News Letter 5850-014
28th day of the 3rd month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 3rd Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence
June 28, 2014
Shabbat Shalom Family,
As you read this, I will be presenting the Sabbatical and Jubilee year teachings in Calgary. Pray that all goes well so they can understand the enormity of this subject. If you are in the area, I look forward to talking with you. We are at the Fish and Game Hall in Hillcrest Alberta.
In Columbus, Ohio on August 2 and 3rd of 2014, I will be presenting this teaching along with the Blood moon teaching and the Case for War. You must register so we can get the appropriate room. I want to encourage all those in the Churches of God to come out and learn what they are not being taught about the Sabbatical years. For directions to the hall please contact
Brethren, all that you see going on here at sightedmoon.com is basically done by myself. I have no staff. I do have an IT guy, James who manages the web site and anything technical that I need help with. I have a few ladies who volunteer to help edit my terrible spelling and grammar. I am able to hire a young man to videotape some of the teachings I think should be recorded. He is with me in Calgary this weekend recording a few more teachings to share with you. Last minute update: James lost his passport and has had to cancel, so we will not be recording these teachings at this time. The 6 Blood Moons and the The Case for War, 20 Proof’s will have to be videotaped at another time. So we need your prayers all the time for Yehovah’s blessing.
I tell you this so you understand why some things take so long for me to get done. I work a full time job digging ditches 5 days a week. I want to thank you for your patience as I work away on things. Over the past few weeks we have been able to get a couple of big things done.
We have just received our DVD’s duplicating machine so we can now begin to ship out each of the video teachings to those who want them. We heard how some had no or limited internet access. Others had relatives and friends who had no internet at all, and they wanted to share these videos with their families. So, we have gone ahead and will have all those teachings available for you to purchase and share. Our videos on the website will remain there and remain free for all to watch, but you will have to purchase the DVD’s. They are up for sale on our web site but I have yet to figure out how to make copies. So be patient as I work this out, and then I will fill any orders at that time.
Our second announcement is that we have secured a booth at the ICEJ Sukkot event in Jerusalem, which is now confirmed. They expect to have between 5,000-8,000 people show up from over 90 countries to keep the Feast. This is a huge deal and the potential opportunity to share about the Sabbatical years with brethren and leaders is unmatched anywhere else.
We bid on a booth the very first day they were released and we got our third choice, as the first two were already gone. We have booth number 8. I am in need of your help once again. We have already paid for the booth and the full page ad in the Feast Magazine, which each and every attendee will receive and refer to. We need to build a respectable booth worthy of the King we serve. Your support in this area would be appreciated.
If it was not for the generosity of a few people none of the videos would have been made nor been available, videos which most of you have said are unbelievable and stunning. I want to thank each of you who have contributed to this work and helped us this far. At the ICEJ event, you’re helping us to reach Christians who love Israel and are keeping the Feast but do not understand the rest of the Holy Days or Sabbatical years and the prophecies they show us. Please send a cheque or use Paypal on the donation page. Please help us get this part of the job done.
I also want to thank those of you who take the time to write a short note to tell me how much the work we have provided has blessed you, and that you are now sharing these truths with your fellowships and family. I do not have time to reply to those notes, but I want you all to know how much they mean to me. And, there are so many from new people who are just learning everything at once. Again, thank you for letting me know this work means something to you.
This week I have been contacted by two messianic leaders about the Sabbatical Years. Those of you who are writing to each of those teachers please continue, as you are reaping results. Just imagine how many people you will reach when you are able to help a teacher understand the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. Please keep it up and do not let up. I hope to be able to have a very special announcement about this soon.
I continue to come across groups of people who are bored with studying the scriptures. They think they know it all already. Once they have it all figured out they then turn to….well, I was trying to find a nice word but….they basically turn to heresy teachings. Some get deep into every conspiracy teaching they can find. For years, I have been sent things about Bill Clinton as Satan, then it was George Bush and now it is President Obama. They learn to no longer trust anything from the Government, then this changes to not trusting anyone in authority and then just not trusting anyone. They are their own island.
Others spend their time searching out each and every word of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jasher or the books of Barnabas and other apocrypha books, trying to be “THE ONE” who finds a new truth that has never before been revealed to men; the lunar Sabbatarians who continuously change their teachings once they have been shown to be false; and others who will have absolutely nothing to do with anything that is Jewish. I have also found people who debate controversial subjects all the time, never to resolve an issue but just to keep the confusion going so they can sound off on what they know. In each of these examples, I have found the people who are deep into these things are so smart that they are smarter than the rest of us and they know it.
1Co 1:26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; 29 so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
I have spoken out against taking part in these things in the past. Each time I do, I get a barrage of hate mail condemning me to hell fire for not believing in such silliness. They huff and puff and then get mad and go away. It is only after a few months time that some of them do write back and apologize, then tell me I was right. These Chemtrail junkies and HAARP supporters never see how they are being led away from the truth of the gospel, the truth of the Torah and are in fact following another god, the god of the tree of both Knowledge and Evil. Each of these teachings have some truth in them but all of them, without exception, lead you away from Yehovah. I cannot tell you how sad I feel when I hear children tell me to get inside because of the Chemtrails they see in the sky.
Yehovah never spoke of Chemtrails or HAARP. Yehovah never spoke about the book of Jasher or Enoch. Yehovah the Elohim who inspired the Torah must be wondering why you think He forgot something in His inspired book we now call the Bible. Each of these apocrypha books have been found in the Geniza parts of the Synagogue. Any heretical books or manuscripts were not allowed to be burned or thrown in the garbage if it had Yehovah’s name in it. They were instructed to place it in an earthen jar and then bury it in the secret place in the front, to the right of the synagogue. The reason these books are not in the bible is because they are found to be faulty. For instance, the book of Jasher does not add up when you do the math, and that is just in the first chapter.
For your own sakes, please stop reading all that junk that others send you. Delete it and do not indulge in Satan’s lies that lead you away from Yehovah. This is the reason we have shared the teachings we have the past two weeks and this week as well. These conspiracy teachings also mask the truth. When people do finally understand the Covenant Satan has made with many, no one will believe it because they have been bombarded with so many false teachings, all spread by “the Brethren” who have now discredited themselves with all these nut-job conspiracies.
Isa 8:11 For so Jehovah spoke to me with a strong hand, and warned me against walking in the way of this people, saying, 12 Do not say, A conspiracy! to everything of which this people says, A conspiracy! And do not fear their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify Jehovah of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.
The word conspiracy here is actually confederacy or treason. Do not fear these treasonous people or the things they say. Do not fear the chemtrails, for they are lies. Do not fear HAARP, for it is also a lie. Rather, fear Yehovah and obey Him. Be afraid of His wrath and not that of peoples’ imaginations.
As I have mentioned in our opening series on these calendar issues, Schalk Klee and I were discussing them at Passover this year. He had much of the research already done and we were in agreement about these things. More and more those who are learning about the Torah, having come out of the lies of the Christian faith, begin checking everything they used to believe and the new things they are learning, as we all should. But some get tripped up and end up chasing red herrings, which leads to their ruin. Would Yehovah really let His people not know about the Sabbath or the Holy Days for over 3,000 years? Would Yehshua not have said something? Some people really go overboard, when the simplicity of the facts shows you that even a child can tell the time and or season. It is not rocket science.
The heresy of the Enoch Calendar
Written by Schalk_and_Elsa on. Posted in False teachings, YHVH’s Appointed times
In some of our recent posts, we have discussed the calendar and it’s origin. One topic that we have not yet addressed is the topic of the solar calendar – also known as the Enoch calendar. We have recently seen some groups starting to promote the Enoch calendar as the “original” calendar of YHVH. According to this group, the calendars based on the moon dates are from after the Babylonian exile. Followers of the Enoch calendar teach that the lunar calendar is something that the nation picked up from the Babylonians. According to them, the lunar calendar was never part of the first temple period. This topic also ties in nicely with the recent in-depth studies about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Essenes.
We often read that one of the ways to explain the misconception that Y’Shua was keeping a Pesach meal a day before the rest of the community, is the fact that He was following another calendar. Most often, the calendar referred to is the calendar followed by the Essenes. In our previous article, we have shown that Y’Shua was most likely anti-Essene. He warned His followers about the teachings of the Essenes.
Let us do a more detailed study of the Enoch calendar and the calendar of the Essenes. The more we know about this calendar the better we can decide what the Scriptural calendar is.
The origin of the calendar
There is no record of the Enoch calendar in the Scripture. We can find the most likely origin or proof of this calendar in the books of Enoch and Jubilees. These two books do not make up our current canon of Scripture.
We have lots of texts in the book of Jubilees that quote passages from the Book of Enoch. Thus, we can assume that the book of Enoch was written first. It was then followed by the book of Jubilees and then the writings of the community at Qumran. The books of Enoch and Jubilees are not well known. Let us first get a bit more detail on these two books.
History of the books
These two books do not form part of the canon of Scripture that either Judaism or Christianity recognizes. These books are classified as “Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament.” These books were written late, compared to the canonical books. These books are only accepted by the Ethiopian churches (Orthodox Christian and Jewish.) It is interesting that, although Beta Israel, also known as Ethiopian Jews, see both these books as canonical, they still follow the lunar calendar. Their calendar is a combination of the ancient calendar of Alexandrian Jewry, Book of Jubilees, Book of Enoch, Abu Shaker and the Ge’ez calendar.
At the caves in the Judean desert, archeologists found fragments of the book of Enoch. (1Q23-24, 2Q26, 4Q201-212, 4Q530-33, 6Q8) Most of the fragments found are too small to translate to English. Not all parts of the book of Enoch were present at Qumran. The fragments found were in Aramaic. The Aramaic versions of the book do not tie up nicely with the Ge’ez (Ethiopian) translation. 4Q209, the Astronomical Book, in the Aramaic version is longer than the Ge’ez version. Also, the Aramaic version found at Qumran of the Book of the Gaints, does not exist in the Ge’ez translation. But this book is preserved in the medieval Jewish literature. This indicates to us that the text of this book has not been well preserved. We do not even know which parts were originally included and which parts were added later.
We also have evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls that the Book of Jubilees was originally written in Hebrew. It was then later translated to Greek. In the caves of the Judean desert, archaeologists found several fragments of this book in Hebrew. They found twelve fragments of the Book of Jubilees. Only some fragments found in cave 4 are large enough to be translated into English. (4Q216 – 4Q220) At Qumran, fragments were also discovered of books that are close to Jubilees but not exactly the same. The researchers have called these “pseudo- Jubilees” (4Q225-227.) We also find reference to the book of Jubilees in the Damascus Document. Here, the book uses the original Hebrew name – “Book of the Divisions of Times into their Jubilees and Weeks” – CD 16.2-4. Based on the Hebrew manuscripts found, it appears as if the Ge’ez (Ethiopian) translations of Jubilees are still fairly accurate.
For both books, the most complete manuscripts only exist in Ge’ez. Ge’ez is the ancient South Semitic language that originated in Eritrea and the northern region of Ethiopia. We have proof that these books were translated from Hebrew/Aramaic to Greek, Greek to Latin and also from Greek to Ge’ez.
Content of the books
The book of Enoch consists of multiple parts that were put together as one book by a later editor. The book consists of the following parts:
- Book of Watchers – Chapters 1-36 including fragments of the Book of Noah in chapters 6-11
- Book of the Parables – Chapters 37-71 is also known as the Book of Similitudes
- Book of the Luminaries – Chapters 72-82
- The Dream Visions – Chapters 83-90
- Critical Structure – Chapters 91-104
- God and Messiah to dwell in Man – Chapter 105
- Latin fragment of the book of Noah – Chapters 106-107
- Appendix added later – Chapter 108
The parts of this book were not all written by one author. It also appears that these books are not structured in chronological sequence. The authors of all the sections belong to the Chasids or their successors the Pharisees. The Book of the Luminaries seems to be the oldest, dating from the third century B.C. The Book of Watchers contains parts of the Book of Luminaries, indicating that it was compiled at a later stage. The Book of the Parables appears to be the most recent. It is believed that it was written towards the end of the first century B.C. This part of the book was not found among the scrolls at Qumran. Also, the Book of Luminaries found at Qumran is much longer than the Ethiopic versions.1
The Book of the Luminaries is presented as a revelation from the archangel Uriel (YHVH is my light.) In the book, Enoch translates to his son Methuselah, all that Uriel has shown him about the laws of the cosmos and how this works. The purpose of this work is to show the uniformity of YHVH’s creation. It also shows how the movement of the luminaries and the blowing of the wind confirms this.
According to this model the firmament is like an upside down cup on a saucer. The saucer is the earth and where the cup and saucer meet, there are twelve gates. These gates are where the sun and moon rise during the 12 months of the year. The sun rises in the eastern gate and the sets again in the corresponding western gate. Next to these gates are many windows through which the stars emerge and disappear. This pattern is based upon the solar calendar of 364 days. It is divided into 4 sections, each with 91 days. The months consist of 30 days, except for the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th months. These four months each have an extra day. In the Aramaic fragments found at Qumran (4Q208-9), we also have a tabulation that correlates the movements of the sun and the moon during the annual cycle.
This seems to be the oldest recording we have of the solar calendar.
The Book of Jubilees is a re-telling of Genesis 1 to Exodus 12. It does differ in that this work is also an interpretation of the text. The author sometimes uses the exact same wording. Sometimes he deletes the text and in other cases he adds his interpretation to the text. The re-telling also follows a chronological sequence. This means that the author mixed the texts of different books of the Torah. The author also removed perceived contradictions. This provides us with a `targum´ on the books of Genesis and Exodus.
The author adds his own interpretation of the Scripture in several places. He does this by adding the phrase “For this reason it is written (or ordained) in the heavenly tablets ….” For example, he claims that nakedness is forbidden because YHVH clothed Adam and Eve. He also uses the same method to argue that the solar calendar must be followed to celebrate the feast2:
17 For this reason it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the feast of weeks in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year. 18 And this whole festival was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noah—twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years: and Noah and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noah’s death, and from the day of Noah’s death his sons did away with (it) until the days of Abraham, and they eat blood.1
The main purpose of the author is to get the Jews of his time to return to Torah. He is specifically interested in the halakhah, the way these commandments should be lived. To encourage the Jews to keep these commandments, he sometimes adds text to raise the importance of some of the commandments. For example, he states that Noah made a proper sacrifice:
3And he celebrated with joy the day of this feast, and he made a burnt sacrifice unto YHVH, one young ox and one ram, and seven sheep, each a year old, and a kid of the goats, that he might make atonement thereby for himself and his sons. 4 And he prepared the kid first, and placed some of its blood on the flesh that was on the altar which he had made, and all the fat he laid on the altar where he made the burnt sacrifice, and the ox and the ram and the sheep, and he laid all their flesh upon the altar. 5 And he placed all their offerings mingled with oil upon it, and afterwards he sprinkled wine on the fire which he had previously made on the altar, and he placed incense on the altar and caused a sweet savor to ascend acceptable before YHVH his Elohim.1 He also states that Jacob paid tithes of all he had (including his clothes). Jacob also made his son Levi a priest to do the offerings on the 15th of the month.
2 And Jacob rose early in the morning, on the fourteenth of this month, and he gave a tithe of all that came with him, both of men and cattle, both of gold and every vessel and garment, yea, he gave tithes of all. 3And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him upwards and Levi fell to the portion of YHVH and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. 4 And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering on the altar of sacrifice, well pleasing for a sweet savour before YHVH.1
In the last two chapters the author also provides a detailed description of how the Sabbath and the feast of Pesach must be celebrated.
As mentioned before, the author follows a chronological sequence in his re-telling. This chronology is based on the solar calendar and uses the jubilees as a major marker of time. The author claims that the calendar that was revealed to Enoch by the angel Uriel, as the true calendar.
16 And in the eleventh jubilee Jared took to himself a wife, and her name was Bâraka, the daughter of Râsûjâl, a daughter of his father’s brother, in the fourth week of this jubilee, *and she bare him a son in the fifth week, in the fourth year of the jubilee, and he called his name Enoch. 17 And he was the first among men that are born on earth who learned writing and knowledge and wisdom and who wrote down the signs of heaven according to the order of their months in a book, that men might know the seasons of the years according to the order of their separate months. 18 And he was the first to write a testimony, and he testified to the sons of men among the generations of the earth, and recounted the weeks of the jubilees, and made known to them the days of the years, and set in order the months and recounted the Sabbaths of the years as we made (them), known to him. 1
Unlike Enoch, the author of Jubilees becomes specific about the solar calendar being the only calendar. He specifically makes the statement that people will later start following a calendar that is not 364 days. This will cause the people to celebrate the appointed times on the wrong days.
35 For I know and from henceforth will I declare it unto thee, and it is not of my own devising; for the book (lies) written before me, and on the heavenly tablets the division of days is ordained, test they forget the feasts of the covenant and walk according to the feasts of the Gentiles after their error and after their ignorance. 36 For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon—how (it) disturbs the seasons and comes in from year to year ten days too soon. 37 For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb (the order), and make an abominable (day) the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for they will go wrong as to the months and sabbaths and feasts and jubilees. 38 For this reason I command and testify to thee that thou mayst testify to them; for after thy death thy children will disturb (them), so that they will not make the year three hundred and sixty-four days only, and for this reason they will go wrong as to the new moons and seasons and sabbaths and festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh. 1
The book is dated based on the contents of the book and the paleographic dating of the fragments found at Qumran. Researchers currently date the Book of Jubilees to somewhere between 175 and 75 B.C. The late date of the book is also supported by the fact that the text most closely relates to the text of the Septuagint. Yet, it’s text is different enough to show that it does not rely purely on the Septuagint text.
Why are these books not canonical?
In the Book of Jude, we do find a reference that proves the author was familiar with some of the contents of the Book of Enoch. But, the author of Jude does not mention that he is quoting from the Book of Enoch.
14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, YHVH came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Thus to take the fact that the two books contain similar material, further would be inaccurate. It is not sound logic to now imply that the Book of Jude makes the Book of Enoch canonical. If we were to follow this logic, we would also need to make the works of the Greek writers Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Cor. 15:33), and Epimenides (Tit. 1:12) canonical. Paul referred to their writings in his epistles.
A big concern with the Book of Enoch is in the way that it presents Enoch. Based on the Scripture of Genesis 5:22-24 we have the interpretation of Enoch ascending to heaven.
22 Then Enoch walked with YHVH three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with YHVH; and he was not, for YHVH took him.
1The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect «and» righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked «and godless» are to be removed. 2 And he took up his parable and said—Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, ‹which› the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come.1
This interpretation has Enoch ascending into heaven, seeing the vision of YHVH and then receiving the wisdom that he has to share with his son. The story of the angel showing Enoch the heavenly beings is a similar style to the temple being shown to Ezekiel. We also see in Enoch 46:1-3 a description of the “One who had the head of Days” as well as another that is called the “Son of Man.”
1 And there I saw One who had a head of days,
And His head was white like wool,
And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man,
And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
2 And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days?
3 And he answered and said unto me:
This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness,
With whom dwelleth righteousness,
And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,
Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him,
And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.1
This vision is again very similar to another one we find in Scripture. In the Book of Daniel we find the following:
13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
In the Book of Daniel we see that the Messiah is called the Son of Man. What makes the Book of Enoch a serious problem is that later, the book describes how Enoch becomes the “Son of Man.”
14 And he (i.e. the angel) came to me and greeted me with His voice, and said unto me:
‘This is the Son of Man who is born unto righteousness,
And righteousness abides over him,
And the righteousness of the Head of Days forsakes him not.’
15 And he said unto me:
‘He proclaims unto thee peace in the name of the world to come;
For from hence has proceeded peace since the creation of the world,
And so shall it be unto thee for ever and for ever and ever.1
The author of the Book of Enoch, sees Enoch ascending into heaven on a cloud and then later becoming the Son of Man (Messiah.) For any believer in Y’Shua the Messiah, this must be a reason to discard the Book of Enoch as an inspired writing.
A less serious issue with the book should be how accurate the revelation really is. Today we know that some of the truths revealed to Enoch are actually wrong. Here are some of the known inaccuracies:
- The solar cycle is 364 days. We know that it is 365,25 days. The counter argument to this is that Enoch is describing the solar year before the flood of Noah. This cannot be true as Enoch also describes how the days become shorter and then again longer as the year progresses. This would not be the case in a “pre-Noah calendar”.
- Enoch 72:37 states that the sun is 7 times brighter than the moon, but that these two are of equal size. We know that this is not correct. If a man looks at the sun and moon from earth, they may appear to be of the same size. If the Creator was to reveal the truth about the luminaries to Enoch, He surely would have known that the sun is much larger than the moon.
- The Book of Enoch describes two calendars. It has the details of a solar and a lunar calendar. If the solar calendar is the “real calendar”, why describe both?
Book of Jubilees
The first reason to doubt the Book of Jubilees would be it’s strong reliance on the Book of Enoch. As we have discussed in the previous section, there are serious concerns with some of the content of Enoch.
Another reason to doubt the book of Jubilees would be it’s inaccuracy of the chronology. The author takes a strong stance on the importance of the sabbatical and jubilee years, but yet he gets it wrong. For example, Jubilees 4:21 states that Enoch was six years of Jubilees with YHVH,but Gen 5:22 states that Enoch was 300 years with YHVH.
And he was moreover with the angels of YHVH these six jubilees of years, and they showed him everything which is on earth and in the heavens, the rule of the sun, and he wrote down everything.1
22 Then Enoch walked with YHVH three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.
This would mean that a Jubilee is 50 years. This is in contradiction with the rest of the Book of Jubilees (Jubilees 23.8). Let us look at another example. We have the following information about Abraham:
14 And in this thirty-ninth jubilee, in the Second week in the first year, Terah took to himself a wife, and her name was ’Ednâ, the daughter of ’Abrâm, the daughter of his father’s sister. 15 And in the seventh year of this week she bare him a son, and he called his name Abram, by the name of the father of his mother; for he had died before his daughter had conceived a son.1
And it came to pass in the first week, in the forty-fourth jubilee, in the second year, that is, the year in which Abraham died, that Isaac and Ishmael came from the Well of the Oath to celebrate the feast of weeks – that is, the feast of the first fruits of the harvest – to Abraham, their father, and Abraham rejoiced because his two sons had come.1
And he lived three jubilees and four weeks of years, one hundred and seventy-five years, and completed the days of his life, being old and full of days. 1
According to these verses, Abraham was born in the thirty-ninth jubilee, the seventh year of the second cycle. Abraham died in the forty-fourth jubilee in the second year of the first cycle. But, if we add 3 jubilees to his birth we get to the 42nd jubilee and if we add another 4 cycles we get to the seventh year of the sixth cycle. Thus we have at least one jubilee missing somewhere. The author tries to keep his text aligned with the book of Genesis 25:7. In the process he gets his calculations all wrong.
Many of the scrolls describe for us the calendar of the Essenes. We do not know everything about their calendar, but from their writings we can learn a lot about their practices.
They followed a twelve month calendar in which the year consisted of 364 days. The Temple Scroll (11QTemple) describes this calendar in detail. The editor of the scroll, Yigael Yadin, dated the scroll to around the time of John Hyrcanus. This would date the scroll to around 135 to 104 BC.
With this calendar, the first day of the year would always be on the fourth day of the week after the spring equinox. The Essenes did this because YHVH created the sun on the fourth day. This, then implies that the first three days of creation was before the start of the first year. So we have three days that do not belong to any year.
The months also have a fixed pattern. There are always twelve months in a year. Each month is 30 days. Every quarter they added an extra day. Thus the sequence is 30; 30; 31. The calendar repeated the sequence 4 times to make a total of twelve months. This then ended up being a 364 day year.
Unless some change was made periodically to the Essene’s 364-day calendar, the time of the observance of the annual feasts would get out of synch with the seasons. The Essenes would end up observing the spring festivals in winter. It would take only a few decades for noticeable calendar slippage to occur because it was “off” by almost 1 1/4 days a year. Some form of intercalation was obviously necessary. But, we have no proof that the Essenes applied any intercalation. We also have no references in the books of Enoch or Jubilees on how to do this.
The scrolls of the community at Qumran also tell us about their annual feasts. They had more agricultural feasts than the feasts recorded in Leviticus 23. These were a harvest Festival of Grapes and another of Olives. Other festivals observed by the Qumran sectarians included the Festival of the Wood Offering, the Feast of the Wine and the Festival of the Priests’ Consecration (ordination). They did not celebrate the feasts of Purim or Chanukah.
The result of this method is that all dates always fall on the same day of the week every year. The sabbath falls on the same date in a given month, year in and year out. And festivals all fall on the same day of the week every year. Passover always falls on Tuesday.
The annual schedule was as follows:
|Days of Ordination for Priests
|Waving of the Omer (first fruits)
|The Festival of Weeks (Shavu’ot)
|Festival of New Wine
|Festival of Oil
|Festival of the Offering of Wood
|Day of Remembrance (Yom T’Ruah)
|Day of Atonement (Yom Kippurim)
|Festival of Booths (Sukkot)
The calendar regulated not only the schedule for the feasts. It also regulated the time for the various groupings of priests who provided service in the Temple. The community organized the priests into 24 courses (mishmar / mishmarot). Each mishmar conducted Temple service for one week starting on the first day of the week. Each group bore a family or clan name and was assigned specific weeks. Since 24 groups serving twice equaled only 48 weeks, four groups served three times a year. This made up the complete 52-week year. The scrolls include several tables of the six-year cycle of priestly courses. It also mentions the families who were expected to officiate in the Temple in weekly turns of duty. In every 52-week year, four families had three, rather than two, turns. Thus it took six years to complete the cycle.
Who are the true Zadokites?
Most of us see Second Temple Judaism as a singular unit of belief. Based on the writings of the Apostolic Scriptures, we acknowledge some splintering within the group. We know about the Pharisees, the Sadducees and also the Samaritans. In recent years the Essenes have also started coming into focus. Yet, there was a much larger division within Second Temple Judaism that most of us are unaware of. We need to understand this more fundamental division if we want to contextualize the Enoch calendar.
After the return of the nation from the Babylonian exile, a Zadokite priesthood was established in Jerusalem. They claimed, based on Scripture, that the sons of Zadok were the priests. Most importantly, Zadok was the priest in the time of king David. It was Zadok who anointed king Solomon. In the book of Chronicles, it is documented that they were the priests until the exile to Babylon. 7
1 Chronicles 6:3–15
3 The children of Amram were Aaron, Moses and Miriam. And the sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 4 Eleazar became the father of Phinehas, and Phinehas became the father of Abishua, 5 and Abishua became the father of Bukki, and Bukki became the father of Uzzi, 6 and Uzzi became the father of Zerahiah, and Zerahiah became the father of Meraioth, 7 Meraioth became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 8 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Ahimaaz, 9 and Ahimaaz became the father of Azariah, and Azariah became the father of Johanan, 10 and Johanan became the father of Azariah (it was he who served as the priest in the house which Solomon built in Jerusalem), 11 and Azariah became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 12 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Shallum, 13 and Shallum became the father of Hilkiah, and Hilkiah became the father of Azariah, 14 and Azariah became the father of Seraiah, and Seraiah became the father of Jehozadak; 15 and Jehozadak went along when YHVH carried Judah and Jerusalem away into exile by Nebuchadnezzar.
1 Kings 1:32–34
32 Then King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” And they came into the king’s presence. 33 The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34“Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
Now that the Davidic monarchy no longer existed, they felt the need to lead the nation. Soon the need for a king disappeared, as these functions were now taken over by the priesthood. The priesthood held that the Covenant at Sinai is the significant covenant. This covenant enforces the importance of Moses and Aaron. The Hasmonites replaced the Zadokite priesthood during the Maccabean period. They replaced the Zadokites because of their support of the Hellenization of the Jewish nation. The replacement of the Zadokites was in place in the time when Y’Shua went to the Temple.
At the same time there were other sects of Judaism. These included some of the people that never left the land during the exile. There were some smaller groups, all with their own truth. These smaller groups can be grouped together as the Enochic Jews. The Enochic Jews also included some of the Samaritans. We find in the writings of Abu’l Fath a description of an interesting group of Samaritans called the “Sect of Dustan” – also known as Dositheans. This is a group that formed after John Hyrcanus destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim. This group shows many similarities with the teachings of the Qumran community.
- Very strict sabbath observance – No feeding or rescuing of animals on the sabbath. (CD 10:14–11:18)
- The concern regarding the purity of their water, both for drinking and for mikvah. (1QS 3:4–5)
- They both followed a solar calendar as laid down by both the Book of Jubilees and 1 Enoch. (1QS 10:1–5; 1QpHab 12:5–9)8
We do know that they cannot be the exact same group. The community at Qumran saw Jerusalem as the place of worship. They also saw the writings of the prophets as canonical. However, we do know that one of the reasons that the sect of Dustan split from the Samaritans was the Judaising tendencies of this sect. The influence of this group on the community at Qumran is very obvious.
The Enochic Jews claimed that their priesthood was before the priesthood of Aaron. Their priesthood came from people like Adam and Enoch. To them the significant covenant is the covenant with Noah after the flood. Their writings did not emphasize the Sinai covenant. They based their covenantal proceeding around what happened with Noah.
For more information on this complex topic, we recommend the works of Gabriele Boccaccini. Specifically his book – Beyond the Essene Hypothesis – covers this topic in detail. This is an area of history and religion that still has so many unanswered questions.
In order for you to be able to accept the Enoch calendar, you also need to change some of the other fundamental parts of your belief system. These fundamental changes would include:
- Changing your definition of what inspired scripture is. You now need to make books like Enoch and Jubilees part of this definition. This would then include the part where Enoch sees himself as the Son of Man.
Accepting these two books then opens the door to some other books to be included. It also puts books like Leviticus in opposition to some of these additional books. (e.g. Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs)
- To be a true follower of the authors of these additional books, you would need to de-emphasize the Mosaic covenant. You would then need to place a greater importance of the covenant with Noah. In the books of Enoch and Jubilees, there is a lot more focus on the way of Noah, than what happened with the nation as they were lead out of Egypt. They justified their calendar based on what Noah did.
- Thus we can see that the Enoch calendar carries behind it a fundamental shift in your belief. A small decision, like accepting the Book of Enoch as truth, has a ripple effect. The Book of Enoch leads to the book of Jubilees, which in turn leads to the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. All this then leads to putting the Enoch literature (including their alternative priesthood) at the same level as the rest of Scripture.
As the final point, we would like to explain why we call this a heresy. We claim to be the followers of Y’Shua the Messiah. If we are His followers and His disciples, it means we must do as He did. In our previous article, we have shown you two proof points about why we believe that Y’Shua was anti-Essene. To take this point a bit further, we need to add the following facts:
- Y’Shua never quoted from the books of Enoch or Jubilees.
- Y’Shua went to the feasts in Jerusalem according to the calendar of the Judeans.
1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews (Judeans), and Y’Shua went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.
- Y’Shua’s parents took Him to the Temple in Jerusalem to be redeemed.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to YHVH 23 (as it is written in the Law of YHVH, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to YHVH”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of YHVH, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
- Y’Shua told us that we need to listen to what these people (the scribes and Pharisees) teach. We were not to do as they do, but still listen to them.
1 Then Y’Shua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.
- Y´Shua chose Paul, a Pharisee, to be His apostle to the nations. He did not choose an Essene or a supporter of the Enochic Judaism.
11 And Y´Shua said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Master, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But Y´Shua said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Master Y´Shua who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!”
These points make it clear that Y’Shua saw the priesthood in Jerusalem as the valid priesthood. He does not tell us to listen to those in the seat of Adam, the seat of Noah or even the seat of Enoch. It is about the priesthood as defined in the Sinai covenant. After the death of Y’Shua, His disciples and Paul kept on going to the Temple in Jerusalem. They continued with the offers in the Temple, including sin offers.
All this implies that if we want to accept the Enoch calendar as the true calendar, we would need to contradict, thus reject, the teachings of Y’Shua. We then need to follow the teachings of a renegade Second Temple Period sect of Judaism. Y’Shua even warned us about the teachings of this sect. I think it is significant that this sect has ceased to exist. Why are some so desperate to resurrect this false teaching?
- Charles, R. H. (Ed.). (2004). Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Nickelsburg, G. W. E. (2005). Jewish literature between the Bible and the Mishnah : a literary and historical introduction (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
- Shanks, H. (Ed.). (2002). BAR 28:06 (Nov/Dec 2002). – Review: Discoveries in the Judaean Desert Vol. XXI, Qumran Cave 4—XVI: Calendrical Texts
- Vanderkam, J. C. (1992). Calendars: Ancient Israelite and Early Jewish. In (D. N. Freedman, Ed.)The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday.
- VanderKam, J. C., & Flint, P. W. (2002). The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance for Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity (1st ed.). New York: HarperSanFrancisco.
- Cansdale, L. (1997). Qumran and the Essenes: A Re-Evaluation of the Evidence. (M. Hengel & P. Schäfer, Eds.) (Vol. 60). Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck).
- Cansdale, Lean. Qumran and the Essenes: A Re-evaluation of the Evidence. 1997. Tubingen : Mohr. ISBN 3-16-146719-1
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at? https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf
Triennial Torah Portions
Gen 44 2 Sam 17-18 Ps 88 Luke 7
The Cup of Divination (Genesis 44)
The brothers still have no idea what is happening, but are as cooperative and humble as can be, neither of which seems to help them out much. Joseph frames his brothers with an egregious offense: the theft of the very goblet from which their gracious host had drunk.
When Joseph’s servant confronts the brothers for their alleged crime, he is told to ask, “Is not this [the cup] from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination?” (verse 5). Did Joseph really use the cup for prognostication or the interpretation of omens? That would surely not have been approved of by God. About the cup of divination, the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary remarks: “Divination by cups, to ascertain the course of futurity, was one of the prevalent superstitions of ancient Egypt, as it is of Eastern countries still. It is not likely that Joseph, a pious believer in the true God, would have addicted himself to this superstitious practice. But he might have availed himself of that popular notion to carry out the successful execution of his stratagem for the last decisive trial of his brethren” (note on verse 5). In other words, Joseph may have allowed them to think he practiced divination with this cup to instill more fear in them—as it would look to them like they would be charged with the theft of something of great importance in Egypt.
Also notice that Joseph did not order his steward to tell a direct lie—rather, he simply told him to ask a question. The real answer would have been no. But the brothers didn’t know this.
2 Samuel 17
Though Absalom follows Ahithophel’s advice concerning David’s concubines, he and his lieutenants are persuaded by Hushai to reject Ahithophel’s plan of attack. The shrewdness of Hushai’s counsel is demonstrated in his carefully worded evaluation that Ahithophel’s advice is not good “at this time” (2 Samuel 17:7). In other words, Hushai did not reject Ahithophel’s counsel outright. Instead, his criticism of merely the timing of the plan showed respect for Ahithophel’s wisdom, which may have served to deter suspicion from himself. Of course, verse 14 explains that Hushai’s success is really God’s doing. Remarkably, while God has been using circumstances to actually bring about Absalom’s rebellion as punishment on David—in that sense “helping” Absalom—we now see that God is determined to bring Absalom down and ultimately save David.
With his counsel rejected, Ahithophel hangs himself (verse 23). “He apparently realized that Absalom’s cause was doomed, and that when David returned he would be put to death as a disloyal subject” (Nelson, note on verse 23).
“O Absalom My Son, My Son!” (2 Samuel 18:1-19:8)
Now at the city of Mahanaim (17:27), David reviews his troops to assess the situation he and his followers face. Though only a small contingent originally left Jerusalem with him, we see here in the use of the term “thousands” (18:1, 4) that many have soon rallied to his cause, to the point where he is able to divide his army into three companies (verse 2). Initially he is determined to lead this fighting force himself. But this is no ordinary national war. Instead, it is a conflict over David’s kingship—in which the death of David would spell the end of the war. So his men convince him to remove himself from fighting so as not to jeopardize their cause.
David gives orders that his son Absalom not be harmed. Yet, in doing so, David is again showing partiality to his son rather than dealing with him as the situation demands. Absalom has raised his hand to destroy God’s anointed king. When someone else claimed to have done this in regard to Saul, David ordered his execution (2 Samuel 1:14-15). Furthermore, the king in this case is Absalom’s father. And the penalty the Law of Moses prescribes for striking or even cursing one’s parents—and surely raising an armed rebellion to kill one’s father—is death (Exodus 21:15, 17).
It is interesting to see Absalom’s forces referred to as “Israel” and the “people of Israel” (2 Samuel 18:6-7). The appearance is one of a popular uprising—wherein this “army of the people” proves no match against David’s experienced troops. The thick woods, rather than concealing and aiding their escape, “devoured more people that day than the sword devoured” (verse 8). Perhaps many died from forest-related injuries, exhaustion, entanglement, exposure, wild animals, etc. The verse could also mean that the forest hindered those fleeing from the field of battle so David’s men could more easily catch them. Whatever the case, the observation concerning the part nature played in the outcome is significant—for nature falls within the providence of God.
Indeed, Absalom himself is trapped by a tree (verse 9). We are told that it is his head that becomes caught, but this must surely be due to his thick, long hair. We earlier read in 2 Samuel 14:25-26 of Absalom’s good looks and thick hair. Because of these features and the praise he received for them, Absalom gave into vanity—as is clear from the fact that he liked to flaunt his hair by letting it grow long, cutting it only once a year, and then broadcasting the impressive weight of the shorn hair (about five pounds). His addiction to admiration and adulation ultimately contributed to his plot to usurp the throne of Israel. It is thus interesting poetic justice that his hair plays a key part in his ultimate demise.
While Absalom hangs in the tree, Joab kills him—apparently convinced he is doing the right thing. However, it should be pointed out that Joab has violated the king’s direct command—which he has no right to do.
Hearing news of the victory of his own forces, David’s immediate concern is, nevertheless, for Absalom. On learning of his death, David slumps into grief and mourning. The fact that he is inconsolable spreads through the troops. Joab marches in to David and tells him that such behavior is insulting to all his soldiers (19:5-6). Indeed, the victorious fighting men do not come back to Mahanaim with fanfare or a “ticker-tape parade.” Rather, they sneak back into the city trying to escape notice. This is sadly pathetic, and Joab is right to point it out to David.
The king responds by taking his seat in the gate of the city—the place of civil government where judgment is typically rendered. The statement that “all the people came before the king” (verse 8) implies that David is following Joab’s advice by expressing appreciation to them for their loyalty and help during the recent fighting.
Despondent Prayer; The Davidic Covenant Renounced? (Psalms 88-89)
There is some question as to the authorship of Psalms 88 and 89. The superscription of Psalm 88 describes it as a song of the sons of Korah (the last of 11 Korahite psalms in the Psalter) as well as a maskil—an instructive psalm or “contemplation” (NKJV)—of Heman the Ezrahite. Psalm 89 is labeled as a maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. Many take these names to refer to David’s Levitical choir leaders Heman and Ethan (the latter apparently also known as Jeduthun). Indeed, Heman the singer, grandson of Samuel and choir leader of the Levitical clan of Kohath, was a descendant of Korah (see 1 Chronicles 6:33-38). Yet note 1 Kings 4:31, which says that Solomon was wiser than “Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda.” These men were evidently descendants not of Levi but of Judah’s son Zerah: “The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara” (1 Chronicles 2:6). The distinction Ethan the Ezrahite here appears to denote Ethan the Zarhite or Zerahite (recall that Hebrew was originally written with no vowels). How do we make sense of this?
Some think traditions have become confused and that the superscriptions of Psalms 88 and 89 are in error—that the designation “Ezrahite” was wrongly added to the Heman and Ethan in these psalm titles. But that is not necessarily so. First of all, it is entirely possible that the Heman and Ethan here are not David’s Levitical music leaders at all but instead the illustrious descendants of Zerah. If so, it could be, in the case of Psalm 88, that the sons of Korah took the Zerahite Heman’s written poem and set it to music—turning it into a song (making it “a psalm of the sons of Korah”). On the other hand, the Heman here could well be David’s Levitical choir leader, a descendant of Korah. Note that Korah himself was the son of Izhar, one of Kohath’s four sons (see 1 Chronicles 6:37-38, 18). Perhaps the descendants of Izhar were referred to as the Kohathite sub-clan of the Izrahites or Ezrahites. However, such an explanation would not apply to David’s music leader Ethan, who was a descendant of Levi’s son Merari. Considering all this, perhaps the Heman of Psalm 88 was David’s music leader, the Izrahite, while the Ethan of Psalm 89 was the famous Zerahite and not the Merarite choir leader (more on this in the comments on Psalm 89).
Besides attribution, the superscription of Psalm 88 also contains the phrase le-mahalath le-annoth. Recall that Psalm 53’s superscription contains the phrase le-mahalath. As noted before in the Bible Reading Program, this phrase has been variously interpreted as “On sickness,” “On suffering,” “To pipings” (on wind instruments) or “To dances” (or some sort of choreography). The second part here, le-annoth, is thought to mean “of humblings or “of afflictions.” It is not clear whether both parts are to be understood independently or taken together as a combined phrase (such as “On suffering of afflictions”). Also, one or both parts together could indicate either the subject matter of the psalm or another tune to which the psalm is set.
Heman, whatever his specific identity, is in Psalm 88 enduring some grave, life-threatening trial. Verse 15 in fact says that he has experienced life-threatening affliction for years—since his youth. It is not clear whether he means that he has been enduring the same, continuing trial ever since then or that he has experienced numerous similar dire circumstances over the years. The latter seems more likely, though his recurring problems may stem from the same root causes having never abated.
In his despair, Heman voices a desperate complaint against God: “Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (verse 14). He cries out to God day and night (verses 1, 9, 13), pleading for Him to hear (verse 2). He feels death is inevitable and close. He is as good as dead already, “adrift among the dead” (verse 5), cut off from God, no longer remembered by Him (same verse).
Indeed, he perceives his circumstances as coming from God: “You have laid me in the lowest pit” (verse 6). “You have afflicted me with all Your waves” (verse 7)—that is, of wrath and terrors (compare verses 16-17). “You have caused my friends to abandon me; you have made me repulsive to them…. I am worn out from the burden of your punishments” (verses 8, 15, Today’s English Version). Heman can’t escape his misery: “I am shut up, and I cannot get out” (verse 8).
He has called on God every day and worshipped Him with outspread hands (verse 9). Is it to no avail? Is he to die like the wicked? Will God wait to intervene until after he is already dead? (compare verse 10a). Of course, God certainly can intervene for those who have already died through resurrecting them—and He will ultimately resurrect all His people in the future. But this thought was far from the psalmist. For how would letting him die at this time bring God glory in the present? If dead, without consciousness, Heman could not declare God’s lovingkindness, faithfulness and righteousness to others (see verse 10b-12). In other words, he was no use to God dead. This recalls David’s reasoning in Psalms 6:4-5 and 30:8-9.
The psalm ends gloomily with the situation unresolved: “You have made even my closest friends abandon me, and darkness is my only companion” (88:18, TEV). Nevertheless, there is a glimmer of hope in this darkest of laments based on the way it opens, for Heman begins the psalm by addressing the Lord as “the God who saves me” (verse 1, NIV) or “God of my salvation” (NKJV). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says: “Though the psalm ends on a lament, faith triumphs, because in everything the psalmist has learned to look to ‘the God who saves’ (v. 1). The ‘darkness’ (v. 18; cf. v. 12) of grief is reminiscent of death; but as long as there is life, hope remains focused on the Lord. [One particular commentator] is right when he writes, ‘Psalm 88 stands as a mark of realism of biblical faith. It has a pastoral use, because there are situations in which easy, cheap talk of resolution must be avoided'” (note on verses 15-18).
The Zondervan NIV Study Bible points out in its note on the closing cluster of Book III (Psalms 84-89): “The final two prayers (Ps 88; 89) both end unrelieved by the usual expression of confidence that God will hear and act…. However, the editors of Book III have placed them under the near shadow of Ps 87, the more distant shadow of Ps 84 and the still more distant shadow of Ps 82. From these psalms they should not be dissociated.”
In Luke 7 we encounter a Roman Captain who has great faith and he, for one, understands how authority works. One of the very few we get to read about in Scripture. One of the Captain’s Servants is sick and near death and so he sends for Yeshua for a healing. The captain’s reputation among the Jewish people is that he is supportive of them and builds up their congregations. Yeshua marveled at his faith.
After this, Yeshua raises a young man who was dead back to life in Na’im, and everyone was struck with fear, knowing that the Kingdom of Heaven had truly come!
John the Immerser sent two of his servants to ask Yeshua if He is “THE” coming One. In that hour, Yeshua does the following: Blind receive sight, lame do walk, lepers are cleansed, deaf do hear, dead are raised, the Good News is brought to the poor.
Then Yeshua testifies of John the Immerser and proclaims that he is the one to make way for the Messiah. The learned men rejected the counsel and immersion of John and said he had a demon even though he had neither bread nor wine. These same people said about Yeshua that he was a drunkard and glutton and spends time with tax collectors and sinners. Nothing touches the hearts of these men, they are hard and critical.
Yeshua accepts an invitation from a Pharisee to join him for to eat. A woman comes to Him with an alabaster flask of perfume while He is there. The Pharisee began to stumble in Yeshua because in his view, if Yeshua was a true prophet, He would know this woman was a sinner and unclean.
Yeshua, knowing His thoughts… proclaims a great parable to him to teach him about forgiveness and mercy. The one who needs forgiveness more, loves more and that love is demonstrated by their lowliness of spirit. Yeshua forgave the woman of her sins because of her demonstration of love and belief in Him.