our ‘double best’ if that were possible!

In the Wilderness we see how יהוה gave Yisra’ĕl a double portion on the 6th day, and so we too can now return a ‘double portion’ of our ‘offering’ in drawing near to Him on His Shabbat. This for me highlights just how important it is to ‘keep’ the whole Shabbat and not just a couple of hours, or not just the morning or the evening – but the whole Shabbat – It is His Shabbat and we are to continually ‘draw near’ with that which is required and that is not simply an evening and morning offering, but rather the whole day! How cool is that! Yes we delight in His Shabbat!

The New Moon – at the beginning of each month we are also required to ‘draw near’ and bring an offering through our worship and sacrifice – and this has struck me greatly of late in understanding how we are to not neglect this gathering for the beginning of months, which has its own requirements; and if the beginning of the month fell on a Shabbat then we would have up to four offerings so to speak on that day – just picture the excitement!!!

For many today this seems to be a hassle, especially when we do not always know whether it will be a 29 or 30 day month – and instead of seeing this as a hindrance we ought to embrace coming together and sounding the shofar and offering up an ascending offering of praise – even if it means that some months we do this two nights in a row – more opportunity to draw near to יהוה as a body together – that can never be a hassle but only a joy. As we continue through all these offerings I get so excited to think just how much opportunity יהוה has given us to draw close to Him. We know we have boldness to come before Him through the Blood of Messiah at any time, yet His appointments with us are vitally important in the building up of His Body and this is what these offerings represent for us in Messiah!

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

The beginning of months is a very important time to observe as they tell us when the Feasts are.

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

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

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

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

H3394 - יָרֵחַ yareaḥ – the word used for moon as is first used in Berěshith/Genesis 37:9.

In the Scriptural text it is understood that the word ḥodesh also refers to the moon. In fact there is another word that also describes the moon, when it is full as in:

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

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

The Hebrew root for full moon here is;

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

Another Hebrew word used for moon is:

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

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

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

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

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

Month – this is the Hebrew word H3394 - יָרֵחַ yareaḥ, while the next word for month – is H2320 - חֹדֶשׁḥodesh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are to ‘draw near’ on the ‘new moons’!

Verse 16-31 – Pěsaḥ – Matzot – Bikkurim – Shavuot

In these verses we see the various offerings that were required for each Appointed Time. The purposes and goal of the offerings is to point us to the Messiah, the goal and fulfilment of the Torah. The Feast days and offerings of יהוה are all prophetic in nature pointing the Bride to her appointments with her Messiah.

Each offering that was brought near pictures the fullness of the work of Messiah as being a whole ascending offering, the bull, the ram, and lamb – perfect and without blemish as well as the grain and oil and wine, and so what we see in Messiah is that through His sacrifice – His one-time sacrifice that each of these offerings and sacrifices point to – we now have access to His Set-Apart place and have been cleansed form our sin, which the blood and bulls could not cleanse but only cover, and as a result of His work on the stake, we now must be diligent in drawing near to Him daily and guard to keep His Appointed Times.

What we recognise from all these instructions in regards to drawing near in worship unto יהוה in simply this: WE MUST NOT NEGLECT WORSHIP and worship is to be both regular (daily) and special (His Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts)

If we total the required offerings, we find that the yearly national offerings must include 113 bulls, 32 rams, and 1,086 lambs, plus over a ton of flour and about 1,000 containers of oil and wine. And this is in addition to the offerings to be made by leaders and individuals! What this means is that יהוה will not only bring Yisra’ĕl into Kenaʽan, but will also make them so prosperous that they will have plenty from which to make offerings to יהוה.

CHAPTER 29 - 7TH month

This chapter deals primarily with the Feasts of the 7th month – Yom TeruahYom KippurSukkot

For an overview of Yom Teruah please see the sermon notes from a message called ‘THE DAY OF A SHOFAR AND ALARM – ARE YOU READY!’, which you can find on our website under sermons 2011/2012 or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/246-the-day-of-a-shofar-and-alarm-are-you-ready

as well as the message called, ‘REMEMBER THE SHOUTING – A Yom Teruah Message!’, which you can find on our website under sermons 2012/2013, or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012-2013/51-remember-the-shouting-a-yom-teruah-message

 

For an overview of Yom Kippur please see the sermon notes from a message called ‘COVERED- CLEANSED-REUNITED  - A Yom Kippur message!, which you can find on our website under sermons 2011/2012, or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/247-covered-cleansed-reunited-a-yom-kippur-message

as well as a message called, ‘YOM HAKIPPURIM – An overview of the Day of Atonement’, which you can find on our website under sermons 2013/2014, or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2013-2014/509-yom-hakippurim-the-day-of-coverings-an-overview-of-the-day-of-atonement

 

For an overview of Sukkot please see the sermon notes from a message called ‘IT’S SUKKOT – REJOICE, REJOICE AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!’, which you can find on our website under sermons 2011/2012, or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/205-it-s-sukkot-rejoice-rejoice-and-again-i-say-rejoice

 

What we can see from this chapter is the offerings that were required daily during Sukkot, and as you will notice that for the first 7 days, each day two rams and fourteen lambs were to be brought, whereas the bulls decreased each day with the first day being 13 bulls and bringing one less each day, with the 7th day requiring 7 bulls to be brought. For the 7 day period this is a total of 70 bulls! 70 bulls in 7 days – a great picture for us of the complete and full work of Messiah for all ages! With 7 giving a reference to the 7 Millennia (7000 years) and 70 representing the number of beings that went down into Mitsrayim:

Berěshith/Genesis 46:47 “And the sons of Yosĕph who were born to him in Mitsrayim were two beings. All the beings of the house of Ya’aqoḇ who went to Mitsrayim were seventy.

What we see being pictured here through the ‘bull’ offering being a total number of 70 bulls shows us that יהושע’s one-time sacrifice satisfies the bull offering so that the complete number of Yisra’ĕl shall be saved. 70 also was a number that represented the number of nations that were on the earth and so speaks of how His sacrifice is for all who would but call on his Name and accept His sacrifice, repent and be immersed in His Name and this is why Sukkot is also known as the ingathering of the nations.

The 8th day is a celebration – known as the Shemini Atzeret  - the last great day – it picture for us eternity and a continual celebration of His full deliverance for us!

For more on these Appointed Times please refer back to commentary notes on Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and Shemoth/Exodus 12-13.

The essence of this Torah portion is the critical need for true worshippers to stand up and be ‘on fire’ for יהוה, as Pineḥas was the ‘mouth of brass’ and destroy all forms of Ba‘al worship in our lives and learn to diligently guard and keep the Feasts of יהוה, as we stand up and count the cost of following Messiah with great joy and expectation of His soon return at His Appointed Time!!!

Shalom