A Comment on My Commentary

As some of you have noticed, this Bible reading season, I am focusing my Bible commentary notes on the two sections of the Bible that I have previously overlooked on this blog: The Writings and the Prophets. In the past, I have focused primarily on the the Torah and the Testimony of Yeshua (NT). For those of you who still desire to read my thousands of blog posts on these sections of the Bible, I invite to search out these you Scriptures them out by book or by topic on the search engine on this blog’s main page.

For the Writings and Prophets sections of Scripture, I have many commentary notes that I have not shared publicly, and am also in the process of writing more commentary as we go along.

So stay tuned…

 

Natan’s Commentary on Joshua 22 to 24

Joshua 22

Joshua 22:24, For fear. The eastern tribes of Israel constructed the altars along the banks of the Jordan River out of a fear of Elohim, and not because of idolatry. If everything that we do is based on our reverential as well as our dread fear for Elohim (these are the two aspects of the true biblical fear of Elohim), then we will be less likely to commit sin, that is, to stray from his commanded ways. This is because, as the Scripture elsewhere teaches us, the fear of Elohim is basis or beginning of both wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is the revelation of YHVH’s divinely revealed Truth, and wisdom is the proper and use and application of that knowledge in our daily life.

Joshua 23

Joshua 23:7, Make mention. Here Joshua forbids the mention of the names of pagan deities by the Israelites, yet, ironically, the translators of the Bible, in the same verse, mention two names that were applied to pagan deities long before being used in reference to the Elohim of the Bible. They are: Lord and God.

Joshua 23:10, One man of you shall chase a thousand. See notes at Lev 26:8.

Joshua 23:12, Make marriages with them. In the Torah, and elsewhere in Scripture, we find many such warnings against the saints intermarrying with unbelievers. For example, Paul warns the saints in Corinth (and us), “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Messiah with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? For you are the temple of the living Elohim. As Elohim has said: ‘I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR Elohim, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.’ Therefore ‘COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU,”’ (2 Cor 6:15–17). In this present generation of general lukewarmness and a Laodicean attitude among most Christians, where a watered down gospel is being preached, coziness with the world is now acceptable. The problem is that in a marriage situation, being unequally yoked with an unbeliever, or even being married to someone who is not as zealous as you are can result in untold friction and conflict in a marriage—something that a wise person will avoid at all cost. The continual bad influences of an ungodly spouse may even corrupt the righteous spouse and cause them eventually to fall away spiritually. As Paul warned elsewhere, “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits,” (1 Cor 15:33). 

Joshua 24

Joshua 24:15, As for me and my house. This is one of the most popular verses in the Bible, and many people have posted this passage from Joshua on placards near the doors to their houses. But what does it mean to serve YHVH Elohim? Many people claim Yeshua (Jesus) as their Savior, but when it comes to him being their Master (or Lord), well, that is another thing. To a large degree, many if not most Christians are still the lord of their own lives serving themselves. If the Bible (the Word of Elohim of whom Yeshua became the Living Word) commands them to do this or that, they filter it through their own thinking (as Adam and Eve did when tempted to disobey Elohim and eat of the forbidden fruit, thus committing the first sin), and they decide whether they want to obey or not. In many cases, they refuse to obey the Word of Elohim because they decide, for one reason or another, that it does not suit them. In this case, Yeshua is not the Master of their life and they are, in reality, not serving him but are serving their own carnal natures.

Joshua 24:19, You cannot serve YHVH. The carnal, non-Spirit filled, individual (e.g. the children of Israel) cannot serve or obey Elohim in their own strength and power. The children of Israel demonstrably proved this point while wandering in the wilderness for forty years. But since Yeshua sent his Set-Apart (or Holy) Spirit to live inside of this disciples (that is you and me), we are now without excuse, for it is the Spirit that empowers us to obey Elohim, when it writes his laws on our hearts.

He is a holy El. What is YHVH Elohim’s chief attribute? Most Christians have been taught that it is love, for Scripture tells us that Elohim is love (1 John 4:16). But while love is an important attribute of Elohim’s character, it is not his chief attribute. Holiness is. This we know because the spirit beings in heaven who surround Elohim’s throne are continually shouting, “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa 6:3 and Rev 4:8). 

Holy is the Hebrew word kadosh meaning “pure, undefiled, separate and set apart.” Pure and undefiled from what? From the pollution and defilement of the world, the flesh and devil; Elohim is totally without sin. 

Moreover, the Bible declares that without holiness, no one will see Elohim or come into his presence (Heb 12:14). What is the biblical definition of holiness? It is much more than just what many churches teach it is: not swearing, not drinking, not going to movies or dancing, and the like. Holiness involves obeying the commandments of Elohim (Num 15:40; Deut 28:9). 

From the beginning of the Bible to the end and in many ways, YHVH commands his people to become holy as he is holy (Lev 11:44–45; 19:2). Being holy by obeying YHVH’s Word is whole lot more than simply following the man-made dictums of ones religious organization. The rules and regulations of most churches are more like the entrance requirements to join and maintain membership in an exclusive country club, not the requirements for entrance into the family and kingdom of YHVH Elohim! This is not a popular message in most churches. This is because, as Yeshua declared, “[N]arrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt 7:14).

Joshua 24:21, No but we will serve him. Many people want to serve Elohim, and even claim to do so, but do not. Similarly, many Christians claim to serve or obey Yeshua, but in reality do not or only do so partially or only to the degree that they want to. They operate under self-delusion. Their words  say one thing, while their actions paint a completely different picture. No one obey’s Elohim perfectly, which is why we need his grace and the imputed righteousness of Yeshua to be credited to our spiritual bank account, so to speak. But this is no excuse  not to obey his commandments as best we can with our whole hearts. This issue of obedience will come to a critical head  at the judgment seat of Yeshua when the actions of all humans, including the saints, will be judged, for everyone must pass be judged before being granted either eternal life or eternal death (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 9:27). The Torah-law of Elohim will be the standard by which all will be judged (Matt 5:19; John 12:48 cp. 2 Cor 5:10). This will be a day of great revelation, for in that day, many Christians will think that their religiosity will have guaranteed them a place in the kingdom of Elohim will be deemed insufficient in the eyes of Elohim because of their lack of obedience to his Word which will judge them (see Matt 7:21–23 and Rev 3:14–21).

Joshua 24:22–24, You are witnesses against yourself. Many humans are well-meaning in their desire to serve Elohim, but when the pressures of temptation and persecution from the world, the flesh and the devil come their way, their resolve to be faithful to Elohim eventually crumbles and they give in. Joshua knew that because of man’s innate, downward-bent carnal nature, it is difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to remain faithful to Elohim and his Word for very long. Moreover, Joshua knew the Israelites better than they knew themselves. After all, he was only one of two individuals from the generation that was born in Egypt to make it into the Promised Land. The rest perished in the wilderness because of their doubt, unbelief in Elohim and their general sinfulness. The sad truth is that Joshua correctly and the people’s inability to remain faithful to Elohim when he prophetically predicted, “You cannot serve YHVH,” despite the people’s objections to the contrary (vv. 21–22). Biblical history records that the Israelites only ever remained faithful to YHVH for brief periods of time usually lasting no more than 30 or 40 years. For example, some of the most righteous Jewish kings produced some of the most wicked and pagan sons, who completely turned their backs on Elohim and led Israel into total apostasy and evil practices that were often worse than the heathen nations around them. This is a warning to us all: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall!” (1 Cor 10:12). 

Joshua 24:27–28, Joshua let the people depart…inheritance. At the end of his or her life, all that a righteous and faithful leader of Elohim (whether they are a parent, pastor or in some other position of spiritual power and influence) can do is to is to encourage those people over which he has influence to obey Elohim and to warn them of the consequences if they do not. After that, he must leave the people as he departs the scene. The proverbial ball is now in people’s court, and it is up to them whether they will follow the leader’s wise counsel or not; each individual has to make his or her own choice in such matters. From that point on, each person will reap what he or she sows, and they will inherit the fruits of their actions whether good or bad.

 

Natan’s Commentary on Psalms 15 to 17

Psalm 15

Psalm 15:1, Dwell in your holy kill.(cp. Ps 24:3) Mountains and hills are often a biblical metaphor for seats of governments whether of men or of Elohim, and humans “go up” to or ascend them. This is because they are above or over humans. To come into the presence of Elohim, one must always go up.

For example, YHVH spoke to the Israelites from Mount Sinai and Moses went up onto that mountain to meet Elohim and receive much of the Torah. Later, Jerusalem, located on a mountain, was where YHVH had the Israelites build the Temple of Solomon, and when traveling to that city, Scripture always speaks of “going up to Jerusalem.” 

The reason we must go up to Elohim is because heaven is above the earth and Elohim who dwells there is above humans both in terms of authority, power as well as in holiness and righteousness. To come to him, humans must “go up.” 

On the other hand, “going down,” or descending is a biblical metaphor for moving in the opposite direction or away from Elohim, that is, moving toward wickedness, unrighteousness, death or the grave, and toward Satan, the archenemy of Elohim, who will eventually find his dwelling place in the bottomless pit. 

Therefore, to go up or to ascend is to move closer to Elohim or to heaven where he dwells. This was theme of Jacob’s dream of the ladder to heaven (Gen 28:12), and to which Yeshua likened himself in John 1:51, which humans must climb as the way to his Father in heaven.  

Even to this day, humans often place their seats of civil or religious governments or power on hills or mountains (e.g. Capital Hill in Washington D.C., or Vatican Hill in Rome, or the Acropolis in ancient Athens, to name a few). Men often build churches and hospitals on hills to project power, authority, prominence, or to inspire awe and  respect. Rich and powerful people like to construct their huge homes on hills, which are often monuments to their own pride, for all to see and to be in awe of. 

It is humans’ nature to want to be like God in some way or the other. Even Satan desired this when he rebelled against Elohim and when he declared, “I will ascend  into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven, I will sit on the mount of the congregation…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High…” (Isa 14:12–14).  

It is in man’s nature to want to ascend and be over others. The problem is that there is a legitimate way to ascend and an illegitimate or illegal way to ascend. Man’s way to power is through malevolent force, by hook or by crook, so to speak, or by whatever means necessary to gain the advantage over others whether legal or illegal. The ends justify the means. However, this is not the biblical to ascend to positions of power and prominence in the kingdom of Elohim; rather, it is the opposite way. Man’s way is the way downward in Elohim’s spiritual economy. In the kingdom of heaven, the way down is the way up. Man must die to himself, become a servant to all, submit to Elohim, and accept the way of the cross as Yeshua did and was subsequently exalted to the highest position in heaven at the right hand of his Father (Mark 10:42–45; Phil 2:5–11).

Similarly, Psalm 15 present to us the way to ascend “the holy hill” to the tabernacle or throne room in heaven where Elohim dwells. YHVH’s way is that  of holiness,. righteousness and love toward one’s fellow man by following the Creator’s road map or ways, that is, his instructions in righteousness or the his Torah-Word. This is diametrically opposite to that of man’s way of ascension which ultimately leads downward to sheol or death and the grave and eternal darkness and damnation. 

Psalm 16

Psalm 16:4, Nor take up their names.Satan, the god of this world, has so woven the names of his demonic underlords into the fabric of our society and language (e.g. the names of our holidays, months, days of the week to name a few) that it’s almost impossible not to say the name of the heathen’s gods on a daily basis. On the other hand, the names of Elohim have become curse words that roll off people’s lips without even a thought. As much as possible, we need to do our best not to mention the names of pagan deities—especially in the context of set-apart (holy) convocations where the saints gather to praise and worship Elohim.

Psalm 16:4–5, Drink offerings of blood.Some Satan worshippers drank blood (human and animal) as part of their worship rituals to their demon gods. This practice still goes on today. Sometimes human and animal sacrifice is involved. Purportedly, the purpose for drinking blood is to empower oneself by taking in the soul-energy of the victim and or to appease the demon spirit’s blood lust. Sometimes the blood drinking coincides with sexual rituals. Some modern blood drinkers do so believing that it promotes health and youthfulness by the reversing aging process. Whatever the case, the Word of Elohim strongly forbids the drinking of blood (Lev 17:10), which is why the saints must insure that blood is removed from meat before eating it. There are other psychological and spiritual reasons for not drinking blood as well, but this gets into the esoteric, so we will leave the discussion here for now.

In verse five, David declares that YHVH is his cup. Perhaps he is alluding to the fact that his life sustenance and blessings come from the Creator, not the created (i.e. by drinking human blood).

Psalm 16:5–6, Lot…lines.The English word lot means “a portion that is assigned to someone” and may refer to the idea of randomly drawing lots as part of a decision making process. Likely, our English word lot as in a piece of land, or a land lot, derives from these concepts. 

In ancient Israel, the tribal land allotments were determined by the casting of lots once the children of Israel came into the Promised Land (Josh 13:6; 14:2). Part of this ancient process of surveying land involved measuring parcels of land with a cord (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, pp. 245–246, by Fred H. Wight; also Ps 78:55; Amos 7:17). When lots were cast for land allotments, pebbles were placed in a bag with marks on each stone to represent each parcel of property. Pebbles were drawn, and each man received his lot. Each individual soon discovered whether his portion of land was desirable or not. 

David used the analogy of lots as an illustration of Elohim’s goodness to him when he makes the praise declaration in verse 6 that “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” (ibid.). No doubt, David is referring to the spiritual inheritance of the righteous, for he proclaims that YHVH is his portion and his inheritance (v. 5).

Psalm 16:7, Reigns/heart/kidneys instruct me.Is this a reference to our “gut feelings” and our need to trust them? Night seasons is a biblical poetic way of saying “difficult time of darkness, confusion, indecision, and uncertainty.” This may be one way the Set-Apart Spirit directs us is through our inner or deep conscience. In reference to the Set-Apart Spirit, Yeshua said that out of our bellies will flow living waters (John 7:37–38). The Hebrew word navi often translated as “prophet” can, according to some lexicologists (e.g. Gesenius), mean “to bubble up” in an almost ecstatic sense, presumably under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim. If this is the true meaning of the word, then perhaps there is some connections between the gut instructing one, living waters flowing from one’s belly, and the word of YHVH bubbling up prophetically out of one’s belly. 

Psalm 16:10, Leave my soul in Sheol. This verse reads, “For thou wilt not leave my soul [nephesh] in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy [chaseed or faithful, kind, pious, devout, saint, godly] One to see ­corruption [shakhath or decay of the grave.” (The meanings in brackets are according to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.)

To whom is this verse referring? Who is YHVH’s Holy One? This is obviously not a reference normal humans whose bodies and souls go into the grave at the time of death (so says this verse) to await the resurrection, and where they will decay into dust. Who in Scripture but Messiah Yeshua resurrected after three days before his body could corrupt (start to decay)? According to Jewish thought, bodily decay starts after three days.

Psalm 17

Psalm 17:3, In the night. That is, in times of trials, afflictions and difficulties. During times of adversity, YHVH tests us by viewing our reactions to difficulties to determine the true state and contents of our heart. The true mettle of a person, that is, the contents of their heart is revealed only during times of duress and when things are not going well. The question is this: When tested, will we walk in the Spirit of Elohim and manifest the fruit of the Spirit or react carnally and manifest the works of the flesh (Gal 5:16–26)? The times of darkness and testing that befall each of us from time to time is often referred to colloquially as “the dark night of the soul.” Such times either make or break us. Jacob encountered such a time when he wrestled with the Messenger of Elohim in Genesis 32 and came out a changed man with a new spiritual identity. Yeshua went through a similar experience in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to his crucifixion. Will the similar fires of adversity that you will experience destroy the wood, hay and stubble in your life, while, at the same time, refine gold, silver and precious stones therein? (Read and ponder on 1 Cor 3:11–15.)

Psalm 17:4, The destroyer. This can be a reference to Satan who comes to kill, steal and destroy. The Hebrew word for destroyer is pereets and taken in context with its verbal root means “one who destroys by dividing violently and then robbing, that is, one who divides and conquers.” The tactics of this enemy and his human minions have never changed from then until now.

Psalm 17:8, Apple of your eye. In Hebrew, this verse literally reads “Guard [Heb. shamar] me like the little man or the pupil daughter [Heb. bat] of the eye.” Apple is the Hebrew word ‘ıyshôn literally meaning “little man of the eye [according to Gesenius and The Artscroll Tanach Series Tehilim/Psalms Commentary] or pupil.” This is because when one looks at another person, the image of a little person is visible on the pupil like a reflection in a mirror. Eye is the generic Hebrew word ayin. The idea of the little man in the eye is beautiful and poetic imagery that captures the desires of the psalmist that the Creator would keep his image in his eye (i.e. the Big “Man” or Elohim is keeping the little man or the saint in is eyesight) continually or that Elohim would guard him as he goes through life as a father does his own daughter. 

The expression “the apple of his eye” is now an English idiom meaning “to view a person favorably, to care deeply for them and to cherish them in one’s heart.” 

This same expression is also found in Deuteronomy 32:10 where YHVH views the people of Israel as the apple of his eye. Although Elohim loves the whole world in a generic sense (John 3:16), and desires that every person be saved (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9), he refers to no other people but Israel as the apple of his eye. 

It can also be presumed (as Matthew Henry notes) that Elohim will tenderly keep or protect those as the apple of his eye who keep or guard his commandments as the apple of their eye (Prov 7:2). That is to say, when we obey YHVH’s commandments, we automatically put ourselves under his protection or under the shadow of his wings as Psalm 17:8 suggests (see also Ps 91:4 and Matt 23:37).

Psalm 17:14–15, Men of the world…When I awake. Here the psalmist juxtaposes those who make material achievements their chief goal in life as opposed to those who seek first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness. The former have their reward in the physical life, while the latter have a greater reward to come in the next life when they awaken from death in the likeness of Elohim as possessors of immortality.

Belly…hidden treasure. The belly here is a reference to the womb, and hidden treasure literally means “that which is hidden, covered over or protected.” This is a clear reference to babies in the womb, which are a treasured gift that heaven gives to both the wicked and to the righteous alike. Those who murder their children through abortion or neglect or abandon these little divinely granted treasures are literally spurning or rejecting Elohim’s gift to them—a grave affront to the Almighty and his generosity to be sure!

Psalm 17:15, When I awake. This is one of the most notable passages in the Tanakh proving the validity of the concept of the resurrection of the righteous dead. Here David expresses his faith in the hope of the dead saints to eternal glory in the Presence of YHVH’s in his eternal kingdom. Corollary scriptures to this include Ps 16:10–11 and 1 John 3:1–3.

 

Blog Scripture Readings for 10-17 Through 10-23-21

Aside

Parashat Vayera — Genesis 18:1 – 22:24
Haftarah — 2 Kings 4:1-37
Prophets — Joshua 22:1 – 24:33; Judges 1:1 – 4:24
Writings — Psalms 21:1 – 27:14
Testimony — Matthew 14:1 – 18:20

Our new annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2021-2022 with daily readings is available to download and print. If you are still working through 2020-2021’s Scripture Reading Schedule, the link will still be available on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links”. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, the link may be below, meaning you’ll need to scroll down instead.

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 or the “share your thoughts” box 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 10/17 through 10/23/2021.

 

Biblical Reasons NOT to Get the C0V!D “Vax!nati!on”

(Please note: misspellings in this article are intentional to circumvent potential internet censors.)

Biblical Reasons to Claim a Religious Exemption Concerning the C0V!D Shot

  • There are questionable or unknown ingredients in the vaxines that may not be biblically kosher.
  • Some vaxines contain aborted fetal tissues. 
  • Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and it is our divine mandate to care for our bodies. They do not belong to us, since we were purchased with a price—the blood of Yeshua. Therefore, he owns us, and he is our Lord and Master, and we cannot go against the commands of his word or violate our conscience which is our personal spirit and which is linked to and directed by the Spirit of Elohim.  As such, we are forbidden to put things into our bodies that we deem to be harmful. No one knows the long term effects of this shot. Even the short term affects have been called into question by countless medical experts. No one has the right to force us to do anything that we think may harm our bodies.
  • The C0VI!D shot and any so-called C0VI!D passport are preparing people mentally to accept the mark of the beast. The saints cannot spiritually afford to go down this slippery slope path. To do so potentially opens up one’s thinking to all kinds of ungodly possibilities. The Bible is clear. Those who eventually take the mark of the beast will forfeit their eternal salvation.
  • We do no know how the experimental C0VI!D “vaccines” will affect our DNA if at all. Medical experts disagree on this point. Noah was “perfect in his generation” (Gen 6:9), while the earth was “corrupt before Elohim” (v. 11). The Hebrew can also mean that Noah was pure genetically. Yeshua declared that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man (Matt 24:37). Genetic degradation was occurring in the days of Noah due to the angelic incursion into the human DNA resulting in the nephilim (Gen 6:2–4). Yeshua indicated that similar things will be going on in the last days prior to his return. We do not know exactly what that means, but we do not want to do anything that might even potentially tamper our DNA.
  • I do not want to be controlled or deceived by the world-ruling, oligarchic Babylonian big business merchants, who are attempting to control the world through their sorcery and witchcraft, that is, pharmaceutical and other drugs (Rev 18:23).
  • No one knows for sure how their body will react to the shots until they have been taken. There are adverse affects that can be moderately harmful to lethal for some people. That is why the US government has the VAERS (Vaxine Adverse Affects Reporting System) system in place.

Please help me out here. If you can come up with other biblical reasons, please let me know in the comments sections, and I will add them to the list. We need to put our collective understanding to work here to help each other out. Then let’s spread this information to everyone we know.

 

Natan’s Commentary on Psalms 16 to 19

Psalm 16

Psalm 16:4, Nor take up their names.Satan, the god of this world, has so woven the names of his demonic underlords into the fabric of our society and language (e.g. the names of our holidays, months, days of the week to name a few) that it’s almost impossible not to say the name of the heathen’s gods on a daily basis. On the other hand, the names of Elohim have become curse words that roll off people’s lips without even a thought. As much as possible, we need to do our best not to mention the names of pagan deities—especially in the context of set-apart (holy) convocations where the saints gather to praise and worship Elohim.

Psalm 16:4–5, Drink offerings of blood.Some Satan worshippers drank blood (human and animal) as part of their worship rituals to their demon gods. This practice still goes on today. Sometimes human and animal sacrifice is involved. Purportedly, the purpose for drinking blood is to empower oneself by taking in the soul-energy of the victim and or to appease the demon spirit’s blood lust. Sometimes the blood drinking coincides with sexual rituals. Some modern blood drinkers do so believing that it promotes health and youthfulness by the reversing aging process. Whatever the case, the Word of Elohim strongly forbids the drinking of blood (Lev 17:10), which is why the saints must insure that blood is removed from meat before eating it. There are other psychological and spiritual reasons for not drinking blood as well, but this gets into the esoteric, so we will leave the discussion here for now.

In verse five, David declares that YHVH is his cup. Perhaps he is alluding to the fact that his life sustenance and blessings come from the Creator, not the created (i.e. by drinking human blood).

Psalm 16:5–6, Lot…lines.The English word lot means “a portion that is assigned to someone” and may refer to the idea of randomly drawing lots as part of a decision making process. Likely, our English word lot as in a piece of land, or a land lot, derives from these concepts. 

In ancient Israel, the tribal land allotments were determined by the casting of lots once the children of Israel came into the Promised Land (Josh 13:6; 14:2). Part of this ancient process of surveying land involved measuring parcels of land with a cord (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, pp. 245–246, by Fred H. Wight; also Ps 78:55; Amos 7:17). When lots were cast for land allotments, pebbles were placed in a bag with marks on each stone to represent each parcel of property. Pebbles were drawn, and each man received his lot. Each individual soon discovered whether his portion of land was desirable or not. 

David used the analogy of lots as an illustration of Elohim’s goodness to him when he makes the praise declaration in verse 6 that “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” (ibid.). No doubt, David is referring to the spiritual inheritance of the righteous, for he proclaims that YHVH is his portion and his inheritance (v. 5).

Psalm 16:7, Reigns/heart/kidneys instruct me.Is this a reference to our “gut feelings” and our need to trust them? Night seasons is a biblical poetic way of saying “difficult time of darkness, confusion, indecision, and uncertainty.” This may be one way the Set-Apart Spirit directs us is through our inner or deep conscience. In reference to the Set-Apart Spirit, Yeshua said that out of our bellies will flow living waters (John 7:37–38). The Hebrew word navi often translated as “prophet” can, according to some lexicologists (e.g. Gesenius), mean “to bubble up” in an almost ecstatic sense, presumably under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim. If this is the true meaning of the word, then perhaps there is some connections between the gut instructing one, living waters flowing from one’s belly, and the word of YHVH bubbling up prophetically out of one’s belly. 

Psalm 16:10, Leave my soul in Sheol. This verse reads, “For thou wilt not leave my soul [nephesh] in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy [chaseed or faithful, kind, pious, devout, saint, godly] One to see ­corruption [shakhath or decay of the grave.” (The meanings in brackets are according to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.)

To whom is this verse referring? Who is YHVH’s Holy One? This is obviously not a reference normal humans whose bodies and souls go into the grave at the time of death (so says this verse) to await the resurrection, and where they will decay into dust. Who in Scripture but Messiah Yeshua resurrected after three days before his body could corrupt (start to decay)? According to Jewish thought, bodily decay starts after three days.

Psalm 17

Psalm 17:3, In the night. That is, in times of trials, afflictions and difficulties. During times of adversity, YHVH tests us by viewing our reactions to difficulties to determine the true state and contents of our heart. The true mettle of a person, that is, the contents of their heart is revealed only during times of duress and when things are not going well. The question is this: When tested, will we walk in the Spirit of Elohim and manifest the fruit of the Spirit or react carnally and manifest the works of the flesh (Gal 5:16–26)? The times of darkness and testing that befall each of us from time to time is often referred to colloquially as “the dark night of the soul.” Such times either make or break us. Jacob encountered such a time when he wrestled with the Messenger of Elohim in Genesis 32 and came out a changed man with a new spiritual identity. Yeshua went through a similar experience in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to his crucifixion. Will the similar fires of adversity that you will experience destroy the wood, hay and stubble in your life, while, at the same time, refine gold, silver and precious stones therein? (Read and ponder on 1 Cor 3:11–15.)

Psalm 17:4, The destroyer. This can be a reference to Satan who comes to kill, steal and destroy. The Hebrew word for destroyer is pereets and taken in context with its verbal root means “one who destroys by dividing violently and then robbing, that is, one who divides and conquers.” The tactics of this enemy and his human minions have never changed from then until now.

Psalm 17:8, Apple of your eye. In Hebrew, this verse literally reads “Guard [Heb. shamar] me like the little man or the pupil daughter [Heb. bat] of the eye.” Apple is the Hebrew word ‘ıyshôn literally meaning “little man of the eye [according to Gesenius and The Artscroll Tanach Series Tehilim/Psalms Commentary] or pupil.” This is because when one looks at another person, the image of a little person is visible on the pupil like a reflection in a mirror. Eye is the generic Hebrew word ayin. The idea of the little man in the eye is beautiful and poetic imagery that captures the desires of the psalmist that the Creator would keep his image in his eye (i.e. the Big “Man” or Elohim is keeping the little man or the saint in is eyesight) continually or that Elohim would guard him as he goes through life as a father does his own daughter. 

The expression “the apple of his eye” is now an English idiom meaning “to view a person favorably, to care deeply for them and to cherish them in one’s heart.” 

This same expression is also found in Deuteronomy 32:10 where YHVH views the people of Israel as the apple of his eye. Although Elohim loves the whole world in a generic sense (John 3:16), and desires that every person be saved (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9), he refers to no other people but Israel as the apple of his eye. 

It can also be presumed (as Matthew Henry notes) that Elohim will tenderly keep or protect those as the apple of his eye who keep or guard his commandments as the apple of their eye (Prov 7:2). That is to say, when we obey YHVH’s commandments, we automatically put ourselves under his protection or under the shadow of his wings as Psalm 17:8 suggests (see also Ps 91:4 and Matt 23:37).

Psalm 17:14–15, Men of the world…When I awake. Here the psalmist juxtaposes those who make material achievements their chief goal in life as opposed to those who seek first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness. The former have their reward in the physical life, while the latter have a greater reward to come in the next life when they awaken from death in the likeness of Elohim as possessors of immortality.

Belly…hidden treasure. The belly here is a reference to the womb, and hidden treasure literally means “that which is hidden, covered over or protected.” This is a clear reference to babies in the womb, which are a treasured gift that heaven gives to both the wicked and to the righteous alike. Those who murder their children through abortion or neglect or abandon these little divinely granted treasures are literally spurning or rejecting Elohim’s gift to them—a grave affront to the Almighty and his generosity to be sure!

Psalm 17:15, When I awake. This is one of the most notable passages in the Tanakh proving the validity of the concept of the resurrection of the righteous dead. Here David expresses his faith in the hope of the dead saints to eternal glory in the Presence of YHVH’s in his eternal kingdom. Corollary scriptures to this include Ps 16:10–11 and 1 John 3:1–3.

Psalm 18

Psalm 18:20, 24, Reward me according to my righteousness. The Bible not only teaches that there is a righteousness that is imputed to the saints, that is, the righteousness of Yeshua, but that there is also a works-based righteousness that is a result of the good works of the saints himself that will form the basis for his eternal rewards. Yeshua alludes to this in Matt 5:19–20 as does John in Rev 19:8 (see also Matt 16:27; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10; EWph 6:6; 1 Pet 1:17; Rev 2:23; 19:12 22:12).

Psalm 18:25–27, With the merciful. To one degree or another, Elohim responds to humans in the same manner they respond to him both positively and negatively. Our relationship with him has a cause and effect component to it—we reap what we sow. This is a form of heaven’s reality discipline upon humans to ultimately bring them to Elohim.

Psalm 19

Overview of Psalm 19

This psalm contains three sections that shows a wonderful and logical progression from the greater (Elohim) to the lesser (man), from the macro downward to the micro. At first appearance, these three sections may seem unrelated, but upon second glance, each section actually flows logically to the next revealing some deep mysterious truths about YHVH Elohim’s plan of redemption for humans.

Section one (vv. 1–6) describes the creation of Elohim, which points to the glory of Elohim, the Creator. It concludes by describing the sun, which is the physical light of the world, which is like a bridegroom in his full glory emerging from his private chambers about to marry his bride. Moreover, the physical universe is governed by physical laws, which keep it functioning in an orderly manner.

Section two (vv. 7–11) describes the glorious attributes of the Torah-law of Elohim, which reveals the character of the Creator, and it shows man what his response should be to the Almighty upon viewing the glories of his creation. Man is to worship the Creator, not the creation. When followed, the Torah helps to keep man’s life structured in a way that brings order, blessing and causes his life to function smoothly, even as the universe is structured and ordered by Elohim’s and functions smoothly because of his physical laws. A Torah lifestyle is also how the saint of Elohim is a spiritual light to the world (Deut 4:6).

Moreover, as the sun’s light pierces the physical darkness of the world, the light of the Torah brings the spiritual light of Elohim into the world along with many benefits for a blessed life.

Section three (vv. 12–14) explains what happens when the light of Elohim’s Torah shines into the darkness of a one’s life; it exposes the hidden dark areas of sin in one’s life. It also shows man how to walk blamelessly before and in a right relationship with Elohim. 

This psalm then ends by stating that YHVH is man’s strength and redeemer. This is another way of saying that man is morally and spiritually weak and needs redemption from the consequences and the power of sin. 

Thankfully, YHVH has the answer to this problem: he is man’s strength and Redeemer. Yeshua the Messiah is man’s Redeemer and as the sun is the physical light of the world, Messiah is the spiritual light of the world (John 1:6–9; 8:12). Elsewhere, Scripture even calls Yeshua the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2), and, in his glorified state, his face shines like the sun in its full strength (Rev 1:16). When a person follows the Torah through a relationship with Yeshua the Redeemer, one will eventually be raised to glory and shine like the stars in heaven (Dan 12:3; Matt 12:43), for they will be like Yeshua (1 John 3:2). HalleluYah!

Psalm 19:7–9, The Torah of YHVH. Listed here are the seven attributes of the Torah and the corresponding blessings for Torah-obedience.

Psalm 19:13, Great [much] transgression. Is this to be contrasted with “small or little transgression”?

 

Natan’s Commentary on Joshua 15–21

Joshua 15

Joshua 15:63, Jerusalem…the children of Judah. The city of Jerusalem was located in such a place as to be easily defended and nearly impossible to capture, even for the powerful and venerable armies of Israel. It was only by stealth and creativity that David finally captured it some four hundred years later (2 Sam 5:6–7). Much later, both the Babylonians and finally the Romans captured it but only with great effort and difficulty.

Joshua 18

Joshua 18:1, Shiloh…tabernacle of meeting. Shiloh became the center of Israel’s spiritual activity some four hundred years before David captured Jerusalem and made it the center Israel’s spiritual and political life.

Joshua 18:3, How long will you neglect. The children of Israel had grown weary and lax in fulfilling the mission that YHVH had given them to conquer and possess the Promised Land. They had become content to accept only half the victory and half the promise YHVH had made to them. When YHVH gives his people a mission, they must be faithful to complete it to the end all the while trusting him to give them the strength and resources to do so. Sometimes, one generation will start the work of YHVH, but the next generation becomes complacent with the successes of the previous generation the looses the passion to pick up the mantle and to continue the vision forward to completion. This is not the fault of YHVH, nor necessarily that of the first generation, but that of the subsequent generation.

Joshua 18:18, Arabah. This Hebrew word literally means “desert plain, steppe, desert, wilderness,” and derives from the Hebrew word arab meaning “to become evening, grow dark.” Often arabah is translated in the KJV as “in the plains of” and relates to the desert area adjacent to Moab, by the Red Sea (probably referring to the Gulf of Aqaba), as well as the desert near Jordan, Jericho, Gilgal. The specific area in these references is referring to the rift valley area running along the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee and all the way past the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is believed that King Solomon mined copper in the Timna Valley where to this day there exist some 9000 ancient copper mines and hundreds of smelting sites. This area was also home to the Edomites and Nabateans.

Joshua 19

Joshua 19:9, Simeon. The tribal allotment of Simeon was contained within the tribe of Judah. Some Jewish sages suggest that this is because of Simeon’s vengeful spirit when avenging the rape of his sister, Dinah, in Genesis 34. This assumes that this the descendants of Simeon had inherited a similar disposition to wreck vengeance upon the enemies. Contained with in Judah, they would be less likely to take matters into their own hands and to break out recklessly and to take matters into their own hands in avenging themselves against Israel’s enemies.

Joshua 21

Joshua 21:43, All the land. This is another example where the word all in the Bible does not necessarily mean “all” in the sense that it means in English. Here all means “all that the land that the Israelites were to possess at that point in time,” but not all the land that Elohim had ultimately promised to the patriarchs from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers. That promise is yet to be fulfilled, and will not be so until the return of Yeshua when he establishes his millennial kingdom.