Blog Scripture Readings for 2-1 Through 2-7-15

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Yitro — Exodus 18:1 – 20:23 (26)*
Haftarah — Isaiah 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5-6 (6-7)*
Prophets — 1 Kings 13:1 – 19:21
Writings — Psalms 117:1 – 119:160
Testimony — Luke 18:18 – 21:38

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day. One each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

* Verse numbers in parenthesis refer to the verse number in Christian Bibles when it differs from the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 2/1 through 2/7/15.

 

Proof from an Insider of the Media Bias Against Israel

From http://honestreporting.com

Must Read: Matti Friedman on the Media’s Obsession with Israel

Matti Friedman, the former Jerusalem bureau reporter for the Associated Press, has made significant waves since publishing two articles in Tabletmagazine and The Atlantic where he exposed the anti-Israel media bias he saw for himself from the inside.

With permission, we are republishing a speech that he gave to the BICOM dinner in London on January 26. It is well worth the read.

One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbor, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their thirties – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – Remove your belt! Lift up your shirt! The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognize this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 percent of the world’s surface become the focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylized symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers.

 

Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

Matti Friedman

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem (to continue reading http://honestreporting.com/must-read-matti-friedman-on-the-medias-obsession-with-israel/)

 

The Parable of Lazarus and Rich Man Understood Hebraically

Luke 16:19–31, The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. This, and the other parables of Yeshua, are known as aggadah (also haggadah)—a very popular literary style during the second temple period whereby Jewish sages taught moralistic principles to their pupils. It was similar to our modern Aesop’s fables. This genre of literature included ethical and moral teaching, theological speculation, legends, folklore, poetry, prayers, historical information, interpreting of dreams, and expressions of messianic faith and longings. Aggadic literature, though instructive, did not contain legally binding theological and doctrinal dictums. Aggadic literarture is to be contrasted with the legally binding halachic literature of the same period. Aggadic literature made use of parable, satire, metaphor, personification, and poetry. Aggadah was not systematic philosophy, but dealt in its own way with basic theological and moral problems. The purpose of aggadic literature was not to convey point-by-point doctrinal truths, but to teach a moral. Most Christian teachers have used the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man as a theological basis for the doctrine of the immortality of the soul (an exegetical leap that cannot be substantiated when one understands the nature of aggadic literature) and have missed the true meaning of Yeshua’s teaching. He is not making a theologically statement or halachic declaration on the state of the dead. What then is the point of his teaching?

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Context is vital to understanding this parable properly, and all of the Scriptures, for that matter. Prior to this parable, Yeshua gives the Parable of the Unjust Steward that the attendant Pharisees interpreted as a rebuke directed at them (verse 14). Then Yeshua rebuked those who divorce their wives for the purpose of marrying another women. According to Yeshua, when a man does this, it is tantamount to adultery. Again, this was an affront against the Jewish religious system of the day. As Messianic author and teacher Joseph Dombek Sr. has observed, “[T]he Jews should have recognized that [Yeshua] was the Messiah, and that he represented the bridegroom for the coming kingdom. The Jews did not acknowledge him as the Messiah. They rejected his Father’s Word and committed spiritual adultery by setting up their own traditions and customs” (Mark 7:6–9). Because of their power and influence, the Pharisees had control of all aspects of the Jewish religion.

This parable is a continuation of Yeshua’s rebuke of the Pharisees, scribes and Continue reading

 

Sabbath Instructions

Exodus 16:4–30, The Sabbath. This chapter chronicles YHVH’s efforts to literally force an irreverent, unruly and disobedient nation to keep the seventh day Sabbath. He did so in a most poignant way — through food and hunger. It’s as if he were instructing the stiff-necked and rebellious Israelites that if they refused to follow his Sabbath instructions, they would literally go hungry. “If you don’t obey me, you don’t eat.” This shows the gravity the Creator places on the Sabbath command. Yet despite these clear instructions, most in the mainstream church today, like the rebellious children of Israel of old, refuse to obey YHVH’s clear instructions regarding the Sabbath. Instead, they prefer to believe the doctrines of men proffered to them by their spiritual leaders that purport to invalidate the Sabbath command. Paul’s sage observation in Romans 8:7 describes the situation perfectly: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the [Torah] law of Elohim, neither indeed can be.” In our day, the same question can still asked of followers of Yeshua that YHVH asked of the Israelites at that time, “How long do you reuse to keep my commandments and my laws?” (Exod 16:28).

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This chapter is almost entirely dedicated to instructions pertaining to preparing for the Sabbath. This shows the priority that YHVH places on Sabbath observance for his people. Also note that these instructions are given many weeks before the giving of the Torah (law of Moses) at Mount Sinai. This is but one of many examples of YHVH revealing key aspects of his Torah-law before he gave it the Israelites in one legal corpus at Mount Sinai.

Exodus 16:4, On the sixth day…prepare. (Also note verse 23.) The sixth day of the week was to be a day of preparation for the Sabbath, so that the Sabbath rest could be complete allowing for man to fully focus on being spiritually edified in the presence of his Creator without the distractions of food preparation and the other mundane duties of life.

Exodus 16:29, Let every man remain. The essential point of this prohibition is to not go out and gather manna on the Sabbath, but to rest on this day from the routine work of supporting one’s family. This command didn’t prohibit the Israelites from gathering together on the Sabbath for purposes of teaching, worship, prayer, fellowship or spiritual edification or else YHVH’s command for the Israelites to gather together on the Sabbath for a “holy convocation” (Lev 23:2) would be contradictory. Were this command merely an injunction to not leave one’s dwelling place on the Sabbath, then Yeshua and the apostles visiting synagogues on the Sabbath would have been a violation of this Torah command. Isaiah 58:13 could be viewed as the corollary passage to Exodus 16:29. There YHVH instructs his people not to profane the Sabbath by doing their own pleasure, not doing their own ways, and not speaking their own words on this day. Instead, it is a holy day to YHVH and a day to honor him.

 

The Second Exodus…What’s That?

Understanding the Second Exodus

The concept of the Messianic Age in Hebraic thought involves an understanding of the first and final redemptions, which are two separate events. The first redemption or first exodus occurred when the Israelites obeyed the Word of Elohim and placed the blood of the lamb on the door posts of their homes resulting in YHVH delivering them out of Egypt. It is understood by redeemed believers that Israel’s exodus from Egypt was prototypical of the one’s placing their faith in Yeshua (the Lamb of Elohim) who redeems them from sin’s death grip through his shed blood at the cross, and then leads them out of their spiritual Egypt of sin and worldliness toward the promised land of a new spiritual life in Messiah Yeshua.

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By contrast, the final redemption or second exodus is a series of events that will occur at the end of the age prior to the return of Messiah Yeshua at the beginning of the Messianic Age (or Millennium).

For those who have placed saving faith in Yeshua the Messiah, at the final redemption, the redeemed believers will receive their spiritual or glorified bodies at the resurrection of the dead, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua. After that, they will rule and reign with Yeshua for a thousand years during the Messianic Age.

Now let’s explore some of the biblical prophecies that pertain to the second exodus. This will yield us more clues Continue reading

 

Blog Scripture Readings for 1-25 through 1-31-15

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Beshalach — Exodus 13:17 – 17:16
Haftarah — Judges 4:4 – 5:31
Prophets — 1 Kings 6:1 – 12:33
Writings — Psalms 108:1 – 116:19
Testimony — Luke 14:1 – 18:17

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day. One each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 1/25 through 1/31/15.

 

New Video: Moses, Aaron & the Two Witnesses of Revelation

In this video we explore the prophetic parallels between Moses and Aaron’s confrontation with Pharaoh and the confrontation of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 with the end times Babylon the Great new world order system as a presucrsor to the second exodus.