Tonsuring or Shaving the Head and the Kipa

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 5, 2010
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News Letter 5846-039
28th day of the 8th month 5846 years after creation
The 8th Month in the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle

November 6, 2010


Shabbat Shalom Family,

This week we conclude our three part series on the traditions that people do for the dead.

Last week we looked at the beards and how they were used for the dead by marring them. In Week one, we touched on Halloween and how it has been used by Judah in the festival of Purim. Then this week as I prepared this News Letter I stumble across the following answer to a question sent in to a Jewish Messianic site. I will not embarrass them by including the site name. It is a two part question so I only include the part about Halloween.

The Questions to the site was;

What is the Jewish viewpoint on Halloween? I need to know the answer.

And they answered as follows;

Halloween, however, has no such warmth or spirituality for a Jew. Quite the contrary, it can actually take away spirituality and holiness from a Jew. Part of this is because it is forbidden for us to adopt non-Jewish holidays. But that’s not the only reason. Halloween has many elements in it that are simply wrong and contrary to Jewish values.

Before I discuss those, however, let me first suggest an alternative.

Purim is a holiday with a lot more fun in it than Halloween. Not only that, but on Purim we wear disguises and give gifts of food to friends and gifts of money and/or food to poor people.

In keeping Purim, you would be teaching your children a number of important lessons, such as the greater goodness of giving rather than demanding, and also the main lesson of Purim, which is that G-d helps people “anonymously,” that is, while G-d remains behind the scenes.

So, as you see, there is nothing about Halloween that has anything to do with any Jewish sentiments. Just about every aspect of it is forbidden by Jewish Law!

Again, consider keeping Purim instead. Jews have no need to celebrate Gentile holidays. Ours have so much more meaning and joy to us.

Lev 18: 1 And ???? spoke to Mosheh, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, and say to them, ‘I am ???? your Elohim. 3 ‘Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim, where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kena?an, where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws. 4 ‘Do My right-rulings and guard My laws, to walk in them. I am ???? your Elohim. 5 ‘And you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, which a man does and lives by them. I am ????.

It goes on to say : 24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with all these, for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am driving out before you. 25 ‘Thus the land became defiled, therefore I punished it for its crookedness, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 ‘But you, you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, and not do any of these abominations, the native nor stranger who sojourns among you, 27 because the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and thus the land became defiled, 28 ‘So let not the land vomit you out for defiling it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those beings who do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘And you shall guard My Charge, so as not to do any of these abominable practices which were done before you, so as not to defile yourselves by them. I am ???? your Elohim.’ ”

Duet 5: 32 “And you shall guard to do as ???? your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left. 33 “Walk in all the way which ???? your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.

Deut 12: 29 “When ???? your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’1 Footnote: 1See also 18:9, Lev. 18:3, Jer.10:2, Ezek. 11:12 & 20:32, Eph. 4:17, and 1 Peter 4:3 31 “Do not do so to ???? your Elohim, for every abomination which ???? hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. 32 “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.1 Footnote: 1See also 4:2, Prov. 30:6, Rev. 22:18-19.

Do not turn aside after other false teachings and DO Not Worship Yahovah in the same way they do. Do not DO IT!!!! Period. Just do not do it, why do you argue about these things? Just do not do it.

Yet you just read it above how Purim is an alternative to Halloween. If Purim is to be kept it should be found in Lev 23. It is not there and we should not be keeping it and this is the exact reason why, It is too similar to Halloween.

But far too many subscribe to the Oral Law or the Talmud; The Talmud is one of the “holy”… books of Judaism. This book is held higher than scriptures in some forms of Judaism, this is stated in the “Talmud”.

Erubin 21b (Soncino edition): “My son, be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah (Old Testament).”

Which one will you follow? Yahovah and the Torah or Judaism and the Talmud?

In the mail this week are the following emails. I do thank you for them.


Dear Joe
I am thankful that the Lord has entrusted you with teaching us the truth. I know it can be painful when the truth comes forth because of all the sacred cows, doctrines and traditions. I pray you will continue and that the Lord will increase your courage and revelation.


Shalom Joe
I so really appreciate these newsletters. They give me confirmation, or better yet, how to see the confirmation in the scriptures where I might miss it on my own.

This newsletter has confirmed all the more, while coming out of the “traditions” taught in Christianity, how it rubbed me wrong that the other “brother” boasted their “traditions” as though theirs were some how sanctified yet I found their house was no more swept than the one I was leaving. I was first drawn to “Judah” believing they would surely know more of the Torah than myself, and many individuals DO. However, it wasn’t long before I realized I was crawling out of a boiling pot and about to climb into a frying pan. I began to understand that many of the practices of Judah were no more than “tradition” in the same respect of what I was trying to leave. I understand fully well that not every tradition is wrong but it should never be taught as a commandment from Yahweh or mixed the slightest bit with that which would soon have us right back in the sway of a heathen dance.

I really respect and appreciate everything that I can learn from Judah and how well it will be when we can see that we can all learn from one another. We ALL can only be humble and grateful for such an awesome Father who has made a way for even the least of us.


Not everyone agrees with me though, and this is fine.


Greetings Joseph,

First I must say great website and thanks for the inspiring newsletter each week.

Having read many of your solidly scripture based studies I am rather shocked by your misconstrued interpretation of scripture regarding beards. First of all you’re depending on English translations for your understanding instead of taking the time to look up the Hebrew definitions. For you to cherry pick the words “for the dead” out of verse 28 to imply these commandments must only be obeyed when one is mourning and all other times they can be ignored is surprising to say the least. If verse 28 applies to verse 27 then does not verse 26 also apply? Are we to believe you condone tattoos, consumption of blood and soothsaying? This chapter is given in small segments ending in “I am Yahweh” and verses 26-28 is enclosed as one of those segments but does not stand alone and is included as part of Yahweh’s whole discourse here to His chosen people.

DS then goes on to expound his position which I appreciate.

The section on the beards last week was to show you that it was not a command that we grow one. It was a COMMAND THAT WE NOT MAR THEM FOR THE SAKE OF THE DEAD. I felt Mr. David Rogers explained that extremely well. It is not whether we should or should not grow a beard, but that we not disfigure them or tattoo ourselves for the dead.

I also included the Hebrew for those who wanted to look at it in the original.

Another Brother wrote and although he did not agree with all I said, I still liked what he had to say.

Giv’em ell bro Joseph, you can do it!
…perform radical and sometimes ( “bizarre” is something really strange.) acts against their own bodies while mourning over their dead.
Interesting take on the “beard” thing. I also have concluded last few years that not adding to YHWH’s instruction is just as important as not diminishing from it. I think it is important we be faithful witnesses, and clearly distinguish between YHWH’s will and the historical record on one hand, and our own opinion on the other.
Interesting allegation that the woman with the jar of perfume broke the jar after using it. How did you learn this?
Someday we’ll have to go around the 14th aviv thing, whether it was early as Yahshua and the 12 did, or as the Pharisees did, and still do, late on 14th in afternoon.
So many minor differences to discuss, and so little time… What we really need is a good dose of eternity to really get to the bottom of these things…
Bro Walter


Hey Mr. Dumond,

I think your doing a fine job. I wouldn’t worry too much about other peoples opinions, only Gods opinion counts (technically mine doesn’t count either, haha). If and when I disagree with you it is small things that are scriptural but could be something as simple as a translation issue. You may not hear it enough but please don’t become discouraged, God loves you and someday when you are face to face with him in judgement and he says, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’ it will all be worthwhile because you will finally really UNDERSTAND and be able to appreciate how far your words have reached and how many lives you have touched. In the meantime, chin up! Keep up the good work! 🙂

Shalom and the blessing of God be upon you and your house,


Greetings Joe,

Your Quote from today’s newsletter:
“Many of you are quite fine with pointing out the sins and false worship of the Christians, but when someone like myself points out those things that Judah is doing that are not Kosher, then I am labelled an anti Semite and called all sorts of demonic names and cursed. Is Judah above the law? No she is not and so I will continue to point out those things that Judah does that are not found in the Torah. I will continue to do the same for those who are called Christian.”
Continue to be the watchman you are and have been. After all the Truth will truly make one free. You do not sugar coat it, therefore their blood is not upon your hands but their own.
Stay strong Brother,
C R, Vicksburg, MS



Daily Reckoning, Addison Wiggin | October 26
The Food Shock of 2011

Every month, JP Morgan Chase dispatches a researcher to several supermarkets in Virginia.

The task—to comparison shop for 31 items. In July, the firm’s personal shopper came back with a stunning report: Wal-Mart had raised its prices 5.8 percent during the previous month. More significantly, its prices were approaching the levels of competing stores run by Kroger and Safeway.

The “low-price leader” still holds its title, but by a noticeably slimmer margin.

Within this tale lie several lessons you can put to work to make money. And it’s best to get started soon … because if you think your grocery bill is already high, you ain’t seen nothing yet. In fact, we could be just one supply shock away from a fullblown food crisis that would make the price spikes of 2008 look like a happy memory.

Fact is; the food crisis of 2008 never really went away. True, food riots didn’t break out in poor countries during 2009 and warehouse stores like Costco didn’t ration 20-pound bags of rice … but supply remained tight.

Prices for basic foodstuffs like corn and wheat remain below their 2008 highs. But they’re a lot higher than they were before “the food crisis of 2008” took hold. …America’s been blessed with year after year of “record harvests,” depending on how you measure it. So when crisis hits elsewhere in the world, the burden of keeping the world fed falls on America’s shoulders.

According to Soren Schroder, ceo of the food conglomerate Bunge North America, U.S. grain production has filled critical gaps in world supply three times in the last five years, including this summer …. In 2010, when drought hit Russian wheat …. In 2009, when drought hit Argentine soybeans …. In 2007–08, when drought hit Australian wheat.

So what happens when those “record harvests” no longer materialize? … What if there’s a Russia-scale crop failure here at home?

“When we have the first serious crop failure, which will happen,” says farm commodity expert Don Coxe, “we will then have a full-blown food crisis”—one far worse than 2008. Coxe has studied the sector for more than 35 years as a strategist for bmo Financial Group. … “We’ve got complacency,” he sums up. “So for those reasons, I believe the next food crisis—when it comes—will be a bigger shock than $150 oil.”

I have been reading Addison Wiggins for many many years and found his insights to be very accurate. In The Prophecies of Abraham I show why I expect a famine in 2010. But in the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles I also show you that this current Sabbatical cycle, the third one we are now in is the cycle when we should expect famines along with pestilence and Earthquakes.
Last week I mentioned the following tidbit about the way the priest of Baal shaved their heads.
Under Priests, Monks and Nuns, Hislop notes that “The Arabians acknowledge no other gods than Bacdus or Urania (i.e., the Queen of Heaven), and they say that their hair was cut in the same manner as Bacchus’s is cut; now, they cut it in a circular form, shaving it around the temple…. Over all the world, where the traces of the Chaldean system are found, this tonsure or shaving of the head is always found along with it. The priests of Osiris, the Egyptian Bacchus, was always distinguished by the shaving of their head.”

This is what We read in Leviticus 10:6 NKJ
And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the people. But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord has kindled.

Moses was telling them not to mourn the death of Aarons two sons in the way that the heathen do by shaving the head.


The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 |
tonsure [Lat.,=to shave], formerly, practice in some Christian churches of cutting some of the hair from the scalp of clerics. In the West the tonsure consisted of a circular patch on the crown of the head from which the hair was kept cut; some tonsures kept the entire head shaved above the ears, and some retained a broad band of hair around the head. Different religious orders had different tonsures. In the 6th and 7th cent. one of the outstanding questions between the Celtic use and the Roman use was the tonsure, which the Celts made by cutting the hair off the front part of the head. The Roman Catholic Church abolished the practice of tonsure in 1972.

The Next article is about the Kipa and it is written by a Rabbi, a Jewish Rabbi who believes in Yahshua. The preceding article is to help you understand what rabbi Avram Yehoshua is getting at.

by Avram Yehoshua
(All Footnote numbers and footnotes in red)

The kipa is one of Judaism’s most sacred items. A man can not go into a synagogue to worship God without one. Many believers, both Jewish and Gentile, wear the kipa to identify with the Jewish People. This is why I wore one for 14 years. It was more of a need on my part, because I saw it as what religious Jews were supposed to look like. But the Holy Spirit led me to see its pagan origin and symbolism, and I removed it.

We are to be an example to our People in the Way that they should go (Jeremiah 15:19). Where is any biblical basis for the wearing of the kipa? I have no problem with the woman’s head covering for modesty and submission to authority, or a man wearing a hat, etc., but the kipa is different. It is a religious symbol in and of itself. And what it symbolizes I have come to see is the sun, the sun god, and his followers. The sun god is none other than Satan himself. (1) We have no place with them even if it means ‘separating’ from what our People think. For they are to follow us, not us them. We are to walk in His Truth.

There is no place in Scripture to imply that the Jewish People had the kipa at the time of Moses or King David or Ezra. It is certainly a Jewish tradition but it has no biblical basis, and it is of pagan origin. If one says that the kipa is like the bonnet (KJV: Exodus 39:28, etc.), or the hat that Yahveh gave to the priests, I would ask for a reference that describes the bonnet to be a kipa. For the burden of proof resides upon the one doing the tradition: why do you do what you do? What biblical basis do you have? For if you do not have a biblical basis then you are walking in a tradition. It is very important to understand where the tradition comes from. For if it is of pagan origin, we must have nothing to do with it. If it is not, and it enhances Scriptures, then it is alright.

My question is: ‘Does the kipa symbolize submission to the God of Israel or to the sun god, Satan?’ And if to the God of Israel, then we must be able to substantiate our claim with Scripture. If a man wants to wear a turban, fine. But God never commanded it for anyone in Israel except Aaron the High Priest and his sons. Turbans today take on a form of identification, as to if one is a Moslem, and from what country. Just by the color or the way it is wrapped. But just because they wear them, I don’t see the turban itself as pagan. The turban does not contain within itself a religious symbolic meaning. But not so with the kipa.
The Kipa of the Sun God

I am not suggesting that it is offensive to God to wear a hat or turban for a man, or a head covering or hat for a woman. My concern is that the kipa is not a hat in the proper term of the word but has religious symbolism. What does it, did it of ancient times, symbolize?

The roundness of it suggests the sun. There are places in Scripture where the Lord tells us not to shave our heads in the form of a circle (because this is originally what all the priests of Baal, Bacchus, Tamuz, Apollo, Jupiter, Dagon, etc. did), to signify their allegiance to the sun god. Wearing a kipa is one very small step removed from having the head shaved that way. But the symbolism remains the same.

The kipa represents the circle or nimbus of light that encircles the Catholic pictures of ‘the Lord’ and ‘Mary’ and ‘Joseph’ and all the other ‘saints’. This circle of light that radiates from their head is supposed to suggest their deity or godness. But in actuality they were taken from the pictures and statues of the ‘gods and goddess’ of Babylon.(2)

Pagan worship was rampant in the ancient world. From Ireland to Egypt, to Assyria to India, and unto China and Mexico, the idolatrous pagan traditions were the same. The names of the gods and goddess’ changing, but the rituals remaining the same or similar. It all emanating from Bavel (Babylon).

‘The disk and particularly the circle were the well known symbols of the Sun-divinity, and figured largely in the symbolism of the East. With the circle or the disk, the head of the Sun divinity was encompassed. The same was the case in Pagan Rome'(3) (Roman Empire before the Catholic Church conquered it). Hislop goes on to say that the nimbus was the same for the Roman Madonna (Virgin Mary). The kipa is the physical representation of the nimbus or disk or circle.

Leviticus 19:27 reads: ‘You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor harm the edges of your beard.'(4) (NKJV) It is this rounded head that the ancient pagans, and many Catholic clerics to this day, wear as a symbol of identification with the god of the sun. Where did the Pope and his Cardinals get their kipot (kipa’s), from? Some say they took it from the Jews. But the Catholics had it long before we did.

The dictionary states that a tonsure (the head shaved in the form of a circle), means ‘to shear’. ‘The Roman Catholic or Eastern rite of admission to the clerical state by the clipping or shaving of a portion of the head’, ‘the shaven crown or patch worn by monks and other clerics’, ‘a bald spot resembling a tonsure’.(5) ‘to shave the head’, especially to confer some kind of clerical authority.

Alexander Hislop writes:
‘These celibate priests have all a certain mark set upon them at their ordination; and that is the clerical tonsure. The tonsure is the first part of the ceremony of ordination; and it is held to be a most important element in connection with the orders of the Romish clergy.

When, after long contendings, the Picts were at last brought to submit to the Bishop of Rome, the acceptance of this tonsure as the tonsure of St. Peter on the part of the clergy was the visible symbol of that submission. Naitan, the Pictish king, having assembled the nobles of his court and the pastors of his church, thus addressed them: “I recommend all the clergy of my kingdom to receive the tonsure.”

Then, without delay, as Bede informs us, this important revolution was accomplished by royal authority. He sent agents into every province, and caused all the ministers and monks to receive the circular tonsure, according to the Roman fashion, and thus to submit to Peter, “the most blessed Prince of the apostles.” “It was the mark,” says Merle D’Aubigne, “that Popes stamped not on the forehead, but on the crown. A royal proclamation, and a few clips of the scissors, placed the Scotch, like a flock of sheep, beneath the crook of the shepherd of the Tiber.”

Now, as Rome set so much importance on this tonsure, let it be asked what was the meaning of it? It was the visible inauguration of those who submitted to it as the priests of Bacchus. This tonsure cannot have the slightest pretence to Christian authority. It was indeed the “tonsure of Peter,” but not of the Peter of Galilee, but of the Chaldean “Peter” of the Mysteries. He was a tonsured priest, for so was the god whose Mysteries he revealed.

Centuries before the Christian era, thus spoke Herodotus of the Babylonian tonsure:

“The Arabians acknowledge no other gods than Bacchus and Urania (i.e. the Queen of Heaven), and they say that their hair was cut in the same manner as Bacchus’s is cut; now, they cut it in a circular form, shaving it around the temples.”

What, then, could have led to this tonsure of Bacchus? Everything in his history was mystically or hieroglyphically represented, and that in such a way as none but the initiated could understand. One of the things that occupied the most important place in the Mysteries was the mutilation to which he was subjected when he was put to death.

In memory of that, he was lamented with bitter weeping every year, as ‘Rosh-Gheza,’ ‘the mutilated Prince.’ But ‘Rosh-Gheza’ also signified the ‘clipped or shaved head.’ Therefore he was himself represented either with the one or the other form of tonsure; and his priests, for the same reason, at their ordination had their heads either clipped or shaven.

Over all the world, where the traces of the Chaldean system are found, this tonsure or shaving of the head is always found along with it. The priests of Osiris, the Egyptian Bacchus, were always distinguished by the shaving of their heads. In Pagan Rome, in India, and even in China, the distinguishing mark of the Babylonian priesthood was the shaven head. Thus Gautama Buddha, who lived at least 540 years before Christ, when setting up the sect of Buddhism in India which spread to the remotest regions of the East, first shaved his own head, in obedience, as he pretended, to a Divine command, and then set to work to get others to imitate his example.

One of the very titles by which he was called was that of the “Shaved-head.” “The shaved-head,” says one of the Purans, “that he might perform the orders of Vishnu, formed a number of disciples, and of shaved-heads like himself.”

The high antiquity of this tonsure may be seen from the enactment in the Mosaic law against it. The Jewish priests were expressly forbidden to make any baldness upon their heads (Lev. xxi. 5), which sufficiently shows that , even so early as the time of Moses, the “shaved-head” had been already introduced.

In the Church of Rome the heads of the ordinary priests are only clipped, the heads of the monks or regular clergy are shaven, but both alike, at their consecration, receive the circular tonsure, thereby identifying them, beyond all possibility of doubt, with Bacchus, “the mutilated Prince.”

Now, if the priests of Rome take away the key of knowledge, and lock up the Bible from the people; if they are ordained to offer the Chaldean sacrifice in honour of the Pagan Queen of Heaven; if they are bound by the Chaldean law of celibacy, that plunges them in profligacy; if, in short, they are all marked at their consecration with the distinguishing mark of the priests of the Chaldean Bacchus, what right,what possible right can they have to be called ministers of Christ?'(6)
In a footnote to “the mutilated Prince” (above) Hislop writes this:
‘It has been already shown (p. 18, Note) that among the Chaldeans the one term ‘Zero’ signified at once ‘a circle’ and ‘the seed.’ ‘Suro,’ ‘the seed,’ in India, as we have seen, was the sun-divinity incarnate. When that seed was represented in human form, to identify him with the sun, he was represented with the circle, the well-known emblem of the sun’s annual course, on some part of his person.

Thus our own god Thor was represented with a blazing circle on his breast. – (WILSON’S Parsi Religion, p. 31.) In Persia and Assyria the circle was represented sometimes on the breast, sometimes round the waist, and sometimes in the hand of the sun-divinity. – (BRYANT, vol. ii., Plates, pp. 216, 406, 409; and LAYARD’S Nineveh and Babylon, p. 160.) In India it is represented at the tip of the finger. – MOOR’S Pantheon, Plate 13, ‘Vishnu.’

Hence the circle became the emblem of Tammuz born again, or ‘the seed.’ The circular tonsure of Bacchus was doubtless intended to point him out as ‘Zero,’ or ‘the seed,’ the grand deliverer. And the circle of light around the head of the so-called pictures of Christ was evidently just a different form of the very same thing, and borrowed from the very same source. The ceremony of tonsure, says Maurice, referring to the practice of that ceremony in India, ‘was an old practice of the priests of Mithra, who in their tonsures imitated the solar disk.’ – (Antiquities, vol. vii. p. 851. London, 1800.)

As the sun-god was the great lamented god, and had his hair cut in a circular form, and the priests who lamented him had their hair cut in a similar manner, so in different countries those who lamented the dead and cut off their hair(7) in honour of them, cut it in a circular form.

There were traces of that in Greece, as appears from the Electra of Sophocles (line 52, pp. 108, 109); and Herodotus particularly refers to it as practiced among the Scythians when giving an account of a royal funeral among that people.

“The body”, says he, “is enclosed in wax. They then place it on a carriage, and remove it to another district, where the persons who receive it, like the Royal Scythians, cut off a part of their ear, shave their heads in a circular form,” &c. – (Hist., lib. iv. cap. 71, p. 279.)”

Now, while the Pope, as the grand representative of the false Messiah, received the circular tonsure himself, so all his priests to identify them with the same system are required to submit to the same circular tonsure, to mark them in their measure and their own sphere as representatives of that same false Messiah.'(8)

The ‘kipa’ that the Pope and his Cardinals wear is a mirror reflection of the circular tonsure, a symbol of the solar disk. The Catholic Pope and his Cardinals had it before the Jews. And the pagan priests and peoples before the Catholics. The Catholic Church is an extension of Babylon. But why must we Jews follow them? Some tribes in Africa and some South American Indians shave their heads in the exact form of a kipa also. Coincidence?

I cannot in the conscience that God has given me, wear a kipa any longer. I will not be part of what I have come to see is a pagan symbol that has absolutely no biblical basis, but associates the wearer with the sun god, better known as Satan. Tamuz, his ‘son’ is the anti-Messiah. I am not talking about wearing a hat or head covering for a woman, or a hat for a man, but specifically the kipa. The kipa is not a hat or a bonnet or a cap. It is a religious symbol of the sun god. And we Jews for whatever reason, may not have intentionally copied it, I don’t know, but it is not for me to wear.

Is the bonnet or cap that Yahveh gave to Aaron and his sons, equal to the kipa? Where is this described? Not pictured by an artist who was not there, as we sometimes see as illustrations in books that talk about biblical things, but some reference that tells us exactly how the bonnet was shaped. For I cannot see how the God of Israel would forbid His People on the one hand, from shaving their heads or cutting their hair in a circle, and then order the priests to look like the pagan priests and people (mourning for the dead), around them.

Some identification marks of God’s People are the full untrimmed beard (Lev. 19:27), and the tzit-ziot (Num. 15:37-41). These signify who we are and whose we are, the God of Israel’s.

In Revelation 17:5, etc., the Lord calls His People to come out of Babylon, Mystery Religion, the Harlot that made the nations drink of her abominations. Our Father Avram was also called out of Bavel. And we are being called out of Christianity and Judaism, that has embraced Babylon. We are not called out of Christianity to enter Judaism. For they are both perverse, even though we glean much from both. We are not here to follow or create our own system, or to walk in man’s, but to discover His System, His Way, and to walk in it. We must be able to lay down those things that He is calling us out of.

I hope that you are able to begin to question why you wear the kipa, and if it is sufficient for you to continue to wear it. Perhaps you will never take it off or perhaps this is the beginning of your process, or a confirmation in what the Lord has been leading you in. For the things that we are emotionally attached to, take time for us to sort out. Yeshua gives us that time.
The Bonnets

I’d like to share a few verses of Scripture with you that contain what the priests wore on their heads. In Exodus 39:28 it mentions the two types of coverings for Aaron and his sons. One is the ‘turban’, and one is called a ‘bonnet’ (KJV) or ‘cap’ (NAS). It is also mentioned in Ezekiel 21:26 (21:31 in the Hebrew), and Ezekiel 44:18 (and other places).

In looking up the words in question, I have come to see that they would both have better been translated as turban. Here is what I found. The first part of Exodus 39:28 is:
‘and the turban fine linen and the hats of the headbands…'(9)
Tzah-naf: the verb for the turban, means: ‘to wind or wrap around'(10) ‘to ‘wrap, or wind up, together'(11) ‘to wrap, wind up together'(12)

Mitz-neh-fet: our noun for the turban, means: ‘turban, espec.. of the high priest'(13) ‘turban of high priest, turban of linen, sign of royalty(14) ‘turban of the high priest'(15)

Tzah-neef: another noun means: ‘turban'(16) ‘turban, royal turban'(17) ‘turban'(18) ‘Turban; also a sign of royalty…It was the distinctive head gear of the high priest…The translation turban is supported by the derivation of the word from sanap’ (sic: sanaf) ‘meaning ‘to wrap around.'(19)

Now we come to the word in question that some translate as bonnet or cap. If it was like a kipa then it would justify the wearing of a kipa for a Jew.

Pah-are: the verb for ‘bonnet’, means:’to adorn, beautify, honour'(20) ‘beautify, glorify'(21) ‘glorify, beautify, adorn'(22)

Pih-air: our noun means: ‘ornamental head dress, turban'(23) ‘head dress, turban…Ezk 44:18…of priest'(24) ‘turban'(25)

‘Turban. If the idea behind the verb is ‘to clothe with beauty’ it is only fitting that a derivative from the verb should refer to some kind of clothing. The turban was not limited to a certain sex or worn on just one occasion as the following shows. It could be worn by women (Is 3:20, KJV ‘bonnets’) or by men Ezk 24:17, 23, Ezekiel himself, KJV ‘tire’). It also was worn by the high priest or priest and was made of linen (Ex 39:28; Ezk 44:18). It was worn by the bridegroom (Isa 61:10), perhaps here with the translation ‘wreath’ CF. also ‘garland’ for ashes in Isa 61:3.'(26)

The word in question (bonnet), is a turban, not a kipa or a bonnet (as we would tend to think of a woman’s bonnet). Why the KJV translates it as ‘bonnet’ is beyond me. The last word that I’d like to deal with from our sentence is in construct with our word in question.

Gah-vah: the verb means: ‘to be high'(27) ‘convex, projecting, high'(28)

Giv-aht: a noun means: ‘hill'(29)

Giv-aht: another noun means: ‘hill, height, elevation. lower than a mountain'(30) ‘hill'(31)

Gah-via: a noun means: ‘cup, goblet…the cup or bell of a flower, as an ornament of the sacred candlestick'(32) ‘cup, bowl'(33) ‘cup, bowl'(34)

Mig-vah-ah: our noun means: ‘only pl. Mig-vah-oat: mitres or bonnets of the common priests, probably of a conic form'(35) ‘head gear, turban, of common priest (conical? cf. Di Ex 28:40), Ex 28:40, Lv 8:13′(36)

Mig-vah-oat: ‘turban, head gear, is used only four times: Ex 28:40; 29:9; Lev 8:13, convex in shape perhaps, translated by the RSV as ‘cap.’ It is worn by the ordinary priests and is to be differentiated from the turban worn by the high priest…'(37)

There was a special turban for the High Priest but there were also turbans for the Aaronic Priests, the sons of Aaron. There was nothing that resembled a kipa though. And that’s why I included the third word, which is in construct with our word in question, for it has the shape of a hill. Some words that might prove helpful in being defined are:

conical: ‘resembling a cone esp. in shape'(38) I think it would tend to appear as ‘hill’ shaped. Like the Hills of Judah.

convex: ‘…vaulted, concave…curved or rounded like the exterior of a sphere or circle…arched up: bulging out…'(39) This would seem to fit the description of a turban.

mitre : ‘from Latin, head band, turban…Liturgical head dress worn by bishops and abbots.(40)

bonnet: ‘chiefly Scot…a man or boy’s cap…a brimless Scotch cap of seamless woolen fabric’ (perhaps a stocking cap?), ‘a cloth or straw hat tied under the chin and worn by women and small children.'(41)

Looking at how some bibles translate our words gives us an overall picture: Ezekiel 21:26:

King James Version: diadem
New American Standard: turban
New King James Version: turban
New International Version: turban
Kohlenberger Interlinear:(42) turban
Koren Publishers:(43) turban
Jewish Publication Society:(44) mitre

And Ezekiel 44:18 has:

KJV: bonnets
NAS: turbans
NKJV: turbans
NIV: turbans
Interlinear: turbans
Koren: turbans
Jewish Pub: tires

Exodus 39:28: Remember that this is where the two words are:

KJV: mitre, goodly bonnets
NAS: turban, decorated caps
NKJV: turban, exquisite hats
NIV: turban, headbands
Interlinear:(45) turban, hats of the headbands
Koren:(46) mitre, turbans
Jewish Pub:(47) mitre, head-tires

Only Koren allows the reader to really understand that both ‘hats’ are turbans. That is if you understand what a ‘mitre’ is. All the others opt for descriptions as such, but really fail in their desire not to use the word turban twice. The ‘goodly bonnets’ remind me of Little House On The Prairie or the Easter parade, and the ‘decorated caps’ remind me of baseball. The ‘exquisite hats’ of perhaps a topper hat and the ‘headbands’ of my jogging days. You can imagine what I think about the ‘head-tires.’ Remember the Michelin Tire ‘Man’ that was made up of all tires?!

Perhaps if we had an Old English King James Version dictionary (and there are such creatures), bonnet would mean turban. Bonnet is very English and not Hebraic though. Maybe the translators tried to give a picture to the people of England in 1611 of something that they thought approximated the turban.

In speaking with Israelis about why they wear the kipa, two things come up. One means that the person who wears it is really a Jew (a religious Jew; for there are many Jewish Israelis that don’t wear the kipa). Many wear them all day while many others just wear them at the bet keneset (synagogue).

The other reason is because the priests wore them or probably more accurately, that the priests had their heads covered. (I don’t think that the Israelis imagine the priests actually wore the kipa.) But we have seen that the Aaronic Priesthood was commanded to wear turbans. (But nowhere are any of the common People commanded to have a head covering. Therefore, there is no biblical basis to have to have one’s head covered.) Again, I am not against wearing something on one’s head. But the religious symbolism of the kipa has nothing to do with the priests’ turbans, and too much to do with the god of the sun.

The turbans for the priests were not given to them in order for them to be able to stand before God. The turban pictured Yeshua as the King-Priest(48) who would come to serve. And as such, it was not spoken by God that anyone else (the Levites or the Israelites), would ‘have to wear’ a turban. It was required of the priests to stand before God, but only as a practical and symbolic picture of their King-Priest Yeshua. They did not need the turban in order to be covered before God.

The kipa, on the other hand, is required by the Rabbis, for all the people ‘to stand before God.’ This is not something found in the Torah but is an invention of man ‘to cover himself’ before God. As such it reminds me of what Adam and Hava did when they heard His Voice calling to them. They made for themselves fig leaves(49) in order to stand before Him. But these were not to be their covering. It was the blood (death), from the skin of an animal(50) that was to truly be their covering. Something that God did for them, in order for them to stand in His Presence.

Two thousand years ago, God sent Messiah Yeshua to die and give His Blood as the covering that would enable us to stand in His Presence. For sin will not be able to live in His Presence. Sacrifice has always been what God required in order for Man to enter His Presence, whether for sin, or service and worship. The Tent of Meeting, with its God ordained sacrifices, is typical of this.(51) But the Jewish leadership rejected God’s Sacrificial covering for His People. And now we see that the kipa is part of their idea, of what it means ‘to be covered’ in order to come into God’s Presence. The kipa has become a substitute for the sacrifices, or rather, the Blood of the Lamb.

If you choose to wear it to identify with the religious Jewish People, then you are placing yourself symbolically under the authority of the Pharisees, for traditional Judaism is a direct descendant of them. The kipa is the Rabbinic religious symbol, of what one needs, in order to be covered before the Living God.

In Yeshua’s day, He did not become a Pharisee, even though He could have. Though some of what He taught lined up with Pharisaic doctrine, He was not a Pharisee. We can plainly see this from the Council in Jerusalem in Acts 15:5.(52) For it specifically refers to some of the members as Pharisees who had come to believe in Yeshua. But if all who followed Him were to be Pharisees, then why wasn’t everyone in the Council and all the Jews who believed in Him, Pharisees? And why didn’t they accept the Messianic Pharisaic understanding of what to do with the Goyim? And why didn’t Yakov go directly to the Pharisaic Party (or Sanhedrin), with their problem? No, to think that Yeshua was a Pharisee because some of their teaching lined up with the Word of God, is to believe that the Mafia is the local police force, because both have guns.

Now, look at the Pope’s (and his Cardinal’s), ‘kipa’s’ and please try and tell me what the essential difference is between theirs and the Jewish People’s. I find that there is none. And the Pope had it many centuries before we Jewish People. And of course, it first came into use among the Babylonians as the circular tonsure.

We are to challenge our Jewish People’s understanding. The first and foremost challenge to them is our belief in Yeshua, while still retaining our being Jewish. This goes against what the Rabbis say about us (that we are no longer Jewish because we have converted to another religion), and what Christianity says about us (the Rabbis getting what they say, from the Christians who, when they in ancient times, would initiate a Jew into Christianity, would make them swear, upon penalty of the curse of Cain, never to celebrate the Holy Days or have anything to do with the Jewish Community. They were then made to eat pig, to formally sever their relationship with their Jewish People. This was formally ratified in Constantinople in 323 C.E. But this was not the way the Jewish People came to their Mashiah in Acts 21:20).

I have experienced, as I have taken the kipa off, that it has become a tremendous witnessing tool. (I have not taken it off so I could use it as a witnessing tool but in following my Lord Yeshua.) Many Jewish people who would never have given me a second thought with a kipa on, come over to me and engage me in conversation about why I have a full untrimmed beard (Leviticus 19:27), and wear the tzit-ziot (Numbers 15:37-41), but not a kipa. In rabbinic law, one cannot wear tzit-ziot without a kipa. It is forbidden. And the beard makes me look like a rabbi (which I am). So it strikes them as very odd. But it gives me a chance to explain that the kipa is of pagan origin and the Messiah has set me free from pagan traditions. It then gives me opportunity to talk about Yeshua and to hand out various literature on the Mashiah and the kipa.

The bottom line is that the kipa is the physical representation of the clerical tonsure that Yahveh commands against in both Leviticus Lev. 19:27 and 21:5. The tonsure is the mark for the priests of the sun god, the tonsure being circular, representing the sun, as well as the kipa. The kipa is the religious symbol of Orthodox and Sefardic Judaism, and the one who wears it places themself under that authority.

1. The Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons 2nd American edition. (Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.A: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959: [written in 1862]), p. 277. The Catholic Church has clothed itself in Christian garb, but is actually the ancient Babylonian Mystery religion revived. Incredible insight on Hislop’s part.
2. Ibid. p. 87.
3. Ibid.
4. In commenting on this the Artscroll Chumash says that if one were to do so it would make the top of the head (hair) look round. Page 664.
5. Henry Bosley Woolf, editor in chief, Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA, U.S.A: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1980), p. 1220.
6. The Two Babylons, pp. 220-223.
7. It seems to me that this would refer directly to the Commandment of Yahveh for all His People not to follow the pagan practice of the shaved or circular head for the dead, and also not to represent the circle on their head, the kipa.
8. The Two Babylons, p. 222. This section is a footnote to ‘the mutilated Prince.’ It is footnote Y.
9. John Kohlenberger lll, Editor, The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament vol. 1 / Genesis – Deuteronomy, (Grand Rapids, MI U.S.A: Regency Reference Library, 1979), p. 262. Both the Hebrew and English phrases are taken from the Interlinear. I have left out the vowel pointing, except for the three words that we’ll look at.
10. Benjamin Davidson, The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (Grand Rapids, MI U.S.A: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979), p. 647.
11. Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, Charles Briggs and Wilhelm Gesenius, The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon (Lafayette, IN U.S.A: Association Publishers and Authors, Inc., 1978), p. 857.
12. R. Harris, Editor; Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, Associate Editors, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Chicago, IL U.S.A: Moody press, 1980), p. 1943.
13. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 647.
14. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 857.
15. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 1943.
16. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 647.
17. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 857.
18. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 1943.
19. Ibid.
20. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 620.
21. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 802.
22. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 713.
23. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 620.
24. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 802.
25. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 713.
26. Ibid. p. 714.
27. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 129.
28. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 148.
29. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 129.
30. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 148.
31. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 147.
32. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 129.
33. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 149.
34. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 147.
35. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 129.
36. The New Brown, Driver Briggs and Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 149.
37. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 148.
38. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 236.
39. Ibid. p. 246.
40. Ibid. p. 731.
41. Ibid. p. 125.
42. The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, vol. 4 / Isaiah – Malachi, p. 355.
43. The Holy Scriptures, The Prophets (Jerusalem, Israel: Koren Publishers Jerusalem, Ltd., 1989), p. 379. Ezekiel 21:26 is Ezekiel 21:31 in the Hebrew Bible.
44. The Holy Scriptures, vol. ll (Philadelphia, PA U.S.A: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1982), p. 1329. Ezekiel 21:26 is Ezekiel 21:31 in the Hebrew Bible.
45. The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, vol. 1 / Genesis-Deuteronomy, p. 262.
46. The Holy Scriptures, Tora, p. 112.
47. The Holy Scriptures, vol. l, p. 225.
48. Psalm 110:4: ‘Yahveh has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
49. Genesis 3:7: ‘Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.’
50. Genesis 3:21: ‘Yahveh God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.’ In order for them to have the skins, an animal would have had to have been slain by Yahveh. This would picture the Sacrifice of Yeshua so that Mankind would be truly covered in His Righteousness.
51. Exodus 25:8ff; Leviticus 1-6; 16:1ff.
52. Acts 15:5: ‘But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
Email Avram —

We have these past few weeks looked at Purim and Halloween, as well as the lighting of candles for Shabbat and for the Dead. We also looked at the marring or cutting of the beard and the cutting of the flesh and the marking of tattoos which was also done in honour of the dead. We have just now looked at the Kipa of Rome and of the Orthodox Jew and shown you from where it comes. We will look at one more thing that is common between the Catholic faith and the Orthodox Jewish faith just as many of the above things are; and that is why they all dress in black.

I can hear Tevye the Milkman from Fiddler on the Roof singing it loudly now as many of what he called traditions were being done away with. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each one’s choice of husband moves further away from the customs of her faith—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

“We stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word – tradition.” The song begins: “Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!” It ends with: “Without our traditions, our life would be as shaky as…as a fiddler on the roof!”

Our life is to be based on Torah and not on Traditions. If it is not found in Torah then why do you do it? Why?

The following question was asked ; Why do Orthodox Jews (men) dress in black?

The first part of your question is also fulfilling a commandment, but it is more indirect. It also says in the Torah that one should do whatever the elders/sages should tell you in any given generation. They in turn are responsible to interpret the law. The sages at a certain time ( 18th Century) who dressed in a certain way commanded that this is the way to dress, which was considered modest. Add to this historical fact, a few other issues in Jewish law, which are that bright colors are immodest, that dressing in a uniform is more modest, and you have yourself a dark outfit.

Read more: Why do Orthodox Jews (men) dress in black and wear their hair in long strands in the front? | Answerbag

Why do Catholic priests wear black?

In the Middles Ages, the dress of clergy began to be regulated by canon law with other specific regulations passed by local synods. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) decreed that clerics must wear garments closed in front and free from extravagance as to length, such long flowing capes.

Pope Sixtus V in 1589 proscribed penalties for those clerics who did not wear the cassock (officially called in Latin vestis talaris). Pope Urban VIII in 1624 mandated that a cincture should be worn with the cassock and the cloak worn over the cassock be of the same length. During the Pontificate of Clement XI, another decree in 1708 allowed the wearing of a shorter cassock (technically the frock coat, sort of like a Nehru jacket) for travel purposes, especially riding horses. In 1725, Pope Benedict XIII forbade clerics to wear civilian attire.

For the United States, the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) promulgated regulations for clerical attire as follows: “We wish therefore and enjoin that all keep the law of the Church, and that when at home or when engaged in the sanctuary they should always wear the cassock which is proper to the clergy. When they go abroad for duty or relaxation, or when upon a journey, they may use a shorter dress, but still one that is black in color, and which reaches to the knees, so as to distinguish it from lay costume. We enjoin upon our priests as a matter of strict precept, that both at home and abroad, and whether they are residing in their own diocese or outside of it, they should wear the roman collar.” In recent times, the regulations have become more relaxed. While many priests wear the traditional cassock for Mass, the distribution of Holy Communion, or in performing other priestly duties around the parish, a regular suit with clerical collar or a clerical shirt have become common place, especially in activities beyond the physical confines of the parish or in daily duties.

The symbolism of the cassock is as follows: The Roman collar symbolizes obedience; the sash or cincture around the waist, chastity; and the color black, poverty. Moreover, black is a color of mourning and death; for the priest, the symbolism is dying to oneself to rise and to serve the Lord as well as giving witness of the Kingdom yet to come.
The custom of wearing unadorned black clothing for mourning dates back at least to the Roman Empire, when the Toga pulla made of dark-colored wool was worn during periods of mourning.

Through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, distinctive mourning was worn for general as well as personal loss; after the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of Huguenots in France, Elizabeth I of England and her court are said to have dressed in full mourning to receive the French Ambassador.

Women in mourning and widows wore distinctive black caps and veils, generally in a conservative version of the current fashion.
In rural areas of Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, widows will wear black for the rest of their lives. The immediate family members of the deceased will wear black for an extended period of time.

When we think of Aphrodite also known as Venus we generally think of a naked beautiful woman standing on a giant sea shell. This is the woman who was Nimrods wife.

The Birth of Venus by Sandrow Botticelli 1485

As the below article will show you, once Nimrod was executed by Shem Aphrodite went on a rampage and was at a great loss as she went looking for her dismembered husband. Legends have it that she killed all in her path and was greatly feared for her vengeance. In her mouring she was known to have clothed herself in black. I do not know why at this point. Perhaps because of the darkness of the underworld.

The legends have this woman who is married and Queen of all the earth and every mans desire becoming so full of hate that she is later described as a witch with dishevelled hair mourning and bleeding from cutting herself dressed in black and ugly.

You can read the article at
Where they try to relate the myths to the planet Venus. If you take all the information they provide and lay it along what Hislop says about Nimrod then you will have an accurate story of how she almost destroyed the earth looking for Nimrod and seeking vengeance for his death.

It is my opinion that this is where the tradition of wearing black comes from when people mourn for the dead. Read Alexander Hislop’s Two Babylons and then read this article above to draw your own conclusions. Below are some excerpts from the article above.

The same visual effect, of course, could be produced by tearing at the hair or by leaving it uncombed or otherwise uncared for. Women upon the islands of Leti, Moa and Lakor are expressly forbidden from combing their hair during the period of mourning, in order to appear all that more dishevelled.57 During the same time, they dress in old, black clothes. Similar practices prevailed in ancient Greece: “In Greece, as elsewhere, the dirge was sung and accompanied with an ecstatic dance in which women beat their breasts and tore their hair.”58

Aphrodite Melaina

Prominent in the accounts of Kali and Lamashtu is an emphasis upon the goddess’ disheveled appearance and black color. Kali’s name, in fact, signifies the “black one.” Here, too, it can be shown that the goddess’ dark form belongs to the most archaic stratum of myth. In the New World, for example, the Aztecs celebrated a mother goddess known as Coatlicue, “Serpent Skirt,” who was described as “black, dirty, disheveled, and of shocking ugliness.”104

As indicated by her title Urania, Aphrodite is to be identified with the planet Venus, known throughout the ancient Near East as the “Queen of Heaven.” In this celestial identification the Greek goddess conforms to what amounts to a universal rule. Thus, a systematic analysis of the various mother goddesses will reveal an indissoluble connection with the planet Venus. Virtually every aspect of the mother goddess’ cult, rightly understood, will trace to the Cytherean planet. As the mourning goddess is described as wandering the world with disheveled hair, so too is Venus described in no uncertain terms as the “star of lamentation” and as “the star with disheveled hair.” As the mother goddess is commonly regarded as a great warrior, whose dance threatened the very foundations of the world, so too have various cultures around the world described Venus as an agent of war especially linked to apocalyptic disaster. As the warrior goddess is compared to a raging lioness, so too is the planet Venus described as the “lion of heaven.” As the raging goddess is described as having assumed a black form, so too is the planet Venus. As mother goddesses everywhere are described with witch-like attributes, so too is Venus likened to a “witch-star.” And so it is with countless other mythical motifs surrounding the mother goddess.

Aphrodite the lover of Nimrod becomes the witch Kali in dark colours after his death killing all that cross her path as she looks for the body parts of Nimrod. Is this not where we get the custom of wearing black when we mourn the loss of loved ones. Moses warned Aaron not to shave his head as the heathen did when their loved ones died. What will you do from now on?


Triennial Torah Cycle

We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at

06/11/2010    Gen 36     1 Sam 31     Ps 72-75     Mark 14:32-72


Gen 36

Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). (Genesis 36:1).

As we read through this chapter, we are confronted with a very long list of names and places that are unfamiliar to us. If the truth were told, we are usually inclined to skip this section and to proceed on to the next chapter. In doing so, we would miss some hidden treasures that lie waiting for us to discover.

When we hear this reference to generations, it should serve as a reminder to us of something that we have been seeing all throughout the book of Genesis. It is a promise of two seeds. Here we have the seed Esau and the Seed o Jacob. It will be these two at the end of this present age who will be at war with each other. Esau as the king of the South will join forces with the King of the north to attack and destroy the children of Jacob know as the time of Jacobs trouble.

Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3 also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. 4 And Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah bore Jeush and Jalam and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. (Genesis 36:2-5).

Marriages in the ancient world were often arranged by the parents. It was for this reason that Abraham had made his servant Eliakim swear an oath that he would not choose a wife for Isaac from among the daughters of the Canaanites (Genesis 24:3). In the same way, Jacob had been sent by his father to Haran with explicit instructions that he not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan (Genesis 28:1).

What was wrong with the Canaanites? They were idolaters. They worshiped false gods and they would infect the people of Yahovah with those same false systems of worship.

There is an old saying that goes: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” There is a lot of truth to that statement. Women have a tremendous ability to influence their children. There is a sense in which the continuation of any religion is always dependent upon the evangelization of the next generation and this ministry lies primarily in the hands of mothers.

Esau took a number of wives. And to make matters worse, all of these wives were from among the Canaanites. They brought their false gods into the marriage with them.

There is no more important decision that a man or woman can make than in the matter of marriage. The Bible is very specific in its command. Believers are not to marry unbelievers.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

Now these are the names of the chiefs descended from Esau, according to their families and their localities, by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth, 41 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 42 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 43 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of the Edomites), according to their habitations in the land of their possession. (Genesis 36:40-43).

This chapter closes with a listing of some of the chieftains. These were the leaders of some of the tribes who made up the Edomites. As our chapter closes, they are seen carrying on the legacy of Esau. It is a legacy that holds the spiritual birthright in low esteem. It is a legacy of the secular.

Can I tell you the rest of the story? It is found in the last book of the Old Testament. It is found in the words of the Lord in the book of Malachi.

2 “I have loved you,” said ????. “But you asked, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ “Was not ?saw Ya?aqob?’s brother?” declares ????. “And I love Ya?aqob?, 3 but I have hated ?saw, and have laid waste his mountains and his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 If Ed?om says, “We have been beaten down, let us return and build the ruins,” ???? of hosts said thus: “Let them build, but I tear down. And they shall be called ‘Border of Wrongness’, and the people against whom ???? is enraged forever. (Malachi 1:2-4).

Yahovah eventually brought a desolation and a destruction upon the land of Edom. This was due, in part, to the fact that Edom set itself up against the people of Yahovah when the Babylonians came to destroy Jerusalem. When Nebuchadnezzar went to destroy the Temple, the people of Edom lined up to cheer and to make a profit at Judah’s expense. Obadiah 1:13 speaks of how the Edomites gloated over Judah in the day of her disaster and how they looted their wealth in the day of their distress.

Yet even after this, Edom was given a second chance. Many years after the words of Malachi, a king came to power from the land of Edom. His name was Herod the Great. It was under his reign that Yahshua was born. Yahovah actually sent magi from the east to tell Herod about this wonderful event.

What was his reaction? Did he seek to come and worship Yahshua? His pretense was exactly that. But it was only a pretense and a sham. In reality, he sought to murder Yahshua.

In doing so, he was demonstrating the continuing legacy of Esau. It was a legacy of kings who set themselves up in place of Yahovah. It was the legacy of the secular. It was the legacy of those who had no interest in the things of Yahovah and who were willing to trade away a spiritual heritage for a cup of stew.

At the end of this age The Muslims will be joined with the Assyrians also known as the German people today. The Muslim religion will have taken over the Emperor of this Holy Roman Empire and as Daniel tells us this Emperor will not care for Yahovah or His people.

We read in Obadiah 1: 1 The vision of Ob?ad?yah: This is what the Master ???? said concerning Ed?om. We have heard a report from ????, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle!” 2 “See, I have made you small among the nations, you are greatly despised. 3 “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ 4 “Though you rise high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I shall bring you down,” declares ????. 5 “If thieves came to you, if robbers by night, how ruined you would have been! Would they not steal till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, would they not leave gleanings? 6 “How ?saw shall be searched out! His hidden treasures shall be sought out! 7 “All your allies shall send you forth to the border, your friends shall deceive you and overpower you. They make your bread a snare under you, without you discerning it! 8 “In that day,” declares ????, “I shall destroy the wise men from Ed?om, and discernment from the mountains of ?saw! 9 “And your mighty men shall be discouraged, O T?man, so that everyone from the mountains of ?saw is cut off by slaughter. 10 “Because of your violence against your brother Ya?aqob?, let shame cover you. And you shall be cut off forever. 11 “In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that strangers took captive his wealth, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Yerushalayim, you also were like one of them! 12 “And you should not have looked on your brother’s day in the day of his estrangement, nor rejoiced over the children of Yehud?ah in the day of their destruction, nor made your mouth great in the day of distress, 13 nor have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity, nor looked down on their evil in the day of their calamity, nor have seized their wealth in the day of their calamity, 14 nor have stood at the parting of the way to cut off his fugitives, nor handed over his survivors in the day of distress. 15 “For the day of ???? is near upon all the gentiles. As you have done, it shall be done to you, your reward shall come back on your own head. 16 “For as you have drunk on my set-apart mountain, so do all the gentiles drink continually. And they shall drink and shall swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been. 17 “But on Mount Tsiyon there shall be an escape1, and they shall be set-apart. And the house of Ya?aqob? shall possess their possessions. Footnote: 1Isa. 4:2-3, Joel 2:32, Rev. 14:1. 18 “And the house of Ya?aqob? shall be a fire, and the house of Yos?ph a flame, but the house of ?saw for stubble. And they shall burn among them and they shall consume them, so that no survivor is left of the house of ?saw.” For ???? has spoken. 19 And they shall possess the South with the mountains of ?saw, and low country with the Philistines. And they shall possess the fields of Ephrayim and the fields of Shomeron, and Binyamin with Gil?ad?, 20 and the exiles of this host of the children of Yisra’?l possess that of the Kena?anites as far as Tsarephath, and the exiles of Yerushalayim who are in Sepharad? possess the cities of the South. 21 And saviours shall come to Mount Tsiyon to judge the mountains of ?saw. And the reign shall belong to ????1. Footnote: 1Ps. 2:8, Ps. 22:28, Dan. 2:44, Dan. 7:13-14 & 27, Zech. 14: 9, Rev. 11:15, Rev. 12:10.


1 Samuel 31

At Passover in 2010 Nehemiah Gordon took me to Gilboa after we did the Barley Search.

We walked along a path which was difficult to walk on due to the rocky ground. The fields were even harder to walk in because of the rocks. I could not help but wonder how difficult it would have been to fight hand to hand in war over such difficult terrain. Trying to fight with a sword and not stumble.

The unfortunate battle of Gilboa completely changed the situation in Israel. Saul and three of his sons lay dead on the field; Israel was prostrate; and the country west of the Jordan was again under Philistine rule.

The last great victory of the Philistines had been when they had captured the ark of the covenant and had placed it in the temple of their god.Now they take the body of the Lord’s anointed king and mutilate it, placing it on display on the walls of a nearby city Beth Shean.

Beth-shan sits at the junction of the Valley of Jezreel as it intersects with the Jordan Valley. This may have been one of the cities which the Philistines now occupied.

Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men rose and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh, and burned them there.

And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. (1 Samuel 31:11-13).

Jabesh-gilead was the city which Saul had rescued at the very beginning of his reign (1 Samuel 11). This was a city on the east bank of the Jordan. When they had been besieged by the Ammonites and threatened with the disfigurement of having the right eye of every man gouged out, it was Saul who had led the forces of Israel to fight on their behalf.

He had called Israel to arms but cutting up two yoke of oxen and sending these grisly tokens throughout the land. Now it is the body of Saul which has been cut apart. And the men of Jabesh-gilead remember the debt which they owed their king and place themselves at risk by coming to rescue his mutilated corpse. Thus, the bodies of Saul and his sons which were first humiliated are now honored.

3 And the battle went hard against Sha’ul, and the archers hit him, so that he was severely wounded by the archers. 4 And Sha’ul said to his armour-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and roll themselves on me.” But his armour-bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Sha’ul took the sword and fell on it.

This is the same thing that Judas did when he killed himself after betraying Yahshua.

Mathew 27: 3 Then Yehud?ah – he who delivered Him up – having seen that He had been condemned, repented, returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and to the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned in delivering up innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver in the Dwelling Place he left, and went and hanged himself.

But in Acts 1 we read of his stomach coming out of him.
15 And in those days K?pha, standing up in the midst of the taught ones – and there was a gathering of about a hundred and twenty – said, 16 “Men and brothers, this Scripture had to be filled which the Set-apart Spirit spoke before by the mouth of Dawid? concerning Yehud?ah, who became a guide to those who seized ?????, 17 because he was numbered with us and did receive his share in this service.” 18 (This one, therefore, purchased a field with the wages of unrighteousness, and falling forward, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Yerushalayim, so that in their own language that field was called, H?aqal Dema, that is, Field of Blood). 20 “For it has been written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his dwelling lie waste, and let no one live in it,’ and, ‘Let another take his office.’
When Judas fell forward his sword disembowelled him as fell. This is what Saul did and it is what today we call hara kiri.

Seppuku (???, “stomach-cutting”) is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture), as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them. The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tant?, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion.

Seppuku is also known as ‘harakiri (???, “cutting the belly”) and is written with the same kanji as seppuku, but in reverse order with an okurigana.

Psalm 72-75

Psalm 72 is the last psalm in Book II of the Psalter. At its end appear the words, “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended”—apparently closing the collection of David’s psalms in Books I and II as of the time this note was appended. (Other psalms of David do appear in later books.)

Psalm 72 concerns the reign of a succeeding “king…the king’s son” (verse 1). The superscription says “Of Solomon,” which could mean, as with Psalm 127 (the only other psalm bearing his name), that Solomon wrote it. Yet, because of the appended note about the prayers of David, many feel that David wrote Psalm 72 about or for Solomon. The Greek Septuagint translation has eis, meaning “to” or “for.” As pointed out in the Bible Reading Program’s introduction to Psalms, it could be that Solomon wrote it prior to David’s death and that David included it in his own collection—or it could just as well be that, following David’s death, Solomon appended his own psalm to the end of the collection of his father’s psalms. The Protestant Reformer John Calvin argued that David gave the substance of Psalm 72 in a spoken prayer before his death and that Solomon afterward set it down in the form of a psalm, composing the poetry and music himself (see Expositor’s Bible Commentary, footnote on verse 1). It would thus be a prayer of David but a psalm of Solomon.

In any case, Psalm 72 was probably also used by the nation as a prayer for later kings in David’s line. Yet it should be clear from reading this remarkable psalm that it is not the reign of Solomon or any merely human king that is primarily in view here. Rather, Psalm 72 concerns the reign of the ultimate Son of David, who is also the Son of the Almighty King, God. As The Nelson Study Bible comments, “This psalm is intensely messianic, speaking in ideal terms of the coming of the great King…who will establish this glorious reign” (note on Psalm 72).

Indeed, as pointed out in prior comments, we should notice again a most interesting pattern of arrangement in Book II of the Psalter. Book II begins with a cluster of lamenting prayers to God for help against enemies (Psalms 42-44), figurative of the suffering of Jesus Christ at His first coming, followed by a psalm about the Messiah’s marriage to His Bride at the beginning of His glorious reign at His second coming (Psalm 45). Likewise, the book ends with a cluster of lamenting pleas for God’s help against enemies, which expressly relate to the Messiah’s sufferings in His first coming (Psalms 69-71), followed by a psalm that portrays Christ’s majestic reign when He comes again (Psalm 72). Realize also that David himself, whose grief in the lamenting psalms foreshadowed Christ’s own, will himself be raised to rule with Christ as king over Israel at that time. Moreover, all Christ’s followers should also see in these psalms that our own suffering for His sake today will be followed by our future glory when we are at last raised to reign with Him in His Kingdom.

Verse 3 says that during the King’s reign the mountains and hills will bring forth peace by righteousness. On one level this may concern productivity. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means more than absence of war. It concerns perfect contentment and happiness and may connote prosperity. Mountains and hills are not typically fertile areas, but blessing will flow even from them (compare Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13). Yet mountains and hills can also be figurative of great and small nations—and that may be intended here as well, considering the universal reign of this King, as later described. The verse would then entail all peoples learning God’s way, resulting in world peace. The reign of Solomon, whose name meant peace, was a time of peace and prosperity—yet it was only a small foretaste of the peace and prosperity of the Kingdom to come.

The King will be feared—denoting “an expression of wonder, awe, reverence, worship, and obedience” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Psalm 72:5-7)—and this for as long as the sun and moon exist, throughout all generations (verse 5). Righteousness and abundant peace would flourish during His reign “until the moon is no more” (verse 7). Clearly this did not concern merely Solomon’s earthly reign. Again, the Kingdom of the immortal Messiah is primarily intended. The Messiah’s coming is as the gentle rains to bring forth righteousness and peace (verse 6; compare Hosea 6:3; 10:12; Isaiah 55:10-11). Isaiah states, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (9:7).

The King’s dominion, Psalm 72:8 tells us, will extend “from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” The expression “the River” typically denotes the Euphrates River, the northern boundary God promised for the Promised Land—as it was during Solomon’s reign. “Sea to sea” might then appear to represent the east-west boundaries of the land of Israel—from the Dead to the Mediterranean Sea. However, since the dominion extends to the ends of the earth, “sea to sea” could have a much broader meaning. Solomon did experience the royalty of other lands, including Sheba, presenting him with gifts, as described in verse 10 (see also verse 15). But He did not experience the fulfillment of verse 11, which says that all kings would fall down before the Great King and that all nations would serve Him. This will only happen following the return of Jesus Christ.

Verses 12-14 expand on the important theme introduced in verses 2 and 4—bringing justice to the lowly and needy, saving them from those who oppress them. Indeed verse 12 seems to imply that this is part of the reason nations will choose to serve Him. “The little word [‘for’ at the beginning of verse 12] directs our look back at the prediction, ‘All kings will bow down to Him’ (v. 11). What makes the rule of this king so special? Simply that he is dedicated to save the needy and rescue the oppressed. He has God’s own compassion and the power to act on others’ behalf. These verses forever change our notion of ‘rule.’ The central issue of rule is not the power to use others, but the willingness to serve them” (Lawrence Richards, The Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 12-14).

The statement “precious is their blood in His sight” (verse 14) does not mean the King desires their deaths. Just the opposite, this phrase should be seen as the reason that He saves people from violence, as mentioned immediately before in the verse. Their blood is what sustains their lives (Leviticus 17:14), and it is their lives that are precious to Him (for similar wording, see 2 Kings 1:13-14). In short, the King will not look on human life as cheap—as so many cruel despots throughout history have done. Rather, He values it very highly. And violence will be eliminated during the rule of His Kingdom (Isaiah 11:9).

In Psalm 72:17, the mention of all peoples being blessed through Him “recalls the promise to Abraham (see Ge 12:3; 22:18) and suggests that it will be fulfilled through the royal son of David—ultimately the Messiah” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 72:17).

Verses 18-19 were probably added to the psalm a closing doxology (expression of praise) when Book II of the Psalter was completed. And the “prayers of David” note in verse 20, as already mentioned, was probably also appended at that time.

Book III of the Psalter, as the Zondervan NIV Study Bible explains, “consists of three groupings of psalms, having an overall symmetrical pattern (six psalms {73-78}, five psalms {79-83}, six psalms {84-89}) and at its center (Ps 81) an urgent exhortation to fundamental covenant loyalty to the Lord” (note on Psalms 73-78). Of the 17 psalms in this book, the titles of the first 11 (these psalms constituting the first two clusters of the three mentioned above) bear the name of Asaph, one of David’s three choir directors-Asaph evidently being the primary director among the three. We earlier read Psalm 50, another psalm of Asaph that may have been detached from a full grouping of 12 to be placed in Book II during a later process of arrangement.

As mentioned earlier, le-Asaph could either mean that the psalms were written by Asaph or for him to perform. The former seems more likely, though there is some difficulty with respect to Asaph’s authorship or even performance of the psalms bearing his name. A number of the psalms of Book III deal with a time of national invasion and devastation. Indeed, two of Asaph’s psalms (74 and 79) concern an enemy invasion of Jerusalem and the ravaging of the temple. This helps to establish a link, as explained in the Bible Reading Program’s introduction to Psalms, between Book III of the Psalter and the third of the five Festival Scrolls, the book of Lamentations, read annually by the Jews during their fast on the ninth of Ab in commemoration of the Babylonian and Roman destructions of the temple. Asaph, though, lived centuries before the Babylonian destruction.

It is perhaps possible that Asaph did live to see Pharaoh Shishak’s invasion during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25-28; 2 Chronicles 12). But Asaph would have been extremely old then if he were still alive. Consider that he was given his appointment when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem shortly after David’s establishment there (see 1 Chronicles 15:17-19; 16:5). Asaph would then have been over 30, as David’s change to allow Levitical service at a younger age did not come until the end of the king’s reign (compare Numbers 4:2-3, 22-23, 29-30; 1 Chronicles 23:3, 25-27). Shishak’s invasion came about 78 years after David took over Jerusalem, so Asaph would have been 108 or older. While seemingly unlikely, this is not impossible.

However, other solutions have been put forward. Perhaps the most popular is the general rejection of the superscriptions in the book of Psalms as unreliable. But then we are left with the great mystery of how these scribal attributions arose. If oral tradition, did not the tradition have some basis?

Others would argue that Asaph wrote the psalms in question in a form we no longer have and that later editors rewrote these to fit their later circumstances. This could be, but in such a case it would seem that the particular psalms would have been chosen for revision because they concerned similar circumstances, in this case national invasion, yet no such invasion took place in Asaph’s time prior to Shishak’s.

Some believe that “references to Asaph in these titles must sometimes include descendants of Asaph who functioned in his place” (Zondervan, note on Psalm 73 title). It is true that Asaph’s descendants remained as temple singers in later centuries (see 2 Chronicles 35:15; Ezra 2:41; Nehemiah 7:44; 11:17). But why would the titles not say “sons of Asaph,” as others say “sons of Korah”?

Another very real possibility is that Asaph was writing prophetically. He is referred to in 2 Chronicles 29:30 as “Asaph the seer.” Indeed, many of the psalms are understood to be prophetic, but usually this means that some present circumstance was being written about that reflected future events in a dual sense. Indeed if Asaph did witness, and was writing about, Shishak’s invasion, his words were also likely prophetic of future destruction-that is, of the ancient Babylonian and Roman destructions as well as the end-time destruction yet to come. However, it could be that God gave Asaph a vision of the future disconnected from his immediate circumstances. He may have been writing of what he saw with his mind and not with his eyes. We simply don’t know for sure. In any event, we will assume Asaph himself as the author of the psalms bearing his name, as this seems most likely despite the apparent difficulty.

We begin, then, with the first cluster of Book II, Psalms 73-78. This “first group is framed by psalms of instruction. Ps 73 is a word of godly wisdom based on an individual’s life experience, while Ps 78 is a psalm of instruction based on Israel’s communal experience in its historical pilgrimage with God. Within this frame, Ps 74 (a communal prayer) is linked with Ps 77 (a prayer of an individual) by the common experience of seeming to be rejected by God (see 74:1; 77:7) and by an extended evocation of God’s saving act in Israel’s exodus from Egypt (see 74:13-15; 77:16-19). At the center, two psalms (75; 76) express joyful assurance that Israel’s God (His ‘Name is near,’ 75:1; ‘his name is great in Israel,’ 76:1) calls the arrogant wicked to account and rescues their victims; he cuts off ‘the horns of the wicked’ (75:10) and breaks ‘the spirit of rulers’ (76:12 [NIV])” (note on Psalms 73-78).
Psalm 73 explores the dilemma of the wicked seeming to prosper while the godly suffer so much. It is thematically tied in this respect to Psalm 49. Like that song, Psalm 73 gives the clarity of vision that comes from realizing people’s future destiny. “Placed at the beginning of Book III, this psalm voices the faith (confessed {v. 1}, tested {vv. 2-26} and reaffirmed {vv. 27-28}) that undergirds the following collection. It serves in Book III as Ps 1-2 serve in Book I” (note on Psalm 73).

Asaph knows that God is good to those in Israel who are pure in heart (verse 1), but he had struggled to understand why the wicked prosper-being nearly tripped up by this as he started to envy their strength, abundance and carefree lives (verses 2-5, 7, 12). It seemed they could do and say whatever they want (verses 8-9). How is it that they could defy God and everything still go so well for them? (verses 11-12). Was it pointless to obey God? (verses 13-14). Besides the personal quandary of Asaph detailed here, this song probably found meaning to the nation at large in later years when wicked enemy nations seemed to freely defy God and prosper while God’s own nation suffered greatly at their hand.

In verse 15 Asaph says to God, “If I had really spoken this way, I would have been a traitor to your people” (New Living Translation). Thus he was so far only entertaining these thoughts. He had not yet succumbed to actually believing them. But the confusion was very uncomfortable (verse 16).

Until one day, that is, while he was in God’s sanctuary (the tabernacle or temple)-perhaps performing his duties leading prayerful and worshipful music-that it hit him. He realized the end of the wicked (verse 17)-they will perish (verse 27). “He rediscovered something that he probably already knew but had not really considered: The prosperity of the wicked will not last. Their wealth will have no value in the next life” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 15-18). Indeed, more than in just this ultimate sense, he realized that without God’s overseeing care their demise could come at any moment (verses 18-19; compare Luke 13:1-5). The middle statement of Psalm 73:19, “They are utterly consumed with terrors,” means either that terrible events would destroy them (see NIV) or that, deep down, the wicked are really filled with fear of what might happen to them because they do not have the assurance of faith the godly have. Verse 20 says that when God finally does decide to deal with the wicked, they will disappear like a bad dream-the phrase “despise their image” here in context meaning to disregard the sight of them as unreal (compare Isaiah 29:5-8).

Asaph was then rather upset with himself (Psalm 73:21) for being so stupid-like an ignorant beast (verse 22; compare Job 18:3)-in thinking the way he had. Nevertheless, God didn’t desert him in his foolishness but enlightened his perspective to keep him on the road to glory (Psalm 73:23-24). Nothing in the universe can compare to a relationship with God (verse 25). Physical life ends, but with Him is eternal life and reward (verse 26). Those who forsake God for unfaithfulness are on the road to death (verse 27).
Contrary to his earlier consideration of serving God being futile (verse 13), Asaph concludes just the opposite: “It is good for me to draw near to God” (verse 28). He trusts God and will proclaim to others-as this song does-that what God does for us makes our devotion to Him more than worth it.

According to its superscription, Psalm 74 is a maskil (instructional psalm or, as in the NKJV, “contemplation”) of Asaph. As mentioned earlier, it, like Psalm 79, concerns a time of national invasion and devastation, including the ransacking of the temple in Jerusalem-the sanctuary (verses 3-4, 7) at Mount Zion (verse 2). The psalm is a lamenting plea for relief from the godless invaders and oppressors.

As mentioned before, it is possible that Asaph lived to see Pharaoh Shishak’s invasion of Judah around 925 B.C., which included the looting and defiling of the temple (1 Kings 14:25-28; 2 Chronicles 12). However, it is just as possible that Asaph was given a vision of the future-of events beyond his death, possibly Shishak’s invasion but perhaps one long afterward, such as the Babylonian invasion of 586 B.C. or the Roman invasion of A.D. 69-70 (or perhaps the end-time invasion still ahead).

Whatever he saw, the utter sense of shock and misery in Psalm 74 is clear: “Why…? Why…?” he asks (verse 1). “How long…?” and “Why…?” (verses 10-11). He realizes that the invasion is a result of God’s judgment (verse 1)-but is stunned at what God has permitted the enemy to do. Asaph implores God to restore His relationship with His people and act to preserve His own reputation against the blasphemous actions of the wicked invaders. “Lift up your feet” in verse 3 is a call for God to walk-to come and see what the enemy is doing.

In verse 5-6, enemy troops are shown hacking with axes and hammers at the temple’s carved work-its paneling or other décor-and then in verse 7 they are described as setting fire to the sanctuary, defiling it to the ground. It is not clear what this means. If this means setting fires in parts of the temple as part of utterly defiling it, this could possibly refer to Shishak’s invasion. But if it means that the enemy has burned the temple to the ground (as the NIV translates it), we should realize that such calamity only happened during the Babylonian and Roman invasions.

The statement in verse 9 that “there is no longer any prophet” is interesting in light of the fact that Asaph himself was a seer (2 Chronicles 29:30). This may support the argument that Asaph did not actually live to witness the devastation he is writing about. Yet considering what follows in the verse, this may simply mean that there is no prophet who knows how long the enemy oppression will last. Based on the same verse, the identification of the invasion as that of the Babylonians is problematic because God’s prophet Daniel lived through the entire Babylonian captivity. And Jeremiah remained in Judah until he was taken by the remnant of the country to Egypt (after which only a few peasants were left in the land). And Jeremiah even gave a time frame for the dominion of Babylon.

Asaph urges God to take action against the evil adversary (verse 11) and then recounts the mighty acts God accomplished for His people in the past-when He delivered them from Egypt and led them to the Promised Land. (Asaph also reflects on this deliverance in Psalms 77, 78 and 81.)

God divided the Red Sea, opened fountains of water for the people in the wilderness and dried up the Jordan River so the Israelites could cross (74:13, 15). The breaking of the heads of the sea serpents, of Leviathan, in pieces (verses 13-14) refers in one sense to the devastation brought against Egypt at that time. Leviathan, the sea serpent of Job 41, is representative of Satan the devil, the true ruler of this world. He is portrayed in Revelation 12:3 as having multiple heads-in that case the heads being those of prophetic Babylon (a succession of world-ruling empires) shown as springing from him (see Revelation 13; 17). Yet he was also the power behind the thrones of Egypt and the other nations Israel defeated in their wilderness wanderings. Indeed, the Egyptian pharaoh is portrayed in the book of Ezekiel as a crocodilian river monster or sea monster (29:3; 32:2). The heads of Leviathan being given as food to the Israelites in the wilderness would seem to refer to their looting of the Egyptians and the carrying away of Egypt’s substance as well as the plunder of other Satan-led nations on the way to the land of Canaan.

In Psalm 74:16-17, Asaph points out God’s power to determine day and night, the earth’s borders (perhaps the division of land and sea) and the seasons. He is essentially saying, “You can do anything. You are in control of everything.” And on that basis, He again pleads with God to consider what the enemy has done (verses 18) and the need of His people (verses 19-21).

The reference to God’s people as “Your turtledove” (verse 19) is probably a term of endearment, showing the people as God’s beloved (see Song of Solomon 2:14; 5:2; 6:9). In Psalm 74:20 Asaph asks that God would have respect to the covenant-wherein God had said that if the people repented and called on Him for help that He would deliver them.

The Contemporary English Version renders the latter part of verse 20 this way: “Violent enemies are hiding in every dark corner of the earth.” That is, enemy forces are set to ambush God’s people all over the place-emphasizing the urgent need for help. This also reminds us of the fact that God’s people today are constantly pursued by spirit enemies, about which Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Modern King James Version).

Asaph further calls the people “Your poor” (Psalm 74:19), “the oppressed” and “the poor and needy” (verse 21)-as they have been humbled and are the kind of people God says He will care for and rescue.

Verses 22-23 contain a final plea for God to act against the enemies. While God has permitted them to attack His people for the sake of judgment, these wicked invaders have assaulted and blasphemed God Himself and continue to do so. They must be stopped-and they will be.

Psalms 75 and 76 are both songs of reassurance of God’s justice when things seem to be going so well for the wicked—no doubt sung in later years for encouragement when evil enemy nations encroached. “In some ways this psalm [75] may be regarded as God’s answer to the questions presented in Ps 74” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Psalm 75). There Asaph had asked: “Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever? Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?” (Psalm 74:10-11). Here God says: “When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly” (75:2).

Though no attribution is given to God as the One speaking, it is obvious from what is said that He is being quoted. God further says that even when severe distress engulfs the world, He is in control: “When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady” (verse 3, NRSV). “He is the great Judge-Ruler, who will not permit wickedness, evil powers, and the arrogant to undermine the foundations of his kingdom. The quaking of the earth and peoples is a metaphor for the erosive effects of evil. Immorality undermines the stability of earth and society…[but] the Lord proclaims that he graciously upholds his creation” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verse 3).

“Thematic parallels to the song of Hannah (1Sa 2:1-10) are numerous” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 75)—particularly in her statement, as a representative mother in Israel, that her “horn is exalted in the Lord” while God deals with her enemies. The horn is a biblical symbol for power and strength.

God here in Psalm 75 warns the wicked to stop arrogantly boasting and flaunting their horn (verses 4-5). Asaph adds that exalting oneself or seeking exaltation from or through other people on earth is vain—as God has ultimate control over who is demoted or promoted in the world’s kingdoms (verses 6-7; compare Daniel 4:25b, 32b; Romans 13:1). This applies to our own individual circumstances as well. While there are practical steps we can take to achieve advancement, promotions and leadership opportunities—be it at work, school, church or community—the most important strategy is to rely on God for His direction and help. For “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).

Incidentally, it is interesting to note the cardinal directions mentioned in Psalm 75:6-7—or, rather, the one not mentioned. Exaltation does not come from east, west or south but from God. This would appear to identify God with the north, as other passages do—that is, either the Temple Mount on the north side of Jerusalem or the farthest north in heaven (compare Psalm 48:2; Isaiah 14:13).

From His throne, God is sovereign throughout the earth. And, as Psalm 75:8 makes clear, He has destined abasement through severe judgment for those who persist in wickedness. The imagery of the winecup of judgment here is also found in other verses (see Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Revelation 14:10; 16:19).

Asaph knows that as God’s servant he will live forever—and will throughout eternity continue to sing praise to God (Psalm 75:9). Then in verse 10 God speaks again to conclude that the horns of the wicked will be cut off (compare the imagery in Zechariah 1:18-21) while the horns, again representing strength, of the righteous will be exalted (compare Psalm 89:17; 92:10-11)—meaning, in concert with Asaph’s previous words, for eternity to come.


Mark 14:32-72

In verse 51 is a strange scripture.
51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Many of the Gospel writers speak of themselves in the third person. John says “and the disciple whom Yahshua loved outran Peter and came to the tomb first” without directly naming himself—I think Mark is doing the same thing.
We have covered much of this when we looked at Mathew so I will leave the rest of this chapter to you.


The 613 Mitzvot

We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at
We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 234-240. We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from

234 To judge cases of injuries caused by beasts (Ex. 21:35-36) (affirmative).

(234) Judge cases of injuries caused by beasts. “If one man’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the money from it; and the dead ox they shall also divide. Or if it was known that the ox tended to thrust in time past, and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall be his own.” (Exodus 21:35-36) Here is another facet to the law of negligence, this time requiring a judgment call: was the offending ox a repeat offender? And if so, did its owner make any provision for keeping it where it couldn’t cause any damage? Responsibility is based upon what the owner knew (or should have known) and what he did with that knowledge. Every parole board member should have these words engraved in his mind. For they are responsible for the “dumb brute beasts” they release upon an unsuspecting society. Beyond that, there are a myriad of modern practical applications. Has your pet dog shown aggressive tendencies? Are you driving a car with bad brakes or worn tires? Do you send your children to school knowing that they’re coming down with a cold? Your knowledge of potential problems makes you responsible to prevent them from becoming real ones. Yahweh is not impressed with what you consider convenient or easy; He’s only concerned with what’s right.

235 To adjudicate cases of damage caused by trespass of cattle (Ex. 22:4) (affirmative).

(235) Adjudicate cases of damage caused by trespass of cattle. “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.” (Exodus 22:5) You are responsible for the actions of the things you own. Israel, of course, was an agrarian society, so the principle was couched in agricultural terms—cattle, sheep, and goats getting out and eating the neighbors’ crops. Note that Yahweh said that the offending animal’s owner was to repay his neighbor with the best of his produce. Our neighbor must never be allowed to suffer loss because of our negligence.

236 To adjudicate cases of damage caused by fire (Ex. 22:5) (affirmative).

(236) Adjudicate cases of damage caused by fire. “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.” (Exodus 22:6) Another corollary to the law of responsibility is seen here. Fire is inherently dangerous and prone to accidental spreading. True, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for starting them, but the one who does so is responsible for keeping it under control. Negligence can cause sweeping destruction and even loss of life. Yahweh makes it clear that accidental or not, losses caused by runaway fires must be paid by the one who set the fire in the first place. Restitution is not to be borne by the victim of a negligent act, and certainly not by the victim of arson.

It is not without cause that the tongue is compared in scripture to a flame. A word once spoken is as hard to contain as a prairie fire in a stiff breeze. A rumor whispered in the ear can ruin lives and destroy homes. And make no mistake, Yahweh holds us responsible for what we say: “He who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.”

237 To adjudicate cases of damage caused by a gratuitous depositary (Ex. 22:6-7) (affirmative).

(237) Adjudicate cases of damage caused by a gratuitous depositary. “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.” (Exodus 22:7-8) We’ve already looked at this concept (see Mitzvah #230). The rabbis are trying to draw a distinction between determining liability and assessing damage—a distinction that isn’t really there in scripture. As before, we see that the guilty party is to make reparations over and above (double in this case, as many as four or five-fold in certain others) what was taken; the victim is not to be left holding the bag. This is one of the cases where the judges (see Mitzvah #227) would be called upon to weigh the evidence and render a verdict as to the guilt or innocence of the trustee.

238 To adjudicate other cases between a plaintiff and a defendant (Ex. 22:8) (affirmative).

(238) Adjudicate other cases between a plaintiff and a defendant. “For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.” (Exodus 22:9) This is the kind of thing that caused the whole judicial system to be set up in the first place (Exodus 18:13-26)—minor disputes between individuals that the people were bringing before Moses to decide upon. The judges that he appointed (a body which eventually morphed into the Sanhedrin) were tasked with deciding who was innocent, and who was lying. Frivolous lawsuits were probably kept to a minimum by the provision that the losing party—plaintiff or defendant—would have to pay double the value of the “bone of contention” to his neighbor.

It’s worth noting (again) that many of the provisions of the Law did not require the “adjudication” indicated in Maimonides’ version of things. They were cut and dried: Your goat ate my grapes, so you’ll have to make good my losses. Honesty and fair play were to be the normal state of affairs in Yahweh’s nation. Only in cases of honest dispute (It wasn’t my goat—I think it was Yakob’s) would the judges need to be called. It was never Yahweh’s intention to foster a litigious society forced to rely on an increasingly powerful judicial (read: rabbinical) class for esoteric interpretations of arcane points of law that only they were qualified to pontificate upon. It was supposed to be simple: Love Me; love your neighbor.

239 Not to curse a judge (Ex. 22:27) (CCN63).

(239) Don’t curse a judge. “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” (Exodus 22:28) That seems simple enough, but it’s not. Maimonides and his fellow rabbis were, of course, stressing the idea that they, being the self appointed “rulers of the people,” were not to be cursed. Their mitzvah is a self-serving expedient. But the supporting verse leads us to other conclusions, if we’re willing to look at what the words actually mean. Who is not to be cursed? The word translated “ruler” here is nasi, from a root meaning “to lift up.” It means “an exalted one, a king or sheik.” It’s usually translated “prince” in the KJV. The judges of Israel were never characterized as kings or exalted ones, however; they were supposed to judge the “small matters” (Exodus 18:22) that arose between the people. In contrast, the nasi was to (in the words of Jethro to Moses) “stand before God for the people, so that you [i.e., Moses, the de facto nasi] may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.” (Exodus 18:19-20) That is the proper work of princes and presidents.

We saw way back in Mitzvah #3 that we aren’t to revile God—that is, to take Him lightly, bring Him into contempt, curse, or despise Him (Hebrew: qalal). The concept is obvious and ubiquitous throughout scripture. But perhaps we should take a closer look at the word “God” here. It’s the usual word for God, Elohim—the plural of a word (Eloah or El) that means god in a general sense, whether true or false. Elohim is translated as “God” 2,346 times in the Old Testament (the King James Version translates it “the gods” here, clearly an error). Four times, however, it’s translated “judges.” Significantly, all four are in this very passage, and they all clearly mean human judges, not Yahweh. For example, a verse we looked at in the previous mitzvah says, “…the cause of both parties shall come before the judges [elohim]; and whomever the judges [elohim] condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.” (Exodus 22:9) Thus it’s possible, though I can’t be dogmatic, that there is a secondary meaning to “You shall not revile God” here: You shall not take lightly, bring into contempt, curse, or despise a judge in Israel doing the work Yahweh appointed for Him. Maybe the rabbis were right after all. Maybe.

240 That one who possesses evidence shall testify in Court (Lev. 5:1) (affirmative).

(240) One who possesses evidence shall testify in court. “If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter—if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.” (Leviticus 5:1) There is apparently some object/subject confusion here. It’s a bit clearer in the NLT: “If any of the people are called to testify about something [i.e., a sin. Hebrew: chata] they have witnessed, but they refuse to testify, they will be held responsible and be subject to punishment.” The rabbis got the heart of this one right. Remember the Ninth Commandment, the one about bearing false witness? Yahweh is pointing out here that to withhold pertinent evidence is tantamount to lying under oath. Justice is perverted; the truth is compromised. In other words, when giving testimony, a truth suppressed is the same as a lie proclaimed. We are to give “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”