News Letter 5846-032
1st day of the 7th month 5846 years after creation
The 7th Month in of the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
September 11, 2010
Shabbat Shalom and Yom Teruah Sameach!
Karaite Korner Newsletter #476
New Moon Report
Seventh Biblical Month
On Thursday September 9, 2010 observers looked for the new moon from Jerusalem, Ramle, Tekoa (Kefar Eldad), Aminadav Forest, and Mount Hezekiah in the Eilat Mountains but the moon was not visible from any of these locations around Israel. At Mount Hezekiah we had a clear horizon and used binoculars to try and locate the moon (even though a binoculars sighting alone would not count). The moon was not visible from Israel, not with the naked eye and not even through binoculars. This means the biblical month and the festival of Yom Teruah will begin Friday night September 10. We will look for the moon tomorrow night and report our observation. However, a lunar month can only be 29 or 30 days and therefore the tomorrow night will be new moon day by default.
For those who are still asking questions about the Hebrew or Sightedmoon calendar here is a recent article by YRM http://www.yrm.org/abccalendar.htm The Calendar. And if you want to have your own monthly calendar you can go http://www.paulcarlisle.net/mooncalendar/ and print off your own according to the phases of the moon.
I also want to share a message from Rabbi Malchlis, who each year opens his home to all during Sukkot. For those of you who are going to be going there this year, please remember to bring a donation to leave with him. I really do enjoy listening to his teachings. I had hoped to have him as a speaker but have been unable to contact him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyNNV8i3rHY
I would also like you to read a former article which will help you to understand why Judah has done certain things on Yom Teruah. You can read this at THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS WHY JUDAH DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THIS DAY
I share this article not to slam the Jews, but to show you those truths that you need to understand. For there is much to learn from Judah and from Rabbi’s like Rabbi Malchlis and others. So I hope you learn and understand the richness of the times we are now celebrating.
I also want to remind those of you who are joining us in Jerusalem that there have also been some expenses incurred by those of our group who are organizing this Sukkot. Our Group is almost full, praise Yah. So many things have happened to make this come about and we hope to share some of them with you when you arrive. We have not done this tour to raise money. This way those who normally could never attend can. We have a number of different groups joining together to share with you what we know. This is not my feast nor anyone else’s but it is with many of us under the authority of Yeshua. It is Yeshua’s Feast site. To help repay those who have spent money for chairs and food and a fridge and other things that will be needed please consider bringing a gift to leave with those who are organizing this Sukkot. We do not seek to make money for any ministry but only to show you our Fathers Home Town. But we have incurred some expenses and we are asking you in advance to keep this in mind when you come. If everyone is able to give a little then no one will have suffered a lose in order to make this a great Feast for you.
Also at some of the places we will be going women must be covered. That is there arms and tops must be covered and dresses below the knees. No thighs, no cleavage, no shoulders and no upper arms or you will not be allowed in to some places. Men at some places will not be allowed in when wearing shorts, Nor women wearing pants. So please be forewarned and bring modest and appropriate attire. Thank you.
IN the News this last Shabbat, an Earthquake of 7.1 magnitude hits New Zealand city http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100903/world/international_us_quake_newzealand
I also received a report from those down under folks.
From family in New Zealand. The day before the quake hit, they observed water bubbling up out of the ground in various spots around their yard. Then all the worms began wriggling up out of the ground and were taking their chances with the birds by sitting on top of the grass!! Then the next morning at 4.35am local time, the earthquake hit. It lasted for around 1 whole minute. It was 7.1 on the Richter Scale. The day after the quake hit – all the water disappeared back into the ground, as though nothing had happened. They do not live in Christchurch, where the major damage is, but further south along the eastern side of New Zealand, but are about as far away from the epicenter in that direction as Christchurch is in an easterly direction, from the epicenter. The epicenter was at Darfield.
There have been some 60 [I think they said] after shocks. The first cases of gastroenteritis have been reported. Stores have sold out of water. Tankers are beginning to deliver water. They have been told not to use their toilets, until electricity has been restored to the sewage pumping stations. The Army has been called in to help.
I can see places in Christchurch that I either visited or walked in/through last time I was there, completely wrecked or so damaged that they will have to be demolished.
May you live in interesting times, says the Chinese proverb. For many these days it is more of a curse than a blessing.
This same sister also told me of the floods to hit Victoria area which you can read about at http://www.canada.com/technology/Southern+Australia+worst+floods+years/3484216/story.html Southern Australia hit by worst floods in 10 years.
Let’s just list the disasters that have happened this year of 2010 so far. They may not be in order but you may begin to get a picture of something that is going on.
Haiti, Chilli, Guatemala, and Now New Zealand have had devastating earthquakes.
Southern China, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Europe and of course Pakistan have had ruinous floods that lasted not just for a while but took months to recover from. Iceland and Europe had the Volcano and the ash cloud. Guatemala is also having mud slides after all the rain.
Russia, Europe and Northern China have had droughts and severe heat waves that have destroyed crops. I am positive I have left off many others that I should have added. Oh yes the locusts of Australia. And the many wildfires in Canada USA, Australia Russia and Greece.
But now in the news from Africa comes the following items; Chad has 41 dead from the Cholera disease; Nigeria has 352 dead and Cholera threatens all of Nigeria. The worst outbreak in 20 years has killed 263 in Cameroon. China too hid the fact that they had a cholera outbreak in eastern China. And in Northern Pakistan according to Reuters as of Sept 5 ‘Cholera has broken out among some of up to 300,000 people in northwestern Pakistan’
I do not need to remind you of the Swine flu scare last year. Because of the hype and not as many died as expected (16,000) it may in fact callous people this coming year to not be as vigilant when the next flu pandemic comes. But in India 89 people have died from Swine flu last week with 629 cases reported at the beginning of August 2010. The three main seasonal flu strains (H3N2, H1N1 and type B) cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths a year globally (equivalent to 685 to 1,370 deaths per day) according to WHO.
Are you prepared for the disaster that is going to come to your door one of these days very soon? Whether by flood of hurricane or tornado, drought or disease pandemic, or famine or earthquake, are you ready? Unless you have Yahovah on your side you will never be ready. And unless you are obeying Him then you are against Him and He is not going to help you.
Here at Sightedmoon.com we have been telling you of the coming food crisis or famine which also comes with earthquakes and pestilence in this third Sabbatical cycle. We have noted the signs and told you the scriptures that teach us this. Mathew 24:7. And again I urge you to watch the DVD that explains why this is happening and the order it is going to happen in, by explaining the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. You can watch it for free at The Prophesies of Abraham You need to watch this DVD to the end, you need to repent form those things displeasing to Yahovah, You need to do this for the sakes of your family, your grandchildren and parents. Because if you do not begin to obey Him then the next curse which comes in 7 years is going to take everyone and is going to affect everyone in a very bad way. That is the curse of war. Watch the DVD with your whole family. Just do it! And then read The Prophecies of Abraham which goes into even more scriptural detail. Read what others have said about this book and then order it and read it. Again brethren do not put this off until later. Do it now.
If you agree with this teaching and you understand the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycle and the curses that go with it, then please help me to share this message. Tell others, tell everyone you can about it. Shout out the warning while we still can. Tell them to watch the DVD.
In the news again this past week was a report about the potential next flu pandemic. You can read it at http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100905/world/as_med_hong_kong_next_pandemic
Last week in the Trumpet.com they also have noted that things are not rosy this year as some would have you believe.
Robert Morley | columnist
On August 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin banned all Russian wheat exports to conserve food.
Drought and raging wildfires had decimated the world’s third-largest wheat exporter beyond expectations.
According to the Daily Mail, panic buying from Middle Eastern and African importers rocketed wheat prices up 70 percent and even risked sparking food wars.
Russia confirmed the fears of many: The world’s food supply is unnervingly precarious.
Ukraine is in drought, Australia is in drought. Canada was under water last spring. Pakistan is under water now. And the world’s population continues to soar.
Yet, America’s foremost experts—at the Department of Agriculture—still claim that world wheat production will reach the same level as last year. Have no fear, American wheat is here! A projected bumper harvest in America will offset shortfalls almost everywhere else.
Let’s hope they are right.
But the reality is, even if the Department of Agriculture experts are right, food surpluses in America are not something the world should count on.
Here is a statistic that should give everyone cause for concern. Donald Coxe, the chief strategist of Harris Investment Management, says that North America as a whole has experienced uncharacteristically good weather for the last 18 consecutive years, which, combined with
improvements in agriculture, has resulted in near-record harvests.
In fact, Coxe says, you have to go back hundreds of years to find a period of such favorable
weather for so long a time.
America is not only the “breadbasket” of the world, it is the “cornbasket,” “soybeanbasket,” “oilseedbasket,” and many other baskets as well. Drought spillover effects would quickly go
Forty percent of the world’s corn supply is grown in the Midwest, for example. Plus, America produces 36 percent of all soybeans, 32 percent of coarse grains, 25 percent of the five major oil seeds, 20 percent of sorghum, 16 percent of cottonseed, and 9 percent of global wheat output. And astoundingly, all this bounty comes from a nation with only 4.6 percent of the world’s population and 6.2 percent of its landmass!
One of these days, America is going to have a drought. If the dustbowl of the 1930’s were to return, who would feed America?
Also in Der Spegiel last week was a study done by the Bundeswehr on how the world is about to change due to the amount of oil peaking in production. They wanted to know how this would affect political and military powers worldwide when there is not enough oil to go around. You can read it at http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,715138,00.html
We have covered this subject a few times in the past as well. But now finally a military think tank is planning the end game. But not just any military; no this is the one that will be the back bone of the European Union which will join forces with the Muslim nations around the Mediterranean Sea area. We are told of this in Psalm 83 and in Revelation as the toes of iron and clay. Assyria is today known as Germany. Now you know why they will join forces; to gain access to the oil. You will then also know why Europe converts to the Muslim religion as we are told in Daniel 11:37-38 ; in order to maintain control over that oil. At least this is what it will seem like on the nightly news.
Also this week we are pleased to announce the release of the new book by Keith Johnson. He is shouting out the name of Yehovah on this Feast of Trumpets and has opened a blog site where you can download for free the first chapter of his book about Ha Shem Yehovah. http://hishallowedname.com/blog/
A number of weeks ago I urged you all to search your soul and to ask Yahovah to cleanse you of your secret sins as we approach this most special time of the year. This means you had to be willing to look and change when you found them. As we enter the period of time known as the 10 Days of Awe and deep repentance I wanted to share a letter I received from a reader who did exactly that. She asked Yahovah to show her, her secret sins. She then wrote me and shared this letter with me and has allowed me to share it with you all. She is a Doctor in South Africa and has given me permission to share it.
Daily Mail | August 3
One Thousand Girls on Pill at 11
The number of pre-teenage girls on the pill has increased fivefold in the past decade, shocking figures reveal. Last year doctors prescribed the oral contraceptive to more than 1,000 girls aged 11 and 12, usually without their parents’ knowledge.
Another 200 aged between 11 and 13 were given long-term implanted or injectable contraceptive devices on the [National Health Service].
Family campaigners said the figures showed how children were being sexualized at an ever younger age and raised disturbing questions about the prevalence of underage sex. Although the age of consent in Britain is 16, GPs are allowed to prescribe the pill to children if they believe an underage girl is mature enough to have sex. And under the laws of patient confidentiality, parents have no right to be told if their children are being given the pill. …
The database also reveals that at least 58,000 children aged 15 were on the pill last year compared with 23,000 in 1999. Hundreds of children under 16 were using other forms of long-term contraception, the figures show.
Dr. Trevor Stammers, a GP and chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said … “If sex education is introduced at primary schools in the way being proposed, we will see many more 11-year-olds seeking contraception, and if we pay GPs to give out contraception without pointing out the risks we are going to make matters worse.” …
Facts about the oral combination pill / contraceptive:
(Please note that this may not be suitable for children)
It is with sadness in my heart that I write this. I have been prescribing the oral combination pill for over 12 years in general practice. I thought it was “safe” – because of what I have been taught in medical school that the combination pill “only prevents ovulation”. If one would miss a pill one could fall pregnant and then ”one could just have a baby”. That was the advice I gave all my patients, that if you missed a pill there was only an increased risk to fall pregnant…
I never knew about the rest.
During my internship in 1997, the law in South Africa was changed and abortions were legalized. Fortunately, I was never forced to do any abortions while working in the public service. During my rotation in Gynecology I have done a lot of “womb scrapings” or D&C’s after spontaneous miscarriages, I can still remember it clearly. During my private practice years I was totally against any form of contraceptive which could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus lining, like the “morning after pill”, the IUD and a very popular intra uterine device with progestin in. But I never realized that there was more about the oral combination pill that I did not know of. As far as I knew it only prevented ovulation. (Ovulation is the process in a female’s menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum ,also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg.)
After a huge fire at the pharmacy next to my practice in June, I started to ask the Father if there was any sin in my practice or in my life that I needed to repent of. And then one morning, while brushing my teeth, I started to wonder about the Pill and the Word. I started to do research and told my husband that I could not find any scriptural confirmation for the use of contraceptives in the Word. I had a strange feeling that I was working against what YHWH said in His Word – I kept on remembering : “be fruitful and multiply”…
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Genesis 9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
Exodus 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Leviticus 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
Deuteronomy 7:13-14 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
Ezekiel 36:11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
Jeremiah 29:6 Take wives, and father sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there, and don’t be diminished.
Nehemiah 9:23 Their children also multiplies thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
Then the truth came and it had hit me straight in my face. I learned about a term called “ovulation break through”. This means that even when the Pill is taken correctly (not skipping now and then), one could still ovulate, some studies have shown a 2-5% chance. But what concerned me more was the fact that there was a “third mechanism of the pill which changes the endometrium to prevent a blastocyst (an embryo or a fertilized egg) from implantation”. Even if there was a very small chance that one could ovulate, conceive and then loose the embryo/blastocyst, because it could not implant, I could not endorse the use of it anymore. Unfortunately the facts were crystal clear in front of me, that it could cause an early abortion, before implantation.
A quotation from “Contraception your questions answered”, by John Guillebaud, 3rd Edition, Page 98, Question 4.4: What are the main mechanisms of contraceptive action of the combined pill? “The COC has a very similar primary action in most women namely the prevention of ovulation… The other mechanisms shown – reduction in sperm penetrability of cervical mucus and of the receptivity to the blastocyst of the endometrium – are primarily back up mechanisms for the COC.” This means when the first and second mechanisms fail, it could still prevent a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from implantation.
So the question is: when does life starts?
Life starts when a sperm fertilizes an egg, i.e. conception. This process ultimately leads to the formation of a diploid cell called a zygote. The zygote begins to divide and form a blastocyst and when it reaches the uterus, it performs implantation in the endometrium. Implantation occurs 7 days later into the uterus lining/endometrium. The fertilized egg needs nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s womb to live and to grow. According to Wikipedia -the term “conception commonly refers to fertilization, the successful fusion of gametes to form a new organism. ‘At this point the female’s pregnancy has begun. If the embryo implants in any tissue other than the uterine wall, an ectopic pregnancy results, which can be fatal to the mother. (Conception’ is used by some to refer to implantation and is thus a subject of semantic arguments about the beginning of pregnancy, typically in the context of the abortion debate.)”
I realized that after all these years of prescribing the Pill, I could have blood on my hands. Isaiah 1:15 And when your hands are stretched out to me, my eyes will be turned away from you: even though you go on making prayers, I will not give ear: your hands are full of blood. I struggled to pray to my Father, I cried for almost a week and then I repented. I told my husband that I could not go back to work, as I could not prescribe the Pill anymore. I was devastated, I just didn’t know this before. I realized that I needed to do research as to have my facts straight, before I could tell anyone and then I found this wonderful article by Randy Alcorn on the internet: http://www.juntospelavida.org/bcpill1.html. It is very well researched, evidence based and scientific. I just praised the Father because everything was already researched and available for me. I just had to see the truth. I have also asked a representative of one of the major pharmaceutical companies which sells the Pill if they had any trials available on “ovulation breakthrough”. The Rep immediately knew the term and said she would get the information from the company and would get back to me. It was already 3 weeks ago, but I have received nothing yet.
I also discovered an organization called “Doctors for life”. They are an international pro-life organization and they have offices in South Africa as well. I spoke to the CEO in South Africa and asked him what their views were of the oral combination pill. He explained to me the pill’s 3 fold mechanism of action in the body and said that they cannot endorse it either, because there was a probable 2-5% chance of ovulation breakthrough on it and without implantation it could act as an abortifacient. I became a member of the organization. They have 1300 members (doctors) in SA only. I was surprised and upset and because I thought I was the only doctor that felt this way.
Now, after a few weeks I feel much better. I am still not really ready to face all my patients. And yes, I am still scared to look into their faces, them asking me ‘why did you not tell me this before’? But then I read Ezekiel 3, and I realized that I had to tell them the truth and I had to warn them. If I did not do it, Abba would use or send someone else. It is really hard to say to patients that I was wrong and that I did not know. But I am so thankful that the Father made this known to me to repent and turn away from it in time. 2 Corinthians 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance.
Please read these facts and then you can decide for yourself if this is still something that you want to use. Please pass it on, share it, so that a patient somewhere, can make an informative decision. The articles on the internet are freely available. I have even got plenty of the information from Wikipedia.
To conclude, there is a chance even when you take the Pill as prescribed, that you could still ovulate and fall pregnant. Or ovulate, conceive and then loose the little life because it could not implant on the lining of the uterus, because of the third mechanism of the pill. Without implantation one cannot test for the hormone, B-HCG, to confirm the pregnancy. People and doctors will tell you the chances are very small. But you need to decide for yourself now that you know the truth. Even the “smallest chance” is still too much for me.
I pray that YHWH would open our eyes and ears, so that we will start to test everything. These days are evil days, where we all eat of this tree of knowledge, the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Maybe this was my biggest lesson to learn, I had to realize that all knowledge or science, could either be good or evil.
By the way, I have never read in my Bible that God said that it was ok to stop being fruitful when we gained enough knowledge to change our bodies natural functioning as to fit our own selfish lifestyles. We are living in a time where we are “lovers of ourselves”. And I include myself in this comment.
My YHWH forgive us!
Some more info from Wikipedia:
Wikipedia -Mechanisms of contraception
Mechanism of action
Combined oral contraceptive pills were developed to prevent ovulation by suppressing the release of gonadotropins. Combined hormonal contraceptives, including COCPs, inhibit follicular development and prevent ovulation as their primary mechanism of action A secondary mechanism of action of all progestogen-containing contraceptives is inhibition of sperm penetration through the cervix into the upper genital tract (uterus and fallopian tubes) by decreasing the amount of and increasing the viscosity of the cervical mucus Other secondary mechanisms have been hypothesized. One example is endometrial effects that prevent implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Some pro-life groups consider such a mechanism to be abortifacient, and the existence of post fertilization mechanisms is a controversial topic. Some scientists point out that the possibility of fertilization during COCP use is very small. From this, they conclude that endometrial changes are unlikely to play an important role, if any, in the observed effectiveness of COCPs. Others make more complex arguments against the existence of these mechanisms, while yet other scientists argue the existing data supports such mechanisms. The controversy is currently unresolved.
The Pill was approved by the FDA in the early 1960s; its use spread rapidly in the late part of that decade, generating an enormous social impact. Time Magazine placed the pill on its cover in April, 1967. In the first place, it was more effective than most previous reversible methods of birth control, giving women unprecedented control over their fertility. Its use was separate from intercourse, requiring no special preparations at the time of sexual activity that might interfere with spontaneity or sensation, and the choice to take the Pill was a private one. This combination of factors served to make the Pill immensely popular within a few years of its introduction. Claudia Goldin, among others, argue that this new contraceptive technology was a key player in forming women’s modern economic role, in that it prolonged the age at which women first married allowing them to invest in education and other forms of human capital as well as generally become more career-oriented. Soon after the birth control pill was legalized, there was a sharp increase in college attendance and graduation rates for women. From an economic point of view, the birth control pill reduced the cost of staying in school. The ability to control fertility without sacrificing sexual relationships allowed women to make long term educational and career plans.
Because the Pill was so effective, and soon so widespread, it also heightened the debate about the moral and health consequences of pre-marital sex and promiscuity. Never before had sexual activity been so divorced from reproduction. For a couple using the Pill, intercourse became purely an expression of love, or a means of physical pleasure, or both; but it was no longer a means of reproduction. While this was true of previous contraceptives, their relatively high failure rates and their less widespread use failed to emphasize this distinction as clearly as did the Pill. The spread of oral contraceptive use thus led many religious figures and institutions to debate the proper role of sexuality and its relationship to procreation. The Roman Catholic Church in particular, after studying the phenomenon of oral contraceptives, re-emphasized the stated teaching on birth control in the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. The encyclical reiterated the established Catholic teaching that artificial contraception distorts the nature and purpose of sex. A backlash against oral contraceptives occurred in the early and mid-1970s, when reports and speculations appeared that linked the use of the Pill to breast cancer. Until then, many women in the feminist movement had hailed the Pill as an “equalizer” that had given them the same sexual freedom as men had traditionally enjoyed. This new development, however, caused many of them to denounce oral contraceptives as a male invention designed to facilitate male sexual freedom with women at the cost of health risk to women. The United States Senate began hearings on the Pill in 1970 and there were different viewpoints heard from medical professionals. Dr. Michael Newton, President of the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said:
“The evidence is not yet clear that these still do in fact cause cancer or related to it. The FDA Advisory Committee made comments about this, that if there wasn’t enough evidence to indicate whether or not these pills were related to the development of cancer, and I think that’s still thin; you have to be cautious about them, but I don’t think there is clear evidence, either one way or the other, that they do or don’t cause cancer.” Another physician, Dr. Roy Hertz of the Population Council, said that anyone who takes this should know of “our knowledge and ignorance in these matters” and that all women should be made aware of this so she can decide to take the Pill or not. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare at the time, Robert Finch announced the federal government had accepted a compromise warning statement which would accompany all sales of birth control pills. At the same time, society was beginning to take note of the impact of the Pill on traditional gender roles. Women now did not have to choose between a relationship and a career; singer Loretta Lynn commented on this in her 1974 album with a song entitled “The Pill”, which told the story of a married woman’s use of the drug to liberate herself from her traditional role as wife and mother.
A woman using COCPs excretes from her urine and feces natural estrogens, estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2), and synthetic estrogen ethinylestradiol (EE2) into water treatment plants.  These hormones can pass through water treatment plants and into rivers.  Other forms of contraception, such as the contraceptive patch, use the same synthetic estrogen (EE2) that is found in COCPs, and can add to the hormonal concentration in the water when flushed down the toilet.  This excretion is shown to play a role in causing endocrine disruption, which affects the sexual development and the reproduction, in wild fish populations in segments of streams contaminated by treated sewage effluents.  A study done in British rivers supported the hypothesis that the incidence and the severity of intersex wild fish populations were significantly correlated with the concentrations of the E1, E2, and EE2 in the rivers.  A review of activated sludge plant performance found estrogen removal rates varied considerably but averaged 78% for estrone, 91% for estradiol, and 76% for ethinylestradiol (estriol effluent concentrations are between those of estrone and estradiol, but estriol is a much less potent endocrine disruptor to fish). Effluent concentrations of ethinylestradiol are lower than estradiol which are lower than estrone, but ethinylestradiol is more potent than estradiol which is more potent than estrone in the induction of intersex fish and synthesis of vitellogenin in male fish.
The Mirena is intended to initially release a daily dose of 20 micrograms levonorgestrel (a progestin). No single mechanism accounts for the effectiveness of the IUS in preventing pregnancy; it has several effects on the reproductive system:
• Frequency of ovulation is reduced.
• Cervical mucus is changed to obstruct passage of sperm through the cervix.
• The presence of a foreign body in the uterus prompts the release of leukocytes and prostaglandins by the endometrium, substances that are hostile to both sperm and eggs. Some physicians believe these substances are also hostile to very early embryos.
• The endometrium is thinned. It has been suggested that this inhibits implantation of embryos, though no experiment has yet confirmed or disproved this theory. Because many pro-life individuals and organizations define fertilization as the beginning of pregnancy, this possible secondary mechanism of action has led some pro-life individuals and organizations to label the IUS an abortifacient.
This is a High day and as such we have special Torah portions to read on top of the normal weekly ones we are doing. I want to concentrate on two teachings this week. One is the High Day and the other is found when we go to Genesis.
So let us begin with these scriptures for this High Day, this day of Yom Teruah, Feast of Trumpets
Kiddush Lavanah (The Blessing Over the New Moon):
Blessed are You, Yehovah our God, King of the universe whose word created the heavens, whose breath created all that they contain. Statutes and seasons He set for them, that they should not deviate from their assigned task. Happily, gladly they do the will of their Creator, whose work is dependable. To the moon He spoke: renew yourself, crown of glory for those who were borne in the womb, who also are destined to be renewed and to extol their Creator for His glorious sovereignty. Blessed are You, Yehovah who renews the months.
David, King of Israel, lives and endures.
The festival Torah cycle has the following readings:
Bereshit (Genesis) 21:1-34
Maftir: Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 1:1 – 2:10
The theme of the readings is “remembered”. Sarah and Hannah will be remembered by HaShem. A Talmudic dictum  says that on Yom Teruah, Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were “remembered”.
Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-24
Maftir: Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6
Haftarah: Yiremyahu (Jeremiah) 31:1-19
The Akeida Yitzchak (the binding of Isaac) is the subject of this days Torah reading. This passage was selected to recall the faith of Abraham and Isaac during this episode. Ran adds that one of the reasons for blowing the shofar on this day is to recall the Akeidat Yitzchak at which a ram was sacrificed in place of Isaac. The left horn (shofar) of Isaac’s ram was blown when the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai, and the longer right one will be blown when Mashiach comes. 
The last verse of the Haftarah is the special theme for this day: repentance.
The Torah readings of Yom Teruah are Bereshit chapter 21 on the first day and Bereshit chapter 22 on the second day. The Hakhamim have associated the first day of the seventh month as the birthday of both Yitzchak and Shmuel. This association (of the root “z.k.r.” and of the idea to remember) hint towards the choice of the first day’s Torah and Haftarah reading (the first day’s Torah reading describes the birth of Yitzchak and the Haftarah of the first day describes the birth of Shemuel and the prayer of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10)).The Torah reading of the second day describes the binding of Yitzchak. The reason for the choice of this chapter is explained in the Talmud:
Rosh Hashanah 16a R. Abbahu said, “why is a ram’s horn blown? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Blow the ram’s horn in order that I will remember the binding of Yitzchak, son of Abraham and so that I will consider it as if you yourselves had bound yourselves to me.
The readings also show HaShem’s mercy on Hagar, Yishmael, and Yitzchak and also the idea of trying Abraham (“And HaShem tested Abraham” Gen.22:1), and his being found as a God-fearing person. An additional reason for the choice of the Haftarah for the first day is the fact that there are nine mentionings of HaShem’s name in the prayer of Hannah. These correspond to the nine blessings contained in the Hazarah (repeat prayer) of Musaf on Rosh Hashanah. In addition the nature of the mentionings of HaShem’s name in the prayer of Hanah are very appropriate and correspond to some of the ideas of the day. For example, HaShem is a God of Knowledge, HaShem kills and revives, HaShem makes poor and wealthy, the earth is HaShem’s and God judges the ends of the earth. The Haftarah of the second day is Jeremiah chapter 31. Rashi  explains the choice of this portion as based on the last verse of the Haftarah:
Yeremiyahu (Jeremiah) 31:19 Isn’t Ephraim my precious son, a delightful child, as soon as I speak of him I surely remember him and …I will surely have mercy upon him.
This is one of the verses recited in the “Zichronot” section of the Musaf (Additional) prayer. Additionally, it is likely that as Rosh Hashanah begins the period known as the ten days of repentance, the poignant confession of Ephraim found at the end of the Haftarah serves as a model for repentance and desire to connect again to HaShem. The prophet exclaims: “I have heard the wandering Ephraim: He has chastised me and I have learned my lesson, like an untamed calf, bring me back and I will return, because you are HaShem my God. Because I have returned and I have regretted, and after I was made to know, I clapped my hand to my thigh, I am ashamed and embarrassed because I bear the disgrace of my youth. “The heartfelt repentance displayed by these verses brings about HaShem’s compassionate and merciful memory of his child Ephraim. The Haftarah thus models the type of wholehearted repentance necessary to bring about HaShem’s compassionate acceptance of His children.
I have gained a great deal of understanding from the following site. It is the site which we have gathered our Torah readings from with minor adjustments. I was questioning why we had to read Genesis 21-22 on this day and was led back to this same site for the answer. http://www.betemunah.org/teruah.html#_Toc201412037
Because the teachings they have take up about 60 pages I will not put it all here although I want to. This site is rich in understanding the Jewish perspective on this High day and they cover Trumpets over 2 days. It also shows you from the Mishneh and Talmud that the month is to begin from the Sighted moon which is how this the seventh month is to begin. But take note I do not accept those teachings that use the postponement rules which you can read about in this article.
Triennial Torah Cycle
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found online.
We are now in our 26th week of this 3 ½ year study. As we go through the Fall Holy Days you will need to keep up on your own the studies as we go. I may not be able to give you my commentary because of the tours I will be giving and traveling at this time.
There is so much contained in this one chapter. But it is all explained in the book that I urge you to read at http://reluctant-messenger.com/judahs_sceptre_josephs_birthright.htm
1 Sam 12-13
King Saul did not wait for Samuel and it was told to him that had he of waited his kingdom would have been established for ever. This was a huge mistake on Saul’s part with a huge punishment.
We then read in chapter 13 how all the blacksmiths were only to be found amongst the Philistines so that Israel had no swords or anyone who could make them. A very clever move on the part of the Philistines. I am being very brief because of the amount of reading contained in Trumpets message and Genesis.
Psalm 59 is the fourth in the sequence of five Davidic miktams here. We earlier read it in the Bible Reading Program in conjunction with the event mentioned in the superscription-when Saul sent assassins to stake out David’s house and kill him (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Samuel 19; Psalm 59). Yet the request in verse 5 to “punish all the nations” does not appear related to that episode (see also verse 8). The Zondervan NIV Study Bible suggests: “If originally composed by David under the circumstances noted in the superscription, it must have been revised for use by one of David’s royal sons [i.e., descendants] when Jerusalem was under siege by a hostile force [compare verses 6, 14] made up of troops from many nations-as when Hezekiah was besieged by the Assyrians (see 2Ki 18:19). (Some, however, ascribe it to Nehemiah; see Ne 4.)” (note on Psalm 59).
There appear to be four stanzas in the song (verses 1-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17). The first and third are related thematically-asking for God to punish and how to punish and each ending with selah. The second and fourth both begin with an identical characterization of the prowling enemy (verses 6, 14) and end with a similar refrain about God as the source of strength, defense and mercy (see verses 9b-10a, 16b-17).
The request at the end of verse 5 that God not be merciful to wicked transgressors should not be understood as a prayer that God would never grant them repentance so as to show them mercy, but that He would not leave them unpunished for their sins so long as they persisted in them.
The wicked blasphemously think they are getting away with something (see verse 7), but God will have the last laugh (verse 8). Starting with this verse, the song moves from a plea for help to assurance that God will intervene.
Verse 11 asks that the enemy not be instantly slain but scattered and abased. This was so the Israelites would not forget the punitive humbling of the enemy. Great men may fall on the battlefield and still be remembered as heroes. But if they are brought down to destitution and vagrancy, people would more readily deem them cursed. Moreover, if they were simply wiped out, people might soon forget them and what had happened to them, whereas if they were alive but shamed and disgraced, they would be around for some time as an object lesson.
Yet what are we to make of verse 13’s request that the enemy be consumed in wrath till they are no more? Does this contradict verse 11? No, it is simply a matter of timing. The prayer is that the enemy would undergo a period of humiliation and scattering and only then, after the lesson had sunk in among God’s people, be destroyed. And note that this is not for personal vengeance but as a witness of God’s ultimate rule (verse 13)-and of His protection and care for those who trust Him (verses 9-10, 16-17).
Other scriptures explain that God will resurrect the wicked, giving those who previously lacked adequate understanding the opportunity for repentance and salvation. “The Lord is not…willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). For a more complete picture of what lies ahead in the afterlife, see our booklets What Happens After Death? and Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?
Singing of God’s mercy “in the morning” (Psalm 59:16) could mean every morning, but it seems more likely that morning here is figurative-meaning the end of this dark “day of my trouble” (same verse).
Psalm 60 is the last miktam in the series of five here as well as the last in the sequence of seven prayers for help against enemies at the center of Book II of the Psalter. The superscription notes that it is “for teaching.”
The setting of the psalm is not entirely clear. The superscription says that David “fought against Mesopotamia and Syria of Zobah.” This would seem to be the war described in 1 Chronicles 19, where Syrian and Mesopotamian forces assisted the Ammonites against Israel (see especially verse 6), which in the end became a long Israelite siege against the Ammonite capital of Rabbah. The parallel account of this episode is in 2 Samuel 10, though the Mesopotamian forces are not mentioned there. It was with these chapters that we earlier read Psalm 60 (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; Psalm 60; Psalm 108; Psalm 83).
However, the superscription’s further note about Joab killing 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt (likely the desert south of the Dead Sea) seems more closely related to events in 1 Chronicles 18 and 2 Samuel 8, concerning an earlier conflict with Syria that ended with David killing 18,000 Syrians in the Valley of Salt (2 Samuel 8:13) and Joab’s brother Abishai killing 18,000 Edomites there (1 Chronicles 18:12)-Joab being over the army (verse 15).
In fact, these earlier chapters concern Israel’s campaigns against and subjugation of the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians and the Edomites. With that in mind, consider that the enemy nations mentioned in Psalm 60 are Moab, Edom and Philistia (verses 8-9). There is no mention of Syria, Ammon or Mesopotamia-though Ammon could be indirectly indicated in stating that Gilead (the area the Israelites took from Ammon) belongs to God (verse 7). Nevertheless, considering that formerly subjugated Syria rebelled against David in the later conflict, it could well be that these other nations also rebelled at this time, given the powerful assistance of the forces of Mesopotamia (and that this could also be the setting for the international coalition of Psalm 83). Psalm 60:10 indicates that Israel initially suffered a period of defeat-the occasion for the psalm-which is new information, as such defeat is not recorded in the accounts of either of the two conflicts mentioned above.
Many question the scriptural validity of the superscriptions of the psalms, often deeming them later midrashic additions. Yet we need not ignore the superscriptions to explain apparent discrepancies. A number of possibilities exist for the current one. Perhaps Psalm 60 concerns the earlier conflict mentioned above and, though unrecorded in the account of that conflict, Mesopotamian forces were then involved as well. The differences in numbers killed in the Valley of Salt is reconcilable given that different numbers are attributed to different commanders-David, Abishai and Joab. Alternatively, Psalm 60 could exclusively concern the later conflict, meaning that Moab, Edom and Philistia revolted and that Joab conducted a new campaign against the Edomites in the Valley of Salt. A further possibility is that the superscription is referring to the later conflict occurring after Joab’s return from the earlier conflict. In the overall picture, these could be viewed as two phases in the same war.
Perhaps most likely, given that neither Ammon, Syria nor Mesopotamia are mentioned in the text of Psalm 60 itself-and that Mesopotamia and Syria are solely mentioned in the superscription-is that the psalm was initially composed during the earlier conflict but then used as a rallying or marching song during the later conflict (perhaps at a point when things did not seem to be going so well). It seems highly unlikely that a forger would have read this psalm about fighting against Moab, Edom and Philistia and then written Mesopotamia and Syria into a fake title. A forger would rather have attempted to undo any confusion. Once again, what appears to be a contradiction is instead a mark of genuineness.
As mentioned, things did not seem to be going well for David’s army for a time. Perhaps in the case of the later conflict it was because the nations where David had garrisoned forces were nevertheless able to stage an international rebellion. David complains to God: “You have rejected us…and burst forth upon us…. You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger” (verses 1-3, NIV). The Israelites were reeling, wondering how this could be happening.
But David encourages his troops, confident in victory through God. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states in its note on verse 4: “The Lord has raised a ‘banner’ (nes; cf. Isa 5:26; 13:2; Jer 4:6 [and Exodus 17:15]) designating a place where the godly may find refuge under the protection of the Divine Warrior. The godly, those who ‘fear’ (cf. [Psalm] 34:7, 9) him, will find protection from the attacks of the enemy.”
The section of Psalm 60 that follows the selah ending verse 4 (i.e., verses 5-12), is later reused as the latter half of Psalm 108 (verses 6-13)-the first part of Psalm 108 coming from Psalm 57:7-11.
In Psalm 60:6, the phrase “in His holiness” can also be translated “in His holy place”-probably designating Israel as the land of His sanctuary. Dividing Shechem and measuring out the Valley of Succoth represent God apportioning and parceling out the inheritance of the Promised Land to His people. “Shechem and the Valley of Succoth represent regions west and east of the Jordan River in the central parts of the land. Gilead and Manasseh are also regions east and west of the Jordan; Ephraim and Judah are regions in the north and south. The Lord was asserting His sovereignty over the entire land of Israel” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 6-8).
Moab being God’s “washpot” (verse 8) or “washbasin” (NIV) refers to that used for washing the feet, which became rather dirty in a time of wearing sandals. The meaning? “Moab was doomed to the most abject and degrading servitude” (Barbara Bowen, Strange Scriptures That Perplex the Western Mind: Clarified in the Light of Customs and Conditions in Bible Lands, 1944, p. 25).
God next says He will cast His shoe over Edom (same verse). It could be that Edom is likened in this metaphor to the threshold of a house where shoes, considered dirty and defiling, were removed and left (Bowen, Strange Scriptures, pp. 67-68). Recall God demanding the removal of shoes in His presence (Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15). Yet it might refer “to the conventional symbolic act by which one claimed possession of land (cf. Ru 4:7)” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 60:8).
The final line of verse 8 is literally “Over me, Philistia, shout in triumph” (Green’s Literal Translation). Perhaps the meaning is “Over me, Philistia, [is a] shout in triumph”-meaning by God’s people. Yet the Jewish Tanakh renders the verse, “Acclaim me, O Philistia!”
David further proclaims that God, who for a time seemed to have abandoned Israel, would now lead them to victory (verses 9-10). And as we face enemies today, especially those spiritual forces that seek to destroy us, let us remember, as David said in the concluding verses, that only God can help us win the battle and grant us ultimate victory.
“Lead Me to the Rock That Is Higher Than I” (Psalms 61-64)
Psalms 61-64, all psalms of David according to their superscriptions, form a cluster of four royal prayers linked together by interweaving themes, especially “the common theme of strong reliance on God for deliverance in the face of great-perhaps mortal-danger” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, Psalms introduction, “Significant Arrangement of the Psalter”; and note on Psalms 61-64).
Neginah in the superscription of Psalm 61, which may be part of a postscript to Psalm 60, is probably correctly translated in the NKJV as “stringed instrument.”
Overwhelmed at his circumstances (verse 2), the details of which we are not given except that it involves some enemy (verse 3), David feels cut off from God: “From the ends of the earth I call to You” (verse 2, NIV). He seeks to be led to the “rock that is higher than I” (verse 1). By “rock” he means God Himself, as he did earlier in Psalm 18 (verses 2, 31, 46). The imagery of God as a Rock of protection occurs early in Scripture in the Song of Moses (see Deuteronomy 32:4). David uses it again in the next Psalm (62:2, 6-7) and in other psalms (71:3; 144:1). “This is a particularly apt image [of God] for David, who many times had to hide in the mountains for security (see 1 Sam. 26:1, 20)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Psalm 18:2).
Indeed, it seems that David is now led to the Rock as he has asked-for the rest of his psalm exudes confidence in God’s protection and blessing.
David likens the shelter of God’s tabernacle to the shelter of a mother bird’s wings (verse 4). David will repeat this imagery of finding refuge under God’s wings in Psalm 63:7 (see also 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 91:4). There is probably also a figurative tie-in here to the wings or hem of a garment-symbolism employed in the book of Ruth for taking in marriage (as Christ takes His people in marriage). God’s people thus become part of His household and family-the primary idea behind abiding in His tabernacle (His dwelling) forever.
The vows David had made to God (verse 5)-his promises to remain devoted and faithful to God, to obey and serve Him-were genuine. And for that God would reward him with the heritage of all who fear and honor God’s name (same verse)-not just long life (verse 6) but eternal life in God’s presence (verse 7). The King of Israel living forever here is understood in Jewish interpretation as a prophecy of the Messiah, as it likely is, but it also applies to David himself. God’s “mercy and truth” would preserve King David as well as the future messianic King (verse 7; see also 25:10; 85:10, 15; 89:14; Proverbs 20:28; Isaiah 16:5). Consider that Jesus Christ came “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14; see also verse 17)-fulfilling the messianic expectation of these passages.
David closes his prayer by saying that he will use the eternity God is giving him to forever extol and obey God (Psalm 61:8). What remarkable devotion!
Jeduthun, in the superscription of Psalm 62, was, as noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Psalm 39, one of David’s three choir leaders (1 Chronicles 15:41-42; 25:1, 6; 2 Chronicles 5:12) who was also known as a seer or prophet (35:15)-often thought to be synonymous with Ethan (1 Chronicles 6:44; 15:19), representing the Levitical family of Merari. The name Jeduthun also appears in the superscription of Psalm 77.
Psalm 62 has three stanzas (verses 1-4, 5-8, 9-12)-the first two of which begin almost the same (verses 1-2, 5-6). David here says that he will silently wait for God’s deliverance and refers to God, as in the previous psalm, as his rock of protection and source of salvation. As the end of verses 2 and 6 declare, he will “not be greatly moved”-that is, “shaken” (NIV).
David’s need here is urgent. Arrogant foes conspire to “cast him down from his high position” (verse 4)-to topple him from the throne-through deceit and intrigue. He asks them how long they will attack him (verse 3a). The meaning of the second part of verse 3 is not clear however. Either he is announcing to the conspirators what will befall them as in the NKJV: “You shall be slain, all of you, like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.” Or he is further lamenting their attack on him, referring to himself as the vulnerable one: “Would all of you throw him down-this leaning wall, this tottering fence?” (NIV; see also NRSV; Tanakh).
In any case, David is confident of God’s protection and ultimate deliverance. He gives others the advice he himself follows: to trust God at all times and pour out one’s heart to Him (verse 8)-for God is an unfailing refuge. Men, no matter what their position, are inconstant and unreliable-and not the place to put one’s trust (verse 9). It is futile to hope in their evil way of doing things or to trust in the wealth they pursue as a source of help in all of life’s circumstances (verse 10). Real power belongs to God (verse 11)-along with mercy to those who serve Him and the means to compensate each person according to the choices they make in life (verse 12; compare Matthew 16:27).
That God has spoken once and David heard it twice (Psalm 62:11) is explained as a form of expression in Old Testament times. As The Nelson Study Bible notes on verse 11: “It is a convention of wisdom literature to use a number and then raise it by one (Prov. 30:11-33). The point here is that David has heard the message with certainty.”
Mark 5:35 – 6:32
This week we have the sad story of how John the Baptiser was beheaded and how it came about. I am being as brief as possible with the study this week because I do want you to read the two articles above. One on Trumpets and the other on The Stone of Destiny from our Genesis study.
The 613 Mitzvot
We are also going to continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week and this week we shall study laws 177-183. We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
177 Not to exact a pledge from a debtor by force (Deut. 24:10) (CCN59).
(177) Do not exact a pledge from a debtor by force. “When you lend your brother anything, you shall not go into his house to get his pledge. You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you lend shall bring the pledge out to you.” (Deuteronomy 24:10-11) I’m pretty sure the rabbis got this one wrong. If one found he had to use force to extract a pledge, he would simply refrain from making the loan. I think this has more to do with protecting the dignity of the borrower. He feels bad enough that he’s in need of the loan; to have the lender invade his home and extract the pledge in front of the man’s family would be adding insult to injury. It’s no sin to be poor (though it’s no great honor, either). A man should be treated with dignity and respect, whatever his station in life.
178 Not to keep the pledge from its owner at the time when he needs it (Deut. 24:12) (CCN61).
(178) Do not keep the pledge from its owner when he needs it. “And if the man is poor, you shall not keep his pledge overnight. You shall in any case return the pledge to him again when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his own garment and bless you; and it shall be righteousness to you before Yahweh your God.” (Deuteronomy 24:12-13) This repeats the precept outlined in #173. In God’s economy, mercy outweighs justice, kindness trumps correctness, and compassion is worth more than fairness. When Yahweh called Abram, he “believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness.” Here we see something very similar. The lender here is seen trusting not in the borrower, not even in the collateral that was offered to secure the loan, but in Yahweh Himself. He’s saying, It doesn’t matter all that much if I get reimbursed; God will take care of me nevertheless. But I refuse to see my brother shivering in the cold just because he hasn’t paid back his debt. I will extend mercy to him, even though justice says I’m not required to. This attitude is seen as “righteousness” before Yahweh.
179 To return a pledge to its owner (Deut. 24:13) (CCA63).
(179)Return a pledge to its owner. “And if the man is poor, you shall not keep his pledge overnight. You shall in any case return the pledge to him again when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his own garment and bless you; and it shall be righteousness to you before Yahweh your God.” (Deuteronomy 24:12-13) This is merely the affirmative statement of negative Mitzvah #178. Maimonides is puffing this thing out like a seventh grader’s term paper. The question may be properly asked, however, why Yahweh repeats this seemingly anachronistic tenet so many times. The answer becomes obvious when we realize that (1) we owe Him an impossibly large debt, (2) that the “pledges” we make to “do better” aren’t worth the breath we expend on them if done in our own efforts, and (3) that if He “held our pledges,” that is, if He held us to our word, we would all die of exposure before the night was over. We are entirely dependent upon His mercy. We are lost forever without His grace. The “garment” He provides—the righteousness of His salvation—protects us from the world and the judgment that follows. He never withdraws that protection, no matter how much we “owe.”
180 Not to take a pledge from a widow (Deut. 24:17) (CCN60).
(180)Don’t take a pledge from a widow. “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and Yahweh your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.” (Deuteronomy 24:17-18) Taking a widow’s protective outer garment as collateral against a loan is seen here as an example of “perversion of justice.” Widows, orphans, and “strangers” are scriptural pictures of helplessness, and Yahweh invariably goes out of His way to protect and provide for them in His Law. Here He reminds us that He delivered us when we were slaves to sin—when we were as helpless as widows and orphans, as alienated as strangers in a foreign land. We are therefore to follow His lead by providing mercy and justice to those less fortunate than we are, whether materially or spiritually.
181 Not to commit fraud in measuring (Lev. 19:35) (CCN83).
(181)Do not commit fraud in measuring. “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.” (Leviticus 19:35) This is a corollary to the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal.” The point was not so much that measurements had to be accurate, but that no “injustice” was to be done in their application (a condition, of course, that was most easily achieved by measuring accurately). The first thing in Moses’ list is the one we tend to skip over: “do no injustice in judgment.” The Hebrew word for judgment, mishpat, means a verdict, judicial sentence, or formal legal decree. When weighing and measuring the evidence in a case, those judging are to be careful in their assessments. Injustice is to be avoided at all costs, whether it’s a case of murder, or a case of pickles.
182 To ensure that scales and weights are correct (Lev. 19:36) (affirmative).
(182)Ensure that your scales and weights are correct. “You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am Yahweh.” (Leviticus 19:36-37) Continuing the thought from the previous mitzvah, we see that measuring “justly” depended on using accurate paraphernalia, scales that balance properly and precisely accurate weights against which to measure the commodities being bought and sold. (An ephah is a unit of dry measure, approximately two thirds of a bushel. A hin is a unit of liquid measure equivalent to about one gallon.) The modern equivalent might be: don’t roll the odometer back on that used car you’re selling; don’t pad your hours when billing your clients for the time you’ve spent on their behalf, etc.
Another example: I used to design packaging for a living. One of my clients, a poultry merchandiser, refused to feed their chickens and turkeys antibiotics, even though this was standard industry practice. Why? Not only because of the health risks associated with administering subtheraputic levels of antibiotics, but also because it was dishonest: these drugs raised the water weight of a growing bird by up to fifteen percent. So Shelton’s Poultry was (no doubt without realizing it) following the Law of God in this respect, though they were practically alone in heeding their convictions and their conscience.
Yahweh is saying something very basic here: don’t cheat each other. Then, as He does so often, He reminds us why we shouldn’t cheat. It’s because of who He is—the One who saved us, the One to whom we owe our very existence. His world, His rules. Bottom line: if we can’t trust Him to take care of us in petty financial matters, we can’t trust Him at all.
183 Not to possess inaccurate measures and weights (Deut. 25:13-14) (CCN84).
(183)Don’t possess inaccurate measures and weights. “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to Yahweh your God.” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16) This is the negative counterpart to the affirmative mitzvah we just listed. It’s all the same principle. Restated here in Deuteronomy, we see how the cheating was accomplished: a dishonest merchant would keep two sets of weights, a heavy one for measuring what was being paid to him, and a light one for measuring what he was selling. It’s cheating, theft, dishonesty, robbery, oppression—and Yahweh hates it. Any way you slice it, it betrays a lack of trust in Yahweh’s provision. The precept, however, came with a promise: if the Israelites would be honest in their business dealings, their “days would be lengthened in the land Yahweh was giving them.” As we know from history, unfortunately, their dishonest, cheating hearts eventually got them thrown out of the Land. Remember—Yahweh doesn’t change: the principle still applies today.