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).


Why did Yeshua allow Moses to permit divorce?

Marriage - Divorce signpost in a beach background

In the study below, we will discuss why Moses added the divorce clause to the Torah, and why Yeshua permitted it and what he had to say about it. (For the record, I am not divorced and thus have no dog in the fight. I am simply analyzing what the Bible has to say to say on the subject and attempting to accurately report my findings. — Natan)

Matthew 19:8, Moses permitted. From Yeshua’s statement here, it would seem that Elohim gave Moses certain freedom and latitude to redefine certain Torah principles to accommodate the needs and realities of fallen and sinful man.

In the case of marriage, even though it was Elohim’s highest ideal for a man to leave his parents and cleave to one wife for the rest of his life or until she died (Gen 2:24), the reality is that man too often is incapable of living up to the Creator’s highest ideal because of the hardness or sinfulness of his heart. It is important to note that YHVH gave the marriage command before the fall of man had occurred (Gen 2:24 cp. Gen 3:1–6). In light of the fact of the fall of man when sin entered the world thus negatively affecting the marriage relationship, YHVH allowed Moses to permit divorce under certain circumstances (see Deut 24:1–4).

Had Moses not made allowances for the sinfulness and hardness of the human heart and forbad all divorce in Israel in an effort to strictly adhere to YHVH’s highest letter-of-the-law ideal for marriage, then the societal results might have been unimaginably chaotic. For example, people would Continue reading


A Prophet Like Unto Moses…

Deuteronomy 18:10, One who causes his son or daughter to pass through the fire. This was done in honor of the Canaanite deity Molach (see Lev 18:21 and 20:1–6). The name molach/lKN/mem-lamed-chaf sofit in Hebrew means “king” with the root of the word meaning “to rule or reign.” Child sacrifice (the ancient form of modern abortion/infanticide), though a pagan practice that YHVH abhorred, was practiced by both houses or kingdoms of Israel as they drifted into syncretism with the heathen cultures around them (see 1 Kgs 11:7; 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; 23:10,13; Jer 7:31; 19:5; Ezek 16:20; 23:37). Baal appears to be a synonym of Molach (see Jer 19:5 and the Ency. Britan. eleventh edit., vol. 18, p. 676). The dead bodies of sacrificed children were thrown into the garbage dump of the Valley of Hinnom or Tophet just below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Jer 7:31; 19:5–6). Apparently, the children were not burned alive, but were slain (by knife) like any other sacrifice before being thrown into the fire and then into the garbage dump (Ibid.). The ancients sacrificed their children to appease their bloodthirsty gods of prosperity, sensuality and fertility (The Story of Civilization, vol. 1, by Will Durant, pp. 66–67, 297).

What can we learn from these random pieces of information concerning the ancient practice of child sacrifice? It was done in honor of their deity; in other words, their idol was the king that ruled their lives. What is the chief deity in Continue reading


The Book of Deuteronomy: of Moses’ Farewell Address

Deuteronomy 65289264

Outline of Sefer Devarim/The Book of Deuteronomy

Chapter 1:1–5, Introduction

Chapters 1:6–4:40, First Discourse

Moses gives a veiled rebuke for sin and disobedience, and gives a review of the journey from Mount Sinai to Kadesh with exhortations to obedience.

Chapters 4:44–11, Second Discourse, Part 1

The religious foundations of the covenant, the spirit in which it is to be kept and the motives to right obedience are discussed. Moses shows how the covenant defines the relationship between YHVH and Israel and emphasizes the basic spiritual demands that such a relationship imposes upon Israel.

Chapters 12–26, Second Discourse, Part 2

The code of law dealing with:

Worship, Chapters 12:1–16:17

Government, Chapters 16:18–18

Criminal Law, Chapters 19:1–21:9

Domestic Life, Chapters 21:10–25

Rituals and the Sanctuary, Chapter 26

Chapters 27–30, Third Discourse

The enforcement of the Torah-law with its blessings and curses; establishment of a fresh covenant between YHVH and Israel (i.e., the younger generation).

Chapters 31–34, The Last Days of Moses

Chapter 31, Committal of the law to the keeping of the priests.

Chapter 32, The Song of Moses (a prophecy about Israel’s future).

Chapter 33, Moses’ patriarchal blessing over the tribes of Israel.

Chapter 34, The death of Moses.

Overview of the Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim from Various Commentators

This last book of the Torah starts out with “These are the words which Moses spoke ….” The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy is Devarim meaning “words,” which is the plural form of devar meaning “word, speech, a matter or thing, a commandment, a report, a Continue reading


Pray for your enemies!

Praying on knees 2

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matt 5:44)

Numbers 16:44–48, They fell on their faces. Moses was a true intercessor or intermediary between YHVH and the people, and he was a prophetic picture of Yeshua who is our spiritual Advocate (legal representative) before Elohim. YHVH wanted to destroy the people for their unending rebellion and murmuring, yet Moses and Aaron interceded on their behalf and many lives were saved.

How often are we inclined to write people off who have wronged us instead of interceding for them, praying for their salvation, healing, welfare or whatever their need may be? Do you go through life rendering good for evil? Where is the love of Elohim in all of this? It’s all about love—the love of YHVH in us toward a dying and hurting world. Aaron went among the dying people burning incense (verse 47). Incense is symbolic of prayer—the prayers of the saints (Rev 5:8; 8:4).

How much time do you spend each day in prayer for others—or is most of your time spent in selfish prayer? Do you spend time each day in meaningful prayer? It has been reported that the average American Christian spends as little as ten minutes a week in prayer, and the average pastor about ten minutes per day. Is it any wonder this nation is as spiritually sick as it is? Perhaps the quality of your life would improve if you spent more time each day in prayer and intercession.

Here are some scriptures that reveal the work of Yeshua the Messiah as the Mediator between Elohim (the Father) and man, and as the only way to the Father:

Yeshua says unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Truly, truly, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my [Yeshua’s] name, he will give it to you. (John 16:23, see also 14:13, 14, 16; 16:24, 16.)

But these are written, that you might believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of Elohim; and that believing you might have life through his name. (John 20:3)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with Elohim through our Master Messiah Yeshua by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of Elohim. (Rom 5:1–2)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Elohim is eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Master. (Rom 6:23)

Who is he that condemns? It is Messiah that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of Elohim, who also makes intercession for us. (Rom 8:34)

But thanks be to Elohim, which gives us the victory through our Master Messiah Yeshua. (1 Cor 15:57)

Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of Elohim through Messiah. (Gal 4:7)

But now in Messiah Yeshua you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto Elohim in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Eph 2:13–18)

In whom we have boldness and access [to the Father in heaven] with confidence by the faith of him [Yeshua]. (Eph 3:12)

For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Messiah Yeshua; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:5–6)

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to Elohim, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Heb 2:17)

Wherefore, set-apart brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Messiah Yeshua. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. (Heb 3:1–2)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Yeshua the Son of Elohim, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:14–15)

So also Messiah glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, “You are my Son, today have I begotten you.” As he says also in another place, “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 5:5–6)

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Yeshua, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 6:19–20)

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: we have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.… But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Heb 8:1–2, 6)

But Messiah being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the set-apart place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.… And for this cause he is the mediator of the renewed covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.… For Messiah is not entered into the set-apart places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Elohim for us. (Heb 9:11–12,15,24)

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua Messiah once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of Elohim.… having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of Elohim. (Heb 10:10–12,19–21)

And to Yeshua the mediator of the recently born/youthful covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:24)

My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Messiah Yeshua the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world … I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. (1 John 21–2,12)


Do you have faith or fear?

"Promised Land" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Numbers 13:2, Send forth men, if you please (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash). The implication here is that Elohim gave Moses permission to send out the spies, but left the final decision up to him. This idea is confirmed in Deuteronomy 1:22 where Moses states that the idea to spy out the land came from the Israelites, not from YHVH. By allowing them to do this, it appears that YHVH was deliberately putting them to the test to see if they would trust him when he had already told them that Canaan was a good land and theirs for the taking with his help. Would they walk by faith in his word and promises or would they have to see the actual land before believing YHVH’s word?

When YHVH gives you a promise, do you have to see it come to pass before believing it, or are you able to simply begin taking steps of faith toward the fulfillment of the promises without actually seeing any tangible evidence of the end goal? What has YHVH promised you and what steps of faith have you taken toward possessing your spiritual “promised inheritance?” (Read the scriptural definition of faith in Heb 11:1.)

YHVH did not choose the twelve spies, the people did; hence, the name of this parashah, “Send for Yourselves.” When people choose their own leaders the failure rate is high­—in this case ten of twelve leaders were faithless duds. Man-inspired and initiated efforts seldom produce lasting spiritual benefits. This effort ended in the Continue reading


Some Thoughts on Moses’ Divorce and Remarriage

Numbers 12:1, Whom he had married. Some Jewish sages (e.g. Rashi, Baal HaTurim) teach that Moses divorced Zipporah and remarried an Ethiopian or Cushite woman. Was Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian woman legal in YHVH’s eyes? If not, perhaps this is what the siblings’ complaint was about. Consider this. When Moses married Ziporah, he was not “saved.” His first encounter with YHVH occurred at the burning bush after he had already married Zipporah. This is when Moses received his spiritual calling. He received salvation on Passover night in his house with the lamb’s blood painted on the door. He was baptized in the Red Sea and received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

There is no indication that Zipporah accepted Moses’ heavenly calling to follow YHVH. Even though her father, Yitro, as a descendant of Abraham, knew and seemed to have followed YHVH, this may not have been the case with his daughter. To the contrary, she seems to have resisted YHVH and obedience to him (Exod 4:24–26). In fact, it appears that she returned to Yitro, her father, in Midian and did not accompany Moses in the exodus (see Exod 18:2).

The point is that sometimes YHVH will call, commission and grant salvation to a married person, but the person’s spouse is not open to receiving that calling and salvation. In such instances if the unsaved spouse remains hard hearted toward YHVH and after a period of time has passed, the saved spouse is released from their marriage and is free to remarry a believer.  Paul discusses this in 1 Corinithians 7:10–16.

Though the Torah doesn’t tell us, it is entirely possible that Zipporah was dead by the time Moses married the Cushite woman, since he was an elderly man (somewhere between the age of 80 and 120). Yeshua accepts the fact that because of the hardness of hearts, the Torah permits divorce (Matt 19:8) and presumably remarriage, as seems to have been the case with Moses.

Presumably, the Cushite woman was part of the mixed multitude that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus out of Egypt.