February 14, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study

February 14, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study

©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Lev 26.3 – 27.34; Jer 16.19; Ezek 12.20; Is 1.19; Psalm 90; John 15.1 – 27

Lev.26.3-13 – Y’hovah promises blessings without end (Eph 3.20 – “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”) IF we will walk in HIS ways and not our own, “‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my mitzvot, and do them;’” Compare this to Ex.34. Shortly after ‘the transgression’ of the golden calf, Y’hovah promised Moshe to go with him to the promised land (Ex.33.14 – “My pan’yim will go with thee, and I will give thee nuwach [rest, a dwelling place]”). Moshe’s answer was “If your presence DOESN’T go with me, don’t lead us out of here.” Moshe is still interceding for Yisrael. Y’hovah granted Moshe’s request because in 33.17 he said (in a Mark paraphrase), ‘I like you and I am your friend.’ Then in Ex.34, Moshe plays that card. In vv.5-7 Y’hovah proclaims his Name to Moshe, ‘Y’hovah, Y’hovah Eloha’. It’s interesting that he gives 3 names. Y’hovah = the grace and mercy of Elohim, while Eloha = the righteousness and judgment of Y’hovah. The use of Y’hovah twice shows his character of responding with double blessing to those who will walk in his judgments and statutes and commandments, while judging righteously and not over-punishing for any offense – the wages of sin is death, not deaths. Juxtaposing v.6 w/v.7 we see how his character is shown by his Name. There are 3 actions in v.7 that correspond to his Name in v.6; 1) Y’hovah keeps mercy, 2) Y’hovah forgives iniquity and transgressions, and 3) Eloha visits iniquity, not clearing the guilty. He is twice as ready to bless as he is to punish. 

Back to Lev.26 – While he only lists 10 verses of blessings for obedience vice 30 verses of curses for transgression, the blessings will be twice as fruitful as the curses. After listing all the curses for 30 verses, he shows his mercy again by saying that he will still forgive our iniquity IF and WHEN we repent and do his commandments, judgments and statutes. He is twice as willing to show mercy than judgment. Now let’s look at the particulars a bit closer.

Particulars of blessing (v.3-13) – Can one walk in Y’hovah’s statutes and guard, or keep, his commandments, and still not do them? W1828 says this for 

STATUTE, [L., to set.]

1. An act of the legislature of a state that extends its binding force to all the citizens or subjects of that state, as distinguished from an act which extends only to an individual or company; an act of the legislature commanding or prohibiting something; a positive law. Statutes are distinguished from common law. The latter owes its binding force to the principles of justice, to long use and the consent of a nation. The former owe their binding force to a positive command or declaration of the supreme power.

So we can view Y’hovah’s statutes as his positive commandments, i.e.; 

Dt.6.4, Sh’ma, Yisra’el: Y’hovah Elohenu; Y’hovah is one: 5 and you shall love Y’hovah Elohecha with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Ex.20.8, “Remember the day of Shabbat, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10a but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Y’hovah Elohecha 

A commandment, on the other hand, is a bit different. W1828 says

COMMANDMENT, n.

1.  A command; a mandate; an order or injunction given by authority; charge; precept.

Why do ye transgress the commandment of Eloha.  Matt. 15.

This is the first and great commandment.  Matt.  22.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.  John 13.

2.  By way of eminence, a precept of the decalogue, or moral law, written on tables of stone, at Mount Sinai; one of the ten commandments.  Ex. 34.

3.  Authority; coercive power.

For a positive commandment, there is no need to coerce, but sometimes there is for a negative commandment, such as 

Ex.20.4 “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the shamayim above, or that is in the eretz beneath, or that is in the water under the eretz: 5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Y’hovah Elohenu, am a jealous Eloha, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my mitzvot.

or

13 “You shall not murder. [Restoration Scriptures]

The answer to the question above is, ‘I don’t think so.’ The verbs parallel each other in v.3. To walk, keep and do are all synonymous. So whether the command is positive or negative, a blessing is attached to our compliance, and a curse to our non-compliance. So, to have Y’hovah’s blessings, comply. His blessings are enumerated in vv.4-13.

4-13 – The 5-fold blessings that Y’hovah enumerates are all associated with the Messianic Era and the Ages to follow the recreation of the heavens and earth; 1) plenty in harvest, 2) peace in the land, 3) physical multiplicity of children and livestock, 4) lack of either human or animal enemies and 5) the presence of Y’hovah among us.    Q&C

 

The curses associated with non-compliance are manifold and much more detailed. I think the detail is given to help discourage disobedience. Contrary to the doctrine of absolute sovereignty/no free will, it didn’t work as Y’hovah would have had it because of the yetzer hara, the evil urge of man. When Y’hovah created man, he wanted us to freely choose to love him and obey him. In order for us to be truly free to choose, he created us without any inclination toward either good or evil. It would be our choice to obey and incline to good or disobey and incline to evil. When Adam chose to disobey, he inclined toward the evil and passed that inclination to his descendants. The church calls it, erroneously, the sin nature. What is more true is that man is born with both an urge toward spiritual good (yetzer tov) and an urge toward fleshly evil, inclining more toward the evil due to the choice of our father Adam. Now, we can still choose to obey and in that become more like Messiah, feeding our urge to the good, or we can choose to disobey, feeding our urge toward evil. It follows that when we feed one urge, we starve the other. 

Vv.16-17 – The first curse for disobedience is terror of our enemies because Y’hovah has set his face against us (do you think THAT may be the driving force behind the ‘War on Terror’?). In Num.6.25, the Aharonic blessing, Y’hovah’s face shines on us, he turns his face toward us. IOW, the Aharonic blessing presumes that we obey Y’hovah. The result of Y’hovah setting his face against us is that we will be ruled by those who hate us. Is this not the facts of life for American ‘Xianity Astray’ – ruled by those who hate us? These are the subtle hints to repent. Guess what happens if we’re too dense to get it?

Following are 4 sets of 7 curses associated with our disobedience. If you just read each grouping, enumerated in vv.18-20, 21-23, 24-26 and 27-39, you’ll see clearly that each set of 7 plagues is progressively more severe. This puts me in mind of the groups of judgments from Yah in the book of Revelation, the seals (ch.6), trumpets (8-9), thunders (mentioned but not enumerated in 10.2-4) and vials (16).

Vv.18-22 – First the rain stops and the ground hardens like our hearts. Then the animals come along, and animals don’t all run on 4 legs. They abort our children, pass diseases like mad cow on our livestock, reduce our populations and make everything we do and everywhere we go profitless. If we’re STILL too dense to understand our situation, there’s more to come.

Vv.23-33 – Up to now, Y’hovah has been on our side, gently nudging us in the right direction. Now he’s going to get seriously serious about showing his displeasure. He is going to get personally involved in awaking us to our need to repent and do HIS will (Ps.40.8). He’ll bring in serious enemies, not just to chastise us but also to remove us from the land by stages. Stage 1 = siege (v.25). Stage 2 = scarcity (26). If that doesn’t get us to repent, Y’hovah will finally get mad. Scarcity will become famine, which will result in cannibalism, and finally death by starvation. Then he’ll allow the desecration of the corpses by burning them on the same pyre as the idols we follow after. Abhor is an especially strong word. W1828 says

ABHOR’, v.t.  [L abhorreo, of ab and horreo, to set up bristles, shiver or shake; to look terrible.]

1.  To hate extremely, or with contempt; to lothe, detest or abominate.

After subtly, gently and then more seriously trying to get us to repent without success, he’ll treat us as we’ve treated him. We must obviously have rejected him to get to this point of debauchery and decay, so he will reject us in return. Even our enemies will be amazed at the rejection Y’hovah heaps on us for such willful disobedience and spiritual adultery. But even in that rejection Y’hovah is showing his mercy. It is in his rejecting us because of our idolatry that he makes it possible for the gentiles to be engrafted into the nation of Yisrael (Rom.11.15-23).

15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 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 Y’hovah spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Y’hovah: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Y’hovah is able to graff them in again. 

He is Y’hovah; Y’hovah Eloha, doubly ready to show grace and mercy instead of judgment, as we saw earlier. 

Vv.34-35 – His final rejection is actually ejection from the land. Remember that the land belongs to Y’hovah, not Yisrael. Remember what we saw last week:

Leviticus 25:23 (KJV)  

    The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. 

When we reject him, it is his right to drive us off the land as he did in the 8th and 6th centuries BCE and again in the 2nd century CE. Those who are NOT killed in the sieges, the famines and the pestilences resulting therefrom, will be carried away and subjected to servitude by fear of our enemies. We will trip over each other in our haste to escape the personal retribution that Y’hovah inflicts via our enemies.

Vv.40-46 – But, when we confess our lawlessness and repent of it, calling out to Y’hovah for deliverance, he will return us to his land. I believe this is occurring even as we speak among many in ‘the movement’. This is exactly what Daniel did in 9.4-19;

4 And I prayed unto Y’hovah my Elohim, and made my confession, and said, O Y’hovah, the great and dreadful El, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 O Y’hovah, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Y’hovah, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To Y’hovah our Elohim belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of Y’hovah our Elohim, to walk in his mitzvoth, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy Torah, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Torah of Moses the servant of Elohim, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before Y’hovah our Elohim, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14 Therefore hath Y’hovah watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for Y’hovah our Elohim is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now, O Y’hovah our Elohim, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Y’hovah, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 18 O my Elohim, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Y’hovah, hear; O Y’hovah, forgive; O Y’hovah, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own for thy sake, O my Elohim: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

This is the kind of attitude we need to show to Y’hovah in our repentance/confession of iniquity to him. Daniel took ownership of not only his own, but his nation’s iniquities and sins, and repented as the representative of the nation. Daniel was of the tribe of Judah (1.5), so he could represent the nation as a leader of the King’s line in Babylon. We need to do the same for our families as Daniel did for Judah and Yisrael.  Q&C

 

In Lev.27.2 we see a man able to make a singular vow. Singular is H6381, pala, which means to separate or distinguish. This vow is one in which the man is setting himself, someone or something apart unto Y’hovah’s service. The priest would give an estimate of the person’s or thing’s value and then lease that thing or individual until the next jubilee. 

Please notice in v.4 that the estimation of value for the female between 20-60 years old is 30 shekels of silver. For how much did Yehuda sell Yeshua to the Sanhedrin? 30 shekels of silver? Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences. Yeshua died the death of the adulterous woman (Num.5.11ff)? 

V.8 speaks of a man ‘poorer than thy estimation’. I don’t think that is talking about his financial portfolio so much as his health and ability to be of service to Yah. When we offer something to Yah, we are not to change what we’ve vowed (v.9-10). HananYah and Sapphira (Acts 5), who made a vow and then held some back, come to mind. All that we offer by vow can be redeemed for it’s estimation + 20% – a restocking fee, as it were. Actually, when we want back what we’ve given freely to Y’hovah, taking it back is like stealing or defrauding Yah, I think, and the restitution statute takes effect. 

Leviticus 6:4-5 (KJV)  

    Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, [5] Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 

Vv.14 – 25 deal with giving your house or fields to Y’hovah. The value is 1 silver shekel per bushel of barley yielded per year for the 50 years between Yovels. An exact record of the field’s yield for the last few years would be required to make an accurate estimate of value. Also, the time until the next Yovel determines the amount the field is worth. 33 years until Yovel, 33 silver shekels/average bushels of barley yielded is the estimation. At least, that’s how I read that passage. If the steward wants to redeem his field he may by adding 20% to the # of years remaining – 10 years remaining = 12 silver shekels/ average bushels yield. 

Vv.26 – 34 have to do with clean and unclean beasts vowed to Y’hovah. You mean we can offer unclean beasts to Y’hovah’s use? Yep. Do you suppose that the Levites used, say, camels or donkeys to carry stuff from city of Refuge to city of Refuge? I’ll bet they did! Being unclean to eat or sacrifice does not make an animal unfit for use, just as being a gentile doesn’t make a person unfit for Y’hovah’s service, especially one who would be after Y’hovah’s heart. Look at the ‘mixed multitude’ and such folk as Nebuchadnezzar or Naaman, both of whom we will see in the Kingdom of Messiah. 

The tithe of the land = 1/10th of all the produce after expenses. If you wanted to give cash instead of the tithe in kind, you could do so by adding 20% to its value. In other words, if the total increase of your field is 10,000 bushels, your tithe is 1000 bushels or 1200 shekels of silver. You are not to inspect the yield, just count it. Same with the flocks. The tithe is for the use of the priests who are wholly dedicated to Y’hovah and have no inheritance in the land.  Q&C

 

Is.1.19, Jer.16.19, Ezek.12.20 – Isaiah describes what will happen to us if we follow after Y’hovah’s heart. It is part of a larger passage, 

Isaiah 1:16-19 (KJV)  

    Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; [17] Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. [18] Come now, and let us reason together, saith Y’hovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. [19] If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 

Sounds conditional to me, that ‘IF’ being so prominent and all. It says ‘if ye be willing and obedient’, not if you can keep every precept perfectly all the time. Does your lifestyle exhibit obedience and a willingness to change your opinions and doctrines if Y’hovah shows you new (to you) truth? If so, this promise is for you. If not, you’re in trouble, ‘cause v.20 says that he’ll make it so you’re devoured with the sword.

Jerry shows us another thing that will happen if we follow after Y’hovah. 

19 O Y’hovah, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

The gentiles will seek Y’hovah out and ask him to show them the truth because he will have made them SICK of the lies their fathers have inherited and passed on to them. And whom will he use to teach them? That’s right! He’ll use YOU and me to teach the gentiles His truth. I hope I’m up for the task. How about you? I think this will be our job in the Kingdom Millennium.

But if we choose to NOT obey him, Zeke has our fate. 

18 Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness; 19 And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith Master Y’hovah of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein. 20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am Y’hovah. (Ez.12.18-20)

All that we worked for and all that we built will be in ruins because we were unfaithful to the Elohim who bought us. Do you see the contrast between Jerry and Zeke? Jerry has Y’hovah answering the gentiles who call upon him and Zeke has Y’hovah turning away fromYisrael who does not. The contrast is sharp and clear. It all has to do with heart attitude; Humility v. Pride. The bookies had Pride giving 17. Humility not only covered the spread, but won the game. 

“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall.” Pro.16.18  Q&C

 

Ps.90 – What better place to live than in Y’hovah? Moshe says here that Y’hovah has been Yisrael’s dwelling place for all generations, not will be, but HAS been. Moshe led Yisrael out of Egypt, in case anyone is wondering. They had not lived in the land for at least 3 generations, but they HAD been living in Y’hovah all that time. Do you suppose it’s possible that the man of El was speaking metaphorically and spiritually?  Moshe says in v.3 that it has always been Yah’s way to allow nations to turn away from him, but to call out a remnant to make teshuva, repent and return to him. Time is irrelevant to Y’hovah, the nation can be removed from him for 1000 years, or just a day and he will still call out his remnant. 

I know that v.4 speaks of the original creation in days and the prophetic calendar of thousands of years. I do not disclaim that truth, but its context here is one of redemption of the exiles. He exiles and he calls his redeemed. Notice a part of the verse that is often overlooked, “and as a watch in the night.” There are at least 2 watches in the night, so to strictly interpret this passage as 1 day = 1000 years would be a mistake IF there were no other scriptural evidence to the day/millennium interpretation.

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of Y’hovah the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of wicked men.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Y’hovah as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 Y’hovah is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and reverence, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Y’hovah, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2Pe.3.3-12)

Peter, under the Ruach’s inspiration, arguably saw Ps.90.4 as meaning a millennium = a prophetic day, and vice versa. My point is to NOT be so wed to the interpretation as to allow your faith to be shaken if it doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. The passage’s most unstrained interpretation is that Y’hovah is timeless, having created all by the Word of his mouth and being transcendent of his creation.

Moshe is speaking of the Egyptians particularly, and men in general in v.5&6. ‘They are as a sleep’ I think that means they are not even aware of all this calamity being the judgment and wrath of Y’hovah. They just go about life as if in a sleep, they flourish and they wither and it seems like it’s just dumb luck. There is no conscious effort on their parts to be blessed or cursed, they are just clueless. 

But we are mindful of him and his dealings with us. We are even more mindful of our sin and iniquity when we remember just how just and holy he is. Y’hovah is a consuming fire and in his wrath he will consume those who will not repent and walk in his ways. V.8 says he sets our secret sins before himself and shines the light of his countenance on them – the same countenance that Aharon said would shine on us in Num.6. I think the reason the shining is a bit different, don’t you? We deserve to have our lives pass in his wrath – we’ve earned it. Our years are as a tale – noone would ever believe the judgment we deserve. 70 years is probably about all we could stand – 80 if we’re especially hearty, but the life is more just existing, when we are receiving his wrath. And as much as we know that our calamities are due to Y’hovah’s wrath against us we really don’t have a clue as to what we REALLY deserve (v.11).

When Moshe says teach us to number our days, I don’t think he’s talking about counting how long we’ve lived or how long we have left to live. I think he’s talking about Y’hovah teaching us to live to him one day at a time – to value the time as given unto Y’hovah. I think this is what Sha’ul meant when he said in 1Cor.15, 

30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in the Messiah Yeshua our Master, I die daily.

The word ‘number’ is H4487, manah, to weigh out. That puts a picture in my head of a butcher weighing the meat for sale. He needs to be very careful to give a just measure or he’ll displease either Y’hovah or his customer – neither is a good thing. But if he provides a just weight, everyone is happy, the customer, the butcher and Y’hovah.

While Moshe asks to be satisfied with Y’hovah’s mercy, it has been apparent throughout the Psalm. It is his mercy that lets us live through the wrathful judgments so that we will call on him to be merciful. He asks to be made glad according to the days of affliction. That might seem merciful and gracious to Moshe, but it’s nowhere close to the mercy and grace of Y’hovah, who will provide exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or even think. He asks that Y’hovah’s work appear to his servants. Sha’ul tells us what Y’hovah’s work is in Eph.2.8-10,

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Y’hovah: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in the Messiah Yeshua unto good works, which Y’hovah hath before ordained that we should walk in them.    Q&C

 

Jn.15.1-12 – Yeshua begins by applying Y’hovah’s covenant Name to himself and then likens himself to Israel by saying that he’s the true vine. 

8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. 9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. 11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. 12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. 14 Return, we beseech thee, O Elohim of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. 

His audience knew that Israel was the vine of Yah in Ps.80. They also knew what he was saying, that he is the Branch and that he is the right hand that planted Yisrael. 

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. 18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O Y’hovah Elohim of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. (Ps.80.8-19)

Every branch in Messiah that doesn’t bear fruit is taken away, removed from the vine (Rom.11), but every fruitful branch gets pruned (which is not a lot of fun for the tree while it’s happening). Notice please that the branches that are removed are NOT cast in the flames immediately. He waits for the branch to wither and become lifeless – graciously awaiting the branch’s repentance and call for mercy before having it cast into the fire (v.6). In v.4 he says that only those who abide in him (the vine) can be fruitful, and in vv.7&10 he tells us what abiding in him entails – his Words abide in us and we keep his commandments. ‘Keep’ is from G5083, tereo, meaning to guard from loss or injury. In other words, we guard his commandments so we don’t lose them or let them become less than they were intended in our lives. This can only be accomplished by the work of Ruach in our lives. If we tried to keep them in our own strength, we would utterly fail. But the grace of Y’hovah is the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh, who gives us the power to overcome the world and to live and walk as Yeshua lived and walked. We CAN walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom.8.1) if we submit to Ruach HaKodesh. In v.7, if Torah abides us we will receive the desires of our hearts, because they will accurately reflect the heart of Y’hovah. 

It is by keeping his commandments that we can be joyful (v.11). In v.12 he enumerates one of his commandments. Notice that in vv.10&17 he said ‘keep my commandments’ and ‘these things’ (both plural), but here he names one commandment (singular), and that it reiterates Lev.19.17-18,

17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Y’hovah.

Notice that in Lev.19.17 we are not to hate our brother/neighbor (do you suppose that would mean Yehudah for us, and us for him? – Lk.10), but we are to rebuke sin in his life. That is one way to live out v.18 and Jn.15.12. You are not loving your neighbour by letting him sin; in fact, you are hating him. Do you think that Yeshua rebuked sin in his talmidim? You betcha! Look at Mat.16. 21-23.

21 From that time forth began Yeshua to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Rabbi: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of Y’hovah, but those that be of men. Q&C

 

Vv.13-16 Yeshua speaks of us as his friends. There is no greater love than his love for us; since he gave his life that we could live. He proved that he was our friend by his substitutionary atonement. Now we show that we are his friends by doing as he commands. His commands are only those that Avinu told him to reveal to us. You mean he’s keeping secrets from us? Absolutely! If we knew all the stuff that he has planned for us, we’d be jumping off buildings in our hurry to get to it. In 17 he says, ‘These things’, not ‘this thing’, and then he enumerates one thing – to love one another, i.e.; Ephraim loving Yehuda and vice versa. He is not talking about only the command to love one another, but all the particulars that go along with loving one another. Those are the last 5 commandments (the bones) and all the commands, judgments, statutes and ordinances (the meat) that we are able to obey that fill them out. 

The reason we need to love one another is given in vv.18-19 where the world hates us because we ARE Yeshua’s friends and they hated him long before they hated us. Their hatred of him causes their hatred toward us. And they do hate us. They smile at our little fringes and our love of Torah and obedience thereto, but the smile hides their contempt. Remember the O’Jays song, “Smiling Faces, Sometimes”? Now, who persecuted Yeshua while he walked the earth? The political authorities did it to Yeshua. Expect persecution from similar quarters. The political authorities play as if they love Y’hovah Yeshua, but their actions reveal that lie. If the political powers of the US and Israel loved Y’hovah they would not be giving away HIS land as if it were theirs to do with as they please. They prove their hatred of Y’hovah by their actions. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Yehuda and Ephraim in the land, but everything to do with the world’s treatment of the land itself. And you see who’s being persecuted in the land, don’t you? They are the religious Jews who are awaiting Messiah’s soon coming. When Yeshua comes in the clouds of heaven they will be the ones who say “Baruch haba b’Shem Y’hovah” – blessed is he who comes in the Name of Y’hovah. Ps.118. 21-27, 

21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. 22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 24 This is the day which Y’hovah hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Y’hovah: O Y’hovah, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Y’hovah: we have blessed you out of the house of Y’hovah. 27 El is Y’hovah, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Much persecution will come at the hands of ‘fellow believers’ who will persecute us ‘for his Name’s sake’ They will think they are doing it in Y’hovah Yeshua’s Name while they will actually be taking his Name in vain, for they are worldlings, not spirit filled. They will be ‘christians’, not Jews. In America, it is ‘christians’ who hold political/judicial power. 

They hate us because they first hated him, and since they hate him they also hate Avinu. We are the ‘face’ of Yeshua to the world. We sometimes don’t represent him properly, but that isn’t the point. All they see of Yeshua are we, and Yeshua is all the world will ever see of Father Y’hovah. So when they hate us, it is really Yeshua and Father who they hate. 

Ps.35.19-20, 19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. 20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

Sounds like Gush Katif and Amona, doesn’t it? Bush, Rice and the secular government of Israel are deep trouble with Y’hovah.

The unity of Y’hovah is alluded to in v.26 twice. 

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: 

Yeshua sends Ruach from Avinu. Yeshua says right there that these are different in a subject/object relationship. Three manifestations of the One Almighty Yhwh. Cf.Mt.28.19 where there is one Name, but 3 who hold it, Father and the Son and Ruach. If you disagree, you have a right to be wrong. The heathen have counterfeited other truths of Yah, why not this one? 

Yeshua is not speaking only to his talmidim in v.27, but to us as well, for he’s also known us and we have been with him from the beginning. 

Eph.1.3-6 If you disagree, you have a right to be wrong. The heathen have counterfeited other truths of Yah, why not this one? – 3 Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yeshua the Messiah, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in the Messiah: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Yeshua the Messiah to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Q&C

End Midrash

3 Exile stages of the tribes, 1) Reuben, Gad and ½ Menasshe, 2) Zevulon and Naphtali, 3) Samaria and her sisters all exiled.Talmud 110b says the ten will return and be reconciled to Judah. 2Ki.15.29, 1Chr.5.26, 2Ki.17.1-6, 23

Exile due to refusal to follow Y’hovah. 2Ki.17.7-8. They were replaced in the land by the Sumerians 2Ki.17.24 – so there would be no patriotism or affinity to the land.

Samaritans were descended from Assyrian/Ephraimite leftovers to the northern kingdom. 2Ki.24.

They who walk in darkness (no Torah) shall see a great light (living Torah).  Is.9.1-2

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