May 23,2015 Shabbat Bible Study
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
B’Midbar 19.1-20.13, Ezekiel 44.29, Tehillim 109, Yochanan 20
B’Midbar 19 – speaks of the red heifer and the rites appertaining thereto. There doesn’t seem to be an age requirement, only that it be without blemish and never have had a yoke on her neck. Webster tells us it is a “young cow”, so it is a female. Webster also tells us it is a yearling, which means it is at least a year old, but not yet 2. In Judges 14 it speaks of a man plowing with another man’s heifer, or, working a man toward a desired end by using his wife to convince (or, in Samson’s case, NAG [v.17]) him to do it. The heifer was taken without the camp and slain before the priest, who would take of her blood and sprinkle it 7x before the tent of the congregation (into which the congregation was NOT allowed to go – only priests). She was then burnt entirely with the priest adding hyssop and cedar wood and scarlet to the fire. The priest would wash his clothes and himself and be unclean until evening. Then a third clean man would gather up the ashes and store them in a clean place for the people to use for waters of sanctification, for the purification of sin. All 3 men were unclean until the evening AFTER a mikvah. Schottenstein’s Chumash has excellent prefatory notes on pg.133.
This parsha is called “Chukath” – Decrees. Y’hovah’s Chukath are things that he said that don’t make sense to us puny humans. For instance, the red heifer is burned by the 12 tribal elders of the people before the priest (I assume this is the case, since the KJV is very clear that it is the people who do this, using the 2nd person plural pronoun, ‘ye’, when Moshe and Aharon are speaking to B’nei Yisrael), and the act makes the elders unclean until they do a mikvah and then await the evening offering. The priest officiating (NOT the Kohen Gadol, but his deputy) adds hyssop, cedar and scarlet wool and is also contaminated, needing to do a mikvah and await the evening offering. Then a 3rd man or group of men gathers the ashes of the red heifer and takes them to a clean place without the camp, after which he also must mikvah and await the evening offering. All of this was done to create the additive to the water of purification. Everyone acting to create the additive is contaminated by that action, but the ashes added to the water would allow purification of that which would be sprinkled by the water. It doesn’t make sense to us. This is the nature of a chukah. The fact that the decree does not make sense does not mean that we can ignore it or not obey it, any more than our inability to understand the truth makes the truth less true. We obey the chukim/decrees because Y’hovah commanded us to.
The Hebrew root of heifer is PRH (H6510). It is used 22 times and usually is xlated as kine or cow, but 6 times KJV has heifer, 5 times in Num.19 and once in Hosea 4. Stone’s Tanakh xlates it ‘cow’ all 22 times it is used. The water of separation, made with the ashes of the red heifer, were used to sanctify the vessels of the tabernacle, the basins and such that were used in the Mishkan service. Application of the ‘heifer water’ was by sprinkling from a sprig of hyssop. W/o the red heifer, there could be no approach to Y’hovah’s presence. Until just a few years ago, there had not been a red heifer in Israel in almost 2000 years. There is still question about the kosher nature of the red heifer that they did breed. How many NON-red hairs will make it unfit for use? 2? 10? Even 1? With the breeding of the red heifer and assuming that it is kosher, the vessels can be purified and the actual practice of Hebrew Torah observance can once again take place – if they had a tabernacle to work in. I believe the necessary vessels and tabernacle are already available. It’s the Mount being closed to Jews that’s keeping it from occurring, though they COULD go up to Shiloh in Ephraim, West Bank, where Y’hovah’s Name – יהוה – is actually written in the earth. I saw a satellite photo of it on line a number of years ago, and I am having trouble finding it now. It may have been taken down. The Hebrew letters יהוה are clearly seen in the satellite photo in the shadows of the hills.
Vv.11ff show one use of the water of separation. If a man touched a dead body, he was unclean for 7 days. On the 3rd day, he would purify himself w/water of separation and on the 7th day, after another sprinkling, he would be clean. Why the wait? Perhaps the separation on the 3rd day has to do with resurrection and clean on the 7th has to do with Sabbath rest? Good possibilities. Does the 3rd day mean the 3rd day after the defilement or the 3rd day of the week? I’m curious what Rashi has to say about it. It says in v.12 that if he was not separated on the 3rd day he was not cleansed on the 7th. THIS gives some credence to the assertion that if one does not believe in the resurrection of the dead, one is not purified for the Kingdom.
It did not have to be a priest who sprinkled the water on the people and vessels; any clean man could do it. The clean man who is doing the sprinkling becomes unclean until evening after the required mikvah, because he touched the water of separation, though he did not have to be sprinkled with the water first (more evidence of a chukah). I assume that each person who needed to be sprinkled would have to find a clean man willing to sprinkle him. Both would remain unclean until evening. Q&C
B’Midbar 20 – Here they are in the 1st month in Kadesh, where Miriam died. Was this the 2nd year out of Egypt, or the 40th? I lean toward ‘no,’ though I have no evidence to back me up. I think it was neither the 2nd nor 40th. All we really know is that Miriam died sometime after Shavuoth of year one and before Sukkoth of year 40. I lean toward 38 or 39 years after the Exodus, mainly due to what comes up later in the passage. And it says she died, not that she slept. I don’t know if we die and our souls/beings go to paradise, or if our flesh sleeps and our spirits go to Y’hovah to await the resurrection of the body. But the KJV seems to lean toward die/paradise for believers and sleep/wait for unbelievers. Again, it’s an I think vice an I know, so I won’t be dogmatic about it. You think what Yah is leading you to think. As far as I’m personally concerned, it doesn’t matter. One way or another, the next thing I’m going to know after I croak is that I am in Yeshua’s presence never to leave him again. That’s enough for me.
The next verse tells us that we were right back to complaining to Moshe and blaming him for the weather and lack of moisture. Actually, we were using Moshe and Aharon as our whipping boys because we couldn’t lay a glove on Y’hovah, with whom we were really mad. But Mo took it personally. And who can blame him, really. He’d just lost his sister and we started in on him without so much as a, “We’re sorry for your loss, bro.” When Y’hovah commanded Moshe to take the rod and speak to the Rock, he grabbed the rod, smacked it against the Rock twice and said, “Shall WE fetch water out of this Rock?” The water came gushing out of the Rock in anticipation of John 7.37-38,
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38 (KJV)
However, Y’hovah was ticked at Moshe and Aharon for the 2 smacks and the use of the 1st person plural, as if THEY were bringing the water out of the Rock. In this 8-word speech, Moshe became something other than meek, and the pride of that moment cost him dearly. He would not lead us into Canaan and Aharon wouldn’t either. (Schottenstein’s Chumash, pg.139, note on v.8)
Notice in v.11 the rod of Y’hovah became Moshe’s rod once more. From Exodus 4.20 until now it was the rod of Y’hovah, but now it is Moshe’s rod. I think this shows the pride that manifested in Moshe for which he was punished. This is the only time in the entire journey that he manifested anything other than a Messiah-like attitude. Q&C
In v.14 Moshe sends messengers to the Edomite king to ask permission to use his sidewalk. He promises that they won’t harm anything and that they’ll pay for any water their cattle might drink. Edom said, “If you use my sidewalk, I’ll send my whole family out to meet you (kinda like the Hatfields and McCoys). So rather than fight with their brother Esau, Jacob went the long way round.
First stop was Mount Hor, where Aharon was gathered to his fathers. Here is where we are told that Aharon was in the Meribah rebellion with Moshe. I believe the rebellion there was bitter (Meribah = bitter strife) to Y’hovah because as a result he had to keep Moshe and Aharon out of the Promised Land. Did you notice that Moshe does exactly what Y’hovah tells him, as he had before the Meribah incident? The text seems to reflect an attitude on Moshe like a whipped pup. He definitely learned his lesson, and who knows, perhaps he could get Y’hovah to repent of his banishment from haAretz.
So Moshe, Aharon and Elazar went up onto Mt. Hor, Moshe removed the High Priest’s attire from Aharon and put it on Elazar. Then Aharon died on the mountaintop. It was the Kadosh Ruach of the priest’s office that kept Aharon alive, for as soon as the mantle was passed, he died. He had full control of all his faculties until the moment of his death at the age of 123 (Num.33.39). This was the norm in the patriarchs and all those who were after Y’hovah’s heart. I pray it is the norm in our lives, as well. It will be if we follow hard on the footsteps of Moshiach. Like Miriam, Aharon didn’t ‘sleep’. He died. In the case of believers, I think the whole ‘sleeping’ thing is an exercise in phenomenal, or apparent, language, like the words ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’, neither of which describes the actual truth, but the appearance of the truth.
So, it looks like Moshe lost both his elder sibs in the space of a week or so. That may not be right, though. The timing was not what Y’hovah was interested in conveying so much as the lessons we need to learn from the incidents. Moshe was the meekest man ever to walk the earth (with the exception of Yeshua), except for the Meribah incident. His momentary pride cost him what he held dearest in the earth – to go into the Promised Land. From then on, he was very meek once more (though there will be a few ‘passing the buck’ moments).
How many moves had Yisrael made to this point? According to Num.33.38, they had moved 34 times and it had been 40 years and 4 months from Egypt. In all, from Egypt to Jericho they moved 42 times. I counted in Num.33.5-48 once and the number seemed significant enough for me to remember. ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ jumps out for some reason. Q&C
Yechezkel 44.29 – ‘They’ is speaking of “the Priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok”, as that is the last 3rd person plural noun named in v.15. Beginning there this whole chapter speaks of them, the priests who stayed faithful to Y’hovah when all the rest of Israel and Yehudah went astray (like Xianity Today, which is what I’ve been calling that magazine for over 25 years, “Xianity Astray”). In Yehudah’s history, Zadok and Ahimelech, son of Aviathar, were the priests while David was king and at the time that Absalom’s rebellion took place. Zadok wanted to leave Yerushalayim with David, but David told him he’d rather that Zadok stay behind and be an ‘agent provocateur’, to give Absalom conflicting advice as that of Ahimelech and also to keep his ears open and send his son as his messenger to David (2Sam.15), so that he’d know Absalom’s plans.
Tehellim 109 – This is a perfect example of an imprecatory psalm. David prays down judgment on his enemies who hate Y’hovah and his servants. The enemy in this psalm, I think, is Absalom. V.4 says that because David loves Y’hovah they are his adversaries – yis-tenuniy – satan, even though he has prayed for them. So he asks that Satan be the right hand of their adversary. Imprecation is very often Y’hovah’s will for us. Yiremyahu, Yeshayahu, and Yechezkel all prayed against Y’hovah’s enemies who were within the camp, often the priests of Judah who were sucking up to the king to gain political power. David does the same here in vv.6-20. V.8 is my prayer for the American President, regardless who he is, until the President turns from his wickedness and to the righteousness of Y’hovah.
In vv.21ff, David asks Y’hovah’s blessing on himself. In v.21 he says Y’hovih Adonai. I’m no Hebrew scholar, but I think the long ‘e’ vowel under the vav makes that say ‘my Y’hovah’. In v.26, David addresses Abba as Y’hovah Elohaiy. I know for certain that the ending on Eloha makes that personal – MY Mighty one.
Vv.28ff, make it clear that David isn’t worried about their cursing if Y’hovah is blessing him. ‘Let them curse me, as long as you bless me. No matter what they do or say, I will Bless Y’hovah.’ When David says ‘the poor’, he is speaking of the poor in spirit, not necessarily the financially poor. When Yeshua said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, this is who he was talking about, those who are not necessarily after monetary riches, but the richness of the Ruach of Y’hovah and HIS Kingdom.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
Yochanan 20 – v.1 destroys the ‘sunrise service’ of the church, doesn’t it? How can they hold a Mithraist sunrise service when he was already out of the grave ‘while it was yet dark’? From my weekly bible study in the life of Messiah (a 5+ year ordeal):
241b). In Mat.28.1 we have an interesting turn of phrase that the TBSL (Thompson Bible Software Library – my outline is the harmony of the gospels there) editors left out. It says, “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” It was still the Sabbath when the Marys went to the sepulcher. It says ‘as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.’ The Sabbath ends at sundown on Saturday, not at sunup of Sunday, so they were going out to the tomb BEFORE or just after sundown. W1828 has this definition for dawn, “4. To begin to open or appear.” So dawn doesn’t merely refer to sunrise of a day, but the beginning or opening of anything. Strong’s G2020 is the greek word used, which means “to begin to dawn, to draw on.” So the end of the Sabbath was drawing on toward the first day of the week. Sundown was approaching. As they drew near the sepulcher, there was an earthquake.
They were coming to SEE the sepulcher. They were not necessarily coming to anoint Yeshua’s body at this time, but possibly to assure Mary Magdalene of the location, planning to come out ‘while it was yet dark’ (Jn.20.1) the following morning.
If I am correct about the timing there wouldn’t be time or light enough to do the anointing that evening. I think this shows they were just making sure of the tomb’s location so they could start out early.
V.9 says they as yet didn’t know the scripture about Yeshua rising from the dead. Of course, he’d told them about it on more than one occasion (Mk.8.31, 9.12, Lk.9.22), but they were unable to comprehend it. This is good, because Satan didn’t comprehend it either. Had he, he’d have done all in his power to STOP the crucifixion. There is no pashat prophecy of Moshiach rising from the dead. There is a hint to the prophetic, sod level in Ps.16.10,
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Since Ps.16 is a Psalm of David, he is saying that Y’hovah would not leave his soul in hell, but for David to call himself Y’hovah’s Holy One would be the height of effrontery. After the resurrection, this is probably one of the scriptures Yeshua used to open the eyes of the talmidim on the Emmaus road. It took the event to make the psalm recognizable in its Messianic, prophetic nature. The remez is often not easily seen until AFTER the events it hints at.
At first, Mary didn’t recognize Yeshua when she spoke with him, thinking he was a gardener. But when he spoke her name, she recognized him. Again, from my weekly study:
Mary turned twice in this passage. First she turned to face Yeshua (v.14), and then, while she was looking at him, he spoke her name and she turned herself again (v.16). I think the second turn was NOT physical, but spiritual and emotional, for she recognized who he was. The joy must have been indescribably delicious.
Yeshua told her not to touch him for he had not yet ascended to his father. I think this is because he was about to go do the high priestly chore of offering the firstfruits wave offering on the morrow after the weekly sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which also began the ‘counting of the omer’ to the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost. This wave offering was of the ‘firstfruits of the dead’, men who had risen with him and appeared to many in the city.
Mat.27:52-53, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
He needed to be ritually pure to do that, so he could not come in contact with anyone first … That afternoon or evening he was ASKING to be handled by anyone who didn’t believe he was really there, that he was an apparition. The reason Yeshua would not let Mary touch him in our passage had NOTHING to do with her sex. It had everything to do IMnotsoHO with his duty as the new “high priest after the order of Melchizedek” and the Bikkurim wave offering he was about to perform. Ps.110.4, Heb.5.6, 10, 6.20, 7.11, 17, 21. Q&C
That evening, he appeared to ten of his talmidim in the place where they hid from the leaders of the Jewish religion. He didn’t knock or open the door. He didn’t walk through the wall. He was just there. In his resurrected body, he was able to do what no human had done since Adam’s fall – he traveled at the speed of thought. His existence was no longer limited by time, space and matter (a condition he must have found extremely frustrating). He now exists outside of time and space and can insert himself anywhere and anywhen. It is for that reason that I think that both the Angel of Y’hovah who spoke to Avraham at Mamre a few days before Sodom and Gomorrah got toasted and the one who appeared face to face with Ya’acov, Moshe, Y’hoshua and others was the resurrected Yeshua. I have no proof, only speculation and educated guesses. But the hypothetical is possible, given what he did that evening.
When Thomas was in the room 8 nights later (maybe he had to work the drive-thru window at Hardee’s every evening after the 1st day), Yeshua appeared again in the same manner. When Tom saw it with his own eyes, he finally accepted the truth of Yeshua’s resurrection. Peter alludes to this in his 1st epistle.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)
Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Yeshua haMoshiach from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of Elohim through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yeshua haMoshiach:  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
What is all this stuff about remitting sins and retaining sins? Is this ability limited to ministers or priests? W1828 says this under ‘remit’;
To pardon, as a fault or crime. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them. John 20.
Do you have power to remit all my sins? No! And neither does anyone other than Y’hovah. You have power to remit my sins against YOU, or to retain them if I refuse to repent after attempts at reconciliation. That is all that says. I do not stand in Y’hovah’s stead in the forgiveness of all your sins, and neither does anyone else. Only Y’hovah can ultimately forgive my sins or yours, RC dogma notwithstanding. HOWEVER, a father or a husband DOES have the power to disavow a vow made by his unmarried daughter or his wife.
If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her:then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand:and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect:and the Lord shall forgive her. Num.30.3-8
Puts a slightly different light on binding and loosing, doesn’t it?
Yeshua did many wonderful miracles in the presence of his talmidim. We are told about only a few, because the oceans aren’t large enough to hold the ink, nor is the sky broad enough to receive the script of all the mighty works he’s done since he created the universes with a word from his mouth.
V.31 gives us the whole purpose of the besorah of Yochanan – to tell you enough that you can believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of the Living Eloha to the end of your obtaining eternal life by eating the Bread of Life, drinking the Water of Life and experiencing the Spirit of Life. IOW, so you could choose life – Yeshua who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Deut. 30:19 (KJV)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
L’Chaim! To LIFE! Q&C