This week’s Torah portion is called מַסְעֵי “masei/masey” which means, ‘departures, stages, journeys’, and comes from the root word מַסַּע massa – Strong’s H4550 which means, ‘a pulling up, breaking (camp), setting out, a journey, order of march’ and this comes from the primitive root verb נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265 meaning, ‘to pull out or up, set out on a journey, departed’.
What is, in essence, the meaning behind the term for the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl, can be understood as a ‘pulling up of the stakes’, in order to journey forward (a pulling up of the ‘tent pegs/stakes’ and break camp to move on).
When we consider this analogy, or picture, of ‘pulling up stakes to move on/depart’, we are quickly reminded of the words of our Master יהושע Messiah:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:24 “Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.”
Luqas/Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.”
Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.”
As we begin this portion, by looking at a summary of the ‘departures/journeys/stops’ of the children of Yisra’ĕl through the Wilderness, we will clearly recognise and see how each ‘stop/departure’ point teaches us many great lessons, in ‘pulling up/taking up their stake’ and following Messiah.
We must remember that we are ‘sojourners’ here and are continually reminded to not become ‘settled’ in the world’s ways and fleshly desires, but rather, we are to live as sojourners who are looking forward to the sure and Promised hope of what is to come and therefore, we do not put down ‘deep roots’ into worldly matters that may cause us to be held back.
In verse 1 we see that this is how the children of Yisra’ĕl came out of Mitsrayim – ‘by their divisions’ and ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘by their divisions’ is לְצִבְאֹתָם – “letsiḇotam’ which comes from the root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, ‘army, war, warfare, to wage war, serve, perform’.
This is a very militaristic style language and speaks of great discipline and order being followed and adhered to, as they came out.
They came out ‘by their divisions’ … ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’!
The Hebrew term used here for ‘under the hand’ is בְּיַד– beyaḏ which comes from the root word יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 which is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenons, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform the functions of a man’s will.”
This has the letter ‘Bĕyth’ – בְְּ – in front of the word for hand, which can be understood to give us the meaning of ‘in, under’ and therefore, we are able to see that this speaks of submitting ‘under the authority and leadership’ of another and we are therefore able to see that they came out in an orderly manner under the proper appointed leadership of Mosheh and Aharon!
Those who claim that they do not need to study, meditate and walk according to the Torah (instructions) of Elohim are disorderly and lawless and cannot properly follow our Master and High Priest and King!
They went out ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’:
Mosheh can be metaphorically likened to the Torah & Aharon can be likened, as a metaphor, to Messiah, as High Priest!
We therefore go/come out of ‘Babylon/Mitsrayim/Church’, or whatever falsified worship system we were enslaved in, ‘under the leading of our High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah’ and recognise that we are under the authority of the Torah – that is – under the authority of His instructions for set-apart living, as a Bride that He has redeemed and called unto Himself!
What we must fully understand is simply this: the only way we can be led forth in victory, and in Truth, is under the authority of the Truth!!!
We must come out from being under the authority of empty and vain traditions that have enslaved and man-made dogmas (those dogmas that were written against us) that have corrupted the Truth, to walking fully under the authority of the Living Word, by being obedient to the Torah (instructions) of our Elohim and High Priest, יהושע Messiah!
They came out under the hand – that is, under the leadership and instructions – of Mosheh and Aharon, which is a shadow picture of Messiah, who is the Living embodiment of the Torah and is our High Priest under whom we ‘march’, or walk, and sojourn!
In order for us to walk faithfully, we too must recognise the orders and commands of our Commander and Chief and ‘put on’ the whole armour of Elohim – that is to be armed and clothed with the Torah, with our firm footing on the Rock of our Deliverance that we may ‘fight to good fight of our belief’ and be overcomers in Messiah.
What we also take note of here, is that with this clear order and discipline of a great multitude of people, under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon, we cannot walk this walk of faith alone!
We do this together as a body/community as no army is a one man show!!!
We also see, that in order to start our journey, we must come out from being ‘under’ the authority of traditions, that have for so long enslaved us and we are to come out from the ‘dogmas’ of man that have restricted us from walking in the Torah of Freedom!
In verse 2 we are clearly told that Mosheh wrote down the ‘starting points’ of their departures, according to the commands of יהוה.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘starting points’ is מוֹצָא motsa – Strong’s H4161 which means, ‘a place or act of going forth, source, spring, exit, proceed, starting place’, which comes from the root verb יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, ‘to go or come out, brought, came, go forth, depart, go forward, proceed’.
This verb יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 is used to describe how it is יהוה who ‘brought us out’:
Shemoth/Exodus 20:2 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.”
The Hebrew root word used for ‘brought’ is יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, ‘to go or come out’ and here it is written in the ‘Hiphil’ form, which usually expresses a ‘causative action’ of a simple verb and so can be rendered as, ‘to cause to go out or come out, to deliver, to lead out’.
This is possibly יהוה’s most frequent description of His relationship to Yisra’ĕl, His Bride!!!
It is יהוה who has caused us to be brought out of an iron furnace, in order to take us to Himself as a His Bride – He gave His all for us!!!
Kěpha Aleph 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
And He brought us out!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:13 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from being their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:12 “be on guard, lest you forget יהוה who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage.”
Our ability to be true sojourners and followers of our Master and Elohim, begins with our ability in recognising that it is He who has caused us to be delivered and brought out of bondage to sin and in order to work out our deliverance, with fear and trembling, we must submit to His clear instructions and take up our stake on a daily basis, so that we can pursue and perfect set-apartness!
Mosheh wrote down all the ‘starting points’ of their ‘departures’ and the Wilderness journey, as recorded here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33, carries for us not only an accurate historical breakdown of the route that was taken by Yisra’ĕl, in their journey from Mitsrayim to the border of the Promised Land, but it also has a great deal of life lessons, in helping us understand how we, today, are too on a ‘wilderness journey’, as we recognise more and more that we are in the world but not of the world.
And so, each of these 42 places where Yisra’ĕl had ‘pulled up their stakes’ from, and departed on a journey to, then stopped and again ‘pulled up stakes’ to move on, carries great insight for us, in helping us to become the prepared Bride, who is ready to receive the fullness of all the Promises that are in Messiah, when He comes again to fetch us and take us to be with Him, in the Land we that have been promised.
These 42 stops/departure points are great life lessons for us, from which we can glean much understanding from, in terms of the choices that we face on a daily basis, which are critical to walking out a set-apart life.
We will look at each stop, in order to bring some further insight and clarity in understanding our sojourning here, and this is by no means a complete and full understanding of each stop, but rather, it is simply a tool for each one to equip them in furthering their desire to truly walk set-apart and so, it is with this thought in mind that I encourage you all to dig deeper and seek the application of this wonderful Torah portion, making it alive and applicable to each of you, personally.
Before starting with each stop individually, it is very important for us to realise that our walk will be fruitless without the Torah and the leading of the Ruaḥ̣ HaQoḏesh (Set-Apart Spirit), and as we walk fully in, and stay in Messiah, our High Priest and the Living Torah, may we shall bear much fruit – fruit that lasts, realising that every action, thought and deed can and must only be done in and through Him who has called us out of darkness (ignorance) into His marvellous light (knowledge).
Let us now look at the journey:
0 – Raʽmeses:
The first starting point – point ‘zero’ is: רַעְמְסֵס Ra’meses Strong’s H7486 which means “child of the sun” – and this was a city in lower Mitsrayim, built by Hebrew slaves; probably in the region of Goshen.
Remember that Goshen was the best part of the land that was given to the Yisra’ĕlites, where they could tend their sheep and were protected from the plagues sent upon Mitsrayim.
Yisra’ĕl had invested much time and effort into building this city where they dwelt, and had to leave!
They had to leave behind that which they had built – and this is an important lesson for us, as we too have to leave behind the places of pagan worship that we perhaps had invested much in, or even given all our time, energy and resources to, as we realise how we were in fact in bondage and enslaved to the lies of man-made traditions and worship practices that are twisted forms of sun worship.
This first starting point of these departures, teaches us how we too have to leave the ‘child of the sun’ – that is, we have to leave all forms of ‘Tammuz’ worship and all that is related to pagan sun-worship!!!
Mitsrayim literally means “worshipers of ra” or “sun god”.
In the Hebrew, the word used for Egypt is מִצְרַיִם Mitsrayim – Strong’s H4714, which is the dual of מָצוּר matsur – Strong’s H4692 which means, ‘siege enclosure, siege, entrenchment’ which comes from the primitive root word צוּר tsur – Strong’s H6696 meaning, ‘to confine, bind, besiege’.
These words all mean one form or another of being constricted or shut in and enclosed.
Just as יהוה delivered our fathers back then, from bondage to a system of enslavement, so too does our Mighty Maker release us from bondage to enslavement of man’s twisted traditions and worship practices.
By His Blood – the Blood of יהושע Messiah, He has come to set the captives free and release from darkness, the prisoners.
The children of Yisra’ĕl left on the 15th day of the first month, of יהוה’s calendar, on the day after the Pěsaḥ and went out with boldness!
יהוה defies the whole idea of sun-worship around equinox and solstice worship, as done by pagan worship and calendar setting, by bringing His people out at the Full Moon!
This was not an undercover mission – they went out boldly – and so we must not be ‘sorry’ to leave behind the lies! Leaving Ra’meses is vital to us, if we are to become a prepared Bride. A move that sadly too many are not willing to make, as they are unable to let go of what they have invested so much into, and so, their journey of walking in righteousness never gets off the ground, as they continue to try to justify their way of life as acceptable worship – yet staying in Ra’meses is not an acceptable option for a True Believer!
We must also begin to recognise, and understand, יהוה’s reckoning of time, as we have been enslaved by man’s pagan adapted calendars, which centre on the worship of the sun and all forms of pagan deities.
One of the things that we are to strip away, is the lies of all the various calendars that have no correlation to יהוה’s time schedule or His Appointed Times, which is critical for us to get right, especially as we sojourn here in the Wilderness, so to speak!
Leaving Ra’meses also represents for us our leaving of pagan centred feasts such as ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ and ‘Lent’ (all which are centred around worship unto Nimroḏ, Semiramis (Ishtar/Easter) and Tammuz).
As we begin to walk in יהוה’s correct time, we are able to learn the significance of that which He has given to us for His Appointed Times, as we see in:
Berěshith/Genesis 1:14 “And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years”
The ‘Lights’ that He has given us is the sun, the moon and the stars and we are able to correctly use these in order to know Our Creator’s timing so that we can properly keep His Feasts!
The lights in the expanse are for signs and appointed times, and for days and years:
1 – Signs – The Hebrew word for ‘sign’ is – אוֹת oth – Strong’s H226 meaning, ‘a sign, banner, pledge, witness, token, proof’ and comes from the primitive root אָוָה avah – Strong’s H184 which means, ‘to sign, mark, describe with a mark’.
The Sabbath is a sign
Why the Sabbath is of utmost importance to us, especially as we understand our leaving Ra’meses, as a type, and what we are to quickly realise, is that our sign, or mark, of our worship unto יהוה our Elohim, is in fact our remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath.
Sabbath observance is key to worship, in fact it is our definitive sign that sets us apart from others.
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, to know that I AM יהוה who sets them apart!”
Shemoth/Exodus 31:16-17 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
We as his children are to ‘guard’ and ‘observe’ the Sabbath for all time! יהוה makes it very clear in the above two passages that the Sabbath is in fact the sign that we are His!!! How awesome is that! His Sabbath is a sign of His power to create and His power to redeem. In the Scriptures, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.
Having our proper time-keeping, according to יהוה’s calendar, restored, is critical in our journey in the Master, teaching us to be made fully aware of His Appointed Times that He has given for us to come together in Him.
In the Scriptures, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.
יהוה‘s sign, the Sabbath, represents His esteemed power to rule as Creator and Saviour.
His Sabbath and His feasts are our seal on our foreheads and our right hand.
In fact, it does not just stop at the Sabbath and Pěsaḥ/Matzot, but in keeping all the Appointed Times of יהוה marks our obedience and defines our worship, as we obey all He has commanded us to do!
What marks us as children of Elohim is our steadfast obedience in keeping His Sabbaths and Appointed Times, which we are able to follow as we understand how our Master gave the lights in the heavens to be for signs and appointed times. (Berěshith/Genesis 1:14).
As we guard to keep the clear calendar of our Master and ensure that we do not miss His Appointed Times, we have the firm assurance that He has set His seal on us, as we have the proper observance of His Sabbaths and Feasts (Appointed Times) as a sign on our hands and foreheads!
Messiah made it clear that the only sign that would be shown to a wicked and adulterous generation that He was the Messiah, was the sign of Yonah; and so, in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah, we have the sign of the Covenant promise revealed and secured in His Own Blood!
The ancient pictographic rendering of the Hebrew word אוֹת oth – Strong’s H226 meaning, ‘a sign, banner, pledge, witness, token, proof’, looks like this:
Aleph – א:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Waw/vav – וֹ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , is pictured as a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Taw – ת:
The ancient for of this letter is – meaning ‘two crossed sticks’. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.
As we consider these three pictographic letters for the root word for ‘sign’, we take note that it is the Aleph – א and the Taw – ת that secures for us His Covenant, showing us the clear sign of His sealing of the Covenant through His life, death and resurrection, for He took the nails in His hands and feet in and secured His Covenant for us in His Own Blood, setting His seal upon those who guard to keep His Appointed Times. He is the Beginning of our Strength and He secures for us His Covenant, having set His seal upon us, by His Spirit, as we observe His Appointed Times
Elohim’s sign, the Sabbath, represents His mighty power to rule as Creator and Saviour, and it is a sign forever between us as children of Yisra’ĕl and Elohim!!!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:9 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.”
You cannot get any clearer than this verse, although it has sadly been twisted into teaching that this Sabbath rest being spoken of only refers to the millennial reign.
The Greek word used here for ‘Sabbath-keeping’ is:
Strong’s G4520 – σαββατισμός ‘sabbatismos’ – which literally means ‘a Sabbath keeping’ or ‘Sabbath observance’ and is very clear in its instruction for us today that to keep Sabbath is still of vital importance – after all it is an everlasting sign for us – a sign that will prove to be a critical dividing factor in showing who truly worships Elohim and who does not!
The weekly Sabbath-keeping, is not only a sign for us, but it is also the first of His Commanded Appointed times, according to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2. יהוה has given us this day as a sign of His everlasting covenant and what we must therefore also realise is that the enemy will always have a counterfeit sign in seeking any means at luring people into the delusion of false worship, making people believe that they are in fact worshipping the Creator when clearly they are in error by having the wrong ‘sign’ of their worship.
Leaving Ra’meses is the start – leaving behind all forms of corrupted sun-worship, in order to obey the Appointed Times of our Master!
2 – Appointed Times –The Hebrew word for ‘appointed times’ is מוֹעֲדִים ‘moeḏim’ – which is the plural of the root word מוֹעֵד moeḏ – Strong’s H4150 which means, ‘appointed time, place, meeting, appointed feast’, and right in the beginning, during the Creation Week, Elohim announces to us that He will have ‘appointed times’.
And the way we are to know when these times are, would be determined by the lights in the expanse of the heavens, which were given for us to not only determine the seasons and day and night, but also for His all-important Appointed Times.
Our first starting point, in leaving a wrong and twisted system, entails our ability to get realigned with our Master’s proper timing.
We leave behind the ‘sun-day’ worship and its adopted practices and falsified feasts and begin to keep the proper Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim and His Feasts can be clearly determined by the signs He has given us.
Without going in to detail, in regards to the proper Calendar of Elohim, as determined by the cycles of the sun and moon and the confirmation of the season, as marked by spring, what I do want to make clear, is that we do not worship the sun and moon and stars, but most certainly use that which has been given for us to know the appointed Times of Elohim.
The sun and moon and stars have been ‘allotted’ to all the people under the heavens and we are warned against being drawn away by them and bowing down to them:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4:19 “and lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and shall see the sun, and the moon, and the stars – all the host of the heavens – and you be drawn away into bowing down to them and serving them, which יהוה your Elohim has allotted to all the peoples under all the heavens”
Why I am mentioning this. is to highlight the fact that the sun and moon and stars are there for a purpose and while we are most certainly not to bow down to them and worship them in any way, we do need to understand their cycles, if we are to know the correct appointed times of Elohim.
For purposes of this article, I will leave it at that, as the discussion regarding various calendars is certainly a lengthy one and the primary purpose for me mentioning this here, at this starting point, is to simply highlight the importance of departing from false schedules of sun-day worship and its associated feasts, that have ancient pagan roots and have been adopted by western Christianity, as a means of worship, yet do not adhere to the clear pattern and instructions of Scripture!
Leaving Raʽmeses for Sukkoth –
In Ḥazon/Revelation 12 we see a 42-month period beginning, as the woman leaves Yerushalayim to go into the Wilderness, after giving birth – Satan was cast out of heaven and the child was caught up to Elohim and to His throne while the woman went into the Wilderness to a place prepared and was nourished!
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:1-6 “And a great sign was seen in the heaven: a woman clad with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being pregnant, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign was seen in the heaven: and see, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4 And his tail draws a third of the stars of the heaven and throws them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she bore a male child who was to shepherd all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught away to Elohim and to His throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”
Our wilderness journey is a time of nourishment and preparation, as we learn to hear the voice of the Almighty and as we see in our forefathers journey through the Wilderness, יהוה did in fact nourish them and prepared them to enter into the Promised Land – yes it took longer than one would expect – so we can also learn through these stops, that the longer we rebel and grumble, the longer it will take for us to enter in to His rest, and quite frankly – we do not have 40 years to get our act together!
So, leaving Ra’meses is the start, we have not yet arrived – it is only the beginning! Then the stripping away truly begins! What starts our journey, is the realisation of His True Name!
יהוה made Himself known through Mosheh, by declaring His Name and so, our journey begins with the acknowledgement and acceptance of the True Name of יהוה, as opposed to hybrid pagan titles that many have falsely attributed to the Creator for far too long in vain!
An acknowledgement of His Name will help bring the full understanding of who it is who is calling you out – for His Name, and His Name alone, declares who it is made you and causes you to be, and so, Yisra’ĕl could boldly leave because they knew the One who was saving them.
So many today are still stuck in Ra’meses, because they refuse to accept the True Name, under the veil of lies that have brought His Name to nought, and in fact, have broken the Third Commandment, through replacing His Name with all kinds of titles and falsified twisted pagan names, under a falsehood that is attributed to sun-worship and their false deities!
That is why when most are asked what the 10 Commandments are – they often start with Exodus/Shemoth 20:3 “you shall have no other mighty ones before My Face”, in which they are half right, as we should have no other mighty ones before Him… but the 1st Commandment clearly starts in verse 2 with who He is… “I AM יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.”
To begin our exile, out of Slavery to world’s man-made systems of profane worship, we need to acknowledge and accept the Name that saves and call upon that Name – for all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered!
Most will remain in their Ra’meses simply because they do not know His Name!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:4 “Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if you know it?”
Ask the majority of Christians today what the name of their ‘God’ is and they will simply not be able to tell you, as they will waver between various titles that are associated with pagan deities or even use the pagan twisted name of ‘Zeus’ through a worship that was conveniently translated by pagan influenced scribes or translators!
It is time to come out of Her My People declares יהוה of Hosts!!! And the first step to coming out is knowing His Name!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:8 “How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of יהוה is with us’? But look, the false pen of the scribe has worked falsehood.”
The sad reality of today, is that the majority has believed the deception and is, in essence, stuck in their Raʽmeses.
It begins with His Name and those who by faith call upon His Name, receive the free gift of deliverance by the Blood of Messiah!
Yisra’ĕl had been delivered from bondage by the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts of their homes and now it was time to leave behind all they had known and step out in faith and follow the One who had delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh!
Tehillah/Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we remember the Name of יהוה our Elohim.”
Remembering the Name of יהוה is to remember, acknowledge and know who it is that causes us to be!
The Name of יהוה is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, ‘to be, to become, to be in existence’, and when Elohim spoke to Mosheh He said, “I AM that which I AM”, and told Him to tell the Yisra’ĕlites that the I AM had sent him. (Shemoth/Exodus 3:14)
I AM THAT WHICH I AM –
In Hebrew this phrase is written as – אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה – eyeh asher eyeh
The Hebrew word ‘eyeh’ comes from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961; and the Hebrew word אֲשֶׁר asher – Strong’s H834 is a primitive pronoun that means, ‘who, which, that, that which’ and is a marker of a relative reference to an entity, event, or state.
The first ‘eyeh’ is written as a proper noun, singular, masculine, while the second ‘eyeh’ is written in the qal active verb tense and in essence we see Elohim making it clear here to Mosheh that “The One who exists is the One who causes to exist, or gives existence” or “The All existing One is the One who gives existence”
Literally speaking it can render, “I AM the One who causes to be”, or “I AM the One who brings into being”, as well as “I AM the life-giver, the giver of all existence”, and “I AM the ever living self-consistent and unchangeable One”.
This however, is not The Name of Elohim, but was rather an explanation that would lead up to the revelation of His Name, which is clearly declared as: יהוה YAHWEH– Strong’s H3068 which is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961.
When we say the Name of יהוה we are proclaiming that it is the ‘I AM’ who gives existence and that He is the One who causes me to be! יהוה is our Creator and He has formed us!
The Name of יהוה YAHWEH – Strong’s H3068 is pictured in the ancient pictographic script as follows:
Yod – י
In the Ancient Script, this is the letter ‘yad or yod’ which is pictured as – – which is the picture of an arm and hand and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’ from the primary functions of the arm and hand and also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. This also reveals to us a stretched-out arm and hand.
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.
Waw – ו
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, 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’.
In the pictographic representation of the Name of Elohim, we are able to clearly see how He, the All Existing One, revealed Himself to His Creation, through His Outstretched Arm and Hand. The two pictures of the man, and the peg in between them, also gives us insight as to how He would come and reveal Himself, in the form of a man and secure the Covenants of promise, and in this, we are able to see the two comings of Messiah.
BEHOLD THE OUTSTRETCHED ARM OF THE ALL EXISTING ONE SHALL COME AND SECURE HIS COVENANT AND REDEEM US IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH HIS HOUSE FOR WHICH HE IS COMING AGAIN!
The correct grammatical way to pronounce the Name of יהוה is ‘YAHWEH’.
For more on this please see the article I wrote called, “Grammatical study from Scripture on confirming the pronunciation of the Name of יהוה” which can be found under the articles menu on our site (https://atfotc.com) or by simply clicking on the following link:
From this first ‘starting point’ we are able to recognise that which begins our journey of truly taking up our stake and following our Master and Elohim, for we start by knowing His Name and Keeping His Sabbaths – this is the starting point of leaving the falsehood that had enslaved us behind and begins the journey of properly seeking His Kingdome and His righteousness!
1 – Sukkoth
This first ‘stop’ in the wilderness journey is called סֻכֹּת Sukkoth – Strong’s H5523 which means “booths” and this simply means “temporary dwelling”, We must recognise that we are sojourners here and the first stop of coming out of sun-worship is to enter into the dwelling of the Most-High Elohim.
Sukkoth, as we know, is the Festival of Booths/Tabernacles that we keep each year, as we remember these Wilderness journeys and that we too are sojourners here, as we await the return of Messiah, when He will come and make His Booth here among us and we shall dwell with Him forever!
This city/stop was still in the land of Mitsrayim and therefore reminds us very clearly that although we are still in the world we are not of the world!
It was at Sukkoth that Yisra’ĕl learnt to ‘camp out’, so to speak, and no longer be accustomed to the false securities of the world, in being ‘rooted in one place of permanence’, and as we may also note, this too was a territory that was pretty much occupied by Bedouins or tent dwellers, who in fact still occupy this area today!
It was here at Sukkoth that we see from Shemoth/Exodus 13:1-16 that the regulations for the firstborn males are given and, as I said, in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 the woman bore a male child who would shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron!
Our first stop at coming out of Mitsrayim/Baḇelon/Christianity is in fact beginning to ‘keep the Sabbath’ and so, enter His ‘rest’ each week and learn His Torah, as a community that is sojourning together.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:9 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘Sabbath-keeping’ is σαββατισμός – Sabbatismos – Strong’s G4520 which literally means, ‘a Sabbath-keeping’ and not just ‘a rest’, as some translations have chosen to write, in order to justify their agenda in disregarding the need to guard and keep the Sabbath as it should be.
Sadly, there are too many who claim that they want to leave Ra’meses, so to speak, yet the comfort of inherited lies is actually too hard for them to let go of and the first sign of this is seen in how they simply refuse to acknowledge the true Sabbath of יהוה. Having been so indoctrinated for centuries, most will plainly refuse the Truth and accept a twisted lie that claims the Sabbath changed to sun-day! What most do not realise, is the fact that it all comes down to worship and we are ‘marked’ by whom we worship, in the correct or incorrect observance of the Sabbath of יהוה!
Sukkoth is the 7th Feast of יהוה, and clearly pictures for us the time when He comes to dwell with us and is a shadow picture of the Millennial Reign, when the child who was born will shepherd the nations with a rod of iron!
Our mark/sign of worship is our Sabbath keeping, for He has given us His Sabbath as a sign between us and Him forever!
“And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am יהוה who sets them apart.”
“And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
“And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart. 14 ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people.”
It is truly here, at the ‘Sukkoth’ stop, in a sense, where we learn to rest in Him and allow His Word to give us His peace and strength!
So, we begin our proper sojourning by calling upon His Name and receiving the sign of our worship, by keeping His Sabbaths.
The enemy also has, among many, a mark/sign of worship and that is ‘sun-day’ worship, and all who follow the beast and his image by worshipping on the ‘day of the sun’, while forsaking to keep the Sabbath of יהוה, receive the mark of the beast on their forehead, as they cognitively choose to disregard the Torah and follow the beast, under the teachings of traditions and man-made dogmas, as well as on their right hand, which as we know is Scripture that the right hand is symbolic of that by which one works, and so, by ‘working’ and not resting on the Sabbath of יהוה, the one doing so, is in fact receiving the mark of the beast too!
This is serious business and part of our coming out of Mitsrayim/Baḇelon, is to forsake the traditions of the world and its institutionalised forms of worship, that has clearly adopted pagan practices as its basis and means of existence, having been very crafty in syncretising the truth, twisting it and blending it in with customs and traditions that control the masses and amass wealth for the elite hierarchy!
As one leaves Ra’meses and camps at ‘Sukkoth’ – one learns the joy of the Feasts and Appointed Times of יהוה, realising that although we are still in the world, we do not worship the way the world worships any longer, but strictly according to the way the Torah instructs!
So many can never leave Mitsrayim because they fail to call upon the True Name of יהוה and fail to keep His Sabbath – the two things that have crippled most Christians for centuries!
THESE FIRST TWO STATIONS – THAT OF OUR DEPARTURE AND THE FIRST STOP ON OUR JOURNEY – RA‘MESES AND SUKKOTH – ARE THE KEYS TO THE BEGINNING OF OUR WILDERNESS JOURNEY – THAT IS:
1) AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE NAME OF יהוה AND…
2) THE KEEPING OF HIS SABBATH. THIS IS NOT THE END BUT RATHER SIMPLY THE BEGINNING OF A WONDERFUL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY AND GROWTH IN MESSIAH AND REQUIRES GREAT ENDURANCE! LET US NOW LOOK AT THE REST OF THE STOPS AND ALLOW EACH ONE TO TEACH US SOME GREAT AND VITAL LLY IMPORTANT TRUTHS IN OUR WALK OF CLEANSING OURSELVES FROM ALL DEFILEMENT IN THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING SET-APARTNESS IN THE FEAR OF ELOHIM!
This for me, is a wonderful picture of the people of Elohim, Yisra’ĕl – that is you and me included, who turn away from what the world has to offer, as we see that our dwelling is with the Most-High, who will come and tabernacle with us.
Sukkoth, we know refers to the 7th Feast of Booths, when it shadow pictures for us the time when יהושע will come to take up His Bride and ‘Sukkoth’ with Her.
What is a powerful picture for us, in understanding where we are headed toward – which is Sukkoth – and our need to steer clear of what the world has to offer, is that we have full assurance that this promise is true, being sealed by the Blood of Messiah!!!
When we look at the word for Sukkot in the ancient script, we find a beautiful confirmation of this fact:
Samech – סֻ:
The modern name for this letter is samech, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.
This letter is pictured as – ‘a thorn’ and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of a ‘shield’ as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose his flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
Kaph – כֹּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is to ‘bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand) as an open hand symbolises ‘submission’. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
Taw – ת:
The ancient for of this letter is – meaning ‘two crossed sticks’. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of ‘mark, sign or signature or identification’, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.
Now, when we understand that these three letters make up סֻכֹּת Sukkoth, I find it very fascinating, as we see being pictured here that יהושע is Most certainly our Good Shepherd who has sealed us in His Blood, as יהוה extended His Right Hand to us.
And we see that Messiah not only had a ‘crown of thorns’ put on His Head and had a reed placed in His right hand, as well as being stricken for us, but also that He willingly gave His Life for us, in order to secure us and cause us to be made into the Dwelling Place of the Most-High where He will Sukkoth with us when the two sticks (Yehuḏah and Ephrayim) are brought back together as One!
2 – Ětham
This stop – אֵתָם Ětham – Strong’s H864 means, “with them or their ploughshare” – and in understanding the meaning of ‘with them’ we can see how in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 that Satan is cast out of heaven down to earth where man dwells and so now he (Satan) is ‘with them’ and it is here that he has set up his government control through the beast. Ětham deals with sin that is here with us and at the same time, how יהוה is also here with us by His Spirit – and therefore we must deal with sin in our lives and not accept the rule of sin/lawlessness but walk in the instructions of יהוה.
This is a place of a reality check – as we must choose wisely whom we serve – we know that Satan is here and he is constantly on the prowl, like a lion, who is always looking for someone to devour.
It is at this early stage of the journey where he, in fact, he does devour many, as insecurities begin to set in, as a result of some persecution for using the True names and keeping the Sabbath and they end up compromising and compromise can be the cause of many falling away, as they tend to ‘follow the crowd’, preferring to ‘be with them’ rather than living set-apart lives and have the prospect of being persecuted for righteousness sake.
What Ětham can also picture for us, in understanding ‘with them: their ploughshare’, is that we can see great joy in knowing that during the Kingdom Reign, Messiah will dwell “with us” and we will “beat our swords into ploughshares“.
Listen to what Miḵah/Micah the prophet says:
Miḵah/Micah 4:1-5 “And in the latter days it shall be that the mountain of the House of יהוה is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And peoples shall flow to it. 2 And many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths. For out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.” 3 And He shall judge among many peoples, and reprove strong nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks – nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither teach battle any more. 4 But each one shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of יהוה of hosts has spoken. 5 For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his mighty one, but we walk in the Name of יהוה our Elohim forever and ever.”
‘With their ploughshare’ can also speak to us of the unity of Yisra’ĕl which is renewed at the feast of Sukkoth and how we then ‘plough’ the ground for the next year’s growth!
Therefore, what we can see from this stop is the clear distinction between who is with us – Immanu’ĕl or the imposter? May we truly learn to walk in and stay in Messiah as we work the fields of the harvest, for he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom.
This is where the work begins and it is not time to give up but rather get ‘stuck in’ and give it your all!
3 – Pi Haḥiroth
This stop – פִּי הַחִירֹת Pi Haḥiroth – Strong’s H6367 means, “place where sedge grows”, from the two words:
1) פִּי ‘Pi’ or ‘pey’ which means, ‘mouth’ and
2) הַחִירֹת Haḥiroth which means, ‘wrath’.
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:14-15 “And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, to fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And out of his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to cause her to be swept away by the river.”
The serpent unleashes wrath, out of his mouth, against the woman in the wilderness, and here we have the parallel of Pharaoh unleashing his wrath against Yisra’ĕl, by pursuing them when they were camped here.
Yisra’ĕl was helped here, as they crossed through the Sea of Reeds on dry land and Pharaoh and his army was killed in the sea!
What a wonderful parallel we see in Ḥazon/Revelation, of the woman being helped:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:16 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”
In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:1 we see the beast coming out of the sea from the dead!
It was here, after Pi Haḥiroth and having crossed through the Sea of Reeds, that Mosheh proclaimed praise for יהוה, after Pharaoh and his whole army had died and was swallowed up by the sea:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You, O יהוה, among the mighty ones? Who is like You, great in set-apartness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”
A Contrasting parallel we can see in Ḥazon/Revelation 13:4, in what the people of the world marvel at by the appearance of the beast out of the sea:
“And they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. And they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to fight with him?”
What we see here is the blasphemies being spewed out of the mouths of the masses in worship of the beast!
Our breath that we have been given, is to give praise unto יהוה our Elohim and none other!
Tehillah/Psalm 150:6 “Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!”
Pi Haḥiroth was east of בַּעַל צְפוֹן Ba‘al Tsephon – Strong’s H1189 which means ‘lord of the north’ or ‘lord of the hidden’ or ‘secret place’, as it comes from the two root words:
1) Ba‘al – בַּעַל – Strong’s H1168 which means, ‘lord, husband, landowner’ and was also the name of a supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Kenaʽanites.
2) Tsephon – צְפוֹן – Strong’s H6828 which means, ‘north’ and comes from the primitive root צָפַן tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 which means, ‘to hide, treasure up, ambush, concealed’.
It is here at this stop/departure point, that we are able to realise that, amidst the blasphemies and threats of the enemy, we find refuge in יהוה – for He is our ‘hiding place’.
We know that the dragon will fight those who are guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah and this calls for faithful endurance on the part of the set-apart ones!
Miḡdol – מִגְדֹּל – Strong’s H4024 was near here and means ‘tower’ – and we know that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe!
May this remind us, that no matter how much persecution we may come under – we have a Name that give us safety and refuge! This stop also helps us to realise that no matter how much persecution we come under, as we stay in Messiah, we are safe.
Now, another vital lesson that we can take from this, is that we are to watch our own mouths.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing, my brothers, this should not be so.”
What we can learn from the parallels, between what happened here and what is recorded in Ḥazon/Revelation, is that while the true worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and Truth – the masses will worship the beast, for both sides use the same wording… “Who is like…?”
May our mouths declare only praise for יהוה our Elohim!
What we can also learn for this ‘starting point’ is that it represents for us a picture of dying to self and being raised to new life in Messiah!
When the children of Yisra’ĕl came to this place, there was nowhere for them to run to, as the threat of Pharaoh and his army came pursuing them from behind. They had the sea in front of them and the Mitsrians hot on their tails.
With the Sea of Reeds being opened up for them, to pass through on dry land and coming to safety on the other side, while their enemies drowned in the sea, is a picture of immersion in the Name of יהושע, which saves us from the wrath of Elohim!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:29 “By belief, they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, and when the Mitsrites tried it, they were drowned.”
4 – Marah
This stop – מָרָה Marah – Strong’s H4785 means, “bitter”
After the victory at the Sea of Reeds, they went on a 3-day journey and came to Marah, where they complained as they had no wate,r as the water at Marah was bitter and so, the people grumbled and rebelled against Mosheh.
Shemoth/Exodus 15:23-26: “And they came to Marah, and they were unable to drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. So the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Mosheh, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then he cried out to יהוה, and יהוה showed him a tree. And when he threw it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a law and a right-ruling for them, and there He tried them.
26 And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”
Marah is a lesson for us in rebellion against the Word of Elohim and trust in His provision. Marah still exists today.
There is a village there. The water is still bitter.
But, guess what? The bitter water is not harmful. In fact, it has health benefits in that it kills parasites and bad bacteria in the digestive system, while not harming the good bacteria.
Could it be that יהוה wanted to cleanse their bodies internally from the effects of Mitsrayim?
How sad it is, when we think that we know best and get bitter when things do not go the way we expect it to.
We must learn from this, that יהוה always knows what is best and He always seeks out that which is good for us, even when we may not understand it!
As we drink of the True Living Water, we will see that the parasites (false doctrines) that we may have picked up along the way, will be killed, and we must not become ‘bitter’, over having our lives cleaned up from the bacteria of man-made traditions, so to speak.
Let us realise the effect of bitterness that will cause us to say wrong things, if we do not guard ourselves!
יהוה hates those who sow discord among the brothers and rebellion sours the freshness of the Living Waters.
We are told in Tehillah/Psalm 95 not to harden our hearts as they did here and Marah.
The spirit of rebellion is the opposite of the spirit of unity.
It is in the spirit of rebellion that the end time’s beast will rear its ugly head.
In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 we see how the beast blasphemed against Elohim, His Name and His tent and leads the world astray to take the mark of rebellion in worshipping the beast and his image:
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 “And he was given a mouth speaking great matters and blasphemies, and he was given authority to do so forty-two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against Elohim, to blaspheme His Name, and His Tent, and those dwelling in the heaven.”
When one gets bitter, the natural reaction that follows is slander and rebellion and blasphemies and we are to guard our mouths, not allowing any form of bitterness to come forth and bear rotten fruit!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:14 “But if you have bitter jealousy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast against and lie against the truth.”
5 – Ělim
The Hebrew word – אֵילִם Ělim – Strong’s H362 means, “palms”.
It can also mean ‘righteous men’ or strength as in ‘rams’.
This was where there were 12 fountains and 70 palm trees. From this we are able to see a clear picture of the 12 fountains representing the 12 tribes and the 70 palm trees representing the number of the nations on the earth.
They had just been “bitter” and were instructed to diligently obey the voice of יהוה, and in doing so, after having water from the Rock, He leads them to this oasis or ‘place of refreshing’, in order to strengthen them.
I like to think of this as arriving at ‘Palm Springs resort’, if you will!
We can learn from this that even though we too have found ourselves, perhaps at times, just as bitter as they were in the Wilderness, when we come to the Rock of our Salvation and drink from the Living Water, He will lead us beside still waters and strengthen our souls, even while we are in the Wilderness!
Ělim can also mean ‘their leader’.
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:7-9 shows how the world will follow their evil leader, while we the people of faith, Yisra’ĕl, follow יהושע the King of Yisra’ĕl!
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:7-9 “And it was given to him to fight with the set-apart ones and to overcome them. And authority was given to him over every tribe and tongue and nation. 8 And all those dwelling on the earth, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the slain Lamb, from the foundation of the world shall worship him. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”
It is Yisra’ĕl (12 fountains) that is to reach the 70 (rest of the nations) with Living Water, as it is the Living Waters of our Master יהוה that brings healing to the nations!
In Ḥazon/Revelation we see the reference to the tree of life as well as the 12 trees that bore fruit each month:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:2 “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
We also see this reference in:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 47:12 “And by the bank of the stream, on both sides, grow all kinds of trees used for food, whose leaves do not wither and fruit do not fail. They bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the set-apart place. And their fruit shall be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
When we see this stop, we must recognise that we, as children of Yisra’ĕl, are to be a refreshing supply of the Living Waters of Messiah to the nations!
When Messiah spoke to the Shomeroni woman at the well, He told her that whoever would drink of the water that He gives shall never thirst, but the water He gives would become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
Yoḥanan/John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
We recognise that while we are being refreshed by the living waters of Messiah, we are also being refreshed to refresh others!!!
6 – Sea of Reeds
This Hebrew term/place is written as – יַם־סוּף – ‘yam-suph’ which is made up of the two words:
1) יַם – ‘yam’-Strong’s – H3220 which means, ‘sea’ &
2) סוּף – ‘suph’ Strong’s H5488 which means, ‘reeds, rushes’; and in its primitive root form (Strong’s H5486) it can also mean, ‘to be fulfilled, to come to an end, cease’.
It is known as the Sea of Reeds but is also known as the ‘sea of the end’.
This stop is symbolic of how we must come to the end of our self and put to death our flesh.
We must take up our execution stake and follow יהושע.
Prophetically, those who overcome, do so by the “blood of the lamb, word of their testimony, and not loving their life until the death,” (Ḥazon/Revelation 12:11)
We also know that the passing through the Sea of Reeds, is symbolic of baptism or rather immersion and that when we are immersed in Messiah, we are in fact making a public confession and declaration that we have died to self and been raised new in Messiah.
We have therefore put an end to that which we were and take up our new life in Messiah and walk boldly in Him.
This ‘passing through the sea’, is also a picture of the first resurrection, and we are told in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
All who have ‘come to an end’ of themselves so to speak and have ‘died to self’ and are immersed to new life in Messiah and ‘remain in Messiah’ will not be affected by the ‘second death’.
Sadly, we can also see how those who did not ‘remain/stay in’ the truth after having passed through the sea did not make it into the Promised Land die to their disobedience and rebellion to the commands of Elohim.
Getting immersed alone will not bring about the full deliverance, but rather, it is when we repent – that is to turn away from sin – which is what Yisra’ĕl did by leaving Mitsrayim – and were immersed in the Sea of Reeds, they were then brought into the Wilderness where they would learn to hear the True voice of their deliverer and would receive instructions on how to live their new life of Freedom from bondage to sin!
7 – Wilderness of Sin
The Hebrew word for ‘wilderness’ is מִדְבָּר ‘miḏbâr’ – Strong’s H4057 which means, ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land’ & סִין ‘sı̂yn’ – Strong’s H5512 means, “thorn” or “clay”.
This is where יהוה provided manna for Yisra’ĕl.
We know too that in the last days we will also see supernatural provision and we also know that Messiah is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven.
Tehillah/Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread.”
Now listen, we do not just sit down and think that everything will fall into our laps – we are to be about being faithful to His Word, working diligently with our all unto Him.
As we obey Torah AND prepare for the days ahead יהוה will provide the blessings and the miracles.
As clay is also representative of man and as we know that ‘wilderness’ can also mean ‘mouth’ or ‘place of words’, we can have here the picture of the mouth of man or even better still the ‘clay foundations’ of the doctrines of man that are not safe and sound but vulnerable and break easy under pressure.
We must trust in Elohim for our provision and watch our mouths, as this was the place where they grumbled again, about not having food and actually, some wanted to go back to Mitsrayim and thought that it was better off being a slave and getting a plate of food than having to rely on provision from יהוה in the Wilderness.
This is the futility of man and his words – our words can be a thorn for us, or rather, the words of man that we may be inclined to follow, can become a thorn for us and cause us to grumble and complain, when we are to trust in and rely upon Elohim for all and praise His Name.
8 – Dophqah
The Hebrew word דָּפְקָה Dophqah – Strong’s H1850 means, “knocking” or ‘knock at the door’.
We know who knocks at the door of our heart.
In Ḥazon/Revelation 3:20 יהושע Messiah gives the invitation to have Him dwell with us, declaring that those who open the door when he knocks will have Him enter in and dine with them.
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:20 “See, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
We also see references of those who will knock after it is too late – after the door is shut and will be told to go away as the Master does not know those who are lawless.
Luqas/Luke 13:25 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from.”
This is going to be a hard day for many, who will hear these words, the next 2 verses are even more clear:
Luqas/Luke 13:26-27 “then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.”
‘Workers of unrighteousness’ – so many today simply do not understand what is being spoken here – this is a warning to those who claim that they do not have to follow Torah, even while their claim is so sincere in their deeds!!!
If you do not keep His commands and walk in His ways, it doesn’t matter how much you think you are doing, it will not gain you access and you can knock as hard as you like, it won’t help.
So, unless you walk in the Torah of Elohim, you will not be able to enter in!
The lawless have no place in the Kingdom:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:22-23 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
The word translated as ‘Lawlessness’, in the Greek, is the word ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 which comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, ‘lawless, without law, transgressor’, and so ‘anomia’, simply put, means ‘without law’ or more specifically ‘without Torah’.
Go and Google ‘Greek word ‘anomia’ and do some research!
With the Greek word ‘anomos’, we note that the ‘a’ comes from the negative participle in the Greek which means ‘without’ and ‘nomos’ means Law (Torah).
Therefore, those who work lawlessness are practicing ‘anomia’, which describes those who are without Law or Torah. As we can clearly see, and must realise, we cannot live without instruction or the Torah, else we are ‘lawless’ and those who say that they are not under law are, in fact, confessing that they are lawless!
The Greek word for ‘under’, as used in the phrase, ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and it further means, to be controlled by or in subjection to.
So, under law would mean to controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction.
This is very clear – we are in subjection to the instructions/Torah/Law of our Creator, King, Redeemer, Saviour and Husband!!!
Therefore, this stop is critical, in understanding our decision to follow the Truth and not be sorry later.
We cannot serve 2 masters. ‘The Lord’ is a title given to pagan deities and in Hebrew, this is the word ‘Ba’al’.
We must choose whom we serve, יהוה or ‘the Lord’!!!!
‘The Lord’, as a counterfeit, knocks too, and the question is, ‘who do you open up your life to?’
May we only have Him who has given us life dwelling in us, giving no room for entertaining the enemy at all?
The enemy is constantly trying to get in and we must keep watch and serve only יהוה!
Whatever occupies your time is your master. Do you spend more time in worship and ministry or something else?
יהוה is also removing the false ‘lords’ from our tongues.
For us who walk in the Truth and obey his commands there is great promises that we can be sure of and when we knock, He will open:
Luqas/Luke 11:9 “And I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.”
Therefore, the question is – who is knocking at your heart – who are you responding to and whom do you seek?
9 – Alush
The Hebrew word אָלוּשׁ Alush – Strong’s H442 means, “I will knead (bread)”.
Kneading bread is a tough process and Elohim will Himself knead us and so, as the proofing comes after the kneading, what we can see here, is that it is He, and He alone, that prepares us for tests that are ahead!
We are to seek after righteousness and, in this process, we will be made into bread that is acceptable as wave offering unto the Father.
During the 50 day period between the waving of the first fruits on the day after the Sabbath during Matzot (Unleavened Bread) to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) on the day after the 7th completed Sabbath (which is always the first day of the week) where the two loaves of Bread are waved before יהוה, is a period commonly known as, or referred to as, the ‘counting of the omer’, simply because we are commanded to literally count the 50 days, that take us from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest. And it is during this time where we can learn a great deal regarding the process of making bread, as seen in a 10-step process.
(please refer to the sermon notes on a message called “Omer reshiyth” for more details regarding this process, which can be found at https://atfotc.com under the sermons 2019/2020 menu, or by clicking on the following link:
10 – Rephiḏim
The Hebrew word רְפִידִים Rephiḏim – Strong’s H7508 means, “rests/stays or resting places”.
This can also mean ‘support’ or ‘spread them’ as in ‘spreading the hands’ and can come from the words meaning ‘weakening of the hands.
So, what we can see here at Rephiḏim are a couple of lessons for us.
It can speak of weak hands, and as we know that in Scripture weak hands speak of being depleted and drained and the lesson, we can deduce from this, is that when your hands are weak – spread them!
When our hands are weak – when we are tired or frustrated – we should spread them in praise and prayer to יהוה.
There are 3 key events that take place here:
1 – This is where water flowed from the rock as Mosheh acted in anger and ‘spread out his hand’ and struck the rock for water to flow as opposed to simply speaking to the Rock when the people were moaning and groaning that they were brought out from Mitsrayim to die.
In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:3 the anti-messiah uses false signs to make it appear as if it were power from Elohim.
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:3 “And I saw one of his heads, as having been slain to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marvelled after the beast.”
Signs and wonders are what certainly attract the masses and the gullible who do not know the Word!
They will see the enemy doing many signs and wonders and they will marvel and be led to believe that it is from Elohim. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after signs and wonders and this is what the enemy will do.
We certainly do not deny that Elohim works wonders and miracles, and this He does so on a daily basis, yet we do not seek after them – they shall follow those who walk in Messiah.
We can certainly have water from the Rock miracles happening today, but we must realize that the enemy too can perform his tricks that will lead many astray!
2 – Battle against Amalĕq – as long as Mosheh held up his hands (spread them), Yehoshua gained ground on the battlefield and was victorious, however when the hands of Mosheh grew tired, Yehoshua lost ground and so, Aharon and Ḥur came and lifted up the hands of Mosheh all day and therefore, spread his hands in support!
It was at this event that Mosheh built an altar and called its name יהוה Nissi – יהוה our banner – a banner speaks of the identity of the one under whom you walk and serve and also gives us the imagery of raised worship.
Tehillah/Psalm 134:2 “Lift up your hands in the set-apart place, and bless יהוה.”
The enemy of course puts his mark on the weak hands of the unbelievers – those who do not worship in Spirit and in Truth. The mark of our worship is determined by our Sabbath keeping – those who fail to do so receive the mark of the beast and reveal weak hands that are not raised in worship unto Elohim!
What we can also learn from this stop, is that we are to lift each other up and encourage each other daily, and to spread one’s hands or assist one’s weak hands is how we show love for one another as we care for one another, fellowship together and pray for each other.
3 – Mosheh was confronted by Yithro his father in law and he realized that he could not handle all the cases and had to ‘spread the load’, so to speak.
We also need to realize that we cannot do it all alone – we need each other and we are to bear one another’s burdens. Strengthen the weak knees and the hands that hang limp!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12 “So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees.”
Verse 12 tells us to ‘strengthen’ the hands which hang down and the weak knees.
This is a call to renew spiritual vitality!
You want to run with endurance, then you need to strengthen the weak!
The Greek word that is used here for ‘strengthen’ is ἀνορθόω anorthoō – Strong’s G461 which means, ‘to make straight or upright again, lift up, restore, strengthen’.
It is time to make straight that which has been twisted and caused to become weakened!!!
This is written in the ‘plural imperative’, which simply means that this requires a joint effort.
We need to strengthen one another – our hands are to be raised in worship – Sha’ul tells us that he wants men everywhere to lift up their hands in praise!
Weakened hands are symbolic of burdened and heavy hands, as the yoke of slavery to traditions and rat race dogmas has weighed them down and each one of us has a part to play, in lifting each other up – strengthening the hands – strengthening the work of doing His Word with great joy!
This wording that is used here makes me remember the account of Mosheh, when his hands grew tired and heavy and Aharon and Ḥur held up his hands all day and Yehoshua won the battle against Amalĕq that day!
There is no place for ‘lone rangers’ in the body – we are to strengthen each other and realise that you cannot do it alone – you will need the strengthening of others!
This concept of helping each other is right through Iḇ’rim/Hebrews:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:13 “but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near”
Please refer to a message called ‘How Strong are your hands” for further study on our site under the following link:
11- Wilderness of Sinai
The Hebrew word for ‘wilderness’ is מִדְבָּר ‘miḏbâr’ – Strong’s H4057 which means, ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land’ and the Hebrew word סִינַי Sinai – Strong’s H5514 means, “thorny”.
We also know that, in Hebrew, the word for Wilderness is Bemiḏbar and it is in the Wilderness that יהוה is able to speak clearly to us and reveal His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Many important events occurred at Mt Sinai:
In Shemoth/Exodus 19 we see Yisra’ĕl move from Rephiḏim to Sinai and as we all know this is where the Torah was given. “We” spent at least a year here hearing the Torah.
In Shemoth/Exodus 19, “we” (the Bride) said the collective ‘we do’, in accepting the marriage covenant with יהוה, before even hearing any of the conditions of the marriage covenant.
This is the Hebrew mind-set, as opposed to the Greco-western mind-set.
We choose to obey יהוה and all His Torah, even though we may not understand everything, but are willing to be taught and walk in it, guarding to do all that is written therein. We do not need bullet pointed agendas and lengthy explanations as to why we should or shouldn’t – we learn in the doing!
It was at the “thorny place“, where “we” received the Torah, which was meant to “prick” our hearts in advance to keep our minds off their greedy desires.
12 – Qiḇroth Hatta’awah – קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה – Strong’s H6914 means, “graves of lust” and comes from the two words, 1) קֶבֶר qeḇer – Strong’s H6913 meaning, ‘graves, sepulchre’ and
2) תַּאֲוָה taavah – Strong’s H8378 meaning, ‘a desire, longing, craving, lusting, intense greed’. Our walk in Messiah certainly must include a death to ‘lust’.
We must put to death lusts of the flesh.
It was here where the people lusted after meat and יהוה sent quail and the people gathered and gathered and ate and ate and while they were eating יהוה sent a plague in wrath and they then called this place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah because they buried those who had lusted and died.
We must bury our lusts!!!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11:32-34 “And the people were up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. He who has least gathered ten ḥomers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 The meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, and the wrath of יהוה burned against the people, and יהוה smote the people with an exceeding great plague. 34 Then he called the name of that place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah, because there they buried the people who had lusted.”
We can learn from our ancestor’s mistakes:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:6 “And these became examples for us, so that we should not lust after evil, as those indeed lusted.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:16 “And I say: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh.”
Kěpha/Peter tells us that we have the Mighty-Like power of יהוה that has been given to us so that we have all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to esteem and uprightness and we have been given these in order for us to be partakers of the Mighty-like nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world, caused by lust.
Yoḥanan Aleph.1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.”
When we truly walk in the desire of Elohim, we must be able to kill any lusts, as lust will only end up killing you if you do not kill it!
13 – Ḥatsĕroth
The Hebrew word – חֲצֵרוֹת Ḥatsĕroth – Strong’s H2698 means, “settlement, village, abode”.
It was after leaving this stop and going into the Wilderness of Paran, that Mosheh sent out the 12 spies from and we know what the result of that was – 10 spies gave a bad report and were happy to just settle where they were and were afraid to go up and fight the giants – this affected the entire camp and what we can learn from this, is that we are to be continually moving forward in Messiah, and moving forward together and not settling for mediocre lifestyle but striving for set-apartness.
If we settle into any form of below par living and compromise, we can and will affect others!
We must believe the good report – it is a remnant that will always be willing to stand up and go, let us be a part of that faithful remnant – no matter the giants we face!
Ḥatsĕroth means enclosed settlements, or sheepfolds with a narrow opening that widens inside – shaped like a trumpet, which is the root word.
The picture here for us is that at the trumpet’s sound, those who died in יהושע Messiah will leave their graves (Qiḇroth), and only our evil desires will be left behind, but also that for us who have died to self and now walk and live in Messiah have left behind all their lust… now we ought to live like it!
14 – Rithmah
The Hebrew word רִתְמָה Rithmah – Strong’s H7575 means, “heath” or ‘binding’ – in other words: a place of joining together!
A ‘heath’ is a tract of wasteland or an extensive area of rather level open uncultivated land, usually with poor coarse soil, inferior drainage, and a surface rich in peat or peaty humus.
We do not have much info on the area, but as the reports of the giants had come back, we see a joining together, possibly in the negative sense and this is what will happen when the soils of our hearts are not being cultivated with the Truth – it becomes poor and coarse and dry, causing proper drainage to be non-existent which results in a wasteland that cannot be cultivated, or a wet muddy patch that cannot be worked due to unbelief.
The question you have to ask yourself here is:
“whose report will you believe and to whom will you be joined together?”
Do not be yoked with unbelievers! We are to be built up in unity of our faith in Messiah who has gone before us, let us not unite with the false report, but be joined with the True body of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.”
As we maintain the truth in love and grow up in all respects, into Him who is the Head, Messiah, we are joined together by what every joint supplies… we need each other, as we become one in Him and so, it is of vital importance that we make every effort to keep the fellowship of the set-apart ones, growing in intimacy in every area of our lives and not yoke ourselves to unbelievers, as this will only cause a ‘disjointing’ to occur.
Another word that is derived from the root word that Rithmah comes, is that which can also be described as ‘a broom bush or broom tree’ and Rithmah was also often used as a term to describe an evil tongue!
We must watch out for those who bring negativity into the camp, as it will affect all, and our tongues must also be clean from evil reports and be willing to ‘sweep out’ the negative dirt, so to speak!
The scouts had brought back negative reports (well 10 of them) and often we may feel the pressure of resigning to the negative reports and it is at this point in our lives where we must realise the necessity of not joining ourselves to the negative, but rather be joined together with the remnant faithful, and must never give up based on circumstances that seem unbearable and too big for us to handle – we are to join together and go forward in victory, as we walk in Messiah!
15 – Rimmon Perets – רִמֹּן פָּ֑רֶץ Strong’s H7428 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 a breaking.
Any tree that does not bear fruit will be cut off – let us not break others down when they are bearing fruit but rather encourage and build up!
Yoḥanan/John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught! 6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
The pomegranate is full of seeds, and this reminds us of the promise given to Aḇraham in that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and what is also interesting about the pomegranate is the red juice that can be symbolic for us of the Blood of Messiah – where the Torah tells us that the life of the flesh resides!
And it is through the Blood of Messiah, that the body is brought together and breaches are repaired – יהושע Messiah is the repairer of the breach and in Him the Promise given to Aḇraham is yes and aměn!
On the hem of the robe of the shoulder garment for the high priest, was gold bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet – a significant picture indeed.
Although there has been the thought that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds, this has not been proven to be the case, certainly not in our day as they range from 200 to 1400. What is interesting about the pomegranate is the fact that there are many seeds inside and represents the Word that is sown by the Farmer with the expectation of a return – the bells can be symbolic of the trumpet of His Coming – where the question remains as to what will He find?
Will He find faith? And Active faith that has taken that which has been sown and multiplied?
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
16 – Liḇnah
The Hebrew word לִבְנָה Liḇnah – Strong’s H3841 means, “pavement” – and this was a royal city of the Kenaʽanites in the southwest, that was captured by Yehoshua; allocated to Yehuḏah and made a Lĕwite city.
It can also mean a ‘white brick’ as it comes from the primitive root לָבֵן laḇen – Strong’s H3835 meaning, ‘to make white or to make brick’, and we know that to those who overcome, hidden manna will be given and a white stone with a renewed name written upon it.
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Now this being a city chose for the Lěwites shows us that we who are a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a set-apart nation must overcome that we are built up in the house of Elohim.
Liḇnah can also give the meaning of ‘to build’ and that is what we are to be doing – building one another up in the faith:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5: “Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.”
17 – Rissah
The Hebrew word רִסָּה Rissah – Strong’s H7446 means, “ruin” but it can also mean ‘exercise control over’ or ‘temper’ which is “to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else”.
What this can picture for us is that, even this far out into the Wilderness, they came across ruins, and this was not the time to give up.
No matter how long we have been on our Torah walk, ruin is still possible, if one gives up and allows the Truth we have heard to become diluted or softened by the influence of something else – something that is foreign, such as ear tickling mysteries that try to soften the need to obey the Torah!
If we turn away now, even our former righteousness will be forgotten no matter how much we have laboured!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:24 “But when a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, according to all the abominations that the wrong one has done, shall he live? All his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. For his trespass which he has committed, and for his sin which he has committed, for them he shall die.”
However, if we continue then we will rebuild ancient ruins!!!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:12 “And those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. And you would be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
What is shaping and ‘tempering’ us?
The Word of Truth by the plumb line of the Torah or other outside influences of compromised forms of mediocre worship? We must learn to exercise control or else we will be given over to ruin!
18 – Qehĕlathah
The Hebrew word – קְהֵלָתָה Qehĕlathah – Strong’s H6954 means, “assembly” or ‘entire congregation’.
This is a reminder that this is not a lone ranger journey but a journey as an assembly!
The enemy does his best to break up fellowship and isolate people in the wilderness and we are to stick together.
We can learn from this stop that we are to gather together with the body of Messiah, but what we can also note is that there is also a negative gathering together as in a rebellion.
Some say that this was the site where Qoraḥ rebelled, and the word Qehĕlathah can also mean ‘gathering’, as in ‘an angry mob banding together in an aggressive manner’.
There are two types of gatherings: Groups that join together to build, and groups that join together to destroy.
We all have times in our lives when we will be invited, or pressured, to join a rally or a group of people who may be protesting against something, or simply a group of people whose interests do not line up with the plumb line of the Torah.
Being social creatures, we naturally feel the need to be a part of a group and often will gravitate toward our peers.
The power of a group and group mentality can be very alluring and entice you away with reasonable ease.
It can feel safe and accepting, and when used for the good it can produce tremendous benefits.
But when used for the bad it can yield devastating results – causing far more damage than any individual can perpetrate on his own. Great care therefore must be taken not to be party to “lynch mobs” or “witch hunters” who gang up on others, often innocent people, in their own insecure need to feel right.
Stay away from groups of critics and slanderers and assemble or gathered together with those who walk the Torah path and will benefit each other’s lives.
Shemoth/Exodus 23:2 “Do not follow a crowd to do evil, nor bear witness in a strife so as to turn aside after many, to turn aside what is right.”
19 – Mount Shapher
The Hebrew word הַר ‘har’ – Strong’s H2022 means, ‘hill/mountain’ & שֶׁפֶר Shepher – Strong’s H8234 means, “beauty”, from the primitive root שָׁפַר shaphar – Strong’s H8231 meaning, ‘to be beautiful, fair or comely’.
This can mean ‘glistening beauty’ – as we journey together in unity we glisten with great beauty as we shine the light of His love through our talents and gifts operating in unity!
The word שָׁפַר shaphar comes from the root to mean ‘beauty, goodness, goodliness’, and ‘goodness’ we know is a part of the fruit of the Spirit.
We are to be bearing much fruit as we shine our light before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in heaven!
We are not to hide our ‘light’, and this gives a wonderful picture here of our being a daily ascending offering as a living sacrifice that is pleasing Elohim, shining in great splendour of His goodness over us!
We are His Bride and we are to ‘shine’ like it!
Do not let the valley moments of life cause you to lose your shine and cause your lamp to lose its oil.
20 – Ḥaraḏah
The Hebrew word חֲרָדָה Ḥaraḏah Strong’s H2732 means, “fear or trembling” – and this therefore, can represent for us ‘the place of fear’ – the very ‘place’ where many quickly lose their ‘shine’, as they allow fear to grip them.
However, as we keep our eyes fixed on Messiah ‘fear’s power’ is rapidly diminished.
This place was called this because of the terror that the plague had caused:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 17:12 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl spoke to Mosheh, saying, “See, we shall die, we shall perish, we shall all perish!”
Just as much as we may experience those beautiful moments on our lives, there are times that fear and terror may seem to grip us. The critical thing to always remember, even in the most frightening and anxious moments, is that fear is also part of the journey toward the Promised Land.
When harnessed we can find solace in our shudders, as they sharpen our alert, focus our vigilance and teach us how to avoid or conquer the agents of fear. By not allowing our fears to consume us, we can learn to see them through, transform them to awe of the Divine and come out more powerful.
That which does not destroy us makes us stronger. Do not let fear destroy you, put cast of all fear:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:1 “יהוה is my light and my deliverance; whom should I fear? יהוה is the refuge of my life; Whom should I dread?”
21 – Maqhĕloth
The Hebrew word מַקְהֵלֹת Maqhĕloth Strong’s H4722 means, “place of assembly” and is another sight/stop that carries with it the aspect of assembling…! It is important to build community, and what we can learn here is that although some do want to build, very often fear grips them and they ‘run away’!
Through this, however, we can learn that even those who have left are always welcome to be joined in again as this can only strengthen us against any battles as a unit together!
This was a place dedicated to Moleḵ and shows us that although we are in the world we are not to partake in the world’s ways.
Those around us who are ‘worshipping Moleḵ’ today need to see us as living examples of set-apart living!
Our light should shine before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in Heaven!
This is a place of assembly, possibly the place where the miracle of Aharon’s rod occurred in response to Qoraḥ’s challenge.
This reflects the community building journey in our lives, when we build – or join – a community; when we assemble a group toward a particular cause or effort. It is a state of unity – when we feel connected with others and with ourselves, and together we serve a higher purpose in bringing praise unto Elohim:
Tehillah/Psalm 68:26 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.”
The ultimate transformation of fear (Ḥaraḏah) is when it leads us to gather, appreciate and sing praise unto יהוה for our Divine blessings and His everlasting love for us.
22 – Taḥath
The Hebrew word תַּחַת Taḥath – Strong’s H8480 means, “station” or ‘under the authority of’.
Now, we know whose authority we are to be ‘under’.
The Greek word for ‘under’ as used in the phrase ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to.
Therefore, under law would mean to be controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction.
So, when people say that they are not under the Torah of Elohim they are in fact declaring themselves to be lawless and, in a sense, then they are under – “in subjection to” – the authority of the lawless one!
This word Taḥath can also mean ‘beneath or below’ referring to a lowly state and must be a reminder to us that even well into our journey, as we travel, we may often find ourselves at a low-place in our lives.
If we leave our assembling (gathering together as commanded), we can often find ourselves at a real low point, feeling all alone and in deep isolation.
We must realise that the power to transform those low points in your life in to a place of peace is to come under/beneath our True Vine and Fig Tree. There are times where we come to those station moments – time to stop and reflect, making sure that we are still walking and journeying under the right authority – walking in יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:9 “And having been perfected, He became the Causer of everlasting deliverance to all those obeying Him”
This verse is speaking of our Deliverer – יהושע Messiah, who became the ‘causer’ of everlasting deliverance – to who???
ALL THOSE OBEYING HIM!!!
This is a very important statement of truth being made here – it is only to those who are obeying Him, that He actually becomes the causer of everlasting deliverance!
The Greek word translated as ‘causer’ is αἴτιος aitios – Strong’s G159 which means, ‘causative of, responsible for, that which is the cause of anything that resides, author’.
The One who ‘causes us to be’ is the One who causes us to have everlasting deliverance!!!
The author of our belief causes the obedient (those who obey and are in subjection to His law) to obtain deliverance!
The Greek word translated as ‘obeying’ is ὑπακούω hupakouō – Strong’s G5219 which means, ‘to listen, attend to, obey, heed, become obedient, to submit to’ and comes from two Greek words:
1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means ‘to be controlled by or in subjection to’; and
2) ἀκούω akouō – Strong’s G191 meaning, ‘hearing, listen, give heed, understand’.
In other words, we clearly see from the Greek, the one who obeys the Master is one who is in subjection to the hearing of His commands, and diligently gives heed to obey and understand by making sure his ears are open to hear the Master’s voice!
This stop teaches us that we must constantly and consistently have ears to hear what the master commands, in order to properly be in subjection to His Torah and be faithful subjects and ambassadors of His Kingdom.
23 – Teraḥ
The Hebrew word תֶּרַח Teraḥ – Strong’s H8646 means, “delay”.
This was also the name of Aḇraham’s father and so, here was a reminder to the Yisra’ĕlites that they are to remember the covenant made with their father Aḇraham. יהושע told many parables warning us that if He delays in returning, we should not make choices that will further delay Him because His bride is not ready.
This stop can mean ‘station on the way’ and we know that Aḇraham was delayed on his journey after his father died.
Teraḥ is the name of Aḇraham’s father, which comes from the word “wild goat” or “old fool.”
Teraḥ is also related to the word רָתַח rotaḥ – Strong’s H7570 meaning, ‘boiling, to boil as in irate’; with Teraḥ’s birth יהוה became irate over the idol worshippers.
Another meaning of the word Teraḥ is wait or delay.
Teraḥ can also, in a sense, refer to the stage in life when we move into middle-age and become fathers of our children. The question is – will we yield children like Aḇraham?
Will we be like “wild goats” and “old fools” worshipping one idol or another, or will we be wise and give off a spiritual aroma.
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
24 – Mithqah
The Hebrew word מִתְקָה Mithqah – Strong’s H4989 means, “sweetness” or “pleasant waters”.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:21 “The wise-hearted is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases learning.”
What are you drinking?
Are you drinking from the Living Water of the Truth of the Word?
For many the Truth seems bitter, yet when we truly taste of Messiah, we will realise that we will never thirst again and His Word is sweet to us and is as pleasant waters that refresh the soul! One common word you will see in speaking of the offerings unto יהוה is ‘sweet’ as in a ‘sweet fragrance’. Is your life a ‘sweet fragrance’ unto יהוה?
25 – Ḥashmonah
The Hebrew word חַשְׁמֹנָה Ḥashmonah – Strong’s H2832 means, “fatness” – (and is a euphemism for the best) or “ambassadors”.
We are to be ambassadors for Messiah.
Another word for ambassador is ‘envoy’ and hear words from Scripture:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:17 “A messenger that is wrong falls into evil, but a trustworthy envoy is a healing.”
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore we are envoys on behalf of Messiah, as though Elohim were pleading through us. We beg, on behalf of Messiah: Be restored to favour with Elohim.”
The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ‘ambassador’, as follows:
“an official envoy especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment”
And for envoy, the following:
“A person delegated to represent one government in its dealings with another.”
So, what we can learn from this stop is that we are here to represent the best – we represent the Kingdom authority or government of יהוה, and we are diplomatic agents of the highest rank, accredited to our journey here as sojourners in a foreign land as a living representative of that which we represent – the body of Messiah and His Kingdom Rule!
This is a temporary assignment which we must hold in the highest regard!
26 – Mosĕroth
The Hebrew word מֹסְרוֹת Mosĕroth – Strong’s H4149 means, “bonds” or ‘admonition or correction’ or ‘discipline’.
Let us never get to a place where we cannot receive correction!
Aharon died here and El‘azar his son became priest in his place!
Aharon could not enter the land because of rebellion, and here we can learn that we must always be open to correction, for if we are not, we may find ourselves unable to enter into the Promises of Elohim!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, and do not loathe His reproof.”
Tehillah/Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man You discipline, O Yah, and instruct out of Your Torah”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:5-11 “And you have forgotten the appeal which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, nor faint when you are reproved by Him, 6 for whom יהוה loves, He disciplines, and flogs every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed best to them, but He does it for our profit, so that we might share His apartness. 11 And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
27 – Benĕi Yaʽaqan
The name of this stop בְּנֵי יַעֲקָ֑ן Benĕi Yaʽaqan – Strong’s H1142 means, “sons of twisting” and comes from the two root words:
1) בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 – ‘son’ and
2) יַעֲקָן Ya‘aqan – Strong’s H3292 meaning, ‘let him oppress them’ and comes from the word עֲקָן Aqan – Strong’s H6130 meaning, ‘sharp-sighted’ and Aqan was a descendant of Ěsaw; and this name comes from the primitive root עָקַל aqal – Strong’s H6127 meaning, ‘to bend, twist’.
This stop/starting point shows us that we are to not twist or bend the Truth.
Twisting the truth is lies – and we are not sons of the deceiver, but sons of Elohim – and we must speak truth. Be careful never to twist the truth in any way, some will try this after they have been on the road for a long time and have seemingly built up trust of others – watch your tongue!
The fuller name of the place is ‘The Wells of the Sons of Ya‘aqan’ and so, speaks of those who continually drink a twisted message or rather that their source of knowledge is not the Truth but is a well of twisted lies, which is exactly what the church is causing many to drink from and in the process of making people believe that they are drinking the truth, they are oppressing them with twisted lies.
When יהוה disciplines us, we may often be tempted to twist the facts to make it look like the one doing the disciplining is the one at fault.
Ya’aqan was a descendent of Ěsaw and his name can also mean, ‘let him oppress them’ as mentioned.
We know that Ěsaw sold his birth right for a meal and is referred to as being hated by Elohim.
Ya‘aqan represents those who will twist the truth to get their way and push their viewpoint across.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:17 “Do not twist the right-ruling of a stranger or the fatherless, nor take the garment of a widow.”
Tehillah/Psalm 56:5 “All day long they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.”
Kěpha/Peter speaks of those who will twist many writings of Sha’ul:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:14-16 “So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures.”
This above Scripture speaks a lot about what we see happening today – Kěpha/Peter writes clearly that Sha’ul wrote according to the wisdom given to him and Sha’ul was, and still is in regards to his writings, a great Torah teacher yet sadly too many today are twisting his writings to their own destruction, and they are twisting not only his writings but all Scripture!
There are those in Christianity who are twisting Sha’ul’s writings thinking that he is teaching them that the Torah has been done away with, which is absolutely ridiculous! Then there are those who are walking the Torah road who sadly want to throw out Sha’ul’s writings and in so doing they end up on a path that leads to a denial of Messiah!
For many who twist writings – they do so because they are untaught and unstable.
We must be ever learning as we come each week on a Shabbat and immerse ourselves in the word as we gather together in community and learn the Torah of Elohim! There are many twisted teachings out there – too many tickling-ear messages that are leading many astray – let us not be sons of twisting – but rather sons of Truth as we walk in and remain in the Truth!
28 – Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ
The name of this stop חֹר הַגִּדְגָּ֑דḤor Haggiḏgaḏ – Strong’s H2735 means, “cavern/hollow of Gidgad” and comes from the two root words:
1) חוֹר ḥor – Strong’s H2356 meaning, ‘hole, opening, sockets’ and
2) Guḏgoḏah – גֻּדְגֹּדָה – Strong’s H1412 which means “the slashing place” and comes from the primitive root word גָּדַד gaḏaḏ – Strong’s H1413 meaning, ‘to penetrate or cut, gash’ as well as ‘muster yourselves in troops’.
This is modern day ‘Petra’, the lost city of stone in the modern nation of Jordan. Literally, this campsite was the cleft of the cleft of the rock. This of course teaches us of the deeper times of intimacy with יהוה and His people.
As we mature in יהוה and move from esteem to esteem we will have times of hiding in the cleft of יהוה’s presence. Those in the cleft of the Rock of יהושע will endure to the end.
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:12 “This is the endurance of the saints: those that kept the testimony of יהושע and guarded the commandments.”
29 – Yotḇathah
The Hebrew word יָטְבָתָה Yotḇathah – Strong’s H3193 means, “pleasantness” or “a good calm place”.
In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7 Yotḇathah is described as a land of rivers of water.
From Guḏgoḏah – גֻּדְגֹּדָה – Strong’s H1412 which means “the slashing place” to יָטְבָתָה Yotḇathah – Strong’s H3193 means, “pleasantness” – a place of rivers of water!
It was here that יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:8).
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7-8 “From there they set out to Guḏgoḏah, and from Guḏgoḏah to Yotḇathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day.”
We need to learn that in order for us to begin to enjoy the pleasantness and shalom of His Good Word, there must be a slashing away of what the world has loaded upon us through vain traditions and lies and as we ‘die to self’ and allow His Word to empower us, we can boldly begin to serve Him as a set-apart priesthood.
We are called to be a royal priesthood – set-apart unto Elohim, to walk in the ‘pleasantness’ of His Good Word!
Tehillah/Psalm 133:1 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.”
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
What a wonderful promise!
Delighting in the Torah, meditating on the Torah will cause us to be led in pleasant places, places where there are rivers of water – that is an abundance of joy and Truth for us to immerse ourselves in with great delight!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:17-18 “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongues have failed for thirst, I, יהוה, do answer them; I, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, do not forsake them. 18 “I open rivers on bare hills, and fountains in the midst of valleys; I make a wilderness become a pool of water, and a dry land springs of water.”
All who are thirsty come… is the invitation of our Master and Sovereign, יהושע Messiah. The only One who can satisfy our thirst and lead us beside still waters, is יהושע Messiah. This stop reminds us of that and reminds us where we should be constantly be drinking from and how we can be calm in our journey here, for our trust is in Him!
30 – Aḇronah
The Hebrew word עַבְרֹנָה Aḇronah – Strong’s H5684 means, “passage”.
A passage speaks of ‘a way’ or ‘right of way’, having access to pass through or enter in.
Our Master יהושע Messiah is our ‘passage’ – the narrow way and without Him we have no access to The Kingdom and to the Father!
This was the site where there was a passage that went down through the mountains to their next stop and so, gives us a picture of a mountain pass. No matter the mountains we face – יהוה will always provide us with a safe passage, keeping our foot from slipping.
And we also know that He always provides for us a way of escape when we are faced with trials!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:13 “No trial has overtaken you except such as is common to man, and Elohim is trustworthy, who shall not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able, but with the trial shall also make the way of escape, enabling you to bear it.”
31 – Etsyon Geḇer
This stop עֶצְיוֹן גֶבֶר Etsyon Geḇer – Strong’s H6100 means, “backbone of a man” and comes from the two root words:
1) עָצֶה atseh – Strong’s H6096 which means, ‘spine, backbone’ and
2) גֶּבֶר geḇer – Strong’s H1397 which means, ‘man, warrior’ which comes from the primitive root גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396 meaning, ‘to be strong, mighty, strengthen’.
Etsyon Geḇer is at the site of present-day Eilat, at the northern tip of the eastern branch of the Sea of Reeds.
The huge copper-smelting forges that were later built there did indeed become a backbone of Yisra’ĕl’s economy.
A backbone keeps one upright, and that is what יהוה calls His unified “man” when all Yisra’ĕl is standing upright together in unity in Him.
It was here that Shelomoh built ships. The backbone of a man represents the strength or ability to walk up straight and pictures for us a righteous walk which leads to the next stop of being a set-apart people!
32 – Qaḏĕsh
The Hebrew word קָדֵשׁ Qaḏĕsh – Strong’s H6946 means, “set-apart”.
This stop was certainly an eventful location – as it was here that Miryam died, and it was here that Mosheh struck the rock instead of speaking to it!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:7-12 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 8 “Take the rod and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aharon. And you shall speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall give its water. And you shall bring water for them out of the rock and give drink to the congregation and their livestock.” 9 And Mosheh took the rod from before יהוה as He commanded him. 10 And Mosheh and Aharon assembled the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Mosheh lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. And much water came out, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But יהוה spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon, “Because you did not believe Me, to set Me apart in the eyes of the children of Yisra’ĕl, therefore you do not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
This carries great lessons for us – we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession! We are to be set-apart as He is set-apart – this is a stop where we must learn from these events and recognize that we cannot compromise our set-apart walk – we must not grumble against the Torah.
What makes us set-apart is the Blood of Messiah, our Rock that was struck for our sin, and we are to perfect our set-apartness:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
The Hebrew word for ‘set-apart/set-apartness’, as most of you may know, comes from the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 – and it means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’. The word is really self-explanatory and carries with it great weight in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest.
The word for Set-apartness in the Greek is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying, purification’, and comes from the verb ἁγιάζω hagiazō – Strong’s G37 which means, ‘make set-apart, be set-apart, to separate from profane things and dedicate to Elohim’, which comes from the primitive root ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40 and its fundamental idea is one of ‘separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Elohim’.
I think we get the picture!
To ‘be set-apart’ means to be devoted and dedicated to serving Elohim and to do so involves the need to be separated from the profane or common, lest the mixing of the two hinders the ability to distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! The desire of Elohim is our set-apartness:
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.”
How are you doing in possessing your own vessel, which is your body, in set-apartness? Have you truly separated yourself from the profane and common things or do you find the lines between the set-apart and profane being blurred by compromise and laziness!
Set-apartness certainly takes work, and when one is idle in duty then laziness leads to compromise and the inability to distinguish the difference between what is set-apart and what is common!
The first time we see this word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 being used is in:
Shemoth/Exodus 3:5 “And He said, “Do not come near here. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is set-apart ground.”
This is the account of where יהוה appeared to Mosheh in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.
Mosheh sees a burning bush that is not being burnt up and turns aside to take a look and as he drew near, he was commanded by Elohim to take off his sandals as the place he was now standing on was set-apart ground!
He was now in the presence of the Most-High and in ‘turning aside’ from the way of the world one must also recognise that one’s shoes or sandals can also represent one’s walk and so this commissioning of Mosheh to take off his sandals was a clear call to take off the ‘walk of the world’.
This same command was given to Yehoshua:
Yehoshua/Joshua 5:15 “And the Captain of the host of יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is set-apart.” And Yehoshua did so.”
What we must also remember is that in the garments of the High Priest there are no ‘shoes’, and therefore the “shoes of peace” that Sha’ul speaks of in Eph’siyim/Ephesians speaks of walking in the shalom of the Besorah of Messiah and walking according to His commands and not being ‘strapped down’, so to speak, by the customs and traditions of the world!
“Shoes fitted with the Good News” is a picture of being completely fitted with pure set-apart garments of Truth and Righteousness.
“Feet” in the Hebraic mind-set refers to one’s walk and “feet fitted with the Good News of Peace” speaks of walking in the perfect commands of Elohim as we guard to keep all His Appointed Times, making sure that we do not have our feet soiled with man-made customs and corrupted designs for fleshly comfort, but rather that we have feet that are washed, set-apart and fitted with that which is from Elohim.
In the Tabernacle, the priests did not have shoes or sandals and the bronze laver was used to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Set-Apart and Most Set-Apart Place! We know that the bronze laver is a clear picture of the Word of Elohim that washes us, as our Husband washes us through His Word and keeps us clean. This teaches us a vital lesson of how we are to allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean as we walk in complete set-apartness and not be found to be soiled by walking like the nations walk!
How is your walk?
Is your walk of set-apartness clearly identifiable from the rest of the world or do you blend in and follow in the common walk and ways of the rest of the world that do not serve Elohim?
As a called out, set-apart and royal priesthood, are you distinguishably different to the rest of the world that walks in common ways that profane our Master and Elohim, or do you find that you are conveniently blending in with the common ways of man and give in to compromise to the point where you are unable to actually distinguish the difference?
In a clear instruction given to Aharon and the priesthood we see in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 10:9-11 “Do not drink wine or strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, lest you die – a law forever throughout your generations, 10 so as to make a distinction between the set-apart and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and to teach the children of Yisra’ĕl all the laws which יהוה has spoken to them by the hand of Mosheh.”
This instruction came after the first two sons of Aharon, Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu, had been killed for bringing profane/strange fire before יהוה.
This instruction clearly set the correct set-apart standard required of a priest serving in the Tabernacle and highlights for us the required standard of set-apartness for us as a royal priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as we are the Dwelling Place of Elohim who serve in Spirit and Truth and are required to be a light to the world as we shine complete set-apartness and make clearly known the distinction between the set-apart and the profane!
We are not be given over to the ways of the world and become drunk in the maddening adulteries of the whore, but we are called to be sober, watchful and awake so that we do not let our ability to distinguish become blurred by the drunkenness’s of compromise!
The true servants of Elohim know how to distinguish between that which is clean and that which is unclean as they meditate upon the Torah of Elohim day and night and guard to walk in His commands so that their feet do not become defiled by walking in common ways that profane one’s worship.
Titos/Titus 1:15-16 “Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
What Sha’ul was making very clear here is that to the unbelieving no matter is clean!
In other words, they cannot distinguish between the clean and the unclean or between the set-apart and the profane, and as a result they are defiled!
Before we think that this speaks only of those in the world who do not know Elohim, look at what Sha’ul is saying here, as he tells us that those who are unable to distinguish the difference between clean and unclean are defiled, while they profess to know Elohim, yet their works deny Him!
This is speaking of many who might claim to be believers, yet because of their inability to walk in set-apartness as they call no matter clean, highlights that they have no regard for proper set-apartness and obedience that the Word commands!
Their disobedient works of lawlessness and compromise deny the Master and are therefore rendered as unbelievers who are unfit to serve as a royal priesthood, just as Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu were and were killed!
At this point I want us to take a look at this Hebrew word for set-apartness as it was written in the ancient pictographic script.
The Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, 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!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:2-4 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings. 4 ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.”
The Sabbaths and Appointed Times of יהוה are the set-apart gatherings that are to be proclaimed and kept! The noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 is used here 3 times along with the word ‘gatherings’, which in Hebrew is the word מִקְרָא miqra – Strong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together. Without going into further detail here, I think that the Scriptures are very clear about the set-apart gatherings of יהוה, as they are exactly that – SET-APART GATHERINGS! Simply put: we are commanded to gather!
The denominative verb that comes from the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 is קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 and is used for the first time in Scripture in the following verse:
Berěshith/Genesis 2:3 “And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.”
Elohim set the Sabbath apart from the very first time there was a 7th day and remains set-apart forever! While all mankind did not keep the Sabbath set-apart, יהוה made a Covenant with Aḇram and chose Yisra’ĕl to be a nation of priests and gave them the Sabbath as a sign between us and Him for ever, that it is He who sets us apart!
When we grasp this properly as we should then to blur the line of separation between the set-apart and the profane cannot be done at all, especially when it comes to the Sabbath! Please note that our lives are to be set-apart unto Elohim every single day, yet the Sabbath is distinguishably different from the rest of the week and our observance of the weekly Sabbath and Appointed Times of יהוה as being commanded set-apart gatherings that we faithfully observe without fail will mark us as a people that are being set-apart by יהוה!
The Hebrew word that is used as a direct opposite to קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 and is translated as ‘profane’ is the word חֹל ḥol – Strong’s H2455 which means, ‘profane, common, commonness, ordinary’, and comes from the root verb חלל ḥālal – Strong’s H2490 and means, ‘to bore or pierce through or kill or wound or defile, to profane, pollute or make common’.
We see this word חֹל ḥol – Strong’s H2455 being used when Dawiḏ sought bread for his men from Aḥimeleḵ the priest:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 21:4 “And the priest answered Dawiḏ and said, “There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is set-apart bread – provided the young men have kept themselves from women.”
There was no ‘ordinary’ bread but only ‘set-apart’ bread, which was the showbread that that had been taken from before יהוה, in order to put hot bread in on the day it is taken away.
The reason for highlighting this verse is to show the clear difference between ordinary bread and the set-apart bread that was put on the showbread table before יהוה every Sabbath!
This once again teaches us the vital importance of how set-apart the Sabbath is, as we come to delight ourselves in His Word and be refreshed by the Living Bread of Elohim and that this is not a day to be treated as common!
In a clear rebuke given to a corrupt priesthood, we see in:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 22:26 “Her priests have done violence to My teaching and they profane My set-apart matters. They have not distinguished between the set-apart and profane, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean. And they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned in their midst.”
The Hebrew words חֹל ḥol – Strong’s H2455, חלל ḥālal – Strong’s H2490 and קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 are used here in this rebuke given to Yisra’ĕl, who had treated as common the set-apart things of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘violence’ is חָמַס ḥamas – Strong’s H2554 which means, ‘to treat violently or wrong, do violence, injures, drop off’. It is from this root verb that we get the Hebrew noun for ‘violence’, which is חָמָס ḥamas – Strong’s H2555 which means, ‘violence, wrong, malicious’.
What is interesting to note is the Arabic term ‘ḥamas’ which is the term used of the Islamic militaristic terrorist group which uses politics and violence to achieve its goals!
When people turn aside from the Torah, their lives inevitably resort to a violent and malicious stand against the need to walk according to the Torah.
The corrupted state of twisted man-made theologies that have shaped Christianity has inevitably caused many professing believers to show anger toward the thought of simply obeying the Torah; and have therefore corrupted their lives into a state of lawlessness, which assumes that the favour of Elohim has given them license to not adhere to His commands as their ability to distinguish between the set-apart and common/profane has been lost!
The Hebrew root word used for ‘distinguish’ is בָּדַל baḏal – Strong’s H914 which means, ‘to be divided, separate, make a difference, make a distinction’, and we see this word being used in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 20:24-26 “But I say to you, “You are going to possess their land, and I Myself give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am יהוה your Elohim, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 ‘And you shall make a distinction between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean birds and clean. And do not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or whatever creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 ‘And you shall be set-apart to Me, for I יהוה am set-apart, and have separated you from the peoples to be Mine.”
From the above passage we can see that 3 times in these 3 verses, the root word בָּדַל baḏal – Strong’s H914 is being used – twice it is translated as ‘separated’ and once as ‘make a distinction’.
It is יהוה who has separated us from all peoples, to be a set-apart nation unto Him and therefore we are called to make a clear distinction between what is clean and what is not, and so by the hearing of His Torah and the obedience of keeping His Times and laws we are called to active separation from that which is not pleasing to Him!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, saysיהוה , and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
Being separated involves a ‘coming out’ from among that which foreign and contrary to the Torah and the ability to properly separate oneself from that which is common or profanes!
The Greek word used here for ‘separate’ is ἀφορίζω aphorizō – Strong’s G873 which means, ‘to mark off by boundaries, ostracise, separate, set-apart’ and comes from the two words:
1 – ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and primitive particle, meaning, ‘from, away from, against’ and
2 – ὁρίζω horizon – Strong’s G3724 which means, ‘predetermined, fixed, appointed, to mark off by boundaries’.
What is very clear throughout Scripture is that we are called to come out and be separate.
If we do not heed this call to come out and be separate then we may find ourselves among those whom the Messengers of יהוה will ‘separate’ from the congregation!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:49-50 “Thus shall it be at the end of the age: the messengers shall come forth, and separate the wicked out of the midst of the righteous, 50 and shall throw them into the furnace of fire – there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
The choice is very clear – separate yourself from all foreign worship and its practices or you will be separated for destruction and thrown into outer darkness!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:30 “And throw the worthless servant out into the outer darkness – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The Hebrew word for ‘profane, common’ – חֹל ḥol – Strong’s H2455 looks like this in the ancient pictographic script:
Ḥet – חֹ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
Lamed – ל:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as ,which is a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
When we look at this word that is rendered as that which is profane or common, in its ancient pictographic form, we are able to see that this represents:
THAT WHICH HAS BEEN SEPARATED OR CUT OFF FROM AUTHORITY!
The way of set-apartness pictures a continual obedience and submission as one continually comes to The Door in order to meditate on His Word whereas the common or profane way cuts off the proper authority of the Word by neglecting proper set-apartness and will therefore be separated or cut off from the Good Shepherd!
The Word of Elohim clearly calls for a proper separation and the ability to distinguish between the set-apart and the profane and can only be done when a proper response to the call to ‘come out and be separate’ is actually responded correctly to!
In a clear vision of the Millennial Reign that Yeḥezqěl was given we see that the priesthood will do as they should:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 44:23-24 “And they are to teach My people the difference between the set-apart and the profane, and make them know what is unclean and clean. 24 “And they are to stand as judges in a dispute, and judge it according to My right-rulings. And they are to guard My Torot and My laws in all My appointed festivals, and set apart My Sabbaths.”
While this vision certainly highlights the service in the Millennial Temple we take note that is also a clear and vital lesson of the kind of priesthood we are to be here and now, as we serve our Master in Spirit and Truth as a royal priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as we make known the difference between the set-apart and the profane!
We were commanded by our Master to go and make taught ones of all the nations and immerse them in His Name and teach them to guard all He has commanded us to do.
We can only do this properly if we ourselves can in fact distinguish between the set-apart and profane! And this can only be done if we have properly come out and are being separate and not allowing the common or profane ways of compromise to blur our ability to distinguish as we should!
This stop, or starting point, at Qaḏesh must be one that reminds us that we are a set-apart and royal priesthood that must pursue and perfect set-apartness!
33 – Mount Hor
The Hebrew word הָר har – Strong’s H2022 means, ‘hill/mountain’ & הֹר hor – Strong’s H2023 means, “mountain” – this was the mountain on which Aharon died; and is situated on the eastern side of the valley of Arabah, the highest of the whole range of sandstone mountains in Eḏom.
34 – Tsalmonah
The Hebrew word צַלְמֹנָה Tsalmonah – Strong’s H6758 means, “shady”.
Shade can be a blessing, so that the “sun does not strike us by day”, but we are not mean to be a “shady” people.
This word is the feminine of the word that means ‘shadow of death’.
They had just seen Aharon die and were now walking in that shadow, and more and more were dying as the generation who had left Mitsrayim were dying off as none but two would enter the Promised Land.
Many were, in fact, living under the ‘shadow of death’ not knowing when they would perish.
We have assurance in the Word of safety, even while under the shadow of death:
Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Tehillah/Psalm 107:14 “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And He broke their chains in pieces.”
35 – Punon
The Hebrew word פּוּנֹן Punon – Strong’s H6325 means, “darkness”.
It was here that the children of Yisra’ĕl moaned again as they grew impatient!
They spoke out against Elohim and Mosheh and said that they loathed the light bread.
Then יהוה sent serpents among the people and many were bitten and died. Mosheh was told to make a bronze serpent and all who was bitten and would look upon it would live.
Spending too much time among the shades of grey, rather than seeing things as black or white, only leads us into more complete darkness, where we will end up being bitten by our straying ways.
After years of the same thing day in and day out, they were bored of the manna, which was a picture of יהושע:
Yoḥanan 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
And His community:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Calling it worthless means rejecting him. But to what were they comparing the manna?
They did not need to sow or reap, and when traveling they could not.
They did not realize how well they had it, because this generation had been eating of the manna all their lives.
Their only alternative would be to raid other peoples for food; did they really want to do that?
They may have seen the pastries that the Kenaʽanites had baked when destroying their cities and begun to lust for something more, though they lacked nothing essential and had a simpler life than anyone could reasonably ask for since Aḏam’s fall. They were not making the most of what they had, and tried to make their case look worse than it was. Their clothes and shoes did not wear out, they had the biggest functioning community anywhere, and a deliverer in their midst; this was far more than they deserved; when we think we deserve more, we are calling יהוה, who has said He will provide for us, a liar.
Or they may have simply been longing for the fruit of the Land that had been promised, and now realized that they were not going to get there as quickly as they had expected, and were discouraged, because they seemed to have almost had it in hand. But since they thought יהוה‘s provision was not enough, that was enough for Him, and this time He did not even give a warning that punishment was coming.
Praise be unto יהוה our Elohim that He has provided for our sin and that יהושע Messiah was lifted up on a pole to pay for our sin and our futile walk in darkness.
Yoḥanan/John 3:14-15 “And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Aḏam has to be lifted up, 15 so that whoever is believing in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life.”
We are children of light and must not walk in darkness – He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.
In Hebrew, darkness carries with it the understanding of ignorance, whereas light can symbolise or mean knowledge.
We have been called out of ignorance into the knowledge of His Truth and we must not walk in ignorance any longer:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
36 – Oḇoth
The Hebrew word אֹבֹת Oḇoth – Strong’s H88 means, “waterskins” meaning water bottles made of skins.
We are to be filled with the Living water ready to be poured out as refreshing.
What is interesting to note, is how this stop/starting point was after ‘punon’ (darkness), where those who looked at the bronze serpent would be healed.
After we ‘look to’ יהושע Messiah and are ‘immersed’ in Him, we ‘die’ and are raised to new life and are given new ‘clothes of righteousness’ or ‘water skins’ that must hold the ‘Living Water’ of the Besorah (Good News).
37 – Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarim
The name of this stop – עִיֵּי הָעֲבָרִים Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarim – Strong’s H5863 means, “ruins of Aḇarim” and can also mean “ruins of sin/displacement”.
Whenever you feel disconnected or lost you are going through this journey. An aimless life is a desolate one.
Nothing is being built; every effort ends up going nowhere.
The antithesis of displacement is feeling like you belong and you are connected; you sense that your life has purpose and that you are building something everlasting, reflecting your indispensable contribution.
We need to learn from the ruins that are left as a result of sin – for sin cannot bring life and only leads to the decay of all and eventually all that is left is ruins. We are to rebuild the ancient ruins and restore that which has been lost through sin and displacement.
We have the Promise that יהוה Himself will come and rebuild the ruins:
Ma’asei/Acts 15:16 “After this I shall return and rebuild the Booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall rebuild its ruins, and I shall set it up”
Amos 9:11 “In that day I shall raise up the booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall repair its breaches and raise up its ruins. And I shall build it as in the days of old”
What we can learn here is that no matter how much sin has left our lives in ruins and has displaced us, we have the sure promise that in Messiah we can and will be rebuilt and repaired by our Living Messiah! It is His Word that rebuilds that which has been ruined through lawlessness. So now from a state of lawlessness we are equipped to walk in the Torah and be built up in Truth by Messiah!
38 – Diḇon Gaḏ
The name of this stop comes from two root words:
1) דִּיבֹן dibon – Strong’s H1769 which means, “wasting” and:
2) גָּד– Strong’s H1410 – Gaḏ which means, “troop” and can translate as ‘wasting away of a fortune’.
We must recognise the wonderful gift of life that we have received in Messiah and that we are rich in Him. The richest we can be is to know Messiah, and we must not waste away our good inheritance. We must not waste that which the Father has given us, be it our time, our talents, our resources etc.
39 – Almon Diḇlathayemah
The name of this stop: עַלְמֹן דִּבְלָתָיְמָהAlmon Diḇlathayemah – Strong’s H5963 means, “concealing the two cakes” or ‘hidden sweetness’ and comes from the two root words:
1) עָלַם alam – Strong’s H5956 meaning, ‘conceal, blind, disregard’ and
2) דְּבֵלָה deḇelah – Strong’s H1690 meaning, ‘a lump (of pressed figs), a pressed (fig) cake, cake of figs’
Let us not hide the ‘two cakes’!
What we can learn from this is that we are to guard the Torah and not hide it!
It refers to this existential concealment, which captures one of the greatest challenges throughout all the 42 journeys in the wilderness: will we be able to hold on to the faith and recognize that we, even in the arid desert, are traveling toward the Promised Land?
We must also realise that we are not alone on our journey and we must hold on to that which we have been entrusted with. We must not conceal or hide the Word from directing our lives.
The man who was afraid of the Master hid his one talent and, in a sense, concealed that which he was entrusted with – we must run with great endurance the race set before us and not give up but press on, fixing our eyes on our saviour and King, יהושע Messiah.
Let us make known His Good News (Besorah) and do it with great joy.
What this also shows me is that we can see today how so many have a total disregard for the Torah of Elohim and so are blind to the Truth and have no knowledge or understanding of the Word.
40 – Aḇarim
The Hebrew word עֲבָרִים Aḇarim – Strong’s H5682 means, “regions beyond”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:12 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go up into this Mount Aḇiram, and see the land which I have given to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
This is where Mosheh got to see the Land from a distance, yet was not permitted to enter because he and Aharon rebelled against the mouth of יהוה at Qaḏĕsh. He got to see the regions beyond the Yardĕn!
This carries wonderful significance for us in that the Torah points us to Messiah and leads us to the Promises of the Covenants we were once far off from but now through יהושע Messiah have been brought near.
It is obedience to the Torah (instructions of Elohim) that we will truly enter in to the Promises of יהוה.
Yoḥanan/John 1:17 “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע Messiah.”
The Torah is the instructions of Elohim and this above verse can be better explained as:
The instructions of Elohim, for His set-apart people, was given through Mosheh and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah!
The Torah is truth and is not opposed to the favour/grace of Elohim – Truth came through Mosheh and favour and Truth came through Messiah!
This stop was ‘before Neḇo’ and נְבוֹ Neḇo – Strong’s H5015 means, ‘prophet’ and Neḇo was also a Baḇelonian deity who presided over learning and letters, and corresponds to the Greek ‘deity of interpretation’, Hermes, from which the subject of ‘hermeneutics’ comes from, which is the study of the interpretation of written texts.
Sadly, we see today so many falsified interpretations of the Scriptures that has simply ‘concealed the two cakes’ – that is, through erroneous Greek interpretation of Scripture, there has been taught a wilful disregard for the Torah and as this can also give reference to ‘fig cakes’, I am reminded of the passage in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24 with regards to the vision of the two baskets of figs, one good and one bad – one ripe and one rotten.
The good figs are those who were obedient and listened while the bad figs were the disobedient.
Which basket are you in? The one who listens and obeys the True “Prophet” from Elohim:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:15 “יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him”
Or the one who listens to the many false prophets:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:15 “But beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are savage wolves.”
We shall know them by their fruits!!! Those who are ‘concealing’ the Torah are false!
41 – Mo’aḇ
The Hebrew word מוֹאָב Mo’aḇ – Strong’s H4124 means, “of his father” or “from a father”.
We know that Mo’aḇ was the offspring of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters.
Therefore, this stop can carry both a positive as well as a negative meaning.
Are we of the heavenly Father or from the father of evil?
We must choose whom we serve and so in essence sums up the majority of our Wilderness journey – will we listen and obey our Father in Heaven and be called sons of Elohim?
Romiyim/Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 4:6 “And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:4-7 “When the Messiah, who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in esteem. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience,7 in which you also once walked when you lived in them.”
42 – Bĕyth Yeshimoth & Aḇĕl Shittim
The name of this stop – בֵּית הַיְשִׁימוֹת Bĕyth Yeshimoth – Strong’s H1020 means, “house of the desolation” which comes from the two root words:
1) בַּיִת Bĕyth – Strong’s H1004 which means, ‘house, armoury, building’ and:
2) יְשִׁימָה yeshimah – Strong’s H3451 which means, ‘desolation’
… and they camped from here to as far as:
Aḇĕl Shittim – אָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים Strong’s H63 which means, “meadow of acacias” and comes from the two root words:
1) אָבֵל aḇel – Strong’s H58 which means, ‘meadow or plain’ and
2) שִׁטִּים Shittim – Strong’s H7851 which is the plural for the word שִׁטָּה ‘shittah’ – Strong’s H7848 which means, ‘acacia wood’
The acacia wood was used in the construction of the Slaughter Place, Bronze Laver, the Showbread Table, the Altar of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant, as well as the boards of the Dwelling Place.
All of these were made according to the perfect pattern that was shown to Mosheh, all with the complete purpose of the fully functional Dwelling Place/Tabernacle being set up so that יהוה would dwell amongst His people!
This wood can in many ways picture for us a unity, when the pieces are in fact placed in order!
All of the various pieces of the Tabernacle would be ineffective on their own, but when put in its proper order, they formed the perfect functional design of יהוה. This teaches us that we too need to be in unity in order to be formed and shaped into being a perfectly functional Tabernacle of Elohim, which we are.
This region where they camped can, in many ways, sum up our journey:
We have come from the ‘house of desolation’ to the ‘meadows of acacias’!
While there is the positive aspect of understanding this wonderful wilderness journey, what we also recognise here is that this was the last departure point and is a lesson how we must not only leave the ‘house of desolation’ but also ‘the meadow of acacias’, and in fact, what may often seem to be a wonderful place of ‘acacias’ may in fact be a house of death!
Yisra’ĕl dwelt in Shittim – שִׁטִּים – Strong’s H7851 and means, ‘place of acacias’ and it was here where they began to whore with the daughters of Mo’aḇ. Instead of being on their guard, they got too relaxed and this ‘place of acacias’ and slacked off.
You would think that by now that after all they had been through, all the victories they had won and all the disciplining that had gone on that they would have been more on their guard to not whore with foreign nations and especially Mo’aḇ.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1Corinthians 10:8 “Neither should we commit whoring, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell”
They were enticed by the women of Mo’aḇ – this is how the enemy is so very deceiving – through the lust of the flesh and Balaq sent his finest women to lure the men of Yisra’ĕl in to joining them.
The enemy’s motto is ‘if you cannot beat them join them’ and this was his plan, to subdue this great nation.
The Hebrew word for whore is זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 which means, ‘to commit fornication, to be a harlot, commit adultery, play the harlot’.
‘Playing the harlot’ can also be a term that is used to render being ‘spiritually unfaithful’ to יהוה, which is exactly what they were doing here!
How is that for a response to His blessing!!!
I think that it is the same for so many today, who do not realise the great blessings we have in Messiah and too many take it for granted and end up ‘playing the harlot’ with the world that so easily lures them away, because they are found to be at a place of thinking that they have arrived and relax in their ability to be watchful and obedient.
They were endangering their lives by befriending the world:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:3-4 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.”
We were told to not do this at Mount Sinai, yet we must constantly be on our guard against the luring tactics of the enemy, and when we think that there is no way that these kind of tricks and whoring tactics can catch us then we had better be doubly alert:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:12 “so that he who thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall.”
We must not get settles in our sojourning and recognise that many can come so close yet still not make it in as they give in to the false appearances of safety and goodness, as the ‘house of desolation’ disguises itself under ‘meadows of acacias’.
We are the ‘house of Elohim’, being built up in the Master as living stones and we need to ensure that we stay in Him, so that He stays in us and cause us to reflect His proper set-apart House!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word בַּיִת bayith – Strong’s H1004 meaning, ‘house, home, armoury, building’, which looks like this:
Beyt – בַּ:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (בֵּ), which in 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, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Yod – יִ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
As we look at these pictographic letters, in terms of recognising the House of Elohim, which we are, we can see the following:
HIS ‘FLOOR PLAN’ FOR HIS CREATION, IS SEALED BY HIS COVENANTS OF PROMISE BY THE WORK AND AUTHORITY OF HIS MIGHTY OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND, AND AS LIVING STONES ARE BEING BUILT UP IN HIM BECOMING HIS DWELLING PLACE!
Sha’ul reminds us very clearly that we are being built up as the Household of Elohim:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.”
There were 42 stages in their journey, which lasted 40 years.
14 of these stages all took place within the first year. The last 8 stages all took place between Aharon’s death and Mosheh’s, so they actually stayed at each place, approximately two years on average (20 places in 38 years).
Many of these places were probably not in the Sinai Peninsula, as tradition has it, but rather on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, which is much larger and much easier to truly wander aimlessly in.
But there were not supposed to be as many as there were. Our journey back does not have to take so long, if we do what we are supposed to do and avoid the pitfalls they chose to fall into.
So, as we as we have looked at the Wilderness Journeys, we are to be reminded that no stage in our lives, and no segment of history, is an island onto itself. Each phase is part of a longer journey, leading to a destination.
Knowing that every life experience, even the harshest ones we may face, are simply steps leading us to another better place, and that every step of belief we take, is another in our journey of set-apartness, as we look forward to the sure hope we have in our Master’s soon return.
Awareness of the fact that we are on a journey in Messiah, as we sojourn here, at all times, also infuses each step with profound hope and urgency – to ensure that it will lead us to a destination.
May you be inspired to truly enjoy your Wilderness Journey in Messiah!
Having said that, I want to share with you a wonderful connection, in Scripture, between these 42 stops and the genealogy of Messiah!
42 starting points – 42 generations from Aḇraham to יהושע!
As we have just gone extensively through each of the 42 departure points in the wilderness Journey, from Mitsrayim to the Promised Land, we are able to see a great parallel in the 42 generations from Aḇraham to Messiah – and recognise the powerful message we have in the Covenants of Promise, as we can be encouraged by this genealogy of Messiah, which highlights for us a message of Good News, from the Promise to the fulfilment!
Let us look at each of these 42 names as recorded in Mattithyahu/Matthew 1 and see the wonderful message that it holds for us:
1 – אַבְרָהָם Aḇraham – Strong’s H85 – ‘exalted father, father of a multitude’
2 – יִצְחָק Yitsḥaq – Strong’s H3327 – ‘he laughs, smiles’
3 – יַעֲקֹב Yaʽaqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 – ‘heel catcher, supplanter’, who also was also renamed and called Yisra’ĕl meaning, ‘strive, persevere with ĚL’.
We need to recognise this as we see in the Hebraic mind-set, that when referring to Ya’aqoḇ they did not only see a ‘supplanter’, but they also saw a father who persevered with Elohim!
4 – יְהוּדָה Yehuḏah – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’ as discussed earlier.
5 – פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6557 – ‘breach, break through or burst forth’
6 – חֶצְרוֹן Ḥetsron – Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall, enclosure’
7 – רָם Ram – Strong’s H7410 – ‘high, exalted, great height’
8 – עַמִּינָדָב Amminadaḇ – Strong’s H5992 – ‘my kinsman is noble’
9 – נַחְשׁוֹן Naḥshon – Strong’s H5177 – ‘enchanter, whisperer’, – while this name can certainly have a negative aspect to it as it certainly can remind us of the naḥash (serpent) in the Garden who deceived Ḥawwah, however it can also be rendered in this case to mean ‘prophet’ as Naḥshon’s sister was Aharon’s wife and he was also called ‘the leader of the people of Yehuḏah’ (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 2:3)
10 – שַׂלְמוֹן Salmon – Strong’s H8012 – ‘garment, clothes’
11 – בֹּעַז Boaz – Strong’s H1162 – ‘quickness, swiftness, fleetness’ and was a name of a pillar in the Hěḵal of Shelomoh signifying ‘strength’.
12 – עוֹבֵד Oḇeḏ – Strong’s H5744 – ‘serving, servant, worshipper’
13 – יִשַׁי Yishai – Strong’s H3448 – ‘I possess’
14 – דָּוִד Dawiḏ – Strong’s H1732 – ‘beloved, beloved one’
15 – שְׁלֹמֹה Shelomoh – Strong’s H8010 – ‘peace, peaceful’
16 – רְחַבְעָם Reḥaḇ’am – Strong’s H7346 – ‘people are enlarged, extended to an open space’ a picture of setting free
17 – אֲבִיָּה Aḇiyah – Strong’s H29 – ‘29 – ‘Yah is my father’
18 – אָסָא Asa – Strong’s H609 – ‘healer’
19 – יְהוֹשָׁפָט Yehoshaphat – Strong’s H3092 – ‘יהוה has judged’.
20 – יוֹרָם Yoram – Strong’s H3141 – ‘whom יהוה has exalted’.
21 – עֻזִּיָּה Uzziyah – Strong’s H5818 – ‘my strength is Yah’.
22 – יוֹתָם Yotham – Strong’s H3147 – ‘Yah is perfect’
23 – אָחָז Aḥaz – Strong’s H271 – ‘he has grasped, taken hold of, he possesses’
24 – חִזְקִיָּהוּ Ḥizqiyahu – Strong’s H2396 – ‘יהוה is my strength’
25 – מְנַשֶּׁה Menashsheh – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget, who makes me forget’
26 – אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 – ‘skilled workman, master architect, master builder’
27 – יאֹשִׁיָּהוּ Yoshiyahu – Strong’s H2977 – ‘whom יהוה heals’
28 – יְכָנְיָה Yeḵonyah – Strong’s H3204 – ‘יהוה establishes, upholds, appoints’
29 – שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל She’alti’ěl – Strong’s H7597 – ‘I have asked of ĚL’
30 – זְרֻבָּבֶל Zerubbaḇel – Strong’s H2216 – ‘sown in Baḇel, begotten in Baḇelon’
31 – אֲבִיהוּד Aḇihuḏ – Strong’s H31 – ‘my father is majestic’
32 – אַבְנֵר Aḇner – Strong’s H74 – ‘my father is a lamp’
33 – אֶלְיָקִים Elyaqim – Strong’s H471 – ‘ĚL raises up’
34 – עַזֻּר Azzur – Strong’s H5809 – ‘help’
35 – צָדוֹק Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 – ‘righteous, just, upright’
36 – יוֹקִים Yoqim – Strong’s H3137 – ‘Yah raises up’
37 –אֱלִיהוּד Elihuḏ – ‘my ĚL is praised’ from אֵל el and הוֹד hoḏ – Strong’s H1935 – ‘splendour, majesty, comeliness, beauty’.
38 – אֶלְעָזָר Elʽazar – Strong’s H499 – ‘ĚL has helped, help of ĚL’.
39 – מַתָּן Mattan – Strong’s H4977 – ‘gift’
40 – 3 – יַעֲקֹב Ya’aqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 – as discussed earlier, however I believe it is used in reference here to the whole nation of Yisra’ĕl being redeemed – and is the allotted inheritance of יהוה (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:9)
41 – יוֹסֵף Yosĕph – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he increases or Yah has added’. (Father and not the husband of Miryam)
42 – יהושע – Yahushua – Strong’s H3091 – ‘יהוה is Salvation’.
From the list above, as given from the account of the genealogy of Messiah, in Mattithyahu, we have the list of the names and their meanings; and while there are varying ways to construct this into a clear message of hope, as Hebrew certainly has a greater depth of meaning in the individual words, what we can summarise, as a sure and promised message of hope, that is fully met in our Redeeming king, can be expressed in English, as follows:
The exalted Father laughs at the enemy. The One who is praised breaks through a wall of great height – for Our Kinsman Redeemer is noble, and the Prophet spoken of, who is clothed with strength, has come to serve.
The Beloved One is the Prince of Peace who sets the people free and enlarges their territory.
Our Father is יהוה, and He is the Healer who judges and He is the One who raises up and exalts.
Our strength is in יהוה, who is perfect and has taken hold of His people for a possession.
יהוה is our strength, who causes us to forget our troubles and He is the Master Builder who heals us and establishes us. El was asked about the exiles sown in Baḇelon and has answered, for our Father is majestic and He is a lamp who raises up and helps; and in righteousness He raises up and He is greatly to be praised, for He has helped in giving the gift of life to Ya’aqoḇ, his allotted inheritance which he increases through our Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
BACK TO BEMIḎBAR/NUMBER 33:
Verse 52 – drive out – destroy – lay waste
Before Yisra’ĕl could take full possession of the Promised Land, they had to destroy 7 nations that were greater and mightier than them, as יהוה would deliver them up before Yisra’ĕl.
Yisra’ĕl still had a great part to play, in possessing that which יהוה had promised and had given.
And this still speaks very clearly to us today, in that we too, as children of Yisra’ĕl that have been grafted in to the covenants of Promise by the Blood of יהושע, have to defeat and destroy these very same nations, spiritually and metaphorically speaking, in order for us to enter in to our spiritual position and possession.
We will look more at these 7 nations and what each one means and represents when we get to Deḇarim/Deuteronomy Chapter 7, in the Torah portion commentary for that section; but for now, I simply want to highlight some key words that are used here in verse 52, as they show the intensity in which we are to ‘take possession’, by dealing correctly with the ‘Kenaʽanites’ in our lives, so to speak!
So, we need to conquer Kenaʽan in our lives and drive out all the inhabitants – that is we are to drive out these things which may have had residence over our lives, and for some they may in fact still do, and the only way to effectively deal with them is to drive them out. This is not just a ‘one way we could do it’ approach if we do not happen to come up with a better way to do it ourselves, NO – this is the only way – because יהוה has commanded it!
Conquering Kenaʽan is not easy and it is not for the fainthearted – as we continue to walk in the Promises of Elohim, we must realise that it is a road of battles, battles that we can overcome as יהוה delivers our enemies up before us in order that we may utterly destroy them!
As we look intently in to the mirror of the Word we get to see what needs to be dealt with and through His Word He delivers up that which we need to destroy. Yisra’ĕl was not just handed over the Land – they had battles to fight – with sword and shield!
And so too do we today – sword and shield – that is, the Word and by belief – in other words – belief in the Word – that is, an active belief in the Living Word – a belief in Elohim that works and does the good works prepared in advance for us to do! That is to walk in His instructions (Torah) as we ‘work out’ our deliverance with fear and trembling, obeying His every Word as we take ground little by little!
Yisra’ĕl won battles when they obeyed the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts – יהוה of Hosts is His Name!
And so too do we need to obey Him as we walk in יהושע Messiah and tear down strongholds and destroy sin.
For this we must not hesitate – do not hesitate to clear out sin in your life!
Often, some sin is only revealed as you look intently into His Word, and by His instructions you recognise that there is sin, which is lawlessness, in your life and so He delivers it up before you in order that YOU destroy it!
The bottom line is this:
DESTROY OR BE DESTROYED!
We MUST drive out – it is a command!
Every bit of sin/lawlessness must be slaughtered – not a single sin is to be tolerated – so from the perspective of Yisra’ĕl here it was an attitude of ‘off with their heads’ and ‘a spear through their hearts’ – they were all to die!
Sin is our enemy and it must be killed – יהושע has paid the price for our sin and so in Him we have the ability to destroy that which He has delivered us from and that which through the Word He exposes in our lives.
Sin is our enemy and, as the Word tells us, that sin is lawlessness, therefore – lawless living styles must be destroyed!
Romiyim/Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, 8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.”
let us briefly look at the strong words used here in these passages – strong active words:
We see the following words being used:
1 – Drive out – יָרֵשׁ yaresh – Strong’s H3423 – which means ‘to dispossess, drive out, expel, disinherit, bring to ruin, destroy’, and can also means ‘to take possession of an inheritance, occupy or seize’.
What this in a sense means is that we are to dispossess or disinherit in order to possess and inherit – make sense?
We have inherited a whole lot of lies – lies that have caused us to sin and be lawless and so we need to dispossess and disinherit those very lies and take back ground that is rightfully ours as our inheritance in Messiah, aměn!
2 – Destroy –אָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H6 – means ‘to perish, destroy, lose, put to death, blot out, do away with, to give up as lost, vanish, be lost or strayed’.
What this word means for us is simply this – we need to put to death the deeds of the body as we live by the Spirit.
We are to do away with and count it all as lost all those things that we know are not right, or else we may just be destroyed.
3 – Lay waste –שָׁמַד shamaḏ – Strong’s H8045 – means ‘to be exterminated or destroyed, eradicate, annihilate, decimate, overthrow and get rid of’.
In Verse 53 we see the clear results of all this much needed obedient destroying of the enemy – you shall possess and that is to possess that which He has given.
In other words, you shall ‘take the gift’.
Salvation is a free gift and while it is free and we cannot earn it, we still need to take possession of it by driving out that which does not belong!
יהוה gave Yisra’ĕl the land, yet they still had to fight for what was given to them in order to fully take possession.
How we take possession of that which He has freely given us is to fight the good fight of belief/faith – that is a working belief that obeys and follows the instructions (Torah) of Elohim – in other words we work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, through loving obedience in living a Torah observant life. It is the Torah – The Living Word – that is going to help you destroy the enemy before you – and we are to take courage, for His Word is sure and His Word is sharper than a double edged sword, as it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart and therefore, equips us to stay on the narrow path of life!
In verse 54 we see the instruction on dividing the land by lot, which also shows that we each have a part to play and we each have an inheritance for which we are to labour and journey together for and fight for each other as we help each other in the battles of life!
Verse 55 is very clear – if we do not possess, then that which we should have dealt with will become pricks in our eyes and thorns in our sides. Now the last thing we want, is pricks in our eyes and thorns on our sides – this speaks of the enemy or sin that is not dealt with, will become a snare to you, causing your eyesight to be hindered and unable to see the Truth, as it will become veiled in lies and compromise; and causing you to be hindered in your walk.
When there is a thorn in the flesh or in your side, then the ability to walk upright is hindered.
We are to walk upright and set-apart lives – he who has eyes to see and ears to hear, hear what the Word is saying here!
We are a set-apart people commanded to live set-apart lives and so in doing this we are to be careful about the company we keep!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:1 “Do not envy evil men, nor desire to be with them.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
CHAPTER 34 – BOUNDARIES
Before entering the Promised Land, Mosheh was to command the children of Yisra’ĕl its ‘boundaries’.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘boundaries’, in verse 2, is גְּבוּלָה geḇulah – Strong’s H1367 which means, ‘border, boundary, territory, landmark’ and is the feminine of the word גְּבוּל geḇul – Strong’s H1366.
Before we go into the Land, יהוה defines our boundaries!
We all need ‘boundaries’ and it is a fact that children who have no boundaries are more likely to end up breaking the law and possibly be imprisoned, as a result of their parents not putting boundaries down when they were growing up! Boundaries are good for us and keep us safe!
In actual fact, ‘boundaries’ that are set by יהוה show us that He loves us.
What we must take note of here is that this is a – Command – and the Hebrew word that is used here is צַו ‘tzav’ which comes from the root word צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge, give charge, command, order, decree, i.e., state with force/authority what others must do’.
When we consider the application of this chapter, in a practical sense, we must recognise that the good boundaries that we have been given, is through His commands.
Tehillah/Psalm 16:6 “Boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, a good inheritance is mine.”
And if we love Him, we shall obey His commands!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
His boundaries are commanded through Mosheh (The Torah) and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah (The Living Torah)
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘border’, throughout this chapter, is גְּבוּל geḇul – Strong’s H1366, except in:
Verse 3 where the word translated as ‘border’ in the ISR Scriptures 2009 Edition, is פֵּאָה peah – Strong’s H6285 meaning, ‘side, corner, boundary, edges’ and comes from the primitive root word פָּאָה paah – Strong’s H6284 meaning, ‘to cut them into pieces, to cleave to pieces’.
There is a great lesson here for us by the use of this word פֵּאָה peah as we can learn from the commands given regarding the corners of lands and the corners or sides of our beards and heads:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:9 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, do not completely reap the corners of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:27 “Do not round the corner of your head, nor destroy the corner of your beard.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:4-5 “A leader does not defile himself among his people, to profane himself; 5 they do not make any bald place on their heads, and they do not shave the corner of their beard, and they do not make a cutting in their flesh.”
In all of the above verses the word used for ‘corner’ is פֵּאָה peah, and the emphasis in the instruction of the ‘borders’ for the children of Yisra’ĕl being laid down is simply this –
DO NOT CUT CORNERS!
We cannot walk in Messiah and ‘cut the corners’ of His commands and try to take shortcuts. Too many today do just that – they take short cuts and are always trying to find a way out of simply being obedient to the clear instructions (Torah) of Elohim, and this we should not do – His commands are our pleasant boundary lines – cut them or overstep them and you make yourself vulnerable for attack and/or discipline!
What we also recognise in this chapter is that these boundaries are significantly smaller to what we see being spoken of in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 47:15-20, as well as the promise given to Aḇram in:
Berěshith/Genesis 15:18 “On the same day יהוה made a covenant with Aḇram, saying, “I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Mitsrayim to the great river, the River Euphrates”
From the Nile to the River Euphrates!!!
The inheritance of Bemiḏbar/Numbers 34 is only a portion of the full promise given to Aḇram, and we also take note that the boundaries in Yeḥezqěl speak of what is still to come!
Verse 19-28 – leaders from the 10 tribes that were to inherit in the Land of Kena’an (remember that the tribes of Re’uḇĕn and Gad and half of the tribe of Menashsheh had already received their allotment beyond the Yardĕn.
1 – The tribe of Yehuḏah – יְהוּדָה – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’
Kalěḇ – כָּלֵב – Strong’s H3612 – ‘dog’
son of Yephunneh – יְפֻנֶּה – Strong’s H3312 – ‘he will turn and face’
2 – The tribe of Shimʽon – שִׁמְעוֹן – Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard’
Shemuʼěl – שְׁמוּאֵל Strong’s H8050 – ‘El as heard/ His name is El’
son of Ammihuḏ – עַמִּיהוּד – Strong’s H5989 – ‘my kinsman is majesty’
3 – The tribe of Binyamin – בִּנְיָמִין – Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand’
Eliḏaḏ – אֱלִידָד – Strong’s H419 – ‘my El has loved’
son of Kislon – כִּסְלוֹן – Strong’s H3692 – ‘confidence’
4 – The tribe of Dan – דָּן – Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge’
Buqqi – בֻּקִּי – Strong’s H1231 – ‘wasting’
son of Yogli – יָגְלִי – Strong’s H3020 – ‘he is exiled’
The tribe of Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
from the tribe of Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget’
5 – Ḥanni’ĕl – חַנִּיאֵל – Strong’s H2592 – ‘favoured of El’
son of Ěphoḏ – אֵפֹד – Strong’s H641 – ‘a special girdle’
6 – the tribe of Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful’
Qemu’ĕl – קְמוּאֵל – Strong’s H7055 – ‘raised of El’
son of Shiphtan – שִׁפְטָן – Strong’s H8204 – ‘judicial’
7 – The tribe of Zeḇulun – זְבוּלֻן – Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted’
Elitsaphan – אֱלִיצָפָן – Strong’s H469 – ‘my El has protected’
son of Parnaḵ – פַּרְנָך – Strong’s H6535 – ‘delicate’
8 – The tribe of Yissasḵar – יִשָּׂשכָר – Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense’
Palti’ĕl– פַּלְטִיאֵל – Strong’s H6409 – ‘El delivers’
son of Azzan – עַזָּן – Strong’s H5821 – ‘very strong’
9 – The tribe of Ashĕr – אָשֵׁר – Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one’
Aḥihuḏ – אֲחִיהוּד – Strong’s H282 – ‘brother of majesty’
son of Shelomi – שְׁלֹמִי – Strong’s H8015 – ‘peaceful, my peace’
10 – The tribe of Naphtali – נַפְתָּלִי – Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling’
Peḏah’ĕl – פְּדַהְאֵל – Strong’s H6300 – ‘ransomed by El’
son of Ammihuḏ – עַמִּיהוּד – Strong’s H5989 – ‘my kinsman is majesty’
Verse 29 – the chapter ends with a clear mention that these leaders were the ones commanded by יהוה to divide the inheritance and from this, we can once again learn that it is יהוה who calls and equips for leadership.
These guys were already established leaders within their tribes and you will notice that there were only 10 here, as the Tribes of Re’uḇĕn and Gaḏ inherited east of the Yardĕn.
What we can also take note of here is that none of them were a son of someone in chapter 1, except for Yehoshua who was the grandson of Elishama!
CHAPTER 35 – CITIES FOR THE LĚWITES AND CITIES OF REFUGE
The Lěwites received no inheritance of their own and were allotted cities to dwell in, from within the inheritance of each tribe and the land they were to receive, was to be a substantial size to be for their cattle, livestock and possessions.
Each city with its open land for livestock was to be an area of about 1,78km x 1,78km.
48 cities were to be given to the Lěwites and 6 of those were to be cities of refuge for a man-slayer to flee to.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refuge’ is מִקְלָט miqlat – Strong’s H4733 which means, ‘refuge, asylum’.
This noun denotes the place of refuge from the ‘revenger of blood’ and is used 20 times in Scriptures, and is always used in connection with the cities that were appointed to provide asylum for those guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The one who is guilty of murder was to be put to death, while initially those not guilty of homicide could seek asylum at the slaughter-place, while those who killed with premeditation should be dragged from the slaughter-place and executed:
Shemoth/Exodus 21:12-14 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall certainly be put to death. 13 “But if he did not lie in wait, but Elohim delivered him into his hand, then I shall appoint for you a place where he is to flee. 14 “But when a man acts presumptuously against his neighbour, to kill him by treachery, you are to take him even from My slaughter-place to die.”
Now that Yisra’ĕl would be settled in the Promised Land, and distance to the slaughter-pace for those who wanted to seek asylum may have been a problem to ensure their safety in being proven not guilty and so provision is made with these 6 cities that were well within reach for all the Tribes; and so here we see how practical יהוה is and how through this provision His mercy is clearly shown.
These cities also picture for us the wonderful work of Messiah.
The one who had fled to one of these cities, because he had killed another by mistake or by accident, would be rescued from the hand of the revenger of blood and he would remain in that city, until the death of the high priest who had been anointed with oil!
יהושע Messiah is our High Priest and we see a twofold work of Messiah here, in that He is our Refuge to whom we run to and it is by His death that we are ‘released’ from being in danger of the revenger of blood taking vengeance upon us for our sin; and at the same time, because He was raised from the dead and lives forever, we have a High Priest who intercedes constantly for us and we are therefore required to ‘remain’ in Him forever – for He will never die!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:6 “As He also says in another place, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq”
יהושע Messiah, our High Priest was “anointed with oil” as we know that ‘oil’ is symbolic of the Spirit – and on the day that Messiah stood up to read in the congregation He read from Yeshayahu:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn, 3 to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.”
Ma’asei/Acts 10:37-38 “You know what word came to be throughout all Yehuḏah, beginning from Galil after the immersion which Yoḥanan proclaimed: 38 how Elohim did anoint יהושע of Natsareth with the Set-apart Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for Elohim was with Him.”
What we must understand from this Torah portion on the cities of Refuge is that we have Messiah our High Priest in whom we can run to and find safety, and because He lives forever, we are ‘bound’ to Him in love forever.
If anyone moves out of the ‘boundaries’ (that is the Torah) of Him as representing for us our place of refuge, then they risk the danger of being slain by the revenger of blood.
In one sense, we can see that יהושע is both the place of refuge to those who call upon His Name and abide in Him, while He is a revenger of blood that will take vengeance on all who are not found in Him on the Day He returns and treads the winepress in His wrath!!!
Those who claim that the Torah is no longer valid and say that this Torah command has been done away with are in fact nullifying the True protection that is available in Messiah and are wilfully placing themselves outside of the safety of Messiah from being their refuge and will therefore be executed in His wrath.
When we understand, more and more, how alive the Torah is for us, we clearly see how the boundaries of the Torah are good for us and keep us safe from the coming wrath of Elohim – and therefore, we must stay in Him, or else!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”
Notice it is the ‘righteous’ that run into it and not the unrighteous/lawless!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 61:3 “For You have been my refuge, a strong tower in the face of the enemy.”
Verse 26-27 makes it clear – when the man-slayer went outside the limits of the city and was killed by the revenger of blood then the revenger of blood was not guilty because the man-slayer should have remained in the city.
It comes back to the boundaries and limits that we are to live within – which is the Torah and whenever we go outside of the limitations of the Torah we are as the lawless and the punishment for sin is death.
Those who remain in Messiah, we know, that the second death will have no power over them!!!
The principle of the cities of refuge, teaches us a very clear lesson; and that is that we are to ‘STAY IN MESSIAH’!
A powerful example of one who had neglected to keep the sovereign’s and stay where he was told, is seen in Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 2.
Shimʽi, was a man who had cursed Dawiḏ, and when Dawiḏ met him he swore that he would not put him death; and in his closing words to Shelomoh, he told his son that he would know what to do with Shimʽi.
Shelomoh then made it very clear to Shimʽi that he was not allowed to leave Yerushalayim, and in the day that he would go out and pass over the wadi Qiḏron, he would die and his blood would be on his own head!
Shimʽi agreed to the words of Shelomoh and said that they were good words.
3 years later, some of the slaves of Shimʽi had fled to Gath.
Shimʽi was told and he went to Gath and brought back his slaves.
Shelomoh was told about this and ordered that Shimʽi be put to death!
This account teaches us a vital lesson in regards to the ‘city of refuge’ principle, and how we who are in Messiah, must stay in Him and not walk outside of the boundaries of His commands by compromising our walk, for if we are found to have done so then our blood shall be on our own head, as we stepped out of the promised Refuge of our Kinga and High Priest!
Yoḥanan/John 15:4-10 “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. 5 “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. 7 “If you stay in Me, and My Words stay in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 “In this My Father is esteemed, that you bear much fruit, and you shall be My taught ones. 9 “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Stay in My love. 10 “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.”
The Greek word translated as ‘stay’ is μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, ‘to stay, abide, remain, stand, kept continually, endure’, and can also be understood as having the meaning, ‘remain as one, not to become another or different’.
In other words, when we ‘stay’ in The Master, we do not change our commitment to bearing fruit of set-apartness, and we do not shrink back from standing firm in the Truth, but rather remain firm in our fervent stand of belief, and guard the clear and pleasant boundaries that He has given us, through His Word!
The daughters of Tselophḥaḏ, we have discussed in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:1-11 and here, we see that after the boundaries were set, the heads of the fathers of the clans of the children of Gil‘aḏ, from the tribe of Yosĕph from which the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ were from, came to Mosheh and the rest of the leaders of Yisra’ĕl to ensure that the daughters of Tselophḥaḏ would not lose their inheritance, as they were concerned if any of the daughters married into another tribe which would cause them to lose their inheritance to another tribe.
Mosheh then gave the word which יהוה commanded that these daughters were only permitted to marry within their own tribe, and so it was commanded that any daughter possessing an inheritance (who had no brothers) in any tribe of Yisra’ĕl was to become a wife of one of the clans within her father’s tribe so that the inheritance would not change tribes.
This speaks of guarding our heritage and not letting it get lost through the joining together with those who have no part in our inheritance!
This will remind us to not become unequally yoked and cause our inheritance to be in threat of being lost!
As we consider our Wilderness Journey, we are constantly reminded to assess our position and take up our stake and follow Messiah, our High Priest, Strong Refuge and Rock and recognise that His Torah is our boundaries, that we are not to cut or overstep and we are to remain in Him, at all times, and not risk the squandering of our inheritance, through an unequal yoking with the world and its ways.
The 5 daughters of Tselophḥaḏ did not question the command to not marry outside of their tribe, as the will of יהוה was very clear and these 5 daughters is a picture for us how, like the 5 books of the Torah, cannot be mixed with the ways or teachings of others and still be beneficial to their own people.
The Torah is pure and must not be mixed, added to or taken from – and this we must guard with our all!
Let us guard the right-rulings and commands which יהוה has commanded us by the hand of Mosheh!
In verse 13 the Hebrew word for ‘commands’ is מִצְוֹתַ – ‘mitsvot’– and is the plural of the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.
The Hebrew word for ‘right-rulings’ is מִּשְׁפָּטִים ‘mishpatim’ which is the plural of מִּשְׁפָּטִ ‘mishpat’ – Strong’s 4941 which means right-ruling or judgement.
These ‘mishpatim’ are the ‘legal procedures’ or ‘firm rulings’ that are non-negotiable – this was how community would be ruled and how any issues that would arise would be dealt with in a prescribed way that is just and fair.
These are what we could call the ‘social laws’ that clearly teach us how to get on with each other and how we are to behave and how we are to live according to how we have been created to be in יהושע.
Tehillah/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; loving-commitment and truth go before Your face.”
Tehillah/Psalm 97:2 “Clouds and darkness all around Him, righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of His throne.”
What we see here is that righteousness and right-ruling/justice are the foundation of His throne – these ‘mishpatim’ and righteousness are the foundation of His Throne – this is How He rightly rules His people. It is of vital importance that we understand the rules which shows us how-to live-in community; for these right-rulings guide us on how to form community, how to rule community and how we are to practically live together as children of the Most-High!
These are the ‘boundaries’ by which you judge the standards of obedient community life and we do not judge our children, one another or anything else outside of these boundaries!
We are on a journey, as sojourners who have been set free from the enslavement to man-made dogmas and traditions that run contrary to the Torah of Elohim, and we have been given clear instructions to walk in – instructions that will govern the earth in the Millennial Reign of our Master, by a rod of iron – so, best we learn well to guard them now and remain in our High Priest – or else we may just be visited by the Revenger of Blood and find ourselves thrown out.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the being, 12 having your behaviour among the nations good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
Kěpha appeals to us as ‘strangers and pilgrims’ to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against our life, which we can only do when our feet are firmly secure in our Rock and Master.
The Greek word used here for ‘sojourners’ is πάροικος paroikos – Strong’s G3941 which means, ‘dwelling near, foreign, alien’ and the word used for ‘pilgrims’ is παρεπίδημος parepidēmos – Strong’s G3927 meaning, ‘sojourning in a strange place, exiles, reside as aliens’.
What we can clearly see here in the Greek too is that we are not to get ‘pegged down’ by the world and its ways, but are to live as strangers and foreigners who do not make their ‘permanent dwelling’ here!
Tehillah/Psalm 39:12 “Hear my prayer, O יהוה, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”
A sojourner does not get settled down, but is constantly looking for a place to settle – and so we too keep our eyes fixed on the sure hope of His Kingdom establishment here on earth as we live as foreigners until He comes for us!
And we can sojourn here with the great assurance of His loving-commitment and protection towards those who love Him:
Tehillah/Psalm 146:9 “יהוה guards the strangers, He lifts up the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wrong ones He turns upside down.”
We may certainly be strangers and foreigners here in our sojourning, but we are not strangers and foreigners to the house of Elohim, to which we now belong and are citizens of the Kingdom of the Most-High!
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”
The clear and pleasant boundaries of the Torah and commands of our Master is what keeps us safe and enables us to be a people that can praise Him and give thanks in all:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:4 “Your laws have been my songs in the place of my sojournings.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
Having established the clear knowledge that we are fellow citizens and members of the House of Elohim, we can be reminded how we are to be faithful and trustworthy in making sure that, as we sojourn here until the return of our Master and Elohim, we are to do our utmost in making sure that we stay in Him and dwell in Him continually!