News Letter 5853-015
The 1st Year of the 4th Sabbatical Cycle
The 22nd year of the Jubilee Cycle
The 6th day of the 4th month 5853 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Month in the First year of the Fourth Sabbatical Cycle
The 4th Sabbatical Cycle after the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Sword, Famines, and Pestilence
July 1, 2017
Shabbat Shalom to our Family around the world
The 4th Month has begun
Last Sunday night the moon was sighted making this the start of the 4th month.
Roy Hoffman and Yoel Halevi both sighted the moon Sunday evening making Monday the 1st day of the 4th month.
I saw the Moon tonight, Sunday 25th June 2017 from Mitspe Nevo, Ma’ale Adummim, Israel. The Moon was clearly visible in binoculars (25 x 100 mm) at 19:22 (UTC+03). I saw the Moon with the naked eye at 19:37 and my daughter Rina saw it at 19:39. The temperature was 29°C, humidity 35% and pressure 958 mBar. The photograph was taken at 20:21.
You now only have 3 more months to prepare for the Fall Holy Days. Time to give your notification at work for the time you will need off to travel and keep the Feasts on each of the Holy Days.
You are commanded to tithe to yourself in order to be able to keep the Feast each year.
Back to Burundi
We have less than two weeks before James heads off to Burundi for his second visit there.We have taken all of our funds to do this.
And at the same time, we are being asked for help in the Ivory Coast. But at this time we just do not have any funds left to help them at this time. We again appeal to you to stand with us in helping these other nations learn about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and the prophecies they reveal to us about the end times. We cannot do this alone.
Last week we wrote to you about Colossians 2:16 and the nailing of the ‘handwriting of ordinances’ to the Cross. I felt that that teaching was very informative and enlightening. I then received the following email from Stephen Skillitzi, a long time reader of our publications.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,” is Paul’s scholarly metaphor deliberately echoing the narrative surrounding Numbers 5:23 which was never alluded to in your lengthy treatise on Colossians 2:14-17.
My bible’s margin notes from decades ago: “14:- “.having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [read, curses/accusations/indebtedness. see Numbers 5:23] that was against us.”.
We did write about the book that was in the center of the court with the names of the accused written in them along with their sins and how that book was nailed or impaled on the creditor’s spike showing that the debt was paid.
But this question or statement got me to thinking about this verse in Numbers 5.
I have heard those I hold in high esteem, say about this verse, “I got nothing”. They could not elaborate on it for us. And I admit this is a very strange part of the Bible which I do not claim to fully understand either.
Let us read next what the Rabbinic scholars had to say about this verse.
The Sotah Woman
A Sotah is a woman suspected of adultery who undergoes the ordeal of bitter water or ordeal of jealousy as described and prescribed in the Priestly Code, in the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible. The term “Sotah” itself is not found in the Hebrew Bible but is Mishnaic Hebrew based on the verse “if she has strayed” (verb: satah) in Numbers 5:12. The process was a trial by ordeal administered to the wife whose husband suspected her of adultery but who had no witnesses to make a formal case (Numbers 5:11-31). The ordeal is further explained in the Talmud, in the eponymous seventh tractate of Nashim.
The account of the ordeal of bitter water given in the Book of Numbers is as follows:
19 And the priest shall cause her to swear, and shall say unto the woman: ‘If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness, being under thy husband, be thou free from this water of bitterness that causeth the curse;
20 but if thou hast gone aside, being under thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee besides thy husband–
21 then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman–the LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to fall away, and thy belly to swell;
22 and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, and make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to fall away’; and the woman shall say: ‘Amen, Amen.’
23 And the priest shall write these curses in a scroll, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness. 24 And he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that causeth the curse; and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her and become bitter.
— Numbers 5, JPS 1917.
Jewish tradition Mishnah and Talmud
According to the Mishnah, it was the practice for the woman to first be brought to the Sanhedrin, before being subjected to the ordeal. Repeated attempts would be made to persuade the women to confess, including multiple suggestions to her of possible mitigating factors; if she confessed, the ordeal was not required.
The regulations require that the ordeal take place when the woman is brought to an Israelite priest, or when she is brought before God. The Mishnah reports that, in the time of the Second Temple, she was taken to the East Gate of the Temple, in front of the Nikanor gate.
The woman is required by the Biblical passage to have loosened hair during the ritual; this is often taken to be a symbol of the woman’s supposed shame, but according to Josephus, it was merely the standard behavior for anyone accused of any crime, when they appeared before the Sanhedrin. The Mishnah also states that the garment she was wearing was ripped to expose her heart. A rope was tied above her breasts so that her clothes did not completely fall off. The Mishnah, however, argues that the clothing on the woman’s upper body was also stripped away, leaving her bare-breasted.
Regardless of whatever its original significance was, at the time the Talmud was compiled the ordeal was simply regarded as a method of pressuring the woman into a confession.
Trial The ordeal
This trial consisted of the wife having to drink a specific potion administered by the priest. The text does not specify the amount of time needed for the potion to take effect; 19th century scholars suspected it was probably intended to have a fairly immediate effect. The Mishnah mentions there could also be a suspension of the ordeal for one, two or three years, if she has an acquittal. Maimonides records the traditional Rabbinical view: “Her belly swells first and then her thigh ruptures and she dies”. Others maintain that since the word “thigh” is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for various reproductive organs, in this case it may mean the uterus, the placenta or an embryo, and the woman would survive.
Nahmanides points out that of all the 613 commandments, it is only the sotah law that requires God’s specific co-operation to make it work. The bitter waters can only be effective miraculously.
The text specifies that the potion should be made from water and dust; in the masoretic text, the water used for the potion must be holy water, and the Targum interprets it as water from the Molten Sea, but the Septuagint instead requires running water. The passage argues that the curse was washed into the water; it is thought that this idea derives from a belief that the words of a curse exist in their own right. Others argue that the curse is a euphemism for a miscarriage or infertility.
The potion also had to be mixed in an earthenware vessel; this may have been because the potion was regarded as a taboo which could be spread by contact, and therefore also made the vessel taboo, necessitating its subsequent destruction (as do the biblical rules concerning taboo animals, for any earthenware vessels into which such animals fall. However, the Talmud and Rashi explain that this vessel is chosen to contrast the woman’s predicament with her behavior. She gave the adulterer to drink choice wine in valuable goblets; therefore, let her drink bitter water in a worthless clay vessel.
Maimonides further writes: “When she dies, the adulterer because of whom she was compelled to drink will also die, wherever he is located. The same phenomena, the swelling of the belly and the rupture of the thigh, will also occur to him. All the above applies provided her husband never engaged in forbidden sexual relations in his life. If, however, her husband ever engaged in forbidden relations, the [bitter] waters do not check [the fidelity of] his wife.”
The husband was required to make a sacrifice to God, as part of the ritual, probably due to a general principle that no one should seek answers from God without giving something in return. This offering is required to be placed in the wife’s hands, and is literally described as her offering for her; scholars think that it is the man’s offering, in relation to the ordeal of his wife, and that her holding of it is merely symbolic of this.
The offering specified is one tenth of an ephah of barley meal, unaccompanied by oil or frankincense; this is the cheaper type of flour, unlike the flour specified for all other biblical sacrifices. The specification is now thought to a rare survival of an earlier period, in which there was no restriction on the types of flour which could be used for sacrifices, although the Mishnah argues that it was a reference to the bestial nature of adultery, coarse flour being the food of beasts.
If the woman was unharmed by the bitter water, the rules regard her as innocent of the accusation. The account in the Book of Numbers states that the man shall be free from blame (5:26). This is not to be confused with the Deuteronomic Code, which pertains to when a man accuses his wife of pre-marital sex; when accusation is disproven, the husband is to be fined, and is no longer to have the right of divorcing the wife (Deuteronomy 22:13-19) There is more reason to fine and whip the man who accuses his wife of pre-marital sex than the husband of the sotah woman. The man who accuses his wife of pre-marital sex has no proof about his wife when he accuses her, whereas by a Sotah woman, the husband initially warned her not to seclude herself with a particular man, which she thereafter did. Therefore, whether she is innocent of the accusation of adultery or not, she still has caused reasonable suspicion in the eyes of her husband.
The rabbinical interpretation of Numbers 5:28 is that when a woman accused of adultery who was innocent drinks the bitter water, even if she was previously unable to conceive, she will now conceive and give birth to a male.
Cessation of the ordeal
According to Mishnah, Sotah, 9:9 the practice was abolished some time during the first century CE under the leadership of Yohanan Ben Zakkai. But even if it had not been abolished, the rite would have sunk into abeyance with the fall of the Temple (in approximately the year 70 CE), because, according to the Law, the ceremony could not be performed elsewhere. Explanations in rabbinical literature vary concerning cessation of the practice. Yohanan Ben Zakkai stated:
When adulterers became many, the ordeal of the bitter water stopped, for the ordeal of bitter water is performed only in a case of doubt. But now there are many who see their lovers in public
Rabbi Hanina of Sura said in Talmud Sotah:
Nowadays a man should not say to his wife, “Do not be secluded with so-and-so,” … If she then secluded herself with the man, since we have not now the water for the suspected woman to test her, the husband forbids her to himself for all time.
— B.T. Sotah 2c, Soncino.
If you will allow me to offer my views on this then let me begin by saying that I know of no where in the bible where this ordeal was ever acted out. But the Scriptures are there for us to learn from.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.
It is imperative that we learn them and study them.
Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
The scriptures are the first 5 books of the Bible also known as the books of Moses. Yehshua then also tells us the other books that make up the scriptures.
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luk 24:44 And He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms about Me. 45 And He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.
So here is this story about a woman suspected of committing adultery and her husband puts her before the Priests to endure this ordeal of drinking the biter water with the curses scraped from the writings and mixed into the water that she must drink. We have no examples of this ever taking place and yet it remains in the Torah for our admonition as we were told in Timothy. But what does it mean.
Well first of all I can clearly see that the Jealous Husband is none other than Yehovah and the adulterous wife is Israel.
Exo_20:5 You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me,
This word jealous is anq and it means jealous or angry
H7067 qanna?’ kan-naw’
Exo_34:14 For you shall worship no other god. For Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God;
Deu_4:24 For Jehovah your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
We are not to serve or worship other gods because we belong to Yehovah
Deu_5:9 You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me,
We read in Numbers 5 how the words were scraped off the parchment and mixed in with the bitter waters. Let me highlight the key parts of the following verses. When the priest blots out the words he is taking the water and letting the words be rubbed off and then the ink is mixed in with the water.
Num 5:17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel. And the priest shall take of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. Num 5:18 ……. And the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causes the curse. Num 5:19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, …..
Num 5:23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water. 24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causes the curse. And the water that causes the curse shall enter into her and become bitter.
Num 5:21 then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing. And the priest shall say to the woman, Jehovah make you a curse and an oath among your people, when Jehovah makes your thigh to fall away and your belly to swell. 22 And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels to make your belly swell and your thigh fall away. And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.
Last week we talked to you about the book that contained the names of those who were sinners and it also contained the curses for those sins. These are the debts we must pay for our sins. Yehshua redeemed us. He paid the penalty for us IF we repent. If we do not repent then we can pay for our sins ourselves. See The Law in Colossians. Here is a short section from hnnhannan musa The Law in
Roman crucifixions consisted of 3 basic elements, all perfectly described in the account of the crucifixion of Christ- first, the scourging; then the carrying of the crossbeam by the condemned to the site; and finally the nailing or binding of the condemned to the cross-beam and then attaching this beam onto the upright post and setting it up. But another element was also involved. In order to be a deterrent, the CRIME of the victim had to be posted in clear sight of the passers-by. For this purpose, they used a board covered with gypsum inscribed with black letters called a titilus. This was usually carried ahead of the victim on the way to the crucifixion, and then posted above the cross in clear sight.”
If Jesus wouldn’t have died for our sins, then we would have to hang on the cross ourselves. And guess what they would write on the sign hung above us on the cross? That’s right! Our SINS!!!
Wow… wouldn’t that be a huge sign indeed! They would nail our sins to the cross. The “Handwriting of Ordinances” is not the law, but the record book of our sins. It is our indebtedness to the law. That is what is against us! That is what was nailed to the Cross! It was the record book of our sins that He blotted out by nailing it to the cross.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances is a legal term whose meaning and application is from the system of jurisprudence or law used in the Greco-Roman legal system. Paul is using legal terminology to show how God has legally dealt with our sins, not how God has dealt with the law.
The curses for adultery were written on the scroll or parchment and then they were blotted out and the water used to blot out the hand writing of the curses was then mixed with the bitter water. If she was innocent then nothing happened to her and the curses are now gone. If she was guilty then she died and paid the debt that was owed for her sin.
Now when I read this part about the oath it immediately takes me back to the Feast of Oaths which is another name for the Feast of Weeks. We explained this in our teaching on The Feast of Oaths. This also, for me, connects back to the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. They broke their Oath to Yehovah. And the word dust connects me again back to the Garden of Eden because from the dust was Adam created and to dust we all return again when we die.
H6083 ‘a’pha’r aw-fawr’
From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud: – ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.
Gen 2:7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
It is the punishment of the serpent that is of interest to me because it connects the fact that the serpent is cursed and grovelling in the dust of the ground. Then when we read about Adams punishment we are also told that the ground is cursed because of his sin and from it will come the thorns.
Gen 3:14 And Jehovah God said to the serpent, Because you have done this you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
Gen 3:17 And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
Then as I was researching this subject for more clues, I come across Jeremiah 17 and this verse is amazing in how it is connected to the ordeal that this Sota woman must endure. She must drink the bitter waters. But Yehovah is presented as the Fountain of Living Waters. Their names are written in the earth, the dust of the earth where they go when they die. But should they obey then they can live by drinking the living waters which is from Yehovah.
Jer 17:13 O Jehovah, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Jehovah, the Fountain of living waters.
Jer 2:13 For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. 14 Is Israel a servant? Or is he a servant of the house? Why has he become a prey? 15 The young lions roared against him; they gave their voice. And they made his land a waste; his cities are burned without inhabitant. 16> Also the sons of Noph and Tahapanes have fed on the crown of your head. 17 Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken Jehovah your God, when He led you by the way?
Psa 36:8 They shall be satisfied with the fatness of Your house; and You shall make them drink of the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we shall see light. 10 Continue Your loving-kindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Joh 4:9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How do you, being a Jew, ask a drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews do not associate with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water. 11 The woman said to Him, Sir, you have no vessel, and the well is deep. From where then do you have that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, and his children and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Joh 7:37 And in the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” 39 (But He spoke this about the Spirit, which they who believed on Him should receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will feed them and will lead them to the fountains of living waters. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Rev 21:6 And He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who thirsts I will give of the fountain of the Water of Life freely. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son.
Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
<p”>Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let the one hearing say, Come! And let the one who is thirsty come. And he willing, let him take of the Water of Life freely.
Those who forsake the living waters given by Yehovah, those who forsake Yehovah and His Torah must drink of the curses found in the bitter waters which lead to death and that means you are turned back to the dust of the earth.
Deu_6:15 for Jehovah your God is a jealous God among you, lest the anger of Jehovah your God be kindled against you and destroy you from off the face of the earth.
Then this teaching about the Sota woman and the jealous husband is speaking about Yehovah and how He is jealous over Israel. And it is warning to Israel, that should she commit adultery by worshipping other gods, that are not gods, that Yehovah would turn Israel back into dust.
Jos 24:14 Now, then, fear Jehovah, and serve Him in sincerity and truth. And put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt, and serve Jehovah. 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah. 16 And the people answered and said, Far be it from us to forsake Jehovah to serve other gods. 17 For Jehovah our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And He did those great wonders in our sight, and kept us in all our way in which we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18 And Jehovah drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We will also serve Jehovah, for He is our God. 19 And Joshua said to the people, You cannot serve Jehovah, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If you forsake Jehovah and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you harm, and destroy you after He has done you good. 21 And the people said to Joshua, No, but we will serve Jehovah. 22 And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen Jehovah, to serve Him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23 And now put away the strange gods among you, and incline your heart to Jehovah, the God of Israel. 24 And the people said to Joshua, We will serve Jehovah our God, and His voice we will obey. 25 And Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the Law of God, and took a great stone and set it up there under an oak by the sanctuary of Jehovah. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the Words of Jehovah which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.
Yehovah has warned us that what we do to Him, He is going to do to us when we turn from Him and worship false gods.
Deu 32:18 You forgot the Rock who brought you forth, and ceased to care for God who formed you. 19 And Jehovah saw, and despised them because of the provoking of His sons and of His daughters. 20 And He said, I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end shall be. For they are a very perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They have moved Me to jealousy with a no-god. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities. And I will move them to jealousy with a no-people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 I will heap evils on them. I will spend My arrows on them. 24 Exhaustion by famine, and consumption by burning heat, and bitter destruction, and the teeth of beasts I will send on them, with the poison of crawling things of the dust. 25 The sword outside, and the terror inside, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of grey hairs. 26 I said I would dash them to pieces; I would make the memory of them to cease from among men, 27 were it not the provocation of an enemy I feared, lest their enemies should misconstrue; lest they should say, Our hand is high and Jehovah has not done all this. 28 For they are a nation without wisdom, neither is there any understanding in them. 29 If they were wise, they would understand this; they would consider their latter end!
Are these not the very same curses of Lev 26 that we have been warning you about since 2005 that come according to the Sabbatical cycles in a Jubilee cycle? Terror, Extreme weather, pestilence, war and captivity.
Psa 78:53 And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea flooded over their enemies. 54 And He brought them within His own holy border, this mountain, which His right hand had bought. 55 He also cast out the nations before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 56 Yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God, and kept not His testimonies; 57 but they turned back, and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; they were turned aside like a deceiving bow. 58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. 59 When God heard, He was angry, and turned away from Israel; 60 so that He left the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He placed among men, 61 and delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy’s hands. 62 He also gave His people over to the sword, and was angry with His inheritance. 63 The fire burned up their young men; and their maidens were not given in marriage. 64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows were not able to weep.
This happened to the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel in 723 B.C. It also happened to Judah in 586 B.C. It then happened to Judah again in 70 C.E. and it about to happen again to the Tribes of Israel one more time in the next few years.
Read now, Ezekiel. He was taken into captivity before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Israel was already taken 137 years before this time yet Ezekiel is speaking about Israel in the future.
Eze 8:1 And it was in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month, I was sitting in my house, and the elders of Judah were sitting before me. And the hand of the Lord Jehovah fell on me there. 2And I looked, and behold! A likeness as the appearance of fire; from the appearance of His loins and downward, like fire. And from His loins and upward as the appearance of brightness, like the color of polished bronze. 3And He put out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head. And the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heavens, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the opening of the inner gate facing north, where there was a seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. 4And, behold! The glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. 5And He said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now to the way of the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and behold, northward at the gate of the altar the image of jealousy was at the entrance.
Eze 8:6 And He said to me, Son of man, do you see what they do; even the great abominations which the house of Israel is doing here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? But turn again, and you shall see greater abominations. 7 And He brought me to the opening of the court; and I looked, and behold, a hole in the wall. 8 And He said to me, Son of man, dig in the wall now. And I dug in the wall, and, behold, an opening. 9 And he said to me. Go in and see the evil abominations that they do here. 10And I went in and saw. And behold, every kind of creeping thing, and hateful beast, and all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. 11 And seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, standing among them, these were before them, and each man with his censor in his hand. And the odor of the cloud of incense was rising.
Eze 8:12 And He said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, each man in his image room? For they are saying, Jehovah does not see us; Jehovah has forsaken the earth. 13He also said to me, You turn again, and you shall see greater evils that they are doing. 14 And He brought me to the opening of the gate of Jehovah’s house, toward the north. And behold, women were sitting there, weeping for Tammuz. 15And He said to me, Have you seen, O son of man? Turn yet again, and you shall see greater evils than these. 16And He brought me into the inner court of Jehovah’s house, and behold, at the opening of the temple of Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of Jehovah and their faces toward the east; and they bowed themselves eastward to the sun.
Eze 8:17 And He said to me, Have you seen, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they do the hateful things which they do here? For they have filled the land with violence and have turned to provoke Me to anger. And lo, they put the branch to their nose. 18And I will also deal with fury; My eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.
All these things were written for us in these last days as a warning of what not to do. Even this law about the Sota woman. Will you take it to heart?
1Co 10:1 And, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. 2 And all were baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were scattered in the wilderness. 6 And these things were our examples, that we should not be lusters after evil, as they also lusted. 7 Nor should we be idolaters, even as some of them, as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit fornication, as some of them fornicated, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
Idolatry is equivalent to adultery. When we worship in churches that have idols or we go along with those who worship demons, we are committing adultery on Yehovah. We then are the Sota woman.
1 Co 10:9 Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him and were destroyed by serpents. 10 Nor murmur as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 And all these things happened to them as examples; and it is written for our warning on whom the ends of the world have come. 12 So let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, the many, are one bread and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh. Are not those who eat of the sacrifices also partakers of the altar? 19 What then do I say? That the idol is anything, or that an idolatrous sacrifice is anything? 20 But I say that the things which the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. And I do not desire that you should have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of a table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
When you submit to the worship of other gods or in churches that do not obey Torah you are in fact bowing down to demonic forces. You are committing adultery with other gods or demons that want to be God. You become this Sota woman of Numbers 5.
1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long are you limping over two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.
The same thing can be said today. If Yehovah is God then obey Him. Obey His Torah and commandments and do them to show your faithfulness to Him. But if the Jesus that did away with the laws as the churches teach, if he is god them worship him. And the only way to prove this is to the written words found in the entire Bible and read them. This is what the Sota woman did by ingesting the words which described the curses for disobeying as well as the blessings for obeying.
Mat 6:24 No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
You can no longer straddle the fence between Yehovah and the teachings of the church. You cannot keep Easter as shown to you in Ezekiel above and the Holy Days of Lev 23. You cannot keep Christmas and Sukkot and think it is OK with Yehovah. You cannot continue to work on the Sabbath whether that is Friday evening or Saturday evening and say it is only for a few hours.
You can no longer continue to say I will not keep the Holy Days of Lev 23. You can no longer say you will not keep the Sabbatical years. Justifying them that they were done away with. We showed this to you in The Law of Colossians last week. It is time to repent and return to Yehovah and accept the payment made for your sins already. But you must repent or you will have to pay for those sins with your own life.
2Co 6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you 18 and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
Deu 29:14 Nor do I make this covenant and this oath with you only, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before Jehovah our God, and also with him that is not here with us today.
This covenant is for all mankind now in these last days. Those who grab on to it will be saved just as the innumerable multitude was along with Israel.
Deu 29:16 (For you know how we have lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the nations which you passed. 17 And you have seen their abominations and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them) 18 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Jehovah our God, to go serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood, 19 and it happens when he hears the words of this curse, that he shall bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to snatch away the drunken with the thirsty.
This is the same as drinking the bitter waters that the Sota woman drank and if guilty, she would die. Just like that woman you will die as you about to read.
Deu 29:20 Jehovah will not be willing to forgive him, but then the anger of Jehovah and His jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie on him, and Jehovah shall blot out his name from under heavens. 21 And Jehovah shall set him apart to evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the Law; 22 so that the generation to come of your sons that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say (when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which Jehovah has laid on it) 23 the whole land shall be burned with brimstone, and salt; it shall not be sown; nor shall it sprout; nor shall there be any grass in it. It shall be like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which Jehovah overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath,
Are not all our lands right now, this very month celebrating with Gay Parades from Tel Aviv to Toronto to San Francisco? Is not the leader of Canada taking part in these celebrations? Is this not the worship of Baal Peor?
Deu 29:24 even all nations shall say, Why has Jehovah done this to this land? For what is the heat of this great anger? 25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of Jehovah, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt. 26 For they went and served other gods, and worshiped them, gods whom they did not know, and who had not given to them any portion. 27 And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against this land, to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book.
Rev 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and a great star burning like a lamp fell from the heaven, and it fell on the third part of the rivers and on the fountains of waters. 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood, and a third part of the waters became wormwood. And many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
Jer 9:13 And Jehovah says, Because they have forsaken My Law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, and have not walked in it, 14 but they have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them. 15 Therefore so says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and make them drink poisonous water. 16 I will also scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.
We who are the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel are this Sotah woman. We are the ones who will drink this bitter water and have the curses wash by us or stick to us until we die.
We have one more story to share with you. It is about Hosea and his adulterous wife. Hosea represents Yehovah and the adulterous woman, Gomer is Israel.
Take it to heart just how much Yehovah loves us, even when we did not love Him.
Undying Love— The Story of Hosea and Gomer
The calendar on the wall indicated that it was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.
As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit, and oppression, to name but a few. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2). The golden calves set up by Jeroboam I about 150 years earlier had opened the floodgates to every evil expression of Canaanite idolatry, including drunkenness, religious prostitution and human sacrifice.
Since the Lord viewed Israel as His wife, He viewed her worship of other gods as spiritual adultery. The Old Testament speaks frequently of Israel whoring after or playing the harlot with other gods (e.g., Deut. 31:16; Judg. 2:17). Jehovah had told Israel from the beginning that he would not share her with others. “You shall have no other gods before Me” was the first of his ten great commandments (Ex. 20:3). But she had persistently ignored His command, and by the days of Jeroboam II the situation was intolerable. God was about to speak decisively and He chose first a prophet named Amos. The former herdsman of Tekoa thundered God’s warning of imminent judgment, but the nation paid little attention. So God spoke again, this time through the prophet Hosea whose name meant “Jehovah is salvation.”
The very first thing God ever said to Hosea tells us about his unlikely marriage: “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord” (Hos. 1:2). These instructions have been variously understood by different students of Scripture through the years. Some believe that God was commanding Hosea to marry a woman who had formerly been a prostitute. Others contend that taking a wife of harlotry would merely refer to marrying a woman from the northern kingdom of Israel, a land which was guilty of spiritual adultery. In either case, it is obvious that she was a woman who had been deeply affected by the moral laxity of her society, and God intended to use the prophet’s personal relationship with her as a penetrating object lesson of His own relationship with His unfaithful people, Israel. Whatever her past, there may have been some evidence of genuine repentance and faith in Jehovah. Maybe she had responded to the Spirit-filled ministry of Hosea himself, and he found his heart drawn to her in deep and unselfish love. God directed him to take her as his wife, and so it was that Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, became the unlikely wife of the budding young preacher.
The early days of their marriage were beautiful as their love began to blossom. And God blessed their union with a son. How Hosea’s heart must have swelled with joy. He was convinced that his marriage would be better than ever with this little one to brighten their home. God named the baby, for his name was to have prophetic significance to the nation. He called him Jezreel, because it was at Jezreel that King Jeroboam’s great grandfather Jehu had first come to the throne by ambitious crimes of bloodshed and violence. While his dynasty was prospering at the moment, its destruction was on the horizon and it would happen in the valley of Jezreel (Hos. 1:4, 5).
It was after the birth of Jezreel that Hosea seems to have noticed a change in Gomer. She became restless and unhappy, like a bird trapped in a cage. He went on preaching, encouraging the wayward nation to turn from its sin and trust God for deliverance from the threat of surrounding nations. “Return unto the Lord!” was the theme of his message, and he preached it repeatedly with power (Hos. 6:1; 14:1). But Gomer seemed less and less interested in his ministry. In fact, she may have grown to resent it. She probably even accused Hosea of thinking more about his preaching than he did of her. She began to find other interests to occupy herself, and spent more and more time away from home.
The dangers are great when a husband and wife have few interests in common. Sometimes he goes his way and she goes hers. They each have their own set of friends, and there is little communication to bring their two worlds together. A husband’s preoccupation with his work may be the major contributing factor to the cleavage. Or it may be a wife’s growing involvement in outside activities and subsequent neglect of the home. It may simply be a disinterest in the things of the Lord on the part of either husband or wife. But it sets the scene for great calamity. Husbands and wives need to do things together and take an interest in each other’s activities. In this inspired story, the responsibility is clearly laid upon Gomer rather than Hosea. She did not share her husband’s love for God.
That brings us, secondly, to his unrelieved agony. Scripture does not give us the details of what happened, but what it does say would permit us some speculation concerning the progressive trend that led to the tragic situation we eventually discover. Gomer’s absences from home probably grew more frequent and prolonged and soon Hosea was feeling pangs of suspicion about her faithfulness to him. He lay awake at night and wrestled with his fears. He preached with a heavy heart during the day. And his suspicions were confirmed when Gomer got pregnant again. It was a girl this time, and Hosea was convinced that the child was not his. At God’s direction, he called her Loruhamah, which means “unpitied” or “unloved,” implying that she would not enjoy her true father’s love. Again the name was symbolic of Israel’s wandering from God’s love and the discipline she would soon experience. But even that spiritual message could not soothe the prophet’s troubled soul.
No sooner had little Loruhamah been weaned than Gomer conceived again. It was another boy. God told Hosea to call him Lo-ammi, which meant “not my people,” or “no kin of mine.” It symbolized Israel’s alienation from Jehovah, but it also exposed Gomer’s sinful escapades. That child born in Hosea’s house was not his.
It was all out in the open now. Everyone knew about Gomer’s affairs. While the entire second chapter of Hosea’s prophecy describes Jehovah’s relationship with his unfaithful wife Israel, it is difficult to escape the feeling that it grows out of Hosea’s relationship with Gomer, sandwiched as it is between two chapters that clearly describe that sad and sordid story. He pleaded with her (2:2). He threatened to disinherit her (2:3). But still she ran off with her lovers because they promised to lavish material things on her (2:5). He tried to stop her on occasion (2:6), but she continued to seek her companions in sin (2:7). Hosea would take her back in loving forgiveness and they would try again. But her repentance would be short-lived and soon she would be off again with another new lover.
Then the final blow fell. Maybe it was a note, maybe word sent by a friend, but the essence of it seems to have been, “I’m leaving for good this time. I’ve found my true love. I’ll never come back again.” How Hosea must have suffered! He loved her deeply and grieved for her as though she had been taken in death. His heart ached that she should choose a life that would surely bring her to ruin. His friends were probably saying, “Good riddance to her, Hosea. Now you’ll be through with her adulterous ways once and for all.” But Hosea did not feel that way. He longed for her to come home.
We cannot escape the message of his undying love. Hosea wanted to see Gomer restored to his side as his faithful wife. And he believed that God was great enough to do it. One day word came by way of the grapevine gossips that Gomer had been deserted by her lover. She had sold herself into slavery and had hit bottom. This was the last straw. Certainly now Hosea would forget her. But his heart said “No.” He could not give her up. And then God spoke to him: “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods” (Hos. 3:1).
Gomer was still beloved of Hosea even though she was an adulteress, and God wanted him to seek her out and prove his love to her. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “even as the Lord loves.” Only one who knows the love and forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And one who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love and forgive others. Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), and Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.
So he began his search, driven by that indestructible divine love, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love that never ends. And he found her, ragged, torn, sick, dirty, disheveled, destitute, chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was. We wonder how anyone could love her now. But Hosea bought her from her slavery for fifteen shekels of silver and thirteen bushels of barley (Hos. 3:2). Then he said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you” (Hos. 3:3). He actually paid for her, brought her home, and eventually restored her to her position as his wife. While we do not find anything else in Scripture about their relationship with each other, we assume that God used Hosea’s supreme act of forgiving love to melt her heart and change her life.
How many times should a husband or wife forgive? Some contend, “If I keep forgiving I simply affirm him in his pattern of sin.” Or “If I keep forgiving, she’ll think she can get away with anything she wants.” Others say, “If I keep forgiving, it’s like putting my seal of approval on his behavior.” Or “I can’t take another hurt like that. If he does that one more time, I’m leaving.” Those are human responses. Listen to the response of the Lord Jesus. You see, Peter had asked the Lord this same question: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” The Lord’s answer was, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21, 22). That is a great deal of forgiveness. In fact, Christ was simply saying in a captivating way that there is no end to forgiveness.
Sometimes it’s just the little slights and daily agitations that need forgiveness, the occasional sharp word or angry accusation. But we harbor it, let it eat at us, and build up bitterness and resentment which erodes our relationship. Maybe it’s a major offense, like Gomer’s, and we can never forget it. We stew on it and fret over it, and we keep bringing it up in a subconscious attempt to punish our mates for the hurts we have suffered. We try to forgive, but a few days later it’s right there again, preying on our consciousness. Big wounds sometimes take longer to heal. They will come back to our minds. There is no way to avoid it. But every time they do, we must first remind ourselves that we really did forgive, then rehearse how much God has forgiven us, then ask Him to take the destructive, unforgiving thoughts out of our minds.
Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that we must suffer in silence. The need for open and honest communication would demand that we share what we think and how we feel, what the wrong has done to us, and how our mates can help us get over it. God tells us how much our sin grieves Him. Gomer certainly knew how her affairs were tearing at Hosea’s heart. What we say must be said lovingly and kindly, but we have both the need and the obligation to share what is on our hearts.
Neither does forgiveness necessarily mean we cannot take positive steps to guard against the sin recurring. That might require some extended counseling; it might demand an honest reappraisal of our personalities or habit patterns; it might mean a change in our life-style or a relocation. God takes positive steps to help us want to please Him. That is what divine discipline is all about. We do not discipline each other, but we can discuss steps that will help us avoid these same pitfalls in the future.
Forgiveness does mean, however, that we will pay for the other person’s offenses. We will refuse to retaliate in any way to make the guilty person pay. We will absolve him of all guilt. God can use that forgiving love to melt hardened hearts and change callused lives quicker than anything else in this whole wide world. That is the lesson of Hosea and Gomer, the lesson of forgiveness. God’s love and forgiveness pervade Hosea’s entire prophecy. Please do not misunderstand it. God hates sin; it grieves His heart; He cannot condone it; His perfect righteousness and justice demand that He deal with it. But He still loves sinners and diligently seeks them out and offers them His loving forgiveness.
God’s ancient people Israel kept going back to their sins. “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes away early” (Hos. 6:4). But God never stopped loving them. “When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (Hos. 11:1). “I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love” (Hos. 11:4). “How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel?” (Hos. 11:8). And because He never stopped loving them, He never stopped pleading with them: “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hos. 14:1).
We need to love like that. We need to forgive like that. We need to drag the festering hurts we have been harboring in our hearts to the cross of Christ—where we laid our own burden of guilt one day and where we found God’s loving forgiveness—and we must leave them all there. When we fully forgive, our minds will be released from the bondage of resentment that has been building a wall between us, and we shall be free to grow in our relationship with each other.
I received this email after posting this Newsletter and wanted to add this here for future references. It is from Donald McGrew.
Sotah Woman Here is some more connections to consider. Maybe. See what you think anyways.
Hi Joseph, I hope this finds you doing well.
I enjoyed the letter re: the Sotah Woman. Our fellowship studied this out a few years ago.
Let me add a couple of things that we believe happened and will happen, re: adultery past and future in the kingdom.
Exo 32:19 It happened, as soon as he came near to the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses’ anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain.
Exo 32:20 He took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
….. Exo 32:26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on Yahweh’s side, come to me!” All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
Exo 32:27 He said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ”
Exo 32:28 The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
We, suppose that this is exactly the same as the Sotah Woman. How did the Levites know who to slay? Why didn’t they slay all of Israel? We surmised that likely or very possibly, –after drinking the “Holy water” –many there may have had swollen bellies, themselves! I think is was the test of adultery.
Also I see it maybe happening again perhaps to the tribes of Israel. In Revelation 8: 5 an angel takes fire from the altar, ( a Holy Fire), then..
Rev 8:10 And the third cherub trumpeted. And a great burning star, like a lamp, fell out of the heaven. And it fell onto the third part of the rivers, and onto the springs of waters.
Rev 8:11 And the name of the star is said to be Wormwood. And the third part of the waters became changed into wormwood. And many men died from the waters, because they were bitter.
This is all possibly a stretch, but I see it as connections. You may already be aware of these, if not let me know what you think in light of the Sotah Woman.