THE SPRING FEASTS

SEFIRAT HaOMER

COUNTING THE OMER TO SHAVUOT

PART 1

 Wayyiqra (Lv) 23: 9 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. [Deut 26:2]; 11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as an ascending offering to יהוה, 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. Deut 16:9; [Acts 2:1]; 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה. 17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה. [Neh 10:37]; 18 ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה. 19 ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a slaughter of peace offerings. 20 ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest. 21 ‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 ‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.’            (TS2009)

WHEN DOES THE COUNT BEGIN?

INTRODUCTION:

Following along in our ongoing study of the Mo’edim (appointed times) of יהוה (B’H), we come to another somewhat controversial date that is described in the Torah as “the day after the Sabbath”, and that is the day that the first fruits of the barley harvest are presented as a ‘wave’ offering in the Temple at Y’rushalayim which in turn begins the count of the omer to Shavuot.
The controversy that began in ancient Yisra’el, and continues to this day is wrapped up into the following question; “do we begin the count to Shavuot on the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat during the week of Unleavened Bread, or do we begin the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread (U.B.), which is of itself a ‘no work’ Shabbat, on whatever day of the week it falls on? This question and it’s surrounding debate was a hot issue during the first century C.E. between the Tzaddukim (Sadducees) and the P’rushim (Pharisees), and by extension, to the “…the sect of the Natsarenes.” (Acts 24:5).
We will use the Biblical and historical record, along with the example left for us through the life and death of Y’shua, to make our determination as to when the Natsarene observed the wave sheaf.

THE TIMING OF THE WAVE SHEAF AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE TZADDUKIM

The Sadducees, who controlled the Temple but did not accept the ‘Mosaic Oral Law’ or the teaching of the ‘resurrection’, interpreted this phrase to mean ‘the day after the regular weekly Sabbath’ during Chag HaMotzi. In other words, the annual wave offering (the beginning of the count of the Omer), was made on the first day of the week (Sunday) following the weekly Shabbat during the Feast of U.B. Thus it did not matter to them on which day Pesach fell, the wave sheaf would always be on a Sunday. That’s why they were so sad, you see! This teaching as adopted by the pagan church, played right into their scenario of a counterfeit ‘sun’ day resurrection.
If we were to chose to follow the pattern set by the Tzedukim, this year (2019) would place the Wave Sheaf on April 28, ALMOST A WEEK AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF U.B.! In their misguided attempt to keep the day of the wave sheaf as always being the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat, instead of the day after the Shabbat of the 1st day U.B.; their count of the Omer, and the resultant day of Shavuot, will never be correct. That would rob the prophetic significance of Y’shuas resurrection on Abib 16 (April 23, 2009), and remove one very important piece of His identification. How can we prove Y’shuas authentic claim by using the Mo’edim, if we move the Appointed Time so that it does not coincide with the event?  The Wave Sheaf would then always be the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat and may or may not be the day of His Resurrection!. So much for following the path of the Sadducees!

THE TIMING OF THE WAVE SHEAF AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE P’RUSHIM

If there is any particular group or sect of Judaism that deserves criticism for adding to or taking from HaTorah, it is the P’rushim! Changing times and laws has been synonymous with them since the earliest of days, and the days of Pesach and 1st-day U.B. are a good example of this. However, the day of the Wave Sheaf offering was always understood and taught by them to be the day after the Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread.
Remember that Rabbi Sha’ul was a ‘P’rush of P’rushim’, taught the resurrection, and was labeled a ‘ringleader’ of the sect of the Natsarene. Contrary to what is taught throughout Christianity today, accepting Y’shua as Mashiyach had no effect upon His observance of Torah and the traditions of his fathers, as they conformed to the life and teachings of Y’shua (2 Thes. 2:15;3:6). This, of course, is contrary to what is taught throughout Christianity today. It follows then that just as the P’rushim followed the day after the Shabbat of 1st day U.B. with the Wave Sheaf, so the Natsarene of the first century c.e., and consequently the modern-day restoration of that faith would also do in our time and understanding of Torah.

THE BIBLICAL PATTERN AS ESTABLISHED FOR THE WAVE OFFERING, AND ITS’ FULFILMENT BY Y’SHUA

Was the chronology and pattern set by the Mo’edim of יהוה (B’H’), established through chance or happenstance? Of course, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’! Every letter, word, number, ‘jot and tittle’ of Scripture carries with it the mind, person, and plan of our Creator and Redeemer. They present the perfect explanation of our current condition and the exact plan of our rescue from it. When any of this is tampered with by imperfect man, it becomes a lie, a misrepresentation, an inaccuracy, a conflict, a deception, a stumbling block. The pattern of events as spoken of in our introductory text from Vayikra (Lv.) 23,9-14, is a pattern that would be used in conjunction with other Torah texts to prove out exactly, and without error, who the Anointed One of Yisra’el was, is, and will be. It is a pattern that will be seen over again throughout the Mo’edim of יהוה (B’H’).
From ancient times, the Sages of Judaism have repeatedly testified that the Mashiyach of Yisra’el must live a life of perfect obedience in fulfillment of HaTorah, the ‘pattern’ and ‘proof’ for all things. And, as any unbiased student of scripture with an inquiring mind will clearly see, this requirement was, is, and is being met by Y’shua who is Emmanu’el, El who is with us.
So looking at the pattern of the Holy Days immediately surrounding Pesach as described in Lv. 23 we see Chag HaPesach (The Feast of Passover) on Abib 14, followed by the first day of Chag HaMatzot (The Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Shabbat) on Abib 15, followed immediately by First Fruits, and on Abib 16, the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering (whatever days of the week they would fall on would make absolutely no difference). There were no additional days provided for anyone or for any other reason within the pattern set by these three Torah witnesses. Change this pattern in any way, and Y’shua looses His claim to the title “HaMashiyach”!
On the eternal heavenly clock of Elohim, the three- day cycle of Pesach, 1st Day Chag HaMotzi, followed immediately by the 3rd day of the Wave Sheaf would be maintained, and fulfilled exactly by Y’shua (the sign of Yonah), as another sign of His true identity. That He would resurrect as our wave sheaf offering, being the first of the harvest to come, was a lesson sadly lost on those who followed the teachings of the Sadducees (who by the way, did not believe in, or teach the resurrection). Does this mean that Y’shua really did resurrect on a 1st day (Sunday)? It certainly did in the year 30 C.E., exactly 40 years to the day that the Temple would be destroyed by the Roman Army.  

 DO WE AS NATSARENE CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION?

  But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 1Cor 15:20 TS2009 P.P. Col 1:18; 1Pet 1:3; Rev 1:5;
We are not given the mitzvah (commandment) to observe the Wave Sheaf as resurrection day, but yes, while observing this day as commanded we recognize its Messianic fulfillment by YHWH Y’shuati (B’H).  His ‘unspeakable gift’ to all those who had, and would repent and return to our Father while living by the laws of His House, was realized as He fulfilled the promise of the Wave Sheaf.
We celebrate it’s fulfillment through His victory over she’ol and the penalty of sin, by celebrating THE FIRST OF THE SPRING HARVEST, as the day our Messiah presented Himself as the firstfruits of those who would follow. The day of our celebration will always immediately follow Abib 15; the Shabbat of Unleavened Bread, meaning that it might land on the first day of the week, or any other day for that matter, but it will always be on Abib 16, the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering AND the day of His Resurrection!

Are there Old Testament Scriptures that mention salvation for the Gentiles?

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. Are there Old Testament Scriptures that mention salvation for the Gentiles?
A. Yes! Several times within the Torah (first five Books), Goyim or Goy (strangers, foreigners, anyone who is not a Yisra’elite is considered a ‘Gentile’) are extended the same promises, and blessings that are given to Yisra’el if they wish to come into the Camp of Yisra’el (as opposed to ‘the church’). However, this requires that they live under the same laws and requirements placed upon all Yisra’el. This will be the downfall of all those who teach replacement theology, i.e.; the church has replaced Yisra’el. Most who follow that false theory and teaching, are deluded into thinking that all they have to do is ‘profess’ a certain name to be saved, then live just about any way the human mind thinks is right (Pro 14:12). The Ruach (spirit) calls to the hearts and minds of believers today, to leave Babylon (spiritual confusion and man-made false teaching) and return to the ancient paths that we have strayed from so long ago. Our Creators council for each of us is to “choose life” (Dt 30:19), and return to follow his teaching and instruction as found in His Torah.
References:
Ex 12:49; Lev 24:22; Num 15:16, 29
Sha’ul

COUNTING THE OMER

הדרך

THE PATH

A COMMENTARY on CURRENT SPIRITUAL THOUGHT FROM THE ANCIENT SECT OF JUDAISM CALLED ‘HaNATSARENE’
PUBLISHED BY

BEIT ECHAD

A NATSARENE YAHUDIM CHAVURAH

http://www.beitechad.com

HA MO’EDIM

The Appointed Times Of YHWH, (B’H), and their prophetic understanding as seen through His Mikra Kadosh (Holy Rehearsals), or ‘Chagim’ (Feasts).

THE SPRING FEASTS AND THE SEASON OF PESACH

SEFIRAT HA OMER, COUNTING THE OMER 

Wayyiqra (Lev.) 23:

 9 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. [Deut 26:2]; 11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as an ascending offering to יהוה, 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. Deut 16:9; [Acts 2:1]; 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה. 17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה. [Neh 10:37]; 18 ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה. 19 ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a slaughter of peace offerings. 20 ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest. 21 ‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 ‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.’    TS2009

A few thought questions for you (please feel free to send your questions and/or comments to us anytime!)

  1. Why should we actively participate in the count of the days, beginning on the day of the WAVE SHEAF and extending out to the final day of SHAVUOT itself?
  2. How do the numbers and their multiples of 7, 10, 49, and 50 factor into this, and why?
  3. What is the Hebraic significance of these numbers and their multiples?
  4. Is there another significant period of time outlined in Torah that incorporates the same sequence of the numbers 7, 10, 49, and 50 and/or their multiples? If so, do you believe it’s just by chance, or is it intentional? If so why?

Sha’ul

LOOK NO WHERE ELSE! WE HAVE THE ABSOLUTELY AND TOTALLY 100% CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF THE SACRED NAME יהוה (b’H)!

There is one thing that the Messianic community has in common, and that is that everyone seems to know the correct pronunciation of the Sacred Name, יהוה (b’H)! However, a problem exists in that each group or individual within that community, has a different understanding of that pronunciation. This makes it absolutely ridiculous for one to promote their understanding over another without alienating many, or causing strife, confusion, and dissension within the community, which are not the ways of יהוה (b’H).

We have our understanding, but it may not agree with yours. Yes, there is only one correct way to pronounce the Sacred Name, should we, therefore, make it our mission to correct and save others from their supposed ignorance, when each one thinks their way is the only correct way? Are we absolutely sure that our transliteration of and pronunciation of יהוה (b’H), is correct???

Friends, when Mashiyach returns we will all know everything correctly, we will all be on the same ‘sheet of music’! Let us spend our short life-span here learning to accept our differences in this matter while pursuing the search for the deep, hidden truths of Torah and how to apply them to our ‘walk’. Our task is to love ‘The Living Water’, while being obedient to His Commandments.

Be blessed as we seek out His ways, and the manner in which we live out His Torah!

Sha’ul

Biblical vs. Pharasitical Calendars

BEIT ECHAD

A NATSARENE YAHUDIM CHAVURAH

הדרך

THE PATH

A COMMENTARY on CURRENT SPIRITUAL THOUGHT FROM THE ANCIENT SECT OF JUDAISM CALLED ‘HaNATSARENE’ (Acts 24:5)

3/27/2019

Biblical vs. Pharasitical Calendars

Millinia ago, after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash in 70 C.E., and during the early years of the change from the Pharasitical to Rabbinical system, the Biblical Calendar was replaced with that of Hillel 2. This Rabbinical system was based on Babylonian mathematical calculations, rather than the empirical evidence of agricultural and astronomical sightings as per the Torah. This evidence had previously been collected and confirmed by the Sanhedrin, then transmitted manually throughout Yisra’el by the now extinct Levitical Priesthood; through the use of signal fire, trumpet (shofar), and word of mouth.

When tens of thousands of Yisra’elites were forcefully deported from Yisra’el to other lands, the diaspora came into being. Occurring prior to the common era and the ‘first rebellion’ against Rome, countless more fled before the death and destruction of the Roman armies during the Second Rebellion, thus adding to the already existing numbers of those previously displaced.

This diaspora, and the need to communicate the new Rabbinical calendar dates with a widely scattered audience was the impetus to the creation of the Orthodox Rabbinical Calendar sys.

Fast forward to our time with the availability of advanced cyber communication, we can now see the Biblical evidence once again, instantly, in real time, wherever we might be on the face of planet earth.

In the effort to restore our walk to the ancient paths laid out for us by Elohim, we may now return to that Biblical calendar of long ago. We can now celebrate the Mo’edim on exactly the correct days as originated by our Creator, so that we may be in perfect ‘sync.’ with The Masters’ clock.

In actuality, it turns out that the Biblical and Rabbinical Calendars are usually very close, sometimes coinciding perfectly. But then there are other problems with the Rabbinical Calendar such as Changes made to the actual Feast Days themselves by the P’rushim during the Babylonian captivity, and the adaptation of Babylonian names and titles for days, months, etc. The Rabbinical Calendar is a man-made calendar, not authorized by Elohim.

In our mind, being back in ‘sync’ with Elohim will always take priority over mans’ reasoning, no matter how close to being correct it may be.

From Michael Roods “The Astronomically and Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Hebrew Calendar” (Spring 2017-Spring 2018), under the section titled “The Pharisee Calendar”, I offer the following for your consideration when deciding which calendar you will follow;

In 359 C.E., Just before disbanding themselves, the exiled Sanhedrin devised a new calendar system. After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the Pharisees replaced the Temple service and the Creator’s appointed times with a “new and improved” religious system – a code of righteousness defined by thousands of man-made commandments and regulated by a new calendar. As head of the fourth-century Sanhedrin, Hillel II borrowed Babylonian mathematical calculations to determine the precise moment that the moon was in “conjunction” with the earth and the sun. This unobservable mathematical moment in time was used to determine the beginning of each month on the new Pharisee calendar. The Pharisees invented additional “postponements” so that they could celebrate their adaptation of the Feasts at their own convenience. They could now plan their religious activities months, years, and even centuries in advance. They completely disregarded the only criterion stipulated by the Almighty for determining the first month of the year – the aviv barley in the land of Israel. The commandment concerning the barley was unmistakably defined so that we would offer the firstfruits of the barley harvest in a prophetically timely fashion and accurately count the omer to arrive at the first day after seven Sabbaths – the 50th day (Pentecost) – the Feast of Shavuot. However, instead of following the Torah’s instructions concerning the barley harvest, the Pharisees arbitrarily added a 13th month seven times every nineteen years, and then altered the method of counting the omer in order to camouflage its Messianic significance and fulfillment by Yeshua.

The Pharisees calculated their new calendar 2/000 years into the future and then admittedly hid the “Book of Genealogies” so that anyone outside their circle would have no way to calculate the correct elapsed time from creation. They changed the “head of the year” (Rosh Hashanah) from the first day of the month of the aviv to the first day of the seventh month (Tishri) and removed 240-1/2 years from the total elapsed time calendar. Only a chosen few would know when the seventh millennium would actually arrive to herald the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” The last official act of Hillel ll, the head of the exiled Pharisee Sanhedrin, was to accomplish the very thing about which the prophet Daniel warned: “He shall proclaim commandments opposing the Almighty and continually harass the saints of the most High, and calculate to change (appointed) times and (Torah) Laws” (Daniel 7:25). Through the institution of the new Pharisee calendar, the appointed times of YeHoVah were officially nullified and systematically replaced by the appointed times of men.”

We have been duped and lied to for centuries by both Jewish and Christian leaders and it is an absolute miracle that through this grand campaign of misinformation and false teaching foisted on us by satan and his minions, through mortal men, His Truth continues to shine through for those who seek it! Thank you, Father, for your unchanging and eternal truth that no man can ever change!

         

 

PARASHAT WAYYIQRA

Parashat ha-Shavua (The Weekly Torah Portion)

PARASHAT WAYYIQRA

AND HE CALLED

TORAH: WAYYIQRA (LEV.) 1:1-6:7

HAFTARAH: YESHAYAH (ISA.) 43:21-44:23

 

THE CALL TO SACRIFICE

Moshe enters the Ohel Mo’ed (tent of meeting) to receive instruction from YHWH Y’shuati[1] on the ways in which the people can approach Him, and exist in His Perfect Presence. Remembering that He is ‘clean’ (in the sense that no sin is to be found in Him), and that we are ‘unclean’ (in the sense that we are born into sin); a provision of some kind must be made for us to cross this great divide that makes Him immortal, and us, but mere mortals.

A plan, which has existed prior to creation, was put into place in the event we should fall, providing a means to make us clean so that He could meet with us, and us with Him. Even though we might be the lowest of the low, a sinner of sinners, that even though our sins would be of scarlet, they could be made as white as snow (Yeshayah 1:18).

So one of those ways provided for each and every Yisra’elite to meet with his creator, to ascend to His presence, is to offer the Olah (ascent offering). This offering must be presented at the door of the Tent (His House) and assigned as a sacred offering by the ‘laying on of hands’ (s’michah), slaughtered, and finally the flames and smoke of the Olah allowed to ‘ascend’ heavenward to Elohim.

Do we who live today, think it a light thing to come into His presence? Can we stop between customers or tasks we perform on a daily basis and ‘send-up a quick prayer’ to satisfy this means of connection as offered to us through the Olah? No, I think not. We can send up a quick prayer or stay in prayer throughout our day, but the ‘Olah’, ‘Ascent Offering’ requires us to bring it to the door of His ‘Tent’, to present it as worthy by the laying on of hands, so even our daily routine, however high and exalted we may think it to be, must be made secondary now in our answer to His call to ‘ascend’.

This requirement causes us to seek humility in Him as we come closer to His Presence. As we come, we may ask, where is my offering? I have no goat, no sheep, not even a bird to offer my King. Then His Ruach, through the Spirit Wind that carries Him over the face of the earth, enters through our mind and heart while causing us to realize within a split second that we are the offering He seeks. Nothing holding us back, we come to His Holy Altar and offer ourselves to Him as the Olah, the daily ‘Ascent’ offering so that we may meet with Him outside of our sinful nature.

Friend, this is meant to be a ‘deep calling to deep experience’. It should never be done in a rushed, hurried manner. Do you have an altar in your home, your dwelling place, or your place of business? Wherever or whatever that is doesn’t matter. It can be in the smallest space available, or to include your entire home! It can be in your closet or your kitchen, but it needs to be a place that you can ‘set-apart’ just for the purpose of meeting with Avinu, a place where you meet with Him on a regular basis. You can have nothing except you and His Ruach there, or you may have the most elaborate of spaces with a menorah, candles, Torah, etc. for family worship. Whatever it is, it is a space in your home, which will become a space similar to your heart within you. It will be there for special times of worship and prayer, to include times such as when you come before the Adon (Master) of this world, offering yourself to Him daily in the experience of the Olah, the ascent offering.

Is this necessary you ask? You see in most cases today we just want the ‘drive-up’ window because we don’t have time for anything else. Ask yourself please, just how important is your faith to you? Is it the reason for you to live and breath, or is it just a category of thought that you have managed to ‘eek out’ a small plot for whenever you have the time? This is serious business folks that requires much more than that of us. We must take Him, His Torah and all that means into us so that it is above everything in our lives; above our family, our jobs, our social commitments, and yes; even our own selfish ‘needs’.

He wants each of us to be echad ‘one’ with Him in all things, just as The Greater and Lessor are echad with each other, so we need to become that ‘ascent offering’ the Olah as He calls to us ‘Come Near’, ascend unto me!

Elohim, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, The Mighty One, the Holy One, Blessed Be He. Consider and accept my humble offering to you I pray and do with it what you wish. I surrender myself to you Melech HaMalechim. As an ‘ascent offering,’ I humble myself, bringing myself low so as to rise and meet you; heart to heart, face to face on your altar as your servant. Lay Heavenly hands on me Father as I rededicate myself to meet with you in this manner, as the entirety of myself, dedicated to your service on this your set-apart alter. Amen!

 

Shabbat Shalom

Sha’ul

[1] YHWH Our Salvation. Referred to in the Ancient Aramaic Targum Johnathan as “YHWH the Lessor”. It was through Him that all things were created, and in the end it will be through Him that all who ‘take hold’, and follow Him who walked with us as a Torah observant Jewish man, who was called Yehoshua, or Y’shua; will be saved from eternal death into the glorious truth, and light, of His eternal Kingdom, forever! Baruch HaShem of Him who gave us His Torah of Freedom and Redemption!

ON THE USE OF STRONG’S

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

7:22 AM

The Strong’s Concordance is a helpful tool that lists every Hebrew and Greek lemma (root word) present in the King James Bible. Along with listing these, the tool also generally gives a ‘gloss’ for each word (some tools actually link Strong’s Concordance to lexicons such as Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon). The tool is popular because it is free on many Bible-related websites. With that said, I’d like to give some advice (and caution) to users who rely on this tool for original languages research in the Biblical texts. [1]

After years of study and use of Strong’s Hebrew in those studies, I have found several errors within its’ etymologies. Unfortunately, I have not documented those as I found them, and my memory fails me now as to which reference numbers were involved, but it was enough to cause me not to think of Strong’s as a know-all, be-all reference guide.

Strong’s is based on the translations as used in the King James version, and not on the original Hebrew of the ancient text. As students of Scripture, and its’ original language, we now know that the beloved KJV who many of us found our personal salvation through, is rife with translational error, so the use of it for any serious study of Scripture and the original Biblical Hebrew behind the English, is not to be recommended or considered as any kind of ‘firm foundation’. Consequently, any Strong’s definition must be checked against other proven sources, including our own solid knowledge produced through study, friendly debate and discussion among our achim, but most importantly; prayerful guidance from Him who is the original author.

Very important to this subject, is our personal knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, and the Hebrew culture at the time of its’ writing. We cannot rely solely on the work of others for guidance. This requires us to be driven ‘truth seekers’, always in the ‘search and study’ mode, always verifying what we read and hear through the original words of His Torah. Check everything against your ever-expanding knowledge base, with an open heart and mind; casting out that which does not pass the test, keeping that which does. Even then, we must be willing to re-verify our favorite beliefs when new information is presented, and be ready to change those beliefs when, and if, the new information passes all of our methods of testing.

All of this is only part of a lifetime project of study, learning, checking, and verifying all things on our spiritual journey to the perfect light of His Truth, as it is in YHWH Y’shuati. May His blessing be yours as we travel up to Y’rushalayim, and the House of YHWH Y’shuati (B’H)! Amen.

 

Sha’ul

 

[1] “The Stack Exchange” on “Biblical hermeneutics”, https://hermeneutics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/923/strongs-is-a-concordance-not-a-lexicon

 

TORAH PARASHAT YITRO 

Shemot (Ex) 18:1-20:23 

The Readings here presented are in the manner of the seven courses of the Torah reading in the Orthodox Synagogue on Shabbat (annual reading cycle), broken down instead to the seven days of the week, with Sunday of course labeled as “First Day” (the Biblical method of labeling days up to the Babylonian captivity when use of pagan names for days and months began). 

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural references are taken from “The Scriptures 2009” 

1. 18:1-12 First Day 

Moshe is reunited with his wife, Tsipporah, and two sons who were delivered to him by his father-in-law, Yitro; who is also known as “the priest of Midyan”. Moshe recounts the events that had taken place from Mitzrayim to their present time and Yitro is filled with praise and rejoicing.  

9 And Yithro rejoiced for all the good which יהוה had done for Yisra’ĕl, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Mitsrites. 10 And Yithro said, “Blessed be יהוה, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Mitsrites and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Mitsrites. 11 “Now I know that יהוה is greater than all the mighty ones, indeed in the matter in which they acted proudly, above them.” 

He then brings “an ascending offering and other slaughterings unto Elohim” then breaks bread with Moshe and the Elders of Yisra’el before HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He)! 

From the short time that Yisra’el had ‘crossed over’. to the time they had arrived at the base of the mountain; news of this miraculous event had traveled to Midyan and Yitro. Word of what had happened at the Yom Suf (Sea of Reeds/Red Sea) had, without radio, TV, or social media; spread like wildfire among the peoples of the then known world.  

Try to imagine if you will; the wonder, excitement, and sheer awe created in remote communities who were hearing about the El of Yisra’el and His awesome power for what might have been the first time! Not accustomed as we are to receiving the latest news about anything, on demand 24/7; the speed at which this news traveled only emphasized its importance and possibly life-altering effect it must have had on those who might have had ‘ears to hear’!   

2. 18:13-23 Second Day 

17 And the father-in-law of Mosheh said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 “Both you and these people with you shall certainly wear yourselves out. For the matter is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it by yourself.   

Upon seeing the daily task of judging over the people as was conducted by Moshe, Yitro is impressed to give Moshe counsel on a better, more efficient way to conduct this responsibility as we see at the end of this days reading: 

21 “But you yourself, seek out from all the people able men, who fear Elohim, men of truth, hating unfair gain. And place these over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 “And they shall rightly rule the people at all times. And it shall be that they bring every great matter to you, but they themselves rightly rule every small matter. So, make it lighter for yourself, for they shall bear with you. 23 “If you do this word, and Elohim shall command you, then you shall be able to stand and all this people also go to their place in peace.” 

Moshe being the man of El that he was, was able to discern the truth of what Yitro was telling him.

3. 18:24-27 THIRD DAY 

24 And Mosheh listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he said. 25 And Mosheh chose able men out of all Yisra’ĕl, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they rightly ruled the people at all times – the hard matters they brought to Mosheh, but they rightly ruled every small matter themselves. 27 And Mosheh sent off his father-in-law, and he went away to his own land.

The text gives rise to several questions for your prayerful study and consideration. Please feel free to discuss and comment on the following:  

Yitro was not an Yisra’elite, why then would Mosheh listen to what he had to say, then act upon his suggestions by doing “…all that he said”? 

Why in such an important matter, that planted the seed for a government over the people; did not Elohim Himself give these instructions to Yisra’el through Mosheh instead of going through a heathen priest? 

How were these men, and Moshe, able to judge for the people without Torah, which was yet to be given?  

4.19:1-6 4th day

1 In the third new moon after the children of Yisra’ĕl had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, on this day they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they set out from Rephiḏim, and had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Yisra’ĕl camped there before the mountain. 3 And Mosheh went up to Elohim, and יהוה called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say to the house of Ya‛aqoḇ, and declare to the children of Yisra’ĕl: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Mitsrites, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.” 

 “In the third new moon…”, of course, is speaking of the third month of the Biblical year after the only month named by Elohim, the month of Abib. You will not find the use of additional names of months until the Hebrews adopt the pagan names of the Nations surrounding them. Notice if you will the circumstances of the repetitive use of groups of three throughout Scripture, just as there are groups of sevens, tens, and multiples of them. Whenever Elohim really wants to get our attention, He’s going to repeat a topic or theme at least twice in order to emphasize its’ importance or to underscore the deep spiritual message wrapped up into His special ‘time capsule’ as it were. What do you think the message of this ‘time capsule’ is?

Yisra’el arrives at the plain that exists before Har Sinai, and establishes camp as Mosheh makes his first trip up into its’ Holy precincts to meet with יהוה (B’H). Here Elohim gives Mosheh a message to deliver, not only to B’ney Yisra’el as they stood before Him at the base of the Mount, but to Kol Yisra’el all the way down through the ages of time to our day and beyond, ‘…if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’  

Can we understand from this, just how ludicrous it is for us to say today that we are no longer required to obey His Torah? Not only are we to ‘…obey…’, but we are to ‘…guard…’ His covenant according to the author of it! It is then and ONLY THEN, that ‘…you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples…and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’! How can we possibly lay claim to this promise without guarded obedience to His covenant? You teachers who claim to speak for Him and yet deny His Torah beware! You are teaching a different Torah and you are not guarding His covenant! So what will you do? Will you continue to read these words and then purposely disregard them and teach something contrary, knowing all the while that His Word which never changes, is like Him; the same yesterday, today, and forever? Or will you in all humility allow the conviction that speaks to your heart even now to cause you to make teshuva, to turn away from your antinomian teaching and return to His Torah? To return to a Father who waits patiently for you, and then with open arms welcomes you home with joy and great celebration?  

If this should describe you in any way, I pray that you will not put off the call of His Ruach any longer, as He calls each of us today to repent, and return!  

 

 

SHABBAT SHALOM CHAVERIM!

This Shabbat, give yourself the gift of this vision given to Yeshayahu;

In the year that Sovereign Uzziyahu died, I saw יהוה sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Hĕḵal.  Above it stood seraphim. Each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one cried to another and said, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart is יהוה of hosts; all the earth is filled with His esteem!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.  Yeshayahu (Isa) 6:1-4

And then join me by reading the following text aloud, with a strong and joyful voice;

Shout with joy to Elohim, All the earth! Sing out the splendour of His Name; Make His praise esteemed. Say to Elohim, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies pretend obedience to You. “All the earth bow to You, They sing praises to You, They praise Your Name.” Selah.   Tehillim (Ps) 66:1-4 (TS 2009)

Then my chaverim, while standing and facing Yerushalayim, SHOUT THIS OUT SO THAT ALL WILL KNOW!

Praise Yah! Praise, O servants of יהוה, Praise the Name of יהוה! Blessed be the Name of יהוה, Now and forever! From the rising of the sun to its going down, The Name of יהוה is praised. יהוה is high above all nations, His esteem above the heavens. Who is like יהוה our Elohim, Who is enthroned on high? Tehillim 113:1-5 (TS 2009)

Have a Blessed Shabbat!

THE DUALITY OF ELOHIM

PART TWO

THE SACRED NAME ASSOCIATED WITH THE TITLE “ELOHIM”

 

CONTINUING OUR DRASH ON THE DUALITY OF ELOHIM

In our last study, we looked at the plurality inherent in the Hebrew title Elohim (a male plurality) as found in Bereshis (Gen) 1:26, and how when Elohim spoke, both voices were heard in unison. We also looked at the Chaldean root of Elohim, which carries the meaning of “Mighty Ones”.

In this short study, we will continue by looking at Bereshis 3:22-23

22 And יהוה Elohim said, “See, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” 23 so יהוה Elohim sent him out of the garden of Ěḏen to till the ground from which he was taken,
(TS2009)

Now we see the Sacred Name of YHVH (B’H) connected with the male plurality of the title Elohim. So what we are seeing here in Vs. 22, if we’re looking through the lens of our Hebraic understanding; could be written out as “יהוה (YHVH B’H) our Mighty Ones say…”. Again, since more than one is speaking the same thing, we have more than one voice speaking in unison. Vs. 23 tells us essentially the same thing. But most importantly, the Sacred Name of יהוה (YHVH B’H) is attached to the male plurality Elohim, which would give legitimacy to the Aramaic Targum Johnathan’s claim that there is a Greater and a Lessor יהוה (B’H).

Now this concept may seem strange since most of us have been taught through the modern English translations of the Bible, or from the wisdom of man, which explain none of this in its’ original Hebraic context. This is one of our missions at Beit Echad. We strive to return to the original understanding of Scripture, as first written, while proving all things through Scripture.

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Shalom Aleichem!

Sha’ul