Midrash for Shabbat May 12, 2012
©2012 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3 Sabbath 8 – 12 May 2012
Numbers 15:1-41 – Jeremiah 17:19-27 – Psalm 107 – 1 John 2:1-3:24
B’Midbar 15.1-16– When ye come into the land” – the libation offerings would not take effect for 39 years, but are given here, the rabbis say (and it makes sense), so the generation that will ‘replace’ those who have been told they will die “B’midbar” – in the Wilderness – will KNOW that Y’hovah is going to bring them BaAretz, into the land. The grain and libation offerings are NOT to be added to sin or trespass offerings, but only to Freewill and Feast offerings. They have to do with celebrations of one type or another, not atonement for sins. These meal/libations are to be offered by both the native-born and the ger who sojourns among the people of Y’hovah. One law for all who would offer a freewill offering. This is the basis for the American law applying to both native born and alien. The difference, in modern practice and traditional practice, is that until the last few decades, when people came to America, they had the intent of becoming Americans. This is no longer the case in all too many instances. American law should be applied as Y’HOVAH told Israel to apply Torah – if the ger was coming to ‘sojourn’, his intent was to eventually become an Israelite, and so he took Torah learning and observance on himself – he was going to assimilate into Israel. This was our founders’ intent, as well. You may come and partake of the blessings of liberty, IF you intend on becoming American. If you just want to live here without assimilating into the culture, you are not welcome. You may do business, but you may not have all the blessings of liberty, you may have no say in the governance of the nation, because you have no loyalty to the nation or its people.
Vv.17-21 – Again, these instructions are to take effect BaAretz, in the land, 39 years hence. When they make their first batch of bread with the produce of the land, they are to offer an heave (elevation) offering. If you’ve seen “Roots”, Kunta Kinte’s father did exactly that with his son, introducing him the ‘only thing greater than himself’ – his god. Not the same, but very similar. We offer our all to Y’hovah, even the loaves of bread we make from our grain. I think the wave offering was similar, but I could really be wrong about that. The firstfruits of the barley is raised up and waved before Y’hovah during unleavened bread on the morrow after the weekly Shabbat; the first loaves made from the wheat are raised up and waved before Y’hovah on the morrow after the 7th weekly shabbat following Chag haBikkurim. And when we bring in our produce, we are to offer the firstfruits of our personal ground in much the same way.
Vv22-29 – If the congregation errs in any of the commandments Moshe received from Y’hovah in the ‘Law of Moshe’, the law that was added (Gal.3.19) because of the transgression of the Golden Calf (not to be confused with the Covenant – Ex.19-31) came into effect.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:19)
The congregation offered a bull as a freewill burnt offering and a goat for a sin offering with their associated meal and libation offerings. If a Man sinned in ignorance he brought a she goat with her associated meal and drink offerings. The one law for sins of ignorance pertained to anyone in Israel, whether native or ger. The individual’s sin of ignorance had a general effect on the people, so it is important that when I sin due to ignorance and someone sees it that they bring it to my attention privately, or it may have an adverse effect on the whole congregation. And it is also important that I accept the observation in the spirit in which it is given and NOT react in pride or haughtiness. That will not go well with me.
V.30ff – But if a person did (asah, make) presumptuously (yad the open hand, with power or intent), knowingly disobeyed, he was to be cut off from his people because he had contempt for the Word of Y’hovah and deliberately disobeyed it. It is in this context that we are to see the incident of the man gathering sticks on the Shabbat, beginning in v.32. The Heb. word is eytz, and can mean either kindling, firewood, or lumber. It is well over a year since the Shabbat was laid out and clearly defined in Exodus 16. EVERYONE knew which day was the Shabbat and which was the day to prepare for Shabbat. Did that guy think he’d get away with this? He may have. An example had to be made to drive home the point. They brought him to Moshe who went immediately to Y’hovah for a judgment. Y’hovah’s judgment was that the entire congregation was to take him without the camp and stone him to death. Now, the entire congregation of 2.5-4 million did not stone him, but at least the entire group that witnessed his presumptuous sin DID. He had presumed on the grace of Y’hovah. He was made an example of the judgment found in vv.30-31. “His iniquity is upon him” doesn’t necessarily mean that he is damned to the Lake of Fire in the day of judgment. It definitely means he gets to suffer the consequences of his sin – in this case, physical death. I think that among those who had to stone him was not a man who subsequently went out on Shabbat to defile it presumptuously, but that they were especially mindful of shabbat and its preparation day from that day forward.
Vv.37-end deal with the tzitzit on the kanaph of the garment. It is there to remind us to keep the Commandments, as the guy who’d just been stoned to death had NOT done. I am asked frequently whether women are allowed to wear tzitzit. The passage is addressed to ‘b’nei Yisrael’, which means the ‘children of Israel’, not merely the ‘sons of Israel’. I don’t see where there is any prohibition for women to wear them and the command is general to the whole nation, so I would have to say, “Not only are you allowed to wear them, you OUGHT to wear them.” They are there to 1) help us to remember to keep the commandments. In this light, we have 613 commandments that are ours to observe. While there are those commandments that are not addressed to us, these remain for us to observe as NEGATIVE commands; for example, the Kohanim have commandments that are specific to them as POSITIVE commands which are, consequently, NEGATIVE commands to us who are NOT Kohanim. They have to do them, we MAY NOT do them, but they still apply to us in that way. They are there 2) so that we can obey this commandment to wear tzitzioth – it is one of the commandments that is POSITIVE for us to do, and it applies to all of b’nei Israel. This is especially true because it is followed by the ‘enabling clause’ “I am Y’hovah Elohechem, who brought you out of the land of Mitzraim to be Elohechem. I am Y’hovah Elohechem.” They are there 3) so that by your obedience you will be given the opportunity to “give reason for the hope that lieth in you.”
But sanctify Y’hovah Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (I Peter 3:15)
Please note that the Korach rebellion comes immediately after the commandment to wear the tzitzioth, which was given as a visible reminder to keep the commandments of Y’hovah, which will be our subject next week. Q&C
YirmeYahu 17.19-27 – By this time, Israel had already been exiled by and to Assyria and Yehudah was almost ready for her own exile to Babylon. As Y’hovah had prophesied in Jer.3.8, Israel had been given a bill of divorce and Yehudah didn’t learn from Israel’s trouble, but actually committed even worse wickedness. This is one of the final warnings. Yehudah had gotten more brazen in her rebellion against Y’hovah. So Y’hovah told YirmeYahu to go and stand in what became known as the Huldah gate, where the prophetess Huldah would stand and prophesy to Yehudah and where the Sanhedrin likely met for such things as receiving the reports and declaring the new moons. Huldah was a contemporary of YirmeYahu’s, though probably older than he, as she prophesied when YirmeYahu was growing up. She prophesied to Josiah that he would not see all that Y’hovah was going to bring against Yehudah and Yerushalayim (2Ki.22 and 2 Chron.34). This was the south gate to the temple mount, where there are a set of 3 gates and another set of 2 gates separated by a relatively short portion of wall. See the Huldah Gates at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldah_Gates. This is the triple gate that was used to ascend to the Temple for freewill and other offerings. The steps are of varying rises and runs to slow the people on their ascent. There are 15 wide runs on which the people would stop to recite or sing the ‘Songs of Ascent’ (Psalms 120-134) as they went up for offerings; Ps.120 on the first long run, Ps.121 on the 2nd and so on. Imagine all 15 songs being sung in unison as the people ascended to worship – the cacophony of worship rising to Y’hovah. The double gate was used to leave the Temple mount after the offerings were made. YirmeYahu was going there to bring Y’hovah’s warning of judgment to the people’s attention. Y’hovah’s warnings are always with the purpose of getting his people to make teshuvah and come back to him.
YirmeYahu was to tell the kings, the Sanhedrin, and the people as they entered the Temple just what chastisement Y’hovah was going to be bringing them if they did not repent and return to Y’hovah’s Way. In the 7 verses from 21-27 Y’hovah makes 7 references to returning to his Shabbat. It is a call to personal repentance to all who hear, and that repentance will be evidenced by their returning to his Shabbat. “Take heed and bear no burden on the Shabbat, nor bring it in the gates.” Do you suppose that this was one of the reasons that Yeshua purged the Temple of the shop-keepers and money changers those 2 times? First Israel and now Judah had forgotten Y’hovah’s Shabbat, as has the vast majority of Xianity. Theses admonitions are not just for those people then, but for us NOW! If Y’hovah did not suffer the olive branches of the tree that he cultivated for all those years to abide in his land, but exiled them for these 2600 years, what makes us think that he won’t do exactly the same to us, engrafted wild branches?
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if Elohim spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Elohim: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Elohim is able to graff them in again. (Romans 11.19-23)
Exile and dispersion are judgments for unbelief, which showed itself in Yehudah of YirmeYahu’s days in breaking Shabbat. So one way you show that you are keeping Shabbat is by not carrying a burden to Temple on Shabbat, and then in v.22 he says to not carry a burden out of your house or do any work on Shabbat, but hallow (make sacred and set apart) his day, as he commanded our fathers. But our fathers, as we saw in the Torah portion today, ‘made their necks stiff’ and refused to shema, to hear and obey, all he had commanded them. The promise Y’hovah makes in vv.24-25 to the kings, princes and just folks who come through the gates of the Temple is that if they will just hallow his Shabbats as he instructed them, they would forever remain in their land and be ruled by the House of David. All Yehudah would remain forever, from Negev to BenYamin and from the Med to the Dead, bringing their offerings up to Yerushalayim in their appointed times. Isaiah says much the same thing in 58.13-14,
13 If thou turn away thy foot [because it is] the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of Y’hovah, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in Y’hovah; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Y’hovah hath spoken it . (Is.58.13-14)
I think that ‘turn away the foot’ may be a reference to not trample something under, and the next phrase then becomes an amplifier. Turning away your foot has to do with not doing our own thing on Shabbat, following Y’hovah’s instructions for that day, to not call it bothersome or a pain, but to delight in it. The word delight is oneg. The delight of discussing Torah over a fellowship meal is what’s called ‘eating at the table of Y’hovah’, while eating a meal and NOT talking about Y’hovah’s Word is called ‘eating at the table of devils’.
Ye cannot drink the cup of Y’hovah, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of Y’hovah’s table, and of the table of devils. (I Corinthians 10:21)
If we refuse to hallow his Shabbat day in his way, if we DO bear a burden out of our homes to the Temple on Shabbat, if we DO kindle a fire in the Temple precincts, he will destroy the city and send us into exile and disperse us throughout the world. Do you see the connexion between kindling a fire and bearing a burden into the Temple on Shabbat? Do you see the connexion to the last part of our Torah portion today – the man carrying a burden of sticks for kindling a fire? Q&C
Tehellim 107 – This is the first chapter of the 5th book of the Psalms. Did you know that the Psalms are broken into 5 sections and that traditionally, each section corresponds to the same book of Torah? This 5th book of the Psalms corresponds, then, to Devarim – Deuteronomy. Book 1 is Psalm1-41, Book 2 is 42-72, Book 3 is 73-89, Book 4 is 90-106 and Book 5 is 107-150. The 5th book of the Psalms opens with the exhortation,
O give thanks unto Y’hovah, for good: for his mercy for ever.
This exhortation occurs in 43 verses of scripture, 35 of them in the 5th book of Psalms. Do you suppose that is the gist of the book of Devarim? We’ll see when we get there.
Vv.2-3 clearly states that the redeemed have been and will be returned from their exile. It had not happened yet when this psalm was written, but it is stated in the prophetic perfect tense, as if it was already accomplished. By Yeshua’s death and resurrection we are redeemed from the hands of the enemy and will be delivered back to Eretz Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth. That’s right – this psalm is about EXILE and REDEMPTION! Only AFTER the exiles are redeemed, can they be regathered to the land.
Vv.4-7 show us that in the interim, the exiles are scattered to the winds, by force or inclination. Israel settled in cities, but when they did they were marginalized, demonized, and persecuted because they were ALWAYS setting themselves apart from the general population, as Y’hovah had commanded them. Had they remembered this exhortation BEFORE their exile, they’d not have been exiled in the 1st place, and Israel may be the oldest human government and been the light Y’hovah intended them to be. When we ‘wander’ we are going our own way without regarding Y’hovah and his direction. We are aimless when we walk contrary to Y’hovah’s will, we hunger and thirst for his righteousness, but find no sustenance. Only when we make teshuvah and take steps to go his way do we find any solace for our afflictions when we cry out to him for his deliverance. When we show our willingness to go his way, he leads us in it and to his city of habitation, the one Avraham looked for, the “city with foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim.”(Heb.11.10) In v.7 Y’hovah leads them in the RIGHT way. How many ways are there? I’d say there are as many ways as there are people, but there is only 1 RIGHT WAY, and that is his Way.
The Israelites who died in the Wilderness knew the WORKS of Y’hovah, but only Kalev and Yehoshua knew his WAY, which is to trust him, that he knows which way is best for us and all we need to do is follow and obey in Derech Y’hovah.
Vv.10-12 speak of those who choose to stay in exile because they reject Y’hovah’s counsel and hold his Word in contempt, they think his Word is of no value. But even when they were in the midst of their despair, if they would call on him with even just a flicker of hope that he would respond, he would answer their call for deliverance, because he wants NOTHING from us other than our willingness to become one with him through Yeshua.
Vv13-16 tell us how to be delivered from our exile. Cry unto Y’hovah and he will free you from your distress. When he talks of darkness, the shadow of death and bands he means exile, so when he talks of delivering from them and breaking that which binds us, he is talking about redemption of his people. In v.15, as in v.8, he laments that the children of men do not praise Y’hovah for his goodness and the wonderful works he has done for them. Fools are afflicted because of their sin and iniquity, but if they will make teshuvah and call on Y’hovah, he will deliver even them, he will send his Word and heal them (v.20). Do you see how healing people’s diseases was a sign of who Yeshua was? When Yochanan, the Immerser, was in prison he got a bit discouraged and sent his talmidim to enquire of Yeshua if he was the promised Moshiach. Yeshua said, Go tell Yochanan that the blind see, the lame walk, women receive their dead returned to them alive. He never said I AM Messiah, but that sentence told Yochanan that Yeshua is Moshiach, for it was well known that those were things that Moshiach would do. One reference that comes to mind is,
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
In v.21, the psalmist again reiterates Vv.8&15. Do you think he’s trying to make a point? He adds something this time though. V.22 brings up the ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ and declaring his works that we alluded to in the haftarah today when we mentioned the Huldah Gates https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldah_Gates and the cacophony of praise when the people would sing their psalms of assent (120-134) as they ascended the steps to the Temple.
Vv.23-26 speak of Yeshua’s power over the seas, as he demonstrated in Mat.14,
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Yeshua went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Yeshua spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (Mat.14.25-27)
Yeshua walked on the water, calmed the raging sea and the winds sent by haSatan to frighten the talmidim. V.30 says Kefa SAW the wind; perhaps the spirit came through the veil and manifested itself to Kefa. He got into his sight quite quickly, forgetting that he was walking to Yeshua. But his first reaction when he realized that he’d gotten into himself again was to call on Y’hovah for his deliverance (as in ps.107.27-28) when his soul melted for trouble and he staggered like a drunk. His deliverance was immediate. But I’ll bet he was still wet when he got back into the boat. Yochanan’s account of the walking on the sea incident says that when they got into the boat, the sea calmed and they were immediately at their destination (Jn.6.21), Capernaum. Shades of 107.29-30. And for the 4th time, the psalmist says,
31 Oh that men would praise Y’hovah, his goodness, and his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107. 8, 15, 21, 31)
The ‘assembly of the elders’ (v.32) refers once again to the steps on the south side of the Temple mount before the Huldah Gates, where the Sanhedrin met for such stuff as receiving the new moon reports and declaring the same, as well as judging those accused of Torah violations. Perhaps this is where Yeshua stooped to the ground and wrote in the dust in Yochanan 8?
Vv.33-35, 39-40 show what to expect if we’ve his Name on us and we profane it. Vv.36-38, 41-43 result when we make teshuvah. It is our faithlessness and Y’hovah’s lovingkindness that keeps the cycle of sin and repentance going. We get to walking in our sight and we stumble and sometimes fall, but he reminds us of the blessings which accrue to us when we start walking after the Spirit of Y’hovah and then he delivers on his promises by delivering us from ourselves. Q&C
1Yochanan 2.1-29 – This letter is written as an exhortation to not sin, but also as an encouragement that if we do sin, we have a Messiah on our side who can make our case at the bema. Please note that bema G968 is ‘a step’ from basis G939 meaning ‘a foot’ which is from the primitive root, unused in the scripture, baino to walk – possibly another reference to the steps leading to the Huldah Gates, where the prophetess would pronounce the judgments of Y’hovah, where the Sanhedrin would gather for their official duties as the judges of Israel. It is here that Yeshua is our advocate with the Supreme Judge of the Universe, to whom is given all authority and judgment, and who is also mindful of the war between flesh and spirit, because he experienced it himself and understands our infirmities. Being Y’hovah in the flesh, he knows what we go through, though he was able to never sin because he IS Y’hovah. Propitiation is that which removes a debt, whether by forgiveness or by substitutionary payment. Yeshua did both.
5 For one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Messiah Yeshua; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1Tim.2.5-6)
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7)
Whose commandments in v.3? Yeshua’s. If Yeshua is Y’hovah in the flesh, and he is, and he and the father are echad, and they are, then there is no difference between Yeshua and Y’hovah Avinu. If, as I believe, it was the resurrected Moshiach Yeshua who actually appeared to Moshe on Horeb, the point is clearly established. Now, if anyone says he knows Yeshua, but doesn’t keep (tereo, guard from injury or loss) his commandments, he is a liar and doesn’t know the truth. But if he DOES guard them Y’hovah’s love is perfected (teleoo, completed) in him. So when we guard his Word, we prove our position ‘in him’. If you are IN YESHUA, you “ought … to walk even as he walked”. Yochanan tells us in v.7 that he isn’t writing any new revelation. He is preaching the same word as men of Y’hovah had always preached, “Love Y’hovah and keep his commandments”, be “doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” If you say you love Y’hovah Yeshua and will not obey his commandments for whatever reason (including the ridiculous lie that they are obsolete or done away with), you are a liar and have used your own lie to deceive yourself. He applies this in vv.8-11 by way of application.
Vv.8-11 – The darkness Yochanan speaks of is the time of Ephraim’s exile, and is being drawn back to Y’hovah through Yeshua haMoshiach ben Yoseph. In light of this, you can see the application with regard to the brother in v.9-11. If you SAY you love Y’hovah, but you hate your brother, you are just fooling yourself. There was a major problem in the 1st c. CE, as there still is today – Yehuda hates returning Ephraim and vice-versa. In the parable of the Prodigal son, the younger brother represents Ephraim, who asks for his inheritance and then squanders it all on his flesh. The older brother represents Yehudah, who stays true to Y’hovah inasmuch as their traditions allow. The traditions get in the way of full fellowship, but they never abandon or turn their backs fully to Y’hovah. When the prodigal returns in humility to ask the father to take him in as a hired servant, the father brings him right back into the family (though the inheritance is still gone; something like the sons of Aharon who had physical or mental defect, who could not offer offerings, but still partook of the priest’s food and place of honor). When Yehuda shows his disdain for Ephraim, he is showing that he is NOT trusting Y’hovah. And when Ephraim shows his hatred of Yehudah, he proves that he does not know Yeshua. Neither the Jew who hates gentile believers nor gentiles who hate Jews are in the Light of Y’hovah – each is deceiving himself.
I think that vv.12-14 are making reference to Is.40,
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon Y’hovah shall renew strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. (Is.40.30-31)
Youths = little children; Young men = young men; they who wait upon Y’hovah = fathers. In Isaiah, the youths and young men must be working in their flesh, for in Yochanan, the young men have overcome the wicked one and so, have not utterly fallen, though it is possible that the youths get tired of the fight and slacken, though they know Avinu and their sins are forgiven.
Is that ‘wicked one’ necessarily haSatan, or could it be the young men’s own flesh that is constantly at war with the Spirit? The fathers have known him from the beginning. The beginning of what? I think the context would indicate the beginning of the Nazarite sect of Yehudism, because they have know him from the beginning – they were leaders of the Nazarite sect and were obedient to Y’hovah’s commandments (vv.3-6). Ya’acov, Yeshua’s brother, was one of the earliest ‘fathers’, as were Kefa, Yochanan, Yehudah and Sha’ul. I think when Yochanan speaks of ‘fathers’ he may be referring to men who had been in Messiah since at least the outpouring of the Ruach on Shavuoth/Pentecost, and were zealous for Torah
And when they heard it, they glorified Y’hovah, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: (Acts 21.20).
Vv.15-17 speak of friendship with the world system. The world’s system is going to burn in the dissolution of all things at the end of the Kingdom Age of this earth. The world entices believers with the 10th Commandment’s object – covetousness. Covetousness is the root cause of all sin, for we would not sin if we did not desire something or want to do something which is proscribed from us. Covetousness is almost always the ‘sin which doth so easily beset us’ (Heb.12.1).
V. 18 introduces the word ‘anti-Messiah’ to our vocabularies. AntiMessiah is referring to ‘false Messiahs’, counterfeits, more than men opposed to Messiah, though that is also a valid application. These anti-Messiahs could be morally upright men of power and authority, but if they do not represent Y’hovah in all respects, they are false. There have been many anti-messiahs, and Josephus names at least 2 who had preceded Yeshua. Even Gamaliel had mentioned a couple in Acts 5. AntiMessiah’s are literally a dime a dozen. I think there will be one who will be the ultimate Anti-Messiah, but that is based on an interpretation of what the ‘Beast’ of Revelation, the ‘abomination of desolation’, the ‘man of sin’ will do, assuming these are all speaking of the same guy or thing. That HAS been the conventional wisdom for a long time, but I have found that it isn’t wise to place one’s trust in the conventional wisdom, as it is VERY often wrong. V.19 tells us to whom Yochanan refers – those who WERE with us, but who are now AGAINST us, wolves in sheeps’ clothing, as it were. They have not only left the assembly, but are working at cross-purposes to it and possibly denying the Messiah who bought them.
V.22 further states that antiMessiahs deny that Yeshua is Messiah and, as such, he denies both Avinu and his Son, Yeshua haMoshiach. When one denies Yeshua he has no part in Avinu. There are some clues that Yochanan is addressing the fathers he spoke to earlier; v.24 talks about what they’ve known from the beginning, v20 says they have ‘an unction’ from the Ruach, and v.27 says they have an anointing that will overcome the antiMessiahs who are trying to seduce them away from the faith once delivered to the saints. Unction = anointing, both words are translated from the word chrisma – Thayer’s Greek lexicon says, ‘anything smeared on’. These know and have known the truth. For these reasons I think he is writing the fathers, whose job it is to warn their juniors about the seducers and train the little children and young men to eventually become fathers. Vv.28 and 29 let the little children know that they may be confident in Messiah, that they will know they are righteous before Y’hovah Yeshua when they live in righteousness. Q&C
3.1- – Do you see the parallel Yochanan draws between Messiah and the Prushim of his day and the believer and the antiMessiahs of their day, some 60-65 years later and OUR day some 1900 years later? We ARE the sons of Elohim, but we haven’t a clue about what a cool position we are in. But when he appears at his return we will know, for then we will be resurrected/changed from mortal to immortality, from corruption to incorruption and will be able, finally, to handle the revelation. If we truly understood what he has in store for us, we’d go loopy. And when we have the hope – that which we earnestly expect to receive from him because he has promised – we desire to live according to his word, so that we can renew our minds by the engrafting of his Word into our souls.
When we know Torah, we know when we sin, because his word is righteous and sin is Torahlessness (anomia = without law). But Y’hovah manifested in the flesh to take away our sins. The antecedent to the pronoun ‘he’ in v.5 is Y’hovah or Elohim from vv. 1, 2 and 5. The syntax is straightforward – a pronoun has to rename the last noun of the same number and gender, unless the context forbids it. So Y’hovah manifested in the flesh to take away our sins. If we make a regular practice of Torahlessness, we are not in Y’hovah and do not know him. If we know Y’hovah, we do not practice sin, though we may fall short of the mark sometimes. We see that we sometimes sin in 1.8 and have the grace of Y’hovah to confess and repent of our sins in 1.9.
3.8 says “The worker or doer of sin” is of the devil who was a sinner from the beginning. The word translated ‘committeth’ in the KJV is ‘poieo’, and Thayer’s Lexicon says it means “to make or do”. That’s where I get the idea that sin is a regular practice of this guy, not just a stumble, but a conscious effort. Now, also in v.8 we see that the Son of Elohim was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, whose work sin is. Y’hovah manifested to take away our sins, Yeshua manifested to destroy the works of the devil, which means sin and its consequences, so adding 1+1 I get Y’hovah = Yeshua. V.9 is very important, because it supports my thesis above – when we are in Y’hovah; we do not poieo – make or do – sin. Sin has no power (dunamis) over him because he is regenerated out of Elohim. In vv.10-11 Yochanan brings the whole exercise back around to 2.9-10, he who loves his brother is the son of Elohim, he who hates his brother is the son of haSatan, walking in darkness and there is no light in him. Ephraim needs to love Yehudah, and Yehudah Ephraim; not like Cain, jealous enough to murder our brother, or like Yoseph’s brothers, jealous enough to sell him into slavery. As Yeshua laid down his life for us, we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for our brother.
If we see a brother in need, and we have the ability to provide for his need, do we supply it, or do we find a way out (we can ALWAYS find a way to not help, if we try hard enough). Loving with our words, but not showing our love by our actions just proves that we are hypocrites. “I’ll be praying for you, sis” is a good thing, but if sis needs physical help and we’re in close enough proximity to provide it, we’d better darned well provide it, or the love of Y’hovah is not in us. Our works have a 2-fold purpose; 1) to spread abroad the love of Y’hovah, and 2) to prove to ourselves and others that we are really his.
Vv.23-24 drive the point home. We are to love our brethren in truth and not just in word, for that is the new commandment Yochanan spoke of in 2.7-8. Of course, it’s the same commandment we had in Torah as Yeshua reiterated it; to love Y’hovah with all our heart, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we keep these commandments in mind in everything we do, we will be walking in his righteousness – in his Torah. Q&C
End of midrash notes.