The Wilderness journey, as recorded in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33, carries for us not only an accurate historical breakdown of the route that was taken by Yisra’ĕl in their journey from Mitsrayim to the border of the Promised Land but also a great deal in helping us understand how we too are on a ‘wilderness journey’ today, so to speak, as we are sojourners who are ‘in the world but not of the world’. And so, each of these 42 places where Yisra’ĕl stopped, and departed from, carries great insight for us in helping us to become the prepared Bride we are called to be and a Bride who is ready to receive the fullness of all the Promises that are in Messiah when He comes again to fetch us and take us to be with Him in the Land that we have been promised. These 42 stops/departure points carry great life lessons for us, from which we can glean much understanding in terms of the choices that we face on a daily basis and are critical to walking out a set-apart life. The purpose of putting this document together is simply to bring some further insight and clarity in understanding our sojourning here, and this is by no means a complete and full understanding of each stop, but rather a tool for each one to equip themselves in furthering their desire to truly walk set-apart; and so it is with this thought in mind that I encourage you all to dig deeper and seek the application of this wonderful portion from the Torah, making it alive and applicable to each of you personally.
Before starting with each stop individually it is very important for us to realise that our walk will be fruitless without the Torah and leading of the Ruaḥ haQôḏesh (Set-Apart Spirit); and as we walk fully in, and stay in, Messiah our High Priest and King and walk according to the living active Word of Elohim may we all bear much fruit, fruit that lasts, realising that every action, thought and deed can and must only be done in and through Him who has called us out of darkness (ignorance) into His marvellous light (knowledge), and verse 1 speaks of this:
Verse 1: “These are the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl, who went out of the land of Mitsrayim by their divisions under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon.”
They went out ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’:
Mosheh can be metaphorically be likened to the Torah & Aharon as a metaphor for Messiah, as High Priest!
We go/come out of ‘Babylon/Mitsrayim/Church’ or whatever falsified worship system we were enslaved in ‘under the leading of our High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah and recognise that we are under the authority of the Torah – that is – His instructions for set-apart living as a Bride that He has redeemed and called unto Himself!
What we must fully understand is simply this: the only way we can be led forth in victory, and in Truth, is under the authority of the Truth!!! We must come out from being under the authority of empty and vain traditions that have enslaved and man-made dogmas (those dogmas that were written against us) that have corrupted the Truth, to walking fully under the authority of the Living Word, by being obedient to the Torah (instructions) of our Elohim and High Priest, יהושע Messiah!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘departures’ is מַסְעֵי “masei/masey” which means, ‘departures, stages, journeys’, and comes from the root word מַסַּע massa – Strong’s H4550 which means, ‘a pulling up, breaking (camp), setting out, a journey, order of march’; and this comes from the primitive root נָסַע nasa – Strong’s H5265 which has the meaning, ‘to pull out or up, set out on a journey, departed’. What is, in essence, the meaning behind the term for the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl can be understood as a ‘pulling up of the stakes’ in order to journey forward (A pulling up of the ‘tent pegs/stakes’ and break camp to move on).
This teaches us a great deal about how we are to ‘pull up stakes’ and follow our Master as He leads us in His Truth and each of these 42 stops or departure points are able to teach us unique life lessons on how we are to ‘take up our stake’ and follow our Master!
When we consider this analogy or picture of ‘pulling up stakes to move on/depart’ we are quickly reminded of the words of יהושע Messiah:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:24 “Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.”
Luqas/Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.”
Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘by their divisions’ is לְצִבְאֹתָם – “letsoḇeotam’ which comes from the root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, ‘army, war, warfare, to wage war, serve, perform’. This is very militaristic style language and speaks of great discipline and order being followed and adhered to as they came out.
They came out ‘by their divisions’ … ‘under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon’! The Hebrew term used here for ‘under the hand’ is – בְּיַד – beyaḏ which comes from the root word יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenons, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform the functions of a man’s will.” This has the letter ‘Bĕyth’ – בְּ – which can be understood to give us the meaning of ‘in, under’ and therefore we are able to see that this speaks of submitting ‘under the authority and leadership’ of another and we are therefore able to see that they came out in an orderly manner under the proper appointed leadership of Mosheh and Aharon! Those who claim that they do not need to study, meditate and walk according to the Torah (instructions) of Elohim are disorderly and lawless and cannot properly follow our Master and High Priest and King!
In verse 2 we are told that Mosheh wrote down the ‘starting points’ of their departures, according to the commands of יהוה. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘starting points’ is מוֹצָא motsa – Strong’s H4161 which means, ‘a place or act of going forth, source, spring, exit, proceed, starting place’, which comes from the root verb יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, ‘to go or come out, brought, came, go forth, depart, go forward, proceed’. This verb יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 is used to describe how it is יהוה who ‘brought us out’:
Shemoth/Exodus 20:2 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.”
The root word used for ‘brought’ is יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, ‘to go or come out’ and here it is written in the ‘Hiphil’ form which usually expresses a ‘causative action’ of a simple verb and so can be rendered as, ‘to cause to go out or come out, to deliver, to lead out’. This is possibly יהוה’s most frequent description of His relationship to Yisra’ĕl, His Bride!!!
It is יהוה who has caused us to be brought out of an iron furnace, in order to take us to Himself as a His Bride – He gave His all for us!!!
Kěpha Aleph 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
And He brought us out!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:13 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from being their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:12 “be on guard, lest you forget יהוה who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage.”
Our ability to be true sojourners and followers of our Master and Elohim begins with our ability in recognising that is is He who has caused us to be delivered and brought out of bondage to sin and in order to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling we must submit to His clear instructions and take up our stake on a daily basis, so that we can pursue and perfect set-apartness!
Let us now take a look at the journey of 42 stops/departure points:
0 – Raʽmeses
The first starting point – point ‘zero’ is רַעַמְסֵס Ra’meses – Strong’s H7486 which means, ‘child of the sun’. This was a city in lower Mitsrayim that was built by Hebrew slaves; probably situated in Goshen. Remember that Goshen was the best part of the land that was given to the Yisra’ĕlites where they could tend their sheep and were protected from the plagues sent upon Mitsrayim.
Yisra’ĕl had invested much time and effort into building this city where they dwelt, and were commanded to leave! They had to leave behind that which they had built! This is, in itself, a very important lesson for us to learn from as we too have to leave behind the places of pagan worship that we perhaps had invested much, or even all, of our time, energy and resources in, as we realise how we were in fact in bondage and enslaved to the lies of man-made traditions and worship practices that are simply twisted forms of sun worship.
This first starting point of the departures teaches us how we too have to leave the ‘child of the sun’ – that is, we have to leave all forms of ‘Tammuz’ worship and all that is related to pagan-rooted sun-worship, no matter what we may had invested in it!!!
Mitsrayim literally means “worshipers of ra” or “sun god”. In the Hebrew, the word used for Egypt is מִצְרַיִם Mitsrayim – Strong’s H4714, which is the dual of מָצוּר matsur – Strong’s H4692 meaning, ‘siege enclosure, siege, entrenchment’ which comes from the primitive root word צוּר tsur – Strong’s H6696 meaning, ‘to confine, bind, besiege’. These words all mean being constricted or shut in and enclosed, in one form or another of. Just as יהוה delivered our fathers back then from bondage to a system of enslavement, so too does our Mighty Maker release us from bondage to the enslavement of man’s twisted traditions and worship practices and all forms of lawlessness, which is sin.
By His Blood – the Blood of יהושע Messiah He has come to set the captives free and release from darkness the prisoners who are bound.
Yisra’ĕl left on the 15th day of the first month of יהוה’s calendar – that is on the day after the Pěsaḥ; and they went out with boldness! יהוה defies the whole idea of sun-worship that had been adopted around equinox and solstice worship as done by pagan worship and various man-made calendar settings by bringing His people out at the Full Moon! This was not an undercover mission – they went out boldly – and so we must not be ‘sorry’ to leave behind the lies! Leaving Ra’meses is vital to us if we are to begin our journey of becoming a prepared Bride! This is of course a starting point that sadly too many are not willing to make and so their journey of walking in righteousness never gets off the ground, so to speak!
We must also begin to recognise and understand יהוה’s reckoning of time, as we have been enslaved by man’s pagan adapted calendars which centre on the worship of the sun and all forms of pagan deities. One of the things that we are to strip away is the lies of calendars that have no correlation to יהוה’s time schedule or His Appointed Times, which for us is critical, especially as we sojourn here in the Wilderness so to speak! Leaving Ra’meses also represents for us our leaving of pagan centred feasts such as ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ and ‘Lent’ (all which are centred around worship unto Nimrod, Semiramis (Ishtar/Easter) and Tammuz).
As we begin to walk in יהוה’s correct time we are able to learn the significance of that which He has given to us for His Appointed Times, as we see in:
Berěshith/Genesis 1:14 “And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years”
The ‘Lights’ that He has given us is the sun, moon and stars and we are able to correctly use these in order to know Our Creator’s timing so that we can properly keep His Feasts!
The lights in the expanse are for signs and appointed times, and for days and years:
1 – Signs – אוֹת oth – Strong’s H226 meaning, ‘a sign, banner, pledge, witness, token, proof’ and comes from the primitive root אָוָה avah – Strong’s H184 which means, ‘to sign, mark, describe with a mark’.
2 – Appointed Times – מוֹעֲדִים ‘moeḏim’ – plural of the root – מוֹעֵד moeḏ – Strong’s H4150 meaning, ‘appointed time, place, meeting, appointed feast’, and right in the beginning, during the Creation Week, Elohim announces to us that He will have ‘appointed times’ and the way we are to know when these times are would be determined by the lights in the expanse of the heavens which were given for us to not only determine the season and day and night but also for His all-important Appointed Times.
Our first starting point in leaving a wrong and twisted system entails our ability to get realigned with our Master’s proper timing. We leave behind the ‘sun-day’ worship and its adopted practices and falsified feasts and begin to keep the proper Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim and His Feasts can be clearly determined by the signs He has given us. Without going in to detail in regards to the proper Calendar of Elohim, as determined by the cycles of the sun and moon and the confirmation of the season as marked by spring, what I do want to make clear is that we do not worship the sun and moon and stars but most certainly use that which has been given for us to know the appointed Times of Elohim.
The sun and moon and stars have been ‘allotted’ to all the people under the heavens and we are warned against being drawn away by them and bowing down to them:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4:19 “and lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and shall see the sun, and the moon, and the stars – all the host of the heavens – and you be drawn away into bowing down to them and serving them, which יהוה your Elohim has allotted to all the peoples under all the heavens.”
Why I am mentioning this is to highlight the fact that the sun and moon and stars are there for a purpose and while we are most certainly not to bow down to them and worship them in any way we do need to understand their cycles if we are to know the correct appointed times of Elohim.
For purposes of this article I will leave it at that, as the discussion regarding various calendars is certainly a lengthy one and the primary purpose for me mentioning this here at this starting point is to simply highlight the importance of departing from false schedules of sun-day worship and its associated feasts that have ancient pagan roots and have been adopted by western Christianity as a means of worship yet do not adhere to the clear pattern and instructions of Scripture!
Leaving Raʽmeses for Sukkoth – In Ḥazon/Revelation 12 we see a 42 month period beginning as the woman leaves Yerushalayim to go into the Wilderness after giving birth – Satan was cast out of heaven and the child was caught up to Elohim and to His throne while the woman went into the Wilderness to a place prepared and was nourished!
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:1-6 “And a great sign was seen in the heaven: a woman clad with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being pregnant, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign was seen in the heaven: and see, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4 And his tail draws a third of the stars of the heaven and throws them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she bore a male child who was to shepherd all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught away to Elohim and to His throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”
Our wilderness journey is a time of nourishment and preparation as we learn to hear the voice of the Almighty and as we study the Scriptures we are able to see in Yisra’ĕl’s journey through the Wilderness, that יהוה did in fact nourish them and He prepared them to enter into the Promised Land! Yes it took longer than one would expect – so we can also learn through these stops that the longer we rebel and grumble the longer it will take for us to enter in to His rest, and quite frankly – we do not have 40 years to get our act together! A better and more sobering lesson we can also learn is that if we continue to rebel and grumble then we will not enter into His rest!
So leaving Raʽmeses is the start, we have not yet arrived – it is only the beginning – then the stripping away truly begins! What starts our journey is the realisation of His True Name! יהוה made Himself known, through Mosheh, His Name and so our journey begins with the acknowledgement and acceptance of the True Name of יהוה, as opposed to hybrid pagan titles that for far too long many have falsely attributed to the Creator, in vain! An acknowledgement of His Name will help bring the full understanding of who it is who is calling you out – for His Name and His Name alone declares who in fact made you and causes you to be, and so Yisra’ĕl could boldly leave because they knew the One who was saving them.
So many today are still stuck in Ra’meses because they refuse to accept the True Name under the veil of lies that have brought His Name to nought and in fact have broken the Third Commandment through replacing His Name with all kinds of titles and falsehood that is attributed to sun-worship and their false deities! That is why when most are asked what the 10 Commandments are – they often start with Exodus/Shemoth 20:3 “you shall have no other mighty ones before My Face”, in which they are half right as we should have no other mighty ones before Him… but the 1st Commandment clearly starts in verse 2 with who He is… “I AM יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.”
To begin our exile out of Slavery to world’s man-made systems of profane worship, we need to acknowledge and accept the Name that saves and call upon that Name – for all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered!
Most will remain in their Ra’meses simply because they do not know His Name!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:4 “Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if you know it?”
Ask the majority of Christians today what the name of their ‘God’ is and they simply will not be able to tell you, as they will waver between various titles that are associated with pagan deities or even use the pagan twisted name of ‘Zeus’ worship that was conveniently translated by pagan influenced scribes or translators! It is time to come out of Her My People declares יהוה of Hosts!!!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:8 “How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of יהוה is with us’? But look, the false pen of the scribe has worked falsehood.”
The sad reality today is that the majority has believed the deception and is in essence stuck in their Raʽmeses. It begins with His name and those who by faith call upon His Name receive the free gift of deliverance by the Blood of Messiah!
Yisra’ĕl had been delivered from bondage by the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts of their homes and now it was time to leave behind all they had known and step out in faith and follow the One who had delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh!
The ‘I AM’ has caused us to be! The Name of יהוה is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, ‘to be, to become, to be in existence’, and when Elohim spoke to Mosheh He said, “I AM that which I AM”, and told Him to tell the Yisra’ĕlites that the I AM had sent him. (Shemoth/Exodus 3:14)
I AM THAT WHICH I AM – in Hebrew is – אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה – eyeh asher eyeh – The word ‘eyeh’ comes from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961; and the word אֲשֶׁר asher – Strong’s H834 is a primitive pronoun that means, ‘who, which, that, that which’ and is a marker of a relative reference to an entity, event, or state. The first ‘eyeh’ is written as a proper noun, singular, masculine, while the second ‘eyeh’ is written in the qal active verb tense and in essence we see Elohim making it clear here to Mosheh that “The One who exists is the One who causes to exist, or gives existence” or “The All existing One is the One who gives existence”
Literally speaking it can render, “I AM the One who causes to be”, or “I AM the One who brings into being”, as well as “I AM the life-giver, the giver of all existence”, and “I AM the ever living self-consistent and unchangeable One”. This however is not The Name of Elohim, but was rather an explanation that would lead up to the revelation of His Name, which is clearly declared as: יהוה – Strong’s H3068 which is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961.
When we say the Name of יהוה we are proclaiming that it is the ‘I AM’ who gives existence and that He is the One who causes me to be! יהוה is our Creator and He has formed us!
The Name of יהוה – Strong’s H3068 is pictured in the ancient script as follows:
Yod – י
In the Ancient Script this is the letter ‘yad or yod’ which is pictured as – – which is the picture of an arm and hand and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’ from the primary functions of the arm and hand and also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. This also reveals to us a stretched out arm and hand.
Hey – ה
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.
Waw – ו
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
In the pictographic representation of the Name of Elohim we are able to clearly see how He, the All Existing One, revealed Himself to His Creation through His Outstretched Arm and Hand. The two pictures of the man and the peg in between them also gives us insight as to how He would come and reveal Himself in the form of a man and secure the Covenants of promise, and in this we are able to see the two comings of Messiah.
Behold the Outstretched Arm of the All Existing One shall come and secure His Covenant and Redeem us in order to establish His House for which He is coming again!
The correct grammatical way to pronounce the Name of יהוה is ‘YAHWEH’. For more on this please see the article I wrote called, “Grammatical study from Scripture on confirming the pronunciation of the Name of יהוה” which can be found under the articles menu on our site (https://atfotc.com) or by simply clicking on the following link:
From this first ‘starting point’ we are able to recognise that which begins our journey of truly taking up our stake and following our Master and Elohim, for we start by knowing His Name and Keeping His Sabbaths – this is the starting point of leaving the falsehood that had enslaved us behind and begins the journey of properly seeking His Kingdome and His righteousness!
1 – Sukkoth
This first ‘stop’ in the wilderness journey is called סֻכֹּת Sukkoth – Strong’s H5523 which means, ‘booths’– and this means temporary dwelling! We are sojourners here and the first stop of coming out of sun-worship is to enter into the dwelling of the Most High Elohim. Sukkot is the ‘Festival of Booths’ that we keep each year as we remember these Wilderness journeys and that we too are sojourners here as we await the return of Messiah when He will come and make His Booth here among us and we shall dwell with Him forever! This city/stop was still in the land of Mitsrayim and reminds us clearly that although we are still in the world we are not of the world! It was at Sukkoth that Yisra’ĕl learnt to ‘camp out’ as this too was a territory pretty much occupied by Bedouins or tent dwellers.
It was here at Sukkoth we see from Shemoth/Exodus 13:1-16 that the regulations for the firstborn males are given and as I said in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 the woman bore a male child who would shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron!
Our first stop at coming out of Mitsrayim/Babylon/Christianity is in fact beginning to keep the Sabbath and so enter His ‘rest’ each week and learn His Torah as a community that is sojourning together. Sadly there are too many who claim they want to leave Ra’meses yet the comfort of inherited lies is too hard for them to let go of and the first sign of this is simply that they refuse to acknowledge the true Sabbath of יהוה. Having been so indoctrinated for centuries most will plainly refuse the Truth for a twisted lie that claims the Sabbath changed to sun-day! What most do not realise is the fact that it all comes down to worship and we are ‘marked’ by whom we worship in the correct or incorrect observance of the Sabbath of יהוה! Sukkoth is the 7th Feast of יהוה, and clearly pictures for us the time He comes to dwell with us and is a shadow picture of the Millennial Reign, when the child who was born will shepherd the nations with a rod of iron! Our mark/sign of worship is our Sabbath keeping, for He has given us His Sabbath as a sign between us and Him forever!
Yeḥezqĕl/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.”
Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
Shemoth/Exodus 31:13-14 “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart. 14 ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people.”
It is truly here at the ‘Sukkoth’ stop, in a sense, where we learn to rest in Him and allow His Word to give us His peace and strength! So we move from calling upon His Name and receiving the sign of our worship by keeping His Shabbat.
The enemy also has a mark/sign of worship and that is ‘sun-day’ worship and all who follow the beast and his image by worshipping on the ‘day of the sun’, while forsaking to keep the Sabbath of יהוה, receive the mark of the beast on their forehead as they cognitively choose to disregard the Torah and follow the beast under the teachings of traditions and man-made dogmas, as well as on their right hand which as we know is Scripture that the right hand is symbolic of that by which one works, and so by ‘working’ and not resting on the Sabbath of יהוה, then one is in fact receiving the mark of the beast too! This is serious business and part of our coming out of Mitsrayim/Babylon is to forsake the traditions of the world and is institutionalised forms of worship that has clearly adopted pagan practices as its basis and means of existence, having been very crafty in syncretising the truth, twisting it and blending it in with customs and traditions that control the masses and amass wealth for the elite hierarchy! As one leaves Ra’meses and camps at ‘Sukkoth’ – one learns the joy of the Feasts and Appointed Times of יהוה, realising that although we are still in the world we do not worship the way the world worships any longer, but strictly according to the way the Torah instructs!
THESE FIRST TWO STATIONS – THAT OF OUR DEPARTURE AND THE FIRST STOP ON OUR JOURNEY – RA‘MESES AND SUKKOTH – ARE THE KEYS TO THE BEGINNING OF OUR WILDERNESS JOURNEY. THIS IS NOT THE END BUT RATHER SIMPLY THE BEGINNING OF A WONDERFUL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY AND GROWTH IN MESSIAH AND REQUIRES GREAT ENDURANCE – LET US NOW LOOK AT THE REST OF THE STOPS AND ALLOW EACH ONE TO TEACH US SOME GREAT AND VITAL LLY IMPORTANT TRUTHS IN OUR WALK OF CLEANSING OURSELVES FROM ALL DEFILEMENT IN THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING SET-APARTNESS IN THE FEAR OF ELOHIM!
This for me is a wonderful picture of the people of Elohim, Yisra’ĕl – that is you and me included, turn away from what the world has to offer as we see our dwelling is with the most high, who will come and tabernacle with us.
Sukkoth we know refers to the 7th Feast of Booths when it shadow picture for us the time when יהושע will come to take up His Bride and ‘Sukkoth’ with Her.
What is a powerful picture for us in understanding where we are headed toward – Sukkoth – and our need to steer clear of what the world has to offer, we have full assurance that this promise is true as being sealed by the Blood of Messiah!!!
When we look at the word for Sukkot in the ancient Script we find a beautiful confirmation of this fact:
Samech – סֻ:
The modern name for this letter is samech, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.
This letter is pictured as- a thorn and has the meanings of pierce and sharp and can also carry the meaning of a shield as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose his flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
Kaph – כֹּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning the open palm of a hand. The meaning behind this letter is to bend and curve from the shape of a palm as well as to tame or subdue as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand) as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
Taw – ת:
The ancient for of this letter is – meaning two crossed sticks. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.
Now when we understand that these three letters make up סֻכֹּת Sukkoth I find it very fascinating as we see being pictured here that יהושע is Most certainly our Good Shepherd who has sealed us in His Blood as יהוה extended His Right Hand to us and we see that Messiah not only had a ‘crown of thorns’ put on His Head and had a reed placed in His right hand, as well as being stricken for us, but He willingly gave His Life for us in order to secure us and cause us to be made into the Dwelling Place of the Most High where He will Sukkoth with us when the two sticks (Yehuḏah and Ephrayim) are brought back together as One!
2 – Ětham
This stop – אֵתָם Ětham Strong’s H864 means, “with them or their ploughshare” – in understanding the meaning of ‘with them’ we can see how in Ḥazon/Revelation 12 that Satan is cast out of heaven down to earth where man dwells and so now he is ‘with them’ and it is here that he has set up his government control through the beast. Ětham deals with sin that is here with us and how יהוה is also here with us by His Spirit – we must deal with sin in our lives and not accept the rule of sin/lawlessness but walk in the instructions of יהוה. This is a place of reality check – we must choose wisely whom we serve – we know that Satan is here and he is constantly on the prowl like a lion always looking for someone to devour. It is at this early stage of the journey where in fact he does devour many as insecurities begin to set in and compromise can be the cause of many as they tend to ‘follow the crowd’ preferring to ‘be with them’ rather than living set-apart and have the prospect of being persecuted.
What Ětham can also picture for us in understanding ‘with them: their ploughshare’ we can see great joy in knowing that during the Kingdom, Messiah will dwell “with us“ and we will “beat our swords into ploughshares“.
Listen to what Miḵah/Micah the prophet says:
Miḵah/Micah 4:1-5 “And in the latter days it shall be that the mountain of the House of יהוה is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And peoples shall flow to it. 2 And many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Ya’aqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths. For out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.” 3 And He shall judge among many peoples, and reprove strong nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks – nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither teach battle any more. 4 But each one shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of יהוה of hosts has spoken. 5 For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his mighty one, but we walk in the Name of יהוה our Elohim forever and ever.”
‘With their ploughshare’ can also speak to us of unity of Yisra’ĕl which is renewed at the feast of Sukkoth and how we then ‘plough’ the ground for the next year’s growth! So what we can see from this stop is the clear distinction between who is with us – Immanu’ĕl or the imposter? May we truly learn to walk in and stay in Messiah as we work the fields of the harvest, for he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom. This is where the work begins and it is not time to give up but rather get ‘stuck in’ and give it your all!
3 – Pi Haḥiroth
This stop – פִּי הַחִירֹת Pi Haḥiroth – Strong’s H6367 means, “place where sedge grows” – the פִּי ‘Pi’ or ‘pey’ means ‘mouth’ and הַחִירֹת Haḥiroth means ‘wrath’.
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:14-15 “And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, to fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And out of his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to cause her to be swept away by the river.”
The serpent unleashes wrath out of his mouth against the woman in the wilderness, and here we have the parallel of Pharaoh unleashing his wrath against Yisra’ĕl by pursuing them when they were camped here. Yisra’ĕl was helped here as they crossed through the Sea of Reeds on dry land and Pharaoh and his army was killed in the sea! What a wonderful parallel we see in Ḥazon/Revelation of the woman being helped:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:16 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”
In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:1 we see the beast coming out of the sea from the dead!
It was here after Pi Haḥiroth and having crossed through the Sea of Reeds that Mosheh proclaimed praise for יהוה after Pharaoh and his whole army had died and was swallowed up by the sea :
Shemoth/Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You, O יהוה, among the mighty ones? Who is like You, great in set-apartness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”
A Contrasting parallel we see in Ḥazon/Revelation 13:4 in what the people of the world marvel at by the appearance of the beast out of the sea:
“And they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. And they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to fight with him?”
What we see here is the blasphemies being spewed out of the mouths of the masses in worship of the beast!
Our breath we have been given is to give praise unto יהוה our Elohim and none other!
Tehillah/Psalm 150:6 “Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!”
Pi Haḥiroth was east of בַּעַל צְפוֹן Ba‘al Tsephon – Strong’s H1189 which means ‘lord of the north’ or ‘lord of the hidden’ or ‘secret place’ and they camped near Miḡdol.
Ba‘al – בַּעַל – Strong’s H1168 means, ‘lord, husband, landowner’ and was also the name of a supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Kenaʽanites. Tsephon – צְפוֹן – Strong’s H6828 means, ‘north’ which comes from the primitive root – צָפַן tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 meaning, ‘to hide, treasure up, ambush, concealed’.
It is here that we realise that amidst the blasphemies and threats of the enemy we find refuge in יהוה – He is our ‘hiding place’. We know that the dragon will fight those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah and this calls for faithful endurance on the part of the set-apart ones!
Miḡdol – מִגְדֹּל – Strong’s H4024 was near here and means ‘tower’ – we know that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe! May this remind us that no matter how much persecution we may come under – we have a Name that give us safety and refuge!
This stop also helps us to realise that no matter how much persecution we come under, as we stay in Messiah we are safe. Now, another vital lesson we can take from this is that we are to watch our own mouths.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing, my brothers, this should not be so.”
What we can learn from the parallels between what happened here and what is recorded in Ḥazon/Revelation is that while the true worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and Truth – the masses will worship the beast, for both sides use the same wording… “Who is like…?” May our mouths declare only praise for יהוה our Elohim!
What we can also learn for this ‘starting point’ is that it represents for us a picture of dying to self and being raised to new life in Messiah! When the children of Yisra’ĕl came to this place there was nowhere for them to run to as the threat of Pharaoh and his army came pursuing them from behind. They had the sea in front of them and the Mitsrians hot on their tails. With the Sea of Reeds being opened up for them to pass through on dry land and coming to safety on the other side while their enemies drowned in the sea is a picture of immersion in the Name of יהושע, which saves us from the wrath of Elohim! Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:29 “By belief, they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, and when the Mitsrites tried it, they were drowned.”
4 – Marah
The word – מָרָה Marah – Strong’s H4785 means, “bitter”– after the victory at the Sea of Reeds, they went on a 3 day journey and came to Marah where they complained as they had no water as the water at Marah was bitter and so the people grumbled and rebelled against Mosheh.
Shemoth/Exodus 15:23-26 “And they came to Marah, and they were unable to drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. So the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Mosheh, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then he cried out to יהוה, and יהוה showed him a tree. And when he threw it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a law and a right-ruling for them, and there He tried them. 26 And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”
Marah is a lesson for us in rebellion against the Word of Elohim and trust in His provision. Marah still exists today. There is a village there. The water is still bitter. But, guess what? The bitter water is not harmful. In fact, it has health benefits in that it kills parasites and bad bacteria in the digestive system, while not harming the good bacteria. Could it be that יהוה wanted to cleanse their bodies internally form the effects of Mitsrayim?
How sad it is when we think we know best and get bitter when things do not go the way we expect it to. We must learn from this that יהוה always knows what is best and He always seeks out that which is good for us, even when we may not understand it! Let us realise the effect of bitterness that will cause us to say wrong things! יהוה hates those who sow discord among the brothers and rebellion sours the freshness of the Living Waters. We are told in Tehillim/Psalm 95 not to harden our hearts as they did here and Marah. The spirit of rebellion is opposite of the spirit of unity. It is in the spirit of rebellion that the end times beast will rear its ugly head. In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 we see how the beast blasphemed against Elohim, His Name and His tent and leads the world astray to take the mark of rebellion in worshipping the beast and his image:
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:5-6 “And he was given a mouth speaking great matters and blasphemies, and he was given authority to do so forty-two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against Elohim, to blaspheme His Name, and His Tent, and those dwelling in the heaven.”
When one gets bitter the natural reaction that follows is slander and rebellion and blasphemies and we are to guard our mouths, not allowing any form of bitterness to come forth and bear rotten fruit!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:14 “But if you have bitter jealousy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast against and lie against the truth.”
5 – Ělim
The Hebrew word אֵילִם Ělim – Strong’s H362 means “palms”. It can also mean ‘righteous men’ or strength as in ‘rams’. This was where there were 12 fountains and 70 palm trees – 12 representing the 12 tribes and 70 representing the number of the nations on the earth at that time. They had just been bitter and instructed to diligently obey the voice of יהוה and in doing so after having water from the Rock He leads them to this oasis or place of refreshing in order to strengthen them.
I like to think of this as arriving at ‘Palm Springs’ if you will! We can learn from this that even though we too have found ourselves perhaps at times just as bitter as they were in the Wilderness, when we come to the Rock of our Salvation and drink from the Living Water, He will lead us beside still waters and strengthen our souls, even while we are in the Wilderness! Ělim can also mean ‘their leader’.
Ḥazon/Revelation 13:7-9 shows how the world will follow their evil leader, while we the people of faith, Yisra’ĕl, follow יהושע the King of Yisra’ĕl!
“And it was given to him to fight with the set-apart ones and to overcome them. And authority was given to him over every tribe and tongue and nation. 8 And all those dwelling on the earth, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the slain Lamb, from the foundation of the world shall worship him. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”
It is Yisra’ĕl (12 fountains) that is to reach the 70 (rest of the nations) with Living Water as it is the Living Waters of יהוה that brings healing to the nations!
! In Ḥazon/Revelation we see the reference to the tree of life as well as the 12 trees that bore fruit each month:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:2 “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
We also see this reference in:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 47:12 “And by the bank of the stream, on both sides, grow all kinds of trees used for food, whose leaves do not wither and fruit do not fail. They bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the set-apart place. And their fruit shall be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
When we see this stop we must recognise that we, as children of Yisra’ĕl, are to be a refreshing supply of the Living Waters of Messiah to the nations! When Messiah spoke to the Shomeroni woman at the well He told her that whoever would drink of the water that He gives shall never thirst but the water he gives would become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
Yoḥanan/John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
We recognise that while we are being refreshed by the living waters of Messiah, we are also being refreshed to refresh others!!!
6 – Sea of Reeds
This Hebrew term/place is written as יַם־סוּף – ‘yam–suph’ which is made up of the words: יַם yam – Strong’s H3220 which means, ‘sea’ & סוּף suph – Strong’s H5488 which means, ‘reeds, rushes’ and in its primitive root form (H5486) it can also mean, ‘to be fulfilled, to come to an end, cease’. It is known as the Sea of Reeds but is also known as the ‘sea of the end’. This stop is symbolic of how we must come to the end of our self and put to death our flesh. We must take up our execution stake and follow יהושע. Prophetically, those who overcome do so by the “blood of the lamb, word of their testimony, and not loving their life until the death,” Ḥazon/Revelation 12:11.
We also know that the passing through the Sea of Reeds is symbolic of baptism or rather immersion and that when we are immersed in Messiah, we are in fact making a public confession and declaration that we have died to self and been raised new in Messiah. We have therefore put an end to that which we were and take up our new life in Messiah and walk boldly in Him. This ‘passing through the sea’ is also a picture of the first resurrection, and we are told in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
All who have ‘come to an end’ of themselves so to speak and have ‘died to self’ and are immersed to new life in Messiah and ‘remain in Messiah’ will not be affected by the ‘second death’. Sadly we can also see how those who did not ‘remain/stay in’ the truth after having passed through the sea did not make it into the Promised Land die to their disobedience and rebellion to the commands of Elohim. Getting immersed alone will not bring about the full deliverance, but rather when we repent – that is to turn away from sin – which is what Yisra’ĕl did by leaving Mitsrayim – and were immersed in the Sea of Reeds, they were then brought into the Wilderness where they would learn to hear the True voice of their deliverer and would receive instructions on how to live their new life of Freedom form bondage to sin!
7 – Wilderness of Sin
מִדְבָּר midbâr – Strong’s H4057 = ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land’ & סִין ‘sı̂yn’ – Strong’s H5512 = “thorn” or “clay”. This is where יהוה provided manna for Yisra’ĕl. We know too that in the last days we will also see supernatural provision and we also know that Messiah is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven.
Tehillah/Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread.”
Now listen, we do not just sit down and think that everything will fall into our laps – we are to be about being faithful to His Word, working diligently with our all unto Him. As we obey Torah AND prepare for the days ahead יהוה will provide the blessings and the miracles. As clay is also representative of man and as we know that ‘wilderness’ can also mean ‘mouth’ or ‘place of words’, we can have here the picture of the mouth of man or even better still the ‘clay foundations’ of the doctrines of man that are not safe and sound but vulnerable and break easy under pressure. We must trust in Elohim for our provision and watch our mouths, as this was the place where they grumbled again about not having food and actually some wanted to go back to Mitsrayim and thought that it was better off being a slave and getting a plate of food than having to rely on provision from יהוה in the Wilderness. This is the futility of man and his words – our words can be a thorn for us, or rather the words of man that we may be inclined to follow can become a thorn for us and cause us to grumble and complain, when we are to trust in and rely upon Elohim for all and praise His Name.
8 – Dophqah
דָּפְקָה Dophqah – Strong’s H1850 means, “knocking” or ‘knock at the door’. We know who knocks at the door of our heart. In Ḥazon/Revelation 3:20 יהושע Messiah gives the invitation to those respond to His knocking and who open the door, promising that He will enter in and dine with them.
“See, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
We also see references of those who will knock after it is too late – after the door is shut and will be told to go away as the Master does not know those who are lawless.
Luqas/Luke 13:25 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from.”
This is going to be a hard day for many who will hear these words, the next 2 verses are even more clear:
Luqas/Luke 13:26-27 “then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.”
‘Workers of unrighteousness’ – so many today simply do not understand what is being spoken here – this is a warning to those who claim they do not have to follow Torah, even while their claim is so sincere in their deeds!!! If you do not keep His commands and walk in His ways, it doesn’t matter how much you think you are doing, it will not gain you access and you can knock as hard as you like. So unless you walk in the Torah of Elohim, you will not be able to enter in! The lawless have no place in the Kingdom!:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:22-23 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
‘Lawlessness’ is the Greek word ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 which comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, ‘lawless, without law, transgressor’, and so ‘anomia’ simply put means ‘without law’ or more specifically ‘without Torah’. Go and Google ‘Greek word ‘anomia’ and do some research!
The Greek word ‘anomos’, we note that the ‘a’ comes from the negative participle in the Greek which means ‘without’ and ‘nomos’ means Law (Torah). Therefore those who work lawlessness are practicing ‘anomia’, which describes those who are without Law or Torah. As we can clearly see and must realise, we cannot live without instruction or the Torah, else we are ‘lawless’ and those who say that they are not under law are in fact confessing that they are lawless!
The Greek word for ‘under’ as used in the phrase ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to. So under law would mean controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction. This is very clear – we are in subjection to the instructions/Torah/Law of our Creator, King, Redeemer, Saviour and Husband!!!
So this stop is critical in our decision to follow the Truth and not be sorry later. We cannot serve 2 masters. ‘The Lord’ is a title given to pagan deities and in Hebrew is ‘Ba’al’. We must choose whom we serve, יהוה or ‘the Lord’!!!! ‘The Lord’ as a counterfeit knocks too, who do you open up your life to? May we only have Him who has given us life dwelling in us, giving no room for entertaining the enemy at all? The enemy is constantly trying to get in and we must keep watch and serve only יהוה! Whatever occupies your time is your master. Do you spend more time in worship and ministry or something else? יהוה is also removing the false ‘lords’ from our tongues. For us who walk in the Truth and obey his commands there is great promises that we can be sure of and when we knock, He will open:
Luqas/Luke 11:9 “And I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.”
So the question is – who is knocking at your heart – who are you responding to and whom do you seek?
9 – Alush
אָלוּשׁ Alush – Strong’s H442 means, “I will knead (bread)”. Kneading bread is a tough process and Elohim will Himself knead us and so, as the proofing comes after the kneading, we can see here that it is Him and Him alone that prepares us for tests that are ahead! We are to seek after righteousness and in this process we will be made into bread that is acceptable as wave offering unto the Father. During the 50 day period between the waving of the first fruits on the day after the Sabbath during Matzot (Unleavened Bread) to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) on the day after the 7th completed Sabbath (which is always the first day of the week) where the two loaves of Bread are waved before יהוה, is a period commonly known as or referred to as the ‘counting of the omer’ simply because we are commanded to literally count the 50 days, that take us form the barley harvest to the wheat harvest; and it is during this time where we can learn a great deal regarding the process of making bread as seen in a 10 step process. (please refer to the sermon notes on a message called “Waving of the sheaf of the first” for more details regarding this process, which can be found at our site (https://atfotc.com ) under the ‘sermons 2015/2016’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:
10 – Rephiḏim
רְפִידִים Rephiḏim – Strong’s H7508 means, “rests/stays or resting places”. This can also mean ‘support’ or ‘spread them’ as in ‘spreading the hands’ and can come from the words meaning ‘weakening of the hands’. So what we can see here at Rephiḏim are a couple of lessons for us. It can speak of weak hands, and as we know that in Scripture weak hands speak of being depleted and drained and the lesson we can deduct from this is that when your hands are weak – spread them! When our hands are weak – when we are tired or frustrated – we should spread them in praise and prayer to יהוה.
There are 3 key events that take place here:
1 – This is where water flowed from the rock as Mosheh acted in anger and ‘spread out his hand’ and struck the rock for water to flow as opposed to simply speaking to the Rock when the people were moaning and groaning that they were brought out from Mitsrayim to die. In Ḥazon/Revelation 13:3 the anti-messiah uses false signs to appear as power from Elohim.
“And I saw one of his heads, as having been slain to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marvelled after the beast.”
Signs and wonders is what certainly attract the masses and the gullible who do not know the Word! They will see the enemy doing many signs and wonders and they will marvel and be led to believe it is form Elohim – It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after signs and wonders and this is what the enemy will do. We certainly do not deny that Elohim works wonders and miracles, and this HE does so on a daily basis, yet we do not seek after them – they shall follow those who walk in Messiah. We can certainly have water from the Rock miracles happening today, but we must realize that the enemy too can perform his tricks that will lead many astray!
2 – Battle against Amalĕq – as long as Mosheh held up his hands (spread them), Yehoshua gained ground on the battlefield and was victorious, however when the hands of Mosheh grew tired, Yehoshua lost ground and so Aharon and Ḥur came and lifted up the hands of Mosheh all day and so spread his hands in support! It was at this event that Mosheh built an altar and called its name יהוה Nissi – יהוה our banner – a banner speaks of the identity of the one under whom you walk and serve and also gives us the imagery of raised worship.
Tehillah/Psalm 134:2 “Lift up your hands in the set-apart place, and bless יהוה.”
The enemy of course puts his mark on the weak hands of the unbelievers – those who do not worship in Spirit and in Truth. The mark of our worship is determined by our Sabbath keeping – those who fail to do so receive the mark of the beast and reveal weak hands that are not raised in worship unto Elohim! What we can also learn from this stop is that we are to lift each other up and encourage each other daily, and to spread ones hands or assist one’s weak hands is how we show love for one another as we care for one another, fellowship together and pray for each other.
3 – Mosheh is confronted by Yithro his father in law and he realizes that he cannot handle all the cases and has to ‘spread the load’. We also need to realize that we cannot do it all alone – we need each other and we are to bear one another’s burdens. Strengthen the weak knees and the hands that hang limp!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12 “So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees.”
Verse 12 tells us to ‘strengthen’ the hands which hang down and the weak knees. This is a call to renew spiritual vitality! If you want to run with endurance then you need to strengthen the weak! The Greek word for ‘strengthen’ is ἀνορθόω – anorthoō – Strong’s G461 which means, ‘to make straight or upright again, lift up, restore, strengthen’. It is time to make straight that which has been twisted and caused to become weakened!!! This is written in the ‘plural imperative’ which simply means that this requires a joint effort. We need to strengthen one another – our hands are to be raised in worship – Sha’ul tells us that he wants men everywhere to lift up their hands in praise – weakened hands are symbolic of burdened and heavy hands as the yoke of slavery to traditions and rat race dogmas has weighed them down and each one of us has a part to play in lifting each other up – strengthen the hands – strengthening the work of doing His Word with great joy! This wording used here makes me remember the account of Mosheh when his hands grew tired and heavy and Aharon and Ḥur held up his hands all day and Yehoshua won the battle against Amalĕq that day! (Shemoth/Exodus 17:1-12)
There is no place for ‘lone rangers’ in the body – we are to strengthen each other and realise that you cannot do it alone – you will need the strengthening of others! This concept of helping each other is right through Iḇ’rim/Hebrews:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:13 “but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near”
11- Wilderness of Sinai
This is the two words: מִדְבָּר ‘miḏbâr’ – Strong’s H4057 which means ‘wilderness/pasture/uninhabited land’ & סִינַי Sinai Strong’s H5514 which means “thorny”. We also know that in Hebrew the word for Wilderness is Bemiḏbar and it is in the Wilderness that יהוה is able to speak clearly to us and reveal His good, pleasing and perfect will. Many important events occurred at Mt Sinai:
In Shemoth/Exodus 19 we see Yisra’ĕl move from Rephiḏim to Sinai and as we all know this is where the Torah was given. “We” spent at least a year here hearing the Torah. In chapter 19 “we” said ‘we do’ in accepting the marriage covenant with יהוה before even hearing any of the conditions of the marriage covenant. This is the Hebrew mind-set as opposed to the Greco-western mind-set. We choose to obey יהוה and all His Torah, even though we may not understand everything, but are willing to be taught and walk in it, guarding to do all that is written therein. We do not need bullet pointed agendas and lengthy explanations as to why we should or shouldn’t – we learn in the doing!
It was at the “thorny place“, where “we” received the Torah, which was meant to “prick” our hearts in advance to keep our minds off their greedy desires.
12 – Qiḇroth Hatta’awah
קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה Qiḇroth Hatta’awah – Strong’s H6914 means “graves of lust” and comes from the two words, קֶבֶר qeḇer – Strong’s H6913 meaning, ‘graves, sepulchre’ and תַּאֲוָה taavah – Strong’s H8378 meaning, ‘a desire, longing, craving, lusting, intense greed’. Our walk in Messiah certainly must include a death to ‘lust’. We must put to death lusts of the flesh. It was here where the people lusted after meat and יהוה sent quail and the people gathered and gathered and ate and ate and while they were eating יהוה sent a plague in wrath and they then called this place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah because they buried those who had lusted and died. We must bury our lusts!!!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11:32-34 “And the people were up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. He who has least gathered ten ḥomers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 The meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, and the wrath of יהוה burned against the people, and יהוה smote the people with an exceeding great plague. 34 Then he called the name of that place Qiḇroth Hatta’awah, because there they buried the people who had lusted.”
We can learn from our ancestor’s mistakes:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:6 “And these became examples for us, so that we should not lust after evil, as those indeed lusted.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:16 “And I say: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh.”
Kěpha/Peter tells us that we have the Mighty-Like power of יהוה that has been given to us so that we have all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to esteem and uprightness and we have been given these in order for us to be partakers of the Mighty-like nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world, caused by lust.
Yoḥanan Aleph.1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.”
When we truly walk in the desire of Elohim, we must be able to kill any lusts, as lust will only end up killing you if you do not kill it!
13 – Ḥatsĕroth
חֲצֵרוֹת Ḥatsĕroth – Strong’s H2698 means “settlement, village, abode”. It was after leaving this stop and going into the Wilderness of Paran that Mosheh sent out the 12 spies from and we know what the result of that was – 10 spies gave a bad report and were happy to just settle where they were and were afraid to go up and fight the giants – this affected the entire camp and what we can learn from this is that we are to be continually moving forward in Messiah, and moving forward together and not settling for mediocre lifestyle but striving for set-apartness. If we settle into any form of below par living and compromise we can and will affect others! We must believe the good report – it is a remnant that will always be willing to stand up and go, let us be a part of that faithful remnant – no matter the giants we face!
Ḥatsĕroth means enclosed settlements, or sheepfolds with a narrow opening that widens inside – shaped like a trumpet, which is the root word. The picture here for us is that at the trumpet’s sound, those who died in יהושע Messiah will leave their graves (Qiḇroth), and only our evil desires will be left behind, but also that for us who have died to self and now walk and live in Messiah have left behind all their lust… now we ought to live like it!
14 – Rithmah
רִתְמָה Rithmah – Strong’s H7575 means “heath” or ‘binding’ – in other words a place of joining together! A ‘heath’ is a tract of wasteland or an extensive area of rather level open uncultivated land, usually with poor coarse soil, inferior drainage, and a surface rich in peat or peaty humus.
We do not have much info on the area but as the reports of the giants had come back we see a joining together possibly in the negative sense and this is what will happen when the soils of our hearts are not being cultivated with the Truth – it becomes poor and coarse and dry causing proper draining to non-existent which result in a wasteland that cannot be cultivated or a wet muddy patch that cannot be worked due to unbelief.
The question you have to ask yourself here is “whose report will you believe and to whom will you be joined together?” Do not be yoked with unbelievers!
We are to be built up in unity of our faith in Messiah who has gone before us, let us not unite with the false report, but be joined with the True body of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.”
As we maintain the truth in love and grow up in all respects into Him who is the Head, Messiah we are joined together by what every joint supplies… we need each other as we become one in Him and so it is of vital importance that we make every effort to keep the fellowship of the set-apart ones growing in intimacy in every area of our lives and not yoke ourselves to unbelievers as this will only cause a ‘disjointing’ to occur. Another word is derived from the root word that Rithmah comes which can also be described as ‘a broom bush or broom tree’ and Rithmah was also often used as a term to describe and evil tongue! We must watch out for those who bring negativity into the camp as it will affect all, and our tongues must also be clean from evil reports and be willing to ‘sweep out’ the negative dirt so to speak!
The scouts had brought back negative reports (well 10 of them) and often we may feel the pressure of resigning top the negative reports and it is at this point in our lives where we must realise the necessity of not joining ourselves to the negative but be joined together with the remnant faithful, and must never give up based on circumstances that seem unbearable and too big for us to handle – we are to join together and go forward in victory, as we walk in Messiah!
15 – Rimmon Perets
רִמֹּן פָּ֑רֶץRimmon Perets – Strong’s H7428 means “pomegranate of the breach” or ‘abundant fruit’ or ‘stand in the breach’. It comess from the two words: רִמֹּן Rimmon – Strong’s H7416 meaning, ‘pomegranate’ and פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6556 meaning, ‘a bursting forth, breach, breakthrough, outburst, increase, prosperous’.
We are to bear much fruit and we are to be repairers of breaches as we look out for and encourage one another. These two words reflect a fruitful tree that bears much seed but also a breaking. Any tree that does not bear fruit will be cut off – let us not break others down when they are bearing fruit but rather encourage and build up!
Yoḥanan/John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught! 6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
The pomegranate is full of seeds, and this reminds us of the promise given to Aḇraham in that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and what is also interesting about the pomegranate is the red juice that can be symbolic for us of the Blood of Messiah – where the Torah tells us that the life of the flesh resides! And it is through the Blood of Messiah that the body is brought together and breaches are repaired – יהושע Messiah is the repairer of the breach and in Him the Promise given to Aḇraham is yes and aměn!
On the hem of the robe of the shoulder garment for the high priest was gold bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet – a significant picture indeed. Although there has been the thought that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds, this has not been proven to be the case, certainly not in our day as they range from 200 to 1400. What is interesting about the pomegranate is the fact that there are many seeds inside and represents the Word that is sown by the Farmer with the expectation of a return – the bells can be symbolic of the trumpet of His Coming – where the questions remains as to what will He find? Will He find faith? And Active faith that has taken that which has been sown and multiplied?
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
16 – Liḇnah
לִבְנָה Liḇnah – Strong’s H3841 = “pavement” – a royal city of the Kenaʽanites in the southwest captured by Yehoshua; allocated to Yehuḏah and made a Lĕwite city. It can also mean a ‘white brick’ as it comes from the primitive root לָבֵן laḇen – Strong’s H3835 meaning, ‘to make white or to make brick’, and we know that to those who overcome, hidden manna will be given and a white stone with a renewed name written upon it.
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Now this being a city chose for the Lěwites shows us that we who are a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a set-apart nation must overcome that we are built up in the house of Elohim. Liḇnah can also give the meaning of ‘to build’ and that is what we are to be doing – building one another up in the faith:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5: “Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.”
17 – Rissah
רִסָּה Rissah – Strong’s H7446 means “ruin” but can also mean ‘exercise control over’ or ‘temper’ which is “to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else”. What this can picture for us is that even this far out into the Wilderness they came across ruins, and this was not the time to give up. No matter how long we have been on our Torah walk, ruin is still possible if one gives up and allows the Truth we have heard become diluted or soften by the influence of something else – something that is foreign, such as ear tickling mysteries that try to soften the need to obey the Torah! If we turn away now, even our former righteousness will be forgotten no matter how much we have laboured!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:24 “But when a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, according to all the abominations that the wrong one has done, shall he live? All his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. For his trespass which he has committed, and for his sin which he has committed, for them he shall die.”
However if we continue then we will rebuild ancient ruins!!!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:12 “And those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. And you would be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
What is shaping and ‘tempering’ us? The Word of Truth by the plumb line of the Torah or other outside influences of compromised forms of mediocre worship? We must learn to exercise control or else we will be given over to ruin!
18 – Qehĕlathah
קְהֵלָתָה Qehĕlathah – Strong’s H6954 means, “assembly” or entire congregation. This is a reminder that this is not a lone ranger journey but a journey as an assembly! The enemy does his best to break up fellowship and isolate people in the wilderness and we are to stick together. We can learn from this stop that we are to gather together with the body of Messiah, but what we can also note is that there is also a negative gathering together as in a rebellion. Some say that this was the site where Qoraḥ rebelled, and the word Qehĕlathah can also mean ‘gathering’ as in an angry mob banding together in an aggressive manner. There are two types of gatherings: Groups that join together to build, or to destroy. We all have times in our lives when we will be invited, or pressured, to join a rally or a group of people who may be protesting against something or simply a group of people whose interests do not line up with the plumb line of the Torah. Being social creatures we naturally feel the need to be a part of a group and often will gravitate toward our peers. The power of a group and group mentality can be very alluring and entice you away with reasonable ease. It can feel safe and accepting, and when used for the good it can produce tremendous benefits. But when used for the bad it can yield devastating results – causing far more damage than any individual can perpetrate on his own. Great care therefore must be taken not to be party to “lynch mobs” or “witch hunters” who gang up on others, often innocent people, in their own insecure need to feel right. Stay away from groups of critics and slanderers and assemble or gathered together with those who walk the Torah path and will benefit each other’s lives.
19 – Mount Shapher
הַר har – Strong’s H2022 means ‘hill/mountain’ & שֶׁפֶר Shepher – Strong’s H8234 means “beauty”, which comes from the primitive root שָׁפַר shaphar – Strong’s H8231 meaning, ‘to be beautiful, fair or comely’.
This can mean ‘glistening beauty’ – as we journey together in unity we glisten with great beauty as we shine the light of His love through our talents and gifts operating in unity! Shapher here comes from the root to mean ‘beauty, goodness, goodliness’, and ‘goodness’ we know is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. We are to be bearing much fruit as we shine our light before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in heaven! We are not to hide our ‘light’, and this gives a wonderful picture here of our daily ascending offering as a living sacrifice in pleasing Elohim, shining in great splendour of His goodness over us! We are His Bride and we are to ‘shine’ like it! Do not let the valley moments of life cause you to lose your shine and cause your lamp to lose its oil.
20 – Ḥaraḏah
חֲרָדָה Ḥaraḏah – Strong’s H2732 means “fear or trembling” – the place of fear – many quickly lose their ‘shine’ as they allow fear to grip them, but as we keep our eyes fixed on Messiah fears power is rapidly diminished. This place was so called because of the terror that the plague had caused:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 17:12 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl spoke to Mosheh, saying, “See, we shall die, we shall perish, we shall all perish!”
Just as much as we may experience those beautiful moments on our lives, there are times that fear and terror may seem to grip us. The critical thing to always remember, even in the most frightening and anxious moments, is that fear is also part of the journey toward the Promised Land. When harnessed we can find solace in our shudders, as they sharpen our alert, focus our vigilance and teach us how to avoid or conquer the agents of fear. By not allowing our fears to consume us, we can learn to see them through, transform them to awe of the Divine and come out more powerful. That which does not destroy us makes us stronger. Do not let fear destroy you, put cast of all fear:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:1 “יהוה is my light and my deliverance; whom should I fear? יהוה is the refuge of my life; Whom should I dread?”
21 – Maqhĕloth
מַקְהֵלֹת Maqhĕloth – Strong’s H4722 = “place of assembly” another sight with the aspect of assembling… it is important to build community, what we see here is that although some do, often fear grips them and they ‘run away’ but through this we can learn that even those who have left are always welcome to be joined in again as this can only strengthen us against any battles as a unit together!
This was a place dedicated to Moleḵ and shows us that although we are in the world we are not to partake in the world’s ways. Those around us who are ‘worshipping Moleḵ’ today need to see us as living examples of set-apart living! Our light should shine before men that they may see our good works and praise the Father in Heaven!
This is a place of assembly, possibly the place where the miracle of Aharon’s rod occurred in response to Qoraḥ’s challenge. This reflects the community building journey in our lives, when we build – or join – a community; when we assemble a group toward a particular cause or effort. It is a state of unity – when we feel connected with others and with ourselves, and together we serve a higher purpose in bringing praise unto Elohim:
Tehillah/Psalm 68:26 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.”
The ultimate transformation of fear (Ḥaraḏah) is when it leads us to gather, appreciate and sing praise unto יהוה for our Divine blessings and His everlasting love for us.
22 – Taḥath
תַּחַתTaḥath – Strong’s H8480 means “station” or ‘under the authority of’ – we know whose authority we are to be ‘under’. The Greek word for ‘under’ as used in the phrase ‘under law’ is ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means to be controlled by or in subjection to. So under law would mean controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction. So when people say that they are not under the Torah of Elohim they are in fact declaring themselves to be lawless and in a sense then they are under – “in subjection to” – the authority of the lawless one! This word Taḥath can also mean ‘beneath or below’ referring to a lowly state and must be a reminder to us that even well into our journey, as we travel we may often find ourselves at a low-place in our lives. If we leave our assembling (gathering together as commanded), then we can often find ourselves at a real low point, feeling all alone and in deep isolation. We must realise that the power to transform those low points in your life in to a place of peace is to come under/beneath our True Vine and Fig Tree. There are times where we come to those station moments – time to stop and reflect, making sure that we are still walking and journeying under the right authority – walking in יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah.
23 – Teraḥ
תֶּרַח Teraḥ – Strong’s H8646 means “delay”. This was also the name of Aḇraham’s father and so here was a reminder to the Yisra’ĕlites that they are to remember the covenant made with their father Aḇraham. יהושע told many parables warning us that if He delays in returning, we should not make choices that will further delay Him because His bride is not ready. This stop can mean ‘station on the way’ and we know that Aḇraham was delayed on his journey after his father died.
Teraḥ is the name of Aḇraham’s father, which comes from the word “wild goat” or “old fool.” Teraḥ is also related to the word רָתַח rotaḥ – Strong’s H7570 meaning, ‘boiling, to boil as in irate’; with Teraḥ’s birth יהוה became irate over the idol worshippers. Another meaning of the word Teraḥ is wait or delay. Teraḥ can also in a sense refer to the stage in life when we move into middle-age and become fathers of our children. The question is – will we yield children like Aḇraham? Will we be like “wild goats” and “old fools” worshipping one idol or another, or will we be wise and give off a spiritual aroma.
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
24 – Mithqah
מִתְקָה Mithqah – Strong’s H4989 means, “sweetness” or “pleasant waters”.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:21 “The wise-hearted is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases learning.”
What are you drinking? Are you drinking from the Living Water of the Truth of the Word? For many the Truth seems bitter, yet when we truly taste of Messiah, we will realise that we will never thirst again and His Word is sweet to us and is as pleasant waters that refresh the soul! One common word you will see in speaking of the offerings unto יהוה is ‘sweet’ as in a ‘sweet fragrance’. Is your life a ‘sweet fragrance’ unto יהוה?
25 – Ḥashmonah
חַשְׁמֹנָה Ḥashmonah – Strong’s H2832 means, “fatness” – (euphemism for the best) or “ambassadors”. We are to be ambassadors for Messiah. Another word for ambassador is ‘envoy’ and hear words from Scripture:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:17 “A messenger that is wrong falls into evil, but a trustworthy envoy is a healing.”
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore we are envoys on behalf of Messiah, as though Elohim were pleading through us. We beg, on behalf of Messiah: Be restored to favour with Elohim.”
The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ambassador as follows:
“an official envoy especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment”
And for envoy, the following:
“A person delegated to represent one government in its dealings with another.”
So what we can learn from this stop is that we are here to represent the best – we represent the Kingdom authority or government of יהוה, and we are diplomatic agents of the highest rank, accredited to our journey here as sojourners in a foreign land as a living representative of that which we represent – the body of Messiah and His Kingdom Rule! This is a temporary assignment which we must hold in the highest regard!
26 – Mosĕroth
מֹסְרוֹת Mosĕroth – Strong’s H4149 means, “bonds” or ‘admonition or correction’ or ‘discipline’. Let us never get to a place where we cannot receive correction! Aharon could not enter the land because of rebellion, and here we can learn that we must always be open to correction, for if we are not we may find ourselves unable to enter into the Promises of Elohim!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, And do not loathe His reproof.”
Tehillah/Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man You discipline, O Yah, And instruct out of Your Torah”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:5-11 “And you have forgotten the appeal which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, nor faint when you are reproved by Him, 6 for whom יהוה loves, He disciplines, and flogs every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed best to them, but He does it for our profit, so that we might share His apartness. 11 And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
This word מֹסְרוֹת Mosĕroth – Strong’s H4149 comes from the noun מוֹסֵר moser – Strong’s H4147 which means, ‘a band, bonds, chains, shackles’ which comes from the root verb אָסַר asar – Strong’s H631 meaning, ‘to tie, bind, imprison, yoke, hitch’, and in fact it also carries the meaning of being ‘joined in battle’, hence the understanding of a vow or oath that we make is a ‘binding/imprisoning’ us to another. It is used in Scripture to give reference to a vow or oath by which a man binds himself (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 30) and therefore teaches us the concept or understanding of the Word that we ‘bound by’ through our confession and acceptance of Messiah and His instructions!
What we must be willing to understand here is that we are to show great integrity in our words for whatever comes from our mouths is a ‘vow’ – meaning, that if I say that I am going to do something and do not do it, reveals not only a lack of integrity, but when understanding the concept of ‘being joined in battle’, and when looking at the meaning of being ‘bound’, then it is clear that when we do not keep our word we show that we are in fact not battle ready and stand the real possibility of losing some battles that we face along the way, as a result of not sticking to, and accomplishing, our words that we speak!
One of the meanings of the word for ‘bind’ – אָסַר asar – is ‘yoke’ (as mentioned above), and it further emphasises how our words yoke us to another through the promises we make; therefore we must learn not to make promises or agreements with those who do not keep the Torah. Having said that we do understand that while we are in those world and not of the world, we certainly have to make promises to those who are not in Torah – be it our employers or clients or work colleagues – yet what I am stressing here is that we must make sure that we do our utmost to not make promises or agreements with those outside of the Torah if it will in anyway require us to break the Torah!
For example, if one goes for a job interview and they receive new employment, they must make sure upfront that they clearly state that they cannot work on the Shabbat or Feast Days of יהוה, for to enter into an employment contract without making this clear can and will cause great conflict down the road.
Breaking the ‘bond of discipline’ may cause us to not be allowed to enter in, as pictured through Aharon who died in the wilderness due to rebellion (at the stop Mount Hor – stop #33)!
27 – Benĕi Yaʽaqan
בְּנֵי יַעֲקָ֑ן Benĕi Yaʽaqan – Strong’s H1142 means “sons of twisting” form the two words: בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 – ‘son’ and יַעֲקָן Ya‘aqan – Strong’s H3292 meaning, ‘let him oppress them’ and comes from the word עֲקָן Aqan – Strong’s H6130 meaning, ‘sharp-sighted’ and was a descendant of Ěsaw; and this name comes from the primitive root עָקַל aqal – Strong’s H6127 meaning, ‘to bend, twist’. This stop/starting point shows us that we are to not twist or bend the Truth.
Twisting the truth is lies – and we are not sons of the deceiver, but sons of Elohim – and we must speak truth. Be careful never to twist the truth in any way, some will try this after they have been on the road for a long time and have seemingly built up trust of others – watch your tongue! The fuller name of the place is The Wells of the Sons of Yaʽaqan and so speaks of those who continually drink a twisted message or rather that their source of knowledge is not the Truth but is a well of twisted lies, which is exactly what the church is causing many to drink from and in the process of making people believe that they are drinking the truth, they are oppressing them with twisted lies.
When יהוה disciplines us, we may often be tempted to twist the facts to make it look like the one doing the disciplining is the one at fault. Yaʽaqan was a descendent of Ěsaw and his name can also means ‘let him oppress them’ as mentioned. We know that Ěsaw sold his birth right for a meal and is referred to as being hated by Elohim. Ya‘aqan represents those who will twist the truth to get their way and push their viewpoint across.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:17 “Do not twist the right-ruling of a stranger or the fatherless, nor take the garment of a widow.”
Tehillah/Psalm 56:5 “All day long they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.”
Kěpha/Peter speaks of those who will twist many writings of Sha’ul:
Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:14-16 “So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures.”
This above Scripture speaks a lot about what we see happening today – Kěpha/Peter writes clearly that Sha’ul wrote according to the wisdom given to him and Sha’ul was, and still is in regards to his writings, a great Torah teacher yet sadly too many today are twisting his writings to their own destruction, and they are twisting not only his writings but all Scripture! There are those in Christianity who are twisting Sha’ul’s writings thinking that he is teaching them that the Torah has been done away with, which is absolutely ridiculous! Then there are those who are walking the Torah road who sadly want to throw out Sha’ul’s writings and in so doing they end up on a path that leads to a denial of Messiah!
For many who twist writings – they do so because they are untaught and unstable. We must be ever learning as we come each week on a Shabbat and immerse ourselves in the word as we gather together in community and learn the Torah of Elohim! There are many twisted teachings out there – too many tickling ear messages that are leading many astray – let us not be sons of twisting – but rather sons of Truth as we walk in and remain in the Truth!
28 – Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ
חֹר הַגִּדְגָּ֑ד Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ – Strong’s H2735 means, “cavern/hollow of Gidgad”. This is Petra the lost city of stone in the modern nation of Jordan. Literally, this campsite was the cleft of the cleft of the rock. This of course teaches us of the deeper times of intimacy with יהוה and His people. As we mature in יהוה and move from esteem to esteem we will have times of hiding in the cleft of יהוה’s presence. Those in the cleft of the Rock of יהושע will endure to the end. Ḥazon/Revelation 14:12 “This is the endurance of the saints: those that kept the testimony of יהושע and guarded the commandments.”
29 – Yotḇathah
יָטְבָתָה Yotḇathah – Strong’s H3193 means, “pleasantness” or “a good calm place”. In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7 it is described as a land of rivers of water. It was here that יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:8).
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:7-8 “From there they set out to Guḏgoḏah, and from Guḏgoḏah to Yotḇathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time יהוה separated the tribe of Lĕwi to bear the ark of the covenant of יהוה, to stand before יהוה, to serve Him, and to bless in His Name, to this day.”
We are called to be a royal priesthood – set-apart unto Elohim, to walk in the ‘pleasantness’ of His Good Word!
Tehillah/Psalm 133:1 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.”
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
What a wonderful promise! Delighting in the Torah, meditating on the Torah will cause us to be led in pleasant places, places where there are rivers of water – that is an abundance of joy and Truth for us to immerse ourselves in with great delight!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:17-18 “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongues have failed for thirst, I, יהוה, do answer them; I, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, do not forsake them. 18 “I open rivers on bare hills, and fountains in the midst of valleys; I make a wilderness become a pool of water, and a dry land springs of water.”
All who are thirsty come… is the invitation of our Master and Sovereign, יהושע Messiah. The only One who can satisfy our thirst and lead us beside still waters is יהושע Messiah. This stop reminds us of that and reminds us where we should be constantly be drinking from and how we can be calm in our journey here, for our trust is in Him!
30 – Aḇronah
עַבְרֹנָה Aḇronah – Strong’s H5684 means, “passage”. Passage speaks of ‘a way’ or ‘right of way’, having access to pass through or enter in. יהושע Messiah is our ‘passage’ – the narrow way and without Him we have no access to The Kingdom and to the Father! This was the site where there was a passage down through the mountains to their next stop and so gives us a picture of a mountain pass. No matter the mountains we face – יהוה will always provide us with a safe passage, keeping our foot from slipping. And we also know that He always provides for us a way of escape when we are faced with trials!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:13 “No trial has overtaken you except such as is common to man, and Elohim is trustworthy, who shall not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able, but with the trial shall also make the way of escape, enabling you to bear it.”
31 – Etsyon Geḇer
עֶצְיוֹן גֶבֶר Etsyon Geḇer – Strong’s H6100 means “backbone of a man” which comes from the two words: עָצֶה atseh – Strong’s H6096 meaning, ‘spine, backbone’ and גֶּבֶר geḇer – Strong’s H1397 meaning, ‘man, warrior’ from the primitive root גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396 meaning, ‘to be strong, mighty, strengthen’.
Etsyon Geḇer is at the site of present-day Eilat, at the northern tip of the eastern branch of the Sea of Reeds. The huge copper-smelting forges later built there did indeed become a backbone of Yisra’ĕl’s economy. But a backbone keeps one upright, and that is what יהוה calls His unified “man” when all Israel is together. It was here that Shelomoh built ships. The backbone of a man represents the strength or ability to walk up straight and pictures for us a righteous walk which leads to the next stop of being a set-apart people!
32 – Qaḏĕsh
קָדֵשׁ Qaḏĕsh – Strong’s H6946 means “set-apart”. This was an eventful location – it was here that Miryam died, and it was here that Mosheh struck the rock instead of speaking to it!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 20:7-12 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 8 “Take the rod and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aharon. And you shall speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall give its water. And you shall bring water for them out of the rock and give drink to the congregation and their livestock.” 9 And Mosheh took the rod from before יהוה as He commanded him. 10 And Mosheh and Aharon assembled the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Mosheh lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. And much water came out, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But יהוה spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon, “Because you did not believe Me, to set Me apart in the eyes of the children of Yisra’ĕl, therefore you do not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
This carries great lessons for us – we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession! We are to be set-apart as He is set-apart – this is a stop where we must learn from these events and recognize that we cannot compromise our set-apart walk – we must not grumble against the Torah. What makes us set-apart is the Blood of Messiah, our Rock, that was struck for our sin, and we are to perfect our set-apartness:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
The Hebrew word for ‘set-apart/set-apartness’, as most of you may know, comes from the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 – and it means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’. The word is really self-explanatory and carries with it great weight in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest. Set-apartness in the Greek is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying, purification’, and comes from the verb ἁγιάζω hagiazō – Strong’s G37 which means, ‘make set-apart, be set-apart, to separate from profane things and dedicate to Elohim’, which comes from the primitive root ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40 and its fundamental idea is one of ‘separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Elohim’. I think we get the picture! To be set-apart means to be devoted and dedicated to serving Elohim and to do so involves the need to be separated from the profane or common, lest the mixing of the two hinders the ability to distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! The desire of Elohim is our set-apartness:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
How are you doing in possessing your own vessel, which is your body, in set-apartness? Have you truly separated yourself from the profane and common things or do you find the lines between the set-apart and profane being blurred by compromise and laziness!
Set-apartness certainly takes work, and when one is idle in duty then laziness leads to compromise and the inability to distinguish the difference between what is set-apart and what is common!
The first time we see this word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 being used is in:
Shemoth/Exodus 3:5 “And He said, “Do not come near here. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is set-apart ground.”
This is the account of where יהוה appeared to Mosheh in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. Mosheh sees a burning bush that is not being burnt up and turns aside to take a look and as he drew near he was commanded by Elohim to take off his sandals as the place he was now standing on was set-apart ground!
He was now in the presence of the Most High and in ‘turning aside’ from the way of the world one must also recognise that one’s shoes or sandals can also represent one’s walk and so this commissioning of Mosheh to take off his sandals was a clear call to take off the ‘walk of the world’. This same command was given to Yehoshua:
Yehoshua/Joshua 5:15 “And the Captain of the host of יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is set-apart.” And Yehoshua did so.”
What we must also remember is that in the garments of the High Priest there are no ‘shoes’, and therefore the “shoes of peace” that Sha’ul speaks of in Eph’siyim/Ephesians speaks of walking in the shalom of the Besorah of Messiah and walking according to His commands and not being ‘strapped down’, so to speak, by the customs and traditions of the world! “Shoes fitted with the Good News” is a picture of being completely fitted with pure set-apart garments of Truth and Righteousness. “Feet” in the Hebraic mind-set refers to one’s walk and “feet fitted with the Good News of Peace” speaks of walking in the perfect commands of Elohim as we guard to keep all His Appointed Times, making sure that we do not have our feet soiled with man-made customs and corrupted designs for fleshly comfort, but rather that we have feet that are washed, set-apart and fitted with that which is from Elohim.
In the Tabernacle the priests did not have shoes or sandals and the bronze laver was used to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Set-Apart and Most Set-Apart Place! We know that the bronze laver is a clear picture of the Word of Elohim that washes us, as our Husband washes us through His Word and keeps us clean. This teaches us a vital lesson of how we are to allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean as we walk in complete set-apartness and not be found to be soiled by walking like the nations walk! How is your walk? Is your walk of set-apartness clearly identifiable from the rest of the world or do you blend in and follow in the common walk and ways of the rest of the world that do not serve Elohim?
As a called out, set-apart and royal priesthood, are you distinguishably different to the rest of the world that walks in common ways that profane our Master and Elohim, or do you find that you are conveniently blending in with the common ways of man and give in to compromise to the point where you are unable to actually distinguish the difference?
In a clear instruction given to Aharon and the priesthood we see in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 10:9-11 “Do not drink wine or strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, lest you die – a law forever throughout your generations, 10 so as to make a distinction between the set-apart and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and to teach the children of Yisra’ĕl all the laws which יהוה has spoken to them by the hand of Mosheh.”
This instruction came after the first two sons of Aharon, Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu, had been killed for bringing profane/strange fire before יהוה. This instruction clearly set the correct set-apart standard required of a priest serving in the Tabernacle and highlights for us the required standard of set-apartness for us as a royal priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as we are the Dwelling Place of Elohim who serve in Spirit and Truth and are required to be a light to the world as we shine complete set-apartness and make clearly known the distinction between the set-apart and the profane!
We are not be given over to the ways of the world and become drunk in the maddening adulteries of the whore, but we are called to be sober, watchful and awake so that we do not let our ability to distinguish become blurred by the drunkenness’s of compromise!
The true servants of Elohim know how to distinguish between that which is clean and that which is unclean as they meditate upon the Torah of Elohim day and night and guard to walk in His commands so that their feet do not become defiled by walking in common ways that profane one’s worship.
Titos/Titus 1:15-16 “Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
What Sha’ul was making very clear here is that to the unbelieving no matter is clean! In other words they cannot distinguish between the clean and the unclean or between the set-apart and the profane, and as a result they are defiled! Before we think that this speaks only of those in the world who do not know Elohim, look at what Sha’ul is saying here, as he tells us that those who are unable to distinguish the difference between clean and unclean are defiled, while they profess to know Elohim, yet their works deny Him! This is speaking of many who might claim to be believers, yet because of their inability to walk in set-apartness as they call no matter clean, highlights that they have no regard for proper set-apartness and obedience that the Word commands! Their disobedient works of lawlessness and compromise deny the Master and are therefore rendered as unbelievers who are unfit to serve as a royal priesthood, just as Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu were and were killed!
At this point I want us to take a look at this Hebrew word for set-apartness as it was written in the ancient pictographic script.
The Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning: CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:2-4 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings. 4 ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.”
The Sabbaths and Appointed Times of יהוה are the set-apart gatherings that are to be proclaimed and kept! The noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 is used here 3 times along with the word ‘gatherings’, which in Hebrew is the word מִקְרָא miqra – Strong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together. Without going into further detail here, I think that the Scriptures are very clear about the set-apart gatherings of יהוה, as they are exactly that – SET-APART GATHERINGS! Simply put: we are commanded to gather!
The denominative verb that comes from the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 is קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 and is used for the first time in Scripture in the following verse:
Berěshith/Genesis 2:3 “And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.”
Elohim set the Sabbath apart from the very first time there was a 7th day and remains set-apart forever! While all mankind did not keep the Sabbath set-apart, יהוה made a Covenant with Aḇram and chose Yisra’ĕl to be a nation of priests and gave them the Sabbath as a sign between us and Him for ever, that it is He who sets us apart!
When we grasp this properly as we should then to blur the line of separation between the set-apart and the profane cannot be done at all, especially when it comes to the Sabbath! Please note that our lives are to be set-apart unto Elohim every single day, yet the Sabbath is distinguishably different from the rest of the week and our observance of the weekly Sabbath and Appointed Times of יהוה as being commanded set-apart gatherings that we faithfully observe without fail will mark us as a people that are being set-apart by יהוה!
33 – Mount Hor
הָר har – Strong’s H2022 means, ‘hill/mountain’ & הֹר hor – Strong’s H2023 means, “mountain” – the mountain on which Aharon died; situated on the eastern side of the valley of Arabah, the highest of the whole range of sandstone mountains in Eḏom.
34 – Tsalmonah
צַלְמֹנָה Tsalmonah – Strong’s H6758 means, “shady”. Shade can be a blessing so that the “sun does not strike us by day“, but we are not mean to be a “shady” people. This word is the feminine of the word that means ‘shadow of death’. They had just seen Aharon die and were now walking in that shadow, and more and more were dying as the generation who had left Mitsrayim were dying off as none but two would enter the Promised Land. Many were in fact living under the ‘shadow of death’ not knowing when they would perish.
We have assurance in the Word of safety, even while under the shadow of death:
Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Tehillah/Psalm 107:14 “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And He broke their chains in pieces.”
35 – Punon
פּוּנֹן Punon – Strong’s H6325 means, “darkness”. It was here that the children of Yisra’ĕl moaned again as they grew impatient! They spoke out against Elohim and Mosheh and said that they loathed the light bread. Then יהוה sent serpents among the people and many were bitten and died. Mosheh was told to make a bronze serpent and all who was bitten and would look upon it would live. Spending too much time among the shades of grey rather than seeing things as black or white only leads us into more complete darkness where we will end up being bitten by our straying ways. After years of the same thing day in and day out, they were bored of the manna, which was a picture of יהושע :
Yoḥanan 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
And His community:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Calling it worthless means rejecting him. But to what were they comparing the manna? They did not need to sow or reap, and when traveling they could not. They did not realize how well they had it, because this generation had been eating of the manna all their lives. Their only alternative would be to raid other peoples for food; did they really want to do that? They may have seen the pastries that the Kenaʽanites had baked when destroying their cities and begun to lust for something more, though they lacked nothing essential and had a simpler life than anyone could reasonably ask for since Aḏam’s fall. They were not making the most of what they had, and tried to make their case look worse than it was. Their clothes and shoes did not wear out, they had the biggest functioning community anywhere, and a deliverer in their midst; this was far more than they deserved; when we think we deserve more, we are calling יהוה, who has said He will provide for us, a liar.
Or they may have simply been longing for the fruit of the Land that had been promised, and now realized that they were not going to get there as quickly as they had expected, and were discouraged, because they seemed to have almost had it in hand. But since they thought יהוה‘s provision was not enough, that was enough for Him, and this time He did not even give a warning that punishment was coming.
Praise be unto יהוה our Elohim that He has provided for our sin and that יהושע Messiah was lifted up on a pole to pay for our sin and our futile walk in darkness.
Yoḥanan/John 3:14-15 “And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Aḏam has to be lifted up, 15 so that whoever is believing in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life.”
We are children of light and must not walk in darkness – He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. In Hebrew darkness carries with it the understanding of ignorance whereas light can symbolise or mean knowledge. We have been called out of ignorance into the knowledge of His Truth and we must not walk in ignorance any longer:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
36 – Oḇoth
אֹבֹת Oḇoth – Strong’s H88 means, “waterskins” meaning water bottles made of skins. We are to be filled with the Living water ready to be poured out as refreshing. What is interesting to note is how this stop/starting point was after ‘punon’ (darkness) where those who looked at the bronze serpent would be healed. After we ‘look to’ יהושע Messiah and are ‘immersed’ in Him, we ‘die’ and are raised to new life and are given new ‘clothes of righteousness’ or ‘water skins’ that must hold the ‘Living Water’ of the Besorah (Good News).
37 – Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarim
עִיֵּי הָעֲבָרִים Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarim – Strong’s H5863 means, “ruins of Aḇarim” and can also mean “ruins of sin/displacement”. Whenever you feel disconnected or lost you are going through this journey. An aimless life is a desolate one. Nothing is being built; every effort ends up going nowhere. The antithesis of displacement is feeling like you belong and you are connected; you sense that your life has purpose and that you are building something everlasting, reflecting your indispensable contribution.
We need to learn from the ruins that are left as a result of sin – for sin cannot bring life and only leads to the decay of all and eventually all that is left is ruins. We are to rebuild the ancient ruins and restore that which has been lost through sin and displacement. We have the Promise that יהוה Himself will come and rebuild the ruins:
Ma’asei/Acts 15:16 “After this I shall return and rebuild the Booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall rebuild its ruins, and I shall set it up”
Amos 9:11 “In that day I shall raise up the booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down. And I shall repair its breaches and raise up its ruins. And I shall build it as in the days of old”
What we can learn here is that no matter how much sin has left our lives in ruins and has displaced us, we have the sure promise that in Messiah we can and will be rebuilt and repaired by our Living Messiah! It is His Word that rebuilds that which has been ruined through lawlessness. So now from a state of lawlessness we are equipped to walk in the Torah and be built up in Truth by Messiah!
38 – Diḇon Gaḏ
דִּיבֹן Diḇon – Strong’s H1769 means “wasting” & גָּדGaḏ – Strong’s H1410 means, “troop” and can translate as ‘wasting away of a fortune’. We must recognise the wonderful gift of life that we have received in Messiah and that we are rich in Him. The richest we can be is to know Messiah, and we must not waste away our good inheritance. We must not waste that which the Father has given us, be it our time, our talents, our resources etc.
39 – Almon Diḇlathayemah
עַלְמֹן דִּבְלָתָיְמָה Almon Diḇlathayemah – Strong’s H5963 means, “concealing the two cakes” or ‘hidden sweetness’ and comes from the two words: עָלַם alam – Strong’s H5956 meaning, ‘conceal, blind, disregard’ and דְּבֵלָה deḇelah – Strong’s H1690 meaning, ‘a lump (of pressed figs), a pressed (fig) cake, cake of figs’
Let us not hide the ‘two cakes’ – what I can learn from this is that we are to guard the Torah and not hide it! It refers to this existential concealment, which captures one of the greatest challenges throughout all the 42 journeys in the wilderness: will we be able to hold on to the faith and recognize that we, even in the arid desert, are traveling toward the Promised Land? We must also realise that we are not alone on our journey and we must hold on to that which we have been entrusted with. We must not conceal or hide the Word from directing our lives.
The man who was afraid of the Master hid his one talent and in a sense concealed that which he was entrusted with – we must run with great endurance the race set before us and not give up but press on, fixing our eyes on our saviour and King, יהושע Messiah. Let us make known His Good News (Besorah) and do it with great joy.
What this also shows me is that we can see today how so many have a total disregard for the Torah of Elohim and so are blind to the Truth and have no knowledge or understanding of the Word.
40 – Aḇarim
עֲבָרִים Aḇarim – Strong’s H5682 means, “regions beyond”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:12 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go up into this Mount Aḇiram, and see the land which I have given to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
This is where Mosheh got to see the Land from a distance, yet was not permitted to enter because he and Aharon rebelled against the mouth of יהוה at Qaḏĕsh. He got to see the regions beyond the Yardĕn! This carries wonderful significance for us in that the Torah points us to Messiah and leads us to the Promises of the Covenants we were once far off from but now through יהושע Messiah have been brought near. It is obedience to the Torah (instructions of Elohim) that we will truly enter in to the Promises of יהוה.
Yoḥanan/John 1:17 “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע Messiah.”
The Torah is the instructions of Elohim and this above verse can be better explained as:
The instructions of Elohim, for His set-apart people, was given through Mosheh and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah! Torah is truth and is not opposed to the favour/grace of Elohim – Truth came through Mosheh and favour and Truth came through Messiah!
This stop was ‘before Neḇo’ and נְבוֹ Neḇo – Strong’s H5015 means, ‘prophet’ and Neḇo was also a Baḇelonian deity who presided over learning and letters, and corresponds to the Greek deity of interpretation, Hermes from which the subject of ‘hermeneutics’ comes from, which is the study of the interpretation of written texts.
Sadly we see today so many falsified interpretations of the Scriptures that has simply ‘concealed the two cakes’ – that is through erroneous Greek interpretation of Scripture, there has been taught a wilful disregard for the Torah and as this also can give reference to ‘fig cakes’ I am reminded of the passage in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24 with regards to the vision of the two baskets of figs, one good and one bad – one ripe and one rotten. The good figs are those who were obedient and listened while the bad figs were the disobedient. Which basket are you in? The one who listens and obeys the True “Prophet” from Elohim:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:15 ““יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him”
Or the one who listens to the many false prophets:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:15 “But beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are savage wolves.”
We shall know them by their fruits!!! Those who are ‘concealing’ the Torah are false!
41 – Mo’aḇ
מוֹאָב Mo’aḇ – Strong’s H4124 means, “of his father” or “from a father”. We know that Mo’aḇ was the offspring that came about as a result of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. So this stop can carry both a positive as well as a negative meaning. Are we of the heavenly Father or from the father of evil? We must choose whom we serve and so in essence sums up the majority of our Wilderness journey – will we listen and obey our Father in Heaven and be called sons of Elohim?
Romiyim/Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 4:6 “And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:4-7 “When the Messiah, who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in esteem. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience,7 in which you also once walked when you lived in them.”
42 – Bĕyth Yeshimoth
בֵּית הַיְשִׁימוֹת Bĕyth Yeshimoth – Strong’s H1020 means, “house of the desolation” as far as– אָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים Aḇĕl Shittim Strong’s H63 which means, “meadow of acacias”. This sums up our journey: we have come from the ‘house of desolation’ to the ‘meadows of acacias’!
While there is the positive aspect of understanding this wonderful wilderness journey, what we also recognise here is that this was the last departure point and is a lesson how we must leave not only the ‘house of desolation’ but also ‘the meadow of acacias’, and in fact often what may seem to be a wonderful place of ‘acacias’ may in fact be a house of death!
Yisra’ĕl dwelt in – שִׁטִּים Shittim – Strong’s H7851 and means, ‘place of acacias’ and it was here where they began to whore with the daughters of Mo’aḇ. Instead of being on their guard, they got too relaxed and this ‘place of acacias’ and slacked off. You would think that by now that after all they had been through, all the victories they had won and all the disciplining that had gone on that they would have been more on their guard to not whore with foreign nations and especially Mo’aḇ.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1Corinthians 10:8 “Neither should we commit whoring, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell”
They were enticed by the women of Mo’aḇ – this is how the enemy is so very deceiving – through the lust of the flesh and Balaq sent his finest women to lure the men of Yisra’ĕl in to joining them. The enemy’s motto is ‘if you cannot beat them join them’ and this was his plan to subdue this great nation.
The word for whore is זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 meaning, ‘to commit fornication, to be a harlot, commit adultery, play the harlot’. ‘Playing the harlot’ can also be a term used to render being ‘spiritually unfaithful’ to יהוה, which is exactly what they were doing here!
How is that for a response to His blessing!!! I think that it is the same for some nay today, who do not realise the great blessings we have in Messiah and too many take it for granted and end up ‘playing the harlot’ with the world that so easily lures them away, because they are found to be at a place of thinking that they have arrived and relax in their ability to be watchful and obedient. They were endangering their lives by befriending the world:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:3-4 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.”
We were told to not do this at Mount Sinai, yet we must constantly be on our guard against the luring tactics of the enemy, and when we think that there is no way that these kind of tricks and whoring tactics can catch us then we had better be doubly alert:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:12 “so that he who thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall.”
We must not get settles in our sojourning and recognise that many can come so close yet still not make it in as they give in to the false appearances of safety and goodness, as the ‘house of desolation’ disguises itself under ‘meadows of acacias’
There were 42 stages in their journey, which lasted 40 years. 14 of these stages all took place in the first year. The last 8 stages all took place between Aharon’s death and Moshe’s, so they actually stayed each place nearly two years on average (20 places in 38 years). Many of these places were probably not in the Sinai Peninsula as tradition has it, but rather on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, which is much larger and much easier to truly wander aimlessly in. But there were not supposed to be as many as there were. Our journey back does not have to take so long if we do what we are supposed to do and avoid the pitfalls they chose to fall into.
Having now looked at the Wilderness Journeys, we are reminded that no stage in our lives – and no segment of history – is an island unto itself. Each phase is a part of a longer journey, leading to a destination. Knowing that every life experience, even the harshest ones we may face, are simply steps leading us to another and that everything is on its way to another, better place, if we are pursuing set-apartness that is! As we consider our journey of complete set-apartness and the vital lessons we are able to learn from these 42 starting points of Yisra’ĕl’s journey through the wilderness then we ought to be properly equipped to endure and face all and be content in all circumstances, as long as we stay in our Master and Elohim!
Awareness of the fact that we are on a journey in Messiah, as we sojourn here, at all times also infuses each step with profound hope and urgency – to ensure that it will lead us to a destination.
May you be inspired to truly enjoy your Wilderness Journey in Messiah!
42 starting points – 42 generations from Aḇraham to יהושע!
As we have gone extensively through each of the 42 departure points in the wilderness Journey from Mitsrayim to the Promised Land we see a great parallel in the 42 generations from Aḇraham to Messiah – from the Promise to the fulfilment! Let us look at each of these 42 names as recorded in Mattithyahu/Matthew 1 and see the wonderful message that it holds for us:
1 – אַבְרָהָם Aḇraham – Strong’s H85 – ‘exalted father, father of a multitude’
2 – יִצְחָק Yitsḥaq – Strong’s H3327 – ‘he laughs, smiles’
3 – יַעֲקֹב Yaʽaqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 – ‘heel catcher, supplanter’, who also was also renamed and called Yisra’ĕl meaning, ‘strive, persevere with ĚL’. We need to recognise this as we see in the Hebraic mind-set that when referring to Ya’aqoḇ they did not only see a ‘supplanter’ but they also saw a father who persevered with Elohim!
4 – יְהוּדָה Yehuḏah – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’ as discussed earlier.
5 – פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6557 – ‘breach, break through or burst forth’
6 – חֶצְרוֹן Ḥetsron – Strong’s H2696 – ‘surrounded by a wall, enclosure’
7 – רָם Ram – Strong’s H7410 – ‘high, exalted, great height’
8 – עַמִּינָדָב Amminadaḇ – Strong’s H5992 – ‘my kinsman is noble’
9 – נַחְשׁוֹן Naḥshon – Strong’s H5177 – ‘enchanter, whisperer’, – while this name can certainly have a negative aspect to it as it certainly can remind us of the naḥash (serpent) in the Garden who deceived Ḥawwah, however it can also be rendered in this case to mean ‘prophet’ as Naḥshon’s sister was Aharon’s wife and he was also called ‘the leader of the people of Yehuḏah’ (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 2:3)
10 – שַׂלְמוֹן Salmon – Strong’s H8012 – ‘garment, clothes’
11 – בֹּעַז Boaz – Strong’s H1162 – ‘quickness, swiftness, fleetness’ and was a name of a pillar in the Hěḵal of Shelomoh signifying ‘strength’.
12 – עוֹבֵד Oḇeḏ – Strong’s H5744 – ‘serving, servant, worshipper’
13 – יִשַׁי Yishai – Strong’s H3448 – ‘I possess’
14 – דָּוִד Dawiḏ – Strong’s H1732 – ‘beloved, beloved one’
15 – שְׁלֹמֹה Shelomoh – Strong’s H8010 – ‘peace, peaceful’
16 – רְחַבְעָם Reḥaḇ’am – Strong’s H7346 – ‘people are enlarged, extended to an open space’ a picture of setting free
17 – אֲבִיָּה Aḇiyah – Strong’s H29 – ‘29 –‘Yah is my father’
18 – אָסָא Asa – Strong’s H609 – ‘healer’
19 – יְהוֹשָׁפָט Yehoshaphat – Strong’s H3092 – ‘יהוה has judged’.
20 – יוֹרָם Yoram – Strong’s H3141 – ‘whom יהוה has exalted’.
21 – עֻזִּיָּה Uzziyah – Strong’s H5818 – ‘my strength is Yah’.
22 – יוֹתָם Yotham – Strong’s H3147 – ‘Yah is perfect’
23 – אָחָז Aḥaz – Strong’s H271 – ‘he has grasped, taken hold of, he possesses’
24 – חִזְקִיָּהוּ Ḥizqiyahu – Strong’s H2396 – ‘יהוה is my strength’
25 – מְנַשֶּׁה Menashsheh – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget, who makes me forget’
26 – אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 – ‘skilled workman, master architect, master builder’
27 – יאֹשִׁיָּהוּ Yoshiyahu – Strong’s H2977 – ‘whom יהוה heals’
28 – יְכָנְיָה Yeḵonyah – Strong’s H3204 – ‘יהוה establishes, upholds, appoints’
29 – שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל She’alti’ěl – Strong’s H7597 – ‘I have asked of ĚL’
30 – זְרֻבָּבֶל Zerubbaḇel – Strong’s H2216 – ‘sown in Baḇel, begotten in Baḇelon’
31 – אֲבִיהוּד Aḇihuḏ – Strong’s H31 – ‘my father is majestic’
32 – אַבְנֵר Aḇner – Strong’s H74 – ‘my father is a lamp’
33 – אֶלְיָקִים Elyaqim – Strong’s H471 – ‘ĚL raises up’
34 – עַזֻּר Azzur – Strong’s H5809 – ‘help’
35 – צָדוֹק Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 – ‘righteous, just, upright’
36 – יוֹקִים Yoqim – Strong’s H3137 – ‘Yah raises up’
37 –אֱלִיהוּד Elihuḏ – ‘my ĚL is praised’ from אֵל el and הוֹד hoḏ – Strong’s H1935 –‘splendour, majesty, comeliness, beauty’.
38 – אֶלְעָזָר El‘azar – Strong’s H499 – ‘ĚL has helped, help of ĚL’.
39 – מַתָּן Mattan – Strong’s H4977 – ‘gift’
40 – 3 – יַעֲקֹב Yaʽaqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 – as discussed earlier, however I believe it is used in reference here to the whole nation of Yisra’ĕl being redeemed – and is the allotted inheritance of יהוה (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:9)
41 – יוֹסֵף Yosĕph – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he increases or Yah has added’. (Father and not the husband of Miryam)
42 – יהושע – Yahushua – Strong’s H3091 – ‘יהוה is Salvation’.
There you have the account of the genealogy of Messiah in Mattithyahu and while there are varying ways to construct this as Hebrew certainly has a greater depth of meaning in the individual words, yet what we can summarise as a sure and promised message of hope that is fully met in our Redeeming king can be expressed in English as follows:
The exalted Father laughs at the enemy. The One who is praised breaks through a wall of great height – Our Kinsman Redeemer is noble, the prophet spoken of who is clothed with strength has come to serve. The Beloved One is the Prince of Peace who sets the people free and enlarges their territory. Our Father is יהוה, and He is the Healer who judges and He is the One who raises up and exalts. Our strength is in יהוה, who is perfect and has taken hold of His people for a possession. יהוה is our strength who causes us to forget our troubles and He is the Master Builder who heals us and establishes us. El was asked about the exiles sown in Baḇelon and has answered, for our Father is majestic and He is a lamp who raises up and helps; and in righteousness He raises up and He is greatly to be praised for He has helped in giving the gift of life to Ya’aqoḇ his allotted inheritance which he increases through our Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!
Shalom – and travel well – for the best is yet to come!