A COMMENTARY ON THE WEEKLY PARASHAH FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF
“My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments in your heart, and incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding, Yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice to understanding, if you seek it as silver, and search for it as for hidden treasure; Then you will understand how to worship YHVH and find the knowledge of Elohim. For it is YHVH who gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Mishle (Proverbs) 2:1-6
Scriptural References (unless noted otherwise) are taken from the following:
From the Ketuvim Netzarim (K.N. / Writings of the Nazarenes): “Aramaic English New Testament” (AENT) (1)
From the Tanakh: ‘Holy Bible, from the Ancient Eastern Text,’ George M Lamsa, A. J. Holman Co. ISBN 0-06-064923-
From the Tanakh and the K.N. The Holy Bible” King James Version
The Sacred Names and Hebraic/Aramaic Titles of The Father and The Son are Restored Where Necessary
Torah Parashat: Terumah/Offering
Torah: Shemot 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: Melachim Aleph 5:26-32; 6:1-13
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
Our study this week concerns the instruction from Elohim to Moshe, on how to build that Mishkan, the materials required for its construction, its layout; the concept of YHVH dwelling ‘in’ His people; and the Hebraic method of Torah study know by the acronym, ‘PARDES.’
THE MATERIALS of CONSTRUCTION:
The men of Yisra’el are called upon to present the following items as an offering, by giving it “…willingly with his heart…”:
- Blue, purple, and red dyed wool
- Goat hair
- Animal skins
- Olive oil
While In His Presence, on Holy Ground:
In the Sanctuary’s inner chamber, behind an artistically woven curtain, was the ark containing the tablets of testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; on the ark’s cover stood two winged cherubim hammered out of pure gold. In the outer chamber stood the seven-branched menorah, and the table upon which the showbread was arranged.
The Sanctuary’s three walls were fitted together from 48 upright wooden boards, each of which was overlaid with gold and held up by a pair of silver foundation sockets. The roof included three layers of coverings: (a) tapestries of multicolored wool and linen; (b) a covering made of goat hair; (c) a covering of ram and tachash skins (Strong’s H8477). Across the front of the Sanctuary was an embroidered screen held up by five posts. Surrounding the Sanctuary and the copper-plated altar which fronted it was an enclosure of white linen hangings, supported by 60 wooden posts with silver hooks and trimmings, and reinforced by brass stakes.
At least one Biblical commentator that I’m aware of had speculated that when Moshe or Aaron, or any of his sons entered the sanctuary to serve before YHVH, that they would have been immediately struck by the colors aglow as of the aura of a rainbow! Imagine if you will, the brightness of His presence upon the gold of the mercy seat, the cherubim and the ark; the light of the 7 branched golden Menorah reflecting off of the gold plating on the wall panels; the Table of Showbread covered in pure gold; with the sparkle of silver, and brass; all being reflected through the multicolored tapestries of blue, purple, and scarlet, with the ceiling of rams skins which were dyed red! This overwhelming beauty was framed with the aroma of burning incense and wrapped in the sanctity of the moment. All this while in His Presence, on Holy Ground!
PARDES, THE FOUR LEVELS OF HEBRAIC BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
The four levels of Hebraic Biblical interpretation that are known by the acronym ‘PARDES.’ Pardes is also a Hebrew word meaning “garden” or “orchard” The four levels are:
Peshat or P’shat “plain,” “straight”; the direct, literal meaning of Scripture.
Remez “hint”; the deeper or symbolic meaning, that is, beyond the literal sense.
Derash or D’rash “to inquire” or “to seek”; the comparative meaning: a deeper meaning obtained from a passage by comparing its words and content to similar passages.
Sod “secret” “mystery”; The deeper meaning, revealed only through inspiration or revelation.
THE APPLICATION OF D’RASH
Most all of us are familiar with the concept of YHVH Y’shuati desiring to dwell in the heart of our body temples, as found in the K.N. (Ketuvim Netzarim/Writings of the Nazarenes – New Testament); but can we equate this to anything found in HaTanakh?
As Netzarim, it is very important for us to ground any teaching or spiritual concept we find in the K.N., in the words of the Tanakh. So let’s take a look at our introductory text for this Parashah while applying the third level of PARDES, D’rash:
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell AMONG them” Sh’mot 25:8
תָּוֶךְ Tawvek or Tavek (Strong’s H8432) translated into the English of the KJV as ‘AMONG,’ which is but one of the several definitions given for the Hebrew root ‘Tawvek.’ Another available definition that would seem to be a better fit is the English ‘in.’ Now D’rash requires us to compare its words and content to similar passages to obtain the deeper meaning and for confirmation that we’re not going off of the deep end. So let’s do that. Let’s compare the following texts, utilizing the word ‘In’ to replace the word ‘among’ and see if we can come up with the deeper meaning and confirmation of it.
“They shall know that I am YHVH Elohika who brought them out of Mitsrayim, that I might dwell ‘IN’ them; I am YHVH Elohika. Sh’mot 29:46
“And I will dwell IN b’nay Yisra’el, and will not forsake my people Yisra’el.” Melachim Alef (1stKg) 6:13
“Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell IN them forever” Yetzekiel (Eze.) 43:9
Do you see a pattern here? And from the K.N. we can see the following:
“…for He dwelleth with you, and in you…and I in you”.
Jn. 14:17, 20
“And what agreement hath the temple of El with idols? For ye are the temple of the Living El; as El hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their El, and they shall be my people.”
2 Cor. 6:16
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of El through the Spirit.
Now that indeed is ‘harmony’ of the Dbar HaYHVH! To arrive at this point, we have employed the use of a Hebraic method of Scriptural interpretation called PARDES, and in particular, the third level of PARDES called D’rash which is “a deeper meaning obtained from a passage by comparing its words and content to similar passages.”
We have just gleaned the deeper meaning we were looking for, from our comparison of verses. This comparison has demonstrated the continuity of His desire to abide ‘IN,’ and not just ‘among’ us, throughout His D’bar.
So in this Parashah, we have seen the materials required for the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), a description of its layout, and a new method for most, of Hebraic Biblical exegesis.
Sha’ul ben haNetzarim
- Roth, Andrew Gabriel. Aramaic English New Testament. 2nd Edition. s.l. : Netzari Press, 2009. p. 1069. Compiled, Edited & Translated with consultation to both Ancient and Modern Authorities including: The Khaboouris Codex and the 1905 Critical Edition of the Syriac New Testament by the British and Foreign Bible Society.. ISBN 978-1-934916-26-1 (1-934916-26-9).
 Shemot 25:8
 Shemot 25:2
 Much credit here goes first to Avi ben Mordechai who introduced me to this special understanding of PARDES many years ago, and Julia Blum of readjuliablum.com who’s’ book “Abraham had two sons” (2nd Ed.) has rekindled a desire to seek the ‘Sod’ of Scripture.