Parashah Studies


Parashah 30: K'doshim (Holy people)

Vayikra “He called” (Leviticus) 19:1-20:27 Psalm 15 Yechezk'el (Ezekiel) 20:2-20 Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:43-48

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Leviticus 19 1 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Speak to the entire community of Isra'el; tell them 'You people are to be holy because I, Adonai your God, am holy. • Mankind was created in the likeness and image of the holy LORD and therefore should be holy as He is holy. • As the LORD's people in a crooked and perverse world we should stand out as being holy because we are His people ◦ In any family there are characteristics that identify them as being part of the same family. As His adopted children our lives should characteristically reflect Who our Father is and that He is holy. 3a Every one of you is to revere his father and mother …. • Yeshua was ◦ God incarnate (e.g. John 1:1, 14), and ◦ is one with the Father (e.g. John 10:30), ◦ in the form of God and equal with Him (e.g. Phil 2:6), and yet ◦ showed us how to revere and honor our parents by submitting to their godly authority (e.g. Luke 2:51; 22:42). ▪ Jesus is uniquely God's Anointed One (Messiah from the Hebrew; Christ from the Greek). If we call ourselves Messianics or Christians we should be following Him so closely that we are covered with the dust of our Rabbi. • As people walk along dirt roads, dust is stirred up and covers their feet. (This is why the hospitality custom of washing someone's feet developed.) As a rabbi would travel, his talmidim would be closely grouped around him, hanging on his every word. When the rabbi was good and wise the pronouncement might be made to his talmidim, “May you be covered with the dust of your rabbi!” In other words, may you follow your rabbi so closely that the dust stirred up by his footsteps will raise, fall on and cover you. • For those who have had good parents, this mitzva may be easy. Those who had horrible parents, however, will find this commandment anything but easy. ◦ Being easy or not, does not change God's commandments: we are still called to follow them. ▪ What seems relatively easy for one person on the surface may seem to be an impossible burden for someone else. ▪ None of God's commandments are something we can totally do in our own strength; all of us will always fall short. • We need His help, His strength, His willingness, His forgiveness, His comfort, His determination to continue on. ◦ Understanding God's sovereignty, we can ask Him to help us see such things as ▪ why we had the parents we did, ▪ how He used them to develop some good trait within us, ▪ how He used them to show us traits and behaviors that would be good to emulate OR avoid at all costs • Neither of my parents were planned or wanted. ◦ My one grandmother was a young teen when my dad was born. Dad was worked hard growing up, then his money was taken away and spent on alcohol. His dad was “a good man when he was sober, but he was rarely sober” and ended up in and out of prison. ◦ My mom was carried to full term because the pregnancy was discovered too late for her dad to do another home abortion. According to all reports, the man was brutal, cruel, and probably insane. ◦ When my parents got married, they determined that with the help of God they would break the patterns they had grown up with. They had seen just about every bad thing a parent could do and be, and prayerfully determined they would do the opposite. They had plenty of great examples of what not to do. Though not strictly brought up in the faith, I am not sure otherwise how our childhood could have been better for my brother and I. ◦ Whatever our situation, thankfully our past does NOT determine our future, but rather the decisions we make today, and continue to make and walk out day by day. 3b and you are to keep My Shabbats; I am Adonai your God. • In Genesis 1 God established the heavens, the earth, and time beginning with evening followed by morning (Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31). ◦ Biblically, each day ends when the sun goes down and most people rest. ◦ Each new day begins with a time that is quiet and restful. • His work being completed, the LORD rested on the seventh: He “Shabbat-ed.” ◦ For close to six thousand years the Biblical calendar has been calculated with this understanding and the days of the week are therefore not Sunday through Friday as many of us know them, but rather the “First Day” (i.e. after Shabbat), “Second Day” (after Shabbat), “Third day” (i.e. after Shabbat), etc., the week culminating with Shabbat beginning on Friday evening. Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday יום ראשון יום שני יום שלישי יום רביעי יום חמישי יום שישי שבת Yom Rishon Yom Sheni Yom Shlishi Yom Revi'i Yom Chamishi Yom Shishi Shabbat Day First Day Second Day Third Day Fourth Day Fifth Day Sixth Sabbath ◦ While it is good and important to worship and praise the LORD every day of the week, He established Shabbat as something special, and out of all the days of the week, Shabbat is the only day He blessed (Gen 2:3; Ex 20:11). 4 Do not turn to idols, and do not cast metal gods for yourselves; I am Adonai your God. • “Turn” here comes from the Hebrew word פָּנָה [pah-nah] meaning ◦ Strong's: to turn; by implication, to face, i.e. appear, look, etc. ◦ BDB: turn (here in the Qal verb form) to turn toward or from or away; to turn and do; to turn, to decline (used of day); to turn toward, to approach (used of evening); to turn and look, to look, to look back or at or after or for ▪ פָּנָה here is also in its imperfect form meaning it is an uncompleted action. In English we normally think of this as “future tense.” It is something that applies both now and on into the future (just as the 10 Commandments do). ◦ פָּנָה is related to פָּנִים [pah-niym] faces (a plural always used as a singular) ▪ First something catches our eye, then we turn to look and consider it, then we walk in that direction. • What we look at affects our path. First our nose heads in a certain direction then our toes. Beware! ▪ It is a form of פָּנִים that the LORD uses in Exodus 20:3 when He declares, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” More literally, “before My face.” • “idols” here plural form of the Hebrew אֱלִיל [eh-liyl] meaning ◦ Strong's: good for nothing, by analogy vain or vanity; specifically an idol ◦ BDB: of nought, good for nothing, worthless: used of physicians, a shepherd, a divination; used of false gods ▪ We are admonished here not to go after worthless things. ▪ May the LORD give us discerning spirits. • “cast metal” here is one Hebrew word: מַסֵּכָה [mah-seh-khah] meaning: ◦ Strong's: properly, a pouring over, i.e. fusion of metal (especially a cast image); by implication, libation, i.e. league; concretely a coverlet (as if poured out) ◦ BDB: ▪ a pouring, a libation, a molten metal, a cast image, a drink-offering (a libation [with covenant sacrifice]; a molten metal, a molten image, molten gods) ▪ a web, a covering, a veil, woven stuff • We are not to turn to (or toward) worthless things, nor make for ourselves any thing that draws our attention, resources, time, devotion, etc. away from the One True God, regardless of how solid and sturdy or fine and delicate it seems to be. ◦ Interestingly, there is a natural substance that is molten and cast in a sense, woven in another; it's designs including ensnarement, capture, and death. ▪ Spider silk is a protein fibre spun by spiders. Spiders use their silk to make webs or other structures, which function as nets to catch other animals, or as nests or cocoons to protect their offspring. They can also use their silk to suspend themselves. All spiders produce silks, and a single spider can produce up to seven different types of silk for different uses. This is in contrast to insect silks, where an individual usually only produces one type of silk. Use Example Prey capture The orb webs produced by the Araneidae (typical orb-weavers); tube webs; tangle webs; sheet webs; lace webs, dome webs; single thread used by the Bolas spiders for "fishing". Prey immobilization Silk used as "swathing bands" to wrap up prey. Often combined with immobilizing prey using a venom. In species of Scytodes the silk is combined with venom and squirted from the chelicerae. Reproduction Male spiders may produce sperm webs; spider eggs are covered in silk cocoons. Dispersal "Ballooning" or "kiting" used by many small spiders for dispersal. Source of food The kleptoparasitic Argyrodes eating the silk of host spider webs. Some daily weavers of temporary webs also eat their own unused silk daily, thus mitigating a heavy metabolic expense. Nest lining and nest construction Tube webs used by "primitive" spiders such as the European Tube Web Spider (Segestria florentina). Threads radiate out of nest to provide a sensory link to the outside. Silk is a component of the lids of Trapdoor spiders, and the "Water" or "Diving bell" spider Argyroneta aquatica builds its diving bell of silk. It is in fact difficult to think of any spider that does not use silk in constructing its abode. Guide lines Some spiders that venture from shelter will leave a trail of silk by which to find their way home again. Drop lines and anchor lines Many spiders, such as the Salticidae, that venture from shelter and leave a trail of silk, use that as an emergency line in case of falling from inverted or vertical surfaces. Many others, even web dwellers, will deliberately drop from a web when alarmed, using a silken thread as a drop line by which they can return in due course. Some, such as species of Paramystaria, also will hang from a drop line when feeding. Alarm lines Some spiders that do not spin actual trap webs do lay out alarm webs that the feet of their prey (such as ants) can disturb, cuing the spider to rush out and secure the meal if it is small enough, or to avoid contact if the intruder seems too formidable. Pheromonal trails Some wandering spiders will leave a largely continuous trail of silk impregnated with pheromones that the opposite sex can follow to find a mate. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimised for their biological function. Most silks, in particular dragline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility). This enables a silk fibre to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress-strain curve). An illustration of the differences between toughness, stiffness and strength. (The original uploader was Vincentsarego at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is, however, tougher than both. It is important to note that the variability of mechanical properties of spider silk fibers may be important and it is related to their degree of molecular alignment. Besides, mechanical properties depend strongly on the ambient conditions, i.e. humidity and temperature. Strength: In detail a dragline silk's tensile strength is comparable to that of high-grade alloy steel (450 - 1970 MPa), and about half as strong as aramid filaments, such as Twaron or Kevlar (3000 MPa). Density: Consisting of mainly protein, silks are about a sixth of the density of steel (1.31 g/cm3). As a result, a strand long enough to circle the Earth would weigh less than 500 grams (18 oz). (Spider dragline silk has a tensile strength of roughly 1.3 GPa. The tensile strength listed for steel might be slightly higher—e.g. 1.65 GPa, but spider silk is a much less dense material, so that a given weight of spider silk is five times as strong as the same weight of steel.) Energy density: The energy density of dragline spider silk is 1.2x108J/m3. Extensibility: Silks are also extremely ductile, with some able to stretch up to five times their relaxed length without breaking. Toughness: The combination of strength and ductility gives dragline silks a very high toughness (or work to fracture), which "equals that of commercial polyaramid (aromatic nylon) filaments, which themselves are benchmarks of modern polymer fibre technology". Temperature” While unlikely to be relevant in nature, dragline silks can hold their strength below −40 °C (-40 °F) and up to 220 °C (428 °F). As occurs in many materials, spider silk fibers undergo a glass transition. The glass-transition temperature depends on the humidity, as water is a plastiziser for the silk. Supercontraction: When exposed to water, dragline silks undergo supercontraction, shrinking up to 50% in length and behaving like a weak rubber under tension. Many hypotheses have been suggested as to its use in nature, with the most popular being to automatically tension webs built in the night using the morning dew. Highest-performance: The toughest known spider silk is produced by the species Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini): "The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice as tough as any previously described silk, and over 10 times tougher than Kevlar". (from, accessed 08May16) 5 When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Adonai, offer it in a way that will make you accepted. • Being so much greater than we are, in every possible way, peace with the LORD is strictly and totally on His terms. ◦ Thankfully, with the New Covenant, He has made a way for us through Yeshua Messiah (e.g. Rom 5:1; Phil 4:7) 6 It is to be eaten the same day you offer it and the following day; but if any of it remains until the third day, it is to be burned up completely. 7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it will have become a disgusting thing and will not be accepted; 8 moreover who eats it will bear the consequences of profaning something holy meant for Adonai – that person will be cut off from his people. • We need to participate in the advantages of the peace the LORD provides, when He provides it. ◦ He is what Adonai says: “At the time when I choose, I will answer you; on the day of salvation, I will help you. I have preserved you, and I have appointed you to be the covenant for a people, to restore the land and distribute again its ruined inheritances to their owners, 9 to say to the prisoners, 'Come out!' to those in darkness, 'Show yourselves!' They will feed along the paths, and all the high hills will be their pastures. (Isa 49:8-9) ◦ For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2) [The last sentence of this verse is in the best Greek manuscripts and is included in most all English translations, though not all.] • Those who try to misuse or manipulate God's provision are choosing disobedience, insubordination and its consequences. ◦ Could that include “cheep grace”: the idea that it's okay to do “whatever” because the LORD will always forgive us? 9 When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don't harvest all the way to corners of your field, and don't gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters. 10 Likewise, don't gather the grapes left on the vine or fallen on the ground after harvest; leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am Adonai your God. • The earth is Adonai's, with all that is in it, the world and those who live there; 2 for He set its foundations on the seas and established it on the rivers. (Ps 24:1; 1 Cor 10:26) • His [Yeshua Messiah] appearing will be brought about in its own time by the blessed and sole Sovereign, Who is King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 Who alone is immortal, Who dwells in unapproachable light that no human being has ever seen or can see – to Him be honor and eternal power. Amen. (1 Tim 6:15; cf Rev 6:10) ◦ As Creator, Owner, and Sovereign, the LORD has every right to tell us how to work with the land. ▪ As with our own lives and all we manage (we don't really own anything). • The LORD again shows His concern for the poor and the foreigner in providing sustenance for them, but they need to make themselves available and do the work themselves. ◦ It's a “hand up,” not a “handout.” ◦ As with following other commandments, this comes with a blessing. The blessing here is, “I am Adonai your God”! ▪ I have seen this idea in play in certain fields in southern California outside what was then the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. • Believing in following God's Word, the owner's would announce their harvest dates ahead of time. They would not harvest the corners of their fields or go back over them a second time, allowing whoever came to follow after them and gather for themselves whatever was left. The LORD blessed their fields and they had bountiful crops. ◦ The LORD also blessed those who gathered after the harvesters: with fresh produce of their own, freely gathered, and they blessed the owners in turn. • Why should we care? Why should we do any of these things? ◦ “I am Adonai your God.” ▪ Not only because He is יהוה King over all kings Lord over all lords Sovereign of the Universe Righteous Judge Creator of all Sustainer of all the All-Mighty Mighty God • Who is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Eternal ▪ And He said so (which is enough it itself) ▪ But He is also “your God,” Israel • He has created you and made you what you are • He is your LORD, King, Sovereign, Sustainer, and Judge, • Your Banner, Provider, Fortress, Shield, Rock, Savior, and Redeemer • Your Shepherd, Healer, Sanctifier, Peace, Righteousness • and if we have been grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel through Messiah (Rom 11:17-24) and have by faith become descendants of Abraham (Gal 3:29) the LORD is all this and more for us too! Some “negative commandments” which all produce positive results (synergistically if all involved follow them): 11 Do not steal from, defraud or lie to each other. 12 Do not swear by My name falsely, which would be profaning the name of your God; I am Adonai. 13 Do not oppress or rob your neighbor; specifically, you are not to keep back the wages of a hired worker all night until morning. 14 Do not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person; rather, fear your God; I am Adonai. 15 Do not be unjust in judging – show neither partiality to the poor nor deference to the mighty, but with justice judge your neighbor. 16 Do not go around spreading slander among your people, but also don't stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake; I am Adonai. 17 Do not hate your brother in your heart, but rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you won't carry sin because of him. 18 Don't take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am Adonai. • Part of Jesus' summary affirmation of the “Old Testament” includes words from verse 18: One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the most important mitzvah of them all?” 29 Yeshua answered, “The most important is, 'Sh'ma Yisra'el, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el, the LORD our God, the LORD is one], 30 and your are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31) 19a Observe My regulations.  Remembering that chapter and verse divisions were added to Scripture almost 3,000 years after the fact, these words come immediately after “I am Adonai.”  “Observe My regulations” in Hebrew is אֶת־ חֻקֹּתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ  אֶת־ [eht] is the direct object marker; not translated  חֻקֹּתַי [khū-kō-tī] is the plural form of חֻקָּה [khū-kah] with the first person singular common possessive suffix ( חֻקָּה is the feminine form of חֹק [khok] with the same meanings):  Strong's: an enactment; hence, an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage)  BDB: a statute, an ordinance, a limit, an enactment, something prescribed: a prescribed task; a prescribed portion; an action prescribed (for oneself), resolve; a prescribed due; a prescribed limit, a boundary; an enactment, a decree, an ordinance (specific decree; law in general); enactments, statutes (conditions; enactments; decrees; the civil enactments prescribed by God)  תִּשְׁמֹרוּ is the Qal imperfect second person masculine of שָׁמַר [shah-mahr] meaning  Strong's: properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.  BDB: to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed  (here in the Qal verb form): to keep, to have charge of; to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle); to watch for, to wait for; to watch, to observe; to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory); to keep (within bounds), to restrain; to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow); to keep, to preserve, to protect; to keep, to reserve  Being imperfect, it “depicts continuing action: repeated/ongoing in present or past time, or yet future.” (The Discovery Bible)  Many have bought into the postmodern philosophy that everything written is by nature past and is therefore unknowable with any certainty and unreliable, and therefore irrelevant to our lives today.  Refusing to learn from the past they are doomed to repeat it.  A axiomatic paraphrase of George Santayana's statement, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (, accessed 12May16.) If one cannot remember the past, they cannot learn from it.  If we refuse to hold on to, guard, protect, and keep God's statutes, ordinances, limits, prescriptions, and commandments, and find no delight in these words, are we limiting and / or thwarting blessings in own lives?  How blessed are those who reject the advice of the wicked, don't stand on the way of sinners or sit where scoffers sit! 2 Their delight is in Adonai's Torah; on His Torah they meditate day and night. 3 They are life trees planted by streams – they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, everything they do succeeds. (Ps 1:1-3) 19b Don't let your livestock mate with those of another kind, don't sow your field with two different kinds of grain, and don't wear a garment of cloth made with two different kinds of thread. • All examples of needing to make a distinction between purity and blending things together, allowing them to get mixed up. ◦ Livestock: ▪ God said, “Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature – each kind of livestock, crawling animal and wild beast”; and that is how it was. 25 God made each kind of wild beast, each kind of livestock and every kind of animal that crawls along the ground; and God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:24-25) • Crossbreeding is often touted by the scientific community as breakthroughs that “prove” evolution; though the crossbreeding is always between two specific types of animals within the same order, and they may or may not be fertile. ◦ Although man was created in the image of the Creator and therefore always longs to sub-create, crossbreeding is often mankind playing at being God. ◦ Grains: ▪ Different types of crops use different nutrients from the soil which need time to be replenished. Crop rotation and shabbat years allow the soil nutrients to be replenished to produce better, healthier crops. ◦ Garments: ▪ This may simply be an exercise in our being able and willing to follow the LORD's Word whether or not we fully understand it. ▪ By combining this verse with Deut. xxii. II, it is deduced that while it is permitted to wear pieces of material consisting of wool and linen which together do not constitute a garment, cloth which is made of wool and linen is not allowed (Rashi). Nachmanides quotes Maimonides that the priests of antiquity used to wear garments of two kinds of stuff mingled together in their idolatrous worship. (The Soncino Chumash, p 726.)

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