Hanukkah

Parashah: Hanukah ([Feast of] Dedication)

B'midbar (Numbers) 7:1-11 Z'kharyah (Zechariah) 2:14(10)-4:7 M'lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 7:40-50 Yochanan (John) 9:1-7; 10:22-39

Numbers 7 1 On the day Moshe finished putting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it, all its furnishings, and the altar with its utensils. After anointing and consecrating them, 2 the leaders of Isra'el, who were heads of their father's clans, made an offering. These were the tribal leaders in charge of those counted in the census.

 The tabernacle was “put up” before the LORD at His word, by His direction, by His plans. Then it was “anointed and consecrated” for His service, His honor, His glory.

 If this is the case with a physical structure that served as a place of worship, how much more so for ministering there?

 Anyone aspiring to be a congregation leader is seeking worthwhile work (1 Tim 3:1), but the responsibilities are many and are sacred.

 God will call into account shepherds who are self serving (see e.g. Ezek 34)

 He will also judge those of the flock that are goats rather than good sheep (e.g. Matt 25:32, 41).

 How many are really “square pegs in round holes”?

 A bad fit that may function for a time, but it is bad for the peg and bad for the hole.  Those who are “put up” before the LORD at His word, by His direction, by His plans, and are “anointed and consecrated” for His service, His honor, and His glory are on the front lines of spiritual warfare

 we need to regularly, consistently, even daily lift up our shepherds and their families in prayer

 recognize, respect, and honor them as ministers of the Most High God.

 Our pastors and rabbis are under-shepherds of the LORD Who shepherds His people. They are officers in the army of Adonai Tzva'ot that need faithful armor-bears: pray for them, yes, but also support, defend, strengthen, and encourage them.

 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your lives, as people who will have to render an account. So make it a task of joy for them, not one of groaning; for that is of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)

3 They brought their offering before Adonai, six covered wagons and twelve oxen – a wagon for every two leaders and for each an ox – and presented them in front of the tabernacle. 4 Adonai said to Moshe, 5 “Receive these from them; they are to be used for the service in the tent of meeting. Give them to the L'vi'im, to each as needed for his duties.” 6 So Moshe took the wagons and oxen and give them to the L'vi'im. 7 He gave two wagons and for oxen to the descendants of Gershon, in keeping with the needs of their duties. 8 Four wagons and eight oxen he have to the descendants of M'rari, in keeping with the needs of their duties, directed by Itamar the son Aharon the cohen. 9 But to the descendants of K'hat he gave none, because their duties involved the holy articles, which they carried on their own shoulders.

 Wagons, or carts, were given to the Levites for the Tabernacle and its furnishings: but not all!

 The “holy articles” were to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites from the family of Kohath.

 2 Sam 6:1-2, 6-7 Again David summoned all the picked troops of Isra'rl, 30,000 men. 2 Then David, taking along the entire force he had with him them, set out for Ba'alei-Y'hudah to bring up from there the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Avinadav on the hill, with 'Uzah and Achyo, the sons of Avinadav, driving the new cart. … 6 When they arrived at Nakhon's threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled; and 'Uzah put out his hand to steady the ark of God. 7 But Adonai's anger blazed up against 'Uzah, and God struck him down on the spot for his offense, so that he died there by the ark of God.

 The new cart may have been because the cart used by the Philistine's cart may have been used for unholy things (e.g. moving dung).

 Was the idea of moving the ark by cart a carryover from the Philistines, or possibly from the passage in Numbers?

 We are not told in Scripture, but was Abinadab descended from the Kohath's mentioned in Numbers 7?

 Either way, they got it wrong: “just a little off”

 How much does it matter if we are “just a little off”?

 If we are dealing with a 10-digit number and are only one digit off, does it really matter?

 What if that 10-digit number is a telephone number? Does it matter if we are “just a little off”?

 How much more important is it when we are talking about following God's Word?

 Later, David got it right and the ark was brought to Jerusalem (see 2 Sam 6:13).

10 The leaders brought the offering for dedicating the altar on the day it was anointed. The leaders brought their offering before the altar, 11 and Adonai said to Moshe, “They are to present their offerings to dedicate the altar, each leader on his own day.”

 “on his own day”

 God's instruction to Moses was that the princes should bring their offerings not according to seniority by birth of the tribal ancestors, but according to their order when journeying as described in chapter ii (Rashi in The Soncino Chumash, p.828).

Tribes in Camp & Marching Order Meaning Where Named 1st Group Encamped East of Tabernacle 1 Y'hudah (Judah) “praise” Gen 29:35 2 Yissakhar (Issachar) “hire, reward” Gen 30:18 3 Z'vulun (Zebulun) “living together” Gen 30:20

2nd Group Encamped South of Tabernacle 1 Re'uven (Reuben) “see, a son” Gen 29:32 2 Shim'on (Simeon) “hearing” Gen 29:33 3 Gad “good fortune” Gen 30:11 Encircling Tabernacle Levi “joining” Gen 29:34

3rd Group Encamped West of Tabernacle 1 Efrayim (Ephraim) “fruitful” Gen 41:52 2 M'nasheh (Manasseh) “causing to forget” Gen 41:51 3 Binyamin (Benjamin) “son of my right hand” Gen 35:18

4th Group Encamped North of Tabernacle 1 Dan “judge” Gen 30:6 2 Asher “happy” Gen 30:12 3 Naftali (Naphtali) “my wrestling” Gen 30:8

• Although the order of our birth is predetermined by the sovereignty of God, it is not the determining factor in our relationship with Him, but rather a heart to follow and serve Him, and do what is right in His sight.

 Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.” (John 8:12)

 “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt 5:14)

Z'kharyah (Zechariah) 2:14(10)-4:7

14(10) “Sing, daughter of Tziyon; rejoice! For, here, I am coming; and I will live among you,” says Adonai.

 Whenever that time is or shall be, whatever we may be facing, we can sing and rejoice because

 the LORD, Adonai-Tzva'ot is coming, and  He will live among us (in our midst)

 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – 17 the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17, NKJV, emphasis added)

 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4, NKJV, emphasis added)

15(11) When that time comes, many nations will join themselves to Adonai. “They will be My people, and I will live among you.” Then you will know that it was Adonai-Tzva'ot Who sent me to you. 16(12) Adonai will take possession of Y'hudah as His portion in the holy land, and He will again make Yerushalayim His choice. 17(13) Be silent, all humanity, before Adonai; for He has been roused from His holy dwelling.'”

 “many nations”

 “nations” here is the Hebrew word גוֹיִם [go-yim], plural of גּוֹי [goy] meaning

 Strong's: a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts

 BDB: nation, people (used of non-Hebrew people; of descendants of Abraham; of Israel); used of a swarm of locusts or other animals (figurative)

 In a sense, a גּוֹי is a pagan, someone without faith in the one true God of Scripture.

 With this understanding, once someone has come to faith in Yeshua / Jesus as their Savior and Lord (the two are inseparable), they are no longer a גּוֹי but grafted into the commonwealth of Israel (see Rom 11).

 For in union with the Messiah, you are all children of God through this trusting faithfulness; 27 because as many of you as were immersed into the Messiah have clothed yourselves with the Messiah, in Whom 28 there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one. 29 Also, if you belong to the Messiah, you are seed of Avraham and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:26-29, cf promise to Abraham Gen 12:1-3; 22:15-18; to Isaac 26:4; to Jacob 28:14)

 In another sense, a גּוֹי is someone of non-Jewish ancestry whether or not they have faith in the one true God.

 With this understanding, once someone comes to faith in Yeshua / Jesus as their Savior, they are a “believer.” So we read in Acts 15:23 and 21:25 of “Gentile believers,” “brothers from among the Gentiles,” or even “the Goyim who have come to trust in Yeshua.”

Zechariah 3 1 He showed my Y'hoshua the cohen hagadol standing before the angel of Adonai, with the accuser [Hebrew: satan] standing at his right to accuse him.

 Y'hoshua is a transliteration of the Hebrew יְהוֹשׁוּעַ meaning “Yahweh is salvation,” a shortened form being יְשׁוּעַה (Yeshua). Both are rooted in the verb יָשַׁע [yah-shah] meaning

 Strong's: properly, to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by implication) to be safe; causatively, to free of succor

 BDB: to save, to be saved, to be delivered

 (Niphal) to be liberated, to be saved, to be delivered; to be saved (in battle), to be victorious

 (Hiphil) to save, to deliver, to save from moral troubles, to give victory to

 “Y'hoshua the cohen hagadol” = Joshua the high priest

 Yeshua is our High Priest (see e.g. Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1-2; 9:11, 25-28)

 “Accuser” here, as noted in the Complete Jewish Bible, is the Hebrew שָׂטָן [sah-tahn], anglicized as satan [yes, my use of a lower case in typing “satan” is intentional – he has proven undeserving of even so much as a capital letter in this label] meaning an adversary, one who withstands; an adversary (in general, personal or national), from

 שָׂטַן [sah-tahn (the 2nd “ah” is slightly shorter)] meaning to attack, (figuratively) accuse: to be or act as an adversary, to resist, to oppose 

The word picture meanings of these letters give us an understanding of his nature and modus operandi  The “sheen” (ש) is pictured by a tooth or teeth symbolizing to devour, to consume, to destroy, something sharp.

 The “tet” (ט) is pictured by a snake and symbolizes to surround, to twist, a snake.

 The “nun” (נ or in its final form ן) is pictured by a fish darting through the water symbolizing action and life.

 Together we have a word picture that satan is the snake that devours life, or the teeth that surround life.

 You belong to your father, satan, and you want to carry out your father's desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar – indeed, the inventor of the lie! (John 8:44)

 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come God's victory, power and kingship, and the authority of His Messiah; because the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them day and night before God, has been thrown out! 11 They defeated him because of the Lamb's blood and because of the message of their witness. Even when facing death they did not cling to life. 12 Therefore, rejoice, heaven and you who live there! But woe to you, land and sea, for the adversary has come down to you, and he is very angry, because he knows that his time is short! (Rev 12:10-12)

2 Adonai said to the accuser, “May Adonai rebuke you, accuser! Indeed, may Adonai, Who has made Yerushalayim His choice, rebuke you! Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

 In fighting satan and his minions many people go through various gyrations, and yell, and stomp their feet, etc, failing to realize their position and authority in Christ.

 satan is a defeated foe (see e.g. Col 2:15) and our position is in Messiah (see e.g. Col 3:3), therefore we need to stand in Him and the power of His might (see e.g. Eph 6:10f)

 We need to be careful of our relationship with Yeshua, and be careful of our words. Then when confronting the enemy simply speak the word and stand our ground in Jesus. If the adversary does not obey in a timely manner, simply turn them over to the Lord Yeshua for Him to deal with as He sees fit.

 We should not assume and overreach our authority, but neither should we forget or neglect our authority in Christ.

 Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?

 Aren't all who have been saved in Yeshua?!

 Early in our time as missionaries in northern Belgium the Dutch pastor we were working with told the congregation to greet one another and ask, “Waar zou je zijn zonder de genade van God?” (Where would you be without the grace of God?) Sometimes I answer before I take time to think the question through. This was one of those times as I said, “Burning in hell!”

 You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience. 2 You walked in the ways of the 'olam hazeh [this age] and obeyed the ruler of the powers of the air, who is still at work among the disobedient. 3 Indeed, we all once lived this way – we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts. In our natural condition we were headed for God's wrath, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy and loves us with such intense love 5 that, even when we were dead because of our acts of disobedience, He brought us to life along with the Messiah – it by grace that you have been delivered. 6 That is, God raised us up with the Messiah Yeshua and seated us with Him in heaven, 7 in order to exhibit in the ages to come how infinitely rich is His grace, how great is His kindness toward us who are united with the Messiah Yeshua. 8 For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God's gift. 9 You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast. (Eph 2:1-9, emphasis original)

3 Y'hoshua was clothed in garments covered with dung; and he was standing before the angel, 4 who said to those standing in front of him, “Take those filthy garments off of him.” Then to him he said, “See, I am taking your guilt away. I will clothe you in fine robes.” 5 I said, “They should put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and gave him fine robes to wear, while the angel of Adonai stood by.

 Joshua was the high priest, yet here he stands before the LORD in filthy garments.

 All of us are like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags; we wither, all of us, like leaves; and our misdeeds blow us away like the wind. (Isa 64:5)

 Jesus took our sin upon Himself to pay the just penalty for our wrongdoing

 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness – by his wounds you were healed. (1 Pet 2:24)

 I am so joyful in Adonai! My soul rejoices in my God, for He has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels. (Isa 61:10)

 Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with His mighty strength! 11 Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the adversary. 12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13 So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. 14 Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, 15 and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. 16 Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; 18 as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God's people. (Eph 6:10-18, emphasis original)

6 Then the angel of Adonai gave Y'hoshua this warning: 7 “Adonai-Tzva'ot says this: 'If you will walk in My ways, obey My commission, judge My house and guard My courtyards; then I will give you free access among these who are standing here.

 Most of the LORD's blessings are conditional on our obedience. Here there are four conditions for this one overwhelming blessing:

 If you will: 1) walk in My ways Then I will: 2) obey My commission give you free access 3) judge My house, and among these who 4) guard My courtyards are standing here

8 “Listen, cohan gadol Y'hoshua, both you and your colleagues seated here before you, because these men are a sign that I am going to bring My Servant Tzemach [Sprout]. 9 For look at the stone I have put in front of Y'hoshua: on one stone are seven eyes; I will engrave what is to be written on it,” says Adonai-Tzva'ot; “and I will remove the guilt of this land in one day. 10 When that time comes,” says Adonai-Tzva'ot, “you will all invite each other to join you under your vines and fig trees.”

 “My Servant Tzemach [Sprout]” or “Branch” – a prophetic title of the Messiah

 “The days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will raise a righteous Branch (Tzemach) for David. He will reign as King and succeed, He will do what is just and right in the land. 6 In His days Y'hudah will be saved, Isra'el will live in safety, and the name given to Him will be Adonai Tzidkenu [Adonai our Righteousness].” (Jer 23:5-6; also 33:15-16)

 Take silver and gold; make crowns; put one on the head of Y'hoshua the son of Y'hotzadak, the cohen hagadol; 12 and tell him, “Adonai-Tzva'ot says: 'There is coming a Man Whose name is Tzemach [Sprout]. He will sprout up from His place and rebuild the temple of Adonai. (Zech 6:11-12)

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley