Posts Tagged ‘tzizit’

Parashah 37: Shlach l’kah (Send on your behalf)

Numbers 13:1-15:41

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, which I am giving to the people of Isra’el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe’” (Numbers 13:1-2).

The Twelve Spies

From the Pa’ran Desert, Moshe sent 12 men as spies into Canaan with the instructions to go to the Negev desert and up into the hills to see what the Land of Promise is like. They were to observe if the Canaanites were few or many, strong or weak. They were to make note if the land was good or bad, fertile or unproductive, and whether there were trees for wood. They were to search out the cities to see if they were fortified or would be easily taken. And, if they had the courage, they were to bring some of the fruit of the land.

The men chosen were: Shamua, Tribe of Reuben; Shaphat, Tribe of Simeon; Kalev (Caleb), Tribe of Judah; Yigal, Tribe of Issachar; Y’hoshua (Joshua), Tribe of Ephraim; Palti, Tribe of Benjaimin; Gadiel, Tribe of Zebulun; Gadi, Tribe of Joseph (Manasseh); Ammi’el, Tribe of Dan; Stur, Tribe of Asher, Nachbi, Tribe of Naftalii; and Ge’u’el, Tribe of Gad.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Reuben (See)
Shamua (Name) – שמיע – shin, mem, yod, ayin
– consume the mighty finished work, see

Simeon (Hear)
Shafat (Decide) – שפט – shin, peh, tet
– consume the source of the twisting

Judah (Praise)
Kalev (Heart) – כלב – kaf, lamed, bet
– what is behind, urges forward the house

Issachar (Reward)
Yig’al (Redeem) – יגאל – yod, gimel, alef, lamed
– finished work lifts up the first strength urging forward

Efrayim (Fruitful)
Hoshea or Y’hoshua (Salvation)  – הושע – hey, vav, shin, ayin
– reveal the binding consumed, understand

Benjamin (Son of My People)
Palti (My Deliverer) – פלטי – peh, lamed, vav, yod
– source urges forward the binding of the finished work

Zebulun (Prince)
Gadi’el (God of My Troops) – גדיאל – gimel, dalet, yod, alef, lamed
– lift up the pathway, the finished work of the first strength, urging forward

Yosef (Adding)
Gadi (My Good Fortune) – גדי – gimel, dalet, yod
– lift up the pathway, the finished work

Dan (Judge)
Ammi’el (God of My People) – עמיאל – ayin, mem, yod, alef, lamed
– see the mighty finished work of the first strength urging forward

Asher (Happy)
Setur (Hidden) – סתור – samech, tav, vav, resh
– support the covenant sign of binding the highest authority

Naftali (My Struggle)
Nachbi (Refuge) – נחבי – nun, chet, bet, yod
– life protects the house of the finished work

Gad (Fortune)
Ge’u’el (God is Exalted) – גאואל – gimel, alef, vav, alef, lamed
– lift up the first strength binding, the first strength urges forward

The spies left during the season when the first grapes would ripen (July/August). They searched out the Land from the Tzin Desert to Rechov near the entrance to Hamat. From the Negev, they arrived at Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai, Talmai, and the Anakim lived. In the Eshkol Valley (Cluster), they cut off a branch bearing one cluster of grapes that had to be carried on a pole between two of them. They also took pomegranates and figs.

The Tzin Desert was in the southern area of the Promised Land where the Amalekites lived. Rechov (Street) was west of the Jordan River where the Canaanites lived. Hamat (Fortress), near Damascus, Syria, was as far north as the spies traveled. Hebron (To Join) is in the Judean Hills about 19 miles south of Jerusalem. This is the area that Abraham settled and where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Forty days later, the spies returned to the Pa’ran Desert in Kadesh (Holy) from their expedition. The whole community gathered so the 12 men could show them the fruit of the land and tell them what they had seen.

“We entered the land where you sent us, and indeed it does flow with milk and honey – here is its fruit! However the people living in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very large. Moreover, we saw the ‘Anakim there. Amalek lives in the area of the Negev; the Hitti, the Y’vusi and the Emori live in the hills; and the Kena’ani live by the sea and along the Yarden” (Numbers 13:27-29).

Kalev wanted to immediately go in and take the Land. There was no doubt in his mind that the Israelite armies could conquer the people. However, the other men who went on the mission had another view of the inhabitants. They were giants! And, the land devoured its people.

“All the people we saw there were giant! We saw the N’filim, the descendants of ‘Anak, who was from the N’filim; to ourselves we looked like grasshoppers by comparison, and we looked that way to them too!” (Numbers 13:32-33)

Giants Among Grasshoppers

While on their reconnaissance mission, the spies encountered giants. The first explanation I ever heard about these ‘giants’ was that they weren’t real people. The Israelites were so afraid of going into battle against an unknown enemy that their fear made the people seem gigantic. However, with the size of the grape cluster and the testimony of the spies, there were gigantic people in the land, and because of their large size, the spies felt like grasshoppers.

‘Men of great stature’ in the Hebrew text is Nephilim. These ‘men of great stature,’ the Anakim, descended from Anak who descended from Arba (Joshua 5:13). Arba founded a city named Kiriath Arba, south of Canaan near Edom and Moab. In Genesis 9:25, Canaan was cursed by Noach because his father had exposed Noach’s nakedness as he slept off a drunken state. Some believe that Ham’s wife, and therefore Canaan, carried the Nephilim gene which is how they (the descendants of Canaan) were on the earth ‘after the flood.’

Og, the King of Bashan, was a giant descended from Repha along with Ishbi-Benob, Saph and a man with 12 fingers and 12 toes. Og’s bed was 14-feet long and 6-feet wide. Eventually Joshua expels the Nephilim from the land except for a remnant that took refuge in Gaza and Ashdod. Goliath, the Philistine that David encountered, was a descendant of the Anakim who had brothers. Amalek was the son of Eliphaz, the grandson of Esau.  The descendants of Amalek were known as the Amalekites and have always been the enemies of Isra’el (Deuteronomy 3:11, 2 Joshua 11:22, 2 Samuel 21:15-22).

According to the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim devoured the land by consuming its plants, animals, and even human life. Devouring the land was part of the report given by the spies suggesting their concern was not oversized fear, but actual giants.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Giant or Nephilim – נפלים – nun, peh, lamed, yod, mem
– life source urges forward the finished work mighty

Anakim – ענקים – ayin, nun, kof, yod, mem
– see life, what is behind the finished work mighty

Amalek – עמלק – ayin, mem, lamed, kof
– see the chaos urging forward what is in the past

“Y’hoshua the son of Nun and Kalev the son of Y’funeh, from the detachment that had reconnoitered the land, tore their clothes and said to the whole community of Isra’el, ‘The land we passed through in order to spy it out is an outstandingly good land! If Adonai is pleased with us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey. Just don’t rebel against Adonai. And don’t be afraid of the people living in the land — we’ll eat them up! Their defense has been taken away from them, and Adonai is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!’”(Numbers 14:6-9)

Because of the Nephilim and the fear emanated by ten of the spies, the Israelites wanted to return to Egypt; however, Caleb and Joshua tried to encourage them.   They saw the ‘land flowing with milk and honey,’ a land of abundance. If they didn’t rebel against Adonai, He would give them victory over their enemies. Their plea didn’t affect the faithless hearts of the Israelites and they demanded Caleb and Joshua be stoned to death!

Elohim became so angry that He wanted to destroy the entire nation and make from Moshe an even greater nation. Again, Moshe intercedes for the people and for Adonai’s reputation among the Egyptians and the pagan nations around them. He pleads with Adonai to forgive His people according to the ‘greatness of His grace.’ The Hebrew word for ‘grace’ is chesed and is also translated as ‘lovingkindness.’ Chesed is found throughout the Torah and the prophets 193 times showing that Adonai is loving, kind, merciful, full of grace Elohim to His people. This stifles the heresy that Adonai is a mean, judgmental Elohim in the Old Testament.

“So now, please, let Adonai’s power be as great as when you said, ‘Adonai is slow to anger, rich in grace, forgiving offenses and crimes; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and even by the third and fourth generations.’ Please! Forgive the offense of this people according to the greatness of your grace, just as you have borne with this people from Egypt until now” (Numbers 14:17-19).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Grace (Favor) or chen – חן – chet, nun
– protect life

Lovingkindness or chesed – חסד – chet, samech, dalet
– protect and support the pathway

Forgive or salach – סלח – samech, lamed, chet
– support urging forward protection

The first time ‘forgive’ is used in the Hebrew Scriptures is when Abraham pleads for the righteous living in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Unfortunately, there were not enough righteous people, and their sin was so grievous that Elohim destroyed them. They were never given an opportunity to repent. The next time ‘forgive’ is occurs is when Pharaoh becomes overwhelmed with the plagues and feigns repentance only to harden his heart again. When the children of Isra’el sin against ‘I Am’ with the golden calf, Moshe pleads with Him to ‘forgive’ their sin. Moshe pleads again with Adonai to ‘forgive’ His people so that His Name is not profaned among the nations.

“Adonai answered, ‘I have forgiven, as you have asked. But as sure as I live, and that the whole earth is filled with the glory of Adonai, none of the people who saw my glory and the signs I did in Egypt and in the desert, yet tested me these ten times and did not listen to my voice, will see the land I swore to their ancestors! None of those who treated me with contempt will see it. But my servant Kalev, because he had a different Spirit with him and has fully followed me — him I will bring into the land he entered, and it will belong to his descendants’” (Numbers 14:20-24).

Adonai forgives.

Though Elohim forgives the Israelites, there are consequences to their sin and rebellion. His justice must prevail or they would consider Him a ‘pushover.’ They will wander in the desert 40 years, one year for each day the spies were in the Promised Land.   Adults over 20 who saw His glory and deliverance from Egypt would die in the wilderness.  Their children, however, would live to enter the Promised Land. The ten spies whose fearful hearts led the people into rebellion immediately died in a plague.   Caleb and Joshua who had stood firm in their faith were the only two who left Egypt who would enter the Promised Land.

“Your carcasses will fall in this desert! Every single one of you who were included in the census over the age of twenty, you who have complained against me, will certainly not enter the land … except for Kalev the son of Y’funeh and Y’hoshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would be taken as booty — them I will bring in. They will know the land you have rejected. But you, your carcasses will fall in this desert; and your children will wander about in the desert for forty years bearing the consequences of your prostitutions until the desert eats up your carcasses. It will be a year for every day you spent reconnoitering the land that you will bear the consequences of your offenses — forty days, forty years. Then you will know what it means to oppose me! I, Adonai, have spoken.’ I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me — they will be destroyed in this desert and die there’” (Numbers 14:29-35).

When faced with the consequences of their sin, the Israelites had remorse. The New International Version says, “They mourned bitterly.”  Rather than admitting their faithlessness and repenting, they devise a ‘fig-leaf’ way to correct the situation.

The next morning a group of Israelites decided they would go to the high country and fight the Amalekites and the Canaanites. Moshe warns them that Elohim wouldn’t be with them because He had already decided their fate. They become presumptuous in the face of Elohim and go to the hill country without Moshe or the Ark of the Covenant. The Amalekites and Canaanites descend upon them and push them all the way back to Hormah.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Remorse or chartah – חרטה – chet, resh, tet, hey
– protect highest authority’s twisting, behold

Presumptuous or zed – זד – zayin, dalet
– divide the pathway

The rebellion of a few fearful men led an entire nation into rebellion and transformed a ten-day journey into a 40-year trek through the wilderness. The hope of entering the Promised Land was denied those who had been delivered from Egypt and given to their children. Caleb and Joshua will enter the Land, but the rest of their peers will die along the way.

Moshe changes Hoshea’s name to Y’hoshua in Numbers 13:15. Though Hoshea means ‘help and salvation of Elohim,’ Y’hoshua is attached to the name of Adonai from where that salvation comes.  Changing Joshua’s name becomes prophetic to Yeshua, the salvation of Isra’el.

Y’hoshua is from the Tribe of Ephraim; and Kalev meaning ‘heart’ is from the Tribe of Judah. The faithfulness of these two men brings Isra’el into the Promised Land as one nation under their leadership. After the death of King Solomon, Isra’el divides into the House of Isra’el (Ephraim) and the House of Judah.   These two kingdoms remain divided today and many wait for the prophecy of Ezekiel to be fulfilled. Even the disciples hoped for the restoration of Isra’el when Judah and Ephraim come together as two sticks in the hand of Elohim as they were in the days of Kalev and Y’hoshua –– a united nation with ‘a heart for the salvation of Adonai.’

“The word of the Lord came to me:  ‘Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him. Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.’”

“When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand. Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.  I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Isra’el. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms’” (Ezekiel 37:15-22).

One Torah for Isra’el and the Foreigner

“For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before Adonai as yourselves. The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you” (Numbers 15:14-16).

“You are to have one law for whoever it is that does something wrong by mistake” (Numbers 15:29).

Elohim knew that Isra’el, along with the foreigners who joined with her, would continue to ‘fall short of the mark’ and sin, not always intentionally, but through a loss of knowledge. He wanted His children to have a vision of hope for entering the Promised Land. He gave them regulations for burnt offerings, sacrifices for fulfilling a vow, a voluntary offering, and His ‘appointed times.’ Every citizen of Isra’el or foreigner who wanted to draw near to Adonai were to follow the same regulations.

Blasphemy

“But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming Adonai. That person will be cut off from his people. Because he has had contempt for the word of Adonai and has disobeyed his command, that person will be cut off completely; his offense will remain with him” (Numbers 15:30-31).

The definition of ‘blasphemy’ is ‘the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.’ Blasphemy occurs when an individual, whether from Isra’el or a foreigner, intentionally breaks a command showing contempt for Adonai’s word. It also includes insulting and showing lack of reverence for Him and His sacred commandments.

Some will argue about the ‘end’ of certain commandments. They not only blaspheme the Word of Adonai with their arguments, but mock the righteous who continue to obey the commandments. My family has been mocked by Christians when we say we eat according to Elohim’s dietary instructions. Bacon is flaunted in our faces in such a way that could only be described as blasphemous. This intentional sin carries a severe consequence: to be cut off from the people of Isra’el, and, in essence, they are.

In this post-modern world, even some ‘faith-based’ movies are blasphemous. Many films have been produced that entice believers into the theater because the title or trailer that includes some Biblical names or concepts. Once in the theater, the ‘father of lies’ builds on the great deception and many believers subtly fall away from Truth into a humanistic world view that blasphemes Adonai.

Sabbath Sabbath Sabbath

Adonai is serious about the Sabbath. First, the Israelites learned He was their Provider when He gave them manna. They learned that His instructions were to be followed or their manna would become worm infested. They learned about the importance of remembering the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments. They were no longer slaves and were not to work like slaves, but cease their work as Elohim did. In the moed’im, Sabbath became the first ‘appointed time.’ Whenever Adonai gives Moshe regulations, there is one more command about Sabbath, because forgetting it blasphemes Adonai.

A man is stoned to death outside the camp by the entire community of Isra’el for gathering wood on the Sabbath.  Regulation: Do not gather wood on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:36).

Tzizit – Tassels

“Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot and obey them, so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God. I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your God. I am Adonai your God” (Numbers 15:38-41).

Next to this Scripture, I had written shomer mitzvot which means ‘guardian of the commandments.’ The purpose for wearing tzizit was to help the Israelites remember to guard all of Adonai’s commands. He wanted them to have a physical reminder of His commandments on their garments so they would not go wherever their heart led them and prostitute themselves to other gods. By obeying this mitzvah, they would live as Kingdom servants of ‘I Am.’

The blue thread reminded them the commands came from Adonai Himself, from the realm of heaven where He dwells. According to the Talmud, the blue for the thread is techelet that came from a sea invertebrate called the chillazon and looked like a fish. Its body and blood were the color of the sea and it buried itself in the sand and rose to the surface of the sea once every 70 years making the dye rare and very expensive.

The Torah Observant and Hebrew Roots movements teach that everyone, men and women, should wear tzizit based on the verse ‘one Torah for the citizen and the foreigner.’ The Hebrew rendering of Israelites, however, is ben Isra’el or ‘sons of Isra’el.’ Ben is inclusive of all men of Isra’el whether they are fathers, sons, grandsons or nephews, but does not include women. Jewish law says that women should not wear tzizit because it would be like wearing the clothing of the opposite gender. Also, gentiles are not to wear them either. This command was specifically given to the men of Isra’el so they would ‘guard the commandments’ and be a light to the nations around them. This instruction enabled them to do it. Today, it is easy to recognize an observant Jewish man as they still wear tzizit.

As gentiles join the Commonwealth of Isra’el, they need to be respectful of a community that existed long before they entered it.  Thousands of years of rabbinical study and midrash have been documented regarding this subject before any of us came into the faith of our father Abraham –– who did not wear tzizit.  

From a spiritual aspect, the purpose for the tzizit was to remember the commandments. With the institution of the new covenant, the Ruach haKodesh writes the commandments on our hearts. It is the Ruach haKodesh that convicts us of sin and guides us into all Truth. The faithful who walk according to the Ruach haKodesh should not need a physical reminder on their garments of the commandments, whether Jew or gentile, male or female.

Sha’ul spoke directly to the gentiles when he said they were remain in the condition in which they were called (1 Corinthians 7:20). This means that gentiles should not try to be something they are not –– Israelite Jews. This borders on coveting a lineage and creates an identity crisis in the Body of Messiah. Though believing gentiles become part of the Commonwealth of Isra’el, their DNA does not change.

Just as Jewish followers of Yeshua along with the nations have different callings, so do men and women. Sha’ul explains this difference between men and women and their respective roles in the Body of Messiah. Women need a ‘sign of authority’ and it is the head covering or veil, not multicolored tzizit hanging from their purses (1 Corinthians 11). Our unity in uniqueness is the witness to the world that both the Jew and gentile, male and female, worship the Elohim of Isra’el together.

From personal experience from visiting Orthodox Jewish synagogues and the Western Wall in Jerusalem, it is enough witness to discuss Yeshua as Messiah as a gentile who keeps the Shabbat, celebrates Pesach and eats according Levitical dietary regulations. Tzizit on me, a gentile woman, would not have been merely a stumbling block, it would have been offensive and put a dividing wall between us instead of breaking one down. It was a powerful testimony of Messiah Yeshua that I had the commandments written on my heart as promised in the new covenant, more than if I had worn tzizit.

Yeshua and Blasphemy

“Those who are not with me are against me, and those who do not gather with me are scattering. Because of this, I tell you that people will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy, but blaspheming the Ruach haKodesh will not be forgiven. One can say something against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but whoever keeps on speaking against the Ruach haKodesh will never be forgiven, neither in the ‘olam hazeh’ [this world] nor in the ‘olam haba” [world to come] (Matthew 12:31-32).

“Yes! I tell you that people will be forgiven all sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; however, someone who blasphemes against the Ruach haKodesh never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin.” For they had been saying, “He has an unclean spirit in him” (Mark 3:28-30).

“When Yeshua saw their trust, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim began thinking, ‘Who is this fellow that speaks such blasphemies? Who can forgive sin except God?’ But Yeshua, knowing what they were thinking, answered, ‘Why are you turning over such thoughts in your hearts?’” (Luke 5:20-22)

“The Judeans replied, ‘We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy — because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God.’ Yeshua answered them, ‘Isn’t it written in your Torah, I have said, You people are Elohim? If he called ‘elohim’ the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed (and the Tanakh cannot be broken), then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, ‘You are committing blasphemy,’ just because I said, ‘I am a son of Elohim?’” (John 10:33-36)

“It [the beast] was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven; it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:5-7).

©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, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 9: Vayeshev (He continued living)

Genesis 37:1-40:23

“Ya’akov continued living in the land where his father had lived as a foreigner, the land of Kena’an” (Genesis 37:1).

The history of Jacob (Ya’akov) begins with the life Joseph (Yosef) who is 17 years old. In Hebrew, each letter of the alphabet has a numerical value. For example, alef = 1 while tav = 400. The word chai means ‘life’ and has the numerical value of 18. In Jewish tradition, it is believed that a person’s ‘life’ begins at 18. For an event like a bar mitzvah or a wedding, money is given in values of 18 as a way to say mozel tov meaning ‘congratulations’ or ‘good luck.’ Joseph at 17 hasn’t even really begun to live, so these are the events that start his and Jacob’s life history.

The Scripture states that Isra’el, not Jacob, loved Joseph more than his brothers because he was a son of his old age. This alludes to a spiritual love that superseded Jacob’s physical love for his son.  Because of this special connection, Isra’el gives his son a kethoneth passim or ‘long-sleeved robe.’   The King James Version translates kethoneth passim as a “coat of many colors,” lending to the Christian tradition that it was a multi-colored striped coat. Though it could have been multi-colored, it is more likely that it had only a few colors or stripes. This special garment’s unique appearance separates Joseph from his brothers, feeds their jealousy, and makes them hate him even more.

‘Coat of many colors,’ brings to mind a rainbow, the ‘sign’ of the covenant Elohim made with Noach. There is also a circular emerald-green rainbow around the Throne of Elohim. Emerald was one of the gemstones in the high priest’s breastplate for the Tribe of Judah. Green can represent new life and a fresh anointing. Though Joseph was one of Isra’el’s sons, he was not from the lineage of Judah, the Messianic line. Joseph will pass through hardships safely and be restored to his brothers, but in order to reach his destination, he will be sent on a journey of faith and forgiveness that will testify to Isra’el throughout their generations. It is through Joseph and the great injustices he suffered that the concept of a suffering Messiah or Messiah ben Yosef became a prophetic voice.

Speaking Words … and More Words

Joseph’s deep connection to his father Isra’el is his spiritual inclination. He has dreams and visions from Elohim. However, because of his youth, he talks too much about them with his brothers. Words have power. Words bring life or they bring death.  Words can be full of truth or they can deceive.  Words have the ability to build up and encourage or tear down.  Kind and compassionate words soothe the soul while cruel, jabbing words pierce the heart and leave scars (Proverbs 12:18). There are many words in this parashah that take place between Joseph and his brothers.  These words create the plot for the events that happen to Joseph and the sons of Isra’el.

The first account of Joseph’s words are the evil report he brings his father about his brothers while they are tending sheep.  His words fuel an already sizzling fire that Jacob began by having a favorite son and giving him special attention and a unique gift.

After Joseph receives his robe, his brothers “couldn’t even talk with him in a civil manner” (Genesis 37:4). Words turned into knives and pierced their souls. Without regard to what was transpiring in his brothers’ hearts, Joseph tells them about his dreams and his brothers “hated him still more for his dreams and for what he said” (Genesis 37:8).

The Hebrew word for ‘hate’ is sinah and implies an exceedingly strong dislike toward a person. Sinah uses the Hebrew letter ‘shin’ as does semikah which refers to laying one’s hands on a sacrificial animal transferring the sins of the person to the animal before its blood is poured out. Semicah is related to smichut and the ordination of a priest.

Joseph becomes the sacrifice for his brothers’ sins when they lay hands on him and sell him to foreigners. They dip his special robe in the blood of a male goat and present it to their father. Eventually, the ‘sacrifice of Joseph’ and the blood of the goat brings repentance, forgiveness, and restoration with his father and his brothers, Isra’el.

Yeshua’s Jewish brothers lay hands on him and demand his death. Foreigners take him and decide his fate: death on a cross. The blood of his sacrifice is poured out and presented to his Father. His sacrifice begins the process of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration of his brothers, Isra’el, back to their Father –– which will be fully completed when Yeshua returns to set up his Messianic Kingdom.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Words or d’varim – דברים – dalet, bet, resh, yod, mem
– the pathway to the family, the highest authority, mighty finished work

Hate or sinah – סינה – samech, yod, nun, hey
– support the finished work of life, revealed

Jacob also sins through his lack of words.  When he has the opportunity to rebuke Joseph for talking about his dreams and the jealousy that is being created between him and his brothers, “He kept the matter in mind” (Genesis 37:11).  

In that phrase is the Hebrew word shomer which means ‘to guard’ or ‘watch.’  Rather than dealing with an issue that metastasizes with each spoken or unspoken word, Jacob takes a ‘wait and see’ attitude. The consequences are enormous for himself and his entire family in the ensuing years. (His similar lack of action after Dinah was raped created another travesty for his family; the brothers took vengeance against the men of Shechem.)


“Who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4)

“Yosef had a dream which he told his brothers …. He said to them, ‘Listen while I tell you about this dream of mine.  We were tying up bundles of wheat in the field when suddenly my bundle got up by itself and stood upright; then your bundles came, gathered around mine and prostrated themselves before it’” (Genesis 27:5-7).

“He had another dream which he told his brothers: ‘Here, I had another dream, and there were the sun, the moon and eleven stars prostrating themselves before me’” (Genesis 37:9).

Joseph has two dreams. He believes the dreams are prophetic, but lacks the wisdom to wait until they come to pass before sharing them with his brothers. His brothers become angry. They do not want to ‘bow down’ to their foolish teenage brother. Though they interpret the dreams correctly, they interpret them in the wrong time frame which leads them down a path of life they could never have imagined.

While tending their sheep near Dotan (Two Wells), the brothers’ jealousy of Joseph grows so intense that they plot to kill him. When they see him walking through the valley, they decide the time has come to deal with their dreaming brother. Reuben, the oldest, and the one responsible for his brother’s safety, puts forth an alternative to murder, “We shouldn’t take his life.  Don’t shed blood.  Throw him into the cistern here in the wilds, but don’t lay hands on him yourselves” (Genesis 37:22).  He intended to pull Joseph out of the cistern and take him back home to his father.

Joseph is stripped of his robe and thrown into a dry cistern. While the brothers are eating their dinner and listening to Joseph cry for help, some Ishmaelites ride by on camels on their way from Gilead to Egypt. They are heading south on a trade route carrying aromatic gum (spices), healing resin (balsam), and myrrh or ladanum (opium).   Judah decides it would be better if they sold their brother rather than kill him; they sell him for ½ pound of silver shekels to their distant relatives. 

Aromatic spices were an important part of Arabian trade between ancient nations.   Spices were used for healing as well as religious ceremonies. Caravans brought these valuable spices from East Africa and the southern Arabian kingdoms along desert routes to Egypt where some would even be used for cosmetics, perfumes, and embalming.

Gilead was known for its medicinal salve, an extremely fragrant healing balm.   After Isra’el came out of captivity and took control of the Promised Land, Gilead became part of the land inheritance and they took over the balm trade.  The prophet Jeremiah speaks of the ‘balm of Gilead’ when he looks at the sins of Isra’el and wonders how a people who trade in healing balm could be so spiritually sick with idols (Jeremiah 8:22).

Myrrh is the name of a resin which is used in embalming.  The myrrh mentioned in this passage is probably the Hebrew word lot. The shrub produces pink flowers and is also known as the Rock Rose. It is very fragrant and highly valued as a perfume. The rich brown resin, labdanum, also comes from the Rock Rose.

Together the brothers kill a male goat and dip Joseph’s robe in its blood.  When they return home, they give the stained garment to their father who believes the story that his son has been ripped to shreds by a wild animal. Jacob, not Isra’el, mourns many days for his son.

Joseph’s brothers never consider how selling their brother will wound their nefeshim (souls) or the nefesh (soul) of their father. They soon realize they will need more than the fragrance of perfumes to cover the stench of their sin. A healing balm will never heal the guilt of the iniquity in their hearts.

When 17-year-old Joseph arrives in Egypt, the Ishmaelites sell him to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.

“Now the Patriarchs grew jealous of Yosef and sold him into slavery in Egypt.  But Adonai was with him; he rescued him from all his troubles and gave him favor and wisdom” (Acts 7:9-10).

The Righteousness of Tamar

The account between Judah and Tamar comes between Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites and being bought as a slave in Egypt (Genesis 48). Some speculate that because of the events surrounding Joseph being sold into slavery, Judah leaves his brothers and family and settles with a man named Hiran, an Adullamite, in the hill country near Beit-Shemesh (House of Sun). He sees the daughter of Shua (Saving) and desires her. They marry and have three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah.

When Er is of marrying age, Judah finds him a wife whose name is Tamar.  Because Er is an evil man from Elohim’s perspective, He kills him (Genesis 38:7). In order for Er to have a son and preserve his lineage, Judah sends his second born, Onan, to sleep with Tamar. Onan, knowing the child would not be his, spills his semen on the ground. This is also evil from Elohim’s perspective and He kills Onan (Genesis 38:10). Shelah is not old enough to be married so Judah tells Tamar to stay in her father’s house as a widow until his youngest son is of marrying age.

Giving a brother to his brother’s widow is known as ‘levirate marriage’ and protects the generation of childless men by establishing the name of the deceased for generations. Judah was following a Middle Eastern custom that centuries later would become part of Torah in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

Time passes and Judah’s wife dies. After his time of mourning ends, he and his friend Hiran go to Timnah (Forbidding) to be with the sheep shearers. Tamar hears that Judah has finished mourning, but still has not sent Shelah to her. She devises a plan.

Sheep-shearing time involved immoral Canaanite rituals.   The Canaanites worshiped the god of fertility through prostitution. Sexual immorality invariably led to idolatry. Hard-working shepherds, after finishing a hot, tiring week among the sheep, would come into town to find a temple prostitute.

Tamar knows about these rituals and prepares herself .  She takes off of her widow’s clothing and completely covers her face with a veil. She really doesn’t want to play the harlot and keeps a small sense of modesty; she is trying to establish the name of her deceased husband and carry on the royal line of his father. By wearing a veil, Judah might not recognize her and her plan may succeed. She goes and sits at the gate to the entrance of Einayim (Eyes) which is on the road to Timnah.

Judah arrives at the gate and sees Tamar who is veiled. He believes she is a prostitute and asks to have sex with her. She wants to know what he will pay, and he offers her a kid from his flock of goats. She asks for a guarantee until the goat is sent and requests his seal with its cord and the staff that he is carrying. He quickly relinquishes the items for a night of fornication. They have sex and, after Judah leaves, Tamar removes her veil, puts on her widow’s clothing, and returns to her regular life.

The name of the town Einayim means ‘eyes.’ Tamar is keeping her ‘eyes’ on Judah because he has behaved wrongly and did not send Shelah to her. She knows he is an unfaithful man and requests a guarantee so she has leverage. Judah has ‘eyes’ for a woman he believes is a prostitute. His ‘eyes’ are veiled so he doesn’t even recognize his daughter-in-law nor the fact that prostitutes don’t veil themselves. Elohim’s ‘eyes’ are keeping watch over Judah and Tamar because their union will bring forth the son who will continue the royal family line of Judah.

According to a midrash on the pledge, Tamar asked for three specific items through divine inspiration: the seal, the cord, and the staff. Judah’s seal was unique only to him and was used for making binding contracts.  Requesting the seal was symbolic of taking part in royal line. The descendants of Judah through Tamar would be kings over Isra’el beginning with King David, King Solomon through Jehoiachin and Zedekiah until King Yeshua.

Judah’s cord symbolizes the blue cord in the tzizit or ‘fringes’ though the command for wearing them had not yet been given to Isra’el.  Tzizit was a braiding of eight cords that were to be put on the corners of one’s garment as a reminder to obey the commandments of Elohim (Numbers 15:37-39).      

Judah’s staff points to the ‘anointed one’ who would come from his lineage.  He would be the Shepherd of Isra’el, the guardian of Elohim’s flock.

When Judah brings the goat to the prostitute, she is nowhere to be found.  He asks about her around the city, but no one has any idea who he is talking about since no temple prostitute had been sitting at the gate. This puts Judah in a very awkward and embarrassing situation, both personally and morally. The midrash suggests his embarrassment for not being able to locate his personal items was punishment for selling Joseph into slavery. He concludes it is better to allow the woman, whoever she was, to keep the items rather than to draw attention to himself.

Three months pass and Judah is told that his daughter-in-law has been acting like a whore and is pregnant. He is furious because she is betrothed to his son and has committed adultery.  He wants her brought to him and burned alive.

The Targumim suggests that Tamar was a descendant of Malki-Tzedek and thus of a priestly lineage.  Being burned alive, according to Leviticus 21:9, is the consequence for the daughter of a priest who prostitutes herself.  Whether or not there is truth to her relationship with the King of Righteousness, Judah requires death for her immoral behavior. She sends Judah a message with the three items she has held in pledge.

“I am pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.  Determine, I beg you, whose these are – the signet, the cords and the staff” (Genesis 38:25).

Judah realizes immediately that Tamar acted righteously because she did not publicly disgrace him. When he receives the pledge items,  he must decide whether to admit his guilt and save Tamar’s life or sacrifice Tamar to preserve his honor. He allows Tamar to live.

Tamar goes into labor and delivers twins.  One of the babies pushes out his hand and the midwife ties a scarlet thread to it.  He pulls his hand back in and the other baby, born first, is named Perez.   The second boy out of the womb, with the scarlet thread, is named Zerach. Though Yeshua comes through the lineage of Perez, the scarlet thread symbolizes salvation which will come through the bloodline of the Tribe of Judah. At some point in time, Judah returns to his family and is with his brothers when they go to Egypt for grain.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Tamar (Fruit of a Date Palm) –תמר – tav, mem, resh
– the mighty sign of the highest authority

Perez (Breaking Out) – פרז – peh, resh, zayin
– source of the highest authority divided

Zerach (Scarlet) – זרח – zayin, resh, chet
– dividing the highest authority protects

Selah
Tamar is the second woman in Scripture who veils herself and gives birth to twins.  The birth of twins was rare in ancient times and was considered to be a special gift from Elohim.

Joseph’s Life in Egypt

In Genesis 14:13, Abram is referred to as a Hebrew.  Hebrew comes from the Hebrew word ivrit and means to ‘traverse or cross over a boundary.’  The word can also mean ‘sojourner’ or one who makes his home as a stranger in a foreign land. 

Some gentile believers refer to themselves as Hebrews when they ‘cross over’ and begin to understand the Torah is valid for today. A true Hebrew, like Abraham, ‘crosses over’ from a world of darkness into the light of life making them a ‘sojourner’ in the world. Joseph has now become a sojourner in Egypt –– a foreign land with foreign customs.

Joseph is sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the Captain of the Guard, as his servant.  Joseph is put in charge of Potiphar’s household and entrusted with all his possessions.  Potiphar puts such faith in Joseph’s ability and integrity that he has no concern for anything except for the food he eats.

“Adonai blessed the Egyptian’s household for Yosef’s sake; Adonai’s blessing was on all he owned, whether in the house or in the field” (Genesis 39:5).

Joseph is well-built and handsome. Potiphar’s wife is attracted to him.  After some time, she tempts him to sleep with her, but Joseph stands against her temptations and maintains his integrity (Genesis 39:9).

She continues to coerce him to break his will, but he not only continues to refuse her, he keeps his distance from her.  After being rejected too many times, she grabs his robe, and he flees her presence leaving his robe in her hand.  Feeling completely humiliated, she uses the robe to discredit Joseph’s moral standard and integrity to her husband, “This Hebrew slave you brought us came in to make a fool of me.  But when I yelled out, he left his robe with me and fled outside” (Genesis 39:17-18).
Joseph is thrown into prison, but Elohim remains with him. Even after the false accusations of Potiphar’s wife and losing his authority in Potiphar’s home, the prison warden sees Joseph’s value and makes him supervisor over all the prisoners; and Joseph prospers.

“But Adonai was with Yosef, showing him grace and giving him favor in the sight of the prison warden” (Genesis 39:21).

The Cupbearer and the Baker

Pharaoh becomes angry with his cupbearer and baker.  They are sent to prison and put into the custody of the Captain of the Guard. The Captain of the Guard puts Joseph in charge of these two men, to watch over them, and be their attendant while confined.

One night both men have dreams. When Joseph sees them in the morning, they look agitated.  When he asks them why, they tell him that they each had disturbing dreams with no one to interpret them.

“Don’t interpretations belong to God?  Tell it to me please” (Genesis 40:8).

Joseph has learned a valuable lesson that he puts into practice.  Dream interpretations do not belong to him, his father, or even his brothers.  They belong to Elohim and will serve His purpose whether the time is near or in the distant future.  He has learned the importance of waiting on Elohim and His timing or there will be serious consequences.

“Then the chief cupbearer told Yosef his dream: ‘In my dream, there in front of me was a vine,  and the vine had three branches. The branches budded, then it suddenly began to blossom, and finally clusters of ripe grapes appeared. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh’” (Genesis 40:9-11).

Joseph listens to the dream and gives the interpretation.  The chief cupbearer will be restored to his position after three days.  Joseph requests that when the cupbearer is reinstated, he would mention his name to Pharaoh.  Joseph explains that he had been kidnapped from his people and has done nothing wrong.

It is understandable that Joseph would want out of prison.  He is innocent of all the crimes committed against him.  Yet, what would he do if he was released?  He would still be a slave in Egypt and wouldn’t be able to return to his family. Elohim still has some work to do in Joseph’s life.  In order to accomplish His purposes, Joseph has to remain in prison and wait for Elohim’s chosen time to be released.

“When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Yosef, ‘I too saw in my dream: there were three baskets of white bread on my head.  In the uppermost basket there were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds ate them out of the basket on my head’” (Genesis 40:16-17).


The baker was disappointed with the interpretation and hoped Joseph was wrong.  Three days later, on the birthday of the Pharaoh, the cupbearer is called back into the presence of the king.  The baker is hanged.

Yeshua, Tribe of Judah

“In Beit-Lechem of Y’hudah,” they replied, “because the prophet wrote, ‘And you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah; for from you will come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Isra’el’” (Matthew 2:6).

“But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y’hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra’el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times”(Micah 5:2).

“Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y’hudah, to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant”
(Luke 2:3-5).

“One of the elders said to me, ‘Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the Tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down in front of the Lamb. Each one held a harp and gold bowls filled with pieces of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people; and they sang a new song, ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals; because you were slaughtered; at the cost of blood you ransomed for God persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for God to rule, cohanim [priests] to serve him; and they will rule over the earth’” (Revelation 5:5-10).

©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.

Christian Tattoos, Really?

“He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God…. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords” (Revelation 19:12-13,16).

Recently, I was shocked to learn that some Christians believe Jesus is going to return on a white horse with a tattoo on his thigh.  Not only that, but he also has us tattooed on the palms of his hands. Is  that what the Scriptures really say?  Will Yeshua have a tattoo of  “the name that only he knows” on his leg?  If so, couldn’t anyone tattoo their thigh with some random letters or words and claim they are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords deceiving the whole world?  I hope that the anti-christ doesn’t own a white horse, have a robe dipped in blood, and carry a sword!

Why is it that many Christians believe such non-Biblical ideologies?  The only answer could be their interpretation of Scripture has become so skewed their doctrine of grace has no boundaries.   They have created a sinful savior who is incapable of delivering anyone so they remain in their rebellious carnality while proclaiming Jesus as their Lord.

Tattoos in Scriptures

“And do not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor put tattoo marks on you.  I am the LORD”(Leviticus 19:28). 

The Hebrew word for ‘tattoo’ is qaqu and means “to cut or imprint” the skin.  In the verses surrounding tattoos, God makes it clear that His covenanted people were not to worship the gods of the the nations around them by drinking blood, divining spirits, selling their daughters into religious prostitution, or cutting their bodies for the dead.  Some say that the command is only for Israel, but don’t the words “I AM the LORD” have significance to Christians? Or, “Be holy as I am holy?” It would seem not as 25% of all tattoos per year are religious in nature. Just search online for ‘Christian tattoos,’ –– there are 108,000,00 tags.  

As with many of God’s commands, the ‘cutting or imprinting the skin’ has become a cultural phenomenon that denies its religious root of worshipping other gods. This rationalization of sin transforms tattoos into an acceptable behavior by believers, except for a few remnant souls who take God’s word seriously.

Tattoos are also called body art. The making of a mark, figure or writing by pricking and inserting pigment under the skin is no longer considered the same thing as cutting the flesh for the dead.  Receiving a tattoo ‘number’ was scorned by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust; however,  now Christians tattoo birth dates of babies, death dates of loved ones, and anniversary dates under their skin.  It seems the ‘other god’ is idolatry of self and flesh. Branding the human body with flowers, words, and even more reprehensible, Scripture verses, takes away from the handiwork of the Creator who made each of us in His image in order to reflect His glory.

I have learned from asking people who have tattoos that most, if not all, are done in memory of a loved one or someone who hurt them deeply.  These individuals justify their tattoo as a lasting memorial for ‘the dead,’ helping them to overcome the emotional pain.  Instead of turning to Yeshua to be set free from depression, sadness,  anger, bitterness, deep pain and suffering, they cut and mar their bodies.

I know one young man who tattooed yod-hey-vav-hey, the holy name of God, on his back.  He said it was to honor God.  How can something that God forbids to be done bring Him honor? From the death perspective I wondered, “Is Jesus still dead to that man that he needed to cut his flesh for him?” “Is a tattoo an honorable memorial to Yeshua?”  According to the Scriptures, Yeshua is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Luke 22:69, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1); therefore, a tattoo to honor him is blasphemy.  

The Engraved Hands of Messiah

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” (Isaiah 49:6). 

The word ‘engrave’ in Hebrew is patah and is only used in reference to engraving the names of the Tribes of Israel on stone.  This ‘engraving’ never refers to a tattoo or body art on the flesh. The markings on Yeshua’s hands are scars from the nails that pierced his hands on the cross –– not a tattoo!

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27).

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight” (Luke 24:30-31).

Thomas was a doubter to Yeshua’s resurrection.  The scars that he touched were not tattoos from some tattoo artist in Israel.  They were the crucifixion marks of a dead man come back to life!  They evidenced his resurrection! The two men from Emmaus also recognized Yeshua by the scars on His palms when He broke bread with them.   His scars were real scars from a real event and not some drawings he received in a tattoo parlor.  It is those same scars from the nails in his hands and feet that when He returns, “all the people of the earth will look on the one they pierced and mourn” (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 1:7).

Faithful and True Witness of God’s Word

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.  He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God” (Revelation 19:11-12). 

Yeshua is called Faithful and True.  To what is Yeshua “Faithful and True?”  The name written on his thigh: “The Word of God.”

Yeshua was faithful and true to every Word spoken by his Father. It was the essence and reality of his earthly life. He remained sinless by never breaking one of his Father’s commandments.  If he had broken even one commandment, like Leviticus 19:28 regarding tattoos, he would have sinned against his Father and become an ‘unfaithful and a false witness’.   Moreover, he would have been unable to offer himself as atonement for sin.

“Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘May the LORD be a ‘true and faithful’ witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us” (Jeremiah 42:5).

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘These are the words of the Amen, the ‘faithful and true’ witness, the ruler of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14).

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect [tattoo]” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Yeshua’s Tzizit or Tassels

“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels (tzizit) on the corners of your garments with a blue cord on each tassel.  You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes” (Numbers 15:38-39, Deuteronomy 22:12).

The four corners of a Jewish prayer garment has tassels or tzizit to remind the wearer about the name of God, the power of God, the anointing of God, and most importantly, the commands of God.   Putting tzizit on the hem of the garment was a reminder to the commands of yod-hey-vav-hey and not to follow after the lusts of the eyes and heart.

The Name of God – יהוה

Yeshua was born into Tribe of Judah which makes him Jewish.  As a Jewish child, he was taught the Torah commands. As a Jewish man, he obeyed the command in Numbers and wore tzizit on the four corners of his garment.  Tzizit are made of multiple strings and knots that have a numerical value for the tetragrammaton Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey or the memorial name of God.  It would be more probable that the name of God ‘written’ on Messiah are his tzizit resting on his thigh as returns with his armies. 

“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

The Name of God on His Thigh

No earthly king bears his thigh to the world, so why would the eternal and holy King of Kings and Lord of Lords bear his?  Kings wear robes and Yeshua is no different.  His robe, however, will have the testimony of God’s name on it.  Yeshua, the Faithful and True witness, will restore the name of his Father when He returns.  There will be no confusion as to who he is as his “thigh will bear the Name.”

Imprinting the Word of God

“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:3-4).

The Israelites were given a powerful way to remember the commands of God and it wasn’t with a tattoo on their body.  Specifically,  they were to tie the commands as symbols on their hands and bind them on their foreheads.  They weren’t to write, engrave, or tattoo them literally on their hands or foreheads as that would have been disobeying God and sinning.

These are the commands, decrees and teachings the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe …. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:1, 8-9).

According to the provision in new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31; Ezekiel 36:24), the Word of God is written on our hearts by the Spirit of God. The Amplified Bible describes the new covenant relationship with God with commandments as ‘imprinted on our hearts’. If we could just tattoo Scriptures, like the fruits of the Spirit or 1 Corinthians 13 on our bodies and be at peace with God, then the new covenant promise of the Spirit would be unnecessary.  Each individual must make a choice to either love God and His Word as it is written or willfully rebel against Him to become a flesh billboard.  

“But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children — To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts]” (Psalm 103:17-18 Amplified Bible).

King Yeshua will be returning to Jerusalem on a white horse. His witness to the Word of his Father will be Faithful and True.  His Kingdom will be ruled with justice, and an iron scepter for those who refuse to obey his Father’s commandments.   Following the Commander of God’s armies, dressed in white, are those who will rule and reign with him because the Spirit of God imprinted His commands on their hearts and not their precious, sanctified bodies.

Tattoos on Yeshua. Not ever. 

Christian tattoos, nope.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.