November 14, 2015 Shabbat Midrash
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
November 14, 2015 – Year 3, Shabbat 35
Devarim 16:18 – 17:13 -1 Sh’muel 8:1-7 – Tehellim 132 – Yochanan 5:1-47
Devarim 16:18 – 17:13 – This parsha is about the court system in Israel, and also the united States Constitution. There are to be a system of courts; both national, state and local. There was to be a court in each city, not just the cities of refuge. There were to be higher courts, Sanhedrin, in each tribal inheritance for appeals and more important questions. And there was to be a supreme Sanhedrin in the city where Y’hovah would choose to place his Name to be the court of final appeal and to hear the most important cases. There should be judges at each level who were righteous and knew Torah and who would not pervert justice by taking bribes or ‘respecting persons’. In v.20, where KJV says ‘altogether just’, the Hebrew is ‘tzedek tzedek’. When Y’hovah repeats himself, he is saying that these judges must be everything that the word implies. This was very similar to the system Moshe set up at the counsel of Yithro and approved by Y’hovah (Ex.18) and reiterated by Moshe in
12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good to do. 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear between your brethren, and judge righteously between man and his brother, and the stranger with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is Eloha’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring unto me, and I will hear it. (Deut.1.12-17)
Do you see that the instruction on ‘respecting persons’ came right after Moshe included the ‘stranger’ in Torah’s justice system? After he says you shall nor respect persons, he defines the term; you judge righteously on the facts, not on the wealth or power of the person standing before you. THEN Moshe said if you can’t bring a righteous judgment for whatever cause, you bring it to me. Everyone in Israel was to be judged by the same standard – Torah. Moshe would see to it. Moshe says HE, Yhwh’s agent, will be the standard of the righteous judge.
There are numerous references to courts in the Brit Chadashah. Here are a few;
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that brethren. (1Cor.6.1-8)
In v.1, we should go to law before the tzadikim, not before the unjust. This is a direct application of our Torah portion to a local kahal/synagogue. The local assembly should have had at least a tribunal of tzadikim who know and live Torah and are (therefore) scrupulously honest. Then each district should have an appeals court; then each region should have a lower Sanhedrin, possibly made up of judges who did not sit on the original case, and finally a Sanhedrin in Yerushalayim as a Supreme Court. These courts should hear both Torah and civil cases between believers. This was actually the way the Hebrew courts worked in the Roman empire. The Hebrew religion had special rights and privileges within the Roman court system because they predated the Roman empire and its laws and religion. Yeshua went on trial before the Sanhedrin before being taken to Procurator Pilate for final adjudication. The Sanhedrin pronounced sentence on Yeshua and Pilate allowed the Sanhedrin to carry out its judgment and execution. I think Pilate was thoroughly disgusted by the political leaders of the religion;
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. (John 19:6)
Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. (Matthew 27:65)
There are numerous instances of the local assembly being in charge of their own justice, whether in the Word of Y’hovah or in lifestyle and practice;
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (I Corinthians 14:29)
I think that had to do with judging the prophecy given in the kahal according to Torah’s clear intent in Deut.13.
And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil Torah, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress Torah? (Romans 2:27)
That has to do with either a wise proselyte, learned in Torah, being a righteous judge of sin in a native born Israelite, or that the righteous lifestyle of a proselyte ought to shame a sinning Israelite to repentance.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Shabbat: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Moshiach. (Colossians 2:16-17)
If these are a shadow of things to come, they must not have been fulfilled, as the mainstream church claims. I purposely removed the words that were added by the translators to show that it is the body of Moshiach who is to judge our walk, and not just any man – we are NOT to go before the civil magistrates in our personal disputes, but the kahal’s tribunal and the Torah-instituted appellate system for judgment. I believe that this included divorce, since Israelite marriages were not state-licensed and controlled in the Roman empire any more than they were here in America until about 130 years ago. The passage from 1Cor.6 immediately follows Rav Sha’ul’s adjudication of the matter in 1Cor.5: the man who was lying with his father’s wife.
Vv.20-21 deal with idolatry – AGAIN! Do you suppose that this is important to Y’hovah? Do you think he takes idolatry seriously? Remember that EVERY commandment can be traced to the injunctions to not have other gods and to not covet, the ‘brackets’ of the 10 commandments. By these verses’ juxtaposition with the rest of our parsha, I take it to liken transgression of these instructions as being forms of idolatry. Chumash has a good comment on v.20 on pg.111. Q&C
17.1-7 – I think 17.1 goes with 16.21-22 and that it was the practice of the Canaanites to sacrifice the WORST of their flocks, herds and whatever, to their gods. I think this because we are looking at idolatrous practices before and after v.1, and I don’t think Y’hovah just dropped this into the middle of a discourse on idolatry. Again, Chumash has a good comment on v.1 on pg.112.
A blemish is something that can be readily seen, while evil-favoredness would speak of a bad disposition, like a bull that just has to gore something or someone, easily maddened. A sheep is not generally high-strung and itching for a fight, and neither is your average bovine. It was for this reason that we are to take the Pesach lamb into our house on the 10th of the month. It was expected that we would choose the most perfect in appearance as our Pesach lamb, but we were also to watch it closely to ensure that it was not mean, given to bullying or whatnot (that’s a technical term). This went for any offering, not just the Pesach – not that we bring it into the house, but that we not offer an animal given to a bad disposition. No animal with a flaw of either appearance or character should be offered to Y’hovah. The animals we offered were to display the same character WE were to exhibit. They were substitutionary offerings and should have reflected our character.
If there was a man or woman accused of idolatry, there was to be a diligent inquiry to determine if the accusation was true. If the accusation brought before the court was found to be true, the adjudication was set by Y’hovah – take the idolater outside the gates of the city and stone him to death. The parameters of ascertaining the truth of the accusation is set in v.6
At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
Here is the Torah behind the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution’s ‘right to remain silent’:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
If a man witnesses against himself and his witness agrees with the accusation, he has provided the 2nd witness and is guilty, even to his own death. When you, as a citizen of the State in which you reside and of the united States of America, are accused, therefore, keep your mouth shut. Y’hovah has given you the right to silence in criminal matters. Exercise it! Especially in the wicked perversion that calls itself justice anymore, where they will use ‘sound-bytes’, twisted out of their context, against you in court to lead the jury to convict you, even when you are innocent; just as false prophets use scriptural sound-bytes twisted out of their context to lead astray the unstable and unlearned. Sounds like the same satanic system to me.
Once a man is found guilty and taken without the gates to be stoned, the accusers are to be the first to cast the stones. This, I think, had at least 2 purposes: 1) a normally honest man who had brought false accusation might faint at actually carrying out the execution of one he knows to be innocent, and 2) that the execution of judgment be carried out as quickly and mercifully as possible. The ultimate purpose of capital punishment for idolatry was to deter further idolatry (v.7).
Vv.8-13 – In the case that something be brought to the inferior court system that for whatever reason is too great a matter for them, it could be taken directly to the Supreme Court. This provision also is enumerated in Art.3 §2 of the US Constitution:
Section. 2.The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more States; — between a State and Citizens of another State [Modified by Amendment XI]; — between Citizens of different States; — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
Let me digress for a few minutes. I once had a traffic case in our county court, in which a State Trooper brought an (true) accusation (driving on a suspended license w/the adjudicating judge’s permission under prescribed conditions) against me. Since I was recently unemployed (on my way home from being laid-off on the DAY I was cited) and had nothing on my hands but time, when I went to court for arraignment I asked if the State was ‘party to this action’. The magistrate said it was, and I challenged the court’s jurisdiction in the matter and ‘stood mute’ instead of entering a plea. The magistrate ‘assumed jurisdiction’, entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ FOR ME, and bound me over for trial – all within his rights and fully expected. I presented the court with 110 interrogatories and awaited a date for trial. I received a summons to the court for a ‘pre-trial hearing’ before the actual judge.
He said, “I see that you pled ‘not guilty’.”
I said, “No sir, your honor. I challenged this court’s jurisdiction in this matter and stood mute. The magistrate ‘assumed jurisdiction’ and entered that plea in my silence.”
He said, “You challenged my jurisdiction?”
I said, “Yessir. I asked the magistrate if the State of Ohio was a party to this matter and he said it is. So I invoked the U.S. Constitution, Art.3 §2 and paragraph 2, which states that in any action in which a State is party, the court of ORIGINAL jurisdiction is the supreme Court. I am not challenging your honor’s COMPETENCE to hear this case, only your jurisdiction.”
He asked, “Do you mean the State supreme court?”, to which I replied, “No sir. The US Constitution does not create state courts, only federal. The supreme Court it regulates and empowers is in Washington, D.C. If the state wants to try this case there, I will be happy to argue there.”
I had him and he knew it. He asked me to leave his chambers so he could confer with his prosecuting attorney. After a few minutes, the prosecutor came out to talk to me. He actually accused me of militia ties, which I firmly denied and he dismissed as irrelevant.
We went back into chambers and the judge told me that all he wanted was such and so. If I would change my plea to ‘no contest’, he would find me ‘guilty’, sentence me to a suspended $10 fine, apply no points to my driving record and await my compliance with the law I was accused of breaking (suspended driver’s license), which I was in process of doing anyway. So I agreed and we went happily on our ways. I kind of regret NOT going through with it, but what the hay?! I got pretty much what I wanted; no fine, no points.
And it was fun. After we arrived at an agreement, I asked the judge to please instruct the prosecuting attorney to apologize for making the accusation that I was a member of the militia, because the U S Navy Reserve would frown on any association I had with them – then I showed him my Reserve ID card. He said he’d retired from the reserve as a JAG corps jurist and we had a nice conversation about that after the prosecutor apologized for jumping to conclusions. THAT was what was so much fun. He was haughty and needed a come-uppance.
The lesson (and end of digression) to take from this?: learn the Constitution. It can be a great tool in your battle with judicial tyranny for as long as the USA survives. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, regardless any legislation passed or presidential order to the contrary;
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
This is very much like Torah baAretz Yisrael (in the land of Yisrael). There is no higher law in their respective lands, except that Torah is the basis for almost every provision in the Constitution. That makes Torah superior to it, in my contemplation and opinion.
When the supreme Sanhedrin brings judgment, it is to be carried out swiftly. If anyone presumes to go against the just (Torah-based) commands and judgments of the supreme Sanhedrin, capital punishment applies. It must be carried out swiftly and fully to keep the sin of presumption from spreading baAretz. Q&C
1 Sh’muel 8:1-7 – According to the last verses of ch.7, Sh’muel operated a ‘circuit court’ in Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah and Ramah, where he lived and held court on a more regular basis. I assume that the ‘supreme court’ was at Ramah, in BenYamin’s inheritance. His sons set up court in Beer Sheva, in the Negev, and did not go on the circuit, like their father did. The ‘sages’ say that it was not so much that THEY took bribes, but that having the court set in one place in the far south of Israel made it easy for men to set up businesses that served the needs of those coming for court and that the prices there could be inflated by unscrupulous businessmen. The ‘sages’ say that having done that was ‘tantamount to bribery’. Maybe, but scripture clearly says they perverted justice and took bribes, not that anything they did was tantamount to it. I think the people were righteously peeved at Sh’muel’s sons and wanted nothing more to do with them. As v.1 says, Sh’muel was getting old and it was nearly time for his death, so the people came to him and rejected his sons as judges and requested that he anoint a king over them, like the other nations had. Now this was getting ahead of Y’hovah, as I think he had already chosen David for this job. But David needed time to mature and develop some before he would be ready to assume the throne of Yisrael. As we’ll see in next week’s parsha, Y’hovah said that he WOULD allow Yisrael to choose a king
14 When thou art come unto the land which Y’hovah Elohecha giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom Y’hovah Elohecha shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. (Dt.17.14-15)
What Israel did here was to come to their Yehoshaphat (Y’hovah’s judge – Sh’muel) and asked for a king. Sh’muel seems to have taken this personally. He was thinking that the people were rejecting him by rejecting his sons. Y’hovah told him in v.7 that they were not rejecting Sh’muel, but Himself. Israel was tired of being ruled by Y’hovah through judges, especially if they were going to pervert justice like Yoel and AviYah were doing. They wanted to look like the nations around them – a kind of idolatry, like calling the golden calf of Egypt Y’hovah. As long as they had no king, they were holy; different, set apart from the nations. Now they wanted to lose one of the outward signs of their holiness. They were truly rejecting Y’hovah’s kingship.
Once again, getting ahead of Y’hovah’s master plan bites them on the rump. As my mother-in-law used to tell her teenaged daughters, “The best ‘birth control pill’ is a Children’s Aspirin [the tiny 83 mg. one]. You place it and hold it between your knees. And if you burn your *** (backside), you have to sit on the blister.” So true! When will we learn to shema? Q&C
Tehellim 132 – This is a song of ascent. It was recited/sung as the worshipper approached the Temple, as he climbed the steps. There were steps of two different widths, two short and then one long. On the longer steps the worshipper would sing the corresponding song of ascent. There were 42 risers and a platform or court at the bottom and the top.
This is also a Messianic psalm, as we will see shortly.
When Y’hovah remembers someone or something, he does not recall that person or thing to mind. If he actually forgot him or it, it would have simply ceased to be – like the sins he chooses to forget in YirmeYahu 31.34. When Y’hovah ‘remembers’, he acts on the object’s behalf. He can remember for the object’s self-perceived good or ill. But we know that all things work toward the good of his plan and his people, who love him – even when it isn’t pleasant for the object of Y’hovah’s remembrance. Here’s an example of how Y’hovah’s remembrance can SEEM ill to the objects
20 Then YirmeYahu said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him answer, saying, 21 The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not Y’hovah remember them, and came it not into his mind? 22 So that Y’hovah could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. 23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against Y’hovah, and have not obeyed the voice of Y’hovah, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day. (Jer.41.20-23)
But even in this remembrance his grace is seen. His purpose in bringing this judgment is to get them to remember what was different when they were receiving Y’hovah’s blessings, recognize their sin and bring them to repentance.
In v.1, the author is asking Y’hovah to ‘remember’, to act on behalf of, David his anointed and all the afflictions he endured in Y’hovah’s service. These afflictions, enumerated in vv.3-4, are tied to David finding the proper resting place for Y’hovah’s Name, which ended up being Araunah’s (a Yevusite – a former Canaanite proselyte?) threshing floor on Mt. Moriah (to get the import of this you really need to read the whole of chapter 24 in 2Sh’muel). His afflictions are sandwiched between references to the ‘mighty [one] of Ya’acov’, referring to chol Yisrael, all 12 tribes.
David vowed to not rest in his own house until he had found the resting-place for Y’hovah’s Name, and he would have done exactly that if Y’hovah had not told David he would not let him build it, as he was a man of war (1Chron.28.3, &17.4ff); that his son, who would not need to make war, would build it. But David gathered all the material necessary to build it, and drew the plans for it. The Temple is, of course, a physical type of the spiritual reality that the Temple of Y’hovah is actually the body of his saints, both individually and corporately.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of Eloha, and that the Spirit of Eloha dwelleth in you?(I Corinthians 3:16)
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of Eloha, and ye are not your own? (I Corinthians 6:19)
Notice the ‘ye’s’ there? That is 2nd person plural in KJV language. We are the Temple of Eloha, especially when we gather for worship or service (Matt.18.20). He inhabits our corporate worship and fellowship. But the spirit of Moshiach also dwells in you and me as it did in Sha’ul
I am crucified with Moshiach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Moshiach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Eloha, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
David says as much in v.6, where he says he found the place of Y’hovah in the fields and heard of it in Ephratah. Y’hovah’s place had to be the hearts of his saints, like David and Yoseph, the son of Ya’acov. Shlomo was yet to build the Temple.
The clearly Messianic aspect of this psalm becomes very evident from here on. In v.7 David says that we enter his tabernacles and worship at his footstool – the earth is his footstool
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Psalms 8:6)
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith Y’hovah: or what is the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)
And hath put all things under his [Yeshua’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the kahal, (Ephesians 1:22)
Then in v.8, he tells Y’hovah to arise and enter into his resting place that is yet to be built, if it refers to the Temple. It CANNOT, in time! Therefore, I infer that he is calling the hearts of the saints of Y’hovah who are after his heart his tabernacle – as it is today.
In v.9, the priests, who are to manifest the mercy of Y’hovah as they offer the sacrifices at his altar, are clothed with the righteousness of Eloha. This is clearly a Kingdom prophecy. In vv.10-11, he connects David with Y’hovah’s Moshiach – the Hebrew word is m’shichecha, which KJV translates ‘thine anointed’. Y’hovah’s Moshiach is prophetically called David and Son or seed of David many times in Tanakh and Brit Chadasha – here are a few (not even close to exhaustive)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty Eloha, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Y’hovah Tzavaoth will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
1 Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. (Isaiah 16:1, 5)
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Y’hovah Elohechem, and David their king; and shall fear Y’hovah and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5)
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:16)
Concerning his Son Yeshua haMoshiach our Master, which was made of the seed of David [the heir to the throne] according to the flesh; (Romans 1:3)
In vv.12-13, Y’hovah promises that David’s seed will sit the throne forever; and in Moshiach that will come to pass on this earth and the new one Y’hovah has planned for us – as long as we and our children will obey Y’hovah with a pure heart. We and our children will sit with him in his throne – rule and reign with him forever. That concept is not just seen in the book of Revelation, but in Tanakh. Yochanan wrote NOTHING NEW in that book. It was, in part, like a compilation of every Tanakh concept of the events leading up to and including the Millennial Kingdom and the eternal ages of the New Creation. Just as Shlomo said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Vv.14-18 tell us the purpose of Y’hovah creating in the first place; a place for him to rest with his creatures whom he has loved since before he spoke the first creative word – before time itself. It is on the EARTH that HE shall dwell, for HE has desired it. Will we spend any great time in ‘heaven’? If Y’hovah is living on earth, earth becomes ‘heaven’, does it not? We were created for life on earth, and earth was created for Y’hovah to dwell in with his creatures. We will have access to heaven, for we will be in Y’hovah’s presence for all of eternity. Zion’s priests will not only be clothed in righteousness, as in v.6, but with Yesha – salvation – in v.16. Yesha (yud, shin, ayin) is, of course, the root word for Yeshua (yud, shin, vav, ayin). The horn of David is an idiom alluding to Moshiach as the power of David, like the horns of a bull. I think the choice of the English word ‘bud’ is not readily understood today, as a bud is very delicate and can be harmed by so many environmental factors and that it is a vernacular term for a friend. It is wonderful in Middle English where it means to spring forth and grow to strength. In this passage the idea is that Moshiach’s influence will take root and fill the earth quickly. A lamp shines light on everything, brings secrets to light, as it were. That is the idea here, I think; the beginning of his power (the bud) is his ability to see all things, even the secret things, as clearly as he sees the day dawn. This is how he will clothe his enemies with shame and cause his crown to flourish. He will look right through any subterfuge and read every man’s character like an open book. Q&C
Yochanan 5:1-47 – This is taken from my work, The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective.
72). Second Passover –
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.
Yochanan tells of a feast of the Jews, but doesn’t name it. I don’t know where the chronology comes from here. The Thompson Reference System says that this is Y’hovah’s second passover in Jerusalem after his ministry began. This will mark the end of his year of popularity, I think. Thompson’s seems to follow Mark’s gospel for chronology.
73). Man at the pool healed –
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Yeshua saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Yeshua saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Shabbat.
The pool of Bethesda had 5 porches, speaking to the grace of Eloha healing the sick. Thompson’s Archeological Supplement has:
“The only record indicating its location places it near the Sheep Gate, in the northeast part of the city. The Medeba map (fifth century) located the pool in this section, which is known as Bezetha. In 1888 repairs were being made on St. Ann’s Church in this northeast section of Jerusalem when what seemed to be a large reservoir was located. Conrad Schick organized an expedition and uncovered the entire area down to the Roman level, revealing two large pools with five porches and numerous fragments of columns and capitals, all in Roman style, but evidently somewhat later than the time of Moshiach. There were steep, winding steps leading down to the pools and, on a prominent wall of one of the porches, a faded fresco showed an angel in the act of troubling the waters. So according to the tradition of the early assembly, this was Bethesda.”
Mat. Henry’s commentary says,
“Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well?”
Put yourself in this guy’s shoes for a minute. You’ve been infirm for 38 years. And you spend most of your days at this miraculous spa hoping to get in the water when it is troubled. Do you think this happened every few minutes? Once a day? Or just once in a while? There is no indication that the troubling of the water was a regular occurrence. So you have to be ready to jump in, but you can’t jump. You have a hard enough time dragging yourself toward the pool, much less lowering yourself down the steps, which were steep and winding, to get in the pool. And no one will help you because they are all there for the same purpose, to get a healing. If someone helps you into the water, how will he get healed? Only one healing per troubling, and if he can get there first you are going to have to wait ‘til next time. Sorry, luck of the draw, bud.
That’s what this guy dealt with for 38 years. When Yeshua asks if he’d like to be made well, he says in effect, ‘If you’ll hang around and help me into the water next time it’s troubled, I’d be much obliged.’ Yeshua does him one better. He says the same thing he said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” And the guy obeys immediately, not caring what day it is.
Here is a major no-no as far as the Pharisees are concerned. Yeshua has just healed on the Shabbat and told the healed man to carry away his bed. You could get in a lot of trouble with the religious authorities if you broke the Shabbat traditions. Remember that the Shabbat was set aside [made holy] to rest from our professional labors and worship Y’hovah one day a week. Do you suppose the man who’d been healed was worshipping Y’hovah as he walked home? Shake your heads in the vertical. Do you think the Pharisees cared? Shake your heads in the horizontal.
75). Discourse on the Shabbat – Mat.12.1-8, Mk.2.23-28, Lk.6.1-5, Yochanan 5.10-16
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Shabbat day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Yeshua had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Yeshua findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Yeshua, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Yeshua, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Shabbat day.
Do you remember the flock of swine that rushed headlong into the sea? Same problem comes up here, but for a different reason. The swineherds were losing money, the Pharisees were jealous for the common folk to keep the law according to the scribes and Pharisees. They accused Yeshua of breaking Shabbat. But in this case, who was really breaking Shabbat? Yeshua is about to tell them. Q&C
74). Discourse on Yeshua’s divinity –
17 But Yeshua answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Shabbat, but said also that Eloha was his Father, making himself equal with Eloha. 19 Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth Avinu do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For Avinu loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as Avinu raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For Avinu judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all should honour the Son, even as they honour Avinu. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not Avinu which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Eloha: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as Avinu hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Avinu which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than of John: for the works which Avinu hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that Avinu hath sent me. 37 And Avinu himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of Eloha in you. 43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that from Eloha only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to Avinu: there is that accuseth you, Moshe [Torah], in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
In vv.17-18 we see the Jews really getting worked up over Yeshua’s claim to be Eloha. They knew what he was saying, and they would have been righteously angry if they were dealing with MY claim to be Eloha. But this was Yeshua and he was performing miracles that should have told them exactly who he was, if only they knew the scriptures like they said, or thought, they did. Messianic passages abound in the OT (Is.61.1-2a.) Even Yochanan the Immerser needed some proof as to Yeshua true identity (Lk.7.19-20), but he knew the scriptures and was comforted in them (Lk.7.21-23). Yeshua knew that Yochanan would understand that every miracle he performed was not to cause an end of suffering or hardship or infirmity, but for the purpose of confirming to the Jews, the political leadership of the religion, that he was who he claimed to be; Yeshua haMoshiach, the Son of Eloha. The very miracles he was doing, causing the paralytic to walk in this case, all taken together (i.e., comparing scripture with scripture and verifying experience with objective truth) should have caused them no end of rejoicing that their Moshiach had come and that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand. Instead they wanted strict adherence to the oral law that gave no life, but only knowledge of sin and death. Q&C
“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Avinu rested from his creative work on the 7th day, not all his work. After all, Eloha still had to maintain the creation. The strict adherence to the letter of the law that the Pharisees wanted would have made them Eloha’s judges. By that I mean, if Eloha were being judged by their standard, absolutely no work on the Shabbat, they would have stoned him, as well. In fact, that is what they were attempting to do right then, for the whole creation was physically manufactured by the word of the person they wanted to stone for blasphemy and Shabbat-breaking (Ex.31.14ff).
V.19 ‘What the Son sees Avinu doing the Son does also (Mark paraphrase).’ The whole universe was all Y’hovah Yeshua’s effort. Without him was not anything made that was made. How should we do things? Should we do everything on our own, cowboy our way through as lone wolves or should we get help or counsel as we can. That is how the Body of Moshiach is supposed to work, each helping the other to bring glory to Eloha.
1Cor.12 says that each part of the body is as important as every other part of the body. If the ear gets jealous because it’s not the eye, the body will not work as it’s designed to. If the foot gets offended because the hand is getting all the good stuff to do and goes on strike, how will the hand get to the appointed place to do its good stuff? It’s the same thing with each of us. If I get jealous of Doc because he can make teeth and I can’t, and I therefore leave the fellowship of us saints, the whole body will suffer because it is left without my gifts and abilities. Our gifts were not given to us for our personal enjoyment, but for the common good of the Body of Moshiach. All that and much more can be seen with just a cursory glance at 1Cor.12. The body of Moshiach is designed to work as a unit to fulfill its purpose in doing the will of Avinu.
Avinu shows the Son all that he (Avinu) plans to do and the Son executes that plan (v.20). ‘Himself’ speaks of Avinu in this case. Had Yeshua meant the Son here he’d have used the word ‘he’ not ‘himself’ in this construction. You may remember the use of this ‘himself’ in the movie, “The Quiet Man” (a great movie, by the way). As late as 1950 this was still an accepted usage when referring to a third person in your speech. Webster’s has
HIMSELF’, pron. In the nominative or objective case. [him and self.] 1. He; but himself is more emphatical, or more expressive of distinct personality than he. With shame remembers, while himself was one. Of the same herd, himself the same had done.
The NIV has ‘he’ here. If ‘he’ is substituted for ‘himself’ it refers back to the last word that is male third person singular, or Son. That could be confusing, so the AV translators who understood English usage decided to use ‘himself’, to specify that the speaker meant a third person other than his own self and the hearer. This is just another proof that Yeshua and Avinu are one Spirit, but different, as relating to Yeshua’s human flesh, hence the subject object relationship of Yeshua’s flesh and the Almighty..
The Abba of our Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach had shown his Son all that himself had wanted him to reveal to this point and Yeshua had done so. It seems by this passage that Eloha was authorizing the steps to be taken by Yeshua as the time became right, that Yeshua knew the plan, but was awaiting his Father’s OK to implement it.
Yeshua had yet to raise the dead, but that would come shortly. Avinu had yet to authorize that part of the plan. When he did Yeshua would raise a few from the dead to illustrate his ministry of making us who trust him spiritually alive. He would give the breath of life back to some who had died to show how he would quicken the spirits of men and empower them by the breath of his Ruach haKodesh (Acts 2.2), and will quicken the bodies of those same men in the life to come. Q&C
All judgment is committed to the Son for the purpose of giving honor to the Son (Gen.32.29, Ex.6.3, 9.16, 20.7, 23.20-23, Lev.19.12, 22.32, De.28.58, 2Sam.7.26, 1Ki.8.18-19, 29, 9.3, 7, 11.36, 2Ki.23.21-27, Ps.8.1, 89.24, Is.42.8, 48.11, 52.5-6, 57.15, 65.1, Jer.7.10-14, 30, 14.14-15, 23.25-27, Ez.20.9, 36.23, 39.7, Dan.2.20, Mat.24.5, Mal.1.11, 4.2, Mat.18.5, 20, Mk.9.39-41, Jn.16.23-27, Rom.9.17, Is.9.6, Mat.12.16-21, [Mat.1.21, 25, Lk.1.31, 2.21; Yeshua’s name all in caps, denotes the covenant name of Eloha], Acts.3.16, 4.12, Heb.1.4, Phil.2.9-11, Eph.1.21, Rev.19.16, 12, Neh.9.5). Reread the verses in bold type. [below]
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)
3 Who being the brightness of glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb.1.3-4)
9 Wherefore Eloha also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua Moshiach is Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha Avinu. (Phil.2.9-11)
20 Which he wrought in Moshiach, when he raised him from the dead, and set at his own right hand in the heavenlies, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all under his feet, and gave him as the head over all to the assembly, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph.1.20-23)
But the Son is also called the Word of Eloha in Yochanan 1.1-14, that Word whose name is exalted above every name. When he says above ‘every name’, he means it. In Rev.19.12 his name is so wonderful that it can’t be known by any but he himself. Is there anything that can be greater or more holy than the name of Y’hovah Yeshua? In Ps.138.2 David says,
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
Is there any name of Eloha that is left out in that verse? Even the one that no man can know but he himself? Eloha exalts his Word above his very own name because without his Word we would have nothing by which to know his name. Just to give you an idea of what man does to the Word of Eloha, here’s that same verse in the NIV:
Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
If you did to Eloha’s Word what they did to Eloha’s Word, you would ‘fix’ that verse as well. To translate it literally would be to condemn yourself. NIV-ers have placed Eloha’s Word on a par with his name, but not above it, as Eloha has. They have exalted themselves above Eloha, thereby, knowing better than he exactly what he meant. They have an extremely low view of scripture, or they would not correct it so often. Cf. Ps.19, esp.v.7-11. Without his Word we would have no barometer for our conduct or yardstick to measure our growth into the image of Moshiach. Isn’t it amazing that Eloha holds the book you hold in your hand in greater esteem than his very name? It is too wonderful for me.
Vv.24, 25 show another reason that Eloha exalts his word above his name. It is by his word that we are saved. We obtain everlasting life by hearing the Word of Eloha and believing that Eloha Avinu’s Ruach haKodesh indwelt Yeshua’s human flesh. This can only be revealed today by the Word of Eloha, as illuminated by his Ruach ha Kodesh. There are no eyewitnesses alive on earth to talk to as in Paul’s day (1Cor.15.5-8). Eloha wants to fellowship with us, to spend eternity with us as his children. We could never know this without his Word. We could know of him, desire to know him personally, fear him, but we could never know him and love him without his Word. Q&C
When he says ‘the dead shall hear’ he refers not just to the physically dead, as when Yeshua went into the grave to take captivity captive, but the spiritually dead as well. All those who heard him for the first time were spiritually dead. When they believed that Eloha had sent him, that he was very Eloha, they obtained eternal life. We who have believed on Avinu who sent the Son in the power of his Ruach ha Kodesh have obtained eternal life and will never be condemned. Yeshua has finished the work Avinu sent him to do. No one can undo what he has done. We have been justified by the faith of the Son of Eloha (Gal.2.16), not by our own faith, and have passed from death unto life. Now it’s time we acted like it, as if we actually believed it to be true. Joshua 1:9
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for Y’hovah Elohecha is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Remember that this all began with Yeshua healing on the Shabbat and then calling Eloha his Father, making himself equal to Eloha. He has been making that point throughout this discourse. In vv.26-27 he must have really frosted their cookies. He tells them that Avinu has given him authority over judgment and also to have life in himself. These are strong statements of his True Identity, Y’hovah in human flesh. To have life in yourself is something none of us has ever experienced, nor will we. Y’hovah IS life. His Word is life. It actually means that HE IS life (Jn.14.6), not just that he has life. We all have life in us, but it does not proceed from us – we are not the originators of life. Y’hovah Yeshua is.
And Eloha has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. If he were not human, he could not feel our infirmity and sympathize with our weakness and inability to live after Eloha. He is the righteous judge because he is righteousness and knows what we feel, has endured the same trials and temptations that we all have, yet without sin (Heb.4.15).
So Yeshua in this sentence tells them that he is both Eloha and man. I wonder how many understood that. And, did it separate their heads from their shoulders? The thought of an Eloha/man would have been totally foreign to them. It was generally thought then, and still is today among most of the lost, that all of the physical or material creation was evil and all that was spiritual was good. For the two to be blended into one was and is inconceivable to most people. This was the root of gnosticism, which is making a strong resurgence today and teaches that Eloha could not become flesh and remain Eloha, for the flesh is sinful. Eloha would not sanctify the flesh, the flesh would corrupt Eloha. Therefore Yeshua was human and the Moshiach was divine, and Yeshua haMoshiach could not be both. But that is exactly what Yeshua taught in this passage, his Spirit is 100% Eloha and his flesh is 100% man, what has been termed the hypostatic union. The hypostatic union is sort of like binary addition of 1+1, which equals 0, carry the 1. It is totally understandable if you slip outside the decimal box that’s been constructed around your mind. So would the concept of 100%+100% = 100% be if we could slip out of the box of time/space/matter. Unfortunately, we can’t without really slipping outside of this body and returning to it, as Paul did in vision or in spirit (2Cor.12.1-4), and which Peter and Yochanan also experienced (Acts 10, Rev.1).
The main problem with gnosticism is a faulty concept of Eloha and matter. To the Gnostic the flesh was mightier than the Eloha who created it for it could corrupt him. Therefore the Gnostic elohim was subject to the material world, thus making the material the one, true Eloha. This is the ultimate origin of evolution in the human mind, matter is eternal, and man is the culmination of the material evolution. As such, man created Eloha, therefore man is Eloha. Eminently reasonable if you leave out the scripture or have a low view of it. Eloha gives us the faith to trust him or not when we believe (Rom 10.14-17).
The gnostics would not believe that anything spiritual was evil, hence the belief today, even among Xians, that anything that is spiritual is divine. These Xians are obviously not exercising the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits (1Cor.12.10, 1Jn.4.1). To them, any angel would be a divine being, even Lucifer (2Cor.11.14) or Michael or Moroni (the LDS revelatory angel – my spell checker gave ‘Moronic’ as the first ‘change’ suggestion). In fact, the spiritual part of man would be divine as well, and therefore all men are elohims, a la Shirley McLaine and other equally deceived and ridiculous persons. Now, you may ask, ‘How can man have both a spiritual and a material aspect, but Eloha can not take on a physical body?’ You got me there, because I don’t know. There is something to be said for consistency, but the gnostics of our day sure miss it! I think that their thought is that our spirits, which predated the creation of the physical universe (more inconsistency, if matter is eternal), were defiled by contact with the flesh (Gen.6.2?) and now by reincarnation and the ‘circle of life’ it needs to purge itself of its sin and once again ‘become one with the divine all.’ They term this at-one-ment, which is why I hate to hear that term used by Xians as an alternative pronunciation of atonement. Yeshua atoned for my sins for me, he substituted for me on the cross. For me to achieve at-one-ment, I have to achieve it. What a waste of time and the life-blood of Yeshua. So, if you don’t want to incur my wrath, and I believe it would be righteous anger, NEVER use the term at-one-ment in place of atonement. I’ll unapologetically snap your head off. To me, it is engaging in confusion. Q&C
In vv.28-29 Yeshua tells of the resurrection and that he’ll be the one calling the dead from their graves. Once more he is telling the Pharisees and scribes that he is Eloha, and also telling the Sadducees that their doctrine is wrong. He was really making points with the Jews that day, wasn’t he? He speaks of the resurrection without distinguishing between the first and second resurrections. Those who believed in it knew that the righteous would be resurrected first and the wicked at another time (Dan.12.2), but they did not know that there would be a separation of 1000 years. The specific length of time between the two was not revealed until the Revelation of Yeshua haMoshiach to Yochanan on the isle of Patmos (Rev.20.4-6, 11-15). Yeshua brilliantly illustrated v.28 when he raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn.11). If he hadn’t spoken specifically to Lazarus in 11.43, it is quite possible that a general resurrection would have happened on the spot. That is why the distinction. Prophecy said there would be two separate resurrections for the righteous and for the wicked, so Yeshua could not simply say, ‘Come forth!” To do so would nullify partially revealed truth and the plan of Avinu. One day soon he will say, “Ye righteous of my Father, come forth!”, and the resurrection of the righteous dead and the translation of all living believers will instantly occur to the great consternation of the wicked.
When Yeshua says in v.30, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” what do you think he means? This is not a rhetorical question. I would like a short answer from the audience, if I can get one.
I think he meant that he’d emptied himself of his independent exercise of his divine attributes, authority and power (Phil.2.5-7). Yeshua’s Ruach is Eloha from eternity past, not having a beginning. But he voluntarily gave up Yeshua’s independent use of Eloha’s power so that he could become one of us and fulfill Torah in the flesh so that he could be our propitiator. He, who should have been waited upon hand and foot as the King of kings, came as a servant, in part to show us how to live a victorious life. He submitted himself to the will of Avinu, surrendered his own will and life to Avinu. That was the source of his power on earth, he exercised no authority of his own, only that of his Father through his Ruach. And that same surrender is to be the source of our power and authority. If we were to submit to his will, we too could exercise his authority. What kind of power is displayed in your life? What does that say of your surrender?
As a result of Yeshua’s total surrender to the will of Avinu, not seeking his own, he was and is able to judge justly and righteously. He is able to sympathize with us because he is one of us, and he is able to pass righteous judgment because he is Eloha. I would not want anyone else to judge me. Avinu’s judgment is righteous and just in its severity, because his holiness is the standard with which he must judge. By the standard of Eloha’s holiness, I am forever lost, too vile and unholy to even stand in his presence. Man’s standard is very different, based in what he thinks is just at the moment. By that standard, I would get a free pass because I would not send anyone to the Lake of Fire, because I don’t want to go there myself. If I did condemn someone, then when using the same criterion, I would be condemned, too (Mat.7.2). But Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach, Eloha in human flesh, felt all the same temptations and weaknesses that we do (Heb.4.15), and therefore can temper his severe righteousness with mercy in those of us who have believed and trusted him for salvation. This is not to say that Avinu has no mercy, for if that were true he would not have sent Y’hovah Yeshua to propitiate for us. This all just helps me to understand how a holy Eloha can have mercy on a wretch like Mark Pitrone, to graciously give him the faith to believe on Y’hovah. If this is incorrect, please correct me. Q&C
In v.31-32, Yeshua tells of his own witness of himself and the witness of another, who for now remains nameless – we’ll see who he is shortly. I find it interesting that even Yeshua own witness of himself would not be true without corroboration. I don’t think he meant that his word is untrustworthy (Jn.8.14), but that it would not be sufficient to prove the truth of his assertion, for in the mouths of 2 or 3 witness shall a thing be established (Deut.17.6 – today’s Torah parsha, 19.15, Mat.18:16, 2Cor.13:1, 1Tim.5:19, Heb.10:28).
Yeshua goes on to say in vv.33-35 that there is another who bears witness of him, whose witness he knows is true. He elaborates in vv.36ff that the other is Avinu in heaven. But before he says that, he refers to Yochanan the Immerser, whose followers must have been in the crowd, perhaps even among the Pharisees and scribes. But Yeshua rejects Yochanan’s witness to himself, because Yochanan is just a guy. His witness may be false, but Avinu’s can never be (Rom.3.4a, Tit.1.2, Heb.6.18). Yeshua tells them and us these things that they/we might believe his Father’s witness and be saved. Yochanan’s words cannot save them, being the words of man, but Yeshua’s Word can. They had gone to Yochanan for his witness to the truth, and that was good as far as it went, but Yeshua had a greater witness to the truth, his very works (v.36) that had lately gotten him into so much trouble with the Jews, the political leaders of the religion in Jerusalem. He was saying, in effect, (Mark paraphrase) ‘You went out to hear Yochanan because he spoke of the truth and that’s good, but I show you the truth by the very works I do. These works are my Father’s witness of me; that I am from him. You loved to bask in the witness of Yochanan because he told you of the truth (v.35), but when you are confronted with the truth itself you will not believe it (v.38), for Eloha’s word does not live in you. If it did, if you really loved the truth, you would believe his report (v37). But you refuse his witness of me, because you’ve never seen or heard from him in the scriptures you claim to love. (end of Mark’s paraphrase)’ What about you? Have you seen Eloha Avinu in the scriptures? Have you heard his voice? Have you surrendered to him? Have you trusted Yeshua to reconcile you to our Father in heaven? Does his Word abide in you? Eloha wants nothing more than your friendship and fellowship. If you haven’t come to him before, stop the study and do it now. He gave everything to have you. You are all he wants. Something alive cannot long be sustained in a rotting, putrefying corpse, it needs to be nourished with living material. Spiritual life cannot be maintained with physical food. It needs spiritual food; I.e., the Word of Eloha (Job 23.12, Ps.19.7-11, Jer.15.16, Ez.2.8-3.3, 1Tim.4.6, De.8.3).
He goes on in 39-40 about the scripture’s witness to him. The scriptures were in their brains, they had memorized large chunks of it, but the words did not live in them, didn’t change them in any appreciable manner unless it was to make them more prideful, more hateful. The fact is that the scribes and Pharisees were more worried about compliance with the letter of the ‘oral law’ than with the spirit of Torah, and then only in other people, not so much themselves [Mat.23.3-4]. Are we not guilty of the same thing, demanding compliance with a law that does not abide in the hearts of men? How can we demand compliance to the truth from Bill, George, and Barack when the truth is not in them? Do we not see our own sins in the people we condemn? They have an excuse, since they are not born from above, but do we? We have been tempted to and done all the same sins that our pet perpetrators have; if not in fact, then in spirit. Should we not, then, attempt to be like our high priest, sympathizing with the infirmities of our fellows and coming alongside them to try to reconcile them to Eloha? That is our ministry here (2Cor.5.18-21), is it not? Q&C
In v.41 he says that he doesn’t receive honour from men. The word receive is from the grk. word lambano which means literally to take. He’s not saying that men are not offering him honour, but that he doesn’t want men’s honour and won’t accept it. He wants honour from Eloha. He’s not looking to please men, but his Father in heaven.
Vv.42-43 need to be seen together. If they had Eloha’s love in them they would receive his testimony as the truth it is. This is more proof that they did not love the Law and the Prophets, but used it as a wedge to uphold their power. Yeshua is in process of kicking the wedge free, and, I think, the religious leaders are scared that their positions of honour before the people are about to be lost. For that reason they will not receive what they know in their hearts is the truth, Yeshua is not after their praise or the honour from men. He tells them that one will come (anti-Moshiach) who will, speaking in his own name, accept their honour and praise.
He says in v.44 that the reason they won’t believe him is that he is not after their praise, which thing they want above all else. They want the praises of men like themselves, and when anti-Moshiach comes and accepts their honours, they’ll accept him as their Moshiach. Since they are self-seeking and totally (self) righteous, and he will be exactly the same, he’s what they expect Moshiach to be. So he’s whom they’ll accept. All because they have no love for the truth of Eloha’s word. Before we get too critical, let’s examine ourselves. Are we guilty of the same stuff? Do we need to repent?
In v.45 he informs them that he will not accuse them before his Father, that Moses will be their accuser. Not that Moses himself will accuse them, but Torah that Moses wrote down will. He says that the Torah in which they put all their trust (Jn.9.28, Rom.2.17-25) will be used as the witness against them. They were trusting the works of the law to qualify them for eternal life (Gal.2.11-3.10). Yeshua was telling them they were trusting in a thing that they did not believe. How stupid is that? Had they truly known and believed the scriptures they would have recognized Yeshua for who he is — Moshiach, the son of Yosef/David, the Son of Eloha. Why would they believe the author of the Word if they didn’t believe the Word they claimed to trust? How else do you know an author but by his writing? Had they known it they would have known him and believed. (If you haven’t yet, read Gal.2.11-3.10 now )
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before all, “If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to [Judaize – ioudaidzein] live as do the Jews?” 15 We Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yeshua haMoshiach, even we have believed in Yeshua haMoshiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Moshiach, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Moshiach, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Moshiach the minister of sin? Eloha forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto Eloha. 20 I am crucified with Moshiach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Moshiach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Eloha, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of Eloha: for if righteousness by the law, then Moshiach is dead in vain… 3.1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yeshua Moshiach hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, is it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed Eloha, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that Eloha would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study