Parashah Studies

Ki Tavo

Parashah 50: Ki-Tavo “when you come / enter in”

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:9 Psalm 51 Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22 Luke 24:44-53

Deuteronomy 26 1 When you have come to the land Adonai your God is giving you as your inheritance, taken possession of it and settled there; 2 you are to take the firstfruits of all the crops the ground yields, which you will harvest from your land that Adonai your God is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place where Adonai your God will choose to have His name live. 3 You will approach the cohen holding office at the time and say to him, 'Today I declare to Adonai your God that I have come to the land Adonai swore to our ancestors that He would give us.' 4 The cohen will take the basket from your hand and put it down in front of the altar of Adonai your God. • If we will simply follow the LORD, He will give us ◦ an inheritance, and ◦ a possession, ◦ He will settle us there, and ◦ give us fruit / make us fruitful • The firstfruits are to be returned to the LORD ◦ God already owns it all (see e.g. Ex 9:29; Ps 24:1) ▪ He simply lets us use and enjoy the blessings He provides ◦ as an act of faith, obedience, and dependence on Him, He calls us to return to Him the first part of our produce ▪ in an agricultural society, once the firstfruits were presented to the LORD, if a hail storm, fire, or enemy wiped out the rest of the crop the people could starve • but the Eternal, Sovereign God of heaven and earth has made a promise: “Can a person rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, 'How have we robbed You?' In tenths [tithes] and voluntary contributions [offerings]. 9 A curse is on you, on your whole nation, because you rob Me. 10 Bring the whole tenth into the storehouse, so that there will be food in My house, and put Me to the test,” says Adonai-Tzva'ot. “See if I won't open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs. 11 For your sakes I will forbid the devourer to destroy the yield from your soil; and your vine will not lose its fruit before harvest-time” says Adonai-Tzva'ot. 12 “All nations will call you happy, for you will be a land of delights,” says Adonai-Tzva'ot. (Mal 3:8-12) ◦ one immediate lesson here is that not returning to the LORD this first part of what belongs to Him, equates to thievery ◦ it may also be inferred here that when we withhold tithes and offerings, it robs God of the opportunity to bless us ◦ because of this robbery a curse is on us as a nation ▪ in part, perhaps, because returning tithes and offerings to the LORD is the very tip of an “attitude iceberg” • tithes and offerings are outward and visible; • what about the heart, soul, mind, strength, and abundance with which we are to love the LORD our God (Deut 6:4-5) ◦ bring the whole tenth ▪ the word “tithe” means ten percent; less than ten percent is not a “tithe” ▪ New Unger's Bible Dictionary … The firstborn, the firstlings, and of the tenth of the flocks and herds and produce of the soil were offered to Jehovah as being sacred to Him. Tithes and offerings, along with the firstborn, were intended, therefore, to represent the entire produce of the land and the whole of property generally. Being paid over as they were to Jehovah, they constituted a practical confession and acknowledgment that the whole land and all possessions in general belonged to Him and that it was He alone who conferred them upon those who enjoyed them. ◦ the tithe is to be brought to God's house ▪ as the LORD blesses us we may give offerings to various organizations and ministries, but ▪ our tithes should always go to “God's house” where we are being “fed” ◦ Holman Bible Dictionary TITHE A tenth part, especially as offered to God. Abraham presented a tithe of war booty to the priest-king of Jerusalem, Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20). Jacob pledged to offer God a tithe of all his possessions upon his safe return (Gen 28:22). The tithe was subject to a variety of legislation. Num 18:20-32 provides for the support of the Levites and the priests through the tithe. The Deuteronomic code stipulated that the tithe of agricultural produce be used for a family feast at the sanctuary celebrating God's provision (Deut 14:22-27). The same code stipulated the third year's tithe for care of the Levites, orphans, widows, and foreigners (Deut 14:23-29). Some scholars think the differences in legislation reflect different uses of the tithe at various stages of Israel's history. The rabbis of the New Testament period, however, understood the laws as referring to three separate tithes: a Levitical tithe, a tithes spent celebrating in Jerusalem, and a charity tithe. Mal 3:8 equates neglect of the tithe with robbing God. Jesus, however, warned that strict tithing must accompany concern for the more important demands of the law, namely, for just and merciful living (Matt 23:23; Luke 11:42).  Some say that this is Old Testament (as if that fact in itself negates God's Word) arguing that the main purpose of the Old Testament tithe was to provide for the Levitical priesthood which is no longer operating; thus tithing is no longer applicable.  Easton's Bible Dictionary It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Cor 9:13,14); and if, as is the case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.  Paul, however, seems to think that the tithes may now support those who work for the Lord Yeshua  Did you ever hear of a soldier paying his own expenses? or of a farmer planting a vineyard without eating its grapes? Who shepherds a flock without drinking some of the milk? 8 What I am saying is not based merely on human authority, because the Torah says the same thing – 9 for in the Torah of Moshe it is written, “You are not to put a muzzle on an ox when it is treading out the grain.” [Deut 25:4] If God is concerned about cattle, 10 all the more does He say this for our sakes. Yes, it was written for us, meaning that he who plows and he who threshes should work expecting to get a share of the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others are sharing in this right to be supported by you, don't we have a greater claim to it? But we don't make use of this right. Rather, we put up with all kinds of things so as not to impede in any way the Good News about the Messiah. 13 Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrifices offered there? 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News. (1 Cor 9:8-14)  Jesus also mentioned tithing:  Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah – justice, mercy, trust. These are things you should have attended to – without neglecting the others! (Mattityahu [Matthew] 23:23, emphasis original)  It is important to note that Yeshua does not negate the Old Testament principles governing tithes and offerings; in fact He emphasizes them here, along with those of justice, mercy, and trust [faith, faithfulness].  Yeshua also validated these instructions in Mattityahu 5: “Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:17-20)  “to complete” (“to fulfill” in some translations) comes from πληρόω [plerŏō] in the original meaning:  Strong's: to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.  Thayer's: to make full, to fill, to fill up; to render full, i.e. to complete  Interestingly, the Hebrew Matthew uses the word לְהַשְׁלִים [leh-hahsh-liym] meaning complete, supplement, accomplish, perfect, carry through (Hebrew Gospel of MATTHEW by George Howard – Part One.pdf (page 16 of 83), and https://translate.google.com/#en/iw/complete, accessed 05Sep15.  For interesting articles on the Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew see ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbinical_translations_of_Matthew accessed 05Sep15, and Michael L. Brown, 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices, 40 “Was the New Testament originally written in Hebrew? (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group), p. 169-174)  Jesus also touches on this in Mark 12:17, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” (See also Matt 22:21, Luke 20:25) 5 Then, in the presence of Adonai your God, you are to say, 'My ancestor was a nomad from Aram. He went down into Egypt few in number and stayed. There he became a great, strong, populous nation. 6 But the Egyptians treated us badly; they oppressed us and imposed harsh slavery on us. • It is important to remember where we were, where we have come from • not to relive the details, but to remember the reality of the situation and not romanticize it 7 So we cried out to Adonai, the God of our ancestors. Adonai heard us and saw our misery, toil and oppression; 8 and Adonai brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and a stretch-out arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders. • What did we do about our miserable situation? ◦ We cried out to the LORD: the God our forefathers followed, trusted in, and counted on • and He heard, and saw, and brought us out ◦ what we recognized and experienced was God's strong hand and a stretch-out arm, ◦ what the enemy saw and experienced was great terror, ◦ what we all saw and experienced were signs and wonders ▪ it has been postulated that we might see more of God's signs and wonders when we get rid of our sins and plunders 9 Now He has brought us to this place and given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. • always remember the good things the LORD has done 10 Therefore, as you see, I have now brought the firstfruits of the land which you, Adonai, have given me.' You are then to put the basket down before Adonai your God, prostrate yourself before Adonai your God, 11 and take joy in all the good that Adonai your God has given you, your household, the Levi and the foreigner living with you. • After we have praised the LORD for His goodness and all He has done for us, it is very appropriate to bow down and worship Him ◦ “Praise” and “worship” do not refer to the tempo of the music in our services. ▪ Praise is expressing our respect and gratitude for what the LORD has done ▪ Worship is expressing reverence and adoration to the LORD for who He is, His character, His attributes ◦ But praise and worship should not be simply a “religious duty,” but a joy; seen for the honor and privilege it is • As we walk in the ways of the LORD, in His kindness and benevolence, He blesses us, our household, our spiritual leaders, and even “the foreigner living with you”! ◦ We can see this “ripple effect” in The Shema (Deut 6:4-9): Hear Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is One. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. ▪ As in this case, often “hear” in the Bible is much more than to perceive something acoustically: listen, listen up, pay attention! It is linked with the idea of “obedience”! • “the LORD” - the All-Sufficient, Self-Sufficient, Mighty, Eternal, Holy, Loving, Righteousness, Just, Creator of all commands, invites, urges, and welcomes us to respond to Him and to His love, mercy, grace, kindness, protection provision ... and His patience ◦ by loving Him in return with ALL our heart – what is that? ▪ the inner man, the mind, the will, the heart, the soul – in other words: the understanding inner part of the individual ◦ At the same time we are also to love the LORD our God with ALL our soul - ▪ this involves the mind but includes our desires, emotions, and passions ▪ this moves out of ourselves and affects all our closest dealings and relationships ◦ This passage also calls us to love the LORD our God with ALL our strength - ▪ all our might, all our force, all our “muchness,” all our abundance ▪ like a rippling affect, our love for God is to reach out and make a holy, godly difference in every area of life around us ▪ Verse 6 continues, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” • In any and every way they were to pass on what they learned and knew of God to others … to future generations. ... So are we. ◦ Everything we are involved in should be governed by and reflect God's love for us and our love and commitment to Him. Living in a way that accurately reflects who we are in relationship with Him. 12 After you have separated a tenth of the crops yielded in the third year, the year of separating a tenth, and have given it to the Levi, the foreigner, the orphan and the widow, so that they can have enough food to satisfy them while staying with you; • The only time the government should be involved in this work is if the government is carefully run as a biblical theocracy. ◦ It is the work of God's people to reflect His loving care by caring for those in need. 13 you are to say, in the presence of Adonai your God, 'I have rid my house of the things set aside for God and given them to the Levi, the foreigner, the orphan and the widow, in keeping with every one of the mitzvot You gave me. I haven't disobeyed any of Your mitzvot or forgotten them. 14 I haven't eaten any of this food when mourning, I haven't put any of it aside when unclean, nor have I given any of it for the dead. I have listened to what Adonai my God has said, and I have done everything You ordered me to do. • nor have I given any of it for the dead ◦ Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament This most probably refers to the custom of sending provisions into a house of mourning, to prepare meals for the mourners (2 Sam 3:25; Jer 16:7; Hos 9:4; Tob 4:17). A house of mourning, with its inhabitants, was regarded as unclean; consequently nothing could be carried into it of that which was sanctified. There is no good ground for thinking of idolatrous customs, or of any special superstition attached to the bread of mourning; nor is there any ground for understanding the words as referring to the later Jewish custom of putting provisions into the grave along with the corpse, to which the Septuagint rendering, [ οὐκ ἔδωκα ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν τῷ τεθνηκόι ], points. ◦ Lord, I have not used your tithes for any selfish or ungodly purposes, and I've obeyed Your Word, now please, 15 Look out from Your holy dwelling-place, from heaven; and bless Your people Isra'el and the land You gave us, as You swore to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey. • As we follow the LORD and walk in His ways, which is only and totally by His grace and mercy, it is okay – even good and right – to pray for His blessing ◦ It is only by God's continuous care that we exist, “for in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:27a) ▪ The LORD God of heaven and earth, Who spoke the universe into existence, is so intimately concerned with everything that touches our lives that He keeps our very atoms together • a land flowing with milk and honey ◦ Bible Knowledge Commentary The phrase a land flowing with milk means that Canaan was ideal for raising goats and cows. Feeding on good pastureland the goats, sheep, and cows were full of milk. Flowing with honey means that the bees were busy making honey. Milk and honey suggested agricultural prosperity. 16 Today Adonai you God orders you to obey these laws and rulings. Therefore, you are to observe and obey them with all your heart and all your being. • the LORD has told us to obey His Word ◦ we should “give it all we've got” to live according to His Word ▪ understanding, as He does, that it is humanly impossible for sinful man to live out every nuance of the letter of the Law: we need a Savior! 17 You are agreeing today that Adonai is your God and that you will follow His ways; observe His laws, mitzvot and rulings; and do what He says. • the LORD is my God and I will serve and follow Him 18 In turn Adonai is agreeing today that you are His own unique treasure, as He promised you; that you are to observe all His mitzvot; 19 and that He will raise you high above all the nations He has made, in praise, reputation and glory; and that, as He said, you will be a holy people for Adonai your God. • by mutual agreement of accepting and following His commandments ◦ you are His own unique treasure ◦ and He will raise you high above all the people He has made ◦ He will raise you high in praise, reputation and glory, and ◦ you will be a holy people for the LORD your God Deuteronomy 27 1 Then Moshe and all the leaders of Isra'el gave orders to the people. They said, “Observe all the mitzvot I am giving you today. 2 When you cross the Yarden to the land Adonai your God is giving you, you are to set up large stones, put plaster on them, 3 and, after crossing over, write this Torah on them, every word – so that you can enter the land Adonai your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as Adonai, the God of your ancestors, promised you. • Notice, the problem was not with the common cultural practice of “standing stones.” The issue was the purpose, act, and deity the stones were memorializing. 4 When you have crossed the Yarden, you are to set up these stones, as I am ordering you today, on Mount 'Eival; and put plaster on them. 5 There you are to erect an altar to Adonai your God, and altar made of stones. You are not to use any iron tool on them, 6 but are to build the altar of Adonai your God of uncut stones; and you are to offer burnt offerings on it to Adonai your God. • The altar was to be of uncut stones. ◦ God's altar was to be of stones He had shaped ◦ without the “assistance” of sinful man trying to make things “more presentable” ▪ God is not impressed with any of our own efforts, nor how new, bright, or shiny • For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise. (Ps 51:16-17) 7 Also you are to sacrifice peace offerings, eat there and be joyful in the presence of Adonai your God. • Peace, eating, joy and the clear word of God go together. • This is another example of the L-RD's commandments not being burdensome. ◦ Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God's children: when we love God, we also do what He commands. 3 For loving God means obeying His commands. Moreover, His commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:1-3) 8 You are to write on the stones all the words of this Torah very clearly. • The purpose of having something written in a prominent, public place is so that people will read it. ◦ In reading G-d's Word we gain a knowledge of it. ◦ In knowing G-d's Word we convicted of sin, our need of a Savior. ◦ This moves us to either ▪ reject the L-RD and His offer, becoming calloused to the things of G-d, or ▪ accept His blood offering on our behalf to save us from our sin and it penalty • which brings joy and peace with G-d, allowing His Holy Spirit to plant the seeds of the His fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control (Gal 5:22-23) 9 Next Moshe and the cohanim, who are L'vi'im, spoke to all Isra'el. They said, “Be quiet; and listen, Isra'el! Today you have become the people of Adonai your God. 10 Therefore you are to listen to what Adonai your God says and obey His mitzvot and laws, which I am giving you today.” • These verses seem to be saying that “the people of Adonai … are to listen to what [He] says and obey His mitzvot and laws.” ◦ It is a given fact that certain mitzvot (commandments) were only for certain groups of people, e.g. ▪ only the males were to be circumcised ▪ only the females were to follow the rules concerning menstruation ▪ only the priests officiated in the Tabernacle and later the Temple ▪ only the Levites assisted the priests in their duties ▪ only G-d's people living in the land of Israel divided that land according to His Word ◦ Some of G-d's commandments were for a specific and limited time frame, e.g. ▪ what Moses was to tell Pharaoh and do as G-d freed His people and led them in the wilderness ▪ the stones the people were to set up at Sinai to commemorate the giving of the Covenant, the twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, and the stones at Gilgal after crossing the flooded Jordan (see Josh 4) ▪ the Mosaic covenant with its sacrificial system? • Here, the days are coming, says Adonai, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated My covenant, even though I, for My part, was a husband to them, says Adonai. (Jer 31:31-32) ◦ This, then, was the Mosaic covenant that was now declared to be for a limited time and the L-RD Who gave this covenant would Himself make a new covenant with Isra'el and Y'hudah. ▪ “new” here is the Hebrew חֲדָשָׁה [khah-dah-shah], the feminine form of חָדָשׁ [khah-dahsh], both from חָדַשׁ meaning • Strong's: to be new; causatively, to rebuild • BDB: to be new, to renew, to repair ◦ This is the only place in the Old Testament, the Tanakh, where the term “new covenant” is found. As we can see from its definitions, this “new covenant” would be ▪ 1. renewed, as in something reinstated, or ▪ 2. new, as in something totally different, or ▪ 3. something seen as a hybrid, with elements from the old, yet still new and different ▪ From the immediate context, possibility 2 or 3 seems the most plausible since verse 32 says this “new covenant” would not be the same as the old covenant being addressed. • Jer 31:33 For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days, says Adonai: I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know Adonai”; for all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.” ◦ Under the conditions of this “new covenant” ▪ rather than only being written in scrolls, or summarily on tablets of stone, G-d would put the Law, His Torah, within His people and write it on their hearts, and ▪ every member of the believing community will know Him, because of His forgiveness and justification • During His last earthly Passover with His talmidim, Jesus took the third cup, the cup of redemption, and said, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by My blood, which is being poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20 – this is the only use of the term “New Covenant” in the gospels.) ◦ This is a direct reference to the Jeremiah 31 passage with one special clarification. In the uniquely inspired record of this event, the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) moved Yeshua to declare this as being the “καινὴ διαθήκη.” ▪ διαθήκη [dee-ahth-ā-kā] means • Strong's: a disposition, i.e. (specially) a contract (especially a devisory will) • Thayer's: a disposition, arrangement, a testament; a compact, covenant ▪ καινός [kah-ē-nahs] (the root word from which καινὴ derives) means • Strong's: new (especially in freshness; while [νέος (neh-ahs)] is properly so with respect to age • Thayer's: new ◦ as respects form; recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn ◦ as respects substance; of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of • The Discovery Bible Lexicon: properly, new in quality (innovation), fresh in development or opportunity – because “not found exactly like this before.” • Recognizing that the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the uniquely inspired and authoritative Word of G-d, there are several doctrines that are held in “divine tension,” the total and exact outworking of which is yet to be seen, e.g. ◦ In Deuteronomy 12:28, under the guiding of G-d's Holy Spirit, Moses ordered the people, “Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what Adonai sees as good and right” (emphasis added). ▪ And yet, Yeshua instituted a New Covenant that is fresh, new, innovative, unprecedented as we see by His own choice of words. ◦ In Exodus 27:21 we read, “Aharon and his sons are to put it in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain in front of the testimony, and keep it burning from evening until morning before Adonai. This is to be a permanent regulation through all the generations of the people of Isra'el” (emphasis added). ▪ And yet, after Yeshua's sacrifice and triumphant resurrection, the Sovereign L-RD allowed His earthly temple of stone to be destroyed; it no longer being needed for sacrifices and Jesus having become our eternal High Priest as the book of Hebrews explains. ◦ Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass dries up, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” This is reiterated in 1 Pet 1:24-25. ◦ Yeshua Himself said, “Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah until everything that must happen has happened (Matt 5:17-18). ▪ “complete” here comes from the Greek word πληρόω [play-rah-o] meaning • Strong's: to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue), diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction) • Thayer's: 1. to make full, to fill, to fill up; 2. to render full, i.e., to complete a. properly, to fill up to the top b. to perfect, consummate 1. a number 2. to make complete in every particular; to render perfect 3. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out c. to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize 1. of matters of duty, to perform to execute 2. used of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, to ratify, to accomplish 3. universally and absolutely, to fulfill • A careful study of the New Testament shows that Jesus and His disciples, including Paul, were observant Jews throughout their lives. Acts 21:20 says there were at that time “tens of thousands of believers … among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah.” ◦ Obviously there was no discrepancy in their minds between having a personal salvation relationship with Yeshua under the New Covenant and following the ordinances of the Law. ◦ Although they knew that their right standing with G-d was no longer contingent on the ritualistic requirements of the Law, but rather faith in the completed work of Yeshua on their behalf. • Jesus' contention with certain religious schools of His day was not over the written Law of G-d, but with the cumbersome traditions that had become added to it. (See e.g. Matt 15 and Mark 7.) ◦ In Romans 10:4 Sha'ul (Paul) wrote, “For Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to everyone who believes.” ▪ “end” here in the original Greek of the New Covenant writings is τέλος [teh-lahs] meaning • Strong's: properly, the point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state (termination [literally, figuratively or indefinitely], result [immediate, ultimate or prophetic], purpose); specifically, an impost or levy (as paid) • Thayer's: 1. end: a. termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be; b. the end i.e. the last in any succession or series; c. that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue; d. the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose. 2. toll, custom • Approaching the New Testament from a Messianic Jewish view point (after all the message is to the Jew first and also the non-Jew [Rom 1:16],) the Complete Jewish Bible renders this verse, “For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, Who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts.” ◦ Paul wrote that “the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good” (Rom 7:10). ◦ Jesus is the incarnation of the One True and Living G-d: G-d in flesh (John 1:14). Yeshua is uniquely the “Son of G-d” and “G-d the Son.” ▪ As G-d and the embodied Word of G-d (John 1:1) all of the Scriptures that we know of as the “Word of G-d” are Yeshua's Words, His commandments. • Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands” (John 14:15). • With the advent of the New Covenant that Yeshua established the Mosaic Covenant as a means of attaining a right standing with G-d came to a close. It's bloody sacrifices graphically demonstrated the cost of sin. It's intricately high standards shows us our sinfulness and our great need of a Redeemer / Messiah as it is impossible for corrupted mankind to ever perfectly follow the Law; and every person with a human father has inherited a sin nature. ◦ In reality right standing with G-d has always been by faith, even in the Old Testament (see e.g. Gen 15:6; Hab 2:4; Heb 11). ◦ The religious ritualistic following of the Covenant's commands are not a means of salvation, and we understand that now, because we are in Christ, there is no condemnation when we fall short (see Rom 8:1). ◦ Rabbi Carl of Baruch HaShem (San Antonio) has written a good little article reminding us of our need to focus on Messiah rather than our own efforts to follow the Law. (http://www.baruch-hashem.com/index.php/resources/95-law-and-commandments, accessed 25Sep16) ◦ Now, our observance and obedience, our “works” as James 2 puts it, is intrinsically linked with faith as a loving response to all the L-RD has done for us. ▪ E.g. because of the love of Messiah and the love we have for Him we • Recognize and acknowledge that the L-RD is our God, Who brought His people out of the land of Egypt • Have no other gods in His ever-present presence • Do not lightly use the name of Adonai our G-d • Remember His Shabbat and observe it • Honor our parents • Do not murder • Do not commit adultery • Do not steal • Do not give false evidence against our neighbor • Do not covet what belongs to our neighbor (Ex 20:1-14) 11 That same day Moshe commissioned the people as follows: 12 These are the ones who are to stand on Mount G'rizim and bless the people after you have crossed the Yarden: Shim'on, Levi, Y'hudah, Yissakhar, Yosef and Binyamin; 13 while these are to stand on Mount 'Eival for the curse: Re'uven, Gad, Asher, Z'vulun, Dan and Naftali. 14 The L'vi'im, speaking loudly, will proclaim to every man of Isra'el: 15 A curse on anyhone who makes a carved or metal image, something Adonai detests, the handiwork of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret! All the people are to respond by saying, Amen! 16 A curse on anyone who dishonors his father or mother. All the people are to say, Amen! 17 A curse on anyone who moves his neighbor's boundary marker. All the people are to say, Amen! 18 A curse on anyone who causes a blind person to lose his way on the road. All the people are to say, Amen! 19 A curse on anyone who interferes with justice for the foreigner, orphan or widow. All the people are to say, Amen! 20 A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights. All the people are to say, Amen! 21 A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with any kind of animal. All the people are to say, Amen! 22 A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his sister, no matter whether she is the daughter of his father or of his mother. All the people are to say, Amen! 23 A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law. All the people are to say, Amen! 24 A curse on anyone who secretly attacks a fellow member of the community. All the people are to say, Amen! 25 A curse on anyone who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person. All the people are to say, Amen! 26 A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice. All the people are to say, Amen! • In many ways Yeshua “raised the bar.” Whereas the Law dealt with the outward manifestations of sin, Jesus deals with the underlying root, e.g. ◦ He revealed murder in hateful thoughts (Matt 5:21-22) ◦ He revealed adultery in lustful thoughts (Matt 5:28-29) • It was this type of “curse of the Law” the Yeshua dealt with having nailed the “bill of charges,” the “body of evidence” against us, to the cross (Col 2:14), so that, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). ◦ This is not in any way a license to sin, but frees us to come to the L-RD for forgiveness that in turn allows us to do what is right in His sight. Deuteronomy 28 1 If you listen closely to what Adonai your God says, observing and obeying all His mitzvot which I am giving you today, Adonai your God will raise you high above all the nations on earth; 2 and all the following blessings will be your in abundance – if you will do what Adonai your God says: • If we will listen, observe and obey G-d's commandments, He will raise us high and bless us abundantly. ◦ Conditional, yes, but such a deal! 3 A blessing on you in the city, and a blessing on you in the countryside. 4 A blessing on the fruit of your body, the fruit of your land and the fruit of your livestock – the young of you cattle and flocks. 5 A blessing on your grain-basket and kneading-bowl. 6 A blessing on you when you go out, and a blessing on you when you come in. 7 Adonai will cause your enemies attacking you to be defeated before you; they will advance on you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 Adonai will order a blessing to be with you in your barns and in everything you undertake; He will bless you in the land Adonai your God is giving you. 9 Adonai will establish you as a people separated out for Himself, as He has sworn to you – if you will observe the mitzvot of Adonai your God and follow His ways. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that Adonai's name, His presence, is with you; so that they will be afraid of you. 11 Adonai will give you great abundance of good things – of the fruit of you body, the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your land in the land Adonai swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 Adonai will open for you His good treasure, the sky, to give your land its rain at the right seasons and to bless everything you undertake. You will lend to many nations and not borrow. 13 Adonai will make you the head and not the tail; and you will be only above, never below – if you will listen to, observe and obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God 14 and not turn away from any of the words I am ordering you today, neither to the right nor to the left, to follow after other gods and serve them.  God's blessings are conditional on our obedience  in Biblical Hebrew “hear” and “listen” are intrinsically connected to, and are often used to mean, “observe” and “obey”  follow the LORD without turning to the right nor to the left  some ask about “gray areas” and “what ifs”  as humans, we tend to be short-sighted, especially when considering the view of our Eternal, All-Knowing, Never-Caught-By-Surprise, All-Mighty, Sovereign, LORD  if we are drawing a line from point A to point B and the distance is a few inches, being one degree off may not make much difference; if it's a cross country flight we may never reach our destination  if we are working with a series of numbers, how much difference does it make if we are one digit off?  What if that series of numbers is a telephone number? 15 But if you refuse to pay attention to what Adonai your God says, and do not observe and obey all his mitzvot and regulations which I am giving you today, then all the following curses will be yours in abundance:  “attention to detail” is important; God's Word calls us to it 20 Adonai will send on you curses, disasters and frustration in everything you set out to do, until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of your evil actions in abandoning me.  “Curses,” “disasters,” and “frustration” are all singular in the Hebrew, and all have the prefix -הַ [ha-] meaning “the” so it could read “the curse,” “the disaster,” and “the frustration.”  curse: מְאֵרָה [meh-ay-rah] = curse, swear (execrate {archaic})  disaster: מִגְעֶרֶת [mēg-eh-ret] = reproof, rebuke. From גָּעַר [ga-ar] = to chide; to rebuke, to reprove, to corrupt.  frustration: מְהוּמָה [meh-hū-mah] = tumult, confusion, disquietude, discomfiture, destruction, trouble, vexed, vexation. From הוּם [hūm] = to distract, to ring again, to make a (great) noise, to murmur, to roar, to discomfit, to be moved. 21 Adonai will bring on you a plague that will stay with you until he has exterminated you from the land you are entering in order to take possession of it.  bring on you to stay – יַדְבֵּק [yad-bak] => imperfect (~future tense) of דָּבַק [da-vak] = to impinge, i.e. cling or adhere;  figuratively, to follow closely, to join to, to overtake, catch by pursuit  הַדָּבֶר [ha-da-vehr] from the prefix -הַ [ha-] + דֶּבֶר [deh-vehr] => from דָּבַר [da-var] (in the sense of destroying)  דָּבַר is a word or thing as in to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, or threaten  דֶּבֶר = pestilence, plague, murrain (1. an infectious disease, esp. babesiosis, affecting cattle or other animals; 2. plague, epidemic, or crop blight) 22 Adonai will strike you down with wasting diseases, fever, inflammation, fiery heat, drought, blasting winds and mildew; and they will pursue you until you perish.  when the LORD judges a nation or a society, though there may be a few (a remnant) He allows to escape, He judges it as a whole as we see throughout history and now in the U.S. (in many ways, as a whole, as a country we have been sliding down a slippery slope and become an “Obama-nation” before Him)  Each thing in this list has the prefix בּ or ב which means “in,” “on,” or “with” as context dictates. After the first thing listed, each also has the prefixed ו [vav] primarily meaning “and.” Question: Is this a list of singular things we might be cursed with, or an accumulative list where we might be afflicted with any one, combination, or all? The answer appears to be “yes!”  wasting diseases: שַׁחֶפֶת [sha-che-phet] = emaciation, consumption  fever: קַדַּחַת [qa-da-chat] = inflammation, i.e. febrile disease; from קָדֵח [qa-dakh] = to kindle, to be kindled  inflammation: דַּלֶּקֶת [da-leh-keht] = a burning fever; from דּלַק [da-lak] = to burn, to pursue hotly  fiery heat: חַרְחֻר [khar-khūr] = extreme heat, inflammation, violent heat, fever; from חָרַר [kha-rar] = to burn, to be hot, to be scorched, to be charred  drought: חֶרֶב [kheh-rehv] = drought; also a cutting instrument (from its destructive effect), as a knife, sword, or other sharp implement; from חָרַב [kha-rav] = to parch, to be waste, to lay waste, to make desolate, to be desolate, to be in ruins  blasting winds: שְׁדֵפָה [sheh-dā-phah] = as a feminine noun: a blighted or blasted thing, blighted, blasted. As a masculine noun: blight (used of crops). From שָׁדַף [sha-daph] = to scorch, to blight. The form of שְׁדֵפָה in this verse is both feminine and infinitive (ongoing, i.e. without end).  mildew: יֵרָקוֹן [yā-ra-kōn] = mildew, paleness, lividness; can be applied contextually to plants or people; from יֶרֶק [yeh-rek] = yellowish green 45 All these curses will come on you, pursuing you and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you didn't pay attention to what Adonai your God said, observing his mitzvot and regulations that he gave you. 46 These curses will be on you and your descendants as a sign and a wonder forever. 47 Because you didn't serve Adonai your God with joy and gladness in your heart when you had such an abundance of everything  Proverbs 30:8-9 Keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today, 9 for if I have too much, I might deny you and say, “Who is Adonai?” And if I am poor, I might steal and thus profane the name of my God. (CJB)  Often the judgement for sin is (or at least includes) the natural outworking of the sin itself  God's standard is perfection: 100% obedience to 100% of the laws, ordinances, regulations, statutes, etc., 100% of the time  the Law constantly shows us our desperate need of a Savior / Redeemer  Moreover, we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those living within the framework of the Torah, in order that every mouth may be stoppedx and the whole world be accountable to God. 20 For in His sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are. 21 But now, quite apart from Torah, God's way of making people righteous in His sight has been made clear – although the Torah and the Prophets give their witness to it as well – 22 and it is a righteousness that comes from God, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, 23 since all have sinned and come short of earning God's praise. 24 By God's grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before Him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua. (Rom 3:19-24 CJB, with words that are emphatic and strongly emphatic in the original marked as in the Discovery Bible New Testament))   = perfect tense in the original Greek of this book, meaning “And now still is (an action having lingering results or continuing effects); an action leaving a condition or state of lasting significance or status.” (Discovery Bible New Testament)  x = aorist in the original Greek, meaning “A contemplated fact; actually; indeed; to accomplish; to effectively or successfully bring about; action conceived of as a single whole; a single action.” (Discovery Bible New Testament)  For the promise to Avraham and his seed that he would inherit the world did not come through legalism but through the righteousness that trust produces. 14 For if the heirs are produced by legalism, then trust is made pointless and the promise worthless. 15 For what law brings is punishment. But where there is no law, there is also no violation. (Rom 4:13-15)  Thus, my brothers, you also have been made dead with regard to the Torah through the Messiah's body, so that you may belong to Someone else, namely, the One who has been raised from the dead, in order for us to bearx fruit for God. 5 For when we were living according to our old nature, the passions connected with sins workedxxx through the Torah in our various parts, with the result that we borex fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from this aspect of the Torah, because we have died to that which had us in its clutches,xxx so that we are serving~ in the new way provided by the Spirit and not in the old way of outwardly following the letter of the law. (Rom 7:4-6)  xxx = imperfect: “Happened repeatedly or continously, not just once; customarily happened; action vividly in process; began or tried to happen.” (Discovery Bible New Testament)  ~ = present: “Constantly or repeatedly, customarily; a continuous process or habit.” (Discovery Bible New Testament)  9 So then, those who rely on trusting and being faithful are blessed along with Avraham, who trusted and was faithful. 10 For everyone who depends on legalistic observance of Torah-commands lives under a curse, since it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doingx everything written in the Scroll of the Torah.” 11 Now it is evident that no one comes to be declared righteous by God through legalism, since “The person who is righteous will attain life by trusting and being faithful.” 12 Furthermore, legalism is not based on trusting and being faithful, but on [a misuse of] the text that says, “Anyone who does these things will attain life through them.” 13 The Messiah redeemed us from the curse pronounced in the Torah by becoming cursed on our behalf; for the Tanakh says, “Everyone who hangs from a stake comes under a curse.” 14 Yeshua the Messiah did this so that in union with him the Gentiles might receive the blessing announced to Avraham, so that through trusting and being faithful, we might [all] receive what was promised, namely, the Spirit. (Galatians 3:9-14)  For what earns from sin is death; but eternal life is what one receives as a free gift from God, in union with the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord. (Rom 6:23)  What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death? 25a Thanks be to God [, He will]! – through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord! (Rom 7:24-25a) Deuteronomy 29 1 Then Moshe summoned all Isra'el and said to them, “You saw everything Adonai did before you eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his servants and to all his land; 2 the great testings which you saw with your own eyes, and the signs and those great wonders.  all the people 20 years and older when they came out of Egypt perished in the desert (Num. 14:29)  even though these people were young when they left Egypt (and some not yet born), they had seen the LORD's hand on them their whole lives, His protection, His provision, His leading 8 Therefore, observe the words of this covenant and obey them; so that you can make everything you do prosper.  Here on earth we are locked into time and space as we know them, and a veiled understanding of life, though in Yeshua and through Scripture we are allowed glimpses of realty. In other words, to see things from His perspective.  But as the Tanakh says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no one's heart has imagined all the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 10 It is to us, however, that God has revealed these things. How? Through the Spirit. For the Spirit probes all things, even the profoundest depths of God. (1 Cor. 2:9-10)  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 like trees planted by streams – they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, everything they do succeeds. 4 Not so the wicked, who are like chaff driven by the wind. 5 For this reason the wicked won't stand up to the judgment, nor will sinners at the gathering of the righteous. 6 For Adonai watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is doomed. (Psalm 1) Haftarah reading: Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 60 1 Arise, shine [Yerushalayim], for your light has come, and the glory of Adonai has risen over you.  this is generally taken to be addressed to Yerushalayim, (and so the brackets in the Complete Jewish Bible): where the presence of the LORD was manifest on earth  but, the first part of this passage could also be seen as addressing true believers in HaShem, and especially those living in relationship with Yeshua קוּמִי אוֹרִי כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה עָלַיִךְ זָרָח za-rakh al-la-yekh Adonai ūk-vōd o-rāk va ki o-ri ko-mi to rise, to come forth, the break out, to arise, to rise up, to shine; to irradiate (or shoot forth beams) i.e. to rise (as the sun); to appear (as a symptom of a condition) 2nd person feminine singular suffix + preposition עָל = on, upon, over, above; on the ground, according to, on behalf of, concerning, beside, by, on to, toward, to, against [“is” is understood in the Hebrew and added to help the readability in English] the holy name of God [“of” is understood in the Hebrew and added to help the readability in English] וּ = and + כָּבוֹד = honor, glory, splendor, dignity, respect, weight first person feminine singular possessive ending + אוֹר = light i.e. of day, heavenly luminaries, daybreak, dawn, lightening; the light of a lamp, life, prosperity, instruction, of one's face (figuratively); Adonai as Israel's light to go in, to enter, to come, to go, to come in [“is” is understood in the Hebrew and added to help the readability in English] for, that, because the first person singular possessive ending + אוֹר = to be light or to become light, to shine the first person singular possessive ending + קוּמ = to rise, to arise (to become powerful; to come on the scene), to stand (to maintain oneself; to be established; to be confirmed; to endure; to be fixed, valid, proven, and/or fulfilled; to persist; to be set, fixed), to rise up, to stand up 2 For although darkness covers the earth and thick darkness the peoples; on you Adonai will rise; over you will be seen His glory  before Light shines into any life, that person is covered with darkness, dead in their sins (cf. Mt. 4:12-17; Jn. 3:19-21; Eph. 2:1-10; Col. 2:13-14)  Yeshua is the Light (cf. Jn. 1:1-14, 8:12, 9:5; 2 Cor. 4:6) 3 Nations will go toward your light and kings toward your shining splendor.  “will go” or “shall go” from הָלַךְ [ha-lakh] = to go, to walk, to come; to depart, to proceed, to move, to go away; (figuratively) to die, to live, manner of life  there is definite movement, in this case “to your light”  it has been said, “if a man or woman will be on fire for God, the world will watch them burn”  when we have a life-giving relationship with Yeshua, shining with His Light, we become the light of the world (see Mt. 5:14-16) 8 Who are these, flying along like clouds, like doves to their dovecotes?  Dove: stocky seed- or fruits-eating bird with a small head, short legs, and a cooing voice. Doves are generally smaller and more delicate than pigeons, but many kinds have been given the same name (computer on-board dictionary)  dovecote: a shelter with nest holes for domesticated pigeons (computer on-board dictionary)  “Pigeons and doves constitute the bird clade Columbidae, that includes about 310 species. … Pigeons can fly 50–60 miles per hour.” (Wikipedia)  In Genesis 8 Noah sent out the female dove  pairs of animals came aboard the ark; typically doves mate for life  the dove always comes back; to return to their young and mate (life-long friend and walking encyclopedia Roy Groenewald, lately of Turnhout, Belgium)  Israel's swift return from exile is compared to the fast flying doves when returning to their cotes. The doves fly faster to than from the cotes, because on their return flight they bring back food for their young (commentary in the The Soncino Chumash) Some may see Isaiah 60 and think of how Jerusalem was in the days of Solomon, but the prophet lived roughly 300 years after Solomon. This chapter looks to a future time we have not yet seen; most probably in the reign of King Messiah. For instance: 19 No more will the sun be your light by day, nor will moonlight shine on you; instead Adonai will be your light forever and your God your glory. 20 No longer will your sun go down; your moon will no longer wane; for Adonai will be your light forever; your days of mourning will end.  Revelation 21:22-27 I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven's armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb. 23 The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God's Sh'khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, 26 and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. B'rit Hadasha suggested reading: (there are always several) Luke 24:44-53 45 Then he opened their minds, so that they could understand the Tanakh  without the Lord “opening our minds” to the truths of Scripture it might be a “good book” or “interesting” but will never be seen for what it is: the living, active, saving, life-giving, Word of God  Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God – to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is unable to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit. 15 But the person who has the Spirit can evaluate everything, while no one is in a position to evaluate him. 16 For who has known the mind of Adonai? Who will counsel him? [Isa. 40:13] But we have the mind of the Messiah! (1 Cor. 2:14-16) 53 And they spent all their time in the Temple courts, praising God.  After Yeshua's resurrection and ascension, His talmadim “spent all their time in the Temple courts, praising God.”  Luke also wrote the books of Acts, where chapter one backs up to just before Yeshua's ascension and picks up the story there. In verse four Yesuah instructs His talmadim to “wait for what the Father promised, which you heard about from Me. 5 For Yochanan used to immerse people in water; but in a few days, you will be immersed in the Ruach HaKodesh!”  this was fulfilled the very next Shavuot / Pentecost which is recorded in chapter two  many have assumed that Acts 2 took place in the “upper room,” but Scripture refers to “the house”  “the house” was a term of endearment for the House of God  Yeshua referred to the Temple as His Father's house  if Acts 2 took place in the Temple courts, it would explain the connection between Luke 24:53 and Acts 2  it would easily explain how so many could gather to hear Kefa's sermon  how 3,000 could be immersed, since there were hundreds of mikvah in the Temple courts

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Parashah Schedule

To view the current week's reading, view the schedule.

What's a Parashah?

Parashah is a Hebrew word that means portion. 

Synagogues around the world read the same parashah each Shabbat. The Torah is divided into 54 weekly portions so that the whole Torah is read annually. Selections from the Haftarah (Prophets) are also read each week, and in Messianic congregations, selections from the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) are included. Holiday selections are also listed for the Feast Days.

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