This week’s Torah portion is called WAYYĚRA, which means, “And יהוה appeared”.
After Aḇraham had done as commanded and circumcised all the males in his house, we see once again that יהוה ‘appeared’ to Aḇraham.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘and He appeared’ is וַיֵּרָא – ‘vayyerah’ and comes from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 which means, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide’.
This verb is written in the ‘niphal passive’ tense and therefore is understood as rendering, ‘to appear, present oneself, to be seen, to be visible’.
What is very important for us to understand here is that יהוה literally ‘made himself visible’ to Aḇraham!
Once again, as we saw in Berěshith/Genesis 12:7, where יהוה ‘appeared’ to Aḇram, we have a very clear account being given of יהוה making Himself very visible and clear to Aḇraham! This time, it was at the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘terebinth’ is אֵילוֹן Elon – Strong’s H356 which means, ‘terebinth or mighty’ and is also often translated as ‘oak’ and is a tree of the cashew family that yields turpentine.
The word/place of מַמְרֵא Mamrĕ – Strong’s H4471 means, ‘strength or fatness’.
By the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ:
In the Hebrew, the phrase, ‘by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ’ is written as – בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא – ‘b’eyloney Mamrĕ’.
The Hebrew word מַמְרֵא Mamrĕ – Strong’s H4471 is used 10 times in Scripture, and this was the location where Aḇram had moved to and dwelt: by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, which was in Ḥeḇron; and it was here that he also built slaughter place to יהוה. Mamrĕ was an Ammonite who had made a covenant with Aḇram.
It was here, as I have already mentioned, where יהוה made Himself physically visible before Aḇraham!
Aḇraham was ‘sitting’ in ‘the tent door’ in the heat of the day when יהוה appeared to him.
The picture we can see from this, in the wording that is used, is a wonderful picture of a man who was meditating on the Word of Elohim. The Hebrew word for a servant, which is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650, speaks of “One who watches at the door of the house” as pictured in the ancient script, which 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, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah!
Aḇraham was ‘sitting’ at the ‘tent door’ and the root word used for ‘sitting’ is יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 meaning, ‘sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still’ and a modern word derived from this word, which is translated as ‘school’, is ‘yeshiva’, which today is commonly understood as meaning a Jewish learning school.
Understanding the word יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 we are able to see that ‘sitting/ dwelling’, in the Hebraic mind-set, is an idiom for learning; and therefore, we recognise that it is at the Master’s Feet that we come and sit and learn, as we drink of His Pure and Clear Living Water and get great clarity and insight and strength to sojourn with joy!
The idea of sitting in the Hebrew mind-set is to learn, and not to simply sit and vegetate but rather sit and pay attention to the instructions of their teacher.
Aḇraham is clearly pictured for us as a great example of a man who meditated on the Word day and night and was so focused on the Master יהוה, making himself readily available for יהוה to make Himself visible to His faithful servant and friend!
There is also another positive aspect of Aḇraham sitting at the door of his tent at the heat of the day, and that is that it would be a refreshing place to be sitting, when it was so hot as the wind would breeze through the door bringing relief from the midday heat; yet another reason would be one of hospitality, as he would also be sitting at the door of his tent to be watchful for any weary travellers that may have been passing by and extend hospitality, inviting them into one’s tent to be refreshed.
This custom is still practiced in some parts in the east, where it is expected or necessary for strangers to knock at the door but rather stand and wait to be invited by one who would be willing to extend great hospitality.
Aḇraham is a great example to all of us in how we are to be hospitable and be willing to be ready to receive those whom the Father has sent.
This location also gives us great insight in understanding our need to be attentive students of our Mighty Teacher, יהושע Messiah, as we love to come together on His Sabbaths, in order to sit and learn and be strengthened in His Word that leads us in righteousness, and enjoy the fellowship of a good meal too! It is when we gather, as diligent talmidim, that He makes Himself visible to us through His Word and strengthens us as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of who He is.
This was also the place where Yitsḥaq dwelt, when Ya’aqoḇ came to him before he died at 180 years of age. (Berěshith/Genesis 35:27-28)
For more on the Terebinth tree and the various events that take place around or under a terebinth tree, and their locations, and the great lessons we can learn from these, please see the sermon notes on a message called: “TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – An overview of the Terebinth” at:
Aḇraham lifted his eyes and ‘looked’ and saw 3 men, and when he ‘saw’ them he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed to the ground!
We must take note that this may have happened shortly after he had been circumcised and he may have still been in some physical pain!
Despite the extreme heat and possible pain (if in fact it was shortly after the circumcision), Aḇraham is a picture of being alert and awake, in order to be ready and available in extending the love needed to others.
We need to learn that physical circumstances must not be a hindrance, in any way, in our ability to ‘love יהוה our Elohim, and love our neighbour as ourselves’.
In this verse, we see the use of the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 being used and translated as ‘looked’ and ‘saw’. Both of these are written in the ‘qal active’ tense which renders the meaning, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, perceive, have vision watch, gaze at’.
In the ancient pictographic script, this word also reveals a great truth to us as רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 is pictured as:
Resh – רָ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief and is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Aleph – אָ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’ representing strength and power
Hey – ה
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.
To see and be functional in seeing as we should can render the following meaning for us:
THE BEGINNING OF OUR STRENGTH IS IN THE REVELATION OF MESSIAH OUR HEAD, WHO WE PRAISE AND SERVE WITH OUR ALL
Another Hebrew word, which sounds the same, yet is spelt different, is the word רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7462 which can carry the meaning of ‘shepherd’ as well as ‘to pasture, graze, consume, feed’ – and clearly points to יהושע – Our Good Shepherd – Our Strong Head that was lifted up and exalted on High.
In Tehillah/Psalm 80:1 we see the term: רֹ֘עֵ֤ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֨ל – Roeh Yisra’ěl – Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl and in Tehillah/Psalm 23 we see the term: יהוה רֹ֝עִ֗י– YAHWEH ro’i’ which means, YAHWEH is my Shepherd, where the root word רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7462 is used in reference to our Good Shepherd!
We are to ‘lift up our eyes’ and ‘look’ to the Prince and Perfecter of our faith – Our Good Shepherd – יהושע Messiah!
When we are looking intently unto our maker and hearing His words to do them, we recognise that He lifts up His face toward us and gives us favour and shalom and we can clearly praise Him, who is our Provider – יהוה Yireh!
The Hebrew word ‘yireh’ comes from the word רָאָה ra’ah and is rendered as, ‘He will see’ or ‘He sees and provides’!
His eyes looking upon us secures us and we need not worry about what we need, as the nations do!
However, when we take our eyes off of Him and turn away then He only sees our back as He scatters as a result of disobedience!
We will look at this term יהוה Yireh a little later in Chapter 22!
In Hebrew, the word that is translated as ‘evil’ is based on the root word רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
This word is often expressed in the feminine as רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7451, as in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 22:3 “A clever one foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple go on and are punished.”
In Hebrew, the phrase that is translated here as ‘foresees evil’ is רָאָה רָעָה – ‘ra’ah ra’ah’, and is interesting to take note of how these two words phonetically sound the same, yet have different meanings!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘foresees is the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 – meaning, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide, observe, discern, distinguish’.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘evil’ is the adjective רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’, and comes from the root verb רָעַע ra’a – Strong’s H7489 which means, ‘to be evil, bad, act wickedly, practice evil, work calamity, do harm, be displeasing’.
The difference between רָעָה ra’ah (evil, wickedness, shepherd) and רָאָה ra’ah (see, observe, pay attention) is the middle letter – with ‘evil’ containing the letter – ‘עָ’ – ‘ayin’ and ‘to see’ contains the letter ‘אָ’ – ‘aleph’.
If we are not looking to our Good Shepherd then we may be in danger of looking to evil! As we keep our eyes on our Good Shepherd, and meditate on His Torah that lights our way, then we shall have clear insight and understanding and be able to foresee evil and be on guard against such evil, whereas those who are not looking to the Good Shepherd, and are not observing or paying attention to the Word of Elohim, are doing whatever is right in their own eyes, and therefore have eyes that are set on evil as opposed to eyes fixed upon the Truth!
This should be a clear ‘wakeup call’ for us to see how things may sound correct and even at times may be written with the same letters, yet may cause us to ‘look’ at what is wrong – many of our father’s teachings and ways may sound good and true yet when tested against the measuring stick of the Torah we find that most of what we inherited was in fact not good at all and what we must learn is that corrupt practices spoil our relationship with יהוה!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:5 “Evil men do not understand right-ruling, but those who seek יהוה understand all.”
Evil men are those who are not paying attention and observing and are therefore dysfunctional!
Those who are hearing but not understanding are not seeking – in other words they are hearers only!!!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 “And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’”
The Hebrew word that is translated as understanding in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 is the same word used in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:5, which is the Hebrew word – בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 meaning, ‘to discern, act wisely, consider carefully, understand, perceive’.
We see this word בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 also being used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:34 “Make me understand, that I might observe Your Torah, and guard it with all my heart.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:104 “From Your orders I get understanding; therefore I have hated every false way.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:4-5 “If you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
Here, the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘knowledge’ is דַּעַת da’ath – Strong’s H1847 and comes from the word used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 for describing those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’, which is the Hebrew word – יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 “And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’”
Why I am sharing all these references with you, is simply to let us recognise the very clear words of יהושע and Sha’ul that speak the same warnings and commands that we see in the Tanak (O.T.) – and that is to make sure we keep up a 20/20 vision on the Truth, being awake and fixing our eyes front as we attentively give our ear to hearing and understand and our eyes to seeing and know the Truth.
Aḇraham ‘ran’ to meet these 3 men – the word that is translated as ‘ran’ comes from the Hebrew root word רוּץ ruts – Strong’s H7323 which means, ‘to run, run with speed, perform an action with a special focus that it is done in a hurried manner’.
This is a wonderful picture of urgency and a committed faith – bearing in mind that he had recently been circumcised and was 99 years old!!!
Running to “the Word made flesh” is the clear picture of how we are to run with perseverance the race set before us and run in His commands with urgency and great zeal!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:32 “I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.”
The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in Berěshith/Genesis 18:2 for ‘ran’ is προστρέχω prostrechō – Strong’s G4370 which means, ‘to run to, running’ and is constructed from two words:
1) – πρός pros – Strong’s G4314 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘advantageous for, at (denotes local proximity), toward (denotes motion toward a place)’, and
2) τρέχω trechō – Strong’s G5143 which means, ‘run, exert oneself, strive hard, spend one’s strength in performing or attaining something’ and is a present continuous duty – that means it does not stop!
The Greek word προστρέχω prostrechō – Strong’s G4370 is also used in:
Marqos/Mark 10:17 “And as He was setting out on the way, one came running, and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit everlasting life?”
Aḇraham was a righteous man, and this ‘running of the righteous’ is a wonderful picture of urgency and a committed faith.
Righteousness, as we know, is clearly defined for us in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
This ‘running’ of ‘the righteous’, which is a running in the way of the commands of Elohim, is also a personal responsibility – and that means that you have to run your own race – nobody else can run it for you.
This word for run/running, also means to advance quickly, in a military context, and denotes the objective of our spiritual walk/race – which is to overcome obstacles for the sake of advancement unto spiritual maturity.
Running with endurance is literally a persistent movement toward that spiritual maturity.
If one is not guarding to do all the commands of Elohim then one is not running and is clearly not a righteous one!
We are to run as if to win the prize – that means giving it our all.
We are to make every effort, as a seasoned professional athlete would, in running the righteous race amidst an unrighteous world.
At this point let me ask you how you are doing in the race set before you? Are you growing in maturity or do you lack endurance as those weights and sin are slowing you down causing you to lose focus? Run the right race – stay in the race is the call to all believers!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
The Greek word τρέχω trechō – Strong’s G5143 is used in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1, which highlights our call to run with endurance!
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and as we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance – looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most-High Elohim!
Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that comes as a result of set-apart living amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself as you take an eye test so to speak is, “What are you looking at?”
Are you looking at Messiah?
The two words used here for our Messiah are:
1) ‘Prince’ – ἀρχηγός – archēgos – Strong’s G747 – translates as ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.
2) ‘Perfecter’ – τελειωτής – teleiōtēs – Strong’s G5051 – this is the only place this Greek word and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith’. This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 and means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’, metaphorically speaking it means ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it also means, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’ and comes from the two Greek words:
1) ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and
2) ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see as in becoming acquainted with by experience’.
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways, and we are at the same time to ensure that are eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray.
Aḇraham ran with a purpose – to ‘meet’ with יהוה and the word for ‘to meet’ is the root word קִרְאָה qirah – Strong’s H7125 which means, ‘to befall, encounter, meet, seek’; and is a wonderful picture of our ability to run to Elohim and encounter His Word that strengthens us and the promise of being filled with His Righteousness when we earnestly hunger and thirst for it, running after Him to meet Him:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:15 “Therefore I came out to meet you, to earnestly seek your face, and I found you.”
Aḇraham ‘bowed’ himself to the ground, expressing true reverence for יהוה!
The phrase, ‘and bowed himself’, is written in the Hebrew as וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ – ‘vayishtaḥu’ – which is based on the root word שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’.
This root word is used in Neḥemyah when Yisra’ĕl had assembled and confessed their sins, and after hearing the Torah for a fourth part of the day, they spent another fourth part of the day confessing and worshipping.
‘Worshipping’, being translated from the root word שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 9:3 “and they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Torah of יהוה their Elohim a fourth part of the day, and a fourth part they were confessing and worshipping יהוה their Elohim.”
They ‘stood up’ to hear the Torah and then ‘bowed’ in worship and confession before יהוה.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘confessing’ is יָדָה yaḏah – Strong’s H3034 and literally means ‘to throw, shoot or cast, to confess, laud with praise, extol, i.e., make a public confession of the attributes and acts of power of a person’
‘Yaḏah’ in practice would be to lift my hands in gratitude and thanks, expressing a surrendering of self totally unto יהוה as well as openly confessing our shortcomings before Him!
Both of these words (confessing and worshipping) are used here in the hithpael form which expresses the reflexive action in response to a true relationship with the Creator and Redeemer – יהוה of Hosts!
With Aḇraham this word for ‘bowed’ is also written in the hithpael form, expressing the reflexive action and response to coming before יהוה, revealing the depth and intimate relationship he had with Elohim!
If I have now found favour in your eyes – please do not pass your servant by!
This is such a powerful expression of humility, and expectation, of a faithful servant who meditates day and night on the Word and fixes their eyes on the Truth, giving no room for the lust of the eyes!
Aḇraham does not ‘presume’ to have a right for יהוה and the two messengers to come in and dine with him.
He does not ‘assume’ that יהוה will just pitch up and come to him, because he has been faithful!
Here is a cry of a humble man of faith, who earnestly desires to have the presence of יהוה abide with him and does not, for one moment, think that he can, or has the right to, demand the presence of the Master יהוה!
We would do well to maintain the same attitude always, as we often see many who arrogantly think that they have the right to demand that יהוה to show up at their prayer meetings or gatherings, based on their self-assumed acts of righteousness!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘favour’ comes from the root word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 which means, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ and comes from the primitive root verb חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
These two words are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.).
The word which we often translate as ‘grace’, meaning unmerited favour, is often understood, in Hebrew, from the word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 which means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’ and appears 248 times in the Tanak (OT) – 5 times more than the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.)!!!
In Hebrew, the concept of חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ goes hand in hand, in understanding our loving relationship with יהוה.
חֵן ḥen can best be described as, ‘a gracious and favourable action passing from a superior to an inferior’ and is an action that cannot be forced upon or demanded!
This, in many ways, carries the same concept of the ‘Christian’ idea or concept of ‘grace’, as understood through the Greek word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 meaning, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, favour’.
What we need to recognize is that חֵן ḥen is poured out as a gift to a people who have no ‘claim’ to it, as it is given freely and so, we see that this certainly is not a ‘new’ concept, as it is a continuous theme that we see being threaded right throughout the Scriptures, as seen in the Loving Kindness that is extended by יהוה to Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted people!
What we must understand though is that both חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ are uniquely related, in terms of understanding the fullness of our relationship with our Creator. Although these two words are closely linked, in relation to walking in a relationship with our Saviour, we note that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is different to חֵן ḥen.
We find both these words being used together in:
Berěshith/Genesis 39:21 “But יהוה was with Yosĕph and extended loving-commitment to him, and He gave him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.”
יהוה extended חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ (loving-commitment) to Yosĕph and gave him חֵן ḥen (favour) in the eyes of the prison warden.
What we find in Scripture is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond, or relationship, that produces in the bond itself a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ and can expect from each other and even demand, in a sense, reciprocal responsibilities, and so חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ (loving-commitment) is not a free gift!
Now we see that over and over חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is used to describe a and express יהוה’s relationship with Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted Bride and that includes all who are brought near and grafted in to these Covenants of promise by the Blood of Messiah! We must understand therefore, that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is a word that is often associated with the understanding of obligation and commitment and is not simply unmerited favour alone!
Yisra’ĕl and יהוה are obligated to each other, in marriage, as a result of the Covenants made by יהוה with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ! חֵן ḥen (favour) may certainly be, and actually is, the primary reason behind the establishment of the Covenants of Promise, however, the moment the Covenants were made, obligation became attached to it by both parties.
And while Yisra’ĕl constantly broke their obligation to the Covenants, we see how lovingly committed יהוה is by extending His favour to us, an undeserving people; and it is by His חֵן ḥen (being gracious toward us and adorning us with favour in His eyes) that He has extended to us His Kindness/ Loving-commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – which expresses His loving-commitment to the Covenants, which He remains faithful to, in being obligated and fully committed to; and thus, because of His חֵן ḥen (favour/grave) which is freely given to us, we too are now, by our acceptance of His free gift, also required to express true loving-commitment, in understanding our obligation to guarding the Covenant!
How we do that is by walking ‘in’ His Torah (often translated as ‘law’).
The Torah (law) of יהוה is His instructions for us, on how we walk in His חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, and so, the Torah (instructions) of Elohim is the articulation of the obligation that we, as a Covenant Bride, have to the Covenants of Promise, by which we are freely, and graciously, grafted in to, by the Blood of Messiah!
We did not earn the right to this Covenant! יהוה made the Covenant out of חֵן ḥen, and therefore, we understand that the חֵן ḥen freely given, entails חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, which now both parties are to be committed to and both have an obligation to keep its requirements.
If we reject the obligations and requirements of the Covenant, we are in fact rejecting the Kindness/Loving-commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ of יהוה – and by doing so, are rejecting יהוה’s bond to us, given freely by His Own Blood!
We can therefore understand that חֵן ḥen is ‘grace poured out’ and not חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ.
Most of Scripture speaks clearly of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ as a result of חֵן ḥen; and even in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) we see a constant and continual thread of the understanding of the mutual obligations and requirements that are entailed in a ‘bonded’ relationship with יהוה, by the Blood of יהושע Messiah.
The understanding of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, in the Hebraic mind-set, characterises our identity as being a part of, and walking ‘in’, the Kingdom of Elohim and adhering to His Kingdom rules as expressed in His Torah!
So, when understanding the concept of ‘grace’ and ‘favour’, we find that it is not a new concept at all, as we see that, in the truest sense of the Hebraic understanding, it entails giving the correct response of obedience, in response to the free gift of life that has been extended to us by the Hand of our Creator, and is not just a receiving of the gift alone!
The Torah gives us the clear instructions on how we are to respond to His free gift and how we are to live in Him, as a people who are in Covenant with Him!
While Aḇraham was certainly in Covenant with יהוה, he still calls out and expresses his desire for the favour of יהוה to be extended to Him, by not passing by, but allowing him to serve the Most-High El and his 2 companions!
By His favour being extended to us, on the basis of our Covenant relationship with Him, we are able, and equipped, to serve Him with joy, as we ‘obey’ all He has commanded us, showing our true love for Elohim and love to our neighbour!!!
Aḇraham was desperately asking יהוה’s permission to serve Him!!!
This is awesome – we too need to be desperate in seeking every occasion we have to serve יהוה, and not assume that we have ‘arrived’, so to speak, and think we deserve to be served!!!
We are servants of the Most-High – יהוה of Hosts!
As we consider these two very powerful words, in the ancient pictographic script, we can grasp a better idea of what it means for us to be ‘saved by grace (favour)’ and our responsibility to responding correctly to the ‘favour and loving-commitment’ of Elohim!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 which means, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
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 to be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
By the clear loving-commitment of our Master, Saviour and Elohim we have been saved by His favour (grace) and when looking at this word in the pictographic symbols we are able to see that we are:
SEPARATED, BUILT UP AND ESTABLISHED BY THE SEED – WHICH IS MESSIAH!
The covenants of promise, that we were once far off from, and were without Messiah and excluded from citizenship in Yisra’ĕl, we have been brought near to, and grafted in to, by the Blood of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ěl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
Realising how we have been separated by The Seed, through the favour that He has shown us, we also need to realise that, as living stones being built up in Messiah, we are to make sure that we do not let loving-commitment and truth forsake us!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ – Strong’s H2617 looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Dalet – דֶּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When understanding חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ in these ancient pictographic letters we are able to clearly see that the boundaries for the way in which we are to live have been established and the entrance to walking in חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ (loving-commitment) is by our coming to the Door – that is our Master and Saviour – יהושע Messiah!
WE AS LIVING STONES ARE TO GRAB HOLD OF AND CLING TO THE DOOR!
The commands that are to be written upon the doorposts is there to remind us that we are to submit to the rules of the House – and as we recall to mind the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה, we can be comforted and encouraged to remain lovingly-committed to walking in and guarding His Covenant with us, unhindered by the vain threats and ridicule of others!
By bringing water, for their feet to be washed, we see a true expression of ancient hospitality, as it was customary to have weary travellers wash their feet, in order to refresh them and ‘wash off’ the ‘dust’ of their travels!
By Aḇraham making sure that there was water to wash their feet, it would be harder for these 3 to ‘shake the dust off their feet’, which would be done to an unworthy host!
יהושע Messiah gave His talmidim (disciples) strict instructions that if any home or town would not receive them, then they were to shake the dust off of their feet, in judgement against that town or village!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:11-15 “And into whatever city or village you enter, ask who is worthy in it, and stay there until you leave. 12 “And as you enter into a house, greet it. 13 “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 “And whoever does not receive you nor hear your words, when you leave that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 “Truly, I say to you, it shall be more bearable for the land of Seḏom and Amorah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
When יהושע Messiah washed His disciple’s feet, we can also see the great power in Him ‘cleaning their walk’ and also causing them to be accepted in the House of Elohim, as His body, which His Blood cleanses!
The washing of one’s feet, is also a picture of keeping our walk clean, as Messiah also tells us that one who has washed his body, would only need to wash his hands and feet, which speaks of one’s daily walk and work which, one who has already been immersed in Messiah, need not ‘bathe’ his whole body (that is to be immersed again), but must wash hands and feet every day, through the washing of His Word that causes us to confess our sins and be cleansed, in order that we may enter His ‘Tent’ with clean hands and feet!
The Hebrew word used here in Berěshith/Genesis 18:4 for ‘wash’ is רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7364 and means ‘to wash, wash off, bathe, wash away’, and is the same word that is used in referring to the washing of the hands and feet of the priests that was to be done at the bronze laver!
And this also teaches us that we need to constantly keep ourselves clean through the washing of the Word.
We see this picture right throughout Scripture – the Word used for cleansing!
Why the priests had to wash their hands and feet only was symbolic of the work and walk.
We have already been redeemed and washed by the Blood of the Lamb through repentance and immersion in His Name; yet as we walk from day to day in this world our feet pick up dirt and our hands may often engage in worldly affairs that must be dealt with and cleansed as we look intently into the mirror of the Word and allow the Word to wash us clean that we may serve as royal priests of the Most-High!
יהושע washed the disciple’s feet:
Yoḥanan/John 13: 5-10 “After that He put water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the taught ones, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 And so He came to Shimʽon Kěpha, and he said to Him, “Master, do You wash my feet?” 7 יהושע answered and said to him, “You do not know what I am doing now, but you shall know after this.” 8 Kěpha said to Him, “By no means shall You wash my feet, ever!” יהושע answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Shimʽon Kěpha said to Him, “Master, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 יהושע said to him, “He who has had a bath does not need to wash, except his feet, but is clean altogether. And you are clean, but not all of you.”
Notice the wonderful picture here – יהושע washes their feet and wiped them with the towel, with which He was girded – a wonderful picture of the belt of truth, or the girdle of the High Priest – picturing for us how we too are to be washed by the Word (He is the Living Word) and wiped by the girdle (Truth) – for, it is the Word that cleanses our hands and feet.
At first Kěpha said ‘no’, to יהושע washing his feet, thinking that there was no way his Rabbi would wash his feet and יהושע tells him plainly that he does not know what was being done, but would afterwards. Kěpha then boldly asks to have his hands and head washed too, and here יהושע reiterates the service in the Tabernacle – we who have been immersed in Him have had a bath, and what still needs to be washed is our feet which speaks of our daily walk.
We cannot come and serve יהוה, as a royal priesthood, if our walk has been defiled in any way – we first must wash our hands and feet so that we may serve Him with confidence and joy:
Dawiḏ understood this:
Tehillah/Psalm 26:6 “I wash my hands in innocence; and I walk around Your altar, O יהוה.”
יהושע was preparing the disciples for service and showed them the necessity of washing each other’s feet, as we look out for each other and encourage each other and be mature enough to tell each other when we have walked in error; and bring the cleansing through the mirror of the Word and clearly speaks of our need to be a people who serve and not wait to be served – those who wait ‘hand and foot’ to be served so to speak are not the true priesthood of the Tabernacle!
Yoḥanan/John 13:12-15 “So when He had washed their feet and taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call me Teacher and Master, and you say well, for I am. 14 “Then if I, Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I gave you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
With יהושע washing their ‘feet’ only, there is another powerful Truth of how we are unable to ‘work’ redemption/atonement for ourselves – only by the Blood of Messiah – by His clean hands (pure work) of His Atoning offering of Himself, can we be cleansed and our ‘dead and dirty works’ redeemed.
We also see how the feet of יהושע was washed through the tears of a woman who was a sinner, as she came with an alabaster flask of perfume and washed His feet and anointed them with oil.
The Pharisee whom יהושע was eating with did not wash יהושע feet when He arrived, nor did he anoint His head with oil – this woman came and did both and was forgiven her sins, for her act of faith toward the Master.
The washing of feet was a form of hospitality, as one’s feet would pick up dirt along the way and also grow tired from walking great distances and washing feet would cleanse them and refresh them, and not bring the ‘dirt’ into one’s home. Today we are to be careful as to who we allow to come and bring the ‘dirt’ of the world into our homes, as we must be able to ‘wash’ each other’s feet through the Word.
Breaking bread and sharing a meal, is a powerful picture of true community in Messiah.
We must also recognise here that Aḇraham served them ‘butter, milk and meat’, which shows very clearly that there is NO Torah instruction that says you are not allowed to mix milk and meat products – that is a rabbinic oral law of man and has no relevance to a true Torah observant follower of Messiah.
We can eat milk and meat products together – after all, the Author of The Torah did so right here in Aḇraham’s tent!!!
What we can learn from this, is the picture of how a new believer will first eat the milk of the Word and then grow on to maturity and eat the meat of His Word. In a community there will be some who still need milk, while others are eating meat so to speak and so we ‘eat together’ and build one another up, realising that we cannot stay on milk alone!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:12-14 “For indeed, although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first elements of the Words of Elohim. And you have become such as need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone partaking of milk is inexperienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for the mature whose senses have been trained by practice to discern both good and evil.”
If one does not meditate on the word (which the picture of ‘chewing the cud’ reflects for us) then their ability to ‘eat and chew’ the meat will never develop!!!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-3 “Having put aside, then, all evil, and all deceit, and hypocrisies, and envyings, and all evil words, 2 as newborn babes, desire the unadulterated milk of the Word, in order that you grow by it, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Master is good.”
In Verse 6 we again see the urgency of Aḇraham as he ‘ran’ into the tent to Sarah.
The Hebrew word used here for ‘ran’ is מָהַר mahar – Strong’s H4116 which means, ‘to hasten, act quickly, prepare, make speed’.
We have a responsibility to be ‘in haste’, in regards to living set-apart lives and walking in complete reverence of Messiah! What we are to recognise is that while many wicked are in a hurry to shed blood and practice evil, we must be in a hurry, so to speak, to do good.
To be in a hurry to do something speaks of the urgency with which one does that which they desire to do without losing any time.
The Greek word used here in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) is σπεύδω speudō – Strong’s G4692 which means, ‘to hasten, urge on, hurrying’, and we see this Greek word used in:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:11-12 “Seeing all these are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be in set-apart behaviour and reverence, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, through which the heavens shall be destroyed, being set on fire, and the elements melt with intense heat!”
Aḇraham’s ‘hastening’ teaches us a great lesson on always being ready to serve in complete set-apartness!
This word מָהַר mahar – Strong’s H4116 is also used in Aḇraham telling Sarah to ‘hurry’ and make cakes; and this word is used in verse 7 where we see that Aḇraham ‘ran’ to the herd to get the meal ready!
This bread that Sarah was told to make would most certainly have been unleavened bread, as there would be no time to let the bread rise and be mixed with leaven, as this process would take too long.
This teaches us another powerful lesson in showing us how we must always be ready to serve ‘without any leaven’ in our lives!
In other words, we are to serve without compromise! Many people who procrastinate and hesitate in doing what is required, often find themselves being riddled with compromise, as the leaven of self tends to creep in when the true urgency to be set-apart is not readily being lived out at all times!
Sarah here, is a great picture of a submissive wife, in that she prepared the meal that her husband asked her to; and what is interesting to see is that in the next chapter we do not see any mention of Lot’s wife, in regards to the meal prepared for the 2 Messengers!
Sarah was instructed to make ready 3 measures of flour, and we take note here that Sarah is the only woman in Scripture we see preparing 3 measures of flour!
Why this is interesting is that we see in a parable that Messiah gave, the following:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:33 “Another parable He spoke to them, “The reign of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until all was leavened.”
We are to offer to יהוה that which must be without leaven, but what we can offer to our neighbour can be leavened. What leaven is to be offered? While at Pěsaḥ/Passover leaven is a picture of sin, the larger picture of leaven is that of any kind of total permeation, as seen in the parable of Messiah above.
At Shaḇuoth, we wave two loaves of bread as the ‘wave offering’ – and this offering of bread is baked with leaven – and this is the ‘Bikkurim’ to יהוה!!!
However, no portion of this offering is burnt on the slaughter place for a remembrance offering, for no leaven is burnt in an offering unto יהוה, and this leaven that is in the bread being waved is a picture of the ‘good leaven’ of the Kingdom that has permeated the whole body of Messiah, as the old leaven of sin has been cleansed and washed away!
Luqas/Luke 13:20-21 “And again He said, “To what shall I compare the reign of Elohim? 21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.”
This parable teaches us that these three (3) measures of flour that leaven has been hidden in, until all is leavened, is a great picture of the three (3) times a year all men were to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate the Feasts of יהוה, which collectively would cover all seven (7) Feasts; and this wave offering of the ‘Leavened bread’ at Shaḇu’ot is a clear picture of the establishment of a ‘renewed’ Covenant, sealed in the Blood of Messiah and confirmed by the outpouring of His Spirit, so that the 3 witness together – that is the water, blood and spirit – which can also represent the 3 measures of flour:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5: 6-8 “This is the One that came by water and blood: יהושע Messiah, not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the Truth. 7 Because there are three who bear witness: 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. And the three are in agreement.”
Sarah certainly would not have made leavened bread yet what Messiah did do in giving this parable was add an element to the allegory: teaching us that what we are to offer to our neighbours is the message of the Kingdom Reign of Messiah that is coming down from above.
The Hebrew word for ‘measure’ is סְאָה seah – Strong’s H5429 which is thought by scholars to be equal to 1/3 of an ephah, and an ephah basket is made up of 10 omers.
Aḇraham ran to the herd and after selecting a good and tender calf he gave it to a young man and the young man ‘hurried’ to prepare it.
Once again, we see this word מָהַר mahar – Strong’s H4116 being used in referring to the ‘urgency’ with which the young man prepared the meal, and highlights for us the clear discipline and authority that Aḇraham had over his home, and how he ruled his house well as all in his house acted with the same ‘hastening’ speed to serve with excellency and great hospitality!
Promise of a son!
Where is your wife? A great question that needs to be asked to many husbands today – “where is your wife?”
Sarah was in the tent, and as I said, is a picture of True Marriage, with Aḇraham being the head of the home and Sarah being where she was supposed to be!
In speaking of what the characteristics of women were to be, Sha’ul tells Titos what the older women were to train the younger women to be, in:
Titos/Titus 2:5 “to be sensible, blameless, workers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, in order that the word of Elohim is not evil spoken of.”
So many wives are not living in subject to their own husbands and what we have found happening, more and more, over the last century, is the ‘independence’ of women, which sadly opens the door for the Izeḇel/Jezebel spirit to take root and seek to overpower the role of the man!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:5-6 “For in this way, in former times, the set-apart women who trusted in Elohim also adorned themselves, being subject to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Aḇraham, calling him master, of whom you became children, doing good, and not frightened by any fear.”
Aḇraham knew where his wife was and could confidently tell יהוה this without any delay or assumption, and Sarah was exactly where her husband said she was.
Many husbands do not know what their wives are doing, nor do they know where their wives are most of the time, and this should not be the case for a true set-apart family that serves without compromise!
The head of the home must know at all times where his wife is and what she is doing, as this reflects a proper unity as opposed to an unnatural ‘independence’ that is being taught by the world today.
What we can notice here is the test of whether the home of Aḇraham was indeed a true home of hospitality, and a home that would be worthy of bringing up a child in the ways of יהוה.
It was only after Aḇraham and his whole household had shown hospitality, and showed that his home could certainly entertain strangers, that this news of a son could be given!
While they had been given this promise before, it was now made known that the promise given would be fulfilled in a years’ time!
Sarah heard the promise of a son that she was to have and shed laughed! Aḇraham also laughed previously when he first heard this promise in:
Berěshith/Genesis 17:17 “And Aḇraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Is a child born to a man who is a hundred years old? Or is Sarah, who is ninety years old, to bear a child?”
When she was confronted about her laughing, she denied it and was convicted of her falsehood when confronted with the Truth of the Word.
How often do so many of us make the same error of thinking that the promises of the Word are not realistic and may even laugh at the prospect of seeing the breakthrough that seems physically impossible?
Then when confronted with our lack of faith, we often deny it?
What we can see from this account, is that יהוה knows exactly what we ‘laugh’ at or ‘write off’ in our hearts, as an impossibility, and He wants us to know that nothing is impossible with Him; after all, we must realise that He who made all has the power and ability to do anything – even if we think it impossible – no matter is too hard for יהוה!
While we can learn from Sarah being confronted and learn that we are to trust in the word of Elohim, despite the physical realities that we may see, we also see that Sarah did in fact believe:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:11 “By belief also, Sarah herself was enabled to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the normal age, because she deemed Him trustworthy who had promised.”
We must also recognise that our laughter must be as a result of the joy of expectancy and belief in the assurance of His secure promises, and not let our laughter be one of doubt but of praise for His True Word:
Tehillah/Psalm 126:2 “Then our mouth shall be filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing, then shall they say among the gentiles, “יהוה has done great deeds for them.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 3:20 “And to Him who is able to do exceedingly above what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us”
Verse 14 carries a great rhetorical question – “Is any matter too hard for יהוה?”
The answer is obvious – NO!!!
This phrase, in the Hebrew, is written as follows – הֲיִפָּלֵא מֵיהוה דָּבָר – ‘hayipaleya mey יהוה daḇar, and can literally be rendered as “Is it beyond the wondrous work from יהוה’s word?”, as we see the following root words being used:
In the word הֲיִפָּלֵא – hayipaleya – the root word פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381 is used, which means, ‘to be surpassing or extraordinary, make marvellous, make special, wondrous work or deed, fulfil a special vow’, and is written in the niphal passive tense, which can render the meaning of, ‘to be beyond one’s power, be difficult to do, to be difficult to understand, to be wonderful, be extraordinary’, along with the letter ‘hey’ (הֲ) at the front being used as an adverbial, interrogative ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – In others words, as a question it can render: ‘yes or no, is it beyond the power and extraordinary and wonderful?’.
The letter ‘mem’ (מֵ) in front of the Name of יהוה is used as a preposition meaning ‘from’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘matter’ is דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 which means, ‘speech, word, matter, acts’.
The Word of יהוה is living and active and His Word does not return empty:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:11 “so is My Word that goes forth from My mouth – it does not return to Me empty, but shall do what I please, and shall certainly accomplish what I sent it for.”
Iyoḇ/Job 42:1-2 “And Iyoḇ̱ answered יהוה and said, 2 “You know that You are able to do all, and that no purpose is withheld from You.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Master יהוה! See, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is no matter too hard for You”
In essence, we are seeing that this rhetorical question basically asks the following:
“Is it beyond the power and the extraordinary and wonderful Word of יהוה?”
We have the full assurance of our Master that His Word is sufficient, and we must not waver in unbelief and doubt the Word of יהוה.
While the use of the word דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 which means, ‘speech, word, matter, acts’ is most certainly understood here as being ‘matter’ or ‘anything’ or even ‘act’, we recognise that the ‘actions’ of Elohim are based on His sure Word!
What is being asked here is whether or not that which He says He will do is impossible or too hard for Him to do, and the answer is most certainly ‘NO’!
This is a sobering wake up call for all of us, especially in times where we consider that certain circumstances seem to crowd out the possibility of the extraordinary and wonderful work of Elohim to be made manifest. What is being made very clear here is that there is absolutely nothing that is too hard for יהוה!
He can do anything and we should never doubt, nor underestimate what He says He can and will do!
This truth, that nothing is too hard for יהוה is no laughing matter.
Being confronted with this fact, Sarah, in fear, denies laughing, and יהוה makes it clear that He knows that she did and she could not hide this fact!
Sarah had a typical human response to what is deemed to be the impossible!
And what we recognise is that this same response is true for many today.
When something as incredible as this is declared, the ‘fleshly’ response is typically consistent, and like Sarah, people are taken off guard, laugh, and then out of fear deny that they laughed.
But יהוה knows our hearts and that we often do stagger at what He says He can do.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘denied’ comes from the root word כָּחַשׁ kaḥash – Strong’s H3584 which means, ‘to be untrue, to lie, deny, disown, fail’.
This is the first times that this word is used in Scripture, and we see this word being used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:8-9 “Remove falsehood and a lying word far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me my lawful bread; 9 lest I become satisfied and deny You, and say, “Who is יהוה?” and lest I be poor, and steal, and seize the Name of my Elohim.”
The Greek equivalent to this word is ἀρνέομαι arneomai – Strong’s G720 which means, ‘contradict, deny, reject, renounce, disown’ which we find in the following words written to Timotiyos:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:11-13 “Trustworthy is the word: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also shall deny us. 13 If we are not trustworthy, He remains trustworthy, it is impossible for Him to deny Himself.”
When Kěpha told the Master that he was prepared to go with Messiah, both to prison and even to death, יהושע made it clear that Kěpha would deny Him 3 times before the cock would crow! When this did happen: at the sound of the crowing of the cock, after Kěpha had denied the Master 3 times, he remembered the words of the Master and wept.
Later on, after His resurrection, יהושע Messiah appeared to Kěpha while he was fishing and asked him 3 times if he loved the Master and in essence reinstated Kěpha by His unfailing love!
We can learn a great deal from these verses in terms of not doubting His Word, for doubting His Word is the same as denying the Master and the power of His Word! He remains trustworthy and this should encourage us to be faithful and trustworthy servants of the coming reign, not doubting nor denying the wondrous Word of Elohim!
Sarah was ‘behind the door’ laughing and when caught out by יהוה she denies it!
How many times have you denied the kind of reaction you had to the validity of the Truth that you have heard, or even the promise that has been given through the Word of Elohim? יהוה sees our hearts, our thoughts and emotions and we are not able to hide behind doors and think He does not see our response to His Truth in what would seem to be the most impossible of situations!
The men got up and Aḇraham escorted them on their way out, which was also an ancient custom of a Bedouin host, that he would escort his guests to the edge of his territory in order to fully complete the act of hospitality – seeing them safely on their way!
It seems as if יהוה turns to His 2 Messengers and asks them a rhetorical question – should he tell Aḇraham what He was about to do?
The answer was obviously yes as the Word is clear in:
Amos 3:7 “For the Master יהוה does no matter unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Aḇraham was a prophet, as Elohim told Aḇimeleḵ in a dream that he was:
Berěshith/Genesis 20:7 “And now, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and let him pray for you and you live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall certainly die, you and all that are yours.”
Tehillah/Psalm 25:14 “The secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him, and He makes His covenant known to them.”
Aḇraham certainly feared יהוה, and יהוה made His Covenant known to Aḇraham by physically making it with Aḇraham, who was a friend of Elohim!
Yoḥanan/John 15:14-15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:23 “And the Scripture was filled which says, “Aḇraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.”
Aḇraham was Elohim’s friend and as friend of Elohim, he knew what the Master יהוה was going to do!
In verse 19 יהוה says that He has known Aḇraham, and that he ruled his house well – the qualities of a true overseer in the house of Elohim!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:4-5 “one who rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all reverence, 5 for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim?”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd. And I know Mine, and Mine know Me”
Aḇraham taught his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה, to do righteousness and right-ruling!!! And it was because of this that יהוה would bring to Aḇraham what He had spoken to him!!
This is a very powerful verse indeed in describing for us the pure obedience of Aḇraham – and through this loving commitment of obedience to the commands of Elohim, Aḇraham was ‘known by יהוה’.
יהוה knows who are His!
So many today assume that they too are ‘known by יהוה’, yet they do not ‘know’ Him!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, 7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, 8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Aḇraham did exactly this and is a true picture of a lovingly committed father who walk in the instructions of Elohim and teaches his children to do the same, so that they too may be known by Elohim! It is our obedience to the Torah and clear commands of Elohim that assures us that we know Elohim and are known by Him.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-7 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. 7 Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning.”
To put it very plainly – those who: disregard the need to keep the true Sabbath (which is NOT sun-day), and disregard the command to keep the True Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה, as outlined in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, and disregard the need to eat according to the proper dietary instructions contained in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 11 & Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 14, as well as disregard to the need to guard all the clear instructions for set-apart living, as clearly given in the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings (Tanak/O.T.) – are NOT known by Elohim, and are simply the ‘lawless’ ones who shall be rejected and sent away!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
In Yoḥanan Aleph, quoted above, Yoḥanan makes it clear that this was not a fresh command that he was writing, but rather an old command that was from the beginning! To be known by יהוה, and to be sure that we know Him, is made confidently clear when we guard to do all He commands us!!!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.”
To love Elohim, gives us the sure promise that we are known by Him! Sadly, many do not ‘know’ what love for Elohim is:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.”
The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’.
As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah.
There are so many liars out there today who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!!
It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running claiming, they know Him, yet will be rejected!
Those who ‘know’ יהוה, by pursuing to know Him, and are guarding His commands in living completely set-apart lives, are known by Him.
The sin of Seḏom and Amorah had become heavy and the outcry against the city was heavy. This was a wicked city that showed absolutely no hospitality and lived only for pleasure and lust of the flesh and did not help the poor and needy – a picture of the world at large today!
The outcry against these cities was great – the oppression against the poor and need y and the corruption of sinful lusts and sodomy had reached the ears of Elohim, who was coming to destroy all wickedness.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:4 “See, the wages of the workmen who mowed your fields, which you kept back, cry out. And the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of יהוה of hosts.”
Verse 21 – I am going down to see!
Every wicked act causes waves even in the heavenlies and the stench of wickedness reaches Elohim, which causes His clear action of judgement, and perhaps the blood of the innocent that had been sodomised and killed was crying out, and here Elohim says He was going to take a look.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘go down’ comes from the root word יָרַד yaraḏ – Strong’s H3381 which means, ‘to come or go down, descend’.
A derivative of this root word is the name of יֶרֶד Yereḏ – Strong’s H3382 who was the son of Mahalal’ěl and the father of Ḥanoḵ in the genealogy from Aḏam to Noaḥ, and his name means ‘come down, descend’. As a recap the names of the genealogy from Aḏam to Noaḥ presents for us the Besorah of Messiah:
AḎAM – SHĚTH – ENOSH – QĚYNAN – MAHALAL’ĚL – YEREḎ – ḤANOḴ – METHUSHELAḤ – LEMEḴ – NOAḤ
MAN (IS) APPOINTED MORTAL SORROW, (BUT) THE BLESSED ĚL SHALL COME DOWN TEACHING. HIS DEATH SHALL BRING (THE) DESPAIRING COMFORT AND REST
(for more on this please see the commentary notes on Berěshith/Genesis 5)
Aḇraham makes intercession for the place where his nephew lived and engages in a discussion with יהוה, and is a picture for us who are to be constantly interceding for our brothers and sisters who are still ‘stuck’ in Baḇelon so to speak.
Tehillah/Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and His ears unto their cry.”
Aḇraham pleads with יהוה and begins to ask that if there were 50 righteous in the city, would יהוה still destroy it, and is clearly told that it would not be destroyed for the sake of 50 righteous, and the 2 Messengers were sent to see the state of the city and rescue the righteous in it.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:1 “Diligently search the streets of Yerushalayim, and please look, and know and seek in her open places if you find a man, if there is anyone doing right-ruling, seeking the truth, then I shall pardon her.”
Seḏom had become so corrupt that only Lot and his daughters were left as a remnant of righteous.
Aḇraham continues to asks יהוה what would the minimum number be to save the city; and in a sense Aḇraham must have known that this city was truly wicked, yet he needed to hear the truth he already knew in his heart.
Some may say that you should not ask questions if you are not ready to face the facts and hear the truth, yet here we see Aḇraham being a mature believer who knew it would be hard to find many righteous, yet there were fewer than expected!
For the sake of 10 יהוה would have held back from destroying this wicked place!!! 10 people in an entire city, yet there was not even that many!
The number 10, in Scripture, often represents a quorum or a community, which is pictured as an ‘ephah’ basket that is made up of 10 omers!
In the ISR Scriptures translation, we find the Name of יהוה being used in verses 27, 30, 31 and 32, where it is not contained as such in some Hebrew texts.
In certain Hebrew texts, it is written in verse 27 and 31 as – אֶל־אֲדֹנָי – el Aḏonai – which comes from the two words: אֶל el – Strong’s H413 which as a preposition means, ‘to, into, towards’, and the word אֲדֹנָי Aḏonai – Strong’s H136, which means, ‘Master, my Master’ and is used in Scripture as a clear title of יהוה, for whom we show all reverence.
In verse 30 and 32 we see it written in some Hebrew texts as: לַאדֹנָי – ‘la’ Aḏonai’ – rendering it literally as ‘to my Master’. The Name of יהוה is used in verse 33 again, as the records of these events are continued.
What I want to highlight here, is the reason for the ISR Scriptures translation rendering the Name of יהוה, where other Hebrew texts have omitted the Name and used the term ‘Aḏonai’, is simply to re-establish what the scribes had changed, in their seeking to omit the Name of יהוה in a number of passages.
There were 134 passages where the scribes (Shopherim) altered the Name of יהוה to Aḏonai, commonly known as the ‘Emendations by the Shopherim’; and a further 8 verses, the Shopherim substituted the Name of יהוה with Elohim.
There are 18 passages where the Shopherim corrected the text with good intentions to revere the Name of יהוה.
The 134 passages where the Sopherim (scribes) altered the Name יהוה to Aḏonai have been restored in The Scriptures, which are:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:3,27,30,31,32; 19:18; 20:4 // Shemoth/Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9(2)
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 14:17 // Yehoshua/Joshua 7:8 // Shophetim/Judges 6:15; 13:8
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 3:10,15; 22:6 // Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 7:6; 19:23
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17: 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14 // Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:9; 33:17,20
Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1 // Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:4 // Miḵah/Micah 1:2 // Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:12,14
Tehillim/Psalms 2:4; 16:2; 22:30; 30:8; 35:17,22,23; 37:13; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2, 3, 6
Dani’ěl/Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19(3) // Ěḵah/Lamentations 1:14,15(2); 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58
Ezra_10:3 // Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14 // Iyoḇ/Job 28:28
The additional passages where the Sopherim substituted the Name יהוה with Elohim are:
Tehillim/Psalms 14:1,2,5; 53:1,2,4,5,6
The 18 passages where the Sopherim “corrected” the text with good intentions to “revere” the Name of יהוה are:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:22 // Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11:15; 12:12
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 3:13 // Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 16:12; 20:1
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 12:16 // Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 10:16
Iyoḇ̱/Job 7:20; 32:3 // Tehillim/Psalms 106:20 // Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:11 // Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:20
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 8:17 // Hoshěa/Hosea 4:7 // Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 1:12 // Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 2:8 // Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:13
While we are certainly called to proclaim His Name, revere His Name, praise His Name, confess His Name, love His Name and worship His Name, we must always be reminded that we recognise and know the One who we are praising, worshipping, praising, and proclaiming – and do so with the utmost integrity and respect as we guard His commands with great joy!
One of the sad tragedy’s that we have seen, through false traditions of man, is the ‘nullification’ of speaking the Name of יהוה, as the command to not bring His Name to nought is continually broken by so many who ‘claim to know Elohim’. What we can learn from Aḇraham, is that we are to call upon the Name that delivers, and causes us to be, yet at the same time, when we are speaking with our Master, we recognise who we are speaking to!
So, the reason for highlighting this out is to simply show the great reverence Aḇraham shows toward Elohim who he interacted with face to face, and also recognise that the Name of יהוה is to be upon our lips as we proclaim His Name to the nations, in our life of abundant praise and obedience unto our Master and King!
Yeshayahu/Isiah 56:6 “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to יהוה, to serve Him, and to love the Name of יהוה, to be His servants, all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant”
Tehillah/Psalm 103:1 “Bless יהוה, O my being, and all that is within me, Bless His set-apart Name!”
Shemoth/Exodus 9:16 “And for this reason I have raised you up, in order to show you My power, and in order to declare My Name in all the earth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 22:22 “I make known Your Name to My brothers; In the midst of the assembly I praise You.”
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:11 “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My Name is great among nations. And in every place incense is presented to My Name, and a clean offering. For My Name is great among nations,” said יהוה of hosts.”
יהוה had gone away after He had ended speaking with Aḇraham and Aḇraham went back to his tent; however, the 2 Messengers that came with יהוה had proceeded to go down to Seḏom.
I find this a clear picture for us of how Elohim came down to make known His Covenant and renew it by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah, and now the 2 messengers can, in a sense, represent the Torah and the Prophets which bear witness of Messiah and those who listen to and heed the clear direction and instructions contained therein, calling on the Name of יהוה and walking in His commands, shall be delivered!
Lot was sitting in the gate – The gate of a city was the seat of authority for the city; and the place where all right-ruling and judging would take place, and where city business would be discussed and decided upon. Anyone entering a city would be screened at the gate and if the gate of a city was destroyed then the city would be taken captive.
Lot’s position therefore, in Seḏom, was a high position and he possibly was given this position after Aḇraham had rescued Lot and the people of Seḏom and brought back all their goods.
He recognized these 2 Messengers as Messengers of Elohim and bowed himself toward them and extended his hospitality to them. Lot urged the Messengers to not stay in the open square as he knew how wicked this town was, and when they came to his house he prepared a meal for them. We see no mention of his wife and from the results that would follow we can assume that his wife was not a Torah observant wife that was subject to her husband, but rather one who preferred the lifestyle of Seḏom!
The men of Seḏom came to Lot’s door and wanted the 2 men to be handed over to them in order to be raped! This was a sick city where hospitality was not extended to outsiders and those who came in would have to give wealth and goods to the city or be raped and killed!
Lot offers his two daughters who were virgins and betrothed to be married!
While this was certainly not an acceptable option, Lot did all he could to protect the Messengers of Elohim – yet was a last resort in trying to get the city men to stop harassing the Messengers of Elohim.
Being under someone’s roof in Middle-Eastern culture rendered the host responsible for the livelihood of the guests and if harm or death should come to the guests while under you roof would give the affected family means to have a legitimate cause for rendering you responsible for their blood shed!
Who are you to judge? An often-common phrase that is heard so repeatedly today!
Lot was an appointed judge in the city gate, yet as a sojourner, or foreigner, they had quickly ganged up against him, when they did not get what they want!
It is the same today, with so many people who may have at one time been our friends, yet when confronted with the Truth of Torah and the need to strip away the inherited lies of man-made traditions they are all too quick to claim that we have no right to judge one another!
As soon as you hold someone to the standard of the Word of Elohim, they attack the Truth you speak to them with the ‘do not judge’ clause they fall back to when trying to justify their compromised worship and lawless loving standards!
As soon as you, by proclaiming the Truth, stand in the way of others fleshly desires they will quickly raise the fact that you have no authority to judge them and tell them what to do, when all they are trying to do is to make you like them. Come out and be separate and do not let those ‘outside’ judge you ‘inside’!
We are to judge ‘inside’ the body – in other words if someone claims to be a follower of Messiah then they must be open to being judged by the standard of the Torah within the community, while we need not concern ourselves with what those who refuse to walk in the Torah are doing – for Elohim will judge them!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:12-13 “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But Elohim judges those who are outside. And put away the wicked one from among you!”
Qolasim/Colossians 2:16-17 “Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – 17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.”
What Sha’ul is saying here is that we should not let those who do not walk in the Torah judge us in how we keep the Torah by obeying the food laws and do not let ‘outsiders’ judge us for keeping the Feasts of יהוה which picture for us what is to come! And when he says ‘but the body of Messiah’ he is telling us clearly that we must ‘judge’ each other in the Body in respect to the clear Torah instructions of keeping His Feasts, Sabbaths, New Moons and dietary laws! When our brother or sister is out of line and do not heed the Torah we must tell them, however let us not be phased at what the rest of the world thinks about our obedience – they have no right to judge us!!!
The messengers grabbed Lot and pulled him into the house and shut the door – the door was closed!!! This is a clear picture of the door that will be closed in the last days, so to speak, where the opportunity for repentance will be over! The Ark door will shut and those who are not in the House will be destroyed! Many people know where the Door is, yet they do not want to submit to the clear instructions of the House and be covered in the Blood of Messiah and so, just as the Messenger of death passed over those in the houses that were covered with the blood of the lamb, and destroyed all the firstborn who were not covered, we see a Passover picture here in motion, and the fact that Lot gave them unleavened Bread to eat can suggest the timing of these events as being at Pěsaḥ. Whether it was or not the picture is clear – those who are not in the House of Elohim will be destroyed when judgement is poured out!
The men of the city who were at the doorway of the house were struck with ‘blindness’ which is the root word סַנְוֵרִים sanverim – Strong’s H5575 which means, ‘sudden blindness’.
The only other place this word is used in Scripture is in:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 6:18 “And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to יהוה, and said, “Strike this nation with blindness, I pray.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”
This word denotes a sudden inability to see and can speaks of deception and confusion that causes blindness as a result of excessive light!
So many today when confronted with the Truth are ‘blinded’ in their deceptions and confusion of ear tickling lies, simply as a result of their refusal to hear, guard and do the Truth! What is interesting here in the picture of Seḏom is that the picture of this blindness that struck the men at the doorway and unable to find the door pictures for me the blind who lead the blind today!
In speaking of those who worship with their lips while their hearts are far from Elohim, Messiah calls those who ‘teach as teachings the commands of men’, blind guides:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:14 “Leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both shall fall into a ditch.”
The Greek word for ‘blind’ is τυφλός tuphlos – Strong’s G5185 which can mean, ‘to be physically or mentally blind’, and comes from the word τυφόω tuphoō – Strong’s G5187 which means, ‘to be conceited, foolish, arrogance, vanity, to be lifted up with pride, high-minded’.
It can also render the understanding of being enveloped with smoke and blinded so as not to see.
יהושע came to bring us a recovery of sight – by manifesting the very Truth in the Flesh, separating the light from the dark:
Luqas/Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of יהוה is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed ones with a release, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה.”
The word for ‘recovery of sight’ is ἀνάβλεψις anablepsis – Strong’s G309 and comes from the word ἀναβλέπω anablepō – Strong’s G308 which means, ‘to look up, recover sight’, and comes from the word βλέπω blepō – Strong’s G991 which means, ‘to see, to look at, beware, take heed, perceive’.
When we understand these words in their original meanings it further helps us understand that Messiah came to take away the smokescreen of tradition and man-made dogmas, and then we clearly understand the words of Sha’ul in:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 3:16 “And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.”
When one turns and looks intently into the Light all darkness is taken away!
He came to recover our sight and cause us to take heed and see His Good News and be able to see with good and functional – eyes!
Knowing that the days are dark and evil, we are to look intently to the Light and allow the Light (Torah) to light our way, so that we can confidently take each step of faith with boldness and assurance of the hope we have in our Creator and Saviour – יהושע Messiah – The Light of the world!
The wicked people of Seḏom were blinded from seeing as they had rejected the truth and continued in the depravity of sin and lawlessness. We must remember that these men of the city were people who Aḇraham had rescued when they were taken captive in war, and so here we see a picture that symbolises people who have been offered salvation by Messiah and have refused to submit to the Torah way and prefer the ways of tradition and the world, and those who continue to reject the truth will find themselves totally unable to see the Truth, and this lines up with Sha’ul’s words in:
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved. 11 And for this reason Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood,12 in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.”
Understanding that ‘love for Elohim’ is to obey His commands, then we can clearly see that those who do not receive a love for the Truth – that is – those who refuse to walk in the clear Torah (instructions) of Elohim, but rather choose false lies and traditions of men, and equate those lies and teachings of men as teachings of Messiah, will be handed over to the delusion (spiritual blindness) and believe their lies, as they delight in unrighteousness (lawlessness).
When asked if Lot had anyone else he went out to call his two future sons-in-law and told them to come with him or else they will die, and they just laughed at him and thought he was joking! So many today think that it is a joke, when we tell them the Truth and call them out of the Church! They simply refuse to leave and sadly will suffer the consequences of the rebellious!
Lot was asked if he had anyone else here in the city – anyone else of his family that could be saved from the coming wrath of Elohim. He was told to go and get whoever he could because the city was about to be destroyed.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘destroyed’ comes from the root word שָׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7843 which means, ‘destroy, ruin, spoil, pervert, corrupt’.
The wicked were about to be destroyed while the upright would be rescued and see the deliverance of Elohim rescuing them from the coming destruction.
Tehillah/Psalm 11:5-7 “יהוה tries the righteous, but His being shall hate the wrong and the one who loves violence. 6 Upon the wrong He rains snares, fire and sulphur and a scorching wind are the portion of their cup. 7 For יהוה is righteous, He has loved righteousness; the upright shall see His face.”
In a Tehillah/Psalm of Dawiḏ we see that he blesses the Name of יהוה and declares that he will not forget all His dealings with us, as יהוה redeems us from ‘destruction’!
Tehillah/Psalm 103:4 “Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with kindness and compassion”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘destruction’ is the noun שַׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7845 which means, ‘corruption, destruction, pit, ditch, grave’, and we see how Yonah cried out in recognition of how Elohim had redeemed him from the pit of destruction:
Yonah/Jonah 2:6 “I went down to the base of the mountains, the earth with its bars were behind me forever. But You brought up my life from the pit, O יהוה, my Elohim.”
It is only Elohim, our Redeemer, who is able to redeem us from the grave:
Tehillah/Psalm 49:7 “A brother does not redeem anyone at all, neither give to Elohim a ransom for him”
Tehillah/Psalm 49:15 “But Elohim does redeem my being from the power of the grave, for He does receive me. Selah.”
In verse 14 we see how Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were betrothed to his daughters, yet they mocked him and said he was joking after he urged them to get out of Seḏom and escape the coming destruction.
The same is still true today in that we see how so many of those we know, be it family or close friends and colleagues, who refuse to hear our calling them out of the world’s corrupted system and false theologies and traditions of man! They think we are crazy and to them it looks like we are joking around and they are unwilling to take us seriously!
By the time the next morning came it was too late for those who refused to listen as the messengers urged Lot to get up and take his wife and daughters, lest he be consumed in the punishment of this wicked city.
The Hebrew word used in the command to Lot to ‘get up’ is קוּם qum – Strong’s H6965 meaning, ‘to arise, stand up, stand’ and in the tense that this is written in, we see that it is in the active voice and is a clear command, which renders the clear meaning, ‘to rise, to become powerful, to stand firm, to maintain oneself, to be established, endure’.
This is the same Hebrew word used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.”
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) for ‘get up’ is ἀνίστημι anistēmi – Strong’s G450 which means, ‘to raise up, arise, stand, rise up from lying down, rise up from the dead’, and comes from two words: 1) ἀνά ana – Strong’s G303 meaning, ‘up, upwards, back’, and
2) ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 which means, ‘to make to stand, to stand firm, be established, stand upright, stand ready and prepared, be of a steadfast mind, to uphold and sustain the authority of something’, and is also the word used in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6 where we are told to ‘stand’ firm in the armour of Elohim; and so we can clearly see that this ‘standing’ is an equipped standing.
The Greek word ἀνίστημι anistēmi is also used in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:14 “That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.”
When in prison and asleep, Kěpha was urgently awakened and in Ma’asei/Acts 12:7 he was told to ‘get up’ which is translated from the Greek word ἀνίστημι anistēmi – Strong’s G450.
The urgency with which Lot was being told to get up and get out is the same urgency that is being called for today, yet so many are asleep to the clear call and will sadly face the coming punishment for lawlessness and sin.
Lot ‘loitered’, and while he did this the messengers took hold of his hand and the hands of his wife and daughters and brought them out of the city.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘loitered’ is מָהַהּ mahah – Strong’s H4102 which means, ‘to linger, tarry, delay, hesitate, loiter’.
This word can give the understanding of questioning one’s forward motion, and here we can see how Lot hesitated for a moment and in his lingering on what to do, perhaps concerned for others and trying to figure out how to convince them, he was taken byte hand of the messengers and brought out.
This must teach us a great lesson on not procrastinating in our heeding of the call to come out and be separate!
The night is far advanced… there is no time to loiter and hesitate in our need to come out and be separate, even when the majority are not willing to listen and respond to the truth!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:60 “I have hurried, and did not delay to guard Your commands.”
Dawiḏ says that he did NOT delay in guarding the commands and neither should we, lest we find ourselves being numbered with the wicked!
יהוה brought Lot out, having ‘compassion’ on him, and the Hebrew word used for ‘compassion’ is חֶמְלָה ḥemlah – Strong’s H2551 which means, ‘compassion, mercy’, which comes from the primitive root verb חָמַל ḥamal – Strong’s H2550 which means, ‘to spare, have compassion, pity, show mercy’.
When the time came Lot and his wife and his two daughters were led out by the 2 Messengers and were commanded to ‘escape’ for their life and ‘not look back at all’!
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘escaped’ is מָלַט malat – Strong’s H4422 which means, ‘to slip away, escape, certainly rescue, delivered, saved’, and is the same word used to describe how Dawiḏ escaped from the hand of Sha’ul who pressed hard against him in, when he went to Aḏullam as recorded in Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 22:1.
In Tehillah/Psalm 124 Dawiḏ praises יהוה and this psalm of praise is a recognition of the saving work of the Hand of יהוה, as Dawiḏ sings, ‘If it were not for יהוה who was on our side’, and he calls all Yisra’ĕl to declare this. He then goes on to describe what would have happened if it were not for יהוה, and in verse 7 Dawiḏ tells us that we have ‘escaped’ like a bird from a trap.
Tehillah/Psalm 124:7 “Our being has escaped like a bird from the snare of the trappers; the snare was broken, and we have escaped.”
We also see this word מָלַט malat – Strong’s H4422 being used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 107:20 “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
This is a powerful verse in terms of what Dawiḏ is expressing here in saying, ‘If it were not for יהוה’, as we see that יהוה sent His Word, and has healed and delivered us from destruction! We have escaped from destruction like a bird from the trap of a hunter!
The Hebrew word for ‘bird’ is צִפּוֹר – Strong’s H6833 which means, ‘bird, sparrow’, and what is interesting to take not of is the feminine of this word is צִפֹּרָה Tsipporah – Strong’s H6855, which was the name of Mosheh’s wife, whom he had rescued from the shepherds when she came to draw water for her flocks at the well!
This is a shadow picture of יהושע Messiah coming down to set His Bride free from the trap of destruction – for it is יהוה who delivers us and sets us free!
Yoḥanan/John 8:36 “If, then, the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Tehillah/Psalm 25:15 “My eyes are ever toward יהוה, for He brings my feet out of the net.”
As we fix our eyes on יהושע Messiah, the Prince and Perfecter of our faith, and guard His commands, we are kept safe from the trap of the enemy:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:110 “The wrong have laid a snare for me, but I have not strayed from Your orders.”
In other words, it is in our steadfast obedience amidst the snares of the enemy we face on a daily basis, that we are able to stand firm and not be caught in the traps of destruction! As the enemy tries to entrap us every day, stick to the ‘orders’ of יהוה! The Torah sets us free, it does not enslave us, as so many erroneously believe. The commands and orders of Elohim are easy and light and not burdensome!!!
If it were not for יהוה, who has given us His orders, we would be trapped! He has broken the trap and caused us to escape and be delivered!
Lot was told to ‘escape’ and NOT LOOK BACK!
We who have come out of, and ‘escaped’ from, the church system must not look back, but rather press on toward the goal!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:38-39 “But the righteous shall live by belief, but if anyone draws back, my being has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to destruction, but of belief to the preservation of life.”
Luqas/Luke 9:62 “But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”
The term ‘looking back’ is from the Greek words:
1) – βλέπω blepō – Strong’s G991 which means, ‘to look at, beware, careful, consider’ and
2) – ὀπίσω opisō – Strong’s G3694 which means, ‘back, behind, after, things that are behind’
We are to look unto the Master whom we follow, and we are not to look back and consider the things that are behind us, and by that, I mean that we are not to look at past failings, hurts and fears, and not allow them to stop our journey of running with endurance, the race that has been set before us.
We are to press on in the Master, with a content and constant hand on the plough, ensuring that the soil of our hearts is kept good and free from the thorns that can choke out the life of the Word! The concept of looking back is clearly warned against; and so, we need to be on guard against looking back to old ways that we have been cleansed from!
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:20-22 “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the set-apart command delivered unto them. 22 For them the proverb has proved true, “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “A washed sow returns to her rolling in the mud.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
Lot’s wife looked back – In other words she ‘came out’ in body so to speak but not in mind – she was brought out as a result of her husband’s faith, yet she did not want to leave!!! And she became a post of salt!
She is a picture of those who prefer the ways of the flesh and will never submit to the Truth – although her husband was a righteous man, he could not save her as long as she kept her eyes on the flesh… if she had followed her husband she would have been delivered!
Many today are living in marriages where there is no unity in the Spirit and while the one may in fact be able to save the other, if the unsaved one does not turn and fix their eyes on the Master, they will be destroyed along with the wicked!
Lot’s wife is a picture of a backslider who gets delivered yet turns back to his old folly. She was satisfied with the life at Seḏom and her corrupt ways:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart is satisfied with his own ways, but a good man is satisfied from his.”
Lot asked to go to a nearby city after being commanded to flee to the mountains, and after a while he left that place and ended up in the mountains! We would do well to simply obey the Truth, it would save many unnecessary stops and detours of our own making along the way!
Seḏom and Amorah is a witness for all today, giving us an example of what will happen to the wicked, who refuse to walk in the Torah!
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:6 “and having reduced to ashes the cities of Seḏom and Amorah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly”
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:7 “Even as Seḏom and Amorah and the cities around them in a similar way to these, having given themselves over to whoring and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, undergoing judicial punishment of everlasting fire.”
What we also learn from Seḏom and Amorah is that יהוה will deliver the righteous!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:18-19 “And if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall the wicked and the sinner appear? 19 So then, those who suffer according to the desire of Elohim should commit their lives to a trustworthy Creator, in doing good.”
Seḏom is also an example of what wickedness brings:
Tehillah/Psalm 107:34 “A land of fruit becomes a salty desert, for the evil of those who dwell in it.”
Seḏom was like the Garden of Eden (that is why Lot chose the ‘better’ land according to the lust of the eyes) and was reduced to ashes. Today it is still a ruin of sulphur and ash, that is still filled with flammable sulphur deposits, where nothing at all grows! It is a salty desert!
The destruction of Seḏom and Amorah is a witness to all creation of the second death that awaits the unrighteous:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, and untrustworthy, and abominable, and murderers, and those who whore, and drug sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”
As a result of incest, the Mo’aḇites and Ammonites were birthed when Lot’s daughters made him drunk and slept with their father on alternate nights and became pregnant. While their intentions may have been noble in their own eyes, as they thought that they were the last of their people, they made a huge mistake by not waiting to hear from יהוה.
If Lot had taken his daughters to Aḇraham’s camp they could have found decent husbands, and so, the result of this sinful act was that two nations were birthed, nations that would later be cursed for their refusal to provide water and food for Yisra’ĕl in their Wilderness Wanderings:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:3-4 “An Ammonite or Mo’aḇite does not enter the assembly of יהוה, even a tenth generation of them does not ever enter the assembly of יהוה, 4 because they did not meet you with bread and water on the way when you came out of Mitsrayim, and because they hired against you Bilʽam son of Be’or from Pethor of Aram Naharayim, to curse you.”
To flee or not to flee!
One clear lesson that we can learn from Seḏom and Amorah is that the command to flee to the mountains is not for everyone!!! We certainly do not see Aḇraham having to flee and so in the end days when Messiah tells us that those in Yehuḏah must flee to the mountains then clearly, we must recognise that it is only those who are in Yehuḏah.
There is a growing fear among many Torah observant communities around the world in this regard and many teach that foods and getting trailers and camping gear ready for the day they have to flee. I say it again – only those in Yehuḏah must flee – too have to flee from their cities and get to the mountains for safety; and many are gearing up for this by storing up that is the physical land in Yisra’ĕl today!
If you are not in Yehuḏah then do not flee to a mountain!
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 6:10-13 “And when I came to the house of Shemayah son of Delayah, son of Mehĕtaḇ’ĕl, who was restrained, he said, “Let us meet together in the House of Elohim, inside the Hěḵal, and let us close the doors of the Hěḵal, for they are coming to slay you – by night they are coming to slay you.” 11 And I said, “Should a man like me flee? And who is there like me who would go into the Hĕḵal to save his life? I do not go in!” 12 And see, I perceived that Elohim had not sent him, but that he spoke this prophecy against me because Toḇiyah and Sanballat had hired him – 13 because he was a hireling – that I should be afraid, and do so, and shall sin, and so they could give me an evil name, to reproach me.”
Tehillah/Psalm 11:1 “In יהוה I have taken refuge; why do you say to me, “Flee to your mountain like a bird”?”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:1 “The wrong shall flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
The call to ‘come out of Baḇel’ is to come out of her worship system and dogmas and theologies and traditions of man!
We are to flee whoring, adultery, idolatry, and the lusts of youth!!!
Marqos/Mark 13:14 “And when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’ spoken of by Dani’ěl the prophet, set up where it should not be” – he who reads, let him understand – “then let those who are in Yehuḏah flee to the mountains.”
We must take careful note of the events in Seḏom, and therefore as we learn from the clear patterns that are set as examples for us, we can see how the righteous will be delivered and we who run to the Name of יהוה are safe – if you cannot believe that then your faith is weak!!! Instead of listening to every conspiracy that is out there – get into the Torah and walk according to the instructions of Torah – that will keep you safe no matter where you are in the world – if you are in Yehuḏah then flee as commanded by Messiah! All of you who are around the world – stop ‘fleeing’ in fear and start shining the Light of the Besorah of Messiah as there are many brothers and sisters still in ‘Seḏom’ who need to be rescued!
While we certainly must realise that the last days will get more and more wicked and the disregard for the Truth will grow, we must realise that we have a responsibility to be the salt and light of the world bringing His Truth to the nations.
Aḇraham ‘set out’ and went to the South – the root verb used for ‘set out’ is נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265 and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which can be rendered as, ‘pull up or out, set out, journey, depart, march’ and can be understood as a ‘pulling up of the stakes’ in order to journey forward (A pulling up of the ‘tent pegs/stakes’ and break camp to move on).
Aḇraham was not ‘bound’ or ‘fixed’ to a certain spot, but he would be a sojourner in the Land of Promise and he would have walked this entire land camping along the way and so we can learn from this that we are to be ready to ‘pull up our stakes’ and sojourn with Messiah and not allow the world to tie us down.
When we consider this analogy or picture of ‘pulling up stakes to move on/depart’ we are quickly reminded of the words of יהושע Messiah:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:24 “Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.”
Luqas/Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.”
Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.”
He stayed between Qaḏĕsh and Shur in Gerar. קָדֵשׁ Qaḏĕsh – Strong’s H6946 means, ‘set-apart’ and is a place in the desert in the extreme south of Yehuḏah. שׁוּר Shur – Strong’s H7793 means, ‘wall’ and is in the desert region in the South west of Palestine on the eastern border of Mitsrayim. גְּרָר Gerar – Strong’s H1642 means, ‘a lodging place’ and is in the south of Gaza.
Aḇraham had already used this tactic of saying that Sarah was his sister with Pharaoh, and certainly reacted in the flesh as he feared for what might happen to them, as it was common in those days for people to kill a man for his wife, while they would befriend a brother with the hope of getting his sister to consent to becoming their wife by protecting her brother.
There certainly were not many righteous people around, yet as we see in this chapter the king of Gerar was Aḇimeleḵ; and certainly, seems like a king who knew who יהוה was. אֲבִימֶלֶךְ Aḇimeleḵ – Strong’s H40 means, ‘my father is king’ and this was a Hebrew name, and it is thought that this king may have indeed been a descendant of Shem, although not an immediate family member of Aḇraham.
Sarah, at 90, was considered to be very beautiful, although kings would often look to marry into very powerful families, such as Aḇraham.
While we do see in verse 12 that Sarah is indeed the sister of Aḇraham by being the daughter of his father but from a different mother, and blood lines were determined by the father, we must also take note that Aḇraham did keep back the truth of her being his wife, which he should not have done.
His neglect to tell the truth, put an entire city and its people at risk and we must realise that while יהוה certainly promises to protect us, even when we mess up, we have to realise that our actions of compromising the Truth can bring judgement on others!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:5 “Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices”
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.”
While this is certainly true, we must not use the favour of Elohim as a licence to sin!!! Aḇraham should have trusted in יהוה.
Aḇimeleḵ was warned in a dream to not touch Sarah – if he had he would have defiled the marriage between Aḇraham and Sarah, and would have brought great defilement on all the people of Gerar.
Today the world does not adhere to the clear guidelines in Scripture for marriage and the loose standards of living has clouded societies ability to see what effect of defilement in marriage brings to society. Aḇimeleḵ knew יהוה and did not come near Sarah, unlike the world today who does not care whether a woman is married or not and affairs are seen as a common way of life in the world today, and this is abominable in the eyes of יהוה!
Aḇimeleḵ cries out to יהוה, and pleads with Him not to destroy them saying that they were a righteous nation! He knew that יהוה had destroyed Seḏom and Amorah and is claiming that he and his people were not like Seḏom!
Here Aḇimeleḵ displays a true fear for Elohim and expresses his plea for forgiveness by saying that he did not plan to take a man’s wife, especially not the wife of a prophet of יהוה!
He says that his hands were innocent and his heart was not wicked toward Elohim, and יהוה tells Aḇimeleḵ that He knew that his motives were innocent and pure and that is why He kept him from sinning!
Here we can learn a two-fold lesson – firstly as I have already said – do not lie or conceal the truth in any way and secondly from the example of Aḇimeleḵ we can learn that when we keep our hearts and hands clean and pure by walking in the Torah, we have the assurance that יהוה will keep us from sinning – even if He does it by warning us before we do something wrong and so we need to recognise the necessity for us to be attentive to His voice!
Here we see clearly that יהוה calls Aḇraham a prophet, and a prophet of יהוה is one who brings the Word and calls people back to obedience, and we see here that Aḇimeleḵ is told that Aḇraham must pray for him so that he may live, and this is a great picture for us as we see that יהושע Messiah is also referred to as being a prophet who would come – and He is the only One who can intercede for us so that we may live!!!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:1-3 “My little children, I write this to you, so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Intercessor with the Father, יהושע Messiah, a righteous One. 2 And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world. 3 And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.”
Aḇimeleḵ asks Aḇraham for forgiveness while at the same time rebukes him for acting shrewdly in treating them like a wicked nation, and Aḇraham tells him it was because he feared for their lives and tells him that she is in fact his sister, so in a sense he was telling the truth – just not the whole truth! This tradition of calling one’s wife a sister was motivated by fear and we must learn that we are to fear only יהוה and not man!
In verse 16 we see that Aḇimeleḵ gives Sarah a thousand pieces of silver as a covering of eyes before all! It was clear and obvious to all in Gerar that Sarah was not available and belonged to Aḇraham, therefore no man was permitted to ‘look’ at her in the sense of seeking her as wife!
This ‘covering of eyes’ is a great lesson for us which must teach is that we who are redeemed must not give our eyes over to the lusts of the flesh and look at other things!
Iyoḇ/Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I gaze at a maiden?”
While this verse may often seem out of context as many may wonder how Iyoḇ could even be thinking of woman while under such intense pain and suffering, we also recognise here that his words carry great power in understanding his clear proclamation of devotion to יהוה, as he had made a covenant with his eyes – in other words he by making being in covenant with יהוה had devoted to ensuring that His eyes would forever be fixed on יהוה, and so why would he even think of looking elsewhere!
So, this verse is not just a physical lust lesson for over active males, but rather this is a clear picture of how serious we ought to be in our Covenant relationship with Messiah, in that no matter what our circumstances are we will not take our eyes off of Him and look to another!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at falsehood, and revive me in Your way.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:25-26 “Let your eyes look forward, and your eyelids look straight before you. 26 Consider the path of your feet, and all your ways are established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:16 “Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Messiah has paid the price for the covering of our eyes – we are His and so we also recognise that just as we are the apple of His eye so too must we fix our eyes on Him and let his Torah be the apple of our eye!
Tehillah/Psalm 17:8 “Guard me as the apple of Your eye. Hide me under the shadow of Your wings”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:2 “Guard my commands and live, and my Torah as the apple of your eye.”
יהוה had closed up the wombs of the woman of the house of Aḇimeleḵ because of Sarah and after the Truth was out and redemption paid, יהוה healed Aḇimeleḵ and his wife and servants so that they could have children – he did this after Aḇraham prayed!’
Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, so that you are healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous one accomplishes much.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:29 “יהוה is far from the wrong ones, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:12 “Because the eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, but the face of יהוה is against those who do evil.”
I find, in this chapter, a great lesson of repentance through the life of this king Aḇimeleḵ, in contrast to another Aḇimeleḵ we find in Scripture who pictures for us the opposite – as one who does not repent.
In Shophetim/Judges 9 we are given the events of the wicked son of Giḏ’on, whose name was Aḇimeleḵ.
He went and killed his 70 brothers, the sons of Giḏ’on, yet the youngest was still left alive – Yotham, who had hidden himself.
The Hebrew word יוֹתָם Yotham – Strong’s H3147 means, ‘Yah is perfect’.
After Aḇimeleḵ had killed the 70 sons of Giḏ’on, the masters of Sheḵem made Aḇimeleḵ king over them, and when Yotham heard this he went and stood on Mount Gerizim and spoke a rebuking parable regarding trees against the masters of Sheḵem and Aḇimeleḵ, whom they had set up as king.
What is interesting to take note of is that Mount Gerizim was the mount where Yisra’ĕl was to proclaim the blessings after they had crossed the Yardĕn and entered the Promised Land, and here Yotham stands on this hill of blessing so to speak and proclaims a curse over Aḇimeleḵ for his wicked acts!
This is a clear picture of the warning that must be spoken out by those who walk in the perfect Word of יהוה against those who want to claim the ‘blessings’ of the Word yet have no regard for the obedience to the Torah, and cast His words behind them!
Aḇimeleḵ ruled Yisra’ĕl for 3 years and by him killing the seventy sons of Giḏ’on, we see a clear picture of how the Satan will do his utmost at destroying and killing the nations in his plot to rule!
The number 70 is a clear picture for the nations in Scripture, as we recognise that the genealogies of the sons of Noaḥ were 70; and there were 70 elders who ate with Mosheh and יהוה on Mount Sinai when Yisra’ĕl received the Covenant. Messiah, in sending out the 70 talmidim/disciples 2 by 2, was in effect sending them out to reach the nations with the Besorah/Good News of the reign of the Heavens! In understating this we see a clear picture of the remnant faithful being preserved, as seen through the life of Yotham, representing those who are hidden by יהוה in the day of His wrath!
Aḇimeleḵ was killed, when a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head, and crushed his skull, and he immediately told his armour nearer to draw his sword and kill him, so that it would not be said that a woman had killed Aḇimeleḵ!
The reason for summarising this story of the wicked Aḇimeleḵ, is simply to contrast the two different stories of two different men named Aḇimeleḵ. One repented after being rebuked by יהוה and was healed, while the other did not and remained full of the wickedness of pride and self, for which he was killed! So many today want to claim that they know the Heavenly Father, and even declare that He is King, yet their lives show no submission to walking in His Word and repenting from dead works; while there is a remnant faithful who submit to the Father of all Creation and humble themselves to His Kingdom Reign – and they shall dwell with Him forever!
יהוה ‘visited’ Sarah as He had spoken! The word used for ‘visited’ is פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 meaning, ‘to attend to, to visit, appoint’ and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which renders the meaning, ‘to pay attention to, to attend to, observe, appoint, visit, assign, deposit’. This was a ‘positive’ visitation of יהוה, where the sure Promise of יהוה is given as He has said, and what He said He would do for her, He did! יהוה does not forget His Word, and 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”
Ruth 1:6 “And she rose up, with her daughters-in-law, and returned from the fields of Mo’aḇ, for she had heard in the fields of Mo’aḇ that יהוה had visited His people in giving them bread.”
There awaits another day of visitation where יהוה is coming to bring both deliverance to His people, while destruction to His enemies, and so we like Sarah must walk in believe and obedience that when He visits us we will see His great deliverance!
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!
Sarah conceived and at the appointed time she bore a son to Aḇraham as promised by יהוה!
What יהוה speaks is sure and true and all is accomplished according to His Word that never fails! Her conception was the foundation of the Promise we have from Elohim in establishing His Covenant with us:
Romiyim/Romans 9:9 “For this is the word of promise, “At this time I shall come and Sarah shall have a son.”
At the appointed time is a clear pointing to the Feasts of יהוה, and so as the son of the Promise was born at the appointed time given by יהוה, we must clearly recognise just how important His Feasts or Appointed Times are for us to remember to keep (rehearse) as it clearly reveals His redemption plan and fulfilment of His promises to us in Messiah!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:20 “For as many promises as are of Elohim, in Him they are Yea, and in Him Aměn, to the esteem of Elohim through us.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
This promise given to Aḇraham and Sarah was a confirmation of the blessed provision of Elohim in pointing us to His promise of deliverance which He would bring in His own flesh, through the body of Messiah – the seed!
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
Aḇraham named his son whom Sarah had born to him, יִצְחָק Yitsḥaq – Strong’s H3327 which means, ‘he laughs’ which comes from the primitive root verb צָחַק tsaḥaq – Strong’s H6711 which means, ‘to laugh, play, make sport of’.
In the ancient pictographic script, יִצְחָק Yitsḥaq – Strong’s H3327 is pictured as:
– this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘tsadey’, which is pictured in the ancient script as ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching I concealment, as well as laying one’s self down for another. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’.
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’.
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.
The meaning of his name carries a powerful picture of how יהוה, through the work our His hands, ‘laughs at His enemies’.
Tehillim/Psalm 2:4-7 “He who is sitting in the heavens laughs, יהוה mocks at them. 5 Then He speaks to them in His wrath, And troubles them in His rage, saying, 6 “But I, I have set My Sovereign on Tsiyon, My set-apart mountain.” 7 “I inscribe for a law: יהוה has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have brought You forth.”
When we recognise that Yishma’ĕl was a man of the bow, a hunter, then Yitsḥaq’s name, as pictured in the ancient text can have a twofold meaning, depending on ‘which side of the wall’ you are on!
His name could represent for us:
The outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, who as a man, laid down His life in the flesh, in order to establish His Covenants of Promise, for all eternity.
We who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah, who was pierced in His side, and established His secure promises for us who are built up in Him.
Yitsḥaq’s name can also picture for us a severe warning and rebuke for those who walk according to the flesh, as we can see that the works of the hunter shall be cut off for all time!
The life of Yitsḥaq is a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, by the sacrifice that Aḇraham was asked to make of Yitsḥaq, in offering up His son to Elohim, who established His Covenant with Aḇraham and promised His blessing upon Him for not withholding his son.
Berěshith/Genesis 22:15-18 “And the Messenger of יהוה called to Aḇraham a second time from the heavens, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares יהוה, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that I shall certainly bless you, and I shall certainly increase your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore, and let your seed possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Ma’asei/Acts 7:8 “And He gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so he brought forth Yitsḥaq and circumcised him on the eighth day. And Yitsḥaq brought forth Ya’aqoḇ, and Ya’aqoḇ brought forth the twelve ancestors.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12:3 “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin is circumcised.”
Aḇraham did as Elohim had commanded him, and so the covenant of circumcision was confirmed in Messiah, fully satisfying this covenant of man!
Romiyim/Romans 4:9-12 “Is this blessing then upon the circumcised only, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we affirm: Belief was reckoned unto Aḇraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it reckoned? Being in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the belief while in uncircumcision, for him to be a father of all those believing through uncircumcision, for righteousness to be reckoned to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the belief which our father Aḇraham had in uncircumcision.”
For more on circumcision please see the previous torah commentary notes on Berěshith/Genesis 17
Aḇraham was 100 years old and he did not doubt the promise of Elohim!
Romiyim/Romans 4:19-22 “And not having grown weak in belief, he did not consider his own body, already dead, being about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb, 20 he did not hesitate about the promise of Elohim through unbelief, but was strengthened in belief, giving esteem to Elohim, 21 and being completely persuaded that what He had promised He was also able to do. 22 Therefore also “it was reckoned to him for righteousness.”
Elohim has made me laugh! While this laughter may have been the laughter of doubt, it turned into a laughter of rejoicing!
When Zeḵaryah and Elisheḇa were well advanced in years, the promise of a child was also given to them and Yoḥanan the Immerser was born to them, the one who would ‘prepare the way for Messiah’.
Luqas/Luke 1:14 “And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.”
Sarah said that she was made to laugh and that everyone who would hear of it would laugh with her:
Romiyim/Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:11 “By belief also, Sarah herself was enabled to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the normal age, because she deemed Him trustworthy who had promised.”
“Who would have said?” a phrase that often people would express when the unexpected or seemingly impossible actually happens; and for Sarah it was no different – this was a miracle based on the sure promise of Elohim, and while that which has been spoken may seem an impossibility, we can clearly learn that we need not doubt His Word at all!
Aḇraham laughed in bewildered amazement in Berěshith/Genesis 17:17, while Sarah mirrored his laugh but with some disbelieving doubt in Berěshith/Genesis 1812, which she was confronted on; and here at the birth of their promised son they both laughed is delight and faith with sheer joy at the fulfilment of the promise, and Sarah said that others would also laugh in wonder and amazement at what Elohim had done when they hear about it.
After roughly 25 years, the promise that Aḇraham would have a child from Sarah came true. He was given the promise in Berěshith/Genesis 15 when יהוה made Covenant with Aḇraham, and 10 years later Sarah gave Hagar her servant to Aḇraham as wife and she bore Yishma’ĕl.
When Aḇraham was 99 years old יהוה appeared to Aḇraham and gave him the covenant of circumcision, and at 13 years old Yishma’ĕl was circumcised (+/- 24 years after the promise was given), and then just before the destruction of Seḏom the promise of Sarah being pregnant at the appointed time was given and so a year later she had Yitsḥaq – 25 years after the promise!!!
25 years for anyone, is a long time to wait, and most people today would have forgotten and given up waiting so long, especially in our ‘microwave’ mentality where people expect things to happen ‘yesterday’!
We must hold on to the hope we have of Messiah’s soon return as we sojourn with joy, realising that Elohim is not slow as we understand it but is faithful in keeping His promises at the appointed times!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:35-37 “Do not, then, lose your boldness, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the desire of Elohim, you receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while – He who is coming shall come and shall not delay.”
Sarah saw Yishma’ĕl ‘laughing’ at Yitsḥaq!
In verse 8 we are told that Aḇraham had made a great feast/banquet which is the Hebrew word מִשְׁתֶּה mishteh – Strong’s H4960 which means, ‘a feast, drink, banquet, place where they were drinking’ and is from the root verb שָׁתָה shathah – Strong’s H8354 which means, ‘to drink, drank, well-watered, get drunk’ and from this we can see that the ‘laughing’ of Yishma’ĕl was as a result of being drunk! The word translated as mocking is the same word used for laughing, which is צָחַק tsaḥaq – Strong’s H6711 which means, ‘to laugh, play, make sport of, mock’.
Yishma’ĕl was making fun of Yitsḥaq, and is a classic picture of those who walk according to the flesh and assume to belong to the Covenants of Promise, as they will mock, and make fun of, those who walk according to the Spirit and abide in the Covenant by walking in the Torah of Elohim!
The church scoffs at the need to walk in the Torah and in a sense ‘mock’s those who do, laughing at the obedience of the remnant faithful, all because they are ‘drunk’ on the cup of whorings, which had intoxicated them through lies and deceit!
The wrong will praise the wrong while the righteous will strive with the wrong!
Mishlĕ/proverbs 28:4 “Those who forsake the Torah praise the wrong, those who guard the Torah strive with them.”
This parable highlights the clear contrast between those who guard the Torah and those who do not, especially as we consider how so many today forsake the need to guard the Torah and in doing so they praise the wrong and the false way of lawlessness!
The true righteous ones strive with the wrong!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strive’ comes from the root word גָּרָה garah – Strong’s H1624 which means, ‘to stir up (strife), engage in strife, provoke, contend’.
This word is translated as ‘stirs up’ in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy, where we see the instructions given to Yisra’ĕl that they were to stir themselves up in battle against Siḥon:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 2:24 “Arise, set out and pass over the wadi Arnon. See, I have given into your hand Siḥon the Amorite, sovereign of Ḥeshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and stir up yourself against him in battle.”
Very strong words indeed as we see that this is what we are to do as we walk in righteousness and so we see the very militaristic style language being used here to ‘call up’ the true believers to stand and fight the good fight and contend for the belief in Messiah!
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:3 “Beloved ones, making all haste to write to you concerning our common deliverance, I felt the necessity to write to you urging you to earnestly contend for the belief which was once for all delivered to the set-apart ones.”
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.”
Yishma’ĕl was not ‘laughing’ with joy, as Aḇraham and Sarah were, but now, as a young man of the age of around 16 or 17, he was mocking his little brother!
As Sarah saw this, she demanded that Aḇraham ‘drive out’ Hagar and Yishma’ĕl.
This word for ‘drive out’ is גָּרַשׁ garash – Strong’s H1644 meaning, ‘drive out, cast away, thrust out, divorce, expel’.
Yishma’ĕl was supposed to have been ‘adopted’ as Sarah’s son, yet was not as he stayed close to his mother Hagar the Mitsrian slave girl, who was legally married to Aḇraham, whom Sarah was now telling him to drive out/divorce!
This word גָּרַשׁ garash – Strong’s H1644 is first used in:
Berěshith/Genesis 3:24 “and He drove the man out. And He placed keruḇim at the east of the garden of Ěḏen, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
This was where Aḏam and Ḥawwah were ‘driven out’ of the garden of Ěḏen dues to their rebellion and sin, as they looked to the flesh and trusted in their own reasonings!
We once again see this word being used to clearly give instructions to the priests that were not allowed to marry a divorced/put away woman:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:14 “A widow or one put away or a defiled woman or a whore – these he does not take. But a maiden of his own people he does take as a wife.”
This is a classic picture of those who are of the flesh and follow the ‘mother church’ while side-lining the Torah as of no effect, and it is these who will be driven out, for they are not children of the promise.
Galatiyim/Galatians 4:28-31 “And we, brothers, as Yitsḥaq was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him born according to the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the female servant and her son, for the son of the female servant shall by no means be heir with the son of the free woman.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the female servant but of the free woman.”
We must recognise that as Sha’ul explains in Galatians that Haḡar and Sarah represent two Covenants:
Galatiyim/Galatians 4:22-27 “For it has been written that Aḇraham had two sons, one by a female servant, the other by a free woman. 23 But he who was of the female servant was born according to the flesh, and he of the free woman through promise. 24 This is allegorical, for these are the two covenants: one indeed from Mount Sinai which brings forth slavery, which is Haḡar, 25 for this Haḡar is Mount Sinai in Araḇia, and corresponds to Yerushalayim which now is, and is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Yerushalayim above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it has been written, “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who do not have birth pains! For the deserted one has many more children than she who has a husband.”
The deserted one – Haḡar – has more children than she who has a husband – Sarah!
Haḡar is the slave woman and Sarah the free woman.
The church erroneously uses this parallel to say that the Torah brings forth slavery, while they do not recognise the allegorical picture that Sha’ul is establishing; because it is very clear who received the Torah – the children of the free woman!!!
It was Yisra’ĕl who received the Torah which was renewed by the Blood of Messiah, according to the promise, at Mount Tsiyon. Yishma’ĕl never received the Torah!!!
Therefore, in the assumption that the Torah leads to slavery, the church is a picture of the children of the slave woman who did not receive the Torah and walk according to the flesh, and persecute those who walk according to the Spirit!
Children of the free woman walk according to the Torah, and while we clearly see that the children of the deserted one are more (as seen by the masses of people who follow the lies and deception of the harlot whore – catholic church and all here daughters – over 34 000 denominations), the remnant faithful shall inherit the promises of Messiah!!!
The Torah of circumcision was given to Aḇraham until The Seed would come!
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:18-19 “For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Aḇraham through a promise. 19 Why, then, the Torah? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through messengers in the hand of a mediator.”
What ‘torah’ was given to Aḇraham through a promise? Circumcision, and it was added because of transgressions – until The Seed, which is Messiah, should come to who the promise was made! Sha’ul is not saying that the whole Torah that was given at Mount Sinai to Yisra’ĕl was done away with when Messiah came, but that the torah of circumcision given to Aḇraham after he had received the promise, was until Messiah who came to ‘complete’ this Covenant in the flesh, being the promised Seed to which the Covenant of circumcision pointed to! Remember that Yishma’ĕl too was circumcised and he does not inherit according to the Promise, as he is not part of the Bride that was betrothed at Mount Sinai and received the Ketuḇah – Marriage Covenant as outlined through the Torah of Mosheh!
Sha’ul is not teaching that the Torah of Mosheh has been done away with – he was dealing with the torah of circumcision; and we know that both Yishma’ĕl and Yitsḥaq were circumcised, and Aḇraham received the promise in uncircumcision. And so, the children of the free woman are the ones who receive the Torah; which Messiah, the Seed to which the circumcision pointed to – The living Torah – who being circumcised in His flesh, came to meet the Covenant requirement of, with both parties fulfilling this in the flesh (first Aḇraham and then יהוה in the flesh) and then, being the fulfilment of the Promise, came to show us how to live by His Torah of His Kingdom Rules given to His Bride – the children of the free woman!
Aḇraham did not like what Sarah had told him and one can certainly understand his disapproval of her request, as this was his son in the flesh; yet Elohim came and told Aḇraham to listen to Sarah, for what she said is true – Yishma’ĕl would not inherit. Only the offspring through Yitsḥaq would be considered to be Aḇraham’s true heirs.
Aḇraham listened to his wife in taking Hagar as wife, which he should not have done and now he was told to listen to his wife – because what she spoke this time was truth, and while this did not sit well with Aḇraham he needed to listen and take the discipline of Elohim which would bring about the promise!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:11 “And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Yishma’ĕl would be recognised as Aḇraham’s offspring and made into a great nation, yet he would not be considered a son according to the promise.
Physical blood line does not make one an heir to the promise, nor does it make you a son!
Romiyim/Romans 9:6-8 “However, it is not as though the word of Elohim has failed. For they are not all Yisra’ĕl who are of Yisra’ĕl, 7 neither are they all children because they are the seed of Aḇraham, but, “In Yitsḥaq your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim, but the children of the promise are reckoned as the seed.”
Yishma’ĕl sent away! He was old enough to take care of himself and Aḇraham gave him supplies, yet when the supplies ran out, Elohim heard the cry of Yishma’ĕl and brought provision and was with Yishma’ĕl in the wilderness. Yishma’ĕl grew and dwelt in the wilderness and became an ‘archer’ which pictures him being a hunter of the field, and it is interesting to see this similarity to Qayin, Nimrod and Ěsaw – all pictures of those who walk according to the flesh and walk contrary to the commands of Elohim!
In the prophesy against ‘Gog’ we see, in Yeḥezqěl, the fate of those who draw the bow (archers):
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 39:3 “and shall smite the bow out of your left hand, and make the arrows fall from your right hand.”
Aḇimeleḵ came to Aḇraham and told him that he could see that Elohim was with him. He recognised that Aḇraham was a man of Elohim, who was protected by and provided for by Elohim, and Elohim was with Aḇraham in everything he did.
This is a great compliment as Aḇraham’s life certainly expressed a clear picture of obedience to Elohim – and all could see it!
He was a living letter of the Living Elohim!
This coming to Aḇraham, is a great shadow picture of the end days when the nations will come to seek Elohim:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 8:22-23 “And many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek יהוה of hosts in Yerushalayim, and to pray before יהוה. 23 Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all languages of the nations take hold, yea, they shall take hold of the edge of the garment of a man, a Yehuḏite, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you.’”
Aḇimeleḵ asked Aḇraham to ‘swear’ not be untrue to him or his offspring by extend loving-commitment, as he had done to Aḇraham. Aḇraham had previously spoken half-truths and Aḇimeleḵ was asking him to be true and not let what happened before ever again and Abraham agreed. He said ‘I swear’ which is the Hebrew word – שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’.
An ‘oath’ is typically and obligation taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you.
To “swear” in Scripture, which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa, was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act. Occasionally we see in Scripture that one ‘swore’ that he freely acknowledged a truth and would continue to acknowledge it in the future by sticking to what he has heard.
In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, that what was said would be accomplished. This is vital for us to grasp, as we see in the world today how so many ‘break their word’ so easily and brush it off without any regard for the consequences of makes rash promises and vows.
What we are to recognize is that the one we make a promise to is in a sense ‘incomplete’ until we fulfill the vow – and so too are we, as we have ‘by our words’ bound ourselves to another and therefore are required to follow through or else we are rendered as not having completed our work and are ‘incomplete’.
When we ‘swear by His Name’ we are identifying ourselves with His character and His clear standards as prescribed in the Torah and therefore יהושע warns us that we are not to ‘swear FALSELY’!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:33 “Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:12 “And do not swear falsely by My Name and so profane the Name of your Elohim. I am יהוה.”
To not swear falsely in יהוה‘s Name is a very serious instruction as many do this as they pass off their own agendas and ideas as that of יהוה. It also speaks of not fulfilling something that we have declared to complete; and now we have all said we will follow His commands and obey them as we have dedicated our lives to following Messiah and therefore we must be careful not to be found faltering in our commitment, for this would be an example of ‘swearing falsely’ in His Name when we fail to do that which we have committed to doing and being marked and sealed as a set-apart nation unto Him!
Messiah reiterates this command by saying we should not swear falsely by anything, but rather let our yes be yes and our no be no as anything beyond this is form the evil one!!!
He was not saying that we cannot swear or make an oath – He was saying that we should not do it falsely!!! Do not give your word and then break it! If we are to be a light to the nations and ‘living letters’ of Messiah, then we had better be careful to ensure that we speak the Truth and follow through on our commitments, which ought to always be for His purposes!
Aḇraham said he would swear but first he reproved Aḇimeleḵ for a well which Aḇraham had dug, had been seized by Aḇimeleḵ’s servants, to which Aḇimeleḵ said he did not know about it until Aḇraham told him, and so the two of them made a covenant that day, as witness that this well had been dug by Aḇraham and therefore was his and not Aḇimeleḵ’s.
Aḇraham took sheep and cattle and made covenant and then he gave Aḇimeleḵ 7 ewe lambs as a witness.
Aḇraham called the name of that place בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע Be’ĕrsheḇa – Strong’s H884 which means, ‘well of oath, or well of 7’, from two words:
1) Seven in Hebrew is the primitive root word – שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 and from this word we get the denominative verb – שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’, and
2) the Hebrew word for ‘well’ is בְּאֵר be‘er – Strong’s H875 and means, ‘well, pit’ which comes from the primitive root word בָּאַר ba‘ar – Strong’s H874 which means, ‘to make distinction, to make plain, expound on, inscribe’ and by analogy it means ‘to engrave’ and figuratively it carries the understanding, ‘to explain, make clear, declare’.
It is also at Be’ĕrsheḇa that:
1 – Aḇraham called upon the Name of יהוה, the Everlasting Ěl – אֵל עוֹלָם – Ěl Olam! Berěshith/Genesis 21:33
2 – Yitsḥaq built an alter and called upon the Name of יהוה, after יהוה appeared to him – Berěshith/Genesis 26:23-25
3 – Ya’aqoḇ brought offerings to יהוה and יהוה spoke to him and confirmed the Covenant – Berěshith/Genesis 46:1-3
Please see the notes from a message called, “THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE – ARE YOU DRINKING?” at:
Verse 1 – Aḇraham tried by Elohim!
The root word for ‘tried’ here in the Hebrew is נָסָה nasah – Strong’s H5254 which means, ‘to test, try, prove, tempted’. This word is used 36 times in 34 verses and in primarily used in reference to Elohim who ‘proved, tried’ Yisra’ĕl in the wilderness and also in a negative sense where Yisra’ĕl ‘tried’ Elohim in the stubbornness of their hearts through rebellion.
Here are a couple of verses where this root word נָסָה nasah – Strong’s H5254 is used:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:16 “Do not try יהוה your Elohim as you tried Him in Massah.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 13:3 “do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.”
Tehillah/Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, O יהוה, and prove me; try my kidneys and my heart.”
Tehillah/Psalm 78:18 “And they tried Ěl in their heart by asking food according to their desire.”
While it is very clear that Elohim will ‘prove’ us, we are not to do so to Him!!!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:2-4 “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. 4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
The Greek word used here for ‘proving’ is δοκίμιον dokimion – Strong’s G1383 meaning, ‘a proof, testing’ which comes from the word δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’ which is from the primary root verb δέχομαι dechomai – Strong’s G1209 which means, ‘to receive, accept, welcomed’. This is very powerful and clear here in the Greek root that shows us that we need to be ‘proven or tested’ in order to be ‘approved and accepted’, hence the command to count it all joy when our belief is being ‘tested’ through trials!
Aḇraham was about to face the toughest test anyone would have to face!
Take your only son!
Remember, that by Aḇraham having sent Yishma’ĕl away (divorced), then we also know that, while he was the offspring of Aḇraham, he was not a ‘son’ according to the promise.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘only son’ is יָחִיד yaḥiḏ – Strong’s H3173 means, ‘only, only one, solitary, only child’ which comes from the root יָחַד yaḥaḏ – Strong’s H3161 meaning, ‘to be united, be joined’
The One whom you love!
While we certainly recognize that Aḇraham must have loved Yishma’ĕl, in his ‘natural heart’, he had to choose one over the other!
The root word for ‘love’ in Hebrew is אָהֵב aheḇ – Strong’s H157 meaning, ‘to love, show your love’ and is an expression of choice in action rather than just an emotional feeling!
What we must also take note of here is that Yitsḥaq was not a small boy but based on Chapter 23 giving us Sarah’s age when she died at 127, we realise that Yitsḥaq must have been close to 37 years of age at the time of Aḇraham’s test of faith!
In the Book of Yasher we are given an account of how Yishma’ĕl and Yitsḥaq had been arguing over who was the true heir to Aḇraham: From the Book of Yasher – Chapter 22:42-45:
And Yishma’ĕl boasted of himself to Yitsḥaq, saying, ‘I was thirteen years old when יהוה spoke to my father to circumcise us, and I did according to the word of יהוה which he spoke to my father, and I gave my soul unto יהוה, and I did not transgress his word which he commanded my father’. 43 And Yitsḥaq answered Yishma’ĕl, saying, ‘Why do you boast to me about this, about a little bit of your flesh which you didst take from your body, concerning which יהוה commanded you? 44 As יהוה lives, the ALMIGHTY of my father Aḇraham, if יהוה should say unto my father, take now your son Yitsḥaq and bring him up an offering before me, I would not refrain but I would joyfully accede to it’. 45 And יהוה heard the word that Yitsḥaq spoke to Yishma’ĕl, and it seemed good in the sight of יהוה, and he thought to try Aḇraham in this matter.
Now, while I recognise that many would reject this quote as being a valid writing, what we can certainly take from this is that we must be careful what we say, as our words can bear consequences on others beside ourselves.
What is clear here, is that יהוה had chosen to try Aḇraham in regards to offering up his only loved son, and Aḇraham passed this test as we all know!
He was instructed to go to the land of מֹרִיָּה Moriyah – Strong’s H4179 meaning, ‘יהוה is teacher, the place where יהוה teaches’.
He was to go there and offer Yitsḥaq as an – Ascending offering – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 and means, ‘whole burnt offering, i.e., an offering of the entire part of a sacrifice that was clean and acceptable for sacrifice’.
This עֹלָה olah offering speaks of that which ‘goes up’ or ‘ascends’ as it comes from the primitive root word עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 which means, ‘to go up, ascend, climb’, and in the essence of these offerings that are given unto יהוה this carries the meaning of, ‘to cause to ascend up to יהוה as a flame and smoke ascent by burning’.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word for ‘ascending offering’ – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 and the word up ‘up’ – עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927, looks like this:
Ayin – עֵ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
When considering the ascending offering and the clear Torah of this offering that requires the fire to never be put out we are able to recognise the clear lesson portrayed in the pictograph rendering of this word עֹלָה olah, which teaches us how we are to have our eyes continually fixed upon our Shepherd who is to be praised!
In terms of the ascending offering, these letters can render the meaning:
LOOKING TO THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS TO BE PRAISED
With the eye representing knowledge and experience we can also see how this can render our need to continually experience the staff as we lift our hands in surrendered praise, and this ought to be reflected in our lives being a daily living offering that is well pleasing to our Master and Good Shepherd!
The עֹלָה olah offering symbolises complete dedication and a giving of our all as we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice, so that we can be pleasing in presenting to Him our reasonable worship that is due:
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
In this entire chapter we see the wonderful shadow picture of Messiah being the Lamb, who offered up His own life to redeem us from sin and death and as we see from these accounts we also can see that Yitsḥaq’s willingness to obey his father is the shadow picture of Messiah, the Promised Seed!
Yitsḥaq, as the son of the promise, was about to be offered up! What we can also take note of here is that when we consider the age differences between Yishma’ĕl and Yitsḥaq, we are also able to see a prophetic picture of Messiah. Aḇraham was 76 years old when he was told that he would have a child, and after a number of years he tried to bring this promise about in his own way and not according to the promise! 10 years later Yishma’ĕl was born, making Aḇraham 86 years old!
We are clearly told that Aḇraham was 100 years old when Yitsḥaq was born, and this would make the birth of Yitsḥaq, 14 years after Yishma’ĕl!
Why I find this an interesting picture is that we are told in Mattithyahu/Matthew 1 that there were 14 generations from Aḇraham to Dawiḏ, 14 generations from Dawiḏ until the exile to Baḇel, and 14 generations from the exile to Baḇel until Messiah!
Messiah is the ‘seed of the promise’, as pictured through the life of Yitsḥaq!
Aḇraham rose early in the morning – eager to do what has been commanded of him, and believing that even if he were to kill his only son, the son of the promise that he would believe that Elohim would raise him from the dead, for he believed that the promise given to him by Elohim which declared that in his seed, Yitsḥaq, would come a multitude of people, then he never doubted for a second that Elohim would change His mind!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:17-19 “By belief, Aḇraham, when he was tried, offered up Yitsḥaq, and he who had received the promises offered up his only brought-forth son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Yitsḥaq your seed shall be called,” 19 reckoning that Elohim was able to raise, even from the dead, from which he received him back, as a type.”
‘Rising early’, in Scripture, is a pattern that we find of many faithful and obedient worshippers of Elohim, that got up bright and early to meet with the Master יהוה, which is something we would all do well at doing today!
Here we see that this is a picture of urgency to do what is commanded and Aḇraham was not one to procrastinate but rather do as He was commanded!’
Tehillah/Psalm 119:60 “I have hurried, and did not delay to guard Your commands.”
Tehillah/Psalm 108:1-2 “O Elohim, my heart is steadfast; I sing and give praise – even my esteem. 2 Awake, harp and lyre! I awake the dawn.”
On the 3rd day – this was the day that Aḇraham would ‘receive’ back his son from the dead so to speak, and pictures for us the 3rd day resurrection of Messiah! The 3rd day in Scripture also points to the fullness of the work of Messiah that will be completed when He comes again on the 7th day! He came in the flesh on the 4th day (4th Millennium) and on the 3rd day from the 4th He is coming again, and has given us 2 days (5th and 6th Millennium) to get ready:
Hoshěa/Hosea 6:2 “After two days He shall revive us, on the third day He shall raise us up, so that we live before Him.”
At Mount Sinai Elohim instructed Mosheh that Yisra’ĕl had 2 days to get ready and appear before Him on the 3rd day – again a shadow picture of when Messiah cam in the 4th day and renewed the covenant given at Mount Sinai, giving the Bride 2 days to bet cleaned up, for on the 3rd day He shall raise us up, and here with Yitsḥaq we see the picture of this promise being established with Aḇraham, the father of our faith!
They took the wood that was needed and went where they were commanded – this is a picture of Messiah carrying his own ‘wood’ (stake) for the sacrifice.
Yoḥanan/John 19:17 “And bearing His stake, He went out to the so-called Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘bearing’ comes from the root word βαστάζω bastazō – Strong’s G941 – ‘take up, carry, bear, endure’.
יהושע Messiah came to take up His stake and bear our burdens, in order that we can be set free and take up His easy yoke and light burden! Having been set free from sin, we are to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the Torah of Messiah, being a daily living sacrifice unto our Master and Elohim!
Tehillah/Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be יהוה, day by day He bears our burden, the Ěl of our deliverance! Selah.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
From this 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!
Where is the Lamb? Yitsḥaq asked, and Aḇraham answered him by saying that יהוה does provide for Himself the Lamb!
In a similar picture we see how Messiah prayed to the father and said, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.” (Luqas/Luke 22:42)
They then carried on to the place commanded and built a slaughter place and then Aḇraham bound his son and laid him on the wood upon the slaughter place, and was about to kill his son when the Messenger of יהוה called and told him not to lay a hand on the boy, because now Elohim knew that Aḇraham feared Him – what a test!!!
Aḇraham then lifted his eyes and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns, which is a picture of the crown of thorns that was placed on Messiah.
What you may have noticed here is that in verse 8 Yitsḥaq asked where the ‘lamb’ for the sacrifice was, yet here in verse 13 a ‘ram’ is provided. This has great prophetic significance in the fullness of Messiah’s sacrifice, for יהושע Messiah is the Passover Lamb as well as the ram of ascending offering.
He came as a suffering servant on the 4th day to be the Lamb that would ‘take away’ the sins of the world:
Yoḥanan/john 1:29 “On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!”
The ‘lamb’ is a young sheep, while a ram is a mature and fully grown one. It is a ‘lamb’ that is slaughtered at the Pěsaḥ/Passover, while we see 2 rams being used at the ordination of Aharon and his sons – one for a whole burnt offering and the second ram was sacrificed and the blood was put on their right ear, thumb of their right hand and big toe of their right foot, as well as being sprinkled all around the alter – this was the ram of ordination (for more details see Shemoth/Exodus 29).
A ram was used as an ascending offering, as a guilt offering as well as a peace offering, but what we see here is the provision of a mature animal, which pictures the complete work of Messiah at Yom Kippur, and so by His 2 comings He is not only the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, He is also the Ram – the mature one who completes the provision for our full Atonement at Yom Kippur, and so at Pěsaḥ by being the lamb, He also in giving His own life satisfies our guilt by being our ram offering!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 5:15 tells us that when a being sins by mistake against the set-apart matters of יהוה that he was to bring to יהוה as his guilt offering a perfect ram, and the priest would make atonement for him and he would be forgiven – this is what our High Priest – יהושע Messiah has done for us!!!
As we consider the ram for the ascending offering we can also see a powerful shadow picture of the fullness of the work of our Mighty Redeemer
The Hebrew root word used for ‘ram’ here is אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, ‘terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram’.
The ram is a grown male sheep and is head of the flock. A shepherd may have one or two rams in a flock of ewes to promote uniformity. The ram is forever in the eyes of the Hebrew as the substitute animal, faithful unto death.
The blood of a ram as an ascending offering clearly depicts for us the complete provision of יהוה for us, through the Blood of Messiah who would be lifted up as an ascending offering.
As we look at the ancient script and the letters that make up this word, we are further able to see the clear message being given, in the context of this needed blood that would give us access into the presence of our Master and Elohim.
The Hebrew word for Ram – אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, ‘terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram’, is written in the ancient pictographic script as follows:
Aleph – אַ:
This is first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘aleph’ and in the ancient script is pictured as , ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals.
This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Yod – יִ:
This is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
Lamed – ל:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as , a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
As we consider these pictographic letters we are able to recognise the power of the substitutionary sacrifice that is provided for us:
THE ALEPH (HEAD OF ALL CREATION) THROUGH HIS MIGHTY REVEALED OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND HAS CAUSED US TO BE ABLE TO DRAW NEAR TO HIM, UNDER THE CLEAR AUTHORITY OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, יהושע MESSIAH!
What is also worth noting, is that this word אַיִל ayil, when used in its prolonged form, is often translated as, ‘terebinth’, which is the Hebrew word אֵלוֹן eylon – Strong’s H436 which means, ‘terebinth, oak, mighty’ (prolonged form of ayil). Another word that is also used for ‘terebinth’ is אֵלָה eylah – Strong’s H424 which also means, ‘terebinth, oak’ and is the feminine of אַיִל ayil.
Why I am mentioning this is simply to illustrate that the terebinth tree, in Scripture, gives us a clear reference to a very strong and very durable tree, that has a sturdy structure as well as an extensive root system that enables the tree to remain green, even during a drought!
This strong tree is known to grow up to 12m high and due to its root system can sprout up from a stump after having been cut down which, as we will see, is used as a picture in Scripture!
When we see the relation of this word being closely identified with ram, we are further able to glean a great deal regarding the strengthening work that the Blood of Messiah has in our lives, as we become a planting of יהוה, in Messiah, to be adorned!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:3 “to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘trees’ is אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘righteousness’ is צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, ‘righteous, just, righteousness’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘planting’ is מַטָּע matta – Strong’s H4302 which means, ‘a place or act of planting, plantation, where it was planted’, and comes from the root verb נָטַע nata – Strong’s H5193 which means, ‘to plant, establish, fix, fasten’.
When Messiah comes again and His reign is established here on earth, we who are in Him, shall be firmly planted and called trees of righteousness!
As ambassadors of the Kingdom to come, we recognise how we are to be firmly planted in His word as strong trees of righteousness. In Scripture, we find many agricultural word pictures that are used to describe man, and Dawiḏ tells us what the faithful, who meditate on the Torah day and night, will be like:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:3 “For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
Through the atoning work of the Blood of Messiah, we are able to be firmly planted as trees of righteousness, and in Him we are now called to be a daily living sacrifice – that is we are to be a complete ascending offering through set-apart obedience to His commands!
Aḇraham called the name of the place– יהוה יִרְאֶה –Strong’s H3070 – YAHWEH YIREH – meaning יהוה provides, and what we must take note of here is that this word ‘Yireh’ comes from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 – Strong’s H7200 meaning, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide’ – the word we discussed at the beginning of this Torah portion, and while יהוה certainly did provide the necessary sacrifice as a substitute for Yitsḥaq, we also see a wonderful picture of how it will be on this mountain that the Good Teacher will make Himself visible – יהוה will make Himself visible on this Mountain when His feet shall stand on Mount Tsiyon:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 14:4 “And in that day His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, which faces Yerushalayim on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. “
This declaration of יהוה Yireh, also pictures for us that on this Mount Moriyah, the Torah of יהוה will come forth – and this has been partly fulfilled at the first coming of Messiah – The living Torah – yet His Torah will be firmly established as the LAW of the whole world when He comes to rule and reign in the 7th Millennium, and He will Teach us!
Miḵah/Micah 4:2 “And many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Ya’aqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths. For out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.”
With Aḇraham calling this place YAHWEH YIREH we can also see that He was prophetically given a glimpse into seeing the day in which יהושע Messiah would come forth!
In other words, He was given insight into the day that יהוה would come in the form of the flesh of mankind, in order to save and bless the seed of Aḇraham, providing a sure provision that secures the Covenants of Promise :
Yoḥanan/John 8:56 “Your father Aḇraham was glad that he should see My day, and he saw it and did rejoice.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:13-14 “For Elohim, having promised Aḇraham, since He could swear by no one greater, swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Truly, blessing I shall bless you, and increasing I shall increase you.”
The promise given to Aḇraham by יהוה was that He would ‘bless those who bless Aḇraham’!
Tehillah/Psalm 5:12 “For You bless the righteous, O יהוה; You surround him with favour as with a shield.”
In this powerful melody of praise unto Elohim, Dawiḏ knew that he could boldly come to the throne of Elohim and seek favour in his time of distress, with the full assurance that his prayers would be heard; and that through his diligent seeking of, and loving, יהוה with all his heart that he would experience the true blessing and protection of Elohim, for:
יהוה BLESSES THE RIGHTEOUS AND SURROUNDS THEM WITH FAVOUR!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘bless’ comes from the root word בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, ‘to abundantly bless’ and literally carries the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.
The ancient script has the Hebrew word for 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’
From the pictographic rendering of this word we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us –
THE HOUSE/ASSEMBLY OF ELOHIM IS BLESSED AS THE HEAD/CHIEF, COMES DOWN AND EXTENDS HIS OPEN AND REVEALED HAND TO HIS OWN!
Our Mighty Master and Elohim came down to bless us and redeem us from all lawlessness! That is more than enough reason for us to respond positively to the call to rejoice, shout for joy and exult in יהושע Messiah, our Master, Elohim, Saviour and King!
יהוה BLESSES THE RIGHTEOUS AND SURROUNDS THEM WITH FAVOUR!
As we carefully consider this Truth and meditate on this very powerful prayer of protection that was done with the playing of flutes, let us do our utmost to be found to be diligently guarding righteousness at all times!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:20 “So walk in the way of goodness, and guard the paths of righteousness.”
Tehillah/Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are those who guard right-ruling, who do righteousness at all times!”
In terms of a blessing that we as ‘children of Aḇraham’ receive, it seems fitting to recap, on how the children of Yisra’ĕl were to be blessed, according to the instructions given to Mosheh, which he was to speak to Aharon and his sons, which we find in
Bemiḏbar/Number 6:22-27 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 23 “Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them: 24 “יהוה bless you and guard you; 25 יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; 26 יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.”’ 27 “Thus they shall put My Name on the children of Yisra’ĕl, and I Myself shall bless them.”
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 – is the Hebrew 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 is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 – ‘keep watch, preserve, guard, protect’.
3 – FACE – comes from the root word – פָּנִים paniym 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 – אוֹר ‘or’ – Strong’s H215 – ‘light (noun) and give light or shine (verb) – bring illumination’.
5 – FAVOUR – חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 – ‘merciful, favour’ and also carries the meaning of providing protection.
6 – GIVE –שׂוּם suwm – Strong’s H7760 – ‘to put, to place, to set; set down in a fixed and arranged place’
7 – PEACE – שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 – ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, and comess from the primitive root שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.
7 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 WILL KNEEL BEFORE YOU PRESENTING GIFTS AND WILL GUARD YOU WITH A HEDGE OF PROTECTION.
יהוה WILL ILLUMINATE THE WHOLENESS OF HIS BEING TOWARD YOU BRINGING ORDER AND HE WILL BEAUTIFY YOU.
יהוה WILL LIFT UP HIS WHOLENESS OF BEING AND LOOK UPON YOU AND HE WILL SET IN PLACE ALL YOU NEED TO BE WHOLE AND COMPLETE.
Your Seed shall possess the gate of your enemies!
Here the word that is used for ‘seed’ is written in the singular tense and clearly speaks of Messiah, and how we who are in Messiah will too possess the gate of our enemies!
A gate in ancient culture was the place of authority and where judging took place and if the gate of a city was taken captive or destroyed then the city would be given over to the attacking forces.
When Messiah asked his disciples who He was they answered:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:13-18 “Now when יהושע came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His taught ones, saying, “Who do men say the Son of Aḏam is?” 14 And they said, “Some say Yoḥanan the Immerser, and others Ěliyahu, and others Yirmeyahu or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “And you, who do you say I am?” 16 And Shim’on Kěpha answering, said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim.” 17 And יהושע answering, said to him, “Blessed are you, Shim’on Bar-Yonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in the heavens. 18 “And I also say to you that you are Kěpha, and on this rock I shall build My assembly, and the gates of the grave shall not overcome it.”
In this great promise of Messiah building an assembly that will not be overcome speaks of our confession of who He is and in that confession the evidence of our confession as seen by our walk of obedience to His Torah would possess the ‘gates’ of the enemies – death shall not overcome those who are ‘in’ Messiah for they shall be possessors of life and therefore to ‘possess’ the gates of our enemies mean that their power has been overthrown – death has no power over us!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your overcoming?”
Obedient faith, even in the face of death, like Aḇraham, will cause the faithful remnant Bride to overcome the enemy and rule and reign with Messiah as He judges the nations with a rod of iron!
Because you obeyed My voice!
This is a very powerful statement being made, as it teaches us how vitally important it is for us to obey the voice of יהוה.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:23 “But this word I did command them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I shall be your Elohim, and you be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it be well with you.’”
Shemoth/Exodus 19:5-6 “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
A royal priesthood and a chosen people and a people for a possession are those who ‘obey’ the voice of Elohim and guard His Covenant!!!
“And now, if you will diligently obey My voice…”
In Hebrew this phrase is written as – אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי – im-shamoa tishmeu bekoliy – which literally translates as: “If hearing, you shall hear”. This reminds me of how we see the term being used to the assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation: “He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘And now’ is וְעַתָּה – v’attah, which comes from the root word עַתָּה attah – Strong’s H6258 which means ‘now, at this time’ and with the conjunction of the letter – וְ – ‘waw’ it renders ‘and now, so now’ or ‘but now’, placing the clear emphasis of a call to attentively hear NOW, along with the resulting action of listening as we should!!!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘if’ is אִם im – Strong’s H518 which is a conditional participle or primary conjunction which renders, ‘if, though, either, neither, when, whenever’. The basic meaning of this word is “if” and this meaning can be seen in most of its occurrences as it usually occurs in conditional clauses, which we are able to see very clearly here!
“IF you obey My voice… THEN YOU SHALL BE…”
The Hebrew word that is translated as, ‘then you shall be’ is וִהְיִיתֶם – vih’yiythem, which we once again see the use of the letter – וְ – ‘waw’ as a conjunction along with the root verb הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, ‘to be, exist, become, happen’, which is a verb written in the ‘qal, masculine, second person, plural’.
Why I am mention this is to highlight the resulting actions of obedience, for if we are obedient we will be, exist or cause to become: His Treasured possession. It is extremely important for us to understand this as it is through our proper response to His Word that we are caused to become and be His set-apart chosen people for a possession!
There is a clear conditional clause being expressed here and herein we are able to recognise the call given to all the assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation, where it is made clear that “He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says”.
This therefore clearly indicates that those who diligently obey the voice of Elohim will actually hear what His Spirit says and respond in the appropriate manner of obedience that is called for, and expected, from a called out and set-apart Bride of the Most-High!
In this phrase, “And now, if you will diligently obey My voice…” we see that the root word שָׁמַע ‘shama’ is used twice in a row which translates as ‘diligently obey’. The Hebrew word שָׁמַע ‘shama’ – Strong’s H8085 does not just carry the meaning ‘to hear’ but rather, ‘to hear with attention and comprehend and discern and give heed to what is being spoken’.
The clear call being given here is to hear the depths of what is being spoken – that is to hear attentively to His voice and the Spirit that lies behind the letter! Now if people are not even listening to the letter, how are they ever going to hear what the Spirit says!!! So many people today claim to ‘hear the Spirit’, yet what they are supposedly hearing does not necessarily line up with the Word of Elohim, nor can that which they hear be tested and validated as true, according to the Word. Many today are claiming to receive knowledge simply ‘by revelation of the spirit’ alone, while that which they are ‘hearing’ does not always agree with the Word of Elohim and this we are seeing more and more, and what we take note of here in this call to hear, being given to a Bride that is betrothed to Elohim, is that if we diligently hear His voice… then we will be His called-out Bride!
The Hebrew word for ‘voice’ is קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 which means, ‘sound, voice, noise, thunder, proclamation’, and comes from an unused root meaning, ‘to call aloud’. What is clear to us is that the VOICE of יהוה has been spoken and leaves the choice up to each individual of whether they will hear it or not – and by hearing, I mean to hear it and respond to it by guarding to do what He commands!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 looks like this:
Quph – ק:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – – which is a picture of ‘the sun at the 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. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’.
Waw/Vav – וֹ:
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’.
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.
These letters combined can give the understanding of:
GATHERING TO THE SECURE STAFF OF THE GOOD ETERNAL SHEPHERD
When the shepherd called the sheep they swiftly came to him. The staff of the shepherd was his tool of authority. With it he would direct, discipline and protect the flock.
Our Good Shepherd’s voice has gone out and, by His Word that does not return empty, He has secured for us the ability to be brought back under His Authority, by His Own Blood; and therefore we, as true set-apart children of Light, respond correctly as we hear His voice, submit to His Authority, take His easy yoke and guard His Torah and gather together, as we should on His Sabbaths and Feasts!
If you do not do this then you clearly have misunderstood or do not know the power of His Voice.
The voice of יהוה – is the voice of our Good Shepherd – ‘are you listening – are you following?’
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
As we embrace this 7th month and His Feasts and hear the voice of יהוה, as given through His Torah and commands, I ask you, “how are you responding?”
He who has an ear let Him hear and know the Voice of the Good Shepherd and follow!
If you are not hearing and obeying as you should then you are putting yourself at risk of being cut off!
As people who attentively listen to the voice of Elohim and obey His Word, we learn how we are to guard His Covenant! With proper hearing comes the responsibility of a proper guarding, which is ‘TO DO’ what has been commanded, lest we are cut off and separated with those who have ears but are not hearing, as they clearly do not guard to do what the Word commands!
The Hebrew word for ‘guard’ is the word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 and carries the meaning, ‘keep watch, observe, perform, protect, pay attention’, and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.
As we guard the Covenant of Elohim by guarding His Torah and exercise great care over our need to walk upright, we will be protected against the delusion of the lawless!
Why I am highlighting this is to make it very clear that in order to properly watch and be on guard against being led astray, we need to be properly guarding the Word of Elohim by paying attention to it, as we hear, guard and do what the Word commands, for this is our righteousness (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25)!
To watch, as we should, calls for us to make sure that we know the Word; which takes proper study and daily meditation of the Word; and those who are not interested in knowing the Word set themselves up to be an easy target for being led astray by the delusion of the lawless; and those who work lawlessness will be cut off!
What is an interesting factor, that is worth taking note of, is the frequent use of the word שָׁמַר shamar in the Torah.
It is used 139 times in the Torah – 15 times in Berěshith/Genesis, 24 times in Shemoth/Exodus; 16 times in Bemiḏbar/Numbers and 65 times in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy!!!
With Deḇarim/Deuteronomy being seen as the ‘second reading of the Torah’, as it was the instructions given to the new generation, we can see why there is a greater emphasis on the use of שָׁמַר shamar to the generation that was about to enter into the Promised Land! This teaches us how we too must place much emphasis on the guarding of the Word, lest we find that we are not found worthy to enter into the Reign of Messiah for lack of knowledge and discipline in the Word!
To properly guard the Word, one has to be paying close attention in listening properly to the Word, for belief comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Elohim.
Yoḥanan/John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”
Romiyim/Romans 6:16 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:9 “And having been perfected, He became the Causer of everlasting deliverance to all those obeying Him”
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.”
Aḇraham then went and dwelt at בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע Be’ĕrsheḇa – Strong’s H884 which means, ‘well of oath, or well of 7’, which I have discussed in the previous chapter.
Why I mention this is simply to recognise this is a picture for us of how he went and ‘stayed’ in the ‘oath/covenant’ of the Everlasting Elohim who he had called upon and entered into Covenant with!
This is also a clear picture for us that proves that Messiah did not come to do away with the Torah, but rather firmly meet its requirements in order that we too may walk firmly in the Torah, as we ‘dwell/stay in’ the ‘oath/covenants of promise’!
As we stay in Messiah and continually drink from the fountain of living waters, and guard to obey all He commands us, we have the firm assurance of us being firmly grafted in to the Covenants of Promise that we were once far off from, through the Blood of Messiah!
Those who disregard the need to walk in and stay the Torah are not true children of Aḇraham, to whom the covenant was given!
Children of Naḥor, Aḇraham’s brother:
Naḥor – נָחוֹר – Strong’s H5152 – ‘snorting’
Uts – עוּץ – Strong’s H5780 – ‘wooded’
Buz – בּוּז – Strong’s H938 – ‘contempt’
Qemu’ĕl – קְמוּאֵל – Strong’s H7055 – ‘raised of El’
Aram – אֲרָם – Strong’s H758 – ‘exalted’
Keseḏ – כֶּשֶׂד – Strong’s H3777 – ‘increase’
Ḥazo – חֲזוֹ – Strong’s H2375 – ‘vision’
Pildash – פִּלְדָּשׁ – Strong’s H6394 – ‘flame of fire’
Yiḏlaph – יִדְלָף – Strong’s H3044 – ‘weeping’
Bethu’ĕl – בְּתוּאֵל – Strong’s H1328 – ‘man of El, dweller in El’
Riḇqah – רִבְקָה – Strong’s h7259 – ‘ensnarer’ – she would become the wife of Yitsḥaq
All of the 8 sons above were born to Naḥor from: Milkah – מִלְכָּה – Strong’s H4435 – ‘queen’
Naḥor’s concubine – Re’uwmah – רְאוּמָה – Strong’s H7208 – ‘elevated’ bore 4 sons:
Teḇaḥ – טֶבַח – Strong’s H2875 – ‘a slaughter’
Gaḥam – גַּחַם – Strong’s H1514 – ‘burning’
Taḥash – תַּחַשׁ – Strong’s H8477 – ‘dugong’
Maʽaḵah – מַעֲכָת – Strong’s H4601 – ‘pressure (literally she has pressed)’