Archive for the ‘Torah Portions’ Category

Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah

by Julie Almanrode

Song of Songs

The catalyst for publishing the book Open My Eyes – Wonders of Torah came from the myriads of people who, in these last days, are denying the deity of Yeshua (Jesus’ name) and his sonship to the Father.  I wanted to create a Bible study of the first five books of the Bible or Torah that revealed Yeshua throughout its written words, it’s language and its shadows.  

When Yeshua became flesh and walked on earth, he only had the Hebrew Scriptures –  the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings  – for teaching about repentance and the Kingdom of God.  The Torah contains the history and foundations of a Biblical faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Isra’el.   Since the Torah is the most obvious place to begin learning about the Creator, His Kingdom, His family, His chosen nation, His plan of redemption through Yeshua and His restoration of Isra’el, many followers of the Jewish Messiah use the weekly Torah portions to delve deeper into Yeshua and his teachings, the Scriptures that testify to him, his ministry and his Father’s plan of redemption.

Each Torah commentary includes a section with the words or actions of Yeshua that correlate to the parashah and show his faithfulness to his Father’s instructions and prove his divinity as the Son of God.  Some of the commentaries come from questions my family asked, searched out and may even still have.  Other commentary comes from rabbis and sages from the centuries until today. At the end of each parashah (portion), traditional readings from the prophets as well as the new testament are listed along with a springboard for a discussion or midrash.  Because Biblical names and words have unique meanings different from English,  Hebrew Word Pictures are included to illuminate those  nuances. Selah, meaning ‘pause and think about this,’ are also found throughout the text.


“I have been using this book as the basis of teaching my congregation – new to Torah – some of the more unique understandings of Hebrew and the Jewish faith. It is so full of information and my congregation is learning so much.” (P. Hadley)

“Great source for one to have a deeper understanding of our Jewish roots. Our churches today have missed what is expected in order to be truly grafted in! We can’t throw out the Old Testament if we really want to be Christ like in our walk. I encourage others to really spend time gaining knowledge so they can see the Light!!” (L. Brown)

“An absolutely amazing book. Very easy to read and follow. This opened MY EYES to so much! The Author speaks the truth and backs everything up with scripture! I liked this book so much we purchased two others from the same author. You won’t be disappointed!” (M. Burton)

Parashah 1: B’resheet (In the beginning) – Genesis

Parashah 1: Genesis 1:1-6:8

Genesis Chapter 1 – Verse 1

Yom Rishon – Day 1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

According to Genesis 1:1, the heavens and earth had a beginning and God was the Creator.  The Hebrew language, the original language in which the following Scriptures  were written, will give a little more insight into the account of creation.

“B’resheet bara Elohim et hashamayim v’et ha eretz.”

‘God’ is rendered Elohim in Hebrew.  El  means ‘God’ and refers to ‘God as the Creator.’  Elohim is the masculine plural of the word El.    This does not mean Elohim is a plurality of gods or can be divided into three-parts like the trinity.  Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, Elohim is used with a singular personal pronoun which makes it singular in a plural form with a multi-faceted meaning.

Selah (Think About This)

There are several other Hebrew words that are singular in a plural form giving them a multi-faceted meaning: water (mayim), life (chayim) and face (panim).

The Hebrew word for ‘heavens’ is hashamayim.  The smaller word mayim within hashamayimmeans ‘water.’   It is from hashamayim the idea of waters being in the heavens above and the earth below comes when“the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the sky were opened” (Genesis 7:11).

The Hebrew word for ‘earth’ is eretz and means ‘land’ like Eretz Yisra’el, the Land of Isra’el.

In its ancient form, Hebrew was like Egyptian hieroglyphics, a pictorial language. Each letter was a drawing that when put together with other letters described the word.   Throughout this book, there will be boxes with the pictorial meaning of certain words in Hebrew Word Pictures.  The complete list of the individual Hebrew letters and their pictorial meanings can be found in the Study Helps.  Note: Hebrew is read right to left, not left to right.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Heavens or shamayim – שמיםshin, mem, yod, ending mem

behold the mighty chaos

Earth or eretz – ארץ – alef, resh, tzadik

the first most important harvest

Notice in Genesis 1:1 there are two little Hebrew words, et.  These two letters are found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures placed between words at different intervals.

In Hebrew, theאת are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet known as the alef and the tav.  The letter picture for alef is an ox andhas the meaning of ‘strength, leader or first.’  Tav looks like two crossed sticks and means ‘covenant or sign.’ Putting the two letter pictures together gives an interesting pictorial meaning for את .

Hebrew Word Pictures

et or אתalef, tav

sign of the first, strong, leader

A Little More Revelation

“In the beginning” suggests there is also an ending.   The final book of the Bible is called Revelation.  In this book, the meaning of the alef and the tav is revealed by Yeshua.

“I [Yeshua] am the Alef and the Tav, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).

In Greek and English translations of the Bible, this reference is written as ‘A and Z’ or ‘Alpha and Omega’ not the Hebrew alef and tav.  This simple change removes Yeshua from the writings of the Old Testament.

The Hebrew Word Pictures for verse 1:  In the beginning, Elohim, the alef and the tav, from a mighty chaos of water brought forth the first and most important harvest. 

Verse 2

“The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of Elohim hovered over the surface of the water.”

In Hebrew,  the words for ‘unformed and void’ are tohu wa bohu.  These words imply that there was a great wasteland with an emptiness that needed to be filled apart from an unformed earth.  

Void, according to the dictionary, means ’empty space or vacuum.’  It also means there is ‘nothing legally in force or in effect.’  It is a state of lawlessness.  The Hebrew words for ‘darkness and deep’ are tahom and suggest ‘great chaos.’   Accordingly, when any place is void of law, there is chaos. 

In Hebrew, the Spirit of God is Ruach Elohim. Ruach literally means ‘wind’ so this would be the ‘wind of God’ hovering over the surface of the water.   The Hebrew word yovel used in this verse means ‘brooding.’  Brooding means to ‘cover with one’s wings for protection’like a hen covers her baby chicks.  The Hebrew Word Pictures for verse 2:  The breath of Elohim covered the void and dark chaos like wings of protection.  

Hebrew Word Pictures

Spirit or Ruach – רוחresh, vav, chet

head binds to the inner room (heart)

Holy Spirit or Ruach HaKodesh רוחהקדשresh, vav, chet – hey, qoof, dalet, shin

head binds to the inner room, behold what is behind the pathway’s glory

Verse 3

“Then Elohim said,“Let there be light”; and there was light.”

The first words of Elohim bring forth light.  When Elohim speaks, physical evidence of His words appear.

The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or.   This is not the light given by the sun, moon and stars, as they not yet been created.  Or in this verse implies that Elohim raised His countenance upon the darkness bringing light to His creation.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Light or or – אורalef, vav, resh

first binding with what is the highest, most important 

Within the first three verses of Genesis chapter 1, there is Elohim, the Creator; the alef and the tav, Yeshua, and the Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God.  From the chaos Elohim brought forth ‘the highest, most important part of creation’: LIGHT through speaking WORDS.  That light is Yeshua. 

John 1 testifies to the creation account with the spoken word of God being Elohim, but also being the alef and the tav.  The Hebrew proves Yeshua to be the Word of God in which dwelt the life and light of mankind.  As the light that was spoken and became physical reality, the Word of Elohim became a physical reality in the flesh of the Creator’s only offspring who brought light to the world.

“In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God [Elohim],  and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him,  and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it…. The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh’khinah [glory], the Sh’khinah [glory]  of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5, 14).

“Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life” (John 8:12).

Verse 4

“Elohim saw that the light was good, and Elohim divided the light from the darkness.”

In Hebrew, ‘darkness’ is chosek and holds the idea that in the presence of the Light, Darkness was wiped out and went into obscurity.  The word ‘divided’ is badal and means ‘to make a distinction between the two.’   A distinction was made between spiritual darkness and light of life.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Messiah” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Verse 5

Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” 

The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom refers to the 24-hour period of time from evening to morning that Elohim called Day.   The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila.   This is the period of a yom that is dark.  The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev.  This word represents the darkness that immediately follows light and would include twilight. The Hebrew word for ‘morning’ is boker.  Boker is that point in a yom when darkness is changing to daylight.

With the words evening and morning, time delineation begins. The first Day of creation is now complete.   In Hebrew, the first day of the week is Yom Rishon.

Yom Shinee – Day 2

Verses 6-8

“Elohim said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the water; let it divide the water from the water.” Elohim made the dome and divided the water under the dome from the water above the dome; that is how it was, and Elohim called the dome Sky. So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.”

The Hebrew word for ‘dome’  is raqiva and means ‘firmament or a visible arch of the sky.’  Its primitive root can mean ‘to expand stretching.’   The raqiva is a solid, tangible thing that separated the waters (mayim) above from the waters (mayim) below.  Elohim called thisexpanding arch, Sky.

There are several interpretations that describe the firmament as a type of water canopy or a structured place above where Elohim dwells where there are multiple heavens. Whatever the structure, there was water above it and water below it.  From the writings of King David, King Solomon and the apostle Sha’ul, long after Noah and the flood, it was still understood the complex nature of the firmament continued to exist (Psalm 148:4, Proverbs 25:3, 2 Corinthians 12:2).

The second 24-hour day of creation, Yom Shinee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Slishee – Day 3

Verses 9-11

“Elohim said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear,” and that is how it was.”  “Elohim called the dry land Earth, the gathering together of the water he called Sea, and Elohim saw that it was good.

Elohim continued to speak and through His words created all things into existence.  On day three, the waters under the firmament were gathered into one place.  This body of water He called Seas.  In Hebrew, the word for waters is mayim; however, Sea is the reverse of those letter or yam.

The dry land Elohim called Earth.  In Hebrew, this word is eretz as was mentioned earlier; however there is another Hebrew word that can be used for land adamah.  Adamah means ‘red earth’ and as man was formed from the dust of the ‘red earth,’ he was named Adom or Adam.

Verses 12-13

“Elohim said, “Let the earth put forth grass, seed-producing plants, and fruit trees, each yielding its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, on the earth”; and that is how it was. The earth brought forth grass, plants each yielding its own kind of seed, and trees each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit; and God saw that it was good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

Through the words of Elohim, living things began with the plant kingdom.  The adamah produced all kinds of grasses, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.  Some may wonder how grasses and seed-bearing plants began to produce on dry land when there was only Light and no sun.  Science proves that plant seeds first germinate underground in darkness until they push through the soil.  Only then do they begin to make food through photosynthesis.  This scenario supports the Day being a 24-hour period since seeds do not need millions of years, thousands of years or even weeks to germinate and push through the ground.  However, the verses imply that plants, trees and grasses were created in maturity.  One 24-hour day with no sun would not be detrimental to their survival.

The third day of creation, Yom Shleeshee, was completed with evening and morning.

Yom Reve’ee – Day 4

Verses 14-15

“Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was.”

Before this day of creation, there was Light and Darkness along with Day and Night. On this yom, Elohim creates lights in Sky, in that place where water is above and water is below.  These lights were to be signs for the seasons, days and years.

The word ‘season’ in this verse does not refer to the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.   In Hebrew, the word for ‘season’ is mo’ed which means ‘appointed time,’ ‘appointed meeting place’ or ‘appointed  feast.’  In other words, Elohim put lights in the sky so that His creation would know His holy seasons (Pesach, Firstfruits, Tabernacles), days (weekly and Sabbath) and years (Jubilee).

Verses 16-19

“Elohim made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. Elohim put them in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and Elohim saw that it was good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.”

The two great lights that Elohim put in the dome of the sky are the sun and the moon.  The 24-hour day is now ruled by the sun: sunset to sunset.  The night is governed by the moon creating months as it waxes and wanes from one new moon to the next.  The lesser lights, the stars, regulate the years through constellations like Orion and Pleiades that rise and fall throughout the seasons.  Through the greater and lesser lights, darkness is divided from light and a cycle of time is established for days, weeks, months, and years.

The fourth day of creation,  Yom Revee’ee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Chamishee – Day 5

Verses 20-23

“Elohim said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open dome of the sky.” Elohim created the great sea creatures and every living thing that creeps, so that the water swarmed with all kinds of them, and there was every kind of winged bird; and Elohim saw that it was good. Then Elohim blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the water of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.” 

Elohim continued to fill the earth with life in the sea and the air through His spoken word.  Fish and sea creatures like whales and sharks swam in the seas.   ‘Large sea creatures’ in Hebrew are tannim and mean ‘sea monsters, dragons and serpents.’  This would include Leviathan and Behemoth (Job 40,41).  Birds like parrots, hawks and robins flew in the air.  Critters like grasshoppers, snails and frogs creeped along the ground.

On this day of creation, Elohim created living creatures or nephesh chayim.  Nephesh chayim means ‘animal soul,’ thus He gave all animals a ‘soul.’    A soul is the essence of the being, its reason for being.  Each nephesh is the expression of Elohim’s vision in creating that soul to perform His commandments according to its level of understanding and closeness to Him.

Elohim blessed these living creatures and commanded them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the seas, the air and the earth.  The Hebrew word parah means ‘fruitful.’   In their simple level of understanding, this is the greatest commandment for the nephesh chayim.

The fifth day of creation, Yom Chamishee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Sheesh – Day 6

Verses 24-25

“Elohim said, “Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature — each kind of livestock, crawling animal and wild beast”; and that is how it was. Elohim made each kind of wild beast, each kind of livestock and every kind of animal that crawls along the ground; and Elohim saw that it was good.”

Elohim continued creating nephesh chayim through His wordand brought forth livestock like sheep, goats, oxen, cows, pigs, and horses.  He created wild beasts like lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!  He also created animals that crawl on the ground like raccoons, dogs, cats, and skunks.

In a biological study of life, there are charts and lists full of Latin names classifying the animals of the earth.  Man’s classification of animals is more complex and at times confusing because he puts whales in the same category as a monkey.  When Elohim created the animals, He classified them as birds, creepers, fish, livestock, crawlers and wild beasts.  For Elohim, this was good.

Verses 26-28

“Then Elohim said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.” So Elohim created humankind in his own image; in the image of Elohim he created him: male and female he created them. Elohim blessed them: Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.”

On the same day that Elohim created nephes chayim, He created man with a soul nishmat chayim sometimes called the nishmat chayim ruach adding the ‘breath of God’ into the soul. Man is not an animal as is commonly taught in the theory of evolution.  Elohim created man in His image, in the likeness of Himself, not animals.  He did not create birds, fish or wild beasts in His image only mankind.  As He commands the animals to be fruitful and multiply according to their kind, He also commands mankind – male and female – to do the same.

What is the image of ElohimElohim breathes, creates, speaks, and has authority.  In his image, with the breath of His life in us, we are creative, communicating beings given authority over the earth.  The animals, though they breathe, do not have Elohim’s spirit breathed into them.  Animals are not creative beings as they only live through instinct.  Their communication is limited and they are given no authority over the earth.

By giving mankind authority to rule over the birds, fish, livestock and wild beasts, mankind is not equal to the animals nor are animals equal to mankind.  Unfortunately, this distinction between man and animals has become corrupted through years of evolutionary ideology.  Mankind no longer subdues animals because animals have been deemed to have ‘human rights,’  and humans are subject to ‘animal rights.’ 


There are two ‘souls’: the animal soul and the human soul. Both are made from the dust of the earth, but they have different created states and destinations.

Verses 29-31

“Then Elohim said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant.” And that is how it was.  Elohim saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.”

Both mankind and animals are given seed-bearing plants and fruit from trees as food.  At this point in creation, there are no carnivores.  Animals are not eating animals nor are humans eating animals because death has not come into the world.

The Man and the Woman

Elohim formed a man, ish, from the dust of the ground.  This ‘ground’ is adamah and ‘red’ like the blood that flowed through Adam’s veins.   Elohim breathed into the man’s nostrils the breath of lifeand he became a living soul, nefesh chayyah.

Out of the same ground, Elohim caused trees to grow that were beautiful to look at and were good for food.  In the middle of the garden were two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  A river went out of Gan Eden to water the trees.  The river had four tributaries, the Pishon, the Gichon, the Tigris, and the Euphrates.  In the land of Havilah, meaning ‘the suffering pain that brings forth,’  there is gold, aromatic resin and onyx.   Elohim then placed Adam in the garden to cultivate and care for it.

Adam was given one command or instruction:

“You may freely eat from every tree in the garden except the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

From the ground, Elohim formed every wild animal and every bird that flies and the air.  He brought them to Adam so he could name them.  Elohim realized that there wasn’t a suitable companion for Adam. In Hebrew ‘suitable companion’ is ezer neged and means ‘helper opposite to’ or ‘in the sight of.’ 

Elohim caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep.  He took a portion of his flesh from the rib area.  From the flesh he made a woman, isha. Elohim brought the woman to Adam and he responded, “At last!  This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh” (Genesis 2:23).   This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one flesh with his wife.

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).


At the end of each yom, Elohim says His creation is ‘good.’ At the end of the sixth day, He calls it ‘very good.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Man  or ish – אישalef, yod, shin

first finished work of glory

Woman or isha – אשה – alef, shin, hey

first glory revealed

The Hebrew for man has a yod and the woman has a hey.

These are the first two letters of the name of Elohim – יהוה .

If they are removed from the Hebrew names for man and woman,

the remaining word is אשor ‘fire’.

Together, the man and woman have the ‘fire’ and warmth of Elohim’s presence.

Without Elohim’s presence, his ‘fire’ consumes them and the marriage relationship.

Genesis Chapter 2 – Verses 1-3

The Seventh Day – Shabbat

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day Elohim was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Elohim blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day Elohim rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”r

With the creation of mankind, Elohim completed His work of creating.  A new time period, the seventh day, begins and Elohim rests.  The seventh day is blessed by Elohim and made holy by its separation from all other days.  Elohim rests, not because he was tired, but because the earth and everything He had created was complete.

The seventh day is known in Hebrew as shabbat or Sabbath.  Unlike the rest of the days, it is not called Yom Shabbat or given 24-hour time period.  Without having an evening and a morning, this ‘day’ was to last an eternity.


The number seven is Hebrew sheva. Shabbat and sheva have the same root letters shin, bet, שב. The  Sabbath is derived from the number seven and vice versa. 

“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 Chodesh [new moon] and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai” (Isaiah 66:22-23).

The Fig Leaves

Did the fig leaves Adam and Eve covered themselves with allude to the nation of Isra’el?  What was the animal that was slain to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness?  Do these two have something in common? 

Yeshua said in Mark 13:27-29 that when the fig tree buds, we know his coming is near. In Scripture, the fig tree represents Isra’el. To answer the first question, yes.  Isra’el has tried for centuries to cover their own sin.

Soon after Adam had given the sweet little lamb its name, he and his wife watched its life-blood being shed.  This event was prophetic to the lamb of Elohim and the final atonement that would come through the ‘seed of woman’  and remove their sin and the sins of the world.  Most likely the fleece of the little lamb covered their nakedness which had been revealed by their sin.  Rather than look to the death of the little lamb as a prophetic vision, Isra’el has created ways to atone for their sin apart from Elohim’s plan.

The serpent offered Adam and Eve three things: immortality, wisdom, and to be like God. It is interesting to note that they already had these three things.  They had immortality because they had not yet sinned. They had all wisdom and knowledge as they walked with Elohim in Gan Eden.  They were like Elohim because they were made in His image.  Instead of trusting Elohim and their relationship with Him, they were deceived by the serpent and disobeyed Elohim’s one and only command.

Though the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden was pleasing to the eye,  it was not to be eaten.  How often do we eat things not created to be food because it’s pleasing to the eye or the tastebuds?   Acts chapter 10 is the perfect example of a Scripture that has been perverted to nullify Elohim’s dietary regulations – all in the name of ‘freedom.’   This is the same ‘freedom’ that Adam and Eve embraced in the Garden that ultimately sent them out of Paradise.

Once Adam and Eve were removed from the garden, cherubim or k’ruvim with flaming swords blocked its entrance.  Facing each other with their wings covering their faces, two k’ruvim were put at the entrance to the Garden of Eden so that Adam and Eve could not return to Paradise and live eternally in a fallen, sinful, unredeemable state.S

Did Adam actually experience death ‘on that day’ he sinned?  There are two kinds of death.  The first is spiritual and involves a complete separation from Elohim due to sin.  ‘On that day,’ Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from fellowship with their Creator.  From a spiritual perspective, they died.

The other kind of death is physical.  Adam lived to be 930 years of age so his physical death occurred on a different type of day.  According to Peter, a day in Elohim’s time is like 1000 years in ours (2 Peter 2:8).   Adam died in Elohim’s rendering of a day, not man’s.  Peter says that Elohim’s rendering of time shows His patiences with sinners, not wanting anyone to be destroyed.  Allowing Adam to live nearly 1000 years gave him time to populate the earth as commanded and anticipate his redemption through the promised seed.

Sin and the First Family

Cain brought the firstfruits of his produce to offer to Elohim and they were not accepted.  Abel brought a lamb and it was an acceptable offering.   Why was Cain’s offering unacceptable when firstfruits grain offerings were eventually part of the offering system of the Tabernacle?  It is written that Cain’s heart had ‘sin crouching at its door’ which is why he chose grain for a sacrifice.  It is most probable that Adam and Eve taught their children about the atonement they witnessed in the Garden – the shedding of the ‘blood of the lamb.’  Cain knew what was expected of him, but fell short and jealousy caused him to murder his brother. 

“My [Cain’s] punishment is greater than I can bear.  You are banning me today from the land and from your presence” (Genesis 4:13).

Cain was no longer able to farm the land and was sent away from the ‘presence of Elohim.’  This suggests two things: 1) Cain lived in the land of Elohim and 2) Cain feared being out of Elohim’s presence.  This is an allusion to Isra’el which is the ‘land of Elohim.’   It may be that  ‘east of Eden,’ where the first family lived and grew, was near the place where Elohim’s presence would dwell forever.  He put a mark upon Cain’s head to keep him from being a target.  Whoever killed Cain would receive Elohim’s vengeance seven times greater than Cain’s judgment. 

Many people wonder who Cain married (and who would try to kill him).  Adam and Eve were told to multiply and fill the earth.  Adam lived to be 930 years old.  According to Genesis 5:4, Adam had other sons and daughters his lifetime. It is a traditional belief that Adam and Eve had 30-35 children.   If each of those children had 30 children and they had 30 children and they had 30 children, there would be an exponentially increasing number of inhabitants on earth in a short amount of time: 30x30x30x30 would be a minimum 810,000 people.   It is also important to remember that Adam and Eve were created perfect and without health issues; therefore, their children would be so close to perfect blood line and health that intermarriage between brothers and sisters would not create genetic problems.  The whole earth was populated with relatives and even today, second cousins are allowed to marry.

Cain feared for his life because his brothers and sisters would want to kill him for killing their brother.  It is possible that even Abel’s wife would want retribution along with any children he may have had.   

A few generations later, Lemekh, a descendant of Cain, kills a man.  He states that if Cain is avenged seven times for killing his brother, then he will be avenged seventy times seven.  The reason why Lemekh would want to be avenged is because any of his relatives might want to take his life for killing a relative.  Eventually, this situation changes and anyone who murders, his life is required as restitution. 

Rather than avenging, Yeshua teaches forgiveness.  In fact, he uses the same words as Lemekh when Peter asks how often he needs to forgive a brother or sister. Forgiveness, unlike revenge, restores relationships and furthers the plan of Elohim.

“Then Peter came to Yeshua and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Yeshua answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22). 

“Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel [Abel], since Kayin [Cain] killed him” (Genesis 4:25).

The Mishnah teaches the creation week began in the fall with man being created on Tishri 1 or Feast of Trumpets  It follows that ten days later or ten days into eternity, a lamb was sacrificed for Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  This became the foundation for the Day of Atonement.Y

Yeshua and Creation

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it” (John1:1-5).

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24).

“It was the costly bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah, as of a lamb without defect or spot. God knew him before the founding of the universe” (1 Peter 1:19-20).

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

Isaiah 42:5-21

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Matthew 19:3-9

Romans 5:12-21

Midrash B’resheet: The Bride of Messiah

Eve was created from a rib portion of the flesh of Adam.  The Scriptures say that Yeshua is the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).  Discuss how Yeshua’s bride is being created from a ‘rib portion’ of his body.

©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.

Parashah 2: Noach (Noah)

Parashah 2: Genesis 6:9-11:32

“Here is the history of Noah. In his generation, Noah was a man righteous and wholehearted; Noah walked with God. Noah fathered three sons, Shem, Ham and Yefet” (Genesis 6:9-10).

Noah was different in his generation from the rest of mankind.  Noah was a righteous man who walked wholeheartedly with Elohim.  The word ‘righteous’ simply means ‘living rightly’ before Elohim.  ‘Wholehearted’ means that he did not have a divided heart swayed by the corruption of the world around him.  Scripture doesn’t indicate that he was even tempted by the evil happening in the world.  In the pre-flood corrupt world where people’s hearts had only evil intent, Noah was different, set apart by Elohim.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Noah (Comfort) or Noach – נח – noon, chet

life in the inner room, heart

“God said to Noah,’The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.  Make yourself an ark of gofer-wood; you are to make the ark with rooms and cover it with pitch both outside and inside.  Here is how you are to build it: the length of the ark is to be 450 feet, its width seventy-five feet and its height forty-five feet.  You are to make an opening for daylight in the ark eighteen inches below its roof. Put a door in its side; and build it with lower, second and third decks. Then I myself will bring the flood of water over the earth to destroy from under heaven every living thing that breathes; everything on earth will be destroyed. But I will establish my covenant with you; you will come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you” (Genesis 6:13-18).

Because of the violence on the earth, Elohim declared the end of all living things.  Only Noah and his family would be saved through the flood by an ark. 

“Adonai said, “My Spirit will not live in human beings forever, for they too are flesh; therefore their life span is to be 120 years” (Genesis 6:3).

Before the flood, the lifespan of humans was nearly 1000 years; after the flood they lived only a few hundred or less.  It is generally taught as part of the judgment of mankind, human lifespan was cut to 120 years even though Noah, his sons and their offspring lived well beyond 120 years.  The judgment of humanity came with the flood and not with the number of years an individual human being would sojourn on earth.

“The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty …” (Psalm 90:10). From this Psalm, it would seem the lifespan of mankind degenerated from 120 years into 80.  If Elohim’s judgment was length of a man’s days on earth,  people would be living to 120 years of age which they do not.   Of course, there are always the exceptions of those who live to nearly 120 just as there are those who only live one day.    

In the book of Jasher (see Study Helps), it appears the 120 years mentioned in Genesis 6:3 was the time allotted byElohim for mankind to repent from their wickedness.

“For thus saith the Lord, Behold I give you a period of one hundred and twenty years; if you will turn to me and forsake your evil ways, then will I also turn away from the evil which I told you, and it shall not exist, saith the Lord.  And Noach and Methuselah spoke all the words of the Lord to the sons of men, day after day, constantly speaking to them…. And the Lord granted them a period of one hundred and twenty years, saying, If they will return, then will God repent of the evil, so as not to destroy the earth” (Jasher 5:8, 11).


Yeshua said at the time of his return the world would be ‘like the days of Noah.’ Could the 120 years be something to consider in the  remez or prophetic vision regarding the world’s repentance and His return?

Year of Jubilee

“Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years.  Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land…” (Leviticus 25:8-9).

There are two important seasons or mo’edim given to the nation of Isra’el that are connected, the Year of Jubilee and Day of Atonement.  The Year of Jubilee occurred every 50 years beginning on the Day of Atonement, the day of Elohim’s judgment.

These Year of Jubilee and the 120 years for repentance may very well be indicative of Messiah’s return.  7 x 7 years  = 49 years with the 50th year being the Year of Jubilee. Consider that Elohim would give Isra’el 120 Jubilee years to repent until Messiah sets up his Kingdom on earth.  Multiply the 50 years x 120 Jubilees and it equals 6000 years.  This could be considered the ‘end of the age’ or the beginning of the seventh millennium when Yeshua returns to rule and reign on the earth.  The Jubilee will begin with  ‘a trumpet blast of liberty’.    In the context of Yeshua’s return on the Feast of Trumpets with trumpet blasts thatwill set captive Isra’el free, the Day of Atonement and the 120 years of Jubilee may reveal the general time of Messiah’s return.

The Nephilim

“In time, when men began to multiply on earth, and daughters were born to them,  the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were attractive; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose… Adonai said, “My Spirit will not live in human beings [flesh] forever, for they too are flesh…. The N’filim [fallen ones] were on the earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; these were the ancient heroes, men of renown” (Genesis 6:1-4).

The book of Enoch (see Study Helps) explains in more detail the ‘days of Noah’ and the evil that drove Elohim to destroy the earth.  The people in Noah’s day were not just unrighteous, they were utterly wicked.  The “sons of Elohim” or fallen angels and the “daughters of men” (young women) were having sexual relations and creating Nephilim or half-breeds who had spiritual fathers and human mothers.

The word ‘flesh’ of humanity is being compared to the Nephilim.  Angels are not flesh, they do not procreate as human beings which is why the situation was an abomination to Elohim.  Fallen angels and the daughters of men were creating flesh, spiritual beings that were different from ‘mortal man.’ 

According to the book of Enoch, the Nephilim ate everything from the flesh of humans to drinking blood.   As giants, their appetites were so great they devoured the whole earth.  Elohim grieved  that he made humankind so He decided to destroy the earth.  He would remove the human factor of the problem and could start again through the righteous line of Noah.

In the floodwaters, the human mothers of the Nephilim died, but what happened to the spiritual fathers?  According to Jude 6, the fallen angels that did not keep their proper place of authority in the heavens where they belonged are bound in chains until the day of judgment.  As for the half-breed offspring, their mortal bodies died in the flood, but their spiritual immortal nature lived on to become the evil spirits  that need bodies of humans to possess, the evil spirits and demons that Yeshua cast out.  The Nephilim “were on the earth in those days, and also afterwards” (Genesis 6:4).

“So he traveled all through the Galil, preaching in their synagogues and expelling demons” (Mark 1:39).

“After this, Yeshua traveled about from town to town and village to village, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. With him were the Twelve, and a number of women who had been healed from evil spirits and illnesses…” (Luke 8:1-2).

“They came to Yeshua and found the man out of whom the demons had gone, sitting — dressed and in his right mind — at the feet of Yeshua; and they were frightened. Those who had seen it told how the formerly demonized man had been delivered” (Luke 8:35-36). The Command of Seven

The Command of Seven

Many believe that Noah took all the animals, two by two, male and female onto the ark.  However, a closer reading of Genesis 7 reveals something quite different. 

“Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).

Through the numbers and pairs of animals that Elohim told Noah to take on the ark, Noah learned the difference between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ animals.  Of the ‘clean’ animals (and birds), Noah was to take seven pairs.  Of the ‘unclean’ animals, Noah was to take only one pair.  This becomes important after the flood when Noah leaves the ark, builds an altar and offers a sacrifice to Elohim.  If Noah had offered any of the unclean animals, they would not have been able to repopulate the earth.  Instead, Noah offers clean animals on the altar.

After the flood, Noah is given meat to eat along with green plants.   In the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, the fellowship or peace offerings were eaten by the priests or with the individual making the offering.  This is not only prophetic to Elohim’s outline for worship in the Tabernacle, but He is actually showing Noah the desired animal offerings.  At the same time, Elohim is revealing to Noah the difference between the animals he may eat and the animals he may not.  This is the second time Elohim gives a dietary command and this event occurs 1000 years before the Israelites received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Noah was not only a righteous man, but he was also wise.  He obeyed the command of Elohim to build an ark even though he did not completely understand what was going to happen.  For 100 years while he built and prepared the ark, he endured the mockery of foolish people until the moment the door was shut and the judgment on mankind begaT

The Ark of Life

The ark rested in the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month.  According to the mo’edim, this would be three days after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles remembers the ‘temporary dwellings’ of Isra’el n the wilderness.  The ark was Noah’s ‘dwelling’ throughout the duration of the flood.   

Hebrew Word Pictures

Ararat (Curse Reversed) – אררת – alef, resh, resh, tav

the first authority, the head of the covenant

Forty days after the ark rested on Ararat, Noah sent out a raven.  Ravens are scavengers and eat dead flesh.  When the raven did not return to Noah, he knew there was nothing for the birds to eat.  The raven, though it couldn’t find a place to rest or food to eat, continued to fly ‘to and fro’ implying it lived upon the roof of the ark constantly waiting for the water to recede and the appearance of food.

Noah sent out a dove.  A dove is in the bird family of pigeons  In essence, Noah sent out a homing pigeon that would return to him with news of dry land.  The first time the dove returned because water still covered the earth.  The second time, the dove returned with an olive leaf and Noah knew the water had dried up from the earth.


The olive tree is symbolic of Isra’el and the olive leaf  is prophetic that through one of Noah’s sons, Isra’el would be established.

After being in the ark for nearly six months, on the first day of the first month, the water had dried up from the earth.   Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked out.  On Elohim’s calendar, this would have been the beginning of months with the Passover occurring fourteen days later.  Being protected in the ark, deathdid pass over Noah and his family allowing them to live and bring forth new human life on earth.

By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, Noah was able to leave the ark and walk on dry ground.   Though there are no ‘appointed times’ specific to Noah leaving the ark,  the dates give reference to the ‘seasons’ in which these events happened.

Noahide Laws and the Covenant

Elohim gave Noah instructions after the flood.  These instructions were needed to avoid the events that happened on the earth before the flood.  The fear of animals would be instilled in man with the understanding that only certain animals were to be eaten as food.  Noah is told that flesh with its blood is not to be eaten.  Because human life and the nishmat chayim ruach is the image of Elohim, an accounting of life for life from every human being would be required.  Capital punishment was instituted so that whoever shed human blood would have his own blood shed.

Many believe there is only one covenant that God made with humanity called the ‘new covenant.’  This is not true.  In Genesis 6:18, after the destruction of humanity in the flood, Elohim establish His covenant with Noah.  This covenant includes the word ‘never’ which means that it is still in force.

“God spoke to Noach and his sons with him; he said, “As for me – I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you .…  I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:8-10).

Elohim also gave Noah a sign for the covenant.  He put His rainbow in the clouds so that He would remember the covenant between Himself and the earth. 

God added, ‘Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come: I am putting my rainbow in the cloud–it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud; I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind, and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings.  The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth’” (Genesis 9:2-16). 

Elohim alsopromises that as long as the earth exists, there will be sowing and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease (Genesis 8:22).   

By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting” (Hebrews 11:7).

The Curse of Canaan

Noah has three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japeth.  They become the nations that fill the earth.  Japeth became the father of Gomer (Germany), Magog, Tubal, Meshekh (all of which are modern-day Russia).  His grandchildren include Tarshish (modern-day India/Pakistan).  Ham had sons named Cush (Ethiopia), Mitzrayim (Egypt), Put (Libya) and Canaan (Canannites).   Ham’s grandsons became modern-day Saudi Arabia. Cush fathered Nimrod who began the kingdom of Babylon (Iraq).  His children became the Jebusites, Emorites, Girgashites, and Hivites who eventually settled Sodom and Gomorrah.

Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk and passes out in his tent uncovered.  Ham sees his father’s nakedness and tells his brothers.  Shem and Japeth take a cloak and put it over their shoulders, walk backward into the tent and cover their father who is shamefully exposed.  When Noah woke up, he knew what his youngest son had done.  Rather than cursing Ham who had come through the flood, he curses his grandson, Canaan.

“Cursed be Kena’an; he will be a servant of servants to his brothers.”  Then he said, “Blessed be Adonai, the God of Shem; Kena’an (Canaan) will be their servant.  May God enlarge Japeth; he will live in the tents of Shem, but Kena’an will be their servant” (Genesis 9:25-27).

There are several different explanations in the Talmud for how Noah knows what has happened while he was passed out.  One interpretation suggests that Ham castrated his father thus rendering him unable to have another child bringing a curse on his progeny through his grandson.  Another interpretation suggests that Ham sodomized his father based on similar phrases used in the account with Shechem and Dinah.  A third interpretation is that Ham had sex with his own mother bringing a curse on his own son.

The words of Noah are prophetic.  Japeth grows into a large nation and populates the lands north and west of Ararat. Canaan is cursed and leaves the ways of Elohim and worships other gods, Ba’al, Astarte and Asthoreth, all with sexual sins attached to their worship.

Shem in Hebrew means ‘name’ which is what Noah called Elohim–HaShem.  Shem fathered Eber from where the word Hebrew is derived.  He became the father of the semitic peoples who become the Tribes of Isra’el and expel the Canaanites, their cousins, from the Promised Land.

Shem’s other sons were Elam (east of Babylon), Asshur (Assyria/Nineveh), Lud (western Turkey), Aram (Syria), and Arphaxad (the lineage through which Messiah comes).  Eber fathers another son whose name is Peleg because ‘the earth was divided’ at the time of his birth, most likely refering to the Tower of Babel and the division of languages, nations and cultures.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Shem (Name) – שם – shin, mem

– glory of the mighty

Ham (Hot) – חם – chet, mem

inner room (heart) of chaos

Japeth (Enlarged) – יפת – yod, peh, tav

finished work, mouth of the sign

The Origin of Language

It is believed that Nimrod, the son of Cush, was the ruler of Shinar in Mesopotamia.  This city is in Babylon or modern-day Iraq about 59 miles southwest of Bagdad.  The purpose of the Tower of Babel was to create a monument that would honor Nimrod, his people and the works of their hands.  With one language, they were accomplishing the task.

Because of what had happened in the days before the flood,  Elohim decided to end the project before ‘nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!” (Genesis 11:6).  He came down and confused the language so they could no longer build the structure.  In Hebrew, ‘confuse’ is balal and means to ‘mix or confuse.’  The word saphah is used for ‘language,’ but is an unused word meaning ‘lips’ or ‘speech.’  From balal comes the Hebrew word ‘babylon’ which may mean ‘gate of God.’

Since that day, nations, global languages and cultures have had boundaries to protect the world from becoming one world where the power and presence of Elohim is challenged.  In the last days, mankind will be judged for worshipping the works of his hands as in the days of Babel (Revelation 9:20).

Yeshua and the Days of Noah

“For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark;  and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).

“For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water” (1 Peter 3:18-20).

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

Isaiah 54:1-10

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Luke 17:25-27

1 Peter 3:19-21

2 Peter 2:4-5

Midrash Noah: The Days of Noah

Yeshua said that the world would be like the ‘days of Noah’ before his return (Matthew 24:37-39).   Discuss was happening in those days and how those activities apply to the days in which we are living.

©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.

Parashah 3: Lekh L’kah (Get yourself out)

Parashah 3: Genesis 12:1-17:27

“Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).  

Elohim comes to Abram and tells him to ‘get yourself out’ of his father’s house and go to a land that Elohim will show him.  Abram obeys the voice of Elohim and takes his wife Sarai, all of his possessions and his nephew, Lot.   

Hebrew Word Pictures

Avram (Exalted Father) – אברם – alef, bet, resh, mem

– the first family head mighty

Sarai (Mockery) – שרי – shin, resh, yod

the glory of the head, finished work

When he arrives at Shechem where the Canaanites live, Elohim tells him, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  The Hebrew root of Abram is av which means ‘father.’  Abram has no children and is not a father; yet he is promised to have many descendants.

He then travels to a hill west of Bethel (House of Elohim) and pitches his tent.  Ai (Heap of Ruins), a city of the Canaanites was east of him.  This ‘father’ who camps between the House of Elohim and a ‘heap of ruins’ will bring forth a spiritual house.   He built an altar and called on the name of Elohim.

The blessing at the beginning of this parashah is often quoted in regard to blessing or cursing Isra’el.  However, the blessing of Abram was not only for Isra’el, but for all nations.  This is an important promise because its fulfillment comes as the nations join Isra’el with faith in the ‘promised seed,’ Messiah Yeshua.

Abram had two brothers, Nachor and Haran.  Haran had a son named Lot, who went with Abram, and a daughter named Milkah.  Nachor married Milkah, his niece.  They have a son named Betuel.  Betuel has a daughter named Rebekkah.

Because of a famine, Abram travels through the Negev desert down to Egypt.  In Egypt,  Abram lies to protect himself and his beautiful Sarai from being taken by the king  causing her to commit adultery with the Pharaoh.  It is only after great plagues come upon Pharaoh that Abram admits his deception.  He is sent away by an angry Pharaoh along with Sarai and his property.

In the Negev, Abram becomes a wealthy man.  Lot also became wealthy and the land could not support them both.  Their herdsmen began fighting and Abram suggests they separate.  Lot looks out at the fertile plains south of the Jordan River and decides to make the Jordan valley his home.  He leaves Abram to settle the area around Sodom and Gomorrah. 

After Lot chooses his portion of land, Elohim speaks to Abram about the land around him.  He promises the land as far as Abram can see to the north, south, east and west to become the possession of his descendants.   Abram moves his tent and lives by the oaks of Mamre which is known as Hebron and is located in the West Bank. 

“Look all around you from where you are, to the north, the south, the east and the west.  All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever, and I will make your descendants numerous as the specks of dust on the earth – so that if a person can count the specks of dust on the earth, then your descendants can be counted.  Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you” (Genesis 13:14-17).

King of Righteousness

A group of kings make war against Kedorlaomer, the King of Elam, in the Siddum Valley near the Dead Sea.  Kedorlaomer defeats all the of kings who rebelled against him including the Amalekites and the Emorites.  Eventually, the kings of Sodom and Gormorrah come out to fight against Kedorlaomer.   Many of their warriors fell into the clay pits in the Siddim Valley while the rest retreated to the Judean hills.  The victors took the possessions and food supplies of Sodom and Gomorrah along with Lot.

Kedorolaomer may be an Assyrian or Persian name coming from kudur meaning ‘servant’ and lagamar who was a goddess in the religious practices of Susa in Persia (Iran).  Siddim is thought to have been located on the southern end of the Dead Sea where bitumen deposits have been found that may have one time been the tar pits in which the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah fell. 

When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led his 318 trained men, and went in pursuit of Kedorlaomer as far north as Dan.  They divided forces and attacked Kedorlaomer pushing him all the way to Damascus.  Abram recovered all the goods and possessions and retrieved Lot and his family.  After returning from the battles, the king of Sodom met Abram in the King’s Valley.

Malki-Tzedek, King of Shalem brought out bread and wine.  He was a priest of El Elyon, God Most High.  He blessed Abram: “Blessed be Avram by El’Elyon, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be El ‘Elyon, who handed your enemies over to you.” Then Abram tithed” (Genesis 14:20-22).

In Hebrew, Malki-Tzedek means “King of Righteousness”  He is the king of Shalem which means ‘peace’ and is the root for Yerushalayim or Jerusalem.  He is a priest for El Elyon, God Most High.  This is the first time this title for Elohim is used. 

Malki-Tzedek brings out bread and wine.  The word ‘bread’ in this verse is the Hebrew lechem.  Though some may see an allusion to ‘communion’ in this event, the shared ‘leaven’ bread suggests otherwise.  ‘Communion’ has been removed from the Passover meal in which matzah or unleavened bread was eaten.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Bread or lechem – לחםlamed, chet, mem

– the shepherd protects the mighty

Wine or yayin – ייןyod, yod, noon

the double finished work of life

A more fitting allusion would be a Sabbath memorial.  Breaking bread and sharing wine is considered a time of fellowship and central to a traditional Jewish Sabbath.  The event could be taking place on the Sabbath, after the battles have been won, the enemy is defeated, and there is peace and rest – a vision of eternity.     

Not much is known about Malki-Tzedek except through Hebrews 7 which states that he had no beginning or end, no father or mother, no genealogy.  This is an allusion to his eternal existence.  Some suggest he may be a pre-incarnate Yeshua as Elohim can appear in any form He desires and may be revealing Himself as the King of Righteousness to Abram.   

Some suggest that Malki-Tzedek is Noah’s son, Shem, who was 100 years old when the flood destroyed the earth and who continued to live until he was 600 years of age.  His longevity was very uncommon as after the flood the lifespan of humans decreased. With such a long life, Shem would be the oldest man alive and appear to be without father or mother or genealogy as everything had been destroyed in the flood.  Shem inherited the land of Shalem and Malki-Tzedek is the king.  Abram, according to the call on his life,  would be next patriarch in line after Shem and the next priest of El Elyon.

Knowing HaShem through his father Noah, before, during and after the flood, Shem may have taken on a priestly role preaching the Noahide laws, the evils of sin, the pre-flood world and the blessings of righteousness.  Just as we have no grasp of that world or the  world to come, it is possible that the people of Shem’s generation could not grasp a world that existed before their own making Shem seem like a ‘god.’

Abram gave Malki-Tzedek one-tenth of everything he plundered.  This is the first instance of a tithe before the instructions at Mount Sinai.  It is written in Hebrews 7 that Levi, who was in Abram’s loins, actually tithed Malki-Tzedek.   The tithe was a portion of the harvest  given to the Levitical priests who had no land inheritance and ministered in the Tabernacle. With Abram’s tithe, it could be that Malki-Tzedek had no earthly land he called home an allusion to the coming Levitical priesthood. 

Covenant of Land

The word of Elohim comes to Abram in a vision:

“Don’t be afraid, Avram.  I am your protector; your reward will be very great” (Genesis 15:1).

Though he was a wealthy man, Abram was childless and had no one with whom to leave his wealth.  Elohim tells him that he will have an heir from his own body.  When Abram doesn’t believe him, Elohim tells him to look up at the sky and count the stars – if they can even be counted. Looking at the night sky and seeing the billions of stars, Abram believed Elohim’s promise and his faith was credited to him as righteousness.

Elohim tells Abram that He brought him up out of the land of the Chadeans in order to give the land around him as his possession and the possession of his descendants.   Abram asked Elohim how he would know this to be true.  Elohim tells him to bring a cow, a goat, a ram, a dove and a young pigeon.  Abram cut the animals in two and places the pieces opposite each other.  Birds of prey swooped down to eat the carcasses, but he drove them away. 

A deep sleep came upon Abram as the sun was about to set and a great darkness came over him.   Elohim tells Abram that his descendants would be foreigners in a land that is not theirs.  They would be held in slavery for 400 years until He would judge that nation.  Abram’s descendants would then leave that land with many possessions, but Abram would not see these events with his own eyes as he would sleep with his ancestors.  In the fourth generation, his descendants would return to the land of promise. 

A smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the animal parts that had been placed on the ground.  That day Elohim made a covenant with Abram.  He promised to give him and his descendants the land that extended from the vadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.  It would include all of the land where the Canaanites, the Kenites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Refaimites, the Emorites, the Girgasites and the Jebusites lived. 

The event with the animal parts and smoking pot was a Middle Eastern way to ‘cut a covenant.’  Usually, the two people making the covenant passed between the animal parts to establish the covenant;  however, Abram was asleep and Elohim passes through binding both sides of the covenant through Himself.   His Divine Presence is seen in the smoking fire pot and the flaming torch.

Hagar and Ishmael

Sarai gets tired of waiting for a child so she takes matters into her own hands.  She gives her Egyptian servant, Hagar, to Abram in order to have children through her.  Abram sleeps with Hagar and she conceives a son.  Once Hagar becomes pregnant, she treats Sarai with contempt.

“Sarai said to Avram, “This outrage being done to me is your fault! True, I gave my slave-girl to you to sleep with; but when she saw that she was pregnant, she began holding me in contempt. May Adonai decide who is right — I or you!” However, Avram answered Sarai, “Look, she’s your slave-girl. Deal with her as you think fit.” Then Sarai treated her so harshly that she ran away from her” (Genesis 16:5-6).

Hagar runs away into the desert and is found by an angel of Elohim.  The angel tells her that her descendants will increase so that it will be impossible to count them.  She is told she will have a son who will act like a ‘wild donkey of a man’ with his hand against everyone, living at odds with his brothers.  Hagar calls Elohim, El Ro’i meaning ‘the Elohim who sees’ because she had seen Elohim and remained alive.  The boy is born and named Ishmael. 

Because Elohim cannot change His covenant promise to Abraham, the descendants of Ishmael also become numerous.  Ishmael is not the son of promise, but a receiver of the blessing to the nations. The Ishmaelites are the modern-day Arabs and they still circumcise their children, not as a sign of faith, but as a sign of their patriarch, Abraham.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hagar (Flight) – הגר – hey, gimel, resh

– behold the rising of the head

Ishmael (God Hears) – ישמהאל – yod, shin, mem, hey, alef, lamed

finished work consumes the mighty, revealing a strong leader

In Galatians 4:21-32 Sha’ul uses an allegory to explain the difference between the child of Abraham’s faith and the child of Abraham’s flesh.  The children of Abraham’s flesh are born according to the rules of natural childbearing.  Children of Abraham’s faith are born through the power of Elohim’s Spirit as evidence of Himfulfilling His promise to Abraham.

In Hebrews 12:18-22, the two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, are likened to the two covenants: the covenant given at Mount Sinai that is written on stony hearts and makes us slaves to Torah (Ishmael) and the covenant that comes from Mount Tzion that is written on our circumcised hearts and gives us freedom to walk by faith in Messiah Yeshua(Isaac).

Covenant of Nations

“I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you” (Genesis 17:1-6).

When Abram is 99 years old, Elohim appears to him and calls himself El Shaddai or “God Almighty.”  Shaddai comes from the Hebrew root word for ‘breast’ meaning that Shaddai is one who nourishes, comforts and blesses like a ‘bosom friend.’  El Shaddai repeats the covenant promise of land and changes Abram’s name to Abraham because he will become the ‘father of many nations.  He also changes Sarai’s name to Sarah.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Abraham (Father of Nations) or Avraham – אברהם – alef, bet, resh, hey, mem

the first family head revealed and mighty

Sarah (Princess) – שרה – shin, resh, hey

the glory of the head revealed

El Shaddai gives a ‘sign’ of the covenant to Abraham: circumcision.  Cutting the male foreskin became the ‘sign’ of Abraham’s faith in the promises of El Shaddai.   Circumcision was to be done when a male baby was eight days old.  Each time a baby boy was circumcised, his father would remember the covenant, the blessing and the promise given to Abraham.  Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh.

“God said to Avraham, ‘As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you’” (Genesis 17:9-12).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Covenant or b’rit – ברית – bet, resh, yod, tav

– family head finished work is the sign

Word or milah – מילה – mem, yod, lamed, hey

mighty finished work of the shepherd revealed

New or chadashah – חדשה – chet, dalet, shin, hey

– inner room (heart) of the pathway glory revealed

Flesh circumcision can become a heated debate when a follower of Yeshua decides to circumcise their baby boy.  According to some, circumcision of flesh becomes a denial of faith in Yeshua and requires keeping the ‘whole law.’  When El Shaddai gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision, it was the ‘sign’ of his circumcised heart of faith.  Anyone who becomes circumcised in the flesh to convert to Judaism is accountable to all the manmade traditions developed in Judaism.  Living a life of faith with a circumcision of heart shown by a ‘sign’ in the flesh and converting to Judaism are two very different things.   

Yeshua and Abraham

“Avraham, your father, was glad that he would see my day; then he saw it and was overjoyed.”

“Why, you’re not yet fifty years old,” the Judeans replied, “and you have seen Avraham?”

“Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!. At this, they picked up stones to throw at him; but Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds” (John 8:56-59).

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

Isaiah 40:27-41:16

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Acts 7:1-8

Romans 4:3-4

Galatians 3:6

Colossians 2:11-15

James 2:21-23

Midrash Lech Lecha: The New Circumcision

The Hebrew words for ‘New Covenant’ are B’rit Chadashah or ‘new circumcision.’  Discuss the ‘new circumcision’ as described in Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:24-26 and Romans 2:28-29).

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