This week’s torah portion is called ‘Pineḥas’, which follows on from last week’s portion, that ends with the account of an ardent Pineḥas, who rose up and put to death the couple who whored in the camp..
As I mentioned last week: the name of this brave priest was פִּינְחָס Pineḥas – Strong’s H6372 which means, ‘mouth of brass’.
This bold and zealous priest certainly lived up to his name by taking no nonsense as he took a spear in his hand and thrust the spear through both of those who were whoring in the camp!.
In fact, he thrust the spear through the belly of the woman – that is her קֵבָה qeḇah – Strong’s H6896 which means, ‘stomach or belly of a woman’.
In essence, we see here that Pineḥas thrust the spear through her reproductive organs and so, in effect, was putting to death the sin of adultery and the curse that comes with it, by thrusting the spear through the very part of a woman where the seed of life would come forth!
This Hebrew word for belly, comes from the root word קָבַב qaḇaḇ – Strong’s H6985 which means, ‘to utter a curse against, curse, blaspheme’.
This just strengthens the very bold act of Pineḥas as he put to death any curse or blasphemy that was uttered against Yisra’ĕl and while we saw that Bilʽam could not curse Yisra’ĕl as Balaq wanted, the cursing came another way – through the mode of luring the men away to whoring, and this Pineḥas stood up against this whoring and took action when no one else would..
We begin this week’s portion, which is named after Pineḥas, by seeing how this ardent one receives a great commendation from יהוה, as it was by his brave actions that he turned back the wrath of יהוה from Yisra’ĕl, so that they were not utterly consumed, after 24 000 had already died in the plague!.
Pineḥas is commended for being ‘ardent’, and the word, in Hebrew, that is translated here as ‘ardent’, comes from the root word קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 which has the meaning, ‘to be jealous or zealous, ardour, zeal’.
It also carries the meaning of becoming intensely red in the face, caused by a deep emotion!
This word expresses an understanding of ‘an intense passion and zeal’ that is shown in one’s pursuit of something or someone, revealing a very high level of dedication and commitment to what one is called to!
This is a very powerful picture of a ‘burning passion’ for the truth that we see being carried out very effectively by Pineḥas..
This word is also translated, at times in Scripture, into English as ‘envy’ and is used in a negative sense too, in carrying the understanding to not be ‘zealous’ for that which is not yours and not be zealous to go after ways that are not in line with the righteous standards of the Torah!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:31 “Do not envy a cruel man, and choose none of his ways”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of יהוה all day long”
The Hebrew root word used here in these two verses from Mishlĕ/Proverbs for ‘envy’ is קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, ‘to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent’.
It is written in the ‘piel’ tense which indicates the expression of an intensive or intentional action!
It is the same word used to describe Pineḥas who was ardent/zealous for יהוה and rose up and took a stand against the whoring of Yisra’ĕl!
This word, as we can see, can have a dual meaning, depending on where your focus is on and on what your eyes are looking at!.
Our eyes are to be on יהוה and His Torah, which is to be the ‘apple of our eye’ (Tehillah/Psalm 7:2) as we guard his commands so that we live, and in doing so we can be like Pineḥas and Ěliyahu who expressed great zeal for יהוה, or if our eyes are turned away from the Truth, for a split second, and focused on the things of the flesh that do not satisfy, we are in danger of becoming extremely envious of what others have and in doing so, find our feet in a slippery place!.
The wrong ‘envy’ can cause you to make irrational choices instead of waiting on יהוה, and in Berěshith/Genesis we see a picture of Yosĕph’s brothers exercising envy in a negative sense:
Berěshith/Genesis 37:11 “And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.”
Envy for or towards others, as opposed to a positive zeal toward Elohim, will cause one’s life to rot away:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:30 “A healthy heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:21 “envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.”.
So, while we see this same root word being used in describing a passion or zeal that is good versus that which is not, we can better explain it as follows:
To ‘envy’ something or someone or some ways as opposed to being zealous for something, someone or the need to follow in those ways is a difference between what is rightfully yours to be zealous for and what is not!
What Pineḥas displayed was a jealousy/zeal for what was right and that which he had a right to be zealous for!.
Often, we see ‘jealousy’ in English as a negative thing, yet there is nothing negative about יהוה being jealous for us.
The way I can describe it best, is simply to say that there is a vast difference in being zealous for that which rightfully belongs to you and has been taken as opposed to being envious of that which is not yours and you have not right to, yet burn intensely for that which is not yours to have!.
Set-Apartness befits the House of Elohim and we are to be zealous for this standard to be kept within the body of Messiah.
This kind of zeal is a positive application of the word קָנָא qanah.
When we are envious over people or things that are not ours to have then that is the negative use of קָנָא qanah, while being jealous/zealous for having the righteous right-ruling and standards of the Torah, which has been corrupted by traditions and man-made systems of compromise, is the positive and right form of קָנָא qanah, which when acted upon will cause one to take a righteous stand of boldness as Pineḥas did!
The right kind of zeal that Pineḥas had, was one that was not a slave to his emotions but rather that he burned with the same passion that יהוה had, and this kind of zeal is being called for today!
If we have the same zeal for יהוה and His righteousness as He has towards us, then we would do our utmost to put to death all forms of compromise and flee all whoring!.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee whoring. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits whoring sins against his own body.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:14 “Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.”
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:11 “But you, O man of Elohim, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, reverence, belief, love, endurance, meekness.”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:22 “And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous for you with a jealousy according to Elohim. For I gave you in marriage to one husband, to present you as an innocent maiden to Messiah.”
This kind of zeal, or ardour, that Pineḥas displays is the kind of zeal that we are to have for guarding the commands of Elohim and in doing that, have a great zeal for the House/Dwelling Palace of the Most-High – for that is what we are!.
When we have a zeal for the House, we will keep the House clean, and when saying that I am reminded of the words of Dawiḏ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 69:8-9 “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and a foreigner to my mother’s children; 9 because ardour for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
The Hebrew noun used here for ‘ardour’ is קִנְאָה qinah – Strong’s H7068 which comes from the root verb קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065.
When our ardour for the House ‘eats us up’, so to speak, then we must realise that we may indeed become a stranger to our families and friends who are not zealous for Elohim and His word!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:139 “My ardour has consumed me, for my adversaries have forgotten Your words.”
Once again, we can see how the psalmist is expressing how the forgetfulness of compromising people caused his ardour for the Torah of Elohim to consume him..
The Hebrew root word translated here as ‘consumed’ is צָמַת tsamath – Strong’s H6789 which means, ‘to put an end to, exterminate, cut off, destroy, consume’, and while this word expresses a clear extermination, we also take note how much the lawlessness of the enemies of the true servant of יהוה had utterly caused his ardour to consume him.
His ardour for the House had certainly eaten him up, as he saw how so many easily and quickly forgot the Words of יהוה..
We need to be challenged in our daily walk, and as we see how so many have conveniently forgotten the Words of יהוה, we too ought to be consumed by an intense ardour for יהוה.
Many people today will claim that they are zealous for יהוה, yet they cut corners and allow compromise to go unchallenged and do not confront the mixed, lukewarm worship of so many others, nor do they want to be confronted about their lives, as they are sadly partaking in a lukewarm worship themselves..
When our zeal for יהוה and His Word completely consumes us then we will be like the Pineḥas’ of today, who stand up and put to death any attempts at a vain worship that is clearly compromised through a sickening mixing!
Zeal for יהוה consumed Ěliyahu too, and we see him expressing his zeal to יהוה in:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 19:10 “And he said, “I have been very jealous for יהוה Elohim of hosts, for the children of Yisra’ĕl have forsaken Your covenant. They have thrown down Your altars, and they have slain Your prophets with the sword, and I am left, I alone, and they seek my life, to take it.”
The words ‘very jealous’ is written in the Hebrew texts as קַנֹּא קִנֵּאתִי qano qineyathiy, and emphasises just how zealous Ěliyahu was, as he in effect was saying:
‘I am zealous with my zeal for יהוה…’.
I believe from the patterns that we see in Scripture, in seeing how the true worshippers and servants of Elohim have a zeal for יהוה, and stood up amidst a crooked and perverse people, that we too need to stand up today in an urgent and zealous zeal for יהוה and His Word!
This is what Pineḥas did, for he stood up and acted as he could no longer put up with the mixed compromise of people who claim to be worshipping the Elohim that he was extremely zealous for!.
Pineḥas, the grandson of Aharon, was sick and tired of the blatant disregard for יהוה and neglect to be obedient to His Torah.
And we can learn some great lessons from his name, which means, ‘mouth of brass’, and with the name of his father El’azar meaning, ‘El has helped’ and the name of Aharon meaning, ‘light bringer’, we can see that today, we too, as a royal priesthood for Messiah, need to stand up and be bold in speaking the Truth, without fear, as we are helped by the Light of the world, יהושע Messiah, who strengthens us, by His Spirit, to speak words that we need to, in our stand of destroying all forms of idolatry and the wicked ‘whoring after Ba’al’ that is going on!
How many of you are sick and tired of the blatant disregard that many have for יהוה in the world around us today?
We see everything other than יהוה being worshiped today, even within the body of Messiah!
And what are we doing about it?
In the midst of the darkness of the world that we live in, and the desperate need for us to walk consistently in our loving obedience to the commands of יהוה, and shine the light, there is a call to those who truly fear יהוה and are zealous for Him and His honour, to rise up and take a stand for the Truth!.
We also take note of how jealous יהוה is:
Shemoth/Exodus 34:11-17 “Guard what I command you today. See, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Kena‛anite and the Ḥittite and the Perizzite and the Ḥiwwite and the Yeḇusite. 12 “Guard yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst.13 “But break down their slaughter-places, and smash their pillars, and cut down their Ashĕrim – 14 for you do not bow yourselves to another mighty one, for יהוה, whose Name is jealous, is a jealous Ěl – 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they whore after their mighty ones, and slaughter to their mighty ones, and one of them invites you and you eat of his slaughterings, 16 and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters whore after their mighty ones, and make your sons whore after their mighty ones. 17 “Do not make a moulded mighty one for yourselves.”
These words that יהוה spoke to Mosheh make it very clear how jealous יהוה is and in His jealousy, He will not accept any compromised form of worship, teaching us that in our zeal for Him we must be urgent in destroying all form of false worship and compromise!.
Yisra’ĕl were completing their last year of their Wilderness Wanderings and were camped next to the Yardĕn River at Shittim.
They would have known that they were in there last year, for יהוה had told them that they would be in the Wilderness for 40 years for their disobedience – 1 year for every day that they spied out the land and brought back a bad report.
It was from this very place that Yehoshua would lead them across the Yardĕn into the Promised Land and destroy Yeriḥo and the surrounding nations.
I want you to picture this for a moment, as we look back in time – The journey in the Wilderness is nearly over – the Land of Promise is just across the river, which they can physically see – they were on the ‘home stretch’, so to speak..
The Wilderness years were certainly not easy – over 1 million adults that had left Mitsrayim were now dead. Mosheh’s brother and sister, Aharon and Miryam were now dead, and Mosheh didn’t have much longer to go either, for he also knew that he would not go across, as יהוה had told him, after he hit the rock instead of speaking to it for water, at Meriḇah.
The years in the Wilderness were years of hardship and grumbling, plagues and battles – a result of their own disobedience, I might add – yet through it all, יהוה was with them and He provided for them (food and water for over 2 million people for 40 years in the dessert!!!).
Yisra’ĕl were now about to ‘cross over’ into the Promised Land – they were about to embrace the victory of the Promises of יהוה.
If you were to enter this camp site at this time, knowing all this, you would kind of think that you would find great excitement, expectation and enthusiasm; people rejoicing, dancing, singing, giving thanks and worshipping before יהוה of Hosts.
Well, while that may be what you would expect to see, we find and discover that this great scene of thankfulness, that we thought would be there, was not at all what was going on…!!!
In fact, the opposite was happening – they were whoring after the seduction of the Mo’aḇites and were enticed into committing sexual acts of sin, in worship to Ba’al..
Pineḥas displayed his love for יהוה, in his total obedience to יהוה, while the majority of the camp were disregarding the commands of Elohim:
Yoḥanan Bět/2 John 1:6 “And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
This passion and zeal that was displayed that day, is what is being called for again today, as what we see happening in the world today, is no different to the whoring and being joined to Ba’al Peʽor, that we see being spoken of here in this chapter..
Sha’ul tells us to be ardent in spirit:
Romiyim/Romans 12:11 “not idle in duty, ardent in spirit, serving the Master”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘ardent’ comes from the root verb ζέω zeō – Strong’s G2204 which means, ‘to be hot, fervent, have a zeal for what is good or bad, to boil’, and is equivalent to the Hebrew word קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065..
One can be ‘hot’ or zealous for that which is good or what is evil, and so we are able to see that while we are encouraged and instructed to be ardent ‘hot’ for the Master is serving Him in Spirit and Truth, we also recognise that there are many who are ‘hot’ for doing evil:
Miḵah/Micah 7:2-3 “The kind one has perished from the earth, and there is no one straight among men. All of them lie in wait for blood, everyone hunts his brother with a net. 3 Both hands are on the evil, to do it well. The prince asks for gifts, the judge seeks a bribe, and the great man speaks the desire of his being. And they weave it together.”
There are many today who are claiming to worship Elohim yet the hypocrisy of their lukewarm lifestyles reveal that they are not ardent for יהוה and reveal that their so called ‘love for Elohim’ is with hypocrisy as they hold fast to that which is evil.
Romiyim/Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.”.
As mentioned in last week’s Torah portion commentary:
Ba’al Peʽor was a Mo’aḇite ‘mighty one’, which service included sexually immoral acts.
The name Ba’al means ‘husband, land owner’ and its general meaning and term, as used in pagan idolatry and worship, is ‘lord’, which may be a little shocking to you, if you have never realised this – as the term ‘lord’ is a construct of an inherited term, which comes from pagan worship that was used for thousands of years.
פְּעוֹר Peʽor – Strong’s H6465 was the name of a mountain in Mo’aḇ.
This name comes from the root word פָּעַר ‘pa’ar’ – Strong’s H6473 which is a verb meaning ‘open wide’; and so, in essence, Ba’al Peʽor can be accurately rendered as ‘lord of the opening’ or the ‘lord that opens wide’. We know that יהושע says that wide is the way that leads to destruction and many find it!!!
The occurrences of this verb פָּעַר ‘pa’ar’ – Strong’s H6473, meaning, ‘open wide’, indicate adjunction with the strong passion or feeling, usually not very positive, and described the wide opening of the mouth, hence alluding to other body cavities!
Hoshěa remarks on the Ba’al Peʽor event (Hoshěa/Hosea 9:10) and it is clear that the Yisra’ĕlites defiled themselves with abundant fornication and sexual perversion as the Ba’al worship rites were celebrated by the grossest obscenity.
So, here we can translate that being joined to Ba’al Peʽor meant being led on the wide path that leads to destruction.
We are to be the joined body of Messiah – joined to Messiah יהושע – being led in His narrow way!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it. 14 Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The word translated here as ‘hard pressed’ comes from the Greek word θλίβω thlibō – Strong’s G2346 which means, ‘to press or afflict, to distress, suffer affliction’, and in the literal sense can mean, ‘to squash, press, hem in, rub, harassed’, and also can be understood as being ‘narrow or hard pressed’, and the Greek word that is translated as ‘narrow’ is στενός stenos – Strong’s G4728 which means, ‘narrow (space or passage) as a result of obstacles standing close about)’.
In other words, the true path of life is very narrow, and often it will feel like the pressure of so many obstacles of destruction that are pressing hard against us, are doing their best to cause us to not enter in, as we are continually hard pressed on every side – yet as faithful followers of Messiah, we are not crushed!
The Greek word translated here as ‘wide’ is πλατύς platus – Strong’s G4116 which means, ‘broad street, broad way’
The Greek word used here for ‘broad’ is εὐρύχωρος euruchōros – Strong’s G2149 which means, ‘broad, spacious’, and is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the ‘Tanak’ – O.T.) in the following verse:
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:16 “For Yisra’ĕl is stubborn, like a stubborn calf. Would יהוה now feed them like a lamb in a broad place?”
The Hebrew word that translated here as ‘broad place’ is the noun מֶרְחָב merḥaḇ – Strong’s H4800 which means, ‘a broad or roomy place, large field’, and comes from the root verb רָחַב raḥaḇ – Strong’s H7337 and it is from this root verb that we get the word that is translated as ‘proud’, as in a ‘proud heart’ in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:4 “A haughty look, a proud heart, the lamp of the wrong, are sin.”
And a proud heart: This is written in the Hebrew as follows – וּרְחַב־לֵב – ‘ur’ḥaḇ leḇ’, which comess from the two root words:
1) לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, and
2) רָחָב raḥaḇ – Strong’s H7342 which means, ‘wide, broad, proud, arrogant, spacious’, which comes from the root verb רָחַב raḥaḇ – Strong’s H7337 which means, ‘to be or grow wide or large, extend, make room, open wide’..
I find this picture, of having a wide heart, as being a proud one that is very interesting, especially as we take note of the clear warning that we can glean from this; and that is that we are to guard the narrow way of Truth in our heart and not be arrogantly led astray by the so called ‘many ways’ that are being presented as acceptable!.
A proud heart, or a broad heart, is an idiomatic expression for “arrogance”, and teaches us about the dangers of simply accepting the broad path that leads to destruction.
Many people arrogantly assume that they are fine and think that they can do whatever is right in their own eyes, along with many others who think the same and that all will be fine in the end. This is the broad path of arrogance that leads to death – there is only One Way and it is narrow!
A proud heart is a picture of a heart that does not guard the Torah of Elohim but follows whatever path best suits their situation, according to their own standards of uprightness with no regard for the clear Truth of the Torah of Elohim!.
A proud heart is also a clear picture of one who rebels against the Torah of Elohim and we know that Scripture repeatedly tells us that יהוה resists the proud and in the Day of יהוה, He will put an end to the arrogance of the proud!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 13:11 “And I shall punish the world for its evil, and the wrong for their crookedness, and shall put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and lay low the pride of the ruthless.”.
In essence, Ba’al worship is the giving over to a free reign to the carnal nature, which is the flesh, and is expressed in gluttony, drunkenness and sexual acts..
This form of pagan worship comes from ancient Baḇelon as the worship of Nimrod was started by Semiramis, known as the Queen of heaven or Ishtar, today known as ‘Easter’ – who was the pagan goddess of fertility and mother of Tammuz, the worshipped son of Ba’al who would be reborn every year on December 25th.
You see, celebrating these pagan festivals, under the misguided lie of worship unto יהושע, is in fact a way people today are engaging in Ba’al worship!!!.
Pineḥas is a great shadow picture of Messiah, who is coming as a lion that will devour and destroy the works of darkness and the wickedness of adultery against Elohim, for when He comes again, He is coming with vengeance and great zeal, for He is a jealous El and He will put to death the whoring!
Pineḥas was not going to simply sit by and shut up when others were too afraid to take a stand.
Pineḥas stood up, not for himself, but for יהוה!
As we see in this account – the path of zeal for יהוה’s Name, His esteem and His Righteous Right standards, is not easy, as it requires everything of you and is often a very lonely path – yet we who claim to live in יהושע must walk this very zealous path that He Himself walked and be bold and ardent for Him in declaring the truth..
I also believe that Pineḥas was well trained and skilled in the use of weaponry and he could, with precision, use the spear – which he did, with a very sharp spear!!!
This speaks to me about our being trained and skilled in the Word.
We must become skilled in the very Word that is sharper than any doubled edged sword and be ardent to use it for the esteem of יהוה.
Let me tell you, when you take a stand and with precision use the Word that cuts – you will not necessarily be popular, so do not expect any applause – expect mockery, slander, course laughter, and bitterness.
But know this – your reward is not with men – it is with יהוה – He will applaud you and reward you for defending His esteem.
Wouldn’t it be something wonderful to hear the Father say, “You are as zealous as I am for My esteem!”
יהוה is waiting for His chosen to arise and have the courage to love Him and hate sin. Obedience to His Living Word is the highest expression of our love for Him.
As we go through this Torah portion, I am asking you today,
“Will you arise and burn with zeal for יהוה’s esteem and be bold and courageous to declare His Truth as you see sin around you, as you see Ba‘al worship going on in the lives of believers?” Will you take up a stand for His Torah – to live it, declare it and teach it, as you zealously expose the lies of the enemy and draw people back unto true worship?”.
May we not sit by at the false teachings and watered-down doctrines!
“Will you, in your own life, kill and put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and help others to do so as well?”
This is an ‘Ěliyahu message’ that I am laying out before you (no matter how often you go through this Torah portion and cycle – it is alive for you now!) – why do I say that?
What is this the Ěliyahu message?
Well, Ěliyahu was also very zealous for יהוה, and in his confrontation with Ba‘al worship, we see that this too is a call to forsake the worship of Ba’al and return to the commandments of יהוה.
On the physical level the Eliyahu message denounces sexual sin and all lusts of the flesh and on the spiritual level that is expressed in the desires of the flesh, it denounces the observance of pagan festivals – such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween to name a few.
The majority will continue to worship Ba’al (whether they realise it or not), yet there will be many ‘overcomers’, many like Pineḥas – true believers who keep the commandments of יהוה and put their faith in יהושע Messiah..
Endeavour to be amongst the few – amongst the remnant as you walk the path of zeal! It is time to rise up and take a stand and live, eat, hear and do the Truth!
Do not let sin pull you away; do not be afraid to rise up and take a stand.
Walk in a true zeal for יהוה.
Stop and think about it for a moment! There are people out there dying – what are you going to do? I will tell you what you should do: be zealous for יהוה, and rise up and take a stand!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60: 1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.”
As you may know, ‘light’ in the Hebrew also carries with it the meaning of ‘knowledge’ and therefore ‘darkness’ can carry the meaning of ‘ignorance’ or being hidden from the truth.
You see darkness/ignorance is over the earth, yet ‘thick darkness/ignorance’ is over many people.
But we who walk in the Torah have the light, the light and knowledge of Messiah יהושע as we walk in Him – and when we walk in Him His esteem is upon us – the question remains – will we be like Pineḥas and arise and stand up and defend the esteem of יהוה and take a stand for the Truth!!!.
We too must learn from our Master and Elohim, which we see being shadow pictured through the example of Pineḥas, as we also are able to see how zealous Messiah was for His House:
Yoḥanan/John 2:14-17 “And He found in the Set-apart Place those selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers sitting. 15 And having made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Set-apart Place, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the moneychangers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those selling doves, “Take these away! Do not make the house of My Father a house of merchandise!” 17 And His taught ones remembered that it was written, “The ardour for Your house has eaten Me up.”
How zealous are you for the House of Elohim?
We see today how, even among those who claim to be Torah observant followers of Messiah, that so many are doing as they please and there are many so called ‘Torah-teachers’ who are marketing and selling their teachings on a Sabbath, and even place a premium price on their teachings, making it exclusive to those who can pay.
This is no different to what was happening in the days that Messiah turned the tables of the moneychangers, as a true zeal for His House caused Him to turn the tables, so to speak!.
I once confronted someone who had organised a ‘so-called Torah teaching seminar’ on the Sabbath, which took place in a church building, and the guest speaker’s materials were made available for sale.
Some others had also petitioned against the ‘entrance fee’ that was originally advertised, which was later changed to a ‘bring an offering to cover the costs for the speaker’.
When confronted about the purchasing of the speaker’s books and materials on the Sabbath, the details were changed to purchasing the materials before Sabbath and collect on the day.
They thought that if the physical transaction was done before Sabbath, that it made it all ok, when in fact one of the primary purposes for the seminar/teaching was to promote his materials, and this was being done, in a church building on a Sabbath – to an audience of so-called Torah believers!
I could not keep silent and confronted the organiser via email, and I was told to get off of my religious high horse..
Why I am mentioning this, is to make it clear that we are able to see a subtle corruption of the Truth happening in our day, and most who have come out of a church system and desire to follow the Truth and obey the Torah, are sadly falling for compromised worship standards; and it is time for the True worshippers to stand up, be zealous with a great zeal for יהוה and not be afraid to confront those who are compromising the called for standard of set-apartness!.
The promise given to Pineḥas was יהוה’s COVENANT OF PEACE – he was literally given the ‘shalom’ of יהוה, as an everlasting covenant.
And, in Hebrew, the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 means, ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’..
Tehillah/Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those loving Your Torah, and for them there is no stumbling-block.”
Great emphasis is being placed here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:165 on how much peace that those loving the Torah have!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 26:3 “The one steadfast of mind You guard in perfect peace, for he trusts in You.”.
The Hebrew text is written as follows:
יֵצֶר סָמוּךְ תִּצֹּר שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם כִּי בְךָ בָּטוּחַ
yetser samuḵ titsor shalom shalom ki ḇeḵa batuaḥ
This can be literally translated as:
‘he whose mind is steadfast you keep in perfect peace, because in you he trusts’
The term ‘perfect peace’ is translated from the repetition of the root word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965..
Yeshayahu was picturing himself standing in the redeemed land with the remnant, listening to the people express they’re thanks to, and confidence in, יהוה our Saviour!
And the true thanks of the reality of the deliverance being made complete for those who are steadfast in mind is expressed in the complete shalom that is experienced by those who trust in יהוה.
Those loving the Torah have perfect peace and are not shaken by threatening circumstances but stand firm on the Rock of their deliverance!
The root meaning of the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 is ‘to be whole or sound’, and this leads to various translations that speak of completeness, wholeness, well-being, welfare and peace. The Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם shalom also includes the idea of vigour and vitality, in all dimensions of life..
The Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 carries a wealth of meaning that is almost impossible to summarise in a few sittings, yet the concept of shalom entails a completeness and wholeness in our Master and Elohim, who has redeemed us from enslavement to the chaos of sin!.
In the ancient pictographic text, the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 looks like this:.
Shin – שֵׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘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..
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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..
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , 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’ as well as ‘bind’..
Mem – מ:
The ancient script has this letter as 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. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’..
Now when looking at this word in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise what the true Shalom of Elohim brings and does for us, for its ancient meaning could be rendered, among others, as follows:
THAT WHICH DESTROYS OR BREAKS THE FALSE AUTHORITY
THAT BOUND US TO THE CHAOS OF THE NATIONS!.
And further renders the meaning:
THE WORD OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
THAT SECURES FOR US A COMPLETE CLEANSING!
This word speaks of a complete restoration of what was lost and broken and ensures the provision for what is needed to make one whole and complete, lacking nought! For we have been given all we need for life and reverence, having been grafted into the Covenant of Peace by the Blood of Messiah!
For those who stand up and are zealous for the esteem of יהוה, there shall be no lack!
The actions of one man turned the wrath of Elohim away from a nation – a beautiful picture of how Pineḥas represents for us a type or picture of Messiah, who by His actions appeased the wrath of Elohim!.
And what we can learn from these accounts of Pineḥas is that the difference between life and death is a matter of being in the proper order or not and those who guard righteousness and stand firm in the Master, armed with His Truth, have the full assurance of being grafted into the Everlasting Covenant of Shalom!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘covenant’ is בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 which means, ‘covenant, confederacy, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance, agreement’.
Primarily we take note that this term is used to describe the agreement or constitution that is established between Elohim and man, and such ordinances are accompanied by a sign or pledge..
This noun is believed to come from the root verb בָּרָה barah – Strong’s H1262 which means, ‘to eat, choose’, which gives us a better understanding in terms of a ‘Covenant Meal’, where eating together establishes the covenant between the parties!
With this promise of giving Pineḥas יהוה’s covenant of peace, to him and his seed after him, as an everlasting priesthood, we must take note that this was the assurance of being established to serve as a royal priesthood forever!
This is not a separate covenant that stands outside of His covenant with Aḇraham, that was established and confirmed with Yisra’ĕl, but rather that the establishment of a priesthood is secured in the covenant of Peace..
For more on this please see the article called, ‘UNDERSTANDING COVENANT!’ which can be found on our website (https://atfotc.com) under the articles menu or by clicking on the following link:
The Hebrew word for covenant – בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 in the ancient text, looks like this:.
Beyt – בְּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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.
We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as 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’. It means ‘top’, as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!.
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘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!
And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!.
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!.
As we consider this word for ‘covenant’ – בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 – in the ancient pictographic text then we are able to understand the clear assurance that we have, as the House or Dwelling Place of Elohim!.
THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE HAS BY HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND SECURED FOR US AN EVERLASTING COVENANT BY SEALING IT IN HIS OWN BLOOD!.
While we certainly recognise and understand that there are many facets to the Covenant that our Creator has made and established with His chosen and called out priesthood, we recognise that our Master and Elohim does not break Covenant and He remains lovingly-committed to His ‘Covenants of Promise’ with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ.
As a covenant people of Elohim, we are to guard to do all His commands as we express our love to Him in complete loving-commitment to the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into!
The bold actions of Pineḥas pictures for us a clear shadow picture of the redemptive work of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, and with the covenant of peace being given to him and his seed forever, as a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, we can recognise the shadow picture of Messiah, who is High priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq, and how we, who have been grafted in to His Covenants of Promise, are to serve as a fervent and zealous priesthood forever!.
We are told in verse 13 that Pineḥas, through his brave and zealous actions, made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl, and it is from these words that we can further see the shadow picture of redemption through יהושע Messiah, who, through His own blood, has made atonement for us, having put to death the punishment for sin and whoring, which is death, in order that we can be made alive in Him and serve as an everlasting priesthood that is zealous for Him and His esteem!
For those who stand up and are zealous for the esteem of יהוה, there shall be no lack and they shall serve forever as a set-apart and royal priesthood unto Him, never to be shaken or moved!.
The Righteous root will never be shaken or moved; therefore, we who stay in the Righteous Root shall never be shaken! Another firm promise we have from Elohim is seen in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:10 “For though the mountains be removed and the hills be shaken, My kindness is not removed from you, nor is My covenant of peace shaken,” said יהוה, who has compassion on you.”
The Covenant of peace will be a covenant of an everlasting priesthood!.
The phrase ‘everlasting priesthood’ is written in the Hebrew as follows: כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם – which transliterates as follows, kehunnath olam which comes from the two root words:
1) כְּהֻנָּה kehunnah – String’s H3550 which means, ‘priesthood, priest’s office’ which comes from the root word כֹּהֵן kohen – Strong’s H3548 which means, ‘priest, chief minister, officer, chief ruler’, which comes from the primitive root verb כָּהַן kahan – Strong’s H3547 which means, ‘to act as a priest, minister as a priest, serve as a priest’.
2) The Hebrew word translated as ‘everlasting’ is עוֹלָם olam – Strong’s H5769 which means, ‘long duration, antiquity, continual, all successive, everlasting, forever, permanent, unending, perpetual’, and clearly represents for us that which pertains to an unlimited duration of time, with a focus of no anticipated end!.
This covenant of a priesthood is exactly what is secured in Messiah, our King of Peace, as we are a royal priesthood that has been grafted in to His covenant of peace that stands forever, giving us the assurance that those who stay in Him will be secure in His Covenant of peace forever!
Pineḥas was ardent for יהוה and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl!
Pineḥas’ ardent action of putting to death sin in the camp, and making atonement for the nation, is a prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, who came to put to death the curse of sin and be a secure covering for us, by making atonement for us, His called-out Bride!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘and made atonement’ is וַיְכַפֵּר vayḵapper which comes from the root verb כָּפַר kaphar – Strong’s H3722 which means: ‘to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone’.
As a noun, it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’.
It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship.
Therefore, כָּפַר kaphar – Strong’s H3722 or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’!.
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the word כָּפַר kaphar – Strong’s H3722 is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times in the entire book!
39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system, where the other 9 times it is used to highlight the regulations and instructions for the Day.
This is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back (39) – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!!
By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!.
In the ancient pictographic script, we see the following picture for these three words:
Kaph – כִּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – 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!.
Pey – פֻּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established! This can also render for us a picture of that which has been opened, in terms of the way that has been opened by the Word of Elohim!.
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – – 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.
This letter can mean ‘top’ – as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’ – as in head of a tribe or people, as well as the one who rules the people..
When we consider the significance of these pictures that render the words כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 and כֹּפֶר ‘Kopher’H3724 we are able to clearly recognise the powerful working of our Master and Elohim, who has by His own Hand opened the Way for us to be joined to Him, who is our Head and therefore we can see the following:.
THE OPEN HAND THAT OPENED THE WAY TO THE HEAD!.
When we understand these pictures, in reference to a ‘covering’, as well as the ability to be afforded security and protection, we are able to see how we, who submit to our Master and Messiah, and acknowledge that He is our Head and chief and that He is the Beginning and the End, realise how by the Word of His mouth, that He has revealed to us in His own flesh, covers us as He has us written in the palm of His Hand, as His treasured possession!.
Our Master revealed His open Hand and took the nails in His Hands for our sin, in order that we can be cleansed and able to draw near to Him and be joined to Him, opening up for us the Way to Eternal Life in Him!.
When I see the rendering of these pictures, with regards to Yom Kippur, I am reminded of the encounter that T’oma had with Messiah, in:
Yoḥanan/John 20:26-29 “And after eight days His taught ones were again inside, and T’oma with them. יהושע came, the doors having been shut, and He stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” .
At the sight of the open hand of the Master, T’oma instantly recognised that יהושע is the only One True Master and Elohim and that by His death and resurrection, His revealed hand opened the way for us to be joined to Him, our Head!..
As we look at the names of the couple who whored in the camp of Yisra’ĕl, we see further insights for us today:
The name of the Yisra’ĕlite man who was struck with the Mo’aḇite woman was זִמְרִי Zimri – Strong’s H2174 meaning, ‘my music’!
He was the son of סַלּוּ Sallu – Strong’s H5543 meaning, ‘weighed’ or ‘made light of’. Zimri was ‘weighed and was found wanting’, and as we should recognise, being a Shim’onite (from the tribe of Shim’on), he should not have been in the Tabernacle compound area unless he was bringing a sacrifice!
With his name meaning ‘my music’, we can clearly see how music today has a major impact on society and how through ‘music’ much false and twisted worship is being ‘brought in to the camp’ so to speak as so much of the so-called worship music today that is being used to draw masses to church gatherings has found its way into many homes of many Torah keepers.
Music is a very powerful tool, in leading people into worship..
What we must consistently and constantly be doing is exercising discernment as to what is worship that esteem’s יהוה and His Name and what is not!
How often do you even find yourself going to the shops and hear a ‘jingle’ playing for just a sec, and find that before you know it you are humming away to the tune, which is in no way bringing esteem to our Creator – especially during pagan rooted feast times of man (you all know what I am referring to).
We praise יהוה for having blessed us as a fellowship in having the true gifts and talents of the Spirit being used here in bringing us worship that is pure and in line with the Word.
All the songs we sing here have been written and composed here and it is a blessing to be able to sing and praise and worship songs that do not take our minds back to Mitsrayim or Baḇel, so to speak, when hearing falsified titles and names!.
The Miḏyanite woman’s name was כָּזְבִּי Kozbi – Strong’s H3579 which means, ‘my lie’ and her father was a leader in Miḏyan whose name was צוּר Tsur – Strong’s H6698 meaning, ‘rock’.
This is a classic picture for us of the ‘false bride’ who portrays herself as the real thing yet is a lie!
She says she is from the rock, but it is not THE ROCK – יהושע, and when we see ‘my lie’ and ‘my music’ coming together, to bring defilement into the camp, we see how many are led astray through false worship practices of the whore who claims to have authority, yet it is not from above!
The False Messiah and his congregation, which are built on a modernised construct of a Hellenised name of “Jesus Christ” is merely a deceptive conceptual offshoot of the true יהושע Messiah; and the counterfeit Messiah would not claim to be the ‘little-known’ יהושע, but rather would be the widely known ‘Jesus’, in order to deceive the many who, sing to his blasphemous tune. .
The ‘religious’ counterfeiters today hate the fact that there is a remnant standing up and calling on the True name of Messiah and walking according to His Torah – the same happened in the time of the Book of Ma’asei/Acts:
Ma’asei/Acts 17:6-7 “But not finding them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers to the city rulers, crying out, “They who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 whom Jason has received. And all of them are acting contrary to the dogmas of Caesar, saying there is another sovereign, יהושע.”
Here what this verse is saying – they were calling the true worshippers and followers of Messiah as those who were turning the world upside down and acting contrary to the dogmas (man-made laws) of Rome (Church) – proclaim ‘another’ king – יהושע!
Just like Pineḥas and the early believers, we too are to turn the world upside down and act contrary to church doctrines and false man-made theologies, as we stand firm on the Truth of the Torah and proclaim the True Sovereign and Master – יהושע Messiah!.
Verse 17-18 – distress the Miḏyanites!
The word for distress in the Hebrew is צָרַר tsarar – Strong’s H6887 and means, ‘bind up, tie, restrict, be restricted, narrow, cramp, frustrate, distress, trouble’.
This instruction carries the understanding for us as ‘make things tight for them and make it hard for them to breath’; in other words, do not give them any room and engage in hostility against them..
This may seem very ‘un-Christian’, to many, yet this was clearly יהוה’s will!
We are not to simply sit idly by while the whore is causing many to stay drunk with her adulteries – we need to take a stand and to do that we are to be well versed in His Word..
We are called to study the Scriptures well so that we can show how just how ridiculous the practices of those who are worshipping Ba’al Peʽor – ‘lord of the opening’ without realizing it, and then ‘kill off’ the ‘self’ (my lie and my music) in them so they can become more like they are meant to be. .
Verse 18 tells us that they (Miḏyanites) had distressed Yisra’ĕl with their ‘tricks’ and deceived them in the matter of Peʽor and Kozbi.
The word here in the Hebrew for ‘tricks’ is נָכַל naḵal – Strong’s H5230 meaning, ‘to be crafty, deceitful, swindler’. When Bilʽam could not curse Yisra’ĕl he taught Balaq to lure the men away through seduction..
What is called for is a very severe response against anyone that seeks to use deceptive techniques of worship in leading יהוה’s people away from being faithful and remaining steadfast to Him; and who change the worship that He has prescribed in His Torah to something that is done everywhere else and become and is seen as the acceptable norm and ‘culturally correct’ when in fact it is contrary to the Torah!.
After the plague had killed 24 000 and Yisra’ĕl was in their last year of the wilderness journey, which meant that the generation of those 20 years and above who were counted in the first census when they came out of Mitsrayim, were dead, except for Kalěḇ and Yehoshua, and of course Mosheh would was not going to be around for much longer.
So, a new count was needed to be taken, as a new generation was going forth to lead the families of Yisra’ĕl, and what we see in this being a very significant count for us is in light of the recent events of whoring after Ba’al..
The term ‘take a census’ – שְׂאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ – ‘seu et rosh’ literally means ‘lift up the heads’ as the word שְׂאוּ – is from the primitive root נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 meaning, ‘lift up, carry, take, bear, support’, and you will notice that the first letter ‘nun (נָ)’ falls away as it is in the qal imperative and the ‘weak nun (נָ)’ falls away and the emphasis is placed on the command to ‘lift up and count’, and is seen as a very strong command or divine instruction from Elohim.
So, it is not a soft gesture to take a count, but rather comes across as a very strong ‘LIFT UP YOUR HEADS!!!’
The term ‘a census’ literally means, ‘the heads’ –אֶת־רֹאשׁ – ‘et rosh’, ‘et’ – אֶת is an untranslated particle in Hebrew often described in grammars (somewhat superficially) as the sign of the direct object after a transitive verb; and the function of ‘et’ – אֶת is to emphasize the word to which it is attached.
In other words – what is being ‘taken up’?
The heads – which is translated from the Hebrew word ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 and means, ‘head, beginning, census, captain, leader, top, topmost’..
The mandate had been given to take a count, and this was a call to see who was paying attention, and who was committed to יהוה.
This was time to stand up and be counted, especially after the recent events that caused many to perish under the wrath of יהוה.
This was a check – to see who was still loyal.
When a count would be taken of the men of fighting age, each one would literally be ‘counted’ or even touched by the one doing the census, and here we have the picture of this being a count you wanted to be part of or else!!!
This was a type of ‘looking eyeball to eyeball’ with the truth and seeing if you are truly committed to following יהוה. Yisra’ĕl was not married to Ba‘al, they were betrothed to יהוה and now the count of the faithful was taking place.
What we must also recognise, is that this census was a means to get those who were being counted to realise and recognise who they were.
יהוה knew how many they were, yet Yisra’ĕl needed to know and Mosheh and El’azar needed to choose new leaders.
This was a ‘stock take’ of who was still loyal and which tribes were doing well and which had suffered some major loss. This was a critical count to see who was willing to be faithful and committed – were they now paying attention.
This was a military type call to get their eyes back on the ball and get focused and serve יהוה and serve each other, guarding the camp from the infiltration of Ba‘al worship!.
The plague had swept away the last of that devoted generation, which provoked יהוה to “swear in His wrath that they should not enter” Kenaʽan.
He now, after an interval of 38 years, commands another census of the Yisra’ĕlites to be made, to preserve the distinction of families, and to regulate the tribes prior to their entry into the promised land, as well as to ascertain the proportion of land which should be allotted to each tribe.
For, though the whole was divided by lot, yet the portions were so disposed, that a numerous tribe did not draw where the lots assigned small inheritances, or the contrary.
A ‘count’ was to be made of every male ‘head by head’ from 20 years old and above – everyone going out to the army in Yisra’ĕl.
What we recognise here is that 20 years of age was the age when one was considered to be of fighting age and able to go out and fight in the army of Yisra’ĕl..
This is a wonderful lesson for us in coming to the point of being counted – and by that I mean being able to stand up and fight the good fight, which today is not limited to one’s physical age of being 20 years old and above, as we are lifted up in Messiah; but rather it speaks of those who are willing to stand up and be counted.
So, when a census or count is taken up of the Bride of Messiah, we clearly see that those who sit idly by will not be counted among Yisra’ĕl! ‘Pew-warmers’ are not counted!!!.
Sha’ul told Timotiyos in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in behaviour, in love, in spirit, in belief, in cleanliness.”
Here we see that maturity in being able to be a good and faithful soldier in Messiah is not always linked to one’s physical age, as there are many people today who are well over 20 years of age, yet they are not mature in the word as they follow after the lusts of youth, which we are commanded to flee from:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:22 “And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.”
In Messiah we are to ‘fight the good fight of the belief’, and if we are not willing to stand up and fight then we cannot be counted!.
A plague that was in the camp due to a compromised worship had just killed 24 000 people, and this was only stopped when Pineḥas, a man who was zealous with a great zeal for יהוה stood up and took action; and here this Chapter 26 deals with a census!.
It was now time to count who was able to fight!
The Hebrew word used for ‘army’ in verse 2 is צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635 which means, ‘army, war, warfare, battle, conflict, host (of organised army)’, and comes from the root verb צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, ‘to wage war, perform, fight, serve, mustered, gone to war’.
This was a count to see who was truly enlisted in the army of Elohim!.
We take note that this word is also used in the instructions given the Lěwites who were to ‘perform the service’ in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4:23.
To perform the duty of the priesthood is seen as a critical service of ‘fighting the good fight’.
We must remember that the Lěwites encamped around the Tabernacle and were camped between the Tabernacle and the rest of the tribes in order to ‘guard the duty’ lest the wrath of Elohim break out to the rest of Yisra’ĕl!.
The Lěwites were no sissies but rather very strong and brave men who had to be fit and able to guard the charge of keeping the Tabernacle from defilement!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.”.
We also take note that this root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635 is used over 250 times in the Tanak as a clear title or Name of our Elohim – יהוה צְבָאוֹת – ‘יהוה tseḇaoth’ – meaning, ‘יהוה of Hosts’.
He is not only our Commander and Chief who fights for us, He is also the one under whom we march and fight the good fight of belief; and the call is very clear – who is standing up and being counted in Messiah, our Head and Chief.
יהושע tells us to count the cost of following Him and being identified with Him. He also told the large crowds that came to Him that they should count the cost – for you can either be a fan or a follower – the difference is that fans will never enter in!
Luqas/Luke 14:25-35 “And large crowds were going with Him, and turning, He said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one. 27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one. 28 “For who of you, wishing to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation, and is unable to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was unable to finish.’ 31 “Or what sovereign, going to fight against another sovereign, does not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 “And if not, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 “So, then, everyone of you who does not give up all that he has, is unable to be My taught one. 34 “The salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 “It is not fit for land, nor for manure, they throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Pretty stern words from our Master, and so, what we find here, is that יהושע is on His way to Yerushalayim and large crowds were travelling with Him – mainly because they saw a whole lot of miracles and excitement, but did not realise that He was on His way to be impaled and die on a stake!
יהושע, in seeing all the crowds with Him, turns to them and basically says to them, “Look, I am not looking for fans, I am looking for followers!”
His message is still the same today to His Bride. It is easy to be a fan – fans are here today and gone tomorrow, fans take up no responsibility. Following takes commitment – it takes sacrifice..
It is interesting to note that in the passage above, we find the English word ‘unable’ three times (26,27,33).
This is a compound word from two Greek words:
1) οὐ – ‘ou’ – Strong’s G3756 and
2) δύναμαι – ‘dunamai’ – Strong’s G1410.
οὐ – ‘ou’ is an adverb that simply means ‘no’ or ‘not’ and δύναμαι – ‘dunamai’ means, ‘to have the capacity or ability, to be capable or have the power to’..
So, this compound word ‘unable’, which comes from the compounded Greek word ‘οὐ δύναμαι’ simply means, ‘to have no capacity to or no ability to’.
Therefore, those who do not give יהושע there full commitment do not have the capacity, power or ability to be followers of Messiah.
In other words, what יהושע is saying is that in order to be able to be one of His followers or talmidim (disciples) involves a standard that is no less than total devotion, supreme commitment and absolute surrender to Him and His will.
So, what יהושע was doing here was warning the multitudes that were trying to follow Him that they need to understand the level of commitment that is required to be a true follower or disciple instead of being a fan..
יהושע used several illustrations to make this very clear and in this passage, He gives us five word-pictures, snapshots or images, if you will, of what a true disciple is:
IMAGE 1 – FAMILY (26)
He says that if you come to Him and do not ‘hate’ your family then you are unable to be His taught one!
The Greek word used here for ‘hate’ is μισέω miseō – Strong’s G3404 which means, ‘hate, hatred’ and is seen as the opposite of the ability ‘to love’ or ‘to be a friend’ and is the equivalent of not loving or to “love less”!.
What יהושע is doing here, is contrasting love to family with love to Himself.
He is asserting His deity here. Family members are all human beings and the love we show to them compared to the love we show for Messiah, Elohim in the flesh, must be so different, that the love for family will seem like hatred..
The meaning of the word μισέω miseō is made clear in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
If there is in any form of compromising a walk of total obedience to His Torah for the sake of family, then one is unable to be His taught one!
There are sadly so many today who are unwilling to stand up for the Truth and so compromise to ‘keep the peace’ so to speak and this simply shows that they are unable to be ‘counted’ as being a fighting fit follower of Messiah!.
IMAGE 2 – THE STAKE (27)
It may seem harsh when we begin to understand the words of our Master – He first says that unless we ‘hate’ our family and then ‘unless we bear our stake’! Walking in Messiah and following Him through diligent obedience to His Torah is not for the faint hearted. We cannot just “love” Him supremely in the erroneous way that they church teaches as being a ‘lawless love’ in order to truly to follow Him; we must also ‘bear our stake’.
And here the picture is typically to live like a dead person.
For whenever someone was seen carrying a stake through the streets, everyone knew that persons fate – a horrible form of execution – it meant death! Although you were walking you were dead!
And a real follower of יהושע is one who ‘bears his stake’.
Sha’ul understood this very well and teaches us in:
Galatiyim/Galatians 2:20 “I have been impaled with Messiah, and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh I live by belief in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:24 “And those who are of Messiah have impaled the flesh with its passions and the desires.”
What Sha’ul was saying is that there was nothing that this world had to offer that was of any interest to him.
Is the world and what it has to offer dead to you? Or do you find yourself laying down your stake and running to the pleasures, passions and lusts of the world?
Do the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke out your ability to bear your stake?
To walk as a true follower of יהושע Messiah means to be dead to the world, don’t hold on to stuff that has no value.
One of the major problems with Yisra’ĕl in the wilderness was their inability to put to death the need to follow the carnal nature and so they fell into the abominable and perverted worship of Ba‘al, and it was now time to count who had really now committed themselves to walk in the Truth as the Promised Land lay right ahead for them, and those who were counted would be led by Yehoshua – a great shadow picture of those who have counted the cost and follow Messiah!.
IMAGE 3 – TOWER (28-30)
Here יהושע gives a picture of a man who plans to build a tower, and before he starts, he must count the cost to see if he has enough to get the job done.
When we become followers of יהושע we may even ask, “Do I have what it takes to finish?” And typically, the answer is always no!
But it is not our resources that are necessary, for Elohim provides all we need. What יהושע is talking about here is total commitment – an enduring persevering heart – not giving up when the times get bad and the going gets rough..
Do not be one who gives up on following wholeheartedly after יהושע; for if you do others will then look on and say that you began but couldn’t finish it or follow through.
Let me tell you that as a true follower of יהושע does not shrink back and get destroyed, even when setbacks come, but a true follower is one who believes and is saved, one who lives by faith with works (Torah observance), even when it is rough and the chips are down!
Often people are committed, but only for a while then through various reasons they drift away and walk away from following the Truth and walk away from יהוה.
Do not be one of those.
Are you willing to pay the price for true discipleship?
Are you willing to be counted as a census is being taken before His great coming to lead us into the fullness of His Promises!!!.
IMAGE 4 – A WAR (31-33)
The idea here, or image that is being given, is that of surrender – and how we need to surrender our lives to the leading and headship of Messiah, the King of Peace.
So, to put it plainly, here is the message – you cannot be a follower of יהושע if you are not willing to give up control, and for most people that is hard to do. יהוה is way stronger and mightier than we are and we need to make peace with Him and surrender to live in freedom.
Most of the time people simply just don’t want to give up control.
How many of you struggle to give control over to יהוה?
It takes humility to bow down and ask for terms of peace when there is a war raging in our lives. You cannot be a disciple of Messiah if you do not give complete control to יהוה..
IMAGE 5 – SALT (34-35)
The image and idea here, is to remain pure – to stay pure.
Salt was a valuable commodity in Scriptural times, and often Roman soldiers would even be paid, at least in part, with salt rations.
There is a phrase that we often hear when someone doesn’t do a good job or their work is mediocre and substandard, “He is not worth his salt”.
We also know that salt was to be brought with every offering.
Salt is also a cleansing and healing agent; and it renders the slaughtered animal unsusceptible to outside influences, reminding us that the absolute Covenant of יהוה is not to be altered.
It can be ground up finer and finer, yet is still always salt.
In fact, the Hebrew word for salt, which is מֶלַח melaḥ – Strong’s H4417, comes from the word that means ‘to rub together, pulverise’..
Salt cannot be destroyed by heat or water, but can be destroyed by another chemical agent.
There is no safety net if salt loses its savour; there is nothing we can add to salt to make it salty again.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? For it is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and to be trodden down by men.”
What יהושע was saying here was that if you mix in a chemical substance, such as false teachings and traditions of men to the pure Covenant of יהוה, then you can become tasteless and be thrown out and trodden down!!!
So how can salt lose its taste?
By sitting idle for long periods and not doing what is required or by adding foreign chemicals in the mix.
The context for יהושע’s calling us ‘the salt of the earth’ was persecution.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens.”
If we undergo His grinding up, we must put what it teaches us into practice right away, or its purpose will be lost and we may just get pulverised!!!
In light of this Torah portion and the events that led up to this census being taken as well as the words of our Master, the question put forward to each of us today and in fact every day is ‘‘Fan or follower’, which one are you?”.
Back to Bemiḏbar/Numbers 26:
Verse 3 – here we see that El’azar is called priest for the first time, rather than the son of the priest!
His authority was firmly established by the time of this census, possibly by the evidence that he had raised his son, Pineḥas, well and according to the righteous standards of the Torah, which is a prerequisite for a leader, as we see in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:5 “for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim?”.
Verse 5-56 – the list of names and numbers of each tribe:
1 – Re’uḇĕn – רְאוּבֵן – Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son’
Ḥanoḵ – חֲנוֹךְ – Strong’s H2585 – ‘dedicated, teach, train’
Pallu – פַּלּוּא – Strong’s H6396 – ‘distinguished’
Eliyaḇ – אֱלִיאָב – Strong’s H446 – ‘my El is Father/my Father is El’
Nemu’ĕl – נְמוּאֵל – Strong’s H5241 – ‘day of El’
Dathan – דָּתָן – Strong’s H1885 – ‘belonging to a fountain’
Aḇiram – אֲבִירָם – Strong’s H48 – ‘my father is exalted’
Ḥetsron – חֶצְרוֹן – Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall’
Karmi – כַּרְמִי – Strong’s H3756 – ‘my vineyard’
The number of the registered ones of Re’uḇĕn was 43 730, as opposed to the first census being 46 500 and so we see a reduction of 2 770.
It was the children of Re’uḇĕn that rebelled against Mosheh and Aharon in the company of Qoraḥ and so we see how this tribe had lost some ground in a sense!.
Verse 11 – sons of Qoraḥ did not die!
This is a very interesting verse, as we see that in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 16 that all who were with Qoraḥ were swallowed up, going down into the grave alive.
And so, what we can learn from this very small but powerful verse, is that it is clear that not all of the sons of Qoraḥ were ‘with him’, and by this, I mean that it stands to reason that there were some of his sons that were not in agreement with their father’s falsehood and lies and rebellion!
The same is true for us today who have discovered that our fathers have inherited lies – we have distanced ourselves from the rebellion in which they walked and have separated ourselves from all that represents disobedience to the Torah.
When the congregation was told to get away from the tents of Qoraḥ, some of his sons had the wisdom to listen and move and so have their lives preserved as they heeded the warning and obeyed the instructions of Elohim as given through Mosheh!
This fits in well with what Messiah speaks about in ‘leaving’ mother or father for the sake of the Kingdom and receiving an inheritance and eternal life!
These sons would enter into the Promised Land and so we find a wonderful promise to all of us who have left houses and fathers and mothers for His sake:
“And Kěpha began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and we have followed You.” 29 יהושע said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for the sake of Me and the Good News, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come, everlasting life.”
As we are nearing the ‘entry’ into the Promised Land, we are called to be counted and we acknowledge the lies that our fathers inherited:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19-21 “O יהוה, my strength and my stronghold and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited only falsehood, futility, and there is no value in them.” 20 Would a man make mighty ones for himself, which are not mighty ones? 21 “Therefore see, I am causing them to know, this time I cause them to know My hand and My might. And they shall know that My Name is יהוה!”
Just as Qoraḥ and all who were with him was swallowed up, so too will the church be swallowed up alive and all who are still in her house!
In fact, the church is already being ‘swallowed up’ by the world as it is unable to be distinguished from the world, but rather has ‘blended in’ and become ‘culturally and morally’ relevant to the world, running against the Torah of Elohim!
And we, being a part of Yisra’ĕl, have left that ‘tent’ of Christianity that is filled with Ba‘al worship, yet we must be warned not to bring any of the ‘idols’ from that corrupt tent with us on our journey!.
2 – Shim’on – שִׁמְעוֹן – Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard’
Nemu’ĕl – נְמוּאֵל – Strong’s H5241 – ‘day of El’
Yamin – יָמִין – Strong’s H3226 – ‘right hand’
Yaḵin – יָכִין – Strong’s H3199 – ‘He will establish’
Sha’ul – שָׁאוּל – Strong’s H7586 – ‘desired’.
The number of the registered ones of Shim’on was 22 200, as opposed the first census being 59 300!
This was a reduction of 37 100, and now this was the smallest tribe after the incident at Ba‘al Peʽor.
We know that Zimri, who was killed with the Miḏyanite woman, was a son of a leader in Shim’on, and so, it may just be that the majority of the 24 000, that were killed in the plague, were from the tribe of Shim’on!
This tribe lost the most and is a reflection of the masses who are simply not hearing the Truth..
The name Shim’on means ‘heard’, yet this is the tribe that had the most casualties!!!
When we see in Scripture, how our Master tells the 7 assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation that ‘he who has ears let him hear’, we need to recognise the need to be a ‘hearing’ people!
With a tribe that was almost 3 times bigger at Mount Sinai we see a shadow picture of how 2/3 of mankind will be ‘swallowed’ up by famine, plague and sword and only 1/3 will make it through the tribulation!.
3 – Gaḏ – גָּד – Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop’
Tsephon – צְפוֹן – Strong’s H6827 – ‘treasure, gaze’
Ḥaggi – חַגִּי – Strong’s H2291 – ‘festive’
Shuni – שׁוּנִי – Strong’s H7764 – ‘fortunate’
Ozni – אָזְנִי – Strong’s H244 – ‘my hearing’
Ěri – עֵרִי – Strong’s H6179 – ‘watchful’
Aroḏ – אֲרוֹד – Strong’s H720 – ‘I will subdue/I shall roam’
The number of the registered ones of Gaḏ was 40 500, as opposed the first census being 45 650!
They too had become less, by 5 150!.
4 – Yehuḏah – יְהוּדָה – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’
Ěr – עֵר – Strong’s H6147 – ‘awake’
Onan – אוֹנָן – Strong’s H209 – ‘strong’
Shĕlah – שֵׁלָה – Strong’s H7956 – ‘a petition’
Perets – פֶּרֶץ – Strong’s H6557 – ‘breach’
Ḥetsron – חֶצְרוֹן – Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall’
Ḥamul – חָמוּל – Strong’s H2538 – ‘spared’
Zeraḥ – זֶרַח – Strong’s H2226 – ‘rising’
The number of the registered ones of Yehuḏah was 76 500, as opposed the first census being 74 600! They increased by 1 900!.
5 – Yissasḵar – יִשָּׂשכָר – Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense’
Tola – תּוֹלָע – Strong’s H8439 – ‘crimson worm’
While having a name that means ‘worm’ can be disturbing it is interesting to note that the word for Scarlet Material – תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – from the root of Strong’s H8439 and שָׁנִי ‘shani’ – Strong’s H8144 – therefore – ‘tola‘ath’ being ‘worm’ and ‘shani’ being ‘scarlet/crimson’.
This scarlet (red) colour came from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to a tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them–a wonderful picture of יהושע.
Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
Very fitting, when we consider the meaning of Yissasḵar (there is recompense) in Messiah coming to die for us!
Puwwah – פֻּוָּה – Strong’s H6312 – ‘splendid’
Yashuḇ – יָשׁוּב – Strong’s H3437 – ‘he will return’
Shimron – שִׁמְרוֹן – Strong’s H8110 – ‘watch-height’
The number of the registered ones of Yissasḵar was 64 300, as opposed the first census being 54 400!
They increased by 9 900!.
6 – Zeḇulun – זְבוּלוּן – Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted’
Sereḏ – סֵרֶד – Strong’s H5624 – ‘fear’
Ělon – אֵילוֹן – Strong’s H356 – ‘terebinth/mighty’
Yaḥle’ĕl – יַחְלְאֵל – Strong’s H3177 – ‘El waits’
The number of the registered ones of Zeḇulun was 60 500, as opposed the first census being 57 400!
They increased by 3 100!.
7 – 8 Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
7 – Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget’
Maḵir – מָכִיר – Strong’s H4353 – ‘sold’
Gilʽaḏ – גִּלְעָד – Strong’s H1568 – ‘rocky region’
Iyezer – אִיעֶזֶר – Strong’s H372 – ‘no help’
Ḥĕleq – חֵלֶק – Strong’s H2507 – ‘portion’
Asri’ĕl – אַשְׂרִיאֵל – Strong’s H844 – ‘I shall be prince of El’
Sheḵem – שֶׁכֶם – Strong’s H7928 – ‘back/shoulder’
Ḥĕpher – חֵפֶר – Strong’s H2660 – ‘a well’
Tselophḥaḏ – צְלָפְחָד – Strong’s H6765 – ‘first born’
Daughters of Tselophḥaḏ:
Maḥlah – מַחְלָה – Strong’s H4244 – ‘disease’
No’ah – נֹעָה – Strong’s H5270 – ‘motion’
Ḥoḡlah – חָגְלָה – Strong’s H2295 – ‘partridge’
Milkah – מִלְכָּה – Strong’s H4435 – ‘queen’
Tirtsah – תִּרְצָה – Strong’s H8656 – ‘favourable’
The number of the registered ones of Menashsheh was 52 700, as opposed the first census being 32 200!
They had increased by 20 500!!!
8 – Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful’
Shuthelaḥ – שׁוּתֶלַח – Strong’s H7803 – ‘noise of breaking’
Ěran – עֵרָן – Strong’s H6197 – ‘watcher’
Beḵer – בֶּכֶר – Strong’s H1071 – ‘young camel’
Taḥan – תַּחַן – Strong’s H8465 – ‘camp’
The number of the registered ones of Ephrayim was 32 500, as opposed the first census being 40 500! They had decreased by 8000! Collectively, the tribe of ‘Yosĕph’ was the largest tribe, with 85 200!.
9 – Binyamin – בִּנְיָמִין – Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand’
Bela – בֶּלַע – Strong’s H1106 – ‘destruction’
Ard – אַרְדְּ – Strong’s H714 – ‘I will subdue’
Naʽaman – נַעֲמָן – Strong’s H5283 – ‘pleasantness’
Ashbĕl – אַשְׁבֵּל – Strong’s H788 – ‘a man in El, fire of bĕl, I will make a path’
Aḥiram – אֲחִירָם – Strong’s H297 – ‘my brother is exalted’
Shephupham – שְׁפוּפָם – Strong’s H8197 – ‘serpent, serpent-like’
Ḥupham – חוּפָם – Strong’s H2349 – ‘coast man’
The number of the registered ones of Binyamin was 45 600, as opposed the first census being 35 400!
They had increased by 10 200!.
10 – Dan – דָּן – Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge’
Shuḥam – שׁוּחָם – Strong’s H7748 – ‘pit-digger’
The number of the registered ones of Dan was 64 400, as opposed the first census being 62 700! They had increased by 1 700! Did Dan have an increase like this through just one son!.
11 – Ashĕr – אָשֵׁר – Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one’
Yimna – יִמְנָה – Strong’s H3232 – ‘right hand’
Yishwi – יִשְׁוִי – Strong’s H3440 – ‘he resembles me’
Beriʽah – בְּרִיעָה – Strong’s H1283 – ‘with a friend’
Ḥeḇer – חֶבֶר – Strong’s H2268 – ‘comrade’
Malki’ĕl – מַלְכִּיאֵל – Strong’s H4439 – ‘my King is El’
Daughter of Ashĕr:
Seraḥ – שֶׂרַח – Strong’s H8294 – ‘the prince breathed’
The number of the registered ones of Ashĕr was 53 400, as opposed the first census being 41 500!
They had increased by 11 900!.
12 – Naphtali – נַפְתָּלִי – Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling’
Yaḥtse’ĕl – יַחְצְאֵל – Strong’s H3183 – ‘El divides’
Guni – גּוּנִי – Strong’s H1476 – ‘my defender’
Yĕtser – יֵצֶר – Strong’s H3337 – ‘forming’
Shillĕm – שִׁלֵּם – Strong’s H8006 – ‘repaid’
The number of the registered ones of Naphtali was 45 400, as opposed the first census being 53 400! They had decreased by 8 000!.
The Total number of the registered ones, twenty years old and above, was 601 730, as opposed to the first census being 603 550. That is a total decrease in ‘fighting age’ registered ones of 1 770, after 38 years in the Wilderness!
By this count it was clear that this new generation had a lot of responsibility to not do as their fathers did!
Each tribe was to be allocated land according to size and was divided by lot, the land being divided between the larger and the smaller!.
Verse 57-65 – Lěwites
Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 – ‘joined to’
Gĕrshon – גֵּרְשׁוֹן – Strong’s H1648 – ‘exile’
Qehath – קְהָת – Strong’s H6955 – ‘assembly’
Amram – עַמְרָם – Strong’s H6019 – ‘exalted people’ –
wife – Yoḵeḇeḏ – יוֹכֶבֶד – Strong’s H3115 – ‘יהוה is esteem’
Aharon – אַהֲרוֹן – Strong’s H175 – ‘light bringer’
Naḏaḇ – נָדָב – Strong’s H5070 – ‘generous’
Aḇihu – אֲבִיהוּא – Strong’s H30 – ‘he is my father’
El’azar – אֶלְעָזָר – Strong’s H499 – ‘El has helped/assisted’
Ithamar – אִיתָמָר – Strong’s H385 – ‘land/coast of palms (oasis)’
Mosheh – משֶׁה – Strong’s H4872 – ‘drawn’
Miryam – מִרְיָם – Strong’s H4813 – ‘rebellion’
Merari – מְרָרִי – Strong’s H4847 – ‘bitter’
Clans of the Lěwites:
Liḇnites – from לוּבִים Luḇim – Strong’s H3864 – ‘empty-hearted, afflicted’ (from Gĕrshon)
Ḥeḇronites – from – חֶבְרֹנִי Ḥeḇron – Strong’s H2275 – ‘association’ (from Qehath)
Maḥlites – from – מַחְלִי Maḥli – Strong’s H4250 – ‘my sickness’ (from Merari)
Mushites – from – מוּשִׁי Mushi – Strong’s H4188 – ‘yielding’ (from Merari)
Qorḥites. – from – קָרְחִי Qorḥi – Strong’s H7145 – ‘one of Qoraḥ, bald’ (from Qehath)
The registered ones of the Lěwites, from a new moon old and above, was 23 000, as opposed to 22 000 in the first census.
These were not registered among the other children of Yisra’ĕl as they had no inheritance and were numbered from a new moon old and above as we see that the Lěwites belonged to יהוה.
In Bemiḏbar/Numbers 3:12 the firstborn male Yisra’ĕlites became unfit to be יהוה’s priesthood due to their participation in building and worshipping the golden calf. In their place, יהוה chose Lěwites who had not participated in that sin to stand in the place of the firstborn males.
To redeem the firstborn, the Lěwites were counted in the first census taken as being 22,000, then the firstborn males of all the children of Yisra’ĕl, one-month-old and up were counted as being 22,273. With 273 more firstborn males than Lěwites, the firstborn males paid a redemption price of five shekels each to Aharon.
What we also see here is that the full redemption price has been paid and all the redeemed have been ‘given’ to יהושע the High Priest..
Verse 1-11 – inheritance for daughters
The census and allotment of land was counted according to male gender; in other words, land passed from a father to a son with the provision that the sons would support their widowed mothers and unmarried sisters.
But here we have recorded a man named Tselophḥaḏ from the tribe of Menashsheh, who had been among those who had been rescued from Mitsrayim and later had died on the journey to the Land. He had no sons, but only five daughters.
The process for dividing the land that Mosheh outlined had, up until this point, made no provision for the passing of an inheritance on to the daughters of a man who had no sons.
As the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ had no male heir to inherit through, they approached and made their appeal to Mosheh.
The women recognised that the Torah was silent on this issue, and so in a bold approach they responded to it appropriately by taking their case before Mosheh.
The daughters presented their case respectfully and in a logical manner, without harsh words of slanderous accusation, as we do not see being recorded any grumbling on their part.
The manner in which they approached Mosheh and brought their concern before him was a great testimony to the upbringing of these daughters of Tselophḥaḏ, who must have taught his daughters well.
As Tselophḥad’s daughters approached Mosheh they were not turned away for being young or for being women, and this shows there was respect for women in the camp and in יהוה’s Word, and that He desires both men and woman to freely approach Him..
These 5 daughters were clearly walking in an obedient Torah lifestyle and by their request for a ruling to be made, a new law was granted for all Yisra’ĕl, which secured the inheritance for any family not having male descendants!
Give us a possession!
The Hebrew word for ‘possession’ is אֲחֻזָּה aḥuzzah – Strong’s H272 which means, ‘possession, property, site’, and comes from the root word אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270 which means, ‘grab hold of, take hold of, take possession, seize’. .
These daughters did not come and demand to receive a possession, but brought their plea and request to Mosheh, in the correct manner. Mosheh then brought their case before יהוה and received a right ruling on the matter.
We need to learn from this, that when we are seeking the correct right ruling over a situation that may not be plainly laid out in Scripture, we must come to יהוה and seek His right-ruling, that He will show to us through His Torah and clear instructions found in the Word..
When we, who have come out from the inherited lies of our father’s, seek to possess the sure promises of Elohim in our Master and King, יהושע Messiah, then we must grab hold of the Torah and take possession of it in our lives, so that we seek to do all that is commanded, and diligently walk in loving obedience to our Master and Elohim, for then we will possess the life that He brings us through His Torah!.
The idea of ‘possessing’, carries a great picture of taking hold of that which you should and the verb אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270 is translated as ‘holds’ in:
Iyoḇ/Job 17:9 “And the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands becomes stronger and stronger.”
Many people seek the possession that Elohim has promised for us, yet they are unwilling to take hold of it by holding firm to the pure walk of set-apartness.
If our hands are holding on to the way of Elohim, then our ‘clean’ hands shall become stronger and stronger, whereas those who continue to compromise their walk of set-apartness, defile their hands by what they do and will become weaker and weaker..
The request of the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ was an earnest plea and a great desire to take hold of that which Elohim had promised, and their willingness to do what is required is clearly seen in their approach and the favourable response that was given to them from יהוה, through Mosheh!
These daughters knew that they had to take hold of the promised possession, and in light of the clear events that had recently happened, when many died as a result of the rebellion of Qoraḥ, these daughters came with urgency to Mosheh, in order to do what is right!
The psalmist tells us in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:53 “Rage has seized me because of the wrong who forsake Your Torah.”
The Hebrew word translated here as ‘seized’ is אָחַז aḥaz – Strong’s H270, and when we consider this, in terms of this Torah portion, we once again see the clear call for the righteous to grab hold of the Torah; which will only truly happen when rage seizes you because of the compromise of the wicked!
These daughters did not want to end up like all those who had already perished, and in bold faith made their request clear, and they received a favourable answer, to which they would need to take hold of with both hands and possess the Truth!.
Verse 12-23 – Yehoshua to succeed Mosheh
It is here in the Wilderness journey that יהוה speaks to Mosheh and tells him that he is about to be gathered to his people as his brother Aharon was, but first he would get to look at the land which has been promised to Yisra’ĕl.
Mosheh was told to go up into Mount Aḇarim – עֲבָרִים – Strong’s H5682 which means, ‘regions beyond, places that are across on the other side’ and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 meaning, ‘to pass over, through or by, pass on’.
Mosheh was not permitted to cross over into the Promised Land because of the incident at the waters of Meriḇah. This is where Mosheh got to see the Land from a distance, yet was not permitted to enter because he and Aharon rebelled against the mouth of יהוה at Qaḏĕsh.
He got to see the regions beyond the Yardĕn!
This carries wonderful significance for us in that the Torah points us to Messiah and leads us to the Promises of the Covenants we were once far off from but now through יהושע Messiah have been brought near.
It is obedience to the Torah (instructions of Elohim) that we will truly enter in to the Promises of יהוה.
Yoḥanan/John 1:17 “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע Messiah.”
The Torah is the instructions of Elohim and this above verse can be better explained as:
The instructions of Elohim, for His set-apart people, was given through Mosheh and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah!
Torah is truth and is not opposed to the favour/grace of Elohim – Truth came through Mosheh and favour and Truth came through Messiah!.
Mosheh was to go up and ‘see’, which is the Hebrew word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 meaning, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider’.
This is a command that we all would do well to heed today – and that is to observe and pay close attention to that which lies ahead for us as we await the return of our King, so that we are able to discern and act wisely, as we follow the Torah (instructions) of Elohim..
We will not make it ‘home’ unless we too are ‘gathered, delivered and led’ by the Living Torah – The Word made flesh – יהושע Messiah and continue to walk in His ways!
Mosheh them asks יהוה to appoint a man in his place over the congregation, who would lead them out and bring them in, so that Yisra’ĕl will not be without a shepherd!.
The choice of a new leader could not be done by Yisra’ĕl, as they would choose according to the flesh and only יהוה knew who would be best to lead!
We see the wonderful picture of Messiah the True Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl through the life of Yehoshua who would be chosen to lead the people, and what we recognise is that without יהושע Messiah we are without a Shepherd!
Marqos/Mark 6:24 “And having gone out, יהושע saw a large crowd and was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. And He began to teach them many matters.”
Without a shepherd sheep stray and become prey for the beasts of the field and we see how this happens when Yisra’ĕl do not listen to their Shepherd, but instead listen to their own appointed leaders:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:5 “And they were scattered because there was no shepherd. And they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.”
And so, through the provision of יהוה, He provided is our Shepherd, who guards and leads us!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:10 “Hear the word of יהוה, O gentiles, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Yisra’ĕl gathers him, and shall guard him as a shepherd his flock.”.
Mosheh’s task was now complete and it was now time for Yehoshua to lead the people into the Promised Land and this pictures for us how the Torah (as pictured by Mosheh) leads us or trains us unto Messiah (as pictured by Yehoshua) that under His leading will take the nation of Yisra’ĕl into the Promised Land:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.”
In order to be declared right, we need to come to Messiah, the Living Torah, and the Torah is that which trains us unto righteousness:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”
The sad reality we see today, is how the church has disregarded the need for the Torah and the Prophets to be the instruction for righteousness and this is a part of the error of the teachings of Bilʽam who was a false prophet who taught compromise and syncretism of mixed worship, causing Yisra’ĕl to depart from the Torah, and by definition he was therefore a false prophet..
The Torah, as typified by Mosheh, brought us out of Mitsrayim, and got us past our rebellion and hard-hearted stubbornness, and instructed us to the point of being ready and able to enter the Promised Land.
Those who are not walking in the Torah will not be among those who are being gathered to re-enter the Land..
יהושע’s Kingdom will be established under the Torah’s authority, as He the King will rule according the Kingdom rules as outlined in the Torah.
But the Torah alone cannot take us all the way home – that is the keeping Torah alone by the letter without the Spirit cannot establish the Kingdom; only the one named יהושע can precede us into the Land; we cannot go in unless we are also following Him and Him alone – for He is the Living Torah..
Yehoshua was to be brought before El’azar the priest and before all the congregation and given command before all their eyes!
This is a picture of how יהושע, when He was immersed before all the people Yoḥanan, who was in type a ‘priest’, as he certainly was in the priestly line, was given command as the Spirit descended upon Him from heaven and a voice came out of the heavens, “You are My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.” (Marqos/Mark 1:9-10).
And in a sense, just as Aharon could not enter the Promised Land, so too did Yoḥanan the immerser have to die before the Kingdom would come through יהושע:
Luqas/Luke 16:16 “The Torah and the prophets are until Yoḥanan. Since then the reign of Elohim is being announced, and everyone is doing violence upon it.”.
Verse 21 – at his word they go out and at his word they come in
This is military style language which speaks of going out to or coming in from war; and who best to lead Yisra’ĕl on the battlefield that Yehoshua who had certainly already proved himself to be the right choice to lead the gathered army of Yisra’ĕl!.
Mosheh was not a man of battle and so we see that it is the Torah that prepares us to fight the good fight, yet the Torah cannot fight for us – it is under the leading of our Commander and Chief – יהושע Messiah, that we are able to stand and fight, equipped and armed in the Torah!
As long as we uphold the Torah we will be led forth in great victories – just as when Mosheh’s hands were lifted up that Yehoshua had victory on the battlefield against the Amalĕqites!
And so, as we walk in Him and uphold His Torah then we walk in victory:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
Just think about what this is saying here – we get to manifest the fragrance of His knowledge in every place – how do we do that?.
By walking in the Truth and living according to His clear instructions, guarding to do all he has commanded us.
This will be a pleasing smell to some and to others (that is most) it will be unpleasant, as the next verse tells us:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”.
El’azar the priest would inquire before יהוה for Yehoshua by the right-ruling of the Urim!
We know that the Urim and the Tummim were components of the breast plate of the High Priest and was a means to seek right-ruling:
אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’, and is the plural of אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, ‘a flame, fire, fires, light’ or ‘light of fire’.
תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’, and is the plural of תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537, and carries the meaning of ‘completeness, prosperity, perfect integrity’..
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה..
What is very interesting and worthy of noting, is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of ‘Tummim’ is the ת ‘taw’:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
What are the urim and tummim?
They are the things that illuminate and perfect.
We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
He writes His Torah on our hearts and so it is our hearts and mouths that we may do it!.
The fact that here we only see the word Urim being used, we can understand that while elsewhere in Scripture Urim is always mentioned with Tummim, it shows us that with Urim being ‘lights, illuminations’ we see how that the ‘Urim’ represents the part that is seen, and by יהושע coming in the flesh, He made manifest the ‘Urim’ and with Him is also the Tummim – the perfections, through which He rules according to His right-ruling!.
The ‘right-ruling’ comes from the Hebrew word – מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!.
In this chapter, we see the commands given regarding the offerings that were to be brought by Yisra’ĕl; and while this may seem like a repetition we must understand that this is a new generation, who had just been ‘recounted’ and so they needed to be instructed on how to draw near to יהוה according to his clear instructions regarding all the offerings for every day as well as at all the Appointed Times.
Yisra’ĕl had been led astray through the mixed worship that Mo’aḇ had enticed them with and so they had to be set straight again!.
In the instructions given here we see that יהוה told Mosheh to ‘command’ the children of Yisra’ĕl and in essence this was a ‘make sure that you do this’ command!!!
Command – the Hebrew word used here is צַו ‘tzav’ from צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge, give charge, command, order, decree, i.e., state with force/authority what others must do’.
This is militaristic language, for our Commander has spoken and if we do not heed these commands then we risk being unable to stand and fight the good fight!.
The Hebrew word for offering is קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 and means more than what is described as ‘offering’ or ‘sacrifice’.
Basically, the root of this word denotes being or coming into the most near and intimate proximity of the object (or subject). A secondary meaning entails actual contact with the object.
The root that this word comes from is קָרַב qaraḇ – Strong’s H7126 which means ‘to come near, approach, appear, bring near, come forward, draw near’, and so what we must clearly understand is that these offerings that are being described here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers are not seen in the Hebrew mind-set as something cruel and terrible, but rather as the very means and way in which we are to ‘draw near’ to יהוה..
The mind-set of cruelty and terrible sacrifices must be dispelled as we learn to understand the Hebrew way as opposed to westernised Greco-Roman influenced mind-sets!
קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 is about intimacy with יהוה, which is certainly never a sacrifice, but rather is a huge blessing.
Too many people get very squeamish when they come to these parts of the Torah as they lack the ability in grasping the concept of drawing near to יהוה, so we are not to look at ‘qorban’ (offering) as something grotesque and vulgar but rather it is an approach to our Husband!
It is not just simply about killing animals and feeding the priests, although these aspects play an important role; however, in fulfilling those aspects we see just how it is a means of us, the Bride, drawing near to our Husband..
In the ancient pictographic text, the Hebrew word קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 is depicted as follows:.
Quph – קָ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ as it is a picture of the sun at the horizon and the gathering of the light 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 and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times and can therefore also give us the meaning of ‘gathering’..
Resh – רְ:
The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – – 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. This letter can mean ‘top’ – as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’ – as in head of a tribe or people, as well as the one who rules the people..
Beyt – בָּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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..
Nun – ן:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy. We also know that ‘The Seed’ is Messiah!.
As we consider this word for offering – קָרְבָּן Qorban – Strong’s H7133 – and how it teaches us the means by which we are able to draw near to יהוה, we can see the powerful lesson of our Master’s offering of Himself, giving us the ability to walk in the abundant life that He has given us. In the context of what we are discussing here, we can see the following being declared by this word, in its pictographic form:
GATHERING TO THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE IS LIFE!.
Now, יהוה is calling, as a Husband from His Tent, for Yisra’ĕl to come be with Him there and offer ourselves to Him. But He would not want us to come dirty and not having taking a bath first, nor are we to come dressed like a warrior or something else not very becoming of a prepared bride.
He therefore begins to give clear instructions as to the way He wants to be approached, so we will know how to be a bride who is pleasing to Him and be able to fully draw near to Him.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”.
We are told clearly that these ‘offerings’ we are to bring are יהוה’s offerings and is His Food, that we are to take heed to bring at the Appointed Times as a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
To ‘walk in love’ is to walk in obedience to His commands and He has told us how we are to ‘draw near’ to Him and so, we have the Appointed Times, as well as the necessary ‘daily offering’ that we are to bring; as Sha’ul tells us:
Romiyim/Romans 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.”.
The listing of the offerings, shows us the clear order and importance of the Feasts of יהוה and gives us a greater revelation and appreciation for them as we understand that we cannot neglect our Appointments with our Maker. Through the offerings, יהוה is presenting us ways of protocol and increase in His Kingdom..
Today, we do not offer animal sacrifices in order to draw near to Him, as His blood is that which has given us access and ability to draw near to Him; however, He has given us two commodities to use, in our drawing near to Him, as our reasonable worship unto Him: one is finances and the other is our time.
Here we see that יהוה prescribes for us the method on how we are to draw near to Him, and we are commanded not to come empty handed into His presence.
As we consider the offerings described here, we can certainly see the intensity of being a daily sacrifice and how even on appointed Feast days, the daily offering was still required over and above the requirements for the specific set-apart day..
What this shows to me, is how the intensity grows each and every day towards the Sabbath, and the other Feast Times of coming together as a body/community.
The daily sacrifice, given in the morning and in the evening, of 2 lambs (one in the morning and one between the evenings), pictures for us our need to be a people that are meditating day and night on the Torah, as we continually recognise how יהושע – The Lamb that takes away the sins of the world – is the One whom we choose day and night to follow, in keeping our lives set-apart and clean, in order to draw near to Elohim with boldness through the Blood of Messiah;
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”.
The continual ascending offering
The phrase ‘continual ascending offering’ in the Hebrew is – עֹלָה תָמִיד – ‘olah tamiyḏ’:
Ascending offering – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, ‘whole burnt offering’ and ‘continual’ – תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 meaning, ‘continuity, all times, always, continuously, perpetual, constantly’..
When we look at these two words, we get a very clear picture of how our lives are to be continually and constantly wholly offered up as a living sacrifice, for this is our reasonable worship!
This עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 offering speaks of that which ‘goes up’ or ‘ascends’ and in the essence of these offerings unto יהוה this carries the meaning of, ‘to cause to ascend up to יהוה as a flame and smoke ascent by burning’..
The עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 offering symbolises complete dedication and a giving of our all as we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice, so that we can be pleasing in presenting to Him our reasonable worship that is due:
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word for ‘ascending offering’ – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 – looks like this:.
Ayin – עֵ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’..
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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..
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , 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!.
When considering the ascending offering and the clear Torah of this offering that requires the fire to never be put out we are able to recognise the clear lesson portrayed in the pictograph rendering of this word עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930, which teaches us how we are to have our eyes continually fixed upon our Shepherd who is to be praised!.
In terms of the ascending offering, these letters can render the meaning:
LOOKING TO THE GOOD SHEPHERD
WHO IS TO BE PRAISED .
With the eye representing knowledge and experience we can also see how this can render our need to continually experience the staff as we lift our hands in surrendered praise, and this ought to be reflected in our lives being a daily living offering that is well pleasing to our Master and Good Shepherd!.
The Grain offering
Once again, the offering is ‘qorban’ – a way to draw near to יהוה.
This ‘grain’ offering speaks of a meal offering or tribute to יהוה, and is seen as a tribute or gift and not as part of tithes, as tithes are not ‘gifts’, as they are due by all and to hold back on tithes is to rob Elohim.
These offerings are voluntary and are above that which is required or due!
The grain offering, in the Hebrew, is known as מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present’.
This is a picture of something that a bride brings to please her husband!
There is no blood in this offering and therefore, does not represent atonement for sin, however it does still represent the one bringing it and is symbolic of the work of our hands, as it is prepared by the one bringing the offering.
Once we accept the atoning work of Messiah, we must not stop there, but must rather continue daily in bringing Him our all as we recognise clearly that what we do daily does count..
We are told that the grain offering is to be with one-tenth of an ĕphah of fine flour.
Now, an ĕphah is made up of ten omers – so one-tenth of an ĕphah is an omer, and the question might be as to why not just say one omer!
Well and omer represents a single person and was valued at half a sheqel which is the price of redemption for one person:
Shemoth/Exodus 30:13 “Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה.”
Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.”
The reason for saying one-tenth of an ĕphah is that the emphasis here is the need for us to recognise that we are each part of a whole, and we in bringing our part is part of the entire community that we are to be joined to as each one brings their part, in order to fill the ĕphah basket for an ĕphah represents a whole congregation..
What we see here is that our drawing near to יהוה is not an individual walk only, but rather must embrace the need for community gathering and as we see in a clear picture of true community living shown by the early believers in:
Ma’asei/Acts 2:46 “And day by day, continuing with one mind in the Set-apart Place, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart”.
Day to day they would break bread from house to house – community living in encouraging each other in daily drawing near to Elohim!.
So, in our ‘drawing near’ we must recognise our need to be focused on the rest of the congregation and sadly today, we see many confessing Torah observant believers who are not engaging in becoming a part of a community, and choose to rather walk the Torah walk alone or as a family alone, having no regard for the building of the much needed unity in the body; or you may also find that some jump from one fellowship/community to the next, each week, as they see fit in their own eyes, so as to never have to actually commit to a community where יהוה is calling them to – this is not a true picture of the grain offering!.
We need to build community and be committed to giving our part into a greater family where יהוה has chosen to make His Name Dwell, and submit to the leadership that יהוה has appointed!.
In the ancient Hebrew script, the word מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 which means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present’, is pictured as:.
Mem – מִ:
The ancient script has this letter as 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! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!.
Nun – נְ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy, and can carry the meaning of ‘new life or renewal, rebirth’..
Ḥet – חָ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a ‘cutting off’ of those who are outside.
Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’.
As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. This word can also 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!.
As we look at this word in the understanding of a gift offering or tribute, we can see how this can represent our joy in bringing our lives daily before our Master and Redeemer, as a daily living sacrifice; for here in the ancient script we can see by this Word the Truth of how:.
WE, WHO ARE IMMERSED IN MESSIAH, HAVING DIED TO SELF, ARE RAISED TO NEW LIFE IN HIM TO BECOME A PART OF HIS BODY, THAT IS – HIS TABERNACLE, AS PICTURED BY THE TENT WALL, IN ORDER TO OFFER UP THE DAILY PRAISE DUE TO HIS NAME!!!
This can also be understood as:
BY THE BLOOD OF MESSIAH, WE (HIS BODY) HAVE BEEN WASHED, RENEWED AND SEPARATED UNTO HIM AND WE SUBMIT AND GIVE OUR LIVES AS A DAILY LIVING OFFERING!
The grain offering was to be mixed with one-fourth of a hin of ‘pressed oil’ and the words for ‘pressed oil’ comes from the two root words:
1) כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, ‘beaten’ which comes from a word that means ‘to be or crush by beating’ and
2) שֶׁמֶן shemen – Strong’s H8081, which means ‘oils.’
This word for ‘beaten, pressed’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand, and as we know that with the reference here of bringing it with the fine flour we recognise how the fine flour (individuals) that makes up the loaf (community) must be held together or united by the right Spirit, and this is made possible by the ‘crushing’ that יהושע went through for us in order that we may receive His Spirit that will unite us, as each one does his part, and does it joyfully as represented by:.
The Drink offering
The drink offering, being that of wine, symbolises for us a picture of joy – we are to be cheerful givers and not give grudgingly:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver.”
What we must note here is that the ‘drink offering’ was poured out to יהוה, and not drank by the priests!
As we know, that Naḏab and Aḇihu brought strange fire, possibly due to being drunk and it was then issued, as a law, that no priest may drink wine when bringing an offering and coming into the Set-Apart place!
We are a royal priesthood and as we offer up our lives as a daily living sacrifice, we do not ‘drink wine,’ meaning that we do not partake in the drinking of alcoholic beverages!.
What we are also able to learn from the shadow picture of the ‘drink offering’ is how יהושע Messiah’s blood was poured out for us, so that we too could be a pleasing and acceptable daily living offering..
Sha’ul tells us in:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:17-18 “In fact, even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the offering and service of your belief, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”.
The Hebrew word for ‘drink offering’ here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 28 is נֶסֶךְ neseḵ – Strong’s H5262 which means ‘drink offering, libation, something that is poured out’.
When we look at this word in its ancient pictographic script, we are able to see a powerful shadow picture of Messiah being the perfect ‘drink offering’..
The Hebrew word for ‘drink offering’ – נֶסֶךְ neseḵ – Strong’s H5262 – in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:.
Nun – נֶ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy..
Samek – סֶ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise!
Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him!..
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning the open palm of a hand. The meaning behind this letter is to bend and curve from the shape of a palm as well as to tame or subdue as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand) as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
When looking at this word in these ancient pictographic letters, our understanding of the ‘drink offering’ that Messiah would be for us is made wonderfully clear, as we are able to determine by this word the following:.
THE SEED (THAT IS MESSIAH) IS THE ONE WHO WOULD BE PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS AND UNDER WHOM WE SUBMIT OUR LIVES IN TOTAL SUBJECTION, AS WE TOO POUR OUT OUR LIVES AS A DRINK OFFERING FOR OTHERS, AS MESSIAH POURED HIMSELF OUT FOR US..
The Sabbath offering:
This was separate from the daily offerings, but included the daily continual ascending offering with its drink offering! Here we see a picture of how the Sabbath calls for even more than your daily offering and this is necessary, as we each come together as commanded on His weekly Shabbat – it requires a ‘double effort’ and commitment and we can understand how the intensity in drawing near to יהוה on Shabbat, as a community together, grows each day of the week, as we all, with excitement, look forward to each Shabbat, being able to come to be together as one in Him, giving Him our ‘double best’, if that were possible, so to speak!
In the Wilderness, we see how יהוה gave Yisra’ĕl a double portion on the 6th day, and so we too can now return a ‘double portion’ of our ‘offering’ in drawing near to Him on His Shabbat.
This for me highlights just how important it is to ‘keep’ the whole Shabbat and not just a couple of hours, or not just the morning or the evening – but the whole Shabbat – It is His Shabbat and we are to continually ‘draw near’ with that which is required and that is not simply an evening and morning offering, but rather the whole day!
How cool is that! Yes, we delight in His Shabbat!.
The New Moon
At the beginning of each month we are also required to ‘draw near’ and bring an offering, through our worship and sacrifice – and this has struck me greatly of late, in understanding how we are to not neglect this gathering for the beginning of months, which has its own requirements; and if the beginning of the month fell on a Shabbat then we would have up to four offerings, so to speak, on that day – just picture the excitement!!!
For many today, this seems to be a hassle, especially when we do not always know whether it will be a 29 or 30-day month – and instead of seeing this as a hindrance we ought to embrace coming together and sounding the shofar and offering up an ascending offering of praise – even if it means that some months we do this two nights in a row – more opportunity to draw near to יהוה as a body together – that can never be a hassle but only a joy.
As we continue through all these offerings, I get so excited to think just how much opportunity יהוה has given us to draw close to Him..
We know we have boldness to come before Him through the Blood of Messiah at any time, yet His appointments with us are vitally important in the building up of His Body and this is what these offerings represent for us in Messiah!
Tehillah/Psalm 81:3 “Blow the ram’s horn at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our festival day.”
The beginning of months is a very important time to observe as they tell us when the Feasts are.
The Hebrew root words that are used for the translated phrase, ‘beginning of new moons’, in the Scriptures 2009 translation or, in other translations as, ‘beginning of months’, which is transliterated as ‘rosh ḥoḏesh’ is:
1) ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, ‘head or beginning or source’ – that is: the beginning point. It speaks of the starting point and also carries the meaning of ‘head’ as in the crucial part of the body and is also translated as chief. In the context of the passage in question it is a clear beginning point of the year.
2) חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320 which means, ‘month’ and by extension also translated and understood as moon
Many argue that this word does not mean moon as the word for moon in Hebrew is:
יָרֵחַ yareaḥ – Strong’s H3394 which is the word that is used for moon, as is first used in Berěshith/Genesis 37:9.
In the Scriptural text, it is understood that the word ḥoḏesh also refers to the moon.
In fact, there is another word that also describes the moon, when it is full as in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:20 “He took a bag of silver with him; He comes home on the day of the covering.”
This is a wonderful pointer to our Messiah coming to be united with His Bride for Sukkoth/Tabernacles which begins on the 15th of the 7th month (which is the full moon)..
The Hebrew root word that is translated here as ‘covering’ is: כֶּסֶא kese – Strong’s H3677 which means ‘full moon’ or ‘the full covering of the moon’ – that is, when it is fully illumined!
Another Hebrew word that is used also for moon is: לְבָנָה leḇanah – Strong’s H3842 which refers to the full moon when it is fully ‘white’, coming from the root word which means to be or become white and is used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24:23 “And the moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, for יהוה of hosts shall reign on Mount Tsiyon, and in Yerushalayim, and before His elders, in esteem!”
This speaking once again of His second coming when the ‘white moon’ will be turned red – Blood Moon – at His Appointed Time!!!.
Now, why I am showing you these, is to show you the various words that are used to describe the moon and therefore, through a couple of Scriptures, I will too show you why month and moon are interchangeable and are clearly thought of as the same, in the Hebraic mind:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:38 “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, the eighth month, the house was completed in all its matters and according to all its plans. Thus he built it for seven years.”
Month – this is the Hebrew word יָרֵחַ yareaḥ – Strong’s H3394, while the next word for month – is חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320.
Here in the same verse we have both words being used to describe the month, showing us that month and moon are interchangeably used in Scripture.
Another example is seen in:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 8:2 “And all the men of Yisra’ĕl assembled to Sovereign Shelomoh at the festival in the month of Ěythanim, which is the seventh month.” (colour coded as above).
Another witness that shows 2 verses referring to the same reference to a specific month/moon:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:1 “And it came to be, in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Yisra’ĕl had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, in the fourth year of the reign of Shelomoh over Yisra’ĕl, in the month of Ziw, which is the second month, that he began to build the House of יהוה.”
The reference or definitive marker of time here for us, is the month of Ziw – with the word month being used here coming from the word – חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320, while in reference to the same month in:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:37 “In the fourth year the foundation of the House of יהוה was laid, in the month Ziw.”
Same month name, but this time the word for month is יָרֵחַ yareaḥ – Strong’s H3394..
If that is not enough for you, just one verse later I have a 3rd witness of both words being used in the same verse for the month:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 6:38 “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, the eighth month, the house was completed in all its matters and according to all its plans. Thus he built it for seven years.”
Both יָרֵחַ yareaḥ – Strong’s H3394 and חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320 are used in reference to the clear meaning of month, showing us that the understanding of moon and month are the same!.
We are to ‘draw near’ on the ‘new moons’!.
Verse 16-31 – Pěsaḥ – Matzot – Bikkurim – Shaḇuoth
In these verses we see the various offerings that were required for each Appointed Time.
The purposes and goal of the offerings is to point us to the Messiah, the goal and fulfilment of the Torah.
The Feast days and offerings of יהוה are all prophetic, in nature, pointing the Bride to her appointments with her Messiah..
Each offering that was brought near pictures the fullness of the work of Messiah as being a whole ascending offering, the bull, the ram, and lamb – perfect and without blemish as well as the grain and oil and wine, and so what we see in Messiah is that through His sacrifice – His one-time sacrifice that each of these offerings and sacrifices point to – we now have access to His Set-Apart place and have been cleansed from our sin, which the blood and bulls could not cleanse but only cover, and as a result of His work on the stake, we now must be diligent in drawing near to Him daily and guard to keep His Appointed Times..
What we recognise from all these instructions in regards to drawing near in worship unto יהוה in simply this: WE MUST NOT NEGLECT WORSHIP and worship is to be both regular (daily) and special (His Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts)
If we total the required offerings, we find that the yearly national offerings must include 113 bulls, 32 rams, and 1,086 lambs, plus over a ton of flour and about 1,000 containers of oil and wine.
And this is in addition to the offerings to be made by leaders and individuals! What this means is that יהוה will not only bring Yisra’ĕl into Kena’an, but will also make them so prosperous that they will have plenty from which to make offerings to יהוה..
This chapter deals primarily with the Feasts of the 7th month
Yom Teruah – Yom Kippur – Sukkot.
For an overview of YOM TERUAH please see the sermon notes from the following message:
‘BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO KNOW THE SOUNDING – an in-depth look at the word Teruah, which you can find on our website under the ‘sermons 2020/2021’ menu, or by clicking on the following link:
For an overview of YOM KIPPUR please see the sermon notes from the following message:
‘YOM HAKIPPURIM – THE DAY OF COVERINGS – An overview in preparation for this day, which you can find on our website under the ‘sermons 2020/2021’ menu, or by clicking on the following link:
For an overview of SUKKOTH please see the sermon notes from the following message:
‘SUKKOTH 2020 – BOOTHS OF REJOICING AND BLESSING’, which you can find on our website under the ‘sermons 2020/2021’ menu, or by clicking on the following link:
What we can see from this chapter, is the offerings that were required daily during Sukkot, and as you will notice, that for the first 7 days, each day two rams and fourteen lambs were to be brought, whereas the bulls decreased each day, with the first day being 13 bulls and bringing one less each day, with the 7th day requiring 7 bulls to be brought..
For the 7-day period, this is a total of 70 bulls!
70 bulls in 7 days – a great picture for us of the complete and full work of Messiah for all ages!
With 7 giving a reference to the 7 Millennia (7000 years) and 70 representing the number of beings that went down into Mitsrayim:
Berěshith/Genesis 46:47 “And the sons of Yosĕph who were born to him in Mitsrayim were two beings. All the beings of the house of Ya’aqoḇ who went to Mitsrayim were seventy.”
What we see being pictured here through the ‘bull’ offering being a total number of 70 bulls shows us that יהושע’s one-time sacrifice satisfies the bull offering so that the complete number of Yisra’ĕl shall be saved.
70 also was a number that represented the number of nations that were on the earth and so speaks of how His sacrifice is for all who would but call on his Name and accept His sacrifice, repent and be immersed in His Name and this is why Sukkot is also known as the ingathering of the nations.
The 8th day is a celebration – known as the Shemini Atzeret – the last great day – it pictures for us eternity and a continual celebration of His full deliverance for us!.
For more on the 8th day of Sukkoth, please see the following notes on a message called ‘HASHEMINI ATSERETH – THE LAST GREAT DAY’, which can be found under the sermons 2020/2021 menu, or by clicking on the following link:
For more on these Appointed Times, you can also refer back to our commentary notes on Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and Shemoth/Exodus 12-13..
The essence of this Torah portion is the critical need for true worshippers to stand up and be ‘on fire’ for יהוה, as Pineḥas was the ‘mouth of brass’ and destroy all forms of Ba‘al worship in our lives and learn to diligently guard and keep the Feasts of יהוה, as we stand up and count the cost of following Messiah with great joy and expectation of His soon return at His Appointed Time!!!.