BEMIḎBAR (NUMBERS) 33:1-36:13 –MASEI – JOURNEYS

This week’s Torah portion is called מַסְעֵיmasei/masey” meaning, ‘departures, stages, journeys’, and comes from the root word מַסַּע massa – Strong’s H4550 which means, a pulling up, breaking (camp), setting out, a journey, order of march and this comes from the primitive root נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265 meaning, to pull out or up, set out on a journey, departed. What in essence the meaning behind the term for the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl can be understood as a ‘pulling up of the stakes’ in order to journey forward (A pulling up of the ‘tent pegs/stakes’ and break camp to move on).

When we consider this analogy or picture of ‘pulling up stakes to move on/depart’ we are quickly reminded of the words of יהושע Messiah:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:24 “Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.

Luqas/Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.

Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.

As we begin this portion by looking at a summary of the ‘departures/journeys/stops’ of the children of Yisra’ĕl through the Wilderness, we clearly will recognise and see how each ‘stop/departure’ point teaches us many great lessons in ‘pulling up/taking up their stake’ and following Messiah. We must remember that we are ‘sojourners’ here and are continually reminded to not become ‘settled’ in the world’s ways and fleshly desires, but rather live as sojourners who are looking forward to the sure and Promised hope of what is to come and therefore we do not put down ‘deep roots’ into worldly matters that may cause us to be held back.

In verse 1 we see that this is how the children of Yisra’ĕl came out of Mitsrayim – ‘by their divisions’ and ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’.

The word for ‘by their divisions’ is לְצִבְאֹתָם – “letsoḇeotam’ from the root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, army, war, warfare, to wage war, serve, perform. This is very militaristic style language and speaks of great discipline and order being followed and adhered to as they came out.

They came out under the hand – that is under the leadership and instructions of Mosheh and Aharon, which is a shadow picture of Messiah, who is the Living Torah and our High Priest under whom we ‘march’ or walk and sojourn!

In order for us to walk faithfully we too must recognise the orders and commands of our Commander and Chief and ‘put on’ the whole armour of Elohim – that is to be armed and clothed with the Torah, with our firm footing on the Rock of our Deliverance that we may ‘fight to good fight of our belief’ and be overcomers in Messiah.

What we also note here is that with this clear order and discipline of a great multitude of people under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon, we cannot walk this walk of faith alone! We do this together as a body/community as no army is a one man show!!! We also see that in order to start our journey, we must come out from being ‘under’ the authority of traditions that have for so long enslaved us and come out from the ‘dogmas’ of man that have restricted us from walking in the Torah of Freedom!

Mosheh wrote down all their ‘starting points’ of their ‘departures and the Wilderness journey as recorded here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33 carries for us not only an accurate historical breakdown of the route that was taken by Yisra’ĕl in their journey from Mitsrayim to the border of the Promised Land, but also has a great deal in helping us understand how we, today are too on a ‘wilderness journey’, as we are in the world but not of the world. And so each of these 42 places where Yisra’ĕl had ‘pulled up their stakes’ from and departed on a journey to, then stopped and again ‘pulled up stakes’ to move on, carries great insight for us in helping us to become the prepared Bride who is ready to receive the fullness of all the Promises that are in Messiah when He comes again to fetch us and take us to be with Him in the Land we have been promised. These 42 stops/departure points are great life lessons for us from which we can glean much understanding from in terms of the choices that we face on a daily basis are critical to walking out a set-apart life.

We will look at each stop in order to bring some further insight and clarity in understanding our sojourning here, and this is by no means a complete and full understanding of each stop, but rather a tool for each one to equip them in furthering their desire to truly walk set-apart and so it is with this thought in mind that I encourage you all to dig deeper and seek the application of this wonderful Torah portion, making it alive and applicable to each of you personally.

Before starting with each stop individually it is very important for us to realise that our walk will be fruitless without the Torah and leading of the Ruaḥ haQôḏesh  (Set-Apart Spirit), and as we walk fully in and stay in Messiah, our High Priest and the Living Torah, may we shall bear much fruit - fruit that lasts, realising that every action, thought and deed can and must only be done in and through Him who has called us out of darkness (ignorance) into His marvellous light (knowledge).  

Let us now look at the journey:

 

0 - Raʽmeses - רַעְמְסֵס Strong’s H7486 = “child of the sun” - a city in lower Mitsrayim built by Hebrew slaves; probably in Goshen. Remember that Goshen was the best part of the land that was given to the Yisra’ĕlites where they could tend their sheep and were protected from the plagues sent upon Mitsrayim.

Yisra’ĕl had invested much time and effort into building this city where they dwelt, and had to leave – they had to leave behind that which they had built – and this is an important lesson for us as we too have to leave behind the places of pagan worship that we perhaps have invested much or even all our time, energy and resources in as we realise how we were in fact in bondage and enslaved to the lies of man-made traditions and worship practices that are twisted forms of sun worship. We have to leave the ‘child of the sun’ – that is we have to leave all forms of ‘Tammuz’ worship and all that is related to pagan sun-worship!!! Mitsrayim literally means “worshipers of ra” or “sun god”. In the Hebrew, the word used for Egypt is מִצְרַיִם MitsrayimStrong’s H4714, which is the dual of מָצוּר  matsur – Strong’s H4692 meaning, siege enclosure, siege, entrenchment  which comes from the primitive root word  צוּר  tsur – Strong’s H6696 meaning, to confine, bind, besiege. These words all mean one form or another of being constricted or shut in and enclosed. Just as יהוה delivered our fathers back then from bondage to a system of enslavement, so too does our Mighty Maker release us from bondage to enslavement of man’s twisted traditions and worship practices.

By His Blood – the Blood of יהושע Messiah He has come to set the captives free and release from darkness the prisoners.

The children of Yisra’ĕl left on the 15th day of the first month of יהוה’s calendar on the day after the Pěsaḥ and went out with boldness! יהוה defies the whole idea of sun-worship around equinox and solstice worship as done by pagan worship and calendar setting by bringing His people out at the Full Moon! This was not an undercover mission – they went out boldly – and so we must not be ‘sorry’ to leave behind the lies! Leaving Ra’meses is vital to us if we are to become a prepared Bride, a move that sadly too many are not willing to make as they are unable to let go of what they have invested so much into, and so their journey of walking in righteousness never gets off the ground as they continue to try to justify their way of life as acceptable worship – yet staying in Ra’meses is not an acceptable option for a True Believer! We must also begin to recognise and understand יהוה’s reckoning of time, as we have been enslaved by man’s pagan adapted calendars which centre on the worship of the sun and all forms of pagan deities. One of the things that we are to strip away is the lies of calendars that have no correlation to יהוה’s time schedule or His Appointed Times, which for us is critical, especially as we sojourn here in the Wilderness so to speak! Leaving Ra’meses also represents for us our leaving of pagan centred feasts such as ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ and ‘Lent’ (all which are centred around worship unto Nimrod, Semiramis (Ishtar/Easter) and Tammuz).

Leaving Raʽmeses for Sukkoth – In Ḥazon/Revelation 12 we see a 42 month period beginning as the woman leaves Yerushalayim to go into the Wilderness after giving birth – Satan was cast out of heaven and the child was caught up to Elohim and to His throne while the woman went into the Wilderness to a place prepared and was nourished!

Ḥazon/Revelation 12:1-6 “And a great sign was seen in the heaven: a woman clad with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being pregnant, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign was seen in the heaven: and see, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4 And his tail draws a third of the stars of the heaven and throws them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she bore a male child who was to shepherd all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught away to Elohim and to His throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Our wilderness journey is a time of nourishment and preparation as we learn to hear the voice of the Almighty and as we see in our forefathers journey through the Wilderness, that יהוה did in fact nourish them and prepared them to enter into the Promised Land – yes it took longer than one would expect – so we can also learn through these stops that the longer we rebel and grumble the longer it will take for us to enter in to His rest, and quite frankly – we do not have 40 years to get our act together!

So leaving Ra’meses is the start, we have not yet arrived – it is only the beginning – then the stripping away truly begins! What starts our journey is the realisation of His True Name! יהוה made Himself known through Mosheh His Name and so our journey begins with the acknowledgement and acceptance of the True Name of יהוה, as opposed to hybrid pagan titles that for far too long many have falsely attributed to the Creator in vain! An acknowledgement of His Name will help bring the full understanding of who it is who is calling you out – for His Name and His Name alone declares who in fact made you and causes you to be, and so Yisra’ĕl could boldly leave because they knew the One who was saving them.

So many today are still stuck in Ra’meses because they refuse to accept the True Name under the veil of lies that have brought His Name to nought, and in fact have broken the Third Commandment through replacing His Name with all kinds of titles and falsified twisted pagan names under a falsehood that is attributed to sun-worship and their false deities! That is why when most are asked what the 10 Commandments are – they often start with Exodus/Shemoth 20:3 you shall have no other mighty ones before My Face, in which they are half right as we should have no other mighty ones before Him… but the 1st Commandment clearly starts in verse 2 with who He is… I AM יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.

To begin our exile out of Slavery to world’s man-made systems of profane worship, we need to acknowledge and accept the Name that saves and call upon that Name – for all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered!

Most will remain in their Ra’meses simply because they do not know His Name!

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

Ask the majority of Christians today what the name of their ‘God’ is and they simply will not be able to tell you, as they will waver between various titles that are associated with pagan deities or even use the pagan twisted name of ‘Zeus’ through a worship that was conveniently translated by pagan influenced scribes or translators! It is time to come out of Her My People declares יהוה of Hosts!!! And the first step to coming out is knowing His Name!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:8 “How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of יהוה is with us’? But look, the false pen of the scribe has worked falsehood.

The sad reality today is that the majority has believed the deception and is in essence stuck in their Raʽmeses. It begins with His Name and those who by faith call upon His Name receive the free gift of deliverance by the Blood of Messiah!

Yisra’ĕl had been delivered from bondage by the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts of their homes and now it was time to leave behind all they had known and step out in faith and follow the One who had delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh!

 

1 - Sukkoth - סֻכֹּת Strong’s H5523 = “booths” – this means “temporary dwelling” – we are sojourners here and the first stop of coming out of sun-worship is to enter into the dwelling of the Most High Elohim. Sukkot is the Festival of Booths/Tabernacles that we keep each year as we remember these Wilderness journeys and that we too are sojourners here as we await the return of Messiah, when He will come and make His Booth here among us and we shall dwell with Him forever! This city/stop was still in the land of Mitsrayim and reminds us clearly that although we are still in the world we are not of the world! It was at Sukkoth that Yisra’ĕl learnt to ‘camp out’ so to speak and no longer be accustomed to the false securities of the world in being ‘rooted in one place of permanence’, and as we may note is this too was a territory pretty much occupied by Bedouins or tent dwellers who in fact still occupy this area today!

It was here at Sukkoth we see from Shemoth/Exodus 13:1-16 that the regulations for the firstborn males are given and as I said in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 the woman bore a male child who would shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron!

Our first stop at coming out of Mitsrayim/Baḇelon/Christianity is in fact beginning to ‘keep the Sabbath’ and so enter His ‘rest’ each week and learn His Torah as a community that is sojourning together.

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

The word used here for ‘Sabbath-keeping’ in the Greek is σαββατισμός - “Sabbatismos” – Strong’s G4520 which means, a Sabbath-keeping. Sadly there are too many who claim they want to leave Ra’meses yet the comfort of inherited lies is too hard for them to let go of and the first sign of this is simply that they refuse to acknowledge the true Sabbath of יהוה. Having been so indoctrinated for centuries most will plainly refuse the Truth for a twisted lie that claims the Sabbath changed to sun-day! What most do not realise is the fact that it all comes down to worship and we are ‘marked’ by whom we worship in the correct or incorrect observance of the Sabbath of יהוה! Sukkoth is the 7th Feast of יהוה, and clearly pictures for us the time He comes to dwell with us and is a shadow picture of the Millennial Reign, when the child who was born will shepherd the nations with a rod of iron! Our mark/sign of worship is our Sabbath keeping, for He has given us His Sabbath as a sign between us and Him forever!

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

Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.

Shemoth/Exodus 31:13-14 “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart. 14 ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people.

It is truly here at the ‘Sukkoth’ stop, in a sense, where we learn to rest in Him and allow His Word to give us His peace and strength! So we move from calling upon His Name and receiving the sign of our worship by keeping His Shabbat.

The enemy also has a mark/sign of worship and that is ‘sun-day’ worship and all who follow the beast and his image by worshipping on the ‘day of the sun’, while forsaking to keep the Sabbath of יהוה, receive the mark of the beast on their forehead as they cognitively choose to disregard the Torah and follow the beast under the teachings of traditions and man-made dogmas, as well as on their right hand which as we know is Scripture that the right hand is symbolic of that by which one works, and so by ‘working’ and not resting on the Sabbath of יהוה, then one is in fact receiving the mark of the beast too! This is serious business and part of our coming out of Mitsrayim/Baḇelon is to forsake the traditions of the world and is institutionalised forms of worship that has clearly adopted pagan practices as its basis and means of existence, having been very crafty in syncretising the truth, twisting it and blending it in with customs and traditions that control the masses and amass wealth for the elite hierarchy! As one leaves Ra’meses and camps at ‘Sukkoth’ – one learns the joy of the Feasts and Appointed Times of יהוה, realising that although we are still in the world we do not worship the way the world worships any longer, but strictly according to the way the Torah instructs! So many can never leave Mitsrayim because they fail to call upon the True Name of יהוה and fail to keep His Sabbath – the two things that have crippled most Christians for centuries!

THESE FIRST TWO STATIONS – THAT OF OUR DEPARTURE AND THE FIRST STOP ON OUR JOURNEY – RA‘MESES AND SUKKOTH – ARE THE KEYS TO THE BEGINNING OF OUR WILDERNESS JOURNEY – ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE NAME OF יהוה AND THE KEEPING OF HIS SABBATH. THIS IS NOT THE END BUT RATHER SIMPLY THE BEGINNING OF A WONDERFUL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY AND GROWTH IN MESSIAH AND REQUIRES GREAT ENDURANCE – LET US NOW LOOK AT THE REST OF THE STOPS AND ALLOW EACH ONE TO TEACH US SOME GREAT AND VITAL LLY IMPORTANT TRUTHS IN OUR WALK OF CLEANSING OURSELVES FROM ALL DEFILEMENT IN THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING SET-APARTNESS IN THE FEAR OF ELOHIM!

2 – Ěthamאֵתָם Strong’s H864 = “with them or their ploughshare” – in understanding the meaning of ‘with them’ we can see how in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 that Satan is cast out of heaven down to earth where man dwells and so now he (Satan) is ‘with them’ and it is here that he has set up his government control through the beast. Ětham deals with sin that is here with us and at the same time, how יהוה is also here with us by His Spirit – and therefore we must deal with sin in our lives and not accept the rule of sin/lawlessness but walk in the instructions of יהוה. This is a place of reality check – we must choose wisely whom we serve – we know that Satan is here and he is constantly on the prowl like a lion who is always looking for someone to devour. It is at this early stage of the journey where in fact he does devour many, as insecurities begin to set in as a result of some persecution for using the True names and keeping the Sabbath end they end up compromising and compromise can be the cause of many as they tend to ‘follow the crowd’ preferring to ‘be with them’ rather than living set-apart and have the prospect of being persecuted.

What Ětham can also picture for us in understanding ‘with them: their ploughshare’ we can see great joy in knowing that during the Kingdom Reign, Messiah will dwell "with us" and we will "beat our swords into ploughshares".

Listen to what Miḵah/Micah the prophet says:

Miḵah/Micah 4:1-5 “And in the latter days it shall be that the mountain of the House of יהוה is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And peoples shall flow to it. 2 And many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths. For out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.” 3 And He shall judge among many peoples, and reprove strong nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks – nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither teach battle any more. 4 But each one shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of יהוה of hosts has spoken. 5 For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his mighty one, but we walk in the Name of יהוה our Elohim forever and ever.

 

With their ploughshare’ can also speak to us of the unity of Yisra’ĕl which is renewed at the feast of Sukkoth and how we then ‘plough’ the ground for the next year’s growth! So what we can see from this stop is the clear distinction between who is with us – Immanu’ĕl or the imposter? May we truly learn to walk in and stay in Messiah as we work the fields of the harvest, for he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom. This is where the work begins and it is not time to give up but rather get ‘stuck in’ and give it your all!

 

 

3 - Pi Haḥiroth - פִּי הַחִירֹת  Strong’s H6367 = place where sedge grows” – the פִּיPi’ or ‘pey’ means ‘mouth’ and   הַחִירֹת  Haḥiroth means ‘wrath’.

Ḥazon/Revelation 12:14-15 “And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, to fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15  And out of his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to cause her to be swept away by the river.

The serpent unleashes wrath out of his mouth against the woman in the wilderness, and here we have the parallel of Pharaoh unleashing his wrath against Yisra’ĕl by pursuing them when they were camped here. Yisra’ĕl was helped here as they crossed through the Sea of Reeds on dry land and Pharaoh and his army was killed in the sea! What a wonderful parallel we see in Ḥazon/Revelation of the woman being helped:

Ḥazon/Revelation 12:16 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:1 we see the beast coming out of the sea from the dead!

It was here after Pi Haḥiroth and having crossed through the Sea of Reeds that Mosheh proclaimed praise for יהוה after Pharaoh and his whole army had died and was swallowed up by the sea:

Shemoth/Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You, O יהוה, among the mighty ones? Who is like You, great in set-apartness, awesome in praises, working wonders?

A Contrasting parallel we see in Ḥazon/Revelation 13:4 in what the people of the world marvel at by the appearance of the beast out of the sea:

And they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. And they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to fight with him?

What we see here is the blasphemies being spewed out of the mouths of the masses in worship of the beast!

Our breath we have been given is to give praise unto יהוה our Elohim and none other!

Tehillah/Psalm 150:6 “Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!

Pi Haḥiroth was east of בַּעַל צְפוֹן Ba‘al Tsephon - Strong’s H1189 which means ‘lord of the north’ or ‘lord of the hidden’ or ‘secret place’.

Ba‘alבַּעַל Strong’s H1168 means, lord, husband, landowner and was also the name of a supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Kenaʽanites. Tsephonצְפוֹן Strong’s H6828 meaning, north which is from the primitive root -  צָפַן  tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 meaning, to hide, treasure up, ambush, concealed.

It is here that we realise that amidst the blasphemies and threats of the enemy we find refuge in יהוה – He is our ‘hiding place’. We know that the dragon will fight those who are guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah and this calls for faithful endurance on the part of the set-apart ones!

Miḡdolמִגְדֹּל – Strong’s H4024 was near here and means ‘tower’ – we know that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe! May this remind us that no matter how much persecution we may come under – we have a Name that give us safety and refuge! This stop also helps us to realise that no matter how much persecution we come under, as we stay in Messiah we are safe. Now, another vital lesson we can take from this is that we are to watch our own mouths.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing, my brothers, this should not be so.

What we can learn from the parallels between what happened here and what is recorded in Ḥazon/Revelation is that while the true worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and Truth – the masses will worship the beast, for both sides use the same wording... “Who is like…?” May our mouths declare only praise for יהוה our Elohim!

What we can also learn for this ‘starting point’ is that it represents for us a picture of dying to self and being raised to new life in Messiah! When the children of Yisra’ĕl came to this place there was nowhere for them to run to as the threat of Pharaoh and his army came pursuing them from behind. They had the sea in front of them and the Mitsrians hot on their tails. With the Sea of Reeds being opened up for them to pass through on dry land and coming to safety on the other side while their enemies drowned in the sea is a picture of immersion in the Name of יהושע, which saves us from the wrath of Elohim! Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:29 “By belief, they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, and when the Mitsrites tried it, they were drowned.

 

4 – Marahמָרָה H4785 = “bitter” – after the victory at the Sea of Reeds, they went on a 3 day journey and came to Marah where they complained as they had no water as the water at Marah was bitter and so the people grumbled and rebelled against Mosheh.

Shemoth/Exodus 15:23-26 “And they came to Marah, and they were unable to drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. So the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Mosheh, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then he cried out to יהוה, and יהוה showed him a tree. And when he threw it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a law and a right-ruling for them, and there He tried them. 26 And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.

Marah is a lesson for us in rebellion against the Word of Elohim and trust in His provision. Marah still exists today. There is a village there. The water is still bitter. But, guess what? The bitter water is not harmful. In fact, it has health benefits in that it kills parasites and bad bacteria in the digestive system, while not harming the good bacteria. Could it be that יהוה wanted to cleanse their bodies internally form the effects of Mitsrayim?

How sad it is when we think we know best and get bitter when things do not go the way we expect it to. We must learn from this that יהוה always knows what is best and He always seeks out that which is good for us, even when we may not understand it! As we drink of the True Living Water, we will see that the parasites (false doctrines) that we may have picked up along the way will be killed, and we must not become ‘bitter’ over having our lives cleaned up from the bacteria of man-made traditions so to speak. Let us realise the effect of bitterness that will cause us to say wrong things! יהוה hates those who sow discord among the brothers and rebellion sours the freshness of the Living Waters. We are told in Tehillim/Psalm 95 not to harden our hearts as they did here and Marah. The spirit of rebellion is opposite of the spirit of unity.  It is in the spirit of rebellion that the end times beast will rear its ugly head. In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 we see how the beast blasphemed against Elohim, His Name and His tent and leads the world astray to take the mark of rebellion in worshipping the beast and his image:

Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 “And he was given a mouth speaking great matters and blasphemies, and he was given authority to do so forty-two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against Elohim, to blaspheme His Name, and His Tent, and those dwelling in the heaven.

When one gets bitter the natural reaction that follows is slander and rebellion and blasphemies and we are to guard our mouths, not allowing any form of bitterness to come forth and bear rotten fruit!

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

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:14 “But if you have bitter jealousy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast against and lie against the truth.

 

5 – Ělimאֵילִם H362 = “palms”. It can also mean ‘righteous men’ or strength as in ‘rams’. This was where there were 12 fountains and 70 palm trees – 12 representing the 12 tribes and 70 representing the number of the nations on the earth at that time. They had just been “bitter” and instructed to diligently obey the voice of יהוה, and in doing so after having water from the Rock, He leads them to this oasis or ‘place of refreshing’ in order to strengthen them. I like to think of this as arriving at ‘Palm Springs resort’ if you will! We can learn from this that even though we too have found ourselves perhaps at times just as bitter as they were in the Wilderness, when we come to the Rock of our Salvation and drink from the Living Water, He will lead us beside still waters and strengthen our souls, even while we are in the Wilderness! Ělim can also mean ‘their leader’. Ḥazon/Revelation 13:7-9 shows how the world will follow their evil leader, while we the people of faith, Yisra’ĕl, follow יהושע the King of Yisra’ĕl!

And it was given to him to fight with the set-apart ones and to overcome them. And authority was given to him over every tribe and tongue and nation. 8 And all those dwelling on the earth, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the slain Lamb, from the foundation of the world shall worship him. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

It is Yisra’ĕl (12 fountains) that is to reach the 70 (rest of the nations) with Living Water as it is the Living Waters of יהוה that brings healing to the nations! In Ḥazon/Revelation we see the reference to the tree of life as well as the 12 trees that bore fruit each month:

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:2 “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

We also see this reference in:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 47:12 “And by the bank of the stream, on both sides, grow all kinds of trees used for food, whose leaves do not wither and fruit do not fail. They bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the set-apart place. And their fruit shall be for food, and their leaves for healing.

When we see this stop we must recognise that we, as children of Yisra’ĕl, are to be a refreshing supply of the Living Waters of Messiah to the nations! When Messiah spoke to the Shomeroni woman at the well He told her that whoever would drink of the water that He gives shall never thirst but the water he gives would become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

Yoḥanan/John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

We recognise that while we are being refreshed by the living waters of Messiah, we are also being refreshed to refresh others!!!

 

6 - Sea of Reedsיַם־סוּף – ‘yam-suph’ made up of, יַם – ‘yam-Strong’s  H3220= ‘sea’ & סוּף – ‘suphStrong’s H5488 = ‘reeds, rushes’ and in its primitive root form (H5486) it can also mean, to be fulfilled, to come to an end, cease. It is known as the Sea of Reeds but is also known as the ‘sea of the end’. This stop is symbolic of how we must come to the end of our self and put to death our flesh.  We must take up our execution stake and follow יהושע.  Prophetically, those who overcome do so by the blood of the lamb, word of their testimony, and not loving their life until the death,Ḥazon/Revelation 12:11.

We also know that the passing through the Sea of Reeds is symbolic of baptism or rather immersion and that when we are immersed in Messiah, we are in fact making a public confession and declaration that we have died to self and been raised new in Messiah. We have therefore put an end to that which we were and take up our new life in Messiah and walk boldly in Him. This ‘passing through the sea’ is also a picture of the first resurrection, and we are told in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

All who have ‘come to an end’ of themselves so to speak and have ‘died to self’ and are immersed to new life in Messiah and ‘remain in Messiah’ will not be affected by the ‘second death’. Sadly we can also see how those who did not ‘remain/stay in’ the truth after having passed through the sea did not make it into the Promised Land die to their disobedience and rebellion to the commands of Elohim. Getting immersed alone will not bring about the full deliverance, but rather when we repent – that is to turn away from sin – which is what Yisra’ĕl did by leaving Mitsrayim – and were immersed in the Sea of Reeds, they were then brought into the Wilderness where they would learn to hear the True voice of their deliverer and would receive instructions on how to live their new life of Freedom form bondage to sin!

 

7 - Wilderness of Sin - מִדְבָּר  midbâr’ – Strong’s H4057 = ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land& סִין  ‘sı̂yn’ - Strong’s H5512 = thorn or clay. This is where יהוה provided manna for Yisra’ĕl. We know too that in the last days we will also see supernatural provision and we also know that Messiah is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven.

Tehillah/Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread.

Now listen, we do not just sit down and think that everything will fall into our laps – we are to be about being faithful to His Word, working diligently with our all unto Him. As we obey Torah AND prepare for the days ahead יהוה will provide the blessings and the miracles. As clay is also representative of man and as we know that ‘wilderness’ can also mean ‘mouth’ or ‘place of words’, we can have here the picture of the mouth of man or even better still the ‘clay foundations’ of the doctrines of man that are not safe and sound but vulnerable and break easy under pressure. We must trust in Elohim for our provision and watch our mouths, as this was the place where they grumbled again about not having food and actually some wanted to go back to Mitsrayim and thought that it was better off being a slave and getting a plate of food than having to rely on provision from יהוה in the Wilderness. This is the futility of man and his words – our words can be a thorn for us, or rather the words of man that we may be inclined to follow can become a thorn for us and cause us to grumble and complain, when we are to trust in and rely upon Elohim for all and praise His Name.

 

8 - Dophqah דָּפְקָה Strong’s H1850 = “knocking” or ‘knock at the door’. We know who knocks at the door of our heart. Ḥazon/Revelation 3:20 יהושע Messiah gives the invitation that those who open the door He will enter in and dine with them.

See, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

We also see references of those who will knock after it is too late – after the door is shut and will be told to go away as the Master does not know those who are lawless.

Luqas/Luke 13:25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from.

This is going to be a hard day for many who will hear these words, the next 2 verses are even more clear:

Luqas/Luke 13:26-27 “then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.

Workers of unrighteousness’ – so many today simply do not understand what is being spoken here – this is a warning to those who claim they do not have to follow Torah, even while their claim is so sincere in their deeds!!! If you do not keep His commands and walk in His ways, it doesn’t matter how much you think you are doing, it will not gain you access and you can knock as hard as you like. So unless you walk in the Torah of Elohim, you will not be able to enter in! The lawless have no place in the Kingdom!:

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

‘Lawlessness’  is the Greek word ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 which comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, lawless, without law, transgressor’, and so ‘anomia’ simply put means ‘without law’ or more specifically ‘without Torah’. Go and Google ‘Greek word ‘anomia’ and do some research!

The Greek word ‘anomos’, we note that the ‘a’ comes from the negative participle in the Greek which means ‘without’ and ‘nomos’ means Law (Torah). Therefore those who work lawlessness are practicing ‘anomia’, which describes those who are without Law or Torah. As we can clearly see and must realise, we cannot live without instruction or the Torah, else we are ‘lawless’ and those who say that they are not under law are in fact confessing that they are lawless!

The Greek word for ‘under’ as used in the phrase ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to. So under law would mean controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction. This is very clear – we are in subjection to the instructions/Torah/Law of our Creator, King, Redeemer, Saviour and Husband!!!

So this stop is critical in our decision to follow the Truth and not be sorry later. We cannot serve 2 masters. ‘The Lord’ is a title given to pagan deities and in Hebrew is ‘Ba’al’. We must choose whom we serve, יהוה or ‘the Lord’!!!! ‘The Lord’ as a counterfeit knocks too, who do you open up your life to? May we only have Him who has given us life dwelling in us, giving no room for entertaining the enemy at all? The enemy is constantly trying to get in and we must keep watch and serve only יהוה! Whatever occupies your time is your master.  Do you spend more time in worship and ministry or something else?   יהוה is also removing the false ‘lords’ from our tongues. For us who walk in the Truth and obey his commands there is great promises that we can be sure of and when we knock, He will open:

Luqas/Luke 11:9 “And I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.

So the question is – who is knocking at your heart – who are you responding to and whom do you seek?

 

9 – Alushאָלוּשׁ H442 = “I will knead (bread)”. Kneading bread is a tough process and Elohim will Himself knead us and so, as the proofing comes after the kneading, we can see here that it is Him and Him alone that prepares us for tests that are ahead! We are to seek after righteousness and in this process we will be made into bread that is acceptable as wave offering unto the Father. During the 50 day period between the waving of the first fruits on the day after the Sabbath during Matzot (Unleavened Bread) to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) on the day after the 7th completed Sabbath (which is always the first day of the week) where the two loaves of Bread are waved before יהוה, is a period commonly known as or referred to as the ‘counting of the omer’ simply because we are commanded to literally count the 50 days, that take us form the barley harvest to the wheat harvest; and it is during this time where we can learn a great deal regarding the process of making bread as seen in a 10 step process. (please refer to the sermon notes on a message called “Have you been counting? – an overview of the counting of the omer” for more details regarding this process (this can be found at http://atfotc.com )

 

10 - Rephiḏimרְפִידִים H7508 = “rests/stays or resting places”. This can also mean ‘support’ or ‘spread them’ as in ‘spreading the hands’ and can come from the words meaning ‘weakening of the hands’. So what we can see here at Rephiḏim are a couple of lessons for us. It can speak of weak hands, and as we know that in Scripture weak hands speak of being depleted and drained and the lesson we can deduce from this is that when your hands are weak – spread them! When our hands are weak – when we are tired or frustrated – we should spread them in praise and prayer to יהוה.

There are 3 key events that take place here:

1 - This is where water flowed from the rock as Mosheh acted in anger and ‘spread out his hand’ and struck the rock for water to flow as opposed to simply speaking to the Rock when the people were moaning and groaning that they were brought out from Mitsrayim to die. In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:3 the anti-messiah uses false signs to appear as power from Elohim.

And I saw one of his heads, as having been slain to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marvelled after the beast.

Signs and wonders is what certainly attract the masses and the gullible who do not know the Word! They will see the enemy doing many signs and wonders and they will marvel and be led to believe it is form Elohim - It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after signs and wonders and this is what the enemy will do. We certainly do not deny that Elohim works wonders and miracles, and this HE does so on a daily basis, yet we do not seek after them – they shall follow those who walk in Messiah. We can certainly have water from the Rock miracles happening today, but we must realize that the enemy too can perform his tricks that will lead many astray!

2 – Battle against Amalĕq  – as long as Mosheh held up his hands (spread them), Yehoshua gained ground on the battlefield and was victorious, however when the hands of Mosheh grew tired, Yehoshua lost ground and so Aharon and Ḥur came and lifted up the hands of Mosheh all day and so spread his hands in support! It was at this event that Mosheh built an altar and called its name יהוה Nissi – יהוה our banner – a banner speaks of the identity of the one under whom you walk and serve and also gives us the imagery of raised worship.

Tehillah/Psalm 134:2 “Lift up your hands in the set-apart place, and bless יהוה.

The enemy of course puts his mark on the weak hands of the unbelievers – those who do not worship in Spirit and in Truth. The mark of our worship is determined by our Sabbath keeping – those who fail to do so receive the mark of the beast and reveal weak hands that are not raised in worship unto Elohim! What we can also learn from this stop is that we are to lift each other up and encourage each other daily, and to spread ones hands or assist one’s weak hands is how we show love for one another as we care for one another, fellowship together and pray for each other.

3 – Mosheh is confronted by Yithro his father in law and he realizes that he cannot handle all the cases and has to ‘spread the load’. We also need to realize that we cannot do it all alone – we need each other and we are to bear one another’s burdens. Strengthen the weak knees and the hands that hang limp!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12 “So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees.

Verse 12 tells us to ‘strengthen’ the hands which hang down and the weak knees. This is a call to renew spiritual vitality! You want to run with endurance then you need to strengthen the weak!

Strengthen’ -  ἀνορθόω - anorthoō (Strong’s G461) – ‘to make straight or upright again, lift up, restore, strengthen’. It is time to make straight that which has been twisted and caused to become weakened!!! This is written in the ‘plural imperative’ which simply means that this requires a joint effort. We need to strengthen one another – our hands are to be raised in worship – Sha’ul tells us that he wants men everywhere to lift up their hands in praise – weakened hands are symbolic of burdened and heavy hands as the yoke of slavery to traditions and rat race dogmas has weighed them down and each one of us has a part to play in lifting each other up – strengthen the hands – strengthening the work of doing His Word with great joy! This wording used here makes me remember the account of Mosheh when his hands grew tired and heavy and Aharon and Ḥur held up his hands all day and Yehoshua won the battle against Amalĕq that day! (Shemoth/Exodus 17:1-12)

There is no place for ‘lone rangers’ in the body – we are to strengthen each other and realise that you cannot do it alone – you will need the strengthening of others! This concept of helping each other is right through Iḇ’rim/Hebrews:

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

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near

Please refer to a message called ‘How Strong are your hands” for further study at:

http://atfotc.com

 

11- Wilderness of Sinai - מִדְבָּר miḏbâr’ - Strong’s H4057 = ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land’ & סִינַי Sinai Strong’s H5514 = “thorny”. We also know that in Hebrew the word for Wilderness is Bemiḏbar and it is in the Wilderness that יהוה is able to speak clearly to us and reveal His good, pleasing and perfect will. Many important events occurred at Mt Sinai:

In Shemoth/Exodus 19 we see Yisra’ĕl move from Rephiḏim to Sinai and as we all know this is where the Torah was given. “We” spent at least a year here hearing the Torah. In chapter 19 “we” said ‘we do’ in accepting the marriage covenant with יהוה before even hearing any of the conditions of the marriage covenant. This is the Hebrew mind-set as opposed to the Greco-western mind-set. We choose to obey יהוה and all His Torah, even though we may not understand everything, but are willing to be taught and walk in it, guarding to do all that is written therein. We do not need bullet pointed agendas and lengthy explanations as to why we should or shouldn’t – we learn in the doing!

It was at the "thorny place", where “we” received the Torah, which was meant to "prick" our hearts in advance to keep our minds off their greedy desires.

12 - Qiḇroth Hatta’awah - קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה   - Strong’s H6914 = “graves of lust” from the two words, קֶבֶר qeḇer – Strong’s H6913 meaning, graves, sepulchre and תַּאֲוָה taavah – Strong’s H8378 meaning, a desire, longing, craving, lusting, intense greed. Our walk in Messiah certainly must include a death to ‘lust’. We must put to death lusts of the flesh. It was here where the people lusted after meat and יהוה sent quail and the people gathered and gathered and ate and ate and while they were eating יהוה sent a plague in wrath and they then called this place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah because they buried those who had lusted and died. We must bury our lusts!!!

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11:32-34 And the people were up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. He who has least gathered ten ḥomers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 The meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, and the wrath of יהוה burned against the people, and יהוה smote the people with an exceeding great plague. 34 Then he called the name of that place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah, because there they buried the people who had lusted.

We can learn from our ancestor’s mistakes:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:6 “And these became examples for us, so that we should not lust after evil, as those indeed lusted.

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

Kěpha/Peter tells us that we have the Mighty-Like power of יהוה that has been given to us so that we have all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to esteem and uprightness and we have been given these in order for us to be partakers of the Mighty-like nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world, caused by lust.

Yoḥanan Aleph.1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.

When we truly walk in the desire of Elohim, we must be able to kill any lusts, as lust will only end up killing you if you do not kill it!

 

13 - Ḥatsĕroth חֲצֵרוֹת - Strong’s H2698 = “settlement, village, abode”. It was after leaving this stop and going into the Wilderness of Paran that Mosheh sent out the 12 spies from and we know what the result of that was – 10 spies gave a bad report and were happy to just settle where they were and were afraid to go up and fight the giants – this affected the entire camp and what we can learn from this is that we are to be continually moving forward in Messiah, and moving forward together and not settling for mediocre lifestyle but striving for set-apartness. If we settle into any form of below par living and compromise we can and will affect others! We must believe the good report – it is a remnant that will always be willing to stand up and go, let us be a part of that faithful remnant – no matter the giants we face!

Ḥatsĕroth means enclosed settlements, or sheepfolds with a narrow opening that widens inside - shaped like a trumpet, which is the root word. The picture here for us is that at the trumpet's sound, those who died in יהושע Messiah will leave their graves (Qiḇroth), and only our evil desires will be left behind, but also that for us who have died to self and now walk and live in Messiah have left behind all their lust… now we ought to live like it!

 

14 – Rithmahרִתְמָה Strong’s H7575 = “heath” or ‘binding’ – in other words a place of joining together! A ‘heath’ is a tract of wasteland or an extensive area of rather level open uncultivated land, usually with poor coarse soil, inferior drainage, and a surface rich in peat or peaty humus.

We do not have much info on the area but as the reports of the giants had come back we see a joining together possibly in the negative sense and this is what will happen when the soils of our hearts are not being cultivated with the Truth – it becomes poor and coarse and dry causing proper draining to non-existent which result in a wasteland that cannot be cultivated or a wet muddy patch that cannot be worked due to unbelief.

The question you have to ask yourself here is “whose report will you believe and to whom will you be joined together?” Do not be yoked with unbelievers! We are to be built up in unity of our faith in Messiah who has gone before us, let us not unite with the false report, but be joined with the True body of Messiah!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.

As we maintain the truth in love and grow up in all respects into Him who is the Head, Messiah we are joined together by what every joint supplies… we need each other as we become one in Him and so it is of vital importance that we make every effort to keep the fellowship of the set-apart ones growing in intimacy in every area of our lives and not yoke ourselves to unbelievers as this will only cause a ‘disjointing’ to occur. Another word is derived from the root word that Rithmah comes which can also be described as ‘a broom bush or broom tree’ and Rithmah was also often used as a term to describe and evil tongue! We must watch out for those who bring negativity into the camp as it will affect all, and our tongues must also be clean from evil reports and be willing to ‘sweep out’ the negative dirt so to speak! The scouts had brought back negative reports (well 10 of them) and often we may feel the pressure of resigning top the negative reports and it is at this point in our lives where we must realise the necessity of not joining ourselves to the negative but be joined together with the remnant faithful, and must never give up based on circumstances that seem unbearable and too big for us to handle – we are to join together and go forward in victory, as we walk in Messiah!

 

15 - Rimmon Perets רִמֹּן פָּ֑רֶץ Strong’s H7428 = “pomegranate of the breach” or ‘abundant fruit’ or ‘stand in the breach’. It is from the two words:  רִמֹּן Rimmon – Strong’s H7416 meaning, pomegranate and פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6556 meaning, a bursting forth, breach, breakthrough, outburst, increase, prosperous.

We are to bear much fruit and we are to be repairers of breaches as we look out for and encourage one another. These two words reflect a fruitful tree that bears much seed but also a breaking. Any tree that does not bear fruit will be cut off – let us not break others down when they are bearing fruit but rather encourage and build up!

Yoḥanan/John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught! 6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The pomegranate is full of seeds, and this reminds us of the promise given to Aḇraham in that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and what is also interesting about the pomegranate is the red juice that can be symbolic for us of the Blood of Messiah – where the Torah tells us that the life of the flesh resides! And it is through the Blood of Messiah that the body is brought together and breaches are repaired - יהושע Messiah is the repairer of the breach and in Him the Promise given to Aḇraham is yes and aměn!

On the hem of the robe of the shoulder garment for the high priest was gold bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet – a significant picture indeed. Although there has been the thought that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds, this has not been proven to be the case, certainly not in our day as they range from 200 to 1400. What is interesting about the pomegranate is the fact that there are many seeds inside and represents the Word that is sown by the Farmer with the expectation of a return – the bells can be symbolic of the trumpet of His Coming – where the questions remains as to what will He find? Will He find faith? And Active faith that has taken that which has been sown and multiplied?

Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?

 

16 - Liḇnahלִבְנָה - Strong’s H3841 = “pavement” - a royal city of the Kenaʽanites in the southwest captured by Yehoshua; allocated to Yehuḏah and made a Lĕwite city. It can also mean a ‘white brick’ as it comes from the primitive root לָבֵן laḇen – Strong’s H3835 meaning, to make white or to make brick, and we know that to those who overcome, hidden manna will be given and a white stone with a renewed name written upon it.

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

Now this being a city chose for the Lěwites shows us that we who are a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a set-apart nation must overcome that we are built up in the house of Elohim. Liḇnah can also give the meaning of ‘to build’ and that is what we are to be doing – building one another up in the faith:

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5: “Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.

 

17 – Rissah רִסָּה Strong’s H7446 = “ruin” but can also mean ‘exercise control over’ or ‘temper’ which is “to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else. What this can picture for us is that even this far out into the Wilderness they came across ruins, and this was not the time to give up. No matter how long we have been on our Torah walk, ruin is still possible if one gives up and allows the Truth we have heard become diluted or soften by the influence of something else – something that is foreign, such as ear tickling mysteries that try to soften the need to obey the Torah! If we turn away now, even our former righteousness will be forgotten no matter how much we have laboured!

 

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:24 “But when a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, according to all the abominations that the wrong one has done, shall he live? All his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. For his trespass which he has committed, and for his sin which he has committed, for them he shall die.

However if we continue then we will rebuild ancient ruins!!!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:12 “And those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. And you would be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

What is shaping and ‘tempering’ us? The Word of Truth by the plumb line of the Torah or other outside influences of compromised forms of mediocre worship? We must learn to exercise control or else we will be given over to ruin!

 

18 – Qehĕlathahקְהֵלָתָה  Strong’s H6954 = “assembly” or entire congregation.  This is a reminder that this is not a lone ranger journey but a journey as an assembly! The enemy does his best to break up fellowship and isolate people in the wilderness and we are to stick together. We can learn from this stop that we are to gather together with the body of Messiah, but what we can also note is that there is also a negative gathering together as in a rebellion.  Some say that this was the site where Qoraḥ rebelled, and the word Qehĕlathah can also mean ‘gathering’ as in an angry mob banding together in an aggressive manner. There are two types of gatherings: Groups that join together to build, or to destroy. We all have times in our lives when we will be invited, or pressured, to join a rally or a group of people who may be protesting against something or simply a group of people whose interests do not line up with the plumb line of the Torah. Being social creatures we naturally feel the need to be a part of a group and often will gravitate toward our peers. The power of a group and group mentality can be very alluring and entice you away with reasonable ease. It can feel safe and accepting, and when used for the good it can produce tremendous benefits. But when used for the bad it can yield devastating results – causing far more damage than any individual can perpetrate on his own. Great care therefore must be taken not to be party to “lynch mobs” or “witch hunters” who gang up on others, often innocent people, in their own insecure need to feel right. Stay away from groups of critics and slanderers and assemble or gathered together with those who walk the Torah path and will benefit each other’s lives.

 

19 - Mount Shapherהַר ‘har’ – Strong’s H2022 = ‘hill/mountain’ & שֶׁפֶר ShepherStrong’s H8234 = “beauty”, form the primitive root שָׁפַר shaphar – Strong’s H8231 meaning, to be beautiful, fair or comely.

 This can mean ‘glistening beauty’ – as we journey together in unity we glisten with great beauty as we shine the light of His love through our talents and gifts operating in unity! Shapher here comes from the root to mean ‘beauty, goodness, goodliness’, and ‘goodness’ we know is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. We are to be bearing much fruit as we shine our light before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in heaven! We are not to hide our ‘light’, and this gives a wonderful picture here of our daily ascending offering as a living sacrifice in pleasing Elohim, shining in great splendour of His goodness over us! We are His Bride and we are to ‘shine’ like it! Do not let the valley moments of life cause you to lose your shine and cause your lamp to lose its oil.

20 - Ḥaraḏah חֲרָדָה Strong’s H2732 = “fear or trembling” – the place of fear – many quickly lose their ‘shine’ as they allow fear to grip them, but as we keep our eyes fixed on Messiah fears power is rapidly diminished. This place was so called because of the terror that the plague had caused:

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 17:12 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl spoke to Mosheh, saying, “See, we shall die, we shall perish, we shall all perish! 

Just as much as we may experience those beautiful moments on our lives, there are times that fear and terror may seem to grip us. The critical thing to always remember, even in the most frightening and anxious moments, is that fear is also part of the journey toward the Promised Land. When harnessed we can find solace in our shudders, as they sharpen our alert, focus our vigilance and teach us how to avoid or conquer the agents of fear. By not allowing our fears to consume us, we can learn to see them through, transform them to awe of the Divine and come out more powerful. That which does not destroy us makes us stronger. Do not let fear destroy you, put cast of all fear:

Tehillim/Psalm 27:1 “יהוה is my light and my deliverance; whom should I fear? יהוה is the refuge of my life; Whom should I dread?

21 - Maqhĕlothמַקְהֵלֹת - Strong’s H4722 = “place of assembly” another sight with the aspect of assembling... it is important to build community, what we see here is that although some do, often fear grips them and they ‘run away’ but through this we can learn that even those who have left are always welcome to be joined in again as this can only strengthen us against any battles as a unit together! This was a place dedicated to Molech and shows us that although we are in the world we are not to partake in the world’s ways. Those around us who are ‘worshipping Molech’ today need to see us as living examples of set-apart living! Our light should shine before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in Heaven!

This is a place of assembly, possibly the place where the miracle of Aharon’s rod occurred in response to Qoraḥ’s challenge. This reflects the community building journey in our lives, when we build – or join – a community; when we assemble a group toward a particular cause or effort. It is a state of unity – when we feel connected with others and with ourselves, and together we serve a higher purpose in bringing praise unto Elohim:

Tehillah/Psalm 68:26 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.

The ultimate transformation of fear (Ḥaraḏah) is when it leads us to gather, appreciate and sing praise unto יהוה for our Divine blessings and His everlasting love for us.

 

22 – Taḥath תַּחַת Strong’s H8480 = “station” or ‘under the authority of’ – we know whose authority we are to be ‘under’. The Greek word for ‘under’ as used in the phrase ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to. So under law would mean controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction. So when people say that they are not under the Torah of Elohim they are in fact declaring themselves to be lawless and in a sense then they are under – “in subjection to” - the authority of the lawless one! This word Taḥath can also mean ‘beneath or below’ referring to a lowly state and must be a reminder to us that even well into our journey, as we travel we may often find ourselves at a low-place in our lives. If we leave our assembling (gathering together as commanded), we can often find ourselves at a real low point, feeling all alone and in deep isolation. We must realise that the power to transform those low points in your life in to a place of peace is to come under/beneath our True Vine and Fig Tree. There are times where we come to those station moments – time to stop and reflect, making sure that we are still walking and journeying under the right authority – walking in יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah.

 

23 – Teraḥתֶּרַח Strong’s H8646 = “delay”. This was also the name of Aḇraham’s father and so here was a reminder to the Yisra’ĕlites that they are to remember the covenant made with their father Aḇraham. יהושע told many parables warning us that if He delays in returning, we should not make choices that will further delay Him because His bride is not ready. This stop can mean ‘station on the way’ and we know that Aḇraham was delayed on his journey after his father died.

Teraḥ is the name of Aḇraham’s father, which comes from the word “wild goat” or “old fool.” Teraḥ is also related to the word רָתַח rota – Strong’s H7570 meaning, boiling, to boil as in irate’; with Teraḥ’s birth יהוה became irate over the idol worshippers. Another meaning of the word Teraḥ is wait or delay. Teraḥ can also in a sense refer to the stage in life when we move into middle-age and become fathers of our children. The question is - will we yield children like Aḇraham? Will we be like “wild goats” and “old fools” worshipping one idol or another, or will we be wise and give off a spiritual aroma.

Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because 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?

 

24 – Mithqah מִתְקָה Strong’s H4989 = “sweetness” or “pleasant waters”.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:21 “The wise-hearted is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases learning.

What are you drinking? Are you drinking from the Living Water of the Truth of the Word? For many the Truth seems bitter, yet when we truly taste of Messiah, we will realise that we will never thirst again and His Word is sweet to us and is as pleasant waters that refresh the soul! One common word you will see in speaking of the offerings unto יהוה is ‘sweet’ as in a ‘sweet fragrance’. Is your life a ‘sweet fragrance’ unto יהוה?

25 - Ḥashmonahחַשְׁמֹנָה Strong’s H2832 = “fatness” - (euphemism for the best) or “ambassadors”. We are to be ambassadors for Messiah. Another word for ambassador is ‘envoy’ and hear words from Scripture:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:17 “A messenger that is wrong falls into evil, but a trustworthy envoy is a healing.

Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore we are envoys on behalf of Messiah, as though Elohim were pleading through us. We beg, on behalf of Messiah: Be restored to favour with Elohim.

The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ambassador as follows:

an official envoy especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment

And for envoy, the following:

A person delegated to represent one government in its dealings with another.

So what we can learn from this stop is that we are here to represent the best – we represent the Kingdom authority or government of יהוה, and we are diplomatic agents of the highest rank, accredited to our journey here as sojourners in a foreign land as a living representative of that which we represent – the body of Messiah and His Kingdom Rule! This is a temporary assignment which we must hold in the highest regard!

 

26 – Mosĕroth - מֹסְרוֹת  Strong’s H4149 = “bonds” or ‘admonition or correction’ or ‘discipline’. Let us never get to a place where we cannot receive correction! Aharon died here and El‘azar his son became priest in his place! Aharon could not enter the land because of rebellion, and here we can learn that we must always be open to correction, for if we are not we may find ourselves unable to enter into the Promises of Elohim!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, And do not loathe His reproof.

Tehillah/Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man You discipline, O Yah, And instruct out of Your Torah

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:5-11 And you have forgotten the appeal which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, nor faint when you are reproved by Him, 6 for whom יהוה loves, He disciplines, and flogs every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed best to them, but He does it for our profit, so that we might share His apartness. 11 And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

27 - Benĕi Yaʽaqan - בְּנֵי יַעֲקָ֑ן  Strong’s H1142 = “sons of twisting” form the two words: בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121son and יַעֲקָן  Ya‘aqan – Strong’s H3292 meaning, let him oppress them and comes from the word עֲקָן  Aqan – Strong’s H6130 meaning, sharp-sighted and was a descendant of Ěsaw; and this name comes from the primitive root  עָקַל  aqal – Strong’s H6127 meaning, to bend, twist’. This stop/starting point shows us that we are to not twist or bend the Truth.

Twisting the truth is lies – and we are not sons of the deceiver, but sons of Elohim – and we must speak truth. Be careful never to twist the truth in any way, some will try this after they have been on the road for a long time and have seemingly built up trust of others – watch your tongue! The fuller name of the place is The Wells of the Sons of Ya‘aqan and so speaks of those who continually drink a twisted message or rather that their source of knowledge is not the Truth but is a well of twisted lies, which is exactly what the church is causing many to drink from and in the process of making people believe that they are drinking the truth, they are oppressing them with twisted lies.

When יהוה disciplines us, we may often be tempted to twist the facts to make it look like the one doing the disciplining is the one at fault. Ya’aqan was a descendent of Ěsaw and his name can also means ‘let him oppress them’ as mentioned. We know that Ěsaw sold his birth right for a meal and is referred to as being hated by Elohim. Ya‘aqan represents those who will twist the truth to get their way and push their viewpoint across.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:17 “Do not twist the right-ruling of a stranger or the fatherless, nor take the garment of a widow.

Tehillah/Psalm 56:5 “All day long they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.

Kěpha/Peter speaks of those who will twist many writings of Sha’ul:

Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:14-16 “So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures.

This above Scripture speaks a lot about what we see happening today – Kěpha/Peter writes clearly that Sha’ul wrote according to the wisdom given to him and Sha’ul was, and still is in regards to his writings, a great Torah teacher yet sadly too many today are twisting his writings to their own destruction, and they are twisting not only his writings but all Scripture! There are those in Christianity who are twisting Sha’ul’s writings thinking that he is teaching them that the Torah has been done away with, which is absolutely ridiculous! Then there are those who are walking the Torah road who sadly want to throw out Sha’ul’s writings and in so doing they end up on a path that leads to a denial of Messiah!

For many who twist writings – they do so because they are untaught and unstable. We must be ever learning as we come each week on a Shabbat and immerse ourselves in the word as we gather together in community and learn the Torah of Elohim! There are many twisted teachings out there – too many tickling ear messages that are leading many astray – let us not be sons of twisting – but rather sons of Truth as we walk in and remain in the Truth!

 

28 - Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ -  חֹר הַגִּדְגָּ֑ד Strong’s H2735 = “cavern/hollow  of Gidgad”. This is Petra the lost city of stone in the modern nation of Jordan.  Literally, this campsite was the cleft of the cleft of the rock.  This of course teaches us of the deeper times of intimacy with יהוה and His people.  As we mature in יהוה and move from esteem to esteem we will have times of hiding in the cleft of יהוה’s presence.  Those in the cleft of the Rock of יהושע will endure to the end.  Ḥazon/Revelation 14:12 “This is the endurance of the saints: those that kept the testimony of יהושע and guarded the commandments.

 

29 - Yotḇathahיָטְבָתָה  Strong’s H3193 = “pleasantness” or “a good calm place”. In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7 it is described as a land of rivers of water. It was here that יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:8).

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7-8 “From there they set out to Guḏgoḏah, and from Guḏgoḏah to Yotḇathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day.

We are called to be a royal priesthood – set-apart unto Elohim, to walk in the ‘pleasantness’ of His Good Word!

Tehillah/Psalm 133:1 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.

Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “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. 3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.

What a wonderful promise! Delighting in the Torah, meditating on the Torah will cause us to be led in pleasant places, places where there are rivers of water – that is an abundance of joy and Truth for us to immerse ourselves in with great delight!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:17-18 “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongues have failed for thirst, I, יהוה, do answer them; I, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, do not forsake them. 18 “I open rivers on bare hills, and fountains in the midst of valleys; I make a wilderness become a pool of water, and a dry land springs of water.

All who are thirsty come… is the invitation of our Master and Sovereign, יהושע Messiah. The only One who can satisfy our thirst and lead us beside still waters is יהושע Messiah. This stop reminds us of that and reminds us where we should be constantly be drinking from and how we can be calm in our journey here, for our trust is in Him!

 

30 - Aḇronahעַבְרֹנָה  H5684 = “passage”. Passage speaks of ‘a way’ or ‘right of way, having access to pass through or enter in. יהושע Messiah is our ‘passage’ – the narrow way and without Him we have no access to The Kingdom and to the Father! This was the site where there was a passage down through the mountains to their next stop and so gives us a picture of a mountain pass. No matter the mountains we face – יהוה will always provide us with a safe passage, keeping our foot from slipping. And we also know that He always provides for us a way of escape when we are faced with trials!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:13 “No trial has overtaken you except such as is common to man, and Elohim is trustworthy, who shall not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able, but with the trial shall also make the way of escape, enabling you to bear it.

 

31 - Etsyon Geḇerעֶצְיוֹן גֶבֶר Strong’s H6100 = “backbone of a man” from the two words: עָצֶה atseh – Strong’s H6096 meaning, spine, backbone and גֶּבֶר  geḇer – Strong’s H1397 meaning, man, warrior from the primitive root גָּבַר  gaḇar – Strong’s H1396 meaning, to be strong, mighty, strengthen’.

Etsyon Geḇer is at the site of present-day Eilat, at the northern tip of the eastern branch of the Sea of Reeds. The huge copper-smelting forges later built there did indeed become a backbone of Yisra’ĕl’s economy. But a backbone keeps one upright, and that is what יהוה calls His unified "man" when all Israel is together. It was here that Shelomoh built ships. The backbone of a man represents the strength or ability to walk up straight and pictures for us a righteous walk which leads to the next stop of being a set-apart people!

 

32 - Qaḏĕshקָדֵשׁ H6946 = “set-apart”. This was an eventful location – it was here that Miryam died, and it was here that Mosheh struck the rock instead of speaking to it!

 Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:7-12 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 8 “Take the rod and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aharon. And you shall speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall give its water. And you shall bring water for them out of the rock and give drink to the congregation and their livestock.” 9 And Mosheh took the rod from before יהוה as He commanded him. 10 And Mosheh and Aharon assembled the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Mosheh lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. And much water came out, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But יהוה spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon, “Because you did not believe Me, to set Me apart in the eyes of the children of Yisra’ĕl, therefore you do not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.

This carries great lessons for us – we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession! We are to be set-apart as He is set-apart – this is a stop where we must learn from these events and recognize that we cannot compromise our set-apart walk – we must not grumble against the Torah. What makes us set-apart is the Blood of Messiah, our Rock, that was struck for our sin, and we are to perfect our set-apartness:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.

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

Please see the sermon notes: “The character of set-apart living during exile at:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011/70-daniel-6

 

33 - Mount Hor - הָר  Strong’s H2022 – ‘har’= ‘hill/mountain’ & הֹר Strong’s H2023 hor’ = “mountain” - the mountain on which Aharon died; situated on the eastern side of the valley of Arabah, the highest of the whole range of sandstone mountains in Eḏom.

 

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

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

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

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

 

35 - Punon פּוּנֹן Strong’s H6325 = “darkness”. It was here that the children of Yisra’ĕl moaned again as they grew impatient! They spoke out against Elohim and Mosheh and said that they loathed the light bread. Then יהוה sent serpents among the people and many were bitten and died. Mosheh was told to make a bronze serpent and all who was bitten and would look upon it would live. Spending too much time among the shades of grey rather than seeing things as black or white only leads us into more complete darkness where we will end up being bitten by our straying ways. After years of the same thing day in and day out, they were bored of the manna, which was a picture of יהושע :

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

And His community:

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

Calling it worthless means rejecting him. But to what were they comparing the manna? They did not need to sow or reap, and when traveling they could not. They did not realize how well they had it, because this generation had been eating of the manna all their lives. Their only alternative would be to raid other peoples for food; did they really want to do that? They may have seen the pastries that the Kenaʽanites had baked when destroying their cities and begun to lust for something more, though they lacked nothing essential and had a simpler life than anyone could reasonably ask for since Aḏam’s fall. They were not making the most of what they had, and tried to make their case look worse than it was. Their clothes and shoes did not wear out, they had the biggest functioning community anywhere, and a deliverer in their midst; this was far more than they deserved; when we think we deserve more, we are calling יהוה, who has said He will provide for us, a liar.

Or they may have simply been longing for the fruit of the Land that had been promised, and now realized that they were not going to get there as quickly as they had expected, and were discouraged, because they seemed to have almost had it in hand. But since they thought יהוה's provision was not enough, that was enough for Him, and this time He did not even give a warning that punishment was coming.

Praise be unto יהוה our Elohim that He has provided for our sin and that יהושע Messiah was lifted up on a pole to pay for our sin and our futile walk in darkness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

36 - Oḇothאֹבֹת Strong’s H88 = “waterskins” meaning water bottles made of skins. We are to be filled with the Living water ready to be poured out as refreshing. What is interesting to note is how this stop/starting point was after ‘punon’ (darkness) where those who looked at the bronze serpent would be healed. After we ‘look to’ יהושע Messiah and are ‘immersed’ in Him, we ‘die’ and are raised to new life and are given new ‘clothes of righteousness’ or ‘water skins’ that must hold the ‘Living Water’ of the Besorah (Good News).

 

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

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

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

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

 

38 - Diḇon Gaḏ - דִּיבֹן Strong’s H1769 = “wasting” &  גָּדStrong’s H1410 - Gaḏ = “troop” and can translate as ‘wasting away of a fortune’. We must recognise the wonderful gift of life that we have received in Messiah and that we are rich in Him. The richest we can be is to know Messiah, and we must not waste away our good inheritance. We must not waste that which the Father has given us, be it our time, our talents, our resources etc. 

 

39 - Almon Diḇlathayemah עַלְמֹן דִּבְלָתָיְמָה Strong’s H5963 = “concealing the two cakes” or ‘hidden sweetness’ and comes from the two words: עָלַם alam – Strong’s H5956  meaning, conceal, blind, disregard and דְּבֵלָה  deḇelah – Strong’s H1690 meaning, a lump (of pressed figs), a pressed (fig) cake, cake of figs

Let us not hide the ‘two cakes’ – what I can learn from this is that we are to guard the Torah and not hide it! It refers to this existential concealment, which captures one of the greatest challenges throughout all the 42 journeys in the wilderness: will we be able to hold on to the faith and recognize that we, even in the arid desert, are traveling toward the Promised Land? We must also realise that we are not alone on our journey and we must hold on to that which we have been entrusted with. We must not conceal or hide the Word from directing our lives.

The man who was afraid of the Master hid his one talent and in a sense concealed that which he was entrusted with – we must run with great endurance the race set before us and not give up but press on, fixing our eyes on our saviour and King, יהושע Messiah. Let us make known His Good News (Besorah) and do it with great joy.

What this also shows me is that we can see today how so many have a total disregard for the Torah of Elohim and so are blind to the Truth and have no knowledge or understanding of the Word.

40 - Aḇarim עֲבָרִים Strong’s H5682 = “regions beyond

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:12 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go up into this Mount Aḇiram, and see the land which I have given to the children of Yisra’ĕl.

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!

This stop was ‘before Neḇo’ and נְבוֹ Neḇo – Strong’s H5015 means, prophet and Neḇo was also a Baḇelonian deity who presided over learning and letters, and corresponds to the Greek deity of interpretation, Hermes from which the subject of ‘hermeneutics’ comes from, which is the study of the interpretation of written texts. Sadly we see today so many falsified interpretations of the Scriptures that has simply ‘concealed the two cakes’ – that is through erroneous Greek interpretation of Scripture, there has been taught a wilful disregard for the Torah and as this also can give reference to ‘fig cakes’ I am reminded of the passage in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24 with regards to the vision of the two baskets of figs, one good and one bad – one ripe and one rotten. The good figs are those who were obedient and listened while the bad figs were the disobedient. Which basket are you in? The one who listens and obeys the True “Prophet” from Elohim:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:15 ““יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him

Or the one who listens to the many false prophets:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:15 “But beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are savage wolves.

We shall know them by their fruits!!! Those who are ‘concealing’ the Torah are false!

41 - Mo’aḇ - מוֹאָב Strong’s H4124 = “of his father” or “from a father”. We know that Mo’aḇ was the offspring of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. So this stop can carry both a positive as well as a negative meaning. Are we of the heavenly Father or from the father of evil? We must choose whom we serve and so in essence sums up the majority of our Wilderness journey – will we listen and obey our Father in Heaven and be called sons of Elohim?

Romiyim/Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע.

Galatiyim/Galatians 4:6 “And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Qolasim/Colossians 3:4-7 “When the Messiah, who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in esteem. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience,7 in which you also once walked when you lived in them.

 

42 - Bĕyth Yeshimothבֵּית הַיְשִׁימוֹת Strong’s H1020 = “house of the desolation” as far as Aḇĕl Shittimאָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים Strong’s H63 = “meadow of acacias. This sums up our journey: we have come from the ‘house of desolation’ to the ‘meadows of acacias’!

While there is the positive aspect of understanding this wonderful wilderness journey, what we also recognise here is that this was the last departure point and is a lesson how we must leave not only the ‘house of desolation’ but also ‘the meadow of acacias’, and in fact often what may seem to be a wonderful place of ‘acacias’ may in fact be a house of death!

Yisra’ĕl dwelt in Shittim - שִׁטִּים - Strong’s H7851 and means, place of acacias and it was here where they began to whore with the daughters of Mo’aḇ. Instead of being on their guard, they got too relaxed and this ‘place of acacias’ and slacked off. You would think that by now that after all they had been through, all the victories they had won and all the disciplining that had gone on that they would have been more on their guard to not whore with foreign nations and especially Mo’aḇ.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1Corinthians 10:8 “Neither should we commit whoring, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell

They were enticed by the women of Mo’aḇ – this is how the enemy is so very deceiving - through the lust of the flesh and Balaq sent his finest women to lure the men of Yisra’ĕl in to joining them. The enemy’s motto is ‘if you cannot beat them join them’ and this was his plan to subdue this great nation.

 

The word for whore is זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 meaning, to commit fornication, to be a harlot, commit adultery, play the harlot. ‘Playing the harlot’ can also be a term used to render being ‘spiritually unfaithful’ to יהוה, which is exactly what they were doing here!

How is that for a response to His blessing!!! I think that it is the same for some nay today, who do not realise the great blessings we have in Messiah and too many take it for granted and end up ‘playing the harlot’ with the world that so easily lures them away, because they are found to be at a place of thinking that they have arrived and relax in their ability to be watchful and obedient. They were endangering their lives by befriending the world:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:3-4 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

We were told to not do this at Mount Sinai, yet we must constantly be on our guard against  the luring tactics of the enemy, and when we think that there is no way that these kind of tricks and whoring tactics can catch us then we had better be doubly alert:

 

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:12 “so that he who thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall.

We must not get settles in our sojourning and recognise that many can come so close yet still not make it in as they give in to the false appearances of safety and goodness, as the ‘house of desolation’ disguises itself under ‘meadows of acacias

There were 42 stages in their journey, which lasted 40 years. 14 of these stages all took place in the first year. The last 8 stages all took place between Aharon's death and Moshe's, so they actually stayed each place nearly two years on average (20 places in 38 years). Many of these places were probably not in the Sinai Peninsula as tradition has it, but rather on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, which is much larger and much easier to truly wander aimlessly in. But there were not supposed to be as many as there were. Our journey back does not have to take so long if we do what we are supposed to do and avoid the pitfalls they chose to fall into.

So, as we as we have looked at the Wilderness Journeys, we are reminded that no stage in our lives – and no segment of history – is an island onto itself. Each phase is part of a longer journey, leading to a destination. Knowing that every life experience, even the harshest ones we may face, are simply steps leading us to another, better place, and that everything is on its way to another, better place – well then this alone can help us get through the loneliest moments.

Awareness of the fact that we are on a journey in Messiah, as we sojourn here, at all times also infuses each step with profound hope and urgency – to ensure that it will lead us to a destination.

May you be inspired to truly enjoy your Wilderness Journey in Messiah!

42 starting points – 42 generations from Abraham to יהושע!

As we have gone extensively through each of the 42 departure points in the wilderness Journey from Mitsrayim to the Promised Land we see a great parallel in the 42 generations from Abraham to Messiah – from the Promise to the fulfilment! Let us look at each of these 42 names as recorded in Mattithyahu/Matthew 1 and see the wonderful message that it holds for us:

 

1 - אַבְרָהָם  Aḇraham – Strong’s H85 – ‘exalted father, father of a multitude

2 - יִצְחָק  Yitsḥaq – Strong’s H3327 – ‘he laughs, smiles

3 - יַעֲקֹב  Yaʽaqoḇ - Strong’s H3290 – ‘heel catcher, supplanter, who also was also renamed and called Yisra’ĕl meaning, ‘strive, persevere with ĚL’. We need to recognise this as we see in the Hebraic mind-set that when referring to Ya’aqoḇ they did not only see a ‘supplanter’ but they also saw a father who persevered with Elohim!

4 - יְהוּדָה Yehuḏah – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised as discussed earlier.

5 - פֶּרֶץ  Perets – Strong’s H6557 – ‘breach, break through or burst forth

6 - חֶצְרוֹן  Ḥetsron – Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall, enclosure

7 - רָם Ram – Strong’s H7410 – ‘high, exalted, great height

8 - עַמִּינָדָב  Amminadaḇ - Strong’s H5992 – ‘my kinsman is noble

9 - נַחְשׁוֹן  Naḥshon – Strong’s H5177 – ‘enchanter, whisperer, - while this name can certainly have a negative aspect to it as it certainly can remind us of the naḥash (serpent) in the Garden who deceived Ḥawwah, however it can also be rendered in this case to mean ‘prophet’ as Naḥshon’s sister was Aharon’s wife and he was also called ‘the leader of the people of Yehuḏah’ (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 2:3)

10 - שַׂלְמוֹן Salmon – Strong’s H8012 – ‘garment, clothes

11 - בֹּעַז Boaz – Strong’s H1162 – ‘quickness, swiftness, fleetness and was a name of a pillar in the Hěḵal of Shelomoh signifying ‘strength’.

12 – עוֹבֵד Oḇeḏ  – Strong’s H5744 – ‘serving, servant, worshipper

13 - יִשַׁי  Yishai – Strong’s H3448 – ‘I possess

14 - דָּוִד  Dawiḏ - Strong’s H1732 – ‘beloved, beloved one

15 - שְׁלֹמֹה Shelomoh – Strong’s H8010 – ‘peace, peaceful

16 - רְחַבְעָם Reḥaḇ’am – Strong’s H7346 – ‘people are enlarged, extended to an open space’ a picture of setting free

17 - אֲבִיָּה Aḇiyah – Strong’s H29 – ‘29 –‘Yah is my father

18 - אָסָא  Asa – Strong’s H609 – ‘healer

19 - יְהוֹשָׁפָט  Yehoshaphat – Strong’s H3092 – ‘יהוה has judged’.

20 - יוֹרָם Yoram – Strong’s H3141 – ‘whom יהוה has exalted’.

21 - עֻזִּיָּה Uzziyah – Strong’s H5818 – ‘my strength is Yah’.

22 - יוֹתָם  Yotham – Strong’s H3147 – ‘Yah is perfect

23 - אָחָז  Aḥaz – Strong’s H271 – ‘he has grasped, taken hold of, he possesses

24 - חִזְקִיָּהוּ  Ḥizqiyahu – Strong’s H2396 – ‘יהוה is my strength

25 - מְנַשֶּׁה  Menashsheh – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget, who makes me forget

26 - אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 – ‘skilled workman, master architect, master builder

27 - יאֹשִׁיָּהוּ Yoshiyahu – Strong’s H2977 – ‘whom יהוה heals

28 - יְכָנְיָה  Yeḵonyah – Strong’s H3204 – ‘יהוה establishes, upholds, appoints

29 - שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל  She’alti’ěl  – Strong’s H7597 – ‘I have asked of ĚL

30 - זְרֻבָּבֶל  Zerubbaḇel – Strong’s H2216 – ‘sown in Baḇel, begotten in Baḇelon

31 - אֲבִיהוּד  Aḇihuḏ – Strong’s H31 – ‘my father is majestic

32 - אַבְנֵר  Aḇner – Strong’s H74 – ‘my father is a lamp

33 - אֶלְיָקִים Elyaqim – Strong’s H471 – ‘ĚL raises up

34 - עַזֻּר  Azzur – Strong’s H5809 – ‘help

35 - צָדוֹק  Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 – ‘righteous, just, upright

36 - יוֹקִים  Yoqim – Strong’s H3137 – ‘Yah raises up

37 –אֱלִיהוּד  Elihuḏ - ‘my ĚL is praised’ from אֵל el and הוֹד hoḏ – Strong’s H1935 –‘splendour, majesty, comeliness, beauty’.

38 - אֶלְעָזָר  El‘azar – Strong’s H499 – ‘ĚL has helped, help of ĚL.

39 - מַתָּן  Mattan – Strong’s H4977 – ‘gift

40 - 3 - יַעֲקֹב  Yaʽaqoḇ - Strong’s H3290 – as discussed earlier, however I believe it is used in reference here to the whole nation of Yisra’ĕl being redeemed – and is  the allotted inheritance of יהוה (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:9)

41 - יוֹסֵף  Yosĕph – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he increases or Yah has added’. (Father and not the husband of Miryam)

42 – יהושע – Yahushua – Strong’s H3091 – ‘יהוה is Salvation.

 

There you have the account of the genealogy of Messiah in Mattithyahu and while there are varying ways to construct this as Hebrew certainly has a greater depth of meaning in the individual words, yet what we can summarise as a sure and promised message of hope that is fully met in our Redeeming king can be expressed in English as follows:

The exalted Father laughs at the enemy. The One who is praised breaks through a wall of great height – Our Kinsman Redeemer is noble, the prophet spoken of who is clothed with strength has come to serve. The Beloved One is the Prince of Peace who sets the people free and enlarges their territory. Our Father is יהוה, and He is the Healer who judges and He is the One who raises up and exalts. Our strength is in יהוה, who is perfect and has taken hold of His people for a possession. יהוה is our strength who causes us to forget our troubles and He is the Master Builder who heals us and establishes us. El was asked about the exiles sown in Baḇelon and has answered, for our Father is majestic and He is a lamp who raises up and helps; and in righteousness He raises up and He is greatly to be praised for He has helped in giving the gift of life to Ya’aqoḇ his allotted inheritance which he increases through our Saviour, יהושע Messiah!

Back to Bemiḏbar/Number 33:

Verse 52 – drive out – destroy – lay waste

Before Yisra’ĕl could take full possession of the Promised Land they had to destroy 7 nations that were greater and mightier than them, as יהוה would deliver them up before Yisra’ĕlYisra’ĕl still had a great part to play in possessing that which יהוה had promised and had given. And this still speaks very clearly to us today in that we too, as children of Yisra’ĕl, grafted in to the covenants of Promise by the Blood of יהושע, have to defeat and destroy these very same nations, spiritually and metaphorically speaking in order for us to enter in to our spiritual position and possession.

We will look more at these 7 nations and what each one means and represents when we get to Deḇarim/Deuteronomy Chapter 7 in the Torah portion commentary for that section; but for now I want to simply highlight some key words used here in verse 52 that show the intensity in which we are to ‘take possession’ by dealing correctly with the ‘Kenaʽanites’ in our lives!

So we need to conquer Kenaʽan in our lives and drive out all the inhabitants – that is we are to drive out these things which may have had residence over our lives, and for some they may in fact still do, and the only way to effectively deal with them is to drive them out. This is not just a ‘one way we could do it’ approach if we do not happen to come up with a better way to do it ourselves, NO – this is the only way – because יהוה has commanded it! Conquering Kenaʽan is not easy and it is not for the fainthearted – as we continue to walk in the Promises of Elohim we must realise that it is a road of battles, battles that we can overcome as יהוה delivers our enemies up before us in order that we may utterly destroy them! As we look intently in to the mirror of the Word we get to see what needs to be dealt with and through His Word He delivers up that which we need to destroy. Yisra’ĕl was not just handed over the Land – they had battles to fight – with sword and shield!

And so too do we today – sword and shield – that is the Word and by faith – in other words – faith in the Word – that is active faith in the Living Word – a faith in Elohim that works and does the good works prepared in advance for us to do – that is to walk in His instructions (Torah) as we ‘work out’ our salvation with fear and trembling, obeying His every Word as we take ground little by little! Yisra’ĕl won battles when they obeyed the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts – יהוה of Hosts is His Name! And so too do we need to obey Him as we walk in יהושע Messiah and tear down strongholds and destroy sin. For this we must not hesitate – do not hesitate to clear out sin in your life! Often some sin is only revealed as you look intently into His Word and by His instructions you recognise that there is sin, which is lawlessness, in your life and so He delivers it up before you in order that YOU destroy it! The bottom line is this “DESTROY OR BE DESTROYED!

We MUST drive out – it is a command! Every bit of sin/lawlessness must be slaughtered – not a single sin is to be tolerated – so from the perspective of Yisra’ĕl here it was an attitude of ‘off with their heads’ and ‘a spear through their hearts’ – they were all to die! Sin is our enemy and it must be killed – יהושע has paid the price for our sin and so in Him we have the ability to destroy that which He has delivered us from and that which through the Word He exposes in our lives. Sin is our enemy and as the Word tells us that sin is lawlessness and therefore – lawless living styles must be destroyed!

Romiyim/Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, 8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.

let us briefly look at the strong words used here in these passages – strong active words:

We see the following words being used:

1 - Drive out – יָרֵשׁ - ‘yaresh Strong’s H3423– which means ‘to dispossess, drive out, expel, disinherit, bring to ruin, destroy’, and can also means ‘to take possession of an inheritance, occupy or seize’. What this in a sense means is that we are to dispossess or disinherit in order to possess and inherit – make sense? We have inherited a whole lot of lies – lies that have caused us to sin and be lawless and so we need to dispossess and disinherit those very lies and take back ground that is rightfully ours as our inheritance in Messiah, aměn!

2 – Destroy –אָבַד – ‘aḇaḏ Strong’s H6– means ‘to perish, destroy, lose, put to death, blot out, do away with, to give up as lost, vanish, be lost or strayed’. What this word means for us is simply this – we need to put to death the deeds of the body as we live by the Spirit. We are to do away with and count it all as lost all those things that we know are not right, or else we may just be destroyed.

3 - Lay waste –שָׁמַד – ‘shamaḏStrong’s H8045– means ‘to be exterminated or destroyed, eradicate, annihilate, decimate, overthrow and get rid of’.

In Verse 53 we see the clear results of all this much needed obedient destroying of the enemy – you shall possess and that is to possess that which He has given. In other words you shall ‘take the gift’. Salvation is a free gift and while it is free and we cannot earn it, we still need to take possession of it by driving out that which does not belong!

יהוה gave Yisra’ĕl the land, yet they still had to fight for what was given to them in order to fully take possession. How we take possession of that which He has freely given us is to fight the good fight of faith – that is a working faith that obeys and follows the instructions (Torah) of Elohim – in other words we work out our salvation with fear and trembling through loving obedience in living a Torah observant life – It is the Torah – The Living Word that is going to help you destroy the enemy before you – and we are to take courage for His Word is sure and His Word is sharper than a double edged sword as it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart and therefore equipping us to stay on the narrow path of life!

In verse 54 we see the instruction on dividing the land by lot, which also shows that we each have a part to play and we each have an inheritance for which we are to labour and journey together for and fight for each other as we help each other in the battles of life!

Verse 55 is very clear – if we do not possess then that which we should have dealt with will become pricks in your eyes and thorns in your side. Now the last thing we want is pricks in our eyes and thorns on our sides – this speaks of the enemy or sin that is not dealt with will become a snare to you, causing your eyesight to be hindered unable to see the Truth as it will become veiled in lies and compromise; and causing you to be hindered in your walk – when there is a thorn in the flesh or in your side then the ability to walk upright is hindered. We are to walk upright and set-apart lives – he who has eyes to see and ears to hear, hear what the Word is saying here!

We are a set-apart people commanded to live set-apart lives and so in doing this we are to be careful about the company we keep!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:1 “Do not envy evil men, nor desire to be with them.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.

CHAPTER 34 - BOUNDARIES

Before entering the Promised Land Mosheh was to command the children of Yisra’ĕl its ‘boundaries’.

The word used for ‘boundaries’ here in verse 2 is  גְּבוּלָה geḇulah – Strong’s H1367 meaning, border, boundary, territory, landmark and is the feminine of גְּבוּל geḇul – Strong’s H1366. Before we go into the Land, יהוה defines our boundaries! We all need ‘boundaries’ and it is a fact that children who have no boundaries are more likely to end up breaking the law and possibly be imprisoned, as a result of their parents not putting boundaries down when they were growing up! Boundaries are good for us and keep us safe! In actual fact ‘boundaries’ that are set by  יהוה show us that He loves us.

What we must take note of here is that this is a - 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’.

When we consider the application of this chapter for us in a practical sense we must recognise that the good boundaries that we have been given is through His commands.

Tehillah/Psalm 16:6 “Boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, a good inheritance is mine.

And if we love Him we shall obey His commands!

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

His boundaries are commanded through Mosheh (The Torah) and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah (The Living Torah)

The Hebrew word used for ‘border’ throughout this chapter is גְּבוּל geḇul – Strong’s H1366, except in:

Verse 3 where the word translated as ‘border’ in the ISR Scriptures 2009 Edition, is פֵּאָה  peah – Strong’s H6285 meaning, side, corner, boundary, edgesand comes from the primitive root word פָּאָה paah – Strong’s H6284 meaning, to cut them into pieces, to cleave to pieces.

There is a great lesson here for us by the use of this word פֵּאָה peah as we can learn from the commands given regarding the corners of lands and the corners or sides of our beards and heads:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:9 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, do not completely reap the corners of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:27 “Do not round the corner of your head, nor destroy the corner of your beard.

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:4-5 “A leader does not defile himself among his people, to profane himself; 5 they do not make any bald place on their heads, and they do not shave the corner of their beard, and they do not make a cutting in their flesh.

In all of the above verses the word used for ‘corner’ is פֵּאָה  peah, and the emphasis in the instruction of the ‘borders’ for the children of Yisra’ĕl being laid down is simply this – DO NOT CUT CORNERS!

We cannot walk in Messiah and ‘cut the corners’ of His commands and try to take shortcuts. Too many today do just that – they take short cuts and are always trying to find a way out of simply being obedient to the clear instructions (Torah) of Elohim, and this we should not do – His commands are our pleasant boundary lines – cut them or overstep them and you make yourself vulnerable for attack and/or discipline!

What we also recognise in this chapter is that these boundaries are significantly smaller to what we see being spoken of in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 47:15-20, as well as the promise given to Aḇram in:

Berěshith/Genesis 15:18 “On the same day יהוה made a covenant with Aḇram, saying, “I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Mitsrayim to the great river, the River Euphrates

From the Nile to the River Euphrates!!!

The inheritance of Bemiḏbar/Numbers 34 is only a portion of the full promise given to Aḇram, and we also take note that the boundaries in Yeḥezqěl speak of what is still to come!

Verse 19-28 – leaders from the 12 tribes

1 - The tribe of Yehuḏah - יְהוּדָה  - Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised

Kalěḇ - כָּלֵב  - Strong’s H3612 – ‘dog

son of Yephunneh - יְפֻנֶּה  - Strong’s H3312 – ‘he will turn and face

2 – The tribe of Shimʽon - שִׁמְעוֹן  - Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard

Shemuʼěl - שְׁמוּאֵל Strong’s H8050 – ‘El as heard/ His name is El

son of Ammihuḏ -  עַמִּיהוּד  - Strong’s H5989 – ‘my kinsman is majesty

3 - The tribe of Binyamin - בִּנְיָמִין  - Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand

Eliḏaḏ  - אֱלִידָד   - Strong’s H419my El has loved

son of Kislon - כִּסְלוֹן  - Strong’s H3692 –  ‘confidence

4 - The tribe of Dan - דָּן  - Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge

Buqqi - בֻּקִּי   - Strong’s H1231 – ‘wasting

son of Yogli - יָגְלִי  - Strong’s H3020 – ‘he is exiled

The tribe of Yosĕph - יוֹסֵף  - Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases

from the tribe of Menashsheh - מְנַשֶּׁה  - Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget

5 -           Ḥanni’ĕl - חַנִּיאֵל  - Strong’s H2592 – ‘favoured of El

son of Ěphoḏ  - אֵפֹד  - Strong’s H641 – ‘a special girdle

6 -           the tribe of Ephrayim - אֶפְרַיִם  - Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful

Qemu’ĕl - קְמוּאֵל  - Strong’s H7055 – ‘raised of El

son of Shiphtan - שִׁפְטָן  - Strong’s H8204 – ‘judicial

7 - The tribe of Zeḇulun - זְבוּלֻן  - Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted

Elitsaphan - אֱלִיצָפָן   - Strong’s H469 – ‘my El has protected

son of Parnaḵ  - פַּרְנָךְ  - Strong’s H6535 – ‘delicate

8 - The tribe of Yissasḵar - יִשָּׂשכָר  - Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense

Palti’ĕl- פַּלְטִיאֵל   - Strong’s H6409 – ‘El delivers

son of Azzan - עַזָּן  - Strong’s H5821 – ‘very strong

9 - The tribe of Ashĕr - אָשֵׁר  - Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one

Aḥihuḏ אֲחִיהוּד  – Strong’s H282 – ‘brother of majesty

son of Shelomi - שְׁלֹמִי  - Strong’s H8015 – ‘peaceful, my peace

10 - The tribe of Naphtali - נַפְתָּלִי  - Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling

Peḏah’ĕl  - פְּדַהְאֵל   - Strong’s H6300 – ‘ransomed by El

son of Ammihuḏ -  עַמִּיהוּד  - Strong’s H5989 – ‘my kinsman is majesty

 

Verse 29 - the chapter ends with a clear mention that these leaders were the ones commanded by יהוה to divide the inheritance and from this we can once again learn that it is יהוה who calls and equips for leadership. These guys were already established leaders within their tribes and you will notice that there were only 10 here as the Tribes of Re’uḇĕn and Gad inherited east of the Yardĕn. What we can also take note of here is that none of them were a son of someone in chapter 1, except for Yehoshua who was the grandson of Elishama!

 

CHAPTER 35 – CITIES FOR THE LĚWITES AND CITIES OF REFUGE

The Lěwites received no inheritance of their own and were allotted cities to dwell in from within the inheritance of each tribe and the land they were to receive was to be a substantial size to be for their cattle, livestock and possessions. Each city with its open land for livestock was to be an area of about 1,78km x 1,78km.

lewite cities

Verse 6

48 cities were to be given to the Lěwites and 6 of those were to be cities of refuge for  a man-slayer to flee to.

Refuge’ here is the Hebrew word מִקְלָט miqlat – Strong’s H4733 meaning, refuge, asylum.

This noun denotes the place of refuge from the ‘revenger of blood’ and is used 20 times in Scriptures, and is always used in connection with the cities appointed to provide asylum for those guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The one who is guilty of murder was to be put to death, while initially those not guilty of homicide could seek asylum at the altar, while those who killed with premeditation should be dragged from the altar and executed:

Shemoth/Exodus 21:12-14 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall certainly be put to death. 13 “But if he did not lie in wait, but Elohim delivered him into his hand, then I shall appoint for you a place where he is to flee. 14 “But when a man acts presumptuously against his neighbour, to kill him by treachery, you are to take him even from My altar to die.

Now that Yisra’ĕl would be settled in the Promised Land, and distance to the altar for those who wanted to seek asylum may have been a problem to ensure their safety in being proven not guilty and so provision is made with these 6 cities that were well within reach for all the Tribes; and so here we see how practical יהוה is and how through this provision His mercy is clearly shown. These cities also picture for us the wonderful work of Messiah.

The one who had fled to one of these cities because he had killed another by mistake or by accident, would be rescued from the hand of the revenger of blood and he would remain in that city until the death of the high priest who had been anointed with oil!

יהושע Messiah is our High Priest and we see a twofold work of Messiah here in that HE is our Refuge to whom we run to and by His death we are ‘released’ from being in danger of the revenger of blood taking vengeance upon us for our sin; and at the same time because He was raised and lives forever, we have a High Priest who intercedes constantly for us and we are therefore required to ‘remain’ in Him forever – for He will never die!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:6 “As He also says in another place, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq

יהושע Messiah, our High Priest was “anointed with oil” as we know that ‘oil’ is symbolic of the Spirit – and on the day that Messiah stood up to read in the congregation He read from Yeshayahu:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn, 3 to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.

Ma’asei/Acts 10:37-38 “You know what word came to be throughout all Yehuḏah, beginning from Galil after the immersion which Yoḥanan proclaimed: 38 how Elohim did anoint יהושע of Natsareth with the Set-apart Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for Elohim was with Him.

 

What we must understand from this Torah portion on the cities of Refuge is that we have Messiah our High Priest in whom we can run to and find safety, and because He lives forever we are ‘bound’ to Him in love forever. If anyone moves out of the ‘boundaries’ (that is the Torah) of Him as representing for us our place of refuge, then they risk the danger of being slain by the revenger of blood.

In one sense we can see that יהושע is both the place of refuge to those who call upon His Name and abide in Him, while He is a revenger of blood that will take vengeance on all who are not found in Him on the Day He returns and treads the winepress in His wrath!!!

Those who claim that the Torah is no longer valid and say that this Torah command has been done away with are in fact nullifying the True protection that is available in Messiah and are wilfully placing themselves outside of the safety of Messiah from being their refuge and will therefore be executed in His wrath.

When we understand more and more how alive the Torah is for us, we clearly see how the boundaries of the Torah are good for us and keep us safe from the coming wrath of Elohim – we must stay in Him or else!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.

Notice it is the ‘righteous’ that run into it and not the unrighteous/lawless!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 61:3 “For You have been my refuge, a strong tower in the face of the enemy.

 

Verse 26-27 makes it clear – when the man-slayer went outside the limits of the city and was killed by the revenger of blood then the revenger of blood was not guilty because the man-slayer should have remained in the city. It comes back to the boundaries and limits that we are to live within – which is the Torah and whenever we go outside of the limitations of the Torah we are as the lawless and the punishment for sin is death. Those who remain in Messiah we know that the second death will have no power over them!!!

 

CHAPTER 36

The daughters of Tselophḥaḏ we have discussed in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:1-11 and here we see that after the boundaries were set, the heads of the fathers of the clans of the children of Gil‘ad, from the tribe of Yosĕph from which the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ were from, came to Mosheh and the rest of the leaders of Yisra’ĕl to ensure that the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ would not lose their inheritance as they were concerned if any of the daughters married into another tribe which would cause them to lose their inheritance to another tribe.

Mosheh then gave the word which יהוה commanded that these daughters were only permitted to marry within their own tribe, and so it was commanded that any daughter possessing an inheritance (who had no brothers) in any tribe of Yisra’ĕl was to become a wife of one of the clans within her father’s tribe so that the inheritance would not change tribes.

This speaks of guarding our heritage and not letting it get lost through the joining together with those who have no part in our inheritance!

This will remind us to not become unequally yoked and cause our inheritance to be in threat of being lost!

As we consider our Wilderness Journey, we are constantly reminded to assess our position and take up our stake and follow Messiah, our High Priest, Strong Refuge and Rock and recognise that His Torah is our boundaries that we are not to cut or overstep and we are to remain in Him at all time and not risk the squandering of our inheritance through unequal yoking with the world and its ways.

The 5 daughters of Tselophḥaḏ did not question the command to not marry outside of their tribe as the will of יהוה was very clear and these 5 daughters is a picture for us how, like the 5 books of the Torah, cannot be mixed with the ways or teachings of others and still be beneficial to their own people. The Torah is pure and must not be mixed, added to or taken from – and this we must guard with our all!

Let us guard the right-rulings and commands which יהוה has commanded us by the hand of Mosheh!

In verse 13 the word for commands is  מִצְוֹתַ‘mitsvot’- and is the plural of the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root צָוָה  tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.

The Hebrew word for ‘right-rulings’ is  מִּשְׁפָּטִים  ‘mishpatim’ which is the plural of מִּשְׁפָּטִ ‘mishpat’ - Strong’s 4941 which means right-ruling or judgement.

These ‘mishpatim’ are the ‘legal procedures’ or ‘firm rulings’ that are non-negotiable – this was how community would be ruled and how any issues that would arise would be dealt with in a prescribed way that is just and fair. These are what we could call the ‘social laws’ that clearly teach us how to get on with each other and how we are to behave and how we are to live according to how we have been created to be in יהושע.

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

Tehillah/Psalm 97:2 “Clouds and darkness all around Him, Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of His throne.

What we see here is that righteousness and right-ruling/justice are  the foundation of His throne – these ‘mishpatim’ and righteousness are the foundation of His Throne – this is How He rightly rules His people. It is of vital importance that we understand the rules which shows us how to live in community; for these right-rulings guide us on how to form community, how to rule community and how we are to practically live together as children of the Most High!

These are the ‘boundaries’ by which you judge the standards of obedient community life and we do not judge our children, one another or anything else outside of these boundaries!

We are on a journey, as sojourners, who have been set free from the enslavement to man-made dogmas and traditions that run contrary to the Torah of Elohim, and be have been given clear instructions to walk in – instructions that will govern the earth in the Millennial Reign of our Master, by a rod of iron – so best we learn well to guard them now and remain in our High Priest – or else we may be visited by the Revenger of Blood.

Shalom!