Kaf- Clean and Unclean food

Joseph F. Dumond

Joe Started Sightedmoon in 2005 to assist him in spreading his understanding of the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years according to Torah.
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Published: Apr 23, 2015 - (5856)
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News Letter 5851-007
5th day of the 2nd month 5851 years after the creation of Adam
The 2nd Month in the Sixth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence
The Year of the Tithe for the Widows, Orphans & Levites
The 21st day of Counting the Omer

April 25, 2015

 

Shabbat Shalom Brethren

 

Dear Dad,

Our phone conversation last week has taken me aback and caused me to think about many things.

I want to first of all tell you how much I love you. Yes that infamous 4 letter word that is almost always choked out by the size of our adams apple which mysteriously swells up and prevents us from saying I love you in all of our conversations.

You and I have managed to squeak it out at the end of our phone calls as we hang up. We do that because we both know we do not have to try and get the next words out of mouths knowing that we are saved by hanging up the phone just before that awkward moment arrives.

But I want you to know, and want the world to know I love you. I have loved you through thick and thin of all those things our family has gone through. And I do not point a finger at anyone for any of it. All of it together has made me who I am to day and your a major part of why I am the way I am. And I thank you for that.Whether or not you beat this Prostate Cancer, I want you to know I love you.

Know that with this note hundreds, and maybe thousands, will add you to their prayers just because your my Dad.

One of the greatest memories you have given me was the year I came back from Noah’s Ark. I know how much you hate religion; I can’t stand it either. So talking about my trip was going to be awkward, but you asked and wanted to know. So I told you what I had discovered. All the details about the KPR which was Akkadian for pitch otherwise known as cement plaster that covered the ark.

When Uncle Art began to argue with me about the boat being made from gopher wood, you stepped in and repeated all that I had told you as if you had been there with me. Later as we went for a walk, I asked you about this knowing your hatred for religion. You said to me, that of all those in the family involved in religion, and there were many, I was the only one going out and finding the truth. No BS, no beating around the bushes. I was proving things by going to see Noah’s ark and to Jerusalem myself. And you liked that.

Dad those are the best words you could have ever said to me and they have kept me going since then. Yes I do come across many religious idiots. But what you have said to me, well thank you. It meant and still does mean a lot to me.

And knowing that you read this news letter is also something I treasure. I know you do not read them all. But the fact that you read any, again thank you.

I wanted to tell you this. I know it would be hard over the phone but I will try. In case I am not able to, I have it here for you to read should you choose to. I did not want to say these things to you at your funeral. It is rather pointless then. I do not want to say to myself I wish I had have said this or done that.

Yes it would have been great if we could have gone to Saudi Arabia to work on the pipelines as we had planned and Alaska. But know that now there are people reading this News Letter who were there for many year doing exactly that. And others who worked with you and me on jobs here, that also now read this News letter.

I Love you Dad. The only regret I will have is that I will not be able to show you these things that are coming as they come and take you back to our Homeland that was given to us by Yehovah. But I will see you when you wake up from your sleep. This I know. Then I will be able to show you everything, and I look forward to that day with eagerness.
I love you Dad.
Shalom
Your Son Joe

 


“Some of the Fruit being produced by our books”

Again we have news from what our books are doing in Africa. Please continue to pray about this. And consider the parable in Matt 22 in which those invited to the wedding were not worthy and did not come. Then those seats were filled by others from around the world. Consider what is happening and do not lose your seat.

Dear James,

Last Thursday, I was with a group of gentlemen whom we studied together at Theology School, were Bishops, Reverends, Pastors and Deacons. I invited them to my home for a small party, but my objective was to brief them Joe`s material such as keeping the Sabbath and keeping the Feasts and starting Passover 2016. Some of them said that I am crazy but later I opened my Bible and showed many supporting scriptures and almost all my guests were confused. Some of them declared that that might be a the truth that was hidden to them and discovered in our days. They questioned themselves if they have been studied heresies at their school…

Keep praying for us

T

Our posting on Monday has produced many good results and I want to thank you all for taking that step. We are not done and have much more to do. So thank you.

But not everyone is a happy camper.

Joseph,
Your “Newsletter” is truly the most disgusting demand for money I have ever read.  Given your implication that anyone who doesn’t send you money is a sexual deviant, it is apparent that you have little or no association with the Ruach Kodesh, or even common decency.  Having been raised a Catholic I am somewhat familiar with the bullying tactics of the low-brow Irish, but you have truly reached the bottom scum of the barrel.
Nevertheless, I am grateful that you have revealed yourself before I wasted any more time trying to decipher the hodgepodge of quotes you slammed together in your book in an apparent attempt to make it look like you know what you’re talking about, but in fact reveal your own mental confusion and internal torture.  I pity you, for I can only guess at what misery you have endured in your life that would leave you so emotionally, intellectually and spiritually twisted.
But whatever the cause, there is a cure, though in your case I think it will take many years of prayer and wise counsel for you to overcome.  I pray that Yeshua will bless you and reveal Himself to you, but I doubt that He will do that until He brings you to your knees and forces you to truly consider your past and come to terms with it.  He can help you put it all behind you, and live the resurrection life He wants for you and has provided for you to take hold of in Him.  It’s a process that He will bring you through, if you allow it.  But you really have to be honest with yourself and understand that which you are guilty of, and that which was done to you for no fault of your own, and your learned reactions to these things.  And then begin to learn His way and how He reacts.
There is a deeper spiritual meaning to the Law of which you speak and seek to make your money from, but you will need to put away your own confusion to see it.  If you refuse to go through the process, or short circuit it, you will not get there, and you will not see the blessings you seek.  I am not fooled by your blustering, and neither is Yeshua.  And deep down, neither are you.  Only a very tortured soul could write the way and the things you did in your newsletter.  You own it.
May Yeshua be merciful to you,
Larry Fuess

 


“What is Kosher Food?”

This week, as some of you suspected, I am going to share with you two articles on what is acceptable food to eat. The first is by my good friends Schalk and Elsa Klee, and the other is from the United Church of God archives.

After my report from Switzerland, you knew this was coming. And it is for our Brethren in Switzerland that we share these, as well as for all of you. I am not able to find a French translation at this time.

I would like you to start with this short video, which will take you to another level of understanding.

 

To eat or not to eat, what is the Scriptural standard?

Written by Schalk_and_Elsa on. Posted in Biblical Diet

http://www.setapartpeople.com/eat-eat-scriptural-standard

What is the scriptural standard with regards to eating? How are we to understand these instructions and what is the physical and spiritual significance when we obey?Kosher eating according to the Bible

Keeping these dietary instructions is commonly referred to as keeping kosher. The word “kosher” or “kasher” means proper, pure or acceptable. If we say we eat “kosher” we eat what is permissible in accordance with dietary instructions in Scripture.

The first instructions regarding what was meant for food was given in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1:28–30
28 Elohim blessed them; and Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then Elohim said, “Behold,I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

YHVH blessed Adam and Eve and gave them instructions regarding what they are to eat. They could eat of every plant yielding seed except for the tree in the middle of the garden. To the animals were given every green plant for food.

YHVH’s plan for man and beast was to eat vegetarian, but this changed after the flood. YHVH blessed Noah and his family and gave them similar instructions to those given to Adam and Eve. However, now they could also eat meat.

Genesis 9:1–3
1 And YHVH blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2“The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3“Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

When did YHVH make a distinction between clean and unclean?

Part of the instructions to Noah was to take of every clean animal by sevens and of the unclean only two. This proves that the distinction between clean and unclean already existed in Noah’s time.

Genesis 7:2
2 “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;

If Noah did eat from the unclean animals they would simply have ceased to exist if there was only one male and female.  Thus we can conclude that Noah did not eat any of the unclean animals.

Why should we eat according to the commandments in Scripture?

There are three main reasons for eating in accordance to YHVH’s instructions

1. It is a test to see if we would obey. This same test was given to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:16–17
16 YHVH Elohim commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Adam and Eve were not given specific reasons as to why they were not to eat from this tree,but they were told what the consequence would be if they do.

Eating detestable things is contrary to YHVH’s instructions. Being disobedient is rebellion and those who choose not to obey will be judged accordingly. They will come to an end altogether!

Isaiah 65:2–4
2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, 3 A people who continually provoke Me to My face, Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; 4 Who sit among graves and spend the night in secret places; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of unclean meat is in their pots.

Isaiah 66:17
17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, Following one in the center, Who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things and mice, Will come to an end altogether,” declares YHVH.

2. We are chosen to be His people, and we are to be set apart for He is set apart. We, mere mortals, cannot come into the presence of a set apart Elohim if we are defiled.

Deuteronomy 14:2–3
2 “For you are a holy people to YHVH your Elohim, and YHVH has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 3 “You shall not eat any detestable thing.

Deuteronomy 14:21
21 “You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the YHVH your Elohim.You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

3. The third reason is that eating in accordance to YHVH’s instructions is to our benefit in a physical sense. It is healthier for our bodies if we do eat according to His instructions. I am not going to expand on this, but there are many good articles available on the subject.

To summarize we can see that it is about obedience, set apartness and health, in that order.

Clean and unclean animals

YHVH calls unclean animals “detestable things.” It is not food; it was never meant for human consumption. If something is called “food” in the Scripture it refers to animals or plants intended for consumption. Just like poisonous plants cannot be called food, so can unclean animals not be called food.

We find in Leviticus 11 three major groupings of animals, and some detail as to which of these are acceptable for consumption or not.

Animals that live on the land

Of the animals living on land only those which chew the cut AND have split hoofs are considered fit for human consumption. These are also referred to as clean animals. These are repeated in Deut 4:4-8.

Leviticus 11:2–7
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. 3 ‘Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 4 ‘Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. 5 ‘Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 6 the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you;7 and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you.

There are four animals specifically listed here:

  • the camel
  • the shaphan
  • the rabbit and
  • the pig

A shaphan is “a small, shy, furry animal (Hyrax syriacus) found in the peninsula of the Sinai, northern Israel, and the region round the Dead Sea; KJV coney, orig NASB rock badger”

 New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Regarding these animals we are commanded in verse eight not to eat their flesh or touch their carcasses.

Leviticus 11:8
8You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

Animals living in water

Of the animals living in water we may only eat of those which have fins AND scales. This commandment is repeated in Deut 14:9,10. Crayfish, mussels and prawns were never intended as food, they are detestable things! Just like cockroaches clean up on land, prawns, shrimp and crayfish clean up the oceans. Would you consider eating a cockroach?

Leviticus 11:9–12
9 ‘These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 ‘But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11 and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12 ‘Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.

Winged and creeping animals

Take note that the animals listed here are animals, that can be found in the land of Israel. Some animals are not listed simply because you do not find them in Israel. You can, however, take every listed animal and compare its characteristics with similar animals and so determine if it was meant for food or not.

Of the birds, you are only to eat “clean birds.” Some of the unclean birds are listed. For example, we are not to eat a cormorant. If you study this bird, you will see that ducks have a lot in common with them, they have webbed feet and share a similar diet and habitat.

Cormorants  eat a great variety of fish species, as well as other animals including: crayfish, shrimp, aquatic insects, amphibians (such as tadpoles and newts), snails, mussels and some reptiles.http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/double-crested_cormorant.htm. This is, to a large extent, similar to the duck’s diet, although ducks eat plants too.

Basing it on the similarity between ducks and cormorants, I am of the opinion that ducks are also unclean. However, I could be wrong. The instructions on the distinctions between clean and unclean where birds are concerned is vague, except for the ones listed by name.

Falcons, kites and owls are basically all predatory and scavenger birds, so birds after their kind are unclean. As I said before, it is quite difficult to determine clean or unclean as far as the birds are concerned. We base it on similar characteristics, food and habitat. Anybody with more insight, please share!

The unclean birds are also listed in Deut 14:11-20.

The only insects that can be eaten are locusts and crickets. Keep away from those cockroaches!

Leviticus 11:13–25
13 ‘These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 14 and the kite and the falcon in its kind, 15 every raven in its kind, 16 and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, 17 and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, 18 and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, 19 and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat. 20 ‘All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21 ‘Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. 22 ‘These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. 23 ‘But all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you. 24‘By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening, 25 and whoever picks up any of their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

We are not to touch the carcass of an unclean animal

How are we to understand this prohibition? Is this given primarily for health reasons? Maybe to prevent the spread of disease or infection that could be caused by bacteria in a rotting carcass, or is there more to this? The commandment not to touch the carcass of an unclean animal is repeated seven times!

Touching the dead carcass of any unclean land animal—including those that walk on their paws (lit., “hands,” v. 27), for example, cats, dogs, and bears—rendered a person ceremonially unclean and so required washing and waiting until evening. The concept of being unclean till evening not only prohibited participation in worship but also restricted movement within society.

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 11:24–28). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

How do we apply it in our time? Would this by implication mean that we are to consider what we wear and what we apply to our skin? Many skin-care products contain glycerin, which is often – not always – manufactured from pork fat (you do get vegetable glycerin as well).

With regard to clothing, it has become quite fashionable to wear jackets made from pig skin. You also find leather products from crocodile, ostrich and other unclean animals. Do we consider that as a part of the carcass of an unclean animal? We don’t have everything figured out, but this is how we understand it. We are not to wear it. Also look out that you do not buy a new pig skin leather bound Bible.  Yes, you do find that!

However, it is acceptable to have and to love and touch an unclean animal that is still alive. Think dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and camels. The last three were used as a means of transportation in Biblical times. Y’shua rode on a donkey into Jerusalem. After that, He went into the Temple (Luk 19:35-45).

Blood

The next very important instruction regarding our diet is the prohibition against eating blood. After the flood, man was allowed to eat meat, but without the blood. This is repeated in the book of Leviticus. This restriction, is one that cannot be ignored. Eating unclean things will cause you to be unclean, but eating blood will cause you to be cut off from your people!

Genesis 9:4–5
4 “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

Leviticus 7:26–27
26You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27 ‘Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.’ ”

Leviticus 17:10–14
10 ‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.11 ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ 12 “Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’13 “So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14 “Foras for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

When an animal is killed, the life blood should be poured to the ground and covered with earth. The only way in which this is possible is when an animal is cut by the neck, in Hebrew it is called “Shechita“. In this way the heart of the animal pumps the blood out. If the neck of the animal is not cut, the blood coagulates in the flesh which renders it inedible, according to YHVH’s standard. Hereafter, the animal is taken apart and the meat is washed and sprinkled with coarse salt to remove more blood. This practice actually only removes the surface blood, but it has the benefit that it kills off any bacteria on the meat.
This is only one good reason to ensure you buy your meat from a butcher who adheres to this. It is your responsibility to make sure you keep YHVH’s standard.

Fat

There are references to two types of fat in Scripture. The fat that is not to be consumed by us consists of the fat tail, all the fat that is on and over the entrails, the kidneys and the fat on them and the fat on the loins and liver. This fat is considered the choicest and belongs to YHVH. This is the sacrificial fat and is referred to as “chelev” in Hebrew.

2693 I. ????? (???l??): n.masc.; ? Str 2459; TWOT 651a—1. LN 5.1–5.22 fat, i.e., lipid tissue of an animal, a part of an animal’s body as a sacrifice (Ex 23:18; Lev 8:26); 2. LN 59.48–59.61 bounty, i.e., a figurative extension of fat as a sign of prosperity (Ge 45:18); 3. LN 79 the finest, best part, i.e., the figurative extension of fat as a choice portion, pertaining to olive and wine products and other products as choice, as the feature of an object (Nu 18:12, 29; Dt 32:14; Ps 81:17[EB 16]); 4. LN 88.223–88.226 a callous heart (Ps 17:10; 73:7;119:70)
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Leviticus 3:9–10
9 ‘From the sacrifice of peace offerings he shall bring as an offering by fire to YHVH, its fat, the entire fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 10 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys.

Leviticus 3:14–17
14 ‘From it he shall present his offering as an offering by fire to YHVH, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 15 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 16 ‘The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is YHVH’s. 17 ‘It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.’

Death renders an animal unclean

Death renders, even a clean animal, unclean. For this reason, we are commanded not to eat an animal that dies of itself or an animal torn by a wild beast.

Leviticus 11:39–40
39 ‘Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening. 40 ‘He too, who eats some of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening, and the one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

Leviticus 17:15–16
15 “When any person eats an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean. 16 “But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt.”

Leviticus 22:8
8 ‘He shall not eat an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, becoming unclean by it; I am YHVH.

Ezekiel 44:31
31 “The priests shall not eat any bird or beast that has died a natural death or has been torn to pieces.

You may not eat it, but you may give it to an unbeliever or sell it to a foreigner.

Deuteronomy 14:21
21 “You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to YHVH your Elohim. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

The Israelites were commanded, while in the wilderness, to eat meat only if it was offered unto YHVH. In this way, the uncleanness of death was taken away and the animal was fit for consumption.

Leviticus 17:3–5
3 “Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, 4 and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present itas an offering to YHVH before the tabernacle of YHVH, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 “The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to YHVH, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to YHVH.

This was later on extended to the homes of the believers if they were too far from the Tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 12:20–21
20 “When YHVH your Elohim extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever you desire. 21 “If the place which YHVH your Elohim chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which YHVH has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire.

Meat and diary

Deuteronomy 14:21
21 “You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to YHVH your Elohim. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

This instruction is repeated in Ex 23:19 and Ex 36:26.

Does this scripture mean that we are not allowed to eat meat and dairy products together?

Abraham showed hospitality to the three strangers that visited him, he served them curds and milk with the calf he had prepared.

Genesis 18:8
8 He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.

We found a good article on the topic. The article can be read at the link below, here is the conclusion:

“I think putting it in simple terms we can deduce this from Jacob Milgrom. The new born kid, calf, sheep, should not be killed within the early new life it has, then be cooked in its mother’s milk (possibly because it may give some added flavor to the meat) that it was depending on for life. As Milgron states, that would be confusing life and death, hence a teaching to instill in Israel a certain reverence for life and death – a separation of life and death, which many of the nations around them did not practice. As Milgrom has given, thus the life-giving process of the mother bird hatching or feeding her young should not be the occasion of their joint death Deut.22:6). The sacrifice of the newborn may be inevitable, but not for the first week while it is constantly at the mother’s breast (Lev.22:27); and never should both the mother and its young be slain at the same time (Lev.22:28). By the same token, the mother’s milk, the life- sustaining food for her kid, should never become associated with its death” – Keith Hunt http://www.keithhunt.com/Kidmilk.html

Food offered to idols

Is it acceptable to eat meat that was sacrificed to another deity, a false god?

Acts 15:29
29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

1 Corinthians 10:20–22
20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to Elohim; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of YHVH and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of YHVH and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke YHVH to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

1 Corinthians 10:28
28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;

Looking at the two passages in Revelation, it confirms the importance of not eating things sacrificed to idols.

To the assembly in Pergamum it is written:

Revelation 2:14
14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

To the assembly of Thyatira it is written:

Revelation 2:20–22
20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

Meat sacrificed to idols should not be on our menu.

Eating meat sacrificed to an idol will defile our testimony. It can cause us to be a stumbling block for a brother.

First fruits, first born and the first of your dough

The first fruits of the harvest and the firstborn of the flock belongs to YHVH. How are we to apply this in our lives? Not being part of a believing agricultural community and not having a Temple makes this difficult, even impossible, to keep in a literal sense. A way to observe this, in my opinion, would be in our tithes.

The command to give of the first of your dough is intriguing. Dough was in ancient times a mixture of course meal and water, the initial stage of making bread. A part of this dough was to be given to the priest, and this will cause a blessing to rest on your house.

I have wondered about this…if it still applied to us. The first time we did this, was when I baked cupcakes with my daughter. We removed some of the dough, thinking that we would probably not have ample dough to fill all the cake forms. We actually had more than enough to fill all the forms, and it was a huge success. It was quite a testimony to us.

Numbers 15:20–21
20 ‘Of the first of your dough you shall lift up a cake as an offering; as the offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up. 21 ‘From the first of your dough you shall give to YHVH an offering throughout your generations.

Nehemiah 10:37
37 We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our Elohim, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns.

Ezekiel 44:30
30 “The first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.

Genetically modified food

The genetical modification of seed is considered as mixing of seed and is prohibited by Torah.

This modification will, for example, cause fruit to be seedless, create new varieties of fruit of vegetables or enable fruit or vegetables to be resistant to plagues. There are even varieties of tomatoes where pig genes were mixed in, in order to improve the taste. I have also heard of a project where human genes are mixed with goat or sheep genes in order to create an animal that can produce milk closer to human breast milk. This is an abomination! We are not to promote this practice or consume any modified products. Aside from it being against YHVH’s instructions, it also poses a serious health threat. Cancer is rampant and is increasing. There is much information available on the internet on the health risks involving the consumption of GMO (Genetically modified) food.

Leviticus 19:19
19 ‘You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.

Deuteronomy 22:9
9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled.

Greens vs. mushrooms

Adam and Eve were given every plant yielding seed as food. Later on, in chapter nine, there is a reference to “the green plant” Will this by implication exclude mushrooms and other fungi? These propagate with spores, not seed and do not have green leaves.We will need to do further research on this. If anyone reading this have further insight, please share it with us!

Genesis 1:29
29 Then Elohim said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 9:3
3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

Sabbatical year

We are not to consume any products that were harvested during the Sabbatical year. We are prohibited from sowing and harvesting in this year. Eating and drinking will make us partakers of the disobedience of others.

Be careful when purchasing wine, sherry, port and other preserved products. The previous Sabbatical years were 2009, 2002, 1995 ….

Uncircumcised fruit or the Orlah prohibition

The word “orlah” means forbidden or uncircumcised. When a new tree is planted, fruit from it should not be eaten until the fifth year. Adhering to this will ensure a good harvest for you. However, there is no way to determine the age of the tree when buying fruit from a supermarket or greengrocer. We can adhere to this if we have our own fruit trees.

Leviticus 19:23–25
23 ‘When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 ‘But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to YHVH. 25 ‘In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am YHVH your Elohim.

E-numbers

E numbers are codes for chemicals which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union (the “E” prefix stands for “Europe”) and Switzerland. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee though only a subset of the INS additives are approved for use in the European Union as food additives. E numbers are also encountered on food labeling in other jurisdictions, including the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. They are increasingly, though still rarely, found on North American packaging, especially in Canada on imported European products. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_number

The food additives, coloring and emulsifiers used are, for the most part, not kosher, and we need to educate ourselves and ensure that we make the right choices. Most of these are indicated on products with E-numbers. For example, E471 is an emulsifier that is used in bread and cakes; this is made from pork fat. E120, E121 are a red colorings which are manufactured from insects. A complete list is available on the internet. If you have difficulty finding it, please contact us, and we will help you find it. It is once again our responsibility to educate ourselves.

What happens when we eat unclean?

Is it really of consequence to eat according to YHVH’s instructions?

Leviticus 17:15–16
15 “When any person eats an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean. 16 “But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt.

Numbers 19:20–22
20 ‘But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of YHVH; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean. 21 ‘So it shall be a perpetual statute for them. And he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22 ‘Furthermore, anything that the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.’ ”

Eating unclean things makes a person unclean. If an unclean person enters the sanctuary of YHVH, it becomes defiled. The physical Temple has been destroyed, but our bodies are also temples of YHVH. When we eat unclean things, we defile our bodily Temples.

Would it ever be acceptable to YHVH to sacrifice a pig in His Temple? Never!

1 Corinthians 3:16
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you?

2 Corinthians 6:16–18
16 Or what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? For we are the temple of the living Elohim; just as Elohim said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. 17Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says YHVH. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says YHVH Almighty.

1 Corinthians 6:19
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and that you are not your own?

2 Corinthians 7:1
1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Elohim.

The Temple represented YHVH’s presence among His people; the unclean was not allowed to enter His presence.

Could being unclean from eating unacceptable things affect our experiencing of YHVH’s presence in our lives?

We are in exile. We are living in a secular world among people who are either ignorant or have turned their backs on YHVH’s true and pure way. We are commanded to be set apart, for YHVH is set apart. Part of being set apart is to keep His dietary instructions. This is not always easy. Daily, we are tested. Daily, we have to make choices. It feels like a huge sacrifice sometimes, but there is blessing in it.

It is customary in the Netherlands for everybody to give sweets or cookies to children, in supermarkets and wherever you may go. This is very kind of the people, but quite difficult from our perspective, as the majority of sweets contain pork gelatin and most cookies E471, an emulsifier made from pork fat. We have taught our children to decline these gifts graciously. Not easy to do for little ones. The great thing about this though, is that every time they have done so, they were blessed in an unusual way. This has happened so many times that they don’t find it difficult anymore. YHVH has taught them in a special way that there is blessing in being obedient to Him.

That is YHVH’s blessing to all of us. If we are obedient to Him, we shall be blessed, sometimes, in surprising ways!

Isaiah 55:2–3
2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.


Did Jesus Declare All Meats Clean?

Many assume Jesus’ statements in Mark 7 did away with the dietary restrictions recorded in the Old Testament. How should we understand Christ’s words?

In this series of articles we have examined statements of Jesus Christ that when understood correctly are surprisingly different in meaning from the way they are commonly understood. In the case of dietary restrictions recorded in the Bible, the surprise may be the result of understanding not just what Jesus said but what He did not say in the Gospel of Mark.

Many believe that in His encounter with the Pharisees recorded in Mark:7:1-23

, Jesus abrogated the laws of clean and unclean meats revealed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. In fact, many modern translations of the New Testament insert additional words into the text of Mark:7:19 to reflect this understanding. For example, the New International Version ends the verse with: “(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’).”

The New King James Version has “thus purifying all foods” and includes the marginal explanation: “NU [an abbreviation for the text used by many New Testament translations] sets off the final phrase as Mark’s comment, that Jesus has declared all foods clean.”

But is this textual variation correct? Does it capture the meaning of the passage in question? What exactly did Jesus mean by His statement?

Context provides the answer

One of the foundational principles for understanding a scriptural passage is to examine the context. What is the topic of discussion here?

We should first notice that the subject is food in general, not which meats are clean or unclean . The Greek word broma, used in verse 19, simply means food. An entirely different Greek word, kreas, is used in the New Testament where meat—animal flesh —is specifically intended (see Romans:14:21; 1 Corinthians:13:8). So this passage concerns the general subject of food rather than meat. But a closer look shows that more is involved.

The first two verses help us understand the context: “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault” (verses 1-2). They asked Jesus, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” (verse 5).

Now we see the subject further clarified. It concerns eating “with unwashed hands.” Why was this of concern to the scribes and Pharisees?

The covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai was based on many laws and other instructions that ensured ritual purity. Jewish observance, however, often went beyond these in embracing the “oral law” or “tradition of the elders”—passed on by word of mouth and consisting of many additional man-made requirements and prohibitions tacked onto God’s laws. Verses 3-4 of Mark 7 provide a brief explanation of the specific practice the Pharisees and scribes were referring to in this account: “For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders …”

Notice that food laws are not in question here. The topic is ritual purity based on the religious traditions of the oral law. The disciples were being criticized for not following the proper procedure of ceremonial hand-washing prescribed by these revered religious traditions.

The Jewish New Testament Commentary, explaining the background of verses 2-4, offers a description of this custom: “Mark’s explanation of a … ritual handwashing, in these verses corresponds to the details set forth in Mishna tractate Yadayim [the Mishna is a later written version of the oral tradition]. In the marketplace one may touch ceremonially impure things; the impurity is removed by rinsing up to the wrist. Orthodox Jews today observe [ritual hand-washing] before meals. The rationale for it has nothing to do with hygiene but is based on the idea that ‘a man’s home is his Temple,’ with the dining table his altar, the food his sacrifice and himself the cohen (priest). Since the Tanakh [Old Testament] requires cohanim[priests] to be ceremonially pure before offering sacrifices on the altar, the Oral Torahrequires the same before eating a meal” (David Stern, 1995).

By the time of Christ many had made these additional practices a top priority and in so doing sometimes overlooked and even violated the fundamental principles of the law of God (Matthew:23:1-4

, 23-28).

Spiritual principle of purification

After decrying the hypocrisy of this and other religious traditions and practices of the day, Jesus gets to the heart of the matter. He explains that what defiles a person (in the eyes of God) comes not from the outside —by what one puts into his mouth—but from within (verse 15).

He said it is far more important to concentrate on what comes out of your heart than what you put into your mouth. Jesus explains: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication’s, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (verses 21-23).

Some of these same qualities are listed in Galatians:5:19-21

as “works of the flesh.” They are contrasted with the “fruit of the Spirit” (verses 22-23). “Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [and] self-control” are qualities of a spiritually purified heart.

The ceremonial washings and purification practices of the Old Covenant were physical representations of the spiritual purification to be offered in the New Covenant (Hebrews:9:11-14

). Hebrews:9:23 tells us: “Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens [referring to the tabernacle, altar, priests, etc.] should be purified with these [ceremonial purifications], but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” So the apostle Paul writes that Jesus “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus:2:14).

“Blessed are the pure in heart” is one of the fundamental teachings of Christ (Matthew:5:8).

Unwashed hands don’t defile the heart

In Mark 7 Jesus explains that ceremonial washing is not necessary for spiritual purity or sound spiritual health. He points out that “whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods” (verses 18-19).

Jesus is simply stating here that any dirt or other incidental impurities not removed through elaborate hand-washing will be purged out by the human digestive system in a manner that has no bearing on the heart and mind of a person. Since spiritual purification involves the heart, ceremonial washings are ineffective and unnecessary in preventing spiritual defilement.

Several Bible scholars recognize the error of interpreting this passage as an abrogation of the laws of clean and unclean meats. Certain grammatical factors, as well as the context of Scripture, determine how to properly translate verse 19. The Greek word translated “purifying” is a participle and must agree in grammatical gender with the noun it describes. Because this participle has a masculine ending, it cannot refer to “stomach,” which is in the feminine gender in Greek. Thus many scholars instead relate “purifying” back to “He said.”

However, another alternative provides a better explanation. The expression “is eliminated” in the New King James Version is a euphemistic rendering of what the original King James Version translates as “goeth out into the draught.” “Draught” (draft) is an archaic way to translate the Greek word aphedron, which means “a place where the human waste discharges are dumped, a privy, sink, toilet” (BibleWorks software). Aphedron is a masculine-gender noun, so “purifying” can refer to the end result of human waste, the toilet.

The Commentary on the New Testament: Interpretation of Mark explains the passage on the basis of this pertinent information: “The translation … ‘This he said, making all meats clean’ makes the participial clause [‘purifying all foods’] a remark by Mark … that Jesus makes all foods clean— a remarkthat we cannot accept … He is explaining to his disciples how no food defiles a man … As far as this thought is concerned, Jesus expresses it already in the preceding clause: ‘and goes out into the privy.’ What he now adds is that the privy [the end result of the digestive process] ‘makes all food clean’ … for all foods have their course through the body only, never touch the heart, and thus end in the privy … Since the disciples are so dense, the Lord is compelled to give them so coarse an explanation. In this, however, he in no way abrogates the Levitical laws concerning foods” (R.C.H. Lenski, pp. 297-298, emphasis added).

The Jewish New Testament Commentary, in its note on verse 19, summarizes well the overall meaning of this passage: “Yeshua [Jesus] did not, as many suppose, abrogate the laws of kashrut [kosher] and thus declare ham kosher! Since the beginning of the chapter the subject has been ritual purity … and not kashrut at all! There is not the slightest hint anywhere that foods in this verse can be anything other than what the Bible allows Jews to eat, in other words, kosher foods …

“Rather, Yeshua is continuing his discussion of spiritual prioritizing (v. 11). He teaches thattohar (purity) is not primarily ritual or physical, but spiritual (vv. 14-23). On this ground he does not entirely overrule the Pharisaic/rabbinic elaborations of the laws of purity, but he does demote them to subsidiary importance.”

Peter’s testimony is significant

Can we find other biblical evidence that this view is correct, that Jesus never changed the biblical food laws? We find a telling event from the life of Peter well after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Peter is a central figure in the early Church. Jesus charged Peter to strengthen the brethren (Luke:22:32). Peter delivered a powerful sermon that led to the conversion of thousands (Acts:2:14-41

). His boldly claiming the name of Christ resulted in the miraculous healing of a lame man. He powerfully preached on repentance to those who gathered to witness the miracle (Acts:3:1-26

). Later the mere passing of Peter’s shadow over the sick resulted in dramatic healings (Acts:5:15).

Surely Peter would have understood something as fundamental as whether Jesus had repealed the laws of clean and unclean meat. Yet, years after Christ’s death and resurrection, when he experienced a vision of unclean animals accompanied by a voice telling him to “kill and eat,” notice Peter’s spontaneous response: “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean” (Acts:10:14, emphasis added throughout).

Ironically, many believe the purpose of this vision was to do away with the dietary restrictions regarding clean and unclean meats. Overlooked is the significance of Peter’s initial response. He obviously did not consider these laws as having been rescinded by Christ!

This strange vision came to Peter three times, yet he still “wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant” (verses 16-17) and “thought about the vision” (verse 19). Peter did not jump to conclusions as too many do today. He already knew what the vision did not mean. Later God revealed the true meaning: “God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (verse 28).

Peter came to realize that the significance of the vision was that God was opening the way of salvation to gentiles (non-Israelites), so Peter shortly thereafter baptized the first uncircumcised gentiles God called into the Church (verses 34-35, 45-48). Peter was never to eat unclean animals, but he did learn this vital lesson in the plan of God.

Lessons for today

The moral of this story is that food laws and righteousness are not mutually exclusive. God gave His food laws for sound reasons. True righteousness entails submission and obedience to all of God’s Word (Psalm:119:172; Matthew:4:4; 5:17-19). GN


“Counting the Omer”

WEEK FOUR

Day Twenty-Two | A Prayer For Help | Psalm 119:169-176

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

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

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

169 My cry comes before You, O ????. Make me understand according to Your Word. (Psalm )119:169
170 Let my prayer come before You. Deliver me according to Your Word. (Psalm 119:170)
171 My lips pour forth praise, for You teach me Your laws. (Psalm 119:171)

172 My tongue sings of Your Word, for all Your commands are righteousness. (Psalm 119:172) 173 Your hand is a help to me, for I have chosen Your orders. (Psalm 119:173)
174 I have longed for Your deliverance, O ????, and Your Torah is my delight. (Psalm 119:174) 175 My being lives, and it praises You; and Your right-rulings help me. (Psalm 119:175)

176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands. (Psalm 119:176)

 

Day Twenty-Three | True Happiness | Psalm 1:1-6

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

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

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

1 Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers. (Psalm 1:1)
2 But his delight is in the Torah of ????, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. (Psalm 1:2) 3 For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

4 The wrong are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind blows away. (Psalm 1:4)
5 Therefore, the wrong shall not rise in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (Psalm 1:5)
6 For ???? knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wrong comes to naught. (Psalm 1:6)

 

Day Twenty-Four | Confidence In Yehovah | Psalm 11:1-7

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

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

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

1 In ???? I have taken refuge. Why do you say to me, “Flee to your mountain like a bird?” (Psalm )11:1
2 For look! The wrong bend a bow, they set their arrow on the string, to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. (Psalm 11:2)

3 When the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
is in the heavens. His eyes see, His ???? is in His set-apart He?k?al (Temple), the throne of ???? 4 eyelids examine the sons of men. (Psalm 11:4)
.tries the righteous, but His being shall hate the wrong and the one who loves violence ???? 5 (Psalm 11:5)
6 Upon the wrong He rains snares. Fire and sulphur and a scorching wind are the portion of their cup. (Psalm 11:6)
7 For ???? is righteous, He has loved righteousness. The upright shall see His face. (Psalm 11:7)

 

Day Twenty-Five | What Yehovah Requires | Psalm 15:1-5

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

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

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

who does sojourn in Your Tent? Who does dwell in Your set-apart mountain? (Psalm ,???? 1 )15:1
2 He who walks blamelessly, and does righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. (Psalm )15:2

3 He has not slandered with his tongue, he has not done evil to his neighbor, nor lifted up a reproach against his friend. (Psalm 15:3)
4 In whose eyes a reprobate one is despised, but he esteems those who fear ????, he who swears to his own hurt and does not change. (Psalm 15:4)

5 He has not put out his silver at interest, and has not taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these is never moved. (Psalm 15:5)

 

Day Twenty-Six | The Creation of Yehovah | Psalm 19:1-7

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

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

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

1 The heavens are proclaiming the esteem of E?l; and the expanse is declaring the work of His hand. (Psalm 19:1)
2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:2)
3 There is no speech, and there are no words. Their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:3)

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He set up a tent for the sun. (Psalm 19:4)
5 And it is like a bridegroom coming out of his room. It rejoices like a strong man to run the path. (Psalm 19:5)

6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens, and its circuit to the other end. And naught is hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:6)
7 The Torah of ???? is perfect, bringing back the being. The witness of ???? is trustworthy, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

 

Day Twenty-Seven | A Prayer For Guidance | Psalm 25:4-10

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

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

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)

7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

4 Show me Your ways, O ????. Teach me Your paths. (Psalm 25:4)
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the Elohim of my deliverance. On You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5)
6 Remember, O ????, Your compassion and Your kindnesses, for they are from everlasting. (Psalm 25:6)
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, and my transgressions. According to Your kindness remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O ????. (Psalm 25:7)
8 Good and straight is ????; therefore, He teaches sinners in the way. (Psalm 25:8)
9 He guides the meek ones in right-ruling, and He teaches the meek ones His way. (Psalm 25:9) 10 All the paths of ???? are kindness and truth, to those who guard His covenant and His witnesses. (Psalm 25:10)

 

Day Twenty-Eight | Longing For Yehovah | Psalm 63:1-8

Today is the seventh day of the fourth week of seven weeks. Today is the twenty-eighth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath. Today is Sabbath, the fourth Sabbath of seven Sabbaths. Today completes the fourth week of seven weeks.

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

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

1 O Elohim, You are my E?l; I earnestly seek You. My being has thirsted for You. My flesh has longed for You in a dry and thirsty land without water. (Psalm 63:1)
2 Therefore I have had a vision of You In the set-apart place, to see Your power and Your esteem. (Psalm 63:2)

3 Because Your kindness is better than life, my lips do praise You. (Psalm 63:3)
4 Therefore I bless You while I live. In Your Name I lift up my hands. (Psalm 63:4)
5 My being is satisfied as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises You with singing lips. (Psalm 63:5)
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. (Psalm 63:6)
7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing. (Psalm 63:7)
8 My being has closely followed You. Your right hand did uphold me. (Psalm 63:8)

 


“ERIKTOLOGY – ALEPH/BEYT”

Kuf k This week we get back to Erics teaching in which the very letters of the Aleph Tav the ta reveal the very face of Yehovah. I hope you are appreatiating the brilliance being shared with you. Please support those who are teaching you. Or soon you may not have anyone left but the milk teachers as we explained in our teaching on Monday.   Lesson 1 and Lesson 2

 

 


“Triennial Torah Portion”

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

 

25/04/2015  Ex 39   Jeremiah 13-15   Prov 12   Acts 9

Priestly Garments; The Work Completed (Exodus 39)

The priestly garments were made according to the fashion God had instructed Moses in chapter 28. The only thing left out here is the placement of the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate (see 28:30)—a step that takes place in Leviticus 8:8. Notice here the short trousers that were part of the priestly uniform. This linen undergarment, God had earlier explained, was for modesty’s sake—”to cover their nakedness” (Exodus 28:42). “Given the sexually preoccupied worship of Israel’s neighbor’s, this provision was decidedly countercultural” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 42). “This modesty communicated to the Israelites that human sexuality could not influence God. That idea was a central feature of Baal worship, which continually tempted the Israelites. The priests of Baal would use obscene gestures and actions in the pagan worship of their depraved god” (note on Leviticus 6:10). In stark contrast, “Nothing obscene or unseemly was permitted in the pure worship of the living God” (note on Exodus 20:26).

With the completion of the priestly garments, the work of construction was finally finished. Verses 32-43 of chapter 39 list “all the work” that God had commanded through Moses. It was now finished. “Then Moses looked over all the work” (verse 43)—a final inspection. And the result? “And indeed they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, just so they had done it” (verse 43). May the same be said of us as we strive to please God in our lives. In the end, Moses blessed them, just as Messiah will bless us if we follow God’s instructions.

 

The Waistband and the Wine Jugs (Jeremiah 13)

We turn back now to chapter 13 of Jeremiah, as most of what it describes—starting in verse 6 and continuing to the end of the chapter—appears to fall during the three-month reign of the 18-year-old Jeconiah, who was apparently heavily guided in his rule by his mother Nehushta (compare verse 18; 22:24-27; 29:2; 2 Kings 24:8, 12). The events of the first five verses of Jeremiah 13, however, likely happened during the reign of Jeconiah’s father Jehoiakim, as we will see—perhaps soon after the events of chapters 11 and 12.

God starts out telling Jeremiah to obtain a linen “girdle” (13:1, KJV). There is a difference of opinion as to exactly what this piece of clothing was. Many say the Hebrew here should be translated belt. Some say sash. Others contend that a waistcloth, or loincloth, is meant. Still others argue for a skirt or kilt, or even shorts. It is not clear whether the girdle was decorative outerwear or an undergarment. What is clear is that it was worn around the waist (verses 2, 4, 11). This was to symbolize Israel and Judah, which God had bound to Himself by covenant—and which relied on clinging to God’s very being to be “held up,” so to speak (compare verse 11).

The waistband would also have been valuable. All of this was fitting symbolism for Israel and Judah. “Linen was a costly material (Is 3.23, 24), often imported from Egypt (Pr 7.16). The Israelites generally reserved its use for making exquisite furnishings, such as those in the sacred tent [the tabernacle] (Ex 26.1, 31, 13), and fine garments, such as those worn by the priests (28.39) or a favored person (Es 8.15; Ez 16.10.13)” (“A Waste of Fine Material,” The Word in Life Bible, sidebar on Jeremiah 13:1-11). Israel, rescued from Egypt and supported by God, was to be a special treasure and chosen priesthood. The waistband was not supposed to get wet (verse 1), as this would cause it to begin deteriorating.

God then instructs Jeremiah to take the waistband to the River Euphrates (Hebrew Perath) far to the north and hide it in a hole. “This would have meant a round-trip journey of some seven hundred miles—a trip that would have taken two to three months” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 3-5). And Jeremiah ends up going twice. Not believing that the prophet would have left his responsibilities in Judah for so long, some commentators argue that Perath should in this instance be rendered Ephrathah (another name for Bethlehem) or Parah (a town of Benjamin, Joshua 18:23), both of which were quite near Jerusalem. Yet the Euphrates seems far more likely.

First of all, Perath normally denotes the Euphrates in Scripture. The objection that Jeremiah would not have left his duties for so long is improper reasoning since his duty would always be to go where God told him. Consider also that Jeremiah preached for many, many years in Judah—so an absence of a few months is not at all unreasonable. God could even have supernaturally sped up Jeremiah’s journey if time was a factor.

Most important, however, is the symbolism of the Euphrates. The land promised to Israel actually extended all the way to the Euphrates (Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24)—and reached as far in the days of David and Solomon (2 Samuel 8:3, 6; 1 Kings 4:21, 24). Beyond the Euphrates was the territory of the Mesopotamian powers—previously Assyria and now Babylon. The Euphrates itself was the crossing point. The “hiding” of the waistband there would seem to imply God’s people seeking refuge and help from the powers of Mesopotamia. This was true of their national alliances. It was also true religiously, since the false gods the people worshiped originated in Babylon. The people of Israel were ultimately taken beyond the Euphrates themselves—in captivity. And the same would soon befall the people of Judah.

(Interestingly, the Euphrates continues to play a part in Bible prophecy right to the end of the age of mankind—see Revelation 16:12-14.)

The expression “after many days” in Jeremiah 13:6 could actually mean that Jeremiah didn’t return to the Euphrates until years later. If a few months of travel were required for the journey, the events of the first part of the chapter must have happened prior to Jeconiah’s three-month reign—thus sometime during his father’s reign.

Spending years in a hole by a river—far away from its owner—there was no way the waistband would not get wet and dirty and thus suffer damage. Indeed, Jeremiah finds it rotted and worthless. This parallels what happened to Israel and Judah: “Rather than clinging to the Lord, the people chose to worship idols (13:10). They became as useless to God as Jeremiah’s rotten linen belt was to him. The processes in [the physical realm of] creation often parallel the realities of the spiritual realm. Spiritual decay may not be as obvious as the damage of moisture to buried cloth, but the results are even worse…. Jeremiah’s ruined belt still paints a vivid picture of our ruined condition [when we fail to cling to God and His ways]” (“INDepth: Jeremiah’s Symbolic Acts, Nelson Study Bible, sidebar on Jeremiah 13).

God then tells Jeremiah to say to the people, “Every wine jug is to be filled with wine”—to which the people basically respond, “Of course they are” (compare verse 12). Commentators believe the statement Jeremiah made was a proverb of the time. Some think it meant “good times ahead”—and that the complacent Jews were saying they already knew this (indeed, the false prophets had told them so). Yet it may also be that the statement was a proverb denoting a truism—that wine jugs were made to hold wine. Either way, the common understanding of this proverb was not what God meant by it. He meant that the people, as the wine jugs, were going to be filled with His wrath until they reeled as if drunk: “As wine intoxicates, so God’s wrath and judgments shall reduce them to that state of helpless distraction that they shall rush on to their own ruin (ch. 25:15; 49:12; Isa. 51:17, 21, 22; 63:6)” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on Jeremiah 13:12).

In verse 17, we again see Jeremiah’s tremendous heart of feeling. As bold as his pronouncements have been, he knows he will deeply lament with weeping when his countrymen are carried away captive.

We then see a message for the king and queen mother (verse 18)—again, most likely Jeconiah and Nehushta. They would be exiled to Babylon very soon. The mention of the “cities of the South” in Judah (verse 19) is evidently to point out that even these—though located the farthest away from northern invasion (see verse 20)—will be shut up in a siege that no one will break. And all Judah—the whole land—will be taken captive.

The nation will be stripped of her people and violated (verses 20-22, 26). God depicts the sins of Jerusalem as a prostitute that has no shame—sentenced for adultery and immorality, having forgotten Him to whom they were bound by covenant and trusting in false idols (verses 25, 27).

God speaks a now-famous proverb in verse 23—concerning Ethiopian skin color and leopard spots—that implies people cannot change their character and live rightly. “Habit is second nature…it is morally impossible that the Jews can alter their inveterate habits of sin” (JFB, note on verse 23). Yet notice God’s remarkable statement at the end of the chapter: “Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?” (verse 27). The fact is, while the Jews were incapable of transforming themselves into people of right character, they actually could “be made clean”—through the miraculous power of God. Yet they had to respond to Him and cling to Him for this to happen. But alas, they did not.

The same situation remains true for everyone. While the normal human mind is hostile against God and cannot be subject to His law (Romans 8:7), through the transforming power of God we can be changed. Indeed, we must be changed. That is the message of the whole Bible.

 

Droughts Will Give Way to More Severe Punishment (Jeremiah 14:1-15:9)

Drought, first apparently mentioned in 12:4, continues to afflict the land (14:1-6; see also 23:10). Things get so bad that the people resort to calling on God, Jeremiah here recording the people’s plea for relief in which they confessed their sins and asked God to save them for His own name’s sake (14:7-9). This was according to the prayer Solomon had long before prayed at the temple’s dedication: “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess your name, and turn from their sin because you afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (1 Kings 8:35-36).

But there was a major problem here. The people confessed but they did not “turn from their sin” as Solomon had stated. They asked God to act for the sake of His name (His reputation) after they had, by their wicked conduct, profaned God’s name among the nations—and would not desist from doing so. Therefore, their repentance is meaningless and God will not accept it. He knows that such pleas always come in times of need. In the past He answered the calls over and over again. This time He has drawn the line and will follow through with the threatened punishment (Jeremiah 14:10). Again, God tells Jeremiah not to pray for the people (verse 11; compare 7:16; 11:14).

In verse 12 of chapter 14, God says that He will not accept any of their hypocritical displays of piety but will send worse punishment than just the droughts. The people will be consumed by the sword (of warfare), by famine and by pestilence (disease epidemics). Centuries before, King David was given a choice between these three punishments for sin (see 2 Samuel 24:13). But the people of Judah would now suffer all three (Jeremiah 14:12; compare 16:4; 24:10; 27:8, 13; 29:17-18; Ezekiel 14:21). Indeed, these terrible occurrences have often formed a cycle in human history. In war, people are pillaged, their crops and livestock ruined, their water taken or polluted. This leads to famine. Widespread malnourishment then weakens people to the point of greater susceptibility to infection with disease.

Jeremiah’s love for the people is obvious. While he is not allowed to pray for the people’s deliverance from punishment, he proposes mitigating circumstances that may alleviate the people’s guilt to some degree. “He says it’s the prophets’ fault. The prophets have misled the ordinary folks. There are two things to note here. First, we are each responsible for our own choices. We can’t pass that on to anyone else, even preachers! Second, the prophets were guilty of misleading Judah and would suffer more greatly than others [compare James 1:1-3]. [But] don’t suppose that ‘he said it was all right’ or ‘I was obeying orders’ relieves us of responsibility” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Jeremiah 14:13-16, emphasis added).

In verses 17-18, God gives Jeremiah a lament to utter when the prophesied punishment actually comes. “Jeremiah’s tears, portraying his own and the Lord’s anguish over a destroyed people, are part of his message to them and have the force of an ‘acted oracle.’ They show the backlash of the message of doom on him who preaches it, and none should preach destruction who cannot weep for those under its threat” (New Bible Commentary, note on verse 17). Surely we will feel the same when we see our nations suffer in the years ahead. Indeed, many tears were shed by God’s people over the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Thus we can certainly empathize with Jeremiah.

At the end of verse 18, it is not clear in this case if the “land they do not know” is a foreign land or their homeland so devastated as to be unrecognizable. Eventually, as other prophecies make clear, they will be removed to a foreign land.

In verses 19-22, the people make another empty plea for mercy. “The people of Judah based their hope for relief on an appeal to God to act for the sake of (1) His name, (2) His temple (e.g., His ‘glorious throne’), and (3) His covenant. Why was the plea empty? Because Israel’s blatant idolatry had already dragged God’s name through the mud. His temple was defiled by those who supposed they could [brazenly] sin and still worship. And His covenant had been broken by those who now wanted to claim it. There comes a time when only judgment can preserve God’s honor” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verse 21).

So God responds in Jeremiah 15:1-9 with His determination to proceed. Moses and Samuel were among the great leaders of God who interceded for Israel with favorable results (Exodus 32:11; 1 Samuel 7:9). But even their intercession would avail nothing for the people now. Verse 2 of Jeremiah 15 is rather ominous, telling the prophet to respond to inquiries about where to go (i.e., what to do now) with the pronouncement of judgment. “The imagery of dogs, birds and beasts devouring human flesh vividly illustrates not only death but desecration” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 3-4). These animals may also portray gentile nations here.

“The basis for this desecration is the defilement of Jerusalem that took place during the reign of Manasseh, when idolatry reigned in the temple courts and children were sacrificed to Molech” (note on verses 3-4). Manasseh was the most evil king Judah ever had (2 Kings 21:9-18). It seems he did turn to God later, but had caused much damage to the relationship between Judah and God. “He was now dead, but the effects of his sins still remained. How much evil one bad man can cause! The evil fruits remain even after he himself has received repentance and forgiveness. The people had followed his wicked example ever since; and it is implied that it was only through the long-suffering of God that the penal consequences had been suspended up to the present time (cf. I Kings 14:16; II Kings 21:11; 23:26; 24:3, 4)” (Jamieson, Fausset &Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 4).

 

“As Waters That Fail?” (Jeremiah 15:10-21)

Jeremiah has faithfully pronounced the message God has told him to. But no one, of course, is happy to hear it. His comment regarding not having lent for interest is “proverbial for, ‘I have given no cause for strife against me'” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 10). Yet his preaching has generated nothing but strife it seems. Everyone hates him, whereupon Jeremiah is understandably dejected. He wishes he hadn’t been born. “Note that his call was from the womb and that God decreed from birth that he would be a prophet (see 1.5; 20:14-18)” (The HarperCollins Study Bible, 1993, note on Jeremiah 15:10).

The Hebrew of verse 11 is difficult. The New Revised Standard Version renders it, “The LORD said: Surely I have intervened in your life for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress.” But, God asks in verse 12, can anyone break iron and bronze? This appears to symbolize Jeremiah, whom God referred to as an “iron pillar” and “bronze walls” in his call (1:18; compare 15:20). That is, God would protect him.

In verses 13-14 it is not clear whether God is speaking to Jeremiah or to Judah again. The latter seems more likely but some have suggested that Jeremiah is to experience some measure of punishment as a representative of the people—perhaps, in some sense, as a type of Messiah. We do know that Jeremiah was later carried away against his will to Egypt. In any case, Jeremiah asks that God, in fairness, would protect him and take vengeance on the real wrongdoers, those who are persecuting him. The prophet declares his faithfulness to God. He “ate” God’s words—accepting and internalizing them and finding joy in them (verse 16). He was not part of the assembly of mockers because 1) he would not mock God’s message and 2) what he preached prevented him from being part of the assembly at all—he was isolated from everyone.

In verse 18, we see Jeremiah in great anguish over his predicament. But then he goes too far. Having declared his own faithfulness, he actually accuses God of faithlessness. God is the fountain of living waters (2:13), but now Jeremiah wonders if He is not like a dried up stream as far as the prophet’s welfare is concerned.

In 15:19, God responds with a gentle rebuke. It is a rebuke because God calls on Jeremiah to “return”—the Old Testament word for repent. He tells him to “take the precious from the vile”—an “image from metals: ‘If thou wilt separate what is precious in thee (the divine graces imparted) from what is vile (thy natural corruptions, impatience, and hasty words), thou shalt be as My mouth’: my mouthpiece (Exod. 4:16)” (JFB Commentary, note on Jeremiah 15:19). God warns him, “Let them return to you [that is, let the people change to walking in your right, faithful ways], but you must not return to them [you must not change to walking in their wrong, faithless ways].” If Jeremiah turns from his negative, wrong thoughts, then he will be able to continue in God’s service and God will continue to protect him, just as was promised at Jeremiah’s initial call (verse 20). It is in this way that God’s rebuke is gentle, for it is accompanied by a wonderful positive reassurance of His enduring faithfulness even despite the weakness of His servant. This is something for which we should all be ever so grateful.

 

First Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d (Proverbs 11:1-27)

  1. What the Lord Abhors (11:1-21)

“In 11:1-21 a group of proverb collections are held together by the inclusio formed by ‘the Lord abhors’ and ‘he delights’ in vv. 1,20 [NIV].

  • “MORAL INTEGRITY AND GOD’S JUDGEMENT. Type: Chiastic (11:1-4)….Verse 1 describes God’s abhorrence of fraud, and v. 4 answers it with the promise that the wrongfully gained wealth of the wicked will do them no good in the day of judgment. Between these verses vv. 2-3 assert that humility and integrity, rather than their opposites, are the best guides in life” (NAC).

In its note on verse 1, The Bible Reader’s Companion says: “Leviticus 19:35-36 forbids the use of ‘dishonest standards,’ weighted to favor the merchant rather than the seller [he buys from] or buyer [to whom he sells]. The Jewish Talmud calls for meticulous efforts to keep this command, decreeing that ‘the shopkeeper must wipe his measures twice a week, his weights once a week, and his scales after every weighing,’ to keep any substance from throwing them off. We can’t be too careful trying to be fair with others.”

As previously noted, the language of Proverbs 11:4 is similar to that of 10:2.

  • “SALVATION FOR THE RIGHTEOUS. Type: Thematic, Parallel Proverb Pair (11:5-6)….These two proverbs parallel each other and describe the respective fates of the righteous and the wicked…
  • “DEATH OF A SINNER. Type: Inclusio, Proverb Pair (11:7-8)….As the text stands, these two proverbs are bound by the inclusio of the word ‘wicked’ in v. 7a and v. 8b…. In addition, these verses assert that God brings utter destruction to the wicked and imply a promise of eternal life to the righteous” (NAC).

As earlier noted, v. 7 contains language similar to that of 10:28.

  • “DESTRUCTIVE LIPS. Type: Chiastic, with an Afterward (11:9-13)….Verses 10-11 are an obvious pair in parallel, whereas vv. 9,12 are bound by the theme of the slanderous gossip of the wicked against restrained silence of the righteous….Verse [13] is an afterword on the subject of the tongue” (NAC).

Verse 10 may seem odd in light of the unpopularity of God’s servants among the nations of the world. However, despite persecution, it does make sense that others rejoice when the righteous are doing well: “Why should the community rejoice in the prosperity of the righteous? Because both the way a righteous man gains his wealth and the way he uses it benefits society. The righteous businessman employs others, supports schools and government with his taxes and in the O[ld] T[estament] tradition, shares generously” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 10-11). And often people enjoy seeing justice where the good guy wins.

  • “NATIONAL AND PERSONAL PRUDENCE. Type: Parallel (11:14-15)….Both proverbs here follow the pattern ‘imprudent action brings disaster / prudent action gives security,’ but the first involves national matters where the second concerns personal business” (NAC).

Verse 14 explains that it’s vital to get counsel from a number of sources than can be weighed together in making important decisions (see also 15:22; 20:18; 24:6).

Proverbs 11:15 should also be read in light of the next listed proverb in verse 16. “These two proverbs balance each other. The first warns against rashly giving surety or a pledge for a stranger. The second praises generosity [as being ‘gracious’ or ‘kindhearted’ (NIV) surely includes]; generosity begets honor” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 15-16). Verse 16, discussed next, should also be read in the context of the next verse, with which it is parallel.

  • “KINDNESS AND CRUELTY. Type: Parallel (11:16-17)….The pattern of these two proverbs is ‘kind woman / cruel man // kind man / ruthless man.’ By itself v. 16 could be read cynically (‘A kind woman gets respect, but a cruel man gets rich’…to justify unscrupulous behavior. In conjunction with v. 17, however, the self-destructive nature of the ‘hard-nosed’ approach to life is apparent….
  • “THE WAGES OF SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. Type: Chiasmus (11:18-19)….This pair has the chiastic pattern [in this case a-b-b-a] ‘wicked man / he who sows righteousness / righteousness / he who pursues evil’….Note that this pair has links to vv. 16-17. The wealth of the cruel man corresponds to deceptive wages as the honor given a kind woman is genuine. Also the health/self-inflicted pain of v. 17 corresponds to the life and death of v. 19.
  • “DIVINE JUDGMENT. Type: Parallel (11:20-21)….God’s attitude toward individuals (disgust / pleasure) in v. 20 corresponds to the outcome of their lives (inescapable trouble / deliverance) in v. 21″—which also impacts their children (NAC).
  1. Beauty Without Discretion (11:22)

“TYPE: INDIVIDUAL PROVERB”(NAC).

  1. Generosity and Selfishness (11:23-27)

“TYPE: INCLUSIO….Verses 23,27 closely parallel each other and form an inclusio around vv. 24-26, all of which center on the theme of generosity and selfishness. The inclusio states the general truth that one receives back according to one’s own behavior while vv. 24-26 deal with the concrete issue of hoarding [and refusing to sell currently at a fair price]” (NAC).

The picture of the one who scatters abroad increasing more—the generous person being made rich—is similar to Ecclesiastes 11:1: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” The good we do will be returned to us in different ways. Just on a human level, a selfish, stingy person will likely make enemies, a factor that will probably hurt him later—even financially perhaps. The generous person will make friends who will be there to contribute to his prosperity and well-being later. But there is more to the universe than that—as there is a real God who blesses generosity and curses greed and selfishness.

Yeshua likewise taught: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

Of course, the passages here are not a promise of material wealth in this lifetime in return for being generous. The greatest riches are spiritual ones—though this does include the promised hope of possessing the entire universe as co-heirs with Messiah.

 Acts 9

Chapter Contents

The conversion of Saul. (1-9) Saul converted preaches Messiah. (10-22) Saul is persecuted at Damascus, and goes to Jerusalem. (23-31) Cure of Eneas. (32-35) Dorcas raised to life. (36-43)

So ill informed was Saul, that he thought he ought to do all he could against the name of Messiah, and that he did God service thereby; he seemed to breathe in this as in his element. Let us not despair of renewing grace for the conversion of the greatest sinners, nor let such despair of the pardoning mercy of God for the greatest sin. It is a signal token of Divine favour, if God, by the inward working of his grace, or the outward events of his providence, stops us from prosecuting or executing sinful purposes. Saul saw that Just One, 14; 26:13. How near to us is the unseen world! It is but for God to draw aside the veil, and objects are presented to the view, compared with which, whatever is most admired on earth is mean and contemptible. Saul submitted without reserve, desirous to know what the Yeshua would have him to do. Messiah’s discoveries of himself to poor souls are humbling; they lay them very low, in mean thoughts of themselves. For three days Saul took no food, and it pleased God to leave him for that time without relief. His sins were now set in order before him; he was in the dark concerning his own spiritual state, and wounded in spirit for sin. When a sinner is brought to a proper sense of his own state and conduct, he will cast himself wholly on the mercy of the Saviour, asking what he would have him to do. God will direct the humbled sinner, and though he does not often bring transgressors to joy and peace in believing, without sorrows and distress of conscience, under which the soul is deeply engaged as to eternal things, yet happy are those who sow in tears, for they shall reap in joy.

A good work was begun in Saul, when he was brought to Messiah’s feet with those words, Master, what wilt thou have me to do? And never did Messiah leave any who were brought to that. Behold, the proud Pharisee, the unmerciful oppressor, the daring blasphemer, prayeth! And thus it is even now, and with the proud, or the abandoned sinner. What happy tidings are these to all who understand the nature and power of prayer, of such prayer as the humbled sinner presents for the blessings of free salvation! Now he began to pray after another manner than he had done; before, he said his prayers, now, he prayed them. Regenerating grace sets people on praying; you may as well find a living man without breath. Yet even eminent disciples, like Ananias, sometimes stagger at the commands of the Almighty. But it is the Master’s glory to surpass our scanty expectations, and show that those are vessels of his mercy whom we are apt to consider as objects of his vengeance. The teaching of the Spirit of Truth takes away the scales of ignorance and pride from the understanding; then the sinner becomes a new creature, and endeavours to recommend the anointed Saviour, the Son of God, to his former companions.

When we enter into the way of God, we must look for trials; but the Eternal One knows how to deliver the godly, and will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape. Though Saul’s conversion was and is a proof of the truth of The Way, yet it could not, of itself, convert one soul at enmity with the truth; for nothing can produce true faith, but that power which new-creates the heart. Believers are apt to be too suspicious of those against whom they have prejudices. The world is full of deceit, and it is necessary to be cautious, but we must exercise charity, 1 Corinthians 13:5. The Lord will clear up the characters of true believers; and he will bring them to his people, and often gives them opportunities of bearing testimony to his truth, before those who once witnessed their hatred to it. Messiah now appeared to Saul, and ordered him to go quickly out of Jerusalem, for he must be sent to the Gentiles: see 21. Messiah’s witnesses cannot be slain till they have finished their testimony. The persecutions were stayed. The professors of the gospel walked uprightly, and enjoyed much comfort from the Set Apart Spirit, in the hope and peace of the gospel, and others were won over to them. They lived upon the comfort of the Set Apart Spirit, not only in the days of trouble and affliction, but in days of rest and prosperity. Those are most likely to walk cheerfully, who walk circumspectly.

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