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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 39

Leviticus 18:1-30   -   Jeremiah 10:2-21   -   Psalm 83  -   1 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:10
 

 

Tevet    2, 5763 / Dec   7, 2002

Kislev 30, 5766 / Dec 31, 2005

Kislev 30, 5769 / Dec 27, 2008

Kislev 28, 5772 / Dec 24, 2011

Kislev 28, 5775 / Dec 20, 2014

Kislev 28, 5778 / Dec 16, 2017 - the fourth day of Hanukkah

 

K'maaseh Eretz / The Practice in the Land    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

We are leaving the subject of Tabernacle / Temple regulations. This is the first chapter of Torah that deals with forbidden sexual relationships.

 

The beginning of this chapter is similar to the giving of the Ten Commandments. Moses, emanating the glow from being with God, speaks in the Name of God, saying, “I am Yahweh your God. . . You are to perform My (mishpatim) judgments and keep My (huqqot) statutes, to live in accord with them”.

 

This is a prophetic picture of the manner of “that prophet” to follow who must be heard – Yeshua, who came in the Name of Yahweh.

18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” – Deuteronomy 18:18-19.

 

Egypt, from where Israel was leaving, and Cannan, where they were going, were among the most decadent places in the world. God promised the land of Canaan to Israel, and would destroy the current inhabitants because of their sin. Israel was forbidden to follow either the practices of the Egyptians or the current Canaanites. God was commanding the establishment of a Holy People in a Holy Land. It was even forbidden (v.3) to make oneself look like the other people or follow their promiscuous practices. This includes that we are not to adopt any practices that are based upon other religions. (Other religions have many practices that are copies or corruptions of God’s regulations, so we must be careful not to think all similarities are based upon these other religions.)

 

V.4 “Keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am Yahweh your God”. Statutes are the commandments of which the reasons are beyond our understanding. They include kashrut (food laws) and ritual defilement. We are taught here that it is not for us to make personal decisions on such matters – which would make us our own gods. The Hebrew word huqqot (statutes) comes from the root huq, to engrave: many commentators have noted that this means God’s statutes are permanently engraved, as in stone.

 

God will ultimately establish a Holy People in a Holy Land. It will be through Yeshua. It will be by writing His law on their hearts, to be kept perfectly and whole heartedly. All sinners will be destroyed.

 

In the world today, evolution is the favorite replacement for God. If we just evolved, then let us eat, drink, and be merry. Let us seek all the pleasure we can find, for that is all there is to life, and then we die. We go back to the primordial soup, and perhaps in a few billion years we will evolve into something greater.

 

Unplanned children that complicate our pleasure, and the handicapped, and the elderly, can be disposed of, because there is no quality of life for them, and that is all that matters. (That is really an excuse, because most of them would like to live: but to hedonists, they are a bother.)

 

Long ago, God said (in effect) to a world of such people, “OK, you like primordial soup, I’ll give you soup,” and he opened up the hot-springs of the earth, along with the clouds above, and made them soup. Now, for those who will not learn from their lesson, there awaits a roasting in fire.

 

A much-talked-about subject today is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” What good people? There has only been one good person to whom bad things happened, and we all know why. Our normal life span has been changed from eternal, to a thousand years, to seventy years – not because we are good people. Now, aren’t you joyful that you came out to hear how bad you are?

 

So, what is the point? Paul makes the point: God has included all as disobedient, that He might show His mercy (Romans 11:32); “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” – Titus 3:5.

 

(Jeremiah 10:2-3) “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; for the customs of the peoples are delusion.’ ”

(V.21) “The shepherds have become stupid and have not sought Yahweh; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.”

 

(Psalm 83:1) “O God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. 2 For, behold, Thine enemies make an uproar; and those who hate Thee have exalted themselves.”

 

These are the forbidden relationships enumerated in today’s Torah portion: (Verse 6 indicates (by the plural) that it applies to both men and women.)

mother or step-mother (even after death of father),

sister or half-sister,

aunt (even if half-sister of father, or uncle’s wife, even after death of uncle),

daughter-in-law,

sister-in-law,

wife’s sister – while your wife is alive (even if divorced from her),

and a neighbor’s wife.

Also forbidden are homosexuality and bestiality, and offering one’s children to false gods.

(1 Corinthians 5:1-2) “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles . . . . And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst.”

(V.9-11) “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and in the Spirit of our God.”

 

Today it is popular to accept all religions as equal – all are falsely said to worship the same god. Laws and customs are being changed to accept fornication and homosexuality – we exalt open practitioners to highest offices. Dishonesty is largely accepted and even expected – the love of power and money rules.

 

But, if we are washed and made holy instruments for God, led of His Spirit, then we walk a different path, growing in understanding of Gods instruction. In times past we were Gentiles who walked according to the desires of the flesh; now we walk in the light, if so be that we are redeemed.

 

(1 John 2:4-6) “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.’ ”

 

The member of the congregation who is blatantly defying God’s instruction is to be excommunicated. The purposes are to bring repentance, and to show others the seriousness of such actions. This action is not to be taken by the authority of an individual who carries some title, but by a duly chosen bench of judges, after entertaining proper witness.

_____________

 

Leviticus 18:7 states that the nakedness of one’s father refers to one’s mother.

“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness.”

This is taken to explain Genesis 9:22.

 

Ham came out of a society so corrupt that God destroyed the earth with a flood. Afterwards, he occasioned upon his father and mother, in their tent, in a drunken, unclothed state. He took advantage of the situation to commit incest with his mother. For this he and his descendants were condemned to servitude.

 

Like calling all religions equal, we try to call other groupings equal, such as racial and gender groups. Various groups do not commit crimes in the same percentages, nor do they major in the same types of offenses. Inequality should not be equated with superiority / inferiority, and just treatment does not always mean equal treatment.

_________________

 

We are to learn just judgment. We are to learn to love our neighbor, who is created in the image of God. We are to seek the welfare and prosperity of others, not our prosperity at their expense.

 

And, we are to be holy, as God is holy: we are to be set apart for His service, to be a light to the world. We are to seek to bring others up to God’s standard of holiness. We are not to accept the world’s standards. Our young people do not need to dress like the world, as advertisements for sex. Money should not be our major goal in life, as it is for much of our world. We have good reason to be ‘different’.

 

Yeshua came to be our Priest, making atonements for our sins. He came to be our Prophet, the light of the world, to teach us Torah ways. He is coming to be our King, if we have accepted His rule in our lives.

 

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."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'I am Yahweh your God. 3 'You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 4 'You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am Yahweh your God. 5 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am Yahweh.

Reader 2Amen. 6 'None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am Yahweh. 7 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness. 8 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.

Reader 3Amen. 9 'The nakedness of your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 10 'The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. 11 'The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

Reader 4Amen. 12 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is your father's blood relative. 13 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, for she is your mother's blood relative. 14 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt. 15 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

Reader 5Amen. 16 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. 17 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness. 18 'And you shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.

Reader 6Amen. 19 'Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity. 20 'And you shall not have intercourse with your neighbor's wife, to be defiled with her. 21 'Neither shall you give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am Yahweh. 22 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 'Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.

Reader 7Amen. 24 'Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 'For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 'But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 'For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 'Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am Yahweh your God.'"

"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."

 

Jeremiah 10:2-21

Reader 8Amen. 2 Thus says Yahweh, "Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 "They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter. 5 "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good." 6 There is none like You, O Yahweh; You are great, and great is Your name in might. 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.

Reader 9Amen. 8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish in their discipline of delusion-- their idol is wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; violet and purple are their clothing; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But Yahweh is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens." 12 It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish.

Reader 10Amen. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for the Maker of all is He, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; Yahweh of hosts is His name. 17 Pick up your bundle from the ground, you who dwell under siege! 18 For thus says Yahweh, "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will cause them distress, that they may be found." 19 Woe is me, because of my injury! My wound is incurable. But I said, "Truly this is a sickness, and I must bear it." 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my ropes are broken; my sons have gone from me and are no more. There is no one to stretch out my tent again or to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought Yahweh; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.

 

Psalm 83    (To be sung.)    A Song, a Psalm of Asaph.

1 O God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. 2 For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. 3 They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. 4 They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." 5 For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a covenant: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; they have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. 9 Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon, 10 Who were destroyed at En-dor, who became as dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb and all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 Who said, "Let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God." 13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. 14 Like fire that burns the forest and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, 15 So pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm. 16 Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek Your name, O Yahweh. 17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, 18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.

 

1 Corinthians 5:1 – 6:10

Reader 11Amen. 5:1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Yeshua, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Yeshua, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Yeshua.

Reader 12Amen. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

Reader 13Amen. 6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

"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."

 


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)