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

Parashah 1: Genesis 1:1-6:8

Yom Rishon – Day 1

Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 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 hashamayim means ‘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 eretzארץ – 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, the את 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 and has 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 רוח הקדשresh, 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 this expanding 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 word and 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.’ 

Selah

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 life and 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).

Selah

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 אש or ‘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

The Seventh Day – Shabbat

Verses 1-3

“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.”

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.

Selah

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.

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.  “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).  Forgiveness restores relationships and furthers the plan of Elohim.

“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.

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.

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©2018 Tentstake Ministries

Parashah 2: Noach (Noah)

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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.

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 lie.  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 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 all 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, though Elohim can appear in any form He desires and may be revealing Himself as a 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 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 the 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

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 Him fulfilling His promise to Abraham (Galatians 4:21-31).

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),  or the covenant that comes from Mount Tzion that is written on our circumcised hearts and gives us freedom to walk by Torah (Isaac) (Hebrews 11:10).

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 Avrahamאברהם – 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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©2018 Tentstake Ministries

Parashah 4: Yayera (He appeared)

Parashah 4: Genesis 18:1-22:4

“Adonai appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day” (Genesis 18:1).

As Abraham sat under the oak tree by his tent in the middle of the day,  he looked up and saw three men.  He ran from his tent to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground and said, “My Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don’t leave your servant” (Genesis 18:2-3).   He offers them men bread, water to wash their feet,  and to rest under the shade of the oak tree.  He then tells Sarah to quickly make a feast, bread with butter and a calf and to be prepared with curds.

Selah

Abraham served meat from a calf along with curds from milk to El Shaddai giving no indication that milk and meat should be prepared or eaten separately.

While eating the prepared foods, the one visitor tells Abraham that by the next year Sarah would give birth to a son.  Sarah  overhears the conversation and laughs to herself.  Though Sarah denies laughing, El Shaddai heard her.  The Hebrew word for ‘laugh’ is tzchet–one of my favorite Hebrew words.  From this word comes the name Yitz’ak which means ‘laughter.’ 

The Quercus calliprinos, the Palestine Oak, is native to eastern Mediterranean.  In Isra’el this tree is known as the Common Oak or elan matsuy. The fruit of an oak tree is an acorn and it contains only one seed.  Abraham is like the oak tree at Mamre where he met with El Shaddai.  From his one seed, Abraham will become the ‘father of nations’ though he will not live to see the fulfillment of the promise.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of the oak as a tree whose trunk remains alive even after its leaves fall off.  The planted ‘holy seed’ becomes its trunk.  The descendants of Yitz’ak or Isaac will grow into the trunk of Isra’el and “they will be called oaks of righteousness planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride” (Isaiah 6:12-13, 61:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Oak or terebinth (elah) – אלהalef, lamed, hey

– strength of the shepherd revealed

Sodom and Gomorrah

Two of the men leave Abraham for Sodom and Gomorrah, but one remains.  The one who remains is the yod-hey-vav-hey, El Shaddai.   Because of His essence the ‘I Am,’ appears to Abraham as a person.

El Shaddai reveals His plans for the two cities that had become very wicked.  Abraham challenges His mercy and the two discuss the number of righteous people living in the cities compared to the wicked.  For how many righteous would El Shaddai relent on his judgment?  Finally, El Shaddai yields to Abraham.  For the sake of 10 righteous, He will not destroy the cities.  Unfortunately, only Lot, his wife, and Lot’s two unmarried daughters come close to the criteria.

“For I have made myself known to him, so that he will give orders to his children and to his household after him to keep the way of Adonai and to do what is right and just, so that Adonai may bring about for Avraham what he has promised him” (Genesis 18:19).  

“I have made myself known”  implies that El Shaddai has revealed himself to Abraham as Yeshua so that he can “keep the way of Adonai.”   The man conversing with Abraham is Yeshua before he becomes flesh.  Through his words, the person and character of El Shaddai is disclosed to Abraham.

“Adonai said, “The outcry against S’dom and ‘Amora is so great and their sin so serious  that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know” (Genesis 18:20-21).

The prophet Ezekiel describes the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah to be pride and gluttony.  They people no longer cared about the poor and had become complacent regarding those in need.  Along with these sins, they were arrogant against Elohim and committed disgusting acts (Ezekiel 16:49-50).  Isaiah elaborates on these acts saying their sins were blatantly done in the face of Elohim. They paraded their sin with no shame and no willingness to hide their perversions (Isaiah 3:9).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Disgusting or shoar שער – shin, ayin, resh

– consumed with the eyes in the head

Perversion or iqqesh עקש – ayin, koof, shin

see what is behind and consumes

Grievous or kabed כבד – kaf, bet, dalet

open the house door

When the two men arrive in Sodom and Gomorrah, they are no longer men or anashim, but hamelakim or angelic messengers. The perversion of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah is so disgusting they solicit the angels of Elohim for sex.  They even reject the offer of Lot’s two virgin daughters!   The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is so grievous that Elohim has no other option except to destroy the cities.

Lot invites the angels into his home and makes them a meal that includes unleavened bread or matzah.  Leaven is often to sin so Lot, who lives in the midst of abominable sin, serves unleavened bread.  This could allude to his own sinless life in a culture of depravity or be prophetic to the sinless One, Yeshua,  who was going to deliver him from death.  Though the ‘appointed times’ have not yet been outlined, Lot and his family experienced a ‘passover’ and did not die in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Yeshua tells his disciples that the world will be like Sodom and Gomorrah at the time of his coming (Luke 17:26-30).  Today, homosexuals, transgenders and lesbians cry for equality and acceptance.  They want to marry one another and raise children together.  Their perversion, if allowed to continue by Elohim, will mutate into pedophilia and even beastiality.   As with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, these perverted people arrogantly parade in the streets of large cities and do not hide the disgusting practices.   Though the consciences of humanity may “know well enough God’s righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; they not only allow them keep doing them, but they applaud [them]” (Romans 1:32).

Another great abomination that may have been happening in Sodom and Gomorrah is the influence of Nephilim who were still on the earth. Some of the Nephilim may have inhabited the area of Sodom and Gomorrah and acted in ways previous to the flood.  Ezekiel 16:48 says the sins of Sodom involved the daughters of Sodom who committed detestable acts.  Perhaps the daughters of Sodom were fornicating with Nephilim leaving human men in need of other men – so much so that the men didn’t even desire virgin women.

Elohim destroyed the earth once because of immoral behavior between angels and women, perhaps  these same unholy unions brought Him again to the point of wrath.

Because He had made a covenant never to destroy the earth by water, He poured out fire and brimstone on two cities that were morally out of control.

The angels have to pull Lot back into the house.  Then they shut the door.  Shutting a door is symbolic of an ending and a separation from what is on the other side of the door, permanently.  Even so, Lot dallies in the morning not wanting to leave the city.

The resident of the cities believe Lot has been judging them though there is no evidence that he is a bold evangelist or a prophetic voice.   It doesn’t appear he’s even that righteous though the life of a semi-righteous person in a depraved world can be convicting of sin.  From what is known about Lot, it wasn’t his righteousness that saved his family, but the intercession of his Uncle Abraham and the mercy of El Shaddai (Titus 3:5).  Lot may have perished with everyone else if the angels had not pulled him by the hand and removed him from the city.

“Flee for your life, don’t look back!

In the Hebrew, the phrase is “escape for your nephesh” meaning ‘escape for the sake of your souls.’  The command involved more than not looking back to see the destruction, it was to redeem the souls of Lot, his wife and his daughters from a life of slavery to sin.  Unfortunately, Lot’s wife looked back and lost her soul; she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Lot’s two daughters and sons-in-law did not leave the city because they didn’t believe Lot’s warning.  It is often taught that Lot’s wife looked back because of the loss of her family.  Though it may be one reason for her to look back, her nephesh was not the same at Lot’s.  She was a native Sodomite.

There is a midrash that discusses another possible reason why Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt.  In the Middle East, salt is a symbol of hospitality.  Sharing salt at a table requires peaceful fellowship between those sharing the salt.  Hospitality and sharing salt was not the code of law in Sodom, one of their grievous sins.  In the midrash it is suggested that Lot’s wife did not approve of Lot bringing guests into her home.  Then, he asked her to bring out the salt.  She had no salt in her home so she went door to door asking for salt which revealed to the citizens of Sodom that her husband had broken the code of law against hospitality.  It was this action that brought the men of the city to Lot’s door.  The midrash concludes that because she sinned with salt, she was punished with salt. Thus the pillars of salt that surround that area of the Dead Sea are a reminder to Lot’s wife and her lack of hospitality for the angels of God (Hebrews 13:2).

The midrash also gave an explanation why El Shaddai destroyed the cities by fire and brimstone.  It supports the idea that Nephilim or angelic beings were inhabiting the cities.   Angels, unlike humans who were created from the dust of the earth,  were created by fire.  As man returns to dust when he dies, the only way to destroy angels is with fire.  Perhaps turning around and seeing with human eyes angels being  consumed by burning sulfur would have a devastating effect on the human nefesh – so much so it turned human flesh into salt. 

Abraham woke up the next morning and saw the smoke rising.  He knew what had happened. There is no indication whether or not he knew if Lot had escaped or that he ever saw his nephew again.

Lot went up into mountains with his daughters.  One day they get him drunk so they can sleep with him.  They have been so morally compromised by the sin that had surrounded them, they didn’t consider what they did might be wrong.  It does seem strange they were unaware there were other people alive on earth including their great uncle, but they committed incest with their father and became pregnant. 

They gave birth to sons: Moab and Amon who become the fathers of two nations.    Ruth,  who becomes the grandmother of King David, was a Moabite, a descendant of Lot and his oldest daughter.  The Ammonites come from the union of Lot and his youngest daughter.  Amon is the capital of modern-day Jordan. 

A Promised Seed

At the exact time El Shaddai said, Sarah gives birth to a son who is named Yitz’ak.  She exclaims, “God has given me a good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6).  According to the sign of the covenant,  Abraham circumcises Isaac when he is eight days old.

As Isaac grows up, problems arise between him and his brother, Ishmael,  that make it necessary for Abraham to send his son and Hagar away.   At a weaning party, when Isaac is between 4 and 5 years old, Ishmael torments  his little brother.  The Hebrew word for ‘torment’ is matzchak and is rooted in ‘sexual encounter or fondling.’  Ishamael’s ‘playing’ with Isaac clearly upset Sarah.

Hagar leaves with her son and goes into the desert. While hiding under a tree dying, Hagar cries out to Elohim.  Ishmael who is nearly 20 years old appears to be a spoiled young man who doesn’t appreciate nor take care of his own dying mother.  Elohim comes to Hagar and promises to make her son into a great nation and directs her to well where she and Ishmael find water and are revived.

The Binding of Isaac – Adekah

“Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’ak; 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” (Genesis 22:2).

This passage of Scripture is called the akedah or the ‘binding of Isaac.’  It describes the account of Abraham who is commanded by El Shaddai to sacrifice his only son.  The word ‘only’ in this passage is yachid  and means  ‘unique, only begotten.’  The word yachid also suggests the relationship between Abraham and his son was very close or echad.

Selah

Abraham had another son, but this son was not the ‘unique son’ El Shaddai called him to sacrifice.  In Islam, the story is recounted as the ‘binding of Ishmael.’  From it comes the ‘Ein ul Adha’ and the killing of a lamb.   Though Ishmael is not the ‘son of promise,’ the ‘binding’ and the substitute ram can be used to explain the substitute sacrifice of Yeshua made for the whole world, including Muslims.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Moriah (Teach) – מריה – mem, resh, yod, hey

mighty authority of the finished work revealed

Mount Moriah in Jerusalem has a long Biblical history.  Moriah comes from the Hebrew root moreh meaning ‘to teach.’  Moriah is where the threshing floor owned by Ornan the Jebusite was located; the place where Elohim appeared to King David (2 Chronicles 3:1).  On Mount Moriah, King Solomon built the first Temple. On the same mountain, in the Temple courts of the second Temple, Yeshua stood and proclaimed he is the Messiah and echad or ‘one’ with Elohim (John 10:10).  Mount Moriah is the location where El Shaddai  brought Abraham to teach him.

Selah

The original threshing floor and first and second Temples were south and east of the modern-day Temple Mount in the City of David.  The Temple Mount and Western Wall  may be the remains of the first century Roman garrison.

According to Leviticus, a burnt offering is a free-will offering.  Abraham was not coerced by El Shaddai to get up early in the morning or forced to saddle a donkey, gather wood, and take his two servants with him to sacrifice his son.  Because Abraham trusts in the promises of El Shaddai, he obeys without hesitation.

Upon arriving at the mountain, Abraham leaves his servants at the bottom and ascends with Isaac who carries the wood.  While they walk towards their destination, Isaac wonders about the sacrifice.  Though he has been surrounded by pagan cultures that offer human sacrifice to Molech, this has not been his upbringing so he asks about the lamb.

“My father? I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7)

“Avraham replies, ‘God will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering’” (Genesis 22:8).

When they arrive at the summit, Abraham prepares an altar, sets the wood on top, binds his son and lays him on the altar.  Every step of the way, Isaac submits to his father’s will.  Whatever he has learned from his father’s life and instructions for the past 30 years, he completely trusts his father even as he raises a knife to kill him. 

An angel of El Shaddai calls to Abraham from heaven and says, “Don’t lay a hand on the boy! Don’t do anything to him! 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).

Selah

The Hebrew word for ‘boy’ is not yelad meaning ‘a young boy.’  It is nar meaning ‘a young man.’  Many depictions about the ‘binding of Issac’ show him as little boy, but he was a young man between 30-33 years of age.

 

Abraham raises his eyes from his son and sees a ram caught in the thicket by its horns.  Abraham untangles the ram and offers it as a free-will offering, a substitute for Isaac. Abraham calls the place El Yireh or ‘Elohim will see to it’.

The word for ‘provide’ in Hebrew is yireh and contains the idea of something prophetic in distance future not in the near present.   Another rendering for yireh may be, “in the future there will be a lamb of Elohim.” This is an allusion to the same lamb shown to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that prophesied their deliverance from sin and death.

Selah

According to Romans 4:17 “Abraham is our father in God’s sight because he trusted God as the one who lives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence.”

Was the ram in the thicket before Abraham saw it or did El Shaddai speak it into existence at that moment?  Was the ram the appearance of El Shaddai Himself?

 

El Yireh did not want Abraham’s son as an offering; He is not like the gods of this world.  Through the provisional ram that El Yireh provided, Abraham knew his sacrifice was accepted.

By faith Avraham, when God tested him, offered Yitz’ak 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 Yitz’ak that your offspring will be reckoned.” Avraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Yitz’ak back from death” (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Some interpretations suggest the ram symbolizes the strength of Elohim’s lamb that would overcome death and be resurrected, the returning ram that would will trample underfoot the enemies of Elohim.  With this interpretation, Abraham shown or taught about the two comings of Messiah: the substitute sacrificial lamb and a warrior ram.

From the account of the ram caught in the thicket, the shofar or the ram’s horn came about. The shofar is used to announce Elohim’s ‘appointed times.’

The angel of El Shaddai calls to Abraham a second time.   Abraham responds, “Here I am” or hineni.  The Hebrew word hineni is not just a response that Abraham is physically present, but that he is spiritually aware of all that is being shown to him on Moriah.

This parashah concludes with El Shaddai promising to bless Abraham because of his obedience.  He will increase his descendants and all nations of the earth will be blessed. 

“I have sworn by myself  that because you have done this, because you haven’t withheld your son, your only son, I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore … and by your descendants all nations of the earth will be blessed – because you obeyed my order” (Genesis 22:13-18).

For a beautiful short story of the ram, a child’s midrash, see Study Helps.

Yeshua and the Day of Judgment

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’  Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“When you enter someone’s household, say,‘Shalom aleikhem! [Peace upon you]’ If the home deserves it, let your shalom rest on it; if not, let your shalom return to you.  But if the people of a house or town will not welcome you or listen to you, leave it and shake its dust from your feet! Yes, I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the people of S’dom and ‘Amora than for that town!” (Matthew 10:12-15)

“Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken; for by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:31-46).

“Those in Y’hudah must escape to the hills, those inside the city must get out, and those in the country must not enter it. For these are the days of vengeance, when everything that has been written in the Tanakh will come true. What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers! For there will be great distress in the Land and judgment on the people” (Luke 21:21-23).

“The Father does not judge anyone but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever fails to honor the Son is not honoring the Father who sent him. Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life — that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life! …For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son life to have in himself. Also he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” (John 5:22-27)

“When he comes, he will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment — about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in me; about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment, in that the ruler of this world has been judged” (John 16:8-11).

“After these things, I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd in heaven, shouting, ‘Halleluyah! The victory, the glory, the power of our God! For his judgments are true and just. He has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her whoring. He has taken vengeance on her who has the blood of his servants on her hands’” (Revelation 19:1-2).

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

2 Kings 4:1-23

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Luke 17:26-37

Romans 9:6-9

Hebrews 6:14-20

James 2:14-24

Midrash Vayeira: The Binding of Yeshua

Discuss the akedah, the ’binding of Isaac’ and its allusions to Yeshua: the unique son, the wood, the fire, the binding, the free-will offering, the lamb and the ram.

For all Torah portions, please purchase Open My Eyes, Wonders of Torah.

©2018 Tentstake Ministries

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