March 12, 2016 Shabbat Bible Study
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Mach 12, 2016 – Y3-W48
Deuteronomy 31:14-30 – Judges 2:1-15; Daniel 4:28-37 – Psalm 145 – John 12:35 – 14:26
Vv.14-22 are Y’hovah’s final commands to Moshe before his ascent up Mt. Nebo to be gathered to his fathers. Y’hovah told Moshe to take Yehoshua to the Mishkan for his instructions. In vv.16-18, Y’hovah prophesied the backsliding and idolatry in Yisrael’s future, the subsequent loss of blessings and added curses that would follow, worst of which would be that Y’hovah would conceal himself from Yisrael due to their departure from his covenant. Y’hovah said he would hide his face from them, but NOT that he would not be watching for their repentance and reveal himself to them if they would turn back to him in humility and contrition. This would apply to the nation as a whole (usually as the leadership made teshuvah, like ChizkiYahu), OR to individuals as they repented (1Chron.7.14 applies to individuals AND the nation).
In v.19, Moshe is told to ‘write this song’ as a witness against Israel’s idolatry, and then he enumerates some of that idolatry in vv.20-21. And v.22 shows Moshe obeying immediately, both writing the song and teaching it to Israel. It doesn’t say that he just told them the song, but he TAUGHT (vaylamdah – and he taught) them the song, so at least this generation would not forget it. But would they teach their children?
Then in v.23, Y’hovah charges Yehoshua to ‘chazak ve’ematz’ be strong and courageous, for He will be with him and Yisrael as they go into the land and take it from the Anakim. This can only be Y’hovah speaking, for Moshe is about to go up Mt. Nebo to die; Moshe will not be going with Yehoshua and Yisrael to conquer the land.
It is possible that Yehoshua’s writing begins at v.24, for the Torah is about to be placed ‘in the side of the ark’, from whence Yehoshua could open it and write the rest of Devarim Y’hovah (the Words of Y’hovah). In v.26-27, he told the Levitical priests to place Torah where it belonged for a witness to Yisrael’s rebelliousness.
In vv.28-30, Moshe called the zachanim, elders of Yisrael and the captains of 10s, 50s, and 100s so that he could reinforce the song in their ears before the whole congregation of Yisrael, so that B’nei Yisrael would expect the highest order of obedience from their leaders and have good examples to follow. Next week we’ll see the ‘song of Moshe’, which may be the anthem in the Millennial Kingdom. Q&C
Judges 2.1-15 – v.1 This is AN angel of Yhwh, not necessarily THE Angel of Yhwh. This could be one of his ministering spirits, like Michael or Gavriel, it could be Metatron, which is Mashiach – THE Angel of Yhwh – IM[not so]HO, or it could be a human prophet, perhaps a ‘prophet-for-hire’ like Yithro or Bila’am, appearing as Agent of Yhwh. This angel came up from Gilgal [H1537] to Bochim, so it seems to be a human prophet [cf. Stone’s Tanakh note to 2.1 on pg.584]. The emissary is delivering the message verbatim as Yhwh told him to tell it, so it doesn’t matter if this was a human or an angelic being.
Now on a deeper level, one can go to the 3-letter root H1534 galal, to roll, like a wheel [the word for wheel is H1536 galgal]. The messenger has come to Bochim. Bochim, H1066, is the plural active participle of H1058, bachah, which means ‘to weep’; therefore Bochim = weepers . So, in a deeper sense, the messenger is coming from a wheel [Ezek. 1, wheels within wheels] either to weep over Israel or because Israel is weeping.
Ch.1 was about the successes and failures of the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites from their inheritances. No tribe was completely successful in driving all the Canaanites out, though Yehuda got really close under the leadership of Kalev, the Kenite, nephew of Yithro. Yoseph got almost as close as Yehudah had, but seem to have just not BOTHERED to drive all the Canaanites out of his inheritance. I think that the rest of Israel was weeping in v.1 over their inability or refusal to trust Yhwh as Kalev did [ch.1] and He sent this messenger to give them hope and the means to succeed – trust Yhwh, be strong of of a good courage and go take the inheritance you were given by driving or wiping out the Canaanites who stand in your way.
Yhwh had not gone back on his covenant with Israel, but Israel had forsaken its covenant with Him. Israel had been told numerous times to not enter an alliance with the people of the land, but to utterly destroy them or drive them from the land and tear down and destroy [grind to powder] the altars to their false deities. This is the allusion Yeshua made when he said,
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [Matt.21.44, Lk.20.18]
That stone is the Rock that followed Israel through the Wilderness Adventure – Mashiach [1Cor.11.4]. Yhwh will complete the destruction of his adversaries in His time, even if we won’t in our time.
Yhwh wants to know in v.2 why they had refused to do so. Remember Vayikra 26 and Devarim 28? They had been given the parameters of their blessing and cursing and seem to have forgotten them. Yhwh said [v.3], “I will not chase them out, if you want them here, but they will be a snare to your relationship to me.” Yhwh is NOT a bully. He will not force you to do what he says. But he has made promises that IF you do what he wants, he will shower blessings on you like the former and latter rains; AND He also promises that IF you will NOT do what he says, he will remove the blessings and add cursings until you wake up, smell the offal of your life and turn from your ways and back to His Way. The choices are OURS to take. He promises prescribed results, measure for measure; the Canaani will be ‘thorns in your sides’ and their gods will be traps for you to fall into. By the measure you allow them to stay in your inheritance they will be the thorns and snares. Same goes for us; as we allow sin to remain in our lives, so they are thorns and pits for us. This may put a different light on Rav Sha’ul’s words in
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought Yhwh thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Mashiach may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Mashiach’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. [2Cor.10.7-10]
It is not any SIN that Rav Sha’ul commits in which he revels, but in the testing his flesh puts him through so that he may rest it all in the power of Mashiach’s Spirit. The Canaani were that kind of thorn in Yisrael’s sides and that kind of testing to idolatry. For those who trusted entirely in Yhwh’s Ruach to overcome the testing, they were strengthened in their faith and faithfulness to Him. Those who succumbed to the testing or fell into the traps were reminded, when they did, of the covenant they had eschewed and Yhwh’s Ruach witnessed to the remedy – teshuvah.
When they heard the words of the messenger [v.4], Israel wept en masse, as one voice. And that place got the name of Bochim, weepers, that day. This was [IMO] a day of personal teshuvah for all the bochim that day, for they offered their sin and trespass offerings there that day. Later in Israel’s history, this same order would be followed to the deliverance of Israel,
And Sh’muel took a sucking lamb, and offered a burnt offering wholly unto Yhwh: and Sh’muel cried unto Yhwh for Israel; and Yhwh heard him. 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but Yhwh thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until under Bethcar. 12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath Yhwh helped us. 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of Yhwh was against the Philistines all the days of Sh’muel. [1Sam.7.9-13]
I think that the narrative parenthetically returns to the original conquest of the land in vv.6-10 when Yehoshua sent Israel out to take possession of the micro-plots of land the Canaani had returned to while the army was out doing the macro-conquest. V.7 speaks to individuals then subduing the land itself to their personal use and that generation’s memory of the conquest and of the elders who had led them in the Wilderness Adventure.
But when all the WA elders died off [vv.8-15], the memory went with them to their graves and Israel succumbed to the idols and the altars to those false gods that were left in the land. And that brought the curses that Yhwh had promised would follow their backsliding. And there they were on this day in Bochim, weeping and getting their hearts right before him. And then he raised up judges to guide them in Torah obedience and application of ‘right rulings’. Q&C
Daniel 4:28-37 – Here we have an episode where the heathen king of a heathen nation is held to Torah observance, since he had seen plenty of witness to the fact and ultimate power of Yhwh’s Ruach haKodesh. Imagine for a minute the ahava Yhwh had for Nebuchadnezzar, that he judged his pride in such naked terms as we see in His enunciation of judgment and humiliation on the king along with its immediate fulfillment. There is a term used in this passage that the Xian church’s so-called ‘exegesis’ tends to assume means years, found in
32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High [Eloai] ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
That word that is translated ‘times’ by KJV and assumed to mean ‘years’ by Xian eisogesis [‘reading into’ as opposed to exegesis, ‘reading out of’; the rapture is assumed in expounding Daniel in dispy, fundy Xianity – hence it is said to refer to 7 years here and in ch.9] is H5708 עדנין iydaniyn. Could this be alluding to moedim [seasons] rather than years? The root, iydan, is used 13 times, only in Daniel. and 3 times in 7.25 [time, times and ½ time], and it is translated ‘time’ or ‘times’ all 13 times. Including the time I quoted v. 32 above, I have now used the word time 13 times. Go ahead and count them. 😉
When KJV says ‘that hour’ it means from that moment. A ‘moment’ in physics is the time it takes the electron of a hydrogen atom to complete one orbit around it’s nucleus. So as soon as the Word was spoken, Nebby went off the reservation; eating grass, lying in the fields without shelter, his hair was unkept and grew ragged and long and his nails grew to look more like claws than nails. But, when the end of his exile arrived, Nebby recognized the righteous judgment of the court and asked clemency. And I believe it was awarded and that Nebuchadnezzar shall be in the Kingdom of Mashiach as a vice regent.
It is possible that the time Nebby was out of his gourd was as little as 6 months and a week, from Pesach/ULB1 [15th of the 1st month] to Sukkoth [22nd of the 7th month] or 7 miqroth kodesh, as in Moedim. The phrase in KJV ‘the end of the days’ [v.34] can also possibly speak of the 7 high days of Yhwh’s calendar. Just an alternate possibility. At the end of the days of this particular prophecy, Nebby used his regained senses top praise and extoll the greatness of Yhwh, and the commonness of even the most powerful human kings. And when he did that, his mind, his place and his Kingdom were returned to him; he was restored to his former greatness and more [v.36]. And I think the object lesson he was taught remained in the center of his thinking for the rest of his days. Q&C
Tehellim 145 – This is an acrostic psalm; each verse begins with a successive letter of the aleph beit. However, there are only 21 verses and there are 22 letters, so one letter was skipped – the letter ‘nun’. This is a curiosity to me. Why did David leave out the ‘nun’? Stone’s Tanakh has only one note concerning this psalm and it deals with this verse (14)
“Although the first letters of the verses follow the aleph-beit, the letter נ is omitted, since it can be taken as an allusion to נפילה ‘downfall’. Nevertheless, knowing that downfalls would take place, the psalmist comforted Israel by saying, “Hashem supports all the fallen ones.””
I think there may be a reference to the Tree of Sefiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm) in this psalm, as well. We’ll check to see.
In V.1-7 David sings praises to Y’hovah, his King and will keep him ever in his mind to bless his Name and his unfathomable greatness. The Almighty is too wonderful for us to fully grasp in this fallen flesh; so wonderful that I cannot imagine being able to know all there is to know about him, even in our resurrected bodies in eternity. The fathers will teach their children of the wonders of Y’hovah’s works for them and their ancestors, of his majestic honor and the mighty and terrible acts of Y’hovah’s greatness; terrible here meaning ‘intense’ or ‘acute’, not in either a bad or good sense. V.7 transitions from this ‘stanza’ to the next, I think, from Y’hovah’s greatness and incomprehensibility (Keter/Da’ath) to his Beautiful combination of righteousness and mercy (Tifereth).
In Vv.8-14 David speaks of the tifereth of Y’hovah, alternating from his righteous severity to his loving grace and mercy. Vv.8-10 speak of his mercy towards us, while 11-13 speak of his glorious, eternal Kingdom. V.14 is the one that SHOULD begin with a ‘nun’ but skips passed it to begin with a ‘samech’. It speaks of how Y’hovah upholds his people who sometimes fall. It is also the transition to the 3rd ‘stanza’ dealing with the Foundation (Yesod) of Y’hovah. This level of Sefiroth is the transition between the general knowledge of Y’hovah to the ‘deep’ knowledge of Y’hovah. This might be seen as the ‘remez’ or ‘hint’ level of understanding.
In vv.15-21 David speaks of the foundational revelations of Y’hovah; his victory (Netzach) and glory (Hod) that are more-or-less the ‘general revelation’ that makes all men without excuse, knowing that there is an Elohim. This may be seen as the level of Elohim’s direct intervention in his creation, the ‘pashat’ or literal level of understanding. See how verses 15-16 have Y’hovah dealing with some sensory human input; eyes and food, hands and desires. Then 17-19 speak of how Y’hovah fulfills the desires of those who call on him; who trust him; whom he preserves. And then in v.21, David promises to publish the greatness of Y’hovah to all who will hear, and encourages all to praise Y’hovah together with him. Q&C
John 12:35 – 14:26 – In vv.35-36 Yeshua referred to himself as the light. He had done this before (cf Jn.8.12, 9.5 – see notes on pg. 184, large pp. and 187, 2nd pp.) and I think he is referring to the healing of the man born blind again, recalling it to their minds as a backdrop for this scene, an ensample by which to contextualize what he’s teaching here. He told them to keep his word, not the traditions they’d been taught by these Pharisees, scribes and such. They all knew that he’d healed a man who had been born blind, and that he’d raised Lazarus from the dead. He told them to believe what he was telling them based on, if nothing else, the witness of his miracles. Had they done that, they would have probably believed that he was Moshiach upon his resurrection from the dead.
198). Discourse on unbelief (Jn.12.37-50) v.41 says Isaiah prophesied of this very event. They’d seen all the miracles, heard all the proper interpretations and midrashes on scripture, and yet they would not believe. Many did believe, or rather understood, in their minds, but what they knew to be true did not take form in their actions because they were afraid of what the Pharisees would do to them; i.e., excommunicate them, like they had the FBM in Jn.9. They liked the praise of men, which they could hear with their ears, above the praise of Y’hovah, which they could not perceive with their senses. They were carnal, in other words. Perhaps the resurrection would change that. Perhaps not.
Note in Yeshua’s teaching the basis of the whole thing is in the first line (v44), “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.” The gospel has always been the same down through the ages. Avraham believed it (Gal.3.8, Gen.12.3), it was preached to the Yisraelites in the wilderness (Heb.3.14- 4.6), and the same gospel is preached to us (Gal.3.7-29, look especially at vv. 7-9, 16-19, 28-29). That gospel is not what most in the western gentile church teach (1Cor.15.3-6, which is the way the gospel is delivered [Yeshua’d] to us), but the good news that we have been promised peace with Y’hovah. PEACE with Y’hovah is the gospel that has been preached throughout the ages, and it has NEVER changed since the fall of Adam. Sin, both that which we commit and that which we’ve inherited, puts us at enmity with Y’hovah. The blood of the covenant brings PEACE with him and all; Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female; who believe that he will perform his promises are Avraham’s seed – even if we don’t see the promise performed until after our earthly demise.
Yeshua makes some pretty bold statements about who he is; ‘He who sees me sees him who sent me’, ‘I haven’t spoken my own word, but the word of my Father who sent me’, and ‘What the Father told me to say is what I say. Nothing more or less.’ (All Mark paraphrases.) He said, in effect – and his audience could not help but understand, was, ‘I am the express image of the Father. I do what he wants, because we are one.’ This was the Sh’ma in action, and the Pharisees hated him for it.
208). Washing Disciple’s feet, (Jn.13.1-17) – Notice that the 1st thing Yochanan says is that it was before the Feast of Passover, as I said [^^right up there^^] in 205 above. I assume that Yochanan is also speaking of the Jews’ traditional passover and not what Y’hovah commands Passover to be, since Yochanan knew when he wrote this besorah [gospel – meat] that Yeshua was THE Passover, offered at the proper time, and that the meal the night before could not possibly have been the passover meal. Moshe Koniuchowski, founder of Your Arms To Israel ministries, wrote in an article in 2008:
15 And He said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this Pesach with you before I suffer:16 For I say to you, I will not any more eat of it, until it be fulfilled in the malchut of Y’hovah. (Lk.22)
We see He desired to eat the Passover but did not. What did He do that night?
Every Chabad orthodox rabbi even to this day has an extra Passover, as a training lesson. Today this practice is seen in the Lubavitch movement when they gather on the last night of Unleavened Bread for what they call the Messiah’s Supper, looking forward to the coming of Messiah. Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of partaking of a “Messiah’s meal” on the afternoon of the last day of Unleavened Bread. Some consider it a Pesach, even though it is officially just a preparation for Messiah’s coming.
In Yahshua’s day, the added “Meal of Messiah” was held a day before the actual Passover. Yahshua looked and acted as if it were the Passover, without it actually being the Passover. This seeming contradiction is fully understood from a Hebraic mindset. [bold added – Mark]
The discrepancy is only in our western gentile minds.
So, after the Moshiach’s Meal, Yeshua prepared himself to wash the talmidim’s feet. After removing his festive garments and wrapping himself in a towel [KJV lention, a linen cloth – his own tallith gadol?] he filled a bowl and began to wash the talmidim’s feet. Remember when he went to the Pharisee’s house for dinner and the woman washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair? The master of the house had not even offered Yeshua a bowl of water to wash his own feet, much less did he wash Yeshua’s feet himself. That was not his place but a servant’s, at least in his own mind and quite probably in Israelite society’s mind, as well. But Yeshua, as the Master of these ceremonies, displayed to his talmidim the proper attitude for a man in leadership; service, even toward his juniors.
[Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was ALL about customer service. His business was built on customer service, a thing I wish his progeny had learned. His greeters did not just greet folks. They were trained to help the customer find whatever they were after and would TAKE a customer to the product he was looking for. In fact, Sam used to dress as the hayseed farmer he truly was and pay surprise visits to his stores and ask the greeter where something inexpensive, like chewing gum, was. If the greeter just directed, rather than led the customer to the chewing gum Sam would close the store ON THE SPOT, fire the manager, promote the assistant and retrain the entire staff for the rest of that day, or for as long as it took to drive the point home. He used to say, “The guy coming in to buy a 5 cent pack of gum today MIGHT be the guy who spends 10 thousand times that much tomorrow. The service he receives here will make him WANT to spend that money here.”] True Dat!
Yeshua went around the table and washed their feet, that part of the body that came into contact with the flotsam and jetsam of the streets, which were veritable minefields of refuse in some towns. Now, I THINK they had washed their own feet upon entering the room for the meal, but that is an uncertainty. Perhaps Peter had NOT washed his feet before the meal and did not want Yeshua to have to clean the refuse off his feet, the REASON for his original refusal of this service is unknown. But Yeshua implies (or I infer) that if he did not learn this lesson, Peter would have no part in him. Then Peter told him in a Mark paraphrase to ‘go ahead and pour the dregs of the others’ feet over my head’. And then Yeshua made the point. You have been taught, and learned well, to trust Y’hovah and to live Torah. You are, therefore, altogether clean (grk. katharos, heb. tamim – complete). All you need to do is wash away the stuff you happen upon in your everyday walk. The application being that you are perfect [tamim, kathartos], as your father in heaven is perfect, and just need to confess and repent of those things you do that are imperfect, grk. koine, and heb. tamei. IOW, keep your accounts short by repenting of your faults immediately.
Notice the change of number in the middle of v.10. He goes from speaking directly to Kefa to speaking to the whole group when he says ‘YE are clean (tamim, kathartos), but not all.’ He is about to dismiss Yehudah to betray him, but not until after he washed his feet. Interesting, isn’t it? Q&C
209). Betrayal predicted and traitor designated, (Mat.26.21-25, Mk.14.18-21, Lk.22.21-23, Jn.13.21-30) – Yochanan gives the most detailed, well the LONGEST anyway, account of this episode. In the synoptics, the disciples each ask if he is the one who will betray him. In Yochanan, the talmid whom Yeshua loved [generally accepted to be Yochanan himself] asks, at Kefa’s beckoning, “Who is it?” I think it’s interesting that Yochanan seems to know he will not betray Yeshua. Yeshua answers, I suppose quietly enough that no one else hears it, that the one to whom Yeshua will give the sop after dipping it will be the one. Even Kefa, who is generally accepted as being the one who dictated Mark’s besorah to him, doesn’t mention this. Yochanan says that ‘after the sop’ haSatan entered Yehudah ben Shimon Iysh Kerioth, city dweller. [Torah assumes that the average Israelite will work his inheritance for his living. Cities are almost always hotbeds of sinful lifestyles in Tanakh. Witness Babylon, Nineveh, Sodom, and Kiriath Arba or Hevron.]
When Yehudah got his command to do quickly what he was to do, he left and Yochanan says the others, presumably even Kefa, thought he was going to purchase something or to make an offering to the poor. No one except, I assume, Yochanan knew where he was going. And it seems Yochanan did not tell anyone, either. Or perhaps no one believed it of Yehudah. We will see, though, that Kefa was ready with a sword, so perhaps he at least questioned Yehudah’s intentions.
‘It was night’ is a term that implies spiritual darkness was settling in. HaSatan at this point thinks he has charge of the situation. His plan is moving forward quite nicely. He THINKS!
Yochanan 14:1-31– Immediate background – In ch.13, Yeshua had told his talmidim that he was going for a while to a place they could not follow him, referring to his death
33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
and Kefa asked why he couldn’t follow, not understanding the sod nature of Yeshua’s words. Yeshua answered him with a prophecy of what would transpire that very night while he was being ‘tried’ by the Jews (which word, I believe, refers to the Idumean political leadership of the religion in Yerushalayim, not the ‘man in the street’).
38 Yeshua answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
And that is what set the stage for 14.1.
Remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts; chapters and verses are a relatively modern convention. Yeshua was still addressing Kefa about the thrice denial he’d just prophesied. I think that the exchange between Kefa and Yeshua in 13.36-38 was in confidence, and then in ch.14, he changed to addressing the whole group of talmidim to quell their similar apprehension at his last words to the group in 13.33-35.
All 4 gospel writers recounted this event, but this time Yochanan agrees with 2 of the synoptics (Matt and Luke), but the 2 synoptics are slightly different than Kefa’s own account of the story in the book of Mark, which I think has an additional detail the other writers left out; that the cock would crow twice. Kefa knew ‘the REST of the story’, having known the whole thing first hand. Now, as you read ch.14, think ‘sod’ level, not just pashat. If you just think in the concrete, word on the page, sense and disregard the metaphorical sense, you will never understand Yeshua’s words. All through ch.14 (in fact, almost every word of Yeshua in Yochanan’s besorah is sod), Yeshua is speaking with at least a dual meaning.
He told the group (Mark paraphrase) “Don’t be concerned! y’all believe Elohim, believe me, too.” He says that he is Y’hovah in human flesh right there. Remember what ‘in my name’ means; ‘in my authority’ or ‘in the same Ruach as mine’. Same thing here; ‘in me’ and ‘in Elohim’ are synonymous terms and he equates his Ruach with the Ruach of Y’hovah, which are echad and the same on ALL levels of PaRDeS.
He goes on to say that there are many mansions, or dwelling places, in Abba’s house. Again, this has at least 2 levels of understanding; in this life (Temple and kehalim) and in the one to come (New Creation). He then makes reference to two things that he will do in the future, in the time his flesh is in the grave and also after his bodily ascension 40 days after his resurrection. He is preparing a place for each of us and for all of us in both spheres, temporal and eternal. And since he is preparing for us, he will return to receive us unto himself. This is Hebraic wedding-speak. Once the Ketubah (betrothal and legal marriage, but not co-habitation) was entered into, the husband would go back to his father’s house and prepare for his bride; he would build a home for them to live in and a business to support her. Only when his abba said the husband was ready to receive his bride to their new life would the Nesu-in, the marriage celebration and consummation, take place. This is the allusion Yeshua is making to his ‘macho-man’ talmidim, and they understood it full well. Then he said in a remez, or hint, that they knew where he was going and the Way to get there, but Thomas asks for clarification, being somewhat denser to the metaphor than even Kefa was. Yeshua answers with an even deeper reference in v.6. He said
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to haAbba, but by (or through) me.
Each of those direct objects is a reference to the Word of Y’hovah. The Hebrew word for “Way” is Derech, as in Ramchal’s book Derech Hashem, “The Way of Y’hovah”. The Hebrew word for “Truth” is emeth, as in Yochanan 17.17, “Thy word is truth”, and Ps.119.160, “Thy Word is True”. The Hebrew word for “Life” is chai, as in Prov.3.1-2
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Yeshua is affirming the truth that Yochanan spoke in ch.1.1-4, 14,
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
In v.7 Yeshua uses another remez to tell them that he and Avinu are echad and the same. He says that because they know him they know Avinu. Now, I think Philip is asking Yeshua to reveal the glory of Y’hovah to them right there on the spot in v.8. Perhaps Kefa, Yacov and Yochanan had told them about Y’hovah speaking to them on the Mount of Transfiguration
1 And after six days Yeshua taketh Kefa, Yacov, and Yochanan his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moshe and EliYahu talking with him. 4 Then answered Kefa, and said unto Yeshua, Master, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Yeshua came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Yeshua only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Yeshua charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man … (Matt.17.1-9a)
If it were I, I’d have a REALLY hard time not telling the other 9 about it. And I think it was the same for the ‘inner circle’. Do you think that, if YOU were up on the Mount and saw the glory of Y’hovah, YOU’d be able to contain YOURself? If so, get over yourself and think again. Anyway, Yeshua says to Philip in vv.9-11 (Mark paraphrase), “Are you dense? I have been revealing his glory to you since the day I called you. I and Avi are ECHAD! (Jn.10.30)”
He speaks in the remez again in vv.10-11 when he tells them that he is in Avi and Avi is in him. Y’hovah is the Ruach of Yeshua. Yeshua says he will cause the resurrection of the dead (Jn.6.39, 40, 44, 54). I don’t think that the flesh of Yeshua does any resurrecting or any other miraculous work by its own power, but by the power of Ruach of Y’hovah that indwelt him from the moment of his conception. In the literal sense, then, Y’hovah is IN Yeshua, and in the metaphorical sense, Yeshua is IN Y’hovah. He then makes the same statement as he did to the Pharisees, “Believe me or believe my works; it’s all the same.”
Then in vv.12-14 he drops a bomb on them (Mark paraphrase), “You think I’VE done some wonderful works? YOU will do GREATER works than these! If you ask anything in MY NAME, I will do it.” There is no doubt in my mind that Yeshua is telling his talmidim that he is Y’hovah in human flesh. Moshe never told Israel to ask Y’hovah for anything in Moshe’s name, but Yeshua is telling his talmidim to ask in Yeshua’s Name, and that HE, Yeshua, will do it! To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, either he is as crazy as a man who claims that he is a poached egg, or he is a liar, or he is who he claims to be. There isn’t any other valid option. ALL of the men present with him in that room believe he is who he claims to be – and so do I.
In vv.15-18 Yeshua drops another bomb. He again equates himself to Y’hovah by saying that the commandments are HIS and he expects us to obey them. Only AFTER that does he say that he will pray, or ask, Abba to give you another Comforter, as if the one follows the other. I infer that to mean, ‘show me your active, volitional choice to obey and I will give you the Spirit of Y’hovah to empower your obedience’. That’s the grace by which we are ‘saved’ (Eph.2.8). As to the Ruach who comforts us, Yeshua also equates himself to that Spirit of Y’hovah,
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14.18)
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, Ruach haEmeth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)
Y’hovah is echad (Dev.6.4) and the Spirit of Y’hovah is the Spirit of Yeshua, there is no differentiation between them. Only the flesh of Mashiach Yeshua is different in any way; Y’hovah, Elohim, and Mashiach are all one Spirit of the Almighty, echad.
Vv.19-20 are another bomb, I think. He says that the world, by that I infer the world’s system, can’t see the spiritual truth that he is presenting, but they can because they understand, at least ‘in utero’, what he is saying to them and that they shall truly ‘get it’ when Y’hovah’s Ruach comes on them at the upcoming Feast of Shavuoth, Pentecost. Then they will know experientially that as Y’hovah is in Yeshua and Yeshua in Y’hovah, Ruach of Yeshua and Avinu will reside in them. And, in v.21, when Ruach haKodesh takes up residence in the spirits of men, he will empower them to shema, hear, know and do, Y’hovah Yeshua’s commandments, and thereby prove our love for him. Q&C
Vv.22-31 – Yehudah asked him how it will be that the talmidim will see him, but the world will not. So Yeshua goes into an explanation of how Ruach will illuminate our minds to his truth. If one loves Yeshua and his Word, Y’hovah will love him and Ruach of Y’hovah Yeshua will live in him, and that Spirit of Truth will reveal the truth to us,
But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. (I Corinthians 2:10)
Yeshua says that we can know those who love him by how they walk. Are they walking in his commandments? If yes, you are looking at a brother or a potential brother, because these are not the words of the man Yeshua, but the very Words of Y’hovah Elohenu. He tells them that Ruach will bring all things that he has taught them to their remembrance when they need it. I pray Y’hovah that he will do that with us when we need it in the not too distant future.
Yeshua knows that the talmidim are feeling some apprehension because of his words about leaving and sending his Ruach to guide them, so he tells them that the Shalom he has with Y’hovah is the same Shalom he will leave with them. When Yeshua said that he followed up by telling them to not be troubled or afraid, because it is by his going to Avinu that he will be able to come to them by the instrumentality of Ruach haKodesh dwelling in them. Then he said (Mark paraphrase), ‘I tell you this now, so that when it comes to pass you will believe and KNOW without any doubt that I am who I claim to be and will do what I promise to do. I won’t say a lot more in this world, because the enemy is about to be given some more rope with which to hang himself. But, so the world will know that I love Abba, and as Abba has told me, I now tell you – keep my commandments.
I have another appointment tonight, so let’s make like a tree.’ Q&C