Parashah Korach Combating Rebellion; Surmounting Sin
Psalm 88;1 A song, a psalm, by the sons of Korah…
2 HASHEM, God of my salvation, I cried out by day- [and] by night before You. 3 Let my prayer come before You, incline Your ear to my supplication. 4 For my soul is sated with troubles, and my life has reached the grave. 5 I was reckoned with those who descended to the pit, I was like a man without strength- 6 among the dead who are free; like the corpses lying in the grave, whom You remember no more, for they were cut off by Your hand. 7 You placed me in the lowest pits, into utter darkness, into shadowy depths. 8 Upon me Your wrath weighed down, and You have afflicted me with all [Your] crashing waves, selah. 9 You have estranged my acquaintances from me; You made me abominable to them; I am imprisoned and cannot leave. 10 My eye is aggrieved by affliction; I have called upon You. 11 Will You work wonders for the dead? Will the lifeless arise and offer You thanks? Selah. 12 Will Your kindness become recounted in the grave, or Your faithfulness in utter ruin? 13 Will Your wonders become known in the dark, or Your righteousness in the land of oblivion? 14 As for me, to You, HASHEM, have I cried, and in the morning my prayer will greet You.
–This weeks Torah Sedra (Parashah- portion) is Korach. So called due to the opening of the Bamidbar )Numbers text involving the rebellion he organized. Who was Korah? Korah was of the tribe of Levi, he is said to have very great wealth and that he was very intelligent. We can assume he was a person of charisma who was well spoken and had a “silver tongue”, for he was able to convince a big number of the Children of Israel to join him in this mutiny against their devoted leadership and much more disturbing, against their God. The incredibly beautiful Psalms of the Sons of Korach are a brilliant opportunity for insight to all of us. There is such rich depth in the messages that surpass the rebellions in this sedra, messages of redemption and true change…our King illuminates for us the realization that we can surmount the sins of our past and even that of our fathers and become devoted servants to HASHEM. The notion that from the house of Korah comes Samuel the prophet and the Psalmists Sons of Korah…is outstanding!
Bamidbar 16;1 Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi separated himself, with Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, the offspring of Rueben. 2 They stood before Moses with two hundred and fifty men from the Children of Israel, leaders of the assembly- all of them- of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “It is too much for you! For the entire assembly-all of them- are holy and HASHEM is among them, why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of HASHEM?” 4 Moses heard and fell on his face.
–Rebellion is the HIGHEST form of idolatry. It is the “seed bed” from which every form of idolatry grows. Korach and his assembly failed to realize that it is NOT God’s intention to make them or us equal with everyone else. In the system of political correctness and expectations of handouts, etc. it is easy to recognize that the farther our nation and society has strayed from God’s agenda and given game plan (the Torah), the more rebellious and corrupt they have become. There is the voice of individuality in this nation yet we are quickly and disturbingly overtly being stripped of our actual personal rights and ‘voice’. This submission wouldn’t be a bad thing if we were submitting to the Most High God and our Messiah, but we are daily bowing more and more to the pressure and boot of a government and leadership who are NOT lead by the Lord…who seek to dominate, monitor and compartmentalize our every move, opinion, utterance, etc. Korach, though acting to fulfill his own agenda, was able to convince the people that he was acting with “their interests” in mind. The “champion of equality” becomes the symbol for divisiveness. Does this sound like any politician you know of?
The Lord did not create a democratic system for His Kingdom, God’s Law is not OF the people. God’s Law is FOR the people. If we can be members of His system whom depart from the ways of rebellion against obedience…who are sensitive to perceiving His will for us in the Law which came from His Heart as a gift to guide, we will be enabled to live lives devoted to developing character traits defined by HIM.
I Thessalonians 5;12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are working hard among you, those who are guiding you in the Lord and confronting you in order to help you change. 13 Treat them with the highest regard and love because of the work they are doing. Live at peace among yourselves; 14 but we urge you, brothers, to confront those who are lazy, your aim being to help them change, to encourage the timid, to assist the weak, and to be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays evil for evil; on the contrary, always try to do good to each other, indeed, to everyone. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Pray regularly. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.
–Holiness is not a right, holiness is not a position with a title and office. It is not something that appears from no where nor does is manifest itself in our lives without conscious effort. Moshe worked at becoming holy. He earned the title of Most Trusted, and Friend. He strove for holiness and we too have the ability to develop this image of God and become a vessel for God’s Word, Spirit and Light to become exposed to the corruption which surrounds us in the world.
Bamidbar 16;5 He spoke to Korah and his entire assembly, saying, “In the morning HASHEM will make known the one who is His own and they holy one, and He will draw him close to Himself, and whomever He will choose, He will draw close to Himself. 6 Do this: Take for yourselves fire pans- Korah and his entire assembly-7 and put fire in them and place incense upon them before HASHEM tomorrow. Then the man whom HASHEM will choose- he is the holy one. It is too much for you, O offspring of Levi!”
–yatsab (yaw-tsab)=a station; to place; stand fast; stand up.
Nagash (naw-gash)=to come near; to worship; to present; to approach; stand.
Qarab (kaw-rab)= to approach; draw near; be at hand; stand.
Natsab (naw-tsab)= to station; appointed; erect; standing upright.
Ra’ah (raw-aw)=to see; behold; consider; discern; have experience; take heed.
Bamidbar 16;8 Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, O offspring of Levi: 9 Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has segregated you from the assembly of Israel to draw you near to Himself, to perform the service of the Tabernacle of HASHEM, and to stand before the assembly to minister to them? 10 And He drew you near, and all your brethren, the offspring of Levi- with you- yet you seek the priesthood, as well! 11 Therefore, you and your entire assembly that are joining together are against HASHEM! And as for Aaron- what is he that you protest against him?
–Moshe has to remind Korah of the special election he had already won! He as a Levite was already separated, elevated, to serve HASHEM, all the Levites were charged to carry parts of the Tabernacle on journey’s, all the Levites would get a part of the tithes and offerings, and God has said several times “they are Mine”. What more could one want?
Bamidbar 3;29 The families of the children of Kohath would encamp on the side of the Tabernacle, to the south. 31 Their charge was the Ark, the Table, the Menorah, the Altars and the sacred utensils with which they would minister, the Partition and all its accessories. 4; 4 This is the work of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting: the most holy. 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 burden of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting.
4;17 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 18 “Do not let the tribe of the Kohathite families be cut off from among the Levites. 19 Thus 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.”
–If we go back to the blessings of Israel (Jacob), just before he dies in Egypt…let us look at what he says to Rueben and Levi. It is incredible that we can clearly see Jacob was speaking from the stream of prophesy, Ruben “You can not be foremost”, “You desecrated Him”….for a challenge to the set Priesthood in Aaron, a confrontation of HASHEM’s CLEARLY ordained leadership in Moshe…is an objection to the Messiah whom both Moshe and Aaron (in the form of the priesthood and intercession) foreshadowed Yeshua. For Levi, the conspiracy he may be speaking of, the congregation that they muster….here in the Wilderness as they come against God.
Genesis 49;3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength and my initial vigor, foremost in rank, and foremost in power. 4 Water-like impetuosity- you cannot be foremost, because you mounted your father’s bed; then you desecrated Him Who ascended my couch.
5 Simeon and Levi are comrades, their weaponry is a stolen craft. 6 Into their conspiracy, may my soul not enter! With their congregation, do not join, O my honor! For in their rage they murdered people and at their whim they hamstrung an ox. 7 Accursed is their rage for it is intense, and their wrath for it is harsh; I will separate them within Jacob, and I will disperse them among Israel.
–Where does rebellion sprout?
Discontentment with your place in life shows a failure to believe that God has ordained our way and prepared our path. If we view our current station as beneath us, that is somehow doesn’t match our potential, we are liable to rebel against the forces guiding us. Giving thanks for His appointment, trusting that HE has assigned us to our life task and that He will provide for us the means of accomplishing His will, and bless us as we obey and do His bidding is a great way to combat rebellion. (see:http://www.torahresource.com/Parashpdfs/112CommentsTR.pdf)
Job 19; 12 Together His legions advance; they pave their way towards me and encamp around my tent. 14 He alienated my brothers from me; those who knew me estranged themselves from me. 14 My close ones stay away; my friends have forgotten me. 15 Those who live in my house and my maidservants regard me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. 16 I call out to my servant but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife; I must ingratiate myself to my offspring. 18 Even the youth despise me; when I rise, they talk about me. 19 All my confidants detest me, those I loved have turned against me.
–Moshe, devoted beyond comprehension to this people and to his duties to guide and guard them from sin…is being closed in upon and challenged by his own. It is a cycle that has been building and bearing down on him. Most humble man in the world, there is some change in these texts when we hear Moshe address the Lord. He seems to be aware that even clearer boundaries are to be established and he speaks with strength, but we must consider the terrible pain he must feel because of all of this. Not to mention he surely knows that at this point there will be more consequence as God justly responds to this outrage.
Isaiah 5;20 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and in their own view, understanding. 22 Woe to those who are mighty in drinking wine and are men of accomplishment in pouring liquor. 23 They acquit the wicked one because of a bribe, and strip the righteous one of his innocence. 24 Therefore, just as a tongue of fire consumes straw, and a flame destroys stubble, so will their root become rot and their flower will be blown away like dust; for they have abhorred the Torah of HASHEM, Master of Legions, and they have scorned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
–This part of the Torah sedra appalled my daughter as we went through it, “How could they actually compare Egypt and slavery to the Promised Land?” How could these men have been so incredibly disrespectful and outright impertinent to the man who had time and time again, fallen on His face and begged for the forgiveness of the King in His mercy. Once again rebellion rears its horrific head. Korach, Dathan, Abiram and the assembly could not accept that their failure to obey God and enter the Land was a consequence of their disobedience to God. The result of their current station was a result of their own sin. So if we are unable to admit to ourselves or to God the sickness of our own souls we will tend to blame shift and finger point which is what these rebels do…toward Aaron and Moshe. To combat rebellion we must learn about personal responsibility and confession through looking at ourselves through spiritual eyes and engaging in fervent open heartfelt prayer. Prayer tests the heart for rebellion.
Bamidbar 16;12 Moses sent forth to summon Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We shall not go up! 13 Is it not enough that you have brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to cause us to die in the Wilderness, yet you seek to dominate us, even further? 14 Moreover, you did not bring us to a land flowing with milk and honey nor give us a heritage of field and vineyard! Even if you would gouge out the eyes of those men, we shall not go up!” 15 This distressed Moses greatly, and he said to HASHEM, “Do not turn to their gift-offering! I have not taken even a single donkey of theirs, nor have I wronged even one of them.”
–The Supreme Craftsman, Designer and Author of ALL that is, was and shall be…offspring from the line of Korach, Samuel uses nearly the same plea, defending his character before the people, as Moshe does before our Just King. One thing in which we can rest, if we are ‘innocent’ and state our claim before God, He will produce a response and defend us in truth and honor. It may take some time, for His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways not our ways…if there seems to be a delay in our justification we should consider where we may have erred or been delinquent in our duties toward a fellow, either past or present, as well as diligently guarding the present thoughts of our heart.
I Samuel 12;1 Then Samuel said to all of Israel, “Behold! I have hearkened to your voice, to everything that you have said to me, and I have crowned a king over you. 2 And now, behold! – the king goes before you, but I have become old and gray. As for my sons- here they are with you. And as for me, I have walked before you from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am; testify about me in the presence of HASHEM and in the presence of His anointed: Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I robbed? Whom have I coerced? From whose hand have I taken redemption-money that I should avert my eyes from him? And I shall make restitution to you.”
–The parallels between the I Kings verses and our sedra are incredible. Moshe and Elijah use God’s own designs (using the incense service and sacrificial offerings) to establish the distinction between the intentions of man and the directive of the Divine (intentions: whether for good- for in the case in the Wilderness, the people are desiring to draw nearer and reclaim the rights and honor to serve HASHEM as a holy nation of priests, or for blasphemy in the case with the false prophets whose pagan cutting rituals are still practiced today in sects of Islam).
I Kings 18;21 Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you dance between two opinions? If HASHEM is the God, go after Him! And if the Baal, go after it!” But the people did not answer him at all. 22 Elijah then said to the people, ” I alone have remained as a prophet of HASHEM, and the prophets of the Baal are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let us be given two bulls. Let them choose the one bull for themselves, cut it, and put it on the wood, but not apply fire; and I too will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood, and I will not apply fire. 24 You shall call out in the name of your gods and I shall call out in the Name of HASHEM, and whichever God responds with fire, He is the [true] God!”
Bamidbar 16; 16 Moses said Korah, “You and your entire assembly, be before HASHEM- you, they and Aaron- tomorrow. 17 Let each man take his fire-pan and you shall place incense on them and you shall bring before HASHEM each man with his fire-pan- two hundred and fifty fire-pans; and you and Aaron, each man with his fire pan.”
18 So they took-each man his fire-pan- and they placed fire on them and put incense on them; and they stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, with Moses and Aaron. 19 Korah gathered the entire assembly against them to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of HASHEM appeared to the entire assembly.
–In both of these cases we see the Lord’s brilliance in penetrating to the core of our flesh. We want things our way, in the boundaries of our schedules, according to the efforts we have decided will go where and appropriated according to our own will. So here we see the Lord expresses “Have it YOUR way.” You draw near in the way you so choose, you call out in the name that you have decided is correct. Each man with his OWN fire pan, crying out to his OWN ‘deity’. It is amazing to me that in doing thing their own way it is they themselves who seal their own doom. The Judge has only heeded the wishes of His creation and they alone bear the title of executioner, they strove to decide their own place, their own fate and indeed they have.
I Kings 18;26 They took the bull that he gave them and prepared it, and called out in the name of the Baal from morning till noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was neither sound nor response; and they danced by the altar that was made. 27 And it was at noontime, Elijah ridiculed them, and said, “Cry out in a loud voice, for he is a god! Perhaps he is conversing, or pursuing [enemies], or relieving himself; perhaps he is asleep and will awaken!” 28 They called out with a loud voice and cut themselves with swords and spears, according to their custom, until blood spurted on them. 29 When the noon hour passed they prophesied until [the time] of the afternoon-offering- but there was neither sound, nor response, nor listener.
Bamidbar 16;20 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 21 separate yourselves from amid this assembly, and I shall destroy them in an instant!” 22 They fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with entire assembly?” 23 HASHEM spoke to Moses saying, 24″Speak to the assembly, saying, ‘Get yourselves up from all around the dwelling places of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.'” 25 So Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He spoke to the assembly, saying, “Turn away now from near the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you perish because of all their sins.” 27 So they got themselves up from near the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, from all around. Dathan and Abiram went out erect at the entrance of their tents, with their wives, children, and infants.
–There is no hesitation, no humility, no ruminating at the last minute. Completely convinced by the yatzar harrah (evil inclination- the destroyer) that they will be justified and accepted by their King Korah and his assembly stand tall as they emerge with their precious families in tow. We all struggle and go through challenges with faith and trust. The elements of our daily life close in on us and that evil inclination never ceases to advance and threaten to cause US to destroy that which we should safeguard and hold dear. If we can not stand in that gap between the souls whom are precious to us and our sinful nature, it would be best that we step forward with our pride in solitude. The Lord will do His work, He will continue to prune us so that we may produce more fruit, His sword is exact and sharp…this way the healing is clean and swift.
I Kings 18;30 Elijah then said to the people, “Draw near to me,” and all the people drew near to him. He repaired the altar of HASHEM. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the children of Jacob (to whom the word of HASHEM came, saying, “Your name shall be Israel”). 32 He built a trench around the altar…33 He arranged the wood, he cut up the bull, and put it on the wood. 34 Then he said, “Fill four jugs with water and pour them over the elevation-offering and over the wood.” He said, “Do it second time!” and they did it a second time. He said, “Do it a third time!” and they did it a third time. 35 The water went all around the altar and the water even filled up the trench.
–With nearly the same terminology Moshe and Elijah lift in prayer, that the people become aware that it is not by their own design or bidding that these extraordinary phenomenon would come to pass, only by the Word of HASHEM and according to His will. In both cases the holy fire consumes. In both cases there is a strong reaction from the people. In the Wilderness- there is fear and fleeing. It should be noted that some of the people STILL were not obeying, if they were close enough to the assembly to have to flee and fear of falling into the pit as well, they hadn’t listened when they were told to remove themselves from the near the assembly. I can not help but think of Lot and his family who were clinging to the sin of Sodom to the last minute and the angels literally had to drag them from that place, and still Lot’s wife turns to look upon the place of distain once more and perishes.(Genesis 19) At the repaired altar with the false prophets, the people fall on their faces and their declaration is part of our daily prayers, you can almost feel the warmth of the fire, sense the steam in the air from the water that was licked up, I can hear the intensity of the people as they exclaim “HASHEM! Only He is God!” Their dances on the edge of the precipice overlooking life and death are transformed to reverence and prostration before the King on His throne!
Bamidbar 16;28 Moses said, “Through this shall you know that HASHEM sent me to perform all these acts, that it was not from my heart. 29 If these men die like the death of all men, and the destiny of all men is visited upon them, then it is not HASHEM Who has sent me. 30 But if HASHEM will create a phenomenon, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them and all that is theirs, and they will descend alive to the pit- then you shall know that these men have provoked HASHEM!” 31 When he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open. 32 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all the people who were with Korah, and the entire wealth. 33 They and all that was theirs descended alive to the pit; the earth covered them over and they were lost from among the congregation. 34 All Israel that was around them fled at their sound, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us!” 35 A flame came forth from HASHEM and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.
I Kings 18; 36 And it was at the time of the afternoon-offering, Elijah the prophet approached and said, “HASHEM, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today it will become known that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that it is by Your word that I have done these things. 37 Answer me, HASHEM, answer me! And let this people know that You, HASHEM, are God; thus You will turn their hearts back.” 38 A fire of HASHEM descended and consumed the elevation-offering and the wood, and the stones, and the earth; and it licked up the water in the trench. 39 The entire people saw and fell on their faces and exclaimed, “HASHEM- He is God! HASHEM- He is God!”
–Samuel, descendant of Korah too enables the people to repent after calling upon God to bring forth unnatural weather. How many years have we witnessed fires rage out of control, walls of water wash out entire cities, massive culminations of wind and tornadoes of unprecedented size demolishing established settlements. We have beheld in the news reports sinkholes and mudslides, not to mention plagues of insects and frogs, and even fish falling from the sky. What more does the Creator have to do to get our attention? He exists, unbounded by time…and He is making Himself known. Not for pain or for suffering, but that we all might look to Him for help and for hope. Return, teshuvah, Repent and live out the time we have left as the watchmen and sentries who safeguard His eternal word and announce to all those we can…The King is Coming!!
I Samuel 12;16 Even now, stand erect and see this great thing that HASHEM will do before your eyes. 17 Is today not the wheat harvest season? I shall call to HASHEM and He will set forth thunder and rain; then you will recognize and see that your wickedness is great, that which you have perpetrated before the eyes of HASHEM, in requesting a king for yourselves.” 18 Then Samuel called to HASHEM, and HASHEM set forth thunder and rain on that day; and all the people greatly feared HASHEM and Samuel. 19 All the people them said to Samuel, “Pray on behalf of your servants to HASHEM, your God, that we not die; for we have added evil upon all of our sins, to request a king for ourselves.”
Bamidbar 17;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 2″Say to Elazar, son of Aaron the Kohen and let him pick up the fire-pans from amid the fire- and he should throw away the flame- for they have become holy. 3 As for the fire-pans of these sinners against their souls- they shall make them hammered-out sheets as a covering for the Altar, for they offered them before HASHEM, so they became holy; they shall be a sign to the Children of Israel.” 4 Elazar the Kohen took the copper fire-pans that the consumed ones had offered and hammered them out as a covering for the Altar, 5 as a reminder to the Children of Israel, so that no alien who is not of the offspring of Aaron shall draw near to bring up the incense before HASHEM, that he not be like Korah and his assembly, as HASHEM spoke about him through Moses.
–If we pick and choose what parts of the bible we decide are relevant, if we edit God’s word to serve our purposes and limit our understanding…we miss the function of the gift of the Living Word, meant to be taken as a whole unit. The purpose of reviewing these accounts is not for entertainment not for a warm and fuzzy feelings or to make us tremble with consternation. I believe these accounts are each precious foreshadowing of the work of Messiah, a glimpse into the heart of our King, an example of the structure of the Kingdom, and most applicable…a remembrance of how we can surmount the sins of our fathers. The Lord has Elazar take the fire pans of the consumed ones and creates a cover for the Altar of Incense. The remembrance of these people becomes a permanent part of the service which is likened to the prayers lifted on high. I pray we will come to the Lord more and more in petition and prayer for this and for past generations, begging mercy from the Compassionate One Who through the ceaseless charge of Yeshua our High Priest and intercessor, our sins are borne and prayers heard.
The daughters of Zelophehad and the decree of Justice:
Numbers 27;1 The daughters of Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Mannasseh, of the families of Manasseh son of Joseph drew near- and these are the names of his daughters: Mahalah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah- 2 and they stood before Moses, before Elazar the Kohen, and before the leaders of the assembly at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, saying: 3 “Our fathers died in the Wilderness, but he was not among the assembly that was gathering against HASHEM in the assembly of Korah, but he died of his own sin; and he had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father be omitted from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers. 5 And Moses brought their claim before HASHEM. 6 HASHEM said to Moses, saying, 7″The daughters of Zelophehad speak properly. You shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among the brothers of their father, and you shall cause the inheritance of their father to pass over to them. 8 And to the Children of Israel you shall speak, saying: If a man will die and he has no son, you shall cause his inheritance to pass over to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, you shall give his inheritance to the brothers of his father. 11 If there are no brothers of his father, you shall give his inheritance to his relative who is closest to him of his family, and he shall inherit it. This shall be for the Children of Israel as a decree of justice, as HASHEM commanded Moses.”
–In stark contrast to the reaction of the people post sin of the spies, divine phenomenon and fire…the daughters of Zelophehad long for the Land, they dearly treasure their inheritance and make their case with strength but submission to authority. They do not finger point or excuse the sins of their father, who ‘died by his own sin’ in the Wilderness, they simply petition the Godly leadership before the Lord that they have surmounted the sins of the pass and express that their yearning and inclination is for the promise! They took note of the copper cover beaten from the fire pans of past sin and learned, they grew and took note, not of the path that was hewn from their earthly caretaker…but that of their Heavenly Father. From this transformation and revision there is favor from the Almighty and for ‘eternity’ generations will benefit from their ability to see through the perception of doom and despair, and grasp the complete, unedited, Eternal Promise.
Bamidbar 17;6 The entire assembly of the Children of Israel complained on the morrow against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of HASHEM!” 7 And it was when the assembly gathered against Moses and Aaron, they turned to the Tent of Meeting and behold! the cloud had covered it, and the glory of HASHEM appeared. 8 Moses and Aaron came before the Tent of Meeting. 9 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 10″Remove yourselves from among this assembly and I shall destroy them in an instant!” They fell on their faces. 11 Moses said to Aaron, “Take the fire-pan and put on it fire from upon the Altar and place incense- and go quickly to the assembly and provide atonement for them, for the fury has gone out from the presence of HASHEM; the plague has begun!”
–Qetseph (Keh’tsef)= rage or strife; indignation; wrath.
The people now accuse Moshe and Aaron of killing the people of HASHEM, HASHEM responds with the plague. Aaron rushes with the incense to intercede…not from the place of the Altar, but from the very midst of the people. He like Yeshua came into the midst of the sin of the world and stood in the gap between life and death, interceding on behalf of willful, rebellious sinners. Throughout the ages God’s people have rebelled against Him and we continue to do this still. We are on ‘the heels of the final generation’ and now is the time to repent. Life is much more than food and entertainment, if we heed the ever present voice of the Lord in our lives and ACT, making steps to learn how to become holy and set apart for Him, if we can use our lives and truly see that we are vessels molded by Him for a special purpose, if we can with resound and motivation accomplish each task He places before us at every station with faith, trust and reverence…all things will fall into the place He desires them and He will draw you near to Him and entrust you with more and more for His glory! He does hear prayer, so pray without ceasing!
Psalm 102;10 For I have eaten ash like bread, and mixed my drink with tears, 11 because Your of fury (qetseph) and Your wrath, for You have raised me high and hurled me down. 12 My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass. 13 But You, HASHEM, will be enthroned forever, and Your memory endures from generation. 14 You will arise and show Zion mercy, for [there will come] the time to favor her, for the appointed time will have come. 15 For Your servants have cherished her stones, and favored her dust. 16 The nations will fear the Name of HASHEM, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. 18 He will have turned to the prayer of each devastated one and not have despised their prayer.” 19 Let this be recorded for the final generation, so that the newborn people will praise God. 20 For He gazed from His exalted Sanctuary; HASHEM looked down from heaven to earth, 21 to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to liberate those doomed to die, 22 to declare in Zion the Name of HASHEM, and His praise in Jerusalem, 23 when peoples gather together , and kingdoms, to serve HASHEM.
Ezekiel 22;26 Her priests robbed My Torah and desecrated My sanctities; they did not distinguish between holy and profane, and they did not make known the difference between contaminated and purified; they hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I became profaned among them.
30 From among them I sought a man who could build a fence and stand in the breach before Me, for the sake of the land, so that it might not be destroyed, but I did not find [anyone]. 31 So I poured out My wrath over them, and consumed them with the flame of My fury; I have placed [the consequences of] their [evil] way upon their head- the word of the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM.”
Bamidbar 17;12 Aaron took as Moses has spoken and ran to the midst of the congregation, and behold! the plague had begun among the people. He placed the incense and provided atonement for the people. 13 He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was checked. 14 Those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand, seven hundred, aside from those who died because of the affair of Korah. 15 Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of the Assembly, and the plague had been checked.
Luke 23;56 On Shabbat the women rested, in obedience to the commandment; 24;1 but the next day, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb, 2 and found the stone rolled away from the tomb! 2 On entering, they discovered the body of the Lord Yeshua was gone! 4 They were standing there, not knowing what to think about it, when suddenly two men in dazzling bright clothing stood next to them. 5 Terror-stricken, they bowed down with their faces to the ground. The two men said to them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has been raised.”
–Thank you Yeshua, my Savior for standing in the gap for me. In your pure and holy state you dove into the presence of a decaying soul set out for death…headlong into destruction. In flame and cloud with persistence you caught me, kept me and redeemed my unworthy life! Never stop working in your children, keep our eyes fixed on you. We await you with anxious anticipation and ask for your mercy on this and all the generations of sinners, ourselves included. Speak to us, lead us, return us, call us, forgive us please! May all Your children return to You, return to Your Torah, return to Your Promise and serve You with all our hearts, souls and resources.
Hebrews 9;3 Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, 4 which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon’s rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant…
Matteh= a branch; a tribe; a rod (for ruling-chastising, supporting, walking, throwing-a lance/weapon).
Parach= to break forth as a bud; to spread; to fly (as extending the wings), bud, flourish; grow.
Tsiyts= glistening; burnished; flower; a wing (as gleaming in the air); blossom.
Tsuwts= to twinkle; blossom (flourish); bloom; shew self.
In the Hebrew there is no It, in that all ‘objects’ are assigned a feminine or masculine form. The Light in the Isaiah text is not to be read as…IT shall burst forth, it should be read HE shall burst forth or baqa. Israel, the Torah of the Lord, Yeshua light of the world, may we become revived by your healing, may we all come to realize the value of your righteous deed, most precious life rent for us all, AMAZING!
Baqa= to cleave; to rend; rip or open; make a breach; break forth; be ready to burst; cut out; divide; win.
Tsamach= to sprout; bear; bring forth; cause to grow.
Isaiah 58; 8 Then your light will burst (baqa) out like the dawn and your healing speedily sprout (tsamach); your righteous deed will precede you and the glory of HASHEM will gather you in. 9 Then you will call and HASHEM will respond; you will cry out and He will say, ‘Here I am!’ If you remove from your midst perversion, finger-pointing, and evil speech, 10 and offer your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul; then your light will shine [even] in the darkness, your deepest gloom will be like the noon.
–Post rebellion and phenomenon, plague and lament…the Lord wants to clarify that He will do the ordaining , appointing, directing and choosing. It is God’s right to choose, we are in faith, not to question HIM. Not everyone does the same things, we are expected to accept by faith that each task completed by the power of the Spirit for His glory is a task worthy of our best effort and when we put all that we have, all that He has granted us, into each and every designated task. He has specified for our specific talents and personalized ‘make-up’…then we can trust that He will find us worthy of blessing. We will find abundant blessing in submission to His order and the service becomes the blessing.
The Almond Tree- is the fastest budding tree and speaks of the zeal with which we are to perform His service. The dead wood, dead rods are lain before the ‘throne’ the Holy Ark surrounding the Commandments and there sprouts life. From the service of HASHEM we find true LIFE from the dead, given by our Savior. Why did Yeshua give his life for you and for me? So that we might turn from our sin, grasp the tree of life and LIVE for his honor and glory and praise. The meanings behind the word rod is incredible, for it has several functions we can take quite literally and extremely metaphorically. It is a weapon, a tool, a helpmate, a sign of honor and identity. Let us find all these things from the staff which emerged from the house of Jesse.
Bamidbar 17; 16 HASHEM said to Moses, saying: 17 “Speak to the Children of Israel and take from them one staff (matteh) for each father’s house, from all their leaders according to their father’s house, twelve staffs; each man’s name shall you inscribe on the staff. 18 And the name of Aaron shall you inscribe on the staff of Levi, for there shall be one staff for the head of their father’s house. 19 You shall lay them in the Tent of Meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. 20 It shall be that the man whom I shall choose- his staff will blossom (parach) ; thus I shall cause to subside from upon Me the complaints of the Children of Israel, which they complain against you.” 21 Moses spoke to the Children of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a staff for each leader, a staff for each leader, according to their father’s house, twelve staffs; and Aaron’s staff was among their staffs. 22 Moses laid the staffs before HASHEM in the Tent of the Testimony. 23 On the next day, Moses came to the Tent of the Testimony and behold! the staff of Aaron of the house of Levi had blossomed; it brought forth blossom, sprouted a bud and almonds ripened. 24 Moses brought out all the staffs from before HASHEM to all the Children of Israel; they saw and they took, each man his staff.
Isaiah 11;1 A staff will emerge from the stump of Jesse and a shoot will sprout from his roots. 2 The spirit of HASHEM will rest upon him- a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of HASHEM. 3 He will be imbued with a spirit of fear for HASHEM; and will not need to judge by what his eyes see nor decide by what his ears hear. 4 He will judge the destitute with righteousness, and decide with fairness for the humble of the earth. He will strike [the wicked of] the world with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be the girdle round his loins, and faith will be the girdle round his waist.
–Nasa (naw-saw)= to lift; accept; advance; arise; able to armor; suffer to bear up; carry; desire; exalt; furnish; further; help; hold up; magnify; regard; respect; yield; wear.
Avon (aw-vone)= perversity; evil; fault; iniquity; mischief; punishment; sin.
Lavah (law-vaw)= to twine; unite; remain; abide with; cleave; join.
Shamar (shaw-mar)= to hedge about as with thorns; guard; protect; attend to; take heed; preserve; save; watch(man).
Mishmereth= watch; the sentry; the post; observance; duty; preservation; charge; safeguard.
Qetseph (keh’-tsef)= a splinter; rage; strife; indignation; wrath.
Bamidbar 18;1 HASHEM said to Aaron, “You, your sons, and your father’s household with you shall bear (nasa) the iniquity (avon) of the Sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. 2 Also your brethren the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, shall you draw near with you, and they shall be joined (lavah) to you and minister to you. You and your sons with you shall be before the Tent of the Testimony. 3 They shall safeguard your charge and the charge of the entire tent- but to the holy vessels and to the Altar they shall not approach that they not die- they as well as you. 4 They shall be joined to you and safeguard (shamar) the charge (mishmereth) of the Tent of Meeting for the entire service of the Tent, and an alien shall not approach you. 5 You shall safeguard the charge of the Holy and the charge of the Altar, and there shall be no more wrath (qetseph) against the Children of Israel.
–We can see quite clearly that the Lord knew this assignment into the priesthood would be a full time job, wrought with challenges and abundant reward. He chose those whom He knew would be able to bear it and bear with the people throughout all their trials and failures and returns. He counts on them to provide the performance of the route He created for the people to repent and draw near to Him. If it wasn’t a huge responsibility and lofty task, had it been all sweet spices and lamb chops, where would we see the abundance and wonder in their allotment?
I Peter 19 For it is a grace when someone, because he is mindful of God, bears up under the pan of undeserved punishment. 20 For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. 21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.” 23 When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his own body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness- by his wounds we are healed.
Bamidbar 18;8 HASHEM spoke to Aaron: “And I- behold! I have given you the safeguard of My heave-offerings, of all the sanctities of the Children of Israel; I have given them to you for distinction and to your sons as an eternal portion.
15 “Every first issue of a womb of any flesh that they offer to HASHEM, whether man or beast, shall be yours; but you shall surely redeem the firstborn of man and the firstborn of an impure beast shall you redeem.
17 But the firstborn of an ox or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy, their blood shall you throw upon the Altar and their fat shall you cause to go up in smoke, a fire-offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM. 18 Their flesh shall be yours, like the breast of the waving and the right thigh shall be yours. 19 Everything set aside from the sanctities that the Children of Israel raise up to HASHEM have I given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an eternal portion; it is an eternal salt-like covenant before HASHEM, for you and for your offspring.
20 HASHEM said to Aaron, “In their Land you shall have no heritage, and a share shall you not have among them; I am your share and your heritage among the Children of Israel.”
–How many times in my selfishness have I wailed in wonder, “Why have I not reached it?” How many hours have I spent dissociating the pains of realities away and wondering, “Where is it?” How many longings have I exchanged for that which was right before me all along, “Who will complete me now?” ADONAI, My King, I praise You from the depths of the heart You have mended within me. From the pit I called to You and You scooped me into Your mighty arms. You have shown me what it means…to be ALL things at ALL times, to fill a soul so full mercy, grace and love that it pours over everything it touches. Thank You for teaching me about Your portion, thank You for becoming mine. May all Your children turn, return and bind them selves to You and Your multitude of magnificence…unending and eternal. May it come about soon in our days, in the Name of Yeshua Ha Mashiac. Amein. Halleluyah!
Lamentations 3; 21 Yet, this I bear in mind; therefore I still hope: 22 HASHEM’s kindness surely has not ended, nor are His mercies exhausted. 23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! 24 “HASHEM is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.” 25 HASHEM is good to those who trust in Him; to the soul that seeks Him. 26 It is good to hope silently for HASHEM’s salvation. 27 It is good for a man that he bear a yoke in his youth. 28 Let one sit in solitude and be submissive, for He has laid it upon him. 29 Let him put his mouth to the dust-there may yet be hope. 30 Let one offer his cheek to his smiter, let him not be filled with disgrace; 31 For the Lord does not reject forever; 32 He first afflicts, then pities, according to His abundant kindness. 33 For He does not torment capriciously, nor afflict man; 34 to crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth; 35 to deny a man justice in the presence of the Most High; 36 to wrong a man in his conflict; the Lord does not approve.
Bamidbar 18;21 To the sons of Levi, behold! I have given every tithe in Israel as a heritage in exchange for the service that they perform, the service of the Tent of Meeting- 22 so that the Children of Israel shall not again approach the Tent of Meeting to bear a sin and die. 23 The Levite himself shall perform the service of the Tent of Meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity, an eternal decree for your generations; and among the Children of Israel they shall not inherit a heritage.
25 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “To the Levites shall you speak and you shall say to them, ‘When you accept from the Children of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them as your heritage, you shall raise up from it a gift to HASHEM, a tithe from the tithe. …29 From all your gifts you shall raise up every gift of HASHEM, from all its best part, its sacred part from it….32 You shall not bear a sin because of it when you raise up its best from it; and the sanctities of the Children of Israel you shall not desecrate, so that you shall not die.’ ”
–The people are to ‘provide’ for their leadership, to maintain the gifts to HASHEM which are shared with the Levites and priests. We are to be united, but united in service to HASHEM and obedience to Him and those in whom He has given authority. We are to make a concerted effort to encourage one another, especially if we see that our brethren are making a stand against rebellion and keeping the charge of the holy. We are to engage and connect to lift up our fellow, especially when it is evident that they are displaying devotion and faithfulness! The idea of the ‘tithe from the tithe’ is extraordinary. From that which has been given to us, that which we share from HASHEM’s gifts we should be constantly working to further enliven and fortify our households, neighbors, friends and community members. Yes, even those who aren’t ‘saved’, who are actually ‘doing’ the will of the Lord…truly the Lord they may not yet recognize is working in them and they won’t see Him if we do not illuminate their good deeds and actions as ‘good people’ to be a manifestation of Him inside them, without the prerequisite of a confession or ‘assigned seat’ in a pew. Samuel’s beautiful words from the Lord are revival to my soul! Fear not for the evil and the sins committed, do not let anything that has happened from past to present discourage you from coming to your King and serving Him! He forgives and hear listens, He loves like NO other and will NEVER fail you. Look and see what how much He has already done, and rejoice in the things yet to come!
I Samuel 12; 20 Samuel said to the people, “Fear not. You have done all this evil- but do not turn away from following HASHEM, rather serve HASHEM with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away for [that would be to] pursue futilities that cannon avail and cannot rescue, for they are futile. 22 For HASHEM has sworn to make you His own people for the sake of His great Name; for HASHEM has sworn to make you for a people unto Him. 23 And I, also- far be it from me to sin against HASHEM and refrain from praying on your behalf; rather I shall instruct you in the good and proper path. 24 Only fear HASHEM and serve Him faithfully, with all your hearts, for look at how much He has done for you.
-Baruch attah ADONAI, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam,
Blessed are You, LORD our God King of the universe,
You alone have planted among us life eternal.
Blessed are You LORD our God, gracious giver of the Torah.
–Oh my King, I praise You for all the things You are doing, please Father…allow all Your called, all those who have heard and have yet to hear….allow all Your creation to truly see how very much You have done for us already! Thank You for arming us with these beautiful accounts to be treasured and remembered, I pray we will learn from the past and part from the path to destruction. Thank You for opening the doors to our hearts and minds and for actively working with us. May we too earnestly strive to draw near to You every single day. Thank You my King for allowing me a part of Your eternal Promise, I am so unworthy…but You have made me strengthened and encouraged, I will not shy away from serving You because I have been foul and because I still sin and fall short. You do not keep me at ‘arms length’ therefore I will use what You have given me, where You have put me to do what I believe will honor You. May You be glorified and exalted, may all Your children be blessed and enlivened!!
In Yeshua’s name I pray, Amein.
I Corinthians 4; 6 For it is the God who once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness,” who has made his light shine in our hearts, the light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of the Messiah Yeshua. 7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. 8 We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair; 9 persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed. 10 We always carry in our bodies the dying of Yeshua, so that the life of Yeshua may be manifested in our bodies too. 11 For we who are alive are always being handed over to death for Yeshua’s sake, so that Yeshua’s life also might be manifested in our mortal bodies. 12 Thus death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 The Tanakh says, “I trusted, therefore I spoke.” Since we have that same Spirit who enables us to trust, we also trust and therefore speak; 14 because we know that he who raised the Lord Yeshua will also raise us with Yeshua and bring us along with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your sakes, so that as grace flows out to more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to overflow and bring glory to God. 16 This is why we do not loose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. 17 For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. 18 We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Onkelos On the Torah- Understanding the Bible text