Parashah 21: Ki Tissa “When you elevate”
Sh'mot “names” (Exodus) 30:11-34:35 Psalm 75
M'lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 18:1-39 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley
11 Adonai said to Moshe, 12 When you take a census of the people of Isra'el and register them, each, upon registration, is to pay a ransom for his life to Adonai, to avoid any breakout of plague among them during the time of the census.
“When you take a census of the people of Isra'el ….” In Hebrew the beginning of this sentence reads, “ …כִּי תִשָּׂא אֶָת־ רֹאשׁ בְּנֵי־ יִשְׂרָאַל” which can have another meaning:
כִּי [ki]: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since
תִשָּׂא [ti-sah]: to lift, to bear up, to carry, to take
אֶָת [et]: direct object marker – untranslated in English
רֹאשׁ [rōsh]: the head, the top, the summit, the upper part, the chief, the total, the sum, the height, the front, the beginning
בְּנֵי־ [beh-ney]: sons, children (male and female), people
It could read, “When (you) lift the head of the people of Isra'el ...” which points us to the true Head, Who is Yeshua / Jesus
“pay a ransom for his life”
Barnes' Notes: What the sincere worshipper thus paid was at once the fruit and the sign of his faith in the goodness of Yahweh, who had redeemed him and brought him into the covenant. Hence, the payment is rightly called a ransom inasmuch as it involved a personal appropriation of the fact of his redemption.
That there be no plague i.e. that they might not incur punishment for the neglect and contempt of spiritual privileges. Compare Ex 28:35; 1 Cor 11:27-30; and the exhortation in our communion Service.
the word plague here is the Hebrew נֶגֶף [neh-gehph] meaning:
Strong's: a trip (of the foot); figuratively, an infliction (of disease)
BDB: a blow, a plague (fatal); a striking
from נָגַף [nah-gahph]
Strong's: to push, gore, defeat, stub (the toe), inflict (a disease)
BDB: (Qal verb form) to strike, to smite; (Niphal) to be stricken, to be smitten; (Hithpael) to stumble
looking at it this way, put together we can see that when we lift up the Head of the people of Isra'el, the people of faith – when we lift up Yeshua – there will be no stumbling
This plague does not necessarily affect the individual immediately or directly, nor the individual only (cf e.g. Ex 9:14; Num 25:6-9; 1 Chron 21:17).
15 the rich is not to give more or the poor less than the half-shekel when giving Adonai's offering to atone for your lives.
we are all on an equal footing in regards to atonement and redemption; as well as at the foot of the cross of Yeshua
16 You are to take the atonement money from the people of Isra'el and use it for the service in the tent of meeting, so that it will be a reminder of the people of Isra'el before Adonai to atone for your lives.”
What comes from the people being redeemed is to be used in the service of God's dwelling place and act as a reminder of His atonement for our lives.
Each individual that comes to saving faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord is given several gifts, e.g.
cleansing from sin and total payment of a debt we could never hope to pay (see e.g. John 8:23-24; 1 John 1:7; Col 2:13-14)
salvation from a godless eternity and other judgements our sin justly deserved (see e.g. Acts 3:19-23; Jude 11-13)
imputed righteousness; as Yeshua took our sins upon Himself, He imputes His righteousness to us (see e.g. Rom 3:21-22; 5:17-21; 2 Cor 5:20)
adoption as a son or daughter of the Almighty (see e.g. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5)
plus another gift, or other gifts, as He decides (see e.g. 1 Cor 12-14), for the work of service that builds the body of the Messiah (Eph 4:12)
What each “cell,” each person in the body of Christ has to offer should be used for the benefit and building up of the body.
17 Adonai said to Moshe, 18 “You are to make a basin of bronze, with a base of bronze, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aharon and his sons will wash their hands and feet there 20 when they enter the tent of meeting – they are to wash with water, so that they won't die. Also when they approach the altar to minister by burning an offering for Adonai, 21 they are to wash their hands and feet, so that they won't die. This is to be a perpetual law for them through all their generations.”
This reminds us of our responsibility to be careful of where our feet take us and what our hands get in to.
Her house is sinking toward death, her paths lead to the dead. 19 None who go to her return; they never regain the path to life. (Pro 2:18-19)
There can be a way which seems right to a person, but at its end are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12; 16:25)
Who may go up to the mountain of Adonai? Who can stand in His holy place? 4 Those with clean hands and pure hearts, who don't make vanities the purpose of their lives or swear oaths just to deceive. (Ps 24:3-4)
Particles of whatever we handle or walk through will stick to our hands and feet. We need to be careful not to bring the refuse of the world into the presence of the LORD: His presence which is everywhere.
Come close to God, and He will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people! (James 4:8)
Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I climb up to heaven you are there; if I lie down in Sh'ol, you are there. 9 If I fly away with the wings of the dawn and land beyond the sea, 10 even there Your hand would lead me, Your right hand would hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Let darkness surround me, let the light around me be night,” 12 even darkness like this is not too dark for You; rather, night is as clear as day, darkness and light are the same [in this way]. (Psalm 139:7-12)
We also need to remember that, as the Giver of life, it is the LORD's prerogative when and how He deals out a death penalty, including the timing and the means, e.g.:
Gen 2:17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die
Num 14:34 I, Adonai, have spoken. I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me – they will be destroyed in this desert and die there.
Num 16:30 But if Adonai does something new – if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh'ol – then you will understand that these men have had contempt for Adonai. 31 The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart – 32 the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach and everything they owned. 33 So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh'ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. … 35 Then fire came out from Adonai and destroyed the 250 men who had offered the incense.
Num 17:14 Those dying from the plague numbered 14,700 – besides those who died in the Korach incident.
1 Chron 13:10 But Adonai's anger blazed up against 'Uza, and He struck him down, because he had put out his hand and touched the ark, so that he died there before God.
Acts 5:5 On hearing these words, Hananyah fell down dead; and everyone who heard about it was terrified. … 10 Instantly she collapsed at his feet and died. The young men entered, found her there dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Acts 12:23 At once, because Herod did not give the glory to God, an angel of Adonai struck him down. He was eaten away by worms and died.
“This is to be a perpetual law for them through all their generations.”
That the LORD's priests need clean hands and feet before Him is a statute or ordinance עוֹלָם meaning
Strong's: properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix [לְעֹלָם]) always
BDB: long duration, antiquity, futurity, forever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world: (used of the past) ancient time, long time: (used of the future) forever, always; continuous existence, perpetual; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity
22 Adonai said to Moshe, 23 “Take the best spices – 500 shekels of myrrh [12 ½ pounds], half this amount (250 shekels) of aromatic cinnamon, 250 shekels of aromatic cane, 24 500 skekels of cassia (use the sanctuary standard), and one gallon of olive oil – and make them into a holy anointing oil; blend it and perfume it as would an expert perfume-maker; it will be a holy anointing oil.
Whatever we offer to the LORD, whatever we use in His service, needs to be the best because it is for a holy purpose.
He may use more of one ingredient and less of another, but when brought together for His purposes it makes a holy blend that honors God: it is the same with people.
26 Use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark for the testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the menorah and all its utensils, the incense altar, 28 the altar for burnt offerings and all tis utensils, and the basin with its base. 29 You are to consecrate them – they will be especially holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. 30 Then you are to anoint Aharon and his sons – you are to consecrate them to serve Me in the office of cohen.
menorah is a transliteration of the Hebrew מְנוֹרָה meaning a chandelier or lampstand.
It is the feminine of מְנוֹר [mah-nōr] a yoke (for plowing), or a beam (i.e. the frame of a loom).
You can also hear within it the Hebrew word for light: אוֹר [ōr].
The work of serving the LORD as His cohen (priest) comes with an anointing that must be remembered, respected, and honored.
31 “Tell the people of Isra'el, 'This is to be a holy anointing oil for Me through all your generations. 32 It is not to be used for anointing a person's body; and you are not make any like it, with the same composition of ingredients – it is holy, and you are to treat it as holy. 33 Whoever makes any like it or uses it on any unauthorized person is to be cut off from his people.'”
The things of God are to be used for His purposes and His purposes only.
Trying to copy God's work or design for our own purposes and pleasure degrades, demeans, and defames His work, and we cut ourselves off from fellowship with Him and His followers. This idea is reiterated in verse 38.
1 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 I have singled out B'tzal'el the son of Uri the son of Hur, of the tribe of Y'hudah.
B'tzal'el (בְּצַלְאֵל – often transliterated “Bezaleel”) = “in the shadow [i.e. protection] of God”
בְּ is an “inseparable preposition” meaning in, on, with
צֵל is a shadow, shade: as protection, on a sundial, symbolic of the transitoriness of life
אֵל is God (or god)
Uri is transliterated from the Hebrew אוּרִי meaning fiery, or my fire, from
אוּר [ur] meaning a flame, the light of a fire
with the first person, singular, possessive pronoun ending added
Related to this are the names אוּרִיאֵל [Uriel] “God [El] is my light,” (e.g. 1 Chron 15:5) and אוּרִייָּה [Uriah] or Urijah “Yah is my light (flame)” (e.g. 2 Sam 11:3).
Y'hudah (often written Judah in English, but there is no “J” in Hebrew) is transliterated from the Hebrew יְהוּדָה meaning celebrated or praised. Strong's brings out that יְהוּדָה comes from יָדָה [yah-dah] meaning
Strong's: literally, to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically, to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively, to bemoan (by wringing the hands)
BDB: (Qal) to shoot (arrows); (Piel) to cast, to cast down, to throw down; (Hiphil) to give thanks, to laud, praise; to confess, to confess (the name of God); (Hithpael) to confess (sin); to give thanks.
3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God – with wisdom, understanding and knowledge concerning every kind of artisanry. 4 He is a master of design in gold, silver, bronze, 5 cutting precious stones to be set, woodcarving and every other craft.
filled with the Spirit of God
The Holy Spirit brings wisdom, understanding, and knowledge with Him. Inversely, it is God's Holy Spirit that gives anyone these qualities.
1 Chron 22:12 May Adonai give you common sense and understanding, and may He give you His orders concerning Isra'el, so that you will observe the Torah of Adonai your God.
2 Chron 1:10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?
Ps 119:34 Give me understanding; then I will keep your Torah; I will observe it with all my heart.
Eph 1:17 the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of Him.
James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
“filled” here comes from the Hebrew מָלֵא [“mah-lay”] meaning
Strong's: to fill or (intransitively) be full of, in a wide application (literally and figuratively)
BDB: to fill, to be full; (here in the Piel verb form indicating an intensification or repetition of the action) to fill; to satisfy; to fulfill, to accomplish, to complete; to confirm
6 I have also appointed as his assistant Oholi'av the son of Achisamakh, of the tribe of Dan. Moreover, I have endowed all the craftsmen with the wisdom to make everything I have ordered you –
Oholi'av (Oholiab or Aholiab) is transliterated from the Hebrew אָהֳלִיאָב [o-ho-liy-ahv] meaning “my tent [of] father,” or “my father's tent” from
אֹהֶל [ō-hel] a tent: a nomad's tent, and thus symbolic of wilderness life, transience; a dwelling, a home, a habitation; the sacred tent of Yahweh (the tabernacle)
with the first person, singular, possessive pronoun ending added
אָב [ahv] meaning father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application
Throughout the Tanakh we see that the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) of God would come upon people for a certain time and task (e.g. Judg 3:10; 1 Sam 10:6; Isa 61:1). In the B'rit HaDashah (New Covenant) through Yeshua we see that the Ruach Kodesh of God comes to dwell within believers (e.g. John 14:17; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 3:16). He comes to tent or tabernacle with us in such a way that we become the temple of the Holy Spirit: we each become “my Father's tent.”
Achisamakh is transliterated from the Hebrew אֲחִיסָמָךְ meaning “my brother [of] support”
אֲחִי [ah-khiy] is brother [אָח] with the first person, singular, possessive pronoun ending added
סָמַךְ [sah-mahk] is to lean, to lay, to rest, to support, to put, to uphold, to lean upon
Dan [“dawn”] is transliterated from the Hebrew דָּן meaning judge
12 Adonai said to Moshe, 13 Tell the people of Isra'el, 'You are to observe My Shabbats; for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am Adonai, Who sets you apart for Me.
you are to observe my Shabbats
“observe” here is the from the Hebrew word שָׁמַר [sha-mar] meaning:
Strong's: to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.
BDB: 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
שָׁמַר here is in the Qal verb form, and imperfect [denoting a past action in progress but not completed at the time in question]
for this is a sign between Me and you through all your generations
“sign” here is אוֹת [ōt] meaning:
Strong's: a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.
BDB: a sign, a signal: a distinguishing mark, a banner, remembrance, a miraculous sign, an omen, a warning; a token, an ensign, a standard, a miracle, a proof
so that you will know that I am Adonai
“know” here is יָדַע [yah-dah] meaning:
Strong's: to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively, instruction, designation, punishment, etc.)
BDB: to know, to learn to know, to perceive, to perceive and to see, to find out and to discern, to discriminate, to distinguish, to know by experience, to recognize, to admit, to acknowledge, to confess, to consider; to know, to be acquainted with, to know (a person carnally); to know how, to be skillful in; to have knowledge, to be wise
this verb is also in the Qal infinitive
Rashi: lit. 'to know' (without limitation of person), i.e. that the nations of the world may know through it (The Soncino Chumash, p. 546)
that I am Adonai
that I am יהוה [yud-hey-vav-hey]
the All-Knowing All-Mighty All-Sufficient Everlasting
Eternal Immutable – unchanging and unchangeable
Holy Righteous Pure Just
Right Jealous Gracious Merciful
Compassionate Loving Patient Perfect
Father Provider Shepherd King
Who is There Who Sees Who Hears Rock
Savior our Banner Protector Fortress
… and so very much more!!!!!
– Worshipping the LORD on any day and on every day is a good thing, but there is something special He has established for Shabbat – something that will help us to know Who He is, and to know Him, Who sets us apart for Himself.
14 Therefore you are to keep my Shabbat, because it is set apart for you. Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people.
• God's people are commanded to שָׁמַר the Sabbath – that seventh day of the week – because it is set apart for us
◦ “set apart” here is the Hebrew קֹדֶשׁ [ko-desh] meaning:
▪ Strong's: a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity
▪ BDB: apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness (used of God, places, things)
• related to קָדוֹשׁ [kah-dosh]: sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary; holy, the Holy One, set apart
• Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death
◦ As dearly as we may love Torah, this is one sign that we do not strictly follow Torah.
◦ It does, however, emphasize how important this appointment is in the eyes of the LORD.
• For whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people
◦ “work” here is the Hebrew מְלָאכָּה [meh-lah-cah]: occupation, business; work
◦ This is something that got Jesus in trouble with the adherents of a certain school of religious thought: they considered healing people as part of His מְלָאכָּה - His occupation, which He was not supposed to do on Shabbat. If they had taken time to know Him, they would have discovered that healing people was instead a natural outflow of the love, grace, mercy, and wholeness that are aspects of His very nature.
15 On six days work will get done; but the seventh day is Shabbat, for complete rest, set apart for Adonai. Whoever does any work on the day of Shabbat must be put to death. 16 The people of Isra'el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant.
“on six days work will get done”
for six days work is to be done
for six days work may be done
work shall be done for six days
you have six days each week for your ordinary work
you have six days in which to do your work
six days a week is sufficient to get our work done
if we will honor the LORD in our daily lives and set apart Shabbat for Him, He will bless the work of those six days
so that we can take the rest we need
to spend the day with Him
Six days a week we work and 'create' and imitate God …
but on the seventh day we need to rest from all that work and focus on the LORD – the One Who really is God (rather than us)
keep Shabbat, observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant
this mixed group from various backgrounds (see Ex 12:38) that were now collectively the people of God (people of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel) were to keep and observe Shabbat
“keep” here comes from the Hebrew word שָׁמַר [sha-mar] – see verse 13 above
“observe” here comes from עָשָׂה [ah-sah] meaning:
Strong's: to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application
BDB: (Qal) to do, to work, to make, to produce, to deal (with), to act, to act with effect, to effect; to prepare, to make (an offering), to attend to, to put in order, to observe, to celebrate, to acquire (property), to appoint, to ordain, to institute, to bring about, to use, to spend, to pass
through all their generations: as long as there is a people of God Shabbat is to be kept and observed
“generations” here comes from the Hebrew דּוֹר [dōr] meaning:
Strong's: a revolution of time, i.e. an age or generation; also a dwelling
BDB: a period, an age, a generation (a period of time); a generation (those living during a period); a generation (characterized by a quality, a condition, a class of men); a dwelling-place, a habitation
as a perpetual covenant
“covenant” here is the Hebrew בְּרִית [beh-riyt] meaning:
Strong's: a compact (a cutting, made by passing between pieces of flesh [e.g. Gen 15:10]); confederacy, covenant, league
BDB: covenant, alliance, pledge: between men a treaty, an alliance, a league (man to man); a constitution, an ordinance (monarch to subjects); an agreement, a pledge (man to man); an alliance (used of friendship); an alliance (used of marriage): between God and man an alliance (used of friendship); a covenant (divine ordinance with signs or pledges)
“perpetual” here is עוֹלָם [ō-lam] meaning:
Strong's: concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always
BDB: long duration, antiquity, futurity, forever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world: ancient time, long time (used of the past); (used of the future) forever, always, continuous existence, perpetual, everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity
עוֹלָם is also (these verses just from the Psalms!)
how long יהוה [the LORD] will reign (Ps 90:2, 92:8, 102:12, 146:10)
how long יהוה will be blessed (Ps 41:13, 89:52, 106:48, 113:2, 115:18, 145:1, 21)
how long His mercy endures (Ps 100:5, 103:17, 106:1, 107:1, 118:1-4, 136, 138:8)
how long His kingdom will endure (Ps 10:16, 145:13)
how long His name will be magnified, praised, endure (Ps 44:8, 135:13, 145:2)
how long יהוה will endure (Ps 9:7)
how long His counsel stands (Ps 33:11)
how long His throne will be blessed (Ps 45:6, 93:2)
how long His people will praise Him (Ps 45:17; 79:13)
how long Jerusalem will be established for (Ps 48:8)
how long God will be our God (Ps 48:14)
how long God's mercy keeps us (Ps 89:28)
how long His glory shall endure (Ps 104:31)
how long His covenant lasts (Ps 105:10, 111:9)
how long His truth endures (Ps 117:2)
how long the Word of יהוה continues (Ps 119:89)
how long His righteousness is righteousness (Ps 119:142)
how long His instruction is righteousness (Ps 119:144)
how long His decrees will stand (Ps 148:6)
as the people of God we are to keep and observe Shabbat עוֹלָם
17 It is a sign between Me and the people of Isra'el forever; for in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He stopped working and rested.
“a sign” see note on Ex 31:13 above
“for” here is the Hebrew כִּי [kiy] generally meaning “for,” “that,” or “because”
working six days a week and then keeping and observing Shabbat is a sign between the LORD and His people for … because … for this reason: in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He stopped working and rested.
the plain meaning of the text is that we work six days (each day itself consisting of 24 hours), and then during the following day (consisting of 24 hours) we keep and observe the LORD's Sabbath
part of the LORD's purpose, part of His reasoning for working the six days of Creation and then resting on the seventh was to give us an example to follow
if the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1 is anything other than normal, literal, 24 hours days then the purposes of God in this case have been thwarted
the Hebrew word for “day” in these verses is יוֹם [yōm]
יוֹם is used in different ways in Scripture, e.g.
literal 24-hour periods of time, or
to the time of light during that 24-hour period (day as opposed to night), or
indistinct periods of time (e.g. “in the days of Noah,” or “in David's day”)
if, however, יוֹם in Genesis 1 means thousands, millions, or billions of years, as some try to force the text to say, (i.e. to allow for materialistic evolution)
then the LORD's example to us, the example we are to follow, is to work for six consecutive time periods of thousands, millions, or billions of years each before we are allowed a period of rest
that is not only illogical, it's stupid; but then, Scripture does mention people like that, e.g. in 2 Pet 3:5 Kefa starts his sentence with
λανθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοȗτο θέλοντας
lanthanei gar autous touto thelontas
are ignorant of For they this willingly
– better English for this would be: “For this they willingly are ignorant of ...” or, if you will, “they are stupid on purpose” about God's creation
on the seventh day He stopped working and rested
“stopped working” here is the Hebrew word שָׁבַת, transliterated as Shabbat
“rested” here comes from נָפַשׁ [na-phahsh] meaning:
Strong's: to breath; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air)
BDB: (in this verse in the Niphal verb form, imperfect): to take breath, to refresh oneself
נִפְעַל [niphal] is the simple passive verb pattern corresponding to the active פָּעַל [pa-ahl]
פָּעַל literally means “follow,” it is the simple active perfect; it is also referred to as קַל [Qal or Kal] which means “light,” or “simple.”
The LORD had completed His initial work of creation and so He “ stopped working and rested” as He took a breath to enjoy all He had done (see Gen 1:31).