Parashat Behar-Bechukotai Redeemed of The Lord: the Reverence of Fear
–Before we begin the final two portions of Leviticus=Vayikra (“and he called”), the ‘book’ which is God’s ‘Program’, the heart of the Torah…God gives Vayikra as the model in which we find God’s definition for ‘life’. Living full, holy, set apart and devoted to Him; living as brothers and how to behave toward one another; how to run a household dedicated to passing this ‘life direction’ to the next generation. Vayikra displays the roles and workings of our savior Yeshua and gives us a glimpse into the Messianic age, a shadow cast by the Author of Life as to the inner workings of the Kingdom to come. Vayikra thus expresses the only true reality we can strive for and hope in completely, and that is HASHEM’s presence in the world.
–These texts are directives as to how to illuminate and ‘bring out’ the Divine Presence here on earth, every single day. We long for the miraculous wonder of the Glory and fire falling, resting on each one of us…because our King is Trustworthy and Faithful we live with the expectancy of the promises that will be fulfilled looking toward the days ahead wondering what manifestations of the Spirit, what marvels will the Lord demonstrate! I suggest, these wonders, miracles, manifestations and marvels are presently and continually being revealed and that the evident endowment the Divine operation and authority we seek has already been shown and imparted to us in the form of the entire Living Word, and furthermore, God will continue to disclose more and more to us each and every day as we experience the prophecy of Genesis to Revelation alive…each and every single day.
–This is why for these Torah Sedra’s (portion’s or parashat) I am writing out the text from the Onkelos (the Aramaic translation of the Torah). The writer ‘targumist’ uses the term Memra. Memra means the word or wisdom of the Lord, Memra is the physical expression of the invisible God.
Colossians 1;15 He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, 16 because in connection with him were created all things- in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities- they have all been created through him and for him.
John 1;1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God at the beginning…14 The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh’khinah. (Glory)
–Memra is Yeshua, before he came in flesh. By identifying Memra in these texts you would clearly be able to see that not only was Yeshua the one who walked through the pieces and made covenant with Abraham, spoke to Moshe from the fire on the holy mountain and led the people out of Egypt, but he is the giver of the Torah and keeper of the covenants, and it is through denial of him and casualness toward his rules and his laws and statues that the worst series of curses is expressed. In through them, the most incredible witness to God’s longsuffering faithfulness and steadfast justice. In this crescendo, these closing chapters of Vayikra, we hold in our hands the extent to the loyalty of God’s love.
The Hebrew word Har=mountain, Behar-on the mountain (referring to Mount Sinai).
Vayikra 25;1 The Lord spoke with Moses on the mountain of Sinai, saying: 2 “Speak with the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land must observe a sabbatical before the Lord. 3 Sow your fields for six years and prune your vineyard for six years and gather your harvest. 4 But in the seventh year the land must have the sabbatical rest that is a Sabbath before the Lord. Do not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5 Do not reap your harvest’s [inadvertent] after growth. Do not gather your abandoned vine’s grapes. The land must observe the sabbatical year. 6 You may eat the sabbatical produce: you and your slave, maidservant, laborer, and resident who dwell with you. 7 Your cattle and beasts that are in your land may eat of all the produce. 8 Count seven sabbatical years, seven years seven times, the seven sabbatical years will be forty-nine years.
–These laws are for the Land of Israel, farmers and agriculture within the Land of Israel, so what can we learn from this if we can not even fulfill these instructions? Many believers do practice the Sabbatical rest for their own land in remembrance of these laws, which teach us one of the greatest lessons of all! The idea of any Sabbath, weekly or festival…especially this Sabbath for the land, is a lesson in total submission to the Lord. Not only submission because He is El Elyon (The Most High God) but because this is the purest form in which we can express our FAITH. The Sabbatical for the land is one specific way we can present our complete trust in God. Without sowing seed for our benefit, nor reaping for our own delight. Surpassing our basic survival instincts with trust, and PHYSICALLY showing continual faith in God’s provision alone! People love religion as long as it does not effect their bank accounts or established schedules. We are called to worship and praise and give our love and affection to God, but this “poetry”, spirituality is not sufficient. This is the lesson of the Sabbatical year, a physical expression of our faith that God will provide for our every need.
Vayikra 25;9 Proclaim [with] the sounding horn on the tenth of the seventh month; proclaim [with] the horn on the Day of Atonement throughout your land. 10 Hallow the fiftieth year. Proclaim liberty throughout the land for all of its inhabitants. Make it the jubilee. And you shall return, [each] man to his holdings and you shall return, [each] man to his family.
–Shemita = Release
Yovel= Jubilee; shofar.
Deror (drowr)=Liberty; freedom; spontaneity of outflow; so clear.
yanah=wrong; rage or be violent; suppress; maltreat; vex.
Isaiah 61;1 The spirit of my Lord, HASHEM/ELOHIM, is upon me, because HASHEM has anointed me to bring tidings to the humbled; He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release from bondage for the imprisoned, 2 to proclaim a year of favor unto HASHEM and a day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all mourners, 3 to bring about for the mourners of Zion to give them splendor instead of ashes, oil instead of mourning, a cloak of praise instead of a dim spirit. Then they will be called “elms of righteousness, the planting of HASHEM in which to glory.”
Vayikra 25;11 The fiftieth year must be the jubilee. Do not sow. Do not reap the after growth or harvest the abandoned vines. 12 It is the jubilee. It must be holy to you. You may eat the produce of your field 13 Return to your holding during this year of the jubilee. 14 When you sell properties to your friend or buy from your friend, do not wrong each other.
17Do not wrong each other. Fear your God, for I the Lord am your God. 18 Observe My laws, keep My rules and do them, so that you may dwell securely on the land. 19 The land will produce its fruit and you will eat to satisfaction and dwell on it securely.
–There are several ‘repetitious’ ideals in these Torah portions. One being the idea of “Fear your God.” the Hebrew Yare (yaw-ray) means to fear; revere; to be (make) afraid in reverence. This week my daughter asked me, “What is fear?” What would your answer be? I really had to open my heart to express with perfect faith and trust what I understand the Lord to mean when He asks us to fear Him. In this context it seems clear that in concerning ourselves with how we are approaching the treatment of others, especially our brother [ amiyth (aw-meeth) companion; comrade; kindred man; fellow; neighbor; another.] we are displaying the healthy reverence or fear of God that He asks of us. In this case, as I see it, in not putting ourselves in the positions of dominator, director, manager or authority…in fair dealing in business and personal dealings as well as in the verbal treatment of each other, we keep ourselves in our rightful place and glorify God allowing HIS dominion and authority in our lives to be evident in the way we conduct ourselves, keeping close to His guidelines given in the Torah, lived out by Yeshua.
Vayikra 25;20 If you ask: What will we eat during the seventh year? We did not sow or gather crops. 21 I will command My blessing for you during the sixth year. It will produce for three years. 22 When you sow during the eighth year, you will be eating from the old harvest. You will be eating the old until you reap the harvest in the ninth year.
Matthew 6;24 No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can not be a slave to both God and money. 25 Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life-what you will eat or drink; or about your body-what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Jeremiah 32; 6 Jeremiah said: The word of HASHEM came to me, saying: 7 “Behold, Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, is coming to you to say: ‘Buy for yourself my field that is in Anathoth, for upon you is the law of redemption, to buy it.'” 8 My cousin Hanamel come to me, according to the word of HASHEM, to the Courtyard of Confinement, and he said to me, “Please, buy for yourself my field that is in Anathoth, that is in the territory of Benjamin, for yours is the law of inheritance and yours is the [law of] redemption; buy [it] for yourself.” And I knew that it was the word of HASHEM. 9 So I bought the field that was in Anathoth from Hanamel, my cousin. I weighed out the money for him: seven shekels and ten silver pieces. 10 I wrote out the deed on a scale. 11 I took the bill of sale, the one that was sealed [according to] the ordinance and the decrees, and the unsealed [bill], 12 and I gave the bill of sale to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah before the eyes of Hanamel, [son of] my uncle, and before the eyes of the witnesses who signed the bill of sale and before the eyes of all the Jews who were sitting in the Courtyard of Confinement. 12 I instructed Baruch before their eyes, saying, 14 “Thus said HASHEM, Master of Legions, God of Israel: “Take these documents- this bill of sale, the sealed one and this unsealed document- and place them in an earthenware vessel, so that they will endure for many years.’ 15 For thus said HASHEM, Master of Legions, God of Israel: ‘Houses, fields and vineyards will yet be bought in this land.'”
–The Jeremiah texts paints a clear picture of the redemption of a piece of land that has been ‘lost’ to a kinsman. The importance of this is noted in that God repeats throughout these portions that the Land is God’s.Not only the Land, but the people are called the ‘redeemed of the Lord’ and His promises are trustworthy.
Zechariah 10; 8 I will whistle to them and gather them, for I have redeemed them; and they will become as numerous as they had been numerous. 9 I had sown them among the nations, and they remembered Me in faraway places; so they will live, with their children, and they will return.
Vayikra 25;23 Do not sell the land in perpetuity, for the land is Mine. You are dwellers and settlers before Me. 24 Grant redemption for the land, and for every land in your possession. 25 If your brother becomes poor and sells some of his possession, his nearest redeemer must come and redeem the sale of his brother. 26 If a man has no redeemer, but then prospers and finds the means to redeem it, 27 let him compute the years since its sale and refund the difference to the man to whom he sold it, and return [it] to his possession.
–The person who strives for holiness, the Tzadik/Zadik/Sadiq [tsaˈdik] (Hebrew: צדיק “righteous one”) leaves such a legacy behind that even in death, he is considered “alive”. For those who remember and continue ‘his’ teachings he lives on and on. Rasha is usually translated as “wicked” but has a concrete meaning of “to depart from the path and become lost”. This person, even while alive is spiritually and otherwise “dead”. The more we distance ourselves from this self generated death (lawlessness), the more we ‘gain’ eternal live. The more we realize that we are but sojourners the more we become residents, permanently. ‘Citizenship” is based on obedience to the Laws of the King. We are constantly reminded of that in these texts.
Revelation 3;1 “Here is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know what you are doing- you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are dead! 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains, before it dies too! For I have found what you are doing incomplete in the sight of my God. 3 So remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and turn from your sin! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you.
Psalm 141;4 Let not my heart incline toward an evil thing, to perform evil acts with men who are doers of iniquity, and let me not break bread in their pleasure-feasts. 5 Let the righteous one strike me with kindness and let him rebuke me, like the finest oil, let my head not refuse it; for my prayer is eternally against their evils. 6 Their judges have gone astray through [their hearts of] stone, though they heard my words so pleasant. 7 Like one who chops and splinters [wood] on the ground, so have our bones been scattered to the mouth of the pit. 8 For to You, HASHEM/ELOHIM, O Lord, are my eyes turned, I have sought refuge in You, do not cause my soul to be poured out. 9 Protect me from the hands of the snare they laid for me, and from the traps of the doers of iniquity. 10 The wicked will fall into its nets, all of them together, until I pass through.
Luke 15;29 ‘Look,’ the son answered, ‘I have worked for you all these years, and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you have never given me a young goat, so that I could celebrate with my friends. 30 Yet this son of yours comes, who squandered your property with prostitutes, and for him you slaughter the fattened calf!” 31 ‘Son, you are always with me,’ said the father, ‘and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead but has come back to life- he was lost but has been found.”
Exodus 32;25 Moses saw the people, that it was exposed, for Aaron had exposed them to disgrace among those who rise up against them. 26 Moses stood at the gateway of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for HASHEM, join me!” – and all the Levites gathered around him. 27 He said to them, “So said HASHEM the God of Israel, ‘Every man, put his sword on his thigh and pass back and forth from gate to gate in the camp. Let every man kill his brother, every man his fellow, and every man his near one.'” 28 The Levites did as Moses said, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Moses said, “Dedicate yourselves this day to HASHEM- for each has opposed his son and his brother- that He may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
—From the Zeal of Simeon and Levi in Shechem, over the rape of their sister Dinah to the dedication to even the most difficult command in the wilderness when the entire establishment of a Godly structure of the ‘society’ was challenged and God’s honor was affronted,post Golden Calf. The Levites were set apart and Holy to HASHEM, they lived to serve the King and their ‘livelihood’ was the responsibility of the community. They were charged with the service HASHEM on behalf of the people and as God’s own they were given the rights to land, the “Levitical Cities”. I can’t help but think of Luke 12;48…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. What ‘more’ could be asked than the level of responsibility these men we charged with.
Numbers 3;11 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 12″Behold! I have taken the Levites from among the Children of Israel, in the place of every firstborn, the first issue of every womb among the Children of Israel, and the Levites Shall be Mine. 13 For every firstborn is Mine: On the day I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified every firstborn in Israel to Myself, from man to beast; they shall be Mine- I am HASHEM. 14 HASHEM spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 “Count the sons of Levi according to their fathers’ household, according to their families, every male from one month of age and up shall you count them.” 16 Moses counted them according to the word of HASHEM, as he had been commanded. 17 These were the sons of Levi, by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
Vayikra 25; 31 Open houses that have no surrounding wall about them are treated like open country. They may be redeemed. They may be released in the jubilee. 32 Levites have a perpetual right of redemption for the houses in the cities of their possession, in the Levite cities. 33 If anyone redeems [purchases property] of the Levites, the house purchases in any of the cities in his possession are released in the jubilee; for the houses in the Levite cities are their possession.
Joshua 21;1 The heads of the ancestral [families] of the Levites approached Elazar the Kohen, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers’ [household] of the tribes of the Children of Israel. 2 They spoke to them in Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, saying, “HASHEM commanded through Moses to give us cities in which to dwell and their open [surrounding] spaces for our animals.” 3 So the Children of Israel gave to the Levites from their heritages, according to the word of HASHEM, these cities and their open spaces.
–Slavery unto an Israelite/ Hebrew in the bible review: the slaves or servants, bondsmen of Hebrew people often had a much better life than they could have ‘carved’ out on their own and thus often would opt to stay with their master indefinitely. Why? The Israelite was to treat his bondsman with dignity (if there was maltreatment, God’s law was that the servant would be freed). Not only were they to treat them with dignity (this included the practice of not assigning menial and degrading tasks to your servant, they were to work the land or do ‘handicrafts’,) but they were to provide them with food, drink, clean garments and other things. The worker or hired laborer as well as the slave or servant was to receive payment every day he works. In addition the master was required to provide for the servant’s children during his period of service.
Vayikra 25;35 If your brother becomes poor and his means fail [while he is] with you, uphold him, so that he may dwell, reside, and live with you. 36 Take no interest or increase from him. Fear your God and [let] your brother live with you. 37 Give him no money of yours for interest, nor give your food for increase. 38 I am the Lord your God Who freed you from the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be a God for you. 39 If your brother becomes poor [while he is] with you and is sold to you, do not work him with the labor of servants. 40 He should be with you as the hired laborer or resident. He may work with you only until the jubilee year. 41 Then he leaves you, his children with him. He returns to his family and goes to his ancestral possession. 42 For they are my servants. I freed them from the land of Egypt. They may not be sold [as] servants are sold. 43 Do not work them ruthlessly, but fear your God.
–This text is beautiful, if your brother’s means fail you are to uphold him, relieve him, make him become more steadfast. (remember this) The Hebrew word Chazaq (khaw-zak)= to fasten upon; be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify); to bind; confirm; encourage.
This is not mere charity, pity or remorse. This is a chance to help truly change the character and nature of someone who for one reason or another has been unable to keep his head above water. He is to be taken, drawn into your household (your example) and allowed to live again, with dignity, learning the tools he needs to become truly free and find the source of true sustenance we all depend on. This is all much easier to do for a person before he ‘falls’ down completely.
“It is easier to strengthen (“uphold”) someone before he falls, for if he falls it will be much more difficult to lift him up. (Rashi)
Again the Lord reminds is that the people are His own, redeemed to life and service of Him. Again He asks that we continually remember the freedom from the slavery of the sin, trials, tribulations, the dire ‘straits’ of darkness, Mitrayim- Egypt; the narrow path on treacherous cliff with only one option…stay on course or fall.
Again we see obedience to the instructions on how to treat our fellow human beings, and testify bearing witness to all of them, that we exhibit the healthy fear which is reverence for God that is instrumental in relationship with Him and how great it is to strive for such things in the life He granted us.
It were the Angels who “chazak”, took hold of Lot when they lingered in sinful places set for destruction (Gen.19;16), Joseph in the land of Egypt who “chazak”, fortified the known world with God ordained sustenance Who even then designed the grandeur of future redemption for His firstborn Israel (Gen.41;56) and Jacob who “chazak” strengthened himself when he knew his Joseph was alive and he made his way to Egypt Gen.48;2), it was even Pharaoh whose heart was “chazak” fortified by God to remain stubborn that His wonders and power could be demonstrated, that the lengths of His unfailing connection to His covenant and His people could be exhibited to the whole world (Ex.9;2)
Let us “Chazak” each other, encourage our brothers and sisters and fellow human beings to come to know how to LIVE, to find Yeshua and keep His commands, while we await him and pray for his mercy and the restoration of all things.
Vayikra 25; 44 The male and female servants that you acquire may be of the nations around you. 45 You may also buy them from the children of uncircumcised strangers who dwell with you, or from their families who are with you, who are born in your land. They may be your property. 46 You may leave them as an inheritance for your children after you, for them to inherit. You may work with them forever. But with your brothers, the Israelites, you may not work your Israelite brother ruthlessly. 47 If one who is uncircumcised or a resident alien prospers among you, and your brother becomes poor beside him, and sells himself to the uncircumcised person or resident alien with you or to a deceitful [member] of the convert’s family, 48 he should be redeemed after he is sold. One of his brothers of his father’s brother’s son should redeem him or any flesh relative of his family should redeem him or any who prospers so that he should be redeemed. 50 He should compute with his purchaser [the total] from the year that he sold himself until the jubilee year.
53… He should not work him ruthlessly in your sight. 54 If he is not redeemed in any of these [ways], he still goes free in the jubilee year, he and his children with him. 55 For the Israelites are servants to Me. They are My servants, whom I took out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord you God.”
–Perek=(from the root meaning to break apart); fracture; severity; cruelty; rigor.
towshab=a dweller distinguished from a native citizen; temporary inmate; lodger; resident alien; foreigner; inhabitant; sojourner; stranger.
Ger= a guest; foreigner; alien; sojourner; stranger.
Eqer= naturalized citizen; transplanted person.
–The urgency in the text seems overt to me. If your brother’s means fail so much so that he not only is forced into servitude, but to become the servant of a foreigner it is the next of kin’s duty to redeem him from this situation. If this man’s brother can not, without putting his own household in jeopardy, redeem him it falls to the cousin and other relative….and amazingly, this is so important, that it becomes the responsibility of ANYONE in the community who has the means to do so…to redeem this man. We are all ‘slaves’ in a sense, the question is…to whom, or what are we enslaved?
*John 8;34 Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever. 36 So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!”
*Romans 6;16 Don’t you know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, then, of the one whom you are obeying, you are slaves- whether of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to being made righteous?
–Yeshua is our “kinsman” redeemer and he has ransomed us from death. May we use our lives as the redeemed the of the Lord always seeking to render ourselves as servants of the King.
*Titus 2;13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah. 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
*Job 19;25 But I know that my Redeemer loves, and that He will be the final one remaining upon the earth.
* Isaiah 62; 11 Behold, HASHEM has announced to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your Savior has come!’ Behold, His reward is with Him, and His wage is before Him. 12 People will call them, ‘the Holy People, the Redeemed of HASHEM’; and you will be called, ‘Sought After’, ‘The City Not Forsaken.’
Vayikra 26;1 Do not construct idols for yourselves or set up carved images or pillars for yourselves or place a bowing stone in your land to bow down to, for I the Lord am your God. 2 Keep My Sabbath days and have fear for My holy house. I am the Lord.
–In ‘closing’, the direct opposite to idolatry= Keeping the Sabbath days (moadim-appointed times, Festivals, Sabbaticals, Jubilees) of the Lord and displaying the healthy reverence and fear, honor esteem and veneration that Ha Elyon (the Most High God we serve) asks of us. The psalmist, below, refers to the people as a singular soul…a singular heart, let us be responsible and caring for one another, realizing we are ALL completely reliant on the Lord and without Him we have nothing, resting in Him alone. “Chazak”, uphold the truth of the eternal Word and share it with everyone we can at all times!
Psalm 107;1 Give thanks to HASHEM, for He is good, for His kindness endures forever! 2Those redeemed by HASHEM will say [it], those whom He redeemed from the hand of distress, 3 and whom He gathered from the lands: from the east and from the west, from north and from the sea. 4 They wandered in the wilderness, in the desolation of the path; they found no inhabited city. 5 Hungry as well as thirsty, their soul grew faint within them. 6 Then they cried out to HASHEM in their distress, He would rescue them from their straits. 7 And He led them upon a straight path, to go to an inhabited city. 8 Let them give thanks to HASHEM for His kindness, and His wonders to the children of man. 9 For He sated the yearning soul, and filled the hungry soul with good. 10 Those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, shackled in affliction and iron, 11 because they rebelled against the words of God, and scorned the counsel of the Supreme One. 12 So He humbled their heart with hard labor; they stumbled and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried out to HASHEM in their distress, He would save them from their straits. 14 He would take them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and break open their shackles. 15 Let them give thanks to HASHEM for His kindness, and His wonders to the children of man.
“In My Statutes”
The Hebrew word Chuqqah- means appointed; custom; ordinance; statue.
Isaiah 24;1 Behold, HASHEM is emptying the land and making it deserted; He will distort its appearance and scatter its inhabitants: 2 as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maidservant, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the one who owes him. 3 The land will be utterly emptied and utterly despoiled, for HASHEM has spoken this word. 4 The land will become desolate and withered; the world will be wretched and withered; the exalted of the people of the land will be wretched. 5 The land will be unfaithful because of its inhabitants, for they have transgressed commandments and have violated laws; they have abrogated the everlasting Covenant.
–parar= violate; frustrate; cast off. The Isaiah text warns us (as does the Torah portion) of things to come, the curses and imprecations party to willful, rebellious and seditious disloyalty to the Covenantal promises and design crafted and presented by God.
This parpar- of casting off with arrogance is precisely what HASHEM repeatedly and continually cautions us against in the Bechukotai text…casting off of the Covenant and its terms, casting off of the Covenant maker- The memra- word or wisdom of the Lord- Yeshua.
Vayikra 26;3 If you accept the authority of My laws, and keep My commandments, and execute them, 4 I will supply your rains in their time so that the earth supplies its produce and each tree of the field supplies its fruit. 5 Your threshing will reach to vintage, and your vintage will reach to those who take out the seed. You will eat your bread to satisfaction and dwell securely in your land. I will give peace to the land. You will rest, and there will be none that moves you. I will remove vicious beasts from the land. Those who kill with the sword will not pass through your land. 7You will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will put ten thousand to flight. Your enemies will collapse before you by the sword.
–If you shamar= guard; protect; attend to; take heed to; keep; observe; preserve; regard…the authority MY laws and keep MY commandments and halak=to walk in; exercise; follow; grow; spread; wax in them…the blessings come. First rain, for without rain there is no growth, no produce no life. Next and perhaps most important, peace. Without peace, all the blessings and produce are for naught for they can not be shared and enjoyed. Finally, none will ‘move’ you, this word is fear. Not the awe and reverence God asks us to show Him…this is anxiety; fright; terror; trembling=charad.
Vayikra 26;9 I will watch with My memra [word or wisdom] to benefit you. I will make you fertile and increase you. I will keep My covenant with you. 10 You will eat the old of the old. You will need to remove the old to give place to the new. 11 I will set My Sanctuary among you; My memra [word or wisdom] will not distance itself from you. 12 I will cause My Shekhinah to dwell among you. I will be a God for you, and you will be a people before Me. 13 I the Lord and your God who delivered you from the land of Egypt from being slaves to them. I ripped the bars of the nations off of you and led you to freedom.
–This is the God I serve. Here at the end of Vayikra (Leviticus) just prior to the most terrifying picture of life void of the protection and presence of God, He lavishes us with these verses of eternity…promises particularized from the Creator of life itself…crafted from a high place we can only dream of and pray to be a part of someday (for eternity my King, so may it be!) He WILL keep the covenant, He will place His Sanctuary among us, He will cause His memra-His Yeshua to remain close to us, His glory WILL be revealed and we WILL be His people. Because He HAS ripped; broken; crushed; destroyed; and torn =shabar, the yoke and chains and bondage of sin from us…by the blood of the Lamb, freely offered on our behalf. If we can be faithful to His word, His laws, and instructions and never deny the presence and authority of Yeshua in our lives, we will then walk in obedience not seeking the Grace already gifted, but because we have truly found it and seek to uphold and honor it, honor him from whom it comes.
I Peter 3;18 For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; 19 and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, 20 to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people-to be specific, eight- were delivered by means of water. 21 This also prefigures what delivers us now, the water of immersion, which is not the removal of dirt from the body, but one’s pledge to keep a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. 22 He has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers subject to him.
II Timothy 2;8 Remember Yeshua the Messiah, who was raised from the dead, who was a descendant of David. This is the Good News I proclaim, 9 and for which I am suffering to the point of being bound in chains- but the Word of God is not bound in chains! 10 Why do I persevere through it all? For the sake of those who have been chosen, so that they too may obtain the deliverance that comes through the Messiah Yeshua, with eternal glory. 11 Here is a statement you can trust: If we have died with him, we will also live with him. 12 If we persevere, we will also rule with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us. 13 If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 14 Keep reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before the Lord not to engage in word-battles. They accomplish nothing useful and are a catastrophe for the hearers! 15 Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of Truth.
–Our King is a true Father, and like any true Father He promises the discipline that loves so much it refuses to allow a child to slip, to wane, to wander onto the path of danger and death. Only this kind of love is capable of attaining the true repentance which leads to restoration, obedience in response to a gracious work…to truly “live with him”.
-Shama=to hear intelligently with obedience; attentively; carefully; certainly; diligently; to listen; proclaim; regard; understand; witness.
–asah=to do or make; accomplish; advance; bear; commit; have the charge of; keep; maintain; observe; perform; use.
–Ga’al=to detest; to reject; abhor; loath; vilely cast away.
–Parar=to violate; frustrate; cast off; make of none effect; bring to naught.
–Paqad= to visit; appoint; avenge; bestow; punish; reckon; remember; visit.
–Nathan= to give; apply; ascribe; assign; avenge; cause; charge; direct; recompense; turn; withdraw.
Vayikra 26;14 But if you do not accept (shama) My memra [word or wisdom] and do not perform (asah) all of these commandments, 15 if you spurn (ga’al) My laws and distance yourselves from My rules, and do not perform all of these commandments, and change (parar) My covenant, 16 I will do likewise with you. I will assault (paqad) you with terror, consumption, and fever, which darken the eyes and weaken the body. You will sow your seed without result, for your enemies will eat it. 17 I will turn (nathan) My anger against you. You will be broken before your enemies. Your foes will dominate you. They will put you to flight, though there is no one who pursues you.
–Yacar=chastise; instruct; correct; punish; reform; reprove; teach; discipline
Powerful, powerful verses, from a God who is to be revered as a consuming fire. The verses, below, from Proverbs are just as touching and convicting. I am in awe. Open all our hearts and eyes my King to Your word and wisdom, You have led me here… before You I praise!
Proverbs 28;1 The wicked flee though none pursue, but the righteous are confident as a young lion. 2 Through the perfidy of the land its officers increase, but through an understanding, knowing man, it will prolong [its days]. 3 A pauper who robs the destitute is like a torrential rain, which leaves no food. 4 Those who forsake the Torah praise the wicked, but the keepers of Torah contend with them. 5 Men of evil will not discern [the inevitable] judgment, but those who seek HASHEM will understand it all. 6 Better a poor man who walks in his innocence than a rich man who perverts [his] ways. 7 One who preserves Torah is an understanding son, but the companion of swillers humiliates his father. 8 One who multiplies his wealth through interest and increase gathers it for the patron of the poor. 9 If one turns aside his ear from hearing the Torah, his prayer, too, will be [considered] an abomination.
Vayikra 26;18 And if you continue not to accept My memra [word or wisdom], I will increase [the punishment] to dominate you sevenfold for your guilt. 19 I will crush your proud glory. I will make the heaven that is over you as hard as iron so that it precipitates no rain, and the earth under you as dry as brass so that it yields no fruit. 20 Your strength [efforts] will end without results. Your land will not yield its
harvest. The tree of the land will not produce its fruit.
Psalm 127;1 If HASHEM will not build the house, in vain do its builders labor in it; if HASHEM will not guard the city, in vain is the watchman vigilant. 2 It is vain for you to rise early, who sit up late, who eat the bread of sorrows; for indeed, He gives His beloved ones restful sleep.
I Corinthians 15;58 So, my dear brothers, stand firm and immovable, always doing the Lord’s work as vigorously as you can, knowing that united with the Lord your efforts are not in vain.
–The Isaiah verses, below, are a reminder for us that on the other side of this coin of discipline which comes from the abstinence of a repeated refusal to submit to the Lord, Who’s design is our very BEST interests…in His ‘other ‘ hand are the promises of an age of peace for His people, and the curses for the nations and peoples who neither recognize Israel as God’s own, nor stand with His legions in protecting and supporting them. [Psalm 91;11 He will charge His angels for you, to protect you in all your ways.]
Isaiah 65;13 Therefore, thus said my Lord, HASHEM/ELOHIM: Behold, My servants will eat and you will starve; behold, My servants will drink and you will thirst; behold, My servants will rejoice and you will be ashamed; 14 behold, My servants will exult from good heartedness, and you will cry out from pain of heart and wail from a broken spirit. 15 You will leave your name as an oath for My chosen ones, and the Lord, HASHEM/ELOHIM, will put you to death; but He will call His servants a different name. 16 Whoever blesses himself in the land will bless himself by the God of Truth, and whoever takes an oath in the land will take an oath by the God of Truth, for earlier travails will have been forgotten and concealed from My eyes. 17 For behold I am creating a new heavens and a new earth; the former [events] will no longer be recalled and will not be taken to heart. 18 Only rejoice and be happy forever for what I am creating; for behold, I am recreating Jerusalem as ‘Gladness’, and its people as ‘Joy’; 19 for I will rejoice over Jerusalem and exult with My people, and there will no longer be heard in it the sound of weeping and the sound of outcry.
Vayikra 26; 21 If you remain hostile before Me and refuse to accept My memra [word or wisdom], I will increase [the punishment] to bring a plague upon you, sevenfold for your guilt. 22 I will incite wild beasts against you. They will bereave you [of children] and destroy your cattle. They will diminish you. Your roads will be deserted.
–Qriy (ker-ee): Hostile; contrary; casual. (When we read hostile or hostility it can be translated at casual, casualness).
With the knowledge of God’s design we can walk with devotion and intention, we will neither be casual nor hostile toward the good discipline and molding of our Father and we will be enabled to discern what will tie us more to each other as ‘families’ and ‘houses’ and to our Savior. We have been armed and He has flung open the doors of His divine armory from days of old and beckons us inward even now.
Proverbs 1;2 [In order] to make known words of wisdom and discipline; to make words of understanding discernible; 3 to accept wise discipline, righteousness, justice and fairness; 4 to provide simpletons with cleverness, a youth with knowledge and design; 5 that a wise one may hear and increase [his] learning, and a discerning one may acquire strategies; 6 to understand parable and epigram, the words of the wise and their enigmas. 7 The fear of HASHEM is the beginning of knowledge; foolish ones scorn wisdom and discipline. 8 Hear, my child, the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother. 9 For they are an adornment of grace for you head and a chain for your neck.
Vayikra 26;23 And if with these things you are not dominated by My memra [word or wisdom] and you proceed before Me with hostility, 24 I will also proceed to be hostile to you. I will smite you sevenfold for your guilt. 25 I will release against you those who kill with the sword. They will collect recompense from you because you violated the words of the Torah. You will gather in your cities but I will incite plague against you and deliver you into enemy hands.
Hosea 4; 6 My people has been eliminated for lack of knowledge; for you have spurned knowledge, and I will spurn you from serving Me; and as you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I, too, will forget your children.
Vayikra 26;26 When I break away food support from you, ten women will bake your bread in one oven. They will distribute bread by weight. You will eat and not be satisfied. 27 And if with this you still do not accept My memra [word or wisdom] and proceed before Me with hostility, 28 I will proceed against you with strong anger. I will dominate you, even I , sevenfold for your guilt.
–This is the fifth round of God’s depiction of the people “refusing to accept; continuing not to accept; remaining hostile and refusing to accept; not becoming dominated by and yet still not accepting” the memra= Word or Wisdom of the Lord, Yeshua…and the most horrific curses come. Historically we know that there has been great punishment for the Jews, see this link for a glimpse into a timeline:
What is clear from the text is that much of these things have already happened.
HASHEM, may we among all Your people repent and come to know You and serve You from our hearts, not for any reward or evasion of wrath but for the immeasurable value of being called Redeemed Servant of HASHEM. In Yeshua’s name, amein.
Vayikra 26;29 You will eat your sons’ flesh, and your daughters’ flesh you will eat. 30 I will demolish your altars and cut down your sun-pillars. I will place your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols and distance My memra [word or wisdom] from you. I will leave your cities in ruin and make your sanctuaries desolate, and not accept the sacrifice of your assemblies with favor. 32 I will desolate the land so that your enemies who settle in it will be shocked by it. 33 I will scatter you among the nations. I will incite those who kill with the sword against you. Your land will be desolate, your cities will be a ruin.
–Do not imagine for a moment that the Father who formed you from the womb and who fashions you even now has any comfort in unrolling these curses in His living word, His gift to His children. The verses below paint a vivid picture of the land, resting, taking its rightful designated sabbatical rest…but this isn’t the picture our Maker had intended to be exhibited, this barren and lonely forsaken illustration is the unfortunate result of a life void of the structure and design of God, it is the solemn execution when we are derelict in our obedience to the laws of our King.
Vayikra 26; 34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbaticals. 35 All the years that it is desolate, it will rest what it did not rest during the sabbaticals while you were dwelling upon it. 36 As to those of you who survive, I will bring a breaking to their hearts in the land of their enemies. The sound of the driven leaf will chase them. They will be put to flight like one who flies from before those who kill by the sword. They will fall , though there is no one who pursues. 37 They will stumble over each other as before those who kill by the sword, though no one pursues. You will be unable to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations. The land of your enemies will finish you.
–Morek=softness; faintness; timidity; breaking….of the heart.
–Maqaq=to melt; dwindle; vanish; consume away; dissolve; pine away.
–avon=perversity; moral evil; fault; mischief; iniquity; sin; trespass.
Psalm 51;3 Show me favor , O God, according to Your kindness, according to your vast compassion erase my transgressions. 4 Abundantly cleanse me from my iniquity, and from my sin and purify me. 5 For I recognize my transgressions, and my sin (avon) is before me always. 6 Against You alone did I sin, and that which is evil in Your eyes did I do; therefore, You are justified when You speak, and faultless when You judge. 7 Behold, in iniquity was I fashioned, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 8 Behold, the truth which You desire is in the concealed parts, and in the covered part is the wisdom that You teach me.
Vayikra 26;39 Those of you who survive will melt [faint] over their guilt in enemy land. They will also melt [faint] over the guilt of their fathers’ bad deeds that remain in their hands. 40 They will confess their guilt and the guilt of their fathers, regarding the trespasses that they trespassed before Me, and because they proceeded before Me hostilely. 41 I, in turn, will proceed against them in hostility. I will bring them into enemy land. Then their foolish hearts will break, and they will satisfy for their guilt.
–Oh my King, the only worse pain I can imagine then being stripped of family and community…a child or a spouse…is to live a ‘life’ Godless, without My King. Take my life and break my heart, take all that I have to offer, though its sum is but filthy rags…only never distance Yourself, Your Word, Your Wisdom, Your Yeshua the zenith of Your love and merciful grace. All I have, my entire hope rest in You and for Your salvation, your Yeshua I long.
Psalm 37;1 Do not compete with the evildoers, be not envious of doers of injustice, 2 for like the grass they wither. 3 Trust in HASHEM and do good; dwell in the land and nourish [yourself] with faithfulness. 4 And rely upon HASHEM for your enjoyments, for He will grant you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to HASHEM, rely on Him and He will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness like a light, and your justice like high noon. 7 Wait silently for [the salvation of] HASHEM and wait longingly for Him; do not compete with him who prospers, with the man who executes malicious plans. 8 Desist from anger and forsake wrath; do not compete it brings harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who hope to HASHEM, shall inherit the earth. 10 Just a little longer and there will be no wicked one; you will contemplate his place and he will not be there. 11 But the humble shall inherit the earth, and delight in abundant peace.
Vayikra 26;42 I remember My covenant that is with Jacob. I remember My covenant that is with Isaac and My covenant that is with Abraham. And I remember the land. 43 The land will lie fallow of them, satisfying itself for its sabbaticals by being desolate of them, while they satisfy for their guilt. I will bring curses rather than blessings upon them, for they rejected My rules and distanced themselves from My laws.
–Imagine, the One Who painstakingly tends to each and every hair on your head…Who has an invested concern, in fact He has invested ALL….in you…He looks into you and designs the very best for your present and future, and as we stumble and fall, as we willingly and carelessly insert death into a bed spread out for holiness…it is His heart that breaks, even still in the dark He see’s the light He placed within you and even when we become tormented by invisible pursuers it is His love, His faithfulness, His fidelity , His character and attributes of Divine Mercy we can not fathom that prevail and overcome all else. He will not change or amend His law, He will never forget or cast of His covenants….for they all are part of each other, in the same way He is part of us and we are connected to one another.
Vayikra 26;44 And also, even then, when they are in enemy land, I will not [totally] leave them or distance them to destroy them, changing My covenant with them. for I the Lord am their God. 46 I remember the covenant with the first ones to their favor, those whom I freed from the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I the Lord.”‘
–Yeshua, memra [Word or Wisdom of the Lord] making covenant, in the form of a torch of fire, with Abraham as he slept, Yeshua memra [Word or Wisdom of the Lord] dispatching Moshe to Egypt to claim his people from the midst of a bush aflame, Yeshua memra [Word or Wisdom of the Lord] lodged in form of a pillar of fire between his firstborn and the legions of Egypt, Yeshua memra [Word or Wisdom of the Lord] smoke and fiery furnace at Mount Sinai to establish his eternal Torah. This is his testimony and in it you can trust. It was established from the Father through the expressed image of the Living God, between Yeshua and the Israelites…written by the hand of Moshe, it is he who has ‘gone before the people’ from the beginning and he will ‘go before you’ today. His arm is extended, all you need do is reach.
Vayikra 26;46 These are the laws, rules, and the Torah that the Lord established between His memra [word or wisdom] and the Israelites, on the mountain of Sinai, through the hand of Moses.
James 4;12 There is but one Giver of Torah; he is also the Judge, with the power to deliver and destroy.
–We reach the end of Vayikra, Leviticus, my heart is torn wide open by these two final portions and the extent of God’s love, it is truly miraculous to me that we do hold in our hands the things that ‘angels wish to look upon’, this is the wonder, this is the splendor and glory that is visceral and present and at our grasp! It could make one want to melt, charge each other and be charged to uphold, remind, encourage your brother and fellow sojourner…to seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness and ALL else will be provided for by the One Who daily sustains ALL. Upon reaching the end of a “Book” of the Torah we recite:
“Chazak! Chazak! Venischazeik!”
“Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!”
This is my fervent prayer for you all, I pray you are as incredibly blessed in this wonder as I am.
May God bless you and safeguard you, May He illuminate His countenance for you and be gracious to you…for it is with the Light of his countenance that He gave us the Torah of life and a love of kindness, righteousness, blessing and peace…may He establish abundant peace for you.
Blessed are You Lord our God gracious giver of the Torah.
In Yeshua’s name amein.
ADONAI if I could be alone with you right now, I would come before you as a child, on my knees..crying, please forgive me for all the wasted time. Thank you for being so patient with me, Lord if you will give me the strength and the time and the open heart and eyes to see continually I will continually devote all to You, as is fitting as is just. I pray that you open all our hearts to the wonderful things in Your Torah, that we all draw nearer to Yeshua in everything we do. Heal the sick and sad of your people I thank you for making a new and deeper peace in the trust I have in Your eternal word, I pray you will use me to bless others and express the faithfulness in Your truth…amazing and wondrous, fulfilling and amazing…miraculous and awe inspiring every single day.
In Yeshuua’s name I ask these things and I praise You. Amein
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Shadows of the Messiah- Torah Club Volume 5 FFOZ