February 21, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 47 – 25 Feb 2012
Numbers 1:1-54 – Hosea 2:1 – Psalm 91 – Revelation 7:1-17
Numbers 1:1-54 – Everything that has transpired between Ex.12 and Num.1 has taken 1 year and about 2 weeks. Generally, the events in Torah are to be seen as chronological, unless there is something in the text to indicate other wise. Ch.9 tells of the first Passover in the Wilderness Adventure, which was 2 weeks before this census. V.1 tells us the date is the 1st day of the 2nd month of the 2nd year out of Egypt when Moshe was told to number the men of Israel from the 20th to the 60th year, men of war, according to their tribes and families. The elders of each tribe were to go with Moshe and Aharon throughout their tribal encampment to number all the men of war-fighting age. That this is given in other than the normal order sets it apart. The reason for this anachronism is not stated, but I think it was to make the point that their defense was not an afterthought, but the first order of business.
I think the order that is given in vv.5-15 are the actual order they were counted, beginning with the sons of Ya’acov’s wife Leah, then the sons of Rachel, followed by the sons of the concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah. The sons of Ya’acov’s wives are listed in birth order, though the sons of the concubines are not counted in any particular order, not even by where they pitched in the camp. Perhaps the camp was not ordered for battle or march as yet. We’ll see that in next week’s parsha. Perhaps this census was used to determine how the camps would be arrayed. Perhaps the anachronism is to have the order of the camp presented before the chronological narrative takes center stage, so there won’t be an unnecessary interruption in its flow.
This was an actual headcount, a direct order from Y’hovah superceding Ex.30.12-13, just this once;
12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto Y’hovah, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of Y’hovah. (Ex.30.12-13)
In every other census, they were to simply count the amount of silver that was offered by the souls and divide by 2 to arrive at the full number. But looks as if Moshe and Aharon personally spoke to each man of every family in every tribe, that each man personally gave his name and lineage to Moshe.
18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
This certainly seems like a personnel inspection conducted by the CinC (Moshe) and his executive officer (Aharon), with the commanding general (elder or zachan) of each tribe accompanying him. If this is right, every soldier would get a personal few seconds or minutes of face time with the Prophet Moshe. I do not know how much time Moshe had had with ANY of the men of Israel, other than the elders, up to now. It is possible that this was the first face-to-face between the vast majority of b’nei Israel and Moshe. There were so many men in each of the tribes, it is possible that this was the first face-to-face between the zachanim and the men of their tribes. This would be a good thing in the long view, as now the elders and the leaders would have seen the face and heard the name of each man being sent into war, and that would make for as little war-fighting as practicable. The armies now had human faces, they were more than just numbers. This might be a good practice for every CinC. It might make for less military adventurism in political leaders. A CinC must not be afraid to use his military, when required, but he also must not be quick to use it except in self-defense. Israel had already fought defensive battles with Alameda at Rephidim. As long as the cause was just and they were in right standing, Y’hovah protected Israel in battle. If there was sin in the camp, the protection was lifted. It would ever be so in Israel’s/Yehudah’s history.
The number of men of war in each tribe is the subject of the next portion of the chapter. I infer from v.18 that the character of the elders is expressed by his name. Reuben had 46,500 led by Elitzur, whose name means My El Protects; Shimon had 59,300 led by Shelumiel, whose name means El is my Peace; Gad had 45,650 led by Eliasaph, whose name means My El gathers; Yehudah had 74,600 led by Nachshon, whose name means enchanter (this may tell us why Kolev, that dog of a gentile soon became the elder of Yehudah); Issachar had 54,400 led by N’thaniel, whose name means El is my Gift (or Giver); Zevulon had 57,400 led by Eliav, whose name means My El is Father. Yoseph was broken down by his 2 tribes, Ephraim and Menashe. Ephraim had 40,500 led by Elishama, whose name means My El hears; Menashe had 32,200 led by Gamaliel, whose name means El is my reward, so that Yoseph has a total of 72,700. BenYamin had 35,400 led by Avidan, whose name means My Father judges; Dan had 62,700 led by Achiezer, whose name means My brother helps; Asher had 41,500 led by Pagiel, whose name means El is my intercessor; Naphtali had 53,400 led by Achirah, whose name means My brother is wrong or evil, but whose father’s name, Eynan – the last name listed means ‘Having Eyes’, for a total of 603,550 men of war in Israel. If we juxtapose the first and last names, Elitzur and Eynan, it says that Elohim protects by watching. His protection goes before and he’s watching our 6.
Levi was not numbered with the other tribes because they were not men of war, but were instead the substitutes for the first-born of each family in Israel. They were to minister in the Mishkan and bear it and its accoutrements in their 42 moves from camp to camp, and into haAretz.
The tribes were to pitch according to their tribes and their standards all around the Levites, who encamped just outside the Mishkan so they could be in close proximity to their charge, and be the last line of defense of the Mishkan, if need be. The order of the camp had not been specified, yet. We’ll see that next week, Y’hovah willing and the creek don’t rise. Q&C
Hosea 2:1 – Hoshea’s wife, Gomer, represents the world’s religions, beginning w/Judaism and mainstream Xianity but including all the pagan/heathen belief systems. It is ‘syncretism’, or mixing Y’hovah’s Torah with the religions of the world, that he hates and must address in his children. It was the official syncretism of Yerovoam’s national religion, mixing the pagan practices with the Name of Y’hovah that eventually got the 10 northern tribes of Israel exiled from their inheritance baAretz, in the land. It was the same syncretism in the leadership of Judaism that got Yehudah exiled, which exile is STILL experienced by MOST of the practitioners of the religion. If we were not all guilty of this syncretism, we would have long since been recalled to our tribal inheritances baAretz. The Jews who have gone back to haAretz are there trying to force Y’hovah’s hand, IMHO. They are not there in answer to his call, but in reaction to the Satanically driven anti-Semitism they’ve experienced throughout the world. They reason that they will always be discriminated against in the goyim nations of the world, so they need a homeland of their own, and stepped out ahead of Y’hovah’s call. This has NEVER worked out for Avraham or his seed. And the goyim are doing everything in their power to make this most recent attempt fail, as well. I think it is only a matter of time before Israel will be overrun by the goyim nations, almost to the point of utter destruction. It will only be when they have their backs against the wall, with absolutely nowhere else to turn that they will call out, “Hosheanu”, to Y’hovah for his deliverance. And he SHALL answer with Y’hovah’s Salvation – Yehoshua haMoshiach. Yehudah will then see him whom THEY pierced, repent of their 2000-year rejection, and JOYFULLY proclaim in fulfillment of prophecy, “Baruch haba b’Shem Y’hovah”, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of Y’hovah!”
And that is when we’ll see our Haftarah proclaimed by Avinu,
Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruchamah.
Call your brethren, “My People” and your sistren, “Mercy”. I think that will be the call on the heathen nations’ armies to repentance and to change sides to Yeshua, as he says he’ll do when he returns to deliver Zion,
4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers, thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me. (Is.27.4-5)
I look forward to him offering his mercy, grace and shalom to the goyim arrayed against him, and accepting them as his people, if they turn from their ways to come to him. That goes for all the armies and also all the outright pagans and all the syncretists among them. Q&C
Tehellim 91 – Vv.1-4 uses 3rd person to describe Messiah and how he deals with his own, and then in vv.5-15 he uses 2nd person to speak comfort to Messiah’s people in tribulation and exile. The psalm applies to all who dwell in the secret place of Y’hovah. What else would the secret place be, but the Kodesh Kadashim? And who else would be in the secret place but his Bride? We need to remember, even when the whole world turns against us and all looks bleakest, that we are hidden in Messiah, he is our refuge and fortress. He will deliver me from the snare – even if I get caught in a secret trap, Messiah will deliver me; even when there are dread diseases running rampant in the world, he will deliver me from them, either by surviving it or not contracting it. One of the most grievous pestilences of my generation has been AIDS, from which I have been delivered by practicing the only safe sex there is, total monogamy. Funny thing … my wife has also been delivered from AIDS and all other STDs by the same practice AND we have helped to deliver each other thereby. Isn’t it interesting that Y’hovah protects his people who follow his commandments? It’s very simple, though often not easy. He even protects those who are NOT his people when they follow his commandments. Curious, no? If we’ll trust him even in the bad circumstances, not thinking them anything that can truly harm us, he’ll deliver us through it all. Torah observance is our defense (even in court).
Vv.5-15 – What follows speaks of our tribulation(s). Compare the tribulations in 6-9 with the horsemen of Revelation, of whom we should have no fear. Y’hovah will provide all his Bride’s needs through tribulation. Do you seriously think that 1000 enemies will fall at our side and 10,000 at our right hand because WE had anything to do with it?
Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. (Psalms 73:23)
In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. 4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou my refuge my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. (Psalm 142.3b-7)
Look at 3b, “In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.” This is how the Beast system will be able to persecute and prosecute believers, they will make laws against keeping Torah. It is how they have ALWAYS worked.
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find against him concerning the law of his God. (Dan.6.4-5)
They make laws that create new classes of criminals where there was no such class or law before. Every new rule or regulation makes otherwise law-abiding people guilty of another crime. It may be that the new criminal is completely unaware of the new regulation or rule he is ‘privily’ guilty of breaking – like the USAPATRIOT Act did. THAT is setting a ‘fowler’s snare’ (91.3). When they bring you up on charges for anything that is contrary to Torah, you may truthfully plead, “Innocent” (do NOT plead ‘Not Guilty’ – maintain your INNOCENCE). They created laws for the specific purpose of charging us (and others like us) with made up crimes. If you are truly keeping Torah in every place it applies to you, you are innocent before the Supreme Judge of the Universe. We who make Y’hovah our dwelling will not experience the rewards of the wicked, we will only see our adversaries rewarded therewith. And then he will wipe away all tears from our eyes and all those memories of wickedness from our minds
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev.21.4)
What blessings follow those who follow Y’hovah’s Torah? Remember last week’s Torah portion, Lev.26.3-13? Let me refresh your memories:
3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your Eloha, and ye shall be my people. 13 I am Y’hovah Elohenu, which brought you forth out of the land of Mitzraim, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
And what does David describe in Ps.91.5-15? Now, the political ‘powers that be’ may imprison and/or mistreat you for your faith, but only YOU can make yourself their bondservant/slave. You do that by surrendering to their will and not submitting to Y’hovah’s will. Remember Andy DuFraine in The Shawshank Redemption. He’s a great metaphor for this thought. Like Yoseph in Mitzraim, he was in their custody, but he was never their prisoner. They controlled his body, but they could not control his mind without his active cooperation, which he never gave them. If (or perhaps WHEN) the time comes, it is YOUR attitude and where YOUR trust lies that will decide if you are in exile/prison or merely in custody. Do not be insolent or arrogant. But do not willingly comply with their iniquity. Y’hovah will repay our persecutors and will reward our faith and
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Ps.91)
Here we have Y’hovah speaking of Moshiach/Yisrael (pashat), who was in all points tested like we are, and also Moshiach of his Bride/Yisrael (sod). Q&C
Revelation 7:1-8 – Imagine for a minute what it would be like if there was no wind. What conditions would it take to have no wind? I got this from the source of ALL objective truth; Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind
“Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air… In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, hurricane, and typhoon. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth… Wind is caused by differences in pressure. When a difference in pressure exists, the air is accelerated from higher to lower pressure.”
So, what conditions would it take to have no wind? Pretty much all of those processes would have to stop operating for a relatively long period of time. Y’hovah is going to have 4 spirit beings exert that kind of power over the physical creation (4 is the number of creation according to Bullinger’s Number in Scripture). Whether that power is special for just that time or is the spirit’s normal ministry is not clear in the text. Shadim have shown the ability to affect physical things in their attempt to counterfeit Y’hovah’s power. According to eyewitness testimony, physical objects have vanished from their normal place and reappeared in another by the actions of shadim. Y’hovah may not work that way most of the time, but he most certainly CAN if he wants to do so. I will not try to stop him, anyway.
Another angel comes from the east, whether terrestrial east or celestial east it doesn’t say, and tells them to not do their ministry until the servants of Y’hovah are sealed in their foreheads. This is a reference to the ultimate fulfillment of
2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which the writer’s inkhorn by his side; 4 And Y’hovah said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. (Ezek.9.2-4)
I think this will be the ultimate fulfillment of the outpouring of the Ruach haKodesh on a Shavuoth in the not very distant future. The 144,000 will be 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel listed. If you look at the http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-47.htm entry for this week, you will see a comparison of the tribes as listed in B’reishith 29 and Rev.7. Messianic.ws makes a valid point that Ephraim is possibly not listed for the same reason as Dan in Rev.7 – both were seats of Yerovoam’s ‘golden calf’ worship in the Name of Y’hovah. However, both Ephraim and Menashe are of Yoseph, so Menashe is effectively listed twice here. Remember that Ephraim was taken by Ya’acov as his bachor instead of Reuven. Perhaps this is what Ya’acov alluded to in B’reishith 48
19 And his father refused, and said, I know my son, I know: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. (Gen.48.19-20)
In the British Israel theory, Ephraim = England and Menashe = America. But England, more precisely the Cities of London and Westminster, is, in MY opinion, the seat of the Beast political and economic systems and prominent in the Beast religious system, as well, and that it uses the USofA as its military ‘right arm’ today. Wiki has some good articles about the City of London https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London and the City of Westminster https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Westminster, where Buckingham Palace, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_Palace, originally known as the Queen’s House, where Elisabeth I first resided as Queen, is. The Cities are across the river Tyburn from each other, both have the Thames as their southern borders. It is possible, though speculative on my part, that the reason Ephraim is not in the list of tribes in Rev.7 is its prominence in the Beast System.
V.4 says that there are 12,000 from ALL the tribes of Israel. Of those listed, only Yehudah, BenYamin and Levi were NOT carried of to Assyria and lost in the world. Only Y’hovah really KNOWS who is of what tribe, if any, among the gentile nations. Only Y’hovah can direct the angel to place his mark on the foreheads of those people. I believe that I am of one of those tribes, but I do not KNOW certainly, because the records for those tribes after the Assyrian captivity are lost to history. As of today, there is a 2800-year gap in the genealogies. For instance, who can KNOW they are of the tribe of Asher or Yissachar? It MAY be possible to trace your ancestry to Yehudah, BenYamin or Levi, but even THAT would have to be open to some doubt. But Y’hovah KNOWS. And he will guide the angels to mark the right people.
I think that the 144,000 will live through at least the majority of the ‘Time of Trouble’, and perhaps all the way through to the return of Yeshua, when they will be either translated of resurrected to teach Torah to the nations.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Y’hovah’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people (amiym, Heb root) shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, to the house of the Eloha of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go Torah, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, the mountain of the house of Y’hovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations (goyim, Heb. root) shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, and to the house of the Eloha of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for Torah shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1&2)
The prophets YeshaYahu and Micah were contemporaries and quite probably knew each other through the school of the prophets. These prophecies’ similarities are striking. The people of their day got 2 witnesses from 2 men who were both known to be prophets of Y’hovah. I think it is possible, perhaps probable, that as the amim hagoyim come up to Zion for instruction, they will be assigned one of the 144,000 as their tutors in Torah, as well as their vice-regents and judges under Torah’s authority. The people of the nations will be coming up to Jerusalem at least once every year for the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech.14). Perhaps they will have ‘speed of thought’ transport with their tutors? Q&C
Vv.9-17 – The multitude that no man can number that stand before the throne of Elohim include the souls who are under the altar in ch.6
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they should be fulfilled. (Rev.6.9-11)
Those under the altar are given their white robes as an earnest of the promise given to them. Those who stand before the throne are the brethren who are those who shall be killed for the testimony. It is a subtle difference, but those under the altar have been killed for their testimony and will join those who shall be killed for their testimony. The 5th seal of Ch.6 is clearly seen as happening chronologically before the 7th seal is opened revealing the great multitude of Ch.7. The 1st is included among the 2nd and ALL are praised for their faith and faithfulness to Yeshua and Avinu. There is a difference, although very subtle between the 2 groups. The saints beneath the altar in ch. 6 are given clean white robes, while the multitude washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, which implies that they paid the price AFTER the saints had already received the earnest of their inheritance. Were that not the case, the time reference wouldn’t make any sense. What we are seeing in 7.9ff MAY be the scene after the last saint dies for the testimony of Yeshua and keeping Torah. I think that will happen very shortly before his return to haAretz, perhaps during the last few days of the Jewish month of Elul here on earth.
Washing robes is seen in Torah during the offering of the Red Heifer, and other things that make the one touching it unclean until evening after a mikvah. I assume the mikvah was done while wearing the clothes to be washed. This can be seen 26 times in Lev.11, 13-17 and Num.19. I think they washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb by accepting death by martyrdom rather than denial of the Lamb who bought them. I pray that this is the testimony of all who hear this today who are NOT of the 144,000. May all y’all (and me, too) be faithful to Y’hovah Yeshua. The multitude that stands before the throne in ch.7 will dwell in the New Earth, as I read v.15.
I think v.12 may be another reference to the 7 Spirits of Y’hovah, as seen in ch.1, 3-5, as well as
And the spirit of Y’hovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Y’hovah; (Isaiah 11:2)
In v.13, one of the elders speaks to Yochanan. This is one of the elders referenced in 4.10
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (Revelation of John 4:10)
It is possible that this refers to the 24 elders we will see in the next few weeks when we see the camp of the Levites around the Mishkan. All the sons of Levi + their sons + the grandsons of Aharon = 24. The traditional Christian interpretation may also be true, 12 tribal patriarchs + 12 apostles, as in the foundations and gates of New Jerusalem.
The multitude is made up of people who suffered enough during the tribulation of Ya’acov that they will never suffer any pain of any kind. The list of things they will not ever experience again may be instructive of the types of pain they were subjected to in the attempt to get them to deny Yeshua and Y’hovah Avinu.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (Rev.7.16)
They were deprived of food and/or water and/or subjected to pain of burning by sun and/or other means. And they were strengthened in their spirits by the power of Ruach haKodesh to endure unto the end. Determine that, if it comes to it, you will rely on the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit to endure the hardship and then if it comes, give your body to him as a living sacrifice. HE will carry you through and only have to endure what he knows you can endure and then he will personally wipe all tears from our eyes and all memory of the abuse at the hands of men. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study