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News Letter 5851-010

26th day of the 2nd month 5851 years after the creation of Adam

The 2nd Month in the Sixth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle

The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle

The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

The Year of the Tithe for the Widows, Orphans & Levites

The 42nd day of Counting the Omer

May 16, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Followers of the Ancient Paths,

paths
When to start the Counting of the Omer

For those of you who have made the mistake of beginning the Counting of Omer one week late there is still time to adjust your misunderstanding. You do not want to keep the Appointment with Yehovah on the wrong day. A day that you show up and Yehovah will already have come the week before and you missed Him. Imagine if some of the Apostles showed up a week late and they never got to receive the tongues of fire. Or if you came a week late and you never heard Yehovah Himself speaking from Mount Sinai, the Commandments with His own voice.

I am going to go over this one more time for those of you who want to know. Do not just follow your leader who says it is the way they said it is. PROVE ALL THINGS!

We read the command in Lev 23 that the Wave sheaf is to be made the day after the Sabbath.

Lev 23:10  Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11  And he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah to be received for you. On the next day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

We know it is the weekly Sabbath being spoken of because of the command in

Lev 23:15  And you shall count to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete. 16  To the next day after the seventh sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new food offering to Jehovah.

So this counting of the Omer begins on the Sunday and ends 50 days later on a Sunday. You understand this.

Now the Jews ignore this part in verse 15 and 16 and they begin the count from the day after the High Holy Days of the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread. And they base this on Joshua 5:11.

But you are not questioning whether it is the High Holy Day or the weekly Sabbath. You know it is the weekly Sabbath. What you are questioning is which weekly Sabbath. Does the weekly Sabbath have to be inside the days of Unleavened Bread?

Some of you are also confused on whether or not Passover itself is on the 1st day of Unleavened Bread which is the 15th. And this too contributes to the confusion here. But I hope that when we again show you the answer from your own scriptures you will be able to resolve both questions.

Here then is the answer as to which weekly Sabbath you are to start your count the day after.

Jos 5:10  And the sons of Israel camped in Gilgal and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. 11  And they ate of the old grain of the land on the next day after the Passover, unleavened cakes and roasted grain in the same day.

This is the same verse the Jews use to justify the counting of the Omer from the day after the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, the High Holy Day.

This year of 2015 matches the year in Joshua’s time exactly the same way as to when the Passover came and when the Wave Sheaf was made. And this is the issue some of you are having this year.

The 14th day came on the Saturday. It was the Preparation day for the Passover. The Passover lamb was killed on this 14th day which was Saturday. The blood would have been smeared on the doors after this and the lamb then eaten that night. (The blood was only done that first year when the Death angel passed over.)

The lamb was eaten at the beginning of the 15th after Sunset. The death angel passed over at midnight.

Now back to Joshua, they killed the Passover Lamb that Sabbath. They ate the lamb Saturday night which was also the 15th and the 1st day of Unleavened Bread. You are to eat the Passover lamb on the 15th. The 15th this year in 2015 was Saturday evening and Sunday.

You cannot eat any produce of the land until the wave offering is made on the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Joshua made the wave offering that Sunday morning as commanded because we then read how they ate the grain of the land after the Passover. That was that Sunday morning.

I know some of you will question this. So let me bring in other scriptures to help you. From the JPS version we read the following.

Exo 12:5  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats; 6  and ye shall keep it unto the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk. 7  And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it. 8  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Some bibles say you shall kill it at evening, but the JPS has it clearly stated as dusk. After dusk comes the night when they are to eat the Lamb.  And they are to eat it with unleavened Bread. This is the 15th day of Nisan when the Lamb is to be eaten, the first day of Unleavened Bread.

In Joshua’s time this was Saturday night and Sunday the same as it was this year for us.

Exo 12:9  Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs and with the inwards thereof. 10  And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11  And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste – it is the LORD’S passover. 12  For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.

This same night is when the firstborn are slain. The night of the 15th after the lambs were slain at the end of the 14th at dusk. They had to be ready to flee that very same night.

The TSK explains dusk or evening as

in the evening: Heb. between the two evenings, The Jews divided the day into morning and evening. Till the sun passed the meridian, all was morning or forenoon; after that, all was evening or afternoon. Their first evening began just after twelve o’clock, and continued till sunset; their second evening began at sunset, and continued till night, i.e., during the whole time of twilight; between twelve o’clock, therefore, and the termination of twilight, the passover was to be offered (see parallel passages). Exo_16:12; Mat_27:46-50

Strongs has this word evening as Ereb

H6153    bru     ?ereb    eh’-reb

From H6150; dusk: – + day, even (-ing, tide), night.

H6150    bru    ?a?rab     aw-rab’

A primitive root (rather identical withH6148through the idea of covering with a texture); to grow dusky at sundown: – be darkened, (toward) evening.

Clark’s commentation on this word is this,

In the evening – ??? ??????  beyn haarbayim, “between the two evenings.” The Jews divided the day into morning and evening: till the sun passed the meridian all was morning or fore-noon; after that, all was afternoon or evening. Their first evening began just after twelve o’clock, and continued till sunset; their second evening began at sunset and continued till night, i.e., during the whole time of twilight; between twelve o’clock, therefore, and the termination of twilight, the passover was to be offered.

“The day among the Jews had twelve hours, Joh_11:9. Their first hour was about six o’clock in the morning with us. Their sixth hour was our noon. Their ninth hour answered to our three o’clock in the afternoon. By this we may understand that the time in which Christ was crucified began at the third hour, that is, at nine o’clock in the morning, the ordinary time for the daily morning sacrifice, and ended at the ninth hour, that is, three o’clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice, Mar_15:25, Mar_15:33, Mar_15:34, Mar_15:37. Wherefore their ninth hour was their hour of prayer, when they used to go into the temple at the daily evening sacrifice, Act_3:1; and this was the ordinary time for the passover. It is worthy of remark that God sets no particular hour for the killing of the passover: any time between the two evenings, i.e., between twelve o’clock in the day and the termination of twilight, was lawful. The daily sacrifice (see Exo_29:38, Exo_29:39) was killed at half past the eighth hour, that is, half an hour Before three in the afternoon; and it was offered up at half past the ninth hour, that is, half an hour After three. In the evening of the passover it was killed at half past the seventh hour, and offered at half past the eighth, that is, half an hour Before three: and if the evening of the passover fell on the evening of the Sabbath, it was killed at half past the Sixth hour, and offered at half past the Seventh, that is, half an hour Before two in the afternoon. The reason of this was, they were first obliged to kill the daily sacrifice, and then to kill and roast the paschal lamb, and also to rest the evening before the passover. Agreeably to this Maimonides says ‘the killing of the passover is after mid-day, and if they kill it before it is not lawful; and they do not kill it till after the daily evening sacrifice, and burning of incense: and after they have trimmed the lamps they begin to kill the paschal lambs until the end of the day.’ By this time of the day God foreshowed the sufferings of Christ in the evening of times or in the last days, Heb_1:2; 1Pe_1:19, 1Pe_1:20 : and about the same time of the day, when the paschal lamb ordinarily died, He died also, viz., at the ninth hour; Mat_27:46-50.” See Ainsworth.

13  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14  And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15  Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

You are to eat Unleavened Bread for 7 days. Not 8. Notice below in verse 18 that you start to eat Unleavened Bread at even, at dusk, at the end of the 14th with the Passover lamb.  And in verse 17 the self same day as the Passover meal was eaten and the first born killed as the death angel passed over Israel, then on that same day Yehovah led them out of Egypt.

16  And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. 17  And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever. 18  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19  Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land.

Again we read in Numbers 33 that they left Egypt the morrow of the Passover. That is the Passover was eaten that night and the next morning they went out of Egypt.

Num 33:3  And they journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians,

By understanding the actual night that the Passover was eaten, the 15th, after it had been killed at the end of the 14th, and knowing that they left at dawn that morning of the 15th is important to understanding why Joshua 5:10-11 was Saturday night and the wave offering the next day was also the 1st day of Unleavened Bread. The wave sheaf day can and is occasionally on the 1st day of Unleavened Bread.

It is made from Barley. It is to have no leavening in it and as such must be made during the days of Unleavened Bread, not after they are over.

I hope this helps both in understanding when the Passover was eaten and when the wave offering was done this year.

Let me close with these two notes.

In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. Although both were experienced pilots, neither had made this particular flight before, and they had no way of knowing that the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m).

As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the volcano, killing everyone on board.

It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error—a matter of only a few degrees. 1

Small Errors Can Have a Large Impact on Our Lives

The difference of a few degrees, as with the Antarctica flight, may seem minor. But even small errors over time can make a dramatic difference in our lives.

Suppose you were to take off from an airport at the equator, intending to circumnavigate the globe, but your course was off by just one degree. By the time you returned to the same longitude, how far off course would you be? A few miles? A hundred miles? The answer might surprise you. An error of only one degree would put you almost 500 miles (800 km) off course, or one hour of flight for a jet.

No one wants his life to end in tragedy. But all too often, like the pilots and passengers of the sightseeing flight, we set out on what we hope will be an exciting journey only to realize too late that an error of a few degrees has set us on a course for spiritual disaster.

Keeping the wave sheaf on the wrong day may seem minor, but it will lead you away from the truth of Yehovah and His Holy Days and the keeping of Shavuot on the wrong day. It is no different than keeping Sunday as your Sabbath instead of Saturday which you are commanded. After all it is just one day difference, does it really matter? We all know it does.

The Circles of Righteousness

This past week I was invited to watch a video done by Brad Scott. He explained this verse in Psalm 23:3 which I would like to now share with you.

Psa 23:3 He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

We are going to look at the word paths to find the proper meaning of what we are being told here.

Psa 23:3 He restorethH7725 my soul:H5315 he leadethH5148 me in the pathsH4570 of righteousnessH6664 for his name’s sake.H4616 H8034

H4570
lgum hlgum
ma?ga?l ma?ga?la?h
mah-gawl’, mah-gaw-law’
From the same as H5696; a track (literally or figuratively); also a rampart (as circular): – going, path, trench, way([-side]).

H5696
lgu lwg

?a?go?l ?a?go?l
aw-gole’, aw-gole’
From an unused root meaning to revolve, circular: – round.

From our lessons in Erictology we learn that each letter has a meaning.

agol is lgu Lamed, Gimmel, Ayin- lgu each of the letters means l auhtority g walking u judging.

When I see this word ‘walking in a circular manner judging’ I am reminded of this word Shanah. It comes from Gen 6:3

Gen 6:3 And Jehovah said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, in his erring; he is flesh. Yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. years.H8141

H8141
hnc hnc
sha?neh sha?na?h
shaw-neh’, shaw-naw’
(The first form being in plural only, the second form being feminine); from H8138; a year (as a revolution of time): – + whole age, X long, + old, year (X -ly).

H8138
hnc
sha?na?h
shaw-naw’
A primitive root; to fold, that is, duplicate (literally or figuratively (); by implication to transmute (transitively or intransitively): – do (speak, strike) again, alter, double, (be given to) change, disguise, (be) diverse, pervert, prefer, repeat, return, do the second time.

Shanah is a repeating of 120 Cycles of time. 120 Jubilee Cycles.

Returning to Psalm 23….in English it reads….”He leads me in paths of righteousness”, but in the original Hebrew it says “He leads me in the cycles of righteousness”…..which is an idiom meaning the moedim….the appointed sabbaths and Feasts of the Almighty!
In Paths of Righteousness

Ps 23:3 He restores my soul: He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names´ sake.

This is a pretty typical English translation of this very well known verse of probably the best known and most oft quoted Psalm of David. We have generally considered it to mean that He will direct us, day by day, as we go about our business, if we are careful to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit within.

That is certainly a valid interpretation and it is true; He does guide and lead us every day both through the written Word, by His example and through promptings of the Holy Spirit (if we are willing to stop and listen).

In the Hebrew text, though, we find a much deeper, older meaning that has been pretty much lost to the church over the last 1,700 years or so, one that I would like to briefly explore.
The phrase that is translated “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names´ sake” in Hebrew is “yanheni bema´geley tzedeq lema´an shemo“.

yanheni – He leads/guides/bestows on me
bema´geley – be=in, ma=out of, galah=circles, cycles, round paths
tzedeq=righteousness
lema´an=heed, purpose, on account of
shemo=His Name, authority.

A more literal translation could be, “He leads me in, guides me from and bestows on me his paths/cycles of righteousness on account of His name and authority.”

In Hebrew thought life is cyclical; everything is based on cycles that we can observe and see around us in creation. Seed -> plant -> fruit -> seed for example.

Yehovah also gave His people a calendar to keep track of the cycles of days, weeks, months and years and set the sun, moon and stars in place to help us keep track of those “cycles of time” by which he governs the universe. This is His annual calendar and it is also His Jubilee Calendar cycle.

Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs (l´otot) and seasons (u´le´moedim) and days (u´le´yamiym) and years (v´shaniym).

There are 2 significant words I´d like to focus on here; signs (oth, plural. otot) and seasons (moedim).

The term signs refers to way markers or sign posts and is spelled in Hebrew Aleph-Tav-Hey. ath-ath

We read of these way markers in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’Hebrew is a pictoral language: each letter in Hebrew has a distinct meaning (shown by the picture that the letter represents) and an understanding of the meaning of a Hebrew word can be gained by looking at the meaning of the individual letters making up the word.

Jer 312:21“Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts; Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities.Aleph is a picture of an ox head and the basic meaning is strength.

Tav is a pair of crossed sticks and represents a cross.
Hey is a picture of a man with his hands raised saying “Behold” and can also mean revealed.

Aleph, Tav, Hey then literally means “the strength of the Cross revealed”. So, Oht, the way markers or sign posts, are “the strength of the Cross revealed”. Hold that thought, all will become clear in a minute. (we will be looking at this word Oht next week).

The other word is “moedim” – in Hebrew mem-yod-ayin-dalet-mem. The “im” on the end makes it a plural.

myudm-myudm

ud  (Ayin-dalet) means “see the door”, as in coming to a place or a tent of meeting and entering in. It is a place, time or event that is repeated over and over again. It also carries secondary meanings of “eternity” and “witness”.

When we add the “mo” prefix it means “from, out of or for the sake of”, so “moedim” literally means all of “times and places from, out of, for the sake of eternity/witness”, or in other words, “appointed times” or simply “appointments”.

So, the signs and seasons are the strength of the cross revealed in the appointed times.

What are these appointed times?

Lev 23:1-2 And the Lord (YHVH) spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, The Feasts of the Lord (YHVH), which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations (miqrey qodesh), these are My Feasts(moeday)”.

The words “holy convocations” or “miqrey qodesh” literally mean “set-apart rehearsals“. Yehovah says, “these are my appointed times”. They are the times that He set apart for His people to celebrate Him and rehearse the fulfillment of His promises. These are the way markers that we are to follow in order to find our way back to the land of Israel.

Ps 65:11 You crown the year with goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.

The word “paths” here again is “cycles”. The cycles of His moedim, His appointed times, drop fatness i.e. leave behind abundance.

So, what are these appointed times that He has promised are abundance and goodness for His people, that the writer to Hebrews told us are shadows of good things to come?

Lev 23:3 “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation (set apart rehearsal); you shall do no work. It is the sabbath of the Lord (YHVH) in all your dwellings”.

OK, so it is holy (set apart from all other days) and it is a rehearsal. Of what? Good things to come.

All of the appointed times both teach us of events in the past (looking back) and teach us of events that are still to be fulfilled (looking to the future). In fact, it is impossible to understand Bible prophecy of the end times without the context of the Feasts of the Lord (note – they´re not Jewish feasts, Yehovah says they´re His Feasts).

Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew) teaches us firstly that in 6 days, God created all that was made, and on the 7th day he rested from His labours (as it says in Genesis). It also teaches us that man´s time to labour on earth will be 6 days, and that there will be 1 day of rest at the end of days.

Huh? What does that mean? Peter told us in 2 Peter 3:8 (quoting David from Ps 90:4);

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day”.

Put back in the context of the creation account and shabbat, man´s days of labour on earth will be 6000 years, and then there will be the “shabbat millenium”, 1,000 years of rest with Christ reigning on earth from Jerusalem.

That is what the sabbath is rehearsing. And that is what the writer of Hebrews was alluding to when he wrote,

…so there remains a sabbath rest (sabbatismos) for the people of God…thus we must make every effort to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience (apatheia).”

What about the rest of the chapter?

Lev 23:4-21 tells us about the “Spring” Feasts of The Lord – Passover/Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost.

Passover/Unleavened Bread – teaches about the redemption of Israel from Egypt, points forward to the crucifixion of Yehshua and also looks forward to the future redemption of exiled Israel from out of the nations the end of this sixth day. The days of unleavened bread remind us of the 7 days spent walking from Goshen to the Red Sea where they finally left Egypt (remembering that the Sinai Peninsula was still a part of “greater Egypt”) and crossed over into Midian on their way to Mt Sinai. At the end of the 7 days they experienced Yehovah’s salvation (lit. Yeshua) as they crossed over on dry land and then witnessed Pharaoh’s chariots being drowned.

First Fruits – a thanksgiving offering of the first fruits of the harvest, points forward to the resurrection of Yehshua on that Sunday morning during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Pentecost – a memorial of the giving of Torah (“the Law”) at Mt Sinai, points forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after Yehshua’s´ ascension and also looks forward to the “latter rain” double-portion outpouring of Holy Spirit prior to the return of Yehshua. It also points to the time when the Saints will be raised up and those of us alive will be changed to spirit beings.

In Lev 23:24-44 we see the instructions for the “Fall Feasts” of The Lord.

Trumpets – a memorial of the “Blowing of trumpets” . It is the actual birth day of Yehshua. It is the day yet future when He will return to wage war with Satan’s forces on this earth.

Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement; a day of national repentance, reflection, fasting and prayer. It comes at the end of the 10 days of Awe. At the time when Satan is locked away for the Millennium of rest.

The Feast of Tabernacles: a memorial that when God brought our fathers out of Egypt that they “dwelt in tabernacles” in the wilderness. It is symbolic of the 7 millennium which is then followed by the 8th millennium at which time then Yehovah will dwell with us.(Rev. 21:3, “…Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men…”).
The Paths of Righteousness spoken of in Psalm 23 are the circular paths we walk on each year in keeping the Feasts. They are the circular paths we walk on each week as we keep the weekly Sabbath and they are the circular paths we walk on as we keep the Shmita or Sabbatical years every seventh year and the Jubilee years.

These are the paths of Righteousness that we must walk and each time we pass by the Sabbath or the Holy Days or the Sabbatical years, we learn more that we had not noticed the last time. It is like walking down you favorite path and noticing the flowers that were not there, or at least that you did not see the last time.

For many of you this coming Sabbatical year in 2016-2017 will be the first one you will have ever kept. As you keep it, you will learn things about Yehovah’s righteousness that you will keep for ever. Then when you keep the next one you will learn even more. Enjoy this first Sabbatical year. Do not over-think it. Just do it and enjoy the things you learn along the way. Those who say it is only for the land of Israel will never learn the secrets from the Sabbatical years which can only be learned by doing it. If they are right and it is only for the land of Israel, then you will be ready to keep them in the land because you have been practicing the paths of Righteousness outside the land.

As we said above. You cannot understand prophecy (Shadows of things to come) if you do not keep the Holy Days, the Moedim, the appointed times, the paths. Even moreso if you do not keep the Sabbatical years, you cannot understand prophecy. Even if you do keep the Holy Days, you still are ignorant of prophecy if you ignore the Shmitah and Jubilee years.

What begins with you on a lonely path…..

a-cow-blocks-the-way

 

will grow to a well trodden roadway because of your circular or repeatedly keeping the Moedim. This is setting the way markers as you DO the Appointed times.

cow path

 

This in turn will develop in you understanding and knowledge and wisdom and become something we do all the time, and that little path will become a road and the things you did not see at first will become clearer each time you walk down this way and notice the beauty of this way of life.

Those who followed Yehshua were never called Christians. They were known as followers of the way, Nazarenes. Followers of the way, the paths of righteousness.

Pathway paths

ERIKTOLOGY - ALEPH/BEYT

This week Eric is teaching us about the letter Noon- n –  as we learn just how high we can jump. Here is the first video on the n  and the second is here.

Counting the Omer

WEEK SEVEN

Day Forty-Three | Yehovah’s Graciousness | Psalm 106:1-5

Today is the first day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-third day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Praise Yah! Oh, give thanks to YHWH, for He is good! For His kindness is everlasting. (Psalm 106:1)
2 Who does relate the mighty acts of YHWH Or declare all His praise? (Psalm 106:2)
3 Blessed are those who guard right-ruling, who do righteousness at all times! (Psalm 106:3)

4 Remember me, O YHWH, in the acceptance of Your people. Visit me with Your deliverance. (Psalm 106:4)
5 To see the good of Your chosen ones, to rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, to make my boast with Your inheritance. (Psalm 106:5)

Day Forty-Four | In Praise of Yehovah| Psalm 111:1-10

Today is the second day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-fourth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Praise Yah! I thank YHWH with all my heart, in the company of the straight, and of the congregation. (Psalm 111:1)
2 Great are the works of YHWH, searched for by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2)
3 Splendor and greatness are His work, and His righteousness stands forever. (Psalm 111:3)

4 He has made His wonders to be remembered. YHWH shows favor and is compassionate. (Psalm 111:4)
5 He has given food to those who fear Him. He remembers His covenant forever. (Psalm 111:5)
6 He has shown His people the power of His works, to give to them the inheritance of the Gentiles. (Psalm 111:6)

7 The works of His hands are truth and right-ruling, all His orders are trustworthy. (Psalm 111:7) 8 They are upheld forever and ever, performed in truth and straightness. (Psalm 111:8)
9 He sent redemption to His people. He has commanded His covenant forever. Set-apart and awesome is His Name. (Psalm 111:9)

10 The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom. All those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever. (Psalm 111:10)

Day Forty-Five | The Happiness of a Good Person | Psalm 112:1-10

Today is the third day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-fifth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Praise Yah! Blessed is the man, who fears YHWH, who has greatly delighted in His commands. (Psalm 112:1)
2 Mighty in the earth shall be his seed, the generation of the straight ones shall be blessed. (Psalm 112:2)

3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness is standing forever. (Psalm 112:3)
4 Light has risen in the darkness to the straight ones, those showing favor, the compassionate, and the righteous. (Psalm 112:4)
5 Good is a man showing favor and lending, he sustains his matters in right-ruling. (Psalm 112:5) 6 For he is never shaken; the righteous is remembered forever. (Psalm 112:6)
7 He is not afraid of an evil report. His heart is steadfast, trusting in YHWH. (Psalm 112:7)
8 His heart is upheld, he is not afraid, while he looks on his adversaries. (Psalm 112:8)
9 He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor. His righteousness is standing forever. His horn is exalted with esteem. (Psalm 112:9)
10 The wrong one sees it and shall be vexed. He gnashes his teeth and shall melt. The desire of the wrong ones does perish. (Psalm 112:10)

Day Forty-Six | The Reward of Obedience | Psalm 128:1-6

Today is the fourth day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-sixth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Blessed are all who fear YHWH, who walk in His ways. (Psalm 128:1)
2 You shall eat the labor of your hands. Be blessed, and let it be well with you. (Psalm 128:2)
3 Let your wife be as a fruit-bearing vine within your house, your sons like olive plants all around your table. (Psalm 128:3)
4 Look, so shall the man be blessed who fears YHWH. (Psalm 128:4) YHWH shall bless you out of Tsiyon (Zion), and let you see the good of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) 5 all the days of your life. (Psalm 128:5)

6 And let you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Yisra’el! (Psalm 128:6)

Day Forty-Seven | A Prayer For Help | Psalm 130:1-8

Today is the fifth day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-seventh day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O YHWH. (Psalm 130:1)
2 O YHWH, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my prayers. (Psalm 130:2)
3 O Yah, if You should watch crookednesses, O YHWH, who would stand? (Psalm 130:3)
4 But with You there is forgiveness, that You might be feared. (Psalm 130:4)
5 I looked to YHWH, my being has looked, and for His Word I have waited. (Psalm 130:5)
6 My being looks to YHWH more than those watching for morning, watching for morning. (Psalm 130:6)
7 O Yisra’el, wait for YHWH; for with YHWH there is kindness. And with Him is much redemption. (Psalm 130:7)
8 For He shall redeem Yisra’el from all his crookednesses. (Psalm 130:8)

Day Forty-Eight | A Call For the Universe To Praise Yehovah | Psalm 148:1-14

Today is the sixth day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-eighth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 Praise Yah! Praise YHWH from the heavens. Praise Him in the heights! (Psalm 148:1)
2 Praise Him, all His messengers. Praise Him, all His hosts! (Psalm 148:2)
3 Praise Him, sun and moon. Praise Him, all you stars of light! (Psalm 148:3)
4 Praise Him, heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! (Psalm 148:4)
5 Let them praise the Name of YHWH, for He commanded and they were created. (Psalm 148:5)
6 And He established them forever and ever. He gave a law and they pass not beyond. (Psalm )148:6

7 Praise YHWH from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths. (Psalm 148:7)

8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy wind that does His Word. (Psalm 148:8)

9 The mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars. (Psalm 148:9)
10 Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping creatures and flying birds. (Psalm 148:10)
11 Sovereigns of the earth and all peoples, rulers and all judges of the earth. (Psalm 148:11)
12 Both young men and maidens, old men and children. (Psalm 148:12)
13 Let them praise the Name of YHWH, for His Name alone is exalted, His splendor is above the earth and heavens. (Psalm 148:13)
14 He also lifts up the horn of His people, the praise of all His kind ones; of the children of Yisra’el, a people near to Him. Praise Yah! (Psalm 148:14)

Day Forty-Nine | A Prayer of Thanksgiving | Psalm 138:1-8

Today is the seventh day of the seventh week of seven weeks. Today is the forty-ninth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath. Today is the seventh Sabbath of seven Sabbaths. Today completes the seventh week of seven weeks.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)

5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

1 I give You thanks with all my heart. Before the mighty ones I sing praises to You. (Psalm 138:1)
2 I bow myself toward Your set-apart Hekal (Temple), and give thanks to Your Name for Your kindness and for Your truth; for You have made great Your Word, Your Name, above all. (Psalm 138:2)

3 On the day I called, You did answer me. You made me bold with strength in my being. (Psalm 138:3)
4 Let all the sovereigns of the earth give thanks to You, O YHWH, when they shall hear the words of Your mouth. (Psalm 138:4)

5 And let them sing of the ways of YHWH, for great is the esteem of YHWH. (Psalm 138:5)
6 Though YHWH is exalted, He looks on the humble; but the proud He perceives from a distance. (Psalm 138:6)
7 Though I walk in the midst of distress, You revive me. You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand saves me. (Psalm 138:7)
Your kindness is everlasting. Do not forsake the works of Your hands, O YHWH. (Psalm 138:8)

Triennial Torah Reading

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at? https://sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

 

16/05/2015   Lev 3  Jeremiah 22-23   Prov 15  Acts 12

 

Peace Offerings (Leviticus 3)

As The Nelson Study Bible notes: “The Hebrew word for peace means ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, health.’ When a person has this, in all its dimensions, that person is at peace. The peace offerings were times of feasting, drinking, talking, singing, and enjoying salvation as a great gift from God (see 7:11-21). Paul describes Yeshua Messiah as our perfect peace offering (see Col. 1:20)” (note on Leviticus 3:1). In the peace offering, unlike other offerings, the offerer was allowed to eat and thus find satisfaction in the offering: “God, man, and the priest, all fed together, all finding satisfaction in the offering. God first has His part and is satisfied, for He declares it to be very good. ‘It is an offering made by fire of a sweet savour unto the Lord.’ Man (in Messiah) as offerer has his part, and is permitted to share this offering with his friends. And the priest, that is, Messiah in His official character, is satisfied also, and His children are satisfied with Him. What a picture is here presented to us! The offerer feasts with God, with His priest, and with the priest’s children” (Jukes, p. 108).

In this picture, not only is God satisfied but so is the whole priestly family—symbolic of Messiah’s family, the Assembly of God. So, too, is the offerer himself. Messiah set the example here. Isaiah prophesied of Him, “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11, King James Version). Indeed, His life offering in God’s service sustained Him as food. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Indeed, there normally had to be a “burnt offering” in order that a peace offering could follow. For the peace offering was to be offered “upon the burnt sacrifice” (Leviticus 3:5). Being in alignment with God’s will, as represented by the burnt offering, the worshiper would then be in a position to fellowship with God and with his or her family in the sharing of the peace offering.

As with the other offerings, there is much more to the peace offering that could be said—particularly when it comes to their being used in chapter 7 as thanksgiving or praise offerings or for taking a vow. Again, you are encouraged to study this subject on your own, as it is much broader than can possibly be covered here.

Jeremiah Chapter 22

Jeremiah is sent by God to the King of Judah to warn him, “Do right-ruling and righteousness, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor. Do not maltreat nor do violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”

He tells them if they will do this, then they will continue upon the throne of David and keep their rule. But if they do not, then God is going to destroy them and bring upon them enemies with all their weapons.

Specifically speaking to Shallum, son of Yoshiyahu… accusing him of greed, opulence, shedding innocent blood, and oppression of the people for gain. Jeremiah pronounces shame and destruction upon his rule and captivity. He will never be able to return to the land of his fathers. God has spoken to him over and over again while he was at ease in his palace and fineries, but he refused to listen. Now, His judgment will come.

“Write this man down as childless, a strong man who is not to prosper in his days, for none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, or rule any more in Yehudah.”

Jeremiah Chapter 23

Jeremiah prophesies against the wicked shepherds who have misled and scattered the flock of God. Because they have been scattered, God Himself will regather them from all the places where they dwell. He will bring them back into their own land and He Himself will shepherd them and watch over them. He will raise up the Branch of David and His Name will be called YHWH our Righteousness. This act and this Exodus will be so great that people will no longer talk about the Exodus out of Egypt.

Jeremiah’s heart is broken over all the wicked he sees against the Words of God. Both priest and prophet are defiled and wicked and do all manner of abominations. Therefore, God is causing them to eat wormwood. They continue to prophesy peace to all and tell everyone not to worry about their wickedness for all is fine and no one shall see judgment over their wickednesses.

 

First Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d (Proverbs 14)

  1. Self-Protective and Self-Destructive Behavior (14:1-3)

“TYPE: INCLUSIO” (The New American Commentary). “Verses 1 and 3 go together as signaled by the repetition of ‘wise’ and ‘fool/foolish’; the difference between the two [types of people] is explained in verse 2” (The NIV Application Commentary, note on verses 1-7). Verses 1 and 3 show that the wise will ultimately benefit from their right choices but the foolish ultimately hurt themselves and those close to them. Verse 2 shows that what makes the difference is one’s attitude toward God. It also makes clear that how one lives shows whether one properly reveres God or not.

Verse 1 is paraphrased in the New Century Version (NCV) as: “A wise woman strengthens her family, but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does.”

In the NIV, verse 3 opens with the words, “A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back….” The NCV has “Fools will be punished for their proud words….” However, the Jewish Soncino Commentary points out: “The word [translated ‘rod’] is found again only in Isa. [11:]1, where it signifies a new branch growing from the trunk of a tree. If rod was intended, as a symbol of punishment, another Hebrew word, shebet, would have been more appropriate. It is better, therefore, to translate: ‘a branch (producing) pride.’ From the fool’s mouth issues haughty speech which has the effect of getting him into trouble” (note on verse 3). In either case, the implication is that the emergence of pride is ultimately self-destructive—especially given the contrast in the verse in which the wise are preserved by their own carefully chosen words.

  1. A Worthwhile Investment (14:4)

“TYPE: SINGLE BICOLON PROVERB” (NAC). Where the KJV has “crib,” the NIV has “manger” and the NKJV has “trough”—the object here being the feed-trough for oxen. Soncino comments: “This animal was employed for ploughing and threshing the corn [i.e., grain] (Deut. [22:]20, [25:]4). The point of the verse is neither the importance of agricultural work…nor the value of work as opposed to slothfulness…. As sometimes happens with a proverb, the abstract thought is presented by means of a concrete example. So here, the ox is used as an illustration. Having no ox is, from one point of view, an advantage because a man is then freed from attending to its care; but as against that there is the great advantage of having an ox for the provision of essential food. Consequently, the disadvantage of having to look after the animal is far outweighed by the benefits which accrue from its employment in the field” (note on verse 4).

The New American Commentary takes it a step further: “The point is that one must make an investment (obtain and feed the oxen) to get a large return” (note on verse 4).

  1. Look Who’s Talking (14:5-7)

“TYPE: THEMATIC….One should evaluate what a person says on the basis of his or her overall credibility (v. 5). Similarly, one should not expect to get sound advice from a person who shows no respect for the precepts of wisdom (vv. 6-7). In short, the character of the speaker serves as a warning about whether his words are true or wise” (NAC).

Verse 5 is similar to verse 25.

The counsel in verse 7 does not mean we must immediately leave a room if a foolish person is in it. The point is that we should not associate with foolish people as much as is reasonable—and certainly not look to them for guidance. “Once again, the proverbs recognize that the company one keeps will have its influence. Taken together [with related proverbs], one can learn better alone than with the help of a fool” (NIV Application Commentary, note on verse 7; compare 13:20).

  1. Appearance and Reality (14:8-15)

“TYPE: CHIASMUS….Life is often deceptive, and the text here implicitly exhorts readers not to be taken in by appearances [or how things might seem]…This series of proverbs is a carefully balanced chiasmus [or concentric arrangement]:

“The meaning of ‘the folly of fools is deception’ (v. 8 [NIV]) is not immediately evident, but the parallel in v. 15 implies that the naiveté of fools is in view” (NAC). Verse 15 shows that the simple are gullible while the wise proceed cautiously—to borrow from a modern proverb, they look before they leap. On the word in verse 8 translated “deceit” or “deception” (NIV), Soncino notes: “The verb from which this noun is derived, means ‘to mislead'” (note on verse 8). The NRSV renders the verse this way: “It is the wisdom of the clever to understand where they go, but the folly of fools misleads.” The wise know that things are not always as they seem.

“Verses 10, 13 likewise observe that no one knows the inner life of another’s heart and that the appearance of happiness can be deceptive” (NAC).

Verse 9 is somewhat difficult to translate and the King James and New King James are probably incorrect here. The NIV has a likelier rendering: “Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.” Thus, “verse 9 states that the wicked believe they can avoid making restitution, but v. 14 [in concentric parallel] gives assurance of divine retribution. In other words, the appearance of getting away with a crime is belied by a justice that is not obvious or quick but is certain.

“In vv. 11-12, at the heart of the chiasmus, the apparent success of the wicked is short-lived…. The message of the whole is to avoid a superficial analysis of the lessons of life” (NAC).

Verse 12, repeated in 16:25, is crucial to always keep in mind. People the world over often act according to what they personally think is right—but not according to the way of life God reveals in His Word. Thus they all march headlong down the broad road to destruction (compare Matthew 7:13)—in dire need of true education and God’s salvation. We must be sure to always look at things through the godly lens of Scripture and not mere human reason, living by faith and not by sight (compare Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

  1. A Patient Spirit (14:16-17)

“TYPE:…THEMATIC” (NAC). As pointed out in verse 15, a wise man thinks before he acts. Contributing to his reasoned patience is, as verse 16 notes, a healthy fear of the consequences of evil. This contrasts with the foolish self-confidence behind rashness and impulsive anger.

  1. A Crown of Wisdom, An Inheritance of Folly (14:18-24)

TYPE: INCLUSIO, CHIASMUS, PARALLEL PROVERBS. “This text promises that the righteous will be crowned with wisdom and see fools bow before them. The passage also gives a few specific guidelines for right behavior, including compassion and personal diligence” (NAC).

Verses 18 and 24 are tied together through the wise receiving a crown or reward and the foolish inheriting only folly. The NIV captures the sense of verse 24: “The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.” This is not a promise of wealth for the godly in this age. It merely expresses the principle that wealth is gained and sustained through wisdom and prudence, while the foolishness of fools leads to an outcome of more foolishness. Of course, the godly will be richly rewarded in the ages to come.

“Verses 20-23 fall between these verses and are themselves bound together in a complex manner. Verses 20 and 23 both deal with wealth and poverty, and vv. 21-22 both contrast those who are kind with those who plot evil. Viewed in this manner, vv. 20-23 are in a chiastic pattern. On the other hand, vv. 20-21 both concern the different ways a ‘neighbor’ is treated, and vv. 22-23 both concern the respective gain or loss that comes to the good/diligent as opposed to the evil/lazy. Viewed in this manner, vv. 20-23 are two sets of parallel proverbs. Both the chiasmus and the parallel pattern may be viewed as follows:

“The full text deals with the recompense that accompanies wisdom or folly. Ethical issues here [that impact the outcome] include concern for the poor, diligence in work, and integrity in dealing with others” (NAC, note on verses 18-24).

Treatment of the poor (verses 20-21) is revisited in verse 31. In verse 20 the many friends of the rich are not true friends that can be counted on. Thus the New Living Translation rendering: “…the rich have many ‘friends.'” These are mostly parasitical, seeking handouts, personal advancement or notoriety through association.

  1. An Honest Witness (14:25)

“TYPE: SINGLE BICOLON PROVERB” (NAC). As earlier noted, this verse is similar to verse 5.

  1. The Fear of the Lord (14:26-27)

“TYPE: THEMATIC” (NAC). These proverbs focus on the fear of the Lord—the proper reverence and awe of God in His holiness and power through which the whole book of Proverbs is to be viewed and comprehended (compare 1:7). This perspective will protect us and our loved ones we influence, preserving us through various trials and keeping us from falling away to ultimate destruction. We will note more about this when we come to Proverbs 19:23.

  1. National Security (14:28-35)

“TYPE: INCLUSIO [POSSIBLE CHIASM]….The health and well-being of a nation depends upon both the ruler and the governed. A ruler must be fair and above all must respect the rights of his people. The people, on the other hand, must have virtue in their lives or they will bring society into chaos. No government can succeed without the people, and no people can thrive if corruption and evil abound. The inclusio here is formed by v. 28, which describes a king’s need for a sizable populace, and v. 35, which obliquely asserts a king’s need for capable servants” (NAC).

In its note on verses 28-35, The NIV Application Commentary sees a possible chiasm here, based on the terms used:

Verse 29, which contrasts impulsiveness with patience, is followed by verse 30, which contrasts a sound heart or “a heart at peace” (NIV) with envy. Both verses show reasoned calm to be superior to uncontrolled emotion. In the latter verse, this calm is healthful while negative emotion is actually destructive to the body—facts borne out in modern medical science.

Verse 31, similar to verse 21, warns the powerful, such as national rulers, from oppressing the poor. To oppress the poor is to reproach God, since He has commanded that the poor be treated well. Those who honor God will obey Him in proper treatment of those in need. There may even be a hint here of Yeshua’ later teaching that as we treat people, so we treat Him (compare Matthew 25:31-46)—a principle more evident in Proverbs 19:17. See also 17:5.

Proverbs 14:32 says that the righteous has a refuge in death. Note again the refuge in the fear of the Lord in verse 26. While the wicked are swept away when calamity comes, the righteous ever have the refuge of God—even in death, showing hope beyond the grave (compare Isaiah 57:1-2). This is true in both an individual and collective sense.

The first colon of Proverbs 14:34 is inscribed above the entrance to a prominent American building—Los Angeles City Hall. That great city, and the nation at large—indeed all the world—would do well to heed this saying on the importance of the citizenry living according to God’s standard of righteousness and not descending into sin. Verses 34 and 35 are both linked by the theme of shame among those governed. “A people may wish for good character qualities in their leaders, but they ought to hold themselves to the same high standards. This may be a jab at the common assumption that honest and forthright character is always a good idea for someone else” (NIV Application Commentary, note on verse 35). Indeed, every person’s character contributes to the character of the whole community, so we should each take this as a personal responsibility.

Acts 12

Herodes the sovereign is on the rampage against the assembly and the support of the Yehudim only increases his bloodlust for the believers. Ya’aqob, the brother of Yochanan, is slain by Herodes’ sword and he goes after Kepha as well. Kepha is arrest and put in prison and all this is happening during the feast of Unleavened Bread (the time of ‘no violence allowed’).

Kepha is miraculously freed from prison by a messenger from God and he immediately goes to the house of Miryam to report to them what has happened.

Shortly thereafter, Herodes is struck down by God publicly for his pride, haughtiness, and not giving esteem to God but licking it up for himself only.

Sha’ul and Barnabah return from Yerushalayim and take with them also Yochanan who was also called Mark.