This week’s Torah portion starts with the instruction for Mosheh to send men to spy out the land; and verse 2 starts with the phrase: שְׁלַח־לְךָ – ‘shelaḥ leḥa’ which means, ‘you send’ and the Hebrew word for ‘send’ is שָׁלַח shalaḥ – Strong’s H7971 which means, ‘to send, dispatch’.
Yisra’ĕl had now been just over two years in the wilderness and were now camped in the Wilderness of Paran, having come from Ḥatsĕroth and now, Mosheh is instructed to send men to spy out the land of Kenaʽan. One man, a leader from each tribe was to be sent and so, at the mouth of יהוה Mosheh sent them.
What was their mission?
To spy out the land which יהוה was giving them!
The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘spy’ is תּוּר tur – Strong’s H8446 meaning, ‘to seek out, spy out, explore, investigate, find out how to do something’.
These 12 spies were to explore the land, find out how the land was and what was being done in the land.
In other words, they were sent to ‘tour’ the land and bring back a detailed report of what they would encounter and discover. This word carries with it the idea of an extreme importance, of this huge responsibility, to go and find out what the land is all about! They were to go and investigate and find out how the people of the land live.
What is very interesting to take note of, is that of the 23 times that this root word תּוּר tur – Strong’s H8446 is used in Scripture, more than half are found in Bemiḏbar/Numbers, all used in the sense of ‘spying out’ the land!
This word is also used in the ‘hiphil’ tense, which is the causative tense, in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous is a guide to his neighbour, but the way of the wrong leads them astray.”
In this verse, the root word תּוּר tur – Strong’s H8446 is written in the hiphil tense, as יָתֵר – yater, and is translated as a ‘guide’ that the righteous is to his neighbour, in contrast to the way of the wrong that leads his neighbour away.
What this suggests here for us is that the righteous are very careful, cautious and sensible in their walk as sojourners; and as a result, they will learn and study the required information so as to not be joined to false associations, unlike the wrong who is foolish in his way!
As we sojourn here, with the full assurance and expectation of the coming reign of Elohim, we are called to be a proper guide to our neighbour, as we show them the True Way, as we walk according to the Torah amidst a wicked generation, who find obedience to the Torah as something strange!
We are to be ardent seekers of the Truth and faithful guides to our neighbours, as we encourage one another daily in the Truth!
As we sojourn here, as faithful ambassadors of Messiah, we are entrusted with His Truth and with the clear responsibility of bringing a good report of His Besorah (Good News), as we recognise the responsibility we have toward each other, so that we may be found to be faithful and righteous guides and not foolish and wayward ones!
Our Master and Elohim has ‘sent’ us to go and make taught ones of the nations and to immerse them in His Name and teach them to guard His Torah!
Perhaps this is where our English word for ‘tour’, or ‘touring’, comes from; and so, with the same concept of this, we see how 12 respectable leaders were chosen to go and bring back a ‘good report’ of that which had been promised to the nation as an inheritance.
These are the names of the 12 spies, one from each tribe, listed also with their father’s name:
1 – The tribe of Re’uḇĕn – רְאוּבֵן – Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son’
Shammua – שַׁמּוּעַ – Strong’s H8051 – ‘famous/renowned’
son of Zakkur – זַכּוּר – Strong’s H2139 – ‘mindful’
2 – The tribe of Shimʽon – שִׁמְעוֹן – Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard’
Shaphat – שָׁפָט – Strong’s H8202 – ‘judge’
son of Ḥori – חוֹרִי – Strong’s H2753 – ‘cave dweller’
3 – The tribe of Yehuḏah – יְהוּדָה – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’
Kalĕḇ – כָּלֵב – Strong’s H3612 – ‘dog’
son of Yephunneh – יְפֻנֶּה – Strong’s H3312 – ‘he will turn and face’
4 – The tribe of Yissasḵar – יִשָּׂשכָר – Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense’
Yiḡ’al – יִגְאָל – Strong’s H3008 – ‘He redeems’
son of Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
5 – The tribe of Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful’
Hoshěa – הוֹשֵׁעַ – Strong’s H1954 – ‘salvation’
son of Nun – נוּן – Strong’s H5126 – ‘posterity or fish’
6 – The tribe of Binyamin – בִּנְיָמִין – Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand’
Palti – פַּלְטִי – Strong’s H6406 – ‘escape, my deliverance’
son of Raphu – רָפוּא – Strong’s H7505 – ‘healed’
7 – The tribe of Zeḇulun – זְבוּלֻן – Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted’
Gaddi’ĕl – גַּדִּיאֵל – Strong’s H1427 – ‘El is my attack troop’
son of Soḏi – סוֹדִי – Strong’s H5476 – ‘acquaintance’
8 – The tribe of Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
from the tribe of Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget’
Gaddi – גַּדִּי – Strong’s H1426 – ‘my attack troop’
son of Susi – סוּסִי – Strong’s H5485 – ‘my horse’
9 – The tribe of Dan – דָּן – Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge’
Ammi’ĕl – עַמִּיאֵל – Strong’s H5988 – ‘my kinsman is Ĕl’
son of Gemalli – גְּמַלִּי – Strong’s H1582 – ‘camel driver’
10 – The tribe of Ashĕr – אָשֵׁר – Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one’
Shĕthur – סְתוּר – Strong’s H5639 – ‘hidden’
son of Miḵa’ĕl – מִיכָאֵל – Strong’s H4317 – ‘who is like Ĕl’
11 – The tribe of Naphtali – נַפְתָּלִי – Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling’
Naḥbi – נַחְבִּי – Strong’s H5147 – ‘hidden’
son of Wophsi – וָפְסִי – Strong’s H2058 – ‘rich’
12 – The tribe of Gaḏ – גָּד – Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop’
Geu’ĕl – גְּאוּאֵל – Strong’s H1345 – ‘majesty of Ĕl’
son of Maḵi – מָכִי – Strong’s H4352 – ‘decrease’
These 12 spies were ‘sent’ to tour the Promised land and bring back a good report.
As we see from this chapter, only 2 brought a good report back – Hoshěa and Kalěḇ.
What is very interesting for us to note, is that Hoshěa and Kalěḇ are a clear and powerful prophetic picture of the two houses of Yisra’ěl and Yehuḏah, who will, together, stand up and embrace the truth of the Besorah, and what is also a very powerful picture here, is that Hoshěa, being from Ephrayim, shows us that it is through the leading of ‘Ephrayim’ (metaphorically used as a collective title for the lost 10 tribes of the House of Yisra’ěl) coming back to the Torah, that will initiate the restoration of the Two Houses, as the Spirit of Elohim moves in the hearts of His lost sheep, causing them to respond to the need to walk in, and follow, the Torah.
It is straight after this list of names, that we see Mosheh calls Hoshěa, Yehoshua!
This is truly a remarkable moment in time and one that would forever be a statement of truth!
From this unique moment, we are able to see the clear prophetic moment that highlights for us that it is only through יהושע Messiah that we are able to enter in to the promises of Elohim, for in Him they are yes and aměn!
The name Hoshěa – הוֹשֵׁעַ – Strong’s H1954 means, ‘salvation’, yet the name Yehoshua – יְהוֹשֻׁעַ – Strong’s H3091 means, ‘יהוה is our Saviour/ יהוה is salvation’.
This was a very powerful statement is changing the name of the one who simply meant ‘deliverance/salvation’ to revealing who The True Deliverer/Saviour is!!!
A clear picture that we can see through these verses show us that as Ephrayim (lost 10 tribes) begin to return to the Truth of the Torah, they will have their eyes opened to the clear Truth of what the Torah reveals, in that יהושע Messiah is the Living Torah – the One who delivers us and leads us into the Promises of Elohim and that He is יהוה our Saviour!
These spies were sent to bring back a full report – and declare to the entire nation what the land was like, what the people were like, what the cities were like and whether the land was rich or poor, or rather whether it was a land of plenty or a lean land, whether there was forests etc.
They had a clear mission and were encouraged to be strong and bring back some of the fruit of the land for the rest to see and taste.
In verse 20 the word for ‘be strong’ is חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 – and carries the meaning, ‘to be or grow firm or strong, to seize, strengthen, to fasten upon’ and also carries the understanding of being able to ‘grasp between the ears’; and therefore, we see here the clear picture of being bold with that which you hear and grasp between your ears – for faith comes by hearing the Word of Elohim and this instruction of being sent was through Mosheh, which is a wonderful picture for us in that we are to be bold, and of good courage, in going forward by the leading and guidance of the Torah, as we ‘walk in’ the Living Torah and stay in Him!
If one is not listening attentively to the Torah and instructions of יהוה then one’s ability to bring a true report of Good News will be severely weakened!
In the LXX (Septuagint), which is the Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.), the Greek word used here for the term “send” in verse 2, which in the Hebrew is שָׁלַח shalaḥ, as we have mentioned already, is ἀποστέλλω apostellō – Strong’s G649 which means, ‘to send forth, set-apart and send out (on a mission), ordered to go to a place appointed, send away’, and is a technical term for the sending of a messenger with a special task. We see this word also being used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:8 “And I heard the voice of יהוה, saying, “Whom do I send, and who would go for Us?” And I said, “Here am I! Send me.””
In the Hebrew, the word used here is שָׁלַח shalaḥ, and in the Septuagint the Greek word ἀποστέλλω apostellō is used. You may be asking why I am showing you the Greek translation of this Hebrew word, and the reason for this, is that when we look at the Renewed Writings (N.T.), we see, in the Greek texts, that we have the very same word being used, of which I will highlight some of these verses, to show how just as these 12 spies were sent out to spy and bring a good report, so too are we to be bringing the Besorah (Good News) to a people who need to taste and see that יהוה is Good and that in Him we find our deliverance/salvation through the Living Torah – יהושע Messiah!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:5-6 “יהושע sent these twelve out, having commanded them, saying, “Do not go into the way of the gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Shomeronites, 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
יהושע ‘sent’ – ἀποστέλλω apostellō – the 12 out with the clear instruction to go to the ‘lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl’!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:16 “See, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:24 “And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
יהושע Himself clearly stated that He too had only come on an appointed mission – to redeem the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl, and this is the message we have been given to go and proclaim and declare – the Besorah that יהושע is Messiah and our deliverer and He is the One who will take us into the Good Promises of His Word.
There are many who need to hear the Besorah (Good News) and we, as disciples/talmidim of Messiah, are tasked with the responsibility of being ‘sent forth’ to proclaim the Good News, and encouraging one another with the good report of the Truth:
Romiyim/Romans 10:13-15 “For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without one proclaiming? 15 And how shall they proclaim if they are not sent? As it has been written, “How pleasant are the feet of those who bring the Good News of peace, who bring the Good News of the good!”
In a world where we face many ‘giants’ and are confronted by intense struggles, who will continue to bring the Good News? What we can learn from these accounts in Bemiḏbar/Numbers is that there are only a remnant few who are being bold and confident is speaking the Truth despite the reality of giants that people face in their daily lives.
Here only 2 out of 12 were confident of believing the Truth that יהוה is the deliverer and will accomplish all that He has promised, the other 10 doubted and crumbled in the face of giants, even though they had tasted and seen how Good and pleasant the Land was!
The spies were sent out and they spied the land for 40 days – and 40 is a very significant number in Scripture, which often represents a period of testing.
They had now spied out the land, and now had to make a choice whether they were on יהוה’s side or not!
The cluster of grapes that they brought back was so big that they had to carry one cluster on a pole carried on the shoulders of two men.
They named the place where they got the grapes – the Valley of Eshkol – as אֶשְׁכֹּל Eshkol – Strong’s H811 means ‘cluster’.
In verse 23, as we consider this word אֶשְׁכֹּל Eshkol – Strong’s H811 for ‘cluster’, in referring to that which comes forth from the vine – which is ‘grapes’, we are able to see a great prophetic shadow picture of the provision of our Beloved Master, in His own Blood!
As we begin to dig a little more into this word we are able to glean some powerful shadow pictures of the sure covering we have in the Master as well as our need to bear the true fruit of righteousness!
This word for ‘cluster’ – אֶשְׁכֹּל Eshkol – Strong’s H811 is also used in:
Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs 1:14 “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms in the vineyards of Ěn Geḏi”
This is an expression of the love that the Bride declares for her Bridegroom and what is very interesting to take note of here is that the Hebrew word translated as ‘henna blooms’ comes from the root word כֹּפֶר kopher– Strong’s H3724 which means, ‘pitch (as a covering)’ and also carries the meaning of ‘the price of a life, ransom’.
Our Beloved is to us a ‘cluster of a covering’!
This carries great significance as we understand that the juice from grapes represents the Blood of Messiah, who is the True Vine!
Two of the spies brought back this ‘cluster’ of grapes on a pole; and while we are not told which two carried the pole, it would make perfect sense that it could have been, and in all likelihood was, Yehoshua and Kalěḇ; especially when we consider that they were the two who brought back the good report.
The fact that they were carrying this cluster on a pole between the two of them, shows us that they bore this pole on their shoulders, which is a great lesson for us in showing us how we are to ‘bear the fruit of righteousness’.
Yehoshua and Kalěḇ represent both Yehuḏah and Ephrayim, and what we are able to see in Berěshith/Genesis 49, in regards to the blessings given to Yehuḏah and Yosĕph, is that both of these had their blessings related to grapes!
While we do not physically carry the Ark of the Covenant of יהוה today, what we are tasked to do is to bear the fruit of the Spirit, and unless we stay in the Vine we are unable to bear fruit in ourselves!
The cluster of grapes that was being carried between the two of the spies, pictures for us the need to bear good fruit with endurance, as we recognise that they would have walked some distance with this pole on their shoulders!
Yehoshua and Kalěḇ are a great example for us of true believers whose hearts retain the Truth, as we see from the words of our Master in:
Luqas/Luke 8:15 “And that on the good soil are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, retain it, and bear fruit with endurance.”
We must make sure that we retain the good word, so that we bear much fruit of righteousness!
The Greek word used here in Luqas/Luke 8:15 for ‘retain’ is κατέχω katechō – Strong’s G2722 which means, ‘hold fast, hold firmly, possess, keep secure’, and is also used in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy.”
Hold fast and retain the Truth without yielding or bending to the compromised ways of the world!
The Greek word used for ‘without yielding’ is ἀκλινής aklinēs – Strong’s G186 which means, ‘unbending, without wavering’!
Why I am giving you all these root words is to clearly highlight the obvious lessons that are contained in the Scriptures in regards to our need to keep our hearts free from the weeds of deception and compromise, and make sure that we are no longer those who doubt and are being tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching through the corrupt trickery of men that leads many astray!
The Greek word that is translated in Luqas/Luke 8:15 as ‘endurance’ is ὑπομονή hupomonē – Strong’s G5281 which means, ‘a patient enduring, steadfastness, perseverance, a remaining behind’, and this word comes from the Greek word ὑπομένω hupomenō – Strong’s G5278 which means, ‘to stay behind, to await, endure’, which comes from the two words:
1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under, in subjection to’, and
2) μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, ‘to stay, abide, remain, stand’ – which is the word that is used in Yoḥanan/John 15, where we are told to ‘stay in, remain in’ Messiah!
Proper endurance in the Master calls for us to ‘stay in’ Him and ‘be in subjection to’ Him, by guarding His commands!
This call to possess our lives by endurance implies that endurance is certainly needed, especially as we live in a world that is corrupt and wicked and if one does not ‘possess by endurance’, they may just see their lives being stolen away through the influence of sin and compromise.
Yehoshua and Kalěḇ retained the truth after having heard with a noble and good heart – that is a heart that is free from thorns and worries, a heart that fully trusts in יהוה.
They retained the promise that יהוה would give them this land, and they did not allow the ‘giants’ of the land to steal away the good deposit of the Word of Elohim that was planted firmly in good soil and this enabled them to bear fruit with endurance, literally!
The other 10 spies are representative of hearts that did not retain the truth and allowed fear and worries to choke out the truth.
This cluster that was brought back with them was of the first fruits of the grape harvest, which also teaches us a great deal about how we are to give our first and best unto יהוה!
We see from the prophet Miḵah how Yisra’ĕl had neglected their called for set-apartness unto יהוה, resulting in the prophet crying out that there is not even a cluster of grapes to eat:
Miḵah/Micah 7:1 “Woe to me! For I am as gatherings of summer fruit, as gleanings of the grape harvest. There is no cluster to eat. My being has desired the first-ripe fruit.”
The cluster of grapes symbolises for us the sure provision, covering and protection of יהוה, for those who walk in righteousness, and when the prophet Miḵah saw that there is no cluster to eat, he tells us how there are no more kind and straight ones on the earth, all as a result of not bearing the true fruit of righteousness!
Pomegranates and figs:
What was brought back, besides the cluster of grapes, was pomegranates and figs. These too have a great significance for us in Scripture! On the hem of the robe of the shoulder garment of the high priest there was golden bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet – a significant picture indeed.
Although there has been the thought that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds as taught by some man-made traditions, this has not been proven to be the case, as they can range from 200 to 1400.
What is interesting about the pomegranate is the fact that there are many seeds inside and this certainly represents the Word that is sown by the Farmer who has the expectation of a return! The bells can be symbolic of the trumpet call of our Master’s soon Coming – where the question remains as to what He will find? Will He find faith? Will he find an active faith that has taken that which has been sown and multiplied or not?
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
The Hebrew word for ‘pomegranate’ is רִמֹּן Rimmon – Strong’s H7416 meaning. ‘pomegranate’.
This word reminds me of the 15th stop of the 42 stops of the Wilderness Journey, which was called Rimmon Perets – רִמֹּן פָּ֑רֶץ Strong’s H7428 which means, “pomegranate of the breach” or ‘abundant fruit’ or ‘stand in the breach’. It comes from the two words:
1) רִמֹּן Rimmon – Strong’s H7416 meaning, ‘pomegranate’ and
2) פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6556 meaning, ‘a bursting forth, breach, breakthrough, outburst, increase, prosperous’.
We are to bear much fruit and we are to be repairers of breaches as we look out for and encourage one another.
These two words reflect a fruitful tree that bears much seed, but also represents a breaking.
Any tree that does not bear fruit will be cut off – let us not break others down when they are bearing fruit of righteousness but rather encourage and build one another up!
Yoḥanan/John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught! 6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
The pomegranate is full of seeds, and this reminds us of the promise given to Aḇraham in that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and what is also interesting about the pomegranate is the red juice that can be symbolic for us of the Blood of Messiah – where the Torah tells us that the life of the flesh resides!
And, it is through the Blood of Messiah that the body is brought together and breaches are repaired – יהושע Messiah is the repairer of the breach and in Him the Promise given to Aḇraham is yes and aměn!
With the two spies bringing back pomegranates pictures for us the assurance we have in the Word of Elohim standing forever and His Covenant is everlasting!
The fig also carries an important picture for us, as it represents fruitfulness and peace!
The promise given to a returning Bride is that each one will sit under their own vine and fig tree.
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24 we see how the prophet was given a vision of two baskets of figs, one ripe and the other rotten; and this should be a reminder to us of our need to guard the Word of יהוה completely. Lest we be found to be among the rotten figs that are of no use!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24:3 “And יהוה said to me, “What do you see, Yirmeyahu?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good. And the spoilt, very spoilt, which could not be eaten, they are so spoilt.”
As we consider the description that is given to Yirmeyahu regarding these two baskets of figs that were found at the Hěḵal of יהוה, we are able to see a clear warning being given against those who do not bear true fruit of righteousness, while a clear encouragement being given to those who obey and submit to יהוה, even under the threat of exile!
Two baskets – two groups – a clear separation!
What is interesting to take note of here is how this vision shows us that these two baskets were both before the Hěḵal of יהוה, and what we see today is how so many people think that they are ripe and fine before the Hěḵal of יהוה, when in fact they are nothing but rotten and evil!
So many today assume that they are all fine and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with their worship, while their lives are riddled with selfishness and compromise!
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7 there is a clear warning from יהוה, telling them not to use false words and say, ‘This is the Hěḵal of יהוה, the Hěḵal of יהוה’, when the rest of their lives are filled with deceit and compromise.
Many display a ‘form of worship’ yet lack the true power of complete obedience in living set-apart lives unto יהוה.
The question we need to always be able to answer as we live our lives in total set-apartness is, “what basket we are in?”!!!
Before anyone simply assumes to be in the ripe and good basket, they must make sure that their lives are in complete submission to the Word and that they remain in Messiah, through a total obedience of walking in His commands, in order that He remain in them and is able to present them as acceptable and good before the Father without shame!
Marqos/Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinning generation, of him the Son of Aḏam also shall be ashamed when He comes in the esteem of His Father with the set-apart messengers.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘good’, in its root form, is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ, we can see that it may best be translated, in most cases, as ‘functional’ – for יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, He said it was very good. What He saw, was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and that is why it was ‘good’.
The Hebrew root word translated here in Yirmeyahu as ‘spoilt’ is רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
Just as we understand that טוֹב toḇ represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals an abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.
The figs that were brought back from Kenaʽan by the two spies bearing it on a pole, would have been good ripe figs and symbolically we are able to already see here a clear separation between those bearing good fruit and those that are not. The 10 spies were dysfunctional in the belief and proved to be rotten and spoilt in the trust of Elohim.
What we need to also take note of is that the fig tree is the last tree to produce leaves, which happens right before summer, and we are given this analogy of the fig tree as a sign of the end times:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:32 “And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near.”
The parable of the fig tree is simple – be sober, watchful and awake, and we can also learn from the fig tree teachings of Messiah how we are to be ready in and out of season!!
Sha’ul told Timotiyos to be ready in and out of season – to proclaim the Kingdom:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Many of you may recall how Messiah cursed the fig tree for not having fruit, even though it was not the season for its fruit; and while at first glance may have seemed to be unfair, we are able to learn from this the clear message that He was giving.
With the prophetic words of Yo’ĕl/Joel 2, we can see how the vine and fig tree would also be a figurative sign of the coming of Messiah. While the King of Shalom was in their midst, they rejected Him and is a picture of how they did not recognise Him, for the fig tree is a sign of His coming reign and the fig tree had no fruit.
This was a clear picture of a lack of faith.
The King was here and He saw no fruit of righteousness – the very message we are given, regarding Yisra’ĕl, in Yirmeyahu 8; and in words of judgement for idolatrous rebellion we see in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:13 “I shall snatch them away,” declares יהוה. “There are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf has faded. And what I gave them shall pass away from them.”
The fig tree can also be a picture of healing for us, as seen in what Yeshayahu instructed to be done to Ḥizqiyahu, as seen in:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 20:7 “And Yeshayahu said, “Take a cake of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.” (also in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 38:21)
Messiah is our Healer and by His stripes we are healed and so we can from Scripture see how Messiah is both the True Vine and the Fig Tree, and when He comes again will He find faith – that is faith with works of righteousness in walking in the clear commands of Elohim!
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
When we are firmly rooted in Him and guard His commands we shall bear much fruit and we can see this connection to being a firmly rooted tree in reference to the righteous who delight in the Torah and meditate day and night on it:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:3 “For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
Grapes, pomegranates and figs – these all picture for us our need to be covered in the Blood of Messiah, walk in His Truth as a faithful priesthood and bear the true fruit of righteousness; and with these two spies, bringing this fruit back, we are clearly able to see that it was not a random thing for them to bring back these specific fruits, for they all teach us the clear shadow picture of how we are to not be like the 10 who doubted, but rather be like the two that bore the fruit!
Good report versus evil report:
What is worthy of noting is that while all 12 certainly agreed that the land was very fruitful and that it flowed with milk and honey, 10 of the 12 chose to turn the report into an evil one, as they looked at the land through the obstacles they would have to face, and so it is the same with the majority today – they will agree that the Word tells us of the great promises that we are to walk in, as we walk in Messiah, yet they hinder their walk at the first sign of an obstacle in their way. And no matter how big or small the obstacle may or may not be, it becomes a giant in their eyes which leads to a negative view of the Truth!
It is . . . BUT!
This is a phrase that you will find as a regular response by most.
Most people today will always seem to be able to find a BUT to the Truth, and therefore are blinded by their own insecurities and are unable to live victoriously in Messiah.
The Hebrew words that are translated as ‘but’ or ‘nevertheless’ are – אֶפֶס כִּי – ‘ephes kiy’:
אֶפֶס ephes – Strong’s H657 means, ‘a ceasing, ends, however, nevertheless, howbeit, without cause, worthless, non-existent’, which comes from the root אָפֵס aphes – Strong’s H656 meaning, ‘to cease, fail, come to an end’.
כִּי kiy – Strong’s H3588 which is a primary conjunction that means, ‘that, for, when, although, because, if, but (after a negative), but rather’, and it mainly used as a primary conjunction in order to introduce an objective clause!
What we see here is that the 10 spies who did not retain their faith in Elohim, by looking the flesh and physical obstacles, introduced an objective clause to the true report of how fruitful the land was.
It is good, however (but)…!
While the 10 were telling the people about all the giants that they saw and how the land was filled with their enemies, from one end to the next, Kalěḇ silenced the people before Mosheh and basically said:
“So what … let’s go up now and take possession of what is ours!”
True faith does not allow obstacles to obscure one’s sight but remains steadfast and tenacious in being bold and courageous, regardless of the obstacles that we may face.
The Hebrew word used in verse 30 for ‘silenced’ is הַס has – Strong’s H2013 which is a primary interjection that means, ‘hush, be silent, keep quiet, hold your peace, hold your tongue’.
In other words, Kalěḇ interjected the negativity with a very big ‘SHUT UP!’ so to speak!
He silenced the crowd amidst their grumbling and negative reports of the obstacles of the land, in order to make the bold call for them to go and take the land, for they would be able to overcome it, as יהוה would lead them and fight for them!
This word הַס has – Strong’s H2013 is also used in:
Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 2:20 “But יהוה is in His set-apart Hěḵal. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”
It is the acknowledgement of who is in control that will put to silence the belief draining words of slanderous doubt; and it is time that we too ‘silence’ the negativity toward the Truth of walking firmly in the Torah of Elohim!
And while Kalěḇ certainly spoke with great boldness, the other 10 influenced the rest of the nation into believing the fears of the negative 10, and so they gave an evil report to the children of Yisra’ĕl!
The Hebrew word for evil report is דִּבָּה dibah – Strong’s H1681 meaning, ‘whispering, defamation, evil report, bad report, slander’.
What we see here is that the negative 10 literally ‘slandered’ the land and gave it a bad name, as they stretched the truth to the point of lying to the people, so much so that they people believed their report!
This evil report was infectious and this we must learn from in that we must not use slander or speak evil of the Good Word over our lives, as this is a very infectious sickness that can cause many to not inherit the Promises of Deliverance and Salvation!
Tehillah/Psalm 31:13-14 “For I hear the evil report of many; fear is from all around; when they take counsel together against me, they plot to take away my life. 14 But I, I have put my trust in You, O יהוה; I have said, “You are my Elohim.”
We have a choice each and every day – to trust in יהוה and believe His Word and walk in it with great boldness and courage and declare this Good News or we can hear the evil report of many and fall into the fear that the evil report brings and so defame the character of the Living Elohim, of which the end result will be a cutting off from His promises and death!
An evil report can also be stirred up through the whisperings and backstabbing talk of the negative, which is very infectious like a deadly disease which the majority will contract, and any slander and ‘whispering negativity’ simply reveals a lack of submission to the Truth and willingness to obey:
Titos/Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 not to slander anyone, not to be quarrelsome, to be gentle, showing all meekness to all men.”
Grasshoppers don’t eat grapes!
The effect of negativity causes one’s ability to see who we are in Messiah to be obscured to the point of a paralysing fear of the enemy which causes the faithless one to be ‘stuck’ in their sorrows and shames and never able to go forward in, or experience, true victorious faith.
They saw the Nephilim – sons of Anaq, of the Nephilim.
The Hebrew word נְפִלִים Nephilim – Strong’s H5303 – ‘giants’ and comes from the root verb נָפַל naphal – Strong’s H5307 meaning, ‘to fall, lie, abandon, fell down, cast down’.
These were the ‘fallen ones’ as described in Berěshith/Genesis 6:1-5 when the fallen messengers of Elohim came down and took the daughters of men; and the offspring were called the Nephilim/giants of which the Book of Ḥanoḵ/Enoch explains in great detail.
What these 10 spies did was ‘lose sight’ of the Truth as given by the mouth of יהוה – His very Word, by the hand of Mosheh (Torah)!
When anyone neglects the Torah of יהוה, the ability to be more than overcomers in Messiah is greatly diminished as the promises contained in His Word are neglected in being lived out by faith due to eyes that are focused on the many ‘giants’ we may face each and every day.
The result of taking their eyes off the Truth was that the 10 slanderers saw themselves as grasshoppers, and by stating that they were like grasshoppers in the giant’s eyes is simply a truth that how you see yourself is how others will inevitably see you! If you do not see yourself as a bold and confident ‘sent one’ of Messiah with a message of Good News then others will not see that either!
The giants in the Land was, in itself, a test of faith in יהוה Almighty.
Yisra’ĕl had to learn how to fight the giants in order to truly become a possessor of the Land and not just a professor – overcoming giants will cause you to be an overcomer or a doer of the Word who possesses and not just one who professes with the mouth yet has no actions behind their confessing lips!
It’s one thing to confess the promises of Elohim, it’s another thing to strap on your sword and go toe to toe with your giants and possess your promises.
Giants expose the grasshoppers in the crowd – when giants show up grasshoppers speak up – and usually with negativity and lies and much slanderous accusations.
Grasshoppers usually blend into their environments and try to hide under the shadow of self-made leaves and coverings, but giants uncover them.
How we see ourselves affects how others see us. If we see ourselves as grasshoppers who don’t deserve to eat grapes, that’s exactly how people will see and treat us. We cannot control what people think of us, but we can control what we think of ourselves.
We can’t allow other people’s perception of us dictate how we view ourselves.
If our self-worth is based on the perception of others, we expose ourselves to the whims of those who prey on the weak. When we stand firm on the promises of the Word and confidently make the good confession of faith, which lines itself up with true obedience to the Torah of Elohim, then who cares what others think!!!
10 people saw themselves as grasshoppers in the face of giants, the other 2 saw a very vulnerable people living in a land, without protection, in the face of who was coming to fight against them – יהוה of Hosts!!!
Anyone who does sees themselves as a grasshopper does not deserve to eat the grapes of the Promised Land.
In fact, those who see themselves as grasshoppers and resort to slander will be cut off from the Vine!
יהוה had said He would go before them; what match are the giants against יהוה of hosts?
Whose report do you believe?
What report are you bringing in your daily life?
As a ‘sent’ one of Messiah – let us hold firm in our faith and boldly proclaim His Besorah (Good News).
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days hard times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, thankless, wrong-doers, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, haters of good, 4 betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim, 5 having a form of reverence1 but denying its power. And turn away from these!”
As we are too on the verge of entering in to the fullness of His sure and promised Hope, let us hold fast to our good confession and not be found to be slanderers of blasphemers of the Truth:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy.”
Each and every Shabbat we get to come together as the body of Messiah and taste and see how good our Elohim is and we are to bring this good report to a lost people each and every day, proclaiming His Truth amidst the very real giants that we all face every day.
Man-made religions and the traditions of men that so many hold fast to, while forsaking the commands of Elohim will sadly keep so many out of the reign of Elohim!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for you do not go in, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
יהושע was issuing a very big woe here, as the scribes and Pharisees who were ‘shutting up the reign of the heavens’ through their traditions and man-made laws were no different to the 10 negative spies who would not believe the Truth but looked to their own interpretations and fears, causing them to ‘shut up the reign’ to the generation who would die in the Wilderness.
Today, we see how so many false teachers and pastors are doing the same thing, as they ‘shut up the reign of the heavens’ from the masses by their ‘evil report’, by slandering the Torah of Elohim is declaring that it is no longer applicable or valid today, and in doing so they are blaspheming Elohim, and unless they repent will not enter in to the reign of the heavens that is to come here on earth, when יהושע comes and brings both Yehoshua and Ephrayim into His reign as One!
How many of us, in the past, have had Torah in our hands and viewed it as death/dead works, while proclaiming that we are “no longer under the law”? Like the Yisra’ĕlites at Qaḏĕsh Barnea, it is we, not Elohim, who bring death upon ourselves, if we do this. This very same law/Torah is designed only to bring us life more abundantly.
Verse 1 – The whole congregation lifted up their voices and cried and they wept all night!!!
They had let the 10 slanderers take the wind out of their sails so to speak!
The had allowed the negative word to become a reality to them that caused them to lose sight of the Good Land that lay ahead.
How true it is today for us, when someone comes in and brings a negative report that often causes even the strong in faith to lose heart and weep.
Fear and panic had set in, as it is very contagious, and in the process the courage needed to enter in had been lost – and it set a nation back 40 years!!!
It is well worth noting that יהוה did not respond to their tears, which was nothing more than pitiful whining as a result of negativity. The nation was having a big pity party – all as a result of the negative words of a few!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 1:45-46 “And you returned and wept before יהוה, but יהוה would not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46 “So you dwelt in Qaḏĕsh many days, according to the days that you dwelt.”
Verse 2-3 – grumbling is contagious
All the children of Yisra’ĕl grumbled against Mosheh and Aharon – this is a clear picture of grumbling against the very Word and work of Messiah, The Living Torah.
The Hebrew root word that is used here from grumbled or murmured is H3885 – לוּן ‘lun’ – and it means ‘to lodge, pass the night or stop over’.
In other words, their grumbling caused them to stop moving forward and found themselves ‘moping about in the dark’, so to speak! From being a nation who should have been ready to enter in and take possession of the Promised Land, they stopped in unbelief and began to look at the negative reports that were given, which caused them to halt and stay in the darkness of deceit so to speak.
The Pharisees and the crowds ‘grumbled’ against יהושע when He ate with tax collectors and sinners and the grumbling against the Truth is very contagious as it infects many in its destructive path.
Grumbling is a major stumbling block that causes so many to not enter in to the full joy of walking in the Torah of freedom! Grumbling is something we all must guard against as it is destructive rather than constructive.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4: 29-31 “Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Set-apart Spirit of Elohim, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all matters without grumblings and disputings, 15 in order that you be blameless and faultless, children of Elohim without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
To grumble or murmur is to complain and have a critical and negative spirit towards a person, a group of persons or against a code of conduct or prescribed set of instructions. Grumbling only puts everyone around the grumbler in danger, as it is very destructive in acting like a deadly poison.
As we see from the grumbling, in the camp of Yisra’ĕl, that resulted from the acceptance of a negative and evil report, the children of Yisra’ĕl had totally lost their focus and direction in listening to the clear instructions of Elohim; and as a result of their unbelief, they turned their grumbling against their Elohim and His Appointed leaders.
Grumbling/murmuring is only destructive and it causes great harm, as we see as an example for us here in this chapter, for grumbling causes a person, or group of persons, to arrive at the wrong conclusions.
They were concluding by asking the question whether it would not have been better to turn back to Mitsrayim!!!
This was a ridiculous conclusion to make, yet that is what grumbling, in the face of difficulties that need to be overcome through obedient faith, will do!
Instead of keeping their eyes and ears fixed on the truth of the promises of יהוה, Yisra’ĕl began to panic at the first sound of possible failure, as falsely reported by the negativity of the 10 who could not see past the giants!
The nation followed the majority and so too do we find the same thing happening today, as many will say things like… “they all can’t be wrong!” The fact is… they (the masses) can!!!
Today, many people do the same thing – when faced with extreme difficulties and tough circumstances they often take their eyes off of the Truth and resort to the sad, “if only we…” or “if only I…” pity party lines!
Grumbling causes one to feel sorry for oneself; and in being so inward focused on self, in a pity party of fear, wrong decisions get made out of a fear of threatening circumstances.
Grumbling causes rebellion, which we clearly see being evidenced here in this Torah portion, and rebellion infects others and, in the process, it causes others to get out of יהוה’s will.
The grumblers did not listen to the truth and the instructions of יהוה, but instead listened to the false reports of man.
Romiyim/Romans 12:2 “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.”
When anyone finds themselves being influenced by negativity and the threat of failure and danger is staring right at them, the ability to prove what is the good and perfect will and desire of Elohim gets misrepresented and skewed as the thoughts and actions of an infected grumbler gets easily conformed to looking to the world for a solution, rather than being continually transformed by renewing the mind in the Truth.
Grumbling puts a person in the dangerous position of missing the true blessings of יהוה, and the risk of such grumbling is the sad truth of how quickly the one who grumbles forgets about all the good that יהוה has done and finds themselves abandoning the Truth as they resort back to worldly ways.
Any form of grumbling, in a community, will affect the unity and must, at all times, be guarded against.
Sha’ul warned the Corinthians not to grumble as they Yisra’ĕl did in the Wilderness and were destroyed by the destroyer (Qorintiyim Aleph/1Corinthians 10:10).
The bottom line is this – grumbling causes destruction!
In verse 3 when they grumbled and complained they began to ask the ridiculous question that so many find themselves asking today: and that of, “why is יהוה…?”
יהוה had never said that any of them would die if they followed His directions – in fact He had promised to clear the way for them.
You would have thought that by now they would trust Him as they had seen what He had done for them thus far, and they should have recognised and known that this was another test as well as another occasion to demonstrate His Awesome Power.
These people had seen first-hand how they were delivered by the Hand of יהוה and how He had destroyed such a great military power in the world without even lifting a sword, yet they were grumbling about being killed by a sword!!!
This is a vital lesson for us on not looking back!!! What we’ve left behind we need to put out of our minds.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:38-39 “But the righteous shall live by belief, but if anyone draws back, my being has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to destruction, but of belief to the preservation of life.”
יהוה takes no pleasure in those who get slack in their obedience and get choked by thorns that should never have entered into the heart in the first place!
The Greek word translated as ‘draws back’ is ὑποστολή hupostolē – Strong’s G5289 meaning, ‘a letting down, shrinking back’, and by implication renders the understanding of ‘apostasy, falling away’.
The Greek word translated as ‘preservation’ is περιποίησις peripoiēsis – Strong’s G4047 which means, ‘purchased possession, preservation, acquisition, peculiar, property’.
We, as a set-apart people unto Elohim, have been sealed with Set-apart Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession!
We have been purchased, and are to hold fast to the sure promise and hope we have in our Master, as we do not draw back or fall away, but press on and stand firm!
Luqas/Luke 9:62 “But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”
A plough is used to till the ground, and as we consider the words from Hoshěa/Hosea 10:12 that it is time to break up the tillable ground, we need to recognise that we who have begun to till the soil of our hearts and have the good seed being deposited therein, cannot turn back from being steadfast in our duty to keep the soil of our hearts free from thorns; for if we do, and the Word gets choked out and causes us to fall away, we shall not be fit for the reign of Elohim!!!
The term ‘looking back’ comes from the Greek words:
1) – βλέπω blepō – Strong’s G991 which means, ‘to look at, beware, careful, consider’ and
2) – ὀπίσω opisō – Strong’s G3694 which means, ‘back, behind, after, things that are behind’
We are to look at, and be careful of, that which is ahead of us, as we look unto the Master whom we follow, but we are not to look back and consider the things that are behind us, and by that I mean that we are not to look at past failings and hurts and fears, and we must not allow them to stop our journey of endurance, but rather, we are to press on in the Master, with a content and constant hand on the plough, ensuring that the soil of our hearts is kept good and free from thorns that can choke out the life of the Word!
Grumbling, as we are able to learn from the examples that are given to us Scripture, is often a result of looking back to the past, in the wrong way. By that I mean that we are not to look back and dig up old hurts and pain, or even sink back into depression over past sins that have been cleansed and washed away. We cannot always blot out some of the memories of what we did in error, and yes, we are ashamed of our past sins, and so should we be, however, we are not to wallow in guilt over it, but rather see it as a memorial of victory, of what our Master has redeemed us from, so that we can keep our eyes on the task at hand, as we press on, in Him.
In speaking of forgetting what is behind, we see that Sha’ul made it clear that he had certainly not ‘arrived’ at the fullness of working out his deliverance, but he was not going to allow the past to hinder his pressing on to that which we have in Messiah! And he was not going to look back and grumble about what he used to have or even think that he is missing out on what he used to do, for all of that which is not of Messiah, he said was considered as rubbish to him, hence he would not look back.
Pilipiyim/Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already received, or already been perfected, but I press on, to lay hold of that for which Messiah יהושע has also laid hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself to have laid hold of it yet, but only this: forgetting what is behind and reaching out for what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Messiah יהושע .”
Our lives do not consist of past failings or of past successes. Our lives consist of our ability to keep firm in the Master and press on, in fervent zeal, for being ardent in service unto Him, guarding to do all that He has commanded us to, with extreme joy, so that there may be no room for grumbling or negativity that can breed the infectious cancer of bad reports, but rather we are to be bearers of the Good news: יהושע Messiah!
We are not to forget what we look like, when looking intently into the mirror of the Word, so that we can be proper doers of the Word, but we are to forget what is behind! We must not forget that we have been cleansed from our sins, and so, the forgetting what is behind can help us understand that when we continue to remember that we have been cleansed from our sins, we can be productive in pressing forward, however, when we do not forget what is behind, we may be in danger of forgetting what we have been cleansed from, all as a result of not keeping our hand on the plough and pressing forward, in Messiah who has redeemed us!
While it may seem odd, that I am saying do not look back, and forget what is behind, yet at the same time, also reminding us to not forget what we have been cleansed from, please recognise the clear message, contained in the words that Sha’ul and Kěpha wrote. We who have been immersed in Messiah, through a proper repentance and a turning away from sin, do not forget that we have been cleansed from our sin, so that we are not hindered in our ability to serve in perfection and truth. What we are to forget, are the old ways that we used to walk in, and not let that be a hindrance to focusing on what lies ahead, be it failures or successes of the past.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:5-11 “And for this reason do your utmost to add to your belief uprightness, to uprightness knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control endurance, to endurance reverence, 7 to reverence brotherly affection, and to brotherly affection love. 8 For if these are in you and increase, they cause you to be neither inactive nor without fruit in the knowledge of our Master יהושע Messiah. 9 For he in whom these are not present is blind, being shortsighted, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his old sins. 10 For this reason, brothers, all the more do your utmost to make firm your calling and choosing, for if you are doing these matters you shall never stumble at all, 11 for in this way an entrance into the everlasting reign of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah shall be richly supplied to you.”
Our fruit must be brought to perfection, through faithful endurance under all trials and pressures:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:4 “And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
Verse 4 – they didn’t like the leader
When grumbling sets in the obvious target for the grumbler is the leader whom יהוה has appointed!
They wanted to appoint their own leader and go back to Mitsrayim.
The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘leader’ is ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, ‘head, beginning, chief, captain’, and this is a clear picture of rebellion against the Word. Who were they not approving of anymore? Mosheh!
Mosheh, as we know, is for us a picture of the Torah and instructions of יהוה.
The rebellious and grumbling children who were afraid to take hold of their inheritance and trust in יהוה, were rejecting the leadership and guidance of the Word of יהוה, and were seeking to appoint someone that would give them what their flesh desired!
The same is happening today as the masses of claiming believers in Christianity have ‘rejected’ the True head and have appointed for themselves a ‘head’ that suites their needs in this world!
The Church has done the same thing as Yisra’ĕl were wanting to do here – they have ‘appointed’ another ‘chief/captain’ to take them where they want to go.
What Yisra’ĕl was doing here was not really appointing a leader, as they knew where they wanted to go – back to Mitsrayim – they just wanted a ‘figure head’ that they could tell what to do and manipulate him according to their own schemes and wicked desires.
How true it is still for many today, who have rejected the Living Torah – יהושע Messiah and have ‘appointed’, in their hearts, another ‘figure head’, that they claim is Messiah, yet has been given a false name and title and by their own theologies, this ‘head/leader/captain’ is leading them away from the Truth and, in a manner of speaking, back to ‘Mitsrayim’!
Another vital lesson we can take from this account of rebellious thinking, is how the same thing happens over and over today, as many reject the leadership that יהוה has appointed.
In fact, in Eph’siyim/Ephesians we are told that יהושע has given some to be emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah, so that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, unto the craftiness of leading astray, but, maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, Messiah (Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:11-15)
Man, always wants to appoint their own, for then they can pick and choose and manipulate whoever they wish, and even set another up to take the fall when all else fails; yet what we must recognise and know is that leaders are appointed by יהוה, and to grumble against those whom He has appointed, is a very dangerous thing to be doing!
Yaroḇ’am appointed for himself priests that would perform his abominable sacrifices and services, he appointed priests that were not from the tribe of Lĕwi!
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 11:14-15 “For the Lěwites left their open lands and their possessions and came to Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim, for Yaroḇ’am and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests unto יהוה, 15 as he appointed for himself priests for the high places, and for goats, and the calf idols which he had made.”
Man will often appoint for himself that which is not of Elohim, especially when he wants that which he appoints to actually do what he wants, rather than what is required according to the Word!
We can see a clear pattern that develops, through these examples that have been written for us, as warnings – and that is, that when negative reports are believed, then fear and panic causes wasted tears and worry, which leads to a grumbling, as a result of not getting one’s way, which further causes the grumbler to take their eyes off of the truth and look back to times of enslavement, as a better option, which ultimately causes the negatively infected grumbler to deny the true leading of יהוה, as they become blinded in their unbelief and unable to see past the very real giants that they face, and this attitude is a path that only leads to death and destruction, which we are to avoid totally, as we keep our eyes fixed on our Prince and Perfecter and Author of our belief – יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah – our Head and Chief!
Mosheh and Aharon fell on their faces! What were they to do?
The congregation had by their own complaining ‘killed’ their leaders with their wicked words!
Here is a picture of humility and a desperate plea for the nation to repent of their wicked and rebellious belief.
While Mosheh and Aharon had fallen down on their faces, Yehoshua and Kalěḇ ‘stood up’ so to speak and tore their garments and spoke up!
Due to our rebellion and wickedness and sin and our failure to truly follow His Word, יהושע Messiah fell on His face when faced with the reality of the cup of wrath that He would take on our behalf:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:39 “And going forward a little, He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I desire, but as You desire.”
Through the resurrection power of Messiah now living in us – will we stand up and speak and deliver the True Besorah (Good News)?
Mosheh, in representing for us the Torah, and Aharon, representing for us the priesthood and order of יהוה, we see how many today, by their own grumbling against the Torah and order of יהוה, have ‘put to death’ His instructions in their heart, as they have rather followed the erroneous leading of their own traditions. It is time for the Yehoshua’s and Kalěḇ’s to stand up and speak up, repenting for our sins and the crookednesses of our fathers and speak the Truth and defend the Torah and the order of יהוה!
Verse 8-9 – Proclaim the Truth
Yehoshua and Kalěḇ were appealing to Yisra’ĕl to recognise and realise the perfect plan of יהוה, and the sure promise of a hope and a future they had as a nation in whom יהוה delighted.
The appeal is a very strong one in calling them to not rebel against יהוה.
Rebelling against His Torah and order and against His appointed leadership is rebellion against Him!
They were doing their utmost to renew the strength and belief of the nation who were grumbling about their circumstances and hopefully cause them to see how rebellious they are and turn back to the truth so that they can enter in to the great promises of יהוה, for with יהוה on their side who should they fear!
The appeal from these two men is an urgent one and a call to not turn away from the Torah and rebel against Elohim.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘rebel’ is מָרַד maraḏ – Strong’s H4755 which means, ‘to rebel, revolt, be rebellious’.
Yeḥezqěl was told to go and speak to a rebellious people, a people who had turned away from serving in Spirit and Truth:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 2:3 “And He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Yisra’ĕl, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against Me. They and their fathers have transgressed against Me, until this day.”
יהושע tells us clearly that He did not come to destroy the Torah and the Prophets but to fully meet the requirements thereof, so that we may be able to walk in them as we stay in Him, as He came to renew a broken covenant that a rebellious and grumbling bride broke!
He did not come to bring a new religion or way – He came to renew and restore the path that will lead us into His sure promises of inheriting the earth, and we must not turn away from His Headship is any way, or else we shall not enter in as the grumbling generation did not!
We must be strong and full of courage like Yehoshua and Kalěḇ in speaking the Truth without compromise and always be ready to give an answer for our belief in the True Redeemer, Deliverer and King!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
As we see from what follows – when you speak up and stand for the truth, many will speak against you as doers of evil and falsely accuse your obedience in Messiah as you walk in His Torah.
Do not let the negative words of others stop you from speaking up!
Timotiyos Bět/ 2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Romiyim/Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to this? If Elohim is for us, who is against us?”
The fear of man is one of the major forces that drives rebellion, and one of the things that we need to do is correct the lies of the past and bring the encouragement of the truth – which is what Yehoshua and Kalěḇ did – they correct the lies that the negative 10 had brought and then encouraged with the plain Truth.
They are our bread – this in essence is saying that the people of whom you are afraid you should not be afraid of lest they ‘eat you up’ but rather this land is your inheritance so now ‘eat up’ up the inhabitants of the land – eat or be eaten!
Tehillah/Psalm 14:4 “Have all the workers of wickedness no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call on יהוה?”
When you trust in יהוה and walk in His ways, there is no reason to fear man, and the giants we may face will be ‘eaten up’ and be ‘bread for us’ as we grow from strength to strength rejoicing in all kinds of trials becoming mature and not lacking anything, but possessing all life in Him!
Verse 10 – They will want to stone you
When standing up for the Truth of the Torah and the order of יהוה, the majority of the professing believers will want to stone you, as many will try to silence anyone who stands up for the Truth of the Torah and order of יהוה!
This should not cause us to fret in any way, for at that moment the esteem of יהוה appeared before all Yisra’ĕl!
He is our defender!
Iyoḇ/Job 16:19 “See, even now my witness is in the heavens, and my defender is on high.”
The prophets and apostles and all who stood up and declared the truth amidst and grumbling and wicked people were stoned, mistreated and afflicted – a clear pattern throughout Scripture – yet we need not fear for יהוה is with us!
“Stone with stones” – there are two different Hebrew root words that are used here:
The first Hebrew root word that is translated as stone is רָגַם ragam – Strong’s H7275 which means, ‘to stone, kill by stoning’ and the second root word that is translated as ‘stones’ is אֲבָנִים eḇenim– plural of אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’ and comes from the root of בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild’.
The picture we see, through these words, gives us a wonderful metaphorical illustration of how the rebellious will ‘stone’ or ‘kill’ the words of the remnant faithful today.
They will seek to kill by the stoning of their words – words that they have twisted the Truth with and using differing weights that that distort the true plumb line of the Truth:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:6-8 “Because it is contained in the Scripture, “See, I lay in Tsiyon a chief corner-stone, chosen, precious, and he who believes on Him shall by no means be put to shame.” 7 This preciousness, then, is for you who believe; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling and a rock that makes for falling,” who stumble because they are disobedient to the Word, to which they also were appointed.”
Verse 11 – how long will I be scorned by these people?
The word used here for ‘scorned’ is נָאַץ na‘ats – Strong’s H5006 and means, ‘to spurn, treat with contempt, blaspheme, scorn’, and it is used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 10:13 “Why do the wrong scorn Elohim? He has said in his heart, “It is not required.”
Ḥophni and Pineḥas, the 2 sons of Eli, despised the offerings of יהוה, and this word נָאַץ na‘ats is used in telling us this in Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:17.
Those who disregard the commands of Elohim, blaspheme Him – especially when they say regarding the Torah, ‘it is not required’!
Here the Bride of יהוה was treating with contempt her Husband and Deliverer and was longing to go back to her former ‘lovers’.
The same happens today when people say in essence the following:
“Let’s do away with the Torah and have Jesus instead!” – this kind of thinking and declaration is simply a clear rejection and scorning of יהוה. It is a rejection of the True Husband for a falsified figure-head.
There is One Husband and One Bride – יהושע is יהוה our Salvation, our Deliverer and Husband – Husband of Yisra’ĕl and to turn from His instructions (Torah) and Marriage Covenant that has been sealed in His Blood and follow after a false man-made image of a ‘Jesus’ who leads followers away from the Torah is blasphemy against יהוה, and the same question is being asked today – How long will יהוה be scorned by these people?
As a result of not trusting in יהוה, they blaspheme Him! To trust Him is to obey Him and not be afraid of what we may face as we walk in Him.
When we put our trust in יהוה our creator – then we have the confidence and assurance of our salvation, provision, and every need and desire to be all that He has created us to be.
Romiyim/Romans 10:11 “As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
As long as you trust in Him, you can be assured of never being put to shame or as one translation says, ‘never be disgraced’. You can therefore find refuge, rest, assurance, protection and confidence in Him, and you have the ability to confide in Him.
He knows your heart, even though the heart is deceitful above all things, when you put your trust in Him you will be able to verbalise your heart with יהוה and commune with Him in a loving relationship which casts out all fears and finds rest in Him alone.
We will at times find ourselves in a place of suffering and here I would like to give you 12 proper reactions to suffering enabling us to Trust and not be afraid:
1 – Expect suffering
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:12 “And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.”
Yoḥanan/John 16:33 “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”
2 – Commit to יהוה – ‘roll’ over to Him with your all!
Kěpha Aleph/ 1 Peter4:19 “So then, those who suffer according to the desire of Elohim should commit their lives to a trustworthy Creator, in doing good.”
3 – Don’t always try to understand the reasons for your suffering!
Romiyim/Romans 8:28 “And we know that all matters work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
4 – Realise others suffer!
Kěpha aleph/1 Peter 5: 8-9 “Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
5 – Pray in your suffering!
Yaʽaqoḇ/James 5:13 “Is any of you suffering evil? Let him pray. Is anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms.”
6 – Don’t faint or lose heart because of your suffering!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:10 “If you falter in the day of distress, your strength is small!”
7 – Patiently endure suffering in a steadfast way!
Romiyim/Romans 12:12 “rejoicing in the expectancy, enduring under pressure, continuing steadfastly in prayer”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:3 “Suffer hardship with us as a good soldier of יהושע Messiah.”
8 – Thank Elohim in your sufferings!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:18 “in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
9 – Rejoice because of your sufferings!
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in יהוה always, again I say, rejoice!”
Ma’asei/Acts 5:40-41 “And they heeded his advice, and having called for the emissaries, beating them, they commanded that they should not speak in the Name of יהושע, and let them go. 41 Then indeed they went rejoicing from the presence of the council, because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name.”
10 – Do not become a self-made martyr because of your sufferings!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12-13 “So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned aside, but instead, to be healed.”
11 – Don’t suffer needlessly!
Kěpha aleph/1 Peter 2:20 “For what credit is there in enduring a beating when you sin? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure, this finds favour with Elohim.”
Kěpha aleph/1 Peter 3:17 “For it is better, if it is the desire of Elohim, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
12 – Weigh your current suffering against the coming esteem!
Romiyim/Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the esteem that is to be revealed in us.”
Trust in יהוה leads us to be surrounded by His mercy and favour; enjoying perfect peace, happiness and safety from danger, and will find stability and strength as we stand firm on the Rock of our Salvation! Trusting in Him keeps us from fear and from sliding into sin and lawlessness.
Intercession of Mosheh
יהוה engages in a dialogue with Mosheh making it known how wroth He was and was ready to strike Yisra’ĕl with pestilence and disinherit them and start all over with Mosheh.
And here Mosheh once again intercedes as a faithful servant – a wonderful shadow picture of the faithfulness of the One who intercedes for us and has through His own Blood made intercession for us that we may not suffer the threat of being disinherited, as long as we remain in Him!
Here Mosheh stood in the breach:
Tehillah/Psalm 106:23 “Then He said that He would destroy them, had not Mosheh His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath from destroying them.”
Mosheh pleads the case of the promises of the Covenants of promise and יהוה declares that He shall forgive, according to the words of Mosheh.
The intercession of Mosheh is a wonderful picture of the great love he had not only for Yisra’ĕl but for the reputation and character of יהוה and His name and he showed this by how much he put up with!
A great picture of the love of Messiah, who makes intercession for us:
Romiyim/Romans 8:31-39 “What then shall we say to this? If Elohim is for us, who is against us? 32 Truly, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up on behalf of us all – how shall He not, along with Him, freely give us all else? 33 Who shall bring any charge against Elohim’s chosen ones? It is Elohim who is declaring right. 34 Who is he who is condemning? It is Messiah who died, and furthermore is also raised up, who is also at the right hand of Elohim, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of the Messiah? Shall pressure, or distress, or persecution, or scarcity of food, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are reckoned as sheep of slaughter.” 37 But in all this we are more than overcomers through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor messengers nor principalities nor powers, neither the present nor the future, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of Elohim which is in Messiah יהושע our Master.”
Verse 22 – 10 times is enough!
As we know that from the account of Seḏom and Amorah, 10 righteous would have been sufficient to save a city. Here in the Wilderness of Paran only 2 out of 12 brought back a ‘righteous’ report and so 10 again being a number used to render a decision.
Ten times was enough to reveal that the heart of this rebellious people would not change and with 10 also being a significant number, being used to measure an ephah basket of 10 omers, pictures for us that 10 represents a quorum or whole body and so, this ‘body/generation’ was rotten and the result would be that they would not see the land of the Promise – except for Yehoshua and Kalěḇ!
Verse 24 – following יהוה completely
Kalěḇ is credited here for having a ‘different spirit’ and had followed יהוה completely and we see this being written again in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 1:35-36 “Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Kalěḇ son of Yephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and his children I give the land on which he walked, because he followed יהוה completely.”
Again, we are told 3 times in Yehoshua/Joshua 14:6-15 that Kalěḇ followed יהוה completely; and when you look at the account in Yehoshua/Joshua 14 we can learn from these accounts and see the effects of serving יהוה completely.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘completely’ is the root verb מָלֵא male’(maw-lay) – Strong’s H4390 and carries the meaning, ‘to be full, to fill, complete, covered, dedicate, fulfil, ordain’. Kalěḇ was a complete and fully dedicated servant of Elohim!
Read Yehoshua 14:6-15 and let’s briefly look at the effects of serving completely:
1 – YOU SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY (v.8)
As your faith grows through the fire of trials and you let perseverance finish its work, you will be made complete – and not lack anything – this took more than 40 years for Kalěḇ to be able to say this – one act of obedience doesn’t make you a complete follower – follow through the thick and the thin – through the good times and the suffering times – completely follow – because you will see things differently. I am pretty sure that we can all testify as to how we see things totally different now that we have come out of Baḇelon so to speak.
When you follow completely, know that the way you see things will be totally different to the way the world sees things, and will also be very different to the way the church sees things, as it hides under false banners of twisted truth, having been handed down. And, as a result of this, many have been handed over to the delusion, that they believe the lie, for they did not receive love for the Truth.
Serving completely, will cause you to see such wonderful nuggets of His Truth that you could never see before and remember, that just as Kalěḇ and Yehoshua were only two out of their generation who entered in, so it is the same today, as most will not see the Truth for what it really is.
Knowing this then, do not give up but rather, serve completely even when the rest think that, according to their standards, you are blind – on the contrary, your sight has been recovered – praise יהוה!
A true faithful believer who completely follows יהוה will see the Word for what it is and obey it – following completely will ensure that you have the sign of His Sabbath between us and Him – the church and the world cannot see this, so we see differently from them.
2 – YOU WILL DECLARE TRUTH BY FAITH (v8)
Do you know what was in Kalěḇ’s heart? Truth! The Torah was on his heart and he spoke it with boldness, even when his brothers caused others to fear, for he stood up for the Truth.
What comes out of your lips?
For out of the overflow of a man’s heart so he speaks – what is in your heart? Do you speak Truth or lies?
Do you encourage and build up or do you tear down?
Do you have a good report or a negative one – a negative spirit always lacks enduring faith, as it rather seeks the easy way out – this was not Kalěḇ!
He held on to the Promise amidst the trials of the journey through the Wilderness – he held on for 40 years and then another 5 years of being in the Promise Land and enduring major battles – at his age!!!
And yet still kept declaring the Truth!!!
Declaring the TRUTH, by faith, also means to live what you declare – not just simply lip service, but faithful active living in completely following the Torah of Elohim with your all.
3 – YOU GET AN INHERITANCE THAT OTHERS DO NOT (V.9)
He received the inheritance while others did not because he followed completely!!!
The benefit of his faithful complete following resulted in the blessing for his children forever!!!
Staying true to the task of completely following יהוה no matter what will cause you to enter in to His Promises.
4 – YOU WILL ‘LIVE’ DIFFERENTLY (v.10-11)
Kalěḇ lived differently to the rest! He was 85 and still raring to fight for what was promised.
The world says that retirement is at 65 or even some companies retire their employees at 60.
There is no such thing in Scripture as retirement – sorry guys – but as you look through history, you will find some faithful ‘Kalěḇ’s’ still going it at 80 plus!
Polycarp, at 86, was still declaring Truth and refused to deny his faith in Messiah, for which he was martyred.
Age should never be a deterrent to serving completely.
Sha’ul told Timotiyos (Timothy) that he must not think he is too young.
Old or young – it makes no difference – serve completely and live differently to the world’s standards.
According to the world you are either too old or too young – not according to the Word!!! Keep on keeping on is what we can learn from Kalěḇ – do not rest on your yesterday’s victories – be as strong as you were then now to endure and face whatever may come!
Tehillah/Psalms 92:12-15 “The righteous one flourishes like a palm tree, He grows like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those who are planted in the House of יהוה flourish in the courts of our Elohim. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are fresh and green, 15 to declare that יהוה is straight, my rock, and in Him is no unrighteousness.”
5 – YOU CAN DRIVE GIANTS OUT (v12-14)
We all face giants of some kind and sadly for most, they are simply running away from them, being too afraid to face them – be it an addiction, outbursts of anger, rage, malice, deceit, bitterness, lust, issues of the past, fear of the future etc.
Serving completely, will allow and equip us to drive out the giants that are before us, as serving completely calls for an urgent need for us to contend for our inheritance. יהוה had promised Kalěḇ – that did not mean that there would never be any resistance – on the contrary – there would still be much resistance that he would face, in opposition to claiming, and walking in, the promise!
We have an inheritance – a sure and promised hope of what is to come – yet we do live in a world that has been darkened by sin, which is lawlessness, and we all do know that it is certainly not easy to walk according to the Torah – yet, we are called to walk completely – that is – no room for compromise – no room for excuses – walk completely, for following Him is the way we can, and will drive out, those big issues and giants that try to steal away joy and strength!
The enemy brings resistance in many forms shapes and sizes and will make them look like giants that we cannot handle and conquer by faith in Elohim, yet Kalěḇ would not be afraid to take on giants that were occupying his inheritance – he claimed it and took it by faith – and at 85 was as willing and as fighting fit as he was in his youth, always and continually serving יהוה completely.
The enemy does not want you to see things differently or speak differently or live differently and he does not want you to take that which has been promised.
So, he gets us, if we are not careful and vigilant, to become lazy, half-hearted, selfish, uncommitted and unyielding to the Word of Elohim.
And when he gets us to this point, he knows that we cannot enter in to the promises of יהוה and will rather have you wandering about in the Wilderness – where you may have even got good at getting started and beginning to move, yet when the fight comes, you lack the endurance to completely follow יהוה to the Victory.
I say follow יהוה to the victory, for it is He who fights for us – the battle is His and the victory ours, but we must follow completely!
And fight the good fight of faith walking totally in Him!
Look at the following verses from Yehoshua/Joshua 23:
Yehoshua/Joshua 23: 3 “And you, you have seen all that יהוה your Elohim has done to all these nations because of you, for יהוה your Elohim is He who was fighting for you.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 23:6 “And you shall be very strong to guard and to do all that is written in the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, so as not to turn aside from it right or left.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 23:8 “But cling to יהוה your Elohim, as you have done to this day.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 23:10 “One man of you put a thousand to flight, for יהוה your Elohim is He who is fighting for you, as He has promised you.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 23:11 “And you shall diligently guard yourselves, to love יהוה your Elohim.”
Do you see what these verses are saying and emphasising – they had just received their allotment and inheritance and here these instructions are very clear – “CLING to יהוה – HE FIGHTS FOR YOU – Let Him lead you in victory as you CLING to Him by LOVING HIM in GUARDING TO DO ALL HE HAS COMMANDED US TO IN HIS TORAH and defeat those giants that you face!
6 – THE LAND CAN REST FROM WAR (v13-15)
Walking and following completely will bring you to His rest – and that is what we get to rehearse every Shabbat – that is why we do not ‘kindle a fire’ or argue or fight on a Shabbat, but rest in Him.
There is still coming that millennial rest – for those who completely follow.
Are you completely following יהוה or do you only give half-hearted efforts? Do not be a borderline believer – where you can see all the promises yet are never willing to fight the good fight of faith following completely our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah! Rather, be greatly encouraged through the events recorded around the life of Kalěḇ, a faithful follower; and know that we are sojourners here – so do not get too attached to your comfort zones that you may find hard to let go of, in your desperate attempt at following יהוה completely.
Grumbling will keep you out and get you smitten (verse 25-45)!
It is in this chapter we see why Yisra’ĕl spent 40 years in the wilderness – because of their grumblings and complaining!
1 year for every day that the spies went and spied out the land. The effect of the negative 10 spies caused an entire generation to miss out on the joy of entering into the Promised Land – only those who follow completely will enter in – half-hearted efforts will not give one access!!!
These words of judgement over this generation must have sent some shockwaves through the camp, yet still their stubbornness to truly repent was revealed, as they decided to go up to the top of the mountain and were smitten by the Amalĕqites and Kenaʽanites who dwelt in that mountain, as once again they transgressed the mouth of יהוה, presuming that they can go ahead anyway, yet יהוה was not with them!
In verse 40 we see a clear illustration and picture of how arrogant and stubborn the lawless can be, and we see it today too. These guys thought they could just make a quick confession and carry on, thinking that they had simply just made a mistake and all they had to do was change their minds and have no consequences for the bad choices they had made!
“yes, we know we are doing wrong, but we can still go up” – that is the typical heart of many today, who are making a clear confession of their wrong, yet are unwilling to walk in the righteous right-rulings of יהוה, while presuming to be able to claim the promises! This was not true repentance – this was an attempt at trying to sound right and have a hypocritical appearance of trying to say the right things, just to get what has been promised!
There are so many today who will willingly admit that they know that Sunday is not the Sabbath and will admit that Christmas and Easter are not the correct appointed times of Elohim (among a few of the errors of tradition that they will admit to), yet will refuse to change, while at the same time they expect that all the promises contained in the Word is accessible for them – and what they do not realise, is that it will be revealed that יהוה is not with them, unless they truly turn and repent!
Do not go up if your hands are dirty!
These rebellious grumblers wanted to ‘go up’ the mountain and possibly get a better look at the Promised Land and in their own efforts try to begin to possess what was clearly now not theirs to possess.
In Scripture, we understand the picture of going up the mountain often being a metaphor for drawing close to יהוה, and as we have clearly learnt through the Tabernacle and its service, there is a clearly defined structure and order in drawing near to יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 24:3-4 “Who does go up into the mountain of יהוה? And who does stand in His set-apart place? 4 He who has innocent hands and a clean heart, who did not bring his life to naught, and did not swear deceivingly.”
‘Innocent hands and a clean heart’ speak of one who does righteousness and is washed daily in the Word and here we see that these 10 negative spies were not innocent of their evil and deceiving report and caused an entire generation to become defiled and unclean and unable to ‘go up’ so to speak.
In verse 44 we are told that they ‘presumed’ to go up to the mountaintop.
The root word for ‘presumed’ here in the Hebrew is עָפַל aphal – Strong’s H6075 and means, ‘to swell, be lifted up, presume, be heedless, be proud’.
This word is used only here and in one other verse in:
Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 2:4 “See, he whose being is not upright in him is puffed up. But the righteous one lives by his steadfastness.”
These guys were puffed up, in their unrighteousness, and were not steadfast in their belief!
They went ahead without the presence of יהוה and were smitten in their presumption of accessibility to that which had now been forbidden due to their unbelief, as the Torah did not accompany them!
This is like Christians at large today, who make the claim that there is no need for the Torah and, in the process, presume to be able to ‘go up’ and claim the promises of Elohim, while they too are leaving the True presence of יהוה behind – יהושע Messiah – the Living Torah!
The cloud did not go up and therefore Yisra’ĕl should have known not to go, yet they did not need the fact that the cloud had not gone before them and so they went in their own might, and that is exactly what Sunday keeping theologies have caused so many to presume today – that they can go on ahead without the Torah!
The result of Yisra’ĕl going in their own strength and might was that the enemy came down and beat them down – even to Ḥormah.
The Hebrew word חָרְמָה Ḥormah – Strong’s H2767 means, ‘devotion’ and comes from the word חָרַם ḥaram – Strong’s H2763 which means, ‘to ban, devote, exterminate, annihilate, utterly destroy, set-apart’, and the term is often translated as ‘under the ban’ and carries the understanding of that which becomes off limits and or is utterly destroyed.
The picture we see here can teach us a vital lesson that shows that those who are defiant in their submission to take heed to the Torah (instructions) of יהוה will find themselves being set-apart for destruction.
In going through this Torah portion, we see a flow of what is being taught to us, in that there is a clear choice for us to make – and that is: to either proclaim the Besorah (Good News) or bring an evil report!
On the other hand, we also have a choice as to which report we will believe and proclaim!
The result of proclaiming and believing the evil report is clear – it has a destructive and deadly ending; whereas those who hold fast and proclaim the Besorah (Good News) will inherit the promises that are yes and aměn in Messiah (the Living Torah).
Now that Yisra’ĕl had spies out the land and the nation at large had not believed the report, we see that Chapter 15 begins with the Torah requirements regarding any offerings that would be brought to יהוה.
This was a repetition of what is written in Wayyiqra/Leviticus, which they would have been taught at Mount Sinai. And now these instructions that are directed to the children who would enter in to The Promised Land are being taught afresh how they are to ‘draw near’ to יהוה.
What we see in these instructions is the fact that with each offering, whether a lamb, ram or bull, a drink offering and a grain offering was to be brought.
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.”
The three types of offerings being described in verse 3 speak of complete devotion – the offerings for the appointed times are clearly referencing to our obedience in keeping His Appointed Times as we joyfully keep and celebrate His Feasts, giving our all – and this includes each and every Shabbat!
The vow speaks of one’s confession and commitment to follow and walk in Messiah.
This is a daily offering of our lives in service to Him:
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 voluntary offering speaks collectively of how we give of our lives and the choice that we make to follow and serve Him, for we choose to accept His sacrifice and walk in His ways and so each and every offering in effect needs to be done with a voluntary heart and not under compulsion, however when we voluntarily surrender our lives into His hands then the Appointed times and vow we make is expected of us.
Each of these offerings also symbolise the full work of Messiah – as He is our Pěsaḥ/Passover Lamb who shed His Blood and put his Torah upon our hearts.
He is also the ram that was substituted for and became the sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world, as pictured through the offering of Yitsḥaq, where a ram was provided and Aḇraham called the name of the place ‘יהוה Yireh,’ as it is said to this day, “On the mountain יהוה provides.”
יהושע Messiah has also become the ‘bull’ offering (red heifer) for us and has drunk of the cup of jealousy that his Bride will be found cleansed and washed, ready to make herself ready for His soon return!
With each offering, we see that the grain (flour), wine and oil was increased, according to the increased size of the animal, and what we can also learn from this, is the fact that no matter the size of the offering – the more we draw nearer to Elohim and the more we offer up our lives in total submission to Him, the more we need to give, as the more we are required to be a part of the Bread, that is waved as an acceptable wave offering before Him.
Bread symbolises community, and once again, no matter the size of the offering, it always had to be brought with bread, which speaks of community that grows together in intimacy with יהוה.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Intimacy with יהוה on your own, without the interaction and growing together in community is not acceptable.
All our daily living, as a sacrifice, is done for the greater body of Yisra’ĕl – the Bride of Messiah and to keep Shabbat and His Feasts alone, is not according to His Word, as His Appointed Times are the set-apart gatherings of His Body and we do so in the community where He chooses, and each must do so joyfully and without grumbling and accept the leadership יהוה appoints!
Each offering also was to be brought with oil, which represents the Spirit of יהוה and His anointing over us as a people being knit together enabling us to be a people who truly worship the Father in Spirit and Truth!
A sweet fragrance
Verse 14-15 tells us that whether native born or stranger who sojourns with you, all offerings made by fire are to be a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
In our obedience to the Torah we will find that to some we will be a smell of death – that is to those who are opposed to walking according to the righteous requirements of Torah as we walk in Messiah, those who claim the Torah is no longer applicable – to them our keeping of the Feasts and keeping the weekly Shabbat as eating that which we permitted to eat will be a smell of death and will curse us as being ‘under law’ and will be as the negative grumblers in the Wilderness who wanted to stone the two who held fast to the truth.
To others – that is those who too walk in Messiah and walk as He walked, keeping the commands of Elohim with great joy, we will be a fragrance of life, as they will be to us.
The question about who is competent for these, once again raises the issue of who will be willing to be a daily living sacrifice and bring the Good Report, even in the face of a lawless and rebellious lot?
What even makes it tougher, is the fact that it is often one’s own closest relatives that may just be the most resistant and rebellious to your obedience – are you still competent for this? In Messiah, you are – walk in His Word and see!!!
Verse 15-16 – One Torah
This is very clear – there is one Torah for the native and for the stranger who dwells in your midst – one Torah and one right-ruling. There is not a different set of rules for different people in the Kingdom!!!
The church has Christians believe that the Torah no longer applies, when their theology does not line up with the clarity of these verse – yet who do most believe – the Truth or man’s evil report?
Do I need to answer that – just take a look around and the answer is obvious!
There is also only One Torah – that which has been written – there is no other Torah – no oral Torah – only One and it is for all!!!
Anyone who truly wants to draw near to יהוה and enter His Presence by the Blood of the Lamb must recognise that there is only One way and no one can enter their own way – all are held to the same standard of responsibility. There is no different set of rules for those who are camping on the fringes and flirt with a compromised lifestyle – when you are part of the camp of Yisra’ĕl you abide by the rules and standards of the Torah of Elohim!
Ephesians tells us that we who were once strangers to the Covenants of Promise and without Elohim have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah and now that we have been grafted in, we must walk according to the ‘rules of the vine’.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim”
We are no longer strangers – how much more then do we need to realise that the One Torah still applies – throughout all generations!!!
Verse 18-21 – bring in the dough!
The instructions are very clear – present to יהוה a contribution of the land, when you eat your bread of the land.
When you enter the land and eat of it – speaks of when you ‘enter in and being to partake’ of that which you have been brought into. When you are ‘grafted in’ and begin to walk in Messiah then the putting of yourself first, as the nations do, falls away – יהוה comes first!
What we must understand here is that ‘dough’ is more than just flour – at the very least it is also water, salt and yeast and anything else that can be added to it if we desire to make it a special ‘dough’ offering!
Understanding this it becomes very obvious and clear that this offering of the dough is in addition to the requirements of leaving the corners of your field for the stranger and widow, as well as in addition to the first fruits and all tithes!!!
In terms of true community living, this speaks of more than giving the ‘minimum’ requirements – today, many can barely tithe and think that if they are giving a small ‘dough’ offering, that they are doing great.
This speaks of going above and beyond that which is the minimum requirements – it is not only giving tithes and offerings and first fruits and gifts, but also giving more of yourself and your resources, to enable proper kingdom community building to take place, and all this before you look out for your own needs. Certainly, a huge challenge for a consumer driven world, that many have become influenced by – it time to renew minds and live with the true Kingdom mind-set – and – bring in the dough, so to speak!
Verse 23-31 When you sin by mistake
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 4 we see the instructions regarding what must be done when a being Yisra’ĕl, as a nation, or some individual sins by mistake, and the repeating here is a further confirmation that this was being given to the ‘next generation’ who were now being given what was required of them when they sin by mistake.
We see the term ‘by mistake’, is one that is repeated throughout and this is important for us to realise.
The sin offering spoken of here, is for when a being sins by mistake.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘by mistake’ is שְׁגָגָה shegagah – Strong’s H7684 and means, ‘sin of error, inadvertent sin’ and comes from the root word שָׁגַג shagag – Strong’s H7683 meaning, ‘to go astray, to err, commit sin ignorantly’.
The root word for sin is חָטָא ḥata – Strong’s H2398 meaning, ‘to miss the mark, do wrong, incur guilt, fail to reach’, and when understand the root meaning of Torah one clearly sees that to sin is to walk against or contrary to the Torah, for:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
The word Torah in Hebrew means: ‘utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim.
Other definitions include: information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction.
The Hebrew word Torah comes from the Hebrew word ‘Horah’ which means ‘to direct’ or ‘to teach’ and is derived from the stem word ‘yara’ which means ‘to shoot’ or ‘to throw’.
Therefore, what we can clearly see here is that there are two aspects to the word Torah:
1) Aiming or pointing in the right direction and
2) Movement in that direction.
In other words, it means that you aim or point in the right direction and you move in that direction. You can see that this meaning is way different as to how we understand the ‘burden’ that is typically associated with the word ‘Law’.
The חָטָא ḥata offering was required to atone for unintentional sin resulting from carelessness or laxness, and is to be accepted as a personal responsibility for our lack of judgment that defiles the Tabernacle.
This was offered by the priests and the congregation, as well as by individuals.
We need to understand the urgency of walking steadfast and staying in the righteousness of Messiah as we meditate daily upon His Torah, for if we sin intentionally after coming to the knowledge of truth there remains no more sacrifice:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10: 26 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins”
There is no sacrifice for wilful sin!!! And so, when we come to the realisation that we have sinned we must repent immediately and turn to Messiah and confess to Him, that we may be cleansed:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6-10 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
We do not just say ‘sorry’ with our lips alone, but when we confess and repent and say ‘sorry’ for walking in error of His ways, we must also show it through our actions and not mere words alone!
If we sin intentionally, we will pay a price, and it is an insult to Him to ask for forgiveness when one’s heart has deliberately turned away from the truth and has become hardened through deceit.
A broken heart and a contrite spirit He is yet to deny, and so when we become aware of our sin – repent immediately and walk right!
Verse 32-36 – picking up sticks on the Sabbath
Yisra’ĕl were not yet in the land and the first test that was giving to them, in the Wilderness, was regarding the Sabbath, when they were not to gather manna on the Sabbath and now here, we see a further testing of the Sabbath being taught, and it becomes very clear to us that true Sabbath keeping would be a litmus test, as to who would remain and who would be cut off!
A man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day for which there is no excuse as to why he should be and the result of such got him cut off and stoned.
He may have been gathering sticks to light a fire after sunset and so, after the Sabbath, and his intention may not even have been to light a fire on the Sabbath, yet this gathering was also proven to be wrong and unacceptable.
This carries great insight for us when we begin to understand how many people are treating the Sabbath with a compromised mind-set.
To pick up sticks on the Sabbath can speaks to us about where our thoughts and focus is.
This man may have been gathering sticks to light a fire after Shabbat and was in error.
The Shabbat is a day for us to be immersed in יהוה and not have our thought running ahead of ourselves as to what may happen after Shabbat or what will happen in the coming week.
We do not know what tomorrow holds and to be focused on what comes after the Shabbat, during Shabbat, is a sure sign of a mind that is not being focused on the Torah and resting in the joy of His presence as a community being knit together.
Today there are many who cannot wait for Shabbat to be over and prefer the winter months when it gets dark earlier, so that they can carry on their usual business.
Many are contemplating what they are going to do when Shabbat is over (while keeping it) and this is a picture or type op ‘picking up sticks on the Sabbath’. Sabbath is a set-apart time, and not the time to prepare for what is outside of it.
I find it strange how many people are, at times, in a hurry to get the Sabbath readings over, so they can leave the set-apart gathering and fellowship – to go and do what?
They are clearly missing the complete fullness of what Sabbath is all about – It is about entering His rest, seeking Him and fellowshipping together, as a body being immersed in His Word and not thinking our own thoughts, but devoting our time to focus on him and His Word – and this gets harder to do, outside of community!
When Yisra’ĕl had entered the promised land, and had fallen astray they too couldn’t wait for Sabbath to end so that they could trade and begin doing business (Amos 8:5) – this is a picking up of sticks on a Sabbath mind-set – one we must guard against at all costs!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14 says the following:
“If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya’aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”
Verse 37-40 – Tzitzit
In order for the children of Yisra’ĕl to remember the commands, we were commanded to make tzitzit, and this is repeated again in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 22:12 “Make tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.”
יהושע also wore the tzitzit as found in the Renewed Writings (N.T.):
Mattithyahu/Matthew 9:20 “And see, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 14:36 “and begged Him to let them only touch the tzitzit of His garment. And as many as touched it were completely healed.”
Hebrew Words used in the above verses:
1 – Strong’s H6734 – צִיצִת Tzitzit – a floral or wing like projection; a lock of hair/ a tassel / fringe
2 – Strong’s H3761 – כָּנָף kanaph – corners – an edge or extremity; a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) uttermost part.
Greek Word used in verses above:
1 – Strong’s G2899 – κράσπεδον kraspedon – a margin or fringe or tassel; a border or hem.
Blue Material – תְּכֵלֶת ‘teḵeleth’ – Strong’s H8504.
The blue represents His Torah (Instructions) as it would be blue loops that were to be made on the edges of the curtains for the Dwelling Place.
This blue would also remind them of the heavens above which יהוה dwells and from where this word comes from!
Blue on the fringes of the curtains of the Dwelling Place shows how the instruction we too are to have in wearing blue on the fringes of our garments, as we are the dwelling place of His Spirit and the blue on our ‘tzitzit’ would continually remind us of Him and His instructions for His Dwelling Place and How we are to be a Set-Apart people – just as His presence would dwell in the Set-Apart Place in the Tabernacle:
When the woman who had the issue of blood touched the tzitzit of the garments of יהושע, she was healed and so was fulfilled the prophecy that He would come with healing in His wings (tzitzit); and it carries a wonderful picture for us of our obedience to His commands; for when we walk in obedience to His commands He makes His dwelling with us and we walk in the blessings as described in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy and find healing in walking in and holding on to His Torah (Instructions).
The tzitzit is also a means for us to remember to not go after the evil inclinations of our own hearts, but remember to be set-apart to Elohim and remember that which He has written upon our hearts – and that is His Torah.
Now, if we do not know what His Torah says, then how will we remember what ought to be on our hearts, and how would we be able to live set-apart lives.
So, to have tzitzit, but be ignorant of the Torah, would be a hypocritical show – one that the Pharisees and scribes portrayed, as they held fast to their traditions, while forsaking the commands of Elohim – yet would wear long tzitzit to be seen by all!
We have a responsibility – to wear the tzitzit – yes – however we must study the Torah and know what the tzitzit are to remind us of – and that is that we are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
The command is clearly given for all the children of Yisra’ěl, throughout their generations, to make tzitzit on the fringes of their garments! This command is still a clear command for us all today!
The reason we are to wear tzitzit (tassels) with a blue chord in them is so that we:
REMEMBER ALL THE COMMANDS OF יהוה – AND DO THEM!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘remember’ comes from the root verb זָכַר ‘zaḵar’ H2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’.
This is a key concept that many have sadly ‘forgotten’!!!
Forgotten to remember – that is the state of many who have been corrupted under a ‘lawless’ lie that teaches that the guarding of the commands is no longer necessary.
His Torah has NOT been ‘done away with’ – NO – it has been written upon our hearts! We take note of what Shelomoh teaches us in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:1 “My son, do not forget my Torah, and let your heart watch over my commands”
To begin this proverb, we see the use of the term “My son…”, and herein emphasis the clear relationship we are to have with our Heavenly Father as we give an attentive ear in hearing the wisdom of His voice contained in the clear words of Scripture.
The address of ‘my son’ highlights for us the clear pattern we see in Scripture of how the Word of Elohim is plainly related to us as children of the Most-High. In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1 we are given a clear warning, as sons, to be alert against being enticed by sinners and the need for us to be on guard against following the ways of the wrong, and then in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2 we see a clear positive statement being given for true obedience and the result that this obedience will bring. Now in this third proverb of Shelomoh we see a clear command being given, a command to not forget the Torah of our Father!
In the Hebrew text, the first part of this verse is written as – בְּנִי תּוֹרָתִי אַל־תִּשְׁכָּח – “My son My Torah do not forget!” This is sadly the mistake that so many have done under twisted doctrines of falsehood.
The Hebrew word for ‘forget’ is שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – Strong’s H7911 and means, ‘forget, cease to care, ignore’.
We are clearly reminded in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Be on guard, lest you forget יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, 14 that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage”
The sad reality is that so often when things seem to be going well with people, they forget to not forget – which we are constantly to be on guard against!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:8 “And we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately”
The Greek word translated as ‘legitimately’ is νομίμως nomimōs – Strong’s G3545 which means, ‘conformable to law, rightly, lawfully, agreeable to the law, properly’!!!
When you live rightly and properly in agreement to the law (Torah), then it is good, for the Torah is not ‘laid down’ for the righteous, but for the lawless, wicked, unruly, sinners, wrongdoers, murderers and the profane – and this means that these who walk in the Torah shall not be under the judgement of the Torah!
The Torah of יהוה is prefect, as it brings back the being and gives eternal life to those who live by it!
The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 means, ‘utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim’. Other definitions include: ‘information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction’, and comes from the primitive root verb יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 meaning, ‘to shoot, throw, instruct, direct, teach’, which therefore can give us the understanding of ‘Torah’ to mean the following:
TO AIM OR POINT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION
The Torah gives us our ‘direction’ and bearings as we sojourn here, looking forward to the sure and promised hope of the return of our King and Teacher of Righteousness!
In other words, it means that you aim or point in the right direction and you move in that direction. You can see that this meaning is way different as to how we understand the ‘burden’ that is typically associated with the word ‘Law’. It is also interesting and wonderful for me how the word Torah clearly reveals the Messiah, let me show you how.
The original language spoken and written by Hebrews is referred to as Ancient Hebrew Script which consisted of an alphabet of pictographic symbols that each rendered its unique meaning, which later developed into the ‘middle script’ or Paleo-Hebrew and then into what is known as ‘Biblical Hebrew’ as we have it available for us today; and though the Hebrew Language went through a number of changes, we are able to discern the original symbols or pictures that were used which actually resembled their meaning.
Each symbol or picture carried a meaning or meanings and when symbols were collectively put together they would spell a word that carried a meaning or clear description.
The word TORAH is a combination of four symbols: (Remember Hebrew is read right to left):
In the ancient pictographic script, it is written as follows:
And in the Biblical Hebrew text it is written as follows:
From right to left the four letters are as follows:
Taw/Tav – תּ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us the meaning of, ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah by 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’ – that is – the beginning and the end of all creation!
Waw/Vav – וֹ:
The ancient script has this letter 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’.
Resh – רָ:
The ancient script has this letter written 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 head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of this 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 we consider these pictographic symbols and their meanings, we can clearly see by the word rendered as ‘Torah’ the wonderful work of Messiah, who secures for us the Covenant in His own Blood that brings the two houses (Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl) – the two sticks – together!
It could best be rendered in a powerful testimony of the work of Messiah as follows:
BEHOLD THE MAN, MESSIAH OUR HEAD, WHO BY HIS OWN BLOOD RENEWED THE COVENANT, NAILING TO THE ‘STAKE’ THAT WHICH WAS WRITTEN AGAINST US, AND SECURING THE COVENANT IN ORDER THAT THE TWO STICKS CAN BE BROUGHT BACK TOGETHER IN HIM, WHOM WE PRAISE
Other definitions based on this word could also render:
‘What comes from the man nailed to the ‘cross’ or upright pole’
‘Behold the man who secures the covenant’
‘To a cross is nailed the highest, it is revealed in Torah’
Wow – how awesome is this!!!
Now – does this sound like a heavy law??? Not at all!!!
This description or definition does not make me think of fines or of a judge or of punishment or even of prison!
יהושע tells us that His yoke is easy – His yoke is His Torah (that is – His instructions and teaching)!
Tehillah/Psalm 19:7 “The Torah of יהוה is perfect, bringing back the being; the witness of יהוה is trustworthy, making wise the simple.”
His Torah is perfect – ‘bringing back the being’.
The Hebrew word that is translated in Tehillah/Psalm 19:7 as ‘bringing back’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, meaning to turn away from sin and turn back to Elohim and follow in His ways. When we truly repent and turn back to יהוה we will ‘obey’ His Word, which is the same as to ‘hear and do’ His Word, as we intelligibly hear His clear voice – which is always in accordance to His Torah, and guard to do all that He commands us.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘being’ is נֶפֶשׁ ‘nephesh’ H5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’.
Why I am highlighting these words is to simply show us that without the Torah, no true repentance can take place, and those who claim that Torah observance is no longer valid, do not understand what repentance means and can never truly turn their lives back to the True Living Elohim and Saviour of our souls.
Let our heart watch over His commands:
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, ‘inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!
In the Ancient Pictographic Script, the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 looks like this:
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.
Bet – ב:
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.
In terms of these two pictures representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are. And in recognising this we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most High that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House! Even with the word for heart being expressed as לֵבָב leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ – ב – , showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart”
To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!
יהוה knows what is in our hearts, while we may not; and He tests our hearts in order to see if we will obey Him or not:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:18 “And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
The reason I am quoting all these verses, is to show that ‘it is a heart thing’ and the Word must be in our hearts and mouths, and not just a vain rendering of a corrupted lips service that has no heart or follow through with obedience and submission to doing the commands with joy!
Guarding the good treasure and deposit of the Truth in our hearts will keep us from sinning and being lawless!
The Hebrew word translated here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:1 as ‘watch over’ is נָצַר natsar – Strong’s H5341 meaning, ‘to keep watch, guard, preserve’ and a derivative of this word is the נֵצֶר netser – Strong’s H5342 meaning, ‘Branch, a sprout, descendant’ which is used as a reference to Messiah:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:1 “And a Rod shall come forth from the stump of Yishai, and a Sprout from his roots shall bear fruit.”
As ‘branches’ of THE VINE, we are ‘watched over’ by יהוה, and equipped to bear much fruit:
Yoḥanan/John 15:4 “Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.”
Being ‘watched over’ must cause us to ‘watch over’ that which we have been entrusted with, and that is His Torah that He has written upon our hearts!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘commands’ is מִצְוֹתַ – ‘mitsvot’– and is the plural of the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.
Tehillah/Psalm 119:115 “Turn away from me, you evil-doers, for I observe the commands of my Elohim!”
His מִצְוַת – ‘mitzvoth’ (plural for commands) are those rules which apply to specific situations and are tailored for each unique situation in determining the correct action to be taken in a specific circumstance and so we ‘guard’ those carefully to know how to respond and take action for any given situation we may find ourselves in.
The reason I am highlighting these points here, in terms of remembering, is that we make sure that we ‘do not forget’ to remember the commands of Elohim and in remembering we recognise that a proper remembrance entails a diligent guarding to do all His commands!
And the tzitzit are given to us to wear in order that we see them and remember to DO His commands!
The word translated as ‘DO’ comes from the root word עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 meaning, ‘to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute’ and can also mean, ‘celebrate’, which I think is very fitting, as it is truly a great ‘joy’ TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed!
So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth – when we diligently observe and guard to do all He commands us to do – it is a great joy and a delight and not heavy at all!
A derivative of this root is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 and means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’.
The Acts of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience.
Our obedience in ‘doing’ or ‘performing’ this Feast should be evidenced with great commitment and joy!
We shall be known by our fruits based on our proper reverence and submission to our Master, which shall be evidenced in our “acts of obedience”, as we walk in righteousness, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, all the time!!!
We are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
As we consider this root verb עָשָׂה asah, in terms of our need to ‘perform’ and be doers of the Word, we recognise that we can only be proper doers if we are in fact looking intently into the Word, and when we see this word in the ancient pictographic script we gain further understanding of what it is to be a proper doer of the Word!
In the ancient pictographic script, the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 which means, ‘to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute, celebrate’ looks like this:
Ayin – עָ:
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.
Sin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘sin/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.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.
When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture, we can see the meaning of:
LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!
This teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!
The tzitzit are there to help us remember to not run after our own hearts but rather guard to do the commands of Elohim and BE SET-APART ONES unto יהוה our Elohim.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘set-apart’ in verse 40 is קְדֹשִׁים Qeḏoshim, which means, Set-Apart ones and is the plural of the root word קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated’.
The root word קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated’, comes from the primitive root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, ‘to be set-apart, consecrated, dedicated’ – and that is what we have been called to be, and it is from this root that we get the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’ and this word is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
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.
Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning:
CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath!
‘Set-apartness’, in the Greek, is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying’.
In English, to ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’.
We, as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim; and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah and as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession.
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
Being set-apart requires the ability of being a people who judge themselves according to יהוה’s standard and are able to rightly discern between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the common.
In our ability in being ready to hear from יהוה, we must recognise that our minds must be continually renewed as we set things apart in our minds as well, no longer being conformed to the standards of the world – for now we live according to the highest standard – that is יהוה’s clear standard for His ‘set-apart ones’ – His ‘Qeḏoshim’ – קְדֹשִׁים.
The way we are enabled to keep being His proper set-apart ones that He has cleansed unto Himself is to remember to do His commands! This therefore teaches us why the wearing of tzitzit is so important for us, as we recognise how quickly many can forget to do what our Elohim has commanded us to do and seeing the tzitzits that we are commanded to wear helps us to remember what is to be upon our hearts, for His Word is in our mouths and in our hearts – to do it!
Scripture gives us clear instruction to wear tassels with a blue thread/cord on our garments, yet does not specifically describe how it ought to look. The most common way of tying a tzitzit is the 10-5-6-5 numerical value of the Name יהוה according to the Hebrew Alphabet. By that I mean that one of the most common ways of making a tzitzit is to bind the blue thread around the other thread in a numerical pattern, done according to the numerical value of the letters of the Name of יהוה, with a knot being used to separate each represented letter; and with there being 5 knots separating the 4 letters of יהוה’s Name, we can in many ways be reminded of the Torah of Mosheh – the first 5 books of the Scriptures. Below is an example of some tzitzits made in the above-mentioned manner (please note that this is in no way prescribed as the only way to make them – as the instruction is simply to just have a tassel with a blue thread in it):
With יהוה Himself, in saying ‘I AM יהוה your Elohim’, reminds us to recognise that our ability to truly know Him comes from a proper obedience in guarding and doing His commands, because the fact is that in obeying His Torah we get to know Him – and He is our Elohim – יהוה our Elohim – He is The One who causes us to be! The One who gives us our very existence is our Elohim and when we obey Him we get to know Him!
And when we know the One who give us life and causes us to be – then we will, with joy, go out as His ‘sent ones’ and proclaim the Besorah as we stand for Truth amidst a crooked and wicked generation!
You have been sent – proclaim the Good report and walk in His Torah!!!