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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 40

Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27  -  Amos 9:7-15, Ezekiel 20:1-49, Isaiah 4:2-6  -  Psalm 84 -  Matthew 18:1-35
 

Tevet 9, 5763 / Dec 14, 2002

Tevet 7, 5766 / Jan   7, 2006

Tevet 7, 5769 / Jan   3, 2009

Tevet 5, 5772 / Dec 31, 2011

Tevet 5, 5775 / Dec 27, 2014

Tevet 5, 5778 / Dec 23, 2017

 

K'doshim / You Shall Be Holy    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

This portion, on holiness, opens up deeper meanings of the Ten Commandments. For example, we are instructed not only to remember the seventh-day Sabbath, but to observe all Sabbaths (including Sabbatical years) in a respectful manner. Also, we are instructed not only against worshipping idols, but to give them no credence whatsoever.

 

Chapter 20 establishes penalties for violations of instructions from last week’s portion. It also instructs us to make a distinction between the clean and the unclean: we are to be holy.

 

First Commandment [I am Yahweh your God]

(Lev 19:2) “You shall be holy; for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.” We are in the midst of several lessons detailing this subject. Our God is not like the gods of other peoples, and we are not to be like other peoples. We are to separate ourselves from the world’s ways, by refraining from not only what is expressly forbidden, but from overindulgence in what is permitted. Our lives are to be dedicated to the service of Yahweh – service according to His instruction (Torah). We were created and redeemed to fulfill His design and purposes.

 

Second Commandment [Have no other gods]

Lev 20:2-5) The penalty is death by stoning for sacrificing children to false gods (abortion for hedonistic convenience?). If the judges do not act against the offender, then God says He will cut off both the offender and his family.

 

Third Commandment [Don’t take Name in vain]

(Lev 19:11-12) We are to be honest in our speech, and especially never use God’s name to affirm a falsehood. This forbids some very common errors among professing Christians: presumptuous statements that God has shown us some answer or some hidden actions of others, and attributing our intuition to the Holy Spirit – believing what seems right.  

 

Fourth Commandment [Keep Sabbath holy]

(Lev19:3b) “And you shall keep My Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.” We should all learn the Scriptures that explain the Fourth Commandment, how to keep the Sabbath holy.

1.             The day. It is, specifically, the seventh day of the week, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset (Lev 23:32). We are to “distinguish” (Eze 20:20) this day from other days. By marking out the beginning and end of the day, we do not dishonor God by sliding past the starting time, or by being lax about when we resume our usual activities. This “distinguishing” is traditionally done by lighting candles before (Erev Shabbat) and after Sabbath (Havdallah), because lighting fires is specifically prohibited on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3). This day, with its distinguishing acts, is an historic memorial of creation (Ex 20:11), and a prophetic symbol of the world to come (Isa 66:23).

2.             The negative. “Rest” means to put aside our normal work (Deu 5:14). We are not to even speak our own words (Isa 58:13-14). We are not to travel (Ex 16:29), transport items (Jer 17:21-22), or buy and sell (Neh 10:31, 13:15-18). Thus, it is not a day for performing duties of one’s occupation (Ex 16:26), for sports or play, or for going on vacation trips. ”Rest” does not mean catching up on sleep lost to over busyness of other days: that is robbing God, and robbing oneself of spiritual blessing.

3.             The positive. It is a day to set aside for the worship of our creator and redeemer. This does not mean going to the beach to enjoy God’s creation. We are to have a public assembly for worship (Lev 23:3), and God established an order for its conduct. We should visit the sick and incarcerated to bring them spiritual uplift. We should provide for the immediate needs of the poor and infirm: longer term needs should be taken care of on another day.

We should fulfill commandments that take precedence. One may travel “a Sabbath Day’s journey” – to the local house of worship. One may perform duties of his occupation if that is serving in the worship service (such as priestly duties), caring for children, the aged, or the infirm, or serving in emergency occupations such as fire, police, and military. Rest is not meant to stop children from play – harshness is not the spirit of the day.

 

Fifth Commandment [Honor parents]

(Lev 19:3a) “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father”. As we understand that each of the Ten Commandments is detailed by several other instructions, this Fifth Commandment calls up the group of instructions on respecting authority under God. Cursing father or mother is a capital offense (Lev 20:9). Servants are to be respectful of their masters (1 Pet 2:18). We are not to speak evil of those whom God has appointed to make halachic rulings – “rulers” (Exodus 22:28 & Acts 23:5). We are to be in subjection to our government (Rom 13:1-8).

 

Sixth Commandment [No murder]

                (not addressed here)

 

Seventh Commandment [No adultery]

(Lev 20:10-21) Adultery, homosexual acts, and bestiality are all capital offenses.

 

Eighth Commandment [No stealing]

While this may basically refer to kidnapping, it covers actions that diminish the life of another.

(Lev 19:13) We are to pay our debts in a timely manner. We should not sign for credit charges when we haven’t the ability to promptly pay the debt. We may not delay payment of wages to a hired worker.

(Lev 19:35-36) We are to be just in our dealings, using honest and fair measurements and prices in trade.

 

Ninth Commandment [No false witness]

While this may primarily apply to testimony before the judges, it can cover any kind of false testimony.

(Lev 19:14) We must be respectful of others, even when they wouldn’t know the difference. We are not free to curse a deaf person, feigning innocence because he can’t hear us. We may not put an obstacle in the path of a blind person, feigning innocence because he cannot see us. This, obviously, is loving our neighbor as ourselves.

 

(Lev 19:17-18) We are required to reprove our neighbor when we see him sin, but we may not hate him, or slander him (this includes defaming true statements), or take vengeance, or even bear a grudge. Going beyond the reproof makes us sinners, except, against certain types of sin, we are required to take testimony before judges.

(Matthew 18:15-17) “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the (judges of the) church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (idolater) and a tax-gatherer.”

 

(Matthew 18:32-35) We are to forgive, as we are forgiven.

"Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?' And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

 

Tenth Commandment [No coveting]

This commandment brings the others to a deeper level: not only the outward act, but the inward thought; not only the physical, but also the spiritual. Murder and the hatred behind it are both sin. Adultery and the lust behind it are both sin. Stealing and the covetousness behind it are both sin. Lying and the dishonest motivation behind iot are both sin.

 

However, this should not be misconstrued to mean that the thought is equally as evil as the action! We can repent and overcome hatred through God’s love, but murder requires death penalty and God requires that it be unforgivable in the human court. We can repent and overcome desires for things not ours through faith in God’s provision, but stealing hurts others and God requires restitution – with penalties added (sin offerings and additions to the restitution).  Yeshua’s discourse (Matthew 5) expounded prior Torah instruction: He was not giving new meanings to the commandments.

 

Amos 9:

God gave His instruction to Israel. Because they profaned Him, he vowed to destroy them, but not completely eradicate them. God will save a remnant that will enjoy the fulfillment of a restored earth. The harvests will be so bountiful that the grapes will be ready for making into juice before anyone has planted.

 

Ezekiel 20:

When we arrive there, “Then you will know that I am Yahweh when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds.”

 

Isaiah 4:

(V.2-3) “In that day the Branch of Yahweh will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.”

 

Psalm 84:

(V.1-2, 11-12) How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Yahweh of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of Yahweh; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. . . . Yahweh gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Yahweh of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!

 

Matthew 18:

(V.12-14) “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. Thus it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”


 

Sabbath Verses  (Lesson Y2-40)

 

Lev 23:32  "It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest to you, . . .  from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath."

 

Eze 20:20  'And sanctify (separate from other days) My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God.'

 

Ex 35:3  "You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day."

 

Ex 20:11  "For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Isa 66:23  "And from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me," says Yahweh.

 

Deu 5:13-14  'Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

 

Isa 58:13-14  "If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in Yahweh, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken."

 

Ex 16:29  "See, Yahweh has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."

 

Jer 17:21-22  'Thus says Yahweh, "Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the Sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. And you shall not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers.’

 

Neh 10:31  As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

       13:15-18  In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food. Also men of Tyre were living there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the Sabbath, even in Jerusalem. Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers do the same so that our God brought on us, and on this city, all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath."

 

Ex 16:26  "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none."

 

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."

 

Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27

Reader 1 Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I Yahweh your God am holy. 3 'Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God. 4 'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am Yahweh your God. 5 'Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 'It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and the next day; but what remains until the third day shall be burned with fire. 7 'So if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an offense; it will not be accepted. 8 'Everyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Reader 2 Amen. 9 'Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 'Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am Yahweh your God. 11 'You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 'You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am Yahweh. 13 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. 14 'You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am Yahweh. 15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16 'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am Yahweh. 17 'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.

Reader 3Amen. 19 'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together. 20 'Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free. 21 'He shall bring his guilt offering to Yahweh to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22 'The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him. 23 'When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to Yahweh. 25 'In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am Yahweh your God.

Reader 4Amen. 26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 'You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am Yahweh. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am Yahweh. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God. 32 'You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am Yahweh. 33 'When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. 35 'You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36 'You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 37 'You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am Yahweh.'"

Reader 5Amen. 20:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "You shall also say to the sons of Israel: 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 'I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. 4 'If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, 5 then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech. 6 'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. 7 'You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am Yahweh your God. 8 'You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am Yahweh who sanctifies you. 9 'If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.

Reader 6Amen. 10 'If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 'If there is a man who lies with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 12 'If there is a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 13 'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 14 'If there is a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, so that there will be no immorality in your midst. 15 'If there is a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal. 16 'If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 17 'If there is a man who takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the sons of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness; he bears his guilt.

Reader 7Amen. 18 'If there is a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 'You shall also not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister, for such a one has made naked his blood relative; they will bear their guilt. 20 'If there is a man who lies with his uncle's wife he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they will bear their sin. They will die childless. 21 'If there is a man who takes his brother's wife, it is abhorrent; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They will be childless. 22 'You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. 23 'Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them. 24 'Hence I have said to you, "You are to possess their land, and I Myself will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 'You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. 26 'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I Yahweh am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. 27 'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"

 

"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."

 

Amos 9:7-15

Reader 8 Amen. 7 "Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?" declares Yahweh. "Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? 8 Behold, the eyes of Lord Yahweh are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," Declares Yahweh. 9 "For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground. 10 All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, those who say, 'The calamity will not overtake or confront us.' 11 In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old; 12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name," declares Yahweh who does this. 13 "Behold, days are coming," declares Yahweh, "when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills will be dissolved. 14 Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them," Says Yahweh your God.

 

Ezekiel 20:1-49

Reader 9 Amen. 1 Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh, and sat before me. 2 And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 3 "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live," declares Lord Yahweh, "I will not be inquired of by you."' 4 Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? Make them know the abominations of their fathers; 5 and say to them, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God, 6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7 I said to them, 'Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.' 8 But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

Reader 10 Amen. 9 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. 12 Also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My Sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols. 17 Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness.

Reader 11 Amen. 18 I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am Yahweh your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. 20 Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God.' 21 But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My Sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers. 25 I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am Yahweh."'

Reader 12 Amen. 27 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me. 28 When I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah to this day."' 30 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things? 31 When you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares Lord Yahweh, "I will not be inquired of by you. 32 What comes into your mind will not come about, when you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, serving wood and stone.' 33 As I live," declares Lord Yahweh, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you," declares Lord Yahweh. 37 "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am Yahweh.

Reader 13 Amen. 39 As for you, O house of Israel," thus says Lord Yahweh, "Go, serve everyone his idols; but later you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel," declares Lord Yahweh, "there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I will accept them and there I will seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. 41 As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers. 43 There you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done. 44 Then you will know that I am Yahweh when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel," declares Lord Yahweh.'" 45 Now the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 46 "Son of man, set your face toward Teman, and speak out against the south and prophesy against the forest land of the Negev, 47 and say to the forest of the Negev, 'Hear the word of Yahweh: thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it. 48 All flesh will see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched."'" 49 Then I said, "Ah Lord Yahweh! They are saying of me, 'Is he not just speaking parables?'"

 

Isaiah 4:2-6

Reader 14 Amen. 2 In that day the Branch of Yahweh will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. 3 It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, 5 then Yahweh will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. 6 There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.

 

Psalm 84    (To be sung.)    For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Yahweh of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of Yahweh; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O Yahweh of hosts, my King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah. 5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; the early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Yahweh God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. 9 Behold our shield, O God, and look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For Yahweh God is a sun and shield; Yahweh gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Yahweh of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

 

Matthew 18:1-35

Reader 15 Amen. 1 At that time the disciples came to Yeshua and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. 9 If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell. 10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Reader 16 Amen. 12 What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. 15 If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

Reader 17 Amen. 21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Yeshua said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

 

"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)