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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 1

Genesis 1:1-2:3   -   Isaiah 2:5, 45:17   -   Psalm 1   -   Colossians 1:1-23
 

 

Nisan 1, 5758 / March 28, 1998

Nisan 7, 5761 / March 31, 2001

Nisan 5, 5764 / March 27, 2004

Nisan 5, 5767 / March 24, 2007

Nisan 5, 5770 / March 20, 2010

Nisan 5, 5773 / March 16, 2013

Nisan 1, 5776 / April  9, 2016

 

Bereshit / In the Beginning    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

Harmony of the Four Readings

 

Genesis 1:1-2:3  “Because of the things called ‘first,’ Elohim created the heavens and the earth . . .

 

Isaiah 42:5 "Thus says El-Yahweh, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; He that gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: . . . "

 

Psalm 1 "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the manner of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the torah of Yahweh, and in His torah he meditates day and night."

 

Colossians 1:1-23 "For by Him (Yeshua) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."

 

The First Word

 

Bereshit is the first word of the Torah, and the title of this reading. Be-reshit, can literally mean “In-beginning or “Because-of-first.” While we may be accustomed to the translation “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” another proper translation would be “Because of the things called ‘first,’ Elohim created the heavens and the earth.

 

From this we understand that because of firstfruits, the heavens and earth were created. If it were not for those people (firstfruits – James 1:18) chosen to bear God’s name, the earth would not exist. If it were not for God’s people giving their first and best (firstfruits) for His service, the earth would not exist. (Note that this means tithing preceded and supercedes both Levites and Abraham.) And ultimately, if it were not for Messiah (firstfruits – 1 Cor 15:20), the heavens and earth would not exist; Paul apparently believed this, saying, “all things were created . . . for Him” -- Colossians 1:16.

 

This is a call to lift our eyes to God. We need to continually recognize all things as being from Him, and hence bless God for each thing He allows us to use. We should joyfully give priority to service for His kingdom. This is the basis for creation. This is the meaning of loving God with all of our heart, soul, and might, and loving our neighbor – who is created in His image.

 

The first word of the Torah is foundational to the whole Bible!

 

God’s Names

 

Elohim is a name for God representing Him as judge. He judged His creation as “very good.” In this creation account, only this generic term for God – “Elohim” – is used. From the next sentence (Genesis 2:4), God’s unique, descriptive, memorial name is added – “Yahweh Elohim.” With the added name, His attribute of Gracious One is represented, as His dealings with man are brought into fuller consideration.

 

Creation Week

 

The sages say, “End of deed, first in thought.” Before a builder starts a foundation or forms walls, he has a final house plan in mind. God spent six days creating the heavens and the earth, with the end deed being the Sabbath; but the Sabbath was the original goal, the first in thought.

 

Here we see that God established a week as seven days, and a day as “evening and morning” – sunset to sunset.

 

Light & Dark

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Sun & Moon

 

 

 

 

Water & Air

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Fish & Birds

 

 

 

 

Land & Veg

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Beast & Man

 

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Rest

 

In the six days of creation, a pairing may be seen. On day one, God created light and darkness; on the fourth day, He set in place the sun and moon to control the light and darkness. On the second day, God separated the waters of the oceans from the waters above the earth, placing air between; on the fifth day, He placed fish in the oceans and birds in the air. On the third day God made dry land appear, and placed vegetation within it; on the sixth day, He placed beasts on the dry land, and finally man to tend the Garden.

 

But the Sabbath relates to the goal before day one of creation, as a kind of firstfruit. Sabbath is not a day for us to make-up for physical rest lost during our too-busy workweek; Sabbath is to be the goal of our workweek! We are to work six days for our sustenance in order to spend the Sabbath worshipping God.

 

Only the seventh day has no mention of evening and morning. It is called The Day of Eternity; it partakes of God’s timelessness. It is the day when Messiah makes it His dwellingplace.

 

God brought forth animals “from the earth,” but He “formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life.” Therefore, animals are seen as from the earth, but man as a combination of earthly and heavenly. Solomon refers to “the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth” – Ecclesiastes 3:21.

 

Earth’s Millennial Week

 

God is “declaring the end from the beginning” – Isaiah 46:10. From the beginning – six days of creation and a Sabbath, we see the end of this world prophetically declared – six millenniums and the thousand-year reign of Messiah. It is written, “one day is with Yahweh as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” referring specifically to the end of this world – see 2 Peter 3:8.

 

Light & Dark

 

Water & Air

Land & Veg

Moon & Sun

Fish & Birds

Beast & Man

Sabbath

Good & Evil

 

Great Flood

Canaan

David &

 Yeshua

Beast &        .

Son of Man

Millennium

 

On day one of creation, God differentiated between light and darkness. In the first millennial day, Adam’s day, man learned to differentiate good and evil. God told Adam that he would die the day he ate of the fruit of knowledge; he died before the end of his first millennial day, at age 930 – Genesis 5:4.

 

On the second day of creation, God separated the waters under the firmament from those above. In the second millennial day, Noah’s day, God “opened the fountains of the deep” and “the windows of heaven” and brought the waters back together to flood the earth, then separated them again forever. Noah lived most of the second millennium (from AM 1056 - 2006, 950 years – Genesis 9:29). The great flood was in the 600th year of Noah’s life, AM 1656.

 

Only upon completion of the second day did God not say that it was good. The sages say that the angels were created on this day.

 

On the third day of creation, God brought forth dry land and vegetation. In the third millennial day, Abraham’s day, God gave His people the land of Canaan with bountiful vegetation. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses were of this day.

 

On the fourth day of creation, God set the sun and moon in their places. The moon is seen by the sages as a symbol of Messiah. The fourth millennial day is the day of Messiah. (Messiah means the anointed one; men were anointed to be King of Israel, Priest of the Most High God, or Prophet of Jerusalem.) David was the forerunner Messiah King at the beginning of this day (shortly after AM 3000), and Yeshua came as the ultimate Messiah King, Priest, and Prophet near the end of this day (before AM 4000).

 

Interestingly, the Talmud says that Messiah should have come in the fourth millennium, but because Israel was so sinful, He would not come until the end of the sixth millennium. But He did come in the fourth, and He will also come in the end of the sixth! (This is not to imply a certain year.)

 

The fifth and sixth millennial days are referred to as the last days – 2 Peter 3:3. On the sixth day, after creating beasts, God said, “Ki Tov” – it is good / finished. Then He created man. When everything was finished, God said, “Tov M’ode” – very good. It all worked together as planned.

 

1st Adam

 

 

2nd Adam

 

 

 

 

Flood

 

 

Nations

 

 

 

 

Canaan

 

 

Land Restored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace

 

Again, a pairing of the days may be seen. On millennial day one, Adam was brought forth; on the fourth millennial day, Yeshua – the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) was brought forth. On the second day, a flood took idolatrous men from the earth; on the fifth day, the nations (Biblically symbolized as waters – Revelation 17:15) took idolatrous Israel from Canaan. On the third day, God gave His people Canaan land; on this sixth millennial day, they are being restored to that land.

 

The goal, the millennial Great Sabbath, is approaching; we are told to labor to enter into this Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:11), just as we are to labor six days in order to worship on the weekly Sabbath. While the sacrifice of Yeshua settles our redemption, our faithfulness in torah-observance bears on our position in the millennial Sabbath (Matthew 25:21, 23).

 

The word Shabbat (Sabbath) is also shevet (dwelling): it is the time when Emmanuel (God with us) will dwell on earth.

 

For Us

                                                                           

1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Messiah. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” 1 Corinthians 10:1-11.

 

Consider what millions of people have suffered – because of our needed instruction, because we are called “first”. At great cost the way has been portrayed to us.

 

If we believe that evolution and man are in control, then we are denying God: we are making ourselves to be gods. We must believe that God is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Readings:

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

B’reshit bara Elohim et ha-sh’maim v-et ha-eretz

 

Reader 1* Amen 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

 

Reader 2* Amen 6 Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

 

Reader 3* Amen 9 Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

 

Reader 4* Amen 14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

 

Reader 5* Amen 20 Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." 21 And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

 

Reader 6* Amen 24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so. 31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

 

Reader 7* Amen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

 

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

______________________

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

Isaiah 42

Reader 8* Amen 5 Thus says El Yahweh, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk in it, 6 "I am Yahweh, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, 7 to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. 8 "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.

 

Psalm 1 (to be sung)

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of Yahweh, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

Colossians 1:1-23

Reader 9* Amen 1 Paul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brethren in Messiah who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Messiah Yeshua and the love which you have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Messiah on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

 

Reader 10* Amen 9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Reader 11* Amen 15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

 

Reader 12* Amen 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-- 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."

 


© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)