Parasha Bamidbar (In the Desert)
Order in the Camp, Your Specialized Mission. Finding God in the Desert
Psalm 147;2 The builder of Jerusalem is HASHEM; the outcast of Israel He will gather in. 3 He is the Healer of the brokenhearted, and the One Who binds up their sorrows. 4 He counts the number of the stars, to all of them He assigns names. 5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is beyond calculation.
–We begin a new ‘book’ of the Torah, Bamidbar which means in the Desert, also known as Numbers. The eternal words of Bamidar contain many ‘colorful’ episodes which are sure to keep even the most leisurely student engaged. Bamidbar begins with a number of Censuses. The members of the tribes are counted individually, each and every Jew passes in front of Moses and Aaron and presented proof of tribal descent. Even the humblest Jew stands before his two leaders, the prophet to whom God Almighty speaks to face to face as a friend, and HASHEM’s holy servant, appointed perpetually.
How awesome would it have been for someone who had heard the messages of Moshe transferred from one leader to the next, down the chain and finally to the “lay” person, in the “back” of the camp… 600,000 strong, aside from women and children…he heard the message, it was in his heart but now he is accounted for, personally, individually. God counted the nation at every significant turn because He loves it.
The fact that the people were counted as individuals proves the infinite worth of every Jew, of every child of God for that matter. If the purpose was sheer numbering, it would have been much more efficient to count the people ‘en masse’. Doing this would have caused the individual to become an insignificant member of the collective and would have obscured each personal responsibility to grow and contribute.
We will seek out the lessons in this sedra (parasha or portion) and try to uncover what it really means to grow in holiness, faith and relationship with the Lord.
From these texts we learn how each of us is unique, and precious to the Lord in our own right and capable as well as responsible for contributing to the ‘community’ of the Kingdom. The tribes once accounted for are arranged around the Tabernacle, demonstrating that the Presence of God was their rallying point and so too should be ours!
Bamidbar 1; 1 HASHEM spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after their exodus from the land of Egypt, saying: 2 “Take a census of the entire assembly of the children of Israel according to their families, according to their fathers’ household, by the number of the names, every male according to their headcount. 3 From twenty years of age and up- everyone who goes out to the legion of Israel- you shall count them according to their legions, you and Aaron. 4 And with you shall be one man from each tribe; a man who is a leader of his father’s household.
–Rosh=head; sum; top.
–Paqad=Muster; charge; appoint; count; number; reckon.
–This first portion of the census is taken from all males age twenty and up. This is a reckoning of all those capable of bearing arms. This is a count of all those who will go out into the legion of Israel, they are after all being led our by God into Canaan to conquer the territory and possess the Land. They are counted by their family name, this is more than a matter of numbers, this gives these men a new identity. Only a year prior they were slaves, now soldiers in an army led by the Lord.
Bamidbar 1;16 These were the ones summoned by the assembly, the leaders of their father’s tribes, they are the heads of Israel’s thousands. 17 Moses and Aaron took these men who had been designated by [their] names. 18 They gathered together the entire assembly on the first of the second month, and they established their genealogy according to their families, according to their fathers’ household, by the number of the names, from twenty years of age and up, according to their headcount. 19 As HASHEM had commanded Moses, he counted them in the Wilderness of Sinai.
–Qariy (kawree)=called ones; select; famous; renown.
–Naqab=specify; designate; appoint; name.
–Not only are the men passing before Moshe and Aaron to determine that they are capable of fighting for the promised land, but they have the opportunity to “bear” their heritage…to proclaim and prove their Tribal name. What pride a father or tribal head would hold in his heart as these men pass before him. On this day the promises to Israel, and the blessings on the deathbed of Jacob become alive all the more…for they have not perished in Egypt under the heavy bars of their tormentors, nor did they pass away as the legions of Pharaoh pursued them, they have not starved or withered on the journey to Sinai and now they are all here, the Twelve Tribes of Israel poised to make the eleven day journey to Canaan and to the Land flowing with milk and honey.
Bamidbar 1;44 These are the counting’s that Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel counted- twelve men, one man for his fathers’ household, were they- 45 these were all the counting’s of the Children of Israel, according to their fathers’ households, from twenty years of age and up, everyone who goes out to the legion in Israel: 46 All their counting’s were six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty.
–My daughter and I enumerated the tribes in order from “strongest” (most sword-bearing men) to least “strong”= Judah (Praise) , Dan (Judge), Simeon (Heard), Zebulun (Dwell), Issachar (Wages), Naphtali (Wrestling), Reuben (See A Son),Gad (Fortunate), Asher (Happy), Ephiram (Fruitful), Benjamin (Son of the Right Hand), Manasseh (From a Debt).
-This is just something we worked up, its just from our hearts, not to be taken like a literal message from the text, but a WONDERFUL blessing all the same, may you be blessed by it:
In this order, the order of the count for the Legions of Israel set for a great battle…we get a glimpse into the future of our Conquering King and the Sword he will arrive with when he returns with his legions in the clouds!:
We see the Praise of the Judge Who has Heard, He Dwelt among us, bearing the Wages of our sin, he Wrestled with death and won, SEE THE SON! How Fortunate and Happy we are, how Fruitful he has made us…the Son of the Right Hand, will descend and make war…then claim his eternal crown, From a Debt he paid once and for all! May Yeshua be exalted!
–HEBREW: Micpar(mispar)=number; account; telling.
–GREEK: Arithmeo=to enumerate or count; number.
Genesis 41;49 Joseph amassed grain like the sand of the sea in great abundance until he ceased counting, for there was no number (micpar).
Exodus 23;25 You shall worship HASHEM, your God, and He shall bless your bread and your water, and I shall remove illness from your midst. 26 There shall be no woman who loses her young or is infertile in your land; I shall fill the number (micpar) of your days.
Job 5;6 For destruction does not emerge from the dust, nor does misery grow from the earth. 7 For man is born to weariness, while spiritual beings soar in flight. 8 However, I would beseech the Almighty and direct my words to God, 9 Who performs great deeds that are beyond comprehension, [and] wonders beyond number (micpar);…
Luke 12;6 Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, five for two assarions? And not one of them had been forgotten by God. 7 Why, every hair on your heard has been counted (arithmeo)! Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.
Revelation 7; 9 After this, I looked; and there before me was a huge crowd, too large for anyone to count (arithmeo), from every nation, tribe, people and language. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands; 10 and they shouted, “Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
–The counting of God’s precious ones is intimate and direct. It shows His overwhelming love in a cherishing way, a personal way…by name. He knows the number of hairs on your heard and He knows you are as individual, thus this Walk must begin with a personal initiative to find HASHEM.
What more fitting of a time to be contemplating this than now, as we near Shavouth. These “days that count”, the period of the Omer counting is nearing a close and that brings us to The Feast of Weeks, celebrating the giving of the Torah. All these days we have been walking from spiritual immaturity, slaves freshly liberated…to the pinnacle of Divine Revelation at Sinai…and we are almost there.
This Torah Portion of Bamidbar couldn’t be more perfect for our own spiritual preparation to relive the Sinai Revelation for our souls, to remind us that we are not just a blur among the masses.
This is the time of rebirth, at the Foot of the Mountain, at the Foot of the Throne as we await the return of our King…Rebirth for all human beings.
We must be searching for the specific, and specialized, unique path that God has carved out for us.
Move forward always looking for HASHEM on this journey, aided by Him…for the map has been etched into our very being. It is our job to relearn continually our particular path to the Torah, to Yeshua the Word made flesh…and by name, that path has been assigned to each of us…our own personal portion.
The Torah is for each one of us, specifically, we will find “it” on different routes, uncover “it” in a variety of paces and differing approaches and timings….but in this discovery we will unroll True Love, Awe, Commitment and Knowledge.
This is why we pray:
“Bless us our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance, for with the Light of Your countenance You gave us, HASHEM, our God, the Torah of Life and a love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, compassion, life and peace.
Grant us our share in Your Torah, and may we serve You there with reverence, as in the days of old and in former years.”
For with all of me, I know that the portion of weight of a single grain of sand of the eternal Word made Flesh, the Torah of Truth, is more than enough to sustain my soul in the abundance of joy and gladness for all eternity! So may it be my King.
Bamidbar 1;47 The Levites according to their father’s’ tribe were not counted among them. 48 HASHEM spoke to Moses ,saying, 49 “But you shall not count the tribe of Levi, and you shall not take a census of them among the Children of Israel. 50 Now you, appoint the Levites over the Tabernacle of the Testimony, over all of its vessels and over everything that belongs to it. They shall carry the Tabernacle and all its utensils and they shall minister to it; and they shall encamp around the Tabernacle. 51 When the Tabernacle journey’s, the Levites shall take it down, and when the Tabernacle encamps, the Levites shall erect it, and an alien who approaches shall die.
–The next separation we see involving the Levites is here, there will be an accounting made of Levi but it is not to be done in the same way, among the Children of Israel. The Levites are appointed (paqad) over the Tabernacle and all of its vessels, they are in charge of its daily workings (ministering- Sharath) and when it journeys (naca) and encamps (chanah) they are in charge of tearing it down (yarad) and erecting it (quwm).
–Quwm= erect, set up; rise; accomplish; confirm; make; perform; ordain; establish; hold; strengthen.
The Levites have a mission, they have an identity, they have a purpose and an assignment. While bricks and mortar, blood, sweat and many tears were once their station in a strange land…they are now entrusted and charged to confirm what HASHEM had promised and ordained for mankind and for Israel from long before Noach left the ark. They now erect with faithful sweat the walls of God’s House, now it is tears of true repentance that flow as they wash their hands at the Laver before approaching to offer gifts to the Lord and make atonement for the people. Now, the blood is that of a pure offering, one which inhabits the guilt and transgression in exchange for a downcast soul. It is the Levites appointment to strengthen and enable the hope and faith in the unfailing promises that the Lord Quwm-established and eternally maintains. Layer upon layer, eternal covenants exhibited in the Center of the camp, the Tabernacle of HASHEM.
Genesis 9;11 And I will confirm (quwm) My covenant with you : Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I give between Me and you, and every living being that is with you, to generations forever: 13 I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Genesis 17;7 I will ratify (quwm) My covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your offspring after you; 8 and I will give you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojourns- the whole of the land of Canaan- as an everlasting possession; and I shall be a God to them.”
Exodus 6;4 Moreover, I established (quwm) My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojourning, in which they sojourned. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groan of the Children of Israel whom Egypt enslaves and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore, say to the Children of Israel: “I am HASHEM, and I shall take you out from under the burdens of Egypt; I shall rescue you from their service; I shall redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I shall take you to Me for a people and I shall be a God to you; and you shall know that I am HASHEM your God, Who takes you out from under the burdens of Egypt. 8 I shall bring you to the land about which I raised My hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I shall give it to you as a heritage- I am HASHEM.'”
Exodus 26;30 You shall erect (quwm) the Tabernacle according to its manner, as you will have been shown on the mountain.
Leviticus 26;9 I will turn My attention to you, I will make you fruitful and increase you; and I will establish (quwm) My covenant with you.
Psalm 24;2 For He founded it upon seas, and established (quwm) it upon rivers. 3 Who may ascend the mountain of HASHEM, and who may stand in the place of His sanctity? 4 One with clean hands and pure heart; who has not sworn in vain by My soul, and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He will receive a blessing from HASHEM and just kindness from the God of his salvation.
–Not only are the Levites charged with safeguarding the actual Tabernacle, but they are to protect the people…to ensure that the people do not bring harm to themselves by coming to worship at inopportune times, in inappropriate manners, with unacceptable offerings or even with malice or derision in mind. The sword is never far from Levi, and the priests at the entrances and boundaries of the Tabernacle have to have had a means of defense to maintain order for the sake of the Tabernacle’s sanctity and safety of the people.
Armored priests, musicians, and Torah teachers…truly a Special Mission have the Levites.
Bamidbar 1;52 The Children of Israel shall encamp, every man at his camp and every man at his banner, according to their legions. 53 The Levites shall encamp around the Tabernacle of the Testimony so that there shall be no wrath upon the assembly of the Children of Israel, and the Levites shall safeguard the watch of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.” 54 And the Children of Israel did everything that HASHEM commanded Moses, so did they do.
–Above any theme of this Torah portion we note ORDER in the Camp of the Lord. There is order in the counting and census taking; order in the arrangement of the encampment; order in the organization and banners of the tribes; order in their journeying; order in the erecting, dismantling, covering, carrying and traveling with the holy vessels and Sanctuary. This order is established in the camp to protect the people and the holy House of God and its sanctity and the designer and foreman, the overseer from on High, the drafter and Master planner…El Shaddai, God Almighty.
Bamidbar 2; 1 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “The Children of Israel shall encamp, each man by his banner according to the insignias of their fathers’ household, at a distance surrounding the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp.
–The Lord places us where He has designated, however uncomfortable to our flesh or unreasonable to our simple minds it may seem…He has purpose and design for exactly where we are and it is all according to His timing. As much as we might long to be nearer to distant relatives or friends, as deep as a feeling of void there is an our ‘desert’ places in life…His ways are always plotted for the very best produce in mind, and He will cause us to recognize the presence of fertile ground, give us the seed and water and warmth….and He will delight right along with us when someday, if we are faithful and patient and trust in Him completely, when we taste the sweet fruit of the handiwork He has established for us even in the most ‘barren’ of wastelands.
Psalm 55; 6 Fear and trembling penetrate me, and I am overcome with horror. 7 Then I said, “O that I had a wing like the dove! I would fly off and find rest! 8 Behold! I would wander afar; I would dwell in the wilderness, Selah.
Jeremiah 2;2 “Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: Thus said HASHEM: I recall for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, your following Me into the Wilderness, into an unsown land. 3 Israel is holy to HASHEM, the first of His crop; all who devour it will be held guilty; evil shall come upon them- the word of HASHEM.
Psalm 65;7 Who sets the mountains with His strength, Who is girded with might, 8 Who calms the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves and the multitude of regimes. 9 Inhabitants of the furthest ends are awed by your signs; with the outgoings of morning and evening You cause joyful praise. 10 You paid heed to the earth and watered it, You enriched it abundantly from God’s stream filled with water; You prepare their grain, for thus do You prepare it, 11 to abundantly water its ridges, settle its furrows; with showers You soften it, You bless its growth. 12 You crown the year of Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. 12 They drip into desert pastures and the hills gird themselves with fodder, they shout joyfully, they even sing!
–The tribes were placed according to their fathers’ households and they encamped under the banner of their family Name. They were to take care of each other, upholding each other and lifting each other’s heads. Falling in line with the order of Gods arrangement they are like a well oiled machine, each able to work according to their own gifting, calling, mission and God ordained purposes. There is identity here among clan and in the dynasty of your ‘tribe’, we must stick together now more than ever. Taking the lead of the tribes in formation, moving, working, living and dying together for the sake of the Kingdom and for the glory and righteousness, honor and exaltation of our Master, our Head, our King and Savior…encamping and journeying forth from our place under the banner marked: Yeshua.
Bamidbar 2;17 “The Tent of Meeting, the camp of the Levites, shall journey in the middle of the camps; as they encamp so shall they journey, everyone at his place according to their banners.
II Corinthians 10;15 We do not boast about the area in which others labor; but our hope is that as your trust grows, we will be magnified in your midst in relation to our own area of work, so that we can go on to do even more, 16 namely, to proclaim the Good News in regions beyond you. Our hope is not to boast about the work already done by someone else. 17 So, let anyone who wants to boast, boast about ADONAI; 18 because it is not the one who recommends himself who is worthy of approval, but the one whom the Lord recommends.
I Chronicles 17;8 I was with you wherever you went- I cut down all your enemies before you and I gave you renown, like the renown of the great men of the land. 9 I shall yet secure a place for My people, for Israel; I shall plant it there and it shall dwell in its place so that it shall be disturbed no more….
–The Tabernacle is at the Center, although the tribes surround it and the Levites stand guard it is the power from within ‘the Center’, that strengthens and protects enabling victory. When Israel focused on the Center, they were victorious, when they ventured outside, to other nations, for help or protection they fell to their enemies. The Lord dwells within us to strengthen and protect us against the enemy, this doesn’t mean we won’t have to engage. but it is by walking in faith with our focus on God, the Center that we too are enabled to become victorious.
I Corinthians 15; 22 For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: the Messiah is the first fruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming; 24 then the culmination, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after having put an end to every rulership, yes to every authority and power. 25 For he has to rule until he puts all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be done away with will be death, 27 for, “He put everything in subjection under his feet.” But when it says that “everything” has been subjected, obviously the word does not include God, who is himself the one subjecting everything to Messiah. 28 Now when everything has been subjected to the Son, then he will subject himself to God, who subjected everything to him; so that God may be everything in everyone.
Bamidbar 2;33 The Levites were not counted among the Children of Israel, as HASHEM had commanded Moses. 34 The Children of Israel did everything that HASHEM had commanded Moses- so they encamped according to his families, by his fathers’ household.
–From http://www.torahresource.com, Torah Commentary 97: The sages give this explanation: Judah is to the East, the place from where the light comes each day. For Judah is the tribe of the Messiah. Rambam designates Issachar as the Tribe of the Torah, since tradition says Issachar produced scribes. Zebulun was known as a tribe of wealth. Thus, Zebulun supports those who study Torah, and Torah leads to the Messiah. Rueben symbolizes repentance (Gen 35;22). Gad symbolizes strength while Simeon needed atonement. It was therefore appropriate that Simeon be flanked by repentance and strength. Ephriam, Manasseh and Benjamin together represented strength, necessary for the harsh weather that enters the land from the West. The strength represented by these tribes is a necessary companion to Torah (Judah) and Repentance (Rueben). The North is symbolic of darkness, as is Dan, who allowed idolatry in the North under Jeroboam. To offset the darkness, God gave Asher (known for olive oil), and Naphtali, given a special blessing by Moses (Deut. 33;23). What can we learn from the arrangement of the tribes?
–Issachar and Zebulun were close to Moshe and Aaron in arrangement. Aaron and Moshe influenced their tribes in becoming leaders in Torah Study and Support of Torah Study. We are effected by our social climate. Those whom we surround ourselves with DO influence us. Because Issachar and Zebulun were surrounded by Moshe and Aaron, their values became Torah. As we choose our friends and the communities and circles we become a part of let us choose wisely realizing that they will influence us. There will be an effect on our values and aspirations and I pray that not only it be a good one, but that we all in turn influence others to trust in the eternal and living word of God and walk in the light of the Lord.
Matthew 5;14 “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they do not cover it with a bowl but put it on a lamp stand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. 17 Don’t think I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or stroke will pass from the Torah- not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Bamidbar 3;1 These are the offspring of Aaron and Moses on the day HASHEM spoke with Moses at Mount Sinai: 2 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the firstborn was Nadab, and Abihu, Elazar, and Ithamar. 3 These were the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed Kohanim, whom he inaugurated to minister. 4 Nadab and Abihu died before HASHEM when they offered an alien fire before HASHEM in the Wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children; but Elazar and Ithamar ministered during the lifetime of Aaron, their father.
–All Priests are Levites, not all Levites are Priests. In other words, the Priesthood- Kohanim were all to be sons of Aaron, who is from the tribe of Levi. Not all the Levites are part of the Sacrificial and Temple services. Review the Torah Portion of Shemini for much more about Nabad and Abihu :
Bamidbar 3;5 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 6″Bring near the tribe of Levi and have it stand before Aaron the Kohen, and they shall serve him. 7 They shall safeguard his charge and the charge of the entire assembly before the Tent of Meeting, to perform the service of the Tabernacle. 8 They shall safeguard all the utensils of the Tent of Meeting and the charge of the Children of Israel, to perform the service of the Tabernacle. 9 You shall present the Levites to Aaron and his sons-presented, presented are they to him- from the Children of Israel. 10 You shall appoint Aaron and his sons and they shall safeguard their priesthood; and the alien who approaches will die.”
-We see here a repeating of the word netunim: presented, assigned. The Levites are presented to Aaron, presented they are presented to him. There are several reasons suggested, clearly the Torah wants to make known that the Levites are assigned to the Kohanim forever. The repetition could signify that this is an appointment for the present generation and for future generations. Everything that the Levites do is to be under the Priesthood.
Bamidbar 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 a 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 for Myself, from man to beast; they shall be Mine- I am HASHEM.”
–When God took His people out of the bondage of Egypt He had intended for each and every one of them to be a part of ministering to Him. His design was for ALL ISRAEL to be Kohanim.
*Exodus 19;5 And now if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. 6 You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.’
Before the golden calf, the designated youths of the twelve tribes were taking part in the offerings at Sinai.
*Exodus 24;4 Moses wrote all the words of HASHEM. He arose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.5 He sent youths of the Children of Israel and they brought up burnt-offerings, and they slaughtered bulls to HASHEM and feast peace-offerings to HASHEM. 6 Moses took half of the blood and placed it in basins, and half the blood he threw upon the altar. 7 He took the Book of the Covenant and read it in earshot of the entire people, and they said, “Everything that HASHEM has said, we will do and we will obey!”
After the sin of the golden calf. the Levites were separated as Gods’ faithful, it is said they did not take part in the idolatry and we know that they took on the tough job of exacting Gods’ punishment for those who would not “stand with HASHEM”.
The generation of the desert (Bamidbar) were dedicated, elevated yet they repeated the same failings and weaknesses time and time again. They were a generation of great knowledge yet they rose to a level of great incompetence. In our text the people are now poised to enter the Land, we too at this season of Shavouth are balanced in this tumultuous time with the opportunity to “get it right”.
The characteristics of the desert are parallel to the characteristics of the acquisition of Torah…the experience here can be humbling, harsh, foreboding…it is a place where we have to be very real. We have to accept the responsibility for ourselves, and encounter HASHEM, facing ourselves…and come to the core essence of our inner being…our heart and soul… ready to be a vessel for the King’s use and dedicated to His service.
In faithful matrimony, getting it right as opposed to after the “marriage” at Sinai…
here in the desert we can not be intellectually moved to find this relationship with our savior.
It is here that the Spirit truly moves us to that relationship.
Hosea 2;16 Therefore, behold, I will seduce her, and I will lead her to the desert and I will speak to her heart. 17 And I will give her her vineyards from there, and [make] the Valley of Achor (Troubling) in to a portal of hope; she will dwell there as in the days of her youth, and as on the day of her ascent from the land of Egypt. 18 And it shall be on that day- the word of HASHEM- that you will call [Me] Ishi (my husband) and you will no longer call Me Baali (my master). 19 I will remove the names of the Baalim from her mouth and they will not be mentioned again by their name. 20 And I will seal a covenant for them on that day with the beast of the field and the bird of the heavens and the creeping thing of the ground; I will banish bow and sword and warfare from the land; and I will lay them down in safety. 21 I will betroth you to Me forever; and I will betroth you to Me with righteousness, with justice, with kindness and with mercy; 22 and I will betroth you to Me with fidelity, and you will know HASHEM.
Bamidbar 3;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.
…32 The leader of the Levite leaders was Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen, the assignment of the guardians of the charge of the sanctity.
…38 Those who encamped before the Tabernacle to the front, before the Tent of Meeting to the east, were Moses and Aaron and his sons, guardians of the charge of the Sanctuary, for the charge of the Children of Israel; any alien who approaches shall die.
39 All the counting’s of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron counted by the word of HASHEM according to their families, every male from one month of age and up, were twenty-two thousand.
–This second part of the census involves the counting of Levites, from one month of age and up. This is an accounting of ‘viable’ Levites, those ‘fit’ for the redemption ceremony. At this time, before ultrasound and modern medicine, a baby was not considered ‘viable’ until the age of one month. This is because many babies did not live past the age of one month. This factor, as well as the other ‘bumps in the road’ so far from Egypt to now…makes it miraculous that the number from the first census post Egypt (600,000) is so close to the current numbering (603,550). Our King is the God of life! He will assign us to our station, He will lead us through the desert, He will lavish us with the water that gives life…His eternal word the expression of His adoration for us.
Isaiah 43;15 I am HASHEM, your holy One; the Creator of Israel, your King. 16 Thus said HASHEM, He Who made a way through the Sea and a path amid the mighty waters, 17Who brought out chariot and horse, army and force, which all lie together, never to rise, extinguished and snuffed out like a piece of [burning] flax: 18 Do not recall former occurrences and do not contemplate earlier events. 19 [For] behold, I am bringing forth a new [miracle]! Now it will sprout, you will surely know it: I will make a road in the desert and in the wilderness rivers. 20 The beast of the field will honor Me- the jackals and the ostriches- for I have put water in the desert and rivers in the wilderness, to provide drink for My chosen people, 21 this people which I fashioned for Myself that they might declare My praise.
Bamidbar 3;40 HASHEM said to Moses, “Count every firstborn male of the Children of Israel from one month of age and up, and take a census of their names. 41 You shall take the Levites for Me- I, HASHEM- in place of every firstborn of the Children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of every firstborn of the animals of the Children of Israel.” 42 Moses counted- as HASHEM had commanded him- every firstborn of the Children of Israel. 43 Every firstborn male according to the number of their names, from one month of age and up, according to their numbers, was twenty-two thousand, two hundred and seventy-three. 44 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites in place of every firstborn of the Children of Israel, and the livestock, and the Levites shall be Mine, I am HASHEM. 46 And as for the redemptions of the two hundred and seventy-three of the firstborn of the Children of Israel who are in excess of the Levites; 47 you shall take five shekels each according to the headcount, in the sacred shekel shall you take; the shekel is twenty geras. 48 You shall give the money to Aaron and his sons, as redemptions of the additional ones among them.” 49 Moses took the money of the redemption from those who were in excess of the redemptions of the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the Children of Israel he took the money: one thousand, three hundred and sixty-five in the sacred shekels. 51 Moses gave the money of the redemptions to Aaron and his sons according to the word of HASHEM, as HASHEM had commanded Moses.
Bamidbar 4; 1 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2 “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, according to their families, according to their fathers’ household; 3 from thirty years of age and up, until fifty years of age, everyone who comes to the legion to perform work in the Tent of Meeting.
–This third counting in the census is of the Levites age thirty to fifty. This is an accounting of those whom are able bodied, who will be able to perform the work of the Tabernacle. God wants to know, who He can count on. Who will get the job done? Just as the people provided the materials to make the Tabernacle and gave them freely with great anticipation of this purpose, so too we are to supply the ‘materials’ to build a life fit for His dwelling. Our growth in holiness is not entirely “God’s Work”. How so? He supplies us with all things in the first place and everything is from Him, the work of our Redemption IS entirely by His mercy and His forgiveness and His work (that of Yeshua). Our personal growth in holiness needs to be active and individually responsible. Once redeemed, God expects His redeemed child to grow in holiness through a cooperative effort between God and the one He fashioned and recreated after His own image. Our obedience is essential to the realization of His designs. This design must rest at the center of our existence and as He leads us to journey we must lovingly care for His vessels of service, and move according to the instructions He alone gives.
Colossians 3;1 So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory! 5 Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature- sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); 6 for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey him. 7 True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; 8 but now, put them all away- anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. 9 Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, 10 and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator.
Isaiah 43;1 And now, thus says HASHEM, your Creator, O Jacob; the One Who fashioned you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called [you] by name; you are Mine. 2 When you pass through water, I am with you; through rivers, they will not wash you away; when you walk through fire, you will not be singed, and no flame will burn you.
Bamidbar 4;4 “This is the work of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting: the most holy. 5 When the camp is to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come and take down the Partition-curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it. 6 They shall place upon it a tachash-hide covering, and spread a cloth entirely of turquoise wool over it, and adjust the staves. 7 Upon the Table of the show-bread they shall spread a cloth of turquoise wool and place it upon the dishes, the spoons, the pillars, and the shelving-tubes; and the constant bread shall remain on it. 8 They shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet wool and cover it with a cover of tachash hide, and emplace the staves. 9 They shall take a cloth of turquoise wool and cover the Menorah of illumination, and its lamps, and its tongs, and its spoons, and all the vessels of its oil, with which they minister to it. 10 They shall place it and all its utensils into a cover of tachash-hide, and place it on a pole. 11 Upon the Gold Altar they shall spread a cloth of turquoise wool, and cover it with a covering of tachash-hide, and emplace its staves. 12 They shall take all the utensils of service with which they serve in the Sanctuary and place them in a cloth of turquoise wool, and cover them with a covering of tachash-hide, and place them on the pole. 13 They shall clear the ash from the Altar and spread a cloth of purple wool over it, 14 they shall place upon it all the utensils with which they minister upon it: the fire pans, the forks, the shovels, and the basins- all the utensils of the Altar- and spread over it a covering of tachash hide, and emplace its staves.
–We journey and He is there, He WILL help us but we must do the walking in obedience as He leads in the order He has assigned according to His timing with reverence and pride that we are the redeemed children of the King. When we face a battle with the enemy He will fight for us but we must engage…not run or look for outside assistance.
Isaiah 41;10 Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I have strengthened you, even helped you, and even sustained you with My righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who become angry with you will be shamed and humiliated; those who fight with you shall be like nothingness and shall perish. 12 The men who struggle with you, you shall seek them but not find them; the men who fight you, they shall be like nothingness and naught. 13 For I am HASHEM, your God, Who grasps your right hand, Who says to you: ‘Fear not, [for] I help you!’
Deuteronomy 3;22 You shall not fear them, for HASHEM, your God- He shall wage war for you.
Deuteronomy 31;6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid and do not be broken before them, for HASHEM, your God- it is He Who goes before you, He will not release you nor will He forsake you.” 7 Moses summoned Joshua and said to him before the eyes of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall come with this people to the Land that HASHEM swore to your forefathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 HASHEM- it is he who goes before you; He will be with you; He will not forsake you; do not be afraid and do not be dismayed.” 9 Moses wrote this Torah and gave it to the Kohanim, the sons of Levi, the bearers of the Ark of the covenant of HASHEM, and to all the elders of Israel.
Bamidbar 4;15 “Aaron and his sons shall finish covering the holy and all the holy utensils when the camp journeys, and then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry, so that they not touch the Sanctuary and die. These are the burdens of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting. 16 The charge of Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen is the oil of illumination, the incense spices, the meal-offering of the continual offering, and the anointment oil- the charge of the entire Tabernacle and everything in it- of the Sanctuary and its utensils.
17 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “Do not let the tribe of the Kohathite families be cut off from among the Levites. 19 This shall you do for them so that they shall live and not die: when they approach the Holy of Holies, Aaron and his sons shall come and assign them, every man to his work and his burden. 20 But they shall not come and look as the holy is inserted, lest they die.”
–What is your specialized mission? Where do you camp in accordance with Gods’ order? What will you discover about your identity in the deserts of life? Will you be willing to submit to the authority of your Father, even as Yeshua has and will at the end, when the enemy closes in? When you are poised to enter your land of promise, will you make the journey easily remaining under the designated banner of your heritage or wander for forty years? At this time as we recall the Spirit being poured out, may we ask that the fire rest on us…that we too learn to be guardians of the charge of the Lord, keeping the fire burning! May we renew our vows as if we stood at mount Sinai, receiving our own personalized portion of the Eternal Torah of Truth…and seek God continually and say: ” Everything that HASHEM has said, we will do and we will obey!”
John 1;44 Philip found Natan’el and told him, “We’ve found the one that Moshe wrote about in the Torah, also the Prophets- it’s Yeshua Ben-Yoseph from Natzeret!”
Isaiah 42;21 HASHEM desired for the sake of righteousness that the Torah be made great and glorious.
Jeremiah 31; 32 For this is the covenant that I shall seal with the House of Israel after those days- the word of HASHEM- I will place My Torah within them and I will write it onto their heart; I will be God for them and they will be a people for Me.
John 14;15 “If you love me, you will keep my commands; 16 and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. 17 The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you. 18 I will not leave you orphans- I am coming to you. 19 In just a little while, the world will no longer see me; but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. 20 When that day comes, you will know that I am united with my Father, and you with me, and I with you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and will love him and reveal myself to him.
–Blessed are You Lord our God, King of universe
You alone have planted among us life eternal,
Blessed are You, Lord our God, gracious Giver of the Torah.
Our God and the God of our forefathers, please, bestow upon us, O HASHEM, our God, the blessing of Your appointed Festivals for life and for peace, for gladness and for joy, as You desired and promised to bless us. Sanctify us with Your commandments and grant us our share in Your Torah; satisfy us with Your goodness and gladden us with Your Yeshua, Your Salvation, and purify our heart to serve you sincerely.
And grant us a heritage, O HASHEM, our God- with gladness and with joy- the appointed Festivals of Your holiness, on this day of the Festival of Shavuos, and may Israel and all your children who sanctify Your Name, rejoice in You.
Blessed are You, HASHEM, Who sanctifies Israel and the festive seasons.
In Yeshua’s name, Amein.
–Lord Almighty, draw me near to Your truth. Place goodness upon my heart and teach me to remove all the clothing I used to don in my old life…I am new, because of Your work…and because of Your greatness I pray You will always grant me the strength to work to become a holy vessel for your use. Remove from me the desire to be placed in a camp You have not designated, tear from me any will that intends that I move in any direction You have not pointed me to. May all Your children find You and seek to find You more and more, may we all open our hearts to Your Torah and find more and more our Savior Yeshua on every page!
It is in his name I ask these things,
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer