Parashah Chukat Gazing Upon The Lifted up One; Unraveling the Mysteries of the Rock
(Devarim)Deuteronomy 8;11 Take care lest you forget HASHEM, your God, by not observing His commandments, His ordinances, and His decrees; which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and be satisfied, and you build good houses and settle, 13 and your cattle and sheep and goats increase, and you increase silver and gold for yourselves, and everything will have increase- 14 and your heart will become haughty and you will forget HASHEM your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt and the house of slavery. 15 Who leads you through the great and awesome Wilderness- of snake, fiery serpent, and scorpion, and thirst where there is no water- Who brings forth water for you from the rock of flint, 16 Who feeds you manna in the Wilderness, which your forefathers knew not, in order to afflict you in order to test you, to do good for you in your end.
–Tsavah (tsaw-vaw)= to constitute; enjoin; appoint; bid; (give a) charge; (send with) command; (set) in order.
Chuqqah (khook-kaw)= appointed; custom; manner; ordinance; site; statute.
Mishpat (mish-pawt)= a verdict; a formal decree; charge; judgment; ordinance.
Mitsvah (mits-vaw)= a command (collectively, the Law); law; ordinance; precept.
–As we grow and progress in our understanding that the scriptures of the Lord are to be read in context, meaning as a whole (Genesis to Revelation ), it is a good practice to begin taking note of the placement of subjects which surround each other. This portion is incredibly notable to me, for in it we find at its outset the instructions regarding the red heifer and the waters of purification. The only way one could be cleansed from having been defiled by death, or anything associated with that death…that which is void of life defiles. The sprinkling of the waters of purification allow for one to become cleansed, and in conjunction with immersion in living water the person (this applies to vessels and materials as well) is enabled to approach the Sanctuary and bring their offerings [Korbanot=to draw near] to the Lord. Why is this so incredible? The rest of our Torah portion consists of the passing of both Miriam and Aaron. Moshe and Aaron surely could not have been the caretakers of their sisters remains because they were serving in the Tabernacle. One of their close relatives would have performed this burial service. I wonder if they were permitted to mourn? (Leviticus 21; 1- 8) Interestingly the text is very brief stating, Miriam died and was buried. No mention of mourning. The text says that the entire assembly gathered for the death of Aaron and that they “saw that Aaron had perished”. Whether or not the entire assembly was rendered unclean or not is something to think about. The people again complain against Moses and fiery serpents are sent into the camp and many die. Finally there are a series of battles which directly relates to the text’s explanation of the list of defilement from the open field: “anyone who touches one slain by the sword.”
Bamidbar 19;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: This is the decree of the Torah, which HASHEM has commanded, saying: Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall take to you a completely red cow, which is without blemish, and upon which a yoke has not come. 3 You shall give it to Elazar the Kohen; he shall take it out to the outside of the camp and someone shall slaughter it in his presence. 4 Elazar the Kohen shall take some of its blood with his forefinger, and sprinkle some of the blood toward the front of the Tent of Meeting seven times. 5 Someone shall burn the cow before his eyes- its hide, and its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall he burn. 9 The Kohen shall take cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson thread, and he shall throw [them] into the burning of the cow.
–“The Great Mystery” of the Red Heifer. The laws of the Torah that are considered to be beyond human comprehension are called chuqqot. The red heifer is known by the sages as the great mystery of the Torah. How can something which causes cleansing in one party, defile the one administering the cleansing ashes? It is to be taken and burned whole outside of the camp, separating it from all other offerings. The heifer is to be completely perfect, without blemish…entirely red, connecting it with the color of blood. One defiled by death is therefore only purged through death. The Kohen was to throw hyssop, cedar and scarlet wool into the burning of the cow and at the end the remains would be beaten until the ash could be collected. Both the blood and the ashes didn’t enter the Sanctuary, but were only sprinkled toward the “face” of the Temple and kept outside the camp in a pure place. As believers in Yeshua the mystery seems less distant from comprehension for we see that he fulfills all the offerings in that the sacrificial system foreshadow his ultimate sacrifice. He took on the defilement of our sins, and death that we might find new life in him. He is the picture of the red heifer, perfect and unblemished, taken to the outside of the camp, beaten and through his death we are free from it. There are many who diligently have been working to prepare the third Temple, there is profound excitement when a red heifer is born in Israel. Yet without anyone who has been rendered clean, there can be no Temple service to begin with. Without a Kohen who had been himself rendered clean to prepare the ashes of the heifer and this purify the people who will approach to serve…one hits a road block. However Yeshua will be the one to rebuild the Temple and prepare the ashes of the red heifer, he is the one who purifies and I pray that we will all serve Him there with reverence!
Bamidbar 19;7 The Kohen shall immerse his clothing and immerse himself in water, and afterwards he may enter the camp; and the Kohen shall remain contaminated until evening. 8 The one who burns it shall immerse his clothing in water and immerse himself in water; and he shall remain contaminated until evening. 9 A pure man shall gather the ash of the cow and place [it] outside the camp in a pure place. For the assembly of Israel it shall remain as a safekeeping, for water of sprinkling; it is for purification. 10 The one who gathers the ash of the cow shall immerse his clothing and remain contaminated until evening. It shall be for the Children of Israel and for the proselyte who dwells among them as an eternal decree.
.–There is no ‘other way’ we can enter to follow our Shepherd, we are the sheep ‘not from his pen’. He has promised to bring us in by means of following his commands in the order that he set up from the beginning and exhibited in the Wilderness. His Word is eternal and trustworthy and all that are His will hearken and thus act…and Follow His Instruction.
John 10;1 “Yes, indeed! I tell you, the person who doesn’t enter the sheep-pen through the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 But the one who goes in through the gate is the sheep’s own shepherd. 3 This is the one the gate-keeper admits and the sheep hear his voice.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me- 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father- and I lay my life down on behalf of the sheep. 16 Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Bamidbar 19;11 Whoever touches the corpse of a human being shall be contaminated for seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day and on the seventh day, then he shall become pure; but if he will not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day he will not become pure. 13 Whoever touches the dead body of a human being who will have died, and will not have purified himself- if he shall have contaminated the Tabernacle of HASHEM, that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water of sprinkling has not been thrown upon him, he shall remain contaminated; his contamination is still upon him.
–For more on the Red Heifer see/hear the following wonderful teachings:
Video, part 1 of 4:
Bamidbar 19;14 This is the teaching regarding a man who would die in a tent: Anything that enters the tent and anything that is in the tent shall be contaminated for seven days. 15 Any open vessel that has no cover fastened to it is contaminated. 16 On the open field: Anyone who touches one slain by the sword , or one that died or a human bone, or a grave, shall be contaminated for seven days. 17 They shall take for the contaminated person some of the ashes of the burning of the purification [animal], and put upon it spring water in a vessel. 18 Apure man shall take hyssop and dip it in water, and sprinkle upon the tent, upon all the vessels, upon the people who were there, and upon the one who touched the bone or the slain one, or the one that died or the grave. 19 The pure person shall sprinkle upon the contaminated person on the third day and on the seventh day, and shall purify him on the seventh day; then he shall immerse his clothing and immerse himself in water and become purified in the evening.
–Death entered the world through sin, this is the very enemy God intends to overcome. Death is the opposite of His being and character. All aspects of His salvation are to overcome death and give life. Where there is death, the consequence of sin is manifest. When else are there more questions over God’s dominion and nature? See: http://www.torahresource.com/Parashpdfs/114CommentsTR.pdf
Bamidbar 19;21 This shall be for them an eternal decree. And the one who sprinkles the water of sprinkling shall immerse his clothing, and one who touches water of sprinkling shall be contaminated until evening. 22 Anything that the contaminated one may touch shall become contaminated, and the person who touches him shall become contaminated until evening.
I Corinthians 10;1 For brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea, 2 and in connection with the cloud and the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe, 2 also they ate the same food from the Spirit, 4 and they all drank the same drink from the Spirit- for they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah.
–Miriam, who had been the instrument through which her father and mother didn’t give in to the idea of not bringing more children into a world wrought with slavery and death…thus (the sages say) by the admonition of their daughter Yocheved and Amram came together and Moshe was born. It was Miriam who followed the ‘ark’ or basket Moshe was placed in as it drifted from the waters of the Nile, brimming with dangers which could have claimed the life of the infant, to the palace of the Pharaoh and to safety. It was Miriam who led the women in glad song as the waters of the Sea of Reeds tumbled down over the legions of Pharaoh who had pursued them in order to exact their deaths. Miriam in Hebrew is spelled Mem Reish.Yod Mem. Water (Mayim) in Hebrew is spelled Mem Yod Mem. Therefore it is amazing that when Miriam dies, the Mayim stops. The single verse which inscribes her death is notable, as well as the lack of any notation of mourning. Could it be that the Rock that followed them, (Yeshua), in some way was mourning for Miriam when it ceased to bring forth the water? Once again the Children of Israel use death in their profession of discontentment, and if he was permitted to mourn Moshe would have been sitting shiva (a seven day period of mourning) for his sister that Moshe would have been addressed. This could certainly have added to his angst, though he still humbly entreats the Lord on behalf of the people, who could not seem to even respect his feelings enough to give him the time to bewail her.
Bamidbar 20;1 The children of Israel, the whole assembly, arrived at the Wilderness of Zin in the first moth and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and she was buried there. 2 There was no water for the assembly, and they gathered against Moses and Aaron.. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and spoke up, saying, “If only we had perished as our brethren perished before HASHEM! 4 Why have you brought the congregation of HASHEM to this wilderness to die there, we and our animals? 5 And why did you bring us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? – not a place of seed, or fig, or grape, or pomegranate; and there is no water to drink!” 6 Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the congregation to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell of their faces. the glory of HASHEM appeared to them.
Jeremiah 5;3 HASHEM, are Your eyes not toward the truth?! [Therefore] You have stricken them, but they have not felt sickened; You have [nearly] annihilated them, but they have refused to accept discipline. They made their countenances harder than rock; they refused to repent. 4 And as for me, I had said [to myself], “They must only be the impoverished ones; they act foolishly, for they do not know the way of HASHEM, the law of their God. 5 I will go before the leaders and speak to them, for they know the way of HASHEM, the law of their God!” But [I saw that] together they have broken the yoke, snapped the straps.
–Nakah (naw-kaw)=strike; beat; wound; be stricken; smite; kill; slaughter.
GREEK: rhapizo- to slap; smite.
kolaphizo-rap with the fist; buffet (Eng.-beat; injure by striking).
Matthew 26;62 The cohen hagadol stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation these men are making?” 63 Yeshua remained silent. The cohen hagadol said to him, “I put you under oath! By the living God, tell us if you are the Mashiach, the Son of God!” 64 Yeshua said to him, “The words are your own. But I tell you that one day you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 At this, the cohen gadol tore his robes. “Blasphemy!” he said. “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard him blaspheme! 66 What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spit in his face and pounded him with their fists; and those who were beating him said, “Now, you ‘Messiah’, ‘prophesy’ to us: who hit you that time?”
–Yeshua, the Rock, is stricken, beaten and slaughtered. When he is pierced while hanging, having been lifted up on the stake (or tree, or cross) water flows from his side. (John 19;34 However, one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out.) The Targum (Aramaic Translation) of the Bible Text is as follows: Bamidbar 20;12 The Lord said to Moses and to Aaron: “Because you were not steadfast with My memra [word or wisdom] to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites….
The concept of “belief” or faith is the acceptance by a person that something is true even with out proof, and even if the idea is “irrational”. The word Emunah commonly translated as faith or belief means STEADFAST. Moshe did not DO as God instructed, it was such a huge ‘mistake’ not so much that he himself lacked faith, (for he had many times borne witness to the expressed image of the invisible God- Yeshua- the Memra- the Word or Wisdom of the Lord) it was that he failed this chance to cause the people to have faith in the Memra, in Yeshua, perhaps the effects of this failure to be steadfast with His Memra still linger today. The rock was struck at Rephidim (rest, stay, support) the first time. Here at Kadesh (which is similar to the word for Holy, meaning Sanctuary) the Rock was only supposed to be spoken to, the second striking of the Rock was to be when the Memra came as flesh and died for the sins of all mankind.
Bamidbar 20;7 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the staff and gather together the assembly, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes that it shall give its waters. You shall bring forth for them water from the rock and give drink to the assembly and to their animals.” 9 Moses took the staff from before HASHEM, as He had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation before the rock and he said to them, “Listen now, O rebels, shall we bring forth water for you from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock with his staff twice; abundant water came forth and the assembly and their animals drank.
John 7;37 Now on the last day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah, Yeshua stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! 38 Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!”
Psalm 143; 6 I spread out my hands to HASHEM, my spirit is spent; conceal not Your face from me, lest I be like those who descend into the pit. 8 Let me hear of Your kindness at dawn, for in You have I placed my trust; let me know the way I should walk, for to You have I lifted my soul.
Bamidbar 20;12 HASHEM said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel, therefore you will not bring this congregation to the Land that I have given them. ” 13 They are the waters of strife, where the Children of Israel contended with HASHEM, and He was sanctified through them.
–There are many unspoken miracles in scripture, there are also many things that may not seem complete to us as we do a simple reading without any other resources to aide our understanding. When I read the Lord telling Moshe and Aaron, they did not believe…we know there is something in the hidden depths of their hearts and spirits that we can not see and that the Torah did not relate to us, yet God brings it out. Just like in last week’s sedra (Korah) when we read about the rebellion of Korah, his assembly, Dathan and Abiram. It might seem to be an isolated incident, a vast misjudgment, a terrible lapse of integrity and abandon of faith in the order of the King. It was a case of all of these things but there is much more we are not privy to from the simple reading of the text. It is clear however that by Moshe’s words this incident was not isolated, there was much more going on with these men. How do we know this? Take Moshe, how does he normally and consistently speak? In humility and disproportionate mildness toward the people’s continually harsh complaints and accusations. Here he calls the men “wicked” and notes that they are being punished because of “ALL” of their sins. Bamidbar 16; 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. ”
Genesis 25; 27 The lads grew up and Esau became one who knows hunting, a man of the field; but Jacob was a wholesome man, abiding in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau for game was in his mouth; but Rebecca loved Jacob. 29 Jacob simmered a stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff for I am exhausted.” (He therefore called his name Edom.)
–Edom-red, in the ancient Hebrew Edom (Aleph, dalet, vav, mem) is drawn with the ox-strength or leader, tent door- pathway, nail-tent peg, and water- chaos. We can see in the pictographs that Edom is the leader to the pathway joined with chaos. This accurately depicts the role of Esau and his descendants from the time of our text until today as Israel, the dwellers in tents, are neither aided nor allowed to pass but attacked and sought to be destroyed by their ‘brother’ Edom.
Bamidbar 20;14 Moses sent emissaries from Kadesh to the King of Edom: “So said your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that has befallen us. 15 Our forefathers descended to Egypt and we dwelled in Egypt many years, and the Egyptians did evil to us and to our forefathers. 16 We cried out to HASHEM and He heard our voice; He sent an emissary and took us out of Egypt. Now behold! we are in Kadesh, a city at the edge of your border.17 Let us pass through your land; we shall not pass through field or vineyard, and we shall not drink well water; on the king’s road shall we travel – we shall not veer to the right or left- until we pass through your border.”
Genesis 33;1 Jacob raised his eyes and saw- behold, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men- so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two handmaids. 2 He put the handmaids and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then he himself went on ahead of them and bowed earthward seven times until he reached his brother. 4 Esau ran toward him, embraced him, fell upon his neck, and kissed him; then they wept.
–Edom and Israel meet for the first time since Jacob fled from his home for fear of Esau’s wrath upon having been displaced from the blessing of his father Isaac. There is so much to be said of this text, but I am seeking the point in being here in this text in reference to our Torah portion. So let us consider the actions of Edom from the Hebrew text:
Qir’ah (keer-aw)= an encountering, accidental, friendly or hostile; in the way; (come) against.
Naphal (naw-fal)= to fall; (cause to) lie down; overthrow; overwhelm; smite out; throw down; slay.
Tsavvar (tsav-vawr)= the back of the neck (as on that which burdens are bound).
Nashaq (naw-shak)= to kiss; rule.
So much like the encounter as the people seek to leave Kadesh and pass through the land of Edom, we find an encounter which is hostile, and as Esau fell upon Jacob’s neck we see Edom seek to throw down and slay Israel. Esau falls on the back of Israel’s neck and we well know that this blow from Edom is coming upon a people who have been journeying and camping, living in the wilderness which is the picture of challenge and ‘burden’ to be overcome. The ideal of Edom and Esau was always to be lord over his brother, and rule over him.
Bamidbar 20;18 Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through me- lest I come against you with the sword!” 19 The Children of Israel said to him, “We shall go up on the highway, and if we drink your water-I or my flock- I shall pay their price. Only nothing will happen; let me pass through on foot. 20 He said, “You shall not pass through!” Then Edom went out against him with a massive throng and a strong hand. 21 So Edom refused to permit Israel to pass through his border, and Israel turned away from near him.
Judges 11;12 Jephthah sent emissaries to the king of the Children of Ammon, saying, “What is there between you and me that you have come to me to make war in my land?” 13 The King of the Children of Ammon said to Jepthah’s emissaries, “Because Israel took away my land when it ascended from Egypt, from Arnon to the Jabbok to the Jordan! So now return them in peace.” 14 Jephthah once again sent emissaries to the king of the Children of Ammon, 15 and said to him, “So said Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of Moab and the land of the Children of Ammon. 16 For when they ascended from Egypt, Israel went in the Wilderness until the Sea of Reeds, and then they arrived at Kadesh. 17 Israel sent emissaries to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Let me now pass through your land,’ but the King of Edom did not take heed.
–This story continues, but not before we come to Mount Hor where Aaron passes and Elazar is ordained as Kohen Gadol (high priest). Why now? Before the people engage in battle, before they take these last measures to pass into the Land of Promise…everything must be in place. Aaron will not enter the Land, there needs to be a clear assignment of the Kohen Gadol who will lead the people for the remainder of their journey and once they have entered the Land.
I Samuel 18;1 It was after [David] finished speaking to Saul that Jonathan’s soul became attached to David’s soul, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2 Saul conscripted him that day and did not permit him to return to his father’s home. 2 Jonathan and David sealed a covenant , since each loved the other like himself. 4 And Jonathan took off ( Pashat) the robe he was wearing and gave it to David; also his battle garments, down to his sword, his bow, and his belt. 5 David went forth, and whatever Saul would send him to do he would be successful. Saul appointed him over the warriors, and it was good in the eyes of all the people and also in the eyes of Saul’s servants.
–Pashat = to spread out; unclothe; strip; invade; make invasion.
The same word for the situation in I Samuel is used in our text in similar fashion. The King (and Saul) is inducting His chosen Elazar (and David) into the position of Kohen Gadol, protector and watchman over His sanctuary and His ‘troops’. The former title holder Aaron (and Jonathan) are taking their identifying garments and placing them onto their successor. This is done before the eyes of all the people thus they are aware of this transferal of position. The garments that were Pashat from Aaron and pass to Elazar are the shadow of the very garments our Kohen Gadol Yeshua is adorned with now, for Glory and Splendor! Aaron embraces death after he is stripped of the priestly garments and the people mourn him. It is a sure sign that we can relate to. One often doesn’t appreciate how beloved someone is to them, until there is that void. Despite all the complaints, we know that Aaron was a huge part of the people. He was their spiritual leader and their teacher. He was beloved. Yeshua embraced death and overcame it…he promises that trust in him means eternal life. In conquering death he dons the priestly garments and in that we can rejoice! The day all mankind will look upon him who was pierced they will mourn bitterly, and the realization of His own that the identity of Yeshua is Messiah….means life from the dead!! ( Romans 11;15 For if their casting Yeshua aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting him mean? It will be life from the dead!)
Bamidbar 20;22 They journeyed from Kadesh and the Children of Israel arrived- the entire assembly- at Mount Hor. 23 HASHEM said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the Land that I have given to the Children of Israel, because you defiled My word at the waters of strife. 25 Take Aaron and Elazar and his sons and bring them up to Mount Hor. 26 Strip Aaron of his vestments and dress Elazar his son in them; Aaron shall be gathered in and die there.” 27 Moses did as HASHEM commanded, and they ascended Mount Hor before the eyes of the entire assembly. 28 Moses stripped (Pashat) Aaron’s garments from him and dressed Elazar his son in them; then Aaron died there on the top of the mountain, and Moses and Elazar descended from the mountain. 29 When the entire assembly saw that Aaron had perished, they wept for Aaron thirty days. the entire House of Israel.
Job 21;3 Bear with me and I will speak; after I have spoken, you may mock. 4 Is my complaint directed to a man? So why should I not be impatient (Qatsar)? 5 Turn you attention to me and be astonished; set [your] hand on [your] mouth. 6 When I recall [this matter] I am confounded, trembling grips my flesh: 7 Why do the wicked live, become powerful and even amass fortunes? 8 Their offspring are well-established before them, with them, and their descendants are before their eyes. 9 Their homes are peaceful, [safe] from fear; the rod of God is not against them.
–Qatsar (kaw-tsar)= grieve; loathe; mourn; shorten; straiten; trouble; vex; much discouraged. This word also refers to being cut down as in the harvest.
How many times have you moved in the last ten years? Was this an easy or pleasant experience? How was it for your household members? It is easy to look upon the people and wonder “How could they have been so dissatisfied and continue to complain? Why couldn’t they just trust in God?” The Children of Israel were never far from the accounted for 600,000 military men who left Egypt. That is a huge number in itself which did not even include the women, children or elderly. For the forty years in the Wilderness, Israel camped 42 times. In the first year they camped 14 times! After Aaron’s death they camped another 8 times. In Kadesh they stayed for 19 years. This is not just, “Okay the cloud is moving, lets pack in. Okay the Cloud has rested lets pitch a tent.” This is a vast assembly with a variety of needs and possessions, flocks and a portable Temple. When we consider the planning and preparation for a road trip for a family of four entails…the pit stops and unforeseen issues that come up during its course…we can better consider the feelings of the Children of Israel. Not to mention that because they could not go through the land of Edom, they are sent on a roundabout return…and they ended up nearly where their journey began. Imagine being back near the Sea of Reeds after all this time, after all that has transpired…I believe my spirit would grow ‘much discouraged’ as well. What happens next is a big lesson for us all. You never know when God has taken you to the very cusp of recompense! The Lord might have you perched at the summit of benefit! He does not test us beyond what we can bear and we must keep in mind that even when we might feel as though we are going around in circles, that every stop on our journey is ordained by God, even those which seemed caused by some enemy force…work into His plan for you. Stay strong in trust in Him and let us learn from our predecessors.
Bamidbar21;1 The Canaanite king of Arad, who dwelled in the south, heard that Israel had come by route of the spies, and he warred against Israel and took captive from it. 2 Israel made a vow to HASHEM and said, “If you will deliver this people into my hand, I will consecrate their cites.” 3 HASHEM heard the voice of Israel, and He delivered the Canaanite, and it consecrated them and their cities. It named the place Hormah. 4 They journeyed from Mount Hor by way of the Sea of Reeds to go around the land of Edom, and the spirit of the people grew short (Qatsar) on the way.
Judges 11;30 Jephthah declared a vow to HASHEM, and said, “If you indeed deliver the Children of Ammon into my hand, 31 then it shall be that whatever emerges- what will emerge from the doors of my house- toward me when I return in peace from the Children of Ammon, it shall belong to HASHEM and I shall offer it up as an elevation-offering.” 32 Then Jephthah crossed to the Children of Ammon to do battle against them, and HASHEM delivered them into his hand. 34 Jephthah arrived at Mizpah, to his home, and behold! his daughter was coming out toward him with drums and dances- and she was his only child; he did not have [another] son or daughter of his own. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me to my knees, and you have joined those who trouble me. I have opened my mouth to HASHEM and I cannot recant!” 36 She said to him. “My father, you have opened your mouth to HASHEM- do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, since HASHEM has wreaked vengeance for you against your enemies, against the Children of Ammon!”
Matthew 5; 33 “Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath,’ and ‘Keep your vows to ADONAI.’ 34 But I tell you not to swear at all- not ‘by heaven,’ because it is God’s throne; 35 not ‘by the earth,’ because it is his footstool; and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King. 36 And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black . 37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than this has its origin in evil.
-Qloqel (kel-o-kale)= volatile; insubstantial; light.
Saraph (saw-rawf)= burning; poisonous; fiery; seraph (from their copper color.)
Bamidbar 21;5 The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why did you bring us up from Egypt to die in this Wilderness, for there is no food and no water, and our soul is disgusted with the insubstantial food?” 6 God sent the fiery serpents against the people and they bit the people. A large multitude of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against HASHEM and against you! Pray to HASHEM that He remove from us the serpent.” Moses prayed for the people. 8 HASHEM said to Moses, “Make for yourself a fiery [serpent] and place it on a pole, and it will be that anyone who was bitten will look at it and live.” 9 Moses made a serpent of copper and placed it on the pole; so it was that if the serpent bit a man, he would stare at the copper serpent and live.
John 3;13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed.
Isaiah 6;1…I saw the Lord sitting upon a high and lofty throne, and his legs filled the Temple. 2 Seraphim were standing above, at His service. Each had six wings: with two it would cover its face, with two it would cover its legs and with two it would fly. 3 And one would call to another and say, “Holy, holy, holy is HASHEM, Master of Legions; the whole world is filled with His glory.”
–In the original Hebrew text of Numbers the word Pole (or Nec- a flag; banner; standard) is not used. It is the Aleph Tav Vav that is written and in the ancient picture language it is the ox (could we say, red heifer), cross and the nail. So when the people Nabat (naw-bat)= look intently; regard with pleasure, favor or care; behold; consider; regard; respect…the one who was Lifted Up and nailed to the ‘pole’ then they are healed and find life…he becomes our standard.
Isaiah 25;4 Say to those of impatient heart, ‘Be strong; do not fear. Behold, your God will come with revenge, with Divine retribution; He will come and save you.’ 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
–It is based solely upon the choice of He to Whom the universe belongs (Psalm 24;1 HASHEM’s is the earth and its fullness, the inhabited land those who dwell in it.) who He gives what to and when. This does not exclude land and real estate. When HASHEM says He loves the Land of Promise and desires its inhabitants to share in this love, He means it. (Leviticus 18;27 For the inhabitants of the land who are before you committed all these abominations, and the land became contaminated. 28 Let not the land disgorge you for having contaminated it, as it disgorged the nation that was before you.)When HASHEM said He chose this Land, for His chosen people and that it will not be uprooted from that place we can trust that His word will stand (II Samuel 7; 10 I shall yet establish 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…) When He says He will cast into the depths of the sea all of the sins of His people on this eternal truth we can rely.
Bamidbar 21;14 Therefore it is said in the Book of Wars of HASHEM: The gift of [the Sea of] Reeds and the rivers of Arnon; 15 the outpouring of the rivers when it veered to dwell at Arnon, and leaned against the border of Moab. 16 And from there to the well- it is the well of which HASHEM said to Moses, “Assemble the people and I shall give them water.” 17 Then Israel sang this song: Come up, O well! Call out to it! 18 Well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people excavated, through a lawgiver, with their staffs. A gift from the Wilderness- 19 the gift went to the valley, and from the valley to the heights, 10 and from the heights to the valley in the field of Moab, at the top of the peak, overlooking the surface of the wilderness.
Judges 11; 18 It went through the Wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab from the east, where they encamped across the Arnon; but they did not enter the border of Moab, for the Arnon is the border of Moab. 19 Then Israel sent emissaries to Sihon, king of the Amorite, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, ‘Let us now pass through your land until my place.’ 20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his border. Rather, Sihon assembled his entire people and they encamped at Jahaz, and he made war against Israel. 21 Then HASHEM, God of Israel, delivered Sihon and his entire people into the hand of Israel and they struck them down. Israel took possession of the entire land of the Amorite, the inhabitants of that land. 22 They took possession of the entire territory of the Amorite, from Arnon to the Jabbok, and from the Wilderness to the Jordan. 23 And now HASHEM, God of Israel, has driven out the Amorite because of His people Israel- yet you would possess it? 24 Surely, whatever your god Chemosh lets you possess, that you shall possess; and whichever [people] God drives away before us, that [land] we will possess.
–Help for Israel will not come from the Nations, we have deserted it. Aid for the people of Promise will not come from an outside source. The source of life, relief, virtue and deliverance will come ONLY when they return to their God, return to the Torah and look upon the lifted up one whom was pierced and see that He is their Rock and Refuge, their Stronghold who will never fail them!
Bamidbar 21;21 Israel sent emissaries to Sihon, king of the Amorite, saying, 22 “Let me pass through your land; we shall not turn off the field or vineyard; we shall not drink well water; on the king’s road shall we travel, until we pass through your border.” 23 But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his border, and Sihon assembled his entire people and went out against Israel to the Wilderness. He arrived at Jahaz and waged war against Israel. 24 Israel smote him with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land, from Arnon to Jabbok to the children of Ammon- for the border of the children of Ammon was powerful. 25 Israel took all these cities, and Israel settled in all the Amorite cities, in Heshbon and all its suburbs. 26 For Heshbon- it was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorite; and he had warred against the first king of Moab and took all his land from his control, until Arnon.
Micah 7;14 Shepherd Your people with Your staff, the flock of Your heritage; let them dwell [in secure] isolation, in forest as in fertile field; let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in days of old. 15 As in days of old when you left the land of Egypt I will show it wonders. 16 The nations will see and be ashamed of all their [unavailing] power; they will place a hand over [their] mouth; their ears will become deaf. 17 They will lick the dirt like a snake and like creatures that crawl on the ground; they will tremble from their places of confinement; they will fear HASHEM our God and be afraid of You. 18 Who is like You, Who pardons iniquity and overlooks transgression for the remnant of His heritage? He does not maintain His wrath forever, for He desires kindness. 19 He will once again show us mercy, He will suppress our iniquities. You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 Grant truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham, as you swore to our forefathers in days of old.
Bamidbar 21;31 Israel settled in the land of the Amorite. 32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer and they conquered its suburbs; and he drove away the Amorite that was there. 33 They turned and ascended by the way of Bashan; Og, king of Bashan, went out against them, he and his entire people, to do battle at Edrei. 34 HASHEM said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for into your hand have I given him, his entire people, and his land; you shall do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorite, who dwells in Heshbon.” 35 They smote him, his sons, and all his people, until there was no survivor left of him, and they took possession of his land. 22;1 The Children of Israel journeyed and encamped in the plains of Moab, on the bank of the Jordan, opposite Jericho.
–What is the mystery of the Red Heifer? What is the meaning behind the dual striking of the Rock? Where any of our questions ever to truly be answered we must be able to embrace our journey of discovery, this lifelong expedition into the Eternal with all the tools the Lord has armed us with and through the lens of the Messiah. The realization that Yeshua is on every single page of the Torah and the writing and the Prophets and the Gospels and the Letters…that He is the Word from the beginning will save us a great deal of wandering in a parched land, thirsty for truth. He was lifted up for death, and yet He conquered it and rose that we might find life in Him. When we gaze upon the words of the Torah and scripture, we gaze upon the Fiery One who will come with a sword and vengeance. The Lamb has been slaughtered and He has been struck so that we may keep our deeds clean, working and striving for a relationship in this world with Him, where His Name is Sanctified and kept Holy. Where at every minute we wait on Him to bring us into the promise, but not idly…with heart and intention. In faith that when we thirst all we need do is come draw from the Well of Living Water which follows us on this life’s journey and will not run dry.
Ezekiel 36;22 Therefore, say to the House of Israel: Thus said the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM: It is not for your sake that I act, O House of Israel, but for My holy Name that you have desecrated. among the nations where you came. 23 I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, that you have desecrated among them; then the nations will know that I am HASHEM- the word of the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM- when I become sanctified through you before their eyes. 24 I will take you from [among] the nations and gather you from all the lands, and I will bring you to your own soil. 25 Then I will sprinkle pure water upon you, that you may become cleansed; I will cleanse you from all your contamination and from your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My spirit within you, and I will make it so that you will follow My decrees and guard My ordinances and fulfill them.
Hebrews 5;7 During Yeshua’s life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions, crying aloud and shedding tears, to the One who had the power to deliver him from death; and he was heard because of his godliness. 8 Even though we was the Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings. 9 And after he had been brought to the goal, he became the source of eternal deliverance to all those who obey him.
–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.
–Avinu Malkeinu, my Father and my King…thank you doesn’t suffice for giving the very best part of You for us…for paving the way in Your word to the Living Water and Eternal Life…Your Son, Our Savior Yeshua. If I would live a dozen lifetimes as pure as the water which ran from his side…I could never find the merit to receive the grace You have poured out over Your child. So I will serve you will the life I have left, with all the strength you endow me with…in every single breath You provide me with. And when they cease I will peacefully await the day I will see him in his glory, coming on the clouds to rise me once more. I will gaze upon him and breathe again, and beg for mercy once more…once more as now, I ask that You prepare some small place for me…may I serve You with reverence forever Almighty King! Thank You for teaching me that it doesn’t matter how much one has achieved in this life, only how hard one tries!! I will continue to sound victory for my Savior, and beg every day that all Your children come to You soon and serve You will all that they have!! May You be exalted and magnified through every roar and whisper, every peak and depth of all of our lives, for all of our existence. Teach us humility, teach us obedience, speak to us Master…what will You say?
In Yeshua’s Name, AMEIN!
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Onkelos On the Torah- Understanding the Bible text
An excellent study with so much to it: