January 9, 2016 Shabbat Bible Study
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
January 9, 2016 – Year 3 Sabbath 43
Deuteronomy 24:19 – 25:19 – Hosea 10:12 – Psalm 140 – Luke 12:13-48
Devarim 24:19 – 25:19 – The last 4 verses of Dev.23 deal with gleaners in the fields of Israel. Does v.19 bring anything in subsequent scripture to mind for you? The first thing that jumped into my head was Boaz ordering the reapers to drop some “Handsful of Purpose”, so the gleaners, the Moavitess Ruth in particular, would have it to glean. You’ll remember that Ruth had married Machlon (Ruth 4.10), Naomi and Elimelech’s bachor, or firstborn son, who died childless, and when Naomi determined to go back to Israel from Moav, Ruth forsook her nation and its Elohims to sojourn with Naomi and to affiliate and identify with Yehovah. Now, let’s look at Ruth 2 – the whole chapter, just because I love it so. Please notice how many times scripture says that Ruth is a Moavitess. There is nothing in the plain sense to imply that she was anything else, unless you hold that the KJV punctuators were inspired of Yehovah, as was the author of the Hebrew text. Only the comma before the prepositional phrase ‘with her’ in 1.22 even suggests that Ruth was returning, though the sentence says plainly that Naomi is returning. We begin w/the last verse of Ch.1:
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest [Stone’s Tanach has ‘AT the beginning of the barley harvest’]. 1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. 4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, Yehovah I’machem. And they answered him, Yivorechecha Yehovah.
I infer that Boaz had slept in his home the night before and allowed the work to commence under the care of his trusted foreman. I also infer that this is the first day of the barley harvest, or chag haBikkurim, the day of firstfruits and the 1st day of the omer count. The Hebrew word for in or at the beginning is biyt’chilath, H8462, ‘the first time’. Here’s what Strong’s says
8462 tchillah tekh-il-law’ from 2490 in the sense of opening; a commencement; rel. original (adverb, -ly):–begin(-ning), first (time).
I infer that here it means to partake of the gleaning from day 1. So, Naomi and Ruth had arrived in BethLechem somewhat earlier, probably in time to observe Pesach and ULB.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? 6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, The Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: 7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. 8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 9 thine eyes on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of which the young men have drawn. 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 Yehovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Yehovah Elohim of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Did you get that? Boaz knew that Ruth was trusting to the protection and provision of Yehovah for both Naomi and herself. Ruth had been born of Moav, but had decided to sojourn with Naomi and be engrafted into Yisrael. This also means that he knew that he was near kin to Naomi and may already have been thinking of being kinsman redeemer to Machlon and Elimelech.
13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, adoni; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto [Stone’s has ‘Though I am not as worthy as’] one of thine handmaidens. 14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched [barley]corns, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
Boaz not only made sure that Ruth had enough to eat and a place to rest if she needed to, he also instructed the reapers not only to not stop her from gleaning right after them, but to actually drop some handsful of reaped barley for her to pick up off the ground. She continued to find favor in his eyes because of how she comported herself and how she treated Naomi as her own mother. She was a woman of fine character. If she was pretty, that was just another selling point.
17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
She not only brought what she’d gleaned (I think an ephah is about a bushel – quite a take for a gleaner. Ephah is derived from Egyptian and means ‘measure’. Easton’s Bible dictionary says that an ephah is 10 Omers and that an omer is about ½ gallon, so an ephah is about 5 gallons) already prepared for parching and use, but also brought the leftovers of her lunch to Naomi, so they wouldn’t have to use the produce of her gleanings.
19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, baruch hu l’Yehovah, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead.
Neither Boaz nor Yehovah had forgotten to bless Elimelech through Naomi and Ruth
And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. 21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. 22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, Good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field. 23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
Ruth kept close by Boaz’s maidens and I infer that he kept an eye on her with them until Shavuoth, the Feast of Yehovah following the wheat harvest. Speculation Warning! Be Bereans! He watched her for 50 days. I infer that he did the kinsman-redeemer offer to the nearer kin while the barley harvest was underway and married her at Shavuoth. Perhaps he prepared the ketubah between Unleavened Bread and Shavuoth; committed to marry her by entering into the Ketubah with her on Shavuoth and then finalized and consummated the marriage at Sukkoth. End of speculation warning.
Dev.24.20-22 – When we go to harvest our olives and grapes, we are to gather what is ripe or ready for harvest, but anything that is not ready is to be left so that the sojourners, widows, orphans, and strangers would be able to glean what Yah did not choose to have ready for the reapers. We are not to go back after the harvest to glean for ourselves, but to leave it for the poor or to just drop and fertilize the soil for the next planting. This is one of the ways that Yehovah kept the land fertile and productive for his people who followed his agricultural laws. One of the reasons our food is more or less empty calories is because we have either forgotten or just plain despised Yehovah’s commands concerning the land, including the land sabbaths and yovels. Q&C
Devarim 25.1-4 – When Israelites have a matter at controversy; say, a landmark issue, and they can’t come to mutual agreement on a solution, they were to resort to the court system to resolve it according to Torah and any other evidence that was available. In the case of a landmark issue, they were to go to the tribal records and to the Torah to find all the evidence there was to make a righteous judgment. The judges were not to consider the persons involved, only Torah and any other evidence available; they were NOT to find in favor of a friend or close relative against Torah or the evidence.
If, in our example, there is evidence of moving the landmark, the next verses come into play, and the man who moved the landmark is to receive lashes in punishment and to make restitution by moving the landmarks back where they belong. The passage only says 40 lashes, but I do not think that is a prescription; I think it is a worst-case punishment for any matter. The sages say that even 40 lashes is too many and that 39 is the worst-case. Rav Shaul received ‘40 save 1’ on 5 occasions within the synagogue system.
23 Are they ministers of Moshiach? (I speak as a fool) I more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Yehudim five times received I forty save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (2Cor.11.23-25)
Sha’ul received those stripes, and perhaps the beating with rods, and the stoning so that he could remain in the synagogue system. Had he refused the punishment, either by just not submitting or by invoking his citizenship in the Empire, he would have made himself ineligible to enter either the Temple or the synagogues – and word of this would have traveled very quickly. Paul NEVER left the synagogue or Temple system; he kept himself under their authority until his death so that he would ALWAYS be able to go ‘to the Yehudi first, and also to the Greek’. His mission was to regather the lost sheep of the whole house of Yisrael to Moshiach, and there was no better place to start in a new city than the synagogue.
V.4 seems to be WAY out of place. In the pashat, it fits well with 23.24-25, for the reapers are allowed to chew on a bit of what they are reaping as they go AND there should be a place where the reapers/gleaners could get some water and a rest out of the sun, as well. In the case of the animals, they need to rest occasionally to graze and drink as they do the heavy work in the field, and the master of that field MUST be careful of his animals at all times; they MUST be treated humanely and be fed, watered, and milked (if necessary), even on Shabbat (not that they would be reaping on Shabbat). But why put this verse between 2 passages on judgment? There must be a connexion. Rav Sha’ul quotes this passage at least twice,
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not Torah the same also? 9 For it is written in the Torah of Moshe, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth Elohim take care for oxen? (1Cor.9.7-9)
Sha’ul makes a lesser to greater application there. And perhaps that is Torah’s point in our passage.
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1Tim.5.17-18)
Yeshua makes reference to this passage, as well as the reapers,
And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. (Luke 10:7)
Those labourers are to receive their hire at the end of the day, as we saw last week, AND were to be fed and supplied with drink during the day. Remember how Boaz cared for the labourers in his fields, including the gleaners. Going back to Sha’ul’s ‘lesser to greater’ argument, if Yehovah makes a negative command concerning an ox in the field, should we not also ensure that human labourers are well cared for while in our employ? If he cares enough about the oxen to command their care and feeding, do you think he cares less for the landmarks in our illustration above? Q&C
Vv.5-10 – If Yehovah cares for the ox in the field, how much more does he care for the inheritances he has ordained? It was not a small thing to deny the duty of kinsman-redeemer (KR henceforth) to a brother or close cousin. Yehovah takes his children’s inheritances seriously, as can be seen by the public humiliation commanded upon the man. Why do you think Onan died when he refused to raise children to Er by Tamar (B’reishith 38)? Why do you think Yehudah saw immediately upon being asked, “Whose are these?” that Tamar was more righteous than he (and that she either knew the reason he had estranged himself from Ya’acov or that Yehovah was in the whole situation)?
I think that Yehudah knew the law of the KR, and that it was the land inheritance that was to be protected. The land was inherited by the bachor, the first-born son of the father. If the bachor died childless, the 2nd born son was to raise up a child to his elder brother through his widow (the commandment is to name the new bachor, the son born to the widow of the bachor by the KR, after the bachor [v.6], for the purpose of keeping his name in remembrance). Boaz knew there was a closer kinsman, so he went before the judges in the city gate and told him that if he did not wish to act as KR, Boaz would do the redemption, thereby giving him a valid reason to turn it down AND show the judges that the KR commandment would be upheld, so no stripes or humiliation would ensue. I infer that the closer kinsman had not had a son, yet, and that was why raising a son to Ruth would mess up his own inheritance. I also infer that Boaz was either NOT the bachor of his family or had already had a son who would be bachor of his inheritance, so his inheritance would not be encumbered by Ruth’s firstborn son, as would have happened to the closer kinsman’s, if my inferences are correct.
Another Speculation warning! Be Bereans! Is not Ephraim now Ya’acov’s bachor (Gen.48.14, 18)? Are not the present inhabitants of the land mainly descended from Ephraim, or 10-Yisrael, since they are mostly descended from the Khazari Yehudi Ashkenazim of ancient Scythia? Do you suppose they called the nation Israel instead of Yehudah for that reason? End of Speculation Warning!
Vv.11-12 – See Schottenstein’s Chumash on these verses (pg. 159, left column), whose explanation is quite reasonable.
Vv13-16 refer to honest weights and measures. We are not to do any double-dealing, charging one thing to a brother or friend and another for a stranger or sojourner – no thumbs on the scale, bro. We are to be scrupulously honest in business. We are to be known as trustworthy. Yehovah holds any who use unjust weights and measures as an abomination before him.
Now apply this to the United States of America’s government and economic system and ask yourself why we are being made the anus and not the head. Let’s look at what USED to be the norm for the USA, as it is written,
1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of Yehovah Elohecha, to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that Yehovah Elohecha will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Yehovah Elohecha. 3 Blessed thou in the city, and blessed thou in the field. 4 Blessed the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed thou when thou comest in, and blessed thou when thou goest out. 7 Yehovah shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 Yehovah shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which Yehovah Elohecha giveth thee. 9 Yehovah shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of Yehovah Elohecha, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Yehovah; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11 And Yehovah shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which Yehovah sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 Yehovah shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And Yehovah shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of Yehovah Elohecha, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, the right hand, or the left, to go after other Elohims to serve them. (Devarim 28.1-14)
And since our nation officially turned its back on Yehovah, he has turned our blessings of Dev.28.1-14 into the curses of vv.15-68 and we are about to be dispersed into servitude.
Vv.17-19 are about how we are to deal with Amalek, who came out against us in Shemoth 17, right after Yehovah gave us the water from the Rock at Rephidim.
8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim… 11 And it came to pass, when Moshe held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed… 14 And Yehovah said unto Moshe, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven… 16 For he said, Because Yehovah hath sworn that Yehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:8, 11, 14, 16)
We were to utterly destroy Amalek from under heaven and that commandment still applies. Had we done it on the way into the land under Yehoshua, we would not have the troubles baAretz that we do today. But then, we also would not have him to make war with from generation to generation – until the New Creation is ‘generated’. And it will be Yehovah that puts out Amalek from his remembrance. In one sense of that verse, Yehovah is doing just that. When Amalek is in the land, it is a wasteland for Yehovah does not ‘remember’ them, but when Israel is in the land, it becomes a garden for he does remember Yisrael, his inheritance. Q&C
Hosea 10:12 – Aven (v.8) is the Hebraic designation of On, the idolatrous city in Egypt. It also speaks of the idolatry in Bethel in 10-Israel and of a Syrian city dedicated to the same false Elohim. Here’s what Strong’s says about H206, Aven
idolatry; Aven, the contemptuous synonym of three places, one in Coele-Syria, one in Egypt (On), and one in Palestine (Bethel)
When Yerovoam ran from the face of Shlomo near the end of Shlomo’s reign, he went to Egypt, where he descended into Egypt’s pagan worship, quite probably the Egyptian Elohim On (and married an Egyptian princess). When he set up the false Yehovah worship in 10-Israel, he set up an idol in Bethel and another in Dan. Bethel was where the people of southern Israel went for their regular worship, but Dan is where they went for Sukkoth in the 8th month. Yah is calling on 10-Israel to forsake her idolatry and turn to the TRUE worship of Yehovah according to Torah instead of the traditions of men. Those traditions were what caused our ground to go fallow in the first place. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has this for ‘fallow’,
This word may be from the root of ‘fail’; fallo; so called from the fading color of autumn leaves, or from failure, withering. Hence also the sense of unoccupied, applied to land.
2. Unsowed; not tilled; left to rest after a year or more of tillage; as fallow ground; a fallow field. Break up your fallow ground. Jer.4
5. Unoccupied; neglected (unused).
This would be the condition of the land in the first year after the Yovel, for it would have been 2 years since it had been plowed and tilled. The idea of breaking up the fallow ground is to take hard soil and break into it and turn it over, and then to take the clumps and till them into fine soil and then to await the rains of righteousness to make them able to bear fruit. In this case, of course, the fallow ground is a metaphor for our hard hearts. If we sow the Word in our softened hearts, we will reap the mercy of Yehovah in the same proportion as we are able to soak up the Word of righteousness that he rains on the good, broken and tilled soil of our hearts.
Tehellim 140 – Do not vv.1-2 speak of conditions in American government: indeed, MOST human governments of late? It seems that if America is not engaged in a war, she is looking for an excuse to go to war. The American government already has military men stationed in over 190 nations to combat ‘terrorism’. Is it any wonder that many people see the American government as the greatest terror threat in the world? Is it not possible that they see America as a fulfillment of v.3 (Selah – consider that): forked tongues and poisonous words that weave a web of deceit that can easily take in the unwary or unscrupulous? Please notice that after David considered v.3, he immediately asked Yehovah to keep him safe from those adders and spiders. All of vv.4&5 amplify v.3 and then David stops to consider it all again. A gin, in the way the word is used in KJV, is a snare for catching game. After considering the wickedness of those who arrayed themselves against him, David calls on Yehovah to shema his voice and his requests, and asks his guidance and protection from his enemies and their gins. By the way, another definition of ‘gin’ is a device that supplements human strength to multiply the effectiveness of work done, like the ‘cotton-gin’ of Eli Whitney.
In vv.9-11, David gets down to specific imprecations against his enemies; that they be entangled in their own words, that they get burned by their own devices, and fall into the pits they’d set for him. The wicked spirits that drive these violent men will eventually turn on them, overthrow them, and tear them to pieces. Then in vv.12-13, David shows that his trust in Yehovah will be his strength and assurance; that Yehovah will take up the cause of his righteous men who are afflicted by the wickedness in the world. Remember that ‘afflicted’ and ‘poor’ (v.12) are references to exile and dispersion from Yehovah and his land. V.13 shows that even though we may be in dispersion and exile, if we are after his heart, desire to be righteous, and exalt his Name, he will regather us to himself so that we may dwell with him in his Kingdom. Q&C
Luke 12:13-48 – In vv.13-31 Yeshua uses a request from one of the crowd that Yeshua instruct his brother, I assume the bachor, to share the inheritance (which goes against the peshat of our Torah parsha today) to make a point about covetousness. Why he didn’t rebuke the guy on the spot shows that Yeshua was a whole lot better than me; I’d have laced into him. Yeshua was ‘Fulfilling Torah’ [shameless plug] in the Mat.5.17 sense; giving its proper interpretation. The parallel passage to Lk.12.13-31 is in Matt. 6.24-34. What follows is taken from my study “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective”, originally taught as a weekly bible study between 2001 and 2006 and updated since then.
Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon.”
The greek word for mammon is mammonos which derives from Chaldean and originally meant confidence. It has since come to mean avarice deified, but it literally means that in which you place your confidence.
The theme of chapter 6.16ff is obviously single-mindedness. We Laodiceans are the most double-minded people ever to live, I think. We claim to be Elohim’s and to be interested only in the things of Elohim with our mouths, but our actions put the lie to our words. We make great pretense of serving Elohim, and then act out of self-interest. Yeshua says here that we can’t have it both ways.
How can we serve Elohim while serving ourselves? Who is Elohim, the Creator of the universe or myself? Whom do I serve? When I look at that question honestly, most, if not all, of the time, I must answer – myself. Elohim forgive me for my self-seeking and self-service, and give me a heart to serve and to seek only you and yours. Where is your confidence?
Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if Elohim so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
This is a large chunk of scripture, but it is all in illustration of how we are to look at our lives and our needs. It is an illustration of the single-mindedness taught in vv.16-24. The main point of the whole last 2/3 of Matt. 6 is in verse 33. There is really nothing more to be said except to ask, ‘How am I doing?’ If your honest answer is, ‘Miserably’, join the club. Now, what are we going to do about it?
It is interesting to note that Yeshua here speaks of the kingdom of Elohim, rather than the kingdom of heaven. The two aspects of the kingdom are juxtaposed in Matthew, the KOG mentioned 5x and the KOH mentioned 25x. Remember that the KOH refers to Yisrael in belief with Yeshua as the King and will be literally fulfilled in the millennium, while the KOG refers to Elohim’s kingdom throughout eternity. The KOH is included within the KOG. The disciples (and we) are to seek the kingdom of Elohim, which includes all believers from all times, not just the kingdom of heaven, which includes Yisrael ruling on earth over the nations. Q&C
Luke 12.32-40 – Abba is pleased to give his children every treasure and he has promised to do that, but he promises it in regard to the KOH/KOG. This whole passage, like John 6, is primarily to be seen as a sod level teaching. Rav Sha’ul applies it to himself in
3 For we are the circumcision, which worship Elohim in the spirit, and rejoice in Moshiach Yeshua, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching [oral] law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in Torah, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Moshiach. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Moshiach Yeshua Adonai: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Moshiach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of [oral] law, but that which is through the faith of Moshiach [Torah], the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:3-11)
The English word ‘count’ in this context means ‘consider’. Rav Sha’ul still possesses all the things he considers waste, but they are of less importance to him than to be found faithful to Moshiach Yeshua and worthy of the resurrection. That is what our attitude should be like, and Yeshua said so in our passage today. After he says to ‘sell what ye have’ he says ‘provide yourselves bags which wax not old’ into which it’s implied we put the important stuff that we will inherit to replace all the crapola we discarded to follow him. Anything material that does not wax old must be somewhere in spiritual space, where there is no time. And if the bag of stuff is there and is ours, it must be waiting our resurrection or translation into eternity. Paul thought that anything that moths will eat, rust will corrupt or thieves might steal is pretty much worthless; dung, when compared to eternal things. And if our hearts are after things that cannot be assailed, we are unable to be defeated. Q&C
Vv.35-40 speak of watchfulness. In the Olivet Discourse (Mat.24.43ff), Yeshua makes reference to this very idea. Again, from “Life of Yeshua”;
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour Adonenu doth come.”
In a Mark paraphrase we see, “In light of the verses immediately preceding this one (vv.36-41), watch.” The word watch does not refer to a timepiece on your wrist. It means to keep awake to your surroundings, to be vigilantly circumspect. Observe the signs of the times we just spoke about, keep yourself as undefiled by the world as Yehovah gives you the grace to be, and stay ready to give an answer to those who enquire as to your faith and the source of your hope (1Pe.3.15). No one knows when Yeshua will return, save Abba. You can stay ready by your watchfulness and by your careful separation from sin by the grace (that is, his POWER to perform his will in you) of our Saviour through his Ruach haKodesh.
Luke 12.41-48 – Kefa asked a direct question about the target of his teaching and gets an indirect answer. Yeshua is answering the pashat with a remez or sod. In other words, his answer is, “YES!” He then applies with another parable about a steward. A steward is the chief servant, or ‘gentleman’s gentleman’, of a rich man or a king, the foreman of a work crew, like we saw when we examined Ruth 2 earlier, in our Torah parsha. I think that Kefa is the bachor we saw in v.13 (if I am right, that would make Andrew the guy wanting to have a portion of the inheritance). What Yeshua is saying is that the steward, the bachor, needs to be wise in all he does and to be careful of his inheritance. If he starts moving landmarks (to refer to our example in the Torah comments above), mistreating his employees and servants, he will be brought before the courts and receive the just recompense of his transgressions. Just recompense has to do with not just the treatment of the lesser servants but the knowledge and intent of the steward. If he had not knowledge of his Master’s will, he would receive lesser punishment than if he had comprehensive knowledge of it. Many of the people listening to or reading this will have less comprehensive knowledge of Yehovah’s will than I; and some, perhaps MORE, will have more comprehensive knowledge than I. Chastisement, to be righteous, is meted out according to knowledge and motives plus actions, not just actions themselves. Hence, the diligence of the inquiry about the matter before the courts. Ask Sha’ul. Stripes are not a trivial matter. Q&C
End of Midrashic Bible Study