The Name of this portion is – כִּי תִשָּׂא – ‘ki tissah’ – ‘when you lift up’ and the word that is used here for ‘lift up’ comes from the root verb נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means ‘lift up, carry, take up, exalt, and accept’.
This term is also used in describing a groom that is coming to ‘take up’ His Bride and also is used as a term that describes the acceptance by a king of his wife, and the listening to her voice!
So, in essence, what we have here is a call to lift up/take up a count of who is a part of the Bride of יהוה! In other words, it was time to count those who are His.
Verse 11-16 – Contribution to יהוה
The term, or phrase, ‘a census’, literally means, ‘the heads’ and it is written in Hebrew as follows:
אֶת־רֹאשׁ – ‘eth rosh’
The Hebrew word ‘eth’ – אֶת – is an untranslated particle and is often described in grammars (somewhat superficially) as ‘the sign of the direct object’, after a transitive verb; and the function of the word ‘eth’ – אֶת is to emphasize the word to which it is attached.
In other words, we are able to see ‘what’ is actually being ‘taken up’, as it is THE heads that are being taken up – and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘heads’ is ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, ‘head, beginning, census, captain, leader, top, topmost’.
This portion starts with the instruction for Mosheh to ‘take up’ a census (count the heads) of the people, in order to register them, and each registered one was to give atonement for his own life to יהוה, so that there would be no outbreak of a plague among them, when they are registered.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘register’ 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’.
This is not simply a ‘putting down a name on a list’ or ‘marking a check’ that says ‘present’; rather, it is a clear militaristic style term of ‘enlisting and calling up an army’ and therefore it is a taking stock of who is actually able to fight!
When I was younger, we used to have ‘conscription into the army’ – meaning that there was a compulsory ‘calling up’ or ‘enlisting into service’ of the defence force and I was ‘called up’ for a 2-year compulsory service; and this term carries the similar meaning, as the registering of fit and able men, who were properly enlisted to serve their commander, was being counted!
The English term ‘muster’, which this word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 can also be translated as, carries the meaning of, ‘a critical examination’ or, ‘a formal military inspection’.
So, this registering that is being spoken of here, was a very serious thing, as each one would be inspected; and when we see this militaristic style language being used, we understand why Sha’ul, in most of his letters, used militaristic style instructions, showing us how he was clearly teaching the Torah of Elohim!
The Hebrew word פָּקַד paqaḏ is also used in Berěshith/Genesis 21:1 and is translated as ‘visited’, which is also written in the ‘qal active tense’, as it is here in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4, which can also carry the meaning of, ‘to pay attention to, to attend to, observe, appoint, visit, assign, deposit’:
Berěshith/Genesis 21:1 “And יהוה visited Sarah as He had said, and יהוה did for Sarah as He had spoken.”
יהוה ‘visited’ Sarah as He had spoken! This was indeed a ‘positive’ visitation of יהוה, where the sure Promise of יהוה was given as He has said, and what He said He would do for her, He did!
יהוה does not forget His Word, and certainly never forgets His Covenant Promises to man!
Tehillah/Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You remember him? And the son of man that You visit him?”
Tehillah/Psalm 106:4 “Remember me, O יהוה, in the acceptance of Your people; visit me with Your deliverance”
In light of this understanding, we are able to see how this word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 also renders the meaning of ‘register’, for it is in the urgency of knowing that the ‘visitation’ of יהוה draws very near, that we are to recognise our need to be ‘numbered’ and ‘counted worthy’ in our obedient worship unto Him, as faithful ambassadors of the Most-High, and be the fervent fighting soldiers of the faith, that we are called up to be!
The way that we are ‘registered’ in the Master, or rather, the way in which we are able to show that we are ‘registered’ in Him, is to walk in His Word and abstain from the fleshly lusts that battle against the spirit, for our Master is coming again, on a day of visitation!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
יהוה is a Jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate him, while showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Him and guard His commands! (Shemoth/Exodus 20:4-6)
Tehillah/Psalm 89:30-32 “If his sons forsake My Torah and do not walk in My right-rulings, 31 “If they profane My laws and do not guard My commands, 32 “Then I shall visit their transgression with the rod, and their crookedness with flogging.”
יהוה’s Word stands firm and we need to be a people who abstain from fleshly lusts and make sure that we have our behaviour among the nations as good, so that as they observe our ‘good works’ of righteousness, they will give esteem to Elohim when He comes again!
Let us take a look at the ancient pictographic script of the root word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 which reveals to us the urgency of being faithful in our ‘fighting the good fight’ as we are counted in the Master who is coming again!
In the ancient script the word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 which means, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’, looks like this:
Pey – פָּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
Quph – קַ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.
Dalet – ד:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘the Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him!
In understanding this word in the ancient pictographic form, in terms of being registered or the reference to the visitation of our Master and Elohim, we can see in these pictures this clearly being presented, as we can see in the construction of these letters, regarding this registering and visitation, the following:
THE MOUTH OF OUR MASTER HAS SPOKEN AND HIS WORD IS ESTABLISHED FROM OF OLD AND DOES NOT CHANGE AS WE GUARD HIS FEASTS IN THE CYCLES, KNOWING THAT IN THIS WE ARE COUNTED WORTHY, AS WE COME TO THE DOOR, OUR MASTER AND ELOHIM, AND STAND READY FOR HIS DAY OF VISITATION WHERE WE SHALL ENTER INTO HIS COMING REIGN!
Each registered person was to give a half sheqel, which would be used for the service of the Tent of Appointment and would be the atonement price for each. One sheqel was 20 gĕrahs and each gĕrah weighed approximately 0.57g and therefore 10 gĕrahs, being half a sheqel, would be approximately 5.75g of silver, and this was the contribution required by everyone who was to be registered and counted, and remember that this would only be for those 20 years old and above.
20 was the age when one was seen to be of ‘fighting age’ and was enlisted into the army and would be required to give yourself over to the service of defending or fighting for the nation.
What is very important here is the clear lesson that is being spoken here – and that is simply this:
YOU ARE NOT ‘COUNTED’ UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO FIGHT!!!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.”
We as children of the Most-High are to ‘fight the good fight’ and take responsibility of standing and being counted as faithful and trustworthy ambassadors that are equipped in the Torah and able to stand and fight!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:3-5 “Suffer hardship with us as a good soldier of יהושע Messiah. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life, in order to please only him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And if anyone competes in a game, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
All of these ‘military type’ sounding words are certainly able to carry great insight for us – for we are to take very seriously our call to walk in total obedience and be counted worthy as being part of the Body and Bride of Messiah.
This therefore speaks of maturity and a clear understanding of the need to heed the instructions of our Commander and ‘count the cost’ of ‘enlisting’ or ‘giving of ourselves’ wholeheartedly unto Messiah!
What we must also make careful note of here, is that the ransom, or atonement, was a half a sheqel and not a whole sheqel! This, in itself, is very important for us to recognise, for it symbolises how we are a ‘part of the whole’, so to speak, and we are not the ‘whole on our own’!
In a community, no one is a ‘whole’ without the others – some might be a little shinier and newer than others, but all who are enlisted are still ‘a half a sheqel’, in a manner of speaking!
What this also shows us, is that when we give of our all it must be done together with others who give of their all too – for the giving of our all, individually, will only represent a half sheqel and therefore make us realise the need for us to ensure that we are walking in unity with others.
There was no difference as to what the status of a person was – all were to give the same, no matter if you were rich or poor – the cost is the same! The Father shows no partiality and judges each one according to his own work!
Silver, in Scripture, is also a symbolic picture of Blood in Scripture, in regards to the redemption price and we know that יהושע Messiah has paid the ransom/atonement price for us so that we may be considered worthy and able to be counted in Him.
Having this in mind we ought to realise that there is still a price to pay – for just as Messiah gave Himself for us and paid our ‘half sheqel’, so too, as our ‘contribution’, are we to give our whole life as our ‘half sheqel’, so that that we are made one in Him!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:17-19 “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear, 18 knowing that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers, not with what is corruptible, silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless.”
Significance of the ‘half sheqel’ atonement price:
I would like to highlight a powerful picture of the value that this half sheqel that was to be given by everyone who was being registered. In order to do this, we need to take a look at the instructions regarding that which was to be brought during the Feast of Matzot, as we consider the waving of the sheaf of the first:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:9-15 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה, 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths.”
As we can see from verse 10 of the above passage from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, we are told that a sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was to be brought to the priest, which he was to wave before יהוה.
Verse 11 tells us that this takes place on the morrow after the Sabbath!
This will therefore always take place on the 1st day of the week.
These instructions were clearly given by Elohim in order to let the events that take place on this day be a shadow picture of Messiah through the parable of the waving of the sheaf, in order for us to understand and recognise the work that our Master did on this day, by being both the sheaf of the first and the High Priest who would offer and wave the sheaf of the first!
I would like us to look at a couple of the Hebrew words, in regards to the instructions of this day, in order for us to see some very powerful pictures of our Master, so that the parable of this waving of the sheaf can be greatly understood and celebrated with joy.
The term ‘Sheaf of the first fruits’ is written in Hebrew as follows: עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית – ‘omer reshiyth’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sheaf’ is עֹמֶר omer – Strong’s H6016 and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘first-fruits’ is רֵאשִׁית rěshiyth – Strong’s H7225 which means, ‘beginning, chief, first fruits, foremost’ and comes from the primitive root word ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 which means, ‘head, beginning, top, chief’.
This day is often called ‘Bikkurim’ by some, yet what we recognise is that the term bikkurim is only found to be used in reference to what would take place 50 days later at Shaḇuoth/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost.
The Hebrew term ‘Bikkurim’ is found in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:17, in reference to when we are commanded to wave the two loaves of bread on Shaḇuoth, as the word in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:17 for ‘first fruits’ is not ‘reshiyth’ but is – בִּכּוּרִים bikkurim – Strong’s H1061 meaning, ‘first fruits, early ripened thing, ripe fruit’, and comes from בָּכַר baḵar – Strong’s H1069 which means, ‘to bear new fruit, to constitute as first born’.
So, while the ‘bikkurim’ is waved on Shaḇu’ot, it is on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Matzot that we see the command given to wave the sheaf of the first, or better understood as the first of the first! This could be better understood as the first of the bikkurim; and this waving of the first of the first gives us the full assurance of the fullness of the harvest to come.
What is vitally important for us to realise is that without this day there is no assurance that there will be a first fruit harvest and offering; and if no first fruit harvest and offering then there is no assurance for there being an end-time harvest, making the remembrance and celebration of this day extremely important.
How much is an omer?
The ‘sheaf’, which in Hebrew is the word ‘omer’, was the dry measure of food stuffs, and an omer was 1/10th of an ĕphah, which is a dry measurement of grain equalling to the approximate amount of 22 litres. Therefore, an omer (sheaf) was around 2,2 litres dry equivalent.
Let us discover further the value of an omer:
Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 “And if a man sets apart to יהוה a field he owns, then your evaluation shall be according to the seed for it – a ḥomer of barley seed at fifty sheqels of silver.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 45:11 “Let the ĕphah and the bath be of the same measure, so that the bath contains one-tenth of a ḥomer, and the ĕphah one-tenth of a ḥomer. Let their measure be according to the ḥomer.”
From these verses we are able to see something very significant in the sheaf that is waved as a first of the first!
Here we see the terms omer, ĕphah and ḥomer. We know that the sheaf is an omer, yet we take note that Wayyiqra/Leviticus 27:16 tells us that the evaluation of a field that is set apart to יהוה is done according to the seed for it and a ḥomer of barley seed is 50 sheqels of silver!
That being said, we take note that an ĕphah is 1/10th of a ḥomer, which would make an ĕphah of barley seed to be valued at 5 sheqels. Are you with me so far? With an omer being 1/10th of and ĕphah that would make an omer of barley seed to be valued at half a sheqel of silver!
AN OMER OF BARLEY = ½ SHEQEL OF SILVER!
Why is the half a sheqel of silver important for us to understand? What we are discussing in this Torah portion shadow pictures the clear atonement price our Master paid for us, as His Redeemed Body, by being the omer reshiyth that is valued at ½ a sheqel of silver!
Shemoth/Exodus 30:12-14 “When you take the census of the children of Yisra’ĕl, to register them, then each one shall give an atonement for his life to יהוה, when you register them, so that there is no plague among them when you register them. 13 “Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה. 14 “Everyone passing over to be registered, from twenty years old and above, gives a contribution to יהוה.”
The half sheqel was the price of atonement for each one who was registered in Yisra’ĕl and this atonement price was to be taken as a remembrance before יהוה. The grain that was associated with the ‘sheaf’ (omer) of first fruits was barley as it was the first grain that would be harvested each year. T
he Hebrew word for ‘barley’ is שְׂעֹרָה seorah – Strong’s H8184 and comes from the root word שֵׂעָר sear – Strong’s H8181 which means, ‘hair, hairy’; and from this root word we get the word for goat which is שָׂעִיר saiyr – Strong’s H8163.
Why am I mentioning this?
The sheaf of barley that is waved was estimated at the price of atonement for each person registered and therefore we are able to see the relationship between the goat that is slaughtered for the sin offering in order to make atonement, being a shadow picture of the atonement that our Master bought for us by His own Blood, in order that we can be counted in Him!
What I also found very interesting, and certainly a significant nugget of truth, is that when looking at another word that has similar lettering to the root word from which we get the words for ‘goat and barley’ we are able to glean greater insights.
The root word שֵׂעָר se’ar – Strong’s H8181 is spelt with a ‘sin’ (שֵׂ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר).
A word that has the similar letters is the word that we get for ‘gate’, which in Hebrew is שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 meaning, ‘gate, door, entrance’ and comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, ‘to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’.
These words are spelt with a ‘shin’ (שַׁ), ‘ayin’ (עָ) and ‘resh’ (ר). One has a ‘sin’ (שֵׂ) and the other a ‘shin’ (שַׁ)! Why did I find this interesting and significant in terms of this day? Well, the Hebrew word for gate – שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 – is the word that is used for the ‘gate’ of the courtyard of the Tabernacle.
The Greek equivalent that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) is the word πύλη pulē – Strong’s G4439 and this word is used to describe 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.”
Ok, so what does this have to do with barley and atonement and the sheaf (omer)?
We know that Messiah is the Door, and we also know that it was at the gates of a city where right-ruling and justice was administered and where a proper check was done before anyone could enter in.
Our Master, therefore, has provided for us the ‘entrance’ into His Reign, according to His proper right-ruling and justice.
As I began to ponder on these various words and the significance thereof, I searched the Word and found a very powerful passage which echoes the news of deliverance, which some will not hear while others will.
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 7:1 “And Elisha said, “Hear the word of יהוה. Thus said יהוה, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah of fine flour for a sheqel, and two seahs of barley for a sheqel, at the gate of Shomeron.’”
Here we see both the root words for barley שְׂעֹרָה seorah and for gate שַׁעַר sha’ar being used in Elisha’s words.
Elisha was proclaiming the good news of deliverance to the people in Shomeron.
They were surrounded by the Arameans and were facing severe famine and a lack of provision as they were under immense attack and the threat of the enemy. One of the officers of the sovereign did not believe this good news and died in the gate as he was trampled!
I encourage you to go and read this account, of how it took four leprous men who went to see if they could find food and when they came to the enemy camp the enemy was gone, but all the provisions had been left behind!
What you will notice from the words of Elisha is that the price that was being declared for wheat and barley was a lot lower than it had been and this is why some did not believe.
What is worth taking note of here is the relationship between the barley and the gate.
The price of two measures of barley was 1 sheqel, which is the price for atonement for each person as one measure or omer of barley is a half a sheqel! This is a clear parable of deliverance being proclaimed right here in Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 7!
Who has believed our report, we might say, as we consider these events, especially in light of this day that we are to celebrate and proclaim as Good News, for entrance into the reign of our Master has been opened by His life, death, resurrection and the waving of the sheaf of the first!
The omer price has been paid and we can be legally grafted into Messiah as His Body, in order to serve Him forever!
Therefore, an omer. or sheaf, also symbolises a single person and is in fact a picture of one being turned over to יהוה for the process of becoming useful to His community – that is, His Bride!
Shemoth/Exodus 16:16 “This is the word which יהוה has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, an omer for each being, according to the number of beings. Let every man take for those who are in his tent.’”
Shemoth/Exodus 16:36 “And an omer is one-tenth of an ĕphah.”
I hope you are able to see the powerful picture of the perfect work of our Master who has redeemed us and paid the fee for us to be registered in Him and counted worthy in Him to serve as a priesthood and be equipped to be the Dwelling Place of the Most-High!
Back to Shemoth/Exodus 30
From verse 15 we are also able to learn that we are to regard each other the same and not pay more attention to those who are ‘better dressed’ over those who may not have the means to have the latest fashions!
Ya’aqoḇ tells us, in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:1-9 “My brothers, do not hold the belief of our Master יהושע Messiah, the Master of esteem, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your meeting a man with gold rings, in a splendid robe, and there should also come in a poor one dressed in rags, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the splendid robe and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor one, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves, and become judges with wicked thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers: Has Elohim not chosen the poor of this world, rich in belief and heirs of the reign which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have shown disrespect towards the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme that good Name by which you are called? 8 If you truly accomplish the sovereign law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well, 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, being found guilty by the Torah as transgressors.”
The half sheqel would be used for the service of the Tent of Appointment and therefore, this money would not be accumulated from year to year, but be used for the necessary service in the Tabernacle and the general upkeep and by the time of Shelomoh’s Temple, whatever was left would be used repair walls and streets in Yerushalayim and the roads that led there, to make the pilgrim’s journey easier or smoother. And this shows how we too are to be ‘offered up’ for different needs, as we bring our ‘contributions’ and gifts and that every year we make a smoother road for others to join in and become a part of what is being built up in Messiah!
This sheqel was not a part of the ‘tithes’ and was not related to status or income but was symbolic of giving your all. There are many in the body today who only give ‘some’ of themselves, as they deem is necessary according to their own standard, while there are few who give of their whole being! It is when we are ALL giving our ALL that the building of the Tabernacle/Dwelling Place of Elohim (which we are) makes huge progress!!!
We give our all –knowing that Messiah gave His all and paid our ransom price – and so now we therefore belong to Him and we are not our own!!!
IT TAKES MATURITY TO GIVE OF YOURSELF!
Sha’ul said in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I did away with childish matters.”
There are so many today who are way over ‘20 years of age’ (fighting age) yet through their ‘childish actions’, or rather their lack of true obedience, they are actually unable to be ‘counted’ among those who take a stand and fight the good fight as their lives are not given wholeheartedly over in bringing their part in service of the body of Messiah!
It is time for the body to rise up and be counted and start to do their part:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:12-14 “For indeed, although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first elements of the Words of Elohim. And you have become such as need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone partaking of milk is inexperienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for the mature whose senses have been trained by practice to discern both good and evil.”
So many today want to be the teachers and leaders and think that they can ‘call the shots’, yet through the witness of their lives, or lack thereof, we see that they are still in fact ‘babes’ that are still drinking milk, while they ought to have become mature by now and able to teach, yet sadly they simply are immature and inexperienced in the Word of righteousness and will often throw tantrums like a child when they do not get their way, while they have not surrendered their lives wholeheartedly and have not submitted themselves to being the ‘half’, so to speak, but rather try to be the ‘whole’ as they think only of themselves and not of the whole body or community that they are supposed to be a part of!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 14:20 “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking, but in evil be babes, and in your thinking be perfect.”
What it ultimately comes down to is this – it is the Dwelling Place of יהוה that should be the only thing worth fighting for – and we together are His Dwelling Place and whatever we do, whether in word or deed or in prayer, must be done in Messiah and be for the best of the whole body – that is Yisra’ĕl, of which both you and I are a part of and collectively we ALL must be willing to give over our ALL unto יהוה.
All will most likely bring ‘some’, but only some will bring their all – which are you? We should ALL bring ALL we have!!!
When Dawiḏ counted his fighting men, without the payment of the half sheqel, we are able to see the effects of this that resulted in 70,000 men who died from Dan to Be’ĕrsheḇa.
This you can read about in Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 24.
As we have seen in the previous Torah portions, ‘silver’ represents redemption and the Pure Word and the purist silver does not tarnish; however, when another substance is added to silver to make an alloy it causes the silver to tarnish. We cannot give unto יהוה a mixed worship that claims to fight the good fight while compromise is easily overlooked and not guarded against! It is ALL or nothing!
The half shekel is a contribution!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘contribution’ in verses 13, 14 and 15 is תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641 and is translated as, ‘contribution, offering for set-apart use, voluntary contribution’.
This word is used in Scripture to describe the ‘contributions’ that are taken up as voluntary offerings and we are therefore able to see how we too are to give our all, as a voluntary offering, in order to be counted in Messiah, for He Himself gave of Himself freely, in order for us to be counted!
The Hebrew word for ‘offering’ – תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641, in the ancient pictographic text, looks like this:
= תְּ – this is the letter ‘taw or tav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the picture of two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
= ר – this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
= וּ – this is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and 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’.
= מָ – this is the letter ‘mem’, which in the early script 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. This can also picture for us the function of water in terms of that which washes us, and can be understood as also representing the Word that washes us to serve as a faithful and royal priesthood
= ה – this is the Hebrew letter ‘hey’, which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of this letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
When we consider these pictures that make up the word תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641, giving us the meaning of ‘offering, contribution, offered by lifting’, we can further see how this word shows us unto whom it is that we give our lives as a daily offering:
THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT AS GIVEN THROUGH OUR HEAD HAS BEEN SEALED IN HIS BLOOD THAT WASHES US FROM OUR SIN AND EQUIPS US TO LIFT OUR HANDS AND OFFER OUR LIVES CONTINUALLY BEFORE HIM!
Verse 14 makes it clear that everyone passing over to be registered, from 20 years old and above, gives a contribution to יהוה and this emphasises the lesson that all who have ‘passed over’ are required to give a contribution.
This means that all who have called on the Name of יהוה and have been immersed in His Name and have been grafted in to the Covenants of Promise, by the Blood of Messiah, are now required to ‘give a contribution’, which as we have clearly discussed means, ‘give your all’!
The contribution of the half shekel was given to make atonement and while we have discussed the clear significance of the ½ shekel it worth taking note of the Hebrew words that are used here in verses 15 & 17 for ‘atonement’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘atonement’, in verse 15, is the root verb כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722 which means: ‘to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone’, and the Hebrew noun that is derived from this root and is translated as ‘the atonement’, as in ‘the silver for the atonement’, in verse 16 is written as – הַכִּפֻּרִים – hakippuriym – the atonement!
This is the plural of the noun כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, which as a noun it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’. כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722 literally means to, ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or ‘atonement’ means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’!
The understanding of this carries such insight for us as we recognise the work of redemption that our Master has done in becoming the atonement for us and covering us in His Blood so that we may be counted worthy to be built up in Him and equipped to stand and fight as a faithful soldier and ambassador of His reign!
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the very word we have been looking at, כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722, is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times in the entire book!
39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system where the other times are regulation instructions for the Day – this is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ is pictured as follows:
Kaph – כָּ:
The ancient script for this letter ‘kaph’ is – – and pictures ‘an open palm of a hand’, and can have the meaning of ‘bend, curve’ which is seen in the shape of the hand. It can also be understood to have the meaning of the ability to ‘tame, subdue’, as in the ‘bending of the will’, as an ‘open hand’ signifies ‘submission’.
Pey – פַ:
The ancient script for this letter ‘pey’ is – – and is pictured as an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can also have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. In representing the mouth it can also picture the lips of a mouth, which are the ‘edges of the mouth’, and can also refer to things with edges, such as a sword or beard!
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – – and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief and is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
When we understand these pictures in reference to a ‘covering’ as well as the ability to be afforded security and protection, we are able to see how we, who submit to our Master and Messiah, and acknowledge that He is our Head and chief and that He is the Beginning and the End, realise how by the Word of His mouth, that He has revealed to us in His own flesh, covers us as He has us written in the palm of His Hand, as His treasured possession!
The reason for me emphasising the atonement price and the relevant wording we find in Scripture, in terms of our need to be counted in our Master, is to highlight how important it is for us to acknowledge, understand and recognise our need to die to self and give our ALL unto our Master and Elohim and be registered in His body! Our Master and Elohim has made atonement for us and paid the price and through the Hebrew word pictures from the ancient pictographic letters we are able to see this.
Another word that reveals, through its pictographic rendering, the price paid is the Hebrew word for ‘silver’, which is כֶּסֶף keseph – Strong’s H3701 which in translated as, ‘silver, money, purchase price’ and comes from the root word כָּסַף kasaph – Strong’s H3700 which means, ‘to long for, eager, shame’.
Silver speaks of the price יהושע has paid for us. As we see form this Torah portion, silver was also used in service of the Tent of Meeting for the Atonement of Yisra’ĕl as a remembrance before יהוה.
The tabernacle stood upon sockets of silver. Both Yosĕph and יהושע were sold for silver. Yehuḏah was paid off in silver as the Scriptures said. Silver is redemption money. Silver is symbolic of the redemption that comes through יהושע Messiah and Him alone. It prefigures the preciousness of Messiah as the ransom for sinners.
Silver also speaks of service and giving of oneself – the prefect work of Messiah:
Marqos/Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Aḏam did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
We also see another wonderful picture of the symbolism of silver, as is also likened to the pure Word of Elohim that has been tried:
Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.”
Tehillah/Psalm 66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”
In the above two verses, from Tehillim, it is worth looking at a couple of words.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘tried’ is צָרַף tsaraph – Strong’s H6884 which means, ‘to smelt, refine, test, tried’, and we see this being used in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:31 “The Ěl – His way is perfect; the Word of יהוה is proven; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
The one thing we can be sure of is that the Word of יהוה is proven and trustworthy!
We are able to fully trust His Word – for it is the only ‘word’ that can be trusted.
How many times have you found that the words of friends, families, colleagues and even strangers have failed to meet up with what they spoke? The Word of יהוה never fails!!!
It is because of this fact that we are able to find complete refuge in Him!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refined’ is זָקַק zaqaq – Strong’s H2212 which means, ‘to refine, purify, distil’.
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and a cleanser of silver. And He shall cleanse the sons of Lĕwi, and refine them as gold and silver, and they shall belong to יהוה, bringing near an offering in righteousness.”
יהוה is the One who shall refine and purify us, and cause us to be a pure and set-apart royal priesthood who re able to bring near to Him an offering of righteousness, having been cleansed in the Blood of Messiah and refined by His Word.
The purest silver does not tarnish, and most silver products we see being used today has an alloy mix of up to 92.5% silver and another metal to make up the rest to produce a product that is a little harder and easier to work with.
When looking at this verse above, the concept of silver – pure silver – and the words of יהוה being clean struck me in a major way as to what we see happening today!
His Word is pure and clean, and is likened to silver tried in the furnace of earth and refined totally – there are no other metals therein and this is just what His Word is to us – it is unadulterated truth.
Sadly, we see that in the world today, His word has been tarnished due to the taking away and adding that is forbidden, and so as many dogmas of man and various theologies and doctrines have been formulated, they have each diminished the purity of the silver of His Word, by stripping it of its worth and adding in other words that twist the purity of the Truth and therefore cause the silver to now become susceptible to becoming tarnished.
When this happens, more and more work is required to polish up that which is not pure in an attempt to present it as pure, through the institution of programmes and formulas of worship that is contrary to the design and service of the Tabernacle. For us to be a Tabernacle for His Spirit to dwell we cannot have a tarnished Word that has manipulated the purity of it in order to control the masses, but rather we need to strip away the impurities of false traditions and lies and turn back to the pure Truth – then we will be built up according to His pattern shown!
The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ – כֶּסֶף keseph is pictured in the Early Pictographic Script as follows:
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), and as an open hand it symbolises ‘submission’. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
Sameḥ – סֶ:
The modern name for this letter is sameḥ, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.
This letter is 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 his flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
Pey – ף:
This letter in the ancient script is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
When we consider these 3 letters in the understanding of the word ‘silver’, when considering this as representing the redemption price, brought to us by the Blood of Messiah we are able to see from these pictures, the following:
THE OPEN HAND OF ELOHIM, AS REVEALED TO US THROUGH יהושע MESSIAH, WAS PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSION AND TOOK THE THORN (SIN) UPON HIMSELF, HAVING BEEN NAILED IN HIS HANDS AND FEET, BECOMING A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO CALL UPON HIM AND GRAB HOLD OF HIS COMMANDS, AS SPOKEN IN HIS WORD!
After His resurrection, when Messiah showed T’oma (Thomas) His hands that took the nails, T’oma acknowledged the redemptive work of יהושע Messiah and called Him His Master and Elohim. T’oma now fully believed the Word of Elohim, and he was told that those who believe and have not seen:
Yoḥanan/John 20:27-29 “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!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Our True redemption is in יהושע Messiah, who is the open hand of Elohim that took our sin upon Himself, as spoken in His written Word that does not return empty!
Verse 18-21 – Bronze Basin for washing
The Laver was a bronze basin that stood on a base about midway between the Slaughter Place and the Tent of Appointment (Shemoth/Exodus 40:30). It was most probably round and of considerable size, although its exact shape and size are not stated in Scripture. However, we may surmise that the “stand” was separate since it is always mentioned separately.
In verse 18, we see what the purpose for this bronze basin was – and that was for ‘washing’ and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘washing’ comes from the root word רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7364 which means ‘to wash, wash off, bathe, wash away’ and differs to the Hebrew word that is also translated in Scripture as wash, which is כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 and carries the meaning ‘washing by treading or wash by the trampling of the feet’ and this word carries the picture of washing one’s garments. Why this is important to understand is that the bronze basin used for washing was to be used to wash the hands and feet of the priests before they would go into the Tent of Appointment or when they came near the slaughter place to burn an offering to יהוה and not for the washing of garments!
What we must also take careful notice of is that the priests did not wash their hands and feet ‘in’ the bronze laver, but rather washed their hands and feet by taking water ‘from it’!
In other words, they would not put their dirty hands and feet into the bronze laver and wash but would use the bowls and basins that were made for the laver to take water from the bronze laver and wash from it, therefore washing next to it.
While this may sound obvious, it is important for us to recognise this as it pictures for us a clear understanding of how the bronze laver should not become muddied by the dirt from the priest’s hands and feet, but that they wash next to it by taking water from it using the basins and bowls prepared for this.
Why I say this is a very important picture for us to understand is that we take note of a very serious woe that is given to a corrupt priesthood that ‘muddies the waters’ and teaches people falsehood!
The bronze laver represents for us the place where we come to be washed in the purity of the Word, as we allow the mirror of the Word to show us how our hands (works) and feet (walk) are to be cleansed each day before we can serve faithfully as a set-apart priesthood!
When Yeḥezqěl was told to prophesy against the shepherds, a serious woe was given to the shepherds who were feeding themselves and not taking care of the flock (that is the people), and we see how they had muddied the waters and caused the people to drink the muddied waters while they themselves drink of the pure!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:18-19 “Is it not enough for you to have eaten up the good pasture, and the rest of your pasture you trample with your feet. Or that you should drink of the clear waters, and the rest you muddy with your feet? 19 “And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have muddied with your feet.”
We take note today of how many ‘so called pastors and preachers’ who ‘study the Word’ are muddying the water of the Word and causing people to drink a defiled presentation of the Word.
The sad reality is that while these false teachers and preachers study the Word, they have not actually entered into the ‘Tabernacle” structure in the correct manner so to speak, as they have not truly come to the True Door, יהושע Messiah, as they preach a false name and saviour, and teach a different day of gathering, revealing that they are actually unable to be washing the people with the pure Word, for they have simply studied a theology of the Word that has been completely muddied and polluted through traditions and are making people drink muddied theologies of the Truth, as opposed to the purity and clarity of the Truth, while these false priests are feeding themselves and making themselves fat on lies, deceit and twisted traditions and dogmas of man.
The True set-apart priesthood washes from the laver in a proper and orderly manner, adhering to the clear instructions and appointment keeping of the Word, so as to not be using muddied waters to wash with, but are washed in the purity of the Word by that which comes from the Word itself, keeping their hands and feet clean for service unto the Master who has cleansed us by His Blood and continues to wash us, as His Bride through the washing of the Word!
This ‘washing’, spoken of here in this Torah portion (רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7364), speaks about keeping our walk clean before יהוה, as a people who have been ‘washed’ and cleansed in the Blood of Messiah.
The word כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 is used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 51:2 “Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Tehillah/Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; wash me, and I am whiter than snow.”
In Ya’aqoḇ’s blessing of Yehuḏah we see this word כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 being used in reference to יהושע and the work of His Blood bringing us pure garments of righteousness as well as the fierce wrath that He will bring upon those who have not been washed in Him as He will tread the winepress in His wrath!
Berěshith/Genesis 49:11 “Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes.”
This word was also used in the instructions given to Mosheh to command all Yisra’ĕl to ‘wash themselves’ within 2 days and be ready by the 3rd day when יהוה would come down and meet with Yisra’ĕl
Shemoth/Exodus 19:10-11 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go to the people and set them apart today and tomorrow. And they shall wash their garments, 11 and shall be prepared by the third day. For on the third day יהוה shall come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.”
Shemoth/Exodus 19:14 “And Mosheh came down from the mountain to the people and set the people apart, and they washed their garments.”
We too have been given ‘2 days’ to get ready and on the ‘3rd Day’ יהוה will come down before the eyes of all the nations! יהושע, the Light of the World, came in the 4th day (4th Millennium) and gave His life as a ransom for many that we may be washed from all our sin and he has given His children 2 days (5th and 6th Millennia) to get ready for his return on the 7th day (7th Millennium).
This washing is an acceptance of the Blood of Messiah and our immersion in His Name where He cuts the foreskin of our hearts and we receive the circumcision from above and not done by the hands of men, and we accept and acknowledge His sacrifice and partake of the Pěsaḥ meal that we may be covered and cleansed.
This כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 washing is the first ‘washing’.
The washing spoken of in this chapter, in regards to a washing of hands and feet, is NOT כָּבַס kaḇas, but is רָחַץ raḥats, and this speaks of our need to constantly – that is daily – be washed in the Word.
The bronze that was used to make this basin and its stand was the bronze from the mirrors of the serving women, who did service at the door of the Tent of Meeting (Shemoth/Exodus 38:8), and this is a wonderful picture for us of how we are to be continually ‘washed’ in the Word of Truth.
Mirrors, in those days, were not made of glass, but rather of well beaten and polished bronze that gave a mirror effect and so every time the priests would come to wash their hands and feet they would be able to see the reflection of themselves in the bronze mirror and make sure that they were cleaned thoroughly before entering into any service unto יהוה.
We see this picture right throughout Scripture – that is the picture of the Word that is to be used for cleansing!
Why the priests had to wash their hands and feet only was symbolic of their work and walk.
We have already been redeemed and washed by the Blood of the Lamb, through repentance and immersion in His Name; yet as we walk from day to day in this world our feet pick up dirt and our hands may often engage in worldly affairs that must be dealt with and cleansed, as we look intently into the mirror of the Word and allow the Word to wash us clean so that we may serve as royal priests of the Most-High!
Tehillah/Psalm 24:4 asks the question:
“Who does go up into the Mountain of יהוה; and who does stand in His Set-Apart place?”
And the answer is clear – he who has innocent hands and a clean heart – that is: one who has been washed: ‘כָּבַס kaḇas’ in the Blood of Messiah and keeps washing: ‘רָחַץ raḥats’ daily through the Word!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:23-25 “Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
יהושע washed the disciple’s feet:
Yoḥanan/John 13: 5-10 “After that He put water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the taught ones, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 And so He came to Shimʽon Kěpha, and he said to Him, “Master, do You wash my feet?” 7 יהושע answered and said to him, “You do not know what I am doing now, but you shall know after this.” 8 Kěpha said to Him, “By no means shall You wash my feet, ever!” יהושע answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Shimʽon Kěpha said to Him, “Master, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 יהושע said to him, “He who has had a bath does not need to wash, except his feet, but is clean altogether. And you are clean, but not all of you.”
Notice the wonderful picture here – יהושע washes their feet and wiped them with the towel with which He was girded! This is a picture of the belt of truth or the girdle of the High Priest! They were washed by the Word (He is the Living Word) and wiped by the girdle (His Truth)!
It is the Word that cleanses our hands and feet.
Kěpha, at first, said no to יהושע washing his feet, thinking that there was no way his Rabbi would wash his feet and יהושע tells him plainly that he did not know what was being done, but he would afterwards; and Kěpha then boldly asks to have his hands and head washed too, and here יהושע reiterates the service in the Tabernacle – we who have been immersed in Him have had a bath, and what still needs to be washed is our feet which speaks of our daily walk.
We cannot come and serve יהוה as a royal priesthood if our walk has been defiled in any way – we first must wash our hands and feet so that we may serve Him with confidence and joy: Dawiḏ understood this:
Tehillah/Psalm 26:6 “I wash my hands in innocence; and I walk around Your altar, O יהוה.”
יהושע was preparing the disciples for service and showed them the necessity of washing each other’s feet and so too are we to do so as we look out for each other and encourage each other and be mature enough to tell each other when we have walked in error and therefore bring the cleansing through the mirror of the Word!
This, therefore, clearly speaks of our need to be a people who serve and are not waiting to be served – those who wait ‘hand and foot’ to be served, so to speak, are not the true priesthood of the Tabernacle!
Yoḥanan/John 13:12-15 “So when He had washed their feet and taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call me Teacher and Master, and you say well, for I am. 14 “Then if I, Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I gave you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
With יהושע washing their ‘feet’ only, there is another powerful Truth contained herein and teaches us how we are unable to ‘work’ redemption/atonement for ourselves, as it is only by the Blood of Messiah – by His clean hands (pure work) of His Atoning offering of Himself, that we can be cleansed of our ‘dead and dirty works’ and be redeemed.
We also see how the feet of יהושע was washed through the tears of a woman who was a sinner, when she came with an alabaster flask of perfume and washed His feet and anointed them with oil.
The Pharisee whom יהושע was eating with did not wash יהושע’s feet when He arrived, nor anointed His head with oil, whereas this woman came and did both and was forgiven her sins for her act of faith toward the Master.
The washing of feet was a form of hospitality, as one’s feet would pick up dirt along the way and also grow tired from walking great distances and washing feet would cleanse them and refresh them, and not bring the ‘dirt’ into one’s home.
Today, we are to be careful as to who we allow to come and bring the ‘dirt’ of the world into our homes as we must be able to ‘wash’ each other’s feet through the Word.
Luqas/Luke 7:38 “And standing behind, at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and wiping them with the hair of her head, and was kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.”
Another picture of cleansing and anointing for service we are able to see from the account of when Miryam anointed the feet of יהושע with expensive perfume:
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.”
This took place 6 days before Pěsaḥ and as we understand the whole washing of feet and anointing of the High Priest and duties at the Tabernacle, we can see a wonderful picture of just how יהושע, our High Priest, was set-apart, as He was immersed by Yoḥanan, had His feet washed and now was anointed with oil, showing us that He was ready to serve as High Priest!!!
Verse 23-33 – ANOINTING OIL
Anointing was required before any priest was able to serve before יהוה, as the Tent of Appointment, The Ark of The Witness, The Table and all the utensils, The Lampstand and its utensils, The Slaughter Place of Incense, The Slaughter Place of ascending offering, the Bronze Basin and its stand, as well as Aharon and his sons were all to be anointed with the Set-Apart anointing oil!
To be ‘set-apart’ in verse 30 is the Hebrew root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 and means ‘to be set-apart, consecrated, purified, dedicated’ and It carries the understanding of two concepts: one is to be separated from the world and thoughts thereof, and secondly has the implication of being separated from the world as the giving of total devotion to יהוה, leaving the worldly things behind and completely dedicating oneself to Him.
At this point I want us to take a look at this Hebrew word for set-apartness as it was written in the ancient pictographic script.
The Hebrew noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, comes from the primitive root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 and means ‘to be set-apart, consecrated, purified, dedicated’ and is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at the rendering of the Hebrew noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 and verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that these words can render for us the following meaning:
CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Let us look at the different ingredients of this Set-Apart Anointing Oil:
1 – Liquid Myrrh – מָר־דְּרוֹר – mar-deror which comes from the two words:
1) מֹר mor – Strong’s H4753 which means, ‘myrrh’ and is a white gum, issuing from the trunk and larger branches of a thorny tree resembling the acacia; Its taste is extremely bitter; but its smell, though strong, is agreeable to the senses and carries a very pleasant fragrance.
It comes from the root word מָרַר marar – Strong’s H4843 which means, ‘to be bitter, troubled, enraged’. It was often used as a perfume as well as a medicine for stomach ailments.
2) דְּרוֹר deror – Strong’s H1865 means ‘a flowing, free run, liberty’ and carries the wonderful picture for us of the Torah of Freedom and it is for freedom that Messiah has set us free – anointed for service has set us free from the world’s enslavement!
The Hebrew word מָרַר marar – Strong’s H4843, the word from which this word מֹר mor is derived, can also mean ‘trickle/flow’; and we are also reminded of the waters at Marah during the Wilderness Journey, as it was stop #4 (Shemoth/Exodus 15:23-26) and Marah is a lesson for us in rebellion against the Word of Elohim and trust in His provision. Marah still exists today and there is a small village there and the water is still bitter.
But, guess what?
The bitter water is not harmful. In fact, it has health benefits in that it kills parasites and bad bacteria in the digestive system, while not harming the good bacteria.
Could it possibly be that יהוה wanted to cleanse their bodies internally from the effects of Mitsrayim?
When the stick was thrown into the water the waters were made sweet and so through the myrrh as an ingredient of this anointing oil we see how יהושע, through His suffering has taken our bitterness and has made sweet His Good Word over us, and also how we need that which often may taste ‘bitter’ to us in order to heal us of the harmful bacteria that we have picked up in the world, and how Messiah has made the bitter sweet and is a pleasing aroma of anointing through His Word.
Part of the anointing over our lives is that we are able to walk in complete Truth and not change His Word:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:3 “And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I am giving you.” And I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth”
He was then instructed to go and speak to the House of Yisra’ĕl who would refuse to listen to Him – The Sweet Truth would be bitter to them, yet He was to speak what He ate!
Ḥazon/Revelation 10:9 “And I went to the messenger and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it, and it shall make your stomach bitter, but it shall be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
After this Yoḥanan was again to prophesy concerning the peoples, nations, tongues and sovereigns, and so we see here that when we receive His knowledge that is often so sweet to the mouth may cause a bitterness in our stomach – which causes us to be desperate in getting the Truth out – and when we speak the truth without compromise, we are indeed a well pleasing fragrance of a set-apart people before יהוה.
2 – Cinnamon
In Hebrew, it is called – קִנָּמוֹן qinnamon – H7076 which is a fragrant bark used as a spice, and I am sure we all know how nice cinnamon smells (especially on pancakes!)
It comes from a root word meaning to erect and we see the picture of how יהושע was erected on a tree and just as the bark of a tree protects the tree from the elements, so we see how יהושע in His suffering has protected us who are in Him and is a very sweet aroma before the Father!
3 – Sweet Smelling Cane
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Cane’, comes from the root word קָנֶה qaneh – Strong’s H7070 which means ‘stalk, reed, branch, rod’ and can also giving the understanding of being upright, erect or standing straight. This word is used in a number of places; here are a couple:
Berěshith/Genesis 41:5 “And he slept and dreamed a second time and saw seven heads of grain coming up on one stalk, plump and good.”
The stalk of grain as seen in Pharaoh’s dream regarding the famine that was about to come!
We also see this word being used to describe the branches of the Lampstand in the Tabernacle:
Shemoth/Exodus 25:32 “and six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side”
Another verse we see this word being used in describes Yisra’ĕl as a reed being smitten by יהוה:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 14:15 “And יהוה shall smite Yisra’ĕl, as a reed is shaken in the water, and shall pluck Yisra’ĕl from this good soil which He gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the River, because they made their Ashĕrim, provoking יהוה,”
We can begin to see the work of Messiah in all these accounts as the one who through His suffering destroys all wickedness and establishes us to be built up in Him as we are the branches that are only able to stand by His fragrant anointing of His Blood over us, grafting us in to His Covenants of Promise!
4 – Cassia
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Cassia’ comes from the root word – קִדָּה qiddah – Strong’s H6916 and is a fragrant plant used in perfumes and oils and comes from the word קָדַד qaḏaḏ – Strong’s H6915 which means ‘bow down, bend the body, bow the head, stoop down’ and is also related to the word קָדְקֹד qaḏqoḏ – Strong’s H6936 which translates as ‘head, crown of his head, scalp’ and so we see how this can all give us great shadow picture of Messiah, our Head who stooped down and bowed Himself down for us in order for us to have life – a very fragrant aroma to the Father indeed!
This anointing oil was made of these ingredients as each were ground into a compound and powder form before being made into an oil-based anointing ointment.
The first part of the anointing process entails the ingredients being crushed and this is a picture for us of submission to the Word as we surrender to His Word being able to be blended together through the work of Messiah and filled with His Spirit through His shed Blood, in order that we may be set-apart for vessels unto value;
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:20-21 “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.”
By anointing every part of the Tabernacle and all the utensils show us that we all are to have the same anointing oil of Messiah applied to us in order to set us apart. We come to His Word to wash and allow His anointing to set us apart for service as vessels unto value!
Verse 32-33– we see the command to not make any other like it and that it must not be poured on the flesh of a man.
We also see that it may not be put on a stranger, for whoever does this shall be cut off from his people!
This was not to be used as cologne – it was strictly to be used for the Tabernacle and the service thereof only. So it certainly would have been made – but only for the Tabernacle and to anoint the priests who would serve. This oil would have been applied to the turban of Aharon and run down his beard and on to His garments and would not have touched his flesh:
Tehillah/Psalm 133:1-2 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity – 2 Like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aharon, running down on the collar of his robes.”
What we also see here is the reminder that we are not to ‘lay hands’ too quickly on people, for if you do you may share in their sins and be cut off!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 5:22 “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in sins of others. Keep yourself clean.”
What we see in the world today is the sad reality of how the masses have made a counterfeit ‘anointing’ which they proclaim while they have not been set-apart according to the design and instructions of the Tabernacle and are all too quick to ‘lay hands’ on just about anyone who will submit to their self-made authority and this is a part of the works of the Nikolaites, which יהוה hates (Ḥazon/Revelation 2:6).
Verse 34-38 – Sweet Incense –
Now we come to the incense that was to be made for before the Witness in the Tent of Appointment:
When looking at these spices as a reflection of a fragrant incense on the altar of incense we can see key aspects to each part of these sweet-smelling spices teaching us what the fullness of being a sweet pleasing aroma unto Elohim represents in our daily walk: REMEMBRANCE; REJOICING; REVERENCE; RECEIVE
1 – FRAGRANT GUM
Fragrant Gum – נָטָף nataph – Strong’s H5198 often translated as ‘stacte or drop’ is an aromatic gum resin of a shrub. It is used as a verb נָטַף nataph – Strong’s H5197 12 times to mean ‘drop’; 4 times as ‘prophecy’ and one as ‘prophet’. Therefore, what we can see here is the description of ‘drop, distill, prophesy, cause to flow’ and even ‘preach’.
This spice speaks of our REMEMBRANCE of what יהוה has done for us and the great commission we have from יהושע to go and make taught ones of all the nations, as we teach, prophesy and be a secretion of His aromatic love towards others, causing us to constantly be aware of our need to consistently be poured out as we bear witness of Him and His Goodness:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.” Remember where you were, and that through Messiah’s death we have been and redeemed and through His life are equipped to witness for Him.”
This fragrant gum must cause us to REMEMBER and cause us to daily renew our minds in Him!
2 – CINNAMON/ONYCHA
Cinnamon/ Onycha – שְׁחֵלֶת sheḥeleth – Strong’s H7827 is believed by some to be from the shell of a snail-like mollusc found in the Red Sea and when burned, it gives off a pleasant odour. It is from the same as שַׁחַל shaḥal – Strong’s H7826 which is translated as ‘lion’ possibly from a root to mean ‘roar’, but also carries the meaning of stripping away through fire or to ‘peel off’.
As this substance was burned it would release a sweet fragrance.
The shells are stripped and crushed to a powder and we see a picture here of REJOICING as we know that we are to rejoice when we face all kinds of trials that we may be made complete and not lack anything!
While we also must take note that the origin of this onycha is not definitively known but is only speculated by most, what we do recognise is that the root word gives us the understanding of something that was stripped down and crushed.
Allowing Elohim to strip away or peel off the junk of sin and evil from our lives!
Discipleship without deliverance is not true discipleship – which is part of our daily prayer life taught to us by Messiah – “Master, deliver me from evil”.
As we go through the fires of life or the trials of life יהוה shapes us and moulds us and builds us up. Just as when this ‘onycha’ is burned a pleasant odour is emitted – so too through the trials and fires of life we may omit a pleasing aroma as the dross is burned away. Coming from a mollusc from the Sea of Reeds would also remind us of our ‘dying’ to self through immersion and being raised to life in Messiah and be refined through the trials of life, offering our lives as a living sacrifice!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:2-4 “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. 4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:7 “in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah.”
3 – GALBANUM
Galbanum – חֶלְבְּנָה ḥelbenah – Strong’s H2464 – this is a resin or gum that comes from the word חֵלֶב ḥeleḇ – Strong’s H2459 which means ‘fat, best, finest’ and so we see the picture here as it speaks of the best parts and as we consider our lives as a fragrance before יהוה this spice can represent for us our pure REVERENCE as יהוה demands our best – no half measures in serving Him – He commands our best – He expects our all as a set-apart priesthood serving Him with joy!
This speaks of an understanding of the fear of יהוה – that which flows from His gut – and that is His Spirit/Breath/Word and His Character that we too are to have inside of us as we breathe in Him and are to be in the fear of Him all day:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of יהוה all day long.”
He wants our all, our best not the leftovers! This to me speaks of REVERENCE – a total awe of His magnificence, and a desire to give our all for who He is, what He has done and what He is doing. He never changes and neither should our worship before Him change! If we truly know and understand who He is we will certainly give Him our best, always!
Galbanum is a medium sized perennial herb, which belongs to the Apiaceae family.
The essential oil that comes from this plant is widely used because of its medicinal properties and so reflects the power of His healing Word that we can bring to many. This plant belongs to the group of aromatic plant. Galbanum produces brown and reddish fruit. This resin is generally softer than most other resins.
4 – CLEAR FRANKINCENSE
Clear Frankincense – וּלְבֹנָה זַכָּה: this comes from 2 root words:
1) – לְבֹנָה leḇonah – Strong’s H3835 and is a fragrant, milky, resinous gum in granules or globules from trees of the genus Boswellia carterii or B. papyrifera or B. thurifera of the family Burseraceae (related to the Turpentine trees), crushed to powder and used as incense. This speaks of purity and being clean and made as white as snow through the Blood of Messiah, hence the word clear or pure being stated together with it.
2) – זָכָה zaḵah – Strong’s H2135 which means ‘to be clear, clean or pure, to be blameless, cleansed, make yourself clean and be kept pure’. This word also gives the meaning of being clear and pure and free from any foreign substances; being flawless and in a perfect state, being free of guilt and able to stand before the throne of Elohim for which in Messiah we can come boldly to in order to find favour in time of need!
We have been justified by faith and purchased through the Blood of יהושע to be made set-apart, pure, upright and blameless before יהוה.
Through our Master יהושע we are washed whiter than snow, aměn.
This spice speaks to me about what we RECEIVE at deliverance, a free gift, received by faith.
All of these ingredients were to be blended together in equal amounts, and was to be salted, clean and set-apart. We are to be the salt and light and we are to be a pleasing aroma daily unto Elohim as we offer up our lives and continually make our prayers and intercession before Him.
Once again, we see the command in verse 37 that no mixture of this kind was to be made for any other use!
This does not mean that it was never made again, but rather it was only to be used for the incense in the Tent of appointment, and so we are reminded that we are to be the fragrance of Messiah and remember that we are not our own, as our lives are not for ourselves, but are for Him and for service unto Him. We cannot take that which He gives us freely and use it for ourselves!
We cannot be ‘made’ into vessels of value that are to be used in other worldly activities for self-gain, but are to continually be offered up as a pleasing aroma before Him as we REMEMBER; REJOICE, REVERE and RECEIVE Him in every way. To some we may smell like death while to others life:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:14-17 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 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? 17 For we are not, as so many, adulterating the Word of Elohim for gain – but as of sincerity, but as from Elohim, in the sight of Elohim, we speak in Messiah.”
Verse 1-11 – Betsal’ĕl and Oholiaḇ
יהוה appointed and called by name two men who He had filled with the Spirit of Elohim in wisdom, that would undertake all the work of the Tabernacle, and יהוה put wisdom in the hearts of everyone who was wise-hearted to make all that had been commanded.
Betsal’ĕl – בְּצַלְאֵל Strong’s H1212 – his name means ‘in the shadow/protection of Ěl’.
He was the son of אוּרִי Uri – Strong’s H221 which means ‘fiery, or my light’; son of חוּר Ḥur – Strong’s H2353 meaning ‘white or absolutely white’.
He was from Yehuḏah which means ‘praised’.
So, the first one called by name is, metaphorically, the one who is in the shadow of Ěl, who is my Light and is absolutely white is to be praised!
Oholiaḇ – אָהֳלִיאָב Strong’s H171 – his name means ‘Father’s tent’ and he was the son of אֲחִיסָמָךְ Aḥisamaḵ – Strong’s H294 which means, ‘my brother has supported’ and was from the tribe of Dan which means ‘judge’.
This is exactly what they were doing – building the Father’s Tent and as we work together we are supported by Messiah who is the first born among the brothers who will sit as Judge in His Father’s Tent:
Romiyim/Romans 8:29 “Because those whom He knew beforehand, He also ordained beforehand to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, for Him to be the first-born among many brothers.”
Yoḥanan/John 5:30 “Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.”
These two men – Betsal’ĕl and Oholiaḇ – working together, as empowered by the Spirit of Elohim in wisdom, means: “In the shadow of El; in the Father’s tent!”
What we must not forget is that the wisdom they had received was from above:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
Elohim put wisdom into the hearts of the wise-hearted!!!
In other words, He could use those who were already seeking Him and growing in their wisdom of who He is – if we are not seeking Him, He cannot fill us and use us!
Ma’asei/Acts 6:3 “Therefore, brothers, seek out from among you seven men who are known to be filled with the Set-apart Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint for this duty.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.”
Qolasim/Colossians 1:9 “That is also why we, from the day we heard, have not ceased praying for you, and asking that you be filled with the knowledge of His desire in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is winning lives is wise.”
WISDOM – UNDERSTANDING – KNOWLEDGE
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
Only by ‘wisdom’ is a house built – and the ‘House of Elohim’ is only built by His Wisdom – the wisdom that we are to seek out!!!
The Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ is חָכְמָה ḥokmah – Strong’s H2451 meaning, ‘wisdom, skill’, which comes from the primitive root verb חָכַם ḥakam – Strong’s H2449 meaning, ‘to be wise, skilful, make wise’.
In the ancient pictographic alphabet, this Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ – חָכְמָה ḥoḵmah – Strong’s H2451 looks like this:
Ḥet – חָ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
Kaph – כְ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!
Mem – מָ:
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’.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
As we consider these pictographic letters that render for us the term for ‘wisdom’ we are able to clearly see that wisdom entails a separation, as pictured through the tent wall. We can render the meaning of the construction of this word, in terms of true wisdom, as meaning:
WE ARE BUILT UP IN THE MASTER AS WE SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THE WORLD AS WE SUBMIT UNDER THE HAND OF OUR MASTER AND DO WHAT HIS WORD INSTRUCTS, AS IT WASHES US, AND ENABLES US TO LIFT OUR HANDS TO HIM IN CONTINUAL PRAISE!
Wisdom, at its core, speaks of one’s ability to clearly separate the good from the bad, right from wrong, left and right, and up and down; and this we are to be able to do as we exercise true discipline – the discipline of separation!
Wisdom is often used in the context of a skilled workman that has been equipped by the Spirit of Elohim:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:3 “And you, speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, and they shall make the garments of Aharon, to set him apart, for him to serve as priest to Me.”
Wisdom in the ancient text can speak of a clear separation by the washing of one’s hands; and as we consider the design of the Tabernacle, we need to be reminded that the bronze laver was used for the serving priests to wash their hands and feet; and clearly pictures for us how we are to be continually washing our work and walk through being immersed in the Word that transforms us!
In Hebrew, the word for understanding, is the word בִּינָה biynah – Strong’s H998 which means, ‘an understanding, consideration, discernment’ and comes from the primitive root word בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 which means, ‘to discern, act wisely, clever, diligently consider’, and is used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:34 “Make me understand, that I might observe Your Torah, and guard it with all my heart.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:104 “From Your orders I get understanding; therefore I have hated every false way.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:4-5 “If you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘knowledge’ is the word דַּעַת da’ath – Strong’s H1847 and comes from the word used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 for describing those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’, which is the Hebrew word – יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know’.
Verse 6 tells us that יהוה put wisdom in the hearts of everyone who is wise-hearted!!!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him.”
When we are truly ‘seeking’ יהוה with all our heart, then he will fill our hearts with His wisdom, enabling us to become True builders of His Kingdom!!!
Verse 13-17 – The Sabbath
Here in Shemoth/Exodus 31 we see a repetition of the command to keep Sabbath, and it is given in its fullest detail, so as to not create any confusion! When one reads this today, we have to ask why it is that so many still get it wrong!!!
His Sabbaths – they are His Sabbaths not ours – and we are commanded to guard His Sabbaths by all means – and that means by all means – making sure that nothing comes in the way of keeping His Sabbaths!
This is very interesting that these commands come at this point as it speaks very clearly that not even the building of the Tabernacle can interfere with or override His Sabbaths. When it is His Sabbaths we rest in Him and do not even build the Tabernacle.
This is the first of His Appointed Times and the first of our rehearsals, as we do no occupational work and are commanded to gather together as a community and immerse in His presence, not doing our own pleasure nor thinking our own thoughts but come each week and be united in His Word that refreshes us and gives us life as a body together!
This is an everlasting sign of His everlasting Covenant and so this is our ‘mark of worship’.
Keeping ‘sun-day’ worship, as erroneously taught through inherited lies of the church is in fact the opposite as it takes on the mark of the beast!
WHOSE MARK OR SIGN?
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am יהוה who sets them apart.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:20 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
This is a great verse to ensure that you have 20/20 vision (perfect eyesight) as you fix your eyes on Messiah!!! If you miss the Sabbath you are BLIND!
יהוה is saying, in the texts above, that He gave us His Sabbath as a wonderful sign of His power to create and His power to sanctify (set us apart and save) us.
In the Scriptures, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.
יהוה‘s sign, the Sabbath, represents His esteemed power to rule as Creator and Saviour.
His Sabbath, and His Feasts, are our seal on our foreheads and our right hand.
Ḥazon/Revelation speaks of those who are sealed on the foreheads and Shemoth/Exodus 13 speak clearly of Pěsaḥ and Matzot (Passover and Unleavened Bread) as being a sign/seal on or foreheads and on our right hands. Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:16 also makes mention His He writes His commands upon our hearts and on our minds (foreheads) as His people, who follow Him and obey His commands!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:9 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.”
The Greek Word for Sabbath-keeping is σαββατισμός sabbatismos – Strong’s G4520 and clearly refers to a keeping of the Sabbath as it means ‘Sabbath rest, a keeping of the Sabbath’, and at the time of this letter there was certainly no doubt that the Sabbath was and always will be the day of rest, and it is the 7th day!
In the account given to us in Berěshith/Genesis 2, on creation, we do not see the specific word ‘the shabbâth’ שַׁבָּת (Strong’s H7676) being used.
However, we do see the root from which the word is derived in chapter 2:2-3:
Berěshith/Genesis 2:2-3 “And on the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘seventh’ is שְּׁבִיעִי – Strong’s H7637 ‘shâbiy`iy’ which simply means seventh. What seventh? The word for ‘day’ in Hebrew is ‘yôm’ (Strong’s H3117). Elohim completed His work on the 7th day and then rested on it the Hebrew word for ‘rested’ used here in verse 3 is ‘shâbath’ שָׁבַת (Strong’s H7673) meaning ‘rest’ – that is to desist from exertion.
The difference between שַׁבָּת H7676 and שָׁבַת H7673 is that שַׁבָּת H7676 is the intensive form coming from שָׁבַת H7673 which means to rest or observe and the intensive form of שַׁבָּת H7676 refers specifically to ‘the’ Sabbath as in ‘the’ 7th day of the week.
It was on this very day – the 7th day of the week that Elohim set-apart one day from the others and very specifically He blessed this 7th day to be a day of rest in Him. This has greater implications for us as we understand how the creation week itself gives us great insight in His redemptive plan and appointed times and so to misunderstand or incorrectly recognise the 7th day as a clear marker for us could be detrimental to us knowing Him and walking fully in Him.
As we can see from Scripture, Elohim blessed and set apart the 7th day, not the 1st or 2nd or 3rd etc. – He blessed the 7th day and set it (7th day) apart from the rest.
The importance of Sabbath:
Why is the Sabbath so important you may ask and does it really matter which day is the Sabbath? Well to answer that bluntly – yes it does matter – it matters a great deal and it is of vital importance for us and that is what I want us to look at – the Truth and validity of the importance of the Sabbath.
We have seen that יהוה had set the Sabbath apart already in the Creation week and this stands firm forever as we, each week, get to ‘rehearse’ by remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath as it foreshadows our reign with Him.
But just how important is the Sabbath? What is the significance of us getting it right?
For many it seemingly does not matter which day is the Sabbath as they erroneously regard ‘every day’ as a Sabbath, but is that what Scripture says?
No – Scripture is clear that it is the 7th day, not the 1st or 2nd or 3rd or any other day but the 7th!
In the hearing of the Ten Words, commonly known today as the Ten Commandments, it is clear that the Sabbath is set-apart from the rest of the week and the direct command is to remember it and to set it apart.
Set the whole day apart not just some of it but the whole day as in a whole 24-hour period or rather from sunset to sunset!
Look at the following verses from the account of the hearing of the 10 Words:
Shemoth/Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.”
As you will notice that in terms of the Ten Words, commonly known to us as the ‘Ten Commandments’ – this 4th commandment regarding the Sabbath is the longest of the 10. Longest of the 10 spoken to an entire nation!
In the original King James translation into English this command contained 97 words – and that in itself ought to tell us the significance of this day! This was and always is to be a day of rest and a day set-apart unto Elohim.
No work is to be done on this day – no work for you, or your servants or your animals or for any ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’ within your gates. This is a day of rest form your weekly labour – that is that which earns you your wages and keep!
This is a day set-apart for us to ‘rest’ in Him, יהוה our Elohim and as we see from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2 in speaking of His Appointed Times and set-apart gatherings, we see clearly the first of these is in fact the weekly Sabbath:
“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings.”
Sabbath is a day of rest from your daily work, but that does not mean you hide out and sleep it away – no – it is to be proclaimed as a set-apart gathering.
That means we, as the body of Messiah, are to have a set-apart gathering unto יהוה in all our dwellings. Where two or three are ‘gathered’ there He is in the midst of them! This is a day when we get to spend intimate quality time with our Maker and as His Bride we get to engage in fellowship together as a Bride who is preparing herself with her betrothed Husband.
The point is that the Sabbath will always be the Sabbath and will never change and so we had better get in line with the Creator’s reckoning of time or else…!
The Sabbath is for times of refreshing, and this has great impact when we understand the refreshing being spoken of here!
Ḥaḇaqquq, in his prayer in Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3, cries out and asks יהוה to renew His work in the midst of the years and make it known.
The vision that he was given was for the end time and he was pleading for יהוה to bring renewal.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘renew’ in Ḥaḇaqquq 3:2 comes from the root word חָיָה Ḥayah – Strong’s H2462 which means ‘recover, restore to health, heal, make alive, revive’.
Ḥaḇaqquq was appealing to יהוה to revive and recover His fear over His people – recover the very breath of His Word that brings life to a dying people!
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 that is translated here as ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’; and we can therefore 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 as the last verse in the Tehillim/Psalms tells us: everything that has breath praise יהוה!
It takes an obedient hearing to clearly guard to do what His instructions and commands tell us to and be filled with His Spirit/Breath/Word that He puts in those who turn back to Him and, thirdly, Ḥaḇaqquq pleads with יהוה to ‘remember compassion’ in your wrath – in other words – remember those who return and are recovered by His Breath through the Fear of Elohim – remember the righteous who do your will and refresh your faithful remnant in the midst of these dark and perilous times!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 138:7-8 “Though I walk in the midst of distress, You revive me; You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand saves me. 8 יהוה does perfect for me. O יהוה, Your kindness is everlasting. Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
His Sabbath He has given us to REFRESH us and have a recovery of breath!!!
We cannot live without Sabbath!!!
I also just want to reiterate that the Sabbath is not a day for us to ‘do’ nothing and simply just laze around and sleep, as many erroneously fall into the trap of thinking that the Sabbath is a day to just ‘switch off’ and relax and do absolutely nothing!
This portion, in Shemoth, provides us a great explanation of what is required of us!
Firstly, we are told to ‘guard’ the Shabbat, and the root word for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’. We are to exercise great care over His Torah!
When used in combination with other verbs the meaning is ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc.
Another aspect of this word carries the meaning of having to guard carefully and tend to or ‘take care of’.
When one takes care of a valued possession then the utmost diligence is exercised in ensuring that it is protected at all costs and it is taken care of through the correct maintenance and observance of its functional requirements to keep it in tact; and as it is with the Torah – we must guard it in our hearts and exercise it diligently, keeping ourselves free from the clutter or weeds of wickedness.
We are to exercise great care and pay close attention to attending to or keeping watch over the Sabbath – for this is our sign and we have to guard it with our all. Now it is very clear that to guard something with extreme focus, cannot be done whilst ‘sleeping’ or ‘switching one’s mind off, so to speak!!!
When you willingly choose to walk in obedience to the commands of the Creator and remember to keep the True Sabbath and do not work on the Sabbath and willingly choose to ‘delight’ in the Sabbath then we are ‘marked’ by יהוה.
The Sabbath in יהוה’s set-apart day for us to come together and delight in Him and not do our own pleasure nor even think our own thoughts:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya’aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”
When looking at the word שַׁבָּת Sabbath – Strong’s H7676 in the ancient pictographic text we recognise the importance of our proper observance of His Sabbaths as we see the following being rendering in the pictographic letters:
Shin – שַׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Beyt – בָּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
As we consider this Sabbath of Sabbaths we can see from the rendering of the word שַׁבָּת Sabbath – Strong’s H7676 in the ancient pictographic lettering, the following:
THE WORD OF THE HOUSE IS SEALED
This emphasises how the Sabbath is a sign that we are the House of Elohim, for it is His Word that marks us and the sign of that mark is our proper observance of His Sabbaths! If we do not guard to keep and observe His Sabbaths then we are not sealed, nor are we guarding His Covenant that His Blood causes us to be grafted in to and the one who does not observe the Sabbaths of Elohim shall be cut off from His Everlasting Covenants of Promise!
For more on the Sabbath please see an article I did called, ‘RESPONSE TO AN ATTACK ON SABBATH OBSERVANCE!’ which can be found under the ‘articles’ menu on our site (https://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:
In Shemoth/Exodus 31:15 we are told that in 6 days work is to be done and on the 7th day it is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to יהוה.
The word used in this verse for ‘work’ is מְלָאכָה melaḵah – Strong’s H4399 which means, ‘occupation, work, business, craftsmanship’ and comes from the same word as מַלְאָךְ malaḵ – Strong’s H4397 meaning, ‘a messenger, ambassador, envoy’.
The Hebrew root word for ‘done’ is עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 meaning, ‘to do, work, make, produce, ta act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute’ and can also mean, ‘celebrate’.
Verse 15 is very clear – DO NO WORK ON THE SABBATH – that is that you do not do your normal ‘occupation’ or trade, nor do anything in regards to your daily business and work-related dealings that you would be involved in during the rest of the week!
The emphasis is on the ‘doing’ and on the 7th day you must not be found ‘doing’ your weekly work!
What is also very clear is how we are not only to be doing our day to day work on the other 6 days of the week, but that in regards to us being ambassadors we are also to be about sowing seed in proclaiming the Besorah (Good News) wherever we find ourselves working during the first 6 days of the week.
On the seventh day we cease from that as we come together as a Bride to be immersed in the presence of our King and be refreshed in His Word that gives us life, enabling and equipping us with the seed that we are to go and sow during the week!
Verse 16 then tells us that we, as children of Yisra’ĕl, are to guard the Sabbath by ‘performing’ the Sabbath!
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘perform’ is עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 – the very same word used in reference to ‘doing’ work on the other six days!!!
You see, it is very clear – we are to be ‘doing’ something on the Sabbath – we are to ‘perform the observance’ of the Sabbath. That means we cannot ‘perform’ this ‘duty of guarding’ on our own – we do it as a set-apart gathering, as we come together to be strengthened in His Word!
When many try to tell me that the Sabbath is a time for them to sleep, I ask them if they do not sleep at all during the other 6 days!!!
We all recognise that we are to sleep at night and to use the excuse to ‘sleep’ all day on the Sabbath is simply a neglect of a commanded duty for all the children of Yisra’ĕl!
A derivative of this root word עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 which means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’.
The Book of Acts is known in the Hebrew as ‘Ma’asei’, which is a record of the ‘Acts of the Apostles’!
The “Acts” of the Apostles, speak of the deeds, or acts, of that which the Apostles did and it records their ‘acts’ of obedience, from which we are able to learn many great and valuable lessons from.
We shall be known by our fruits based on our proper reverence and submission to our Master, which shall be evidenced in our “acts of obedience”, as we walk in righteousness, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, all the time!!!
We are to become doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
So many may study much on the Appointed Times of Elohim, while they lack the proper obedience to do what is instructed and we learn very quickly, how greater the understanding of the Word comes, in the doing of the Word, for without the proper doing, or performing, of the Word, we can be easily deceived by falsehood, which highlights the urgency we are to have, in being diligent in having our ears attentive to the Torah of Elohim, so that we can delight in guarding to do all that He commands us and express a true and proper love for Elohim, in complete obedience to His Word.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
As we consider this root verb עָשָׂה asah in terms of our need to be doers of the Word, we recognise that we can only be proper doers if we are in fact looking intently into the Word, and when we see this word in the ancient pictographic script we gain further understanding of what it is to be a proper doer of the Word!
In the ancient pictographic script, the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 looks like this:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is: and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge.
Sin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of ‘revelation’ or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.
When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture we can see the meaning of:
LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!
This clearly teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us! The clear revelation of the Word, יהושע Messiah, has been made known to us; and as we look to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief we are able to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and be enabled to run, with endurance, the race set before us, as we look at the Word and actually DO IT!!!
We do no occupational (servile) WORK (מְלָאכָה melaḵah) that would bring in income, on the Sabbath, but we are to DO the OBSERVANCE of His Sabbath. Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 makes it very clear in telling us that the Sabbath is to be ‘proclaimed’ as a set-apart gathering, and is an appointed time for us, as a collective Bride, to meet with our King.
It is very clear in Scripture that Sabbath keeping cannot be done alone – it requires a ‘doing’ of the Sabbath observance together as a body of Messiah, where we are immersed and refreshed in His Word.
In Shemoth/Exodus 31:17 we are told that יהוה made all in 6 days and on the 7th He ‘rested’ and was ‘refreshed’ – and so I again want to stress that יהוה does not need ‘rest’ as some may understand it, but rather that He observed what He had made and was refreshed as He looked upon the ‘good’ that He had made!
יהוה does not ‘sleep’, and He watches over us when we sleep (at night), and if we are to observe His day, then to sleep is a lack of true observance!!!
The Hebrew word for ‘refreshed’ is נָפַשׁ naphash – Strong’s H5314 meaning, ‘to be refreshed, to take breath, recovery of breath’ and comes from the word נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315 which means, ‘a soul, living being, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion’ – in other words it speaks of the ‘whole being’ of a person.
As we have already discussed above – the Sabbath day we can come and be ‘refreshed’ and have a recovery of breath as we ‘breath in’ His Word and are ‘recharged’, so to speak, to go out and be obedient ambassadors that are sowing His Truth in the other 6 days of the week!
After having spoken to Mosheh on the Mountain, יהוה gave Mosheh two tablets of the ‘witness’ – two tablets of stone that were written with the finger of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘witness’ is עֵדוּת eḏuth – Strong’s H5715 which means, ‘testimony, witness, ordinance, warning’, which is pictured in the ancient pictographic script as follows:
Ayin – עֵ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.
Dalet – ד:
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.
Waw/Vav – וּ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a ‘peg’ or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’. It is by the work of Messiah, in His own Blood, that has secured for us His Covenants of promise, to which we are added to; and His righteousness stands forever secured in Him!
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
These pictures give us the clear meaning, as follows:
SEE THE DOOR THAT SECURES THE COVENANT!
As we consider the witness of these two stone tablets, we are reminded of how the Torah is no longer on tablets of stone but is now written upon our hearts and the way we are to be faithful witnesses of this is by keeping our eyes fixed on our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
This we do as we guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts and come to the Door of His Appointed Times, giving us the full assurance of His Covenant being firmly secured in Him, as we look to Him and obey Him and keep His Sabbaths and commands! When people neglect to keep their eye on the Door and disregard the proper Sabbath Keeping that is commanded then they have no surety of a covenant relationship with our Master!
I believe that this chapter is of vital importance to us today – as all Scripture is of course but what I mean is this – we can clearly see how so many people are in the same ‘trap’ of deceit as Aharon and the rest of Yisra’ĕl were when Mosheh had gone up the mountain and in essence they were without the Torah!
Straight away, in verse 1, we see the picture of what happens when Mosheh is not around – Mosheh is a picture for us of the Torah and so when the Torah is not around or seen as of no effect what happens? People will seek their own ways to worship יהוה, and in the process those in leadership who too have no regard for the need for the Torah will fall prey to the wants and needs of those they are leading and will give them what they want so to speak – and rob them in the process!
Mosheh was ‘long in coming’ or rather seems to have been delaying his coming back and this simply revealed the true nature of the wickedness still in the hearts of a people who had been saved from bondage, yet quickly forgot who they were and what they were called to.
This event we see here in Shemoth/Exodus 32, in essence, foreshadows the parable יהושע spoke regarding the last days:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:45-51 “Who then is a trustworthy and wise servant, whom his master set over his household, to give them food in season? 46 “Blessed is that servant whom his master, having come, shall find so doing. 47 “Truly, I say to you that he shall set him over all his possessions. 48 “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant shall come on a day when he does not expect it, and at an hour he does not know, 51 and shall cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Yisra’ĕl had quickly forgotten their betrothal to יהוה and had pursued the idols that were in their hearts.
By not waiting for יהוה or “This Mosheh,” they were led astray and enslaved by their double-mindedness and influenced by the desires of their hardened hearts.
Aharon folded to their rebellion and asked them for gold earrings – in fact he told them to ‘take off’ the earrings which is the word פָּרַק paraq – Strong’s H6561 which means, ‘tear apart, tear off, torn off, break, deliver’ and the use of this strong action may have been his way of telling them that by doing this, and not waiting for who was really in charge, they were breaking off or tearing away their ability to submit and hear the clear instructions of the Torah, and so wanted to rather have someone tickle their ears!!!
They were tearing off the adornment by which they had been dressed in their deliverance, as they were told to ask for these items from the Mitsrians, which of course we know was to ultimately be used for the adorning of The Tabernacle, but now they wanted to ‘build their own’ and perhaps Aharon was trying to buy some time in case Mosheh might arrive before they did something he knew would be foolish, as the camp was very wide and it would take a bit of time to go get all the earrings and come and bring them to Aharon.
Gold as we know is a symbol of purity and righteousness, yet here we see Yisra’ĕl abusing that by which they have been adorned and did not follow Mosheh’s instructions but rather followed their own plans.
What Yisra’ĕl had done here was take the adoring of יהוה and use it for self, and this is exactly the same rebuke we see being given in Yeḥezqěl, where Yisra’ĕl, who had been washed and adorned, used their loveliness to whore, which many are doing today as they are tearing off the adornment and life of the Torah of Elohim that guides, protects, nourishes, beautifies and makes lovely:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 16:9-17 “And I washed you in water, and I washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 “And I dressed you in embroidered work and gave you sandals of leather. And I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 “And I adorned you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 “And I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a crown of adorning on your head. 13 “Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, and honey, and oil. And you were exceedingly pretty, and became fit for royalty. 14 “And your name went out among the nations because of your loveliness, for it was perfect, by My splendour which I had put on you,” declares the Master יהוה. 15 “But you trusted in your own loveliness, and whored because of your name, and poured out your whorings on everyone passing by who would have it. 16 “And you took some of your garments and made multi-coloured high places for yourself, and whored on them – which should not have come about, nor shall it be. 17 “And you took your splendid adornments, of My gold and My silver that I gave you, and made for yourself images of a male and whored with them.”
So many today are doing the exact same thing – they are taking the loveliness of the adoring of His Word and abusing it for self by trusting in their own loveliness, by whoring after the flesh while trying to use His Word as an adorning to live lawless!!!
The Church has taken His beautiful Word and used it to whore by twisting it into falsified garments that no longer regard His commands, and so they end up trusting in their own garments of a false grace message that simply is nothing more that the most wicked kind of whoring away from the Truth and stinks before the Master, as it is simply abominable worship before His eyes!
Verse 4 is very clear – Aharon made the calf and he even used an engraving tool showing how he spent much time and effort in building this golden calf. This is exactly what is happening today – so many are ‘giving their gold’ to the church so that their leaders can fashion and shape for them a golden calf which they can relate to in worshipping their own way as opposed to submitting and worshipping according to the pattern and instructions of יהוה as given through His Torah (Mosheh).
Verse 5 is possibly one of the clearest pictures of the most shocking realities of our day!!!
Aharon builds this abominable calf, and had spent much time on it and proudly declared the following:
“Tomorrow is a festival to יהוה”
Aharon, and the rest of Yisra’ĕl, were sincere in their declaration of worshipping יהוה, however this was seen as a corrupted form of worship, in יהוה’s eyes, and this is a vital lesson for us today!
We cannot worship Him, however we see fit, no matter how much money we have spent on programmes and buildings and equipment and all the paraphernalia that simply mimics the world’s strategies of running a business. We are to worship Him His way and learn and understand the design of His Tent/House for then we would ensure that there is no Mitsrayim still in us!!!
What this does picture for us is a falsified syncretised worship that we see happening today – that is the mixing of worship through a blending of foreign or pagan practices and using them to worship the Creator and this is not worship in His eyes!
The church has said that they worship the Creator on sun-day and have adopted the pagan worship days of pagan fertility worship while having thrown out the True Appointed Times of Elohim and they proclaim them as a ‘festival unto Him’ while it is nothing more than profane worship which He hates and will destroy!
יהוה wanted to wipe them all out and Mosheh intercedes and is a wonderful picture of יהושע, the Living Torah, making intercession and standing in the gap for us; and Mosheh reminds יהוה of His Covenant (not that He needs reminding – but rather we do) and יהוה relents.
Verse 17-18 – When Yehoshua and Mosheh came to the camp all they heard was singing – they were having a big party – pretty much the image you see happening in the charismatic movement today, which is growing at a rapid pace and sadly the people are being deceived into thinking that they are worshipping the Creator.
Them coming back to the camp, to find that the people had not obeyed the instructions that were given to them, shows very clearly the same question that יהושע asks, in the parable of the unrighteous judge and the persistent widow, as He encourages us to not lose heart and always be praying, which Yisra’ĕl were not doing while Mosheh was a way!
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
Verse 19 – Mosheh breaks the two stones
He was angry, and so he had a right to be – he threw the tablets on the ground and this was a witness against them that they had broken Covenant and had forgotten quickly the “we shall do” that they all declared at the foot of the mountain when declaring their commitment to the Marriage Covenant, and it was not just a few disobedient ones so that Aharon may have been able to subdue the rebellion, but here he was leading it!!!
How many of our lives have been shattered because of an idol in our heart? Marriages broken, families divided, careers ruined – all for the sake of being double minded in our hearts toward יהוה. The tablets Mosheh shattered contained the solution. We need to pick up those shattered pieces of our lives and read what is written on those tablets. The Words of יהוה are for the healing of the Nations
Verse 20 – the Cup of wrath
Mosheh burned the calf and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water made everyone drink it. In all these images we see shadow picture of what would happen when Yisra’ĕl would indeed commit whorings after the nations – they would be scattered over the face of the earth and would drink of the wrath of Elohim.
They did not want to drink the PURE WATER of the Word of יהוה and in effect they had made their bed and must lie in it and face the consequences:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:20-23 “But I hold against you that you allow that woman Izeḇel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and lead My servants astray to commit whoring and to eat food offered to idols. 21 “And I gave her time to repent of her whoring, and she did not repent. 22 “See, I am throwing her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction, unless they repent of their works. 23 “And I shall slay her children with death. And all the assemblies shall know that I am the One searching the kidneys and hearts. And I shall give to each one of you according to your works.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 25:27-28 “And you shall say to them, ‘Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “Drink, be drunk, and vomit! Fall and rise no more, because of the sword which I am sending among you.”’ 28 “And it shall be, when they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus said יהוה of hosts, “You shall drink!”
When you worship in any other way that is contrary to that which has been commanded by Elohim and take on mixed worship then you too, no matter how sincere your vain and false worship may be, will drink of the wrath of Elohim:
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:9-10 “And a third messenger followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Elohim, which is poured out undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he shall be tortured with fire and sulphur before the set-apart messengers and before the Lamb.”
What we also see, in this picture of Mosheh coming down and breaking the tablets of stone, is that it is a shadow picture of the first coming of Messiah, who Himself, the Living Torah, came down and was broken because of our rebellion and sin, and how, at that time, He came to destroy the works of the flesh and needed to return to The Father, so that the Spirit may be poured out and the commands be written on our hearts!
This is foreshadowed by Mosheh coming back down, with new tablets and putting them into the Ark of The Witness, which we see in Chapter 34.
The first set of tablets never went into the Ark, which is symbolic of the heart of the Tabernacle and the first tablets were broken and new tablets were written by Elohim and placed in the Ark and it was at Shaḇuoth that He wrote the Renewed Covenant on the hearts of His people, placing His Words into the heart of His Tabernacle – We are the Tabernacle of the Most-High!
Verse 24 – Aharon tried to claim innocence and said that the people brought him the gold and he just threw it in the fore and out popped this golden calf!!!
I am not sure if he really knew how ridiculous he must have sounded at that moment, but I am pretty sure that most of us have done exactly the same thing at some time in our lives, and we ought to learn from this, that we cannot hide anything from יהוה and must never attempt to either.
He showed his weakness to Mosheh, by admitting, in a sense, that he did not do anything to stop the rebellion, and we have a responsibility toward one another, and that is to watch out for each other and when we see our brother in sin we ought to correct him, although we are to make sure that we have the plank out of our own eyes first so that we may see clearly!
Another vital lesson we can learn from this chapter is how the actions of Aharon can teach us what can happen when someone is put into a role of leadership before they are mature and learned enough.
While we may certainly see the flaws of Aharon in this chapter and often ask why he did what he did and how could he have given in to the pressure of the people, we must take note that Aharon had not yet been anointed, as the instructions of how he was to be anointed was still being given to Mosheh on the mountain when all this ‘loose behaviour’ took place.
Up until this point Aharon had been a mouthpiece for Mosheh yet had not yet been anointed and set-apart to serve as high priest and from this we are able to recognise the instructions that Sha’ul gives to Timotiyos and Titos in regards to the required qualifications of an elder or deacon, which you read of in Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3 and Titos.
Sha’ul makes it clear that an overseer cannot be a new convert, lest he become puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment of the devil. This example of Aharon’s inexperience shows us what damage inexperienced leadership can do, as it can cause the downfall and death of those who follow immature leaders that have clearly not been appointed and anointed for service by Elohim!
Aharon was indeed called and we know that the gifts and the calling of Elohim are not to be repented of.
There are various groups, within the ‘Torah obedient’ circles, that are being led by those who are inexperienced in the Word or are new converts! While some may be a lot older than the rest, we take note that it is not their age does should qualify them! Sadly, there are many Torah observant fellowships that are still mixing their worship, due to inexperienced leadership, that has appointed themselves, or been prematurely appointed by those who seek to have a leader tell them what to do! There is order in the body of Messiah, and as Sha’ul tells us in the letter to the believers in Ephesos, it is Messiah who appoints His leaders to equip the body and the qualities of these leaders ought to at least meet the requirements described in the letters to Timotiyos and Titos.
When proper leadership is not in place the danger of groups being riddled with a ‘party’ attitude that is let loose to do as they please and whatever is right in each one’s eyes, can cause a serious division and breakdown of the body!
Just because a person had served as a leader or pastor for many years in a false westernised Christian system does not necessarily render them as being qualified to lead others ion the Truth of the Torah, for if they too have just ‘come out of her (the whore), then they are also ‘new converts’! While this may be the case we also recognise that it is יהושע Messiah who appoints and confirms His appointment and therefore the qualities of true leadership will be evident in their conduct and application of the Truth.
What we also take note of in the scattered state of the returning remnant of the House of Yisra’ĕl, is that there may be times where the Master does appoint one who may seem to be a new convert, yet the anointing of the Master will be seen in their ability of displaying the clear characteristics and qualities of an appointed leader. What the body must simply be aware of is that they should not simply follow blindly those who are seen to be in a position of leadership but should through proper prayer and testing through the Scriptures be able to identify the qualities or not, just as the Bereans tested all that Sha’ul taught them!
Verse 25 – They were let loose
The Hebrew word for ‘loose’ is פָּרַע para – Strong’s H6544 and means ‘let go, let alone, lack of restraint, uncover, naked, neglect, out of control’ and so, we see the clear picture of the state of the people – they were ‘naked’ and lacked restraint, as they simply followed after the flesh and what may have seemed initially to Aharon, like a ‘keeping the peace’ in camp, by allowing them to do what they wanted, actually turned out to be the reality of him not standing up for what is right and so, many fall into this trap today, as they prefer to keep quiet for the sake of peace – and this we cannot do.
We must stand up for truth and guard it all costs and allow no breach in the camp so to speak!
This let loose picture is what we see running riot in the ‘circus’ attempt of putting on a big show of worship by many churches today as they have no reverence for יהוה and have bowed to their own design of calf worship.
Will the Remnant please stand up!
Verse 26 we see Mosheh asking a very vital question – Who is for יהוה? Come to Me!
This is the same call going out today – Who is for יהוה?
Come and follow the Torah!!!
This is the same things that Eliyahu asked Yisra’ĕl on Mount Karmel:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:21 “And Ěliyahu came to all the people, and said, “How long would you keep hopping between two opinions? If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if Baʽal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.”
If we translate the Hebrew of the highlighted text correctly into English we would better have the following:
If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if The Lord, follow him.
The Hebrew name Ba’al – בַּעַל Strong’s H1168 renders the name of the heathen deity and is, in Hebrew, the term for ‘master, husband or landowner’; hence the common term for landowner in the old English is ‘lord’ and hence Ba’al rendering ‘The Lord’, as we see how the inherited lies of many years has blended the use of pagan deity titles into worshipping the True Creator and we are to choose this day whom we serve.
Mosheh asks this and the sons of Lĕwi respond – it is a righteous priesthood that must stand up and take the sword of truth in hand and fight the good fight!!!
They had to go and kill each one his brother, friend and relative – not an easy task and metaphorically a task that often many today find hard to do when called to ‘leave’ their relatives and friends for the sake of the Truth:
Marqos/Mark 10:29-30 “יהושע said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for the sake of Me and the Good News, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come, everlasting life.”
Luqas/Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one.”
They went out that day and killed all who were unfaithful and those who refused to repent. They had just drunk the mixed water and so perhaps the guilty had swollen bellies as we see later in the cup of Jealousy that a suspected adulteress would have to drink (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 5)
Verse 28 – 3000 people
3000 people died that day, and we see a clear and wonderful picture of the restoration of this curse and event at Shaḇuoth (Pentecost) when the Spirit was poured out on those 120 believers and 3000 people were added to their number and how when Aharon had declared that is was to be a feast day to יהוה, we certainly see how that when we obey and keep the Appointed Feasts of יהוה that He will cause numbers to be added as a result of obedience!
Verse 33 – sinners blotted out!
יהוה tells Mosheh straight up – whoever has sinned against Him will have their name blotted out of His Book! The punishment of sin is death! That has not changed!
What we do have however is the fact that יהושע has taken the punishment of death for all who will turn to Him and follow Him and walk in His ways and walk not according to the flesh and man’s ways and dogmas and traditions.
Those who refuse to return and receive the gift of life and be washed in the Blood of Messiah and continue in their apostasy will find themselves erased from the Book of life.
Tehillah/Psalm 69:28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:4 “See, all beings are Mine, the being of the father as well as the being of the son is Mine. The being that is sinning shall die.”
Those who hold fast to the truth and obey the commands will have the assurance of their names being written in and remaining in the Book of Life:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.”
At the second resurrection, after the Millennial Reign at the Throne of Judgement, which those who are part of the first resurrection will not partake in, we see that those who are not found in the Book of Life and thrown into the fire:
Ḥazon/Revelation 20: 15 “And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Verse 34 – the Day of Visitation!
Here in this verse 34, יהוה gives a clear warning, in regards to the ‘day of His visitation’, when He will ‘visit’ the sins upon the people. What is very interesting to take note of here, is that the Hebrew word that is used twice here, in this verse for ‘visitation’ and ‘visit’, is the word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 and carries the meaning, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’.
This is the same word that we see being used at the beginning of this Torah portion in Shemoth/Exodus 30:12, which is translated as ‘register’.
In other words, we have here in these chapters the clear reality that it is time for the true worshippers to stand up and worship the Father in spirit and truth, for when the Righteous King and Judge comes again, His ‘visitation’ shall be a time of taking account of what each have done and check His register to see who is the registered ones and shall give due punishment to those who have not been properly registered according to His instructions.
He is, in a manner of speaking, coming to ‘balance the books’ on the Day of His Visitation. When we see this clear reference to an accounting of the registry so to speak, we are able to understand, in a more meaningful way, the parable of the Talents. When the Master comes again, those who have ‘hidden their talent’ shall have what was given to them taken away, while to those who have joyfully utilised the talents they were given, shall be given more.
The day of visitation we are also able to see being mentioned in:
Amos 3:14 “For in the day I visit Yisra’ĕl for their transgressions, I shall also punish concerning the altars of Bĕyth Ěl. And the horns of the altar shall be broken, and they shall fall to the ground.”
The ‘alters of Bĕyth Ěl’ speak of the man-made attempts at worship, as it was Yaroḇ’am that build a golden calf and set it up in Bĕyth Ěl, in order to stop Yisra’ĕl form going to Yerushalayim and worship יהוה. יהוה shall come and punish all false worship and break down the assumed strength of man-made theologies and doctrines!
Each one shall get what is due to them on the day of the visitation of יהוה:
Romiyim/Romans 2:4-6 “And we know that the judgment of Elohim is according to truth against those who practise such wrongs. 3 And do you think, O man, you who judge those practising such wrongs, and doing the same, that you shall escape the judgment of Elohim? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the kindness of Elohim leads you to repentance? 5 But according to your hardness and your unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim, 6 who “shall render to each one according to his works”
The plague came as a result of disobedience and we can learn that in obedience there is blessing and life – we ought to choose life and walk in obedience and be a set-apart priesthood serving gladly with our all – for there still remains a ‘Day of Visitation’ to take a proper ‘register of the registered ones’!
Verse 1 – the people who you brought out of the land – The ‘you’ being Mosheh and here it is clear through these words how יהוה uses His Torah (Mosheh) to deliver His people from bondage to slavery and lead them to יהושע.
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24-27 “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. 26 For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.”
This verse in Galatiyim/Galatians is not saying that now that we have Messiah we no longer need to keep His Torah, as some erroneously teach! No, on the contrary, it is making it very clear that the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah and when we repent and are immersed in Him, we put on or clothe ourselves in him and that means putting on His garments of righteousness which is to walk ‘IN’ His Torah!
Understanding the Tabernacle and the service makes this abundantly clear – we cannot serve Him however we choose fit and claim some false grace message of lawlessness – now we are clothed in our High Priests we are to keep our garments pure through staying in and walking in His Torah!
After we are delivered from bondage and are immersed through the water, we are taken into a period of Wilderness wanderings where we are sojourners and foreigners and it is here where we learn to hear and guard and do all He commands us to, before He comes to take us into His Promised Land after defeating our enemies!
Verse 5 – take off your ornaments
Yisra’ĕl were a stiff-necked people and were now commanded to take off their ornaments – the very things that caused them to sin and build a pagan calf! They had to throw off the things that caused their stiff necks if they were to endure the road/race that lay ahead:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1 “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,”
His yoke is easy and His burden is light – His commands are not heavy and we would do well to throw off the ‘ornaments’ of vain traditions and dogmas that we may have the freedom to walk faithfully in His commands and be led forth in peace as His Word directs our every step in this dark world!
Ornaments today can vary from person to person and typically speaks of those things which you place a higher esteem over than the Word – it can be physical objects or hobbies and pastimes that have one so gripped that they are unable to bow their necks in obedience to the Truth. How many today will quickly break the Sabbath and the keeping of His Feasts for a family gathering or work function or sporting event?
These are the ornaments that make people stiff necked and unable to bow in humility and guard the Truth and this needs to be taken off. How about the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth – for many they come and choke out the Word and cause them to get stiff necked and chase after that which is mere wind and over time harden their necks towards pure obedience.
The statement that יהוה makes here in verse 5 is very clear and that is that should He come into their midst for just a moment then they would be utterly consumed! This teaches us a vital lesson of making sure that we throw off everything that entangles, for if we do not throw off the ornaments of sin, lawlessness and compromise then we will be unable to stand in the presence of יהוה, for we will be consumed.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lay aside’ in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1 comes from the verb ἀποτίθημι apotithēmi – Strong’s G659 which means, ‘lay aside, put off, lay down, cast off’.
In Ya’aqoḇ, this word is translated as ‘put away’:
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 in order 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!
We are told in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews to lay aside every ‘weight’, which is the Greek word ὄγκος – ogkos/ongkos – Strong’s G3591 and translates as a ‘weight/ mass/burden/impediment and a tumour’.
It is from this Greek word that we get our English word, oncology, which is the ‘study of tumours’, or rather the ‘study of cancer’.
Tumours kill you, Cancer kills you – you have to lay aside all that will kill you! If you do not, then the consuming presence of the Master will consume you when He comes in vengeance!
Mosheh was to say to the children of Yisra’ĕl that they were a ‘stiff-necked’ people!
The Hebrew phrase or wording used here for ‘stiff-necked’ is as follows: קְשֵׁה־עֹרֶף – ‘qasheh oreph’, which comes from the two root words:
1) קָשֶׁה qasheh – Strong’s H7186 and means ‘hard, harsh, cruel, obstinate, stiff necked and stubborn’ and
2) עֹרֶף oreph – Strong’s H6203 which means, ‘back, neck’, and is often translated as ‘stiff-necked’, which also has the figurative meaning of ‘apostasy, unyielding’, which is often the result of the pride of traditions that many refuse to let go of!
The people listened to Mosheh and got rid of the ornaments and were now able to be watchful as Mosheh took the Tent outside the camp, as the sin of the people had defiled the camp!
We must also remember that the Tabernacle had not yet been built, but rather, only the instructions had been given; and when Mosheh would go into the tent, each man would stand at the door of his own tent until Mosheh went in. This shows a guarding of one’s home and being watchful – certainly a different approach from a people who were stiff necked before!!!
What we can learn from this is that stiff-necked people need to be confronted with the Truth and be told that they are stiff-necked before they will make a true change!
The children of Yisra’ĕl ‘took off’ their ornaments at Mount Ḥorĕḇ, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘took off’ is וַיִּתְנַצְּלוּ – ‘vaiyithnatstselu’ which comes from the root word נָצַל natsal – Strong’s H5337 meaning, ‘to strip, plunder, deliver oneself, be delivered, snatch away, deliver, recover, escape’. This is also written in the ‘hithpael’ verb form which renders a reflexive action that can render the meaning, ‘to strip oneself’.
This word, when written in the ‘hiphil’ verb tense, which is the causative tense it can render the meaning, ‘to take away, snatch away, to rescue, recover, to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death), to deliver from sin and guilt’.
Why I am mentioning this, is to highlight a clear picture of what took place here and what we can learn from it.
After the children of Yisra’ĕl had been clearly confronted with the Word of Truth by Mosheh ,and told that they were stiff-necked and would be consumed if they did not take of their ornaments that defiled their worship, they responded and stripped themselves of all that defiles and this teaches us how we are to strip ourselves of all the defiles our called for set-apartness.
We also take note that it is Messiah who has caused us to be able to strip ourselves of all that which hinders, as He Himself is the One who saves us, for He stripped us of our iniquities in His giving of His own life, and all who yield and submit to His Torah and commands are able to come before Him and not be consumed as He has provided us the means to be stripped of all that must be taken off and destroyed!
When Mosheh would come out of the tent we see a wonderful shadow picture in that Yehoshua stays in the tent and we know that Messiah in in the Heavenly Tent still today and will come out on Yom Kippur to trample down the nations and take up His Bride! So once again we see the need for Mosheh (The Torah) to be the light that guides us until יהושע comes for us from His Heavenly Tabernacle.
THE ESTEEM OF יהוה
In verse 11 we see that Mosheh spoke with יהוה face to face as a man speaks with a friend and yet in verse 20, we are told that he was unable to see the face of יהוה and live.
What may often be seen as a passage that is not fully understood we are to take note of the clear evidence that is given herein, and therefore I want to highlight some very important factors that are being given to us here in this account of Mosheh asking to see the esteem of יהוה:
Shemoth/Exodus 33:18 “Then he said, “Please, show me Your esteem.”
When Mosheh asked to see the esteem of יהוה, many people are often confused as to what was being asked, as we take note that יהוה spoke to Mosheh ‘face to face’, as we see earlier, in the chapter that I quoted from:
Shemoth/Exodus 33:11 “Thus יהוה spoke to Mosheh face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Yehoshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the Tent.”
This can often be a bit of a stumbling block to some, as we clearly see from Scripture that יהוה spoke to Mosheh face to face, yet when Mosheh asked יהוה to show him His esteem, יהוה gave the following answer:
Shemoth/Exodus 33:19-20 “And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of יהוה before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.”
Some may argue that the context of these verses simply show the figurative language of the special relationship Mosheh had with יהוה and that he may not have literally seen His face, and that while יהוה did speak to Mosheh directly and not through dreams and visions, he did not see the face of יהוה.
However, the text is very clear that יהוה literally spoke to Mosheh face to face, just like men would speak!
So, what is going on here? יהוה spoke with Mosheh face to face and when Mosheh asked יהוה to reveal His esteem, He said that Mosheh was unable to see His face, for no man does see Him and live!
While this may be very confusing at first, I firmly believe that Scripture gives us great insight as to what is really being spoken here, and how we are able to see the esteem of יהוה.
Listen to what יהוה did say to Mosheh:
Shemoth/Exodus 33:21-23 “And יהוה said, “See, there is a place with Me! And you shall stand on the rock. 22 “And it shall be, while My esteem passes by, that I shall put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 “Then I shall take away My hand and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”
What we need to understand, in the context of Mosheh’s asking for the esteem of יהוה to be revealed, is that it must be grasped in the context of his discussion with יהוה. He reasoned with יהוה that he had been instructed to bring this nation up, yet he said to יהוה that He had not made known to Mosheh who was going with him and after being reassured by יהוה that His presence is going and that He would give them rest, Mosheh says that if the presence of יהוה does not go then he did not want יהוה to lead them up from where they were!
Mosheh did not want to take one step forward without the presence of יהוה, and in a clear cry of submission and acknowledgement of who יהוה is, Mosheh asks to see His esteem!
Mosheh wanted the reassurance that their Redeemer, Elohim and Mighty King of Hosts was going with them, and He therefore wanted to see this Mighty King in His fullness!
The Hebrew word for ‘esteem’ is כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 which means, ‘honour, esteem, reverence, splendid’, which comes from the root verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’, and is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה!
The word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 can also have the understanding of, ‘the manifestation of power’, which represents the fullness of the power or strength of the One who is lifted up and exalted.
In a desperate seeking of the full manifestation of the power and esteem of יהוה, Mosheh was given a clear directive to stand on the rock and was told that when the esteem of יהוה passed by, that יהוה would put him in the cleft of the rock and cover him with His Hand – for this is the promise יהוה gave, when he declared – “See, there is a place with Me!”
The Hebrew word for ‘place’ is מָקוֹם maqom – Strong’s H4725 which means, ‘standing place, place, home, country, ground’.
There is a standing ground upon which we can see Him, and that is as we stand on the Rock!
The use of this terminology is clear, in declaring the manifestation of the esteem of Elohim, as seen through His Hand that covers us and secures us in Him, as we stand on Him, our Rock and Refuge, which is a clear reference and shadow picture of יהושע Messiah!
‘The Rock’ is הַצּוּר ‘hatsur’, and in the ancient pictographic script it looks like this:
Hey – הַ:
This the original pictograph for this letter is , which is a man standing with his arms raised out. The meaning of the letter is ‘behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation’, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Tsadey – צּ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , which is ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching I concealment, as well as ‘laying one’s self down for another’. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’.
Waw/vav – וּ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , is pictured as a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Resh – ר:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.
As we consider this word used in Scripture for ‘The Rock’, when looking at the ancient pictographic letters we are able to render the following meaning when understanding that this is a clear prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, The Rock in whom we find strength:
BEHOLD, THE ONE WHO SHALL LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US AND SECURE FOR US THE COVENANT, IS OUR ELOHIM AND HEAD.
It is upon the Rock that the esteem is revealed!
When we consider this Hebrew word for ‘esteem’ – כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 in the ancient script we gain further insight in the revelation of the esteem of יהוה.
In the ancient pictographic script, the word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ looks like this:
Kaph – כָּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey, and can also speak of a covering, as in the covering of a hand.
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Waw – וֹ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’, as one goes back and forth through a tent door, and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When we look at these pictographic letters for ‘esteem’ we are able to see some wonderful insight into the esteem of יהוה being revealed to us.
The collective rendering of these pictographic letters can give us the meaning:
THE COVERING OF THE HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN SECURED AND ENTRANCE GIVEN!
We also take note, that we are able to recognise that the esteem we are to give to Elohim, and Elohim alone, is because He is the builder of the House!
By His Hand, He has built us and by His Mighty Saving Hand He has secured for us an entrance into His presence, as we are built up in Him who is greater than the House! For the builder of the House is greater that the House!
We are the dwelling Place and He is the Master Builder who covers us as we take our stand upon Him, our Rock and Refuge!
As we consider the rendering of this word for ‘esteem’ we are able to see from Scripture a clear revelation of the esteem of יהוה our Elohim. We take note of the very striking words of Messiah as He spoke to the Pharisees who were accusing His taught ones for breaking the Sabbath when they went through the grain fields on the Sabbath and began to pluck heads of grain, to eat.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:6 “But I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the Set-apart Place.”
The One who is greater than the House was in their midst!
In Speaking of יהושע Messiah, in the letter to the Iḇ’rim/Hebrews we see, in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:3-6 “For this One has been deemed worthy of more esteem than Mosheh, as much as He who built the house enjoys more respect than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all is Elohim. 5 And Mosheh indeed was trustworthy in all His house as a servant, for a witness of what would be spoken later, 6 but Messiah as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the boldness and the boasting of the expectation firm to the end.”
Elohim is the builder and the One who built the House is worthy of more esteem than Mosheh! In a manner of speaking, Mosheh is the House, just as we are the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim, yet our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, is greater than the House, for He is the builder of the House!
We also read in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:5 “And the esteem of יהוה shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see it. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
At the beginning of this Chapter 40 in Yeshayahu/Isaiah we see the clear words of Elohim saying, “‘Comfort, comfort My people’, says your Elohim”, and this is a very comforting assurance that is given in declaring the promise of a recovery of breath that Elohim would bring and how the Spirit of Ěliyahu would come first in preparing the way and making straight the way in the desert for our Elohim, and then we see in the verses that follow these words:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:9-11 “You who bring good news to Tsiyon, get up into the high mountain. You who bring good news to Yerushalayim, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid. Say to the cities of Yehuḏah, “See your Elohim!” 10 See, the Master יהוה comes with a strong hand, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. 11 He feeds His flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those who are with young.”
In this clear prophecy of the esteem of יהוה being revealed we are told that the one who brings good news to Tsiyon would say to the cities of Yehuḏah, “See Your Elohim!”.
The Master יהוה comes with a strong Hand, revealing the power of His esteem and it is He who feeds the flock as a Shepherd!
When Yoḥanan the Immerser, who Messiah referred to as being the Spirit of Ěliyahu having come to prepare the way, was asked by the priests and Lěwites that were sent by the Yehuḏim who he was, Yoḥanan proclaimed this passage in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3.
Yoḥanan/John 1:23 “He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of יהוה,’ as the prophet Yeshayahu said.”
We then see the following written in:
Yoḥanan/John 1:29 “On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!”
In a clear fulfilment of prophecy, we see Yoḥanan saying to the cities of Yehuḏah, “See, the Lamb of Elohim”, as the Strong Hand and esteem of יהוה had been revealed in the form of יהושע Messiah!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:6 “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.”
The Lamb is the lamp!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you.”
The reason I am sharing these texts with you, is to highlight the clear thread we see in Scripture, in regards to the esteem of יהוה, and how we may be able to see His esteem!
We see the clear description of the esteem of יהוה revealing to us that He is the Shepherd and Light, and how He does not give His esteem to another.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:8 “I am יהוה, that is My Name, and My esteem I do not give to another, nor My praise to idols.”
יהושע Messiah tells us clearly that He is the Good shepherd and that He is the Light of the world.
Yoḥanan/John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
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 confirms through his witness telling us that while Yoḥanan (the Immerser), who was a man sent by Elohim, was not that light, he was the witness of the Light, and he makes it clear that יהושע Messiah is the True Light that came into the world, and we therefore are able to see the esteem of Elohim in the face of יהושע Messiah.
Yoḥanan/John 12:36-41 “While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you become sons of light.” These words יהושע spoke, and went off and was hidden from them. 37 But though He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Yeshayahu the prophet might be filled, which he spoke, “יהוה, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of יהוהbeen revealed?” 39 Because of this they were unable to believe, because again Yeshayahu said: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I should heal them.” 41 Yeshayahu said this when he saw His esteem and spoke of Him.”
The Hebrew root word for ‘revealed’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:5 that I quoted earlier, which states that “the esteem of יהוה shall be revealed”, is גָּלָה galah – Strong’s H1540 and means, ‘to uncover, remove, to be uncovered, to reveal oneself’.
Why I am mentioning this, is to highlight how we see in Scripture both, the revealing of the esteem of Elohim, as well as the removal of His esteem!
When Shemuʼěl was first taken to stay with Eli at the House of Elohim in Shiloh, we take note that he did not know the voice of Elohim:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 3:7 “Now Shemuʼěl did not yet know יהוה, and the word of יהוה was not yet revealed to him.”
יהוה did reveal Himself to Shemuʼěl, and he became one of the most significant prophets of Elohim!
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 3:21“And יהוה continued to appear in Shiloh, because יהוה revealed Himself to Shemuʼěl in Shiloh by the word of יהוה.”
While Shemuʼěl grew up and grew in the knowledge of Elohim we know that Yisra’ĕl did as they pleased and the priesthood was corrupt, and on one day Eli and his two sons were killed at the Ark of Elohim was captured. It was on this day that the esteem of Elohim was removed!
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 4:21-22 “And she called the child Iḵaḇoḏ, saying, “The esteem has departed from Yisra’ĕl!” because the ark of Elohim was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The esteem has departed from Yisra’ĕl, for the ark of Elohim was taken.”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘departed’ is גָּלָה galah – Strong’s H1540 – the same root word used for ‘revealed’, yet written in a different tense, showing us that this root word can have a different meaning when written in a different tense, as the esteem of יהוה was not uncovered or revealed or made known, but had now departed!
The name of the child אִי־כָבוֹד Iḵaḇoḏ– Strong’s H350 means, ‘no esteem’ as the esteem of יהוה had departed from Yisra’ĕl!!!
By the esteem of יהוה departing we can understand this, in the context of prophecy, that “The covering of His Hand upon the House had been removed”!
From this point on in Scripture we begin to see many clear prophecies of the return of His esteem and how He will appear in His esteem.
Tehillah/Psalm 102:16 “For יהוה shall build up Tsiyon, He shall appear in His esteem.”
The Master Builder is coming again to build, and what we have been given until the fullness of His esteem is seen by all, is a sure place to stand on – that is יהושע Messiah, the Rock upon which we stand, for the Hand of יהוה has been revealed and we have been covered by His Hand by the first coming of Messiah as a humble servant!
When Messiah comes again with all His Messengers, we shall see His face and the fullness of His esteem!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:2 “Beloved ones, now we are children of Elohim. And it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
What we have is the mirror of His Word that allows us to see His esteem, as the unveiling of our eyes by His Spirit has caused us to know Him, as we walk in His Torah – that of freedom – for the one who turns to the Master the veil is taken away!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:16-18 “And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away. 17 Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, as with unveiled face we see as in a mirror the esteem of יהוה, are being transformed into the same likeness from esteem to esteem, as from יהוה, the Spirit.”
As Scripture makes it very clear to us that it is only by His Spirit that we are able to say that יהושע Messiah is Master, we recognise how His Spirit causes us who have turned to the Master to have the mystery revealed to us, enabling us to see His esteem through the clear mirror of His Word!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.”
The esteem of Elohim has been revealed and Yoḥanan gives us a clear witness of this as he tells us in:
Yoḥanan/John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us, and we saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favour and truth.”
The ‘esteem’ of Elohim we saw ‘AS OF’ an only brought forth son of a father!
The Greek word used here for ‘as’ is ὡς hōs – Strong’s G5613 which means, ‘as, like as, even as’, and clearly emphasises for us what we saw in terms of the esteem of Elohim, as we saw it ‘as’ a brought forth son of a father! יהוה came and showed us His esteem as of a son brought forth from a father, for the Son (Messiah) is Our everlasting Father… יהוה is our Messiah – please see articles on our site for more on this!
I have simply touched a tip of the iceberg so to speak on this very clear thread we find in Scripture in regards to the esteem of יהוה, and what I want to make clear is that the esteem that we are able to see in the mirror of the Word is in the form of our Mighty Master, Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
As I was digging, and still continue to dig into the great wisdom of the Word, I was greatly encouraged to find this very strong thread throughout Scripture.
What is very clear to us is that יהוה clearly made Himself visible at times to various people, yet the full weight of His splendour and esteem sinful man cannot look upon and live.
Aḏam and Ḥawwah were cast out of the Garden of Eḏen due to sin, and they received a covering made by coast of skin. יהוה walked in the Garden, showing us that before sin Aḏam and Ḥawwah could see Him face to face, however because of sin mankind was cut off from the esteem of יהוה, with only His provision of covering until the full redemption could be completed and man be restored to Him.
Many often dispute the fact that יהוה became flesh and argue that it is not possible to do so, yet we must remember that יהוה walked in the Garden, He appeared to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ. He spoke to Mosheh and what we must always remember is that man was made in the image and likeness of Elohim!!!
In other words, He had a form, from which image and likeness He made mankind from the dust of the earth. He is not of the dust of the earth, but we are!
That image and likeness that was formed from the dust of the ground was corrupted through sin and in order for the image to completely restored it had to be dealt with in the flesh – that is of the dust of the world!
Therefore, our Mighty Master and Elohim took on the form of flesh – that which is made from dust – in order to redeem the corruption of His creation and put a complete end to sin through the putting to death the flesh!
Please note that Elohim did not die, but He rather put to death the sinful flesh (corrupted dust) in order to restore His perfect image in man, which will be made complete at the end of this age when sin and death is destroyed!
Until that happens we have a place in Him, and that is to stand upon the Rock and be covered in His Blood as He secures His House and provides for us the clear doorway into His esteemed presence!
This יהושע Messiah, who died for our sins, is that Rock and Refuge, and He is the fully revealed image and likeness of Elohim in the flesh, showing us the esteem that we are able to see dimly now, yet will one day see clearly when He comes in the fullness of His esteem as the Only True King of Kings and Master of Masters!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:16 “And, beyond all question, the secret of reverence is great – Elohim was revealed in the flesh, declared right in Spirit, was seen by messengers, was proclaimed among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in esteem.”
Elohim was revealed in the flesh and we could get a glimpse of His esteem, for He came as a suffering servant:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Tsiyon! Shout, O daughter of Yerushalayim! See, your Sovereign is coming to you, He is righteous and endowed with deliverance, humble and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Tehillah/Psalm 24:8-10 “Who is this Sovereign of esteem? יהוה strong and mighty, יהוה mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Even lift up, you everlasting doors! And let the Sovereign of esteem come in. 10 Who is this Sovereign of esteem? יהוה of hosts, He is the Sovereign of esteem! Selah.”
This Mighty Sovereign of esteem – came riding on a donkey, as The Mighty Revealed Hand of יהוה who builds the House came and secured for us an entrance into His reign!
Now that is certainly a sure reason why we are to esteem His Name!!!
Just like Mosheh basically told יהוה that if יהוה’s presence was not going with them, then there would be no point of going forward into the inherited promise, so too must we recognise and declare who is this Sovereign of Esteem!
For if we cannot recognise the clear esteem that we have been allowed to see as we stand upon the Rock then how shall we enter in?
As we stay in our Master and Elohim and proclaim our Saviour and King, יהושע Messiah, The Door, may we rejoice and esteem Him with everlasting praise, as we fervently look for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of our Elohim and Saviour!!!
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
Once sin has been destroyed and death is no more and the renewed heavens and earth are revealed, we take note of the following:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:23 “And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it, for the esteem of Elohim lightened it, and the Lamb is its lamp.”
This is not a Scripture that says that there will no longer be a sun and moon but that the function of the sun and moon for the Appointed Times will no longer be needed, for the fullness of the esteem of Elohim will be in the midst of His creation.
The Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה reveal and proclaim the working of His redemption for mankind unto Himself and when deliverance has been completed then the fullness of His esteem can once again be seen by man, face to face, as Ḥazon/Revelation 22:4 tells us clearly that the servants of Elohim shall see His face!
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:3-5 “And no longer shall there be any curse, and the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 And they shall see His face, and His Name shall be upon their foreheads. 5 And night shall be no more, and they shall have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because יהוה Elohim shall give them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
With the term “night shall be no more”, we recognise that this is a clear metaphor for ‘sin and darkness’ and ‘ignorance’ that will be no more, as all will know the light and the fullness of His esteem will be seen by all!
What a day to look forward to!
And it is with great expectation of His esteemed appearance that we continue to take our place in Him and stand on the Rock of our deliverance as his Mighty Right Hand covers us, His House!
The esteem of יהוה has been revealed, and this we can see in the mirror of His Word, as His Arm has been revealed and is mighty to save, for His Hand covers us, His House, securing for us the promise of the entrance into eternal life with Him!!!
Back to Shemoth/Exodus 33
Verse 15 – If you don’t go I don’t go!
Mosheh says to יהוה, whom he had spoken face to face with as a man speaks to His friend that if יהוה does not go before Him then he does not want to go and he is given the promise of יהוה going before them.
We must learn to have the heart and mind that Mosheh had and that is that if יהוה’s presence is not going with us then we do not want to be led on without His presence and be in danger!
The Torah is a lamp for our path and light for our feet and if we do not allow the Word of יהוה to be that which teaches, leads and guides us in the Way by His Spirit then we may end up doing whatever is right in our own eyes and find that we will suffer loss as a result.
What this also teaches us is that for us to have the presence of יהוה that is to have His Spirit dwelling in us, we cannot have sin in us, for He cannot dwell in us and lead us when we are filled with sin and lawlessness!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:6 “Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:9 “Everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, because His seed stays in him, and he is powerless to sin, because he has been born of Elohim.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:18 “We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
If Your presence is not ‘going’ then do not lead us from here!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘going’ comes from the root verb הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 which carries the meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’, and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life.
This verb is written in the ‘qal active’ tense and therefore renders the meaning, ‘to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively)’.
When one look at this root word and the word that is used here in the ancient text we are able to get a clearer understanding of how we are able to walk in complete obedience!
The Hebrew root word for walk – הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!
When we look at the letters that spell out the root word that for ‘walk’ we are able to see a great declaration:
BEHOLD THE STAFF IN THE PALM!
With the picture of the shepherd’s staff and the open palm of the hand we are able to see the concept of ‘staff in the palm’ and we take note that a nomad that travelled on foot would have a staff in his hand in order to provide proper support in walking, as well as having a weapon in his hand to defend against predators and thieves!
What Mosheh was saying is clear – If יהוה is not walking with them then he did not want to be led ahead on his own!
What we can see here from a figurative point of view is that we too ought to have this heart, as we do not want to walk if we are not walking in our Master, or rather if we are not walking as He walked then we do not want to walk!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
Verse 21-22 – Stand on the Rock
Our place with יהוה is on the Rock, יהושע – our place in Him is in His redemptive saving work – without such we have no part in Him! We are to stand on the Rock!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, 25 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, 27 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.”
COVER YOU WITH MY HAND WHILE I PASS BY
This is a wonderful picture of The Right hand of Messiah being our Covering and Mosheh was only able to see the ‘Hand’ of Elohim – that being יהושע and He is our covering as we are covered and cleansed in His Blood.
Yoḥanan/John 14:7-11 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father too. From now on you know Him, and have seen.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Master, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 יהושע said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, and how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak from Myself. But the Father who stays in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, otherwise believe Me because of the works themselves.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?”
The Arm of יהוה is a key concept and picture in Scripture of His mighty strength and power that is manifested in the working of His deliverance for His people.
What was very interesting to me in grasping the fuller understanding of the Arm of יהוה, is that I found that the Hebrew root word for ‘arm’, which is זְרוֹעַ zeroa – Strong’s H2220, which means, ‘arm, shoulder, strength, power’, is used 16 times in the Book of Yeshayahu; and of those 16 times we see that 14 times it is used in 13 different verses in direct reference to the Arm of יהוה.
Let us quickly run through them:
30:30 “And יהוה shall cause His excellent voice to be heard, and show the coming down of His arm, with raging wrath and the flame of a consuming fire, with scattering, downpour and hailstones.”
33:2 “O יהוה, show us favour, for we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our deliverance also in time of distress.”
40:10 “See, the Master יהוה comes with a strong hand, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
40:11 “He feeds His flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those who are with young.”
48:14 “All of you, gather yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these? יהוה has loved him. Let him do His pleasure on Baḇel, and His arm be on the Chaldeans.”
51:5 “My righteousness is near, My deliverance shall go forth, and My arms judge peoples. Coastlands wait upon Me, and for My arm they wait expectantly.”
51:9 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of יהוה! Awake as in days of old, everlasting generations. Was it not You who cut Rahaḇ apart, and pierced the Crocodile?”
52:10 “יהוה shall lay bare His set-apart arm in the eyes of all the nations. And all the ends of the earth shall see the deliverance of our Elohim.”
53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?”
59:16 “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor. So His own arm saved for Him, and His righteousness upheld him.”
62:8 “יהוה has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength, “No more do I give your grain to be food for your enemies, nor do sons of the foreigner drink your new wine, for which you have laboured.”
63:5 “And I looked, but there was none helping, and I was astonished that there was none upholding. So My own arm saved for Me, and My wrath upheld Me.”
63:12 “who led them by the right hand of Mosheh, with His comely arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting Name.”
In these verses we clearly see the pointing to יהושע Messiah as being the revealed, Set-Apart Arm of יהוה, who will judge the people, and gather the lambs as our Good Shepherd and He is the King for whom we wait!
In Yeshayahu, which we know his name means ‘Salvation of יהוה’, we find in 13 verses, the clear pointing to what his Arm brings about for us and it was a nice picture for me to take note that 13 we know in Hebrew is the numerical value for the term ‘eḥaḏ’ which means ‘ONE’ as in יהוה our Elohim is One; and so it is fitting to see in the book of Yeshayahu that declares by name that salvation is of יהוה, that the salvation and deliverance of יהוה has revealed His Arm by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah and when He comes again – His Arm (Messiah) will be laid bare in the eyes of all the nations and the ends of the earth shall see His deliverance!
CHAPTER 34 – TERMS OF THE COVENANT REINSTATED
Mosheh now had to now cut two tablets of stone like the first.
Mosheh had to cut the stones; unlike the first one’s which was the work of Elohim and so we see the response to Mosheh from יהוה, that if he wanted to lead this people, then he must fix what was broken and shows that we are to take responsibility for our actions and so it is when we carve out something for ourselves that we will at times get more out of it than if it is just handed to us on a platter.
When we dig out the truth for ourselves, it may be the same as what those who have taught us has said, but it will stay with us better, because we have invested ourselves in the search.
What we labour for, we appreciate more and we are all to seek out the wonder and truth of His word for ourselves, as we repair the years of lawless living through inherited lies!
We are to write the Truth on our hearts as we carve away those lies that have somehow been forged into our hearts:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not kindness and truth forsake you – Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:3 “Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Bind them on your fingers and heart – this speaks of our walk and our work – and so we see that the way we bind them on us is by doing them and keep on doing them, so that they get forged and fashioned on to our hearts and hands that they become our life and how we naturally live!
A heart that is prepared to receive His Word is acceptable – Mosheh had to prepare the new tablets of stone – we are to prepare our hearts to receive His Truth and have the soil of our hearts in good shape.
When יהוה says:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:33 “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”
He is not saying that He will wave a wand and magically do it all for us. Just because He writes it on our hearts and minds do not guarantee that we will obey what He has written.
We have to study it and practice it (put it in our minds) before we come to love it – as that is what love His Word means – and that is when it is upon our hearts.
What we do not study, and practice repeatedly, will never find its way into our hearts, or at least it will not stay there.
It is in the doing that the understanding comes – when we start keeping the Sabbath, it may not always come naturally but when we keep on keeping on we develop a true love for it as it sinks in and ‘drops’ from our minds to our hearts and we earnestly begin to love ‘doing’ His commands.
Walking in love for Elohim takes effort and diligence and requires our commitment to making the tablets of our hearts ready and available to be written upon!
Verse 5 – יהוה came down and proclaimed His Name!
This must have been an awesome moment – יהוה proclaiming His Name!!! When יהושע came, He proclaimed the Name of יהוה and they did not receive Him:
Yoḥanan/John 5:43 “I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive.”
Here in Shemoth lies a great prophetic shadow picture of how יהוה would indeed come down and proclaim His Name, for this He did as He came to proclaim the deliverance that His Name brings, and when we understand these words of יהושע Messiah in Yoḥanan/John 5 then we are able to further see the clear proof that יהושע is indeed Elohim who had come down to proclaim His Name and bring a deliverance for His people!
With יהוה coming down in a cloud and having stood with Mosheh to proclaim His Name we are also able to see this shadow picturing for us another event we see taking place in the Renewed Writings:
Luqas/Luke 9:34-36 “And as he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them. And they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved. Hear Him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, יהושע was found alone. And they were silent, and reported to no one in those days any of what they had seen.”
It was here where the appearance of the face of Messiah changed before Kěpha, Yoḥanan and Ya’aqoḇ, as Messiah stood here with His garments being dazzling white, along with Mosheh and Eliyahu.
When the voice had spoken, all that the three apostles saw was יהושע Messiah. For now, it was clear that this יהושע Messiah was indeed יהוה who had come down and at this event, again stood with Mosheh in order to proclaim His Name! With Mosheh and Eliyahu standing here, we see how this directly points to the clarity of the Torah and the prophets that speak of יהושע Messiah, the expected Elohim that would come and proclaim His Name!
The language that follows verse 5 echoes a reinstatement of the Covenant as the Marriage Covenant is reinstated and declared and is a foreshadow of the work of Messiah that has reinstated the Covenant when He came down and proclaimed the Name of the Compassionate El who shows favour and commitment, forgiving sin and crookedness but by no means leaving unpunished, and visiting the crookedness of the fathers upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generation!
I find this interesting wording as it speaks again the picture of His patience with us. When we consider and understand that Messiah came down on the 4th day (4th Millennium) and proclaimed the Besorah (Good News) and in effect this word here holds true that he does not leave unpunished the crookedness of the fathers upon their children to the 3rd and 4th generations.
Ma’asei/Acts 17:30 “Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohim now commands all men everywhere to repent”
With Messiah having come and proclaimed His Name and His Compassion and the renewal of His Covenant – there is now no excuse and those who sin will be not left unpunished down to the 3rd and 4th generation – here this carries for me the picture that any who continue in sin in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Millennium down to the 3rd generation (that is up to the 6th Millennium) and 4th generation (that are those who sin in the 7th Millennium).
He has proclaimed His Good News and now there is no excuse – our hearts we are to prepare to receive His Good Word and live according to it!
Guard – Guard and Guard – that is our duty – to HEAR – GUARD – DO – then He will destroy our enemies before us
Verse 6 – an Ěl compassionate and showing favour, patient, and great in loving-commitment and truth
We serve a great and mighty Elohim, who extends His enormous mercy toward us, being patient and kind, revealing His clear compassion and loving-commitment!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘compassionate’ is רַחוּם raḥum – Strong’s H7349 which means, ‘compassionate, merciful’, and the word translated as ‘showing favour’ is חַנּוּן – ‘ḥanun’ – Strong’s H2587 which means, ‘favourable, gracious’ and comes from the root verb חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’. A derivative of this word is the word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 meaning, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’.
These two words, חֵן ḥen and חָנַן ḥanan, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.). The word translated as ‘loving-commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’, and the word translated as ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.”
Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!
For more info on the unique relationship between חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, I encourage you to go and read the article, ‘UNDERSTANDING GALATIANS’ on our website (https://atfotc.com), as I explain more in depth on the clear connection between these two words.
What we find in Scripture is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond or relationship that produces, in the bond itself, a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ and can expect from each other, and even demand in a sense, reciprocal responsibilities, and so חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is not a free gift!
However, because of His חֵן ḥen which is freely given to us we too are now, by our acceptance of His free gift, also required to express true loving-commitment as we grow in our understanding of our obligation to guarding the Covenant!
How we do that, is by walking ‘in’ The Torah of יהוה, which is His clear instructions for us on how we walk in His חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ; and so, the Torah (instructions) of Elohim is the articulation of the obligation we have to the Covenants of Promise, by which we are freely and graciously grafted in to by the Blood of Messiah!
We did not earn the right to this Covenant – יהוה made the Covenant out of חֵן ḥen, and therefore we understand that the חֵן ḥen, freely given, entails חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, which now both parties are to be committed to, and both have an obligation to keep its requirements. If we reject the obligations and requirements of the Covenant, we are in fact rejecting and forsaking the loving-commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – of Elohim, and by doing so are rejecting יהוה’s bond to us, given freely by His own Blood!
The importance of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is vital for us to understand; as we see that those who hear, guard and do the commands of Elohim grow in wisdom and understand the loving-commitment of יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 107:43 “Who is wise? Then let him observe these matters! Let them understand the loving-commitment of יהוה.”
As we consider the Elohim who we serve in Spirit and Truth as being compassionate and showing favour, patient, and great in loving-commitment and truth, we realise our need to turn away from the things of the world, repent of all the lies and dogmas of man that held us fast through vain traditions and turn back to our great and Mighty Elohim:
Yo’ěl/Joel 2:13 “And tear your heart and not your garments, and turn back to יהוה your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient, and of great kindness, and He shall relent concerning the evil.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 meaning, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
Nun – ן:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth to be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
By the clear loving-commitment of our Master, Saviour and Elohim we have been saved by His favour (grace) and when looking at this word in the pictographic symbols we are able to see that we are:
SEPARATED, BUILT UP AND ESTABLISHED BY THE SEED – WHICH IS MESSIAH!
The covenants of promise that we were once far off from us, as we were without Messiah and excluded from citizenship in Yisra’ĕl, have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ěl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
Realising how we have been separated by The Seed, through the favour He has shown us, we also need to realise that, as living stones being built up in Messiah, that we are to make sure that we do not let loving-commitment and truth forsake us!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”
In the ancient pictographic form, the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ – Strong’s H2617 looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’.
As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Dalet – דֶּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When understanding חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ in these ancient pictographic letters we are able to clearly see that the boundaries for the way in which we are to live have been established and the entrance to walking in חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ (loving-commitment) is by our coming to the Door – that is our Master and Saviour – יהושע Messiah!
WE AS LIVING STONES ARE TO GRAB HOLD OF AND CLING TO THE DOOR!
As soon as these words of יהוה were spoken, Mosheh hurried and bowed himself toward the earth and did obeisance!
The Hebrew word for ‘obeisance’ is שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’. Obeisance means ‘a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission as well as to acknowledge the superiority of another’.
This word is also translated as ‘worship’ on many occasions and reflects the true nature of our life of worship, which is in total submission to our Master and King, as we humbly bow our lives before Him in reverence and respect, acknowledging His authority in every way, as we walk in total obedience to His Torah/Word.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘bowed’ is קָדַד qaḏaḏ – Strong’s H6915 which means ‘bow down, bend the body, bow the head, stoop down’, and this root is used to emphasize devotion and thus occurs at especially crucial times, and here Moshe’s obeisance is notably and understandably pronounced. Aḏam
From this word קָדַד qaḏaḏ we get the word קִדָּה qiddah – Strong’s H6916 which is translated as ‘cassia’ which is a fragrant plant used in perfumes and oils and was one of the 4 ingredients of the Anointing oil used in the Tabernacle.
The word קָדַד qaḏaḏ is also related to the word קָדְקֹד qaḏqoḏ – Strong’s H6936 which translates as ‘head, crown of his head, scalp’ and so we see how this can all give us great shadow picture of Messiah, our Head who stooped down and bowed Himself down for us in order for us to have life – a very fragrant aroma to the Father indeed!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘forgive’ is סָלַח salaḥ – Strong’s H5545 which means, ‘to forgive, pardon, spare’, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘crookednesses’ is עָוֹן avon – Strong’s H5771 meaning, ‘iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity, blame, perversity, depravity’, which comes from the root verb עָוָה avah – Strong’s H5753 which means, ‘to twist, bend, distort, make crooked, pervert’.
In being told not to forget the dealing of יהוה, Dawiḏ reminds us in:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:3 “Who forgives all your crookednesses, who heals all your diseases”
The first thing Dawiḏ mentions here in the dealings of יהוה with us who fear Him, is that He pardons our guilt and spares us from the punishment of our perversion and distortions of the truth – now that is something to praise and bless our Elohim for!!!
He not only pardons us and spares us from punishment, He also: Heals ALL our diseases!
He is the Healer; and the Hebrew word used here for ‘heals’ is רָפָא rapha – Strong’s H7495 which means, ‘to heal, become fresh, purified’.
The Hebrew word for ‘disease’ is תַּחֲלֻא taḥalu – Strong’s H8463 which means, ‘disease, sickness, pain’, and as we recognise that this word is used in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 29:22 in the clear warning against those who turn their hearts away from יהוה and go after the mighty ones of the world and walk in the stubbornness of their own hearts, shall be separated for evil and see the effect of all the curses for disobedience bringing about diseases and plagues.
Praise יהוה that He has healed us from the curses of disobedience as we lovingly remember His dealings and walk in and stay in Messiah, having been healed and cleansed by His Blood.
יהוה tells Mosheh that He is ‘making a covenant’ and would do wonders before all of Yisra’ĕl. The Hebrew root word translated as ‘making’ is the word כָּרַת karath – Strong’s H3772 which means, ‘to cut off, cut down, cut covenant’ and we can see how the Covenant made with Aḇraham was made by the ‘cutting’ of animals and the flow of their blood’, which was restored in the perfect Blood of Messiah, the sinless Lamb whose blood satisfies what animals could never, and so herein lies the clear prophetic promise of the sure and secured Covenant that יהוה would make in His own Blood.
This awesome wonder that would be done, would ultimately point toward the most amazing work of redemption that would be made for mankind, as יהוה Himself would come down and secure His Covenant with us and cleanse us from all crookedness and sin, in His own precious Blood!
Guard what I command you!
The root word for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.
We are to exercise great care over His Torah! We are told to guard His commands and guard ourselves – this is a clear instruction to exercise great care over being completely obedient, without compromise.
The danger of compromise is that we may end up falling for the ways of those things we are to destroy out of our lives!
When Yisra’ĕl would guard the commands of Elohim, יהוה would destroy their enemies:
יהושע Messiah has gone before us and He provides for us the Way, as He will lead us and take us into the promised Land. This was a land that was inhabited by 7 other nations or peoples who were stronger than Yisra’ĕl, yet here is the clear promise of the יהוה going ahead of them and cutting off the nations who were in the Land of Promise if they would just obey His commands!
6 of these 7 nations that lived in the promised Land are mentioned here, and we can learn a great deal from the meanings of each of these names, giving us a powerful picture of the victory that we have in Messiah who fights for us and destroys that which hinders our walk in Him, as long as we remain in Him and follow Him!
Amorite – אֱמֹרִי Emori – Strong’s H567 – meaning, ‘cave dwellers’ and comes from the word אָמַר amar – Strong’s H559 which means, ‘utter, say, speak’ and can represent for us as meaning “boasters”.
The Amorites, or Emori, were the biggest and strongest people in Kenaʽan. They were the ‘mountain people’ which speaks of the heights and give a picture of the tall ones or renowned ones – people who love self-exaltation.
They are the prominent speakers or rather the ‘big mouths’ and ‘know it all’s’.
They desire knowledge just to be superior to others and we know that ‘just’ knowledge without true application simply puffs up and pride becomes the result. Isn’t pride the strongest of strongholds within each of us?
Love builds up and love for Elohim is to guard to do all He commands – so love in action that builds is the correct application of knowledge. Watch out for the ‘smooth talkers’ and the big talkers! Amorites is a picture also of those who are arrogant and boastful in their speech, which always challenge everyone and want the last say and simply speaks of a form of rebellion.
How is your speech? Do you always want to be right because you think you know it all?
Kill any pride that may set in, quickly before it takes root!
Kenaʽanite – כְּנַעֲנִי Kena’ani – Strong’s H3669 – and from its roots can mean, ‘zealous, lowlands people, brought down, defeated or made low’.
It represents for us a resorting to a low life in respect to addictions and perversions and exaggerations. Seḏom and Amorah are portrayed as Kenaʽanite cities and we know all the low life stuff that went on there!
This also pictures for us the battle against depression and anxiety and hopelessness. Are you struggling with anxiety and have little hope? Destroy it with faith in the One who knows what you need and do not worry – throw off anxiety and keep your eyes fixed on the Blessed hope we have in Messiah!
They also represent those who seek to gain something for themselves by means of being people pleasers.
They are people pleasers and will resort to very low and degrading means in order to do that.
Herod’s daughter ‘danced’ here way to receiving what she wanted in getting Yoḥanan the immerser head cut off, by pleasing the fleshly sense of Herod. She ‘prostituted herself to get her way and this is what this spirit will do – cause you to resort to low life actions in order to get what you want as well as to please others as you do not want to feel out! We are to please Elohim not be man-pleasers!
Ḥittite – חִתִּי Ḥitti – Strong’s H2850 – meaning “sons of Ḥeth” or “terror”.
So, this name also carries the meaning of fear, and the effects of fear imposed by the enemy can be terror, being tormented, depression and deceit.
What we must do in conquering the enemy is clear – we must first conquer fear.
The Ḥittites speak of that which uses deceit into causing us to be afraid and terrorise us into doing what they want or they motivate people to follow through fear tactics!
The church has certainly succeeded in many ways in this regard as it has motivated people to follow the broad path of Christianity by using the prospect of escaping hellfire and judgement if they do not, and so they teach and give a gross picture of many who will be poked forever by a hot fork – this is a lie – read Revelation and see what happens – those who are not written in the Book of Life are thrown into the fire and are consumed – gone forever – this is the second death. Death is death – how can you be dead and still be ‘alive’ being ‘punished through eternal punishment!!! Terror is used as a tactic. Deceit is also a major part of what this nation represents and we know just how the Church has turned the favour or ‘grace’ of Elohim into a licence to sin or be lawless – they have distorted the ‘Besorah’, which is the “Good News’ for a false grace ‘gospel’ – where gospel actually means to place one under a spell and in so doing they teach people to search the Word to see what they can get out of it as opposed to seeking what Elohim requires of them!
So, we must conquer fear of the enemy by walking in the Truth by faith in Elohim! What ‘fears’ do you have – fear of failure – fear of lack – fear of others? Be strong and courageous as you put your trust in יהוה!!!
Perizzites – פְּרִזִּי Perizzi – Strong’s H6522 – means ‘belonging to a village’ or ‘rustic village’ and can mean ‘having a breach in the wall’.
In understanding village as being a small place we get the picture here of having a limited vision, laziness or low self-esteem and no ‘boundaries’. The effects of this can result in isolation, division, separation, independence and becoming disconnected.
Many who carry this spirit are divisive and do not want any form of confrontation. They will also struggle to submit to any form of authority and will strive to do their own thing. This is not the design of Elohim for His body – we are to be knitted together in unity in Him and when there is a breach in the wall – that is when someone has let their guard down and fallen into sin they should not isolate themselves and run away but should seek refuge with the rest of the body.
We are to be repairers of breaches and restore honesty and justice in our relationships and our boundaries have fallen for us in pleasant places – that is we have His Torah to walk in and we must remain in the pleasant boundaries of His Torah!
Ḥiwwites – חִוִּי Ḥivvi – Strong’s H2340 – meaning “villagers” and were known as “the dwellers of the high place” whose capital was on Mt. Ba’al Hermon (Strong’s H1179, meaning “lord of destruction”). We must tear down the high places of false worship in our hearts.
Yeḇusites – יְבוּסִי Yeḇusi – Strong’s H2983 – sons of Yebus – Strong’s H2982, which comes from the word בּוּס bus – Strong’s H947 meaning ‘threshing, trample, trodden down, desecrate and utterly reject’.
This speaks plainly to rebellion and what it brings about in people.
These are the threshers – those who are supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff – but here we get the picture of the suppression of spiritual authority in fellow believers – in other words they refuse to submit to authority that יהוה has ordained and reject instruction from those whom יהוה has called to speak His Word.
They represent those who will always criticise and break down all forms of community advancement and adherence to Torah principles. How are you at submitting to authority, especially authority of those that יהוה has appointed?
We would do well to not rebel – we know what happened in the Wilderness!!!
1 – Break down – נָתַץ ‘nathats’– Strong’s H5422 – means ‘break down, pull down, demolish, i.e., make physical impact on an object which results in its destruction, shatter, tear down’.
This word is used in respect to their slaughter places/
2 – Smash – שָׁבַר ‘shaḇar’ – Strong’s H7665 – means ‘break in pieces, crush, shatter’.
This is what they were to do to the pillars.
3 – Cut down – כָּרַת karath – Strong’s H3772 which means, ‘to cut off, cut down, cut covenant’.
This is what they were to do to the Ashĕrim, which was the false places of wicked worship, marked by the image of the false Phoenician deity of Ashĕrah. This speaks of cutting off all ties with falsehood and abominable worship practices, such as Christmas and Easter etc.
Do not bow to another mighty one – do not whore – do not make images!
The Hebrew word for ‘bow’ is שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’.
We are not to show any form of reverence or worship unto that which is false and twisted, but we are to worship יהוה alone, for He is a Jealous Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘jealous’ is קַנָּא qanna – Strong’s H7067 and comes from the root verb קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, ‘to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent’.
Naḥum/Nahum 1:2 “יהוה is a jealous and revenging Ěl, יהוה is a revenger and a possessor of wrath. יהוה takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He watches for His enemies.”
These verses are very clear in telling us that we are not to partake in pagan feasts, for that is to partake of the table of demons!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:21 “You are not able to drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons, you are not able to partake of the table of the Master and of the table of demons.”
We have been given the clearly instructed Appointed Times of יהוה that we are to guard and keep without compromise, and be sure that we do not partake in any form of idolatrous worship that has been devised through false and vain traditions and lies of man!
Verses 18-23 give a clear instruction on what we are to guard!
GUARD the Feasts!!!
Once again, we see the word ‘guard’ being used here, which is the Hebrew word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’. We are to exercise great care over His Feasts!!!
Festival of Matzot!
The 15th of the 1st month marks not only for us when we eat the Pěsaḥ Meal, but also the beginning of the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread), and it is during this week that we eat bread without leaven and there is to be no leaven found within our borders before the feast begins and is a picture of getting rid of sin, which is often pictured in Scripture as leaven.
On the 1st day there is a set-apart gathering and then on the 7th day too.
What we normally do is on each day we gather for a time of worship and fellowship and so ‘bring an offering made by fire’ for 7 days as we come each day with a burning passion to rejoice together as a body being knit and having been cleansed of all leaven!
The first month is called the month of Aḇiḇ, for this is when Yisra’ĕl came out of Mitsrayim. This is the beginning of the year.
What is Aḇiḇ (Aviv)?
Aḇiḇ refers to a stage that occurs in the development of the barley crops. The meaning of the word Aḇiḇ is the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds have reached full size and are filling with starch but have not dried yet.
Shemoth/Exodus 9:31 “And the flax and the barley were smitten, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.”
The word used for ‘in the head’ is אָבִיב Aḇiḇ – Strong’s H24 which means, ‘fresh young ears, fresh heads of grain’, and indicates for us the stage of the barley at the time of the plague of hail. What is interesting for us to notice here is that the barley was damaged but as you read the next verse we see that the wheat and the spelt were not. This gives us clear indication that ‘Aḇiḇ’ is a stage of growth that has passed the early development of ‘green ears’, for as they develop they become lighter in colour and more brittle.
The reason that the barley was destroyed and the wheat was not, is that the barley had reached the stage in its development called Aḇiḇ and as a result had become brittle enough to be damaged by the hail.
In contrast, the wheat and spelt were still early enough in their development, at a stage when they were flexible and not susceptible to being damaged by hail.
The first month of the year begins at the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon closest to the equinox, when the barley is ‘Aḇiḇ’ – or ‘ripe in the ear’.
We have certainly taken note over the past few years in our own observations that the barley is ALWAYS ‘Aḇiḇ’ after the equinox (spring in Northern Hemisphere and autumn in Southern Hemisphere).
The timing of the beginning of the year is crucial, so that the rest of the year can be in sync with יהוה‘s correct seasons and that His Feasts take place at the correct times.
What many fail to recognise is that by going simply according to a barley report alone is incorrect and not 100% Scriptural. While barley plays a significant role, it is not the deciding factor alone that determines the year start.
Berěshith/Genesis 1:14 clearly tells us that the two lights in the expanse (sun and moon) are for signs and appointed times, and for days and years which teaches us our need to recognise the cycles of the sun and moon.
The sun divides the year into its four seasons and the moon is renewed monthly which give us the months. The timing of the first new moon must line up with the correct season, which is Aḇiḇ, when the ripening starts.
Understanding that the sun divides the seasons, we are therefore able to take not that the new moon closest to the equinox (fall equinox here in southern hemisphere and spring equinox in the northern hemisphere) will be the beginning of months for us, in the season on Aḇiḇ. At the ‘turn of the year’ is when Sukkoth is held as it is the time of bringing in the fruit harvest (according to spring equinox in northern hemisphere).
The ‘turn of the year’ is the time of the year when the sun ‘turns’ in its cycles and changes the seasons.
What the barley report does do for us, is simply confirm the season that we are entering into or have entered in to and this not only marks for us the clear starting point but also carries great symbolic significance for us as we know that a phrase used very often in Scripture is, ‘he who has an ear to hear’, and what this shows us is the following: That when you are ripe in the ear – that is that when your ear is attentive to the very Living Word – the Torah (instructions) of יהוה, then you are able to begin your ‘journey’ of faith in the Living Word!
2-3 weeks after the beginning of the first month the barley moves on from being Aḇiḇ and is ready to be brought as a ‘wave-sheaf’ offering which is a sacrifice brought from the first stalks cut in the harvest and is brought on the day after the Sabbath during the Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread) – on the 1st day of the week known as First Fruits – ‘bikkurim’ as described in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:10-11.
Feast of weeks – Shaḇuoth – Pentecost
From Pěsaḥ to Shaḇuoth we see several progressions:
1 – From barley to wheat
2 – From Matza (unleavened Bread – H4682) to Bread with leaven (Leḥem – H3899)
3 – From impurity to purity
4 – From Mitsrayim/Egypt to Mount Sinai
What we see is that this truly a significant time for us to remember and recollect at how we have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light, how we have been delivered from bondage to slavery in Mitsrayim/Egypt – that is the world’s systems and enslaved dogmas and set free to live according to the very Torah of freedom!
It represents for us a time of recognising how the impurity of sin is removed from our lives and how we are then filled with the good leaven of His Torah that brings us together as a body presentable before Elohim.
Shaḇuoth is the Feast of the Wheat Harvest and is one of the 3 major feast times when all men were to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate – each of the 3 major Feasts were Harvest Feasts – Pěsaḥ and Unleavened Bread was at the time of the barley harvest, Shaḇuoth the Wheat harvest and Sukkot the fruit harvest and all these are a picture of His Harvest of redeeming that which are His own.
Feast of Ingathering – Sukkoth!
For more on this Feast please see the article on our site (https://atfotc.com) called, “It’s Sukkot, Rejoice, Rejoice and again I say Rejoice!” by clicking on the following link:
as well as the following message: “Sukkoth – Booths of rejoicing and blessing!
Here in this verse lies a great assurance of provision and protection when one simply trusts יהוה, and guards to Keep His Feasts! יהוה tells us that when we keep His Feasts, His way, then He will dispossess the nations before us and enlarge our borders.
And what is a great promise here is that He says that He will let no one covet our land when we keep His Feasts!!! I want you for a moment to consider this on a practical level, as it was back then – when the men would go up to Yerushalayim to keep the Feasts 3 times a year, they would collectively be keeping all 7 Feasts, and having left their lands behind, it may have been a challenge to their faith as their lands would be left unarmed and seemingly unprotected, and no working of the land would have been done, which meant no income either, and here יהוה gives the assurance that their lands and possessions would be safe, so safe that no one would even consider taking anything or coveting what they had!!!
This verse must teach us a very valuable lesson that all must learn today, and that is that there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to say that they are unable to guard and keep the feasts of יהוה.
We have, in times past, heard some say that they are not sure if they can keep the ‘whole feast of Sukkot’, as their business won’t allow them to, or that they will lose clients if they just shut up shop for 8 days.
I want to assure you that this word given to Yisra’ĕl back then is as alive for us today as it was for them back then. Keep His Feasts and יהוה will make sure that you suffer no loss!
This takes faith, and our master tells us that when He comes back will He find faith! It is time for true worshippers to worship in spirit and truth and they must plan their year properly and let their employers or clients know when they will not be able to work!
This should be done well in advance and not a day before the Feasts, for that would be foolish. Even if employers tell you that you will have to take ‘unpaid leave’ then you need to still trust יהוה that He will protect you and provide for you.
Verse 25 – No leaven!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:7-8 “Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. 8 So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
The Greek word for ‘leaven’ is ζύμη zumē – Strong’s G2219 and is the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) as the equivalent to the Hebrew word שְׂאֹר se’or – Strong’s H7603 which means, ‘leaven, swelling by fermentation’ and comes from the root word שָׁאַר sha’ar – Strong’s H7604 which means, ‘to remain, left over and to swell up’. שְׂאֹר se’or is that which causes fermentation or leavening. שְׂאֹר se’or, in the ancient times, was understood as being the left over batch of old dough that had been left long enough for fermentation to be reached, and sometimes is called sourdough or yeast.
This remaining old fermented left over would be added to new batch of dough to assist in the bread making process. שְׂאֹר se’or is not limited to bread alone, but generally refers to that which causes fermentation, and once added to a product it becomes ‘leavened’.
The command given here in Shemoth/Exodus 34:25 is to not slay the Blood of the slaughtering with leaven and not let the slaughtering remain until morning.
This is a clear reference to the Pěsaḥ/Passover Meal and the night of watches and the Hebrew word that is translated here in verse 25 as ‘leaven’ is the Hebrew noun חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2557 which means, ‘that which is leavened’, which comes from the primitive root verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556 – which means, ‘to be sour or leavened, or that which is leavened’. חָמֵץ ḥamets is not the leaven itself, but rather that which had been leavened, and is typically understood as bread that has been leavened.
What is worth taking note of, is that the root word that is translated as ‘vinegar’ is derived from the verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556, and that is the Hebrew noun that is spelt the same but has different vowel pointing’s – חֹמֶץ ḥomets – Strong’s H2558, which is a clear indication for us that ‘vinegar’ is something that should be removed from our homes during Matzot.
It is no coincidence that this word is closely related, as it pictures for us the great work of our Master, who removed the bitterness of sin!
Tehillah/Psalm 69:21 “And they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
This verse in Tehillah/Psalm 69 was a prophetic wording of that which would be done to the Master when he was on the stake, as we see in:
Yoḥanan/John 19:29 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.”
Here we are able to see a clear picture of the removal of the last of the ‘leavened/soured’ product, representing our sin and lawlessness, as after this we see in the next verse the clear words of Messiah declaring that the cleansing has been done, as He Himself had caused leaven to cease, before the great Feast:
Yoḥanan/John 19:30 “So when יהושע took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
The Greek word used here for ‘sour wine’ is ὄξος oxos – Strong’s G3690 and is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) as the equivalent for the Hebrew word ḥomets – Strong’s H2558.
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk – this is not a command to not mix milk and meat which is erroneously taught in Judaism but rather a clear instruction to not do as the pagan nations do – this was a common practice of their ritual worship by the nations of Kenaʽan. It was a custom with the ancient pagan nations, when they had gathered in all their fruits, to take a kid, and boil it in the mother’s milk; and then in a mystical way of worship, they were to go about and sprinkle all their trees, and fields, and gardens, and orchards with it, thinking that by these means, that they should make them fruitful, and bring forth more abundantly in the following year. יהוה forbid His people to use any such superstitious or idolatrous rites.
The clear picture is do not worship and offer up worship the way the nations do – He has his set instructions – obey them!!!
Verse 29-35 – Mosheh shines!
When Mosheh came down from the mountain his face was radiant and the people were afraid of him. Mosheh had just spent 40 days without bread and water as he was on the Mountain with יהוה. This was a miracle in itself as one may be able to go without bread for 40 days but not more than 3 days without water. יהושע said in:
Yoḥanan/John 4:34 “יהושע said to them, “My food is to do the desire of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”
While Moses was in יהוה’s presence he was sustained by the author of life and he radiated the Light of the Presence of יהוה as he simply reflected the presence of whom he had been basking in.
When he returned to camp holding the two stone tablets in his hands all the people were pretty freaked out by his appearance and were afraid and Mosheh therefore veiled his face, after having spoken what he was commanded to. We must also realise that when we spend time in His Presence we too will radiate His Light and often look strange to those outside of His presence.
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:12-18 “Having then such expectation, we use much boldness of speech, 13 and not like Mosheh, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Yisra’ĕl should not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 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. 17 Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, as with unveiled face we see as in a mirror the esteem of יהוה, are being transformed into the same likeness from esteem to esteem, as from יהוה, the Spirit.”
יהושע tells us He is the Light of the world:
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.”
When we ‘follow’ Him by walking as He walked and walk in the Torah then we possess the Light and when we possess the Light we are to shine as lights in a dark world:
Luqas/Luke 11:33-36 “And no one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a hidden place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in shall see the light. 34 “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, all your body also is enlightened. But when your eye is evil, your body also is darkened. 35 “See to it therefore that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 “If then all your body is enlightened, having no part dark, all shall be enlightened, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
יהושע’s light will shine through us only as we are diligent in obeying His Word, having been cleansed in His Blood and continually keeping ours hands and feet clean through the washing of His Word and we are careful not to make treaties with those in the land, when we break down our idols, when we do not worship other false pagan mighty ones or cast idols in their image and when we remove all filthy habits, ornaments and addictions far from us.
The light will shine in us when we appear before יהוה, not with empty hearts or hands, clean hands and pure hearts filled with His Word and with the evidence of how we have kept His covenant, as we show we have His sign upon our hands and heads, seen in our observance His Sabbaths and feasts according to His clear instructions and by faithfully living in this way we see that this loving obedience is what produces the Light in our lives.
So, go and shine forth, servant of the Most-High!
In speaking of the parable of the darnel in the field יהושע said of the good seed (sons of the reign):
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the reign of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all matters without grumblings and disputings, 15 in order that you be blameless and faultless, children of Elohim without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘shone’ in verses 29, 30 and 34 of Shemoth/Exodus 34 comes from the primitive root verb קָרַן qaran – Strong’s H7160 which means, ‘to send out rays, to shine, emit light rays’ and also carries the meaning of ‘be with horns’ and what is worth taking note of is that a word that is derived from this root verb is the noun קֶרֶן qeren – Strong’s H7161 which means, ‘a horn, might, strength’.
I find this a very fitting image that we see happening here at the end of Shemoth/Exodus 34, as we consider the effect of being immersed in the presence of Elohim!
Horns were a symbol power, victory and strength in biblical times.
When the sacrifice was made, blood was dabbed on the horns of the altar, signifying the power of the blood to atone for sins. In the same way, there is mighty power in the blood of יהושע.
יהושע is the “horn of our deliverance”:
Tehillah/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
Mosheh shone the very strength and power of Elohim and this we can learn a great deal from as we recognise the strength and courage we are equipped with when making sure that we immerse ourselves in the presence of Elohim and stay in Him. Having a daily ‘quiet time’ in the Master’s presence, so to speak, gives one great strength to face the battles of life and enables us to fight the good fight of faith with much boldness as we shine the light of the Truth and make our boast in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
As we consider the powerful lessons contained in this week’s Torah portion called, ‘When you lift up’, we are able to grasp the reality of our need to be a people who are counted the cost and are counted among the set-apart ones of the Most-High. When you are counted – know that it will cost you your all – Count the Cost and Serve יהוה with your whole being and love Him with all your heart, all your being and all your might, and let His Words be upon your heart, teaching them to your children and binding them as a sign on your hands and upon your foreheads and STAND AND FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!