Living waters and Quenching the Spirit

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: May 12, 2011
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News Letter 5847-009
10th day of the 2nd month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 21st day of the Counting of the Omer
The 1st Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.

May 14, 2011


Shabbat Shalom Brethren,


It was the worst disaster in America since Katrina. In just 24 hours last week( End of April), the southern U.S. got shredded by 312 tornadoes—more than double what America had ever seen in one day. Between Monday and Thursday, a total of 362 twisters hit seven states—killing over 350 people, injuring thousands more, cutting power to a million others, and splintering entire towns. The most violent of the twisters was 20 times normal size. It tore a scar one mile wide and a record 300 miles long across Alabama and Georgia.

All this hit just days after another devastating rash of 155 tornadoes between April 14 and 16. The past 10 Aprils have each spawned an average of 161 tornadoes in the U.S.; the previous April record was 267.

But last month, that number was an unparalleled 600-plus. “This is a history-making tornado outbreak,” said meteorologist Jeff Masters.

The crazy thing is, when it comes to disasters, “history-making” is becoming commonplace. Every few weeks it seems, the Earth unleashes unprecedented fury of another sort. Even with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee in states of emergency from the tornadoes, other disasters are striking elsewhere.

Texas is withering from its worst drought since 1895. Ninety-five percent of the state is in “severe drought” or worse, a group of national climate experts said last Thursday; over 70 percent is in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought. Some experts estimate that Texan wheat farmers have given up on up to 70 percent of their wheat acreage. And the bone dry conditions have created a tinderbox for more than 6,900 wildfires this year that have torched more than 2 million acres across the state.

Wildfires are also blazing in Arizona, charring 23,000 acres so far. Ironically, at the same time, other parts of the country are being deluged with severe flooding. Farmland across Arkansas sits several inches underwater after heavy rains last week. Thousands of acres of the state’s most fertile farmland have been wiped out. Communities in Missouri and Illinois are also under threat after heavy rains and melting snow swelled the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to record levels.
“Nobody has seen this type of water in the system,” the president of the Mississippi River Commission said. “It’s an unprecedented flood.”

Unprecedented. These where-did-this-come-from, once-in-alifetime, never-before-witnessed calamities are piling up on top of one another. Why? Let’s not forget that weather is not entirely random. It has a Maker. And it has a Sustainer.

Taken from

If you understand the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles then you also understand what is going on and why. It is time to repent while we still can. Disasters are getting bigger and more severer and will continue to do so. Order your copy of the Chronological order of Prophecy in the Jubilee DVD where all of this is explained and shows you where to find it in your bible. You can do this from the web site.

Anger and quenching the spirit.

Brethren I have had a dispute going on the past few weeks which has angered me and upset me a great deal. In the heat of the argument I have said things I later regretted. But it was too late as those things had already gone out from me.

I have hated myself during this time. I have asked why has this happened a hundred times and thought no answer was coming. I remembered I had asked Yehovah to show me my secret sins. He now has. I was shown in one day by a few Christian radio shows what it was I had to learn; why my brethren and I were going through this.

We have all seen it in most of the ministries as a dispute arises and tempers flare and then words are exchanged and then volumes of hate thrown at each other like there was not tomorrow. Only to wake up the day after like you had a hangover with the worst taste in your mouth.

It mattered not who was right now; the initial cause was no longer important; but how are you going to exact revenge is all that now counts. And all these evil thoughts flood into your mind every day you do not address the issues. Satan has now gotten a toe hold on your mind and the longer it goes on the better grip he is able to secure.

Mat 5:21 “You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders shall be liable to judgment. 22 “But I say to you that whoever is wroth with his brother without a cause shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raka!’ shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to fire of Gehenna. 23 “If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 “Be well-minded with your opponent, promptly, while you are on the way with him, lest your opponent deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 “Truly, I say to you, you shall by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

This teaching that Yehshua spoke here to the Pharisees is for us today to take heed of. Why should we pay attention?

So many times I have read this and never gave it any thought as I was not a murderer and therefore it did not apply to me; but now because of this dispute I have come to realize I am a murderer.

When we murder or get angry at our brethren we are in fact murdering the image of Yehovah.

Gen 9:6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood is shed, for in the image of Elohim has He made man.

The reason we are not to murder is because we are made in the image of Yehovah. It is an insult to Yehovah to kill another human who is made in His image.

We are told in Exo 20:13 “You do not murder

It does not refer to war or state execution, but murder by you upon a victim; planned in advanced and executed for the purpose of killing another person.

Exo 21:14 “But when a man acts presumptuously against his neighbour, to kill him by treachery, you are to take him even from My altar to die.

Num 35:16 ‘But if he has smitten him with an instrument of iron, so that he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death. 17 ‘And if he has smitten him with a stone in the hand, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death. 18 ‘Or if he has smitten him with a wooden instrument that could kill, and he does die, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death. 19 ‘The revenger of blood himself puts the murderer to death. When he meets him, he puts him to death. 20 ‘And if he thrusts him through in hatred, or throws an object at him while lying in wait, so that he dies, 21 or in enmity he smites him with his hand so that he dies, the one who smote him shall certainly be put to death, for he is a murderer. The revenger of blood puts the murderer to death when he meets him.

Gen 4:8 And Qayin told Heb?el his brother. And it came to be when they were in the field, that Qayin rose up against Heb?el his brother and killed him. 9 And ???? said to Qayin, “Where is Heb?el your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s guard?” 10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 “And now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Anyone who uses an object to kill is a murderer and this urge to murder comes from Satan.

Joh 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you wish to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.

The weapon of choice does not have to be of iron or wood or stone, it can also be the tongue.

Jas 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many matters. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the entire body. 3 Look, we put bits in the mouths of horses, for them to obey us, and we turn their body. 4 Look at the ships too: although they are so big and are driven by strong winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot intends. 5 So too the tongue is a little member, yet boasts greatly. See how a little fire kindles a great forest! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the world of unrighteousness. Among our members the tongue is set, the one defiling the entire body, and setting on fire the wheel of life, and it is set on fire by Gehenna. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man is able to tame the tongue. It is unruly, evil, filled with deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Elohim and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of Elohim. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be so. 11 Does the fountain send forth the sweet and the bitter from the same opening? 12 My brothers, is a fig tree able to bear olives, or a grapevine figs? So neither is a fountain able to make salt and sweet water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good behaviour his works in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast against and lie against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom coming down from above, but it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and self-seeking are, there is confusion and every foul deed. 17 But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousnessis1 sown in peace by those who make peace. Footnote: 1Philip 1:1.

Our anger comes from an unclean heart. This is where all our problems all our sins come from.

Mat 15:19 “For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders.

Brethren if we do not fix this corrupted way of life; if we fall into corruption and just decide to stay there then Yehovah will allow us to get our stomachs full of the corruption we have allowed ourselves to dwell in.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not think it worth- while to possess the knowledge of Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a worthless mind, to do what is improper, 29 having been filled with all unrighteousness, whoring, wickedness, greed, evil; filled with envy, murder, fighting, deceit, evil habits; whisperers, 30 slanderers, haters of Elohim, insolent, proud, boasters, devisers of evils, disobedient to parents, 31 without discernment, covenant breakers, unloving, unforgiving, ruthless; 32 who, though they know the righteousness of Elohim, that those who practise such deserve death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practise them.

Gal 5:19 And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery,1 whoring, uncleanness, indecency, Footnote: 1Only Textus Receptus contains adultery. 20 idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.1 Footnote: 11 Cor. 6:10.

All of us need to read this again. If we allow our hearts to dwell on these things, then we will not be in the kingdom of Yehovah. This is very serious and if your anger is out of control you are in danger. Think about what you have just read; hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, envy all add up to murders. I know this does not apply to any of you but it has applied to me and I have not known it until now. And murder is an abomination to Yehovah, even when it is in the enfant stage just in your mind as hatred; it is an abomination.

Pro 6:16 These six matters ???? hates, And seven are an abomination to Him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, A lying tongue, And hands shedding innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 A heart devising wicked schemes, Feet quick to run to evil,
Pro 6:19 A false witness breathing out lies, And one who causes strife among brothers.

Rev 22:14 “Blessed are those1 doing His commands,2 so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city. Footnotes: 1See Mt. 19:17. 2Long before the books were compiled to form “The New Testament,” Rev. 22:14 was quoted, as it is here given, by Tertullian (CE 208), and by Cyprian (CE 251) – see the well-known Antenicene Fathers.

Rev 22:15 “But outside are the dogs and those who enchant with drugs, and those who whore, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and all who love and do falsehood.1 Footnote: 1See 21:27, 2 Thess. 2:11.

If we continue to fight and be angry with each other then we will not be eating of the tree of life. Do we get it? Do I get it? This article is written to me as much and more so than it is for you.

Mat 5:21 “You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.

Mat 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is wroth with his brother without a cause shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raka!’ shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to fire of Gehenna.

Because they did not murder is one way they convinced themselves they were righteous. What Yehshua is showing them is that you are not righteous just because you kept the letter of the law and did not murder. But if in your heart are all these hatreds and angers and schemes to cause trouble then you are just as guilty as if you had murdered the people you are doing this to.

Mat 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees,1 you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens. Footnote: 1Mt. 15:3-9, Mk. 7:7-13, John 7:19, Acts 7:53, Rom. 2:23-27, Gal. 6:13.

Not murdering is not enough. You have to check your heart. Your view of yourself is not enough. Because you have not done evil is not enough. Rabbinic tradition is what Yehshua is referring to. You shall not kill and because many people do not murder they believe they are righteous because they have obeyed the letter of the law. But the torah does not go far enough is what Yehshua is showing them and us. We have to check our hearts. The reason why is explained in Mathew.

Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?” 37 And ????? said to him, “ ‘You shall love ???? your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the first and great command. 39 “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.”

We are to love Elohim with a clean heart and with all of our heart. If our heart is corrupted and seeks evil on our brethren then how can we love Yehovah?


Judgement refers to the local court.

So the teaching they had was that if you murder you will be in judgement of the civil court. Do you know what is wrong with that? It does not go far enough.

They were saying don’t kill because you will get in trouble with the local court. It stops short of intents of the mind and the inward parts.

Mat 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is wroth with his brother without a cause shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raka!’ shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to fire of Gehenna.

It is the issue of anger and hatred in your heart. If this is in your heart you are the same as a murderer.

We hate people, we get so angry with people and we detest people. Anyone who is angry with his brother is guilty of murder and as such we are subject to be executed. It does not matter whether or not you kill someone, but what matters is what is in your heart.

1Jn 3:15 Everyone hating his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life staying in him.

We all justify ourselves. We consider ourselves good no matter how bad we have been. No one can see themselves for what they are but we all can see just how bad everyone else is. In truth we are worst than those we point the finger at. Think about this.

Everyone in prison is innocent but the guy in cell block 38 is the real bad one. The rest of us have been wrongly misunderstood.

Yehshua strips us stark naked and shows us for what we are; we are all murderers. Hate brings you nearer to murder than any other emotion. Hate is the extension of anger and it leads to murder and it will eat you alive on the inside.

Who so ever is angry will be in danger of judgement. This is serious. This is not talking about righteous indignation. We ought not to be so complacent that nothing gets us upset. But we who are suppose to be walking this way of life should not be getting angry with our brothers because they differ in their understanding of the scriptures. Argue the scriptures and do not hate the person. Do not throw insults at the person because you have no scriptural support for your position. Hate the sin but not the person, because you too were just like that person a short while ago and may still be just like them now.

Eph 4:26 “Be wroth, but do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down on your rage, 27 nor give place to the devil.

Something has happened and you are hopping angry with a brother. Do not hold a grudge, or hold on to bitterness and if you do you are as guilty as one who murders and are subject for execution. You are allowing Satan to take up a place in your emotions.

Whoever says to his brother, ‘Raka!’ shall be liable to the Sanhedrin That is one who curses another, with the poison under the tongue cast at someone else. If you have contempt towards another, you too are guilty of murder and subject to the execution.

But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to fire of Gehenna. A fool was one who rebelled against Yehovah. So if you do this out of hatred then you are once again found guilty and should be executed.

Mat 5:23 “If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you,24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Reconciliation is more important than the sacrifice. The state of the heart is more important than your righteous appearance. We all need to work on our heart before we can go and pray to our Father.

Let me say this again brethren. I have struggled with this. I feel I am right in my indignation and justified to be angry at those who have offended me. I am right and I am going to stay here and continue to be right. But Yehovah says if our brother is angry with you then you must leave your gift or the prayers we are trying to offer up and go and repair the damage. I really hate this and do not want to do it. And yet this is exactly what we are told to do. To repair the breach that has developed.

Our prayers which are our burnt offerings of our lips; our gifts will not be heard or accepted until we do make amends.

Because of our anger we have become murderers and have blood on our hands.

Isa 1:11 “Of what use to Me are your many slaughterings?” declares ????. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats. 12 “When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courtyards? 13 “Stop bringing futile offerings, incense, it is an abomination to Me. New Moons, Sabbaths, the calling of meetings – I am unable to bear unrighteousness and assembly. 14 “My being hates your New Moons and your appointed times, they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. 15 “And when you spread out your hands, I hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I do not hear. Your hands have become filled with blood. 16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! 17 “Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says ????. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 “If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,” for the mouth of ???? has spoken.

Did you catch that? If you refuse to submit and you refuse to reason together but rebel then the sword is coming for you. Stop and think about this. In the current Sabbatical cycle we are going into a time when brother will betray brother which is the current Sabbatical cycle. We will be hated and murdered for His name.

But the next Sabbatical cycle is the one of the sword which is war and it is coming to those who will not obey, who hate and refuse to come to the wedding feast.

Mat 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and reign against reign. And there shall be scarcities of food, and deadly diseases, and earthquakes in places. 8 “And all these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then they shall deliver you up to affliction and kill you, and you shall be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. 10 “And then many shall stumble, and they shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. 11 “And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray.12 “And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold.

Mat 10:16 “See, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 “But beware of men, for they shall deliver you up to sanhedrins and flog you in their congregations. 18 “And you shall be brought before governors and sovereigns for My sake, as a witness to them and to the gentiles. 19 “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it shall be given to you in that hour what you shall speak, 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking in you. 21 “And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and a father his child. And children shall rise up against parents and shall put them to death. 22 “And you shall be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.1 Footnote: 1See 24:13. 23 “And when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For truly, I say to you, you shall by no means have gone through the cities of Yisra’?l before the Son of Ad?am comes. 24 “A taught one is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 “It is enough for the taught one to become like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be?elzebul, how much more those of his household! 26 “Therefore do not fear them. For whatever is covered shall be revealed, and whatever is hidden shall be made known.

Isaiah then goes on to tell us what will happen when we do turn from our anger and make peace with our brother.

Isa 58:5 “Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his being? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to ????? 6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loosen the tight cords of wrongness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to exempt the oppressed, and to break off every yoke? 7 “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, and cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 “Then your light would break forth like the morning, your healing spring forth speedily. And your righteousness shall go before you, the esteem of ???? would be your rear guard. 9 “Then, when you call, ???? would answer; when you cry, He would say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of unrighteousness, 10 if you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted being, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness be as noon.11 “Then ???? would guide you continually, and satisfy your being in drought, and strengthen your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Our anger, our murder is an abomination to Yehovah and yet we do not think it that bad a deal.

Jer 7:8 “See, you are trusting in false words, which do not profit – 9 stealing, murdering, and committing adultery, and swearing falsely, and burning incense to Ba?al, and walking after other mighty ones you have not known. 10 “And you came and stood before Me in this house which is called by My Name, and said, ‘We have been delivered’ – in order to do all these abominations! 11 “Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Look, I, even I Myself have seen it,” declares ????.

Mat 5:23 “If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you,

Even if you know that your brother is angry at you, then you must go and make it right between them and you.

Many leaders are so zealous in the work they are doing. All of us believe that what we are doing is the most important thing in the world. I am guilty of this. And when others do not get on board with us or get in our way we get mad with them. Our zealousness gets in our way so many times. If we had swords how many times would we have sliced each other up. We do not have swords, but we do have tongues that do even more damage.

And when we do this it grieves the Holy Spirit. Have you thought of this? When you fight with your brethren you are in fact grieving the Holy Spirit.

Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Set-apart Spirit of Elohim, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil. 32 And be kind towards one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as Elohim also forgave you in Messiah.

Keep reading this verse until it sinks in. Those of us with a knuckle head should read it a dozen times each day because He has not chosen the brightest people of this earth, but the lowlyest ones to do His work with; if this is you then read the verse above a few more times.

1Co 1:28 And Elohim has chosen the low-born of the world and the despised, and the ones that are not, that He might bring to naught the ones that are,29 so that no flesh should boast in His presence.

1Th 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah ????? for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 prove them all. Hold fast what is good. 22 Keep back from every form of wickedness. 23 And the Elohim of peace Himself set you completely apart, and your entire spirit, and being, and body – be preserved blameless at the coming of our Master ????? Messiah! 24 He who calls you is trustworthy, who also shall do it.

Again we are told not to quench the Spirit. We do this each and every time we are cold hearted towards our brethren

Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His. 10 And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised ????? from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.

1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit,1 which are of Elohim. Footnote: 1See 7:23, 1 Peter 1:18-19.

In the same way as the Torah was given on Mount Sinai on the 50th day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given also on the day of Pentecost in 30 CE. And if we are grieving the Holy Spirit by our anger towards one another, then we are also grieving the Torah and quenching it or putting it out of lives so that after a while it will not be seen in us. If you succeed at quenching the spirit then there will be no light in you and as such you will not be able to witness to others the truths you are learning.

This is very serious, because who that spirit comes from. You want it in your life every day, but if Yehovah’s spirit is not in you then another one will be and he has already been identified as the father of lies and murderer from the beginning.

Joh 14:16 “And I shall ask the Father, and He shall give you another Helper, to stay with you forever – 17 the Spirit of the Truth, whom the world is unable to receive, because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him, for He stays with you and shall be in you. 18 “I shall not leave you orphans – I am coming to you. 19 “Yet a little while, and the world no longer sees Me, but you shall see Me, because I live, and you shall live. 20 “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Brethren our anger towards one another is the same as murdering our brother and it is this evil spirit that grieves the Holy Spirit and as we do this long enough, it will eventually quench the spirit in us.

We also read in
Eph 5:26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,1 Footnote: 1Rev. 19:8-9.

Rev 19:8 And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true words of Elohim.”

Like baptism we are to wash ourselves of our old ways and renew ourselves in the daily reading of the Torah. When we do this, then we are putting on the righteous linen of the Saints which is what we must have on to be at the wedding supper.

It took me a long to time to come to this realization. When I did I loathed myself. Then other thoughts crowded my head. How can I save my honour, my self-respect? I then began to come up with other things to prevent me from reconciling with my brother.

What I did was to throw out all concern for myself and went and sought to repair the damage that was done and growing worse by the day and I did it hat in hand. The response from my brother was surprising and delightful and a great joy.

May Yehovah guide us all in our disputes to go forward in love and concern.


Counting the Omer

We will now continue with the Omer count for Shabbat May14

Day 21: Psalms 119: 161-168
Saturday May 14 is twenty-one days, which is three weeks of the Omer.

Malchus ShebeTiferet
21. Malchut shebeTiferet
Majesty within Compassion
The Witch of Endor (I Sam. 28)

King Saul’s monarchy is collapsing. His prophet, Samuel, tells him that God no longer wants him to be king. His rival, David, is gaining power, and Saul’s own children support David. When Samuel dies, Saul is desperate. He goes to a woman in Endor who is known as a medium, and asks her to raise Samuel from the dead. The woman of Endor raises Samuel from the dead, envisioning him as a god-like man cloaked in a robe. Samuel’s message is a cruel one—the next day, Saul and his sons will die in battle. Saul sinks onto the ground, miserable, as Samuel disappears. The witch speaks to Saul and encourages him to eat and lie down. She is one of the only people to show Saul compassion in the days before his demise. An old woman whose profession is despised by the Israelite religion, she performs the work of midwiving Saul into death.

The witch of Endor, though she may be a controversial figure, represents malkhut shebetiferet, the dignity of compassion. She gives Saul respect and care on the last night of his life. We are most like the witch of Endor when we honor the transitions of life, both beginnings and endings.

Psa 119:161 Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, But at Your word my heart stood in awe.
Psa 119:162 I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.
Psa 119:163 I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved.
Psa 119:164 I have praised You seven times a day, Because of Your righteous right-rulings.
Psa 119:165 Great peace have those loving Your Torah, And for them there is no stumbling-block.
Psa 119:166 ????, I have waited for Your deliverance, And I have done Your commands.
Psa 119:167 My being has guarded Your witnesses, And I love them exceedingly.
Psa 119:168 I have guarded Your orders and Your witnesses, For all my ways are before You.

This reading represents the next Sabbatical year of 2016-2017. We will be persecuted without a cause.

Day 22: Psalms 119: 169-176
Sunday May 15 is twenty-two days, which is three weeks and one day of the Omer
Chesed ShebeNetzach

22. Chesed shebeNetzach
Love within Endurance
Rebekah (Genesis 24-28)
Rebekah, Abraham’s great-niece, is going to the well to fetch water for her family when a stranger appears and asks her for water. Rebekah not only runs to quench the stranger’s thirst, but offers to draw water for all of his camels as well! When the stranger asks her to accompany him back to Canaan to marry Isaac, Rebekah agrees to this request quickly and fearlessly. According to midrash, when Isaac brings Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah, Rebekah re-institutes all the household practices of Sarah: bread-baking, and hospitality.

Rebekah’s two sons, Jacob and Esau, are in constant conflict even in the womb. She asks God what to do, and God tells her that one day Esau will serve Jacob. When her sons grow up, Rebekah tells Jacob to dress as Esau in order to get Isaac’s blessing. Then she sends Jacob away to save him from Esau’s anger. She never sees him again, but Jacob’s future is assured through her actions.

Rebekah doesn’t always seem to act with chesed. She lies to her husband and desperately disappoints her eldest son. Yet Rebekah has great wisdom: she knows what must ultimately happen and acts to bring it about. Everything Rebekah does is an act of love for a future she will never see. We are most like Rebekah when we behave with chesed shebe’netzach: loving perseverance in bringing about the future.

Psa 119:169 My cry comes before You, O ????; Make me understand according to Your word.
Psa 119:170 Let my prayer come before You; Deliver me according to Your word.
Psa 119:171 My lips pour forth praise, For You teach me Your laws.
Psa 119:172 My tongue sings of Your word, For all Your commands are righteousness.
Psa 119:173 Your hand is a help to me, For I have chosen Your orders.
Psa 119:174 I have longed for Your deliverance, O ????, And Your Torah is my delight.
Psa 119:175 My being lives, and it praises You; And Your right-rulings help me.
Psa 119:176 I have strayed like a lost sheep; Seek Your servant, For I have not forgotten Your commands.
This represents the first year of the 4th Sabbatical cycle of war.

Day 23: Psalms 1: 1-6
Monday May 16 is twenty-three days, which is three weeks and two days of the Omer
Gevurah ShebeNetzach

23. Gevurah shebeNetzach
Strength within Endurance
Tziporah (Exodus 2:16-22, 4:24-26, 18:1-12)
Tziporah is the daughter of Yitro, the Midianite priest who takes Moses in after he flees Egypt. Moses marries Tziporah and becomes a shepherd. After Moses receives the vision of the burning bush, he returns to Egypt to free the Hebrews. Tziporah and Moses’ two sons accompany him on this journey, but something strange happens. At a night encampment in the wilderness, God attacks Moses and seeks to kill him. Tziporah takes a flint, cuts off her son’s foreskin, and throws it at Moses’ feet, saying: “A bridegroom of blood are you to me!” God leaves Moses alone because of Tziporah’s actions

Why does Tziporah act in this way? Rabbinic legend says that God is angry with Moses for failing to circumcise his son, and communicates this to Tziporah by causing Moses’ sexual organs to swell! So Tziporah circumcises her infant son. Tziporah’s instinct is to act to save the life of her husband and her children. In this respect she represents gevurah shebenetzach, strong endurance. She must call on her power to cut, and even to cause pain, in order to protect life. We are most like Tziporah when we endure discomfort in order to achieve a lasting purpose.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, And shall not stand in the path of sinners, And shall not sit in the seat of scoffers,
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the Torah of ????, And he meditates in His Torah day and night.
Psa 1:3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That yields its fruit in its season, And whose leaf does not wither, And whatever he does prospers.
Psa 1:4 The wrong are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind blows away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the wrong shall not rise in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For ???? knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wrong comes to naught
This reading represents year two of this 4th Sabbatical cycle.

Day 24: Psalms 11: 1-7
Tuesday May 17 is twenty-four days, which is three weeks and three days of the Omer.
Tiferet ShebeNetzach
24. Tiferet shebeNetzach
Compassion within Endurance
Hagar (Gen. 16, 21)
Hagar is the Egyptian maidservant of Sarai, the wife of Abram. When Sarai cannot conceive, she gives Hagar to Abram as a concubine, hoping she will be “built up” through Hagar’s children. Hagar conceives, and thinks less of her mistress. Sarai, incensed by Hagar’s behavior, abuses Hagar until she runs away. An angel appears to Hagar and tells Hagar to return and endure Sarai’s harsh treatment, promising that she shall bear a son and call him Ishmael.

Hagar bears Ishmael and he grows up. Sarai, who has been renamed Sarah, conceives in her old age and gives birth to a Isaac. After Isaac’s weaning-feast, Sarah sees Ishmael playing. She demands that Hagar and Ishmael be expelled. Reluctantly, Abraham complies. Hagar wanders in the desert, searching for water for herself and her son. God opens Hagar’s eyes so that she sees a well of water. Hagar is the exemplar of tiferet shebe’netzach, the compassion of endurance. Her endurance and will allow her to discover God’s wellspring of compassion. We are most like Hagar when we are able to open our eyes, even in the midst of our daily struggle to survive, and see the compassion that is available to us.

Psa 11:1 In ???? I have taken refuge; Why do you say to me, “Flee to your mountain like a bird”?
Psa 11:2 For look! The wrong bend a bow, They set their arrow on the string, To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.
Psa 11:3 When the foundations are destroyed, What shall the righteous do?
Psa 11:4 ???? is in His set-apart H?k?al, The throne of ???? is in the heavens. His eyes see, His eyelids examine the sons of men.
Psa 11:5 ???? tries the righteous, But His being shall hate the wrong And the one who loves violence.
Psa 11:6 Upon the wrong He rains snares, Fire and sulphur and a scorching wind Are the portion of their cup.
Psa 11:7 For ???? is righteous, He has loved righteousness; The upright shall see His face.

Brethren this is most amazing. In The Prophecies of Abraham you are shown how Hagar conceives Ishmael in this year which is the third year of this 4th Sabbatical cycle. And now the psalm for this count is showing us that they will be setting their bow. Arrows in prophecy are missiles today. And indeed this is confirmed in verse 6 with fire and sulphur which is rained down on the unrighteous which in this case are Israel who have turned from Torah.

Day 25: Psalms 15: 1-5
Wednesday May 18 is twenty-five days, which is three weeks and four days of the Omer
Netzach ShebeNetzach
25. Netzach shebeNetzach
Endurance within Endurance
Naamah/Noah’s wife (Gen. 4:22; Gen. 6:9-9:17)
Not long after creation, God brings a great flood on the earth to destroy the wickedness of humankind. Only Noah and his family are saved. Noah’s wife is mentioned in the narrative but she is not given a name. Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, in a modern midrash, tells a story about Naamah. She writes that while Noah is saving pairs of animals by taking them aboard the ark, Naamah is collecting every seed and bulb so that the plants of the earth will also be saved from the flood.

Naamah goes with her husband and children into the ark. She endures while the world is destroyed and rebuilt around her. She preserves life and enters a new world to raise future generations. She holds the tools of life. She is the netzach in netzach, the deepest urge to endure. We are most like Naamah when we endure through the storm, prepared to create the future.

Psa 15:1 ????, who does sojourn in Your Tent? Who does dwell in Your set-apart mountain?
Psa 15:2 He who walks blamelessly, And does righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart.
Psa 15:3 He has not slandered with his tongue, He has not done evil to his neighbour, Nor lifted up a reproach against his friend;
Psa 15:4 In whose eyes a reprobate one is despised, But he esteems those who fear ????; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Psa 15:5 He has not put out his silver at interest, And has not taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these is never moved.

Day 26: Psalms 19: 7-14
Thursday May 19 is twenty-six days, which is three weeks and five days of the Omer.
Hod ShebeNetzach
26. Hod shebeNetzach
Glory within Endurance
Nechushta (II Kings 24:8-17)
In ancient Israel, the position of the queen mother was an important political office. When the names of the kings of Judah and Israel are listed, the names of the queen mothers always appear as well. When one of the last of the kings of Judah, Yehoyachin, is exiled to Babylon, the Bible mentions that his mother, Nechushta, daughter of Elnatan, is exiled with him.

We don’t know anything about Nechushta but her name. Nechushta, “the bronze one,” reminds us of the bronze serpents Moses uses to heal the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21: 4-9). Nechushta’s name is a reminder of the healing that the Shekhinah can bring. A midrash about Nechushta claims that her doors were always open. Perhaps her doors remained open in exile so that, like the bronze serpent, she could nourish and heal the other exiles. Nechushta is hod shebe’netzach, the humility, glory and grace we exhibit when we endure. We are most like Nechushta when we find ways of nurturing trust and healing in a broken world.

Psa 19:7 The Torah of ???? is perfect, bringing back the being; The witness of ???? is trustworthy, making wise the simple;
Psa 19:8 The orders of ???? are straight, rejoicing the heart; The command of ???? is clear, enlightening the eyes;
Psa 19:9 The fear of ???? is clean, standing forever; The right-rulings of ???? are true, They are righteous altogether,
Psa 19:10 More desirable than gold, Than much fine gold; And sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11 Also, Your servant is warned by them, In guarding them there is great reward.
Psa 19:12 Who discerns mistakes? Declare me innocent from those that are secret,
Psa 19:13 Also keep Your servant back from presumptuous ones, Do not let them rule over me. Then shall I be perfect, and innocent of great transgression.
Psa 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be pleasing before You, O ????, my rock and my redeemer.

Day 27: Psalms 25: 4-10
Friday May 20 is twenty-seven days, which is three weeks and six days of the Omer
Yesod ShebeNetzach
27. Yesod shebeNetzach
Connection within Endurance
Adah and Tzilah (Gen. 4:17-26)
Lamech, Cain’s descendant, marries two women, Adah and Tzilah. According to one midrash, Lamech asks to have sexual intercourse with his wives, and they say: “The Flood [of Noah] is coming! If we listen to you, we will have children destined for the grave!” They do not want to be fertile, since they have determined that the world will soon be destroyed. Lamech asks Adam to judge between him and his wives. Adam asks Adah and Tzilah to return to their husband, and the women reply: “Physician, heal your own limp!” (Since the death of his son Abel, Adam has been living separately from Eve.) So, Adam returns to Eve, and she gives birth to Seth, who will be the ancestor of Noah. Adah and Tzilah agree to return to Lamech.

What convinces Adah and Tzilah that humanity should continue is their knowledge that Adam and Eve will choose to invest in each other and in their children. Adah and Tzilah represent the desire for human community. We demonstrate yesod shebenetzach, the connection of eternity, by creating loving relationships and families. We are most like Adah and Tzilah when we take risks in order to make a future with those we love.

Psa 25:4 Show me Your ways, O ????; Teach me Your paths.
Psa 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the Elohim of my deliverance; On You I wait all the day.
Psa 25:6 Remember, O ????, Your compassion and Your kindnesses, For they are from everlasting.
Psa 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, and my transgressions; According to Your kindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O ????.
Psa 25:8 Good and straight is ????; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
Psa 25:9 He guides the meek ones in right-ruling, And He teaches the meek ones His way.
Psa 25:10 All the paths of ???? are kindness and truth, To those who guard His covenant and His witnesses.


Triennial Torah Cycle

We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at
We are now into our second year of this 3 ½ year study. I do hope you are reading each of these chapters as we come to them and not just my own comments on them. Read it yourself and let Yehovah inspire you. If you go to you can find each of the studies we have done so far since 1st of Aviv/March 20 of this past year 5846. To read each of the studies in this second year you can go to

14/05/2011     Ex 14      Isaiah 1-3      Ps 120     John 4:1-42

Ex 14

This has got to be one of the great chapters in the entire bible. I love this chapter.
I again urge you to read Exodus, Another study of the facts to learn about this great event.
I also urge you to read about the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart at titled Wooden Shoes, Wooden Head and Wooden Listen.

Isaiah 1-3


Isaiah’s father Amotz was himself a prophet. According to rabbinic tradition, Amotz was the brother of King Amatziahu (son of King Jo’ash) of Judah (Megillah 10b), and thus Isaiah was a scion of the royal House of David. His Hebrew name Yishayahu (=”God will save”) signifies the promise of salvation and consolation that is the main theme of his prophecies. Isaiah’s wife’s name is unknown: she is simply referred to as “the prophetess” (Is. 8:3). A number of their children are mentioned in our texts and they were given names alluding to various aspects of Israel ‘s national destiny (Is. 7:3; 7:14; 8:3).

Isaiah was one of the key links in the chain of the Torah tradition: he received it from the prophet Amos and transmitted it in turn to the prophet Micah (Rambam, Introduction to Mishneh Torah). Isaiah’s prophetic ministry began on the day of the great “quake” when King Uzziah entered the Temple Sanctuary to try to offer incense (see Rashi on Isaiah 6:1 and on Amos 1:1) and continued throughout the reigns of Yotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah into the reign of Menasheh (who killed him, Yevamos 49b). Isaiah prophesied for longer than all the other prophets and is said to have lived until the age of 120. He mainly prophesied before the king and his ministers. He is considered the greatest of the prophets (Yalkut Shimoni). Isaiah saw all that Ezekiel saw in his prophecy of the Divine Chariot, but while Ezekiel was like a simple villager who once saw the king (because he prophesied outside the land of Israel) and was so impressed that he told all the details, Isaiah was like a man from the great capital (he prophesied in Israel): being accustomed to seeing royalty, he was less overwhelmed by what he saw (Chagigah 13b).

In Isaiah’s time the people were far from Torah observance, and King Ahaz energetically promoted idolatry and licentiousness. There were no limits on people’s maltreatment of one another and corruption was rife. Isaiah repeatedly warned and rebuked the people, asking them to remember God’s great goodness to Israel in each generation. Although he delivered many prophecies relating to the surrounding gentile nations and their destined destruction, the majority of his prophecies consist of consolation to Israel . All the harsh prophecies that Jeremiah delivered against Israel were preceded and sweetened in advance by Isaiah’s prophecies of salvation (Eichah Rabbah 1). “What was unique about Isaiah causing him to prophesy more than all the other prophets about Israel ‘s destined future wellbeing? It was because he accepted the kingship of heaven upon himself with greater joy than the other prophets” (Tanna d’vei Eliahu 16).



Although chosen as the introduction to his book, the “vision” contained in this first chapter was not Isaiah’s first prophecy – that is contained in chapter 6 (see Rashi on verse 1 of our present chapter and on Isaiah 6:1). This opening prophecy was given during the reign of Hezekiah, after the Ten Tribes had already gone into exile, as indicated by the fact that it is addressed to Judah and Jerusalem (Rashi on v 1).

Of the four kings mentioned in the first verse, only Ahaz was truly wicked, yet even in the reigns of the other righteous kings such as Yotham, “the people still acted corruptly” (II Chron. 27:2) and they were not whole-hearted with HaShem. For this reason Isaiah opened his rebuke with phrasing closely echoing that of Moses’ last rebuke to Israel , “HA-AZEENU! Give ear O heavens. and listen O earth.” (Deut. 32:1). The only difference is that Isaiah switched around the two verbs, calling on the heavens to LISTEN and the earth to GIVE EAR. Thus both the heavens and the earth had each heard both expressions and would be able to testify on Israel ‘s day of calamity that the people had been duly warned (see Rashi on v 2).

“I have reared and brought up children but they have rebelled against Me” (v 2). God has remained faithful to Israel , elevating them above the other nations, but they have failed to reciprocate and act accordingly. An ox knows its owner and does not refuse to plow; a donkey knows who feeds it and does not refuse to carry its load. But although Israel was “acquired” and became “owned” by God through His redeeming them from Egypt , and although they were fed by Him with manna in the wilderness, they did not show gratitude by observing His commandments (see Rashi on v 3).

The people have been repeatedly smitten yet continue to repeat all the deeds that have brought their blows upon them (Rashi on v 5). Vv 5-8 depict the national malady in terms of an illness that has left the entire organism seething with painful wounds that have not been softened with soothing oil – i.e. even the merest hint of some thought of repentance was absent from people’s hearts (Rashi on v 6).

“Your land is desolate, your cities have been burned with fire.” (v 7). The reign of King Ahaz in particular had been catastrophic for Judah , which was ravaged by the armies of Israel and Aram , while the Edomites attacked from the south east and the Philistines captured the major towns in the lowlands (II Chron. vv 5-7 & 17-18 etc.). Likewise in our times, following the 1967 Six Day War and the return to Israeli sovereignty of extensive territories making up the Promised Land, the secularist orientation of the country’s ruling elite has led to the unilateral surrender of most of these territories, so that “as for your land, strangers devour it in your presence” (v 7). As a result “the daughter of Zion ” – the few remaining faithful Jews – have been left abandoned and isolated (v 8). Were it not for God’s mercy, the entire nation would have suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (v 9).
“Hear the word of HaShem, captains of Sodom . people of Gomorrah ” (v 10). The prophet is complaining that the people have become as corrupt as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah , who were legendary for their wickedness.

“Why do I need the multitude of your sacrifices.?” (v 11). At the same time as the people were sacrificing at their own private altars and cult centers, they continued bringing sacrifices to the Holy Temple on the festivals and new moons etc. In verses 11-15 the prophet warns the people that the outward rote observance of the Temple sacrificial rituals is meaningless and unacceptable to God without inner devotion and penitence. “My Soul hates YOUR new moons and festivals” (v 14): the people did not celebrate them in the name of HaShem but for their own personal gratification. [Rabbi Nachman once quoted this verse to his followers when criticizing them for holding too many festive gatherings when they should have been devoting themselves to prayer and Torah study! Siach Sarfey Kodesh.]

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean.” (v 16). Verses 16-18 contain ten expressions of purification and self-correction, corresponding to the Ten Days of Penitence from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur and to the ten verses relating to Kingship, Remembrance and the sounding of the Shofar recited in the New Year service (Rashi on v 16).

“Come now and let us reason together.” (v 18) – “you and Me, so that we will know who has acted badly to whom, and if it is you who have acted badly towards Me, I still give you hope that you may repent” (Rashi ad loc.). “But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword, for the mouth of HaShem has spoken” (v 20) – “And where did He speak? ‘And I shall bring the sword against you’ (Leviticus 26:25; Rashi on verse 20 of our present chapter). [Note this is what we were referring to in our opening address about anger and how it relates to the Sabbatical cycles just as Rashi has said]

Vv 21-23 depict the total corruption of justice that had become prevalent in the city that was intended to be full of justice. Once it could be said that “righteousness dwells in it” (v 21) – because “the morning Temple sacrifice atoned for the sins of the previous night while the afternoon sacrifice atoned for those of the day” (Rashi ad loc.). But now orphans were unable to persuade the judges to hear their cause, and as a result the case of the widow never even reached the judges at all – because having heard from the orphans how futile their efforts had been, the widow would not even attempt to gain a hearing (see Rashi on v 23). Likewise today many feel that the legal system has become so cumbersome that it is futile to seek justice.

Even as the prophet warns that God will take vengeance on His enemies, he promises that God will eventually restore Israel ‘s true judges and counselors (vv 25-26). The phraseology of our thrice-daily repeated prayer in the twelfth blessing of SHMONAH ESRAY, “restore our judges.” is based upon verse 26.

” Zion will be redeemed with justice and her penitents with charity” (v 27). Wealth, military power and the like cannot bring about Israel ‘s redemption, but only justice, penitence and charity!

Isaiah chapter 1 vv 1-27 is read as the Haftara on Parshas Devarim on the Shabbos before Tisha B’Av, which is known as Shabbos Chazon (“Shabbos of the Vision”) after the first Hebrew word of the text.

“And it shall be at the end of days that the mountain of HaShem ‘s House shall be established on the top of the mountains.” (v 2). Isaiah immediately follows his prophecies of harsh retribution in the previous chapter with this beautiful consolatory vision of the future restoration, which is also prophesied in nearly the exact same phraseology in the prophecy of Isaiah’s disciple Micah (4:1ff, see RaDaK ad loc.).

“Wherever it says, ‘At the end of days’, this refers to the days of Mashiach” (RaDaK on verse 2 of our present text).
“.HaShem’s House will be established on the top of the MOUNTAINS” (v 2). The simple meaning is that the Temple Mount will be exalted above all other mountains and all the nations will give it honor and come there to serve God instead of the gods they used to serve on all the high mountains (Metzudas David). However the Midrash says that in time to come God will bring Mount Sinai, Tabor and Carmel together and build the Temple upon them (Psikta), implying that the Temple is bound up conceptually with the Giving of the Torah at Sinai and the miracles performed for Deborah and Barak at Mt Tabor and for Elijah on Mt Carmel.
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of HaShem , to the House of the God of JACOB” (V 3). The reason why the Temple is particularly associated with Jacob rather than Abraham and Isaac is discussed at length in The House on the Mountain by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum based on Pesachim 88a).

“And he shall judge between the nations and decide among many people, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares.” (v 4). “The judge will be King Mashiach: If any war or claim arises between one nation and another, they will come before King Mashiach for judgment because he will be master over all the nations and he will decide between them and determine who is at fault. For this reason there will no longer be any war between one nation and another, because he will make peace between them and they will not need weapons and they will break them down in order to make agricultural implements” (RaDaK on v 4).

Following this prophecy of Israel ‘s glorious future, Isaiah returns to his reproof to the nation (vv 5-8). The people have turned to foreign religions and taken foreign wives, fathering alien children who take up all their attention (v 6). They are obsessed with the pursuit of wealth and military might (v 7).

Vv 9ff evoke God’s coming Day of Judgment, when all the haughty and arrogant will be cast down. “This will be in the days of Mashiach, when all the nations will gather together to fight against Jerusalem, and then they will see that neither their silver or gold nor their might nor the multitude of their forces will avail them” (RaDaK on v 9). “And HaShem alone shall be exalted on that day” (v 17) – “The world will last for six thousand years, and for one thousand years it will be desolate, as it says, ‘And HaShem alone shall be exalted on that day'” (Talmud Rosh HaShanah 31a).

“And the idols shall utterly be abolished” (v 18). RaDaK (ad loc.) comments: “Even though idolatry has already ceased among the majority of nations today, there are still people who worship idols in the Far East . but in the days of Mashiach all the idols will be completely destroyed.”

“And they shall go into the holes in the rocks and the caves of the earth for fear of HaShem and for the glory of His majesty.” (v 19). On the fearful Day of Judgment, people will be so ashamed of their lifelong obsession with materialism that they will seek to hide themselves away. “On that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold” (v 20): with the coming of Mashiach, people will understand that wealth is of no importance, because only Torah and good deeds are of enduring value.

“For behold, the Master, HaShem of hosts, will take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff.” (v 1). RaDaK (ad loc.) explains: “The previous section spoke of the retribution against the wicked and how they will be destroyed in the days of Melech HaMashiach. The new section tells how He will now [i.e. soon, prior to the days of Mashiach] carry out judgment against the wicked in Jerusalem and Judah , and how all the great people among them will die through hunger or the sword, leaving only the young and foolish. The prophet calls God ‘the Master’ in order to inform them that He is in control and that it is in His hands to destroy and to build, to give satisfaction or to make people hungry, but the wicked do not think that He is the Master and that He watches over their deeds, for if they did they would not sin and they would not go beyond the bounds of His commandments.” [The Next Sabbatical cycle is the cycle of the sword and it also comes with famine]

Vv 1-3 depict the coming loss of all the leaders and sages of Judah leaving only fools and jesters to rule over them (v 4) which will destroy all the norms of respect for elders and worthy members of the community (v 5). The dearth of true leaders will cause people to turn to anyone wearing a smart coat appealing to him to lead them (v 6), but he himself will know that he is unworthy: “I will not be a healer for in my house is neither bread nor clothing” (v 7). The Talmud darshens this reply as indicating his admission that he was never a regular student in the Beith Midrash and therefore knows neither Bible nor Mishneh nor Gemara – and therefore lacks all the qualifications for true leadership (Shabbos 120a). [Many feel that Israel today suffers from a terrible dearth of quality leaders and wonder which of the current candidates for leadership could possibly take the nation out of its predicament.]

The collapse of the social fabric and the crisis of leadership are the results of the people’s rebellion against HaShem in turning from His Torah (v 8). They do not even deny their sins (v 9). The prophet cries out to them to correct the distortions in their speech whereby “they call evil good and good evil” (see Isaiah 5:20): instead they should declare and affirm that it is the righteous who are good and who will eat the fruits of their works (verse 10 in our present chapter) while the evil of the wicked will wreak vengeance upon them (v 11). But the people have turned everything upside down, allowing children and women to rule over them, making all their pathways crooked (v 12). These ruling women (NASHIM), on whom the prophet elaborates later in this chapter (vv 15ff), may literally be women [as in Israel today, where in the tradition of Golda Meir, the current speaker of the Knesset, the Foreign Minister and even the President of the Supreme Court are all women, in defiance of Torah law, Rambam, Hilchos Melochim 1:5]. Alternatively, these NASHIM are NOSHIM, “those who have slipped” (cf. Gen. 32:32), i.e. men who have fallen from Torah observance (see Rashi and Targum Yonasan ad loc.).

The prophet continues to put forward God’s complaints against the corrupt leadership that has consumed the “vineyard” – i.e. the rest of the people, robbing the poor in their very homes (vv 14-15).

His main complaint is that “the daughters of Zion are haughty.”, strutting with the utmost immodesty and every kind of affectation in order to allure new partners in their immorality (v 16). Because of this God will smite them on the crown with leprosy (v 17) and remove all their ornaments and fancy clothing (vv 18-24).

According to rabbinic tradition (Midrash Rabbah Shemos 41:5), verses 18-24 enumerate twenty-four kinds of ornaments with which it was customary to bedeck brides, and these twenty-four kinds of ornaments in turn correspond to the twenty-four books of the Bible, which are the “ornaments” of those Torah sages who are fully familiar with them. [The 24 books of the Bible are: the 5 books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve, the 5 Megilloth, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles.]

The association of the bridal ornaments with the books of Biblical wisdom suggests that the criticism of the prophet against the “daughters of Zion” who used their ornaments for pompous self-aggrandizement are directed against the kind of Torah scholars who use their knowledge and proficiency as a “sword of arrogance” in order to rule over others. These self-seeking scholars cause the corruption of leadership, which in turn brings immorality (see Likutey Moharan II, 5:5-6).

Isaiah prophesies that “on that day” (v 18) – i.e. “in time to come, when the Holy One blessed be He will come to restore Israel to His service” (Rashi ad loc.) God will remove all these ornaments of pride and sweep away this entire false leadership (vv 25ff).

Ps 120

Plea for deliverance from deceitful enemies (Psalms 120)
As the first song of ascents in the first set of three (of the five sets of three), Psalm 120 is a lament while in “distress” (verse 1). However, if the latter part of verse 1 is translated as in the NKJV, “and He [God] heard me,” then the distress mentioned in this verse would seem to be a former one-forming the basis for the appeal for help in the present distress. Yet it may be that the latter part of the verse should be rendered, “and He has heard me”-in which case the present distress is the one intended, the poet merely expressing his confidence in God to help him or perhaps having received some actual assurance. Still, not knowing exactly how and when matters will be resolved, he continues to pray for deliverance (verse 2).

The deliverance he seeks is from lying deceivers (same verse). And he considers that consequences will eventually befall them-apparently expecting God to judge them accordingly (verse 3). Verse 4 mentions sharp arrows and burning coals from a broom tree, a large desert shrub with roots that can be made into charcoal. It is not clear if this is referring to the lying words of the enemies here and the damage they do (compare 57:4; 64:3; Proverbs 25:18; 16:27; Jeremiah 9:3, 8) or to the just judgment in kind that God will bring on them for it, as the NIV translates it to mean.

Verse 5 of Psalm 120 mentions dwelling among “Meshech” and the “tents of Kedar”-equating this with dwelling too long “with one who hates peace” (verse 6) or “among those who hate peace” (NIV), the plural meaning supported by the “they” in the next verse. Meshech was a gentile nation (Genesis 10:2), which was in Old Testament times located near the Black Sea. The descendants of Meshech later migrated north and may be found today among the people of Russia, the name Moscow helping to provide this identification (see the Bible Reading Program comments on Ezekiel 38). Kedar was the second son of Abraham’s son Ishmael (Genesis 25:13), from whom sprang “a great tribe of Arabs settled on the northwest of the [Arabian] peninsula and on the confines of Palestine…. The tribe seems to have been one of the most conspicuous of all the Ishmaelite tribes, and hence the rabbins call the Arabians universally by this name” ( Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “Kedar”).

As the nomads of Kedar lived southeast of the land of Israel and the people of Meshech were far to the north, we are left to ponder why the psalmist says he dwells among both (Psalm 120:5). It may be that he has gone from living with one to the other. Some see a prophetic association-as a large portion of the Jewish people in recent centuries have lived in Russia and among Arab nations (the state of Israel itself being in the midst of Arab enemies). On the other hand, many believe the psalmist to be speaking metaphorically of other Israelites-that is, in their dishonesty and mistreatment of him they were behaving not as God’s covenant people but like these other far-off foreigners. Alternatively, some have postulated this translation of the verse: “Woe is me, whether I dwell in Meshech, or I dwell among the tents of Kedar!” In context, the meaning would then seem to be that no matter where he lives in this world, the psalmist remains in hostile territory-facing lying enemies who don’t want peace.

Interestingly, two different words are used for “dwell” in verse 5: garti (“sojourn”) and shakanti (“tabernacle”). “These verbs,” says The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, “are significantly chosen. Even though the psalmist may have enjoyed a permanent residence, he felt as if he was no more than a sojourner among his contemporaries. He did not feel at home among an ungodly people” (note on verse 5). Indeed, God’s people are to be temporary dwellers in this world-looking for the future homeland of the Kingdom of God (Leviticus 25:23; 1 Chronicles 29:15; 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13-16).

In this light, we should note verse 7. The beginning of the verse, though translated as “I am for peace,” is literally “I peace.” The poet’s whole being is consumed with the desire for peace-to make peace as he is able and desiring the peace that God’s Kingdom will ultimately bring. Yet the antagonists have no interest in peace. They are for war (compare Isaiah 59:8). This psalm, then, is one of crying out to God for relief from the circumstances of dwelling in a hostile world. “This may have set the stage for believers to make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In Zion they would be among the people of God. In Jerusalem they would hear the words of truth. In the temple they could pray for the peace of God (122:6; 125:5; 128:6)” ( Nelson Study Bible, note on 120:5-7).

Moreover, the annual festivals themselves portray God’s plan for the salvation of mankind. The joyous Feast of Tabernacles provides a small foretaste of the peace and happiness that will at last envelop the world under the reign of the Messiah- when the sojourn of God’s people in this wicked world at last comes to an end.

John 4:1-42

This week I want to focus on the Living waters that Yehshua spoke to the Samaritan woman about.

In Leviticus 23:34-36, we read that Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) was to last seven days with a holy convocation (Sabbath) on the eight day. The eighth day was considered part of the feast even though it was a separate holiday. It is called Shemini Atzereth, and literally means the eighth conclusion. While it is the conclusion of Sukkot as well as the Fall Feasts, most importantly it is the conclusion of all the seven Levitical Feasts. It is also called the Festival of Living Water because at this time many prayers are sent up to Yehovah for dew and rain to prepare the ground for the seed for next year’s crop. Without this living water there would be famine and death.

It was at this festival that Yehshua declared himself to be the Messiah and this would be proven before one year would elapse. Yehshua was fulfilling Shemini Atzereth, not just giving life for one year but giving eternal life forever.

Yehshua said, “if any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” When he said this, there was division among the people. Some said he was a prophet while others said he was the Christ (Messiah). John 7:37-42.

During Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) a priest would draw water in a golden pitcher from the pool of Siloam and pour it onto the altar. Now on the eighth day, during the Festival of Living Water, Yehshua made the statement that He is the author of the true living water that gives eternal life.

During Shavuot, Yehshua’s disciple Peter, spoke in the Temple. He said to the gatherers, Yehovah has made Yehshua whom you crucified both Lord and Messiah. When the people heard this, the multitude said “what must we do to be saved?” His answer was “repent and be baptized in the name of Yehshua the Messiah for the remission of sins and you shall receive Yehovah’s Holy Spirit.” Three thousand Jewish worshippers at the Temple believed, were baptized and then received the Holy Spirit. A short time later five thousand more worshippers did the same thing.

When the people were baptized they were immersed into living waters. This is the mikveh. We find the importance of this in

Jer 2:13 “For My people have done two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters1, to hew out for themselves cisterns, cracked cisterns, which do not hold water. Footnote: 1See 17:13.

Jer 17:13 O ????, the expectation of Yisra’?l, all who forsake You are put to shame. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken ????, the fountain of living waters.”1 Footnote: 1See 2:13.

???? is the fountain of living waters.

This reasoning is what Yehshua is referring to when He says in
Joh 4:13 ????? answered and said to her, “Everyone drinking of this water shall thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

This is why Yehshua spoke at the eighth Day feast as He did.

Joh 7:37 And on the last day, the great day of the festival, ????? stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink. 38 “As the Scripture said, out of His innermost shall flow rivers of living water.”1 Footnote: 1Isa. 44:3, Jer. 2:13, Jer. 17:13, Zech. 14:8, Ps. 36:8,9, Prov.14:27, John 4:10, John 6:63, 1 Cor. 10:4, Rev. 7:17, Rev. 21:6, Rev. 22:1 & 17. 39 And this He said concerning the Spirit, which those believing in Him were about to receive, for the Set-apart Spirit was not yet given,1 because ????? was not yet esteemed. Footnote: 1Ezek. 36:26-27, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:4 & 33, Acts 10:44-47, Acts 11:15-16, Eph. 5:18.

That set apart spirit was to be poured out on Shavuot which is Pentecost and is what we are counting towards. It is this very spirit that can be quenched as we have spoken about above concerning our bad attitudes.

Although Zechariah speaks of living waters flowing to the east and west and everyone thinks this to be the Gihon Spring it is in truth the Holy Spirit which will flow from Jerusalem, from the throne of Yehovah to all parts of the world.

Zec 14:8 And in that day it shall be that living waters flow from Yerushalayim1, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea, in summer as well as in winter. Footnote: 1Rev. 22:1-2.

Rev 22:1 And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 7:16 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun strike them, nor any heat,
Rev 7:17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and lead them to fountains of waters of life. And Elohim shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


The 613 Mitzvot

We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at
We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 423-429 We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from

(423) Do not eat the second tithe, even in Jerusalem, in a state of uncleanness, until the tithe has been redeemed. “I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use….” (Deuteronomy 26:14) We are still discussing the presentation of the tithe in the place of central worship within Israel. (Not the second tithe, by the way. There’s only one.) The translation of ba’ar as “removed” is questionable (though possible). It’s more likely the meaning is “burnt,” as in a burnt offering. Tame’ is a Hebrew adjective meaning unclean, defiled, ceremonially impure. As we’ve seen, there was no shortage of ways one could inadvertently become temporarily unclean in a ritual sense under the Mosaic Law. One was not to partake of the sacrifices in a defiled state—he who did would be “cut off” from his people. The normal remedy involved washing with water and waiting until the sun had set—beginning the new day. This, of course, is prophetic of the cleansing we experience through Yahshua’s Spirit—the “washing of water by the Word” Paul wrote about in Ephesians 5. The point, for those living outside of theocratic Israel, is that our tithes and offerings are unacceptable if we who bring them are not ourselves clean. You can’t bribe God or buy your way into heaven. The tithe is an indicator of trust, not a down payment on eternal life.

(424) Do not eat the second tithe when mourning. “I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use….” (Deuteronomy 26:14) “Mourning” is another unfortunate translation. The word ’awen really means evil, wickedness, iniquity—something morally corrupt and damaging to one’s relationship with God and man. It can also mean calamity, trouble, misfortune, or suffering. An “ish ’awen” is a scoundrel, a villain—not a mourner. Again, we see that the tithe is not to be presented by one who is wicked or evil, unclean or defiled. It can only be brought by one whose sins have been atoned for by God’s perfect and acceptable sacrifice—the One predicted by the rites of the Torah.

(425) Make the declaration when bringing the second tithe to the Sanctuary. “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before Yahweh your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me. Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:12-15) We’ve been looking at this passage piecemeal for the past several mitzvot. Here it is all together in context. I just have one question: who could say all of this—or any of this—with a straight face? The unbending standard of righteousness required of anyone bringing a tithe into the house of Yahweh is impossible to meet in our own power. I mean, what kind of arrogance would it take to look God in the eye and say, “I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me”? None of us have done that, no matter how much we wanted to. Without the imputed righteousness with which Yahweh has covered us through the sacrifice of His Messiah—the clean, white linen “garments of light” He alone provides—this would all be impossible.

Did Maimonides really think any of this out? Did he think he was off the hook because there was no more temple? Or did he think that we could get away with mindlessly chanting words we knew were lies just because ha-shem told him to—keep the letter of the law while quenching the Spirit in an ocean of self-delusion? I look at my own sins and tremble at the requirements of the law. I honestly don’t know what the Rambam was thinkin’.


(426) Do not build an altar of hewn stone. “Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. You shall not make anything to be with Me—gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves. An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you. And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.” (Exodus 20:22-25) This is one of those places where not paying attention to the context will lead you completely astray. The altar being spoken of here is not the altar that was to stand outside the tabernacle of meeting—a portable affair to be made of bronze and acacia wood (see Exodus 27:1-8). Here in Exodus 20, Moses has just received the Ten Commandments, and Yahweh knows the Israelites are going to be in awe that their leader has been talking directly with God—they’re going to want to make sacrifices and peace offerings. And sure enough, we read about this very thing in Exodus 24:1-8.

What, then, is the significance of the instructions that Moses was given here? Yahweh begins with a quick reminder of the Second Commandment—the one that prohibits making images of anything for the purpose of worship. And then He uses the subject of altars to reinforce the Fourth Commandment (keeping the Sabbath), that is, the thing we all-too-often miss about it: in the end, we are not to work for our salvation—we must take it as Yahweh provides it, or not at all.

Right now, you’re probably scratching your head trying to figure out what I’m talking about. I’ll admit, it isn’t immediately obvious. Think about the concept of an altar for a moment. It was a place that was specifically set apart for worship. In that respect, an altar is not unlike a believer, for he too is set apart to honor Yahweh. There are two authorized options for making the altar (you might say there were two “altarnatives”). You could use either earth (dirt, soil, or clay) or unhewn stones. Yahweh specified here that the materials used to build the altar were not to be “improved” by man in order to make them more worthy. They were to be utilized just the way God made them. The tip-off is the Hebrew word for “earth” or “soil.” It’s adamah, which is linguistically related to adam, or man—the one who was made from the adamah/earth in his unfallen state. We, then, as humans, do not have to be improved upon by man’s effort to make us useful to God. We need only be dedicated to his purpose, set apart for His use. Religion is thus forbidden; relationship is encouraged.

(427) Do not mount the altar by steps. “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.” (Exodus 20:26) This seems self-explanatory, and its primary meaning certainly lines up with Yahweh’s consistent sense of decency, modesty, and propriety. But in hindsight, there may be a secondary, underlying (and even more important) lesson. Pagan religions from Babel onward employed a system of initiation by degrees into the deeper mysteries of the cult. One would start with innocuous rites and rituals, quite harmless and innocent in themselves. But then, by small steps, the pagan worshipper would move toward a dark world that society would never have tolerated had they seen it blatantly presented. You’d start by attending some polite social functions at the temple of the local deity, but the next thing you know you’d find yourself burning infants alive in the arms of a red-hot statue of Molech. Today’s Freemasons begin innocently with secret handshakes and funny hats, but by the time they’ve reached the thirty-first degree, they’re offering blood-curdling secret oaths honoring false gods like Allah, Shiva, Osiris, and Lucifer himself. (See Future History, Chapter 14: “Mystery Babylon.”)

I believe Yahweh is telling us that we aren’t to approach Him by degrees. We can’t. We’re either His children, or we’re not—there are no halfway believers, no novices or initiates. Like all children, we grow from infancy to maturity, but we are never only partially in Yahweh’s family.

(428) Build the Sanctuary. “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8) Okay, let’s see a show of hands: how many of you have ever built the sanctuary as prescribed in Exodus? You haven’t? Then according to Maimonides, you’re a lawbreaker, a heinous sinner, and your sin can only be atoned by a priest killing a goat on the Day of Atonement and sprinkling his blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant that sits in the sanctuary you didn’t build. But wait a minute, you say: there are no priests, and the Ark has been lost for two and a half millennia. Gee, I guess you’re in trouble. We’re all in trouble.

We’re in trouble, that is, if—as some insist—keeping the letter of the Torah is necessary for our redemption. We’re in trouble if the rabbinical take on the law of Moses has any validity at all (which it doesn’t). Here’s what’s really going on. The sanctuary was an exquisite and detailed picture of the Plan of God, centered on the coming Messiah. And now that His Spirit lives within us as believers, we are the temple, for we are the body of Christ: He has “built the sanctuary” in our lives. As Paul explained it to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (I Corinthians 3:16-17) “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19) “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ…. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (I Corinthians 12:12, 27)
And although it’s a foreign concept to Maimonides, let us not gloss over that final phrase: “…that I may dwell among them.” That was the whole point of the Messiah’s advent, that God could dwell among us humans. It’s why Yahshua was called Immanuel—God with us. Even if the temple were to be rebuilt, if it weren’t built for this purpose (that God may dwell among men) then the whole thing would be a pointless exercise, a mockery of the Torah. (By the way, the prophets predict that there are two “temples” yet in Israel’s future: the first will be built and usurped by the Antichrist during the Tribulation; the second—the Millennial temple—will be built by the returning King, the Messiah, “…that I [Yahweh] may dwell among them.”

(429) Do not remove the staves from the Ark. “And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.” (Exodus 25:13-15) The Ark was basically a wooden box covered with gold, about 45 inches in length, with rings at the corners. Two staves or poles were placed through the rings so the ark could be carried from place to place by four Levites. Here we see that the poles were to remain in place—they were not to be removed from the rings, even though the ends of the poles would stick out through the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, where the Ark rested (see I Kings 8:8).

This injunction is kind of like saying, “Don’t paint the toenails on a triceratops.” Since the Ark is lost, we couldn’t remove the staves from its rings if we wanted to. Though I’m pleased to find yet another Mosaic precept I’ve never broken, I’m also curious: why were the unwieldy poles to be left in place?

To get to the bottom of this, we need to consider the function of the Ark. It was the base for the “mercy seat,” its solid gold lid, upon which was sprinkled the blood of the sacrificial animals each Day of Atonement. Thus as far as the symbols of the sanctuary were concerned, it was a necessary appurtenance for the temporary covering of the sins of Israel—no mercy seat, no atonement. It was to be carried only by Levites of the family of Kohath, but even they were not allowed to touch it. “And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.” (Numbers 4:15) David forgot this when he first tried to move the Ark to Jerusalem, and the result was that Uzzah, son of Aminadab, was killed trying to keep it from falling to the ground. Ignorance of God’s instructions does not excuse us from their consequences.

It is instructive to examine the word translated “poles” or “staves.” The Hebrew term bad actually means alone, by oneself, isolated, the only entity in a class. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes: “Positively, the word is used of the Lord’s incomparability and uniqueness in his exclusive claim to deity as seen in his extraordinary works….The word also has a negative connotation when a man is abandoned by his community or by God. Thus the unclean leper must suffer alone, apart from human fellowship.” So the word is in some ways akin to the familiar qodesh—holy, or set apart—but it also points out the loneliness associated with being abandoned. Does the quote, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” ring any bells? In the humanity of his sacrifice, Yahshua found Himself bad—utterly alone. So how do we get “poles” out of that? The plural of the word, baddim, picks up the connotation of being extended from something that stands alone, so it’s properly used of members, limbs, branches, or poles.

The reason the poles are left attached, then, is that they are extensions of that which is unique and alone—Yahweh’s Messiah. And who are these “extensions” who are not to be separated from Him? Us, that’s who. We believers are the means by which Yahshua the Messiah is “carried” to the world. We are never removed from His presence.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.