Exodus Chapters 33 to 34—Natan’s Commentary Notes

Exodus 33

Exodus 33:1–2, YHVH…my Angel/Messenger.Who is YHVH and who is the Angel? If YHVH is the preincarnate Yeshua, then who is this Angel?

Exodus 33:7, Moses took his tent.There comes a time when the anointed servant of the Most High can no longer tolerate the sinfulness and faithless of the people he is leading. Even Yeshua, in frustration, despaired on several occasions at his disciples for their lack of faith. Once, in desperation, he cried out, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?” (Matt 17:17). Holy men (and women) of Elohim are in a different place spiritually than the people they lead. As anointed and divinely appointed leaders, to lead YHVH’s people higher, they must be ahead of the people and their walk should be a little, if not a lot, higher. Their job is to lead people into a higher and deeper walk with YHVH. Sometimes, in frustration when they feel they have been less than successful in their mission, they must remove themselves from the people for a season to draw closer to YHVH for strength, wisdom, guidance and spiritual renewal as Moses did in this case.

A man who is holy or set apart unto YHVH can’t abide in an unholy situation. It’s anathema to him and causes every fiber in his being to cry out in frustrated disgust. He is in a different, higher world that carnal people know nothing about. This is why Moses had to separate himself from the Israelites—a stiffnecked and rebellious people who didn’t have a heart to follow Elohim.

Exodus 33:12–13, Grace.The mainstream church places a great deal of emphasis on the message of grace. The biblical doctrine of grace finds its roots in this chapter in the Torah and not in the apostolic writings as the mainstream church teaches. 

The noun grace (Heb. chen) is found six times in chapters 33 and 34. The adjective gracious (Heb. chanan and channuwn)as an attribute YHVH’s character is found three times in chapters 33 and 34. Six is the number of man and three is the number of Elohim. That is to say, the grace of the entire Godhead covers man completely even when his children turn away from him and give into golden calf worship. His grace for his people rejoices or triumphs over his fiery and consuming judgments (Exod 33:4; Jas 2:13; Pss 85:10; 89:14; Mic 7:18; Eph 1:7; Rom 5:8) that they deserve for their stiff-neckness and sinful rebellion against his commands (Exod 33:3).

The Hebrew word for grace is chen/IJmeaning “favor, grace, charm, acceptance.” The Hebrew word chen (found 69 times in the Tanakh), which is translated as grace, in this verse is equivalent to the Greek word charis/cariV, which is found 156 times in the Testimony of Yeshua and is translated as grace 130 times in the KJV.The equivalency of these two words is confirmed by the translators of the Septuagint (the Greek Tanakh) who used charis in place of chen when translating the Hebrew Tanakh into Greek beginning in the third century b.c. 

According to The TWOT, in the vast majority of occurrences of chen in the Tanakh, the focus of attention is not on the giver, but on the recipient. The emphasis is on the relationship of the superior to an inferior (e.g. a king to his subjects). What this teaches us is that despite sin and rebellion against him, YHVH (the king) is gracious (to humans, his subjects). Contrary to what many in the church have been led to believe, the grace of Elohim is a very prominent theme in the Tanakh. Examples of this include Noah who found grace in YHVH’s eyes (Gen 6:8), or the children of Israel although dead in their sins in Egypt and deserving of YHVH’s wrath, they were saved by the blood of the lamb. There are a number of other references to the grace of Elohim in the Tanakh as well (Gen 18:3; Exod 3:21; 33:16,17; 34:9; Ps 84:11; Zech 12:10).

Exodus 33:14, My Presence will go with you.YHVH’s Presence led the Israelites through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. Yeshua will lead his people through the wilderness of life and into the Promised Land of their eternal inheritance in his kingdom. Where is his Presence today in and among his people?

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YOU can’t believe Jesus/Yeshua without also believing Moses!

John 5:46–47, Believed Moses. These two verses at the end of chapter five can easily be overlooked, but their implications are huge. Quite simply, Yeshua is saying that those who don’t believe the writings of Moses (i.e. the Torah) won’t believe the words of Yeshua who himself upheld the Torah and taught its validity in the lives of his disciples. 

This then begs the following question: Where does this leave all those who claim to be followers of Yeshua, but who believe that the law of Moses was abrogated? It’s hard to be absolutely black and white on this matter, since only YHVH can judge the heart condition of each individual, for undoubtedly many who claim the law was “done away with” still actually adhere to many of the law’s tenets (e.g. you shall not steal, murder, lie, commit adultery, worship idols and you shall honor your parents, etc.) and are thus obedient to the law to one degree or another. 

However, we can safely say that it’s a matter of degrees. That is to say, to the degree that we don’t believe the words of Moses, we don’t believe the words of Yeshua who was a proponent (and, in reality, as the Word of Elohim, the Originator) of the Torah-law of Moses. 

John makes a similar statement in his first epistle from which we can deduce the following: To the degree we don’t keep the (Torah) commandments of Elohim, we won’t know him; that is to say, conversely, if we keep his commandments which are a reflection of his character, will and heart, we will be able to know what pleases him, which in turn will determine the depth of our spiritual relationship with him (1 John 2:4). 

In reality, these should be simple concepts to grasp and put into practice in one’s spiritual walk, yet, sadly, most religious leaders have misled Christians to believe anything and everything but the simple truth of the Bible and instead have concocted convoluted man-made doctrines and theological theories resulting in unbiblical church traditions by which they have made the word of Elohim of no effect (Mark 7:13). It’s time for Elohim’s people to come out of the Babylonian church system with its webbed mixture of truth along with half-truths and outright lies (Rev 18:4).

Moreover, Yeshua is saying here that Moses’ prophecies about the coming Messiah formed the foundation for all the subsequent biblical messianic prophecies and the eventual coming of Yeshua the Messiah. If one couldn’t believe these prophecies of Moses, how would they recognize, much less believe in, Yeshua when he did come?

 

Moshe—A Prophetic Type of the Mashiach

Deuteronomy 18:15, A prophet from your midst, like me, shall YHVH your Elohim raise up for you. Obviously, this was fulfilled in the person of Yeshua the Messiah. The non-believing Jews, however, attempt to prove that this verse does not apply to Yeshua. For example, The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash in its commentary states, “Moses told the nation that just as he was one of them, so God would designate future prophets [plural] from among the people to bring them his word” (p. 1033, emphasis added). What is wrong with this statement? Is the verse quoted accurately? Moses said “prophet” singular, not “prophets” plural, as the commentary says. So in this manner, the Jewish commentators switch the focus off of one single prophet who would arise, and make it appear as if all the prophets recorded in the Scriptures helped to fulfill this prophecy. This is dishonest biblical interpretation.

On another note, does the “Jesus” of the mainstream church who, it is taught by many church leaders, broke the Sabbath and came to do away with the Torah-law of Moses fulfill this prophecy? Didn’t Moses say that the prophet would speak only the words that Elohim would give him (and the implication is that those words would not contradict what was given at Mount Sinai)? So did Yeshua come to do away with the Torah-law or not? (Read Matt 5:17–19.) In commissioning his disciples in Matthew 28:20, didn’t Yeshua tell them to do and to pass on to others all that he had commanded them? Didn’t Paul tell us to, “Follow me as I follow the Messiah” (1 Cor 11:1)? So how is it that so many people in the mainstream church believe otherwise about Messiah Yeshua and Paul relative to their teachings on the Torah-law? The point we are trying to make here is that the “Jesus” of the Sunday church who, it is taught, came to annul the Torah, does not fit the criteria of this prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15–19. Either the Torah is correct and the mainstream church is wrong or it is the other way around. We choose the former to be the truth, not the latter!

A prophet…like unto me. Let’s study the parallels between Moses (Heb. Moshe) and Yeshua the Messiah (Heb. Machiach)to see how Yeshua perfectly fulfilled this prophecy.

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Moses and Yeshua and the Saints—Prophetic Antetype and Type

Exodus 34:1–35, Prophetic pictures of Moses’ second ascension of Mount Sinai. Moses’ second ascension of Mount Sinai is a prophetic picture of the saints’ resurrection and glorification at the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah.

According to Jewish tradition, Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the second set of stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments on the first day of the sixth month or 30 days before Yom Teruah, which occurs on the first day of the seventh month. Forty days later on Yom Kippur he descended from the mountain carrying with him the second set of tablets as a sign of YHVH’s forgiveness of the children of Israel after the golden calf incident. This signaled YHVH’s renewed relationship with Israel after they had repented of golden calf worship. 

We know that a biblical Israelite bride, while waiting for her betrothed to arrive from his father’s house, would hear a shout and the sound of the shofar in the distance as her Continue reading


 

Is your job a launch pad into your ministry?

Exodus 3:1, Tending the flock. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness of Midian tending the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law. After this phase of his life, YHVH called and commissioned Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and then to shepherd them through the wilderness en route to the Promised Land. This was the very same wilderness where Moses had shepherded Jethro’s sheep for forty years. Moses’ job as a physical shepherd prepared him for the next phase of his life—his ministry as a spiritual shepherd. 

Often YHVH chooses individuals as his servants based on their vocational background, which provides training for the spiritual ministry to which he then calls them. For example, David was a shepherd before he became the king over Israel. Yeshua was a carpenter before he became a builder of the spiritual house of Israel (Heb 3:3–6; 1 Pet 2:5), and several of Yeshua’s disciples were commercial fishermen before becoming “fishers of men” or apostolic evangelists. Sometimes our physical vocations may be an indicator of what our spiritual calling is. 

Being a shepherd of physical sheep is a most suitable profession to prepare one for tending YHVH’s spiritual sheep. A shepherd has to put the needs, comfort, care and protection of the sheep above that of his own. This is one reason why the Scriptures refer to those who care for and protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep as shepherds or pastors. There are many similarities between physical and spiritual shepherds, and physical and spiritual sheep. Unless one has been a physical shepherd and cared for physical sheep, it is unlikely these reasons will be readily apparent.


 

The Cross and Prayer Defeats the Enemy

Exodus 17:11, Moses held up his hands. Here Moses goes to the top of the hill with his rod in hand and raises his arms as in surrender (to YHVH, not to the enemy). As long as his arms are raised, the Israelites under Joshua prevail. Finally Moses’ arms become weary and the arms hang down supported by rocks, so that with his rod in his hands now resembles Yeshua on the cross. Meanwhile, Joshua (Heb. Yehoshua or Yeshua) leads the Israelites to victory over the Amalekites. This is a spiritual picture of the saint surrendering to Yeshua at the cross who then leads us to victory over our enemies. In the end times, Yeshua is returning to this earth on a war stallion to judge the wicked and once and for all to defeat his enemies who have tried to king (Amalek means “I am king”) over his people.

This is also a picture of prayer and intercession. Battles are not won so much by men and weapons as they are through prayer. As with Moses, spiritual battle through prayer can become fatiguing and wearisome, yet the spiritual warrior must press onward beseeching heaven in mountain moving faith if the battle against the enemies will be won. Often the weary spiritual warrior must seek the aid of other spiritual soldiers to assist and support him in his spiritual endeavors.


 

Not all of our children will be a blessing to us…sadly!

Exodus 2:22, Gershom. A sad piece of Bible trivia is that some of Moses’ descendants didn’t follow in his righteous steps. Gershom’s sons became idol worshipers (Judg 18:30–31).

Many of the children of righteous men in the Bible didn’t follow in the footsteps of their fathers in remaining faithful to Elohim. Examples include Isaac (Esau), Aaron (Nadab and Abihu), Samuel (1 Sam 8:1–3), and David and many of the other righteous kings of Judah. What’s more, the Bible tells us nothing about the spiritual status of the sons of any of the prophets or apostles. Whether they remained faithful to YHVH or not, we don’t know. If they had been notable in their service to YHVH, it seems that Scripture would have some record of it.

One thing seems certain. Most of the high visibility servants of YHVH were solitary figures. Little if anything is known about their spouses, families or children who seemed to play no major role in the key figure’s ministry activities.

Interestingly, there are also several examples of righteous sons coming from unrighteous fathers and vice versa. This is the case with several of the kings of Judah. All this is to say that just because a child was raised well in a godly family doesn’t guarantee they will continue to serve Elohim and walk in righteousness.

Likewise, just because a child was raised in an ungodly, even wicked family, doesn’t mean they will be wicked and ungodly.

Salvation is an individual matter. YHVH calls and chooses whom he will, and it’s up to the individual to respond to that calling. Some will respond, but most will not. As Yeshua said, many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14).