The name of this week’s Torah portion is called– נָשֹׂא Naso which comes from the root word נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means, ‘to lift, carry, take, accept, accepted, arise, brought, bring forth, borne’.
The clear instruction given to Mosheh was to ‘Take a census’.
We know that he had already taken a census of the sons of Qehath and now, we see this week’s Torah portion starting with the call to take a census of Gĕrshon, and register them and thereafter, do the same with Merari.
The Hebrew term or phrase that is translated as ‘take a census’ literally means, ‘lift up the heads’ and is written in the Hebrew as follows – נָשֹׂא אֶת־רֹאשׁ – ‘naso eth rosh’.
The Hebrew word נָשֹׂא Naso we have already mentioned, as having the meaning to ‘lift up’ or ‘take’ and the Hebrew word אֶת eth is an untranslated particle that is often described, in grammars (somewhat superficially), as the sign of the direct object after a transitive verb; and the function of the word אֶת eth is to emphasize the word to which it is attached. In other words – here it is giving reference to what is being ‘taken up’ – The heads!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘census’ is ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 and means, ‘head, beginning, census, captain, leader, top, topmost’.
As we understand that the count or census that is being instructed here, was for the clans of the Lěwites who were of an age where they were able to serve in the Tabernacle, we see that we, as a set-apart, royal priesthood, are counted (lifted up) by יהושע Messiah, The Living Torah and in Him, we are lifted up and made able to serve as His body, in guarding the service of the Tabernacle.
We recognise that, in Messiah, the only way to be ‘lifted up’ to service, is if we humble ourselves before Him:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.”
The first census of this week’s torah portion is of Gĕrshon/Gĕreshon – גֵּרְשׁוֹן – Strong’s H1648 which means, ‘in exile’.
So, we see here a wonderful picture of how, in Messiah, we are counted/lifted up in Him, as we humble ourselves before Him and are counted worthy to serve Him, while we are in exile and on our way home!
In this verse, we see some very interesting terms that carry a militaristic nature, which clearly shows us how יהוה is an Elohim of order and so, we receive His instructions and are equipped to serve, exactly as our Commander and Chief – our Head – יהושע Messiah, calls us to, being obedient in duty, so that we may serve Him, for יהוה of Hosts is His Name!
The Hebrew term that is translated as ‘register’ comes from the root word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 which carries the meaning, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’.
This is not simply ‘a putting down of a name on a list’ or ‘marking a check’ that says ‘present’; rather, it is a clear militaristic term of enlisting and a calling up of an army and taking stock of who is able to fight!
Here in South Africa, we used to have a compulsory conscription service into the army, when I was younger – meaning that there was a compulsory ‘calling up’, or enlisting, into the service of the defence force and this term carries the similar meaning, as it is a registering of the fit and able men who must serve their commander!
The term ‘muster’, which this word can be translated as, carries the meaning of a critical examination or a formal military inspection. So, this registering was a very serious thing, as each one would be inspected; and when we see this militaristic style language being used, we understand why Sha’ul used, in much of his letters, militaristic style instructions – as he was teaching Torah!
The Hebrew word פָּקַד paqaḏ is also used in Berěshith/Genesis 21:1 and is translated ‘visited’, which is also written in the qal active tense, just as it is here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4, which can also carry the meaning of ‘to pay attention to, to attend to, observe, appoint, visit, assign, deposit’.
יהוה ‘visited’ Sarah as He had spoken!
This was a ‘positive’ visitation of יהוה, where the sure Promise of יהוה was given just as He has said He would, and what He said He would do for her, He did! יהוה does not forget His Word, and He certainly never forgets His Covenant Promises to man!
Tehillah/Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You remember him? And the son of man that You visit him?”
Tehillah/Psalm 106:4 “Remember me, O יהוה, in the acceptance of Your people; visit me with Your deliverance”
In light of this understanding, we are able to see how this word פָּקַד paqaḏ also renders the meaning of ‘register’, for it is the urgency of knowing that the ‘visitation’ of יהוה draws very near, that we are to recognise our need to be numbered and counted worthy, in our obedient worship unto Him, as faithful ambassadors of the Most-High, and fervent fighting soldiers of the faith!
The way we are ‘registered’ in the Master, or rather, the way in which we are able to show that we are ‘registered’, in Him, is to walk in His Word and abstain from fleshly lusts that battle against the spirit, for our Master is coming again, on a day of visitation!
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 life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
יהוה is a Jealous El, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate him, while showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Him and guard His commands (Shemoth/Exodus 20:4-6)
Tehillah/Psalm 89:30-32 “If his sons forsake My Torah and do not walk in My right-rulings, 31 “If they profane My laws and do not guard My commands, 32 “Then I shall visit their transgression with the rod, and their crookedness with flogging.”
יהוה’s Word stands firm and we need to be a people who abstain from fleshly lusts and have our behaviour among the nations as good, as they observe our ‘good works’ of righteousness, bringing esteem to Elohim when He comes again!
Let us look at the ancient pictographic script, that reveals to us the urgency of being faithful, in our ‘fighting the good fight’, as we are counted in the Master who is coming again!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 looks like this:
Pey – פָּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
Quph – קַ:
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.
Dalet – ד:
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!
In understanding this word, in the ancient script, in terms of being registered, or the reverence to the visitation of our Master and Elohim, we can see, in these pictures, how this is clearly being presented, as we can see, in the construction of these letters, regarding this registering and visitation, the following:
THE MOUTH OF OUR MASTER HAS SPOKEN AND HIS WORD IS ESTABLISHED FROM OF OLD AND DOES NOT CHANGE AS WE GUARD HIS FEASTS IN THE CYCLES, KNOWING THAT IN THIS WE ARE COUNTED WORTHY, AS WE COME TO THE DOOR, OUR MASTER AND ELOHIM, AND STAND READY FOR HIS DAY OF VISITATION WHERE WE SHALL ENTER INTO HIS COMING REIGN!
Another two words that also carries this military type command is translated as the term ‘perform the service’ and they are:
1 – צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 which means, ‘army, war, warfare, battle, conflict, host (of organised army)’, and comes from the root verb צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, ‘to wage war, perform, fight, serve, mustered, gone to war’.
The compound title יהוה צְבָאוֹת – ‘יהוה tseḇaoth’ means, ‘יהוה of Hosts’ and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Hosts’ comes from the word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635.
יהוה is not only our Commander and Chief who fights for us, He is also the one under whom we march and fight the good fight of belief. The question you must ask yourself is whether or not you are staying in the Master and have counted the cost of following Him and are serving as a faithful soldier in His army, having separated yourself unto Him!
To ‘perform the duty of the priesthood’, is seen as a critical service of ‘fighting the good fight’.
We must remember that the Lěwites encamped around the Tabernacle and were camped between the Tabernacle and the rest of the tribes, in order to ‘guard the duty’, lest the wrath of Elohim break out to the rest of Yisra’ĕl!
The Lěwites were no sissies, but rather, they were very strong and brave men, who had to be fit and able to guard the charge of keeping the Tabernacle from defilement!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.”
2 – עֲבֹדָה aḇoḏah – Strong’s H5656 meaning, ‘labour, service, bondage’ and comes from the root עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 meaning, ‘to work, serve, become slaves, burdened, cultivate, do the work’ and is also translated at times as ‘worship’.
We are bondservants of Messiah who must guard to do all the work of service of the Tabernacle (His Body) as we ‘do’ all He has commanded us to!
We also have a responsibility toward each other in bearing each other’s burdens:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
The word in Greek for ‘bear’ is βαστάζω bastazō – Strong’s G941 – ‘take up, carry, bear, endure’.
Once again, we see the critical need for us to be a people who are lifted up and enlisted to serve Messiah must ‘lift each other up’ so that – WE COMPLETE THE TORAH OF MESSIAH!
I love this verse from Galatiyim/Galatians 6, as it clearly throws out any erroneous notion that the Torah is done away with. The Greek word that is translated as ‘complete’ is ἀναπληρόω anaplēroō – Strong’s G378 and means, ‘to fill up, complete, fill up the measure, supply, cause to happen’.
What this word implies is that we fully meet the requirements that are needed to do that which is required and fully measure up to the standard that is required, in order to do, or complet,e the task at hand.
It comes from two words
1) ἀνά ana – Strong’s G303 which means, ‘up, upwards, back’ and
2) πληρόω plēroō – Strong’s G4137 meaning, ‘to make full, complete, accomplish’.
And this means, in essence, to fully meet what is required and not simply to finish and be done with.
This same root word is used in Greek translation of the words spoken by Messiah in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5: 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.”
The Greek word here for complete is πληρόω plēroō!!!!
The people who think that the Torah ‘has been done away with’, actually, “THINK NOT”!!!
They do not understand what Messiah is saying here! He is telling us, very clearly, that the Torah has not been done away with – on the contrary, what He IS saying, is that He came to fully meet its requirements and these requirements of the Torah are still applicable, as He made it clear that not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Torah until all is done – until heaven and earth pass away!
Now, heaven and earth are still around and so is the Torah!!!
Why I love the passage from Galatiyim/Galatians 6, that I quoted above, is that it is very clear that we too are to ‘complete’ – that is – fully meet the requirements of – the Torah, as we walk in Messiah and guard all His commands.
This is our service and our duty, as a set-apart nation, a chosen people, a royal priesthood!!!
One who is enlisted into the duty of performing the service, is, by definition, a ‘servant’ of the Master and Commander!
The Hebrew noun for ‘servant’ is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, which comes from the verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
The equivalent Greek word for servant is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and is used repeatedly throughout the Renewed Writings (N.T.).
The Hebrew root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 is used 800 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and is used as a noun and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇaḏ and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!
In the ancient pictographic script, the words עֶבֶד eḇeḏ and עָבַד aḇaḏ are pictured as follows:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of seeing and watching, as well as knowledge as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
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.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter 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!
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE
This is what our Master calls us to do; and when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, and praising Him as we diligently are serving in spirit and truth, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah with true joy!
30 years old and above
As discussed in the last Torah portion:
30 years old, was the age of starting service in the priesthood and we also know that it was in Messiah’s 30th year that He performed His duty, as High Priest, when He was ‘anointed’ and ‘ordained’ to duty.
Luqas/Luke 3:23 “And when יהושע Himself began, He was about thirty years of age, being, as reckoned by law, son of Yosĕph, of Ěli”
The Hebrew letter ‘lamed’ – ל – has the numerical value of 30 and its name – lamed – is based on the word לָמַד lamaḏ – Strong’s H3925 which carries the meaning, ‘to exercise in, learn, instruct, teach, train’,
And so, we see that by the age of 30, a priest should have been trained and instructed in the ways of Torah and learned all that they can and be ready do the work of service.
The ancient pictographic symbol for the letter ‘lamed’ is a shepherd’s staff and is another clear picture for us, in its meaning, to be instructed and led by the Shepherd and The Good Shepherd – Messiah – who was 30 years old when He began His duty of the priesthood, as reckoned by Torah!
Dawiḏ began to rule at 30 years old and we also take note that Yosĕph too was given rule, over Mitsrayim, at 30 years of age – all of which are clear shadow pictures of Our King and High Priest!
Verse 24-28 – The service of the Gĕrshonites
Their duty was the coverings and the doorways. A covering is that which protects, and also separates, from what is outside and represents for us the picture of intercession and prayer.
The cost of having a covering is that you are separated from the outside and so, as we walk under, or in, the covering of Messiah, we recognise that we are to be separated from the things of the world that tries to lure us away from His presence and cause us indulge in the fleshly lusts, that we are to flee from!
The Hebrew word used for covering is מִכְסֶה miḵseh – Strong’s H4372 – ‘a covering’ and comes from the root word – כָּסָה kasa – Strong’s H3680 which means, ‘cover, conceal, clothed, closed, hide’.
This Hebrew word כָּסָה kasa – Strong’s H3680 is used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.”
And we see Kěpha telling us in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:8 “And above all have fervent love for one another, because love covers a great number of sins.”
When we understand the Tabernacle, and its design, we begin to see that the coverings and the screens of the courtyard, that Gĕrshon was to bear, speaks of that fervent love of obedience that we are to have to the Torah and by doing so, we are able to extend true love toward each other and lift each other up and cover one another!
And this is one of the primary tasks that we are to perform, whilst we are ‘in exile’.
Bearing burdens – we see the use of the English word ‘burden’ being used in describing what part of the service of the priesthood entails. Often a ‘burden’ is seen as a negative thing, however this is not always the case.
The definition of a burden can be used to describe something that is carried, or a load, as in referring to a cargo ship carrying tons of cargo. It can also be defined as one’s duty or responsibility; and in the negative sense it can also give reference to something that is worrisome and oppressive.
When we understand the correct application of this Hebrew word used here, we see that these ‘burdens’ were not oppressive and worrisome in nature, but rather were the duty and responsibility required of each.
The Hebrew root word used here for bearing burdens is מַשָּׂא massa – Strong’s H4853 and means, ‘bear, carry, support, tribute (which is carried or brought), a load, lifting’ and this word comes from the primitive root verb נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which we have already looked at, at the start of this Torah portion, which has the meaning, ‘to lift, carry, take, accept, accepted, arise, brought, bring forth, borne’.
The instructions given for service to the priesthood reveals what their individual roles entailed and what they were to ‘lift up and carry’ and be responsible for.
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:5 “For each one shall bear his own burden.”
Again, we see the exact same concept, in the Greek, with the word that is being translated as burden being φορτίον phortion – Strong’s G5413 which means, ‘a load, cargo’ and comes from the word φέρω pherō – Strong’s G5342 meaning, ‘to bear, carry, bring forth, endure, produce’.
What we are able to see, and learn, is that to carry a ‘burden’ represents that which one is required to take up and bring or produce. As a royal priesthood, we have been given our clear instructions on what we should be taking up or carrying and, as a result, have the good fruit of righteousness being produced in our lives.
יהושע tells us what are to ‘take up’:
Marqos/Mark 8:34 “And calling near the crowd with His taught ones, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”
So, just to clarify – in serving, and bearing burdens, as a set-apart priesthood in Messiah, it is a joy and a delight, and it requires discipline and obedience, to carry out the correct requirements, in order that the whole body should not be found lacking, as each part does its work!
The Hebrew word for ‘serve’ is עָבַד aḇaḏ, as already discussed above.
In verse 31 we see the phrase: “… and this is the duty of their burden…”
This word for ‘duty’ is מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth – Strong’s H4931 and means, ‘to guard, watch, charge, duty, guard post’, and this is the feminine of מִשְׁמָר mishmar – Strong’s H4929 which means, ‘place of confinement, jail, prison guard, watch, observance’, and comes from the primitive root שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 which we have certainly come to know as a word often referred to throughout the Torah portions, and means, ‘to keep watch, tend to, preserve, attend, guard’.
It may be a little overwhelming, when trying to consider all these words and their meanings, yet, why I am emphasising this, is to highlight that we have a great responsibility to carry out the good works that have been prepared beforehand for us – to do them and to walk in them – and that is – to do, and walk in, the Torah of Elohim, as we walk as Messiah walked and stay in Him.
Now, the duties and burdens of the Gĕrshonites were, as mentioned, the coverings and doorways and so, we must recognise our need to faithfully bear these burdens of prayer and intercession for one another, as we also recognise that יהושע is The Door and we to diligently guard all that He commands, for His Torah is to be upon the ‘doorposts of our heart’, to which we have surrendered, as a bondservant forever, in ‘drinking of His Blood’ and ‘eating of His Flesh’, by keeping the Feast of Pěsaḥ and eating the Meal!
And so, in Him we are brought near to the Covenants of Promise, by His Blood and, by His piercings, we are ‘fixed’ to His doorpost, as His forever and so, we take up our responsibility to walk in His commands and do that which is required, by each and every one of us!
Verse 29-33 – Merari and their service
The Hebrew name מְרָרִי Merari – Strong’s H4847 means, ‘bitter, bitterness’, as his name comes from the word מָרַר marar – Strong’s H4843 which means, ‘to be bitter, troubled, enraged’.
Merari was in charge of the columns around the courtyard, their sockets and pegs and chords, as well as the boards of the Dwelling Place with its bars, columns and sockets.
Their burdens included the very things that bring structure and stability to the Tabernacle!
What is very interesting to take note of here, is that the ‘bitter ones’, so to speak, were given a very ‘heavy’ task – a task that would keep them busy and occupied for a long time.
They had the greatest physical weight to carry and they would be needed to set up the columns and fixtures before the other parts could be assembled. They would also be the last to take their equipment down – First in and last out!
This carries a great lesson for us today – and that is that we ought to not give any time to allow the root of bitterness to grow and, to do that, we should be serving with our all.
Often, the hardest tasks, and the seemingly mundane tasks, would cause many to be bitter about, however, without them the stability and structure would be weak. We see this today, in many ways, as representing that which is done ‘behind the scenes’, within a community.
Often the ‘heavier tasks’ are not thanked or publicly appreciated, yet they are as vitally important to the Tabernacle as the other services that may have a more ‘glossy/likeable’ look to them.
Not many people enjoy the mundane tasks, yet what we must learn from this is that we must not grumble and be bitter about doing the little things that most would scoff at and pass on to others.
Most people will show up after all has been set up; however, the true heart of a servant of יהושע should be opposite to the ‘I am here to be served’ mentality and instead, should be willing and submissive to say, ‘here I am, what can I do to assist?’.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
What is also very interesting to take note of, when looking at the number of those who were active and serving in the Tabernacle (30-50 years old), out of the total of those were registered from one-month old and above, is that Merari had the most who were serving, while they were the least, in total number:
Qehathites – one month old and above = 8 600; and those in active service (30 – 50 years old) = 2 750.
That would render a total of 32% of the registered ones in Qehath who were actively serving.
Gĕrshonites – one-month old and above = 7 500; and those in active service (30-50 years old) = 2 630.
That would render a total of 35% of the registered ones in Gĕrshon who were actively serving.
Merari – one month old and above = 6 200; and those in active service (30-50 years old) = 3 200.
That would render a total of 51% of the registered ones in Merari who were actively serving.
This simple maths tells us a great deal – Merari had less time to think about their bitterness, as they had a job to do. When you are doing what you are tasked to do, then there will be little time to be bitter and groan.
When bitterness sets in, productivity drops drastically – and here the ‘bitter’ ones had the ‘heavy duty’.
Bitterness is a choice and the simple cure for bitterness is to get serving!!!
The total weight of what Merari would have to bear would be in the region of about 850kg!!!
Verse 32 tells us that each one assigned their task and what equipment they would carry, so that there would be not strife and contentions or confusion among them as to who should do what.
This too is a great lesson for us today in that we each have been given various gifts and talents and responsibilities within the body; and what we see in the world today, especially in the work place, is that when people do not know their task or duties and responsibilities much confusion and improvisation that could lead to disaster is often applied due to lack of direction and purpose.
In the work place, when a person does not have a clearly defined job description, then an employee can get very frustrated as to what he/she is allowed or not allowed to do and may end up overstepping what they are actually required to do, or they may underperform through lack of drive and direction.
Well, here with Merari, we see that each one was given a ‘job description’, so to speak, so that there could be no question about what must, or must not be done, and no question as to how a job should be done.
We have been given our clear instructions, through the Torah and all the Writings and are expected to walk accordingly, knowing what we can and cannot do, and how we are to do something and how we are not!
Knowing what we ought to do, guards against the danger of bitterness, and so, to stay free from bitterness, we must study and learn the Word and know how we ought to serve, and take the yoke of Messiah and bear His burden.
We also recognise that it is יהושע Messiah who appoints/assigns each one’s tasks:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers 12 for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah”
By His Set-Apart Spirit he gives the gifts of the Spirit, individually as He intends:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 12:7-11 “And to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for profiting, 8 for to one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 and to another belief by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, 10 and to another operations of powers, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits, and to another kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these, distributing to each one individually as He intends.”
Verse 49 – we have been counted
According to the hand of Mosheh, they were registered by the hand of Mosheh.
We too have been ‘registered’ by the Hand of Messiah (The Living Torah) to whom He has assigned each His task – the question is – ‘Do you know your task and are you serving at full capacity?’
We, too, are to be counted (known) by where Mosheh (the Torah) sets us, by our servanthood, and by whose burdens we carry–just our own or one another’s as well.
This section we see here, in the beginning of chapter 5, is not about who can ‘come in’ to the camp, but rather who must be expelled from the camp!
Now today, we do not live in such close proximity to one another (not yet anyway); but we are to become a people that can live close to one another as we build true community; and a large part of defining what belongs in His community and what does not is important for us to know and live by.
Sha’ul echoed this very instruction here in the fact that we are to not even eat with a ‘brother’ who whores:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone called ‘a brother,’ if he is one who whores, or greedy of gain, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one.”
Sending out the one who is defiled is something that is not necessarily taught today in fear of offending the defiled, yet יהוה makes it clear that there can be no defilement in the camp!
The Hebrew root word for ‘leprosy’ is צָרַע tsara – Strong’s H6879 which means, ‘to be struck with leprosy, to be leprous’, and the Torah of the infection of leprosy is given in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 the word described as having leprosy is צָרַעַת tsaraath – Strong’s H6883 ‘leprosy, malignant skin disease in people; and in clothing or buildings – mildew or mould’.
The Hebrew root word for ‘discharge’ is זוּב zuḇ – Strong’s H2100 which means, ‘to flow, gush, discharge, issue’ and the basic idea is a movement of liquid, flowing from one location to another, and the Torah of one who has a ‘discharge’ is given in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 15 where we see this Hebrew root word used 24 times.
Whether the discharge comes spewing out or just causes a swelling (like a boil or pus-filled pimple): because it has come to the surface but not come out, there is something hidden beneath the flesh that we or others will eventually encounter. Either way it causes trouble, so we must deal with it.
This physical ailment is not nearly as harmful as what it pictures for us metaphorically; for example, when we find ourselves saying things that are of no profit or spreading things to people who have no reason to know, we may be in a manner of speaking having an ‘unclean discharge’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘defiled’ is טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2931 meaning, ‘unclean, defiled’ and comes from the verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, ‘to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’ and when written in the ‘piel form’ which expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action, it can render the following meaning, ‘to defile: sexually, religiously, or ceremonially; to pronounce or declare unclean; profane the Name of Elohim’.
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘unclean’ is ἀκάθαρτος akathartos – Strong’s G169 which means, ‘unclean, impure’, and we are told to not ‘touch’ that which is unclean but come out and be separate:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
An adjective derived from this word is the Greek word ἀκαθαρσία akatharsia – Strong’s G167 which means, ‘uncleanness, impurity – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living’; which we are told should not even be named among us:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:3 “But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
Impurity, in any form, is contagious and should be guarded against at all costs; and often the needed discipline in bringing reproof to a brother, who is defiled, is simply brushed away, in order to ‘keep the peace’ and what is not recognised, is that a little leaven can leaven the whole batch.
Now, while we also recognise that there were times when a being would become defiled, by mistake, and so, we can see here that there is a lesson here for us, in that when one has become defiled, in any way by sinning, they need to ‘be removed’, so to speak, and get ‘cleaned up’, through true prayer and repentance, as they confess their sin to Messiah, so He can cleanse them from all unrighteousness and enable them to be ‘allowed back into the camp’.
This picture of ‘removing the defiled’ is a picture of the reality that no ‘unclean one’ will be allowed to enter the New Yerushalayim:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:27 “And there shall by no means enter into it whatever is unclean, neither anyone doing abomination and falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Defilement can also be a picture for us of selfishness; and the danger of selfishness and the effect it can have on the rest of the camp is frightening! If we are only thinking about ourselves we can in a sense be right in the middle of the camp, yet not be ‘in’ it at all.
Think about it, in today’s terms – how many may claim to be part of the body of Messiah, while their lives are not measuring up to the True Plumb line of His Word?
There are those who continue in the sins of the lust of the flesh, by not giving up those crippling habits that keep them from walking wholeheartedly after Messiah, yet may be found at times to be present at a set-apart gathering and engage in attending when it suites them, while their hearts are far from wanting to build true community and walk in unity with the rest!
This is a selfishness that defiles and must be removed, for we cannot build true community this way!
Selfishness, pride and bitterness can be very contagious, if allowed to continue and left unchallenged and exposed.
The sending out of the camp was not a permanent thing, but was rather a temporary time of cleansing.
This period of temporary isolation would be a stern warning and wake up call to not continue or else there may be permanent exclusion and expulsion and it would be a sober reminder of what life could be like if they continued to do what was defiling them and refuse to repent.
One day outside the camp is one day too many!!!
What we also can learn from these instructions is that we have a responsibility toward one another:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if a man is overtaken in some trespass, you the spiritual ones, set such a one straight in a spirit of meekness, looking at yourself lest you be tried too.”
The verse that follows this one we have already looked at as it says we are to bear each other’s burdens!
When we do what is required in serving one another in love, we will be straight with each other, as we hold each other accountable to the clear standard of the Torah; and this we do with great meekness, as we consider how we have been cleansed from our trespasses by Messiah!
Luqas/Luke 17:3-4 “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day comes back to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:25-27 “Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one with his neighbour, for we are members of one another. 26 “Be wroth, but do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down on your rage, 27 nor give place to the devil.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:15-17 “And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him, between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 “But if he does not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established.’ 17 “And if he refuses to hear them, say it to the assembly. And if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you like a gentile and a tax collector.”
The heart behind all this, is that we are all to do our utmost to keep the camp clean and we all have a responsibility toward one another, in guarding this charge! Doing what is required, shows our love for one another and for Elohim.
By walking in the clear instructions given to us, and being ready to both reprove and forgive, is necessary to the life of the body and יהוה may use each of these opportunities for us to do what is right, in being straight with one another, as a form of discipline, revealing His love for us:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:9 “As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. So be ardent and repent.”
We must not always see the discipline of יהוה as a negative reaction to our defilement but rather a clear reflection of His great love for us, which ought to compel us to remain obedient and ardent to serve Him in an undefiled way!
Verse 5-10 – when you sin
The simple and very clear instruction given here to anyone who sins is this: ‘confess’, as it says in verse 7 and ‘restore his guilt’ and ‘add 1/5 to it’. What we can see from this is that it is an expensive thing to sin! We have been bought at a price:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.”
When we walk in righteousness and guard to do all His commands, which are not heavy, then we esteem Elohim in body and spirit, recognising that we are not our own but that we belong to Him!
However, when we take for granted the price that was paid for us and walk in our own ways and disregard His Word we are in sin, and need to confess:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6-10 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
We must put all defilement out of our lives and out of our community:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil. 32 And be kind towards one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as Elohim also forgave you in Messiah.”
Tehillah/Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my crookedness I did not hide. I have said, “I confess my transgressions to יהוה,” And You forgave the crookedness of my sin. Selah.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:13 “He who hides his transgressions does not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them finds compassion.”
TORAH OF JEALOUSY (11-31)
The Torah of jealousy is a picture of the Bride of יהושע who has been unfaithful to Him.
These laws express the process that our Bridegroom, יהושע Messiah, went through, as He stood before our accuser, on our behalf.
Many do not appreciate this law in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 5, but when we understand the picture of how it relates to us, as the “wife” or Bride of Messiah, it certainly begins to carry more relevance in our lives.
If a husband knew or suspected his wife of being unfaithful and a spirit of jealousy came over him, she was considered impure and he brought her before the Priest, with an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf.
What is interesting to take note of here, is that we know that an ephah basket, which was made up of 10 omers, represents a quorum, or complete community, and each omer represents an individual; we see how that by her bringing 1/10th of an ephah, which is an omer, shows us how we all stand before יהוה on our own, as being held accountable for that which He has entrusted to us, just as the Priest had the woman stand-alone before יהוה.
This offering of an ephah of flour was with no oil or frankincense; as oil represents the Set-Apart Spirit and reveals how she stands alone rather than with the congregation ;and frankincense represents the picture of purity, which was in question.
The priest would then take set-apart water from the Dwelling Place, which would have come from the bronze laver, and this we know represents the Word, and how by the washing of the Word and looking intently into the mirror of the Word, we see how we look.
This was inspection time. This ‘pure water’, in an ‘earthen vessel’, is also a classic picture of Messiah, who, being the Living Word, came and took on a mortal body; and His ‘Living Water’ we are offered to drink, in order to be pardoned and be found to be cleansed in Him.
The dust from the floor of the Dwelling Place would be as a witness for or against her, as it would picture the descendants of Aḇraham:
Berěshith/Genesis 13:16 “And I shall make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that, if a man could count the dust of the earth, then your seed also could be counted.”
This dust taken from the Dwelling Place, which was set-apart, represents that part of Yisra’ĕl that had remained set-apart.
The priest would then ‘uncover her head’ and here we see a clear picture of removing that which would symbolise her husband’s ‘covering’, so that she can be tested, without regard to יהוה‘s mercy toward her husband, because if she is found to be guilty, then it would simply reveal that she had already been acting as if being out from under his authority.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘uncover’ comes from the root word פָּרַע para – Strong’s H6544 which means ‘let go, let loose, let alone, lack of restraint, uncover, naked, neglect, out of control’.
In other words, he would ‘loosen her hair’, which was a sign of that which has shown a lack of restraint through rebellion, and for this women, this is where the test would begin, as she stands ‘loosened from her covering’, in order to be tested/judged before the priest.
This word פָּרַע para – Strong’s H6544 we also see being used in:
Shemoth/Exodus 32:25 “And Mosheh saw that the people were let loose, for Aharon had let them loose, to their shame among their enemies.”
We see the clear picture of the state of the people – they were ‘naked/uncovered’ – that is to say that they lacked restraint and refused to submit to proper authority, as they simply followed after the flesh, and this is what the cup of Jealousy represents, in testing the bride for a lacked restraint – for our Husband is a Jealous Elohim!!!
What we also take note of here, is that this uncovering of the head of the woman, is not a removal of a veil made of some material, but rather this was an untying or loosening (that is the destroying) of the locks of the hair and was a sign of a removal of her husband’s covering authority, as she had been suspected of cheating by her husband.
By holding the grain offering in her hand, she acknowledged and identified that she was part of Yisra’ĕl; and the bitter water represents the Torah – as we have said, that Messiah, The Living Word, has brought us Living Water – the Word made flesh, as He came in an earthen vessel and ‘walked’ among us.
The dust that we see in the water, can also be a wonderful picture of walking in the footsteps of Messiah, our Great One.
In ancient times, when talmidim (disciples) would walk with their teacher (rabbi), a common expression that was typically used in those days would be, “there goes the talmidim in the dust of the rabbi”, meaning that they follow their teacher so close that the dust of the rabbi’s sandals would come up and come upon them.
So, in another picture, this dust from the Dwelling Place can also symbolise His walk here on earth, and so, as we follow Him, we drink this set-apart water of His pure Word, as we walk as He walked!
This water was bitter – but this is not necessarily a negative thing!
Today many people often see the Torah as a curse; however, that is so far from the Truth.
Rather, it is being unfaithful to the Torah that brings the curse.
If we respond properly and correctly to the Torah, it is a blessing, as we see the true blessing for walking in the Truth, when we walk wholeheartedly in the Torah, as we remain in יהושע Messiah, The Word made flesh – The Living Torah. And to walk in Him is a huge blessing.
When we understand that the Water represents the Torah and is a picture of Torah and the Living Word, then how can it be a curse?
If the curse comes, it is not the Torah in itself that brought it, but rather it is one’s own disobedience to the Torah that brought it about!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28:15 “And it shall be, if you do not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His laws which I command you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:”
The priest would then put the woman under oath and swear, that if she had not been unfaithful then nothing would happen to her, but if she had been then יהוה would make her a curse and an oath among the people and her thigh would waste away and her belly swell.
To this she would say ‘Aměn, Aměn!’
What was being set before her was the blessing and the curse, and her swearing by it, acknowledged that she now stood accountable before the High Priest.
When we have been unfaithful to Messiah and His Word, we too stand accused before Him and, if we repent and again become faithful, as we confess our sins/lawlessness before our High Priest, then He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and by confessing and returning to Him, we acknowledge our guilt before Him and recognise that He has taken the curse upon Himself, in order to provide a sure way back to Him.
However if we remain unfaithful and rebellious there remains no more sacrifice for our unfaithfulness and the end result will be the curse – lest we repent!
Verse 22 – After hearing the effect of the curse that would come upon the woman, if she was guilty, she would say, ‘Aměn, Aměn’.
The Hebrew word ‘Aměn’ is אָמֵן – Strong’s H543 which means, ‘so be it, verily, truly’, which is an acknowledgment and acceptance of what is being proclaimed, and therefore making the clear statement that what has been spoken is understood!
It comes from the root verb אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539 which means, ‘confirm, support, establish, faithful, believe’, and in many translations rendered in the English as “believe”.
It is also translated as ‘trust’; and so, we see that to trust or believe implies an action and not just a mere thought; but rather, in one’s acknowledgment of what has been written in the Word, the confirmation of one’s ‘Aměn’ implies that there will be an active trust and belief in doing what the Word says!
יהושע asks the question in Luqas/Luke 18:8 whether He would find belief on the earth when He comes again – in other words, when He comes again – will he find people who are actively obeying His commands, calling on His Name, keeping His Feasts, living according to His dietary instructions etc, or not!
So many people today use the term ‘Aměn’ very loosely and yet, they do not understand what this implies and signifies!
Here in the Torah of jealousy, the accused woman would have to say ‘Aměn, Aměn’ in order to acknowledge that she has heard and accepts what has been spoken and written.
What would now be the test of her innocence or guilt, would be seen in whether here belly swells and her thighs waste away and has no child, or whether she would in fact be able to bear children in the future!
When we look at this word for ‘Aměn’ in the ancient pictographic script, we get a powerful picture that expands on our understanding of this very torah of jealousy!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word אָמֵן Aměn – Strong’s H543 looks like:
Aleph – אָ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Mem – מֵ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also pictures that which washes and we know that The Word is likened to the Living Waters that cleanse, as represented in the water that was used in the Tabernacle which the priests would wash their hands and feet with, from the water in the bronze laver.
Nun – ן:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
There are a few powerful pictures that we are able to interpret from the pictographic construction of this word אָמֵן Aměn, especially as we acknowledge and confirm our acceptance of the Word of our Master and Elohim.
Messiah, our Head and our strength, has come and given us His easy yoke, as He passed through the waters in order to wash us and redeem us from the chaos of sin, as He is The Seed of the Promise that was born of a maiden (virgin), and in our immersion in Him we are given life and the assurance of our expectation of everlasting life, as co-heirs of the promise!
As we consider these letters that render the confirmation of the woman who stands accused of adultery, we are also able to see that the proof of her innocence or guilt would be revealed in time.
If she was indeed guilty, she would not bring forth any children, as there would be no seed of life in her and while her belly would swell, giving the appearance of carrying life, she would not bring forth life, but would waste away!
If she was indeed clean, she would not swell up and waste away, but would be clear and conceive children!
While many are saying Aměn today, in their ‘assumed innocence’, they are simply ‘puffed up’, in a falsely twisted knowledge, as they have whored away from the Truth, and are wasting away in their sin/lawlessness; while those who are indeed a faithful remnant who endure in their confession of faith in the Master, as seen in the belief with works of obedience, shall indeed be found to have the seed of His Word firmly planted in – the seed that will cause the faithful to inherit everlasting life, when the Master comes in the day of His visitation!
Another aspect of this word can also teach us how we are known by our fruit – in other words, we are known by the ‘seed’ that we bring forth, as this will reveal the source of one’s strength and what it is that is ‘washing’ one’s life! Our Master and Elohim told the religious Pharisees that they were sons of Beliya’al and that their father was the devil, the father of lies, as the fruit of their lives did not bring forth obedience, but rather a muddied attempt at obedience that was brought forth, as a result of the mixed seed of lawless teaching that had been muddied through false and vain traditions that so many were sadly finding their strength in. And today we see the same errors being made!
So indeed, we are able to learn that there can be a ‘false’ Aměn, as well as a true one!
The enemy will always be at war with the true remnant who hold fast the commands and witness of our Master:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.”
This is a powerful verse which shows us who the true remnant seed are – those guarding the commands of Elohim AND the witness of Messiah!
This can give a clear picture of the remnant who guard to do all that is written in the Torah and the Prophets, and possess the Witness of the Renewed Writings, and our acceptance and acknowledgement of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, and our need to guard to do all His commands – that is to walk in His Torah is confirmed in our ‘positive and true’ Aměn, as we acknowledge that it is the Aleph and Taw that cleanses us and gives us life and causes us to be, and we do our utmost to be found having faith when He comes, as we bear the good fruit of righteousness each and every day!
Verse 23 – The curses were written on a scroll and then scraped into the water.
Here, we again see a powerful shadow picture of the work of יהושע Messiah, in that He, the High Priest and Author of the Word, has taken away the curse and put it upon Himself, as the picture of the curses being scraped into the set-apart water in an earthen vessel, with the dust from the Dwelling Place floor, by the priest, all points to יהושע Messiah and His redeeming work:
Qolasim/Colossians 2:14 “having blotted out the certificate of debt against us – by the dogmas – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake.”
A wonderful picture of the ‘blotting out the certificate of debt against us’ as we see by the scraping of the written curses into the bitter water.
Not only that but we also recognize that our High Priest has also blotted out the dogmas of man which has stood against us, setting us free to now walk in the Torah of freedom, no longer enslaved to sin and doctrines of man!
Another powerful picture that we see here, is that these curses that were written against us and were being scraped into the water for us to drink, is how יהושע Messiah has removed the ‘procedures’ for us to follow, in physically doing the sacrifices.
Why I say this, is on the basis of how the Torah makes it clear to us that when the High Priest is inside the Most Set-Apart Place performing the service, that no one is allowed in the Tent of Meeting.
This simply means that NO other service or slaughterings may take place on the Slaughter Place while the High Priest is fulfilling His duties in the Most Set-Apart Place:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:17 “And no man should be in the Tent of Meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Set-apart Place, until he comes out. And he shall make atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the assembly of Yisra’ĕl.”
יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, is in the Most Set-Apart Place and until He comes out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur, no other slaughterings are to be permitted.
We have access by His Blood to come boldly to the Throne of grace, and by His service of being our High Priest in the Heavenly Tabernacle He has removed the ‘procedures’ (that is the physical slaughtering of animals and other requirements for service upon the slaughter place) of the Dwelling Place.
The woman would then drink this bitter water – in other words – drink the words of the curse – and it would enter her and become bitter.
We too ‘drink’ of His Word and all that is contained therein – the blessings and the curses.
So many today just want to grab the blessings from the Tanak (O.T.) while chooses to ignore the curses that are contained therein and chooses not to ‘drink’ it.
יהושע is the Word made flesh and He tells us that unless we eat of His flesh and drink of His Blood, we have no part in Him.
This of course we know refers to us eating the Pěsaḥ Meal, as we proclaim His death once a year in remembrance of the work He has done for us and at this time we also are to be keeping the Feast of Matzot, which represents the eating of His pure Word without leaven, which will be a sign on our hand and as foreheads, and so we are to ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ of His whole Word, and that Word in us will either bring life as we acknowledge and accept His sacrifice and walk in Him or it will bring death if we choose to forsake His ways and neglect to walk in Him.
The bitter water only He can make sweet by His sacrifice, just as the waters at Marah were made sweet when Mosheh took a tree and threw it into the bitter water:
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.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:3 “And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I am giving you.” And I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 10:9-10 “And I went to the messenger and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it, and it shall make your stomach bitter, but it shall be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10 And I took the little book out of the messenger’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.”
These two passages carry great insight for us in regards to the cup of jealousy which all drink! In Yeḥezqěl while the scroll became sweet in his mouth we see that later in the chapter in verse 14 he says that the spirit took him away and he went in bitterness as the hand of יהוה was heavy upon him and then after 7 days יהוה told Yeḥezqěl that he was made to be a watchman for the House of Yisra’ĕl and that he was to warn them:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:18-21 “When I say to the wrong, ‘You shall certainly die,’ and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. 19 “But if you have warned the wrong and he does not turn from his wrong, nor from his wrong way, he shall die in his crookedness, and you have delivered your being. 20 “And when a righteous one turns from his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, when I have put a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you did not warn him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done is not remembered, and his blood I require at your hand. 21 “But if you have warned the righteous one that the righteous should not sin, and he did not sin, he shall certainly live because he has been warned, and you have delivered your being.”
Read the entire chapter and you will notice that this happened after ‘7 days’ – this speaks of the final judgement that shall take place and we, as watchmen for the house of Yisra’ĕl, have a job to do – and that is to warn the wrong from his way, before the final cup of jealousy is poured out, for anyone who drinks of Messiah now, receives His Living Water to life, through repentance and a commitment to walk daily in Him and live; but those who do not drink of His Living Water now, will drink the final cup of jealousy and die as a result of not heeding the warning to turn from their wrong way!
When the accused woman drinks the cup – if she is innocent she will have no harm befall her, and if she has been unfaithful, her belly would swell and would give the appearance of being pregnant while she was not and she would waste away and it would be revealed that she is in fact guilty as would be evidence by her swelling.
If we submit our High Priests tests with a pure heart there will be no adverse side effects.
In verse 24 and 26 we see that the woman would drink twice and I see this as a picture of mercy.
She would drink the cup after the curses were scraped into the water and then the grain offering that was in her hand the priest would take and wave before יהוה and he would take a remembrance portion of the grain offering and burn it on the slaughter place and afterward make the woman drink. This remembrance portion is a picture of יהושע Messiah being offered up for our iniquity, and in one sense, we see that by the two verses 24 & 26 showing us that the woman would drink twice shows to us a picture of the two coming of Messiah and how, at His first coming He has made the bitter sweet and as we drink of Him, we drink of the Living Waters of life, never to thirst again, while, when He comes again, those who have not drank of Him and received life will drink of His wrath of jealousy and be revealed as being defiled.
The swelling of the belly which would give the picture at first of pregnancy while there is no life in the guilty woman is also a picture of the false, as we know that we shall be known by our fruit. The guilty woman would have her belly swell, yet be barren and waste away.
This pictures for us the whore who has the appearance of truth while there is no substance or life in her message yet she is wasting away and leading many with her through her cup of whoring for which she shall be exposed soon!
This Torah of jealousy is often frowned upon by many, as they would say that it is not fair that the husband is cleared of his guilt of suspicion. Yet what we must understand, is that this is a picture of authority and how a man fulfils his obligation to rule his own house well, while ultimately it is a picture of how יהוה is a Jealous Husband for His Bride and as we have all sinned and fallen short, He is right and just in His judgement, yet in His great love for us He has provided for us the opportunity to drink of Him and allow us to be free from our guilt, by the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah – His Word made flesh, and so be found to be a Bride without blemish, for He Himself drank of this bitter cup and took our sin upon Himself:
Yoḥanan/John 19:28-30 “After this, יהושע, knowing that all had been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be accomplished, said, “I thirst!” 29 A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth. 30 So when יהושע took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
יהושע knew he had to ‘drink’ this bitter water and so He said, ‘I thirst’, and when He had taken the sour wine He said, ‘it has been accomplished’!!!
Now that He has made the bitter sweet He tells all who thirst to come to Him and receive living waters for life!!!
Our Jealous Husband and King knew that we have been found guilty according to His Torah and He chose to drink our cup and make that cup of Jealousy become life to us as we drink of Him!!!
Here we are able to see a clear picture of the removal of the last of the ‘leavened/soured’ product, representing our sin and lawlessness, as after this we see in the next verse the clear words of Messiah declaring that the cleansing has been done, as He Himself had caused leaven to cease, before the great Feast.
The Greek word that is used here for ‘sour wine’ is ὄξος oxos – Strong’s G3690 and is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) as the equivalent for the Hebrew word חֹמֶץ ḥomets – Strong’s H2558 which is used to describe vinegar, which is something that has been leavened, as it comes from the root verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556 – which means, ‘to be sour or leavened, or that which is leavened’.
חָמֵץ ḥamets is not the leaven itself, but rather that which had been leavened.
When Messiah took the sour wine, He was taking the last of the leaven upon Himself and therefore cleansed the House of all sin, declaring that His work of coming to die for our sins had been accomplished as He had taken the cup of Jealousy for His Bride and all who are in Him would not waste away but be able to bear fruit!
As we look at this chapter concerning the Nazirite vow, we come to learn how we have been separated unto righteousness in Messiah.
A Nazirite vow is a vow of separation that a man or a woman makes for a specified period of time.
Throughout the specified period of separation, they were separated unto יהוה, are were not to partake of anything from the vine. No fermented drink such as from wine, vinegar, grape juice, grapes, raisins, seeds or skins were to be consumed. During this time, they were not to cut their hair but to let it grow long.
They were also not to be defiled by coming into contact with a dead body, even if it was a close relative.
After the specified time the person was to appear before the Priest and offer an ascending offering and a sin offering together with their meal offerings and drink offerings and a basket of unleavened bread with oil.
The person was to shave their hair that was dedicated to יהוה and put it in the fire as the sacrifice of the peace offering.
This is a vow of dedication and it was a voluntary vow.
The first word used for ‘separate’, in verse 2, is פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381 meaning, ‘to be surpassing or extraordinary, make marvellous, make special, wondrous work or deed, fulfil a special’.
This word פָּלָא pala carries great insight for us in showing us the ‘wonderful’ work of our Master and King!
As part of this week’s Torah readings, we also read form Shophetim/Judges 13, which speaks about the events that took place when Manowaḥ and his wife were visited by the Messenger of יהוה and promised to have a son who would be set-apart from the womb and deliver Yisra’ĕl from under the hand of the Philistines.
As we look at these events we are given insight into the great and marvellous works of the One called Wonder; and how through His ‘wondrous’ works we are able to be separated unto the Master for set-apart service!
Let us look at a couple of verses from this account in:
Shophetim/Judges 13:17-19 “Then Manowaḥ said to the Messenger of יהוה, “What is Your name? When Your words come true, then we shall esteem You.” 18 And the Messenger of יהוה said to him, “Why do you ask My name, since it is wondrous?” 19 And Manowaḥ took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to יהוה. And He did wondrously while Manowaḥ and his wife looked on.”
I often think that many people miss the powerful revelation contained in these verses, and this event carries great insight and understanding for us in overcoming many debates regarding our Master.
Manowaḥ asks the Messenger of יהוה what His Name was, for when His words came true, they could esteem Him.
This in itself is very powerful as we recognise how at the fullness of time, when the Word of יהוה is fully come true, according to His Word, then all shall confess the esteem of His Name!!!
The Hebrew name מָנוֹחַ Manowaḥ – Strong’s H4495 means, ‘rest’, and we know that those who ‘enter the rest’ of Elohim, that is – those who faithfully guard His Sabbaths and commands, shall esteem His Name, and sing of the great and marvellous works of our King!
In answer to his question of the Messenger’s Name, the Messenger of יהוה replies – ‘why do you ask – since it is WONDROUS?’ This is where our journey tonight gets exciting!!!
The Hebrew phrase used here for ‘since it is wondrous’ is – וְהוּא־פֶלִאי – ‘v’hoo pheli’, and the word for ‘wondrous’ is פִּלְאִי pili – Strong’s H6383, which is used as an adjective meaning, ‘wonderful, incomprehensible’, which comes from the root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381 which means, ‘to be surpassing or extraordinary, fulfil a special (vow), to do extraordinary or hard things, to show oneself wonderful or marvellous’.
The Name of יהוה expresses His characteristics and the wonders of His marvellous works.
The Messenger of יהוה was revealing to Manowaḥ who He is, and when Manowaḥ gave his offering upon the rock, the Messenger of יהוה did ‘wondrously’ as Manowaḥ looked on!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘wondrously’ is the root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381. So here in these verses we see the adjective and verb being used in expressing who the Messenger is as seen by His works.
This adjective – פִּלְאִי pil-i – Strong’s H6383 is used in one other verse in Scripture:
Tehillah/Psalm 139:6 “Knowledge too wondrous for me, it is high, I am unable to reach it.”
In this Psalm, Dawiḏ is expressing how great and awesome is יהוה, and proclaims how יהוה knows everything – his sitting down and his rising up, his thoughts and even though there is not even a word on his tongue, יהוה knows it all!!! יהוה is incomprehensible, and no matter where we try to go, He is there – and then he expresses how wonderful the works of יהוה are and how wondrously we are made!
Tehillah/Psalm 139:14 “I give thanks to You, For I am awesomely and wondrously made! Wondrous are Your works, and my being knows it well.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘wondrous’ is the root verb we have been looking at – פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381, while the Hebrew word translated as ‘wondrously’ is the primitive root פָּלָה palah – Strong’s H6395 which means, ‘to be separated or distinct, distinguished, wondrously’, and a derivative of this word is פַּלּוּא Pallu – Strong’s H6396 meaning ‘distinguished or separated’ and was the name of Re’uḇĕn’s second son.
Why I am also mentioning this word, is that we are able to understand how Sha’ul may have become known as ‘Paul’ when we see in Ma’asei/Acts 13:9, which from the Greek has been translated as ‘Sha’ul, who is also Paul…’, which would better be understood as ‘Sha’ul who was also ‘separated/distinguished’, as we can recognise this to be the correct understanding when you read Ma’asei/Acts 13:2 when the Set-Apart Spirit said ‘separate unto Me Barnaḇa and Sha’ul…’!!!
There is no Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word ‘pallu’ and therefore, the latin word ‘paulos’ was written in here. The point I want to make, is that Sha’ul’s name was not changed to Paul – he was separated unto יהוה for that which he had been called!
It is by the Set-Apart Spirit of יהוה that we are wondrously made and separated unto Him for the service of a royal and set-apart priesthood!
Let’s get back to more wonderful words that reveal our Wonderful Creator!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
In prophesying of the coming of Messiah this verse in Yeshayahu makes a clear proclamation of who the Messiah is, and what His Name is called – one of them of course being ‘Father of Continuity/Everlasting Father’, which we are not going to look at in-depth in this Torah portion study.
However, I do want to highlight the first Name that is mentioned here – and that is ‘WONDER’, which in the Hebrew text is the noun פֶּלֶא pele – Strong’s H6382 which is from the root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381.
This is very exciting for us to recognise here in that The Child that was born unto us – יהושע Messiah – is called by the Name ‘WONDER’ – and the Messenger of יהוה told Manowaḥ that His Name was ‘Wondrous’.
The very Messenger who appeared to Manowaḥ and was taken up in esteem before their eyes was none other than יהושע Messiah!!!
When looking at the ancient pictographic symbols of the early script of the Hebrew letters we can see a very powerful and clear revelation of Messiah is this word He expressed in answering Manowaḥ.
The word פִּלְאִי pili – Strong’s H6383, in the ancient script, looks like this (reading from right to left):
the letter ‘pey’ – פִּ – which in the ancient script is pictured as an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing!
the letter ‘lamed’ – לְ – which in the early script is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
the letter ‘aleph’ – אִ – which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘head of an ox’ and is symbolic of strength and power performed by the animal. The pictograph also represents and leader or chief, and speaks of the strength of the ‘head’ that leads! It can also represent sacrifice ad in reference to Messiah being our Head we see how the ‘Aleph’ symbol can also give reference to the Red Heifer sacrifice which Messiah too fulfils in His own Blood.
the letter ‘yod’ – י – which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘arm and hand’, and the meaning of this letter is to work, make, throw – the functions of the hand and arm and well as the gestures of the hand – ‘thanksgiving’.
When looking at these pictographic symbols we are able to see the revelation of the One called Wonder as we are able to ascertain from this word:
THE ONE CALLED WONDER WHO HAS OPENED HIS MOUTH AND SPOKEN HIS WORD IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS OUR HEAD WHO HAS REVEALED HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND TO US, IN BECOMING THE PERFECT SACRIFICE IN HIS OWN BLOOD, AND HAS REDEEMED US IN ORDER TO SHOW FORTH HIS WONDROUS WORKS, WHICH WE ARE TO PRAISE, PROCLAIM AND DECLARE!
What is worth noting here, is that the difference in the letters of the Word used in Shophetim/Judges 13:18 – פִּלְאִי pili – Strong’s H6383 – for wondrous, and the word used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 – פֶּלֶא pele – Strong’s H6382 for ‘Wonder/Wonderful’ is that with the word used in Shophetim there is an extra letter at the end – and that is the ‘yod’ as shown above, which is a powerful illustration of how He had manifested Himself before Manowaḥ by revealing His Outstretched Arm and Hand!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?”
His Arm has been revealed to those who enter into His rest!!!
For many, this is too marvellous to comprehend and can only be revealed by His Set-Apart Spirit!
Have you believed the report of the prophets!!!
This is the ‘Marvellous mystery’ that shall be fully revealed for all to see – the great wonder of who our Creator is!!! It is Wondrous to carefully consider how our Creator could come Himself and dwell among us – this is why He is called ‘Wonder’ – as this is clearly beyond, or rather, ‘passes human comprehension’!
What we are to recognise is that those who faithfully Hear, Guard and Do His commands and keep His Sabbaths and Appointed Times shall have their eyes opened to see and comprehend the Outstretched Arm of יהוה, as He shall reveal Himself to those who faithfully continue to ‘enter into His rest’ by simply being lovingly committed to walking in loving obedience to His Word and stripping away all dogmas and traditions of man that have caused many to be veiled from this wonderful truth that we are to proclaim!
The Greek word that is used in the LXX for ‘wondrous’ in Shophetim/Judges 13:18 is θαυμαστός thaumastos – Strong’s G2298 which means, ‘wonderful, amazing thing, marvellous, passing human comprehension’, and is the Greek word translated as ‘marvellous’ in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 15:3-4 “And they sing the song of Mosheh the servant of Elohim, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are Your works, יהוה Ěl Shaddai! Righteous and true are Your ways, O Sovereign of the set-apart ones! 4 Who shall not fear You, O יהוה, and esteem Your Name? Because You alone are kind. Because all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousnesses have been made manifest.”
Why I am sharing this with you it to show you that it is by the great and marvellous works of our Wondrous Master and Elohim, that we are able to be separated to serve Him as a set-apart priesthood!
The second word used for ‘separate’ in Bemiḏbar/Number 6 verse 2, as well as in verse 3, is נָזַר nazar – Strong’s H5144 and means, ‘to dedicate, consecrate, devote, abstain, keep, separated’, and as a verb it means to be a Nazirite – one who has separated himself.
In the Ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word נָזַר nazar – Strong’s H5144 is pictured as:
Nun – נָ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
Zayin – זַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is a mattock (a sharp digging tool such as an axe or pick) and carries the meaning of ‘a weapon or tool that cuts, farming instrument’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. As we continue to remember to guard His Sabbath and His Appointed Times, and remembering to keep His commands, we are able to break up the tillable soil of our hearts and allow His Word to be worked in us, allowing His Word to cut away any dross or weeds that arise and allow the fruit of righteousness to spring forth!
Resh – ר:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
As we consider this word in its construction of these pictures, in terms of understanding, that which separates, we are able to see how the Seed, which is Messiah who works in us His Good Word, is our Head and Chief. We are able to see that it is the ‘seed of the Word’ that is ‘cut’ into us through the working up of the soil of our hearts, that Messiah is firmly established as our Head, as a separated and set apart people!
Hoshěa/Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap according to kindness, break up your tillable ground, it is time to seek יהוה, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
What is interesting to note is that this term we see being used here is also used in reference to the fruit of the 7th year when the grapes were not to be harvested as recorded in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:5 “Do not reap what grows of its own of your harvest, and do not gather the grapes of your unpruned vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.”
The word ‘unpruned’ is נָזִיר naziyr – Strong’s H5139 and means, ‘one consecrated or devoted, untrimmed vine’, coming from the word נָזַר nazar – Strong’s H5144.
So, here we see a picture of separation and release – a picture of the Sabbath and the Kingdom reign – the result of being ‘pruned’ for 6 days in having the Torah written on our hearts that will result in the good and beneficial fruit to come forth naturally without needing to be trimmed, allowing the very Word of יהוה to do what it ought to do and not be conformed to the affairs of the world.
As long as the vow of separation lasted the Nazirite was set-apart to יהוה.
We recognise the clear picture here of how we, in Messiah, are called to be a set-apart people unto יהוה, and our separation unto Him is a daily choice that we make in order to abstain from the fleshly lusts of this world, living to please Him alone.
Verse 6 says that during the separation period the Nazirite was to stay away from a dead body, and here we see the clear picture of staying far away from the very things that you are trying to overcome, the things that only lead to death and not life!
When a Nazirite vow becomes hindered through defilement – and that by no fault of his own, as he may find that suddenly, in an instant, somebody dies beside him then his vow up until that point is not counted and he must be cleansed and restart.
This is a clear picture of how we choose daily to separate ourselves unto יהוה and when we become defiled in any way through being in the presence of ‘death’ and that which destructs we recognise the need to be cleansed and ‘start over’.
We constantly pick up defilement in this world through contact with dead things as we go about our daily business and we ought to recognise how we are to continually be washed in the Word and come before our High Priest and be set-apart through His Good Word washing us from all defilement that we may ‘start over’ and continue our living a set-apart life unto Him. This is a good lesson for us in that we learn how the one who had separated himself and had become defiled was to cleanse himself and then bring the necessary ascending and guilt offerings. The longer it takes for us to learn lessons the more expensive the lessons become!!!
Sadly, many of us don’t learn the lesson the first time and it costs us a great deal of sacrifice and pain as we have to deal with the very things that we allow ourselves to become defiled by, instead of learning the first time and steering clear of them in the future so as to not becomes defiled in the same way again!
When anyone says they want to follow יהושע, they in effect consider it a serious Nazirite vow, for He says that we must choose Him – even over normal duties to relatives; as He tells us that the “dead” are left to bury their dead; for we have a different calling, we have another field to plough. He puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 8:22 “But יהושע said to him, “Follow Me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
This was the instruction given to the one who wanted to follow Messiah yet asked that he go first and bury his father. His father was not dead, however it implied that he first go and be about the affairs of his father’s estate and household until he dies and then receive his father’s inheritance and then come and follow Messiah. יהושע said to him, in a nutshell, that to follow Him we must forsake all and separate ourselves unto Him, which may even mean forsaking an inheritance that is expected – for we have a greater inheritance to come as we know that the meek shall inherit the earth!
Luqas/Luke 9:59-62 “And He said to another, “Follow Me,” but he said, “Master, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And יהושע said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and announce the reign of Elohim.” 61 And another also said, “Master, I shall follow You, but let me first say good-bye to those in my house.” 62 But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”
When we ‘choose’ to separate ourselves unto יהושע we must recognise that this voluntary choice to follow Him and be set-apart is a permanent one!
Any time our set-apart walk becomes defiled we are to cleanse ourselves and continually surrender under the headship of Messiah, for in Him we have been separated unto יהוה, and He said at His last supper with His talmidim (disciples) in:
Luqas/Luke 22:17-18 “And taking the cup, giving thanks, He said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves, 18 for I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of the fruit of the vine until the reign of Elohim comes.”
He will not drink of the vine until the reign of Elohim comes! In Him we are separated unto יהוה, so let us not defile our set-apart living as we offer up our lives daily as a living sacrifice, pleasing to Elohim!
THE PRIESTLY BLESSING
יהוה spoke to Mosheh and told him to tell Aharon how he was to bless the children of Yisra’ĕl, and by this יהוה would put His Name on us as He Himself would bless us.
In the Hebrew text, this blessing it is written as follows:
This can be transliterated as:
Yeḇareḵ’ḵa YAHWEH veyishmereḵa
Ya’er YAHWEH panav eyleyḵa viyḥunne’ḵa
Yissa YAHWEH panav eyleyḵa veyasem leḵa shalom
Let us take a closer look at the words of this ‘blessing’ and get a further understanding to it powerful meaning:
1 – BLESS – in Hebrew this is the word – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, ‘to abundantly bless’ and literally carries the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.
2 – GUARD/KEEP – in the Hebrew this is the word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 – ‘keep watch, preserve, guard, protect’.
3 – FACE – In Hebrew this comes from the root word – פָּנִים panim or פָּנֶה paneh – Strong’s 6441 – ‘face, faces, appearance, presence’ and can also carry the understanding of the presence or wholeness of being.
4 – SHINE – in Hebrew this is the word אוֹר ‘or’ – Strong’s H215 – ‘light (noun) and give light or shine (verb) – bring illumination’.
5 – FAVOUR – in Hebrew this is the word חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 – ‘merciful, favour’ and also carries the meaning of providing protection.
6 – GIVE – in Hebrew this is the word שׂוּם suwm – Strong’s H7760 – ‘to put, to place, to set; set down in a fixed and arranged place’
7 – PEACE – in Hebrew this is the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 – ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, and is from the primitive root שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.
7 extremely powerful words that are contained in this blessing as commanded by יהוה that not only blesses us and puts His Name upon us, but also wonderfully expresses His marvellous love and compassion for us and what He does for us through His blessing us as He in a sense has ‘bowed down/ come down and given us the gift of life through His own as he promises to guard and protect us and keep us safe in Him.
This blessing in light of the understanding of the meaning of these 7 words could be expresses in English as follows:
יהוה shall come down to you presenting you gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection.
יהוה shall illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, bringing order and beautify you and He will give you love, comfort and sustenance.
יהוה shall lift up His wholeness of being and look upon you and He will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.
The ancient script has the Hebrew word for bless – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 pictured as:
Beyt – בָּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Resh – רַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as – – which is a picture of an open palm of a hand and can symbolise that to which submission is given – ‘under the hand’
Once again, we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us:
THE HOUSE/ASSEMBLY OF ELOHIM IS BLESSED AS THE HEAD/CHIEF, COMES DOWN AND EXTENDS HIS OPEN AND REVEALED HAND TO HIS OWN!
In considering the powerful blessing of having the name of our Master and Elohim upon us, I would also like to highlight the Hebrew word for ‘peace’, in the ancient pictographic script.
The root meaning of שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965, as discussed, is to be whole or sound, and this leads to various translations that speak of completeness, wholeness, well-being, welfare and peace.
This word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 also includes the idea of vigour and vitality in all dimensions of life. What we are able to recognise, when studying this Hebrew word, is that שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 carries a wealth of meaning that is almost impossible to summarise in a few sittings, yet the concept of shalom entails a completeness and wholeness in our Master and Elohim, who has redeemed us from enslavement to the chaos of sin!
In the ancient pictographic text, the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 looks like this:
Shin – שֵׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’
on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.
Mem – מ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.
Now when looking at this word in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise what the true Shalom of Elohim brings and does for us, for its ancient meaning could be rendered, among others, as follows:
THAT WHICH DESTROYS OR BREAKS THE FALSE AUTHORITY THAT BOUND US TO THE CHAOS OF THE NATIONS!
And further renders the meaning:
THE WORD OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD THAT SECURES FOR US A COMPLETE CLEANSING!
This word speaks of a complete restoration of what was lost and broken and ensures the provision for what is needed to make one whole and complete, lacking nought! For we have been given all we need for life and reverence, having been grafted into the Covenant of Peace by the Blood of Messiah!
Having the complete shalom of Elohim gives us the ability to lie down without being afraid, for we have peace with Him:
Romiyim/Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been declared right by belief, we have peace with Elohim through our Master יהושע Messiah, 2 through whom also we have access by belief into this favour in which we stand, and we exult in the expectation of the esteem of Elohim.”
The Greek word used for ‘peace’ is εἰρήνη eirēnē – Strong’s G1515 which means, ‘peace, welfare, undisturbed, rest and quietness’, and is also understood as having exemption from the rage and havoc of war, and speaks of security, safety, prosperity, and felicity which is the quality or state of being peaceful!
The blessing of obedience is the complete fullness of the shalom we have with our Master and with that shalom comes His strengthening joy that equips us to stand and fight the good fight of the belief and not be afraid of our enemies, as we remain faithful in standing firm in Him, He fights for us!
Shalom, victory and fruitfulness are truly the bountiful blessings that our Master promises us as we guard His covenant that he has grafted us into!
Mosheh had finished setting up the Dwelling Place and anointed it and all its furnishings, as well as the Slaughter Place and all its utensils, after which each tribe brought their offerings before יהוה over 12 days.
The order in which they brought their offerings, tribe by tribe, with each day being a different tribe was by their order of encampment:
Yehuḏah, Yissasḵar, Zeḇulun, Re’uḇĕn, Shim’on, Gaḏ, Ephrayim, Menashsheh, Binyamin, Dan, Ashĕr, Naphtali.
Day 1 – From the Tribe of Yehuḏah:
- Naḥshon – נַחְשׁוֹן – Strong’s H5177 – ‘enchanter, wizard, whisperer’
– son of Amminaḏaḇ – עַמִּינָדָב – Strong’s H5992 – ‘my relatives are generous’
Day 2 – From the Tribe of Yissasḵar:
- Nethanĕ’l – נְתַנְאֵל – Strong’s H5417 – ‘given by Ĕl’
– son of Tsuʽar – צוּעָר – Strong’s H6686 – ‘littleness’
Day 3 – From the Tribe of Zeḇulun:
- Eliyaḇ – אֱלִיאָב – Strong’s H446 – ‘My Elohim is Father’
– son of Ḥĕlon – חֵלֹן – Strong’s H2497 – ‘very capable’
Day 4 – From the Tribe of Re’uḇĕn:
- Elitsur – אֱלִיצוּר – Strong’s H468 – ‘My Elohim is a Rock’
– son of Sheḏĕy’ur – שְׁדֵיאוּר – Strong’s H7707 – ‘darter of light’.
Day 5 – From the Tribe of Shim’on:
- Shelumi’ĕl – שְׁלֻמִיאֵל – Strong’s H8017 – ‘Ĕl is my peace’
– son of Tsurishaddai – צוּרִישַׁדָּ֑י – Strong’s H6701 – ‘The Almighty is my Rock’
Day 6 – From the Tribe of Gaḏ:
- Elyasaph – אֶלְיָסָף – Strong’s H460 – ‘Ĕl has added’
– son of De‘u’ĕl – דְּעוּאֵל – Strong’s H1845 – ‘known of Ĕl’
Day 7 – From the Tribe of Ephrayim:
- Elishama – אֱלִישָׁמָע – Strong’s H446 – ‘Ĕl has heard’
– son of Ammihuḏ – עַמִּיהוּד – Strong’s H5989 – ‘my kinsman is majesty’
Day 8 – From the Tribe of Menashsheh:
- Gamli’ĕl – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget’
– son of Peḏahtsur – פְּדָהצוּר – Strong’s H6301 – ‘The Rock has ransomed’
Day 9 – From the Tribe of Binyamin:
- Aḇiḏan – אֲבִידָן – Strong’s H27 – ‘my father is judge’
– son of Giḏʽoni – גִּדְעֹנִי – Strong’s H1441 – ‘my woodcutter’
Day 10 – From the Tribe of Dan:
- Aḥiʽezer – אֲחִיעֶזֶר – Strong’s H295 – ‘my brother is help’
– son of Ammishaddai – עַמִּישַׁדַּי – Strong’s H5996 – ‘my kinsman is almighty, my kinsman is enough’
Day 11 – From the Tribe of Ashĕr:
- Paḡʽi’ĕl – פַּגְעִיאֵל – Strong’s H6295 – ‘Ĕl has met me’
– son of Oḵran – עָכְרָן – Strong’s H5918 – ‘troubled’
Day 12 – From the Tribe of Naphtali:
- Aḥira – אֲחִירַע – Strong’s H299 – ‘my brother is evil’
– son of Ěnan – עֵינָן – Strong’s H5881 – ‘having eyes or having fountains’
Each tribe’s offering that was to be brought by each leader on their day was:
1 – Silver dish weighing 130 sheqels
1 – Silver bowl weighing 70 sheqels
(both filled with fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering)
1 – Gold ladle weighing 10 sheqels filled with incense
1 – Young bull
1 – Ram
1 – Male lamb a year old
(all as ascending offering)
1 – Male goat as a sin offering
2 – Cattle
5 – Rams
5 – Male goats
5 – Male lambs a year old
(as a peace offering)
As you will notice, each tribe would bring the same and you will also see that there is a Grain offering, an Ascending offering, a Sin offering and a Peace offering. This was for the dedication of the Slaughter Place, for which Messiah has fully met all the requirements of, for the whole nation of Yisra’ĕl (all 12 Tribes).
Total of the tribe’s offerings:
12 Silver dishes @ 130 sheqels each = 1560 sheqels
12 Silver bowls @ 70 sheqels each = 840 sheqels
Total silver of the vessels = 2400 sheqels, which is approximately 27.36 Kg
12 Gold ladles @ 10 sheqels each – 120 sheqels, which is approximately 1.36 kg
Ascending offering:12 young bulls, 12 rams, 12 male lambs (with grain offering)
Sin offering: 12 male goats
Peace offerings: 24 bulls/cattle, 60 rams, 50 male goats, 60 male lambs a year old
They brought 6 covered wagons and 12 cattle.
The Hebrew root word for ‘covered’ is צָב tsaḇ – Strong’s H6632 which comes from an unused root meaning to ‘establish’.
The Hebrew word for ‘cattle/oxen’ is בָּקָר baqar – Strong’s H1241 and comes from the primitive root – בָּקַר baqar – Strong’s H1239 which means, ‘to seek, inquire, make inquiry, meditate’.
What we see being pictured metaphorically here is that the whole of Yisra’ĕl had now resolved to be established as a people who would seek יהוה.
These oxen and wagons were given to the Lěwites, each one according to their service.
2 carts and 4 cattle were given to Gĕrshon and 4 carts and 8 cattle to Merari, while Qehath got none.
The reason for this is simply that it was given according to their service, and Merari had the most and heaviest to carry and needed more wagons and oxen, while Qehath was not allowed to transport the Ark and all the furnishings of the set-apart place on carts/wagons but were to bear them on their shoulders, thus no oxen or carts were necessary.
We see the account recorded in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 13 when the Ark was brought back by Dawiḏ from the Philistines, how they had made new carts and placed the Ark upon the wagon and the cart stumbled on the road and Uzzah stretched out His hand and touched the Ark to stop it from falling and was truck dead by יהוה.
This was as a result of placing the Ark on a wagon when the priests were supposed to carry it on their shoulders using the poles that were inserted into the rings on the sides.
This is a great lesson in carrying the presence of יהוה in the right manner and not doing as the world tries to do in their erroneous teaching of trying to carry His presence in some mad-made system of theology and doctrine that runs contrary to the Torah!
With each tribe bringing exactly the same offerings each day and with each one being recorded as the same shows that Mosheh did not choose to write after Yehuḏah brought theirs that the rest did the same, but mentioned each tribe and leader by name.
This shows that one was not more important than the other but that there was a great unity speaks how we too need to bring our part and not think that because someone else has already done something that your offering of service would be insignificant, but rather that we each must still bring that which is required – and one thing is certain in the Word – and that is we all are required to give our all!
Until this point יהוה had always ‘dwelt above’ and now that all was in place, and all was anointed and all had presented their offerings, Mosheh heard the voice of One speaking to Him from above the lid of atonement.
This is a wonderful picture of how He will once again come and dwell among us at the Appointed Time when all has been set in place and the fullness of the body has come in and presented herself before Him.
The essence of this Torah portion, is about being ‘lifted up’ and counted in Messiah, and the responsibility that goes with being a set-apart priesthood who have the blessing of our Master who puts His Name upon us and causes us to be at peace with Him, as we stay in Him and guard His commands and be faithful in the duty of servanthood:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Messiah יהושע our Master who empowered me, because He counted me trustworthy, putting me into service”