The Seventh Commandment

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: Nov 15, 2012

News Letter 5848-038
2nd day of the 9th month? 5848 years after the creation of Adam
The 9th Month in the Third year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences
This is also the end of the Thirty-Fifth week of this the Third Tithe Year for the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow?Deuteronomy 26:12
We are now just 4 years & 4 months from the Sabbatical year in 2016


November 17, 2012


Shabbat Shalom Brethren,


YEs this is the second News Letter this week. I just had to update you on the events in Gaza and Israel and at the same time did not want to delay this News Letter which has been bumped a couple of times already.


New Moon Report

Thursday evening the New Moon was sighted in Israel.

Karaite Korner
Newsletter #574

New Moon Report November 2012 Ninth Biblical Month  On November 15, 2012 the new moon was sighted from Israel:
*from Jerusalem by Deb Burnet at 4:46pm;
*from Kefar Eldad by Yoel Halevi at 4:47pm;
*from Givat Hamoreh by Dina Marcus at 4:49pm followed by Avi Ben Mordechai at 4:50pm.

A photo of the new moon from Israel is posted at:?
The photo is courtesy of Yoel Halevi of Hebrew in Israel:

Rosh Chodesh Sameach!?Happy New Moon! ??
Nehemia Gordon

Last weeks News Letter brought the following replies.

Hello Joe,
I am writing to say I live in England UK and have just bought your book The Prophecies of Abraham. I am delighted to have such knowledge at my fingertips. I will thoroughly enjoy my Sabbath day just reading your book.

I do receive your emails each Sabbath but am sad that you laboured so much on Loshon hara. Please leave them to their own devices and those who seek truth, and love will find it.

I have Nehemiah’s book Hebrew Yeshua v the Greek Jesus…love it. I also bought Keith’s book his holy name revealed. I came into Torah just 2 year ago and realizing many will not find the true path because of rebellious hearts. Don’t let us loose our peace in wasting precious time by declaring all this stuff in your news reports, because we will then be resorting to the same tactics as them.

This is a hard lesson, I too have had to learn.

My brother, keep up the teaching, I value all you and the other brothers who are persecuted by lies, is it no different to what Shual experienced?
much love in the Messiahs precious name Sonia

Hey Joseph, good newsletter (book) again this week, lol. Thank you for addressing the issues as you have, necessary to be said and a timeous reminder of issues that are very important.
Shabbat Shalom

I have been greatly blessed by the teachings of Nehemia Gordon and have never heard him once try to convert anyone to Judaism. I have learned so much about the meanings of Hebrew words and letters that I would never have known before. He is truly missed on Torah Pearls

This week we have some more emails from those who joined us in Israel for this years Sukkot celebrations.

Dear Joseph,

First of all, glad to hear from you and sorry for giving you late response due to unexpected event, the loss of my uncle on October 22.

The trip to Israel for my sister and I were quite exhausted due to our health problems. But we both were grateful with the hands of Abba that we can continue and participate all the itinerary through the love of brothers and sisters in the group in praying for us and providing supplements and OTC drugs to cope with our situations. My experience in living in Sukkah was not truly a genuine one as others but at least learnt what it was to live in Sukkah. The best part was that we can all fellowhip in our breakfast, for the early bird ones, we can read bible together and pray for the protection of the day. We also enjoyed worship together at the end of the day.

To my memory, along the way to Gamla our coach had to climb up mountain (on the Golan Height?) which along the way was a magnificent view of how creative and awesome our Heavenly Father is. The trip to Gamla was a test of how endurance our physical body is. Climbing down the cliff and up again was not an easy task during the heat of the day. But thank Abba that all who decided to go down could come up safely. The amazing thing was to see how the ancient Jewish people lived and built the city. We also saw one of the oldest synagogue. I admired Avi with his age and strength, had to carry his thick bible, notes, charts ,big bottle of water and explained enthusiastically throughout the trip with loud voice so that we could all hear and understand during the heat of the day. This was a worth to visit place. I felt sorry that my sister could not go down with us due to her sickness.

Another impressive trip was on the jeep tour. It was quite adventurous for us. We had a large natural Sukkah to accommodate almost 30 of us for lunch. We all enjoyed the lunch and time to relax under a big shade of tree.

To our disappointment in this trip was that you gave only one lecture on Shabbat which we did not quite understand because we cannot imagine of the chart you spoke about. We wish you could give more lectures. Nevertheless, you had been a good supporter for all of us.

May Yahweh bless you and keep you in His perfect peace. May Yahweh enlarged your vision and ministry.

Shalom, Munt Munt and Nee Nee


“Roughing it out” as Dina would say celebrating Sukkot at their place under a sukkah overlooking the beautiful Jezreel Valley where the last battle between good and evil awaits was the highlight for the Feast. Little did i know that our washing up the balcony , putting up the tent, getting prepared for the Celebration of Sukkot paid all our efforts for each and everyone “roughing it out” to enjoy a taste of greater joy to come. It never occured to me that the significance of sleeping outside in the sukkah was then like a bride awaiting for her groom under the canopy of Yehovah. How beautiful it was to imagine Yah’s shekinah glory upon each “roughing it out” as we laid down to rest. How still the nights were and how clear the sky to see the stars and the moon thru the netting though i’ve camped-out in the summer months in the Arctic wilderness of Scandinavia and the Northern Territories, “roughing it out” on Avi and Dina’s balcony was something really very special. I came to understand that Yehovah instituted Sukkot so that we would remember His presence with us during that time and so that we would rejoice in His provision.

The intense schedule to go thru the sites where Avi did a wonderful job relating/sharing in every detail was worth the price. We wouldn’t have seen and learned as much if it were a relaxed trip. When coming to the land of Yisrael and walking thru the rubble of the past requires real saving up just to experience and feel the past occurrences, one would grab every opportunity to really get the most out of the whole thing. History became a reality as every site visited had a story to tell.

A blessing indeed that i pray for more provision to learn more of His Land where i would one day be brought back.

I’ve asked Avi for his notes on each site visited so i could share to my christian lady’s group who wishes to visit the land one day. I doubt the guide the leader of the group went with 2yrs ago would be competent enough like Avi.

It would also be good for this group to open and understand the importance of coming back to Torah if they join Avi and you.

It’s now past mid-night my time that i need to hit the sack so i pray i was of help to you on your request about Sukkot 2012. Thank you very much for all the blessings you’ve given me.

Anyway, keep in-touch and remember my son, Cid in your prayers.




Dear Joe:
The Coming Home Tour made scripture come to life. Avi our tour guide was very enthusiastic with his teachings at all the sites we visited. For me the most impressive was when we were at Tel Qeiyafa and Avi was talking about how David slew Goliath. Then you, Joe, spoke about the Goliath’s we face personally. That hit home and my Goliath that I face in me.

What I found amazing was how we as a group could live together under one roof and get along even with our differences and there were a few. We were not all at the same level of understanding. I never had the opportunity to have a warm shower as by the time I got there the hot water was gone, yet it was so hot the cold water was refreshing. LOL. I never once had the fear of a terrorist attack. Life just goes on like any other city in Canada, although I think terrorist attack maybe in some peoples mind as they go about in their daily lives in Israel.

The land is breath taking. Lots of rock/mountains/sand and growing vegetation. I loved how the houses were built on the side of the mountains and I could understand how King David could see Bathsheba bathing on her roof top.

I was baptized over in Jerusalem in the name of our Saviour Yahshua. I have had such peace since that time. It is not that I didn’t have peace before but I just can’t seem to put it in words. As for the things I learned there was alot of information that still needs to be sieved through. I am looking forward to the teachings going on line or being sent to me so I can go over them again. I had a silent conviction from examples of other women in the faith from Deut 22:5. I have changed the way I dress now.

Joe, I’m not much of a writer or speaker but I hope this has helped you.
Sincerely in Jahovah’s Name


Brethren, I have been telling you things about your finances now since 2005. I often think I am singing to the wind. Yet I also know how hard it is to save a buck. I want you all to read this next news article and then think about just how safe your money is. And when it is gone then what will you do? We had on here a couple of weeks ago a series of videos on how society breaks down and does so quickly. We also had a report from a lady last week, Darlene Hart in New Jersey, on how mob rule was almost the norm at the gas stations.

I hope to soon report you a new venture that could help. It is bold and different. So please let me get the ducks lined up and keep this next article close by as a reminder of just how bad the USA has and is becoming. It is near the end of its rope.

The Financial Cliff that they are referring to comes Dec 31, 2012.

But first read how some in the USA want to pay for the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy.

The federal government should foot the bill for all $6 billion worth of cleanup costs in New York, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Wow. That’s pretty bold. Why should taxpayers from rural Arkansas and Ohio pay to help rebuild beach homes of millionaires? Shouldn’t New Yorkers pay for at least some of?their own mess?

According to New York’s top public finance official, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the Feds should pick up the tab for two reasons. First: The state is essentially broke. New York State and City are already tens of billions of dollars behind on their pension funds. State and local governments have no real emergency fund. Tax collections from before the storm even hit were less than hoped for. And the effects of the 2009 recession are still plaguing the state.

“The problem is the state is limited in its resource capacity. We just put out the mid-year report a week or two ago and it really showed tax revenues are down,” DiNapoli said.

So the government should bail us out.

But it is the second reason that is most revealing about the perilous state of America. “I think the focus will have?to be on Washington, for obvious reasons,” DiNapoli told reporters. “They have greater resources. They can print money; we can’t do that here” (emphasis added throughout).
If you didn’t think America was in a dire financial condition before, this should be your wake-up call. Here is the top financial officer to the wealthiest state in the union telling the world that not only is New York State broke, but that the federal government should cover it by “printing money.”
But why did DiNapoli say the federal government should “print money” to pay for it? Because the federal government is broke and doesn’t have any money either!

Money printing is traditionally the last gasp of failing economies. And here it is being espoused by one of America’s top economic officials. It is like he is completely ignorant of the historical reality of what it means—and how close America is getting to collapse.

Now read about the cliff they are trying to avoid. When you do not keep the Sabbatical years and the Law of forgiving the Debts of your brother as we are told in Deuteronomy. We are to forgive the debts of our brothers.

Deu 15:1 At the end of every seven years you shall make a release.
Deu 15:2 And this is the manner of the release. Every man who has a loan to his neighbor shall release it. He shall not exact it from his neighbor, or from his brother, because it is called Jehovah’s release.
Deu 15:3 You may exact it from a foreigner, but your hand shall release that which is yours with your brother,
Deu 15:4 except when there shall be no poor among you. For Jehovah shall greatly bless you in the land which Jehovah your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it,
Deu 15:5 only if you carefully listen to the voice of Jehovah your God to be careful to do all these commandments which I command you today.
Deu 15:6 For Jehovah your God blesses you as He promised you. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.
Deu 15:7 If there is among you a poor man of one of your brothers inside any of your gates in your land which Jehovah your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother.
Deu 15:8 But you shall open your hand wide to him, and shall surely lend him enough for his need, that which he lacks.
Deu 15:9 Beware that there is not a thought in your wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and your eye may be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing. And he may cry to Jehovah against you, and it is sin to you.
Deu 15:10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Jehovah your God shall bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand to.
Deu 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land. Therefore, I command you saying, You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land.
Deu 15:12 If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.
Deu 15:13 And when you send him out free from you, you shall not let him go away empty.
Deu 15:14 You shall richly bestow on him from your flock, and from your grain floor, and from your winepress; with what Jehovah your God has blessed you, you shall give to him.
Deu 15:15 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah your God redeemed you. Therefore I command you this thing today.
Deu 15:16 And if he says to you, I will not go away from you, because he loves you and your house, because it has been good for him with you;
Deu 15:17 then you shall take an awl and put it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also to your slave-girl you shall do so.
Deu 15:18 It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away from you free, for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. And Jehovah your God shall bless you in all that you do.

Deu 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying: At the end of seven years, at the set time of the year of release, in the Feast of Tabernacles,
Deu 31:11 when all Israel has come to appear before Jehovah your God in the place which He shall choose, you shall read this Law before all Israel in their hearing.
Deu 31:12 Gather the people, men and women and the little ones, and your stranger who is within your gates, so that they may hear and that they may learn and fear Jehovah your God, and be careful to do all the words of this Law,
Deu 31:13 and that their sons who have not known may hear and learn to fear Jehovah your God, as long as you live in the land where you go over Jordan to possess it.

When you ignore this one law you get bad results. From 1790 when I have data for, many of the recessions and depressions come just before and during and just after a Sabbatical year. No debts were forgiven in 2009. In the fall of 2008 the bottom began to fall out. And has not recovered since. Now with 2016 coming, which is the next Sabbatical year, the kicking of the can down the road comes to finality. So you can expect this great depression we are now in, to turn even worst at this time. Which will then lead to war, which is also what the Sabbatical cycles warn us in the curses for not keeping the Sabbatical year.

Well get ready, America, the next political calamity is right around the corner, full of intrigue, rancor, and … a bunch of can kicking. A whole bunch of can kicking.

Welcome to fiscal cliff 2013.

So what the heck is all this fiscal cliff nonsense? The issue has been on the horizon for almost two years and the December 31 deadline, the date when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are set to come into effect, is nearly here. The term “fiscal cliff” refers to the dramatic changes that would occur as a result of the laws and the immediate consequences that they would have on the economy.

Many commentators feel that the U.S. economy is not stable enough to avoid the shock and as we move closer to 2013, the U.S. is moving closer towards the edge.

So what could happen if we fall/ jump off of this fiscal cliff?
As PolicyMic Pundit Rebecca McCartney reports, failure to avoid the cliff could plunge the U.S. economy back into recession and disrupt the global economy’s still fragile recovery. This would perhaps put the U.S. in diplomatic hot water if they were responsible for triggering another recessionary wave.
The combination of higher taxes and spending cuts could reduce the deficit by an estimated $503 billion, which sounds too good to be true. That’s because it is. According to a new report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that if the policies go into effect, the GDP would be cut by 4 percentage points in 2013, which would result in the economy spiraling into recession.

Unemployment levels would rise between 1 and 2 percentage points to a maximum of 10%, resulting in up to an additional 2.8 million Americans out of work. The Financial Times has for instance predicted that letting temporary tax cuts and the unemployment benefits expire will reduce 2013 output by 0.7% which would mean the loss of approximately 800,000 jobs

Politicians have to figure something out before December 31. Obama and Boehner are already clawing at each other.
And you thought the cattiness of politics was done after Tuesday.

We are now going to continue with the 7th Commandments as we are endeavoring to explain each one in great detail.


The Seventh Commandment

“You do not commit adultery” Exodus 20:14


This commandment is short and yet the topic is vast. What we are going to do in order to cover as much as we can that is needed, and not to make the article so long that you would not be able to get it read in a month of Sabbaths, we are breaking it up into 3 parts. Part 1 will cover the commandment itself, definitions, examples, and the standard of Yehovah’s Word. This one is the convicting one which is the purpose of the Law and Truth – to show us our sin.

Part 2 will cover teaching our children, prevention, words of encouragement to specific situations, how God has used the sinners in Scripture despite their situations of sin, how He honored them and chose them. There is hope for each of us, no matter our situation.

Part 3 will cover forgiveness. When we break this commandment, we leave a path of destruction and devastation behind us in the lives of others whom we have affected. Part 3 will speak to both the offenders and the offended.

We begin with the Standard and convicting portion – Part 1

Everyone just stay right where you are and do not run away! This is a commandment of Yehovah, just the same as all the others. All the commandments are equal in the Eyes of Yehovah aren’t they? We are told by Yeshua Himself the following, “Whoever then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.” Matthew 5:19

And in the book of James, Ya’aqob writes:
“If you truly accomplish the sovereign law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well, but if you show partiality, you commit sin, being found guilty by the Torah as transgressors. For whoever shall guard all the Torah, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of Torah. James 2:8-11

As these commandments have been covered over these past weeks in the newsletters, it is clearer than ever how they indeed overlap one another on infinite levels. This particular commandment not to commit adultery is truly all encompassing of so many other aspects of commandment keeping. Topics such as coveting, murder, theft, loving one another, envy, lust — this one sin of adultery literally causes us to be guilty of all these and many others not named here. It is my testimony to a very strong extent, that if you can come to terms with adultery, and master your walk with Elohim in righteousness concerning this ONE command… You have done a mighty mighty work in Him! Beloved, it is worth it. It is worth all the work, pain, injury, self-denial, tears, shame, and brokenness… to get yourself healed of this transgression. The life of joy, freedom, and true love and relationship awaits you!

This discussion will present the truth in the commandment first and there will be a purposeful thread of love, hope, instruction, and forgiveness throughout.

As with so many of our Messiah’s Words, His Words in Matthew from above are full of meaning. However, I would like you to focus on one aspect of it at this time and throughout the reading of this discussion of the seventh commandment. Focus on this from Messiah’s Words above: there is no more weight given to this commandment than to any of the others. If someone is guilty of breaking this commandment, they are NOT more guilty than others who break other commandments. They are not MORE guilty than a person who calls their brother a fool, or curses their mother or father. An adulterer is not more guilty than a person who is guilty of not helping, feeding, or clothing someone in need.

Breaking this commandment is called one thing – sin and trespass. The results are the same whether breaking this commandment or any other – sin and death. The solution is the same for breaking this commandment as with any other – repentance (not a sorrowful heart, but a change in one’s actions).

This commandment and topic will go through more than just this week of discussion because it is that important to the Body of Messiah and His people. It would be a great idea, to stop reading right now, say a prayer to Yehovah for your heart to be touched, softened, melted – and ask your Father to open the eyes of your heart, open your spiritual ears to hear, cause you to be humble and sober as these discussions move forward. Ok, everyone pray and then come back.

Now, let us consider the commandment from our Loving and Forgiving and Merciful Father – who wants us to be blessed, successful, healthy, and full of joy and life. That is the purpose of the commandments! We all know that – agreed? He has commanded us not to commit adultery. As you may know by now, the writer of these commandment’s discussions for sighted moon really does enjoy getting the original Hebrew down into our hearts first for the purpose of limiting and prayerfully removing any confusion of understanding that has crept into the Body with traditions and false teachings. This is so important.

Take a look at the entire commandment in the Hebrew. It is two words!
This is: no na’aph
na’aph {naw-af’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1273; v AV – adultery 17, adulterer 8, adulteress 4, adulterous 1, women that break wedlock 1; 31 1) to commit adultery 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to commit adultery 1a1a) usually of man 1a1a1) always with wife of another 1a1b) adultery (of women) (participle) 1a2) idolatrous worship (fig.) 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to commit adultery 1b1a) of man 1b1b) adultery (of women) (participle) 1b2) idolatrous worship (fig.)

Seed – continue, heir, son
Ox – strong, power, leader
Mouth – blow, scatter, edge

Yehovah does not want us to take our strong, powerful, and “leadership of the nations” seed – and have it scattered all over creation. But this is the exact result and consequence of adultery. Consider what He Himself did to Israel due to spiritual adultery, and consider what physical adultery does to families. He commands us not to do this and not to let this happen. He desires: one man living in covenant with Him, one woman living in covenant with Him, in a marriage covenant with each other. A solid relationship, focused on Him where He can then provide offspring into that secure and faithful home to be raised in. For that home to remain together and not be broken, stable, protective and all the good and wonderful blessings that brings. We can easily see how adultery does not fit into this equation. The act of adultery just simply tears all of the things to pieces that we just mentioned. Let us remember right now at this moment again… why did Yehovah give us this commandment? To bless us. Remember that. He did not give this commandment to curse anyone or to terrorize anyone. He does not command us to do things we cannot do or do not have the ability to keep. He gave it for proper order and blessing to those who obey Him. He created us and He very well knows what kinds of things we do to mess up His Order and Good Plans for our lives. Imagine for a moment not having this commandment! What would society look like? Much like what it looks like today…

Continuing on. Notice that this commandment seems to be concerned primarily with “married” women. Please, we are not yet talking about fornication or sexual misconduct of anything else but adultery for now. In order for the act of adultery to have been committed, one or both of the persons involved would be in a marriage covenant relationship. Not to worry, we are going to discuss those other aspects of sexual impurity too, but need to focus on the plain commandment for now. We must start with the truth first for teaching’s sake, presentation of the standard, then talk about what to do and how to move forward in life in relationship with Yehovah and others.

Adultery is the sexual intercourse with the wife or betrothed (engaged) of another man. Adultery is the violation of a marriage vow. Adultery is seen as a transgression against Yehovah, man, and society. This act is one of those that if a person or persons are found in the act is punishable by death for both the man and/or the woman (depending upon the elements of the situation). The reason for the strict and immediate punishment is for the benefit of a righteous society, and putting evil and keeping evil outside of this society and house. Whether we see or do not see, realize or do not realize, our Faith community is the House of our Father. What we do while in the “House of our Father” matters. We may appear to be isolated family units scattered here and there, but in Spirit, we are under His Roof at all times. Remember, the wages of sin… all sin… is death. It is not as if this particular transgression is way worse than other transgressions, but this particular transgression causes extraordinary chaos on a society and therefore God instructs severe and immediate punishment. He again does this out of mercy and love for the whole of His people and family. He really does know best.

For the sake of teaching Torah, we will take time to cover the situations and instructions concerning the matter of adultery from the scriptures in the Torah first.

Lev 20:10 “And a man who commits adultery with the wife of another man, who commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor: the adulterer and the adulteress shall certainly be put to death.”

Much of chapter 20 of Leviticus is instructions on sexual purity of all kinds.

Deuteronomy 22:22-30
“When a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman. Thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. [notice the word: found. The couple were witnessed being together and there was obvious agreement between the two of them]

When a girl who is a maiden is engaged to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and shall stone them to death with stones, the girl because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst. [This situation is the same as in v. 22 but this time the girl is betrothed/engaged and not yet consummated her marriage. Explain this to your children as you read along here. In the eyes of Yehovah, an agreement is as good as the actual fullment of the agreement.]

But if a man finds the girl who is engaged in the field, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. [Here we see strong reference to what we today would call “rape”. However notice too, that this girl was betrothed/engaged. She was indeed another man’s wife of promise, only the man is sentenced to death because it is assumed the girl cried out for help, but no one heard her or came to rescue her]

But you shall do no matter to the girl. The girl has no sin worthy of death – for the matter is like a man who rises against his neighbor and kills him – for he found her in the field, and she cried out, the engaged girl, but without anyone to save her.

When a man finds a girl who is a maiden, who is not engaged, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty pieces of silver, and she is to be his wife because he has humbled her. He is not allowed to put her away all his days.

Parents, please share this last verse with commentary with your children if they are not too young. In the eyes of Yehovah, a male and female lying together are to be married. The boy is not allowed to break up with her, divorce her, send her away… ALL his days. This is the right ruling of God. He has already ruled on this issue. Tell your daughters, that lying with a boy or man is an eternal commitment. Scripture uses the phrase, “he has humbled her.” Let us explore this meaning for the sake of teaching our daughters.

The Hebrew word for “humbled” is “anah”. A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, – abase self, afflict (-ion, self), answer [by mistake for H6030], chasten self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self), hurt, ravish, submit self, weaken, X in any wise.

We need to teach our daughters, that outside of their will, outside of desire, outside of pleasure, peer pressure, or “want to” – that lying with a boy or man renders her as submitted to another man. She becomes under the authority of that person and is weakened in her ability to serve Yehovah in freedom. She is no longer “free” There is a sense of “ownership” that is now over her. The Apostle Paul spoke about this in our last Torah Portion last week in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7. My Dad used to tell me, daughters are like kittens, they should never grow up and always remain pure, sweet, and innocent. There is no doubt that virgins are held in high regard for their chastity and wholeness.

If there is a parent reading this article right now, and in the situation of adultery – do not allow your sin to prevent you teaching your children the proper Ways of God. Put your guilt and sin aside for their sake. Don’t allow your mistakes to cheat them out of the truth. Deal with yourself and your sin between you and Yehovah (and another adult person if need be), but do not neglect teaching your children. It just may be that this convicts you enough to get yourself straight before the eyes of God and heal your family relationships.

Now these are the primary instructions for how to handle adultery in our society, and we can see easily, that this is serious business with Yehovah. There can be no continuation of His Order, His Way of Life, His Torah in broken homes. The Image of Him is broken and scattered, just as this word “na’aph” shows us in the word picture. There is nearly no single adult person reading this article that is not guilty of adultery. There are some who would be taken aback by this accusation, but let’s talk about it shall we? Who among us has heard of spiritual adultery? Think in your minds: Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Years. Think about prayer beads, ceramic images of saints, talesmen, good luck charms, horoscopes. Think about gluttony, materialism. This is just a short list. We find ourselves in adultery the minute we put anything above Yehovah or His Word. These things are not mentioned to cause purposefully anyone to feel badly, but is mentioned for the sake of those persons reading this article who, at this very moment, are in the act of adultery and need to repent and be healed. But for whatever reason feel ashamed, trapped, judged, and for those of us who find ourselves judging others and will not forgive them! This is the goal of all the commandments – awareness and repentance. We have all been guilty of breaking this commandment. Here is an important point… the repair for ALL these and EVERY kind of adultery is the same! We get down on our knees, talk to our Father who – when we turn towards Him, He turns toward us. We repent and are healed. This repentance, though, is more than just being sorry. Please don’t fall into that trap. Feeling sorry for something in the continuum of repentance is like holding a seed is to having a full groan oak tree. Feeling sorry is only the beginning. Repentance is a change in actual behavior.

Getting on our knees and talking to Him is a huge step. Some of us fall so far down into discouragement and self- loathing over our sin – to simply talk to Him is huge. Also, no matter of our confidence in our ability to stand back up on our feet and be completely changed, we must MUST talk to Him and open the communication. Share your heart with the Father of all Mercy. It is very important to open the lines of communication with Him with a contrite heart. Contrite means broken and smashed into bits.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Isaiah 66:2

If you are not feeling repentant over your adultery – PRAY FOR A HEART OF REPENTANCE. We know adultery is sin. Enjoying our sin is not an excuse to stay in it. Pray for a broken heart, pray for pain, pray for eyes to see, pray for realization of what we are involved in and how it is affecting the lives of others.

Consider for a moment. What was it that got the Northern and Southern kingdoms chastised, expelled, and scattered? Think about that for a moment and consider the consequences of adultery. Israel did not realize their wrong either, and actually declared to Jeremiah they would stay in their adultery. This did not stop Yehovah from His judgment upon them.

There may be some reading this article now who are currently deep into an adulterous situation and thinking of all the reasons and excuses as to why it is all right for you to be doing what you are doing. Please know that you are deceiving yourself. The Word of Yehovah and His command stands alone in its truth. He does not attach to His commands loop holes or “buts” to fit you. You need to understand and tell yourself this truth. If you cannot be honest with another person right now, at least be honest with yourself and admit that what is going on in your life is defined as sin and trespass in your life against Him and His Holy Word. If there is nothing else you can do at this time but admit it – do that! Spend some time in the black and white and not the gray. Reach into your mind and capture your thoughts concerning this word to you. The path you are on does indeed end in destruction and death – there is no argument about that. Without a recognition and coming to terms with what you are doing in the eyes of Yehovah there is no hope of cleansing and right standing. There is no hope of true repentance. So many people have been through this and you are not alone. Talk to anyone who is out of it and been healed and forgiven and they will tell you… that now that there mind is “clear” on the situation, they can look “back” and see the truth of the matter. Their actions were actions of a person without self control, full of physical desires, full of lies to themselves, God, and others, and great turmoil. This is not the way of life, but the way of death.

Let’s take a look at a picture of us being in adultery and thinking or believing everything is going to work out, even though we are living in trespass. Jeremiah chapter 44. I will add some commentary so that we can all see ourselves in the writing and truly see, that it is written of us. There is a time in every adulterous situation where the persons involved tell themselves that what they are doing is acceptable, or “I will get by with this.”

The context of this chapter is a time after Nebukednesser had taken Jerusalem the second and final time, along with the Temple items. Jeremiah was spared and not taken as slave along with some of the people living out from Jerusalem in the countryside. Now Jeremiah was continuing to admonish these people and tell them the Will of Yehovah and what to do to make things right with Him. In earlier chapters, Yehovah made it clear that He did not want these people to be running back to Egypt for comfort, food, and safety. He was very very clear about this through Jeremiah. But, the people said, “no, we will go to Egypt.” So here is what God says, Jeremiah speaks, and these people say. Take note, these people are as we are when we are in our sin, in adultery, and we make excuses.

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who were dwelling in the land of Egypt [which is where we are in our agreement and bondage with sin] who were dwelling at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the land of Pathros, saying,

Thus said YHWH of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, ‘You yourselves have seen all the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah. [Do we not see what adultery does in the lives of other people? Ruined families, ruined careers, financial debt, addictions, disease? We act as if we don’t because we follow right behind and do the same things]

And see, this day they are a ruin, and no one dwells in them. [we have fathers living without their children, mothers going to work as single moms to support the children, the children being raised by schools, baby-sitters, governments, etc. The home ends up empty of life and cohesion, a ruin no one dwells in].

Because of their evil which they have done to provoke Me, by going to burn incense by serving other mighty ones whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. [this is adultery]
And I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Please do not do this abominable matter that I hate!” [We have Moses and all the prophets and we have friends and family who many times try to tell us and warn us of the dangers of adultery.]

But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil, not to burn incense to other mighty ones. [We say things like, “I deserve to be loved, that person makes me feel good, I deserve to be happy, no one will find out, and all the other things we say to ourselves in our deception.]
But please know, Yehovah is not moved by all our excuses. Here is what He says,

“So My wrath and My displeasure were poured out and burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a ruin and a wasteland, as it is this day.’

And now, thus said YHWH, the Elohim of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, ‘Why are you doing this great evil against your lives [adultery is a sin against our own bodies, against God, against our families, and against our society], to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, from the midst of Judah leaving none to remain [the scattering that is caused by adultery],

By provoking Me with the works of your hands [creating our own definitions of pleasure – not approved by Yehovah], by burning incense to other mighty ones in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, to cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? [surely we all know of the mocking we read of in the divorce rate, fornication, and adultery in the church. There is no difference today between professed believers and the world. A ruinous testimony of our God before the nations]

Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, and the evils of the sovereigns of Judah, and the evils of their wives, and your own evils, and the evils of your wives, which they have done in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? [This is a question for all of us believers… have we not read His Word, the example of Israel and Judah, how their actions produced judgment, captivity, and exile?]

“To this day they have not been humbled, nor have they feared, nor have they walked in My Torah and in My laws that I set before you and your fathers.” [many in adultery convince themselves there will be no judgment upon them. All is well, they are pursuing their own happiness, they feel no humility or fear that anything of payment will result in what they are doing. But that is not true is it? Yehovah has set forth a declaration and a law as natural as E=mc2 or gravity… We shall reap what we sow. And He does not change]

Therefore thus said YHWH of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, ‘See, I am setting My face against you for evil and for cutting off all Judah.
And I shall take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there. [we take sojourns into bondage and think we are going to come out of it unscathed, undamaged, that God is overlooking our sin somehow] But this is what Yehovah says: And they shall all be consumed in the land of Egypt – fall by the sword, consumed by scarcity of food. From the least to the greatest they shall die, by the sword and by scarcity of food. And they shall be an oath and an astonishment and a curse and a reproach!

And I shall punish those dwelling in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by scarcity of food, and by pestilence.

“And none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they are longing to return to dwell there. For they shall not return, except those who escape.” [This is the person who willingly and knowingly hardens their heart to rebellion, goes into bondage of sin {of adultery} and thinks they are going to live in God’s House. He will not allow this. There are thousands sitting in congregations everyone involved in adultery. They may be breathing, but they are cut off from Him. They look like everyone else and can even fake a relationship, but they do not have it, just as Yehovah stated above… “except those who escape” – the escape is made by repentance]

Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other mighty ones, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah saying,

“We are not going to listen to you in the matter about which you spoke to us in the Name of YHWH!” [This is the believer who reads and knows the commandments of Yehovah, and yet commits adultery anyway]

But we shall do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the sovereigns of the heavens and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our sovereigns and our heads, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. And we had plenty of food, and were well-off, and saw no evil. [The adulterer says ‘I am doing just fine, I am getting by with what I am doing and enjoying it. I am finding great pleasure in my sin]

But since we ceased burning incense to the sovereigns of the heavens and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked all and have been consumed by the sword and by scarcity of food. [It is interesting to find that most of the time we are in the sin of adultery and things start falling apart in our relationships, work, family, marriage… finances… that all these become to blame for our adultery or for the excuse of it. We do not admit that our sinful pleasure is to blame and the cause of the problems]

And when we burned incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and poured out the drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to idolize her, and poor out drink offerings to her, without our husbands? [God sees what we are doing and He is not sending a plague, He has not struck us down dead in our tracks, He is not causing me to be sick, therefore He is all right with what I am doing – this is another lie adulterers may tell themselves. This also greatly portrays a situation of husbands or wives tolerating sexual impurity in their mate, i.e. pornography, movies, videos, tv shows, magazine, and books]

Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people – to the men and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying,

As for the incense that you burned in the cities Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your sovereigns and your heads, and the people of the land, did not YHWH remember them? And it came into His heart!

And YHWH could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your deeds and because of the abominations which you did. Therefore your land is a ruin, an object of astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day.

Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against YHWH and did not obey the voice of YHWH or walk in His Torah, in His laws or in His witnesses, therefore this evil did befall you, as at that day. [God does not change, He sees sin and deals with sin the same way, now or later, wherever we dwell. His eye is always upon us]

And Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, “Hear the word of YHWH, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt!

Thus spoke YHWH of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, saying, ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths, and have filled with your hands, saying, “We shall perform our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and pour out drink offerings to her.” Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!” [continued willful rebellion will end up in a turnover of the soul to sin. The conviction of the Holy Spirit will dim until it is no longer heard, the conscience will sear, and there is a cutting off of the soul. Paul talks about this also in 1 Corinthians 5. This is a place none of us need to be. This is where we beg for a broken heart and a contrite spirit from Yehovah!]

Therefore hear the word of YHWH, all Judah who are dwelling in the land of Egypt, “See, I have sworn by My great Name,’ declares YHWH, ‘My Name shall no longer be called upon by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Master YHWH lives…”

‘See, I am watching over them for evil and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by scarcity of food, until they come to an end.’ [There is no more God in the life, no protection, and no conviction of the Holy Spirit. This branch is broken off]

Please know brethren… we are not talking right now about the believer who is broken over the condition they find themselves in already. This is concerning the one who no longer feels any conviction and goes on with justification for what they are doing.

Job 24:15
And the eye of the adulterer watches for dusk, saying, ‘No eye sees me.’ And he puts a covering on the face.

Proverbs 30:20
This is the way of an adulterous woman: She shall eat and wipe her mouth, and say, “I have not done wickedness.”


More from Jeremiah 3:8-9
Yehovah speaking: “And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and committed whoring too. And it came to be, through her frivolous whoring, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and wood.

And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with all her heart, but falsely,” declares YHWH. And YHWH said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

“Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, O backsliding Israel,’ declares Yehovah, ‘I shall not look on you in displeasure, for I am kind,’ declares YHWH, ‘and I do not bear a grudge forever.

‘Only, acknowledge your crookedness, because you have transgressed against Yehovah your Elohim, and have scattered your ways to strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice.’ Declares YHWH

“He who commits adultery with a woman lacks heart; He who does it destroys his own life.” Proverbs 6:32-33

This brings us to an end to this portion of discussion on this commandment against adultery. There is a lot more to cover on this topic. Please do come back for Part 2 and part 3. We are going to show how Yehovah chose servants involved in these sins and sexual impurities, how He healed them, blessed them, and honored them. We are going to talk about some ways to teach our children ways of prevention of adultery without using the topic of sex explicitly. In part 3 we are going to discuss nothing but healing, forgiveness, and restoration of not only adultery, but incest, rape, pedophilia, homosexuality. All of these are in this category of the seventh commandment.

I want to leave you this Sabbath with these words of Truth and Great Encouragement

All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of Elohim. If we have broken one commandment, we have broken them all. So what to do? It is the very same for every sin and for every person:

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil!

Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Come now, and let us reason together,” says YHWH. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land… Isaiah 1:16-19

Humble ourselves towards Him, ask Him for a heart of flesh. Ask Him to begin working on us in our hearts and spirits to break us and do whatever it takes to bring us to perfection in Him. Begin the conversation with Him today. Begin the confession to another person if you know that is what it is going to take, so they may hold you accountable and help you in support and prayer. To the Body of Messiah – support one another. Let us stop judging others and instead pick them up and help them. As we are judging another person we very well may be heaping coals upon our own heads. This makes no sense. Yeshua came to heal, save, comfort, love, and bring peace… and that to the sinners and sick. We MUST do the same for one another.


Triennial Torah Cycle

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah Reading

Num 28      Jonah 1-4      Eccl 5-7     1 Cor. 8-9


Daily, Sabbath, Monthly and Festival Offerings (Numbers 28; Numbers 29)

Chapters 28 and 29 provide a review of laws regarding offerings to be made each day, on the Sabbath, on the new moon (the first day of the month), and during God’s Feasts. Frequent repetition is a tool God uses often to emphasize important features of His laws.

In reading about the various offerings mentioned here, consider that we must demonstrate to God our devotion to Him every single day of our lives. But there are special occasions He has appointed for us to go beyond our normal devotion in spending more time reflecting on His will and more time honoring and serving Him.


Introduction to Jonah (Jonah 1)

As we saw in our previous reading, 2 Kings 14:25 shows that Jonah preached during the reign of Jeroboam II (ca. 792-753 B.C.). He “was from Gath Hepher, a town in the territory of Zebulun (see Josh. 19:10, 13; 2 Kin. 14:25), several miles northeast of Nazareth. Nothing is known of his father Amittai. The name Jonah means ‘Dove.’ We associate the dove with peace and purity; however, this positive meaning is not the only possible association. A ‘dove’ could also be a symbol of silliness (see Hos. 7:11), a description that sadly applies to this tragicomically prophet” (Nelson Study Bible, introduction to Jonah).

The story of Jonah and the big fish (or whale) is one of the best known from the Old Testament. Many skeptics have regarded the story’s miracles as folklore or allegory. Yet the validity and importance of the story are made plain by Jesus’ own reference to it and the use of it as proof that He was the Messiah (Matthew 12:38-41; Luke 11:29-32).

The book is unusual in that it only contains one prophecy (Jonah 3:4) and is actually a story about the prophet rather than details of his messages.

The book of Jonah reveals a great deal about God’s mercy. With regard to Nineveh, the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible makes this comment: “Is God’s salvation available even to such people? For God to be so concerned about the positive future of nations such as Assyria was intolerable to some: How could God think of saving a nation that had so devastated God’s own people? Jonah himself is a type representing certain pious Israelites who posed such a question regarding the extension of God’s mercy to the wicked…. God’s way with the world, not simply with Israel, is the way of mercy in the face of deserved judgment” (“Jonah,” 2000, emphasis added). As God states through the apostle James, “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).


You Can’t Run From God (Jonah 1)

The story begins with Jonah’s call by God to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:8-12). Like so many others, Jonah didn’t want to go—but unlike any other recorded scriptural examples of God’s true servants, Jonah not only refused to go, but he actually tried to run from God. Jonah later gives his reason as objection to God’s inclination to show mercy (Jonah 4:2)—as this could result in Nineveh, Israel’s enemy, being shown mercy if they repented at his preaching. But Jonah was to learn that when God gives His servants a job to do, He expects them to carry it out.

And, of course, you can’t run from God. As King David wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell [i.e., sheol, ‘the grave’], You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10). Jonah surely knew these verses, as he was familiar with the Psalms (demonstrated in the next reading). And yet he tried to defy them by fleeing across the sea to Tarshish: “The name means ‘to smelt,’ and thus the city was associated with the metal trade. The furthest known metal producing port in the 8th century b.c. was Tartessus, in Spain. Most believe this port was Jonah’s destination. The identification is not vital, however. What is key is that metal producing areas along the Mediterranean were in the opposite direction from Nineveh” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on 1:3). “In any case, it represents the farthest place known to the people of ancient Israel. It is similar to going ‘to the ends of the earth'” (“INDepth: Jonah: A Reluctant Missionary,” Nelson Study Bible, sidebar on Jonah 1). Obviously, it was not far enough—indeed, there’s no place so far as to place us out of the reach of God. Ironically, it is this fact that will also save Jonah from death in the sea.

God can use all sorts of means to get His servants to do His will. In this case, He brought the real problem of Jonah’s attitude and disobedience into the open. Not only did it force Jonah to carry out his task, but it had a profound impact on the sailors he sailed with (Jonah 1:16). The Bible Reader’s Companion notes: “Even out of fellowship with God, Jonah had an evangelistic impact on the sailors. His admission that he was the reason why God brought the great storm; his demand the sailors throw him overboard; the sudden stilling of the storm as soon as Jonah left the ship; all these witnessed to God’s greatness and led the crew to greatly fear ‘the Lord’ and to make ‘vows’ to Him.’ It’s a mistake to assume just because God is using someone in others’ lives that that person must be godly. The Lord uses imperfect agents and even some who are actively disobeying Him at the very time they serve as channels of grace! So give God the glory. And do not hold His servants in awe, as though what God does is a testimony to some human being’s holiness” (note on 1:6-16). Of course, recognizing a pattern of unrighteous conduct would be a reason to question or even reject someone as a spiritual leader. The point is that God can use anyone—righteous or not—to direct others to His truth. (This in no way removes the responsibility all of us have to make sure that the spiritual leaders we follow are godly and doctrinally on track.)

Returning to the account, we next come to the saga of the “great fish,” as translated from the Hebrew. When Christ refers to this incident in the New Testament, it is interesting to note the Greek translation of what He said. Rather than the common Greek word for “fish,” ichthus, another word, ketos, is used. This is the same word the Greek Septuagint uses in its translation of Jonah. The King James Version renders this word in the New Testament as “whale,” but it literally denotes “a huge fish, a sea monster” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, New Testament Section, “Whale”).

This does not necessarily rule out a whale, as the word may allow for that. Many people have said that a whale could not have swallowed a man and, even if it had, he wouldn’t have survived. Yet the evidence against the whale story is far from conclusive. Note this section from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: “While the throats of most whales are too narrow to swallow a man, the cachalot or sperm whale can…. Even other species of whales could preserve a man alive, were the man able to reach the great laryngeal pouch. This structure, with its thick, elastic walls, is large enough to contain a man and to supply him with air for breathing. A.J. Wilson (Princeton Theological Review, 25 {1941}, 636) records the case of a man swept overboard by a harpooned sperm whale in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. The whale was eventually killed and cut apart. After three days, the missing sailor was found in the animal’s stomach, unconscious. He was successfully revived, although the skin of his face, neck, and hands was bleached by the whale’s gastric juices” (“Jonah, Book of,” 1982).

Still, another source argues: “Until the Bible was translated into English, no one had ever heard the story of Jonah and the whale. For the great fish that’s mentioned in Jonah 1:17 was considered by ancient and medieval scholars to be a sea monster and was designated accordingly in Greek and Latin Bibles…. [This] interpretation is faithful to Greek ketos, which designates a sea dragon or monster. Just what creature was in the mind of the original writer of Jonah’s saga remains a matter of conjecture. Probability points to some semi-mythical sea serpent rather than to the shark or humpback whale…. Many twentieth-century versions and translations reject ‘whale’ and use ‘sea monster’ or ‘dragon’ in rendering the ancient account” (Webb Garrison, Strange Facts About the Bible, 1968, 2000, pp. 103-104). This is not out of the question. It may even be that God specially created this creature, as we are explicitly told that He “had prepared a great fish” (verse 17). Indeed, with other biblical references to Leviathan, a sea serpent and clear type of Satan, the great dragon (Revelation 12:9)—and considering the idea of being in his clutches as a type of death for sin—this seems a very strong parallel with Christ’s death.

In any event, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary adds this important comment: “As the type of fish is not identified and the story is told in the most general terms, we should avoid making the incident, which in itself is physically possible, more difficult by our interpretations. Jesus placed it alongside the even greater miracle of his own resurrection. What we must do, however, is find an adequate spiritual reason for so great a miracle” (introductory notes on Jonah).

This is a reference to Matthew 12:39-40. The scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign to verify His claims. He responded: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Many theologians, believing that Christ died Friday afternoon and rose Sunday morning, interpret the period to mean parts of three days and just two nights—a little bit of Friday afternoon, Friday night, all day Saturday, Saturday night and a little bit of Sunday morning. However, it is illogical to interpret the Hebrew of Jonah in the light of an unproven theory from New Testament times. Typical of mainstream Christian thinking is this statement from Adam Clarke’s Commentary: “That days and nights do not, among the Hebrews, signify complete days and nights of twenty-four hours, see Esth. iv.16, compared with chap. v.1; Judg. xiv.17, 18. Our Lord lay in the grave one natural day, and part of two others; and it is most likely that this was the precise time that Jonah was in the fish’s belly” (1967, note on Jonah 1:17). Actually, the references he quotes do not prove his point.

Note this accurate explanation from The Companion Bible: “The fact that ‘three days’ is used by Hebrew idiom for any part of three days and three nights is not disputed; because that was the common way of reckoning, just as it was when used of years. Three or any number of years was used inclusively of any part of those years, as may be seen in the reckoning of the reigns of any of the kings of Israel and Judah. But when the number of ‘nights’ is stated as well as the number of ‘days,’ then the expression ceases to be an idiom, and becomes a literal statement of fact.

“Moreover, as the Hebrew day began at sunset the day was reckoned from one sunset to another, the ‘twelve hours in the day’ (John 11.9) being reckoned from sunrise, and the twelve hours of the night from sunset. An evening-morning was thus used for a whole day of twenty-four hours, as in the first chapter of Genesis. Hence the expression ‘a night and a day’ in 2 Cor[inthians] 11.25 denotes a complete day (Gr. nuchthemeron). When Esther says (Est. 4.16) ‘fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days,’ she defines her meaning as being three complete days, because she adds (being a Jewess) ‘night or day.’ And when it is written that the fast ended on ‘the third day’ (5.1), ‘the third day’ must have succeeded and included the third night…. Hence, when it says that ‘Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights’ (Jonah 1.17) it means exactly what it says, and that this can be the only meaning of the expression in Matt[hew] 12.40; 16.4” (App. 144).


Jonah Saved (Jonah 2-4)

As chapter 2 begins, we read of Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the sea creature. The prayer of chapter 2 tells us a great deal about Jonah—about his attitude toward God and especially his knowledge of God’s Word. The prayer is reminiscent of many passages from the Psalms.

It appears that Jonah was able to recall much Scripture and use it as the basis for his prayer and thanksgiving to God. This should be an example for all of God’s people today. We can never tell when we may find ourselves alone, with no Bible, and only our remembered knowledge of God’s Word to encourage us. Even though Jonah was still in the belly of this creature from the deep, he was thankful that he was still alive. The apostle Paul had a similar approach to life (Philippians 4:11).

In verse 2, Jonah prays, “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried for help.” The King James Version translates Sheol as “hell.” This is a confusing verse for many given the common misconception that Sheol is a place of the dead in the spirit realm. However, the Hebrew word literally means “grave” or “pit.” People become confused because they attach to death the pagan concept of going to heaven or hell, a teaching that the Bible never supports. Hence, the idea that Sheol can mean the netherworld. It must be noted that “nowhere in the O[ld] T[estament] is Sheol described as a place of torment or punishment for the wicked. At most it is a place of confinement away from the land of the living…. Not until the Hellenistic era (after 333 B.C.) was Sheol (Hades) conceived of as compartmentalized, with places of torment and comfort” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Sheol”). Thus, the creature in which Jonah lay was, in essence, a tomb—a watery grave. Yet even though he was “as good as dead,” Jonah understood the power of God. Notice his reference to the “belly” of Sheol. Here “Jonah uses the Hebrews beten (=womb)… (2.2)” (Companion Bible, App. 144)—that is, something to be “born” from. Finally, then, God intervened. He spoke to the fish and it immediately responded, demonstrating His sovereign power over His creation. Recall that the entire universe came into being when God spoke (Psalm 33:6-9).

There are some important points to consider here. The disobedient Jonah being as good as dead in a watery grave was a type of Christ, bearing our sins (though without sin Himself), being put to death and buried in the earth. The miraculous vomiting up of Jonah to new life was a type of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, having paid our sins. Moreover, Christ was “born” from the “womb” of the grave, being described as the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). And this was accomplished by the same power that created the universe and preserved Jonah.

Consider further: Christian baptism in a “watery grave” is a figurative burial of the old, sinful self with Christ (Romans 6:4, 6). And our emergence from the waters of baptism represents resurrection with Christ into newness of life—looking forward to our actual future resurrection (verses 4-5). In this way, our very own baptism is in a sense tied to what Jonah experienced!

God spoke to Jonah again and this time he obeyed, now walking in “newness of life.” In Jonah’s case it meant a full realization that he had to serve God just as all creation ultimately serves God. As forces of the natural world that brought him to this point had operated at the command of God, so he had to obey. Of course, God could have used someone else to go to Nineveh, but He was showing Jonah that he couldn’t shirk his responsibilities. No doubt, Jonah was also grateful for his miraculous deliverance—motivating him to be more devoted in his service to God. However, as we later see, he does not maintain a right attitude. It is the same with all Christians. God often humbles us and brings us to repentance—but we do not continue in that frame of mind indefinitely as we should (1 John 1:8). Still, God is patient with us—as He was with Jonah—as long as we continue to repent and overcome.


Nineveh Repents (Jonah 2-4)

Arisen from the depths, Jonah takes God’s message to Nineveh. The reference to “a three-day journey in extent” is probably not the distance Jonah had to travel to get there, but rather the time it took to walk around Nineveh, demonstrating its vastness: “The city wall of Nineveh had a circumference of about eight miles, indicating that Nineveh was an exceedingly large city for the times. But the reference to ‘three days’ likely refers to the larger administrative district of Nineveh [i.e., the suburbs], made up of several cities, with a circumference of about 55 miles” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 3:3). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary expresses a similar view, stating that “Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.) gave the circumference of the city as approximately sixty miles” (note on verse 3).

There is an important change in the name of God at this point. When the story talks about Jonah and his relationship with God, the writer uses the Hebrew name YHWH (Yahweh, “the Eternal”, usually substituted with “the LORD” in English Bible translations). In fact, it was distinctly Yahweh whom the sailors had come to fear (Jonah 1:16). But to the people of Nineveh, Jonah uses the name Elohim (“God,” the All-Powerful, i.e., the Creator). “The obvious purpose is to bring home that Jonah had not been proclaiming Yahweh to those that did not know him but that the supreme God, whatever his name, was about to show his power in judgment. Behind all polytheism with its many gods and many lords, there was always the concept of one god who could enforce his will on the others, if he chose. There is not the slightest indication that Jonah had mentioned the God of Israel or had said that he came in his name. The Ninevites, however, recognized the voice of the supreme God, whatever name they may have given him, and repented” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Jonah 3:5-10). And God did not bring upon them the announced destruction.

Was Jonah, then, a false prophet? “If the test of a true prophet is that his words come true (Deut. 18:22), how do we explain the failure of Jonah’s message of judgment? The answer is that nearly every message of judgment is conditional, a truth that Jonah clearly understood (Jonah 4:2). The principle is illustrated in 2 Sam[uel] 12:14-23; 1 Kings 21:27-29; and 2 Kings 20:1-6” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Jonah 3:1). Indeed, God says in Jeremiah 18:7-8, “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.” We see in the example of the Assyrians a primary reason why God reveals the future through His prophets—that human beings may see what is coming and repent. Prophecy isn’t simply a futile exercise, revealing the future as an end in itself. God reveals what is coming so we can understand and be motivated to change—to repent—so as to avoid His pronounced punishment! The example of the Assyrians should be an example for all humankind.

We might wonder why the inhabitants of the capital of the powerful Assyrian Empire, of all people, would respond to God’s call to repentance at this time. “Events had prepared the people of Nineveh for the prophet’s message. Assyria was led by weak rulers between 782 b.c. and 745 b.c., and was threatened by mountain tribes from the north who had driven their frontiers within a hundred miles of the capital. The danger of destruction was very real in Nineveh in this period” (note on 3:3).

Indeed, “Assyria, following the reign of Adad-nirari III (810-873), was in a dismal state of affairs. Internal upheavals and pressure from powerful enemies such as Urartu [Armenia] and the Aramaean states kept her in a defensive holding position until mighty Tiglath-pileser III came to power in 745. This is precisely the period in which Israel under Jeroboam II and Judah under Uzziah regained territories which had been forfeited earlier and a great measure of their international prestige. It is also the period in which Jonah was occupied in his prophetic ministry. Given these chronological limits, the most likely time for the mission of Jonah to Nineveh was in the reign of Assur-dan III (772-755). Though no royal inscriptions whatsoever have survived from his years in power, the Assyrian eponym list and other indirect witnesses attest to his tenure as a period of unparalleled turmoil. Assur, Arrapha, Gozan, and many other rival states and dependencies revolted. In addition, plague and famine struck repeatedly until the empire was left impoverished and in total disorder. This would have been an ideal time for Jonah to deliver his message of judgment and of the universal redemptive program of the God of Israel. Assyria’s own pantheon and cult had failed miserably. Surely now, if ever, the king and people were prepared to hear a word from the only living God” (Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, p. 388).

Jesus attested to the amazing repentance of the Ninevites—and sadly, to the fact that they set a better example than did the religious leaders of His day (Luke 11:32).


Jonah’s Reaction—and God’s Compassion (Jonah 2-4)

Chapter 4 tells us that Jonah did not want the Ninevites to repent. Assyria had dominated the Israelites not long before in the days of Jehu, even collecting tribute from them. He wanted Assyria to be punished, not sustained and given further chance of destroying Israel. Incredibly, Jonah stated that he wanted to die rather than see God’s mercy on Nineveh! And yet, only a few days before, he had pleaded with God to keep him alive. Such thinking is clearly irrational. Sadly, though, the desire for retribution and revenge is commonplace. Even Christians are not immune. Yet all of us need to learn to be as gracious and compassionate as God is. Our desire should be for those who have done wrong to change, not for them to be punished. Again, we must remember that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

Ironically, Jonah’s message would postpone the fall of Israel. Yet Jonah’s mission wasn’t obvious even to the prophet himself. As Halley’s Bible Handbook states in its introduction to the book, Jonah’s message “would prolong the life of the enemy nation that was already in the process of exterminating…his own nation. No wonder he fled in the opposite direction—he was in patriotic dread of the brutal and relentless military machine that was closing in on God’s people” (2000, p. 459). Possibly Jonah thought that if he didn’t go to Nineveh, God would simply destroy Assyria, thus freeing Israel of her enemy. Of course, this was faulty reasoning. Obviously God could still have used Assyria as a means of punishment for Israel anyway. And in actuality, rather than further threatening Israel, Assyria’s repentance spared Israel from conquest for a time, as the lust for violence and conquest was one thing of which Assyria repented (Jonah 3:8). So while God strengthened Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:26-27), He also prevented Assyria from conquering Israel until a later time—and this He accomplished through Jonah’s preaching.

After finally delivering his message, Jonah went away and waited for God to do something. It’s obvious from the context that this was the hot season and the temperature may well have been as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the day. But God was to teach Jonah (and us) a further lesson about priorities. Jonah was concerned about the plant dying. God showed him that if the plant was important, how much more the people of Nineveh? The reference to 120,000 people “who cannot discern between their right hand and their left” has been the subject of debate. The Bible Reader’s Companion states: “The number either refers to the entire population, or to young children. Since the maximum estimated population at that era was about 175,000, the former is the better interpretation. The saying ‘not tell their right hand from their left’ refers to a lack of moral knowledge, stemming from the fact that Assyria had not been granted special revelation from God” (note on 4:11). In that sense, it would also seem that God here views all such human beings as little children in need of being taught.

Expositor’s makes a fitting concluding statement: “The declaration of God’s loving care was made, not to Nineveh, but to Jonah (4:11), and so to Israel. Taking the book as a whole, it is a revelation to God’s people of God’s all-sovereign power and care. It had a special relevance to Israel over which the shadow of Assyria was falling, and later to Judah, as it faced destruction at the hands of Babylon” (introductory notes on Jonah).

Ecclesiastes 5-7

Ecclesiastes 5

Solomon, in this chapter, discourses, I. Concerning the worship of God, prescribing that as a remedy against all those vanities which he had already observed to be in wisdom, learning, pleasure, honour, power, and business. That we may not be deceived by those things, nor have our spirits vexed with the disappointments we meet with in them, let us make conscience of our duty to God and keep up our communion with him; but, withal, he gives a necessary caution against the vanities which are to often found in religious exercises, which deprive them of their excellency and render them unable to help against other vanities.

If our religion be a vain religion, how great is that vanity! Let us therefore take heed of vanity, 1. In hearing the word, and offering sacrifice, Ecclesiastes 5:1. 2. In prayer, Ecclesiastes 5:2,3. 3. In making vows, Ecclesiastes 5:4-6. 4. In pretending to divine dreams, Ecclesiastes 5:7. Now, (1.) For a remedy against those vanities, he prescribes the fear of God, Ecclesiastes 5:7. (2.) To prevent the offence that might arise from the present sufferings of good people, he directs us to look up to God, Ecclesiastes 5:8. II. Concerning the wealth of this world and the vanity and vexation that attend it. The fruits of the earth indeed are necessary to the support of life (Ecclesiastes 5:9), but as for silver, and gold, and riches, 1. They are unsatisfying, Ecclesiastes 5:10. 2. They are unprofitable, Ecclesiastes 5:11. 3. They are disquieting, Ecclesiastes 5:12. 4. They often prove hurtful and destroying, Ecclesiastes 5:13. 5. They are perishing, Ecclesiastes 5:14. 6. They must be left behind when we die, Ecclesiastes 5:15,16. 7.

If we have not a heart to make use of them, they occasion a great deal of uneasiness, Ecclesiastes 5:17. And therefore he recommends to us the comfortable use of that which God has given us, with an eye to him that is the giver, as the best way both to answer the end of our having it and to obviate the mischiefs that commonly attend great estates, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20. So that if we can but learn out of this chapter how to manage the business of religion, and the business of this world (which two take up most of our time), so that both may turn to a good account, and neither our sabbath days nor our week-days may be lost, we shall have reason to say, We have learned two good lessons.

Ecclesiastes 6

In this chapter, I. The royal preacher goes on further to show the vanity of worldly wealth, when men place their happiness in it and are eager and inordinate in laying it up. Riches, in the hands of a man that is wise and generous, and good for something, but in the hands of a sordid, sneaking, covetous miser, they are good for nothing. 1. He takes an account of the possessions and enjoyments which such a man may have. He has wealth (Ecclesiastes 6:2), he has children to inherit it (Ecclesiastes 6:3), and lives long, Ecclesiastes 6:3,6. 2. He describes his folly in not taking the comfort of it; he has no power to eat of it, lets strangers devour it, is never filled with good, and at last has no burial, Ecclesiastes 6:2,3. 3. He condemns it as an evil, a common evil, vanity, and a disease, Ecclesiastes 6:1,2. 4.

He prefers the condition of a still-born child before the condition of such a one, Ecclesiastes 6:3. The still-born child’s infelicity is only negative (Ecclesiastes 6:4,5), but that of the covetous worldling is positive; he lives a great while to see himself miserable, Ecclesiastes 6:6. 5. He shows the vanity of riches as pertaining only to the body, and giving no satisfaction to the mind (Ecclesiastes 6:7,8), and of those boundless desires with which covetous people vex themselves (Ecclesiastes 6:9), which, if they be gratified ever so fully, leave a man but a man still, Ecclesiastes 6:10. II. He concludes this discourse of the vanity of the creature with this plain inference from the whole, That it is folly to think of making up a happiness for ourselves in the things of this world, Ecclesiastes 6:11,12. Our satisfaction must be in another life, not in this.

Ecclesiastes 7

Solomon had given many proofs and instances of the vanity of this world and the things of it; now, in this chapter, I. He recommends to us some good means proper to be used for the redress of these grievances and the arming of ourselves against the mischief we are in danger of from them, that we may make the best of the bad, as 1. Care of our reputation, Ecclesiastes 7:1. 2. Seriousness, Ecclesiastes 7:2-6. 3. Calmness of spirit, Ecclesiastes 7:7-10. 4. Prudence in the management of all our affairs, Ecclesiastes 7:11,12. 5. Submission to the will of God in all events, accommodating ourselves to every condition, Ecclesiastes 7:13-15. 6. A conscientious avoiding of all dangerous extremes, Ecclesiastes 7:16-18. 7. Mildness and tenderness towards those that have been injurious to us, Ecclesiastes 7:19-22. In short, the best way to save ourselves from the vexation which the vanity of the world creates us is to keep our temper and to maintain a strict government of our passions. II. He laments his own iniquity, as that which was more vexatious than any of these vanities, that mystery of iniquity, the having of many wives, by which he was drawn away from God and his duty, Ecclesiastes 7:23-29.

1 Corinthians 8

In Chapter 8, Paul is going to address an issue in the assembly concerning food that is offered to idols. Specifically it seems to be meat of course, because of the many of killing the animal for its meat. Is it proper to eat food offered to idols or is in a sin and wrong? This issue is one that is twisted a great deal in many teachings and is at the forefront of many discussions today because of Halel meats and the expansion of Islam around the world and indeed into the western world. Believers everywhere are greatly stress about accidentally eating these Halel foods.

Here are the facts (says Paul); There is one God/Elohim/Mighty One – the Father. There are idols all over the place in every culture and religion – other mighty ones. Mighty ones who are so called by people. But just because people call a statue or a man a mighty one does not make it so. All things, to include food and idols, came from Elohim and in Elohim only do we live and breath and have our being. There is no rock, man, wood, statue, Budha, whatever that can make that truth… untrue.

So none of these idols have any power whatsoever. They are man made and powerless. However, because mankind appropriates power to them, through ignorance, lies, and deception – to other ignorant people, they are “seen” to have power – although false power.

If a believer was to eat meat sacrificed to an idol, whether they knew it or not, would make no difference whatsoever as long as that meat was from a clean animal. Knowledgeable and mature believers already know that idols are man made and have no power. It is the conscience of the person that makes it a sin or not a sin.

It is like the evangelist who goes into bars or bordellos to preach the Gospel. He enters to spread the message of salvation to the sinners and the alcohol or prostitutes have no power over him. Then, another person sees him go in and believe this evangelist to be courting a sinful life. Now, this person’s faith is shaken or perhaps even begins to entertain the idea that it may be all right to engage in these activities as a believer. Thus a stumbling block has been set up for the believer who is looking on, but does not have the knowledge of the evangelist.

In summary, If eating meat sacrificed to idols is something that bothers your brother or sister in Faith, don’t do it. Refrain from eating that meat all together – For their sake!!

1 Corinthians 9

What a wonderful chapter this is. Topics Paul discusses here: His position and authority, defending his actions, re-imbursement for his labors for the Good News, being capable of bringing the Gospel to ALL groups (this is love), and discipline and self control to win the race and obtain the incorruptible crown.

He expresses the fact that the very realization that he has assemblies of believers he speaks in and to is the proof he is an emissary. Taking family and friends along on travels is appropriate for also the other emissaries did, Jacob and other did, and Peter also did. Having women along as helpers is good so that the teacher and preacher may focus on the preaching and teaching and not have all the time and energy taken up with obtaining sustenance to continue doing the good work.

We have to be able to eat and drink to continue on in work. He expresses that the Torah states this, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” If a man or woman is working for Messiah and you, allow him or her to be fed and restored for their work. This is right and appropriate. If we are receiving spiritual food from our brother or sister, we ought to help them with their basic necessities of material and physical nature.

Then, Paul expresses how although re-imbursement is right and proper, he personally does not take any. He is a volunteer and receives his re-imbursement from above. Whether or not he is being paid for his labors he has to do the work because of compulsion of conscience and not greed or gain for himself personally. We ought to be completely free to serve and always take care so as to be above reproach or condemnation.

Let us make ourselves as though to whom we are witnessing. If our brother is poor, let us be as poor. If our brother is weak, let us also be weak. If we are witnessing to a Jewish person, let us become as a Jew or to a Christian, let us become as a Christian. We do this for the Good News and for the sake of it. What good does it do to act haughty and different? The Good News is not about ourselves, but about life and Messiah.

Paul advises to get ourselves out of the way. We are running a race just as athletes do and they prepare their bodies for the competition, to run, and to win. We are also running a race and need to prepare out bodies, our flesh, to get out of the way of the message. The crown and prize we reach for is so much better than the earthly temporary crown that is reached for by the athletes. Therefore we ought to be practicing all the MORE control of self and self discipline than even the Olympic Athletes!