PASS THROUGH, PREPARE, BUILD UP, REMOVE, LIFT UP!
21st of the 10th month 2019/2020
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10-12 “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Lift up a banner for the peoples! 11 See, יהוה has proclaimed to the end of the earth: “Say to the daughter of Tsiyon, ‘See, your deliverance has come; see, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.’” 12 And they shall be called, “The Set-apart People, the Redeemed of יהוה.” And you shall be called, “Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.””
This clear call to ‘pass through’, ‘prepare’, ‘build up’, ‘remove’ and ‘lift up’, is given to a returning Bride that has faithfully responded to the call to come out and be separate.
The Good News of the deliverance of the redeemed has come and this now requires our proper response!
What is worth taking note of here, is that the term ‘pass through, pass through’ is written in the Hebrew text as: עִבְר֤וּ עִבְרוּ֙ – iḇru iḇru and it is written twice for the clear emphasise of the action that is required.
The word עִבְר֤וּ iḇru that is repeated twice, comes from the root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, ‘to pass over, pass through, cross over’, and it is from this word that we get the word עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680 which, in English, is the word that is translated as ‘Hebrew’ and it means, ‘the one from beyond, the one who crossed over’.
Aḇram was the first person, in Scripture, to be called a ‘Hebrew’ – עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680, which is found in Berěshith/Genesis 14:13. And we recognise that this term was given to him, by his ‘crossing over’ of the Euphrates River, when leaving his father’s house and going into the Promised Land, at the clear call and instruction of Elohim!
So, what we declare to the world, through our walking in the righteousness of Messiah, by walking according to His Torah, is that we are ‘Hebrews’ – that is, we are ones who have ‘crossed over’, so to speak, as יהוה, the Elohim of the Hebrews, has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Our ‘passing over’ or becoming a ‘Hebrew’, entails our ability to clearly listen to the commands of Elohim and guard TO DO THEM!!
Here, in this victorious call of deliverance, the redeemed of יהוה are called to pass through the gates; and we can do this because of the work of redemption that our Master has worked for us, giving us the ability, through His Blood, to be set free from bondage to sin, come out and be separate, and be built up in Him, as living stones, for we, the redeemed, are the dwelling place of the Most-High!
Having been called out of darkness, into His marvellous light, we are called to walk as children of light and no longer walk in the darkness of sin and destruction; and in recognising this, we need to be armed in the Truth and be sober and alert, as we fix keep watch and fix our eyes on the Prince and Perfecter of our faith!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light”
Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
As we walk in the Light, we recognise that in order to do so, in complete perfection of set-apartness and truth, we are to let His Word light our path, for His Torah is a light for our path and a lamp for our feet, emphasising to us our need to meditate on His Torah day and night, in order to make our way prosperous.
This we can only do when our eyes are properly fixed on our Master, in order to be people that can properly pass through… or better yet, be true Hebrews!!!
In the letter to the Hebrews, we find the following words, which are fitting for what we are looking at here:
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 Prince 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.”
We are to be ‘looking to the Prince and Perfecter of our belief’!!!
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and, as we can see from the verse before this one, in order to be able to properly ‘look’ to Messiah, we need to throw off, and lay aside, every weight and sin that easily entangles us and then run with endurance the race before us, 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/Who are you looking at/to?” Are you looking to Messiah?
The two Greek words that are used here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2 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 that this Greek word is used in Scripture 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 which means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’; and 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’, as it 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 our eyes are not looking elsewhere, as we ‘take heed’ of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and the vain traditions of man that lead people astray.
We are to also take heed not to get consumed by materialism, as Messiah warns us against these, in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:6 “And יהושע said to them, “Mind! And beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Luqas/Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, “Mind, and beware of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the excess of his possessions.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘mind’, in both these warnings given, is the word ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708, which highlights very clearly to us that we are to take heed and be watchful that we do not fall prey to the corruption of man’s rules and regulations, regarding a form of worship that runs contrary to the Truth and we are to watch out that we don’t get sucked into the need to gain possessions – because your life does not consist in the excess of possessions!
Seeing and watching, is what we are to be doing, as we are to guard ourselves and take heed not to be led astray and end up falling away under the delusion of the lawless!
As we consider the clear instruction given, in the letter to the Iḇ’rim (Hebrews), we can see how we are to be have our eyes fixed upon our Master and His Word, in order to properly pass through!
The Hebrew word for ‘pass through’: עִבְר֤וּ iḇru and the Hebrew word for ‘Hebrew’: עִבְרִי Iḇri – both come from the root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674, which, in the ancient pictographic script, is written as follows:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’, and can also render the concept of knowledge revealed!
Beyt – בַ:
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 – רֶ
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 an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
From this pictographic rendering of one who passes/crosses over, we take note that the meaning given here can be understood as:
LOOKING TO THE HOUSE’S HEAD
THE EYES OF THE HOUSE ARE ON THE HEAD
Messiah, is the Head of the Body, that is us, the assembly; which are being built up in Him, as living stones that keep their eyes on the Head of the House!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
Looking at the pictographic rendering of ‘pass through’ and ‘Hebrew’, we are able to recognise the secure work our Master has done for us:
The ancient pictographic of the word עִבְר֤וּ iḇru – pass through looks like this:
The extra letter that is used at the end of this word, is the letter:
Waw – וּ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter 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’.
From this we can see how our ability to properly pass through has been secured, as long as we keep our eyes on the Head of the House!
The ancient pictographic of the word עִבְרִי Iḇri – Hebrew looks like this:
The extra letter that is used at the end of this word, is the letter:
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
As true Hebrew’s, we have our eyes fixed on the Head of the House, because of His work of redemption, as we look to the revealed arm of Elohim!
To whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed?
To those who have turned to the Master, for the veil has been removed and are now able to properly see the deliverance that our Head has secured for us, giving us the strength to look to Him and pass through the gates!
We are to pass through the gates!
This is where our journey of being built up begins, allowing us the ability to properly prepare the way, build up, remove and lift up, as instructed!
The Hebrew word for ‘gates’ comes from the root word for ‘gate’, which is שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 meaning, ‘gate, door, entrance’, which comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, ‘to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’.
Anyone entering into the city gates would be clearly acknowledging their submission to the rules and laws of the city that they were entering.
In fact, the ancient gates were a kind of check point as well as where proper execution of the laws of the city were administered, teaching us to recognise that we who desire, and long, to enter into the gates of the kingdom of Elohim, must acknowledge, submit to and abide by, His Torah and commands.
The door posts of our homes/gates are where we are to write the commands of Elohim, and anyone who passes through our gates must adhere to His standards!
Once again, judgement is done according to the right-ruling of the city or house!
And in our case, it is according to the Word of Elohim, which is written upon the doorposts of our hearts and homes, as we are the dwelling place of the Most-High!
Entering through the gates is the proper place to enter, and we know that any other attempt at gaining entry into a city, other than through its prescribed gates, would be trespassing and anyone found doing so would be punished.
The Greek equivalent that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘gates’ is the root word πύλη pulē – Strong’s G4439 and this word is used in describing the narrow gate that we are to strive to enter through:
Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.”
The city gates can also be understood as being the ‘door’ or entrance point and we know that Messiah is the Door who has prepared the way for us to enter in to His Covenants of Promise, and any attempt at entering in through another way, is not a legitimate citizen or member, but is a thief!
Yoḥanan/John 10:1-2 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
‘Entering in’ or ‘Passing through’ His gates are to be done with great joy and boldness, in declaring proper praise and submission to our Master and Elohim.
Tehillah/Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His Name.”
True Hebrews praise and enter with thanksgiving, as we bless the Name of יהוה, our Saviour, in all we do, hence our need to give thanks always!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
When our eyes are properly fixed upon our Head, יהושע Messiah, then we can be joyfully equipped to pass through the gates and be about proclaiming His coming reign, as we make ourselves ready and prepare the way for His soon return!
While all has been prepared by our Master, we have a huge responsibility of ‘preparing the way’ for His soon return!
It was a common custom, in ancient times, for people to be sent on ahead of their king’s journey, so that they could level the roads and make them passable for their king, and we see this Greek word ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 being used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:3 “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Yeshayahu, saying, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of יהוה, make His paths straight.’”
The Greek word used here for ‘prepare’ is ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 which is a verb that means, ‘to prepare, get ready, make arrangements’, and comes from the root ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092 which means, ‘prepare, ready, ready at hand, prepared, accomplished’.
This is a quote from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘prepare’ is פַּנּוּ pannu, which comes from the root word פָּנָה panah – Strong’s H6437 which means, ‘to turn, turn towards a direction’, which is written in the ‘pi’el verb tense’, which usually expresses the intensive or intentional action!
And in order for us to ‘turn towards a direction’, we must ‘turn from’ another direction!
We must learn to ‘turn our backs’ on many things that we picked up in the enslavement of Mitsrayim and all its inherited lies and dogmas of man, especially after the hearing of the Torah, in recognition of where and what we are heading for! And we are to do this with a clear intensive and intentional action, highlighting that this is a critical action that cannot be dragged out, but rather done correctly and immediately, with precision and zeal.
A derivative of this word פָּנָה panah – Strong’s H6437 is פָּנֶה paneh or פָּנִים paniym – Strong’s H6440 which means, ‘face, faces’.
What we see here, is the need to hear the clear invitation and call of our Master and literally ‘turn our faces toward יהוה’; and keep our eyes fixed on יהושע and walk in Him, as we guard to do all He commands us!
We are able to see the urgency of having our eyes fixed on our Master and having ears to hear the Spirit says, so that we are a Bride that has properly prepared for that which the Master Himself has prepared!
In a parable of the wedding feast, we see the two Greek words ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 and ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092 being used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:4 “Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Say to those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle are slaughtered, and all is ready. Come to the wedding feast.””
These words were from Messiah, who was relating the parable of a sovereign who had prepared a wedding feast for his son, and had sent his servants out to call the invited guests to come, yet they refused, and once again he sent his servants to others who too refused the call to come, but killed his servants.
His wrath burned and so he sent out his soldiers who destroyed the murderers, after which the call went out to invite whoever they could find.
The wedding hall was filled with guests and those who were not dressed correctly were thrown out!
This parable is a clear call for us to make sure that we are ready and prepared in garments of righteousness, lest we find ourselves being thrown out!
So many are not ready, as they are being consumed by the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth, or are running after the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, rendering their hearts as being unprepared and far from Elohim!
Are your preparations causing you to strengthen yourself in the Truth, or has a lack of preparation caused you to waver in unbelief as doubts and worries set in and choke out the Truth leaving you unsure of how to stand firm and be perfect amidst a wicked and crooked generation?
Preparing your ways and strengthening one’s self in the Word is a daily task that requires discipline and much endurance!
So many give up and become weakened, as they lack the strength to remain steadfast in the belief, due to a lack of proper preparation and are therefore, unable to have endurance to stay the course of set-apartness.
This call to prepare the way is a call of readiness, in a proper preparation that a Bride that waiting for her Husband ought to have.
We PREPARE THE WAY, by walking in THE WAY!
In Hebrew, the term ‘the way’, is typically translated from the Hebrew root word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, ‘way, road, distance, journey’ and comes from the root verb דָּרַךְ daraḵ – Strong’s H1869 which means, ‘to tread or march’ and so, speaks of our walk; our every step that we take.
And the first time this word is used in 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.”
Due to the sin of Aḏam and Ḥawwah, they were driven out of the garden of Ěḏen, and driven from the presence of יהוה, with no access to the way to the tree of life!
Before they were driven out, Elohim made for them coats of skin, and in this we are able to see the powerful shadow picture of the protection and covering we have, in יהושע Messiah, the Passover Lamb that was slain for us, in order that we can once again be brought near to the presence of Elohim and have access to the tree of life and have the full assurance of an everlasting life with our Master who shall come and receive us to Himself!
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE WAY!
This word – דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870, in the ancient pictographic script, looks like this:
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.
Resh – רֶ
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 an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Kaph – כֶּ:
The ancient form of this letter is pictured as – which is ‘an open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. This also pictures for us that which has been openly revealed – by the ‘open hand’, or the revelation of the hand that has worked a function!
As we consider these three pictures in making up the Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870, in reference to this meaning THE WAY, we can clearly see how it is יהושע Messiah who is THE WAY.
As we come to the DOOR of the Tent of APPOINTMENT, we are able to come and submit under the hand of our Master and Chief, who gives us access into His presence.
Yoḥanan/John 10:19 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
As one understands the design and service of the Tabernacle, then we are able to understand perfectly the clear words of our Master. It was at the door of the Tabernacle that the people would bring their offerings to the Priest, and before they were able to enter, they needed to be washed.
Looking at this ancient pictographic of the word, that renders for us the meaning of THE WAY, we are also able to see the clear work of our Master, who is the Lamb that was slain, and it was His hands that took the nails for us, and in doing so, released us from the dogmas which stood against us!
His shed blood covers us from the punishment of death, as long as we remain in Him!
The Houses that applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their homes, would not be visited by the Messenger of death, but would be passed over, as the final plague in Mitsrayim swept over the land, killing every first born of those homes that did not have the blood on their doorposts!
When Messiah said that He was the Living Bread, and that the bread that He gives is His flesh, which He would give for the life of the world, the Yehuḏim were striving with one another asking how He could give them His flesh to eat and He answered them clearly in:
Yoḥanan/John 6:53 “יהושע therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. 55 “For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. 56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood stays in Me, and I in him.”
This was a hard teaching for most and many turned away from following the Master, as they found these words too harsh to hear and understand.
What Messiah was clearly teaching here, is that unless we eat of the Pěsaḥ Meal, we have no access into life.
The Passover Meal and the Feast of Matzot is a sign on our hands and our foreheads, showing that we belong to the Master and that we abide in Him and He in us, and that we have come to the Door and confessed our sins, having been immersed in Him and washed by His Blood, are now able to have access into the House into which we must abide, as we are built up in Him as living stones!
The WAY for us to return from sin and destruction, is to come to the Door and acknowledge the work of the Master as we guard to keep His Feasts.
When Messiah showed Himself to His taught ones, after His resurrection, T’oma was not there the first time and he said that unless he sees in the Master’s hands the mark of the nails, and be able to put his finger into the imprints of the nails and into the Master’s side, that he would not believe.
When the Master appeared a second time, while T’oma was present we see the following in:
Yoḥanan/John 20:27-28 “Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!”
The Hand of Elohim had now been revealed to T’oma and He acknowledged that יהושע Messiah was his Master and Elohim!
For more on this please see the article I wrote called, “MY MASTER AND MY ELOHIM” from our site (Http://atfotc.com) under the articles menu or by clicking on the following link:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?”
Messiah is THE WAY – He is the Outstretched Arm and Hand of Elohim that has been revealed, and we who partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal and guard to keep all His Feasts, have access to THE WAY He has called us to walk in – the perfect way, which righteousness (that is to guard the commands) watches over!!!
To walk contrary to THE WAY is to walk in one’s own ways, which does not reflect a pure fear of Elohim, but rather clearly shows a wilful despising of Him and HIS WAY!
When one is not preparing the way, by walking in The Way, then the ability to build up the highway of set-apartness will be lacking.
As we turn our faces toward Elohim and fix our eyes upon Him, who is THE WAY, we are to build up the highway!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘highway’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10 is מְסִלָּה mesillah – Strong’s H4546 which means, ‘a highway, course, courses, paths, steps’, and comes from the root word סָלַל salal – Strong’s H5549 which means, ‘to lift up, build, exalt, prize, esteem highly’, which is the root word that is used twice in a row and translated as ‘build up, build up’, written in the Hebrew text as סֹלּוּ סֹלּוּ – sollu sollu.
The highway that is to be built up, is a clear reference to the ‘main way’ that is to be walked upon; and we recognise the clear reference to a highway of Elohim, being that which refers to a steadfast walk of set-apartness where there is no compromise found!
As we consider the urgent call to build up, we are able to see, from the pictographic rendering of the term סֹלּוּ sollu, a clear lesson on how we, as living stones that are being built up as a Spiritual House, can only do so if we turn to our Master, having turned away from all falsehood!
This word סֹלּוּ sollu that is used twice here, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10, in the call to build up, is pictures as follows. In the ancient pictographic text:
Samek – סֹ:
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.
Lamed – לּ:
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. This pictograph can also give us a clear reference to our Good Shepherd and His Authority, that leads us and guides us!
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.
As we consider this pictograph that renders the meaning of BUILD UP, we can see how we are to do this, by doing what is being pictured, as it can render the understanding of:
TURN TO THE SHEPHERD WHO SECURES
Another noun that comes from the root verb סָלַל salal – Strong’s H5549 and is translated as ‘highway’, is מַסְלוּל maslul – Strong’s H4547 and we see this word being used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:8 “And there shall be a highway, and a way, and it shall be called “The Way of Set-apartness.” The unclean does not pass over it, but it is for those who walk the way, and no fools wander on it.”
The highway of the straight is “The Way of Set-Apartness”!!!
Understanding this, makes it clear and obvious that the highway of the straight, upon which no fools wander on, is a way that keeps one upright and able to properly turn away from all evil and turn to the Master.
And the one who guards himself, to keep himself on the highway, the way of set-apartness, turns away from all evil!
The ones who find their strength in Elohim have the way of set-apartness upon their hearts as they guard the Torah of Elohim which is written thereon.
Tehillah/Psalm 84:5 “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Your Highways are in their heart.”
As we consider this, I ask you:
What is in your heart?
Are the Highways of Elohim in your heart?
Where does your heart lead you?
Is Set-Apartness on your heart and causing you to serve in perfection and walk blamelessly?’
As we take time to meditate on this call to pass through the gates, prepare the way, build up the highway, remove the stones and lift up a banner, we need to properly assess our lives to check if are there any ‘stones of stumbling’ still sitting in our hearts. Stones of stumbling that have allowed compromise to set-apartness to go unchecked. This is assessment time and with that the proper response to remove the stones that hinder the path of set-apartness.
To properly pass through, prepare, build and lift up, we need to make sure that the things that should be removed, are removed with urgency, so that nothing hinders our walk of set-apartness, before the face of our Master, who is coming for a prepared Bride, for which he prepared the perfect Way for Her to walk upon!
In order to pass through the gates, prepare the way and build up a highway, we need to remove the rubble out of our lives and then lift up a banner to the peoples!
In other words, we are to make known the Kingdom Reign and shine the light of His Truth, as we raise the proper banner of praise unto our Master and Elohim, who is our Deliverer, Good Shepherd and King!
Tehillah/Psalm 60:4 “You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it might be lifted up because of the truth. Selah.”
Messiah is our banner, as He had to be lifted up and impaled for our sin, just as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness (Yoḥanan/John 3:14); and our Master was exalted and given the Name above every Name (Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:9).
The Hebrew root word for ‘banner’ is נֵס nes – Strong’s H5251 which means, ‘a standard, ensign, signal, sign, banner, distinguishing mark’, and is the root word that is translated as ‘pole’, for that which Mosheh put the bronze serpent on.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:10 we are told that the Root of Yishai would stand ‘as a banner to the people’; and this banner would be given for the nations, to gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl and assemble the dispersed of Yehuḏah – the very work of Messiah our Banner, who has, by His sacrifice, made it possible for us to be accepted in the Beloved, and be a set-apart nation, in whom He can take great pleasure!
Shemoth/Exodus 17:15 “And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, יהוה Nissi”
This slaughter place was built after the victory Yehoshua had over Amalěq, and the sure promise given to us that יהוה would fight for us from generation to generation, as we walk under His Banner of praise!
In order to truly lift up the proper banner of praise unto our Master and Elohim, we must make sure that the stones are removed.
In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1 we are told to “lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us”, so that we can run with endurance, and here, in this call to pass through, prepare, build, remove and lift up, we take note that a critical part of doing this effectively, is removing the stones, by laying aside every weight and sin that entangles us and caused us to be hindered in our ability to run with proper endurance!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lay aside’ comes from the verb ἀποτίθημι apotithēmi – Strong’s G659 which means, ‘lay aside, put off, lay down, cast off’, and we see this word being used in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-22 “Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
What is abundantly clear in Scripture is that to be proper hearers and doers of the Word, and be on guard against deception, we have to first put off the former corruption of the sinful flesh, so that we can receive the implanted Word and allow it to bring forth the proper fruit of set-apartness!
The proper putting off and putting on is a clear instruction we see being given to us in Scripture, and to properly put on the armour of light we must put off all darkness:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-13 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
Kěpha makes it clear to us the very things that should have been put aside, as we are being built up as living stones, highlighting for us the very ‘stones’ that should be removed, as we see in:
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.”
Here we see the Greek word ἀποτίθημι apotithēmi – Strong’s G659 being translated as ‘put aside’.
In the context of this message, and call, that is given to us in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:10, we are able to identify some of the stones that are to be removed, in a proper preparation of set-apartness, recognising that Kěpha teaches us what some of these stones of stumbling are: all evil, deceit, hypocrisies, envyings and all evil words!
Let us now take a closer look at the Greek words that are used for the things that should be put aside, or ‘the stones that are to be removed’, as we are to remove the stones that have no ability to build us up in set-apartness, leaving no ‘stones of stumbling’ in our lives!
Having put aside then…. these stones… so to speak:
Having put aside all ‘evil’! (Remove the stones of evil)
The Greek word that is translated as ‘evil’ comes from the root word κακία kakia – Strong’s G2549 which means, ‘wickedness, evil, malice, trouble’ and comes from the root word κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 which means, ‘evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong’.
In teaching us what love is, Sha’ul tells us, in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:5, that ‘love reckons not the evil’ and the Greek word that is translated as ‘reckons’ is λογίζομαι logizomai – Strong’s G3049 which means, ‘an account or reckoning, to consider, take count, think, occupy oneself with calculations’.
We are not to sit and recount in our mind, all the bad and wicked thing that are going on, or the evil that has been done to us, for this will only stir up bitterness, fear and resentment and render one unable to bear the true fruit of righteousness, expressed in loving-commitment toward Elohim! And this will hinder our ability to run, with endurance, on the highway of set-apartness!
What things do you consider and recount in your mind?
The good and functional way of Elohim, as given through the Torah, or the wicked and destructive patterns of a lawless world?
Having put aside all evil, teaches us that when we walk in true love, that we do not sit and recount everyone’s wicked past and occupy ourselves with past failings!
Often, people like to relate their past wickedness and laugh and joke at the things they did, when we ought to be ashamed of our past sins, reckoning our lives as having been plucked from the fire, giving esteem and thanks to our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah!
Our thoughts, speech and actions must not be riddled with the past reckoning, and gloating, of a lawless life, but rather, they should be esteeming the good way, and walking in it, with joy, because the stones of evil have been removed!
Having put aside all ‘deceit’! (Remove the stones of deceit)
The Greek word that is used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’. יהושע Messiah tells us, in Marqos/Mark 7:22, that deceit is one of the defiling things that comes out of a man’s heart!
In these last days, when deceit is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant Bride of Elohim is, and as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.”
No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!
‘Let no deceit be found in you’, is a clear message that we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do know יהוה, nor love Him, as they do not guard His commands!
Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:6 “You live in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me,” declares יהוה.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11 “For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.”
What I find interesting and worth taking note of here, is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word with only one additional letter – ῦ (upsilon) – and this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is, between being a true faithful servant of the Most-High, in which there is found no deceit, and being one in which there is deceit!
In Yoḥanan/John 1:47 when יהושע (Yahushua) saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, He said this of Nethanĕ’l:
“See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit!” – what a powerful compliment to receive!
What we can learn from this, is very clear, as the name נְתַנְאֵל Nethanĕ’l – Strong’s H5417 means, ‘given of Ěl’, and here, we are given a clear lesson of one who was a faithful servant of Elohim and one who knew the Scriptures and when he heard the voice of Messiah, He knew the voice of the true Vine and the True Master and King:
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The time was ‘ripe’ and while most did not recognise Messiah, this ‘given one of Ěl’ did!
Messiah had found a faithful servant, in whom there was no deceit!
This is encouraging for us, in showing us that it does not matter how blind the masses are, we, whose eyes have been opened, because we have turned to the master, can still guard His commands, sit and learn under the hand of our Master and have no deceit in us!
The question is, ‘when He does come again… shall He find you walking in faith or in deceit?’
Shelomoh tells us, in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:8, that ‘the folly of fools is deceit’!
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘deceit’ is מִרְמָה mirmah – Strong’s H4820 which means, ‘deceit, treachery, dishonesty, falsehood’, and is used also in Amos 8:5, with reference to those who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over, just so that they could trade and falsify their scales by deceit, and this word is also used in!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:24-26 “He who hates, pretends with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; 25 though he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Hatred is covered by deceit. His evil is disclosed in the assembly.”
What verse 24 here, in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26, is saying, is that the one who hates, gives a vain lip service and his heart is filled with deceit; which is the total opposite as to what should be in the heart!
The Torah is to be in our heart and in our mouths – to do it:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
Many people today are simply rendering a vain lip service, in their falsified confession of faith, as their actions clearly reveal otherwise, as their lack of walking in the Torah reveals that the Torah is not in their mouth, nor in their heart.
And if the Torah is not laid up in one’s heart then what is? Deceit!!!
There are many who will be found to not have put off deceit and, as a result, will have no access to the Kingdom! Cleansed ones have put off deceit and walk in the wisdom of Elohim, through a proper guarding to do all He has commanded us to do! The True remnant Bride has removed the stones of deceit!
Having put aside ‘hypocrisies’! (Remove the stone of hypocrisy)
The Greek word that is translated as ‘hypocrisies’ is the word ὑπόκρισις hupokrisis – Strong’s G5272 which means, ‘hypocrisy, dissimulation (which is to hide under a false appearance), play acting, pretending’, and our Master certainly condemned the actors of His day, who tried to assume the appearance of righteousness, yet, when confronted with the Light of the world, their pathetic act was exposed!
Hypocrisy and lawlessness tend to be found in the same dish; and while many desperately try to appear to be wearing the right garments, their lawlessness, or rebellion to the Truth, is exposed under the pure plumb line of the Truth of the Word of Elohim.
One who has not put aside hypocrisy is a hypocrite, which in the Greek, is the word ὑποκριτής hupokritēs – Strong’s G5273 which means, ‘one who answers, pretender, actor, dissembler (one who hides under a false appearance)’, and a ‘hypocrite’ was referred originally to as “one who judged from under the cover of a mask” thus, assuming an identity and a character which he was not.
This term was typically referred to the actors on the Greek stage – that is – one who took the part of another, giving the appearance of a false identity, in order to indulge the fantasies of their audience.
Sha’ul clearly teaches us the following:
Romiyim/Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘without hypocrisy’, in Romiyim/Romans 12:9, is ἀνυπόκριτος anupokritos – Strong’s G505 which means, ‘unhypocritical, without hypocrisy, unfeigned’, and therefore, can render the understanding of being, ‘sincere, genuine’. Let love be without hypocrisy can also be understood as saying ‘let love be genuine’!
This Greek word ἀνυπόκριτος anupokritos – Strong’s G505 is a construct of two words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 used as a negative prefix, and
2) ὑποκρίνομαι hupokrinomai – Strong’s G5271 which literally means, ‘to answer, reply, on a stage, pretend’.
This word is also made up from two words:
1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means ‘to be controlled by or in subjection to’; and
2) κρίνω krinō – Strong’s G2919 which means, ‘to judge, decide, conclude, determine’.
One who is not without hypocrisy is a hypocrite!
Understanding this, we can therefore see that Sha’ul is clearly telling us to not put up false appearances and indulge the fantasies of others!
There are many ‘hypocrites in the faith’ today, as they are indulging the fantasies of those to whom they think they need to impress or please or follow, and are in no way different to an actor who must learn lines that have been scripted for them.
Hypocrite believers do not necessarily think for themselves, but will rather immerse themselves in learning the lines of a false identity and in doing so, they assume that identity in every aspect, becoming unable to properly discern what is truth and what is fiction!
This is not the wife that the Righteous King is coming for!!!
We must learn to guard against ‘putting on a show of religiosity’, as the Pharisees did:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. 26 “Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Having put aside ‘envyings’! (Remove the stones of envy)
The Greek word that is translated as ‘envyings’ comes from the root word φθόνος phthonos – Strong’s G5355 which means, ‘jealously, envy, envying’ and this word is always used with an evil meaning and is also understood, in the Greek, to describe the pain that is felt, and malignity conceived, at the sight of excellence or happiness.
In other words, this Greek word describes the hatred that one feels, or expresses, at the sight of another’s joy and blessedness!
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:26 “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
There are many who despise others, when they see them being blessed and true servants of the Most-High, that have put aside all envyings, rejoice and will not hate and despise others, but will celebrate with them, with joy and thanksgiving, because they have removed all stones of envy!
Having put aside all ‘evil words’! (Remove the stones of evil speech)
The Greek word that is translated as ‘evil words’ is καταλαλιά katalalia – Strong’s G2636 which means, ‘evil-speaking, slander, defamation, backbiting’ and is also understood as, ‘speaking out against somebody and falsely accuse them of something, through wicked exaggeration’.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:11 “Brothers, do not speak against one another. He that speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah but a judge.”
What Ya’aqoḇ is basically telling us here, is that we must not slander or falsely accuse a brother.
Many often twist the application of this verse, and fall back on the ‘do not judge’ clause that so many tend to use, when being confronted about compromise and sin.
This speaking against a brother and judging him, is in the context of doing so according to one’s own standards that are not perfectly in line with the clear right-rulings of יהוה.
Ya’aqoḇ was addressing uncleanness of adulteries and whoring, calling people to humble themselves before Elohim, in order to get cleaned up and function as a true set-apart body, that does not slander and defame another.
We are to ‘judge one another’ so to speak, according to the clear plumb-line of the Torah of Elohim, for we are to hold each other accountable, to ensure that we walk upright and stray not away from the highway of set-apartness and become foolish.
As I pondered upon these words of Ya’aqoḇ, and the various applications that some use today, in defending their compromised lifestyles that are being confronted, I realised that what is being presented here, is the danger of judging according to another standard besides יהוה’s.
The Greek word that is used here for ‘speak evil’ is καταλαλέω katalaleō – Strong’s G2635 which means, ‘speak evil of, slander, speak against’ and coms from the root word κατάλαλος katalalos – Strong’s G2637 which means, ‘slanderer, defamer’, which comes from the two root words:
1) κατά kata – Strong’s G2596 which is a preposition which carries the meaning, ‘down, against, according to’ and
2) λαλέω laleō – Strong’s G2980 which means, ‘to talk, speak’.
We are not to speak down to or against a brother, for then we are putting ourselves as being better than him and erroneously passing judgment, based on our own assumed standards, while not letting the clear judgments and right-rulings of יהוה be the clear standard for us all to adhere to.
When we realise that with יהוה there is no partiality, then we will be on guard to not speak against another, but rather, we will be trustworthy in reproving a brother, if necessary!
The reason for me highlighting this, so to clear up the understanding of these words, for we are told that the Word of Elohim is useful for reproof:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘reproof’ is ἔλεγχος elegchos – Strong’s G1650 which means, ‘reproof, test, conviction’, which comes from the verb ἐλέγχω elegchō – Strong’s G1651 which means, ‘to expose, convict, reprove, reprimanded, rebuke’.
It is through the loud and clear call of wisdom that we must hear and respond to the reproof of Elohim given to us through His Scripture – that is His complete Word and not just the parts of it that many ‘pick and choose’, in order to have their ears tickled!
יהושע reproves those He loves:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. So be ardent and repent.”
Sha’ul was also very clear in instructing us to reprove those who are out of line:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 5:20 “Reprove those who are sinning, in the presence of all, so that the rest also might fear.”
We are to also reprove the works of darkness:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5: 11-13 “And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of what is done by them in secret. 13 But all matters being reproved are manifested by the light, for whatever is manifested is light.”
We need to exercise boldness and unfeigned humility, when we reprove another; and today, there seems to be a mental block against proper reproof, for fear of offending another when correcting their behaviour, yet we need to learn to do so with love and respect, in order that we can build one another up, in the Most Set-Apart faith!
Titos/Titus 2:15 “Speak these matters, urge, and reprove with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
Reproof must always be done on the basis of the pure plumb line of the Word and not on a twisted interpretation that diminishes the Word, for that would then not be reproof but slander and bring a twisted judgement!
We must not reproof another when we do not like the way they do things, yet it is not against the Torah, but must exercise proper discernment, in distinguishing the set-apart and profane and when one’s actions are not set-apart ,but are profaning the Truth, then we must boldly reprove the one in error so that they learn to fear יהוה.
We will not be able to reprove with all authority if we ourselves do not receive the reproof, correction and training in righteousness that the Word brings.
We are also to take careful heed that we do not refuse and ignore reproof!
While we recognise that we are to reprove works of darkness, we must not be found being arrogant that we end up refusing reproof when it is due!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:17 tells us that the one who refuses reproof goes astray!
Removing the stones of evil words, highlights that we are to put off slander and gossip and backbiting, while at the same time, we are to make sure we uphold the clear standard f set-apartness and bring proper reproof to others when needed, so as the keep unwanted stones off of the highway of set-apartness!
We must also be willing to take reproof, when done so, in accordance with the clear right-ruling of יהוה.
Therefore, in order to differentiate between ‘erroneously judging’ and ‘reproving’, we could possibly be able to settle the idea of ‘not judging’ by assessing whether the ‘judgement/reproof’ is done according to the Word of Elohim, or according to another’s own unrighteous standards that are riddled with compromise and lawlessness.
Let us remove the stones of ‘wicked judging’, so that we do not break down others, but rather, be bold and confident in being able to correctly reprove wrong actions, so that the one who is being reproved or rebuked, may be able to be built up in set-apartness, as they remove stones of compromise.
I have just mentioned 5 things that Kěpha highlights for us, as things that ought to have been put aside, or removed, by those who have cleansed themselves, through a proper obedience to the Word.
The question we must all ask ourselves, as we look intently into the mirror of the Word, is whether we have actually put aside, or removed, all evil, all deceit, all hypocrisies, all envyings and all evil words or, do we find that the very things that we ought to have put aside, or removed, are actually still on us and are defiling our set-apartness?
Kěpha tells us that, as cleansed obedient ones who have put aside these things, we are to be as new-born babes that are so hungry for the Truth, that we make sure that we never miss a meal, so to speak, as we eat our ‘daily bread’ and are sustained by the purity of the Word of Elohim, that causes us to grow up in Messiah!
We are to ‘desire’ the ‘unadulterated milk of the word’!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘desire’ is ἐπιποθέω epipotheō – Strong’s G1971 which means, ‘to yearn, long for, greatly desire, pursue with love, have great affection for’ and comes from the two root words: 1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and 2) ποθέω potheō which means, ‘to yearn or long for’.
The Greek word that is used in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:2 for ‘unadulterated’ is ἄδολος adolos – Strong’s G97 which means, ‘pure, genuine, guileless, unmixed, unadulterated’ and comes from two Greek words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter in the Greek alphabet that is used as a negative prefix, and
2) δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’, which we have already discussed in detail.
We are to have an absolute love, affection and desire for the Word of Elohim, which is pure and not mixed or corrupted by the deceit of man-made traditions that so easily set-aside the Torah of Elohim!
Kěpha utilises this image of a new-born that desires to have its mother’s milk and sadly, many have lost the intense love and hunger for the Truth and, as a result, have fallen prey to twisted words of man, that have corrupted the Truth, leaving them with a mixed and muddied concoction of lies and deceit, that can never cause any to properly grow in the Master!
So many people ought to be mature and eating meat, yet still lack milk, so to speak, as they have not grown, due to a lack of love for Elohim!
Love for Elohim is this: that we guard His commands! Yet many who set aside the need to guard to do the Torah of Elohim and choose a substituted counterfeit, can never grow as they should and have, in effect, lost their first love, despite all the works they may claim to do!
While I have simply expanded on some of the words that are found in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10-12, along with looking at some of the ‘stones’ we are to remove, so to speak, as pictured in the words of Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-3, what I am presenting to you, is more than just a few definitions.
For in doing so, I am highlighting our need to be a people who understand what passing through the gates entails and how our ability to do so, is only because of the great redemptive work of deliverance, that our Master has brought us, through His life, death and resurrection, providing for us the only way to set-apartness, for which we have a huge responsibility in proclaiming, as we live in perfect set-apartness before our Master and Elohim!
Passing through the gates, is a very powerful picture of our ability to come boldly to the throne of favour and bless our Mighty Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, in all we do!
The collective call to pass through the gates, prepare the way for the people, build up the highway, remove the stones and lift up a banner, is a call that needs to be responded to with urgency, and while I have highlighted the various words contained in this call, I would like to expand on the concept of gates, as gates, in Scripture, carry a wealth of insight for us, especially as we diligently search and seek the Truth, through a proper daily study and meditation on His Word.
And it is with that in mind, that I would like to take a closer look at the gates that are mentioned in the Book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah!
The Hebrew name נְחֶמְיָה Neḥemyah Strong’s H5166 means ‘יהוה comforts’.
He was the son of חֲכַלְיָה Ḥaḵalyah – Strong’s H2446 which means, ‘whom יהוה enlightens or wait for יהוה’. He was the cupbearer to the king of Persia, with whom he had found favour and was granted the task of returning to, and rebuilding the walls of, Yerushalayim.
Since we are exiles, who have crossed over from darkness into the marvellous light of Elohim, and earnestly wait for His return, we recognise that the story of Neḥemyah is not only a historical one, but it is also an instructive one, teaching us a great deal, on how we are to be about our Master’s business, as we recognise that, as we faithfully wait for our Master and Elohim, He is the One who enlightens us and comforts us, in the midst of distressing times, teaching us to be fully armed in the Truth, as we are being built up, as living stones!!!
When Yerushalayim had been destroyed and the walls and gates had been broken down and burned and Yehuḏah had been exiled to Baḇelon for 70 years, we are given great insight, with the events of the remnant few that returned to rebuild.
With Neḥemyah, Ezra and others being able to return to Yerushalayim, in order to rebuild its walls, we are able to be encouraged, and comforted, in the sure promises that we have in our Master; and in order to continue with the theme of this message, on our need to heed the call to ‘pass through the gates’, I would like to take a closer look at the gates that are mentioned in Neḥemyah, as they each carry some valuable nuggets of ‘faith equipping truth’, for us who are PREPARING THE WAY for our Master’s return!
In Neḥemyah/Nehemiah Chapter 3 there are 10 gates that are mentioned, with each gate having a very unique name, from which we are able to learn some great insights from, in helping understanding the work of the deliverance that our Master has done and our required response to that, in our need to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, before the face of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
Let us therefore explore these gates that are mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah:
Before looking at each gate, it is worth taking note of the words that we see Neḥemyah speaking, to those who opposed the rebuilding:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 2:20 “And I answered them, and said to them, “The Elohim of the heavens, He shall bless us and let us, His servants, rise and build, but you have no portion or right or remembrance in Yerushalayim.”
This bold answer of faith stirred the true faithful servants to rise up and build, knowing that the clear blessing of Elohim is on the trustworthy and faithful!
1 – THE SHEEP GATE:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:1-2 “And Elyashiḇ the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate. They set it apart and set up its doors, even as far as the Tower of Me’ah they set it apart, as far as the Tower of Ḥanane’ěl. 2 And at his hand the men of Yeriḥo built. And at his hand Zakkur son of Imri built.”
This Chapter 3 begins with the first gate that is mentioned and it is no coincidence that the first gate to be mentioned, is the SHEEP GATE!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sheep’ comes from the root word צאֹן tson – Strong’s H6629 which means, ‘small cattle, sheep, goats, flock’.
This first gate prophetically proclaims redemption, and more importantly, it prophetically proclaims who our Redeemer is!
What you should be able to notice here, is that it was the high priest who rose up with his brothers and built the sheep gate! Do you see this?
The high priest built the sheep gate!!!
The name of the high priest was אֶלְיָשִׁיב Elyashiḇ – Strong’s H475 which means, ‘El restores’!
How awesome is that!!!
The high priest, whose name meant, ‘El restores’, built the sheep gate!
This is a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, who has restored His Covenant, giving us access, through His Own Blood, for He is the Good Shepherd that lay down His life for the sheep!
His sheep know His voice!
This gate was the gate that they brought the lambs and sheep to, in order be slaughtered!
This gate is mentioned in:
Yoḥanan/John 5:2 “And in Yerushalayim at the Sheep Gate there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bĕyth Zatha, having five porches.”
It was at this gate that the pool of Bĕyth Zatha was located, which is commonly known, in English, as ‘Bethesda’, coming from the Greek word Βηθεσδά Bēthesda – Strong’s G964 which means, ‘house of mercy’ or ‘flowing water’, and is thought to come from the two root words:
1) בַּיִת bayith – Strong’s H1004 meaning, ‘house, home, armoury, building’, often pronounced as ‘beyth’ and
2) חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 which means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, loving-commitment, faithfulness’.
It was here, at this gate, that Messiah healed a man who had been sick for 38 years.
It was at this pool that the waters would, at a certain time, be stirred, and those who were blind, crippled and paralysed, would come and wait for the stirring of the waters, that would be done by a messenger, and whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, would be healed.
Knowing that this man had been waiting a long time, as he never made it to the waters first, יהושע Messiah heals this man, extending His healing hand of mercy to a broken and sick man!
This sheep gate, that the high priest built up, was set-apart and set up as far as the tower of מֵאָה Me’ah – Strong’s H3968 which means, ‘100 hundred’, and was set-apart to the tower of חֲנַנְאֵל Ḥanan’ěl – Strong’s H2606 which means, ‘El has favoured’ or, ‘El has mercy’ coming from the two root words:
1) חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’ and
2) אֵל Ěl – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘tower’ comes from the root word מִגְדָּל migdal – Strong’s H4026 which means, ‘tower, podium, watchtower’, and comes from the root verb גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 – and this root word is used 115 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’, and is often used as a word to express praise for יהוה.
The reason for me highlighting these two towers, that are mentioned here, is to expand on the prophetic picture that is related to the building up of this sheep gate, that the high priest did.
We know that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”
These two towers that are mentioned here, in regards to the setting up of the sheep gate, highlights the loving-commitment of our High Priest and King, who shows His mercy for the lost sheep!
With the one tower meaning 100 and the other meaning the mercy/favour of Elohim, we can be reminded of the parable that Messiah gave, of the Shepherd who lost a sheep:
Luqas/Luke 15:3-6 “And He spoke this parable to them, saying, 4 “What man among you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 “And having found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And having come home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
This parable highlights a shepherd who had 100 sheep and how he would go after one that was lost, until it was found!
This is a lesson on the sure favour/mercy/grace that our Good Shepherd has for His lost sheep, which He came to save!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:24 “And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ěl.”
The high priest Elyashiḇ, along with his brothers, set the sheep gate apart and set up its doors!
Messiah is the Door!
Yoḥanan/John 10:2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:7 “יהושע therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
The building of the wall and its gates began at the sheep gate and this teaches us the vital lesson of how our deliverance begins at the setting up of the entrance into the set-apart Covenants of Promise, which was only made possible by the Blood of the Lamb.
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.”
It is only by the Blood of Elohim, our Good Shepherd, that we are able to be restored to favour and be built up in Him as living stones.
While sin had caused a destruction to the gates and walls, our High Priest and King restored His gates, by which we can enter in and be established to praise Him.
This SHEEP GATE proclaims the wonderful work of deliverance that our Mighty Good Shepherd has done for us, and as sheep that know His voice, we must enter in with thanksgiving!
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘hear’ comes from the root word ἀκούω akouō – Strong’s G191 which means, ‘hearing, listen, give heed, understand’.
Those who have ears to ear, obey, while those who shut their ears to the Truth are disobedient!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘follow’, in Yoḥanan/John 10:27, is ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō – Strong’s G190 which comes from:
1) Α, α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter of the Greek language and is used here as a participle of union, and
2) κέλευθος keleuthos – which means, ‘a road, or way’
Therefore, this word ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō expresses the intention to ‘follow closely or going behind someone who leads the way’ or ‘to attend, to accompany, to go with or follow a teacher’.
To follow Messiah is not for those who just want to go for a stroll, in order to see what happens – it is a commitment to walk and live, even as He walked and lived, being the perfect example for us to follow!
You cannot follow the Master, if you are not girded about with truth and have not put on righteousness, as you will be unable to walk as He walked!
The setting up of the SHEEP GATE highlights the clear Truth that our Master has set up the way and it is now time for His sheep to hear, guard and do!!!
2 – THE FISH GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:3-5 “And the sons of Hassena’ah built the Fish Gate, who laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts and bars. 4 And at their hand Merěmoth son of Uriyah, son of Qots, strengthened. And at their hand Meshullam son of Bereḵyah, son of Meshěyzaḇ’ěl, strengthened. And at their hand Tsaḏoq son of Ba‛ana strengthened. 5 And at their hand the Teqowites strengthened, but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Master.”
This second gate that is mentioned is the FISH GATE and teaches us the lesson of how we are to be about the work of our Master, in proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.
Messiah said that He would make His taught ones ‘fishers of men’ and as we look at some of the names that are mentioned here, we can see how important it is for us to be doing what our Good Shepherd has instructed, as this gate speaks to us a huge lesson, on taking seriously the commission to go and make taught ones of the nations!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:18-20 “And יהושע, walking by the Sea of Galil, saw two brothers, Shim‛on called Kěpha, and Andri his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I shall make you fishers of men.” 20 And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”
This FISH GATE presents to us the mirrored question of whether we have left all, to follow our Master, or are we still holding on to things that we should have let go of? In the context of this message, what stones have not been removed?
Let us take a look at the names that are mentioned here in Neḥemyah, in regards to this FISH GATE:
It was the sons of הַסְּנָאָ֑ה Hassena’ah that built this gate and his name means, ‘the thorny’.
Next to him was מְרֵמוֹת Merĕmoth – Strong’s H4822 which means, ‘elevations’, and he was the son of אוּרִיָּה Uriyyah – Strong’s H223 which means, ‘flame of Yah, light of Yah’, who was the son of קוֹץ Qots – Strong’s H6976 which means, ‘thorn’.
Next to him was מְשֻׁלָּם Meshullam – Strong’s H4918 which means, ‘friend/man of peace’, ad he was the son of בֶּרֶכְיָה Bereḵyah – Strong’s H1296 which means, ‘Yah Blesses’ who was the son of מְשֵׁיזַבְאֵל Meshěyzaḇ’ěl Strong’s H4898 – ‘El delivers’.
Next to him was and צָדוֹק Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 which means, ‘righteous’, who was the son of בַּעֲנָא Ba’ana – Strong’s H1195 which means, ‘in affliction’.
And with them, were the Teqowites, or, in Hebrew, the תְּקוֹעִי Teqo’iy – Strong’s H8621 which means, ‘trumpet blast’.
Glancing through the names, of the men that are listed here, we can learn the truth of how we are to shine the light of Elohim amidst a dark world, knowing that we serve a Mighty Elohim who blesses and delivers the righteous, in affliction, as long as we are elevating/lifting up the pure fire/light of Yah, who has taken the thorns of sin upon Himself, so that we can be delivered from bondage, to go and call others to deliverance and make taught ones of the nations!
The term ‘strengthened’ is used here at this gate and continues to be used with the rest of the gates mentioned here in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3, highlighting for us how we are to be strengthened in the Good Shepherd, as we pass through the gates and shine His light, amidst the thorny dark world!
The Hebrew word for ‘strengthened’ comes from the root word חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, ‘to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold of’ and can have the concept of, ‘grasp between your ears’.
In Scripture, we are repeatedly told to be strong and courageous!
When we ‘grasp between our ears’ what we ought to, then יהוה will strengthen us to be ‘courageous’, which is the root word – אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.
‘Be strong and courageous’, is a term we have come to know, especially when we reflect on the book of Yehoshua – well, it is these two words that are being used each time – חָזַק ḥazaq and אָמֵץ amats
What we can learn from this, is that for us to be ‘strong and courageous’, in Messiah, we need to ‘grow firm’ in the Torah and have the commands of Elohim fastened upon our hearts, as we take hold of the Truth and walk in it with boldness, being fully alert and steadfast in walking in the Truth.
And, it is through the ‘command/s’ of the Torah (Mosheh), that we are commissioned, appointed and strengthened ‘in’ Messiah!
While we recognise, that in order to be strengthened to build, as we should, and give ear to the Torah of Elohim, we recognise that there are some who stubbornly refuse to hear and obey!
This gate also warns us against idleness, arrogance, pride and laziness!
We are told that the nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their master!
Those who know the trumpet blast sound of our Master, and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts, know how to hear, guard and do, while those who shut their ears are idle and lazy and will be rejected from entering into the reign!
Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.”
Refusing to give one’s shoulder, is an expression which highlights one’s stubbornness to accept the easy yoke of our Master.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”
This Fish Gate highlights for us the need to be humble servants, that do not neglect the duty of guarding the Torah and are strengthened in the Word, equipped to shine, while being on guard against the thorns of the flesh, that try to steal our time away from the Master’s work and call on our lives.
3 – THE OLD GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:6-12 “And Yehoyaḏa son of Pasěaḥ and Meshullam son of Besoḏeyah strengthened the Old Gate. They laid its beams and set up its doors, and its bolts and its bars. 7 And at their hand Melatyah the Giḇ‛onite, and Yaḏon the Měronothite, the men of Giḇ‛on and Mitspah, strengthened the official seat of the governor beyond the River. 8 At his hand Uzzi’ěl son of Ḥarhayah, one of the goldsmiths, strengthened. And at his hand Ḥananyah, one of the perfumers, strengthened. And they restored Yerushalayim as far as the Broad Wall. 9 And at their hand Rephayah son of Ḥur, ruler of half the district of Yerushalayim, strengthened. 10 And at their hand Yeḏayah son of Ḥarumaph strengthened, even opposite his house. And at his hand Ḥattush son of Ḥashaḇneyah strengthened. 11 Malkiyah son of Ḥarim and Ḥashshuḇ son of Paḥath-Mo’aḇ strengthened another section, and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 And at his hand Shallum son of Halloḥěsh ruler of half the district of Yerushalayim strengthened, he and his daughters.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘old’ is יְשָׁנָה Yeshanah – Strong’s H3466 which is the feminine of the word יָשָׁן yashan – Strong’s H3645 which means, ‘old’ and this comes from the root verb יָשֵׁן yashen – Strong’s H3462 meaning, ‘to sleep (figuratively to die), to cause to sleep’.
With this in mind, we can recognise a pattern in these gates being repaired here, as we take note that, having been redeemed to serve, we must put to death the things of old, that have no place in the life of a true Hebrew.
Put off the old – lay aside the false – remove the stones, in order to repair the gate!
That means that the ‘old man’ of the flesh must die, in order for the new man to shine forth!
We are to put to death the things of the flesh and have the proper authority of our Master, whose yoke we put on, established in our lives!
Passing through this gate, metaphorically emphasises a throwing off all that hinders and not looking back, but putting one’s hand to the plough!
It was at this gate that the official seat of the governor was strengthened, which is a great shadow picture of how the true and proper authority of our Master is to be properly restored… and while His seat is strengthened here at the old gate, we take note that His seat of authority is from the beginning!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:7-8 “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. 8 Again I write you a fresh command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light now shines.”
What we can learn from these words, is pretty clear – The Word of Elohim does not change… the command is now fresh in the renewing of eth Covenant… yet it is still the old command!
The old is fresh, in Messiah, because now, in Him, the true light of the old shines brightly!!!
One thing we have come to learn over the years, is that the more we study and meditate on the Torah of Elohim, and more specifically, the more we study what has been termed as ‘The Old Testament’, the more we are able to understand the Renewed Writings, which has been labelled as ‘The New Testament’!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:52 “And He said to them, “Therefore every scholar taught in the reign of the heavens is like a householder who brings out of his treasure matters, renewed and old.”
In a parable of wineskins, our Master highlights how, we cannot put new wine into old wine skins, yet we recognise the goodness of the old, which renews!
Luqas/Luke 5:36-39 “And He also spoke a parable to them, “No one puts a piece from a fresh garment on an old one, otherwise the fresh one makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the fresh one does not match the old. 37 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the new wine shall burst the wineskins and run out, and the wineskins shall be ruined. 38 “But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new wine, for he says, ‘The old is better.’”
What we must remember here, is that this is a parable, intended to teach us, so that we can grasp the Truth.
While this parable may appear to contradict itself, as it highlights how the old wineskins cannot take the new wine, as it needs new wineskins, yet the old is still better!
What is being emphasised, is the fact that Messiah did not come to do away with the Torah and the Prophets, but rather, that it is only ‘in Him’ that one is able to enjoy the old and be clothed in the newness of the Spirit of His Word, without discarding His Word, for only in Him, as a renewed man, can we hold the renewal of His Truth, which is from of old and never fades!
This gate can therefore teach us to put to death the ‘old’ self, yet at the same time, not discard what many have termed ‘the old’ and as a result have sadly cast the Torah behind them!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8-10 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices, 10 and have put on the new one who is renewed in knowledge according to the likeness of Him who created him”
4 & 5 – THE VALLEY GATE & THE DUNG GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:13-14 “Ḥanun and the people of Zanowaḥ strengthened the Valley Gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its bolts and bars – and a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Dung Gate. 14 And the Dung Gate was strengthened by Malkiyah son of Rěḵaḇ, ruler of the district of Běyth Hakkerem. He built it and set up its doors, its bolts and bars.”
I have put these two gates together, not because they are the same gate, but simply because they are mentioned in the same verse, and as we can see… each of these gates highlight for us great lessons, in our much-needed walk of set-apartness in Messiah.
The picture of a valley can have numerous lessons for us, and possibly one of the most predominant ones, is that of ‘decision making’, along with the idea of the full assurance of the blessed comfort and support of the Master, for those who call upon His Name, and stay in Him, walk, even as He walked!
A valley can be a picture of being in a low point in one’s life and we need to take comfort in the Word of Elohim that can light our path through the dark valleys!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘valley’ comes from the root word גַּיְא gay – Strong’s H1516 which can mean, ‘a valley, steep valley, narrow gorge’, and is also used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Herein lies another very powerful lesson for us today!
The name of the man who strengthened the valley gate was חָנוּן Ḥanun – Strong’s H2586 which means, ‘favoured, gracious’, and comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
There are so many who are walking in ignorance of the truth today, and while they claim to be ‘under grace’, their disregard for the Torah and complete observance of the commands of Elohim, reveal that they show no regard for the needed submission to the Beloved King’s instructions.
In the valley, we need the Rod and Staff of our Master and Elohim, to comfort us and guide us!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rod’ in Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 is שֵׁבֶט sheḇet – Strong’s H7626 which means, ‘rod, staff, branch, shaft’ and is a symbol of authority and rulership and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘staff’ is מַשְׁעֵנָה mashenah – Strong’s H4938 which means, ‘staff, support’ and is understood as being ‘a rod, cane, i.e., a sturdy, about shoulder-height and often personalized, stick or branch of a tree’, with many uses, including herding, punishing by striking, a support, for walking on rough terrain or for weak legs, etc.
In our preparation for our coming King, we are to be comforted with the encouragement of the valleys being raised and the high places being made low:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1-5 “Comfort, comfort My people!” says your Elohim. 2 Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim, and cry out to her, that her hard service is completed, that her crookedness is pardoned, that she has received from the hand of יהוה double for all her sins. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of יהוה; make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim. 4 Let every valley be raised, and every mountain and hill made low. And the steep ground shall become level, and the rough places smooth. 5 And the esteem of יהוה shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see it. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
Many have regarded this as being the start of the second part of Yeshayahu, with the first 39 chapters dealing with impending judgement and from chapter 40 onwards, we see the clear promise of deliverance that יהוה Himself will bring to those who call and wait upon Him, by repenting and returning to the Redeemer of Yisra’ĕl and walking in His ways.
Yisra’ĕl was in captivity and while the threat of destruction hovered over their heads, here, in this chapter, there is an encouraging call to the chosen of Elohim to take heart because the promise of sure deliverance was coming!
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1 we see the repetition of the word ‘comfort’, which here, in Hebrew, we see the following phrase being written: נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי naḥamu, naḥamu, ami which is translated as, “comfort, comfort, My people…”
The repetition of the word that is translated as ‘comfort’ is for emphasis and this word comes from the root word נָחַם naḥam – Strong’s H5162 which means, ‘to comfort, console, to be comforted’ and also can express the meaning, ‘to be sorry, to be moved, have compassion, suffer grief, repent’.
The original root often seems to reflect the idea of ‘breathing deeply’; hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually of sorrow, compassion or comfort.
It can therefore mean, ‘to breathe deeply with sorrow for your sin’, or ‘to breathe deeply as you comfort and console someone’.
In Scripture, we see that the majority of the times that the root word נָחַם naḥam is used and is translated as ‘repent’, actually refers to Elohim’s repentance and not man’s.
Man’s repentance, is most frequently indicated by the root word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, meaning to turn away from sin and turn back to Elohim and follow in His ways.
The term ‘naḥamu’, which is a derivative of נָחַם naḥam, can give the understanding of ‘to cause to breathe again’.
In other words, it is יהוה Himself that would bring the ‘recovery of breath’, and this is His comforting words to His people – and, in a sense, could render the encouragement of knowing that Elohim Himself is declaring to a people in exile, “I am bringing you a recovery of breath”.
This recovery of breath, that was surely needed, is sufficient for His people to get strengthened and prepare the way for His soon return!
The Master יהוה continually called Yisra’ĕl to return, yet they continually turned a deaf ear and did their own thing and He made this clear to Yisra’ĕl in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:15 “For thus said the Master יהוה, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “In returning and rest you are saved, in stillness and trust is your strength.” But you would not,”
While Yisra’ĕl would not return, we certainly see the clear message given here:
In returning and rest you are saved and in stillness and trust is your strength!
The word, in Hebrew, for ‘returning’ is שׁוּבָה shuḇah which means, ‘retirement, withdrawal, repentance, returning’ and comes from the word we have already discussed as the word that is used for man’s repentance – שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’.
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘rest’ is נַחַת naḥath – Strong’s H5183 which means, ‘quietness, rest’ and comes from the root verb נוּחַ nuaḥ – Strong’s H5117 which means, ‘to rest, cause to rest, set down, leave, depart from’; and the Name of the man, who found favour in יהוה’s eyes, is derived from this root:
Noaḥ – נֹחַ – Strong’s H5146 whose name means, ‘rest, comfort’ as already mentioned.
In turning back to Elohim, in true repentance and having turned away from wickedness and self, entering into His rest, as we walk in His clear instructions, we are saved.
The ‘comfort’ being proclaimed here, is also a clear call to repentance, in order to find the necessary breath needed to be a voice in the wilderness, as the spirit of Ěliyahu must first come again, before Messiah returns and this is the spirit that proclaims righteousness and the call to repentance – just as Noaḥ did, to a wicked generation!
Ma’asei/Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master”
The Greek word for ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’ and we see that, when we repent and turn back to The Master, we may receive a recovery of breath – that is – His Word giving us our very life, that we may live and breathe and praise His Name – for everything that has breath, praise יהוה!
We see another Hebrew word, in Scripture, being translated as ‘valley’, where we are also able to identify with the picture of a valley being a place of needing to make the urgent decision to choose to follow our Good Shepherd:
Yo’ěl/Joel 3:14 “Crowds, crowds in the valley of decision! For the day of יהוה is near in the valley of decision.”
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘valley’ is עֵמֶק emeq – Strong’s H6010 which means, ‘valley, lowland, open country’ and comes from the primitive root verb עָמֹק amoq – Strong’s H6009 which means, ‘to make deep, to be deep, be profound’.
The VALLEY GATE teaches us the urgent need for many to ‘dig deep’ and make the right choice, to follow the True Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl and not be held captive, in the valley of indecisiveness, and be comforted that the Torah of our Master is the very Rod and staff that will lead, guide and light our path, out of the valley of the shadow of death!
The next gate that is mentioned is THE DUNG GATE, which is certainly very fitting, as we take note that, in making the correct decision to follow our Master, and pass through the gates, we need to get rid of all the DUNG!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘dung’ comes from the root word אַשְׁפֹּת ashpoth – Strong’s H830 which means, ‘an ash heap, refuse heap, dunghill, ash pit’.
This was the refuse gate, as it was through this gate that the trash was taken out of Yerushalayim, and near this gate was the valley of Hinnom, which is where the wicked practice of sacrificing children to Moleḵ took place.
Outside this Dung gate, you would have 3 valleys that would actually come together, and at the end of the 3 valleys, would be the place where all the refuse was burnt, and was called the Valley of Hinnom, also known as ‘GěHinnom’, which comes from the two words:
1) גַּיְא gay – Strong’s H1516 which can mean, ‘a valley, steep valley, narrow gorge’, and
2) הִנֹּם Hinnom – Strong’s H2011 which means, ‘lamentation’.
This place represented the place of death and the burning away of all that is to be destroyed and our Master warned against the judgement and death sentence of GěHinnom:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be thrown into the fire of GěHinnom.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:33 “Serpents, brood of adders! How would you escape the judgment of GěHinnom?”
Luqas/Luke 12:5 “But I shall show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after killing, possesses authority to cast into GěHinnom. Yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
While we recognise the clear judgement that is coming, when the wrath of the fire of Elohim will consume all who are against Him, we also take note, that no matter how much ‘dung’ you have had in your life, and no matter how deep in your own trash you have sunken down in to, our Master’s arm is not too short to save, as He lifts the needy out of the dunghill:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:8 “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to sit with princes, and make them inherit a throne of esteem. For the supports of the earth belong to יהוה, and He has set the world upon them.”
The name of the man who strengthened the dung gate was מַלְכִּיָּה Malkiyyah – Strong’s H4441 which means, ‘my king is יהוה’, and he was the ruler of בֵּית הַכֶּרֶם Beth Hakkerem – Strong’s H1021 which means, ‘house of the vineyard’, which is very fitting, in the prophetic picture of our Master and King, being the ‘ruler of the Vineyard’ – for He is the Vine and we are the branches!
We can therefore learn a great deal in recognising the importance of calling upon the Name of יהוה, the Mighty King who can lift the needy from the dunghill.
Yo’ěl/Joel 2:32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה be delivered. For on Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as יהוה said, and among the survivors whom יהוה calls.”
The DUNG GATE reminds us of our need to be a people who call upon the Name of יהוה and acknowledge Him as our King, submitting to all His commands, keeping our lives clean and clear of all that profanes His Name and making sure that we stay far from the trash heaps, of the sin that leads to the destructive fiery judgement of the second death!
6 – THE FOUNTAIN GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:15 “And the Fountain Gate was strengthened by Shallun son of Kol-Ḥozeh, ruler of the district of Mitspah. He built it and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts and bars – also the wall of the Pool of Shelaḥ by the Sovereign’s Garden, as far as the stairs going down from the City of Dawiḏ.”
The FOUNTAIN GATE was located near the pool of שִׁלֹחַShiloaḥ – Strong’s H7975 which comes from the primitive root שָׁלַח shalaḥ – Strong’s H7971 which means ‘to send or to bring forth’ or ‘send forth’, and this was one of the principle sources of water supply to Yerushalayim, that originated from the ‘Giḥon’ spring, which emptied into this pool.
The Hebrew word גִּיחוֹן Giḥon – Strong’s H1521 means, ‘bursting forth’ and comes from the primitive root word גִּיחַ giaḥ – Strong’s H1518 which means, ‘to break forth, gush forth, labour to bring forth, draw up, take out’. Scripture speaks of the river called Giḥon, that Ḥizqiyahu the king channelled, as a water supply for Yisra’ĕl, which enabled them to endure and withstand an Assyrian siege.
Messiah commanded the man who was born blind, to go and wash in this pool:
Yoḥanan/John 9:7 “And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Shiloaḥ” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came seeing.”
The Greek word that is used here is Σιλωάμ Silōam – Strong’s G4611, a word that means ‘sent’.
The taught ones of Messiah asked if it was because this man’s sin or his parents’ sin, that he was born blind and Messiah said that it was neither, as it was for the sole purpose of manifesting the works of Elohim and declaring that Messiah is the Light.
He then proceeded to spit on the ground, make clay with the saliva and then put it in the man’s eyes, after which he instructed the man to go and wash in the pool of Shiloaḥ.
What many people fail to recognise here, in this miracle of sight being given to a man born blind, was that Messiah defied the sick and twisted oral traditions that had been set up as laws, while He never broke His Torah!
This took place on a Sabbath and the Pharisees accused Messiah of not guarding the Sabbath, as He, according to their oral traditions, had broken their man-made Sabbath laws, which among other things, specifically prohibited one from spitting, making clay and putting spit or wine in another’s eye on the Sabbath!
Messiah comes against these three ridiculous man-made laws, while announcing that He is Master of the Sabbath and that He is the Fountain of Life, that was sent to bring sight to the blind!
He deliberately broke 3 rabbinic laws, while establishing the clear authority of His Torah, which proclaims the Messiah, as being the Light and Fountain of life – being the Sent One!!!
The command for the man born blind, to go and wash in the pool that is called sent, highlights the prophetic announcement of the washing that the Fountain of Life brings to a blind and broken people!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fountain’, in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:15, is עין ayin – Strong’s H5869 which means ‘eye, sight, fountain’, and is often used to depict the spiritual faculties, as when Aḏam and Ḥawwah sinned, their ‘eyes’ were opened and they lost their innocence and were aware of their nakedness, both physical and spiritual.
Eyes can be blinded to the Truth of the Torah of Elohim, through compromise and sin, and eyes can be opened by Elohim, and we are told in Tehillah/Psalm 19:8 that the commands of Elohim enlighten the eyes!
At the command of Elohim, this man that was born blind, in a sin-filled world, received sight, as that which had blinded him from birth, had now been washed and restored to its original function.
This man was born blind for this purpose of revealing the One who opens the eyes and washes away that which has blinded man!
This FOUNTAIN GATE teaches us that we need our eyes to be enlightened with the Truth and when we turn to the Master, the veil of lies and deception is taken away, so that we are able to see clearly and know Him.
What we notice here, in this huge miracle that took place near this Fountain Gate, is that the man had to obey the command to wash, in order for his sight to be restored!
The miracle was not in the breaking of oral traditions. but rather. in the obedience to the commands of Elohim, which highlights the need for us to strip away all that is false, in order to properly obey the Torah of Elohim, so that our eyes are equipped to fully see His Truth and the revelation thereof!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:14-16 “But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away. 15 But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away”
Many have twisted these words of Sha’ul, into thinking that by reading the Torah of Mosheh and walking according to the Torah, a veil remains, yet this is NOT was he is saying here.
In fact, it is the opposite… those who deny Messiah, have a veil over their minds, when they read the Torah!
When we turn to the Master and acknowledge that יהושע is יהוה in the flesh, then the veil is taken away and our ability to properly understand, and walk in the Torah that we are to meditate day and night upon, becomes abundantly clear, as our eyes and enlightened with the Light of His Truth!
יהושע is The Fountain of Life and our only source of healing!
In Tehillah/Psalm 36 Dawiḏ gives a very clear contrast between the wicked and the righteous and he declares to Elohim:
Tehillah/Psalm 36:9 “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
The Hebrew word for fountain is מָקוֹר maqor – Strong’s H4726 meaning, ‘a spring, fountain’ and comes from the root קוּר qur – Strong’s H6979 which means, ‘to dig’ and we know that we are to dig and seek out His kingdom and His righteousness – the question is, whether people have found the True well of LIFE and are sitting and learning at it or are they drinking from a muddied counterfeit?
The Hebrew word for life is חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 which means, ‘life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running’.
With יהוה is the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 68:6 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.”
When we come to the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE and gather when we should, as an obedient flock who know His voice, then that Water of Life becomes a fountain in us, as our lives are changed and our speech is renewed, enabling us to bring life and healing to the nations!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wrong.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:14 “The Torah of the wise is a fountain of life, turning one away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of יהוה is a fountain of life, to turn away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to him who has it, But the disciplining of fools is folly.”
יהושע is The Living Torah and our source of Life, or rather He is the Life of the Torah – and when we drink of Him – the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE begins to flow out of us, as we gain understanding, and walk in the fear of יהוה by walking in the Torah, and, as a result, our speech becomes a flowing source of life!!!
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE LIFE!
This word חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416, in the ancient pictographic script, look 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.
Yod – י
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this.
The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
From this ancient pictographic lettering of the word for LIFE: חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416, we are clearly able to see how by the work of Messiah – the outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, we as living stones, are built up in Him as the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim and have been separated to serve and worship Him in Spirit is Truth.
These two pictographs can render for us the clear meaning:
SEPARATED TO SERVE
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6 “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.”
When we remain in Him, as continually drink of His Living Water, as we keep rank and gather at the Appointed Times and are nourished and refreshed by the Living Water of His Word, we too become a deep source of His wisdom, as His Word becomes an everlasting stream:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:4 “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a flowing stream.”
If we forsake Him and allow His water to become muddied, then He will dry up the fountain; and we see this clear prophetic warning, given in Hoshěa, when the crookedness of Ephrayim was being rebuked:
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:15 “Though he bears fruit among his brothers, an east wind comes, a wind from יהוה comes up from the wilderness, and it dries up his fountain, and his spring becomes dry – it plunders a treasure of all desirable objects. 16 “Shomeron is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her Elohim – they fall by the sword, their infants are dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
A dried-up fountain for rebellion – and that was what Shomeron was guilty of, and at Sheḵem, יהושע comes to bring a call of restoration, to a lost Bride at Shomeron and, in effect, He ‘opened the fountain’, so to speak, as a prophetic shadow picture of what was to come!
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 13:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of Dawiḏ and for the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, for sin and for uncleanness.”
This ‘fountain’ being spoken of here, is a reference to a flow of blood in a woman during her monthly cycle or after childbirth, but it is also speaking of a wellspring that gushes out, when opened up.
And, in the context of the previous chapter, it relates to the piercing of יהושע (Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 12:10 – where they will look on Him whom they have pierced!), after which blood and water flowed from His side (Yoḥanan/John 19:34). This relates to the purification and cleansing of Yisra’ĕl from her uncleanness, as the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE brings forth the LIVING WATERS that heal, restore and cleanse a lost and broken Bride!
This FOUNTAIN GATE was strengthened by שַׁלּוּם Shallum – Strong’s H7967 means, ‘retribution, recompense’, the son of כָּל־חֹזֶה Kol-chozeh – Strong’s H3626 which means, ‘all seeing’.
This is certainly fitting for us, as we recognise the miracle that took place at this gate, of the sight that our Master brought to the man born blind, for in Him alone there is just retribution and recompense for sin!
The FOUNTAIN GATE teaches us to be urgent in our turning away from all falsehood and turning to the Master and have our eyes opened, to the Truth that washes away all the filth of sin and lawlessness!
With this in mind, it is fitting that we take note of the next gate that is mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:
7 – THE WATER GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:26 “Now the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel as far as opposite the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower.”
It was at this gate where the Giḥon spring originated, as discussed above, where we take note that the water that came forth from the Giḥon spring, went to the pool of Shiloaḥ, which was located near the Fountain Gate!
This Water Gate represents to us our ability in passing through the waters, after having turned to the Master, and so, between this Water Gate and the Fountain Gate, we can collectively recognise our need for immersion (baptism) in the Name of יהושע, as well as our need to be continually immersed, in the Word that washes us and keeps us clean!
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘water’ is מַיִם mayim – Strong’s H4325 and is often understood to carry the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture for us that which is mighty or massive, as well as the unknown.
Waters can also represent that which cleanses us, and can picture for us His Word that washes us and keeps us clean!
The promise that He is with us, as we pass through the waters, is made clear when looking at the ancient pictographic rendering of this word מַיִם mayim – Strong’s H4325, which is as follows:
Mem – מַ: and final mem – ם:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.
Yod – יִ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!
When looking at this word, in its pictographic form, and then hearing the clear promise given to us, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43, we are able to clearly see that the Outstretched Arm and Hand of Elohim is with us in the midst of the waters.
He is with us to protect us and to cleanse us with His Word!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus said יהוה, your Creator, O Ya‛aqoḇ, and He who formed you, O Yisra’ěl, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name, you are Mine. 2 “When you pass through the waters, I am with you; and through rivers, they do not overflow you. When you walk through fire, you are not scorched, and a flame does not burn you. 3 “For I am יהוה your Elohim, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl, your Saviour; I gave Mitsrayim for your ransom, Kush and Seḇa in your place.”
The נְתִינִים Nethinim – Strong’s H5411, which were the ‘temple servants’ or ‘given ones’, dwelt opposite this gate. They were the ones who served in the temple and often did menial tasks, yet their lives were given over to service in the temple, under the hand of the Lěwites.
Our Master gave of Himself, in order to give to us that which He had promised to Aḇraham; and in turn, we too are enabled, by His favour through the Blood of Messiah, to ‘give’ ourselves totally over to Him, as a daily living sacrifice, serving Him with our all, in complete set-apartness.
This gate teaches us what our immersion, in the Name of יהושע Messiah entails, as we die to self and are raised to newness of life, filled with His Spirit, having been cleansed and set-apart, in order to serve faithfully as His trustworthy ambassadors!
In order to do this, we are to allow His Word to wash us, for He is our Husband that washes His Bride with His Word!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:22-27 “Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master. 23 Because the husband is head of the wife, as also the Messiah is head of the assembly, and He is Saviour of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Messiah, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every respect. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Our Mighty Husband, Redeemer and King, gave Himself for us, in order to set us apart and cleanse us with the washing of water by His Word; and our response is made clear: we are to subject ourselves to Him, our Master and keep clean, through the washing that the Word brings!
The Nethinim dwelt in Ophel, as far as opposite the water gate toward the east!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘east’ is מִזְרָח mizraḥ – Strong’s H4217 meaning, ‘place of sunrise, east, eastern, place of breaking forth’, and comes from the primitive root word זָרַח zaraḥ – Strong’s H2224 meaning, ‘to rise, come forth, arise’.
The east also speaks of that which is ancient or from old, and this would be a reminder of the clear promise given to, and covenant made with, Aḇraham, which would be fulfilled in Messiah – the second Aḏam!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:2 “Who raised up the righteous one from the east, called him to His foot, gave the nations before him, and made sovereigns submit to him? He gave them as the dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow.”
That which Mosheh would look toward, would be fulfilled in Messiah, and we can learn a great lesson here, in that the Torah (Mosheh) is our trainer unto Messiah:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24-25 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief. 25 And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.”
The term ‘we are no longer under a trainer’, does not imply that we do not need to follow the Torah, but rather, that we now have no excuse not to follow the Torah, as it ‘trains’ us unto Messiah, equipping us to fully walk in Messiah – The Living Torah, and without the Torah, we would have no ‘trainer’ as it were.
Sadly, many misinterpret these verses and think that the Torah is no longer applicable, yet this is not so!
We need the Torah, to show us our need for a Saviour and without the Torah, we have no means of having ‘faith’ being established, in doing the good works prepared beforehand for us.
The WATER GATE teaches us that we are to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, as water is often used as a metaphor for the Spirit of Elohim!
Walking according to the Spirit, simply means that we are to walk according to the pattern which comes from above and not according to the corrupted earthly pattern of man, typified as being that of the flesh!
The circumcision that we receive, at our immersion, is that which is does from above, not by the hands of men!
We therefore recognise our need to follow the clear pattern of the Torah of Elohim, which was given through Mosheh and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah!
Mosheh was shown the clear pattern of the Heavens and told to make exactly according to the pattern above!
That pattern has not changed, for Elohim does not change, and therefore, our need to be washed, by that which is from above, teaches us our need to immerse ourselves into the Word of Elohim and be a Bride that is being washed daily, in her faithful preparation for her returning King!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”
Without water grass, plants and flowers wither and fall away!
In Berěshith/Genesis 2:5 we are told that there was no shrub of the field, nor had any plant sprung up, because Elohim had not yet sent rain and there was no man to till the ground!
Without water nothing can grow and this is a clear prophetic picture of our need to have His Word be the Waters that cleanse us and keep us clean!
It was at this Water Gate that Neḥemyah and Ezra gathered all Yisra’ěl, to hear the Torah!
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:1 “And when the seventh new moon came, the children of Yisra’ěl were in their cities. And all the people gathered together as one man in the open space that was in front of the Water Gate. And they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, which יהוה had commanded Yisra’ěl.”
This highlights the clear lesson of the importance of hearing, guarding and doing the Torah, and that to walk according to the Spirit, does not set aside the submission and subjection to the Torah, as it is clearly required by all who call upon the Name of יהושע Messiah and are immersed in His Name!
8 – THE HORSE GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:28 “Beyond the Horse Gate the priests strengthened, each opposite his own house.”
The Hebrew word for ‘horse’ is סוּס sus – Strong’s H5483 and carries a very clear symbol of power and strength, in Scripture. This can have both positive as well as negative connotations, as we take note that we are not to put our trust in horses and chariots, but that we are to trust in יהוה.
The ultimate picture of strength in battle, is seen in the return of our King, The Word of יהוה, who is coming on a white horse!
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:11-16 “And I saw the heaven opened, and there was a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Trustworthy and True, and in righteousness He judges and fights. 12 And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, having a Name that had been written, which no one had perceived except Himself – 13 and having been dressed in a robe dipped in blood – and His Name is called: The Word of יהוה. 14 And the armies in the heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: SOVEREIGN OF SOVEREIGNS AND MASTER OF MASTERS.”
It was at this Horse Gate, that Athalyah was killed:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 11:16 “So they took hold of her, and she went by way of the horses’ entrance to the sovereign’s house, and was put to death there.”
The name עֲתַלְיָה Athalyah – Strong’s H6271 means, ‘afflicted of Yah’
Athalyah was the mother of Aḥazyahu, who reigned for one year in Yerushalayim and walked in the ways of the house of Aḥaḇ and did evil in the eyes of יהוה, for his mother counselled him to do wrong.
Athalyah was the granddaughter of Omri, and daughter of Aḥaḇ and Izeḇel, and she was the wife of Yehoram, the sovereign of the House of Yehuḏah.
After he was killed by Yěhu, his mother rose up and destroyed all the offspring of the reign of the House of Yehuḏah, expect for the baby Yo’ash, who was hidden for 6 years, while Athalyah reigned as queen.
In his seventh year, Yo’ash began to reign, after Athalyah was put to death and Yo’ash did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, all the days of Yehoyaḏa the priest!
(please take time to read of these accounts in Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 22-24)
Why I am mentioning this story, is to highlight the lesson that we can take from this Horse Gate; and that is, that anything or anyone that exalts itself or themselves above יהוה, will be destroyed!
Tehillah/Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we remember the Name of יהוה our Elohim.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Mitsrayim for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl, nor seek יהוה!”
Miḵah/Micah 5:10 “And it shall be in that day,” declares יהוה, “that I shall cut off your horses out of your midst, and I shall destroy your chariots.”
In a song of deliverance, that was sung by Mosheh and all Yisra’ěl, after the Yisra’ĕlites crossed through the Sea of Reeds, we take note of the words that were sung:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:1 “Then Mosheh and the children of Yisra’ěl sang this song to יהוה, and spoke, saying, “I sing to יהוה, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”
The horse and it’s rider He has thrown into the sea!
Notice here, that the horse is mentioned before the rider, as the horse, in Scripture, is often likened to that which represents strength, and the relying on one’s natural strength and power instead of upon יהוה.
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:3 “Ashshur does not save us. We do not ride on horses, nor ever again do we say to the work of our hands, ‘Our mighty ones.’ For the fatherless finds compassion in You.”
Our victory song, is certainly in praise and esteem of יהוה our Elohim, who has caused us to overcome the flesh and causes us to trust not in ourselves, but rather, put our whole trust in Him.
9 – THE EAST GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:29 “ After them Tsaḏoq son of Imměr strengthened opposite his own house. After him Shemayah son of Sheḵanyah, keeper of the East Gate, strengthened.”
The Hebrew word for ‘east’ is מִזְרָח mizraḥ – Strong’s H4217, as already discussed, with regards to the Water Gate, which we do not need to repeat.
I do however, want to highlight another significant lesson that we can take from this East Gate, which we are able to do so, when looking at the words in:
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 31:14 “And Qorě son of Yimnah the Lěwite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the voluntary offerings to Elohim, to distribute the offerings of יהוה and the most set-apart gifts.”
It was at this EAST GATE where the voluntary offerings were kept and distributed from!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘voluntary offering’ comes from the root word נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071 meaning, ‘voluntariness, freewill offering, volunteer freely, willingly’ and comes from the word נָדַב naḏaḇ – Strong’s H5068 meaning, ‘to incite, impel, make offerings willingly, volunteers’.
Tehillah/Psalm 54:6 “Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your Name, O יהוה, for it is good.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:8 “Please accept the voluntary offerings of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.”
This speaks of our willing choice to offer up our lives, in wholehearted devotion to serving our Master – and to do so voluntarily, is a great expression of our joy in loving Him, as we should, with praise and thanksgiving.
This speaks of our eagerness and willingness to freely offer up our lives, as a living offering and incite others to do so too!
The voluntary offerings were offerings that were beyond the tithes, contributions and vowed offerings, and were as they are called: ‘voluntary’; and while these offerings were not mandated, as a strict requirement, we see that the provision of this acceptable offering to יהוה, reflects the call to go beyond the call of duty, teachings us that we too, are to go beyond the ‘minimum requirements’, as we voluntarily give our all unto Elohim!
It is believed by some, that this East Gate may have been the same gate that is called ‘Yapha’, which means, ‘beautiful’, in:
Ma’asei/Acts 3:2 “And a certain man, lame from his birth, was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Set-apart Place which is called Yaphah, to ask alms from those entering into the Set-apart Place”
While this man, wo was lame from birth, sought alms, Kěpha gave him more than what money can buy – the Good News, as we see from the following:
Ma’asei/Acts 3:6-8 “But Kěpha said, “I do not have silver and gold, but what I do possess, this I give you: In the Name of יהושע Messiah of Natsareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And taking him by the right hand he lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones were made firm. 8 And leaping up, he stood and walked, and went in with them into the Set-apart Place, walking and leaping and praising Elohim.”
This East Gate was certainly one of the most ornate and important gates, as it led to the Tempe courtyard, and it is through this gate that Messiah enters!
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 46:12 “And when the prince makes a spontaneous ascending offering or spontaneous peace offerings to יהוה, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall prepare his ascending offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. And he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.”
Notice how it is at this gate, that the spontaneous offerings shall be brought and the gate opened for the Prince!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘spontaneous’ is נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071!!!
While the Jews look forward to Messiah, entering through this gate, they failed to acknowledge that He already did, when He came, riding on a donkey and gave freely of Himself for us all and the next time He is coming, He is coming on a horse, riding on the clouds!
This EAST GATE teaches us that, in Messiah, we are fully equipped to give our lives as a daily living offering, for this is our reasonable worship before Elohim!
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.”
The Greek word that is used for ‘offering’ is θυσία thusia – Strong’s G2378 which means, ‘a sacrifice’.
We are to offer ourselves daily – not just once – but daily!
As called-out and cleansed chosen ones, we do not just offer ‘some’ of our life, but rather we offer up our whole life/being – that is – all that we are and all that we have to give – always giving the best we have to give – continually!
The Greek word used here for ‘well-pleasing’ is εὐάρεστος euarestos – Strong’s G2101 which means, ‘acceptable, pleasing, well-pleasing’.
Romiyim/Romans 14:17-18 “For the reign of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Set-apart Spirit. 18 For he who is serving Messiah in these matters is well-pleasing to Elohim and approved by men.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:20-21 “And the Elohim of peace who brought up our Master יהושע from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you perfect in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through יהושע Messiah, to whom be esteem forever and ever. Aměn.”
The reason for highlighting these verses, is to simply show a few passages of Scripture that make it very clear, how the righteous know what is pleasing to the Master; as we take note that when we walk in righteousness, and guard to do all He has commanded us to, we then find that pleasing Him becomes a very joyous and pleasing thing to do!
10 – MIPHQAḎ GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:31 “After him Malkiyah, one of the goldsmiths, strengthened as far as the house of the Nethinim and of the merchants, opposite the Miphqaḏ Gate, and as far as the going up of the corner.”
The Hebrew word מִפְקָד Miphqaḏ – Strong’s H4662 means, ‘command, appointed place’ and comes from the root word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 and carries the meaning, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’.
A derivative of this root word is the term פִּקּוּד piqqud – Strong’s H6490 which means, ‘precepts, commandments, statutes, regulations’.
This gate could give us an understanding of being ‘a gate of inspection’, especially as we look intently into the mirror of the Word and meditate on His Torah day and night!
Meditating on the orders of Elohim, implies a proper inspection of one’s life, as measured by the clear commands and regulations of the Word of Elohim.
A proper meditation, of the orders of יהוה, will bring about a sober assessment of where one’s walk is, in terms of the required set-apartness that is called for and sadly, many people choose to be ignorant of the orders of יהוה, so that they can continue in their compromised lifestyles and vainly assume that their path is being kept clean, yet they have no ability to actually keep it clean and will sadly perish, through a lack of knowledge, that they wilfully choose not to seek and meditate upon!
When we properly meditate on the order of Elohim, then we will certainly regard His ways!
The Hebrew word מִפְקָד Miphqaḏ – Strong’s H4662 is translated as ‘appointed place’ in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 43:21 “And you shall take the bull of the sin offering, and shall burn it in the appointed place of the House, outside the set-apart place.”
Is it possible that this was the appointed gate that Messiah was brought out of and suffered at?
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:11-12 “For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the Set-apart Place by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 And so יהושע also suffered outside the gate, to set apart the people with His own blood.”
This MIPHQAḎ GATE highlights the clear lesson on the Appointed Times of our Master, which includes all of His Sabbaths and Feasts, by which we are equipped to faithfully enter into His rest.
Our ability to pass through the gates, relies on our obedience in guarding His Sabbaths and Feasts, lest we are found to be rejected, for works of lawlessness, trying to enter in through some other way that is not prescribed!
This gate reminds us that the commands of Elohim are to be guarded and our true reflection of our love for Him, can only be seen in our obedience to His commands!
Rejecting His Sabbaths and Feasts and rejecting to walk in His Torah, will leave one unable to be counted worthy of entering in!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-27 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the day coming near. 26 For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, 27 but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents.”
The Miphqaḏ Gate reminds us to be a people who count the cost and are counted worthy to serve, as they guard the Torah of Elohim and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts, offering their lives up, as a voluntary daily offering!
These are the 10 gates mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3, and what is worth taking note of, in this chapter, is that the last verse ends with the SHEEP GATE – emphasising the lesson that clearly declares, that our journey of passing through the gates, begins and ends with יהושע Messiah, our Good Shepherd, who is the First and the Last!!!
There are 2 more gates that are mentioned, in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, and we are able to learn some vital lessons from these too, and therefore I will label these, as gate numbers 11 & 12, for the purposes of this message:
11 – THE GATE OF EPHRAYIM
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:16 “So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, and in their courtyards and in the courtyards of the House of Elohim, and in the open space of the Water Gate and in the open space of the Gate of Ephrayim.”
After Yisra’ĕl had heard the Torah for the first time, the heads of the father’s houses, with the priests and Lěwites were gathered to Ezra, in order to study the Torah and they discovered that they were to keep the Feast of Sukkoth.
All obeyed and made booths everywhere, including the open space in front of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephrayim.
There are certainly a number of prophetic parallels, that one can deduce from these accounts, especially as we consider how many are coming to the knowledge of the Truth and, after hearing the Truth for the first time, as it should be heard, are obeying!
The Name Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 means, ‘doubly fruitful’, for Elohim had caused him to be very fruitful in Mitsrayim!
The name of Ephrayim is often used, as a prophetic reference of the remnant lost 10 tribes of Yisra’ĕl, that are returning to the truth (especially in the Book of Hoshěa/Hosea); and his name gives us great encouragement, that shows us how we are able to bear much fruit, under the severe pressures and trials of life, knowing that, in our scattered state, in Messiah, we are able to bear much fruit that lasts.
In the last two verses of Hoshěa /Hosea, we see the clear truth that Ephrayim must be done with idols and idol worship and therefore, cut off the head/leading of compromised truths and begin to walk in the clear and straight Torah of Elohim:
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:8-9 “What more has Ephrayim to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after him. I am like a green cypress tree, your fruit comes from Me.” 9 Who is wise and understands these words, discerning and knows them? For the ways of יהוה are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.”
The remnant faithful and fruitful, will be the ones who put to death the works of darkness and shine the light of the Truth, while the fearful and lazy, will stumble and fall!
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
In order to properly pass through the gates, we are to bear the fruit of righteousness, walking according to the Spirit, as we submit to and obey all our Master’s commands and make sure that all the stones are removed.
Chapter 8 in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, highlights for us a wonderful pattern of a true remnant returning to obedience, as one has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, guarding to do all, according to the clear right-ruling of Elohim!
12 – THE GATE OF THE PRISON
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 12:39 “and above the Gate of Ephrayim, and above the Old Gate, and above the Fish Gate, and the Tower of Ḥanan’ěl, and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. And they stood still at the Gate of the Prison.”
This last gate, of 12 gates, that are mentioned in Neḥemyah, is given to us in Chapter 12, and this GATE OF THE PRISON, teaches us the power of deliverance, that our Master has brought to us, through His life, death and resurrection!
The court of this gate is mentioned in Chapter 3, between the Fountain Gate and the Water Gate:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:25 “Palal son of Uzai strengthened opposite the corner, and on the tower which projects from the sovereign’s upper house that was by the courtyard of the prison. After him Peḏayah son of Parosh.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘prison’ is מַטָּרָה mattarah – Strong’s H4307 which means, ‘a guard, ward, prison, guardhouse, target’.
It is possible that it was in this court that Yirmeyahu was shut up in prison:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:2 “Now at that time the army of the sovereign of Baḇel besieged Yerushalayim, and Yirmeyahu the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the sovereign of Yehuḏah.”
It was while he was imprisoned here, that the word of יהוה came to him, instructing him to buy a field!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:8 “So Ḥaname’ěl my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of יהוה, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Binyamin, for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption. Buy it for yourself.’ And I knew that this was the word of יהוה.”
I would like to expand a little, on this chapter of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32, as it will assist in our ability to recognise how our Master has purchased us, with His Own Blood and caused us to be set free from the prison of sin and darkness, giving us strength to hold fast until He comes – for if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!
The name חֲנַמְאֵל Ḥaname’ěl – Strong’s H2601 means, ‘El is gracious, El favours, El has favoured’, and שַׁלּוּם Shallum – Strong’s H7967 means, ‘retribution, recompense’.
The Hebrew word עֲנָתוֹת Anathoth –Strong’s H6068 means, ‘answers to prayer’.
With the meaning of these names, and the location of this field, we are able to see a very powerful message that comes through the Word of יהוה, and that is, that with Elohim, who favours, there is retribution and recompense, in a clear answer to prayer.
Retribution can have the meaning of ‘the dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment’, and we see that the gracious Elohim, who hears our prayers, answers our prayers and shall dispense both, the reward for obedience, as well as the punishment for disobedience!
Yehuḏah was about to go into 70 years of captivity, for being disobedient and not letting the land have its Sabbath rests, and in the midst of this very trying time, there is a sure promise and hope, that is given to the prayers for the righteous ones, as this promise is expressed practically, through the actions of Yirmeyahu.
Yirmeyahu would be told to ‘buy’ the field, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘buy’ is קְנָא qena – Strong’s H7066 which means, ‘to acquire, buy, purchase’, and corresponds to the word קָנָה qanah – Strong’s H7069 which means, ‘to acquire, buy, purchase, get, recover’.
We see this word being used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth and do not sell it – Wisdom and discipline and understanding.”
The instruction is clear – get wisdom!
And what we must recognise here is that it will cost you!
Messiah has paid the cost for our deliverance, yet, we must count the cost of following hard after Him and seeking Him, with all our heart!
This was indeed a clear picture of ‘faith in action’!!!
It was not enough for Yirmeyahu to simply be teaching and proclaiming the Truth – he had to live it out and let his faith/belief be clearly seen in his actions.
Picture the scene for a moment: here you have Yirmeyahu, who was clearly being a faithful prophet of Elohim and while he continually warned the people of the wrath of Elohim, they rejected his words and locked him up.
Now, this same prophet, who was proclaiming a captivity that was about to happen, went and bought a field!
For many, this would have seemed strange, as he was telling everyone that they were about to be exiled for 70 years and here, Yirmeyahu was buying a field, as his right for redemption to do so, was validated by his cousin. Think about it for a moment – would Yirmeyahu live another 70 years?
What good would the field be to him?
Yet, with this clear action of obedience to the Word of Elohim, we see a practical parable being displayed in action! His actions certainly got the attention of the people, and, in a manner of speaking, he ‘put his money where his mouth was’!!!
יהוה spoke and He confirmed His Word through Ḥaname’ěl!
His Word is confirmed to us by His favour, or better put – His favour is confirmed to us by His Living Word!!!
Dawiḏ says in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:58 “I have sought Your face with all my heart; show me favour according to Your word.”
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:8 Yirmeyahu says, ‘… And I knew that this was the Word of יהוה’.
Once again, picture the scene: this courageous prophet, who had been locked up, may have had some doubts about hearing from יהוה, especially as it wouldn’t have made any sense to buy a field, in a land that was about to be taken away by foreigners.
By birth right, Yirmeyahu was eligible to perform the duty of kinsman redeemer, and so, he does what he is asked, having been assured and confident that this was indeed the Word of יהוה.
Yirmeyahu was strengthened by the Word of יהוה and proceeded with great confidence, even when it may have looked like a hopeless situation!
The actions here, of Yirmeyahu, can speak many valuable lessons to us indeed, especially as we consider that we too must act in obedient faith to His Word, even in what may seem to be the most hopeless of situations!
Never let circumstances deter you from doing what the Word so clearly instructs, and is confirmed, in the hearing of the Truth that brings faith/belief!
What we are also able to recognise here, is a classic shadow picture of our Kinsman Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, who came in the flesh, in order to become our legitimate Kinsman Redeemer, who legally has the right to redeem the field – that is the world!
In Him, we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins, in Him, who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation and legal Redeemer!
Yirmeyahu bought the field for 17 sheqels of silver, signed the deed and sealed it!
This purchase of the field, as the right of redemption, in the face of exile and destruction, teaches us the power of the great work of redemption that our Master came and brought us, when He came in the flesh, in order to redeem us from the corruption and wickedness of sin, with the sure promise that our inheritance waits for us and has been sealed by His Blood!
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:7 the Hebrew word for ‘redemption’ is גְּאֻלָּה geullah – Strong’s H1353 and simply means, ‘redemption, right of redemption, redemption rights’ and is the passive participle of the primitive root word גָּאַל ga’al – Strong’s H1350 meaning, ‘to redeem, act as kinsman, avenge, buy back, claim, redeemer, avenger of blood, rescue’.
This word is also used to refer to our Redeemer in the form of גֹּאֲלִי ga’ali meaning, ‘my Redeemer’ as in:
Iyoḇ/Job 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and as the Last shall rise over the dust”
In Tehillah/Psalm 103 Dawiḏ reminds us not to forget the dealings of יהוה – as He Has Redeemed our life from destruction!
The deed was signed and sealed!
The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘sealed’ is the primitive root verb חָתַם ḥatham – Strong’s H2856 which means, ‘to seal, affix a seal, seal up’, and it is from this root that we get the Hebrew noun for ‘seal’, which is חֹתָם ḥotham – Strong’s H2368 which means, ‘a seal, signet ring’.
Why I mention this, is that we can be reminded that the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl were to be engraved on the shoham stones of the High Priest’s garments, like the engraving of a signet – חֹתָם ḥotham!
The Greek word used here, in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.), of this verse in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:10 for ‘sealed’ is σφραγίζω sphragizō – Strong’s G4972 which means, ‘to seal, put a seal on, set’, and we gain a better understanding of what these actions of Yirmeyahu shadow picture for us, when recognising the work of redemption that our Master has done for us and the price His blood has paid for us, to have the seal of our inheritance secured in Him!
Here are a couple of verses where we can find this word and get a better picture, in terms of what we are looking at here:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:13-14 “in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your deliverance, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Set-apart Spirit of promise, 14 who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His esteem.”
In Sha’ul’s introduction to the believers in Ephesos, he was making clear that we not only have, through יהושע Messiah, redemption and forgiveness, but that we have also been sealed with the Set-Apart Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession is fulfilled at His second coming!!!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Set-apart Spirit of Elohim, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Yirmeyahu, after having signed and sealed the deed of purchase for the field, went and gave it to Baruḵ son of Neriyyah, son of Maḥsĕyah, in the presence of his cousin and many witnesses, who too had signed the deed of purchase before all the officials, who sat in the court of the guard, where Yirmeyahu was being held prisoner!
The name Baruḵ – בָּרוּךְStrong’s H1263 means, ‘blessed’, and he was the son of נֵרִיָּה Neriyyah – Strong’s H5374 which means, ‘lamp of Yah’, who was the son of מַחְסֵיָה Maḥsĕyah – Strong’s H4271 which means, ‘Yah is a refuge, Yah is a shelter’.
These names carry a very powerful message for us too, as we consider how Baruḵ was a faithful scribe to Yirmeyahu, as we see by their names the clear message that:
BLESSED IS THE LAMP OF YAH, FOR YAH IS A REFUGE
We are clearly told, in Scripture, that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and are safe (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10).
In Ḥazon/Revelation we are clearly told that the Lamb, which is יהושע Messiah, is the Lamp, and it is in Him that we are sealed and find our shelter and refuge in times of distress, having the full assurance that our redemption draws near!
Yirmeyahu commanded Baruḵ, according to the Word of יהוה of Hosts, to take both deeds – the sealed one and the open one – and put them in an earthen vessel, so that they remain many days!!!
Many days indeed – at least another 71 years, as this was 1 year before the exile would take place!
In this clear instruction, we are once again given some very powerful pictures indeed!
With the two copies of the deed being placed in an earthen vessel, we are able to see a picture of the two tablets of stone that were placed in the Ark of the Covenant, which, in turn, clearly pictures for us the clear words of His Covenant, being placed upon our hearts and sealed with His Spirit!
One sealed and one open, also teaches us that while His word is sealed and is secured in the Master, it is not hidden from us, but it is on our hearts and in our mouths to do it, for He has revealed His Word to us, through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah, our Kinsman Redeemer!
We are the earthen vessels, upon which He has set His seal and entrusted with His Word, for many days!
Days that we are to endure and hold firm our calling and inheritance in the Master!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:6-10 “For Elohim, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts for the enlightening of the knowledge of the esteem of Elohim in the face of יהושע Messiah. 7 And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”
This treasure is our title deed to our inheritance in His land – that is, the earth and everything in it, for it belongs to Him and He has redeemed it by His Blood, and the assurance we have in Him, is that the meek shall inherit the earth – an inheritance that awaits the faithful set-apart ones, who endure until the end!
We are the very earthen vessels in which He has placed His Words, which must remain for many days and be preserved in righteousness!
Under the right conditions, documents can be kept in earthen vessels for a very long time, as the Dead Sea scrolls that were found, are a testimony of this fact, teaching us that we too have this treasure of His promises in earthen vessels!
What I found very interesting, is that the Greek word used here for ‘treasure’ is θησαυρός thēsauros – Strong’s G2344 which means, ‘treasure, storehouse, magazine, repository’, and refers to, ‘the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up’.
The English word ‘thesaurus’, in general use, is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms).
The main purpose of such reference works, is to help the user “to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed”.
Do you see what treasure we have been given – it is not just some random words, but the very living Words of our Master that He has put in us, in helping us ‘find’ the proper words and actions that can be most fitly applied to every situation!
He has put His thesaurus in us, so to speak!!!
His Word is so powerful that it enables us to rightly divide and discern the Truth, so that we can behave and live as true set-apart ones, in complete righteousness, even whilst we are in exile and are faithfully enduring, looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah!
יהוה made it very clear to Yirmeyahu, that houses and fields would once again be bought in this land, and this was the sure sign that He was giving to them, through the obedient actions of this courageous prophet, who was imprisoned in the court guard and facing exile!
After having signed, sealed and delivered the documents to Baruḵ, Yirmeyahu prayed to יהוה, and began his prayer, by focusing on the incomparable greatness and excellency of יהוה, declaring that nothing is too hard for יהוה!
He proclaims great and mighty are the works of יהוה of Hosts, who, by His great power and outstretched arm, made the heavens and earth, and shows loving-commitment to thousands and repays the crookednesses of fathers into the bosoms of their children after them.
He praised Elohim for His might and power, for with a strong Hand and Outstretched Arm, He brought Yisra’ĕl out of Mitsrayim and gave them the land promised to Aḇraham!
He then acknowledges the fact that Yisra’ĕl had sinned and did not obey the voice of Elohim, nor walked in His Torah, and did not do what was commanded.
This was the reason they were in the position they were in, with exile facing them in the face of the wrath of Elohim, being ready to be poured out through the sword, famine and plague, about which they had been warned! Yet despite all of this that was happening and was about to happen, Yirmeyahu confirms his faith in Elohim, by saying that he did what he was commanded to and went bought a field in the city that was being taken captive!
יהוה then confirms the words of this powerful prayer of praise, to Yirmeyahu by asking Him a clear rhetorical question, “Is there any matter too hard for me?”.
Yirmeyahu, while certainly declaring this truth in his prayer, would have certainly been strengthened and encouraged by these words of יהוה, for I am sure that he would have been reminded of the first time that we see יהוה saying these words, when He said them in:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:14 “Is any matter too hard for יהוה? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.”
These were the words that יהוה spoke to Aḇraham, after Sarah had laughed, when hearing that she would have a child! יהוה made it clear that she would have a child at the appointed time spoken by Him, and this too would have been an urgent reminder to Yirmeyahu, as he heard these same words, that would give him the full assurance that the Word of יהוה never fails, as His loving-commitment endures forever!
He then continues on and confirms to Yirmeyahu, what was going to take place, yet promised that He would gather His people back to this land and put His fear in their hearts and that fields and houses would indeed be bought in this land again, therefore, the deed of purchase that Yirmeyahu signed, sealed and delivered to be kept in an earthen vessel for many days, was a sure sign and proof of this clear promise!
These people had the prophetic word made certain, through the clear actions of Yirmeyahu and this called for an endurance of many days!
We too have this full assurance of the prophetic words of our inheritance, in our Master, made certain and would do well to endure and keep shining the light of this Truth, amidst a dark and depraved world!
Kěpha made this clear to us in his second letter:
Kěpha Bět/ 2 Peter 1:19-21 “And we have the prophetic word made more certain, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture came to be of one’s own interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the desire of man, but men of Elohim spoke, being moved by the Set-apart Spirit.”
As we consider the events that took place, here in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32, we are able to grasp, more clearly, the full assurance that we have in our Great Kinsman Redeemer, who has put His treasure in our hearts and set His seal upon us, so that we can continue shining the light of this truth, knowing that no matter is too hard for our Mighty Master and Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!
Our Master and Elohim, Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah has purchased the field and, in His Blood, our inheritance is secured!
How are you living?
Have you counted the cost and ‘sold all you have’ in order to ‘buy that field’?
Have you found the pearl of great price – that entrance into the reign, and have forsaken all to follow the One who has paid the price of the field? Have you removed the stones in order to pass through the gates?
Or have the current circumstances, that you have found yourself in, caused you to remain chained in bondage to the things of the flesh and have been unable to see the truth, that nothing is too hard for Elohim?
I hope that this message stirs in you the belief/faith that Yirmeyahu displayed, by being a doer of the word and not just a hearer only! He was not just a proclaimer as he showed his belief in works of obedience to the Word, despite the impending exile and his captive state of being held prisoner!
Yirmeyahu could faithfully depend upon the Word of יהוה, even if he did not know or fully understand how it would be physically accomplished!
Yerushalayim was going to be burned, because of the idolatry of יהוה’s called out one’s, yet Yirmeyahu could put full confidence in the Word of יהוה, and from this we can learn a great deal, as we have the Word made sure for us in the life, death and resurrection of our Master, giving us the sure promise and seal of our inheritance, in His Blood, by which we are grafted into His Covenants of Promise!
The field has been purchased and our inheritance has been secured – how are you living?
Entrance has been given for you to pass through, so to speak, and the proper equipping needed to remove the stones, prepare the way, build up the highway and lift up a banner of praise, has been made available, through our Master!
Is your belief/faith clearly seen in your daily actions of obedience or have you allowed an enslaved mind-set to cause you to doubt the sure promises of Elohim, promises that are yes and aměn in Messiah?
I trust and pray, that by this very real and practical parable, as portrayed through the actions of Yirmeyahu, it will stir in you the clear confidence, hope and courage, in the Master, to endure many days, as you have this treasure of His Truth in your earthen vessel!
You are the salt and light of the world.
The Lamp of Yah is in you and may you not be found to be hiding that lamp but rather, be as Giḏ’on’s men, who had a clay vessel with a light in it, in one hand, and a shofar in the other, and at the command of Giḏ’on, they broke their vessels and let the light shine, while blowing the shofar, and brought about a complete destruction of the enemy, by the Hand of Elohim, which you can read about in Shophetim/Judges 7!
The pictures of the shofars, the jars and the torches, can give us a great lesson of how we are to be overcomers in יהושע Messiah, as we read in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-22 “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.” 20 But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 21 If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work. 22 And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.”
We who have cleansed ourselves from all unrighteousness, shall be a vessel unto value, having been set-apart and of good use to our Master!
Messiah came in the flesh and defeated sin, and He calls us to walk as He walked, and this will take the clear responsibility of a true remnant, to break off the things of the flesh, and surrender totally into the hands of our King, becoming a vessel unto value, that holds firm the true witness of Messiah and guards the commands of Elohim.
May we all learn from the committed and faithful actions of obedience, displayed by Yirmeyahu!
There was still much pressure and hardship that he would face and have to endure, yet what would have certainly been a strengthening assurance to him, was the sure Word of יהוה, and the promise of His Word made certain, through the clear promise of this sealed deed of purchase, that was to be kept in an earthen vessel many days! While we too, will face many pressures and persecutions, let us hold fast the wonderful seal of our inheritance, as we guard His treasure that is in us, with great joy and hold firm to the expectation that will not fail!
Back to the Gate of the prison!
The reason for the expansion of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32, is simply to highlight the Good News of how our Master, has redeemed us from the prison of sin and death!
When our Master was here, He stood up and proclaimed the following words:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה…”
Then He rolled up the scroll, and ended what He was reading from this passage, before announcing the vengeance of Elohim to come! Our Master proclaimed release and this gives us the freedom to walk in the Torah of Freedom and not be bound by sin, giving us the ability to also release those who are indebted to us!!!
The PRISON GATE teaches us about release and forgiveness, and that we are to forgive others, as He has forgiven us – for we are a redeemed people!
12 Gates in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah:
THE SHEEP GATE – THE FISH GATE – THE OLD GATE – THE VALLEY GATE – THE DUNG GATE – THE FOUNTAIN GATE – THE WATER GATE – THE HORSE GATE – THE EAST GATE – THE MIPHQAḎ GATE – THE GATE OF EPHRAYIM – THE GATE OF THE PRISON
What we have, being presented very clearly for us, in the Book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, are 12 uniquely named gates, that collectively teach us and remind us, of the deliverance that our Master has worked for us, giving us a clear choice, to respond faithfully and enter in, or, refuse to hear and be cast out!!!
In the vision that Yoḥanan was given, of the renewed heavens and earth, the new Yerushalayim which he saw, descending out of the heaven from Elohim, had 12 gates:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:10-13 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the set-apart Yerushalayim, descending out of the heaven from Elohim, 11 having the esteem of Elohim, and her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, 12 and having a great and high wall, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers, and names written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the children of Yisra’ěl: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:21 “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls – each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was clean gold, like transparent glass.”
Each gate was a giant pearl!
When I see this, I am reminded of the parable that our Master gave, in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man having found it, hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like a man, a merchant, seeking fine pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘found’ is εὑρίσκω heuriskō – Strong’s G2147 which means, ‘to find, get, obtain, learn, discover, understand’, and we see this word used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.”
So many ‘wannabe-believers’ are not willing to ‘seek and find’ the great pearls of wisdom in the Word of Elohim, and when wisdom is brought forth by another, the lazy and ignorant usually pass off the one bringing the message of great Truth as being puffed up with too much knowledge.
יהוה tells us that His people are perishing for lack of knowledge, and that is because they are not seeking His knowledge, and will therefore never find it, although they erroneously claim to have found the truth, as they hold fast to ear tickling teachings of man that are taught, as commands, while they do not even know what the word of Elohim actually says!
To those who find His words because they are earnestly seeking Him, they will be life and healing to them!
What we take note of here, is that this parable of the reign of the heavens being described as one pearl of great price being found, speaks of the actual “finding of the entrance to the Reign”, as we take careful note of the description of the New Yerushalayim as described in Ḥazon/Revelation, where we are told that it has 12 gates and each gate is a giant single pearl, upon which the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl are written!
The pearl of great price – is a clear parable lesson about seeking the Truth and finding it, which causes the true and earnest seeker to sell all he has in order to secure the pearl, and in so doing they are securing entrance into the set-apart place of the Most-High, as they that is translated as ‘great price’, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:46 is πολύτιμος polutimos – Strong’s G4186 which means, ‘great price, very costly, very precious’, and is constructed form two words:
1) – πολύς polus – Strong’s G4183 meaning, ‘much, many’ and
2) τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 which means, ‘(to value, honour), a valuing, price, honour, honourable use, mark of respect’.
This Greek word πολύτιμος polutimos is only used in one other place in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and it is used in describing the costly perfume that Miryam took and anointed the feet of our Master with:
Yoḥanan/John 12:3 “Then Miryam took a pound of costly perfume of nard, anointed the feet of יהושע, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
The Greek word τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 is used in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.”
Bought with a price!
Now, hear the call for pure set-apart worship – and that is, to give your all unto Elohim, which is what Miryam did!
As we worship with our all and live our lives in the complete set-apartness that is called, for then we are the fragrance of Messiah:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
This is a lesson on counting the cost and knowing that the gift of life, that is the right of entrance into His eternal presence, will cost you your all, and because He gave His all, He has freely given us access to His gates; and as Ḥazon tells us – it is not all who shall have access but rather:
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.”
Those doing His commands are given access through the ‘pearl’ gates of the set-apart city, while outside are the idolaters, whores, murders and those who love falsehood! Our right of entrance has been purchased by the Blood of Messiah, and therefore the gift of entrance is available to all who are cleansed in His Blood and stay in Him, by walking in and guarding to do all His commands!
As we consider the gates that we have looked at in Neḥemyah, as well as the pearl gates of the new Yerushalayim, we are presented with the clear choice of life or death – entrance or exit, so to speak!
In order for us to enter through the gates of the city, we are to make sure that we are guarding His commands, and gleaning the wonderful lessons that are contained in the record of the 12 gates in the book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, for by doing so, we realise that it is only TRUE HEBREWS that can:
PASS THROUGH THE GATES, PREPARE THE WAY, BUILD UP THE HIGHWAY,
REMOVE THE STONES, LIFT UP A BANNER!
Please note, that I am not saying that there are 24 gates, for there are only 12… the names of the 12 gates, in the Book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, give us a great prophetic message of the perfect work of deliverance that our Master and Elohim has worked for us, and in the renewed Yerushalayim, that comes from above, the names on the gates were the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ěl – which represents, and declares, for us, the complete and delivered body of Messiah.
May you be strengthened and equipped in the Word that washes us and sets us apart for service, and be caused to be able to “pass through the gates”, so to speak, as faithful children of the Most-High, who has gone before us and leads us, as long as we stay in Him!
Having ‘metaphorically’ passed through the 12 gates of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, we can, with great expectancy, look forward to entering through the gates, into the renewed city of Yerushalayim, when our Master, Husband and King comes to fetch His Ready and prepared Bride, who has Her eyes fixed on Him!!!
Those who have ears to hear the call being given in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:10, are equipped to:
PASS THROUGH THE GATES!
PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE PEOPLE!
BUILD UP THE HIGHWAY!
REMOVE THE STONES!
LIFT UP A BANNER FOR THE PEOPLES!
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!