Aleph-The Strength of the Torah is the Word

James Relf

Joe Started Sightedmoon in 2005 to assist him in spreading his understanding of the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years according to Torah.

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Published: Jan 22, 2015 - (5856)

News Letter 5850-044
3rd day of the 11th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 11th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

January 24, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

“The 11th New Moon was sighted on Wednesday Jan 21, 2015 from Israel making this Sabbath the 3rd day of the 11th month.”

Our discussion this week was focused on the question of why WWI and WWII were not in a cycle of war. The answer leads us to the Law of Niddah and how the idea of the female menstrual period unlocks the door to a whole new understanding of Torah! Happy listening.
From now on I will give you the Eriktology teaching video at the beginning of each News Letter. These will be followed by Jeff Benner’s teaching on the Paleo. After that will come the news or articles I wish to add, then follows the 3 1/2 year Torah teachings. We want to keep it as simple as possible for you and I to learn these truths.
I am currently able to remember and write and pronounce each and every letter I have now been taught. I have written them out and each day I sing the little song I have created to remember them by. Again I urge you all to do the same as you did to learn your ABC’s as a child. Sing them, write them and learn the paleo along with the new modern forms.
It has never been my goal or desire to gain a following. It always has been a sincere desire to feed the sheep of my Father’s House. And for that reason I have never been shy about using another teacher’s teachings on my site as long as they were helpful to the brethren.


We have now had two introductory teachings about the Aleph Tav. I will again share them here in case anyone has missed them.

  1. Introduction Disc 1 & Introduction Disc 2
  2. Introduction teaching “Which Messiah Disc 1 & Disc 2
  3. a” Aleph Disc 1 & Aleph Disc 2

Eric is constantly referring to that red book. Here is one link to it. And here is the link to many other things including the wall chart he refers to.
Part of your assignment this week is to work your way through this article by Eric as well. In particular I want you to focus on the Isaiah prophecy about the illiterate person.

Dan 12:4  But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Isa 29:9  Stand still and wonder! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10  For Jehovah has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your heads, the seers. 11  And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which they give to one who knows books saying, Please read this; and he says, I cannot, for it is sealed. 12  And the book is delivered to him who does not know books, saying, Please read this; and he says, I do not know books. 13  And Jehovah said, Because this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the command of men; 14  therefore, behold, I will go on doing among this people, a wonder, even a wonder. For the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the understanding of their intelligent ones shall be hidden.

Jeff Benner Paleo Hebrew

Some Hebrew words are obviously related to this agricultural lifestyle. For example, The Hebrew word ???? (ohel) is a tent, ????(ro’eh) is a shepherd, and ???? (qatsir) is a harvest. Besides these obvious agricultural words, many other words, which we would not relate to agriculture, are in fact rooted in some aspect of the Nomadic culture. For instance, the Hebrew word ?? (hhen), usually translated as “grace,” is related to an “oasis,” a place of beauty, rest and comfort. Derived out of the word hhen come the words ????(mahhaneh) meaning “camp,” often pitched at an oasis.
Other Biblical words, which have lost their original agricultural meanings include; ???? (torah), which is usually translated as “law,” but literally means the “journey,” ???? (mitzvah), usually translated as “command,” but literally means the “directions for the journey,”???? (tsadiyq), usually translated “righteous,” but literally means “traveling the path,” and ??? (rasha), usually translated as “wicked,” but literally means “lost from the path.”
Jeff Benner’s Lesson 1 on the letter Aleph and here Jeff has a written and audio section for us to practice.

My notes on the Aleph as I Sepher the dots

Aleph is the overview and it is the plan. Aleph gives you the concepts and theories.
Aleph represents the Creator Yehovah. The Aleph is found in all the other 21 letters and the Aleph is silent.
If you want, here is a Aleph Bet song to help you remember the Letters.
Satan has sought to steal the Kingdom. The symbol of the Aleph which in Paleo Hebrew is a bulls head.

Nimrod is often represented as a Bull.

There was another way in which Nimrod’s power was symbolised besides by the horn. A synonym for Gheber, “The Mighty One,” was “Abir,” while “Aber” also signified “a wing.” Nimrod as head and captain of those men of war, by whom he surrounded himself, and who were the instruments of establishing his power, was “Baal-Aberin,” “Lord of the Mighty Ones.” But “Baal-Abirin” (pronounced in nearly the same way) signified “The Winged One,” and therefore in symbol he was represented not only as a horned bull, but as at once a horned and winged bull – as showing not merely that he was mighty himself, but that he had mighty ones under his command who were ever ready to carry his will into effect.

[Source: The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop]


When Israel left Egypt they made a golden calf and worshipped it. The picture above left is the actual altar they made and above right is a picture they drew on this altar of the golden calf, which is a symbol of Nimrod and his system.
Today that same symbolism is to be found in front of the United European Parliament.

The mythological story of Europa being taken away by the beast and seduced on the island of Cyprus is talking about Nimrod seducing Semiramis. We have written on this in our article The Whore and the Beast.

Isa 14:12  How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13  For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. 14  I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.

I found more bull-like images in another teaching I have done on the worship of Molech. That is the killing of a child and sacrificing it to Molech by passing it through the fire. Again, Satan taking the image of Yehovah the Aleph and twisting it into something horrible.



As I searched more on the Aleph Bull and I was then led me into another teaching on Taurus the Bull.


The bull, once  a sacrifice, now  ruling.

Orion, the coming of Him mighty to save. Isa 63:1 Rev 19
Eridanus, the river; converted nations under the type of water. Eze 47
Auriga, the Good Shepherd and his redeemed flock. John 10:11,14 Isa 40:11; Eze 34:23



As I looked at Taurus, I noticed the names of the stars in this constellation have what appears to be Hebrew letters for each star and now understanding that each letter is used to form a word. I am wondering if the constellations also reveal to us this message. For example Aldebaran is the red star and is the eye of Taurus, begins with Aleph. I can also see the Bet, Tav and Gimmel letters. There are others I am not sure of as I start this study. This then led me back to Francis Roleston’s work called the Mazzaroth.


“Prophesies in the Stars”


Prophecies corresponding in word or type with the figures and the names TAURUS,
Texts where the word or its root is used in this sense in the Hebrew Bible Hebrew Roots
Deut 33:17 Hebrew name, Shur,the Bull, coming bullock Deut 33:17 rw#
Gen 22:17 Arabic, Al Thaur, the same. ruling step Job 31:7 r#)
Num 24:8,19 Syriac, the same. rule Isa 32:1 r#
Psa 72:2,8 Coptic, Isis,who saves mightily salvation Hab 3:13 (#y
Micah 5:2   — Apis,who cometh pass Exo 12:23 xsp
  — Station of Horus,coming wayfaring 2 Sam 12:4 xr)
2 Sam 23:3,4 Greek, Tauros, the Bull. Sept. Deut 33:17
Latin, Taurus, the same. Vulg. the same


“Names in the Sign”


Heb., Chima, the heap, accumulation (Arab.).Pleiades Job 9:9 hmyk
  — Pleiades, congregation of the judge, or ruler Lev 4:13 hd(
Job 31:11 llp
  — Hyades,the congregated congregation Num 16:3 hd(
  — Palilicium,belonging to the judge judge Job 31:11 lylp
Arab., Wasat, centre, or foundation Psa 11:3 t#
  — Al Thuraiya, the abundance Isa 15:7 rty
Lat., Vergiliae, the centre(Arab. vertex) turned on, rolled round Gen 29:10 lg
Names of Stars in the Sign
Chald., a Al Debaran, the leader, governor counsellor Dan 3:24 rbd
subduing Psa 47:3
Arab., b El Nath, in the northern horn, as in Aries
  — h Al Cyone, in the Pleiades,the centre base 1 Kings 7:29,30
foundation Psa 104:5 Nyk
established Psa 89:38


“First Decan”


Micah 5:2 Heb., Orion, coming forth, as light Gen 1:17 ry)
Isa 60:1
Hab 2:3
Heb 10:37
Arab., Al Giauza, the branch stem Isa 11:1 (zg
Isa 60:1   — Al Gebor, the mighty Psa 24:8 rb
  — Al Mirzam, the prince, the ruler Psa 2:2 Nzr
  — Al Nagjed, the prince Dan 9:26 dgn
  — d Al Nitak, the wounded cut Lev 1:6 xtg
  — aBetelguez,coming, Mal 3:2, of the branch stock Isa 40:24 (zg
  — b Rigol, the foot, or who treadeth under foot Job 39:15 lgr
Psa 91:13   — Al Rai,the bruising bruise Dan 2:40 (r
  — gBellatrix,hastily coming haste Ezra 4:23 lhb
treadeth Job 9:8 Krd
  — dMintaka,dividing, the belt cut Lev 8:20 xtn
Chald., Heka,coming brought Ezra 6:5 Kh
  — Niphla,the mighty giants Gen 6:4 lpn
Heb., Meissa, coming forth Micah 1:3 )cy
  — Nux, the strong Psa 24:8 z(
  — Thabit,treading on(Arab.) kick 1 Sam 2:29 +(b
Gen 3:15   — k Saiph, in the foot,bruised Gen 3:15 P#
  — Chesil,bound together, the nebula Constellations Isa 13:10 lsk
Gr., Orion, anciently Oarion. Sept. Job 38:31
Lat., Orion. Vulg. Job 9:9


“Second Decan”


Isa 66:12
Eze 47:9
Heb., Eridanus,river of the judge, or ruler streams Isa 33:21 r)y
judge Gen 15:14 Nd
Gen 49:16   — Cursa,bent down stoopeth Isa 46:1 srq
Psa 46:4   — aAchernar,after part of the river after Gen 33:2 rx)
river Gen 2:10 rhn
Rev 22:1   — Phaet, mouth (of the river) Exo 4:11 hp
  — Theemin, the water Gen 1:6 My
  — Ozha, the going forth Gen 2:10 )cy
Isa 41:18 Arab., Zourak,flowing sprinkle Lev 1:5 qrz


“Third Decan”


Psa 23:1
Psa 80:1
Isa 40:11
Heb., Auriga, the shepherd Isa 40:11 (r
Arab., Aiyuk,wounded in the foot lame 2 Sam 4:4 hbn
Micah 5:4   — El Nath,wounded in the heel, also reckoned in the horn of Taurus, as in Aries cut Lev 8:20 xtn
Eze 34:23   — Maaz, flock of goats Lev 16:10 z(
Chald., Menkalinon,band or chain of the goats, or ewes chain Dan 5:7 Knm
John 10:4,11 hinds 2 Sam 22:34 ly)
Heb., Gedi, the kids(following Auriga) Song 1:8 ydn
  — Alioth, she-goat, or ewe Psa 78:71 tl(
Lat., a Capella, the she-goat(capra), atonement Lev 16:10 rpb


If the flatterers of Nimrod (like those of Napoleon I) tried to devote the stars of Orion to his glory, it will still be seen that in the names of the constellation there is no trace of that of the man, while the wounded, the bruised, or the branch, could not apply to Nimrod. Of the Latin Auriga, which in Hebrew is the shepherd, it may be asked, Why should a charioteer carry a goat and be followed by kids? Their band or leash may have suggested reins.


  • Hebrew, Buxtorf’s Rabbinical Lexicon, &c.
  • Arabic, Freytag’s Arabic Lexicon, Ulugh Beigh, &c.
  • Syriac, Hyde’s Syntagma and Comment. &c.
  • Coptic, Montucla, Hist. des Mathematiques, from Ulugh Beigh.
  • Greek, Aratus, Ptolemy, &c.
  • Latin, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, &c.


Hyde de Vet. Pers. Rel. for Chaldee, Persian, and other names; also for Rosh Satan, Al Oneh, and Auriga, from Aben Ezra. Arabic names of stars are from Ulugh Beigh, and catalogues in various other astronomical works, in which, though the spelling is frequently corrupted, the primitive root is still evident. Greek names may be found in Hesiod and Homer, also in Aratus, who lived about 300 BC. St. Paul is supposed to quote from his poem on Astronomy, Acts 17:28. Latin, in Cicero, Hyginus, Macrobius, and the poets. The book of Job contains the three most ancient names: Ash, Chima, and Chesil. Aben Ezra has said that Ash is the Great Bear, where the word is still found in Benet Naish. He has also said that Chima and Chesil were opposite constellations. The Pleiades and Orion are on opposite sides of the ecliptic and equator. The Septuagint and Vulgate, in Job 9:9 and 38:32, seem to recognize Chima as the Pleiades, and Chesil as Orion. Chesil is still found at the foot of Orion, as in Adam’s globes. As it occurs in Isaiah 13:10 in the plural, it cannot apply to the figure Orion, of which there is only one, but may well mean the Nebulae, of which there are many. The Arabic name Wasat, the centre, transmitted by Ulugh Beigh as of the Pleiades, and Al Cyone, the ancient Greek name of their brightest star, both indicate primeval knowledge of the late announcement of modern science, that in this group is the centre round which circles the galaxy or astral system to which our sun belongs. (See Orbs of Heaven, &c.)

AD 1252, an astronomical congress was held at Toledo, under Alfonso, king of Castile, in which a Jewish rabbin, Isaac Hazen, took an important part. He is spoken of by Cornelius Agrippa as a great astronomer. About that time Rabbi Judas interpreted the treatise in which Avicenna had named the 1022 fixed stars, till then unknown to our western parts. Avicenna was an Arab physician at Bagdad, AD 1030.

On Adam’s large globes names will be found which are omitted on the more recent. Many are there given in Arabic characters, from which those misspelt in modern catalogues may be corrected, as also from Ulugh Beigh.

Here is a picture of the constellations as they follow the ecliptic. The Aleph is on the far right on this curve. In the Churches of God we used to sing a song quite often which I loved. It was about Psalm 19. I invite you to listen to that song at this link.

Psa 19:1  To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork. 2  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3  There is no speech nor are there words; their voice is not heard. 4  Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, 5  and he comes forth as a bridegroom from his canopy; he rejoices as a strong man to run a race, 6  going forth from the end of the heavens, and its course is to their ends. And there is nothing hid from its heat. 7  The Law of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making the simple wise. 8  The Precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandments of Jehovah are pure, giving light to the eyes. 9  The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether, 10  more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11  And Your servant is warned by them; in keeping them there is great reward. 12  Who can understand his errors? Oh make me pure from secret faults; 13  and keep Your servant back from presumptuous sins; do not let them rule over me; then I shall be upright, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. 14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Another thought has occurred to me about the four faces of Yehovah as shown to us in the camp of Israel in Numbers 2. We talked of this in our book The 2300 Days of Hell.
The symbol for the west is the Ox, Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. How is all of this connected? I am not sure yet but I did tell you these are my notes I am sharing with you, as we all Sepher the Aleph Tav, as Eric says. Sepher is connecting the dots.


 I must stop here for now. I am learning how the Aleph Tav is connected to sound waves and to music, mathematics, science, hand languages and so many other things that it just boggles my mind at the depth of it. What an awesome El we have.
More of My Notes
In the spirit of keeping it simple, let me show you just a few things. These are just my notes on this amazing language. Why it has taken me this many years to tune it, I do not know. The old adage of “When the student is ready the teacher appears” would seem to apply here.
I am going down a rabbit trail with this study. I am looking at Pi and Phi and I know they are ancient. I am trying to see if they connect to the Hebrew Aleph Tav and if so what does that teach us.

There are 22 letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Tav. If you divide that number of 22 / 7 as we did in the Menorah teaching a few weeks ago we get Pi or 3.14313725. The current symbol that is used for Pi is ? from the Greek and not as far as I can tell from the Hebrew.

Leonhard Euler popularized the use of the Greek letter ? in works he published in 1736 and 1748.
The earliest known use of the Greek letter ? to represent the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter was by mathematician William Jones in his 1706 work Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos; or, a New Introduction to the Mathematics.[69] The Greek letter first appears there in the phrase “1/2 Periphery (?)” in the discussion of a circle with radius one. Jones may have chosen ? because it was the first letter in the Greek spelling of the word periphery.[70] However, he writes that his equations for ? are from the “ready pen of the truly ingenious Mr. John Machin”, leading to speculation that Machin may have employed the Greek letter before Jones.[71] It had indeed been used earlier for geometric concepts.[71] William Oughtred used ? and ?, the Greek letter equivalents of p and d, to express ratios of periphery and diameter in the 1647 and later editions of Clavis Mathematicae.

After Jones introduced the Greek letter in 1706, it was not adopted by other mathematicians until Euler started using it, beginning with his 1736 work Mechanica. Before then, mathematicians sometimes used letters such as c or p instead.[71] Because Euler corresponded heavily with other mathematicians in Europe, the use of the Greek letter spread rapidly.[71] In 1748, Euler used ? in his widely read workIntroductio in analysin infinitorum (he wrote: “for the sake of brevity we will write this number as ?; thus ? is equal to half the circumference of a circle of radius 1”) and the practice was universally adopted thereafter in the Western world.[71]


I pondered about the meaning of Pi in relation to the Aleph Tav. I then learned that the Royal Egyptian Cubit was connected to this Pi. I had known from my article on Noah’s Ark that the Ark measurement in the bible was given by Moses who used the Royal Egyptian cubit.
In fact when I went to Noah’s Ark in 2007 and measured it, the length was exactly as Moses had said when you use the Royal Egyptian cubit.
We read of this cubit in Ezekiel.

Eze 40:3  And He brought me there, and behold, a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, and a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed. And he stood in the gate.

The word reed is
H7070     ???     qa?neh    kaw-neh’
From H7069; a reed (as erect); by resemblance a rod (especially for measuring), shaft, tube, stem, the radius (of the arm), beam (of a steelyard): – balance, bone, branch, calamus, cane, reed, X spearman, stalk.
The radius of an arm is a cubit. To check that I measured the length of my arm from the back of the elbow to the tip of my middle finger. It was just under the length of the Royal Cubit. A cubit is 7 hand breaths wide.

When you look at the Egyptian cubit you can see how each of the symbols has a picture and a sound that went with it. This is the exact same thing we are not exploring with the Hebrew Aleph Tav.

h ma

The Hebrew for cubit is ammah which means “mother of the arm.”


  1. Æammah (am-maw); prolonged from 517; properly a mother (i.e. unit) of measure, or the fore-arm (below the elbow), i.e. a cubit;



517  Æem (ame) ; a primitive word; a mother (as the bond of the family); in a wide sense (both literally and figuratively –dam, mother, X parting. …


The Great Pyramid at Giza, constructed c.? 2589–2566 BC, was built with a perimeter of about 1760 cubits and a height of about 280 cubits; the ratio 1760/280 ? 6.2857 is approximately equal to 2? ? 6.2832. Based on this ratio, some Egyptologists concluded that the pyramid builders had knowledge of ? and deliberately designed the pyramid to incorporate the proportions of a circle.[22] Others maintain that the suggested relationship to ? is merely a coincidence, because there is no evidence that the pyramid builders had any knowledge of ?, and because the dimensions of the pyramid are based on other factors.[23]

The earliest written approximations of ? are found in Egypt and Babylon, both within 1 percent of the true value. In Babylon, a clay tablet dated 1900–1600 BC has a geometrical statement that, by implication, treats ? as 25/8 = 3.1250.[24] In Egypt, the Rhind Papyrus, dated around 1650 BC, but copied from a document dated to 1850 BC has a formula for the area of a circle that treats ? as (16/9)2 ? 3.1605.[24]

In India around 600 BC, the Shulba Sutras (Sanskrit texts that are rich in mathematical contents) treat ? as (9785/5568)2 ? 3.088.[25] In 150 BC, or perhaps earlier, Indian sources treat ? as  ? 3.1622.[26]

Two verses in the Hebrew Bible (written between the 8th and 3rd centuries BC) describe a ceremonial pool in the Temple of Solomon with a diameter of ten cubits and a circumference of thirty cubits; the verses imply ? is about three if the pool is circular.[27][28] Rabbi Nehemiah explained the discrepancy as being due to the thickness of the vessel. His early work of geometry, Mishnat ha-Middot, was writt

en around 150 AD and takes the value of ? to be three and one seventh.[29] (See Approximations of ?)

Upon further inspection mathematicians found that the Great Pyramid of Giza has Pi built into the geometry. If you take the perimeter of the base and divide it by the height multiplied by 2 you’ll get Pi (1760/560 = 3.14). The Great Pyramid is a ‘square circle’ as they say.
? (sometimes written pi) is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter. ? is approximately equal to 3.14. Many formulae in mathematics, science, and engineering involve ?, which makes it one of the most important mathematical constants.[1] For instance, the area of a circle is equal to ? times the square of the radius of the circle.
? is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction having integers in both the numerator and denominator (unlike 22/7). Consequently, its decimal representation never ends and never repeats. ? is also a transcendental number, which implies, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can render its value; proving this fact was a significant mathematical achievement of the 19th century.

Furthermore, the Great Pyramid has another very important number hidden within its geometry. If you take the surface area of the four top sides and divide it by the surface of the base, you’ll get the ‘golden number’, also called the ‘golden ratio’. In mathematics I think this number is called ‘Phi’ (identified with the ? symbol). So just what is this golden number?
Let A and B be midpoints of the sides EF and ED of an equilateral triangle DEF.
Extend AB to meet the circumcircle of DEF at C.

 mathor Phi

In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.61803398874989.[1] Other names frequently used for the golden ratio are the golden section (Latin: sectio aurea) and golden mean.
Now that we have all the ingredients that we need to connect this all together, prepare to have your mind blown. If you take Pi and subtract Phi squared you’ll get one cubit (Pi – Phi^2 = cubit).

3.14313725 –   1.61803398874989

3.14313725 – 2.61803398874988 = .52510326125012 or one Royal Cubit

You will notice the Phi symbol is like the Hebrew Quph. It was used in the mid 1700s to save time writing out the 1.618 number.
Maybe you think it couldn’t get any crazier than that? Well, you’re wrong. Think of the next picture as a top down view (birds eye view) of the pyramid, which is drawn in black lines. If you draw two circles, one inside the square and one outside the square as shown below, and you subtract the inner circumference from the outer circumference, the answer is equal to nothing else but… the speed of light.
Stonehenge as well is connected to the Giza Pyramids by the use of Pi and Phi in measurements and the Egyptian Cubit.
My conclusions here are that this was interesting but I have not been able to connect anything here. If I look at astronomy I can see some connections but again not ready yet to expound on them.



Triennial Torah Reading

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading

Ex 26      Isaiah 40-42       Ps 146       John 14-15

The Tabernacle: More Detail in Design (Exodus 26-27)

The word tabernacle comes from a Latin word meaning “tent.” The Hebrew word translated tabernacle literally means “dwelling place.” It may refer to either just the tent-or to the tent with the surrounding courtyard. In any case, the sense of being portable and temporary is obvious. And this sense of God having a temporary dwelling will continue all the way up to Solomon’s time, when the tabernacle is replaced by the temple, a more fixed structure. This later event is seen by many as a foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God-when Christ takes up permanent residence on earth. The time of the tabernacle is thus seen as God inhabiting His people in the fleshly tent of our temporary bodies (compare 2 Corinthians 5:1-4).
In Exodus 26 and 27, we again read of the intricate designing of the Master Builder Himself. Only the finest materials available were used in construction of the tabernacle and its contents. Acacia wood was a light, strong and beautiful wood-durable and resistant to insects and disease-that grew in this region. God was very specific in His instructions for the building of the tabernacle. His instruction to be very precise in following the detailed building plan was repeated. He is the same when it comes to His righteous laws. Mankind is not to add to His laws or take away from them (Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Revelation 22:18-19). Whenever God designs and builds anything, He does so according to a careful advance plan. His creation is not the result of some massive random cosmic explosion with colliding planetoids later accidentally forming a globular mass right where the earth needed to be in the solar system to make it advantageous for human life. Could you imagine reading the words, “In the beginning, God said, ‘OOPS'”?
When reading these chapters, take time to appreciate the fine detail of our Creator’s perfect craftsmanship. And consider the lesson in Luke 16:10 to see how God judges our character: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

“Comfort My People” (Isaiah 40)

Beginning with this chapter, the remainder of the book of Isaiah takes on a different tone—so much so that some have tried to claim it was really written by a different author. Part of the reason is that chapters 40-55 appear to be addressed to the people of Jerusalem while they are in captivity—and their captivity was not until many years after Isaiah’s death. However, the New Testament assigns 23 verses from all sections of this book specifically to the prophet Isaiah (1:9; 6:9-10; 9:1-2; 10:22-23; 11:10; 29:13; 40:3-5; 42:1-4; 53:1,4,7-8; 61:1-2; 65:1). So Isaiah’s message was written for the future—for Israel and Judah in their imminent captivity and in their end-time captivity.

The message is to comfort and console the exiles. Luke 2:25 refers to the future redemption of Israel as the “Consolation of Israel”—which was to be accomplished through Yeshua. In 2 Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul tells us that God comforts us so that we may comfort others (verses 3-4). Learning to be a comforter is learning to be like God. At times, chronic or serious trials can be very discouraging for a believer, leaving one to wonder why God allows them. One of the reasons is to train us to be able to lend aid and comfort to those experiencing the same or a similar type of difficulty. A person with no experience with trials is limited in his ability to empathize and sympathize with those who truly suffer. On the other hand, the person experienced in receiving God’s comfort while enduring trials is well equipped to offer godly comfort to others.

Verses 3-5 of Isaiah 40 are identified by all four Gospel writers as applying to John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23)—who announced the first coming of the Messiah. However, Yeshua indicated that John only partially fulfilled these prophecies—that their ultimate fulfillment would come in the end time (see Matthew 17:10-13, especially verse 11).

Notice the message: “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low” (Isaiah 40:4). What does this mean? Does it mean that all mountain ranges on earth will be flattened and all valleys filled in? If so, it would mean no more Grand Canyon. No more Yosemite Valley. No more Matterhorn. No more great cascading waterfalls and other such beautiful wonders of God’s creation. A perpetually flat landscape, with only slight dips and rises. Is this what God means? No, for while there will likely be topographical changes to the surface of the earth, “every” valley and “every” hill will not disappear. If that happened, the whole world would be flooded. Indeed, Scripture says that Jerusalem itself will be an exalted mountain during Christ’s reign.

So what does the prophecy here mean? It appears to have both a figurative and a literal meaning. Mountains and hills being brought low can represent large and small nations being humbled, and valleys being raised can represent oppressed and downtrodden people being exalted (compare verses 17, 23, 29; 2:11-17; 24:21; 60:10, 14, showing that God hates pride, and how the haughty will be humbled and the humble—especially the faithful saints—will be exalted). Yet again, there is apparently a literal fulfillment as well. Consider that the passage is discussing the building of a highway (verse 3). It is in the construction of this highway that mountains are brought low and valleys are raised—crooked places made straight and rough places smoothed (verse 4). Thus, if there’s a mountain in the way, it is brought low; if a valley would impede the highway, the valley is raised up (compare 42:15-16; 49:11). Furthermore, since the purpose of a highway is to facilitate interchange between separated people, we can look at this figuratively as well. Any obstacles that separate and divide people will be removed (compare 19:23; 62:10).

Remember that this reference applied in part to the work of John preparing the way (the highway) for Yeshua’s first coming. No physical highway was then being built. Rather, John preached a message of repentance and many of his followers became disciples of Yeshua. Yet John’s work of preparation was a forerunner of an end-time work of preparation—preparing for the second coming of Christ. Again, it is accomplished through a message of repentance and helping people in the process of conversion and overcoming sin.

At Christ’s return, the Israelites and then the whole world will be helped in the same process. When He comes, there will be a literal highway of return for the exiles from Assyria and Egypt. But more importantly, that highway will represent spiritual return to God—repentance—as well as harmony with other people through that way of repentance. Part of the repentance process will include people coming to terms with and turning from hatred and competition that has existed between nations for sometimes thousands of years.

Verses 6-8 are cited by Peter in discussing the solution to the fleetingness of human life (1 Peter 1:24-25). The same analogy of man’s life being as the grass of the field is used by James as well—applied especially to the futility of riches as a panacea (James 1:10-11; see also Job 14:1-2; Psalm 103:15-16). Verses 9-11 show the zeal and courage should have in preaching the joyous “good tidings!” Verse 13 is quoted twice by Paul (Romans 11:34; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

One of the many recurring themes in this section of Isaiah is the greatness of God’s power as the Creator of the universe, of the earth and of man upon the earth (verses 12, 22, 28; for more examples see also 42:5; 44:24; 45:12, 18). In verse 26, we are told to lift our eyes upward—to the heavens. God calls all in the “host”—that is, the celestial bodies, including all the stars—by name, an amazing fact also mentioned in Psalm 147:4. It is amazing since there are at least a hundred billion galaxies of a hundred billion stars each. Scientists estimate the universe at around 15 billion years old. Yet to name every star at a rate of one per second would take more than 21,000 times that long—a mind-boggling feat that God gives but a passing mention. The greatness and awesome might of God should be of true comfort to His people.

The chapter ends with the wonderful verses about waiting on God. “To wait [on God] entails confident expectation and active hope in the Lord—never passive resignation (Ps. 40:1). Mount up…run…walk depicts the spiritual transformation that faith brings to a person. The Lord gives power to those who trust in him…. The eagle depicts the strength that comes from the Lord. The Lord describes his deliverance of the Israelites in Ex. 19:4 as similar to being lifted up on an eagle’s strong wings. In Ps. 103:5, the strength of people who are nourished by God is compared to the strength of the eagle” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Isaiah 40:31). It is a remarkable picture. Through faith in God’s power, our waiting can be a time of soaring.

One From the East and the North (Isaiah 41)

In verse 2 God mentions sending someone “from the east.” In verse 25 He says this person is “from the north” yet also “from the rising of the sun”—which again means from the east. So it is likely that the same person is being referred to. Yet who is this person?

First of all, we need to bear in mind that this whole section of prophecy is given to comfort the exiles of Judah and Israel—in both their ancient and future Babylonian captivities. It is describing a time of punishment on their enemies. Thus, the person being sent would seem to be a deliverer sent to free them from captivity. Indeed, most commentaries equate this person with the Persian ruler Cyrus, who conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and released the Jewish exiles. This is a sensible conclusion since Cyrus is explicitly referred to by name in basically the same role just a few chapters later (44:28-45:4).

“One from the east refers to Cyrus, king of Persia (559-530 B.C.; see 46:11)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 41:2). And as for “from the north…from the rising of the sun” and his calling on God’s name (verse 25): “The conquest of Media by Cyrus (550 B.C.) made him master of the territories north of Babylon. Cyrus, who did not personally know God (45:4), nevertheless called on God’s name when he released the exiles (2 Chr. 36:23; Ezra 1:1-4)” (note on Isaiah 41:25).

Yet remarkably, Cyrus is referred to in chapters 44-45 as God’s shepherd and God’s anointed. He is clearly being used as a forerunner of Yeshua, who is sent by God the Father to ultimately free the exiles in the end time. Yeshua comes from the north since God’s throne is said to be “on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north” (14:13). And reference to Christ’s coming from the east is found in the New Testament: “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27).

Israel is referred to as God’s servant—a servant being one who obeys a master, lord or employer. “The term was bestowed on the person chosen to administer and advance God’s kingdom (Ex. 14:31; 2 Sam. 3:18). In chs. 40-55, the title of servant is bestowed implicitly on Cyrus (45:1-4) and explicitly on God’s prophets (44:26), the nation of Israel (44:21; 45:4) and particularly on Yeshua (42:1-4; 52:13)” (Nelson, note on 41:8). We will see more on this in our next reading.

Also in verse 8, the Israelites’ blessing is shown to be rooted in their descent from Abraham, God’s friend. This incredible designation occurs in two other places in Scripture (James 2:23; 2 Chronicles 20:7). This friendship with Abraham extends to his descendants, and it is what ultimately brings favor and victory to Israel.

Those who are incensed against Israel (Isaiah 41:11), or war against Israel (verse 12), will be as nothing. God will help His chosen people (verses 13-14). “Exiled Israel seemed as feeble and despicable as a worm (Job 25:6; Ps. 22:6 [the latter verse prophetic of Christ in His final suffering])” (Nelson, note on Isaiah 41:14).

But God will deliver Israel—and not merely through unilaterally destroying its enemies. The Israelites would themselves thresh the mountains and hills (verse 15), symbolic of the nations around them and their false religions (compare Isaiah 2:2; Deuteronomy 12:2; Jeremiah 3:21-23). “The lowly ‘worm’ (v. 14) would be transformed into a threshing sledge (28:27) that removes mountains, the symbols of opposition and the location of pagan temples and palaces (Mic. 1:3-5)” (note on Isaiah 41:15). This did not happen in Israel’s ancient return from Babylonian captivity—in which only a small percentage of Jews (and none of the northern tribes) returned to the Promised Land. This shows the prophecy to be primarily for the end time.
Furthermore, God is presented as performing miracles for the returning exiles, meeting their basic needs in the desert as He did for Israel of old (verses 17-20). This also did not happen in the ancient return from Babylonian captivity. But it will happen in Israel and Judah’s future when Christ comes back. And Yeshua will ultimately crush Israel’s enemies, in a much greater way than Cyrus ever did (verse 25).

Finally, God satirically shows the foolishness of idolatry. Idols cannot proclaim the future. They can’t proclaim anything at all. God challenges idols in verse 23 to “do good or evil.” What He’s really saying is: “Do anything!” But of course, they cannot. The nations were and still are mired in idolatry—or, in God’s words, “wind and confusion” (verse 29). And this is not limited to overtly pagan religions. Idolatry and many pagan practices and ideas are deeply embedded in traditional Christianity, which is really a counterfeit religion mixing some authentic Faith concepts with ancient paganism.

Thankfully, Christ is coming to set all aright.

“Behold! My Servant” (Isaiah 42)

The first four verses of chapter 42 are quoted by the apostle Matthew to describe Yeshua (Matthew 12:18-21), and the chapter continues in its description of this Messiah to come (verses 6-7; compare Luke 2:32; 4:18). Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary states: “The law of prophetic suggestion leads Isaiah from Cyrus to the far greater Deliverer, behind whom the former is lost sight of. The express quotation in Matthew 12:18-20, and the description can apply to Messiah alone (Ps. 40:6; with which cf. Exod. 21:6; John 6:38; Phil. 2:7). Israel, also, in its highest ideal, is called the ‘servant’ of God (ch. 49:3). But this ideal is realized only in the antitypical Israel, its representative-man and Head, Messiah (cf. Matt. 2:15, with Hos. 11:1)” (note on Isaiah 42:1). Some statements in Isaiah 42 refer to Yeshua’s first coming, some to the second.

Verses 2-3 refer to His gentleness at His first coming and toward those who are humbly seeking Him at His second coming. But verses 13-15 show another side of Yeshua—His power and wrath toward evildoers during the Day of the Lord.

Returning to Christ’s gentleness in verse 3, His not breaking a bruised reed appears to mean that upon those who are lowly and hurt, having already suffered punishment, Yeshua will not add to their punishment. Indeed, just the opposite, He will take special care of them and restore them to health and happiness—and even grant them spiritual vitality. “Smoking flax” in the same verse is rendered “dimly burning wick” in the RSV and NRSV (see also JFB Commentary). This appears to represent those who at one time had a fiery zeal but are now as a mere smoldering candle wick about to go out—their faith and hope in God’s deliverance is almost gone. Yeshua will not quench what is left in them. Again, just the opposite, He will rescue them, not only restoring their faith and zeal, but through the granting of His Spirit giving them such a fiery zeal for God as is otherwise humanly impossible.
Verse 4 says He would bring law to the world (compare 2:2-4). Verse 21 of Isaiah 42 says one of His responsibilities would be to “magnify the law and make it honorable” (KJV). In Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount, far from doing away with God’s law as many argue, He explained the spiritual intent behind God’s law and actually made it even more binding—showing that God’s law is to regulate even our thoughts, not merely our actions (see Matthew 5:17-48).

Isaiah 42:14 shows that the punishment on Israel is painful to God, as is often the case when parents have to discipline their children. To God it will have been like birth pangs—ending with His at last “delivering” them. Rabbinic teaching refers to the time just before the Messiah comes as the “birth pangs of the Messiah.” Verses 15-16 show the miraculous way in which Christ will lead the exiles back from their captivity. It has also been suggested that this is representative of Christ leading spiritual Israel, ever since its inception to ultimate deliverance in the Kingdom of God. That may well be for the return of physical Israel and eventually all of mankind, which must be grafted into Israel as well (see Romans 11).

In Isaiah 42:18-20, the “servant” and “messenger” of God is Israel—now spiritually blind and deaf. This is clearly illustrated in the remainder of the chapter. The people sit in captivity and punishment because of their disobedience. In the ancient Babylonian captivity, Christ’s coming to magnify the law was yet future. Now He has already come and still the people do not heed. This has been the cause of the Israelites’ suffering through the ages. And it will culminate in the worst time of suffering ever. Yet even in captivity, the people will not at first repent and turn to God.

Praise to God who helps those in need (Psalms 146)

We come now to the concluding section of the book of Psalms, the final Hallel (“Praise”) collection (Psalms 146-150)-the other two being the Egyptian Hallel (113-118) and the Great Hallel (120-136). In this final cluster of five untitled and unattributed hymns, each is bracketed at beginning and end by shouts of Hallelujah! (“Praise Yah,” typically appearing as “Praise the LORD”)-perhaps added by the final editors of the Psalter (see in comparison Psalms 105-106 and 111-117).

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible comments: “The Psalter collection [the whole book of Psalms] begins with two psalms that address the reader and whose function is to identify those to whom the collections [of the Psalter] specifically belong [that is, those who fit the profile of the righteous as portrayed in the Psalms-the holy congregation of God] (see…Ps 1-2). Here, at the collection’s end, that congregation gives voice to its final themes. They are the themes of praise-and calls to praise-of Zion’s heavenly King (see 146:10; 147:12; 149:2), the Maker, Sustainer and Lord over all creation (see 146:6; 147:4, 8-9, 15-18; 148:5-6); the one sure hope of those who in their need and vulnerability look to him for help (see 146:5-9; 147:2-3, 6, 11, 13-14; 149:4); the Lord of history whose commitment to his people is their security and the guarantee that, as his kingdom people (see especially 147:19-20), they will ultimately triumph over all the forces of this world arrayed against them (see 146:3, 10; 147:2, 6, 10, 13-14; 148:14; 149:4-9)” (introductory note on Psalms 146-150).

The psalms of this final section are typically thought to have been composed following the Jewish return from Babylonian Exile. However, there is no way to really know whether this is the case. It does seem likely that these psalms were at least arranged as a concluding group at that time. The Latin Vulgate translation follows the Greek Septuagint in attributing Psalms 146 and 147 (with the latter divided into two psalms) to the postexilic prophets Haggai and Zechariah respectively. However, there is no other evidence to corroborate this.

Psalm 146, the first in the final Hallel collection, is, as the Zondervan NIV Study Bible notes, “a hymn in praise of Zion ‘s heavenly King, with special focus on his powerful and trustworthy care for Zion ‘s citizens who look to him when oppressed, broken or vulnerable. It has many thematic links with Ps 33; 62; 145.” Indeed, there are a number of very close links to the latter, the previous psalm, as we will see-thus providing a good transition from the Davidic collection (138-145) to the final collection of psalms (146-150).

Following the opening general declaration of Hallelujah or “Praise the LORD,” the psalmist gives the same imperative to himself (verse 1)-and all who sing the song thus proclaim this directive to themselves as well. “O my soul” here is simply a way of speaking to oneself. For a similar directive, compare the opening and closing of Psalms 103 and 104.

Psalm 146:3-5 echoes 118:8-9 in calling on people to not trust in mortal human beings no matter what their station in life but rather to look to God. Of course, we have to trust people to a certain extent as part of life. The point here is that other human beings should not be our ultimate source of trust. For that we must rely on God (compare also Jeremiah 17:5, 7).

Incidentally, note that the New King James Version translates the end of verse 4 to say that when a human being dies and his spirit leaves his body, at the same time “his plans perish.” The NIV says, “his plans come to nothing,” and other modern translations follow suit. However, the earlier King James Version renders this literally to say “his thoughts perish.” While thoughts can certainly include plans, there is no valid basis here for limiting the scope of the word. Rather, the basis in this case is one of doctrinal bias, and this is a good example of how such bias can influence translation. No doubt later translators found the literal wording untenable given their belief in the immortality of the human soul wherein consciousness continues apart from the body-a doctrine not supported by Scripture. The Bible instead teaches that at death a person’s thoughts do in fact cease: “The dead know nothing…. There is no work or device or knowledge in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10). Death is elsewhere portrayed in Scripture as an unconscious sleep. Life after death is not as a disembodied consciousness but will come only through a future resurrection of the dead to a new body.

Returning now to the progression of the psalm, let’s note again that verse 5 gives the contrast to verses 3-4. Rather than trusting in mortal man, “happy” or “blessed” (NIV) is the person who relies on God for help. The remainder of the psalm then explains why this is so, showing that God-the Almighty Creator, Sustainer and Deliverer, who faithfully loves and cares for those in need, and who (in contrast to dying) lives and reigns forever-can truly be counted on.

“The LORD raises those who are bowed down” (verse 8) is essentially repeated from the previous psalm (compare 145:14). God giving food to the hungry (146:7) is also found in the previous psalm (145:15-16). Furthermore, God caring for the righteous and upending the wicked is found in both songs (145:17-20; 146:8-9)-as is the focus on God reigning forever (145:13; 146:10).

As in many psalms, God is identified with His nation of Israel . Note in verse 5 that He is the “God of Jacob,” and in verse 10 that He is referred to “Your God, O Zion.” Israel and Zion are the special recipients of God’s attentive care and blessings. We will see this focus in the next psalm as well. Yet we should recognize, as throughout the Psalter, that these names can apply to God’s spiritual people as well. Moreover the ultimate fulfillment of the help promised in both psalms will come with the future establishment of the Kingdom of God over all nations-who must all become part of Israel in a spiritual sense.

John 14

We continue in the very night of Yeshua’s betrayal where He spends His remaining hours continued in love and teaching of His disciples. He speaks some of the most reassuring words that have continued to comfort His people throughout millennia. “Let not your heart be troubled. In My Father’s house are many staying places. I go to prepare a place for you.”

He plainly tells us, He is The Way, The Truth, and the Life. This is The Way of Torah and this is why He tells His taught ones that in fact… they do know The Way. No one comes unto the Father but through Yeshua – He is THE DOOR. He tells us that to love Him is to keep His Commandments, the same commandments given from the beginning.

He also gives us the promise of The Helper, to stay with us forever! This is the same as the Spirit of Truth given to us so that we may worship the Father in Spirit and Truth just as He seeks.

John 15

Yeshua is the vine and we are the branches. Unless we stay in the vine, we have no life and will be pruned away. The evidence of our being in the vine is our fruit.

He commands us to love one another, as He has loved us. He chooses us – we do not choose Him. He makes this very plain. Be prepared to be hated by the world, for the world hated Him first and as we are His and do His commands, the world will hate us also. A servant is not greater than his master.