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 2/23 through 2/29/2020.
Psalm 133:1–2, Good…pleasant…oil. The whole message of the Bible is about reconciliation—first between YHVH Elohim and man, second between men. Sin is what has split vertical and horizontal relationships apart. The plan of redemption and salvation that YHVH has laid out for man to follow is the path man must walk for broken relationships to be healed—reconciled.
It is a good and pleasant thing when humans are individually and collectively reconciled and come together, when brethren dwell together in unity because their sins have been forgiven, because they are all worshiping the same Elohim and follow his ways of truth and righteousness. This brings people together.
The Tabernacle of Moses in which the high priest and his subordinates ministered exemplified in symbolic ways Elohim’s process for man to be reconciled to his Creator and to his fellow man by dealing with the sin issue. When this process is complete, humans are brought into the presence of Elohim, which is symbolized by the holy of holies in the tabernacle.
Oil in Scripture is a picture of the anointing of Elohim brought on by the presence of the Set-Apart Spirit—his divine presence resting on and filling humans. It is heaven’s accepting kiss upon humans who are walking unity and in accordance with the divine will of Elohim, which in turn brings humans into unity with each other. When this occurs, people are carried to a higher level in their spiritual walk and are brought together in worship of and service to their Creator. This is like warm anointing oil poured out upon the head and running down a person’s body. Sometimes this spiritual phenomenon can be felt physically upon the human body. This is truly a glorious occurrence when heaven and earth meet and kiss each other. It’s a good and pleasant thing and helps to cement relationships.
Psalm 133:3, Dew…Hermon. The work of the Spirt in a person’s life, which brings on the anointing, is likened to gentle dew or to rain (Deut 32:2), which gently waters the dry ground. When this happens, the ground is revivified and rejuvenated resulting in fruitfulness. Mount Hermon is the highest peak in Holy Land and its name (from the Heb. word charam) signifies something that is devoted for a holy use. It is a picture of heaven. Therefore, the dew of Hermon that descends upon the mountains of Zion is the anointing of heaven that comes upon YHVH’s people. It is precious and holy and only to be used for a divine purpose—not for selfish gratification.
John 1:1, The Word was Elohim.Is Yeshua or the Father the God (Elohim) of the Old Testament (Tanakh)? For many believers in Yeshua, there is confusion as to who it was in the Godhead who interacted with the Israelites in the Tankah. Was it the Father or the Son? In the minds of the apostolic writers, there was no confusion about this. Yeshua, in his preincarnate state, was the One that YHVH Elohim the Father used to both create (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 11:3), and then to interact with mankind. He was the Word of YHVH Elohim, the Father, who become flesh and dwelt among men (verse 14). This truth is easily confirmed in several passages in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament).
First, Yeshua himself claims to be YHVH or the I Am of the burning bush (see John 8:58 cp. Exod 3:14). The Jews viewed Yeshua’s claim to be deity as blasphemous, which is why they picked up stones to kill him (John 8:59). Next, Yeshua in declaring to the Jewish religious leaders that “I send you prophets, wise men and scribes: some you will kill…” (Matt 23:34), he is claiming the rights and prerogatives of YHVH — a right and role that solely belonged to YHVH in the Tanakh.
Luke 24:30, He sat at the table. (See also vv. 41–43; John 21:12–13). In Bible times, when a covenant of friendship had been broken, as had occurred when the disciples forsook Yeshua prior to his apprehension, the broken relationship would be restored by eating together. After his resurrection, Yeshua had at least three meals with his disciples in order to renew loving covenantal relationship with them (Manners and Customs, pp. 78–79).
In Hebraic thought, one’s table is a sort of sacred altar where familial and spiritual communion occurs. You don’t just break bread with anyone—only your close friends. Additionally, when a prayer of thanksgiving is made over a meal, YHVH’s Presence is invoked making the meal a sort of spiritual act where heaven and earth commune together. This is one reason why the Passover seder meal is of such serious significance. Only those of one’s spiritual family are to gather together at the seder where together they meet with Elohim. Furthermore, this is why Paul states in 1 Cor 5:9–11,
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. (emphasis added)
Exodus 25:31–39, Menorah of pure gold.The menorah was beaten out of a solid ingot of pure gold and stood on the left side of the holy place inside the tabernacle. It was the only light in the holy place. The menorah had seven branches with three on either side of a central stem. Each branch had three decorative cups, a knob and a flower resembling that of an almond flower. The cups were called lamps and each was filled with the purest olive oil and contained a wick that was lit. The menorah was lit each day, and each of the six outer lamps were designed so that when lit its flame pointed toward the central stem. The menorah had tools—tongs and spoons—to tend the wick. These implements were used to clean and to prepare the lamps and to remove the previous day’s ashes.
The menorah is a picture of Yeshua, the Tree of Life, who likened himself to a vine and his followers to branches” (John 15:1–7). It also pictures the idea that the saints are members of the body of Yeshua (1 Cor 12:12) and are established in him (2 Cor 1:21). His followers are connected to him, draw sustenance from him, and the spiritual light of their lives point toward him in all that they do. Believers are to be “on fire” for doing the work of Yeshua. The Spirit of Elohim directed by the Torah—both pictured by the olive oil—fuels that fire. On the Day of Pentecost, the believers in the upper room received fire of YHVH’s Spirit and had his Torah-law written in their hearts. Through the empowerment of the Spirit—both the fruits and the gifts—the saints were able take the light of the gospel out to the world. The significance of the menorah in the believer’s life is evidenced by the fact that Scripture reveals that it (not the cross) is the actual symbol for assembly of believers in Yeshua (Rev 1:12,20).
The Golden Menorah in More Detail
The menorah represents the tree of life; the oil represents the Spirit of Elohim in the believer’s life. It also represents Yeshua the tree or vine with believers as the branches grafted in to the “trunk” of the tree or Yeshua and receiving the Spirit of life from him. As a result of Yeshua’s Spirit in the believer’s life the fruits and gifts of the Spirit of Elohim shine like a menorah on a hill into the surrounding darkness of this world. Gold represents the pure (divine) character of Yeshua and the believer, and oil represents the Spirit of Elohim through whose work in the believer’s life that pure gold-like character is formed and refined. Prophetically the menorah points to the Day of Pentecost or Feast of the Harvest of First Fruits (Shavuot) when the Spirit of Elohim was poured out upon YHVH’s people and the Torah-law was written on their hearts empowering them to walk in the paths of Torah-light/righteousness (Ps 119:105, 172) and to share the good news or gospel with others.
It is estimated that the menorah was constructed of 90 pounds of gold, which is 1440 ounces. If gold is $1200 per ounce the menorah would have been worth $1,728,000 in the value of the gold alone, not including the workmanship to construct it.
Some believe that the light of the menorah was reflected to point only forward. It was the only light in the set-apart place. We are to go forward only in our spiritual walk, not backward. Advance spiritually in light, but retreat and you do so in darkness (Ps 119:105).
The almond tree is the first fruit tree that blossoms in the spring in Israel. Yeshua is the firstborn among many brethren. The seven branches of the menorah, which are a picture of Yeshua, corresponds to the seven spirits of YHVH in Isaiah 11:2 and Revelation 4:5.
The wicks of the menorah were made from the priest’s worn out or discarded garments. From this we learn that we can’t discard the work of yesterday’s ministers, for we stand on their shoulders and use what they put into us to light our path spiritually to see what is ahead for us. What are we leaving behind us for the next generation?
Matthew Henry says in his biblical commentary on Exodus 27:20 that the pure oil signifies the gifts and fruits of the Set-Apart Spirit which all believers receive from Messiah (Mashiach) who is the oil-anointed One. Mashiach is the vine to which we are attached, for we are the arms and branches (John 15:1–2) and the branches are attached to the sustenance-carrying vascular system of the main trunk (as pictured by the hollow-tubed seven-branched gold menorah). The menorah is another picture of Yeshua who is the tree of life to which we must be attached. Only then will we be lights shining the fruits and gifts of the Spirit into the darkness of men’s lives as Yeshua commanded us to be (i.e. menorahs on a hill, Matt 5:14–16). That is why the symbol of the elect body of believers is the menorah as we see in Revelation 1:13 and 20.
Exodus 25:22, There I will meet with you. Between the two cherubim was the glowing, anointed, manifest presence of YHVH called the Shekinah. This was the earthly throne room of Elohim. It also pictures the glories of the New Jerusalem and life happily ever after for Yeshua and his spiritual bride.
The manifest presence of Elohim is the last of seven “items” in the tabernacle and it is also the one ingredient that is missing in all the other religions of the world. Yes, many of the world’s false religions have their signs, wonders and supernatural experiences, but these are cheap demonic counterfeits that only imitate the real thing—the actual Presence of the Almighty Creator—Yehovah Elohim. In the end, despite all that these false religious systems promise, they bring shame, confusion, guilt and eventual death and eternal separation from Elohim.
In the Tabernacle of Moses, the first six items were made with human hands. Six is the number of man. YHVH’s Presence cannot be constructed by the hand or mind of man. It just is, and it doesn’t come as a result of anyone conjuring it up. It comes as a result of repentance, holiness, obedience and humans seeking Elohim with all their hearts, while following the protocols he has laid out, which, when followed, lead to him. There is no other way.
The Presence of Elohim is what is missing in every other of the world’s religious systems. It was even missing in the Second Temple!
In YHVH Elohim’s Presence, a human is miraculously and powerfully changed and transformed spiritually from the inside out.
If you were the Creator of the universe, what means would you use to communicate with those that you had created through love in your likeness and image? In a remote way, it’s like a human standing over an anthill trying to communicate with the ants. How do you do it? Similarly, how does an all powerful, Spirit Being, loving Father in heaven relate to his mortal children who are but mere specks of dust without vaporizing them with his raw power? The difficulty is compounded when fearful humans don’t want to hear the voice of Elohim, which is what happened when YHVH Elohim’s voice thundered from Mount Sinai. The children of Israel begged him not to talk to them, lest they die. They asked the Almighty One to speak to them instead through Moses (Exod 20:19).
When man sinned at the tree of knowledge, and YHVH kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, direct communications between man and his Maker were hampered, if not all but cut off. However, Elohim had a plan to restore the loving relationship he had with man before the rebellion. But if men refuse to hear you when you speak, what are you do?
For certain, the Almighty doesn’t lack for ways to communicate with men. Man is without excuse when it comes to hearing Elohim, for even the heaven’s declare the glory of the Creator and the plans he has for mankind. The visible things of this creation shout loudly about the spiritual mysteries heaven desires to reveal to its earthly subjects. Furthermore, from time to time over the millennia, Elohim has chosen to speak directly to some select servants through dreams, visions, signs, wonders, angels, and even once through a donkey! But how does he speak to a whole nation, if that nation is plugging its ears and refusing to hear its Master’s voice?
Enter into the picture the Tabernacle of Moses, which was literally a three-dimensional gospel message tract. It is the visual demonstration of the whole salvation message of the Bible in a building—the blueprint of the plan of redemption of wayward, sinful man. It was a functioning masterpiece of artwork demonstrating the Father’s love for his people, and of his desire to commune and to communicate with Israel—his treasured possession, those he had hand picked and called out from the 70 nations of the world. Not only did the tabernacle involve the sense of sight, but the other four senses as well: sound, smell, touch, and taste. It also engaged and even challenged the heart, emotions, mind and spirit of man to focus on his need to be spiritually reconciled to his Creator. The Tabernacle of Moses was a vehicle for the Creator of the universe to communicate with man using a panoply of communication devices all of which pointed to the coming Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind who would die for the sins of the world to restore man into a loving relationship with his ever-loving, gracious, and longsuffering Father in heaven.
This is the story of the tabernacle, which, in every way, resembles a theatrical play, even a pageant, containing costumed actors each performing his carefully choreographed role on cue. Even a child can comprehend the message of this play, yet it contains mysteries and truths so deep that only in eternity itself will they be revealed to those who have been initiated into higher spiritual levels through the tabernacle’s spiritual paradigms of which its rites and ceremonies were mere prophetic shadows of things to come. To understand it, is to understand the message of the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Let’s now enter into the world of the Tabernacle of Moses. Welcome! (Please note, over the next several parshiot, we will be discussing the tabernacle in great detail. Later, when we get into Leviticus, we will explore the sacrificial system as well as the other tabernacle rites and ceremonies, and we will learn how they all pointed to Yeshua and how it relates to us.)
If I didn’t post anything more on this blog until we’re finished with Exodus, the resources posted below would be sufficient to keep most people busy for a while. That’s how much there is to learn about the Tabernacle of Moses!