Parashah 33: B’chukkotai (In my regulations)

Parashah 33: Leviticus 26:3-27:34

(In a regular year, read with Parashah 32;  in a leap year read separately.)

“If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them; then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:3-4).

The blessings for living according to Elohim’s regulations will allow Isra’el’s threshing season to extend until their grape harvest which will extend until the time for sowing seed.  They will be able to eat as much as they desire and live securely in the land.   They will have shalom and lie down with peaceful sleep.  Wild animals will no longer roam the land and there will be no war.  The enemies that do pursue them will be chased by few and fall before them.  Their numbers will increase and they will have more than enough food.  Elohim will put His Mishkan in the midst of them and will walk among them and be their Elohim and they will be His people. 

“I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves.  I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright” (Leviticus 26:13).

BUT, there is that little word again. BUT, if the Israelites will not listen to Him nor obey all of His instructions, if they loathe His regulations and reject His rulings, then they will cancel the covenant.

To cancel Elohim’s covenant, they have to loathe His regulations.  ‘Loathe’ means ‘to feel intense dislike or disgust’ for something.  Though modern-day believers may not actually loathe Torah, they cancel Elohim’s covenant by saying His regulations have been removed or nullified. Even worse, they suggest that Yahweh’s instructions were only for the Israelites.  We are to learn from their experiences rather than have an ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude. 

“These things happened to them [Isra’el] as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the last days(1 Corinthians 10:11).

Marcion of Sinope lived around 144 CE. He believed that Jesus was the Savior sent by God, but rejected the Hebrew Scriptures and the God of Isra’el.   He believed the God of Isra’el was wrathful and Jesus of the New Testament was full of grace and forgiving.  He was known as a ‘dualist’ because he wanted to separate the Bible into two parts:  the Old Testament and New Testament.   For these beliefs, he was labeled a heretic. 

Heresy: Any belief that strongly challenges established beliefs or customs.  

What was once considered heresy by the early church is now embraced by Christians as true.  Every Bible has a dividing page that separates the Old Testament from the New.  The God of the Old Testament is referred to as the God of law and judgment; the God of the New Testament as the God of grace and mercy.  The heresy flourishes cancelling Elohim’s covenant.  Those who choose to embrace all Scripture from Genesis through Revelation as God-breathed and useful for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living are condemned as ‘legalists’.

Yeshua is the visible image of the invisible Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh who is the Elohim of Isra’el (Colossians 1:15) and Yeshua’s divine Father. As the physical expression of the Elohim of Isra’el, Yeshua is indeed merciful, compassionate, long-suffering and forgiving just like his Father.  But, also like his Father, Yeshua will bring with him judgment and reward.

“Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

Disciplinary Action

“Listen, children, to a father’s instruction; pay attention, in order to gain insight …” (Proverbs 4:1).

When the children of Isra’el fall away and disobey His rulings, Yahweh will discipline them “seven times over” in all manner of ways so they return to Him.  The word ‘discipline’ comes from the Latin word for ‘pupil’ and from where we get the word ‘disciple.’   The dictionary defines discipline as ‘the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior.’ In Hebrew, the word ‘discipline’ is musar and means ‘chastening.’   When someone is being disciplined, they are being trained to obey rules, learn self-control and develop godly character.

“God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father?  All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer [born out of wedlock} and not a son!  Furthermore, we had physical fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them; how much more should we submit to our spiritual Father and live! For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could; but he disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in his holiness.  Now, all discipline, while it is happening, does indeed seem painful, not enjoyable; but for those who have been trained by it, it later produces its peaceful fruit, which is righteousness” (Hebrews 12:7-11).

Some of the disciplinary action that Yahweh will take with Isra’el includesterror, wasting disease and chronic fever that will blind them and make them weak.  They will sow seed for their enemies to eat.  He will set His face against themso their enemies will defeat them; they will flee when no one is chasing them.  He will break the pride they have in their own power.  He will make the sky like iron and their soil like bronze.  The land will not produce nor will their trees. He will bring a sword against them which will execute the vengeance of His covenant.  They will huddle in their cities sick and without bread. He will make them eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters.  He will lay waste to their cities and desolate the sanctuary.  He will disperse them among the nations until the land has paid its shemitahs and Yovel.  Those who live in the lands of their enemies will waste away with guilt over the misdeeds of their ancestors as well as their own.

“But if their uncircumcised hearts will grow humble, and they are paid the punishment for their misdeeds, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, also my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land” (Leviticus 26:41-42).

Sun-god Worship

“I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun worship and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols” (Leviticus 26:30).

The Hittites worshipped the sun-god as Hepa; the Egyptians worshipped the sun as Ra.  The Romans  and Constantine worshipped the Sol Invictus while the Greeks called the sun-god, Apollo.  Surya was the Hindu sun-god and Utu was worshipped as the sun-god in Mesopotamia.  These are only a few of the world cultures that worshipped the sun as it rose on the eastern horizon.

“They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshipping and serving created things, rather than the Creator — praised be he for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).  

Sunday, the first day of the week, has Roman roots as it was named after the Sol Invictus and initially called the Venerable Day of the Sun.  The Roman catholic church authorized Sunday as the ‘new’ sabbath based on the decision by the Council of Laodicea.  With this monumental change from the practices of the first century church,  the Sol Invictus was worshipped not the Elohim of the Hebrew Scriptures.  This catholic mandate has been embraced by every denomination that believes Sunday is the Sabbath with the further deception that it is a holy day sanctioned by Elohim to remember Jesus’ resurrection.  As Lord of the Sabbath, only Yeshua would have had the authority to change the seventh-day Shabbat from one day to another; he did not.  In the citation below, note the catholic church states that the Sabbath is the third, not the fourth commandment.  The  third commandment about idols was removed and the tenth commandment was divided. All of the doctrines the church accepts as Biblical truth are written in the catholic catechism for the ‘third’ commandment.

The Tabernacle and Temple faced east because Messiah will arrive from the east and put an end to sun-god worship.  Those in Isra’el who worshipped the sun-god faced east with their backs toward the Temple.  Sun-god worship according to ‘I AM’ is a disgusting practice that fills the land with violence. 

“He brought me into the inner courtyard of Adonai’s house; and there, at the entrance to the temple of Adonai, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of Adonai and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east. He asked me, “Human being, have you seen this? Does the house of Y’hudah consider it a casual matter that they commit the disgusting practices they are committing here, thus filling the land with violence, provoking me still more? Look! They are even putting the branch to their nose! Therefore I will act in fury, my eye will not spare, I will have no pity. Even if they cry loudly right in my ears, I will not listen to them” (Ezekiel 8:16-18).

Vows, Consecration and the Tithe

The sanctuary shekel was based on silver, two-fifths of an ounce or twenty gerahs to the shekel.  If someone made a vow to Elohim to give Him an amount equal to a human being, the number of shekels varied between men, women, and children; babies, youths and the aged.  For a house to be consecrated to Elohim, the priest would determine its value based on good and bad points.  Tribal land could be consecrated, bought and sold based on its production and proximity to the Jubilee year.  Firstborn animals could not be consecrated as they already belonged to Elohim.  No person sentenced to die could be redeemed, they must be put to death.

“All the tenth given from the land, whether from planted seed or fruit from trees, belongs to Yahweh,; it is holy to Yahweh….  All the tenth from the herd or the flock, whatever passes under the shepherd’s crook, the tenth one will be holy to Adonai” (Leviticus 27:30-32).

“These are the laws, rulings and teachings that Adonai himself gave to the people of Isra’el on Mount Sinai through Moshe” (Leviticus 27:34).

Yeshua and the Tithe

“Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others!” (Matthew 23:23)

“But woe to you P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint and rue and every garden herb, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You have an obligation to do these things — but without disregarding the others!” (Luke 11:42)

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

John 14:15-21 

John 15:10-12

Midrash B’chukkotai: John’s Words to Children

Read 1 John. There are 15 references to children in this letter.   Note specifically what the apostle John wants ‘children’ to know and understand.

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

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