John Chapters 11 and 12—Natan’s Commentary Notes

John 11

John 11:9, Twelve hours in a day. One possible meaning of Yeshua’s enigmatic response to the disciples’ question about the wisdom and safety of Yeshua’s going anywhere near the Jews who wanted to kill him is this: If we walk in the light of or are led by the Spirit of Elohim, we will not fall prey to the forces of evil and evil doers who want to destroy us, for the Spirit will guide us when or when not to go somewhere or to do something, and will navigate our steps safely through any destructive perils that way await us. This is called walking by faith (in Elohim), not by sight, and walking in or being led by the Spirit. Elsewhere, YHVH promises to order the steps of a good man (Ps 37:23).

John 11:48, The Romans will come. The chief concern of most major religious leaders has always been to preserve the status quo thus preserving their power and wealth. This is largely more important to them than pursuing the Truth or will of Elohim. Because of this spiritual blindness, the Jewish leaders of the day not only failed to appreciate the mighty miracles that Yeshua worked, but they failed to recognize their actual long-awaited Messiah. In our day, when the Messiah comes, how many religious leaders in the mainstream church will recognize Yeshua as the Torah-obedient Jewish Rabbi that he actually is, when they have spent so much time and energy convincing people that the Torah has been done away with? Not only that, the modern church’s message of easy-believism has been very profitable for its proponents, since it tickles the ears of those who receive and often lulls them into a false sense of spiritual security.

John 11:49–52, Caiaphas…prophesied. Here, Caiaphas was giving the Jewish leaders approval to murder Yeshua. At the same time, unbeknownst to him, he was making one of the great prophecies in the Testimony of Yeshua concerning Yeshua the Messiah whose role and mission it was to gather in the twelve tribes of Israel that were scattered throughout the nations. This prophetic word from an unlikely source and the man who was largely responsible for Yeshua’s death sentence shows that Elohim in his sovereignty can use any source—even a wicked one—as a vessel in his hands to speak and to accomplish his purposes. Remember Balaam’s donkey?

John 11:54, Ephraim.This is prophetic of Yeshua’s disciples taking the gospel message to Gentiles or “the children scattered abroad” or “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” because all but a few Jews rejected Yeshua in his day.

John 12

John 12:1, Six days before the Passover. Let’s review the sequence of events that occurred in Yeshua’s life that led up to the Passover. In this way, we will see how Yeshua, the Lamb of Elohim, fulfilled the types and shadows of the Passover lamb in the story of the Exodus.

 Yeshua came to Bethany six days before Passover (verse 1). Then they had a formal dinner (verse 2, the word supper is deipnon meaning a formal meal usually occurring in the evening), which probably was the erev Shabbat meal (verse 2) on Friday night. So Yeshua came to Bethany on Friday, which was six days before Passover (or the ninth of Aviv or Abib). That evening at erev Shabbat was the beginning of the tenth day of Aviv, or five days before the Passover. It was here that Mary anointed Yeshua with the spikenard (verse 3). This is the fulfillment of the Passover lamb being separated, which occurred, according to Torah, on the tenth of Aviv. From Friday erev Shabbat forward five days brings us to the end of the day on Wednesday the fourteenth of Aviv which corresponds to when he was crucified and then laid in the grave before the setting of the sun (or the beginning of the fifteenth). The disciples quickly entombed him before the High Sabbath or first day of Unleavened Bread, which started at sundown on the fifteenth day of the first month, or the month of the Aviv.

For a further discussion on the chronology of the six days before the crucifixion, see The Companion Bible (appendix 156).

John 12:5, Three hundred denarii. This large sum is equal to 300 days’ wages for a common laborer.

To the natural mind, Judas’ objection to the use of this expensive spice (worth between $30,000 and $50,000 in today’s money) to anoint someone’s feet seems illogical and a total waste of money. By contrast, from our perspective today, we can look backwards historically with perfect 20–20 hindsight and realize that for Yeshua, the Messiah and Savior of the world, he was worth every penny of the spikenard and much more. Yet, from the perspective of Yeshua’s followers, Yeshua’s true identity and mission still weren’t clear. This confusion wouldn’t clear up until after his resurrection and glorification (v. 16). So for some of them, Mary’s act of faith in anointing Yeshua’s feet with a year’s wages of spice seemed to be illogical folly. 

This spice, most likely was originally intended for use on Lazarus’ body, whom Yeshua had just resurrected and so was no longer needed for that purpose, at least. It is likely that it was out of gratefulness for resurrecting her brother that Mary performed this act of love and devotion to Yeshua, not realizing that her actions were prophetic in that she was pre-anointing Yeshua’s body for his own burial ten days from that night (v. 7).

Now let us consider the following. We know that YHVH Elohim the Father gave us his greatest love gift by sending Yeshua, his Son, to this earth to live, die and resurrect for our redemption and ultimate glorification (John 3:16). How much do we love Yeshua, and what is the greatest gift we could ever give him, even if those around us may think that we were crazy to do so? It is your heart, devotion and obedience. Have you given him all your heart? Does all that you own belong to him including your life? Would you give away all of your possessions in devotion to him if he asked it of you? Would you literally lay your life down for him as he did for you? How much do you love Yeshua?

John 12:20, Greeks. Referring either to Greek-speaking Jews and God-fearing Gentiles converts who had come to Jerusalem from various areas in the Roman empire to celebrate the feast (cp. Acts 6:1 and 9:29).

John 12:28–29, Voice from heaven…thundered. Some people heard the voice of Elohim in the thunder, while others heard only thunder. Evidently, there was some debate as to what the heavenly sound they heard was. This begs a question. Two people can hear or see the same thing, yet one will see YHVH behind it, while the other will attribute it to natural phenomenon. What determines whether one hears Elohim’s voice or sees a miracle or not? It gets down to the level of a person’s faith and to what degree they’ve exercised their faith. Those who have faith as a little child and are looking for a relationship with their Creator — whose hearts are inclined to serve and obey him will, interesting, be more likely to see his hand in mundane things and hear his voice through the cacophony of this world. This is because their hearts and minds are already open to him. Their “God radar” is up and tuned in. Conversely, those who have their ears and hearts tuned into the world, flesh and the devil will have difficulty see and hearing YHVH because they’re disinclined to doing so. This is why so few people believed Yeshua in followed him in his day…and today.

John 12:34, The law. The Torah does not mention that the Messiah will reign forever. These prophecies are found in the Prophets and the Writings (e.g. Isa 9:6 cp. 2 Sam 7:16). Here we see two things. First, the Jews referred to the entire Tanakh (or Old Testament) colloquially as “the Torah-law,” and, second, there was confusion among the Jews as to the purpose of the Messiah’s mission. Because of Roman domination over the Jews, the Messiah’s role as the Conquering King over that of the Suffering Servant had taken precedence in the thinking of the Jews of Yeshua’s day. Even the disciples were predisposed to this popular notion (e.g. Mark 10:37; Acts 1:6). This is evident in their inability to believe that Yeshua’s mission would end with his death.

John 12:37, The word of Isaiah. Here Yeshua is referencing Isaiah 53, the great Suffering Servant prophecy predicting his death to atone for the sins of men. The unbelief of Yeshua’s followers, including that of his own disciples, about his impending death is the very fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic question in this regard: “Who has believed our report?” (Isa 53:1). In any era, a Conquering King figure is more likely to elicit popular support than a Suffering Servant who gives his life for the nation.


John Chapters Eight to Ten—Natan’s Commentary Notes

John 8

John 7:53–8:1, His own house…Yeshua went. While everyone went to their own homes for the night, Yeshua, the Son of Elohim had nowhere to lay his head. Furthermore, he did not even carry the money bag; Judas did. So Yeshua likely had no money to rent even a hotel room. Undaunted, this rugged outdoorsman and man of the earth simply walked the short distance from the Temple Mount across the Kidron Valley and spent the night at the base of the Mount of Olives—perhaps in the Garden of Gethsemane Grotto, which tradition tells us is where Yeshua and his disciples often slept. This is possibly the place where Yeshua’s disciples fell asleep the night he was betrayed. This underground grotto would have provided warmth during the winter and coolness during the summer. The same grotto is now a Catholic chapel.

John 8:6, Wrote on the ground. Jeremiah declares that those who depart from YHVH (i.e. commit spiritual adultery) shall be written in the earth because they have forsaken YHVH, who is the fountain of living waters (Jer 17:13; presumably a reference to the bitter waters of spiritual adultery, and allusion to heathenism and the divine judgments such apostasy brings). Could the writing in the earth of the names of those who had forsaken YHVH (i.e. committed spiritual adultery) be what Yeshua was doing in John 8:6? Interestingly, it was dirt from the earth (the floor of the tabernacle, Num 5:17) that was placed in the bitter waters of the woman suspected of adultery, which she was forced to drink. (For more on the ritual of the adulterous woman, see notes at Num 5:11–31.)

John 8:7, He who is without sin. Here Yeshua in a very oblique way is saying that we are all like that adulterous woman in that each of us has turned away from Elohim, our Heavenly Bride, and committed spiritual adultery by turning away from Elohim and followed the gods of the world, the flesh and the devil, which is sin.

John 8:11–12, Sin no more…I am. The entire message of the Bible is contained in these two verses. Like the adulterous woman, all humans have sinned and deserve the death penalty. Yeshua’s merciful grace caused the woman to be spared. He then admonishes her to stop sinning or violating the Torah, which is sin (1 John 3:4). After this, Yeshua declares that he is the light of the world and instructs the woman to follow him out of the darkness of her sinful past and into the light of Torah-righteousness leading to the abundant life and eventually to immortality. This is a terse yet timeless message to every human everywhere who has ever drawn breath. 

John 8:14, You do not know. Yeshua seems to be making an oblique reference to his virgin birth and incarnation here.

John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall make you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications. When Yeshua made this statement to Jews, what did he mean? To Yeshua what is truth? Two verses later, he mentions being a slave to sin. What is sin, and what does that have to do with truth? As many times as you have heard this axiom, have you heard anyone explain verse 32 in the larger context of Yeshua’s statement? We will now do so below. 

We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice of  faulty biblical interpretation often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word. 

To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth? 

The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life. 

Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom. 

It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!

Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand the fuller, biblical meaning of Yeshua’s statement, “And you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.”

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John Chapters 6 and 7—Natan’s Commentary Notes

John 6

John 6:4, Passover, a feast of the Jews. This could be an indirect reference to the Samaritan Passover, which was on a different day. That is to say, “Passover, a feast of the Jews instead of the Samaritan Passover.”

John 6:7, Two hundred denarii. This is approximately 200 days wages for an unskilled worker or peasant.

John 6:8–9, Barley loaves. Yeshua’s miracle of the multiplication of the bread to feed the large crowd is reminiscent of Elisha’s similar miracle when he fed 100 disciples with 20 barley loaves (2 Kgs 4:42–44).

John 6:14, The Prophet. This is a reference to the “prophet like Moses” of Duet 18:15.

John 6:21, Immediately. This appears to have been a miracle. The disciples had rowed three or four miles out into the Sea of Galilee (v. 19) and still at several miles to go to reach the other side (the Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long by eight miles wide). Yet when Yeshua stepped into the boat they were immediately on the other side of the sea. There’s a spiritual lesson here. Even in the midsts of life’s most ferocious storms, when Yeshua is in your spiritual boat, you will cross safely and quickly through the storm to the other side.

John 6:41, The Jews than complained [or grumbled]. (See also vv. 43 and 61.) The Jews grumbled against Yeshua over his bread statements even as the Israelites similarly grumbled against Moses. This is another of the parallels John makes likening Yeshua to Moses—the Prophet-like Moses that YHVH would raise up (Deut 18:15).

John 6:53, Drink his blood. This calls to remembrance the symbolic language of the blood of the grapes (a metaphor for wine) in Jacob’s messianic prophecy over Judah (Gen 49:11).

John 6:54, Flesh…blood. “Eats flesh and drinks my blood” is not some ribald admonition on the part of Yeshua to involve themselves in cannibalism, as I have heard some biblically naive and ignorant people claim. What did Yeshua really mean when he made this statement? 

This phrase, in fact, is merely a Hebrew idiom or metaphor meaning “the whole person” (see Matt 16:17; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 1:6; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14). This relates to Moses’ instructions that “man shall not live by bread alone…but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of YHVH” (Deut 8:3). This applies to Yeshua who was that Word of Elohim who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1 and 14).

When one puts their faith in Yeshua (John 6:29 and 5:24), then one must also believe him—that is, not only accept him as the Son of Elohim and one’s Savior, but also follow and obey (or “eat”) him who is the Living Manna-Word of Elohim from heaven.

This involves believing his words by loving him and keeping his Torah-commands (John 14:15, 23 cp. Exod 20:6), which are his literal words.

This is why YHVH instructed the Israelites to eat the whole Passover lamb, and to leave nothing left over (Exod 12:10).

This teaches us that we are to “eat” all of Yeshua—his whole Person as represented by the bread and the wine at communion on Passover. We are to accept the totality of his Word, not just the parts that suit us, or fit with our conventional religious viewpoints as per the traditions of men.

Many believers claim “to eat” all of Yeshua’s flesh and drink all of his blood, yet through their anti-Torah theologies they rip pages out of their Bibles and toss many of YHVH’s biblical instructions and commands into the spiritual trash can claiming these were for the Jews and not for Christians.

Sadly, this is exactly what Adam and Eve did when they listened to the serpent’s lies at the tree of knowledge and rebelled against YHVH’s clear commands. The devil deceived them into take a pick-and-choose approach to the Word of Elohim. This was the first sin that humans committed.

The Bible defines sin as violating the words, commands or Torah of Elohim (1 John 3:4). It is also a sin not to believe in Yeshua (John 16:9; 3:18–19) who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim incarnate. It is also sin to act in unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). The Bible defines unrighteousness as violating YHVH’s Torah commands (Ps 119:172), which are the words of Yeshua.

In summary, when we accept all of Yeshua by eating his flesh and drinking his blood, (i.e. partaking of the bread and wine at communion) we are confessing that we accept the totality of who he was and is. If we fail to believe and obey all of his words, then to the degree that we do so we are walking in sin, don’t love him and don’t even know him (1 John 2:3–4). 

John 7

John 7:2, The Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles. A casual reading of this verse (and other similar references in the Gospels to the “Jewish festivals”) may lead one to believe that the biblical feasts are of Jewish origination and thus for the Jews only. This is a prevalent notion in the mainstream church. However, understanding the Gospel writers’ comments in the cultural and spiritual context in which it was written will shatter this erroneous concept. A study of the Bible will first reveal that the biblical feasts were given not only to the Jews, but to all the tribes of Israel (of which the Jews, who are descended from the tribe of Judah, are but one tribe) by YHVH himself when he gave them the Torah after the children of Israel left Egypt. Second, in the first century, different religious sects had different calendars so that they observed the biblical feasts at different times. For example, the Samaritans had their own calendar that differed from that of the mainstream Jews. Moreover, the Dead Sea scrolls reveal that the Essenes toyed around with several calendars. Within mainstream Judaism, there was even a difference of opinion (between the religious sects of the Sadducees, Boethusians and Pharisees), for example, as to when to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. So when John uses the term, “the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles” he is not indicating that the feasts were of Jewish origination and thus belonged exclusively to the Jews, but rather which calendar he is referring to or on which days certain feasts were to be observed.

John 7:5, Even his brothers. Most people do not believe something until after they see it or after the event has occurred. For the majority of people, until they see something, they do not believe it. This was the case with Yeshua’s brothers three of whom became apostles after Yeshua’s resurrection. It takes great faith to believe in a “God-thing” before it happens, and it also takes great faith to believe it afterwards, since the biblical record reveals that most people don’t Elohim believe either before or afterward he does something.

John 7:24, Righteous judgment. Here Yeshua is referring to righteous judgment as opposed to the hypocritical judgment of Matthew 7:1.

John 7:27, Authority…Son of Man. Yeshua has the legal right to judge man not only because in his incarnate state as Elohim he created man, but because he became a man, lived without sin and thus never came under sin’s judgment, and because he was a man he can judge with grace, mercy and empathy, since he understands firsthand the frailties of man’s flesh nature.

John 7:35, The Dispersion among the Greeks . Note the reference in Hosea1:4 to Jezreel.

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John 5—Natan’s Commentary Notes

The Gospel of John contains many deep spiritual insights that are found in none of the other three Gospels. John wrote this Gospel probably in the AD 90s when he was very old and likely after all the other apostles were already dead, and some 60 years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. By that time, he had seen a lot of water go under the bridge—both good and bad, so to speak, and had developed many keen and unique insights that come only with time, experience, understanding and wisdom. Please enjoy a few of the golden nuggets in John’s writings that this disciple of Yeshua has discovered over the years and is now sharing with you below.

John 5:2, In Hebrew. (Gr. Hebraisti) This phrase indicates that either John was originally written in Greek, or it was written in Hebrew, then translated into Greek with the insertion of this editorial comment. 

John 5:4, Troubled/stirred the waters. The Greek word for stir or trouble can mean “to agitate, disquiet, make restless, cause inward commotion, to strike one’s spirit with fear, perplex the mind, render anxious or distressed or to cause dread.” The troubling of the waters at the Bethesda Pool was more than just a breeze causing some riffles over the waters. Those at the pool’s edge must have sensed something supernatural when the angel troubled waters—that something supernatural was about to occur. Perhaps they sensed the presence of Elohim in their spirit. The outward stirring of the waters (with the inward stirring of the spirit?) coupled with their acting in faith to get to the waters to be healed brought about healing. What is the lesson here for us? When we sense the presence of the Almighty to heal us, we must step forth in faith seeking Elohim’s healing touch in our lives. Our seeking might result in our finding heaven’s miracle for our lives at that exact moment.

John 5:12, Sin no more. Sometimes our physical infirmity is a result of sin was case in this verse, and sometimes sin is not the cause of the infirmity as was the case with the man who was born blind (John 9:2–3). Only by divine revelation (or by the Holy Spirit gift of the word of knowledge) was Yeshua able know the cause of an ailment when praying for someone’s healing. Yeshua’s healing of the man at the Bethesda Pool was an act of divine grace by Yeshua. Yeshua didn’t require the man to repent of his sin before healing him, although he advised him sin no more, so that a worse judgment wouldn’t come on him later.

John 5:18, [Yeshua]…broke the Sabbath. (Also see notes on Matt 12:1–14.) Allow me to share an interesting and sad, but true story from my life about a false Christian teacher that I went head-to-head with. Many years ago, I was in a meeting where a Christian Bible teacher was giving a message on the end times. In the middle of his teaching and totally out of context, he quoted this passage from John and claimed that Yeshua broke the Sabbath. There was a rustle in the audience of about 300 people. A little later, he made the same statement again and began to deride the Sabbath. This time there was an audible moan from some in the audience—many of whom were Sabbath keepers. A feeling of being hit in the gut went through me. A little later, he made the same statement again, and continued to bash Sabbath observance. This time, I could hold my peace no longer, and I stood up and challenged him in the middle of the meeting. I told him that to say that Yeshua had broken the Sabbath was to call Yeshua a sinner, and that Yeshua had not broken the Sabbath, but some Jewish legal traditions (or halakhah) pertaining to the Sabbath. The speaker was flustered and had no response, and the host of the meeting decided to take an intermission.

A year later, it was announced that this Bible teacher had suddenly and unexpectedly dropped dead in the pulpit while preaching. One can’t help but wonder if he had come under divine judgment for blasphemously teaching that Yeshua was a sinner by supposedly breaking the fourth commandment.

Had this false teacher simply pulled down a concordance from his bookshelf and looked up the word broke in the Greek, and had read John’s statement in verse 12 in the context of verses 8–10, he wouldn’t have been teaching this blasphemous heresy about our Master and Savior!

Here is the explanation of this passage: The word broke is the Greek word luo meaning “to loose, untie someone or something bound, to dissolve, destroy.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the NT, luo means “to free from prison, open something closed; destroy fetters, foundations, walls; to release.” What Yeshua was breaking was the Jews’ extra-Torah legal traditions that made the Sabbath a burden by prohibiting the alleviation of human suffering and need on this day (John 5:8–10). He was in no way violating the actual Torah, since there is no Torah-law prohibiting healing on the Sabbath or carrying one’s bed role. In attempting to follow the Torah through men’s traditions, many of the Jews of Yeshua’s day had actually omitted the weightier matters of the Torah (justice, mercy and faith, see Matt 23:23), and had forgotten that YHVH is more concerned with heart issues rather than religious legalism, since he desires mercy over sacrifice, and the knowledge of Elohim over burnt offerings (Hos 6:6).

Any tradition of man that violates the letter and the spirit of the Torah is an illegal tradition. Yeshua was only violating an illegal tradition of men. Therefore, in the eyes of the Jews he was breaking the Torah. In reality, he was loosing (not breaking) the Torah from the traditions of men that had corrupted the true intent of the Sabbath law. A better translation of this verse would be, “he…loosened/untied the Sabbath [from men’s legalistic traditions].” Yeshua didn’t come to set men free from the Sabbath. He came to set the Sabbath free from men’s unbiblical traditions.

Did Yeshua Break the Law?

According to most of our English Bibles, Yeshua broke the Torah-law of Moses. For example, we read in John’s Gospel,

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18, NKJV)

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Life in the Wilderness: Initial Salvation, the Trek and Final Victory!

Numbers 21 and the Wilderness Journey: Salvation, Overcoming­ and Victory!

21:4–9, Initial salvation. The bronze serpent on the pole is a prophetic picture of salvation at the cross of Yeshua from the sting of death brought on by sin (John 3:14–15; 1 Cor 15:55–57). This is a picture of the believer’s initial salvation.

21:10–22:1, The wilderness trek. Here is a recounting of the Israelites’ wilderness trek before entering the Promised Land. For the Israelites, this was a time of testing, refining, building of faith, and learning obedience. This is a picture of the spiritual walk of the believer through the wilderness of this physical life.

21:14–35, The wilderness struggle. While crossing the wilderness, the Israelites had to fight and overcome the enemy—that is, those who would keep them from fulfilling their YHVH-ordained destiny to possess the land and inheritance he had promised them. First came the fighting and overcoming, followed by the victories. The life of the believer is one of spiritual struggle, as well, against the world, the flesh and the devil. (See Rom 7:14–25; 2 Cor 10:3–5; Eph 6:10–18.)

21:10, 14–18, Salvation in the  wilderness. Here we read how Israel was refreshed with water from the rock. Isaiah speaks about the wells of salvation (Isa 12:3). There is a springing up of joy and praise (verse 17) that comes as victory is experienced, and as YHVH makes rivers to flow out of seemingly dry and barren situations (verse 18). We, too, are called to come to the rivers of salvation, the river of life and to become a river of life ourselves to all those with whom we come into contact (John 7:37–39). Yeshua is the source of that living water; he is the spiritual Rock and source of water that never runs dry (John 4:10, 13–14; 1 Cor 10:4).

Numbers 21:4–9, Fiery serpent. The plague of fiery serpents was a righteous judgment Elohim brought upon Israel for murmuring and unbelief. Israel had “sharpened their tongues like a serpent” (Ps 140:3) and “their throat [was] an open sepulcher; with their tongues have…used deceit; the poison of asps [was] under their lips” (Rom 3:13). All this was directed at Elohim and Moses. As a result of their sin, they reaped what they had sown. Elohim loosed fiery serpents upon the Israelites to bite and sting to death the unbelieving murmurers.

The wilderness Elohim led the Israelites through was full of fiery serpents and scorpions (Deut 8:15), yet this is the only account in the Torah of these creatures ever attacking Israel. YHVH had protected them to this point, but this one time he pulled back his hand of providential protection and grace allowing them to experience the due recompense of their sinful actions. 

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The Divorce and Remarriage YHVH the Son and the Deeper Meaning of the Gospel Message

Romans 7:1–6 —The Law of the Husband Explained

How many of us have read the first few verses of Romans chapter seven and assumed that somehow Paul is telling us that we are dead to the entire Torah-law—that we are no longer bound to it, that we no longer have to keep it? Is this what he is really saying? If so, does this mean that it’s now all right to violate the Torah’s prohibitions to steal, lie, murder, commit sexual sins, covet, worship idols, dishonor our parents, take YHVH’s name in vain and worship idols? If not, then what is Paul really saying in this passage—one that is often used by perhaps well-intended but misguided people in an attempt to prove that the Torah-law that YHVH Elohim gave to Moses and the children of Israel has been “done away with”?

To understand what Paul is really saying in Romans 7:1–6, let’s take a trip back into the Torah to understand what he is saying with regard to a specific law that has to do with the marriage covenant which Paul refers to as “the law of her husband” (v. 2), and which law a wife is dead to (v. 4) if her husband dies, and then how this relates prophetically to Yeshua’s death on the cross and the saint. You are to discover a deep truth pertaining to the gospel message that has been hidden in plain sight all along!

In Deuteronomy 24:1–5 we read,

1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her [The Stone Edition Tanach: found in her a matter of immorality; found her offensive in some respect] then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before YHVH: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which YHVH your Elohim giveth thee for an inheritance. [Emphasized sections are to be discussed.]

The word uncleanness or immorality is the Hebrew word ervah (Strong’s H6172) which according to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament refers simply to “nakedness or the resulting shame therefrom.” Strong’s Expanded Concordance adds to this definition: an indecent thing or figuratively the idea of disgrace or blemish. According to Strong’s Concordance this word is used in a various ways in the Tanakh (Old Testament) with reference to shameful sexual exposure or nudity as in the case of unlawful cohabitation (Lev 18:6), or the shame resulting from Israel’s spiritual adultery (Lam 1:8); or any “indecent thing” that represents defilement or uncleanness resulting from the misuse of the physical body (e.g. uncleanness [due to not burying human excrement] in the military camp, or violation of any laws of sexual abstinence, or being in a state of impurity from sexual cohabitation or nocturnal emissions). With regard to Deuteronomy 24:1 Strong’s comments, “ervah appears to bear this emphasis on any violation of the laws of purity—if a groom is dissatisfied with his bride ‘because he hath found some uncleanness in her,’ he may divorce her. Obviously this evidence is not of previous cohabitation, since such a sin merits death (Deut 22:13ff).”

The exact meaning of ervah is of great controversy between scholars. In his commentary on this passage, Jewish Torah scholar Samson Raphael Hirsch says nothing about the subject, although he goes into great detail about the peripheral issues relating to divorce and remarriage, the legalities concerning the bill of divorcement (Heb. get), etc., but not the cause of the divorce in the first place (i.e. the biblical meaning of unclean thing). Likewise, a cursory search of the Mishna on the subject reveals dozens of pages of minute details regarding divorce and remarriage and various attendant subjects, but I could find no legal definitions regarding the meaning of ervah or had how a marriage could be dissolved because a man found ervah in his wife. The meaning of this word and what were indeed grounds for a man to “put his wife away” was a controversy that raged in the first century between the two main Pharisee camps as well (i.e. the Schools of Hillel and Shammai). Even Yeshua weighed in on this controversial subject in Matthew 5:31–32 siding with the more conservative school of Shammai. The meaning of his exact words have fueled theological debates among Christian scholars to this day with regard to what constitutes legal grounds for divorce among believers.

In the simple or literal (Heb. pashat) meaning of this text ervah may or may not be specifically referring to the loss of the bride’s virginity prior to consummation of her marriage with her new husband, since Deuteronomy 24:1 neither specifically states, nor implies that this is the first marriage for both of them. This is underscored by the Torah’s use of the Hebrew word ishah (wife or woman) in verse one as opposed to either the words bethulah or almah both of which lexically have stronger references to a virgin, youthful bride or young maiden as opposed to the more generic term ishah. Therefore, based on the generic meaning of the word ervah (as discussed above) there could be broader meanings as to why the husband was compelled to “put his wife away” (e.g. as for adultery). If this is the case, do we find any example of this elsewhere in Scripture which could give us additional insight into the Hebraic understanding into the meaning of ervah?

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Luke 9—Nuggets of Wisdom from Yeshua’s Life

Luke 9:1–2, Gave them power. (See also Luke 10:19.) Spiritual power and authority over demons and sickness is manifested in no greater way than when exercised in conjunction with the preaching of the gospel. It is here on the ragged edge between the kingdoms of light and darkness that YHVH wishes especially to demonstrate his power through his servants in an effort to draw outsiders into his spiritual kingdom. Healing from sickness and deliverance from demonic powers is a great enticement for those on the outside to become part of YHVH’s kingdom, where they will experience freedom resulting in joy, peace and hope and eventually eternal life.

Luke 9:28, Eight days. Eight is the biblical number of new beginnings and the symbol for infinity. When Yeshua comes back in power and glory to establish his kingdom universally on this earth of which the transfiguration was a prophetic foreshadow, it will be a new beginning lasting for eternity.

Luke 9:41, Faithless and perverse. Faithlessness and perversity go hand-in-hand with the ability to cast out demons and to heal the sick. To the degree that one is faithful to and has faith in YHVH and his Word and is in sync with it is the degree to which one will be able to exercise power over demon spirits and sickness.

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