Posts Tagged ‘Jethro’

Parashah 17: Yitro (Jethro)

Exodus 18:1-20:26

“Now Yitro the priest of Midian, Moshe’s father-in-law, heard about all that God had done for Moshe and for Isra’el his people, how Adonai, had brought Isra’el out of Egypt” (Exodus 18:1).

When Moshe meets Zipporah, her father is called Reu’el. When Zipporah is brought into the wilderness to meet Moshe and the Israelites, her father is called Yitro. This causes confusion as to whether one man has two names or are references to two different men.

Family terminology designating male in-laws are not specific in Middle Eastern culture.   Terms for a woman’s male relatives are the same for her father, brother or even grandfather. The ending ‘-el’ in Reu-el is Hebrew for ‘God’ suggesting he has a relationship with Elohim while Yitro is called a priest. In a patriarchal society, the men were the spiritual leaders of the family and it appears both Reu’el and Yitro have that position either with the title of el or the name Yitro.

Yitro is a Midianite.  The Midianites consisted of the five tribes descended from Keturah, Abraham’s wife after Sarah died.  The Midianites inhabited the desert borders in Jordan from Moab down past Edom (modern-day Saudi Arabia) and were associated with the caravans that bought Joseph from his brothers. Though Yitro is a Midianite priest, there is no mention of the God he serves.

Being a descendant of Abraham, he would have heard of Elohim. The patriarchs worshiped Elohim with different titles like El Shaddai, El Elyon, and El Roi. Until the burning bush, the name of Elohim was unknown to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The essence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh was unknown to Moshe and the Hebrews until He showed His power and sovereignty over Egypt.

With the proximity of Yitro’s family to the mountain where Moshe met Adonai, it is probable that Yitro was a Midianite priest who worshiped Elohim without knowing His personal name. Yitro hears of the miraculous deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt and takes his daughter and grandsons to meet Moshe.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Jethro (His Excellence) or Yitro – יתרו – yod, tav, resh, vav
– finished work of the covenant of highest authority of the binding

Reu’el (Friend of God) or Re’u’el – רעואל – resh, ayin, vav, alef, lamed
– the highest authority understand the binding, first strength urges forward

The Power of Testimony

Moshe takes his father-in-law into his tent and tells him everything that had happened since they last saw each other. This is the description of a humble man giving his testimony of deliverance to another. Though Moshe had observed the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, he has not yet told his personal experiences to anyone. He has not yet verbalized his thoughts and feelings about what Adonai did to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. For the first time, Moshe is sitting and relaxing with a priest, a trusted family member, sharing his testimony of Adonai’s deliverance.

Yitro sits in Moshe’s tent and listens to everything he has to say about the stubbornness of Pharaoh’s heart, the plagues, the separation of Goshen from Egypt, the blood of the lamb, the death of the firstborn, walking on dry ground across the Red Sea, and watching the Egyptian army drown. He tells Yitro of the quarreling about water, the arrival of manna, the quail, the ‘Rock’ that follows them, the Shabbat, and the battle with the Amalekites.   The words coming from his son-in-law, a mere man, who had obviously been Elohim’s vessel, were so compelling that Yitro rejoiced over all the good that Adonai had done for the children of Isra’el and acknowledged Him as God of all gods.

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).

Each of us has a testimony of deliverance from sin and death to life through the blood of the Lamb that is no less miraculous than Moshe’s testimony. Our testimony of Yeshua has the power to make others acknowledge him as Adonai. It has the power to overcome the enemy when faced with death. It will separate us from the darkness of evil, sanctify us, and become the spirit of prophecy within us.

An angel comes to the apostle John and testifies to everything he saw “that is the Word of God and the testimony of Messiah Yeshua” (Revelation 1:2). When John falls at the feet of the messenger, he is told,“Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Yeshua.  Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Yeshua” (Revelation 19:10). Those who hold to a testimony of Yeshua and obey the commandments of Adonai will be persecuted and even beheaded during the Tribulation. They are the sanctified ones who hold steadfast to their faith in Yeshua and keep Adonai’s commandments (Revelation 12:17, 14:12).

Yitro says a blessing “Blessed be Adonai who has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh, who has rescued the people from the harsh hand of the Egyptians.  Now I know that Adonai is greater than all other gods, because he rescued those who were treated so arrogantly” (Exodus 18:10).

Yitro brings burnt offerings and sacrifices to Adonai. Aaron comes with all the leaders of the Hebrews to share a meal before Adonai with Moshe’s father-in-law. Yitro as a priest understands what Abel knew, what Noach knew, and what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob understood about worshiping the Creator of the Universe. This offering is known as a shalom or fellowship offering and was offered before Torah at Mount Sinai. A fellowship offering was a free-will offering of thanksgiving for fulfillment of a vow (Acts 18:18).

The Calling of Leaders

The following day Yitro watches Moshe sit from morning until evening settling disputes among the Hebrews. He understands that Moshe must continue to guide the children of Isra’el, but he also knows that he will eventually become weary of the task.

Yitro suggests that Moshe find “honest and incorruptible God-fearing competent men” to be leaders over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.  They would settle the small disputes among themselves and bring only the difficult cases to Moshe. Yitro knows that Moshe will only do what Adonai desires and puts the final decision between himself and Adonai.  Moshe respects Yitro’s wisdom and does everything he suggests.  Once the judicial system is established, Yitro returns to his own country.

“If you do this – and God is directing you to do it – you will be able to endure; and all these people will arrive at their destination peacefully” (Exodus 18:23).

The ‘judgment seat of Moshe’ began in the wilderness with Yitro’s wise advice. Whoever sat on this judgment seat had the authority to decide conflicts between people.  By the time of Yeshua, this judgment seat had become so corrupt that he reminds the people to do what comes from the mouth of the one who sits in the judgment seat, but not to act like them because their words and actions do not match.

“Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and his disciples: ‘The Torah teachers and the P’rushim (Pharisees),’ he said, ‘sit in the seat of Moshe.  So whatever they tell you, take care to do it.  But don’t do what they do, because they talk but don’t act’” (Matthew 23:1-3).

The Third Month

“In the third month after the people of Isra’el had left the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the Sinai desert” (Exodus 19:1).

The Hebrews left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month.  They are now in their third month of travel –– to the day –– making it 45-46 days since they began their journey.  They set up camp in the Sinai desert at the base of Mount Sinai. Moshe goes up to Adonai who tells Moshe to remind the people of what He did to the Egyptians. He continues to speak to Moshe with prophetic words for the nation.

“I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.  Now if you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you will be a kingdom of priests for me, a nation set apart” (Exodus 19:4-6).

While living in Alaska, I had the blessing of observing two Bald eagles, a male and a female, sit in their large nest, fish along the river, and soar across the never-ending sky. A couple of times, the eagles would fly so low that it was possible to see their talons, their large bodies, and huge wingspan. When one flew right over my car, I had to catch my breath at its magnificent size and beauty.

Eagles develop from birth through four different molting processes until they reach adulthood. Molting birds are generally weaker during those times so when their new plumage comes in, they will have attained a new phase of maturity and regained their strength.

In Scripture, eagles are used to describe how Adonai cares for His people. Within these passages, one learns a lot about eagles. A female eagle stirs up her nest, hovers over her young, spreads out her wings, takes her young and carries them as she flies (Deuteronomy 32:10-11). Eagles soar in the wind currents with outstretched wings. Their strength and youth are renewed (Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 103:6).

“If you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples” (Exodus 19:5).

“If … then …” Scriptures are often taught without the conditional part. For example, it is easy to like “then you are really my disciples” without embracing the “if you hold to my teachings” (John 8:31).  “You will remain in my love” is a beautiful promise of Elohim’s unconditional love, but it has a condition: “if you will obey my commands” (John 15:10). To be a friend to Yeshua like Abraham was to Elohim also has a condition, “If we do what He commands” (John 15:14).   “Peace like a river and righteousness like the waves of the sea” is conditional to paying attention to Adonai’s commandments (Isaiah 48:18).

Then you will be my treasured possession” is an extraordinary promise, but it also has a condition.  In order for Isra’el to be Adonai’s treasured possession from among all the nations, the children of Isra’el must pay careful attention to His words and keep His covenant.  Up until this time, there has been no covenant given to the children of Isra’el. There has been a covenant given to Noach and a covenant given to Abraham. A third covenant is coming that will build upon the first two. When it is revealed, the people of Elohim must keep it in order to be His treasured possession.

“For all the earth is mine” (Exodus 19:5).  Adonai is the Creator of the Universe, inclusive of the heavens and the earth. Therefore, He can do with the earth as He pleases. If He chooses a parcel land for Himself, it is His.  If He chooses to give that parcel of land to a certain group of people, He can.  If He chooses one person through whom He will reveal His glory, He can choose that one person.  Adonai causes some nations to rise and others to fall. He creates some people for noble purposes and others for contemptible purposes.  The earth is not ours; it does not belong to us. We have been given stewardship over it, but we will return to the very dust of the earth from which we came.

“But you are a chosen people,  the King’s priesthood a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Adonai’s desire for the children Isra’el is to make them a kingdom of priests and a nation set-apart for Him.

“All the people answered as one, “Everything Adonai has said, we will do” (Exodus 19:8).  This is the response of people who fear Adonai and want to obey His every command.

Moshe reports the response of the people to Adonai who gives specific instructions for the Hebrews to meet with Him.

“See I am coming to you in a thick cloud, so that the people will be able to hear when I speak with you and also to trust in you forever” (Exodus 19:9).

The people consecrate or sanctify themselves by washing their clothes, their outer garments.  The Hebrew word for ‘consecrate’ in this passage is kadosh and means ‘holy.’ Cleanliness is obviously a holy attribute that Adonai desires along with a heart ready to worship.

The Hebrews were given three days to prepare for this ‘appointed time.’   A line was drawn around the mountain that they were not allowed to cross until a specified time.  Any person or animal that crossed the line before the ‘appointed time’  would die.    In the event that it happened, the person or animal was not to be touched by human hands, but to be shot with an arrow or stoned to death. This seems like a harsh consequence for crossing a line, but it is a line established by Adonai. He continues to test the people to see if they will obey His commands.  The wages of sin, of disobeying His commands, always was and always will be death (Romans 6:23).

On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning, and a thick cloud on the mountain. A trumpet sound was so loud the people trembled. Moshe led the people out of the camp to the base of the mountain which was covered with smoke like from a furnace. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh descended onto the mountain in fire and the mountain shook violently; the blast of the shofar grew louder and louder.

Moshe is told to come to the top of the mountain to receive instructions for the people.   No one is to force their way to see Adonai or they will die.  Even the leaders who were allowed to draw closer were to keep themselves set-apart otherwise Adonai may break out against them. Moshe takes Aaron with him to meet ‘I Am.’

The Hebrew word for ‘force’ is haras and means to ‘tear down or destroy.’ There is protocol in meeting with Adonai. Some quote the Scripture that we can go “boldly before the throne of grace” with an emphasis on boldly. In Hebrew the word is bitach and means ‘trust in Elohim.’ In Greek, boldly is parresias and means ‘openness, especially in speech.’ Parresias is translated as ‘confidently’ and is taught that one can now approach the Throne of Adonai without any type of protocol. There is no action or proper attitude taught, only a sense of hurried impatience and brashness. This is not how anyone would approach the king of an earthly nation, why would anyone approach the King of Kings this way? All who are born again may now enter His presence, but it should be done with humility and reverence with faith in Adonai.

The people hear the thunder and the loud shofar blast. They see the lightning and the smoking mountain.  They become so afraid that they fear they will die.  They remain at a distance while Moshe approaches the thick darkness.  Their faith has been tested and they want to do everything Adonai says, but they don’t want to hear His voice for themselves. They are so afraid of His presence that they ask Moshe to intercede.

Allowing another person to hear the voice of Elohim instead of listening yourself has great dangers.  Words can be twisted and opinions inserted.   During the Dark Ages when the Scriptures were inaccessible to the general population, those in leadership said and did whatever they wanted and claimed it was the Word of Elohim. False doctrines and heresies crept in and deceived the people. This created a huge division between the leaders and the people –– a misrepresentation of the one High Priest and his priesthood.

It is miraculous how faithful Moshe remains to Adonai writing everything He tells him in the ‘book of the covenant’ so the children of Isra’el have a testimony of Adonai’s Words. Those same people throughout their generations guarded the Torah and the prophets so we have our Scriptures today –– Scriptures that are identical to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The event at Mount Sinai happened 50 days after the exodus or on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. It is at this ‘appointed time’ that Adonai gives the people His instructions. Torah becomes the foundation of the covenant Adonai makes with the children Isra’el. The covenant transforms the Hebrews into the nation of Isra’el, and is considered a marriage covenant or ketubah, the written vows from a Husband to his wife.

The Ten Commandments or the Ten Words are the spoken word of Adonai and the Israelites hear the voice, Yeshua. The instructions are written by Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh’s finger on tablets of stone establishing His power and authority over Torah.

The Ten Words

“Yeshua replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’”
(Matthew 22:37-40).

The Ten Commandments could be thought of as the Table of Contents for the instructions of Adonai.  According to Yeshua, every commandment in the Torah, the prophets, the writings, and even the gospels and letters expound on the ways to love Elohim, our neighbor and ourselves because “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Torah with all of its instructions is the foundation of ‘all Scripture.’

“Then God said all these words…” (Exodus 20:1).

Adonai did not speak in Greek or Latin nor did He write the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone with Roman numerals.  He spoke in Hebrew, and with His finger wrote right to left.   If they were numbered, each would have been represented by one of the first ten letters of the Hebrew alef-bet, a word picture depicting each command, thus Ten Words.

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first strength.’

“I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the abode of slavery.  You are to have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

Adonai is to be the only Elohim the Israelites have. He is to be their strength because He brought them out of Egypt with His mighty hand.  He is their leader, their deliverer. Adonai desires to be the sole object of their worship; He is a jealous God or El Kanna.

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

“You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, or the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.  You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai am a jealous God punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my commandments” (Exodus 20:3-6).

When Jacob leaves Laban, Rachel steals her father’s household gods.  This type of ‘other god’ worship was as common in the ancient world as it is today.  Every world religious system creates images to worship. Some require a sacrifice or personal meditation. More often than not, these images and offerings of sacrifice and worship are done in the home.

The word ‘jealous’ is better rendered ‘zealous’ meaning ‘vigilant in guarding a possession.’  Adonai’s jealousy isn’t bitter or vindictive; it’s compassionate and protective as seen in His hovering over the children of Isra’el after bringing them out of Egypt.  He is fully aware of the enemy who tries to steal away their devotion through idolatry.

Adonai will not tolerate sin and punishes the sins of the parents through the third and fourth generations.   The word for ‘sin’ in this verse can be ‘iniquity.’  Iniquity is birthed in the heart and sin occurs when one transgresses the line established by Adonai in His Torah (1 John 3:4) Yet, in His justice, Adonai displays grace to the thousandth generation of those who love Him by obeying His commandments.

ג Gimel – Camel means ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

“You are not to use the name of Adonai your God in vain (lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely) for Adonai will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

The name of Adonai is not to be lifted up in vanity or excessive pride. The priests to whom the name was given did not want it profaned among the nations. Unfortunately, the name also became lost to the people chosen by Elohim to know it.

ד Dalet – Door means ‘pathway.’

“Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.  You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God  On it, you are not to do any kind of work – not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates of your property.  For in six days, Adonai made the heavens and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested.  This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for Himself” (Exodus 20:8-11).

The Sabbath is the pathway to enter Adonai’s rest, a rest from physically being creative and working. The seventh-day Sabbath is holy because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh separated it from all other days. According to the Hebrew Word Picture, Shabbat is a ‘sign’ that His holy day consumes the family home.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Sabbath (Cease) or Shabbat – שבת – shin, bet, tav
– the covenant consumes the house

The first four commandments instruct us how to love God above all other gods, how to worship him without idols, and how to honor His name. The final six commandments instruct us how to love our neighbor as ourselves.

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

“Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

This is the first commandment with a promise –– long life in the Land which Adonai is giving to His people.  To bring honor to one’s parents means to not bring them dishonor among the people with whom you live.

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

“Do not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

Though we are to be good stewards of the earth, the plants and animals, murder in this instance refers to taking human life.

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide.’

“Do not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

 Adultery divides the relationship between a husband and wife and cuts off the marriage covenant.

ח Het – A Fence means ‘protect.’

“Do not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

Fences keep people and their property safe within them; fences keep people out who want to steal.

ט Tet – A Snake means ‘to twist.’

“Do not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

The ‘snake’ is responsible for the first lie by twisting the truth of Adonai’s instruction in the Garden.

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘a finished work.’

“Do not covet your neighbor’s house, do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

Be content with your finished works and do not desire whatever it is your neighbor has.

Even without a Tabernacle, the children of Isra’el are given instructions for making offerings to Adonai. They are not to make gods of gold or silver; they need only an altar. They are not make steps up to the altar so that they are indecently uncovered. On the altar they may make burnt offerings and peace offerings with sheep, goats, and cattle.

The altar could be made of earth, but had to be made a specific way in order to be holy or kadosh –– ‘set-apart for Adonai.’ Kadosh is interchangeable with the Greek word hagiazo, both meaning to sanctify. They are also allowed to make an altar of stones; however any use of tools to cut the stones would profane the altar. It would make the altar chol or common.

One of the responsibilities of the priesthood was to teach the people the difference between the holy and common and enable them to distinguish between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ (Ezekiel 44:22).

“In every place where I cause my name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you” (Exodus 20:21).

There is blessing in the name of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, especially when He causes it to be mentioned.  It is a move of the Spirit of Adonai to restore His name so He can bless those who speak it.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Holy (Set-Apart) or kadosh – קדש – kof, dalet, shin
– what is behind the pathway of chaos

Profane (Make Common) or chol – חל – chet, lamed
– protect and urge forward

Yeshua and Torah

“The true Torah was in his mouth, and no dishonesty was found on his lips; he walked with me in peace and uprightness and turned many away from sin” (Malachi 2:6).

“Philip found Natan’el and told him, ‘We’ve found the one that Moshe wrote about in the Torah, also the Prophets — it’s Yeshua Ben-Yosef from Natzeret!’” (John 1:45)

“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yod or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:17-20)

“He [Yeshua] said to them, ‘So then, every Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid [disciple] for the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a home who brings out of his storage room both new things and old’” (Matthew 13:52).

“In the acharit-hayamim the mountain of Adonai’s house will be established as the most important mountain. It will be regarded more highly than the other hills, and all the Goyim will stream there. Many peoples [nations] will go and say, ‘Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Ya’akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:2-3).

©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, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 13: Sh’mot (Names) – EXODUS

Exodus 1:1-6:1

“These are the names of the sons of Isra’el who came into Egypt with Ya’akov; each man came with his household…” (Exodus 1:1).

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Nafatli, Gad, and Asher entered into Egypt as a nation of 70 Hebrews. They joined Joseph and his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Their descendants increased and they grew very powerful. Centuries later, a Pharaoh came to power who knew nothing about Joseph and his family. The fear of Isra’el –– anti-semitism –– begins.

This Pharaoh spoke to his people, “Look, the descendants of Isra’el  have become a people too numerous and powerful for us.  Come, let’s use wisdom in dealing with them.  Otherwise, they’ll continue to multiply; and in the event of war they might ally themselves with our enemies, fight against us and leave the land altogether” (Exodus 1:8-10).

These verses state that Pharaoh is using ‘wisdom’ or chokmah. Wisdom judges wisely and then follows the right course of action. Wisdom is the ability to see Elohim’s perspective in a situation. On the surface, Pharaoh’s wisdom seems foolish. He does not fear Elohim, which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7); and, true wisdom comes only from Elohim, from His mouth comes understanding (Proverbs 2:10). From the very start of this parashah, Elohim uses Pharaoh to begin to complete His plan of deliverance for the Hebrew people. Though concealed by Elohim, Pharaoh prophesies a blessing over the descendants of Jacob.  They will multiply and leave his land, but before that happens, Elohim will make war against him, his people, his land, and his gods.

Pharaoh’s prophetic words are grounded in fear. Fear is self-prophesying. Consider the words of Job: “For the thing I feared has overwhelmed me, what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25). This will be the very same outcome for Pharaoh. His fears will become his worst nightmare.

“But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, until the Egyptians came to dread the people of Isra’el” (Exodus 1:12).

Pithom (House of Turn) and Ra’amses (Begotten by Ra) were two cities built by the Hebrews who had become Egypt’s slaves; the Septuagint mentions Heliopolis (Sun City) as well.  These cities were known as Pharaoh’s ‘treasure cities.’

In 1863, excavators found the location for Pithom along the canal route connecting the Nile River to the Red Sea.  Its Arabian name was Patumos (Egyptian, Memphis) and its capital was Goshen where Isra’el had first settled. A group of granite statues representing Ra’amses II was found standing between two gods. A ruined temple and the remains of brick buildings with very thick walls and rectangular chambers with openings at the top, believed to have been granaries, were also uncovered. These discoveries confirm the Biblical account and point to Ra’amses II as the Pharaoh who oppressed Isra’el.

Ra’amses is a general name given to 11 Egyptian Pharaohs. It derives from the sun god Ra and means ‘the one who gave birth to him.’  Ra’amses II is also known as Ra’amses the Great and reigned during the 19th dynasty (650-600 BCE).  The early part of his reign focused on building cities, temples, and monuments.

The Midwives

It wasn’t enough to increase the oppression of the Hebrew people as slaves. Ra’amses tells the Hebrew midwives to kill every boy born to a Hebrew family; girls were allowed to live. The midwives fear Elohim and do not obey Pharaoh’s instructions and allow the boys to live. When Pharaoh demands a reason for their disobedience, they reply that Hebrew women are vigorous in childbirth and give birth before they arrive. Because of their willingness to disobey the death order and give every baby the right to life, Elohim prosper the midwives, and the Hebrews continue to multiply. This frustrates Pharaoh even more and he commands that every infant boy born be thrown into the Nile River –– not only by soldiers, but by the Hebrews’ friends and neighbors.

The midwives were commanded to perform post-birth abortions, killing a baby after it was born. Because Shifra and Pu’ah were God-fearing women, they became founders of their own families. 

Hebrew Word Pictures
Shiphrah or Shifrah – שפרה – shin, peh, resh, hey
– consume the source of the highest authority, behold

Puah or Pu’ah – פועה – peh, vav, ayin, hey
– the source of the binding, understand and behold
 

A Levite Family

About 320 years after Elohim tells Abraham that his descendants would be oppressed and enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years, a Levite family has a son. His mother hides him for three months.  After three months, she makes a papyrus basket, coats it with clay and tar, and puts the baby boy inside. She floats the basket in the Nile River among the reeds of the shoreline. His sister, Miryam, watches from a distance to make sure he is safe.

Pharaoh’s daughter comes to the river to bathe and spots the basket.  She has her slave girl retrieve it. She looks inside and finds the baby boy and is moved with pity, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children” (Exodus 2:6).

All male babies who descended from Abraham were to be circumcised when they were eight days old. This ‘sign’ in the flesh was evidence of their heritage in Abraham. In the movie, The Ten Commandments, a piece of cloth was placed in the basket to reveal the heritage of the baby, but in the Scriptures, Pharaoh’s daughter looks inside the basket and immediately knows, from his circumcision, the baby is Hebrew.

Miryam comes out of hiding and asks the Pharaoh’s daughter if she should find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby.  Pharaoh’s daughter tells her “Yes, Go.” Miryam brings her mother, Jochebed, who nurses her son until he is weaned.  The Scriptures say that Pharaoh’s daughter paid Jochebed for her services (Genesis 1:9). Once the boy is weaned, he is brought back to Pharaoh’s daughter. She names him Moshe meaning ‘pulled out’ because she had pulled him out of the river.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Moses (Drawn from the Water) or Moshe – משה – mem, shin, hey
– chaos consumed, behold

Moshe was nursed by his birth mother until he was weaned. According to most historical accounts, weaning took place anytime between 18 months and 5 years. Within this time period, Jochebed had sufficient time to teach her son about the Elohim of Isra’el and Moshe’s Hebrew heritage. These spiritual seeds take root in his soul and, 40 years later, they begin to sprout (Acts 7).

In Exodus 2:11, Moshe goes to visit his kinsmen.  The use of the word kinsmen means that he understood his heritage to be Hebrew. Even though he was raised in an Egyptian palace, he feels the need to be with his people. He watches them struggle as slaves. He watches the overseers treat his relatives with cruelty. When he witnesses an Egyptian overseer strike one of his Hebrew brothers, he can no longer handle the injustice. When no one is looking, he kills the Egyptian and hides the body in the sand.

The next day he witnesses two Hebrews fighting with each other.  He asks the one, “Why are you hitting your kinsman?”  The man responds, “Who appointed you ruler and judge over us?  Do you intend to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian?” (Exodus 2:14)

Though the words, “Who appointed you ruler and judge over us” frightens Moshe and brings a death sentence to his life in Egypt, his kinsman spoke prophetic words. They became the driving force for Moshe to leave Egypt, wander to Midian where he would meet the Elohim of the Hebrews face to face.

“This Moshe, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ is the very one whom God sent as both ruler and ransomer by means of the angel that appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing miracles and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years” (Acts 7:35-36).

In Midian, Moshe meets the seven daughters of the priest of Midian while sitting by a well.  They come to draw water for their father’s sheep, but other shepherds try to keep them away.  Moshe defends the women and then waters their sheep. He is invited into Reu’el’s (Friend of God) home and shares a meal with him in his tent. Reu’el gives his daughter Zipporah (Bird) to Moshe for a wife. She gives birth to a son named Gershom for Moshe said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land” (Exodus 2:22).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Zipporah (ָ A Little Bird) or Tzipporah – צפורה – tzade, peh, vav, resh, hey
– draw near to the source of the binding, the highest authority, behold

Gershom (I had been a foreigner) or Gershom – גרשם – gimel, resh, shin, mem
– lift up the highest authority consuming chaos

Reu’el is also called Yitro or Jethro meaning ‘His Excellency’ and is not the name of Moshe’s father-in-law, but his title as a priest of Midian.  The meaning of a baby’s name, Yitro, defines the character and leadership of Yitro when Moshe brings Isra’el into the wilderness:

“People with this name [Yitro] tend to be orderly and dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service. They value truth, justice, and discipline, and may be quick-tempered with those who do not. Their practical nature makes them good at managing and saving money, and at building things in the material world. Because of their focus on order and practicality, they may seem overly cautious and conservative at times.”

Hebrew Word Pictures
Jethro (His Excellence) or Yitro – יתרו – yod, tav, resh, vav
– finished work of the covenant, the highest authority binding

Reuel (Friend of God) or Re’u’el – רעואל – resh, ayin, vav, alef, lamed
– the highest authority understands the binding, the first strength of the shepherd

Holy Ground

“God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Avraham, Yitz’ak and Ya‘akov” (Exodus 2:24).

While Moshe is tending sheep in the desert, he comes to the mountain of Elohim known as Horeb. The ‘angel of Adonai’ appears to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush.  Moshe looks up and sees that though the bush was flaming with fire, it did not burn. He becomes curious and walks over to see why the bush has not burned up. He hears Elohim call his name from inside the bush, “Moshe, Moshe.”

Moshe answers, “Here I am” or “Hineni,” just like his forefather Abraham. Hineni means that Moshe is ready in the physical present to receive what will be spiritually imparted to him. Moshe is allowing himself to be prepared as the vessel that Elohim will use to judge the Egyptians.

“Don’t come any closer!  Take your sandals off, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.  I am the God of your father,” he continued, “the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’ak and the God of Ya’akov. Moshe covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:5-6).

Elohim speaks to Moshe.  The voice of Elohim from the beginning of Creation, has always been Yeshua (John 1:1-14). As a flaming fire within a bush that doesn’t burn, Elohim speaks with Moshe.  He tells him to take off his sandals because the ground on which he is standing is holy. Moshe obeys. He doesn’t question the voice. He doesn’t make excuses. He removes his sandals.

Because of the contemporary view that Jesus is our friend and we can treat him as we would any of our friends, most who worship Elohim would never consider taking off their shoes when standing in a holy place. Though some may have a concept of the holiness of Elohim, there is generally little behavior that gives evidence to that concept. Holiness and being set-apart for Elohim has been diluted in a cultural religiosity with a loss of reverence for the Creator. Most in the modern church setting no longer think of Elohim as a devouring fire who commands us to “be holy as I am holy” and to worship Him with fear and awe (Hebrews 12:28, 2 Peter 1:16).

Moshe covers his face because he is afraid to look at Elohim.  He is completely humbled. Elohim continues to speak and tells Moshe that He has seen His people in slavery and has “come down to bring them up out of Egypt to a ‘land flowing with milk and honey’” (Exodus 3:8). Elohim reveals that Moshe is the one He is choosing to go to Egypt to lead the descendants of Isra’el out of their oppression.

Selah
Elohim says that like Yeshua has come down,
He will bring Isra’el up out of Egypt (Proverbs 30:4).

Moshe isn’t quite so sure about this calling on his life.   He wonders who he is that Elohim would call him.  Elohim reassures him that He will be with him and gives Moshe a ‘sign.’ Elohim will bring Isra’el back to the very mountain on which Moshe is standing, and they will worship Him on that mountain.

Moshe asks what to tell the people if they want to know who sent him to deliver them. It seems to Moshe that the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the Elohim of Isra’el will not be enough to convince the Hebrews of the conversation he’s having on the mountain. Moshe wants something more finite.

My Memorial Name, Forever

“God said to Moshe, ‘Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be],’ and added ‘Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: Ehyeh [I Will Be] has sent me to you.’ God said further to Moshe, ‘Say this to the people of Isra’el: Yod-Hey Vav-Hey, the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Ya’akov has sent me to you.  This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation’” (Exodus 3:14-16).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I Am that I Am)
אהיה אשׁר אהיה
alef, hey, yod, hey; alef, shin, resh; alef, hey, yod, hey

– the first strength, behold the finished work, revealed;
the first strength consumes the highest authority
first strength behold the finished work behold

(YHVH) – יהוה– yod-hey-vav-hey
– the finished work, behold, the binding, behold
– the hand behold, the nails behold

From the Hebrew rendering of the Name, Elohim’s essence given to Moshe is a simple phrase consisting of the relative pronoun asher stuck between two instances of the first person singular imperfect of the verb hayah, ‘to be.’ Ehyeh is usually translated “I will be.” Asher is a unique word. Imagine one word that can mean ‘that, what, when or where’ and that is the meaning of asher. With this understanding, the forever memorial name of Elohim given to Moshe has the meaning: “I will be that I will be; I will be what I will be; I will be where I will be; I will be when I will be.” From the Hebrew lettering for Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh comes the Hebrew, yod-hey-vav-hey referred to as the ‘Name of God.’

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is not a name, but a state of being, the essence of who Elohim is and an expression of His existence. He cannot give Moshe a finite name because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is infinite and a difficult reality to comprehend. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is telling Moshe, He can be whatever Moshe needs Him to be; whenever he needs Him to be, wherever he needs Him to be and so much more. No matter what happens in Egypt, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh will be present, seen, and available. Moshe is commanded to make His presence known to the Hebrews as it is His memorial name, to be remembered from generation to generation.

Selah
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the presence of Elohim can be the King of Salem, a visitor with Abraham, an angel who wrestles Jacob, the commander of Elohim’s army, a smoking pot, a fire in a bush, a dove, a whirlwind, a rock, a pillar of fire, a cloud or even parts of Himself –– His right hand, His finger which writes, and His mighty arm which saves. He can even become flesh in the body and person of Yeshua.

Over the millennia, the correct pronunciation of yod-hey-vav-hey disappeared. The Levitical priesthood took possession of the Name allowing only the high priest to use it on Yom Kippur. They were fearful the Name might be profaned among the nations so the people of Isra’el never heard it spoken. Within generations they forgot how to say it and ultimately use it. Today, ‘The Name’ or HaShem is used by most Jewish people.

Since Isra’el became a nation over 60 years ago, there has been movement by Messianic gentiles to begin re-using the memorial name. This is a fascinating move of the Spirit of Elohim in these last days. As Islam becomes more prevalent in the world, Muslims speak and murder in the name of their god quite boldly, but ‘The Name’ of the One True Living Elohim remains hidden under titles such as Lord, Adonai, HaShem or the generic, God. 

Unfortunately, those desiring to use the memorial name have split in every direction from the most probable utterance of yod-hey-vav-hey being Yahweh or Yahveh to some of the most nonsensical words, giving credence to the reason the Levites decided to keep the Name only in the mouths of those who would not profane it.

The memorial name forever –– yod-hey-vav-hey –– has been replaced in Bibles with LORD.  LORD is not the name of Elohim given to Moshe, it is a title. In the Complete Jewish Bible, the memorial name has been replaced with Adonai. In this book, I will use Adonai, HaShem, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Hayah or ‘I Am’ when I refer to the memorial name. From my understanding, the memorial name Elohim is yod-hey-vav-hey and I will use that respectfully.

Signs for Moshe

“Then you will come, you and the leaders of Isra’el, before the king of Egypt; and you will tell him, ‘Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert; so that we can sacrifice to Adonai our God.’ I know that the king of Egypt will not let you leave unless he is forced to do so’” (Exodus 3:18-19).

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh tells Moshe to gather the leaders of Isra’el. He is to tell them the Elohim of their fathers appeared to him and has seen their oppression and will lead them out of their misery into a ‘land flowing with milk and honey.’ He is to tell them to go three days journey into the desert where they can sacrifice to Adonai their Elohim. He says the Hebrew leaders will do as he says, but Pharaoh will not let them go unless he is forced to free them (Exodus 3:16-19).

“But I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will do there. Moreover, I will make the Egyptians so well-disposed toward this people that when you go, you won’t go empty-handed. You will plunder the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:20-22)

Moshe worries that the people will not listen to him and believe he is lying. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh asks what is in his hand to which Moshe replies “a staff.” He tells him to throw his staff down onto the ground and it turns into a snake. Moshe recoils from it, but Adonai tells him to grab it by its tail. He does and it becomes his staff again.

As Moshe knew from growing up in Egypt, the snake was the symbol of Wadjet, an Egyptian goddess who controlled and protected the land.  The snake symbolized Pharaoh’s sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority in Egypt.  The snake was so important that it became part of the headdress of the Pharaoh. By turning Moshe’s staff into a snake, Adonai proves He is the Sovereign Ruler over Egypt.  Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh alone is the only Elohim and His divine authority surpasses that of Pharaoh’s.

Adonai tells Moshe to put his hand into his coat. Moshe slips his hand into his coat and when he pulls it out, it is leprous. He put his hand back into his coat and when he pulls it out a second time, it is healed.

Leprosy was a punishment for pride and arrogance against Adonai. This ‘sign’ was given to Moshe as proof Elohim was going to judge and punish Pharaoh’s pride of through the meekest of men (Numbers 12:3). It was also evidence that Adonai knew and saw the murder of Hebrew babies thrown into the Nile, and He would judge Pharaoh for those innocent lives.

In spite of the powerful signs, Moshe makes another excuse. He says that he is a terrible speaker and his words come slowly. This seems ironic as his excuses come out of his mouth rather quickly! Yet, Moshe grew up a Hebrew in Pharaoh’s household. He had to learn to be humble and quiet so that no one would learn of his heritage. Adonai understands Moshe’s character and promises that He will go with him, teach him, and be his mouth.

Moshe finally expresses his true feelings. He doesn’t want to go to Egypt. Period.  He would rather Adonai send someone else. How often are we like Moshe when Elohim has something for us to do?  How often do we find other activities more important than being His hands and feet?   How often do we consider ourselves incapable and forget that when Elohim calls, He equips?

Each of us can be like those who were invited to the wedding feast but were full of excuses: marriage, fields, livestock. Because of the multitude of negative RSVP responses, others are invited to the feast and receive the reward of attending the wedding of the King’s son (Matthew 22). Or, we can be like the prophet Isaiah who heard the voice of Elohim and immediately responded, “Send me!” (Isaiah 6:7-8)

In the book of Esther, Mordecai reminds Hadassah, who has become Queen of Persia, that if she does not rise to the call of saving her people, then help will come from somewhere else, but she and her family will perish (Esther 4:14). When Elohim calls us to do His will, we either do it and receive the blessing or He will find someone else.

Adonai’s anger “blazed up.” From the way this is written, the fire within the burning bush must have burned higher, hotter, and maybe even singed Moshe’s beard and eyebrows. Still, Moshe remains Elohim’s choice and He offers a solution. Moshe’s brother, Aaron, has the ability to speak and will become his mouth. As a matter of face, Elohim says that Aaron is already on his way to meet his brother.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh encourages Moshe by telling him that everyone who wanted him dead have died, and despite the miracles Moshe will be able to perform, Adonai will harden Pharaoh’s heart.  

Moshe returns home and asks Jethro to allow him to return to Egypt to see if his kinsmen are still alive. Jethro blesses him and tells him, “Go in peace.”  Moshe gathers his wife and two sons, and they leave Midian.

Circumcising the ‘Son of Abraham’

Circumcision was the sign of the covenant El Shaddai made with Abraham that required all male babies eight days old to be circumcised.  As a descendant of Abraham, Moshe’s Levite family circumcised him and he should have circumcised his son.  Adonai could not allow Moshe go into Egypt dishonoring the sign of the covenant; and He also wanted to reveal to Moshe a portion of His redemptive plan.

At a lodging place with his family, Moshe has another encounter with Adonai. This time, however, it is a confrontation that could have ended in death.   In order to end the situation, Zipporah takes immediate action.  Whether it was from the realization that they had disobeyed Adonai’s command or she just didn’t want death on her hands, Zipporah takes a flint knife and circumcises their firstborn son, Gershom.  She cuts off his foreskin and hurls the piece of bloody flesh at Moshe’s feet and says, “What a bloody bridegroom you are for me –– A bloody bridegroom because of this circumcision” (Exodus 4:25-26). While she judges Moshe’s Elohim, she is also prophesying.

“Then you are to tell Pharaoh: ‘Adonai says, “Isra’el is my firstborn son.  I have told you to let my son go in order to worship me, but you have refused to let him go. Well, then, I will kill your firstborn son!”” (Exodus 4:22-24) 

Zipporah and the Midianites were not included in the covenant given to Abraham, even though they descended from Abraham’s second wife Keturah.  From Zipporah’s reaction to the procedure, it is likely that she did not want her son circumcised and had stood against it.  She did not understand, until that moment,  the serious consequences of her unwillingness to have them enter the covenant of their father and his forefathers. 

The most common interpretation for when Zipporah circumcises her son say that Elohim was in a confrontation with  Moshe, and Zipporah saved his life by circumcising their son.  There are also those who suggest that it was Gershom who was going to die during the encounter.   As Gershom was a young man, not a small child, he could have been rebelling against the circumcision and needed to be held down through the strength of his father.  Zipporah performed circumcision with piece of flint and did the deed before her son would die.   Both are valid interpretations when the lives of the firstborn of Isra’el and the firstborn of Pharaoh will be in a spiritual struggle resolved only when the firstborn of Pharaoh dies and death passes over the firstborn of Isra’el.

‘Flint’ in Hebrew is challamish and is used along with the word tsur for ‘rock.’ Flint is a hard sedimentary rock that fractures from the core creating flakes or blades that have razor sharp edges. Flint knives, used by surgeons, are so sharp they can cut between cells rather than cut cells apart. Though Zipporah is disgusted by the act of circumcision, her sacrificial work is done with precision.

“As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him, you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah” (1 Peter 2:4-5).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Flint or challamish – חלמיש – chet, lamed, mem, yod, shin
– protect, urge forward, and consume the mighty finished work

Zipporah and her sons return home. They do not go to Egypt; they do not take part in Adonai’s Passover.  Anyone who did not put the blood of the lamb on their doorpost were cut off from Isra’el and their firstborn died. By circumcising Gershon, death would pass over Moshe’s firstborn even while Gershon lived in a foreign land.  Though Zipporah was a foreigner, being married to Moshe, a descendant of Abraham, it was necessary for her to enter the ‘blood covenant’ through the foreskin of her son.  For Moshe, it was a prophetic sign that Pharaoh would not relent and the death of the firstborn of Egypt was inevitable. 

Circumcision became the requirement for taking part in the Passover (Exodus 12:47-49). Those who weren’t circumcised could not share in the Passover lamb.  With the new covenant and circumcision of the heart, everyone whether Jew or foreigner may take part in the Passover memorial. It seems, however, that today Elohim has kept foreigners from the Passover because of uncircumcised and anti-semitic hearts.  In the coming Millennial Kingdom, Isra’el is chastised for allowing foreigners to enter the Millennial Temple without being circumcised in heart and flesh (Ezekiel 44:9).   In the Millennial Kingdom, the circumcision of flesh will be restored as the ‘sign’ of faith given to Abraham.

Moshe and Aaron Arrive in Egypt

Aaron goes to the desert and meets his brother. Moshe tells Aaron that Adonai has spoken to him. He shows him the signs to prove to the Hebrews that he and Aaron have received a calling from ‘I Am’ to deliver them from slavery.  When Moshe and Aaron arrive in Egypt, they call the Hebrew leaders together. Aaron tells them everything Adonai has promised while Moshe performs the signs as evidence for the people. The knowledge that Adonai has remembered them and wants to deliver them from bondage brings them to their knees in worship.

“The people believed; when they heard that Adonai had remembered the people of Isra’el and seen how they were oppressed, they bowed their heads and worshiped” (Exodus 4:31).

Let the Judgment Begin

“The God of Isra’el says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can celebrate a festival in the desert to honor me’” (Exodus 5:1).

In Hebrew, the word ‘festival’ is chag.  Chag Sameach or ‘Happy Holiday’ is the greeting used for Biblical festivals. Simply, Moshe asks Pharaoh to let the Israelites go for a three-day chag to the desert. Pharaoh refuses and calls the Hebrews lazy. He mocks them and their desire to sacrifice to Elohim.

Pharaoh doesn’t know Moshe’s Elohim. With great pride and arrogance he demands, “Who is Adonai, that I should obey Him?” Moshe and Aaron try to explain that Adonai is the Elohim of the Hebrews and, if Pharaoh doesn’t let the Hebrews leave, ‘I Am’ will strike Egypt with a plague or the sword.  Pharaoh’s heart is hard and refuses to let the Israelites go (Exodus 5:2-3).

Pharaoh orders the overseers to stop giving the Hebrew slaves straw for the bricks they make, while requiring the same number of bricks per day.  The Hebrew foremen are flogged when they do not keep up their daily quota of bricks.  The foremen judge Moshe and Aaron, “May Adonai look at you and judge accordingly, because you have made us utterly abhorrent in the view of Pharaoh and his servants, and you have put a sword in their hands to kill us!” (Exodus 5:21)

Egypt is an expression of a three-pronged denial of Adonai. Egypt denies His existence, His divine intervention in the lives of humanity, and His ability to change events on the earth.  Pharaoh’s heart reflects his nation’s view as the sovereign of Egypt. Moshe and Aaron are sent to Pharaoh to show him and the Egyptians that they have gone too far in their denial of human dignity given to humanity by the Creator Himself.

Yeshua, the ‘I Am’

“Yeshua answered, ‘I Am’ the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

“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).

“’I Am’ the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

“’I Am’ the good shepherd” (John 10:11).

“Yeshua said to her, ‘I Am’ the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in me will live, even if he dies; and everyone living and trusting in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

“Yeshua said, ‘I Am’ the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“Yeshua said, ‘I Am’ the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing” (John 15:5).

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