BERĚSHITH (GENESIS) 12:1 – 17:27 – LEK LEKA – YOU GO

The name of this week’s torah portion is based on the clear instruction that was given to Aḇraham by יהוה!

Go yourself out”, which in the Hebrew is written as לֶךְ־לְךָleḵ leḵa (lech l’cha… with the ‘ch’ sound as in the Scottish ‘loch’). This phrase renders the command “you go” or better put “you walk”, and comes from two root words:

1 – The firstלֶךְ – is from the root הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 which carries the meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life. This is verb is written in the ‘qal active’ tense and therefore renders the meaning, to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively).

2 – The secondלְךָ – comes from the root word   אַתָּה attah – Strong’s H859 which means, you (in the masculine singular form).

The command that Aḇraham is given by יהוה is a very clear one – and that is to get up and leave his land, relatives and father’s house! From this clear command we are able to learn a great deal and see the vital lessons contained in these words that need to be heard clearly today as the call goes out to “Come out of her, My people!

We need to make it very clear that Aḇraham was already at this stage a man who knew יהוה. He did not just one day suddenly hear a random voice telling him to get up and leave, but rather, he knew the voice of יהוה, and this is important for us to see; as so many today claim to hear the voice of the Creator telling them what they must do while they have no relationship with the Creator and do not walk in His ways! What this phrasing could also render is: ‘walking you shall walk’, as it expresses the urgency of walking in line with the instructions of Elohim and how it is through obedience to His Word that will cause and enable us to walk out from lies and traditions of man-made systems of worship.

When we look at the Hebrew word for ‘walk’ in the ancient pictographic script we can gain a better understanding of that which is required from us, as set-apart ones of the Most High who walk, even as He did!

The root word for walk - הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:

kaphlamed hey

Hey – הָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

Lamed - לַ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

Kaph - ךְ:

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

 

When we look at the letters that spell out the root word that for ‘walk’ we are able to see a great declaration:

BEHOLD THE STAFF IN THE PALM!

With the picture of the shepherds staff and the open palm of the hand we are able to see the concept of ‘staff in the palm’ and we take note that a nomad that travelled on foot would have a staff in his hand in order to provide proper support in walking, as well as having a weapon in his hand to defend against predators and thieves!

The call here to ‘walk and come out’ is a call that does come at a price! It is a call that calls for you to come out and leave what you know and who you know, even close family! Leaving the land can picture for us the ability of hearing the call to come out of the ‘man-made system’ of worship that has been rooted in pagan traditions and then leaving relatives and family is a clear picture of leaving those people who were your ‘brothers and sisters’, so to speak, within the ‘system’; and of course more often than not, we see how family ties are often cut through the proper heeding of the call to obedience, as the majority of the remnant few who actually heed the call to come out of the falsified and twisted church system end up ‘losing’ the close relationship they once had with their family and friends.

Aḇraham was not only told to leave, but he was told to leave “all”, in order to go to that which יהוה would show him. Leaving is certainly a huge part of the call to obedience yet many do not recognise where they are to ‘go’ to next and so end up forsaking all worship or end up falling into another man-driven system of worship of rabbinical insights that they feel are necessary to understand Elohim – which too is part of the lies and traditions of man that are false.

We are to get up and leave the false ways of traditional man-made worship in order to ‘follow’ the Truth; and the land which יהוה speaks of is the Land He promised and pictures for us the Land where His Kingdom rules apply. In other words we are to get out of the governance of false traditions and lies in order to step into the Kingdom of Messiah as we submit and surrender ourselves to walking according to His Torah (instructions)!!!

The Besorah is all about the Kingdom of Messiah, which He came to proclaim and call us into, as by His coming in the flesh as the Light of the world, He called us out of darkness into His marvellous light!

This will and does cost – and our Master יהושע Messiah tells us in:

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

Get yourself walking away!” is another way of understanding what Aḇraham was called to do, as he could not get to where he was called to if he did not leave where he was! Therefore in order to get somewhere you have to leave from somewhere, yet the purpose is what we are headed for and not what we are leaving behind! According to the writings in the Book of Yasher we are told that Aḇraham’s father, Terah, was an idol maker, and Aḇraham had destroyed his father’s household idols before leaving, and challenges his father by saying that if the idols were real then they would have been able to save and repair themselves and so exposed the futility of his father’s idols worship! We are also told in the book of Yasher that from age 10 to 50 Aḇraham sat under the teachings of Noaḥ and Shem:

BOOK OF YASHER Chapter 9:5-6a “5 And when Aḇram came out from the cave, he went to Noaḥ and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of YAHWEH and his ways, and no man knew where Aḇram was, and Aḇram served Noaḥ and Shem his son for a long time. 6 And Aḇram was in Noaḥ's house thirty-nine years, and Aḇram knew YAHWEH from three years old, and he went in the ways of YAHWEH until the day of his death, as Noaḥ and his son Shem had taught him…

And so from these writings we are able to further understand how Aḇraham could respond with true faithful obedience to the Word of Elohim, as he was a man who knew Elohim and guarded His commands, and now it was time to get out from under the influence of idol worship under the reign of Nimroḏ and enter into the True and clear promises of Elohim and walk in His reign!

The call is the same for us today – get out of the Nimroḏ worship system of paganised sun-worship and step into the reign and Kingdom rules of Messiah, our Saviour, Master and King!

A Hebrew is one who ‘crosses over’ and this always comes at a price and is risky at first sight as one does not always know what is on the other side; and the Hebraic mind-set is one of recognising that knowing and understanding comes in the listening, obeying and doing of the instructions of Elohim – HEAR – GUARD – DO!

When first coming out of a sun-worship system of worship and the keeping of false pagan rooted feasts, one does not always fully understand what the Sabbath of יהוה is all about or what His Feasts are all about, or what it means to dwell in tents for 7 days means until you actually ‘do’ it – for therein lies the ‘knowing’ – as one applies the obedient action of ‘doing’ what is commanded by faith, which is the active expression of loving obedience in following the clear instructions as given us in His Torah.

Aḇraham was not told the full details of what he was walking toward, yet he was told what to leave – and we also see this pattern being established for us too; as we can learn from Ma’asei/Acts 15 where the nations who were turning to the Torah and entering into the Covenants of Promise by the Blood of Messiah were clearly told what to stop immediately and then instructed to go every Sabbath to where Mosheh is read. In other words they were told to stop pagan rooted forms of worship immediately and then each week they were instructed to go every Sabbath and hear the Torah, for this is how they would learn to walk in Truth and have all lies stripped away in the process of hearing, guarding and doing the commands of Elohim!

When leaving behind the inherited lies of our father’s through twisted traditions that are rooted in pagan worship we must realise that we have a destination – the Kingdom of יהוה; and what we often find today is that there are many that acknowledge and recognise that they need to get out of the ‘church’ system, yet fail to see their need to follow the plain Truth of Scripture and therefore many often fall into the trap of seeking an ‘interpretation’ of the Scriptures instead of simply obeying the Scriptures as it is written, and by doing so many who leave the traditions of Christianity behind find themselves trapped in the mystical deception of Rabbinical Judaism which is just as poisonous as the inherited system of lies from which they came out of!

We are to walk in the Truth, seek the Truth and simply obey the Truth and allow His Spirit to bring the clear understanding in our doing of His commands! What was credited to Abraham as righteousness was his obedience to the instructions of Elohim, even when it cost him his land, friends and family!!!

Verse 2

Obedience brings the blessing and here we see a powerful promise given to Aḇraham in that יהוה would make his name great and cause him to be a blessing! In total contrast to the tower of Baḇel where men tried to make their own name great and got scattered, here יהוה gives Aḇraham the assurance of establishing him and his seed as a people as a result of obedience!

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:6-9 “Even so Aḇraham “did believe Elohim, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness.” 7 Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Aḇraham. 8 And the Scripture, having foreseen that Elohim would declare right the nations by belief, announced the Good News to Aḇraham beforehand, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you,” 9 so that those who are of belief are blessed with Aḇraham, the believer.

The Greek word used here in verse 6 for ‘believed’ is πιστεύω pisteuō – Strong’s G4100 which is a verb that means, to trust, to be committed to, be entrusted with, be persuaded and placed confidence in to do, and comes from the root noun πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth which in turn comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon. When looking at these root terms it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to believe’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow. Aḇraham did exactly that – he trusted in and had total confidence in the Word of Elohim and obeyed it, even while it cost him his land, relatives and close family!

Scripture continually presents to us the clear choice of worship – either we, as Aḇraham, ‘believe’ and ‘do’ all the commands of Elohim in whom we put our trust and therefore realise that we shall be blessed by our Creator, Redeemer and King; or we follow a man-driven system of Nimroḏ rooted worship that will only lead to destruction, despite the seeming short term success in the flesh! Baḇel or Yerushalayim is the clear choice – are you trying to build your own way or are you listening to the instructions of the Master Builder and following His commands?

As we walk in the commands we shall be a blessing to many – for we will be bringing them the blessed Besorah (Good News).

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:13-14 “Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, having become a curse for us – for it has been written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree.” 14 in order that the blessing of Aḇraham might come upon the nations in Messiah יהושע, to receive the promise of the Spirit through belief.

“The curse of the Torah” is DEATH!!! That is what Messiah redeemed us from – not the Torah itself, but the curse (singular) of the Torah – in order that we may be a blessing as the blessing of Aḇraham comes upon us as we receive the Spirit of Truth through ‘belief’, which is an active and obedient expression of our reliance and trust in our Creator and Redeemer as marked by our guarding of His commands, and by the guarding of the commands we are seen as sons of Aḇraham!

Verse 3

The promise goes further than just those who receive the blessing for obedience as יהוה promises to bless those who bless Aḇram; while He also says that those who despise him יהוה would curse!!!

The root word used for the one who ‘curses’ you is קָלַל  qalal – Strong’s H7043 which means, to be light, swift, trifling, cursed, despised and pictures those who would despise Aḇram for walking in the Torah would be ‘cursed’ which is the primitive root word אָרַר arar – Strong’s H779 which means, to curse’. The root word for ‘blessed’ is  בָּרַךְ  bara – Strong’s H1288 which means, to kneel, bless, abundantly blessand literally carries the meaning, to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.

What is being set before us is the following: either the abundant blessing and shalom of יהוה or the absence or reversal thereof!!!

This promise to Aḇram is significant in the great protection and provision of Elohim, toward Aḇram and his descendants forever! This word that יהוה said that He would curse those who cursed Aḇraham, goes further than simply cursing him, as it emphasises that those who actually despise Aḇram shall be cursed. Now to despise someone may not necessarily be evident in a physical cursing, but is clear in the disregard for the respect that needs to be shown! We see this word קָלַל qalal in the following verse and translated as ‘despised’:

Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:30 “Therefore יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl declares, ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now יהוה declares, ‘Far be it from Me, for those who highly esteem Me I highly esteem, and those who despise Me are lightly esteemed.

The word ‘despised’ is explained in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as: to look down on with contempt or aversion; to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful, and herein lies a very severe warning to those who regard the Torah as negligible, worthless or distasteful, and treat with contempt the Name of יהוה.

In Hebrew there is also another word that is translated as ‘despised’ which helps us better understand the severe warning of taking the Name of יהוה lightly, and is seen in the following verse:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:5 “And now, what have I here,” declares יהוה, “that My people are taken away for naught? Those who rule over them make them wail,” declares יהוה, “and My Name is despised all day continually.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘despised’ in this verse is נָאַץ na‘ats – Strong’s H5006 and means, to spurn, treat with contempt, blaspheme, scorn, and it is used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 10:13 “Why do the wrong scorn Elohim? He has said in his heart, “It is not required.

Those who disregard the commands of Elohim, blaspheme Him – especially when they say regarding the Torah, ‘it is not required’!

Another very well-known verse in which we find another Hebrew word that is translated as ‘despised’ is seen in:

Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:6 “A son esteems his father, and a servant his master. And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? said יהוה of hosts to you priests who despise My Name. But you asked, ‘In what way have we despised Your Name?’

The Hebrew root word used twice for ‘despised’ in this above verse is בָּזָה bazah – Strong’s H959 which means, to despise, despicable, contempt, careless, to be vile, worthless.

The reason I am sharing these various words here is so that we can, in our English understanding, get a clearer message as to what it truly means to despise Elohim, His Name and His Covenant that He made with our father, Aḇraham!

In the Hebrew language there are well over double the amount of words in the English language and hence the reason that we find various words being translated from Hebrew into the same English word, and this further emphasises for us the fuller understanding of what the Hebrew text is teaching us, on a deeper and more meaningful level!

In the above verse from Mal’aḵi/Malachi the answer to the question of how they were despising the Name of יהוה is given in the next verse:

Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:7 “You are presenting defiled food on My altar. But you asked, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ Because you say, ‘The table of יהוה is despicable.’

This rebuke of how they were presenting defiled food and calling the table of יהוה despicable, is a clear rebuke as to how they were despising the Feasts of יהוה, and contaminating their worship through a corrupt mix of pagan rooted sun-worship practices that had caused their festivals to become defiled and unclean before the eyes of Elohim, as they showed no regard for the true Table of יהוה. In today’s terms we can see this vivid display of many who say the table of יהוה is despicable, simply by their refusal to keep the Feast of Pěsaḥ/Passover and Matzot/Unleavened Bread, while they continue in bringing defiled and abominable worship in the form of the pagan feast of Easter/Ishtar. Many claim that they are worshipping Elohim when they observe falsified sun-worship feasts, and ‘present defiled food’ so to speak as they eat yeast products during a feast where no leaven is commanded!!! Hot cross buns and all the Easter eggs are defiled food, and when confronted about this, most Christians will refuse to hear the truth and call the True Feast of Pěsaḥ/Passover and 7 days of Unleavened Bread/Matzot despicable, which is also from the root word בָּזָה bazah!

In this clear message give to Aḇram in verse 3, we are given the picture of the dangers of ‘despising’ the Name of our Heavenly Father, יהוה of Hosts, along with the dangers of defiling the set-apart worship that we are called to live, and the danger of any compromise that may express, through defiled actions, that the table of יהוה is rendered despicable!!!

Anyone who defiles or despises the Name of יהוה, as well as anyone who despises His Feasts, shall be cursed by יהוה. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 27 & 28 lay out a very clear list of ‘curses’ that will come upon as a result of disobedience!

In recognising Aḇram as the father of our faith in יהוה, we are also reminded of the words of Messiah, who called the hypocritical Pharisees, who claimed to be sons of Aḇraham, sons of the devil:

Yoḥanan/John 8:39 “They answered and said to Him, “Aḇraham is our father.” יהושע said to them, “If you were Aḇraham’s children, you would do the works of Aḇraham.

So many claim to be the children of Aḇraham today, yet their wicked works, and continual ‘despising’ of the needed obedience of walking according to the Torah, simply reveal that they are not:

Yoḥanan/John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you wish to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Therefore the warning is very clear for us today – to ‘despiseAḇram is to despise the loving-commitment of walking in the righteousness of the Torah and obeying all that יהוה has commanded us, His children!

Cursed or blessed?

The promise given to Aḇraham by יהוה was that He would ‘bless those who bless Aḇraham’! We ‘bless Aḇraham’ by walking as he walked and therefore walk in obedience to the commands of Elohim and we know from Scripture that יהוה blesses the righteous and protects them from harm and any curse that the enemy may try to bring against the righteous:

Tehillah/Psalm 5:12 “For You bless the righteous, O יהוה; You surround him with favour as with a shield.

In this powerful melody of praise unto Elohim, Dawiḏ knew that he could boldly come to the throne of Elohim and seek favour in his time of distress, with the full assurance that his prayers would be heard; and that through his diligent seeking of, and loving, יהוה with all his heart that he would experience the true blessing and protection of Elohim, for:

יהוה BLESSES THE RIGHTEOUS AND SURROUNDS THEM WITH FAVOUR!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘You bless’ is comes from the root word בָּרַךְ  baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, to abundantly bless and literally carries the meaning, to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect.

The ancient script has the Hebrew word for blessבָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 pictured as:

 kaphreshbeit

Beyt בָּ:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

 

Resh – רַ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as resh, which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.

 

Kaph – ךְ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as – kaph – which is a picture of an open palm of a hand and can symbolise that to which submission is given – ‘under the hand

From the pictographic rendering of this word we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us –

The House/Assembly of Elohim is blessed as the Head/Chief, comes down and extends His open and revealed hand to His own!

Our Mighty Master and Elohim came down to bless us and redeem us from all lawlessness! That is more than enough reason for us to respond positively to the call to rejoice, shout for joy and exult in יהושע Messiah, our Master, Elohim, Saviour and King!

יהוה BLESSES THE RIGHTEOUS AND SURROUNDS THEM WITH FAVOUR!

As we carefully consider this Truth and meditate on this very powerful prayer of protection that was done with the playing of flutes, let us do our utmost to be found to be diligently guarding righteousness at all times!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:20So walk in the way of goodness, and guard the paths of righteousness.

Tehillah/Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are those who guard right-ruling, who do righteousness at all times!

Verse 4

Aḇram was 75 years old when he left Ḥaran! This is a powerful example for us to show that no one is too old to change!

Aḇraham did not use any excuses or try to give any reason why he could not go at the command of Elohim, even though he did not even know where he was going to!!!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:8 “By belief, Aḇraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he was about to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

The Greek word used here for ‘obeyed’ is ὑπακούω hupakouō – Strong’s G5219 which means, to listen, attend to, to submit to, to heed and obey and is made up of two words:

1 - ὑπό  hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to.

2 - ἀκούω  akouō – Strong’s G191 which means, hearing, to hear, listen, give heed, understand, attend to, consider what is being said.

Clearly we can see here that Aḇram was ‘under’ or ‘in subjection to’ making himself available to ‘hear, and listen carefully and consider’ the instructions of Elohim and then do what he heard, showing that he in fact was in subjection to the ‘commands’ of Elohim! He was not just a hearer, but a doer of the Word!!!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-25 “Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

Aḇram left Ḥaran! The word Ḥaran in Hebrew - חָרָן - Strong’s H2771 means, mountaineer, or crossroads and what we can learn from this is that Aḇram stood at a ‘crossroad’ in his life where he had to choose to listen and obey the Word of יהוה or be stuck in his ways and refuse to move and rather hold on to tradition and family that refuses to budge! He made the choice of listening to and obeying the Word of יהוה as commanded and as a result he would at a good age of 75 get up and leave all he had known behind for the sake of trusting in and obeying the Creator! The ‘father of our faith’ was a doer of the Word and so too should we be – no matter our age or circumstances. The fact that we are discovering the Truth places us at a crossroads where a clear choice must take place to follow The Word of Elohim as we walk ‘in’ Messiah and realise that we are to hear, guard and do all His commands and be ‘in subjection to’ His clear Torah that lights our path!

Aḇram left and Lot went with him! It appears that Lot followed by choice rather than being commanded to leave – he chose to follow Aḇraham and the name of Lot  - לוֹט  - Strong’s H3876 means, covering which tells us that he recognised the True covering and protection of Elohim by following the one who would be blessed by Elohim!

Verse 6

Aḇraham set out and came to the “terebinth tree of Moreh” – אֵלוֹן מוֹרֶה – ‘elon moreh’. The word translated as ‘terebinth’ is אֵלוֹן eylon – Strong’s H436 which means, terebinth, oak, mighty, which is prolonged from אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram.

The other word that is translated as ‘terebinth’ 13 times is אֵלָה eylah – Strong’s H424 which also means, terebinth, oak and is the feminine of אַיִל ayil, and is also often translated as ‘oak’ and is a tree of the cashew family that yields turpentine. While some may debate whether these words mean, terebinth or oak, what we recognise from Scripture is that these Hebrew words give clear reference to a very strong and very durable tree, which has a sturdy structure as well as an extensive root system that enables the tree to remain green, even during a drought! This strong tree is known to grow up to 12m high and due to its root system can sprout up from a stump after having been cut down.

The first reference to a terebinth tree in Scripture is here in Berěshith/Genesis 12:6. This was where יהוה appeared to Aḇram! יהוה physically made Himself visible to Aḇram at this terebinth tree, which was at ‘Moreh’ - מוֹרֶה Moreh – Strong’s H4176 means, teacher, and it was here at this Mighty Tree that Aḇram met His Teacher:

Iyoḇ/Job 36:22 “See, Ěl is exalted by His power; who is a Teacher like Him?

The terebinth tree was known for its good shade and it is under this tree that he stopped and in one sense this is where he met with his Mighty Teacher as he found shade under the pressing heat of his journey in a land filled with Kenaʽanites:

Tehillah/Psalm 121:5 “יהוה is your guard; יהוה is your shade at your right hand.

 

The term ‘Moreh’ is used 3 times in Scripture; the other times we see this word being used is when Mosheh was  giving reference to Yisra’ĕl of this very location where Aḇram had met יהוה, as a marker of where they would proclaim the blessing and curses on Mount Gerizim and Ěyḇal, when they had crossed the Yardĕn! (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:30). This also can remind us that we, who have ‘crossed over’, and understand the clear blessings and curses of Scripture will keep our eyes on our Good Teacher and Master, יהושע Messiah:

Yoḥanan/John 13:13 “You call me Teacher and Master, and you say well, for I am.

The 3rd time we see this word מוֹרֶה Moreh being used is in Shophetim/Judges 7:1, when Giḏ’on was encamped at the

fountain of Ḥaroḏ, while Miḏyan was on the north of them, by the hill of Moreh. Ḥaroḏ comes from the root word חָרַד ḥarad – Strong’s H2729 which means, trembling, to be terrified, frightened, afraid. This in itself carries a great encouragement for us, especially when we understand the full story of Giḏ’on, who overcame huge terrifying obstacles and frightening enemies, as he fixed his eyes and trust on יהוה.

Here we recognise that in the face of danger and terrifying circumstances, which in Scripture is often represented as coming from the north, we are able to face the battles and struggles as long as we have the hill of Moreh in our sights – meaning that we have our eyes on our Mighty Teacher and His clear instructions that gives us confidence and faith to stand and fight the good fight of faith!

We have a Teacher of Righteousness – and as good, faithful students we must take careful heed to hear, guard and do all He teaches us through His Word – then we will be equipped to face the tough battles in life!

The second place we see a reference being made to a ‘terebinth tree’ is at מַמְרֵא Mamrĕ – Strong’s H4471 which means, strength or fatness’. This word is used 10 times and was the location where Aḇram moved to and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, which was in Ḥeḇron, and it was here that he also built an altar to יהוה. Mamrĕ was an Ammonite who had made a covenant with Aḇram. It was here that we see in Berěshith/Genesis 18:1 that יהוה once again physically made Himself visible and appeared to Aḇraham. Aḇraham was ‘sitting’ at the ‘tent door’ of his tent  by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ; and the root word used for ‘sitting’ is יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 meaning, sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still and a modern word derived from this word, which is translated as ‘school’, is ‘yeshiva’. And ‘sitting/ dwelling’ in the Hebraic mind-set is an idiom for learning; and it is at the Master’s Feet that we come and sit and drink of His Pure and Clear Living Water and get great clarity and insight and strength to sojourn with joy! The idea of sitting in the Hebrew mind-set is to learn, and not to simply sit and vegetate, but rather sit and pay attention to the instructions of their teacher. Aḇraham is clearly pictured for us as a great example of a man who meditated on the Word day and night and was so focused on the Master יהוה, making himself readily available for יהוה to make Himself visible to His faithful servant and friend! It was here that Aḇraham ate a meal with יהוה and two Messengers, just before judgement over Seḏom and Amorah was passed and delivered!

This location also gives us great insight in understanding our need to be attentive students of our Mighty Teacher, יהושע Messiah, and love to come together on His Sabbaths, in order to sit and learn and be strengthened in His Word that leads us in righteousness, and enjoy the fellowship of a good meal too! It is when we gather, as diligent talmidim, that He makes Himself visible to us through His Word and strengthens us as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of who He is.

This was also the place where Yitsḥaq dwelt, when Ya’aqoḇ came to him before he died at 180 years of age. (Berěshith/Genesis 35:27-28)

Moreh = Teacher and Mamrĕ = Strength – for it is as we submit to our Good Teacher and fix our eyes on Him and submit to hearing, guarding and doing His Word, that we are equipped to stand and fight, as His joy strengthens us and renews us!

The third location that we see in Scripture being ‘marked’ by a ‘terebinth tree’ is צַעֲנַנִּים Tsa’ananniym – Strong’s H6815 which means, removings, and is the plural of the word צָעַן tsa’an – Strong’s H6813 which means, to wander, travel, taken down.

It is in Yehoshua/Joshua 19:33 where we are told that this place formed part of the borders of Naphtali - נַפְתָּלִי - Strong’s H5321 – whose name means, wrestling’. This place is also used in Shophetim/Judges 4:11 where Ḥeḇer, of the children of the father-in-law of Mosheh, had come to after separating himself from the Qĕynites, before Baraq and Deḇorah went up and destroyed Sisera. This terebinth at צַעֲנַנִּים Tsa’ananniym was beside קֶדֶשׁ Qeḏesh – Strong’s H6843 which means, set-apart place. What we can learn from this terebinth tree location is that, we who have been called out of darkness and are a set-apart people of Elohim, will recognise how we have all wrestled with the removal of our old ways, and all the vain inherited traditions and lies. Therefore, as we live set-apart lives, we must remove all falsehood and compromise, in order to truly live set-apart lives unto our Mighty Teacher and Master!

The 4th place we find a terebinth tree being mentioned as a key marker or location is at שְׁכֶם Sheḵem – Strong’s H7927 which means, back or shoulder. It was here at Sheḵem that Ya’aqoḇ dug a well – the well where יהושע met the Shomeroni woman and so opened the door for the return of the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl!

It was also here at the terebinth at Sheḵem that the masters of Sheḵem set up Aḇimeleḵ, the son of Giḏ’on, as their king, after he had killed his 70 brothers! (Shophetim/Judges 9:6).

It was also here at Sheḵem that Ya’aqob buried the idols under the terebinth tree. A very eventful place indeed! One that typically presents to us the clear choice of who we will serve and follow! יהושע Messiah is our Master, Teacher and King and the rule is on His shoulders, yet Sheḵem teaches us that there is always a false system and rule that many sadly choose to follow. After Aḇimeleḵ was set up as king of Sheḵem, Yotham went and proclaimed a clear parable of trees from Mount Gerizim as a witness against the leaders at Sheḵem. Aḇimeleḵ ruled Yisra’ĕl for 3 years, after which he was killed when a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and crushed his skull. He then asked his armour bearer to kill him, lest it would be said a woman killed him – and so Elohim repaid Aḇimeleḵ for the evil of killing the 70 sons of Giḏ’on. Why I am sharing this with you is simply to show how the enemy will certainly have a way of getting many to follow him, and with the 70 sons of Giḏ’on being killed by him, we are given a picture of how the enemy has done his utmost to defile the nations, yet shall be destroyed at the end.

70 is a significant number in representing the fullness of the nations, as we are reminded that generations of Noaḥ’s sons, after the flood, were 70 in number; and we are also reminded how it was 70 elders who ate a meal on Mount Sinai with יהוה when the Covenant was given to the chosen and called out nation, who were to be a light to the nations. יהושע Messiah also sent out the 70 taught ones, two by two, ahead of Him into every city and place where He was about to go, so that they would ‘prepare the way’ as they went to go and proclaim the Besorah of His Kingdom, which is another picture of how we as faithful talmidim and pure trees of righteousness, are called to go and prepare the way for His soon return, and proclaim the Besorah of His Kingdom!

We must choose to follow the Righteous King, by guarding His Word and bearing each other’s burdens on our shoulders, and so fulfil the Torah!

There was another ‘terebinth tree’ in Sheḵem that is mentioned in Shophetim/Judges 9:37, and was a place where witchcraft was performed and sought after. In the Scriptures we are told that the people were coming from the ‘Diviners terebinth tree’. The Hebrew word for ‘diviners’ is מְעוֹנְנִים –‘meon’niym’ – which is the plural of the word עָנַן anan – H6049 meaning ‘fortune telling, soothsaying, magicians, practising witchcraft’ as well as ‘to make something appear or to cloud over and act covertly and observe times of witchcraft’.

This is a lesson for us that we are to not allow any form of witchcraft or magic in our lives, for as we live in the world we are not of the world and must not follow after the world’s ways, as this has not been appointed for us:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:13-14 “Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim, 14 for these nations whom you are possessing do listen to those using magic and to diviners. But as for you, יהוה your Elohim has not appointed such for you.

Miḵah/Micah 5:12 “And I shall cut off witchcrafts out of your hand, and let you have no magicians.

The 5th site I want to highlight for you in terms of the location of a terebinth tree being mentioned is at Ophrah:

Shophetim/Judges 6:11 “And the Messenger of יהוה came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Yo’ash the Aḇiʽezerite, while his son Giḏ’on threshed wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the eyes of the Miḏyanites.

גִּדְעוֹן Giḏ’on – Strong’s H1439 means, hewer, one who chops down, and he certainly was a very courageous man who chopped down and destroyed the abominable Asherah pole and  altar of Ba’al that his father had.

It was here at the terebinth tree in Ophrah, where Giḏ’on lived, that the Messenger of יהוה appeared to Giḏ’on and called him a mighty brave one. Giḏ’on, of course, engaged in a discussion with the Messenger of יהוה, and discussed his doubts and fears, and challenged Him by asking that if יהוה was with them, then why were bad things happening to them, as they had been suffering under the oppression of the Miḏyanites. Giḏ’on is told to go in his strength, for he would save Yisra’ĕl, and he responds with the fact that he was just a small guy from Menashsheh, and was the least in his father’s house. With these physical facts, in his own eyes, of him being the smallest in his father’s house, he asked the Messenger of יהוה how he was to or with what he would save Yisra’ĕl – and the answer was very simple and yet very clear – He would do so because יהוה was with him!!! Because יהוה was with him he would destroy the Miḏyanites, as one man! This is a very practical truth we all need to hear amidst the most daunting circumstances in our lives!!! If יהוה is with us, then we have the full assurance of walking in victory! Giḏ’on still finding this a little hard to take in, he asks for a sign and then proceeds to prepare an offering for יהוה. Giḏ’on was told to put the meat and bread on the rock and pour out the broth, which he did, and the Messenger of יהוה touched the meat and unleavened bread with His staff and fire went up from out of the rock and consumed the offering, and the Messenger of יהוה went from his sight. In total awe of having seen the Messenger of יהוה face to face, he feared that he would die, and he was told to take courage for he would not die; and then Giḏ’on built an altar there and called it יהוה Shalom. This was certainly a mighty event that took place under a terebinth tree! We can see great picture of Pěsaḥ being given here, through the offering that he prepared and set on the rock, and we are also able to see how we too can be filled with the Shalom of יהוה, as He lifts His face up to us and gives us His Shalom when we prepare our hearts to seek Him and walk in His clear word, accepting His work of redemption and guard to keep his Appointed Times as instructed. The Shalom of יהוה enables us to stand firm in the face of great dangers, as we offer up our lives as a daily living sacrifice and give Him our all – for then we too would be strong and courageous to chop down those things that are abominable in יהוה’s eyes – and have the courage to tear down the lies and vain traditions of our fathers!

 

The 6th location of a terebinth tree that I want to mention is at תָּבוֹר Taor – Strong’s H8396 which means, mound.

Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 10:3 “And you shall pass on from there, and beyond, and shall come to the terebinth tree of Taor. And three men going up to Elohim at Bĕyth Ěl shall find you there, one bearing three young goats, another bearing three loaves of bread, and another bearing a skin of wine.

After having anointed Sha’ul as king, Shemuʼĕl told Sha’ul that he would be met at the terebinth tree by three men who were on their way to Bĕyth Ĕl, and he was to receive from them 3 goats, 3 loaves of bread and wine – which is another picture of the cycles of the Feasts of יהוה, that confirms our calling and identity in our True King! This was a confirmation of the prophesy of Shemuʼěl to Sha’ul, and it was after this event that Sha’ul received the Spirit of Elohim. Later we know that the Spirit departed from Sha’ul because of his rebellion and disobedience. This location can therefore clearly picture for us the vital need for us to be guarding the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה, lest we find ourselves without His Spirit dwelling in us! With the 3 men having 3 goats, 3 loaves of bread and a skin if wine, we are quickly reminded how the metaphoric picture behind these 3 men and their gifts of provision point us toward the ‘3 times a year’ every male was to go up to Yerushalayim and perform the Festivals of יהוה! This reminds us how important it is for us, in guarding the sure promise of the hope we have in Messiah, that we are to keep His Feasts with joy! The location of this terebinth tree also gives us the assurance of the providence of יהוה and the urgency with which we must guard His Appointed Times and not take our set-apart calling for granted.

In Scripture we also are told that Aḇshalom’s head got caught in a great terebinth tree, and Yo’aḇ thrust 3 spears through his heart while he was still hanging alive in the terebinth tree (Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 18)

We are also told of the young prophet who had gone and delivered a strong message of rebuke to Yaroḇ’am, and then went on his way as instructed by Elohim. He stopped off and rested under a terebinth tree on his way home, where he was enticed into breaking the clear instructions of Elohim, through the trickery of twisted words of a false prophet, which ultimately got him to be mauled by a lion! (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 13) – For more on this event please see the notes of a message called, “A KING, 2 PROPHETS, A LION AND A DONKEY!”  which can be found on our website (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2013/2014’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2013-2014/506-a-king-2-prophets-a-lion-and-a-donkey-1-kings-13

What we can learn from this Terebinth tree is that we must be sober and alert, for the enemy is like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour! This young prophet was tired and weary and had stopped to rest under a terebinth tree; and here we can be cautioned in regards to our ‘resting’ in our Master!  When we are tired and weary, that is when we need to be on the highest alert, and not neglect our ‘entering into the true rest of our Master’, as we do not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones as some are in the habit of doing, due to weariness and tiredness! When we are tired and weary we must do our utmost to be gathering, lest we find ourselves being led astray in a moment of weakness!

We are called to be set-apart and planted as tree of righteousness whose leaves do not fade when the heat comes. When compromise and disobedience creeps in, the tree begins to fade as the fruit of righteousness begins to becomes less and less, until there is not fruit – and this was the rebuke given to a rebellious Yisra’ĕl in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:30 “For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water.

Compromise and any form of idol worship will cause the source of your strength to fade and be proven wrong when the heat comes! The sad tragedy is that for so many who do not realise that they are fading because the heat has not come, will find that when the heat comes, it will be too late to repent!

יהוה does give us assurance of a faithful remnant that shall return like a terebinth that has been cut down, with only a stump that remains – for the set-apart seed is its stump – and Messiah has restored life to the root!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:13 “But still, there is a tenth part in it, and it shall again be for a burning, like a terebinth tree and like an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. The set-apart seed is its stump!

 

Trees were often places of significance to the ways and practices of the abominable worship rites of the nations and יהוה makes it clear that all idol worship will be destroyed! Today the world worships the Christmas tree – and this too will be destroyed:

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 6:13 “And you shall know that I am יהוה, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols.

Sadly we find that many find comfort in the ‘shade’ of their false trees, and in the process are simply whoring after idols:

Hoshěa/Hosea 4:13 “They slaughter on the mountaintops, and burn incense on the hills, under oak and poplars and terebinth, because its shade is good. Therefore your daughters commit whoring, and your brides commit adultery.

While we recognise some very significant events that take place under or around a terebinth tree, we also recognise that there is also the clear danger of following after strange mighty ones, which are not mighty ones at all, yet through traditions and lies, have caused many to seek their refuge, strength and shelter under the trees of falsehood, as they are rooted in nothing more than shallow dogmas of man, that will prove false when the heat of the wrath of יהוה comes!

When the fire of His wrath does come, those who are truly planted in יהושע Messiah and remain in Him, will find their continued strength from Him and their leaves and covering will not fade when His heat comes upon the sons of disobedience!

 

Verse 7

יהוהappeared” to Aḇram! The word used here for ‘and He appeared’ is וַיֵּרָא – ‘vayyerah’ and comes from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 – Strong’s H7200 meaning, to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide.

This verb is written in the ‘niphal passive’ tense and therefore is understood as rendering, to appear, present oneself, to be seen, to be visible. What is very important for us to understand here is that יהוה literally ‘made himself visible’ to Aḇram! This is a great picture for us as we recognise this event taking place at the terebinth tree of Moreh – ‘the Mighty Teacher’ and it is here that the Good Teacher appears to Aḇram!

In the ancient script this word also reveals a great truth to us as רָאָה ra’ah is pictured as

heyalephresh

Resh - רָ

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

Aleph אָ

The ancient script has this letter as aleph and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’ representing strength and power

Hey - ה

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.

To see and be functional in seeing as we should can render the following meaning for us:

The beginning of our strength is in the revelation of Messiah our Head, who we praise and serve with our all

After washing His disciple’s feet our Master יהושע Messiah tells us in:

Yoḥanan/John 13:13 “You call me Teacher and Master, and you say well, for I am.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:8 “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brothers.

Iyoḇ/Job 36:22 “See, Ěl is exalted by His power; who is a Teacher like Him?

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:20 “Though יהוה gave you bread of adversity and water of affliction, your Teacher shall no longer be hidden. But your eyes shall see your Teacher.

What is very clear here is that  יהוה, the Mighty Teacher, appeared to Aḇram and made Himself visible, which means that Aḇram met with יהוה face to face; and while there are many who dispute this we must acknowledge and recognise that it was יהושע Messiah, our Elohim, who appeared to Aḇram! יהושע Messiah is the Master and Teacher – He is יהוה in bodily form (the very outstretched ARM and RIGHT HAND of יהוה)!!!

When יהוה made Himself visible and spoke to Aḇram He showed Him the land that his seed would receive and we therefore can understand the great dispute and anger the Pharisees had with Messiah when יהושע Messiah told them that whoever guards His Word shall never taste death at all. At this the Yehuḏim were furious and they said that Messiah had a demon and asked יהושע who He thought He was and did He think that He was greater than Aḇraham or the prophets who had already died and He then said to them in:

Yoḥanan/John 8:56-58 “Your father Aḇraham was glad that he should see My day, and he saw it and did rejoice.” 57 The Yehuḏim, therefore, said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Aḇraham?” 58 יהושע said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Aḇraham came to be, I am.”

This statement angered them so much that they picked up stones to throw at Messiah!!!

Why were they so angry? Because יהושע Messiah was clearly telling them that He was Elohim and you will notice that He says that before Aḇraham came to be, he said I AM! Aḇrahamcame to be’ while יהושע Messiah did not – He ‘was’ and ‘is’ and ‘is to come’.

He was telling them in a nutshell that He was the One who spoke to Aḇraham and showed him the Day of יהוה, when the Kingdom reign will be firmly established and the seed of Aḇraham will be as the stars of the heavens, under the reign of Elohim – and at this Aḇraham rejoiced in seeing that he would indeed become the father of many nations!

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

When Yoḥanan heard the voice of the One speaking he turned and saw One like the Son of Aḏam in the midst of the Lampstands – this was יהושע Messiah that he saw, and then he said in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 1:17-18 “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead, and He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last, 18 and the living One. And I became dead, and see, I am living forever and ever. Aměn. And I possess the keys of the grave and of death.

יהושע Messiah is clearly telling Yoḥanan that He is the first and the last – the Aleph and the Taw – the One who became dead and is living forever!!! This is the One who appeared to Aḇram – the Mighty Teacher!!!

The Mighty Teacher was no longer just a voice to Aḇram but now He saw the Living Elohim - יהושע Messiah!!!

It was at this point where Aḇram would be able to see and know what His Master is doing and in so doing he would be called or classified as a friend of Elohim!!!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:23 “And the Scripture was filled which says, “Aḇraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.

Look at what Messiah tells us in:

Yoḥanan/John 15:14-15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

We who do the commands of Elohim are no longer called servants for we know what our Master is doing as the Mighty Teacher has made known to us His teachings, having come in the flesh and making Himself visible to us, in order to show us how we are to walk as His taught ones and walk as He walked!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:24 “A taught one is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

Luqas/Luke 6:40 “A taught one is not above his teacher, but everyone perfected shall be like his teacher.

Verse 8

Aḇram moved toward Bĕyth Ĕl and pitched his tent with Bĕyth Ĕl on the west and Ai on the east. Bĕyth Ĕlבֵּֽיתְאֶל - Strong’s H1008 means, house of Ĕl which was on the west and עַי Ay – Strong’s H5857 which means, heap of ruinswhich was on the east. In other words here again Aḇram is presented with a clear choice – to the west (sea, water) or to the east (ancient, old). He would have to choose to follow the Word of Elohim and allow His Word to wash Him or turn back to the ruinous heap of his past from which he had come out of to follow the Word of Elohim! Aḇram built a slaughter place here to יהוה and called on the Name of יהוה and the word for ‘call’ here is קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 which means, to call, utter a loud sound, proclaim, read aloud, cry for help.

Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be delivered. For on Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as יהוה has said, and among the survivors whom יהוה calls.

Sha’ul quotes this verse in:

Romiyim/Romans 10:13 “For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be saved.”

Aḇraham called on the Name of יהוה (Berěshith/Genesis 12:8; 13:4; 21:33); Yitsḥaq called on the Name of יהוה (Berěshith/Genesis 26:25); Eliyahu called on the Name of יהוה at the showdown on Mount Karmel with the Ba’al prophets (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18). All through Scripture we see the clear call for us to call upon the Name of יהוה, as we respond in faith to His clear voice calling us out of darkness:

Tehillah/Psalm 86:5 “For You, יהוה, are good, and ready to forgive, and great in kindness to all those who call upon You.

With Aḇram building a slaughter place here to יהוה and calling upon His Name we see here a powerful picture of true recognition of who Elohim is, and the need to give true thanks through repentance and confession, and declaring the surrender to the provision, teaching and guidance of Elohim!

Verse 9

Aḇraham kept going! This verse tells us that he set out and continued toward the south!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘set out’ comes from the primitive root נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265 which has the meaning, to pull out or up, set out on a journey, departed.

This root word is used twice in this verse as we see it being used in the phrase that is translated as ‘continued toward’, which in the Hebrew is written as הָלוֹךְ וְנָסוֹעַ haloḵ venasua which comes from the tow root words הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 and נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265. What this simply tells us is that he kept walking! This is a great lesson for us in teachings us how we are to keep walking in the Truth as we stay in Messiah, recognising that we are sojourners that abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life.

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works,1 esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

Verse 10-20 – Down to Mitsrayim

Here we see the first record of a famine in Scripture, and there was certainly a famine in the land due to the wicked Kenaʽanites who were living there, and here Aḇram was faced with a very tough decision that led him to seek provision from Mitsrayim! As we see from this encounter it nearly cost him his wife and even his own life and there is a great deal we can learn from these events. For starters we must take note that Aḇram never consulted יהוה on whether he was to go down to Mitsrayim or not, and that is certainly lesson number one here! Seek יהוה!!!

The word used for famine is רָעָב ra’aḇ - Strong’s H7458 meaning, famine, hunger, famished. What is interesting to take note of is that in Hebrew the word for ‘abundance’ is  רַב raḇ - Strong’s H7227 which means, many, abundance, much, great, abounding, plentiful

As you will notice is that the difference between these two words is one letter – the letter ‘ayin’ – עָ – which in the ancient Hebrew text is pictured as ayinwhich is an ‘eye’ with the meaning, ‘to see’; and so here we can learn the clear difference between being in a place of famine or a place of abundance is determined by where are eyes are focused upon – if we take our eyes off of the Truth the danger of famine can become very real in our lives as we look to the flesh and circumstances above the Word and His promises that are sure in Messiah as we walk in obedience!

In a manner of speaking, it seems as though Aḇram took his eyes off of the Mighty Teacher, יהוה, who had appeared to him, possibly due to the physical reality of there being a lack of sustenance.

When the going gets tough we must continue to trust in יהוה and hold fast to His sure promises, and not look to the world’s ways for solutions to our problems and struggles.

It took a great step of faith to leave his family and travel to an unknown land. After he arrived he saw יהוה and heard His Word of promise. After expecting to ‘settle down’ and enjoy their new home, יהוה permitted a famine, why? To teach Aḇram and Sarai a basic lesson in the ‘school of faith’, a lesson all of us must learn: TESTS OFTEN FOLLOW TRIUMPHS. This principle was seen in the history of Yisra’ĕl – after being delivered from Mitsrayim, this triumph followed testing – no water, hunger and attack from the Amalekites (Shemoth/Exodus 15-17).

One of the enemies of faith is pride. When you win a victory, you may feel confident and start telling yourself that you can defeat any enemy at any time, and you start depending on your past experience and growing knowledge of the Word, instead of depending wholly on יהוה. After you have won a great victory, expect the enemy to attack or יהוה to test you or both!

This is the only way to grow our faith. יהוה uses the tough circumstances of life to build up your faith and keep you from trusting something other than His Word. Don’t try to run away from the problem, it won’t work.

Instead of remaining in the land and trusting יהוה to help him, Aḇram went “down to Mitsrayim”. The Hebrew word used for ‘went down’ is the root word יָרַד yara – Strong’s H3381 which means, to come or go down, descend’.  In the Scriptures, Mitsrayim is a symbol of the world system and its bondage, while the land of Yisra’ĕl is a picture of the inheritance of blessing that יהוה has for us. When people went to Yerushalayim they “went up”, but when they went to Mitsrayim they “went down”. Spiritually speaking, “going down to Mitsrayim”, means doubting יהוה’s promises and running to the world for help.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:1-2 “Woe to the stubborn children,” declares יהוה, “to make counsel, but not from Me, and to devise plans, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; 2 who are setting out to go down to Mitsrayim, and have not asked My mouth, to be strengthened in the strength of Pharaoh, and to seek refuge in the shadow of Mitsrayim!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Mitsrayim for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, nor seek יהוה!

 

When you are in the furnace of testing and circumstances become difficult, remain where יהוה has put you until He tells you to move. Faith moves in the direction of peace and hope, but unbelief moves in the direction of restlessness and fear. In times of testing don’t ask “How can I get out of this?” but rather “what can I get out of this?” יהוה alone is in control of circumstances and you are safer in a famine and in His will than in a palace and out of His will. The will of יהוה will never lead you where the favour of יהוה cannot keep you!

Aḇram failed the test of circumstances and turned from the will of יהוה.

When in Mitsrayim he faced a new set of problems – if you run away from one test – you’ll face another! Once you enrol in the ‘school of faith’ you are not allowed to simply ‘drop out’ just because of one failure. יהוה has purposes to fulfil in and through your life and He will do all that is necessary to make you succeed. (Tehillah/Psalm 138:8 – Phil 1:6).

In Kenaʽan all Aḇram had to deal with was famine, but in Mitsrayim he had to get along with a proud ruler and his officials. Pharaoh was seen as an ‘elohim’, but nothing like Aḇram’s Elohim who is loving, generous and faithful. Aḇram soon discovered that he was better off dealing with the circumstances in Kenaʽan than with the people in Mitsrayim;

He moved from trusting to scheming: He had no altar to the יהוה in Mitsrayim and you don’t find him calling out to יהוה for guidance and help. Faith is living without scheming. When you stop trusting יהוה’s Word, you start leaning on man’s wisdom and that brings trouble.

He moved from confidence to fear: When you are in a place of יהוה’s choosing, you don’t ever need to be afraid, for fear and faith cannot dwell in the same heart;

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:2 “See, Ěl is my deliverance, I trust and am not afraid. For Yah, יהוה, is my strength and my song; and He has become my deliverance.

The fear of יהוה is the fear that conquers every fear (read Tehillim/Psalm 112), but the fear of man brings a snare

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in יהוה is set on high.

יהוה repeatedly said to AḇramI will”, but now Aḇram was saying “they will”. He took his eyes off יהוה and started looking at people!

He moved from others to self: He lied so that he would be treated well. As the husband he should have thought of his wife first and not himself. He should have never taken her there in the first place. A husband out of the will of יהוה can bring untold trouble to his wife and family.

He moved from bringing blessing to bringing judgment: יהוה called Aḇram to be a blessing to the nations, but because of his disobedience, judgment fell on Pharaoh and his household. If you want to be a blessing to others – stay in יהוה’s will! יהוה watched over Aḇram and brought him out of a difficult situation. When we don’t let יהוה rule, He overrules and accomplishes His purposes. Aḇram learned the lesson and repented and “went up” out of Mitsrayim. When you disobey יהוה the only right thing to do is to go back to the place where you left Him and make a new beginning, no failure is permanent in the “school of faith

You may say that what happened wasn’t all that bad, after all Pharaoh gave him a lot of wealth and Sarai was given her own maid, Hagar, יהוה forgave and started all over, so what’s the problem? The problem is that everything Aḇram received from Mitsrayim later caused trouble. Because of their wealth Aḇram and Lot couldn’t live together and Hagar brought division and sorrow in the home.

The practical lesson is simply this; never abandon your slaughter place/altar. Stay in fellowship with יהוה no matter what the circumstances may be. If you have disobeyed and יהוה is disciplining you, go back to Him and make things right. Remember – victorious Torah obedient living is a series of new beginnings – that is not an excuse for sin but an encouragement for repentance!

While Sarai was indeed Aḇram’s sister (half-sister) as we see in Berěshith/Genesis 20:12, we must realise that this was nothing more than scheming because of fear, which often happens when you put yourself in a place or circumstance where you were not supposed to be. While Elohim will certainly protect his own, we must always ensure that we are seeking him first in all we do, so as to avoid finding ourselves having gone down to Mitsrayim when we should have stayed in Kenaʽan!

CHAPTER 13

As discussed already Aḇram went ‘up’ out of Mitsrayim and in verse 3-4 we see that he returned to the place where he had been at the beginning – between Bĕyth Ĕl and Ai, to the place where he had made the slaughter place and once again he called on the Name of יהוה! Here we can certainly see that Aḇram had learnt a huge lesson and most certainly would have offered up a slaughtering of repentance and confession and giving thanks as he called on the Name of יהוה!

The word used for ‘up’ is עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 meaning, to go up, ascend, climb, approach, go. A derivative of this root is the term used for ‘whole burnt offering’ - עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway. The olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, just as Messiah offered up His Body as an ‘olah’ offering, so too are we to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and our lives are to be given totally up unto service and worship to יהוה. Despite, having ‘gone down’ to Mitsrayim, Aḇram had certainly learnt his lesson and went ‘up’ from Mitsrayim, symbolising a complete ‘coming out’ of the world and the luring lusts of the flesh!

This chapter 13 contains a great lesson for us on ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ in regards to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and by all accounts we can see how Aḇram was not driven by that which is of the flesh, but he trusted in the promise of יהוה.

How many family fights have been caused by the love of money? Plenty!

Aḇram may have failed the first two tests, but he passed the third with great success. This was not an easy test, it involved land and wealth, but he is an example of what every believer should do when there is a dispute about material things.

Aḇram determined to be a peacemaker and not a trouble maker: The problem between Aḇram and Lot was not caused by the land, famine or wealth, but was a problem of the heart. Lot’s heart since Mitsrayim had become centred on wealth and worldly achievement, while Aḇram wanted only to please יהוה. It was bad enough that they had a dispute, but worse – the pagan people of the land were watching and listening. When believers have disputes, it hurts their testimony of יהוה.

Tehillah/Psalm 133 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity – 2 Like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aharon, running down on the collar of his robes – 3 Like the dew of Hermon, that comes down on the mountains of Tsiyon. For there יהוה commanded the blessing, life forever!

Unity in the Spirit of יהוה is fragrant and fruitful, but disunity turns that fragrance into a stench and a garden into a desert.

Lot is an example of one who looked to the flesh and followed that which he could physically see rather than rely upon יהוה. The world’s wisdom and wealth seems satisfying but ultimately brings disappointment.

Aḇram lived for others and not for self: In Mitsrayim he thought about himself, but when he returned to the slaughter place of יהוה in Kenaʽan he put יהוה first and others next and gave Lot first choice. The true believer who walks according to the Spirit does not insist on his own rights but gladly yields to others.

Aḇram lived by faith and not by sight: Aḇram was not worried about the future; he knew he was in יהוה’s hands. Lot, instead of looking to יהוה, looked to the plains of the Yardĕn and stopped there. The eyes see what the heart loves. Abraham had taken Lot out of Mitsrayim, but he couldn’t take Mitsrayim out of Lot. Outlook helps determine outcome. Aḇram’s eyes were on the set-apart city of Elohim that was coming in the end and went on to walk with יהוה and inherit blessing. Lot’s eyes were on sinful cities of men, and he went on to being tormented in his soul by what he saw and had to be rescued from danger and death. While Lot looked to what was attractive to the eyes would later become a huge thorn in his side

Aḇram let יהוה choose for him: After Lot had gone Aḇram had another meeting with יהוה. Lot lifted up his eyes and saw what the world had to offer; now יהוה invited Aḇram to lift up his eyes and see what יהוה had to offer in terms of His sure promise to Aḇram in making him a father of many nations. Lot chose a piece of land which he finally lost, but יהוה gave Aḇram the whole land which still belongs to him and his descendants. Lot said “I will take”, יהוה said to AḇramI will give”.

Lift up your eyes and look”, was followed by “lift up your feet and walk” Claim your inheritance by faith. The discipline he experienced in going down into Mitsrayim had taught Aḇram to respect boundaries, so now יהוה could trust him with horizons.

When you trusted יהושע as your saviour, יהוה gave you “every spiritual blessing in Messiah”. You now have an inheritance. All you need to do is appropriate the inheritance by faith as you guard to do all He commands in His Torah and draw on “His riches in esteem”. The Word of יהוה is the “will” that tells you how rich you are and active obedient faith in hearing and doing His commands as you walk in Messiah is the key that opens the vault so you can claim your inheritance

Satan wants to use circumstances, people and things to tempt you and bring out the worst in you, while יהוה wants to use them to test you and bring out the best in you. Aḇram may have failed some tests along the way, because he resorted to looking at circumstances instead of relying on the Word of יהוה, yet he passed with distinction the true test of getting back to what matters and restore pure obedient worship as he let יהוה’s Word guide and lead him out of all compromise to total trust and reliance upon the King! How about you? Will you allow יהוה to be in control despite circumstances, people and things?  

Verse 17

Here we can see from the instruction given to Aḇram from יהוה, to arise and walk in the land through its length and width, a clear picture of how we are to walk in the full width and length of His Torah wherever we sojourn as foreigners. Wherever we finds our feet, we are to have His Kingdom rules govern our lives and so we recognise that the Torah is our inheritance and we take possession of it by walking it out in its fullness in Messiah.

Yehoshua/Joshua 1:3 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads I have given you, as I spoke to Mosheh.

We can appropriate this promise to our lives as we walk out our days here in the fear of Elohim and as we work out deliverance with fear and trembling! As ambassadors of the Kingdom of Messiah, we take His Kingdom rules (His Torah) wherever we walk and therefore our feet can be firmly established wherever we find ourselves, if we are indeed walking in His Torah!!!

Verse 18

Aḇram went and moved to the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ and pitched his tent there and built a slaughter place to יהוה.

Mamrĕ in Hebrew – מַמְרֵא  - Strong’s H4471 means, strength or fatness and so we can certainly see how Aḇram had grown in strength under the teaching of the Master  יהוה of Hosts!

These terebinth trees of Mamrĕ were in Ḥeḇron which in Hebrew – חֶבְרוֹן Ḥeḇron – Strong’s H2275 means, association and comes from the primitive root word חָבַר ḥaḇar – Strong’s H2266 which means, to unite, be joined, alliance made, allied, attached and here he builds a slaughter place to יהוה, and so now we can see a picture of one who walks calls on the name of יהוה and accepts the sacrifice of יהושע Messiah  and continues to walk in and take possession of the Torah of Elohim has the clear assurance of being united and joined together as a body of Messiah through the hearing, guarding and doing of His clear Torah instructions and submitting to the teachings of our Master.

CHAPTER 14

Here we have the first recorded ‘war’ in Scripture, and while there may have been other wars prior to this one we see that this war is mentioned due to Aḇram’s involvement! The 5 city states of the plains of the Yardĕn had been subject to the rule of the kings of 4 eastern city states for 12 years and were now in the 13th year rebelling against serving Keḏorlaʽomer and in the process of this war, Lot became a prisoner of war, and Aḇram fought for him and delivered him from the enemy and restored him to his place!

Verse 1

4 Kings:

אַמְרָפֶל Amraphel – Strong’s H569sayer of darkness: fall of the sayer’ –

king of שִׁנְעָר Shinar – Strong’s H8152 – ‘country of two rivers

אַרְיוֹךְ Aryoḵ– Strong’s H746lion-like

                                king of אֶלָּסָר Ellasar – Strong’s H495 – ‘El is chastener

כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר Keḏorlaʽomer – Strong’s H3540 – ‘handful of sheaves

                                king of עֵילָם Elam – Strong’s h5867 – ‘eternity

תִּדְעָל Tiḏal– Strong’s H8413 – ‘great son

                                king of גּוֹיִם – ‘goyim’ – plural of  גּוֹי goy – Strong’s H1471 – ‘nation, people

Verse 2

5 Kings:

בֶּרַע Bera – Strong’s H1298 – ‘son of evil

                                king of סְדֹם Seḏom – Strong’s H5467 – ‘burning

בִּרְשַׁע Birsha – Strong’s H1306 – ‘with iniquity

                                king of עֲמֹרָה Amorah – Strong’s H6017 – ‘submersion

שִׁנְאָב Shinaḇ – Strong’s H8134 – ‘splendour of the father

                                king of אַדְמָה Aḏmah – Strong’s H126 – ‘red earth

שֶׁמְאֵבֶר Shem’ĕḇer – Strong’s H8038 – ‘lofty flight

                                king of צְבֹיִים Tseḇoyim – ‘gazelles

צֹעַר Tso‘ar – Strong’s H6820 – ‘insignificance

                                king of בֶּלַע Bela – Strong’s H1106 – ‘destruction

Burning, submersion and destruction were certainly how these cities would meet their end!

Here there was a huge war on the go and Lot, the nephew of Aḇram was caught in the middle, and as Seḏom and Amorah had fallen under attack of Keḏorlaʽomer and his armies, Lot was taken captive and one of the captives escaped and came to report to Aḇram that his nephew had been taken captive.

Verse 13

Aḇram the Hebrew! ‘Hebrew’ is the word - עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680 simply means, one from beyond or one who has crossed over and Aḇraham was the first one to be called a Hebrew in Scripture as he ‘crossed over’ the Euphrates river and followed the instructions of Elohim. This comes from the root word עֵבֶר Eḇer – Strong’s H5677 which was the name of a descendant of Shem and means, region beyond and comes from the primitive root - עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, to pass over, through or by, pass on. Aḇram left the regions beyond the river and forsook his father’s house which was riddled with pagan fertility worship under the reign of the wicked Nimroḏ and entered into covenant with Elohim.

We too are a people who have ‘crossed over’ from darkness into His marvellous light and our immersion is symbolic of our crossing over or passing through the waters and leaving the old life behind in order to be raised to new life in Messiah, and so our identity change takes place when we repent and are immersed in the Name of יהושע.

The reason I am mentioning this is because the term ‘enter into’ used in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 29:12 “so that you should enter into covenant with יהוה your Elohim, and into His oath, which יהוה your Elohim makes with you today

This term ‘enter into’ is the word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, to pass over, through or pass by, crossed over and it is the primitive root from which the word עִבְרִי Iḇri is derived! When we ‘enter into’ covenant with יהוה our Elohim, we also enter into His ‘oath’ which is from the primitive root word אָלָה  alah – Strong’s H422 which means, to swear, curse, put under oath, utter a curse and so we recognise that we accept all the conditions that are outlined in the covenants of promise – including the curses.

 

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For every matter there is an appointed time, even a time for every pursuit under the heavens

This goes on to say that there is also a time for battle and here Aḇram recognised that with his nephew being captured by enemy kings this was time for battle! Many of our ‘brothers’ have too been stolen away and are still being held captive so to speak by a church system and it is time for us to battle for them, no matter how small and insignificant we may seem against the great masses within Christianity!

What we must take note of here is that Aḇram set out to battle because of Lot being captured. If it was not for Lot Aḇram would not have got involved with this war between 2 wicked groups of foreign kings; yet because there was a relative involved he took action. We must recognise that there are many people who are, in some way or another, trying to serve Elohim yet are being held captive by an enemy system and we need to stand up, armed for battle with the Truth and fight for them in order to set them free – for the Truth shall set them free indeed!

 

Verse 14

The account here also pictures for us the need to bear one another’s burdens and be ready to fight for each other in times of battle! We have a responsibility to rescue our brothers and sisters from the hand of the enemy, and cannot claim ignorance but rather be prepared to ‘go to war’!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:11-12 “Deliver those taken to death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter, 12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Would not He who weighs the hearts discern it? He who watches over your life, would He not know it? And shall He not repay man according to his work?

Aḇram took and armed his 318 trained servants who were born in his house! The root word translated as ‘armed’ is רִיק riq – Strong’s H7324 which at it root meaning is, make empty, empty outand in the ‘hiphil active’ tense which this is written in carries the meaning, draw weapon, brandish sword, i.e., make a non-linear movement putting a weapon in a hand position to defend or attack, as a figurative extension of emptying an object or mass from a container (as with a sheath or holster).

Aḇram’s trained men had ‘drawn their swords’ and were now armed for battle! The Hebrew word used here for ‘trained’ is חָנִיךְ ḥani – Strong’s H2593 meaning, trained, tried, experienced which comes from the word חָנַךְ ḥana – Strong’s H2596 meaning, to train up, dedicate and is the denominative verb from חֵךְ ḥe – Strong’s H2441 which means, palate, roof of the mouth, gums, lips’. This is a great picture of how his trained men were dedicated and knowledgeable of the ways of Aḇram – they were in effect his disciples whom he had taught in the ways of Elohim and they were armed and ready with the Truth. Only those who are experienced in the Word are able to yield the ‘sword’ of the Word with great precision and clarity and able to rescue those who are being held captive!

The Torah makes it clear that if there is a man who is fearful he should not go into battle as he may discourage the rest; and here we see how we can only be effective on the battlefield if we are trained up in righteousness and are experienced in the Word – those who are not yet experienced in the Word should not be the ones who are fighting on the battlefield as they may just end up cutting off their own head through lack of experience as they lose debates with the enemy who twists the truth and confuses the one who is not confident and steadfast in the Word! Aḇraham knew who were the ones who could fight the good fight and these were strong and courageous men, for we certainly recognise that size does not matter when armed with the Truth! 318 men against thousands (we are not told how many the enemy were yet we can certainly assume that they were a large number of soldiers who were under the command of their respective kings).

Aḇram’s men were committed and full of courage – fear and lack of commitment are very contagious and we must recognise the need to be a people who are armed in the Torah, for the ‘harvest’ on the battlefield is full, yet the workers/ soldiers are few!

Aḇram’s men may have only been 318 against a whole host of the enemy forces, yet we see once again that those who put their faith and trust in יהוה will find their strength, and it is with this kind of courage that יהוה loves to lead His faithful into battle and bringing them victory by the power of His Right Hand, as His faithful and armed remnant go forward in faith to fight the good fight!

Verse 18-24

Malkitseḏeq – sovereign of Shalĕm and priest of the Most High Ĕl!  This king of Shalĕm came out to the sovereign’s valley to meet with Aḇram after his victory of Keḏorlaʽomer and the sovereigns who were with him, and brought Aḇram bread and wine and blessed him. מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Malkitseḏeq – Strong’s H4442 means, my king is righteouswhich comes from the two words: מֶלֶךְ Meleḵ - Strong’s H4428 meaning, king and צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, righteous, just, righteousness’, and so here we have a picture of Messiah – our High Priest and King who by His own blood has provided us with the True Bread and Wine which we partake of in the Pěsaḥ meal and recognise how He has delivered us from the enemies hand and defeated death at the grave, removing the curse of the Torah, which is death, and nailing it (death) to the stake!

מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Malkitseḏeq – Strong’s H4442 which means, my king is righteous, in the ancient script looks like this:

quphdalettsadeyyadkaphlamedmem

mem    - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

lamed      - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

kaph    - this is the Hebrew letter ‘kaph’, which is pictured as ‘an open hand’, and the meaning behind this letter is to ‘bend and curve’ (from the shape of a palm), as well as to ‘tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises ‘submission’. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape, picturing our praise to the One to whom we submit.

yad    - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

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

dalet   - this is the letter ‘dalet’- which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.

quph  - this is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.

From these 7 letters we can see how Messiah has indeed become High Priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq and the individual pictures of this High Priest and King of Shalĕm can render for us the meaning of:

The nations that are led by the Hand, and submit to, the One who lay down His life for us, for He is the Door to eternal life in Him!

Or:

The Mighty Righteous King to whom we submit and give our praise, has revealed His Outstretched Arm and Hand, and is the One who lay down His life for us, giving us access to eternal life with Him!

Aḇram gave Malkitseḏeq a tenth of all, and herein lays the clear picture of giving יהוה the Tithe that is due.

The Hebrew word that is used for ‘tithes’ is מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643 which means, tenth part, tithe’.

We read in Berěshith/Genesis 14:20 that Aḇram gave Malkitseḏeq a tenth/tithe of all. We also read in:

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

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

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

reshshinayinmem

mem    - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

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

shin- this is the letter ‘sin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’, which is what the teeth do and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or meditate on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

resh     - this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.

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

THE NATIONS HAVE SEEN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HEAD/FIRST BORN!

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

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

yadwawlamed

lamed     - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

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

yad   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

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

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

After the tithe had been given, the sovereign of Seḏom came to Aḇram and asked for all the men and told Aḇram that he could have all the goods. It literally renders, “give me the soul and take the possessions for yourself”. Now when we understand that the King of Seḏom is בֶּרַע Bera – Strong’s H1298 – ‘son of evil, we can see the clear picture of Satan trying to tempt Aḇram to giving up the soul for riches! The same temptation that he tempted Messiah with in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain, and showed Him all the reigns of the world, and their esteem, 9 and said to Him, “All these I shall give You if You fall down and worship me.

What does Aḇram answer? He states clearly in verse 22 that he lifted his hand to יהוה and in essence was declaring that he shall worship יהוה alone!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:10 “Then יהושע said to him, “Go, Satan! For it has been written, ‘You shall worship יהוה your Elohim, and Him alone you shall serve.’

Aḇram did not need what the king of Seḏom had to offer – he served the Living Elohim and he knew who his provider was. The enemy will use any opportunity to try to steal away your worship unto the Most High Elohim – even after a great victory! Often after a victory the enemy will try to play on your ego and pride and get you to look at the natural while forsaking the spiritual and we are to guard ourselves against such trickery!

Satan will always try to get us to compromise the soul for the seeming promise of materialism and the provision of fleshly needs! We are clearly instructed by Messiah to seek first the Kingdom of Elohim and all these things shall be added.

Aḇram was not about to let any man try to take credit for what Elohim had brought about and he refused to be bound or entangled in the ways or walk of pagan rooted foundations, and so by to tell the king of Seḏom that he would not even take a sandal strap is a picture of refusing to bow to the ways of Seḏom, as a sandal is what is worn on one’s foot which pictures one’s walk, and here is a lesson in making sure that not even the slightest compromise must be allowed into our walk. We cannot and must not find ourselves ‘bound’ in any way to the ways or traditions of man-made worship that has roots in pagan worship rites but serve the Most High Elohim in Spirit and Truth!

CHAPTER 15

Do not be afraid!

Aḇram had passed a great test and proved that by the events that had just taken place he showed where his heart was, as he clearly followed יהוה and forsook the ways of the world, and now the Word of יהוה came to him and encouraged him greatly!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look around, for I am your Elohim. I shall strengthen you, I shall also help you, I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.’

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:8 “Do not fear, nor be afraid. Have I not since made you hear, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there an Eloah besides Me? There is no other Rock, I know not one.’

I AM your shield:

Tehillah/Psalm 28:7 “יהוה is my strength, and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him, and I have been helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I thank Him.

Is יהוה your strength and your shield or do you find yourself seeking strength from other sources or even from within yourself and find yourself hiding behind excuses instead of facing battles and letting יהוה be your shield by putting complete faith and trust in Him and His Word?

The phrase, ‘יהוה is my strength and my shield…’ is written in Hebrew as יהוה עֻזִּי וּמָגִנִּייהוה uzziy umaginniy and the word used here for ‘my strength’ is עֻזִּיuzziy, which comes from the word  עֹז oz – Strong’s H5797 which means, strength, might, fortress, power, stronghold, and this comes from the root verb עָזַז azaz – Strong’s H5810 which means, to be strong, be brazen, prevail, display boldness’.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘and my shield’ is וּמָגִנִּיumaginniy, which comes from the word מָגֵן magen – Strong’s H4043 which means, shield, buckler, defence, and is also understood as representing ‘a wall of protection’.  

This kind of shield being spoken of would often be as large as a door that would cover the whole man, or a door which could also cover the entrance to a cave, and many of the ancient shields were typically made of wood and covered with animal’s skins. When we think of the picture of this kind of shield, we can immediately see this pointing to יהושע Messiah, who is The Door, and in reference to the Tabernacle, we remember that the Set-Apart Place that had coverings of animal skins, we are able to understand that יהוה is our shield and we find our refuge in Him!

The Hebrew word for shield in Berěshith/Genesis 15:1 is מָגֵן magen – Strong’s H4043 which, as I have mentioned, means, shield, buckler, defence, and is also understood as representing ‘a wall of protection’. This makes perfect sense in its relationship to a door, for the only means of access to that protection is through the door, as we recognise these words that יהושע Messiah is speaking to us. There is no other way to walk under His protection except by entering in or going out through the Door! Going in and out through the Door clearly implies a continued action of obedience, and to walk as Messiah walked involves action, and that action is to be done completely in line with His walk – and that is a walk of total obedience! Therefore, as we come to The Door and follow our Shepherd’s voice, by obeying His Torah, we are able to find great refuge in our Mighty Elohim, who is our strength and shield!

 

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of Eloah is tried; He is a shield to those taking refuge in Him.

Tehillah/Psalm 5:12 “For You bless the righteous, O יהוה; You surround him with favour as with a shield.

Your reward is Great!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:18 “The wrong one earns false wages, but the one sowing righteousness, a true reward.

Tehillah/Psalm 58:11 “And man says, “Truly, the righteous are rewarded; truly, there is an Elohim judging in the earth.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘reward’ is שָׂכָר saḵar – Strong’s H7939 which means, hire, wages, compensation, fare, reward and comes from the primitive root word that means to hire, to earn wages.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:18 “The wrong one earns false wages, but the one sowing righteousness, a true reward.

Here in this proverb the word translated as ‘wages’ is פְּעֻלָּה peullah – Strong’s H6468 which means, a work, recompense, labour, wages, whereas the word translated as ‘reward’ is the noun שֶׂכֶר seḵer – Strong’s H7938 which comes from the root that the word שָׂכָר saḵar – Strong’s H7939 comes from and so we see a clear picture here in that ‘true wages’ for righteousness is a reward whereas workers of wickedness receive ‘false wages’.

Romiyim/Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah יהושע our Master.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 20:8 “And when evening came, the master of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’

Walking in righteousness – that is to hear, guard and do the commands of Elohim will earn the doer of the Word the true and right and favourable ‘reward’ or wages, which is everlasting life in Messiah; whereas the one who works lawlessness will earn the wages of sin, which is death!

There is a pay day for the righteous as well as one for the unrighteous – sons of Aḇraham – that is those who are of belief (guarding to do all the commands) – have the sure promise of an exceedingly great reward!

What יהוה was telling Aḇram was that the road ahead would be one of many battles yet he did not need to fear for יהוה is his shield and he must fight the good fight of faith, because it is יהוה that he is ‘fighting for’. יהוה was basically saying to Aḇram and to all of us today, “I AM what you are fighting for – I AM your great reward – I Am what you will receive if you overcome all that tries to oppress you along the journey – I AM your inheritance!

The presence of יהוה is worth far more than any riches of this world can bring, and Aḇram most certainly passed big test and overcame as he did not settle for what the world had to offer, but put his trust in יהוה and His provision!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.

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

Verse 2-5

Aḇram then asks יהוה a very honest and practical question of what would Elohim give him, seeing that he has no child – in other words what ‘reward’ would he get if he has no child?

Tehillah/Psalm 127:3 “Look, children are an inheritance from יהוה, the fruit of the womb is the reward.

Aḇram makes it clear that he has no son and the Eliʽezer his servant would be heir and יהוה gives Aḇram the promise of a son who would come from his own body, and then brought him outside to look up at the heavens and count the stars, if he was able, for that is how many his seed would be!

While we can certainly see this promise pointing toward his son that was to be born – Yitsḥaq, we are also able to see a shadow picture of this promise pointing ultimately to Messiah in who all shall be blessed and receive the great assurance of everlasting life! This was a promise of the Redeemer, as pictured through the life of Yitsḥaq!

 

Verse 6

Aḇram believed!!! We already looked at the Greek word for ‘believed’ as given in Galatiyim/Galatians 2 which we expanded on when looking at Berěshith/Genesis 12:2 at the beginning of this Torah portion, and recognize that the Greek word clearly shows that ‘beliefinvolves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow. Here the Hebrew word for ‘believed’ is the primitive root verb - אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539 which means, confirm, support, establish, faithful, believe and so we clearly see that by Aḇram’s obedience in guarding the commands of יהוה and trusting in His Word, he was established or ‘trustworthy’ and by his actions of obedience he showed his confident trust in יהוה! This was reckoned to him for righteousness!

What is worth taking note of is that a word that is derived from the root אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539, is the Hebrew word for ‘truth’, which is אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 which means, firmness, steadfastness, faithfulness, stability, trust, truthful’. We serve a faithful and trustworthy Elohim – and in Him we find true stability, as we stand upon the Rock of Truth! His belief was reckoned to him as righteousness! Abram was a trustworthy and faithful man who guarded the commands of elohim and walked in righteousness, remaining steadfast and firm in the Truth!

When looking at אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 in the ancient pictographic script we are able to learn the clear characteristic of trustworthiness, as it looks like this:

 heynunwawmemaleph

Aleph - אֱ:

The ancient script has this letter as aleph and is pictured as the head of an ox, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

 

Mem – מֶ

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word!

 

Waw/Vav – וּ:

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

 

Nun – נָ:

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

 

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. This word can mean “ behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

In the understanding of this word אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 representing for us ‘trustworthiness’, we can clearly see from these pictures the following:

THE COMPLETE AND SURE STRENGTH OF OUR MASTER WHO WASHES US AND SECURES FOR US THE PROMISE OF EVERLASTING LIFE, AS WE SUBMIT TO HIM AND PRAISE HIM WITH OUR ALL.

Our ability and strength to remain trustworthy servants comes as we allow The Word of our Master to wash us and secure us in Him, as we walk in total submission to Him, with hands lifted high in continual praise of our Master and Elohim.

Our belief in our Master and Elohim must be seen in our works of righteousness as we guard to do all He has commanded us to!

The word for ‘righteousness’ is צְדָקָה tseḏaqah – Strong’s H6666 meaning, righteousness, righteous acts, merits, righteous deeds and one of my favourite verses says it so plainly:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.

 

Verse 7

I AM יהוה who brought you out!

The root word used for ‘brought’ is יָצָא  yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, to go or come out and here it is written in the ‘Hiphil’ form which usually expresses a ‘causative action’ of a simple verb and so can be rendered as, to cause to go out or come out, to deliver, to lead out’. This is possibly יהוה’s most frequent description of His relationship to Yisra’ĕl, His Bride!!!

It is יהוה who has caused us to be brought out of an iron furnace, in order to take us to Himself as a His Bride – He gave His all for us!!!

Kěpha Aleph 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.

And He brought us out!

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

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:12 “be on guard, lest you forget יהוה who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage.

He brought Aḇram out in order to inherit the land and the root word used here in verse 7 for ‘inherit’ is יָרַשׁ yarash – 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! Aḇram had to leave behind and disinherit his life in Ur-Kasdim in order to fully inherit the promise of Elohim and enter the land of his inheritance – in other words – walk in the Kingdom rules of Elohim!

Expel all the lies in order to embrace the Torah and live according to the Kingdom rules of Messiah – the reign of the heavens which He proclaimed and revealed clearly to us the Torah of Mosheh through His life, death and resurrection, and the pattern or way in which we should walk as He walked!

Verse 8-18

Aḇram then asks יהוה how he will know that he does possess this promise and this is where יהוה makes a Covenant with Aḇram; a covenant was made that pictures for us the great promise of יהוה who satisfies the Covenant with us and seals it in His own Blood!

Aḇram is instructed to bring a 3 year old heifer, female goat, ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon, which he took and cut them in half and set them in place. The reason for a 3 year old heifer, goat and ram speaks of maturity and the bringing of both the male and female of the same kind (goat and ram) is a picture of a bride and bridegroom; and while the reason for them being 3 years old may be unclear it certainly represents maturity; and when considering that this Covenant that was being made points toward the work of Messiah we can see that the 3 year old animals picture the fullness of His complete work for us as His ready Bride. At Pěsaḥ there is the slaughtering of a year old lamb, and certainly at Pěsaḥ Messiah, who had a 70 week ministry was the fulfilment of the shadow picture of the Pěsaḥ Lamb by being the year old Lamb that was slain.

Yet what we must understand here is that as we are told in:

Dani’ěl/Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall put an end to slaughtering and meal offering. And on the wing of abominations he shall lay waste, even until the complete end and that which is decreed is poured out on the one who lays waste.

Messiah, in the middle of the week – that is on the 4th day (4th Millennium), came and put an end to slaughtering and meal offering – in other words He by the offering up of His flesh put an end to all slaughtering of bulls and goats that could never satisfy but only pointed to Messiah! Having said that we also recognise that His one-time sacrifice at Pěsaḥ also satisfies the sacrifices done on Yom Kippur in order to cleanse and set-apart the Temple and all the people as a collective body/nation! The 3 year old animals here reflect the fullness of this Covenant that is established in the Blood of Messiah that points both ways from day 4 (4th Millennium) in confirming His Covenant for a week (full 7 days – 7 Millennium) and His middle of the week end of slaughtering satisfies the Blood necessary once for all. From the 4th back to 1 is 3 and from the 4th to the 7th is 3, and therefore we find in this calling for a 3 year old heifer, which points to the red heifer that Messiah fulfils, and the 3 year old ram and goat that satisfies the full Atonement at the final Yom Kippur when He comes to fetch His ready and mature Bride, is being firmly established in type here with the Covenant of Promise between יהוה and Aḇram and all his seed!

When יהוה made the Covenant with Aḇraham, Aḇraham prepared the sacrifices and was then put to sleep (verse 12). In a typical ancient covenant process both parties would walk bare foot through the blood of the animals that were cut in two, known as the blood path and proclaim the blessing and curses of the covenant; they would exchange robes and weapons to declare their commitment to provision and protection for each other and if any party broke that covenant their blood would be spilled as the animals were. Here Aḇraham did not walk through the blood path – he was put to sleep while a pillar of fire came down and passed through the sacrifices (verse 17). In effect יהוה was declaring that day that when the children of Aḇraham break covenant with the Almighty, He Himself would come down and walk the blood path and pay the price, shedding His Blood, in order to restore the Covenant which He does not break!

This is exactly what happened:

The Blood of the Lamb at Pěsaḥ/Passoverיהושע came down to restore by His own Blood a Bride to Himself.

He came once again to pay the Bride price in His own Blood; and all who call upon Him and accept the ‘cup’ of the covenant could once again be brought near and grafted in to the Marriage Covenant as He exchanged robes with us in taking the punishment of our sin upon Himself and clothing us with righteousness.

At Shavuot/Pentecost we see once again the Marriage Covenant being announced through the sound from heaven – the first shofar being renewed and restored where the marriage contract or Ketuḇah was no longer on stone tablets but now on the heart.

Just as Yisra’ĕl was given 2 days to get ready at Mount Sinai and on the third be ready – יהושע, the light of the world came in the 4th day – (4th millennium) and has given His Bride, those who have been bought at a price and said ‘I do’, 2 days (5 and 6)to get ready, and on the 3rd day (which would be the 7th – 7th Millennium) He will come down and take us back to Himself as the sound of the last shofar ushers in His coming and the finishing of His work in destroying the enemy and fulfilling all His Feasts culminating in the great Wedding Supper of the Lamb which will take place at the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot.

יהושע is the groom and we are His Bride. He has paid the Bride price in full with Blood and has sealed the Ketuḇah or Marriage Covenant and has gone to prepare a place for us. And now we eagerly await His return with our lamps filled with oil and burning brightly is this dark world showing that we are betrothed, clothed in righteousness and keeping our garments spotless by walking in obedience to the Torah/instructions of יהוה, keeping our marriage contract pure! יהושע, our Righteous King is coming, and He is coming at the sound of the ‘Last shofar’ which will be the last of the Trumpets that begin at Yom Teru‘ah  and end on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to come and ‘lift up’ and ‘take’ His Bride to be with Him forever!

In verse 16 we see that יהוה tells Aḇram that his descendants would be in Mitsrayim for four generations and we take note here that Mosheh was the great grandson of Ya’aqoḇ, and it was in the generation of Mosheh’s son that Yisra’ĕl was delivered – therefore fulfilling these words being given here to Aḇram that in the 4th generation Yisra’ĕl would return to this land where the Covenant was being made, and it would be יהוה Himself who would deliver them out of bondage.

Verse 18

The Promised Land is from the River of Mitsrayim, which is the Nile to the Great River Euphrates – and we recognise that this Land has not yet been fully occupied by Yisra’ĕl, as this actually include most of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula!!! Now wonder there is great unrest in this region of the middle east as the enemy is constantly trying to disrupt and steal what belongs to Aḇram and his descendants and in the Day of יהוה we shall see the fulfilment of this promise!

CHAPTER 16

Ten long years passed since יהוה spoke to Aḇram about having a child. As Sarai still had not conceived, she concluded that יהוה had kept her from having children, and here now was a test of her faith! The exact timing of the promised child had not been given by יהוה, and now at her age the expectation of bearing  a child seemed unlikely so Sarai resolved to make this happen by giving here concubine to Aḇram in order that a son could be born in his house to fulfil that which had been promised.

A major lesson we can learn from these events in Aḇram and Sarai’s life is that we must learn to trust the Word of Elohim, despite the lapse of time between that which is promised and the receiving of what is expected. We cannot orchestrate what Elohim has planned for us and while we may recognise and know what has been promised, we cannot determine how and when things should happen, but must learn to remain steadfast in our belief and give no room for compromise, by trying to take ‘shortcuts’ to success!

When we begin to doubt the Word, we set up major stumbling blocks I our hearts and minds that cause us to look to the flesh and the resolve of trying to ‘work out’ solutions that we by our own strength are unable to!

How do you respond to that which you know is the will of יהוה for you, yet the fruit of that which you are expectant of seems so far off and looks as if it will never happen? We must recognise that 10 years had passed since Aḇram had received the promise that he would have a child that would be his heir, and at their age time was not something that was on their side. Time can have a way of causing doubt to set in, or rather the test of time is to see whether doubt will cause compromise or whether true faith and obedience will persevere!

Sarai had reckoned that it was getting too late for her to bear a child and that יהוה had caused here to remain barren and so she thought that the only solution for a child to be born to her would be through her servant, Hagar.

As we consider the accounts of Aḇram listening to the voice of his wife and having a child by his wife’s servant, which was not in the perfect plans of יהוה for them we can recognise some key lessons from the choices and decision that were made and the results and consequences of making such decisions without seeking the will of יהוה.

 

Verse 2

Aḇram listened to Sarai! Time and time again we see in Scripture the effect of a husband heeding the voice of his wife over the Word of Elohim and the effects of doing this.

While we certainly recognise a time in Scripture where יהוה tells Aḇram that he should listen to his wife for she is right – that being in Berěshith/Genesis 21:12 when she said that Yishma’ĕl shall not inherit with Yitsḥaq, yet here in her decision to let her husband have sex with her servant in order to try to gain a son in her house who could receive that which יהוה spoke of was not right, but rather it was simply human logic on her part that tried to work out a solution to what had seemed to be a problem to her,  which in the great plans and promises of יהוה, does not always carry much weight, for His ways are higher than ours – we have to simply trust and obey and persevere!

Sarai tried to create יהוה’s will in her own strength; and while we can see from the events that unfolded she was wrong, we would do well to learn not to do the same thing, in trying to create His will and plans to come to fruition by our own strength – we will most certainly fail and cause much heartache along the way!

Yishma’ĕl is a picture of that which is born of the flesh and represents the spirit of falsehood, whereas Yitsḥaq represents that which is of the Spirit of Truth!

Galatiyim/Galatians 4:22-26 “For it has been written that Aḇraham had two sons, one by a female servant, the other by a free woman. 23 But he who was of the female servant was born according to the flesh, and he of the free woman through promise. 24 This is allegorical, for these are the two covenants: one indeed from Mount Sinai which brings forth slavery, which is Hagar, 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Araḇia, and corresponds to Yerushalayim which now is, and is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Yerushalayim above is free, which is the mother of us all.

The Covenant was given to the ‘free woman’ that is the Torah was given to those of the promise and we are children of the Promise as we are grafted in by the Blood of Messiah shed on Mount Tsiyon and walk in the very Covenant by guarding the Torah by walking in faithful obedience to all the commands of Elohim.

We can so easily find ourselves, if we are not careful in guarding the commands, jumping into doing things that are led by our own thoughts, preferences, anxieties or fears, and in the process we begin to scheme and devise our own plans and future outside of the one יהוה has perfectly designed for us. We can so easily get caught in the “counterfeit” plans of the flesh,  so much so that our plans can often look and feel real to us, and even cause us to believe that they are from יהוה, when in reality they were sown from self, especially when we operate outside of the boundaries of simply obeying no matter the cost! Many people will manipulate and control others to get what they want and even feel good about the results that have been orchestrated in the flesh, yet find that later down the line that it was not the right way and consequences of wrong choices leave some major responsibilities to ‘clean up’ the mess. When we do things our own way we can even become surprised or angry when our plans don’t work out and only seem to crumble and fall apart.

We must always realise and know that יהוה timing is not always the way we think it should be – He is not slow as some think, but rather He is always perfect in His timing – to which we must learn to be in sync with by faith! Perseverance is what matures us through the tough ‘waiting and lean’ periods in which we wrestle and struggle with many trials, and we must hold on to the joy that is set before us and learn to be content no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, for His promises are sure and yes and Aměn in Messiah, so therefore there is no need to try to orchestrate a fleshly response to a spiritual command!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.

When doubt creeps in we must get back to the source of the Truth! Sarai should have consulted Aḇram when she began to doubt and get reassured in the Truth of the prophecy over their lives instead of going to Aḇram with a preconceived fleshly solution to her lack of faith!

Aḇram listened to her without weighing her words up against the Word of Elohim and as a result a ‘counterfeit seed’ was born! This counterfeit seed would result in many nations being birthed out of a ‘work of the flesh’ and Yishma’ĕl too would become a great number of people – sons of the slave woman – an analogy for those who walk according to the flesh!

He would also have 12 sons just as Ya’aqoḇ would and forever growing up alongside the promised seed of Yisra’ĕl would be those of Yishma’ĕl; and we therefore recognise that throughout all generations there would be the clear picture of a choice to make for all – whether to walk according to the flesh or according to the Spirit of Truth.

Another pattern we see in Scripture is how the false or counterfeit will always come before the True and Promised One, and so too we will see the anti-messiah rise up to lead many astray before our True Messiah returns.

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28 There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע. 29 And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

Galatiyim/Galatians 4:31 “Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the female servant but of the free woman.

As I have already mentioned – it was the children of the free woman who received the Torah and not the children of the salve woman, for there was no Torah given to Yishma’ĕl and there was no Covenant of Marriage entered into with Yishma’ĕl by Elohim, but rather – Yisra’ĕl – the children of the free woman entered into Marriage with the Creator and received His Torah. Those who claim that the Torah is not applicable today and that there is no need to follow the Torah, position and make themselves children of the slave woman, for which there is no promise and no entrance into the Promised Land.

The Torah is spiritual, Sha’ul tells us in Romiyim 7 and that he delights in the Torah of Elohim according to the inner man, while the flesh is opposed to the Torah, and the Torah of righteousness is completed in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, and in Romiyim 8 Sha’ul makes it clear that those who walk according to the flesh are unable to submit to the Torah of Elohim!!! And so there it clearly makes for us a definite distinction between those who are of the flesh and the slave woman and those who are of the spirit and of the free woman – for those who submit to the Torah of Elohim are of the free woman and walk according to the spirit while those who stand opposed to the Torah are of the slave woman destined to destruction if they continue to walk according to the stubbornness of the flesh, being sold under sin and lawlessness!

This Chapter 16 presents to us the clear lesson on that which is born of the flesh will never inherit the promise, while that which born from above are heirs to the promise, and so we must choose to walk in and stay in that which is from above, and walk in Messiah as True heirs of the covenants of Promise through His own Blood!

 

CHAPTER 17

At 99 years old יהוה appeared to Aḇram and made it clear that He is El Shaddai – and that Aḇram was to walk before Him and be perfect! 13 years had passed and once again we see that יהוהappeared” to Aḇram! Again we see the same word as  we saw in chapter 12, which is the word וַיֵּרָא – ‘vayyerah’  and comes from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 – Strong’s H7200 meaning, to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide.

This verb is written in the ‘niphal passive’ tense and therefore is understood as rendering, to appear, present oneself, to be seen, to be visible. What is very important for us to understand here is that יהוה literally ‘made himself visible’ to Aḇram again – this time it was to tell his very clearly that He is El Shaddai! The word שַׁדַּי Shaddai – Strong’s H7706 means, the Almightya compound title used for Elohim; and by declaring this to Aḇram, יהוה was making it very clear that He was all powerful and there was no one else who Aḇram would need!

The root word that שַׁדַּי Shaddai comes from is שָׁדַד shaḏaḏ – Strong’s H7703 which means, to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, completely destroy and so here we can clearly see the context of the clear message to Aḇram. The ALL-POWERFUL ONE was calling Aḇram to perfection; and we know that failure to heed His commands will result in the lawless to receive His wrath of destruction! After all the fiasco of the events around Yishma’ĕl, יהוה meant business with Aḇram and was being called to walk perfectly before יהוה, not that Aḇram had not been but now it is made very clear to not be found making fleshly decisions anymore, but rather listen to and obey the Almighty – the One who can easily and so quickly destroy the lawless and disobedient, yet give great life and sure promises to those who walk before Him and are prefect! He is Almighty and there is no one mightier than He, so as we walk humbly before Him we need not fear anything else or any other enemy that tries to come against us!

Luqas/Luke 12:4-5 “But I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that are unable to do any more. 5 “But I shall show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after killing, possesses authority to cast into Gehenna. Yea, I say to you, fear Him!

Walk before Me and be perfect!

Miḵah/Micah 6:8 “He has declared to you, O man, what is good. And what does יהוה require of you but to do right, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?

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

Walk’ in Hebrew is the word הָלַךְ hā∙lǎḵ - Strong’s H1980 meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life.

We are to actively and continually be walking in Messiah, and as Miḵah tells us that we are required to walk ‘humbly’ with Elohim. The root word used here for humble is צָנַע tsana – Strong’s H6800 meaning, ‘to be modest or humble’. In Miḵah/Micah 6:8 it is expressed as follows: וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת ve-ha-ts’nea lechet’ which literally expresses ‘a making humble to walk’ or ‘showing a humble walk’, again emphasising that our humility is seen in our walk – that is our walk of obedience as we clearly see and understand the words in:

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

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

In order to walk right, we must understand the fear of Elohim, or else we would not be able to walk straight and as Kěpha tells us, we are to pass the time of our sojourning in fear, as we realise that we have inherited lies and futility form our fathers:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:17-18 “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear, 18 knowing that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers, not with what is corruptible, silver or gold

Be prefect!

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

The Word calls for us to serve יהוה with a perfect heart! But, you may ask, is it possible to serve יהוה with a perfect heart, are we not all sinners unable to be perfect?

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:48 “Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.

Be perfect, often a hard expectation if understood in the wrong way, but what is it to be perfect or have a perfect heart?

‘Not a perfect heart’ often speaks of one who began well yet did not endure to the end – one who does not carry on to completion that which they are called to! It can be a ‘doing right, but…’ kind of scenario. There are to be no ‘buts’ in our committed life unto יהוה!

What does perfect mean? It can mean, flawless as in a flawless diamond, accurate, faithfully reproducing the original, pure complete, mature etc.

In the Hebrew there are two words for which we translate as perfect:

1 – שָׁלֵם ShalĕmStrong’s H8003– which means pure, complete, safe, at peace, perfect, whole, finished, blameless, full. This is used in the Hebrew as an adjective, as in a perfect heart:

Melaḵim aleph/1Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be perfect to יהוה our Elohim, to walk in His laws and guard His commands, as at this day.

2 - תָּמִים tamiym – Strong’s H8549 as described above – this is a verb that translates over 90 times as perfect, without blemish, complete or full:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:13 “Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim

Understanding these two Hebrew words used interchangeably throughout the Scriptures in referring to perfection in serving יהוה we can understand that the meaning is to be upright, totally obedient, to finish what was started and have a constant obedience. Having a perfect heart is having a responsive heart – one that answers quickly to יהוה’s call, His whisperings and His warnings.

In Hebrew the word heart is לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 and is not only seen as the seat of emotions, as we would understand it in our culture, but also as the seat of thoughts, whereas we see the brain as the seat of thoughts, the inner man, the mind the will and the heart. To the ancient Hebrew the heart was the mind including all thoughts and including emotions. In other words to love יהוה with all your heart is not simply speaking of an emotional love, but rather an exerted continual effort in keeping all of our emotions and thoughts working for and unto Him. Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:8 tells us that blessed are the pure in heart or those with a clean heart for they will see Elohim. Dawiḏ in Tehillah/Psalm 24 asks who can ascend the mountain of יהוה and stand in His set-apart place – those with innocent hands and a clean heart,

To be pure in heart means to be single minded in our devotion to יהוה and in our determination to love Him wholeheartedly.

It is a heart thing – and obedience flows from the heart, and in a Psalm that is all about the praise of the Torah and commands of Elohim we see Dawiḏ saying in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:111-112 “Your witnesses are my inheritance forever, for they are the joy of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to do Your laws Forever, to the end.

Romiyim/Romans 6:17 “But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

The Greek word for ‘heart’ is καρδία kardia – Strong’s G2588 and this word denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life, and is understood as the centre and seat of the soul and mind; as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours.

It refers to the innermost part of a man – that which drives and directs a man’s steps, thoughts and purpose! The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ - Strong’s H3820 which means, inner man, mind, will thought, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!

In the ancient Script the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ - Strong’s H3820 looks like this:

beitlamed

Lamed - לֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

Bet - ב:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

In terms of these two pictures representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are. And in recognising this we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most High that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House! Even with the word for heart being expressed as לֵבָב  leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ – בbeit, showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart

To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!

יהוה knows what is in our hearts, while we may not; and He tests our hearts in order to see if we will obey Him or not:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:18 “And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.

The reason I am quoting all these verses is to show that ‘it is a heart thing’ and the Word must be in our hearts and mouths, and not just a vain rendering of a corrupted lips service that has no heart or follow through with obedience and submission to doing the commands with joy!

Guarding the good treasure and deposit of the Truth in our hearts will keep us from sinning and being lawless!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:11 “I have treasured up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

So when we are told to be perfect (תָּמִים tamiym), we are told we are to be complete, and be mature in our thoughts and actions. We are to move on to maturity which comes through the perseverance of trials in order to be complete and not lack anything. It is those who are immature – those who stay on the milk of the Word, who cannot walk perfect before יהוה. Although many ought to be teachers by now, they have not moved on to maturity in the Word and stumble continually in the man-made traditions that have held people captive on milk.

The church today is, in large, feeding people milk, and not even pure milk at that – but rather a ‘formula’ – which is man-made as opposed to the pure milk of a mother and never allows people to be weaned off from their constructed milk and think for themselves!

We know that Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah tells us in 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things – and perhaps that is why we can often so easily say everything is ok, when it is not! Yet Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that יהוה looks at the heart. So as יהוה looks at your heart – what does He see?

So how do we keep a perfect heart before יהוה?  It starts with being open before יהוה, allowing Him to deal with those imperfections that are in our heart:

Tehillah/Psalms 139: 23-24 “Search me, O Ěl, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; 24  and see if an idolatrous way is in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Dawiḏ was willing for יהוה to search him and try his heart: a perfect heart is a searchable heart, which means we allow יהוה to penetrate and examine deeply into our thoughts and emotions. The false teachings today tell you that as long as your heart doesn’t condemn you then you are ok and the Blood of יהושע has cleansed you, yet they fail to neglect what it says prior to this:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6-7 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin.

His Blood cleanses us yes, but we are to be walking in the light as He is – we are to be walking in His instructions with a perfect heart inclining to walk in the perfect knowledge of His Loving Word!

Verse 2-9

יהוה declares to Aḇram that He gives His Covenant between Himself and Aḇram and the sure promise of greatly increasing him, telling him that he will be the father of many nations! It is here that Aḇram’s name is changed to Aḇraham, and so his name would no longer just mean, “exalted father’ but now it would mean, “father of a multitude”, and not only will the nations through him be fruitful, but sovereigns would come from him – ultimately of course we see again the promise of the Reign of the Sovereign Messiah being given here! The I AM – the One who causes us to be, was telling Aḇraham that He would ‘cause’ Aḇraham to be a fruitful father of many!

There was a great shift happening here, as we certainly recognise that a name change represented a change in ‘essence’ which was taken very seriously; and it is worth noting that Yishma’ĕl was the son born to Aḇram, while Yitsḥaq was the son born to Aḇraham, and so those who would come from the line of Yitsḥaq would become children of Aḇraham!

 

CIRCUMCISION – THE GREAT DEBATE!

This chapter 17 of Berěshith/Genesis has certainly caused a huge debate after the life, death and resurrection of Messiah that continues still to this day. Many on the ‘Torah’ work differ in their interpretation and understanding of this matter; and there are primarily two opposing views that come head to head in an often heated discussion.

To be circumcised or not to be – a long argued debate that still has not found common ground or agreement among so many Torah obedient believers. Both groups will in fact even use the same Scripture verses as their opposing group at presenting their argument and can be very confusing at the best of times. In my limited research, and I say limited as there is still much to consider in this long contested topic, I have found a very common thread which clearly comes through in defining who is of what ‘camp’ so to speak. For those who are strongly for physical circumcision to be a requirement of all males, it is noted that this is brought forward as an argument for circumcision primarily by people who deny the deity of Messiah or who do not accept that יהושע is Elohim and that יהושע is יהוה, or better put – the Outstretched Arm and Hand of יהוה; while I find that for those who argue that circumcision is not necessary today, primarily are of the group of Torah obedient believers that believe that יהושע is Elohim and that יהושע is יהוה in the flesh, and that it was יהושע who appeared to Aḇram, and who sat with Mosheh and the 70 elders on Mount Sinai, and who Yeshayahu saw, and who Yoḥanan saw in visions. So what I do find is that while the debate of circumcision is a very ‘hot’ topic, I have realised that the underlying root of the arguments for or against lies in one’s view of Messiah. Having said that, we also realise that each side stands fast on their view and prays that the other will come to the realisation of their view, which may or may not happen. What we need to determine is whether or not Messiah is Elohim or not, and I firmly believe, and are of those who do believe, that יהושע is Elohim and that He is in fact יהוה our Saviour and He is the One who we will see at His second Coming and it is He who will put His feet on Mount Tsiyon as spoken of in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah!

I therefore am of the belief that the need for physical circumcision is not necessary and while many will have their hair on their backs raise up at this statement, I will present why I say this and show that I am in no way ‘taking away’ from the Torah!’

Many today who are for physical circumcision as a requirement are actually at the point of rejecting all of Sha’ul’s letters as well as Iḇ’rim/Hebrews which by all accounts is believed to have been written in fact by Sha’ul. While the argument of ‘if we only had the Torah what would we do?’ is voiced by some, we have to realise that we do not just have the Torah, but rather we have the Torah, Prophets, Writings and Renewed Writings and must look at the whole Word. Some say t that it was the church who decided what should be in the Scriptures and this is untrue, as there are other writings from the first century that confirm for us that already in the 1st century at the time of the apostles, the Renewed Writings (N.T.) was seen as inspired and accepted as that which forms part of the Word of Elohim by the Apostles themselves!

Having said that we also realise that the underlying theme in all of Sha’ul’s letters is the issue of circumcision; and so it was as much of a debate back then as it is today; and we also recognise that what was even more of an issue back then, as is today, was the deity of Messiah!!!

What we must take note of in this Chapter 17 of Berěshith/Genesis is that the word ‘seed’ is singular, and the word used for ‘seed’ is זֶרַע zera – Strong’s H2233 and means, ‘a sowing, seed, offspring’ and comes from the primitive root זָרַע zara – Strong’s H2232 meaning, ‘to sow or scatter seed’ and is a powerful reference to ‘seed time and harvest, and points as a clear reference to Messiah as being the promised seed, as of course pictured through the life of Yitsḥaq, who would be Aḇraham’s physical seed. The Covenant of circumcision was given as a sign in the flesh to Aḇraham and his seed forever! Messiah being the fulfilment of that seed, was indeed circumcised at 8 days old – which I believe took place on Shemini Atzeret – the Last Great day of Sukkoth, thus confirming the sign of the Covenant in the flesh – paving the way for all who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise were now by the death and resurrection of Messiah, able to enter in to the Covenants by His Blood shed on the stake! His circumcision in His flesh confirmed the Covenant with Aḇraham, and so by His death He firmly established entrance into this Covenant to all who call upon His Name and are immersed in Him!

In Dani’ěl/Daniel 9:27 we are told, as I have already mentioned, that in the middle of the week Messiah would put an end to slaughtering and meal offerings – yet this putting an end to the slaughterings does not nullify or do away with any part of the Torah, but rather upholds and establishes it by confirming with many for one week – that is for all time – those who were before He came in the flesh and those who have come after He came in the flesh. He put an end to the requirement of the shedding of Blood as a means to enter into covenant.

While many will strongly oppose this view, I would like to highlight various passages from the letters of Sha’ul showing that this topic of circumcision was hotly contested and how he addressed it in the context of יהוה Himself coming in the flesh to satisfy the cutting required in the flesh!

Qolasim/Colossians 2:11-14 “In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah, 12 having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having blotted out the certificate of debt against us – by the dogmas – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake.

By His circumcision!!! Being buried with Him in immersion and raised with him through belief – we who were dead in the trespass and uncircumcision of our flesh are now made alive together with Him!!! Circumcision points to the putting away of the flesh, which is death – the curse of the Torah –and that Messiah nailed to the stake – He nailed the curse of the Torah – death – that enmity that stood against us and He by his circumcision ‘rolled our reproach away”  - that is our flesh – or rather the uncircumcision of our flesh!

Sha’ul warns us to watch out for the mutilation as he calls it in Pilipiyim/Philippians – watch out for those who are trying to enforce fleshly circumcision, as he clearly states who are truly ‘the circumcision’ in:

Pilipiyim/Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, who are serving Elohim in the Spirit, and boasting in Messiah יהושע, and do not trust in the flesh

He goes on to explain that if anyone wished to trust in the flesh, he most certainly could as he was circumcised on the 8th day, but no matter what he thinks he gained in the flesh, he considered it all as loss because of Messiah!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-19 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14  For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and to completely restore to favour both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it. 17 And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near. 18 Because through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim

This is also very clear here in that Sha’ul is telling us that the things that excluded us from citizenship – circumcision of the flesh by the hands of men – was satisfied by Messiah’s Blood. There was a ‘wall’ or ‘barrier’ that separated the nations from the Yehuḏim in the days of Messiah and the primary or major factor that caused this barrier to be set up was indeed ‘circumcision’ and this is what Messiah came to break down, so as to create a renewed man from the two making peace, and therefore abolished in his flesh that barrier!

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:2-6 “See, I, Sha’ul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Messiah shall be of no use to you. 3 And I witness again to every man being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the entire Torah. 4 You who are declared right by Torah have severed yourselves from Messiah, you have fallen from favour. 5 For we, in Spirit, by belief, eagerly wait for the expectation of righteousness. 6 For in Messiah יהושע neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but belief working through love.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 7:18-20 “Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 The circumcision is naught, and the uncircumcision is naught, but the guarding of the commands of Elohim does matter! 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.

Romiyim/Romans 4:9-12 “Is this blessing then upon the circumcised only, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we affirm: Belief was reckoned unto Aḇraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it reckoned? Being in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the belief while in uncircumcision, for him to be a father of all those believing through uncircumcision, for righteousness to be reckoned to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the belief which our father Aḇraham had in uncircumcision.”

 

Romiyim/Romans 2:26-29 “So, if an uncircumcised one watches over the righteousnesses of the Torah, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision? 27 And the uncircumcised by nature, who perfects the Torah, shall judge you who notwithstanding letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the Torah! For he is not a Yehuḏite who is so outwardly, neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But a Yehuḏite is he who is so inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not literally, whose praise is not from men but from Elohim.

 

Galatiyim/Galatians 2:3-5 “But not even Titus who was with me, though a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But as for the false brothers, sneakingly brought in, who sneaked in to spy out our freedom which we have in Messiah יהושע in order to enslave us, 5 to these we did not yield in subjection, not even for an hour, so that the truth of the Good News remains with you.

Titus was not circumcised and while false brothers tried to sneak in and spy out this freedom in Messiah, they did not yield in subjection to their fleshly observance – so that the Truth of the Good News would remain!

Ma’asei/Acts 10-11 we see the accounts of Kěpha going to Cornelius and he was condemned for going to the uncircumcised, yet what do we find Kěpha commanding Cornelius and his house after seeing that the Spirit of Elohim had come upon these ‘uncircumcised’ gentiles? He did not command circumcision as many of the Yehuḏim were trying to enforce at the time, but rather Kěpha commanded them to repent and be immersed in Messiah – why? So that they too would be able to rise up and eat with Kěpha – a clear picture of being able to partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal by being immersed in Messiah – and not through physical circumcision by the hands of men. Kěpha then fully understood his vision of the unclean animals and being commanded to rise up and eat – it was a vision of the nations, who were now able to enter into the Covenant by the Blood of Messiah and no longer should he call unclean what He has called clean!!! No longer could one who was circumcised in the flesh call an uncircumcised one in the flesh unclean, so the command became clear and simple – repent and be immersed in the name of Messiah!!!

Once again I make it clear that I realise that there are many who would strongly oppose my presentation on circumcision, yet I have to stress the underlying factor in the division of these views – and that is clearly on the deity of Messiah, for most who are for circumcision deny that Messiah is יהוה in the flesh, and this I firmly believe is a great stumbling block in fully understanding just what יהוה did that day with Aḇraham, when he passed through the sacrifices declaring that He Himself would come and satisfy the Blood of the Covenants in His own flesh and Aḇraham and his descendants would most certainly bear the sign of the Covenant, which  יהוה Himself too would come and receive, causing the covenant to be firmly established between Him and Aḇraham and his seed forever!!!

All who have been bought with silver – that is redeemed – are circumcised! Messiah is the Redeemer and in His circumcision this Torah is fully met – not done away with – but fully and forever met!!!

Verse 18-27

יהוה made it clear to Aḇraham that Yishma’ĕl would not receive the promise but the son born to Sarai his wife would.

After telling Aḇraham that the Covenant would not be established with Yishma’ĕl, we take clear note that Yishma’ĕl was still circumcised, giving us clear evidence that mere circumcision of the flesh does not cause you to enter into the Covenants of Promise – only the Blood of Messiah can – and as Sha’ul tells us – stay in the calling you were called – as you go forward in faith, walking in Messiah who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light!!!

Another valuable insight in understanding the ‘guarding of this covenant of circumcision’ until the ‘SEED’ which is Messiah, we find in the ancient letters of this word for ‘circumcised’, a very valuable lesson:

The Hebrew root word for ‘circumcised’ is מוּל mul – Strong’s H4135 which means, to circumcise, cut off, and in the ancient pictographic alphabet it is pictured as follows:

lamedwawmem

מ – This is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as mem - ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.

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

ל  – This is the letter ‘lamed’, which in the early script is pictured as lamed , which is a ‘shepherd’s staff, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

The term ‘be circumcised’ is written from this root as follows – הִמּוֹל – ‘himol’, and as you will notice it has the letter ‘הִ’ – ‘hey’ added to the front of this root word, and in the ancient script would look as follows:

lamedwawmemhey

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

Now when we begin to understand the perfect work of Messiah, who by His Blood has given us access into the Covenants of promise we can indeed see through these pictographic letters how we have received a circumcision done, not with the hands of men, but from above!

This word or phrase ‘be circumcised’ as pictured in these original pictographic symbols can certainly point toward the SEED, and render for us the following:

“Behold and look to Him, who through our immersion (passing through the waters) in Him, are secured and brought near to the Covenants of Promise, in which we submit under His hand and are led by Him, our Good Shepherd”

This pictographic word for circumcision makes it clear that we are not ‘added’ to His body by the works of the flesh, but that we are added by Him, who in His own Blood secured for us the ability to be added, through immersion in His Mighty and Powerful Name that we call upon for deliverance and Salvation, and under whom we continue to submit and be led forth, by His easy yoke of His clear Torah for set-apart living, as we walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh!

Shalom!