Archive for 2014

The ‘yom’ of Sabbath

“God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).

“So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day(Genesis 1:8 ).

“So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day” (Genesis 1:13).

“So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:19).

“So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day” (Genesis 1:23).

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).

Each of the first six days of creation, included Day (light) and Night (darkness) and were part of one day beginning with evening.


The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom. It is the period of daylight that contrasts nighttime.  In regards to creation, each yom was a 24-hour period that began in the evening at sunset and went through the morning (boker) until the next sunset (erev).  The original Sabbath yom did not have a time limitation, another nuance to the Hebrew word. The created Sabbath yom was never supposed to end.  Adam and Eve were to live in Gan Eden for all eternity; however, when sin entered the world through disobedience, the eternal Sabbath yom ended for them and their descendants.  It became a weekly Sabbath yom.


The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or and is first seen in Genesis 1:3.  It does not mean ‘day’ but is the opposite of darkness.


The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila. It is the period of time that is dark.  During Biblical times, laila was divided into three watches – sunset to 10 p.m., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., 2 a.m. to sunrise. 


The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ is choshek and means darkness and obscurity.  The or was separated from the choshek.


The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev.  This word represents the time of day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun and was used in Genesis 1:5 on the first day of creation. Erev can also mean night and therefore, there was night and then there was day.  This is significant because darkness always comes before light whether it’s the first day of creation or that we, as sinners walk in darkness until we are called into the light of salvation. 


The Hebrew word for ‘morning’  or ‘daybreak’ is boker. It does not mean the period of time before noon, but that point in time which night is changing to day or the rising of the sun.  When it is used as the antonym for night, boker means  the entire period of daylight.

The Seventh Day

Genesis 2:2-3 “On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”

“Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God” (Genesis 1:31).

One of the ten commandments was to ‘remember’ the Sabbath yom – the eternal yom with a weekly yom.  The weekly yom of Sabbath became part of the seven-day cycle of the week with each yom beginning with evening (erev) and ending with morning (boker) as the days were created.

The importance of remembering the Sabbath yom was not so much about looking back to what was lost, but looking forward to the restoration of Paradise that would come through the seed of the woman.  Remembering the weekly Sabbath yom is a vision of the restoration of the eternal yom. 

Evening to Evening, Sunset to Sunset


In Exodus 12:18, the command to eat matzah went from the erev of the fourteenth day to the erev of the twenty-first day and lasted seven days.  Each yom was counted from evening to evening or sunset to sunset.

“From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah” (Exodus 12:18).

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement.  In Leviticus 23, the Sabbath yom is described.  The rest of the Sabbath is from evening until the following evening.  Since this holy day is called a yom, this is an excellent example of how God defines a Sabbath yom. 

Leviticus 23:32 “It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

Nehemiah had the gates of Jerusalem closed for the Sabbath.  When the sun began to set, the gates closed until after the Sabbath.  No loads were brought into the city during the nighttime hours or the daytime hours.

“So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat” (Nehemiah 13:19). 

Yeshua’s Resurrection

In the gospels, it becomes clear when the Sabbath begins and ends.  In Matthew the ‘day was dawning’ or boker.   In Mark, ‘just after sunrise” or boker.  Both of these verses show that ereve Sabbath was over and sunrise was coming, the daylight.  In Luke and John, the ‘first day of the week’, ‘very early’ it was still dark.  This shows that the yom begins not in the morning or at daylight, but in evening (erev) when darkness falls.

“After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave” (Matthew 28:1). 

“Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb” (Mark 16:2). 

 “But the next day, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb…” (Luke 24:1). 

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb” (John 20:1). 

Sabbath Eternity

“Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). 

In eternity, the restored Sabbath yom, laila will no longer exist nor will the or of a lamp or the sun because of the light of Elohim.  Yet, the 24-hour Sabbath yom will still be celebrated along with a new moon Rosh Chodesh.   How will that be done?  Only God knows.  Until then, from sunset to sunset, Elohim gave the weekly Sabbath yom to give us a vision of what is to come.  The light of the countenance of Elohim will make these days of Sabbath-keeping seem like darkness when we enter the eternal light of Sabbath. 

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. “Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai” (Isaiah 66:22-23).  

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing and Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Words.

Rejoicing in the Torah – Simchat Torah

“Tell the people of Israel, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to the LORD … on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to the LORD; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work” (Leviticus 23:34-36).

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted seven days with an added day at  its conclusion called Shemini Atzeret or the ‘eighth day assembly.’   Simchat Torah, Hebrew words meaning ‘Rejoicing in the Torah’ is celebrated as part of this assembly. 

Rolling Torah Scroll

Simchat Torah is a joyful celebration with dancing and flags which surpasses even the ‘season of our joy‘ in the entire Feast of Tabernacles.  On this day, the yearly cycle of reading the Torah concludes. The scroll is rolled from the end of Deuteronomy back to the beginning of Genesis in order to begin a new year of studying God’s teachings and instructions.

In synagogues, the Torah scroll is removed from the ark and given to a group in the congregation to hold.  It is marched around or hakafot while people touch and kiss the cherished Scriptures.   Once the Torah is returned to the ark, everyone dances in circles.  Children wave flags and hand out candy.  This hakafot is done seven times as the scroll is given to different groups until everyone has taken part in the celebration.

The Eighth Day

The number eight holds the Biblical vision for ‘new beginnings’ as in the Simchat Torah celebration. Dedication ceremonies for the Temple, the anointing oil and the Altar also lasted eight days hence the re-dedication of the Altar at Hanukkah lasting for eight days.  Jewish baby boys were, and still are,  circumcised and named on the eighth day in a ceremony called a b’rit-milah

A b’rit-milah is the Hebrew terminology for ‘covenant of cutting’ or circumcision.   Circumcision was the covenant sign, a symbol of a blood sacrifice,  given to Abraham with God’s promise to make him the father of many nations.   Abraham believed God and trusted in the promise of a son, an heir. 

Because of Abraham’s faith, a b’rit-milah was always to be in unity with the circumcision of the heart.  When God told the Israelites to ‘circumcise the foreskin of their hearts,’ He was directing them back to Abraham, the father of faith to whom circumcision was given.   He was also alluding back to the Garden of Eden and the hope in the coming Seed of woman who would become the blood sacrifice for sin.

According to the details given in the first two chapters of Luke, it can be determined that Yeshua was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This means that on the eighth day, the Shemini Atzeret, while he was being circumcised in the Temple of Jerusalem, the Jewish people were dancing and celebrating Simchat Torah.  As Israel and the priests were rejoicing in the Torah that held all the prophecies of their coming redemption, the Living Torah, a little baby was being circumcised and given the name salvation in their very presence.  What a b’rit-milah Yeshua had with his entire family of Jewish brothers and sisters!

“On the eighth day, when it was time for his b’rit-milah, he was given the name Yeshua, which is what the angel had called him before his conception” (Luke 2:21).

In the modern spoken Hebrew language, milah also means ‘word.’   Thus a b’rit-milah can also mean “the cutting of the Word‘ or ‘the  covenant of the Word.‘  With a b’rit-milah every Jewish baby boy enters into a covenant with the Word.  Who is the Word of God?  Whose blood became the ‘cutting of the covenant’?   Yeshua!

Though circumcision of the flesh is commanded for Israel and is vitally important to the covenant made with Abraham, it is  even more important that one enters into the covenant of the Word by faith and receive a  circumcised heart.  Without  faith it is impossible to please God; without a circumcised heart, it is impossible to obey God (Hebrews 11:6, Deuteronomy 30:6-8).

Years ago I remember a Messianic pastor saying that the circumcision of a baby boy was not so much for the baby as the father who gives the child to be circumcised and witnesses the event.   It is at the moment when his beloved son’s foreskin is ‘cut’,  that the father is ‘cut to the heart‘ and remembers the promises given to Abraham and his descendants.   It is this sign of the covenant in the flesh, the b’rit-milah, that is a reminder of the promised Seed, the salvation that would come from Israel and the Jewish people to the world.

“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

Simchat Torah is the joyful celebration of the Torah, the written covenant God gave to Israel so they would be a light to the nations.   On the eighth day while everyone in Israel was celebrating  the Word of God, Yeshua had his b’rit-milah and entered into the covenant of the Word.  The Word had become flesh and was ‘cut.’  Yeshua became the Living Torah, the covenant of the Word that would bring the circumcision of the heart to Israel and the nations.  As his Father watched, He remembered His covenant with Abraham.

©2014 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 article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

Blessing on Taking the Lulav

The Lulav: Willow, Palm, Myrtle and Citron (Etrog)
The Lulav: Willow, Palm, Myrtle and Citron (Etrog)

This is the  meditation for the lulav and etrog from the Sidur.  My husband and I were astounded and blessed at the same time.

“May it be Your will, LORD my God and God of my fathers, that through the fruit of the citron tree, the palm frond, the myrtle branches and willows of the brook, the letters of Your unique name draw close to one another and become united in my hand.  Make it known I am called by Your name, so that [evil] will fear to come close to me.  When I wave them, may a rich flow of blessings flow from the supreme Sour of wisdom to the place of the Tabernacle and the site of the House of our God.  May the command of these four species be considerd by You as iif I had fulfilled it in all its details and roots, as well as the 613 commandments dependent on it, for it is my intention to unify the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Divine Presence, in reverance and love, to unify the name Yod-Hey with Vav Heh, in perfect unity in the name of all Israel, Amen.  Blessed is the LORD forever, Amen and Amen. (Ps. 89).”

Blessed are You LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has made us holy through His commandments, and has commanded us about taking the lulav.

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has given us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.

©Koren Siddur

‘Eid ul Adha’ in the Binding of Isaac

‘Eid Al Adha’ is an Islamic holy day that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Testing of Abraham

“Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah.  There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.

“Then Shlomo [Solomon] began to build the house of Adonai in Yerushalayim on Mount Moriyah, where Adonai had appeared to David his father. Provision had been made for this at the place David had chosen, the threshing-floor of Ornan the Y’vusi” (2 Chronicles 3:1). 

Mount Moriah is where the Temple mount is today.  It is the place of Abraham’s testing and the second burnt offering (the first being the one Noah did after he left the Ark).    Burnt offerings were not done for specific sins, but as a reminder of the complete sinfulness of man.  For specific sins, the burnt offering accompanied other offerings.

Burnt offerings were personal offerings as opposed to corporate and no one, not the priest nor the person offering took any portion of the offering.  The person bringing the offering had an integral part in the sacrifice.  He would put his hands on the head of the animal, cut the animal’s throat, dice it up and put it on the altar.  With the complete burning of the offering, there seemed to be a divine solution for man’s fallen state, his depravity and his need for redemption from the cycle of death.

Abraham is taken by God to the very place where his descendants, the Israelites, would worship God  according to His prescribed manner.   In the same courts of the Temple, Yeshua would stand and proclaim that He is the Messiah (John 10:10).

To answer Isaac’s question regarding the missing lamb, Abraham states that “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.”   Isaac obviously understood burnt offerings and the need for a lamb.  Abraham understood that God HIMSELF would be the Provider of the lamb – El Yireh.

As Abraham is about to offer his son, God stops him and he finds a ram in the thicket and offers it in place of Isaac.  Just as ‘the lamb’ was used in the Garden of Eden to show Adam and Eve their coming redemption through the blood of a lamb; God uses a ram to show Abraham that the redemption would come through a substitute.  Because of Abraham’s faithfulness to obey God, he is commended.

For now I know that you are a man who fears God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Genesis 22:12).

Ibrahim and Islam

The Lamb of God
The Lamb of God

Abraham didn’t have only one son.  He had another son named Ishmael.  Muslims believe this exact account of Abraham’s testing except for the son.  They believe the son was Ishmael.  They commemorate this event with a holy day called Nabi Ibrahim, The Momentous Sacrifice of the Lamb.

For any of us, the specific son, though absolutely relevant to the redemptive promises given to Abraham and passed onto Isaac, could have been Ishmael.  It was not the ‘son,’ but the substitution of a lamb that is significant for all mankind.

As Ibrahim offered his son as a sacrifice, God intervened at the last moment and provided a ram. In the words of the Islamic account, “What a momentous event!” Instead of sacrificing his son, God, El Shaddai,  provided Abraham with the substitute sacrifice of a ram.

The sin of mankind is deeply rooted in the soul.   It doesn’t matter whether we are Arab, Israeli, Chinese, Brasilian, African American or  American Indian.   The consequence of sin brought death into the world.  The lamb in the Garden of Eden had to die so that Adam and Eve could live and procreate.   It’s blood covered their sin, its flesh paid their wage of death.  In order to atone for our sins, we can try to cover ourselves with fig leaves or our own good works, but how do we know when we’ve done enough good works or that our fig leaves are actually removing our sin rather than just covering the ugliness.

Thus, there is the Eid ul-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice that focuses on the ram.

But who or what does the ram symbolize? What is the purpose of killing a lamb?  What is significant about the son, the only son that Abraham loved?

The ram in the thicket points to another lamb, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.  As Ibrahim stated, God Himself would be the provider and would send a lamb.  In the immediate moment, a ram appeared in the thickets, but that ram was a shadow of a greater needed sacrifice, the very Lamb of God, Yeshua (Jesus).

With his death on the cross, Yeshua (Jesus) became the momentous lamb sacrifice for sin for all mankind, for all time, everywhere.  Those who put their faith in his work on the cross are the true children of Abraham whether they come from Ishmael, Isaac, or the nations of the world.

Though it may be difficult to accept that God became flesh in the form of a man, His Son, it would be necessary for God Himself to provide His own Son as the offering – His only Son, the Son that he loved –  in the place of Abrahams’ son that he loved.

Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God promised to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore.   Ishmael, like Isaac has become great nations of people as promised; but the seed that represented the ram in the thicket, the seed of promised redemption that was spoken to Adam and Eve, went through Abraham to Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David until Yeshua came into the world.

There are no works good enough for anyone to atone for their own sin because sin deserves death.  Yeshua’s death on the cross became the final work necessary for deliverance from personal sin.

Hebrews 11:17-19 relates an even greater hope that Abraham realized on Mount Moriah.  Abraham’s faith was so great that he believed that God could raise his son from the dead if he sacrificed him on the altar.

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

This is exactly what happened to Yeshua.  Though he was the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sin of the whole world, death could not hold him.  He rose from the dead to show that He truly is the Son of God, divine in nature and holy unlike any man, priest, or prophet.  Abraham was counted righteous and faithful and put his trust in the God that would not only bring about the  resurrection of the dead, but the resurrection of his son as well as the Son, God Himself would provide.

©21014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 


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