Posts Tagged ‘netzer’

Revelation Chapter 11 – Two Witnesses

 “I was given a measuring rod like a stick and told, “Get up, and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count how many people are worshipping there! But the court outside the Temple, leave that out; don’t measure it; because it has been given to the Goyim, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.”

Yochanan is told to measure the Temple and the altar. He is also told to count the number of people worshipping in the area.

Specific measurements for the Millennial Temple are given to the prophet Ezekiel. In chapter 42, he measures the thickness of the walls, the gates, the gate entrances, the guardrooms, the different dimensions of the courtyard from the north, south, east, and west, the sanctuary, and the Most Holy Place. In chapter 43, he is also given the dimensions of the altar.

Many people believe the sacrifices stopped when Yeshua died on the cross. This is not Biblically accurate. Many years after Yeshua’s resurrection, Sha’ul made a Nazarite vow that included an offering. This supports the truth that Sha’ul never spoke against the Torah, the Temple or the sacrifices of which he was accused by ‘false witnesses.’

“The next day Sha’ul took the men, purified himself along with them and entered the Temple to give notice of when the period of purification would be finished and the offering would have to be made for each of them” (Acts 21:26).

The sacrifices and offerings stopped when the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. When any Temple is rebuilt, those offerings and sacrifices will resume and there will be people at the altar worshipping Elohim in this manner.

The courtyard outside of the Millennial Temple will not be measured because the goyim, the nations, will trample it for 3 1/2 years. Though the word goyim is translated into gentiles, the word can also mean pagans. The Hebrew word ‘trample’ is ramas and means ‘oppression.’ During the 42 months, the gentiles, will oppress the outer court. According to Webster’s Dictionary, oppress means to spiritually burden, to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority. In the second Temple, the outer court was where the women of Isra’el gathered. Though Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple is not the second temple, the outer court, whether it should be the gathering place for believing nations or women of Isra’el, will be an oppressive place and pagans will destroy it.

“Here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘No foreigner, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, is to enter my sanctuary — no foreigner living among the people of Isra’el” (Ezekiel 44:9).

“Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to do them harm, fire comes out of their mouth and consumes their enemies — yes, if anyone tries to harm them, that is how he must die. They have the authority to shut up the sky, so that no rain falls during the period of their prophesying; also they have the authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.”

There are several thoughts as to who or what the two witnesses may be. Some believe it is the Jew and Gentile as One New Man witness, but I’m not sure how they dress in sackcloth. Others suggest the two witnesses cannot be individual people because it is not possible that two individuals can affect the whole world with such intensity in their life and death. I beg to differ on that idea because in our world today with all sorts of technology, a one world government, religion, and economic system, two people who breathe fire and turn water into blood can have an affect on the world. The two witnesses are described as ‘two olive trees’ and ‘two menorahs’ that stand before the Lord of the earth as explained to the prophet Zechariah in chapter 4.

He was asked by an angel what he saw while he saw a vision or had a dream. Zechariah responded that he saw a menorah with two olives trees next to it – one on each side. The angel explained the menorah and the olive trees refer to Zerubbabel who will put the capstone in place for the foundation of the Millennial Temple and who will also finish it. Those who see the day when the plumbline is in the hand of Zerubbabel will rejoice. He then says that the seven lamps on the menorah are the “eyes of Adonai that range about all over the earth” (Zechariah 4:7-10).

Zechariah asked about the two olive trees on the right and left of the menorah that poured gold-colored oil through two gold spouts. The angel told him:

Those are the two who have been anointed with oil; they are standing with the Lord of all the land” (Zechariah 4:14).

From Zechariah’s vision, it can be understood that these two witnesses are highly anointed people who have a direct spiritual connection to the “Lord of all the land.” Their power from yod hey vav hey includes fire coming from their mouths consuming their enemies. Whoever tries to harm them will die in the same way.

More specific details are given about these two witnesses. One is that they have power to stop rain during their days of prophesying; the other is they can turn water into blood and to strike the world with plagues whenever they desire.

Elijah during his tenure on earth had the power to stop rain from falling on Isra’el. This suggests that one of the witnesses may be Elijah. Scripture says it is appointed for a man to die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Elijah never died but was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot.

Moshe during his tenure on earth had the power to turn water into blood and to bring forth plagues upon Egypt. Moshe did die. He was buried somewhere in the land of Moab, but his grave was never revealed by God.

Both Moshe and Elijah were seen glorified with Yeshua by Kefa, Ya’akov, and Yochanan on the Mount of Transfiguration. At that time, the disciples believed that Yeshua was setting up his Millennial Kingdom and asked if they could put up sukkot or tents for the Feast of Tabernacles. Though they had a correct prophetic understanding, their timing was off. However, the fact that these two men appeared with Yeshua could suggest they are the two witnesses not only to the glory of Yeshua, but his two witnesses who prophesy about him for 1,260 days.

There is another possibility for the two witnesses. Translating the Hebrew from Zechariah 4:14, the words read, “these are two sons of fresh oil.” ‘Fresh oil’ was used to anoint high priests and kings. In Zechariah, the high priest is referred to is Yoshua while the prince/king is Zerubbabel.

Yoshua was the first high priest of the rebuilt Jerusalem after the Jewish exiles returned from Persia. This is not the same Yoshua who brought the children of Isra’el into the Promised Land. This Yoshua descended from the priestly lineage of Levi and Aaron. In Zechariah 3, he stands before Yeshua, the angel of Elohim, and the Accuser. He represents the filthiness of Isra’el their guilt that needed to be judged. Yeshua removes Yoshua’s dung-soiled clothes and replaces them with a clean turban and rich garments. A stone is placed before him representing ‘the Branch’ that has ‘seven eyes’ or is the seven-branched menorah. ‘Branch’ in Hebrew is netzer. From this word comes Nazareth, Yeshua of Nazareth and the word Nazarene.

Zerrubabel returned with Yoshua from Persia. His grandfather, Shealtiel, was the last king of Judah before the Jews were exiled. Zerubbabel became the first king of the re-established city of Jerusalem and the province of Judea. As a descendant of Judah, he was of the lineage of David and ultimately King Yeshua. The name Zerubbabel means ‘pressed out, like an olive, of Babel.’ A related root of Zerubbabel is netzer, the Branch. Haggai prophesies about ‘the Day’ when Zerubbabel will be Elohim’s ‘signet ring’ and his authority is ‘not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of yod hey vav hey.’

“When that day comes,’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot, ‘I will take you, Z’rubavel, my servant, the son of Sh’alti’el,’ says Adonai, ‘and wear you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot” (Haggai 2:23).

These two witnesses symbolizing the High-Priest King Messiah always occur together in Scripture. If they are the two witnesses during the first 3 1/2 years of Tribulation, they will be most likely be prophesying about the filthiness and guilt of Isra’el in the midst of a false Temple with the anti-messiah central to that worship and the false prophet who perform ‘miracles.’

“Who among you is left that saw this house in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? It seems like nothing to you, doesn’t it?” (Haggai 2:3).

“When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them; and their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is “S’dom” and “Egypt” — the city where their Lord was executed on a stake. Some from the nations, tribes, languages and peoples see their bodies for three-and-a-half days and do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. The people living in the Land rejoice over them, they celebrate and send each other gifts, because these two prophets tormented them so.”

When they finish giving their testimony, the beast comes up out of the Abyss and fights against them. He is given the power to overcome them and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie on the main street of Jerusalem. Because of the spiritual condition of Jerusalem, it is referred to as Sodom and Egypt.

Sodom was known for its blatant sin of sexual immorality, homosexuality in the days of Abraham. However, the prophet Ezekiel was told the crimes of Sodom included pride, gluttony, and arrogance. She and her ‘daughters’ were careless and complacent so they did nothing to help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49). This is the spiritual condition of Jerusalem: rampant homosexuality, pride, excess in eating and drinking, and an offensive display of superiority.

Their bodies lay in the street for 3 1/2 days and no one allows their bodies to be buried. Some from the tribes, nations, and tongues will see the dead bodies. The people of the Land of Isra’el will rejoice over them. They will celebrate and give each other gifts.

It is apparent from the reaction of the tribes and nations that these two witnesses did not preach a message of political correctness or social justice. They were more than an annoyance, they tormented the people. The Greek word for ‘torment’ in this verse means ‘torture’ or ‘vex with grievous pains.’ The people wanted these prophets dead. After 3 1/2 years, they are killed by the ‘beast’ that comes up from the Abyss, the deep void.

There are two places to dwell in Scripture. One can dwell in the Kingdom or on earth. Even before the Kingdom of Messiah comes, one can be a Kingdom dweller with a focus on the spiritual things of heaven walking in the Spirit. Earth-dwellers could be likened to flesh people whose focus is on the earth and what is happening with the earth.

It is the earth-dwellers who rejoice over the death of these two witnesses for Elohim. They will be so happy that they exchange gifts. Because these are ‘earth dwellers’ and not heavenly minded people, I have often thought that perhaps this celebration will happen around Christmastime when nations around the world send gifts to one another. As Isra’el continues to embrace ‘freedom of religion’ in the Land promised to Abraham, many religions with their idolatrous practices have the liberty to worship whatever gods they choose.

“But after the three-and-a-half days a breath of life from God entered them, they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then the two heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up into heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. In that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were awestruck and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

After 3 1/2 days, the prophets of Elohim stand up. They are resurrected to life. This event brings great fear to those who witness breath of Elohim bringing these two back to life. A loud voice from to them and they go up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watch.

This cloud is the cloud of the faithful who attain the resurrection. When Yeshua ascended into heaven, he was enveloped in a cloud. Only 40 days before at his resurrection, Matthew records that holy people were resurrected in Jerusalem. It is these resurrected men and women, the firstfruits of the resurrection, who attained the goal the ultimate goal of the resurrection of the dead (Philippians 3:11).

In the book of Hebrews, a great cloud of witnesses surrounds those who run the race for the ultimate prize. This is not a race for salvation, but a race for complete and final deliverance from death. They run knowing that there will be times of struggle, of discipline, but ultimately their faith run will bring them to the goal of the resurrection of the dead. It is this great cloud of faithful enveloping these two men bringing them into the glory of the Kingdom of Elohim.

“The second woe has passed; see, the third woe is coming quickly.”

The second revelation of despair and the torment from the two witnesses followed by their death and resurrection has passed. The Hebrew word for ‘woe’ is oy and means ‘an impassioned expression of grief and despair. For the earth-dwellers, a third revelation of despair is to come quickly.

The seventh angel sounded his shofar; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever!”

With the seventh messenger blowing his shofar, loud voices proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of Messiah. Years ago I heard someone say that the Tribulation is either the last 7 years of this world’s age or the beginning 7 years of Messiah’s reign when he has to cleanup the world before taking his seat of authority in Jerusalem. Because the Kingdom comes to Messiah before the third ‘woe,’ I tend to lean toward the idea that he’s judging the world in order to set up his reign.

“The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones in God’s presence fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, “We thank you, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is and was, that you have taken your power and have begun to rule.”

The twenty-four elders, the leaders of the priestly lineages outlined by King David, thank Elohim for taking power and beginning their rule over the earth. They thank the Elohim of heaven’s armies, the One who was and is and now has come.

“The Goyim raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people, those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

The nations raged.

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed. They cry, “Let’s break their fetters! Let’s throw off their chains!”

He who sits in heaven laughs; Adonai looks at them in derision. Then in his anger he rebukes them, terrifies them in his fury. “I myself have installed my king on Tziyon, my holy mountain” (Psalm 2:1-6).

Now it is time for the rage of Yeshua, the time to judge the dead and reward his servants the prophets and his holy people who stand in awe of his name. Proverbs 30:4 asks an important question: Do you know His name and the name of His son?

For many millennia, the name of Elohim, the yod hey vav hey, has remained a mystery. The priesthood decided that the name of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh should only be spoken on Yom Kippur and then only by the High Priest. Because of this decision, the pronounciation of the name of Elohim has been lost, twisted, created, and everything else. Yet, when yod hey vav hey gave His name to Moshe, He said it was ‘His Memorial Name FOREVER.’ How quickly ‘forever’ became ‘only for a certain length of time.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – יהוה – Yahweh

Yod is a picture of a ‘closed hand’ and means ‘finished work.’

Hey is a picture of a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal.’

Vav is a picture of a ‘nail’ and means ‘binding.’

Hey is a picture of a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal.’

The name of Elohim: “the finished work reveals the binding revealed.”

The name of His Son has also been changed from the Hebrew name given to Miriam and Yosef to an Anglicized form of Latin that now is in English. The ‘name above all names’ has lost its Jewish identity, culture and nation. Standing in ‘awe of His name’ means to know His name and not some translated form.

Yeshua – ישוע

Yod is a picture of a ‘closed hand’ and means ‘finished work.’

Shin is a picture of a ‘tooth’ and means ‘consume.’

Vav is a picture of a ‘nail’ and means ‘binding.’

Ayin is a picture of an ‘eye’ and means ‘to see.’

Yeshua means ‘the finished work consumes the binding [nails], seen.”

Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in his Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake and violent hail.”

When Moshe was given the design for the Tabernacle, especially the Golden Menorah, he was told to make it from what he saw on the mountain. This is because everything in the Tabernacle is a shadow of what is in heaven.

Now the Temple of Elohim in heaven opens up and the realities of the shadows are revealed (Colossians 2:16). . The Ark of the Covenant, considered the throne of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is revealed. Flashes of lighting, voices, thunder, violent hail and an earthquake accompanies the revelation of the Ark.

In Exodus when Elohim wanted to meet with the people, he descended on the mountain with thunder, lightning, smoke, and the sound of the shofar. This was only a glimpse at the heavenly realm and the throne of Elohim and it caused the people to tremble (Exodus 19:16, 20:15).

In the book of Job, the thundering of Elohim’s majestic voices sounds like a roar, like the roar of the Lion of Y’hudah. Lighting is released while his voice, Yeshua, is heard (Job 37:4).

“The lion has roared. Who will not fear? Adonai, God, has spoken. Who will not prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

Chapter 12 – The Birth and The Dragon

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Parashah 36: B’ha’alotkha (When you set up)

Parashah 36: Numbers 8:1-12:6

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell Aharon, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps are to cast their light forward, in front of the menorah’” (Numbers 8:1-2).

The Branch

The seven lamps of the golden Menorah were to cast their light forward to the front of the lampstand.   Where the Menorah sat in the Holy Place,  the light would shine eastward giving light to the Holy Place (Matthew 24:27).  Elohim reminds the people that the Menorah was made from hammered gold from its base to its branches to its flowers following the pattern that Moshe saw on the mountain. 

The Hebrew word for ‘branch’ is netzer and literally means a ‘shoot or a sprout’ as in Isaiah 11:1, “But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots.”  This verse is prophetic to the Messiah who would come from the lineage of Jesse, the father of King David.  Netzer is the root of ‘Nazareth’ where Joseph and Miryam lived and raised Yeshua.  This is why he is often referred to as Yeshua of Nazareth and his early followers were known as Nazarenes or ‘branchites’ because they followed the Branch.

Josephus describes the first-century Nazarene  movement as being made up of mostly Jewish followers of Yeshua, who were concentrated in the area known as Palestine and surrounding regions.  They were led by James, the older brother of Yeshua, and flourished between the years 30-80 CE. They were zealous for the Torah and continued to walk in all the mitzvot as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher, but accepted non-Jews in accordance with some Noahide Laws.   In Acts 24:5, Sha’ul is considered the ‘ringleader’ of the Natazarim movement.  The term “Christian,” first used in Greek speaking areas for the movement, actually is an attempt to translate the term Nazarene and basically means ‘Messianist.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Branch or netzer – נצרnoon, tzadik, resh

life draws authority

Nazareth or natzrat – נצרתnoon, tzadik, resh, tav

life draws authority of covenant

The Levite Wave Offering

Elohim desired the Levite priesthood as a wave offering.  Levite men served in the Tabernacle between the ages of 25 and 50.  After 50, they assisted, but did no work.  They were to purify themselves as part of the calling to the priesthood.  Each man shaved their entire body with a razor, washed their clothes, cleansed their bodies and were sprinkled with purification water.  Once cleansed, they were  presented in front of the Mishkan before the whole nation of Isra’el. The people laid hands on the priests while Aaron offered them to ‘I AM’ as a wave offering, set apart for service in the Tabernacle.  The priests laid their hands on the bulls – a burnt offering and a sin offering – while Aaron made atonement for them.

“Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”  And,  “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7).

Purifying ourselves, like the Levite priests is an essential part of our calling as followers of Messiah if we want to be called sons and daughters of El Elyon.  The verses in 2 Corinthians set our family on the walk of faith  we have today.  We had never been taught the difference between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ or what defiled our body as well as our spirit.  We assumed we were holy and pure just because we believed in Jesus.  Yet, James says the even demons believe in him … and shudder (James 2:19).   We are called to more than a belief system, we are called to be part of the family of Elohim.  We are instructed to purify ourselves from defilement  because the Father has allowed us to be called His sons and daughters.  As Hischildren, He desires us to be pure, reverence Him and bring honor to His family.

Another Year Begins … Pesach

“Adonai spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert in the first month of the second after they had left the land of Egypt.  “Let the people of Isra’el observe Pesach at its designated time.  On the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, you are to observe it – at its appointed time” (Numbers 9:1-2).

Two years have passed since the Israelites left Egypt.  They have received Elohim’s commandments and spent an entire year making His Mishkan.  It is now time to begin the cycle of His ‘appointed times.’  They were to eat the Pesach lamb, breaking none of its bones, with matzah andmaror (bitter herbs).  Nothing was to remain until morning.

According to His grace and mercy, Elohim added an extension for Pesach.  If anyone had become ‘unclean’ from touching a dead body or had to travel at Passover,  they were allowed to observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month.  However, anyone who was ‘clean’ or not traveling and failed to observe Pesach at its ‘appointed time’ would bear the consequence of their sin.  This same rule applied to the foreigner as well as the native born making the ‘appointed time’ not only for Isra’el, but for all who would join with them in worshipping the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Sukkah of Elohim

“A cloud covered the tabernacle, that is, the tent of the testimony; and in the evening over the tabernacle was what appeared to be fire, which remained until morning” (Numbers 9:15).

While the Israelites were in the wilderness, Exodus 16 records they had tents, but they were also covered by the sukkah of Elohim.  His cloud covering kept them cool during the day and His fire warmed them at night.  Whenever the cloud of His sukkah lifted, the Israelites would pack up and travel.  When the cloud of His sukkah over them stopped, they stopped.  If the cloud of His sukkah continued both day and night, they would travel days, weeks, or months until it stopped.  This cloud and fire sukkah allude to the coming Kingdom in Jerusalem and Mount Tzion.

“Adonai will create over the whole site of Mount Tziyon and over those who assemble there a smoking cloud by day and a shining, flaming fire by night; for the Glory will be over everything like a huppah. A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain” (Isaiah 4:5-6).

A huppah or ‘chuppah’ is a bridal canopy symbolizing Elohim’s presence at a wedding.  It is said the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the Divine Name, hovers above it sanctifying the space below.  It is made of a square cloth of satin or velvet, sometimes even a large talit or prayer shawl is used.  It is supported by four wooden posts held by four men.  The wedding ceremony is conducted under the huppah representing the new ‘home’ being established,and after the wedding ceremony, some rabbis invite couples to stand inside to recall their own weddings. 

According to the first century Rabbi Akiba, the Israelites did not actually build and live in sukkot made of wood and vegetation.  Rather they resided in sukkot made of the supernatural ‘clouds of glory.’ The observance of sukkot today remembers, but does not reenact, this dimension of the Exodus.  The sukkot constructed and inhabited today symbolize a very different kind of sukkah that sheltered our ancestors in the desert. 

According to Rabbi Eliezer, a sage of the first and second centuries,  if our annual dwelling in sukkot reenacts the real sukkot (booths) in which the Israelites resided in the wilderness, then the conception of the commandment and its experience works differently.  A real sukkah is a fragile and impermanent structure, a “temporary dwelling” as rabbinic halacha would later define it.  The Israelites, in this view, were vulnerable and insecure throughout the years of wandering, exposed to the elements and susceptible to attack. On Sukkot, we move out of our solid and enduring houses to reenact this experience of vulnerability and instability [needing to put our complete trust in HaShem].

“We know that when the tent which houses us here on earth is torn down, we have a permanent building from God, a building not made by human hands, to house us in heaven” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Silver Trumpets

“Make two trumpets; make them of hammered silver.  Use them for summoning the community and for sounding the call to break camp and move on” (Numbers 10:1).

For an Israelite, listening and knowing the sounds of the silver trumpets was important.  The sound let them know if they were to assemble at the Tabernacle or if only the leaders were to come.  When the sound was to move out of camp, each tribal group would know when to set out.  When there was war, they were to sound the alarm so ‘I AM’ would remember them and save them from their enemies. 

The same holds true for the ‘blowing’ at the Yom Teruah.  Each of the four blasts of the trumpet or shofar has a purpose and meaning.

Tekiah means to ‘blow or blast.’  It is a medium length blast with low to high pitch transition having a hard, short push on low pitch, slight sustain on high pitch, sometimes ended with a short, pushing higher pitched burst.   This first blast is used to gather Yahweh’s people together.  It was probably the sound used in Joshua 6:5 when the Israelites assembled at Jericho. 

Shevarim means ‘broken.’  It consists of three blasts each low-to-high pitch sounded three in a row.  The second blast is a call to repentance.  This was probably the blast used in Isaiah 58:1 because the ‘brokenness’ of the blasts signified the need for ‘brokenness’ in the hearts of the children of Isra’el.

Teruah is the battle warning or alarm blast.  It consists nine or more rapid one-second pitch bursts like stacatto.  This was probably the sound heard when Gideon attacked the Midianites in Judges 7:22.  It is most likely the sound that will begin the “Day of the LORD” as prophesied in Joel 2:1-2. 

Tekiah Gadolah is the long, great blast or the Great Shofar.  It is similar to the tekiah, only the high note at the end is sustained for the longest possible breath ending with a violent, short, pushed-out breath of an even higher-pitched note.  This is the blast of hope prophesied in Isaiah 26:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.

The Travels Begin

From the time the Israelites leave Egypt until they arrive in the Promised Land 40 years later, they make numerous stops.   They have stopped at  Ramses in Egypt, Sukkoth near the Egyptian border, Etham on the edge of the desert, Pi-Hahiroth near the Red Sea , Marah where the water was bitter, Elim where they had wells and palm trees, the desert of Sin where they received manna and quail, Rephidim where Moshe strikes the ‘rock’ and water gushes out, and the Sinai Desert where they received the commandments of Elohim. 

After the mo’ed of Pesach, the Israelites packed their tents and set out on their first journey, moving out in their tribal units as directed by Elohim.   In the lead group were Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.  The Tabernacle was taken down and Gershon and Merari carried it.  They were followed by Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.  The descendants of Kohath packed and moved the sanctuary so the Tabernacle would be set up when they arrived.  Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin followed the Kohathites.  Dan, Asher and Naftali brought up the rear.  Each tribe was under their own banner and chosen leader. 

The Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them searching for a place for them to stop. Before it moved, Moshe would speak these words: “Arise Yahweh!  May your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!”  Whenever the Ark stopped he said: “Return, Yahweh of the many, many thousands of Isra’el! (Numbers 10:35).

“For the leader. A psalm of David. A song:  “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee from his presence. Drive them away as smoke is driven away; like wax melting in the presence of a fire, let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the righteous rejoice and be glad in God’s presence; yes, let them exult and rejoice” (Psalm 68:1-3).

Selah

The Ark of the Covenant searched for a place for them to stop. 

Tav’erah – The Place of Burning

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16).

After a three-day walk, the people began complaining.   It’s not difficult to imagine traveling through a wilderness having to carry your every belonging, including the Tabernacle and all its golden accessories and heavy furnishings.  It wouldn’t take long for the reality of the desolation to kick in.  Though there may have been some excitement anticipating the arrival in the Promised Land, the inconveniences would begin to make any normal person whine. 

The Egyptians who joined Isra’el when they left Egypt became greedy for an easier life. They had not been slaves in Egypt and life in the wilderness was not what they expected. They remembered the supply of meat, fruits and vegetables they were free to eat.  The mixed crowd of Israelites and foreigners had not counted the cost to follow Moshe.

Yet, they forgot one important detail: they were not ‘ordinary’ people trekking through the desert.  Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh was keeping them cool during the day with His sukkah cloud, warming them at night with His fire and quenching their thirst from the ‘rock’.  Even the manna continued to be on the ground in the morning dew.  They gathered it and ground it in mills or pounded it into paste with a mortar and pestle.  They cooked it in pots and made loaves that tasted like cakes.  In spite of this, they k’vetched.  They came to the entrance to the Tabernacle, family after family and cried to Moshe. 

The complaining made Elohim angry – so angry that His fire broke out against them and consumed the outskirts of their camp.   The fire that had been their warmth and protection suddenly became a curse.   Moshe cried out to Yahweh to release him from the burden of so many people.  He was not their ‘father,’ and could not provide what they needed.

“So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will your Father in heaven keep giving good things to those who keep asking him!” (Matthew 7:11)

A Portion of Elohim’s Spirit

As a prophet of El Elyon, Moshe had been given a portion of Elohim’s Ruach.   The Ruach Elohim enabled him to stand before Pharaoh, lead the children of Isra’el through the Red Sea and build the Tabernacle.  Yet, Moshe is miserable when dealing with the Israelites and “carrying them like a father in his arms or as a nurse carries a baby” (Numbers 11:12).   

“Adonai came down in the cloud, spoke to him [Moshe], took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders.  When the Spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied – then but not afterwards” (Numbers 11:25).

Yahweh instructed Moshe to choose 70 men that he considered leaders in Isra’el.   Moshe gathered the men and placed them around the Tent of Meeting.  Two men, Eldad and Medad, who should have gone to the Tabernacle did not.  Still, the Ruach Elohim came down on them as well as those who appeared before Elohim and they prophesied in the camp.  Joshua asks Moshe to stop the two men from prophesying, but Moshe replied, “Are you so zealous to protect me?  I wish all of Adonai’s people were prophets!  I wish Adonai would put his Spirit on all of them!” (Numbers 11:29)

Moshe’s words are prophetic for the new covenant. According to the prophet Ezekiel and Sha’ul,  Isra’el and all nations who join with her will be filled with the Ruach Elohim.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 24:26-28).

“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).

This group of 70 leaders became the foundation for what is known as the Sanhedrin or the Bet Din HaGadol – The Great Court.  After Moshe laid hands on Joshua, passing the leadership of Isra’el on to him, the Sanhedrin had its official beginning.  As men within The Great Court passed away or became unfit for service, new leaders were ordained, semicha.  The ordinations continued from Joshua to the elders to prophets like Ezra and Nehemiah to the Knesset HaGadolah or The Great Assembly to the sages.  It was not until several hundred years after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE that the Sanhedrin dissolved.

“The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Yeshua so that they could put him to death” (Matthew 26:59).

During the days of Yeshua, the Sanhedrin was still making legal decisions for Isra’el.  The high priest ruled over the court system, but having lost the lineage of Aaron, had become corrupt.

“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest” (Acts 5:27).

Kivrot HaTa’avah – Graves of the Greedy

“Has Adonai’s arm grown short?  Now you will see whether what I said will happen or not” (Numbers 11:23).

When Moshe and the 70 returned to camp, the Israelites continued to cry out for meat.  Moshe felt inadequate and could not imagine how much meat would be enough to satisfy their greedy hearts. 

Elohim sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall near the camp.  He sent so much quail they covered the ground 3 feet high and were about one day’s trip from each edge of the camp.  The Israelites were surrounded by quail.  They went out and gathered quail for days. The least amount that anyone gathered was 10 heaps.  While the meat was still in their mouths, before they had even chewed it up, ‘I AM’ struck the people with a plague.  Many people died and were buried in this place named ‘Graves of the Greedy.’

In Hebrew the word for ‘quail’ is selav. It is a variation of shalah meaning ‘prosper’which carries the idea of the wicked prospering because they are careless, thoughtless and go astray (Psalm 94:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Quail or selav – שלוshin, lamed, vav

consuming leader is bound

Prosper or shalah – שלהshin, lamed, hey

– consuming leader revealed

Hatzerot – The Camp of ‘Sorry’

“Now this man Moshe was very humble, more so than anyone on earth” (Numbers 12:3).

After the burden of the Israelites’ problems became lighter, Moshe’s family begins to attack him.  Aaron and Miryam began criticizing his marriage to an Ethiopian woman.  They became jealous and demand to know why Moshe was given the highest authority when Elohim had also spoken with them.

The word ‘humble’ is defined as “lower in dignity and importance.’   The Hebrew word is anav meaning ‘meek’.  Moshe knew and understood his place as merely a man in the presence of Yahweh.  He had stood on holy ground at the burning bush and had prostrated himself.  He knew he was not worthy of the position given him, but had been chosen by Yahweh and empowered to accomplish His will.  He was nothing more than an earthen vessel used by Elohim to achieve His plan with His chosen nation. 

Yahweh would not allow Moshe to be attacked by anyone, especially his own siblings.   He makes it clear to Aaron and Miryam that His relationship with Moshe is different from any other man, woman, prophet or prophetess.  There would never be another prophet to whomHe would speak panim el panim, such that their face would become so radiant it had to be veiled.  Moshe was the only faithful person in Yahweh’s entire household. 

“‘Listen to what I say: when there is a prophet among you, I, Adonai, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream.  But it isn’t that way with my servant Moshe. He is the only one who is faithful in my entire household.  With him I speak face to face and clearly, not in riddles; he sees the image of Adonai. So why weren’t you afraid to criticize my servant Moshe?’ The anger of Adonai flared up against them, and he left” (Numbers 12:6-9).

When the cloud lifted, Miryam had tzara’at. Her skin was whiter than snow.  Moshe and Aaron begged Yahweh to heal their sister, but Miryam had iniquity in her heart that needed to be resolved.  She had to live outside the camp for seven days with the tzara’at. Elohim wanted the Israelites to see and understand that no one should ever challengeHim regarding His chosen servant and prophet, Moshe.

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).

Yeshua of Natzaret

“However, when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Y’hudah, he was afraid to go there. Warned in a dream, he withdrew to the Galil and settled in a town called Natzeret, so that what had been spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he will be called a Natzrati” (Matthew 2:22-23).

“When he entered Yerushalayim, the whole city was stirred. ‘Who is this’ they asked.  And the crowds answered, ‘This is Yeshua, the prophet from Natzeret in the Galil’” (Matthew 21:10-11).

“In their synagogue just then was a man with an unclean spirit in him, who shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Yeshua from Natzeret? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!’  But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, ‘Be quiet and come out of him!’” (Mark 1:23-25)

“But he said, ‘Don’t be so surprised! You’re looking for Yeshua from Natzeret, who was executed on the stake. He has risen, he’s not here! Look at the place where they laid him’” (Mark 16:6).

“Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read,  and he was given the scroll of the prophet Yesha’yahu” (Luke 4:16-17).

“‘What things?’ he asked them. They said to him, ‘The things about Yeshua from Natzeret. He was a prophet and proved it by the things he did and said before God and all the people’” (Luke 24:19).

“There they nailed him to the stake along with two others, one on either side, with Yeshua in the middle.  Pilate also had a notice written and posted on the stake; it read, YESHUA FROM NATZERET, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:18-19).

“Kefa said, ‘I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!’” (Acts 3:6)

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Zechariah 2:14-4:7

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

John 19:31-37

Hebrews 3:1-6

Midrash B’ha’alotkha:  Two Trumpet Blasts

Discuss the two trumpet blasts in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and what happens at each blast.

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