I’m sharing my thoughts on Torah Portion Bamidbar (in Hebrew it means “In the wilderness” NOT “numbers”). This is our fifth reading cycle of Torah and I learn something new each time. I use a different translation each Torah cycle. This cycle I am using the Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses. I have to tell you I DO NOT like the commentary in this translation at all, but I love the language of the Scriptures and verses… so I continue to use it and ignore the other. I personally like having a book to hold, but if you want to read it online, here is a pdf.
This is the beginning of “Numbers” (which is NOT what Bamidbar means, as I stated above. Some folks have a really hard time reading this book of Torah because it is quite repetitive in places when it goes into excruciating detail. But what I sense is that this is demonstrating order and structure, not to mention scope and scale of the Israelites and mixed multitude that came out of Egypt.
One thing that caught my attention was that the boys were not counted as men until they were 20 (considered to be of age to go to battle). Of course, my oldest son heard that repeated 12 times (plus the totals), so thirteen times actually and I giggled and pointed it out to him each time to remind him! We have noticed it before, but the closer he gets to being considered grown in the United States, the more I appreciate this parsha! And we see order and precision here with the numbering of the tribes, the order in which they will march, and even in their encampment around the Tent of Appointment. We have heard over and over that chaos is not of God and here we see it clearly. He is extremely, painstakingly precise.
The Haftarah for Bamidbar is Hosea 2:1-22 in Hebraic Scriptures (1:10 – 2:20 in Western Translations). Rabbit trail for a moment… that amazes me. I can’t tell you how many Portions start with verse 2 or 3 of a chapter. It seems that when the Bible was divided up into chapters and verses, the Jewish people were not consulted… because they would never have broken up a Torah portion the way the chapters do.
So, back to the Haftarah… The first thing we see is that the children of Israel will be like the sands of the sea, cannot be measured or counted. One thing that needs to be remembered about Hebrew is that there were no vowels in the original Biblical Hebrew… those were added later. So the word for adulterous and idolatrous are the exact same. So is it any surprise that idolatry is treated as adultery? I love the Hebrew language… there is so much just like this that is to be learned that just adds to the richness of the Scriptures and helps us truly understand the intent of the Words used! So Hosea is essentially about idolatrous (adulterous) Israel. Amazing.
Hosea shows us that God will strip us of everything He needs to strip us of in order to get us to Teshuvah (repent and return to Him).
Hos 2:7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
One thing that will be terribly controversial and I’m sorry to even bring it up… but it is on my heart and is one of the reasons we don’t have anything to do with the Christian holidays…
Hos 2:10 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
Hos 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
Hos 2:12 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
Hos 2:13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.
Hos 2:14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
Hos 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
I cannot find in Scripture where the sabbath was changed … as a matter of fact, I see Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) referencing the Sabbath day…
Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:
Mat 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
If Yeshua was going to do away with the Sabbath or that it was irrelevant, wouldn’t He have said so in this discussion? I agree with the scriptures that say the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath… it was a gift. An everlasting gift and one that is a sign that shows we are His…
Exo 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Why do I mention the Sabbath in reference to the Feasts? Because the Sabbath is His first feast. In the verse above they are HIS Sabbaths and the same language is for His feasts. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Christians are so willing to keep these holidays that are not in Scripture… yet will dismiss the Feasts that clearly the New Testament believers were still keeping.
I don’t mean to be ugly or demeaning, I just want you to pray about this and really study His word. Study scriptures and then study History. See who changed the Feasts and the Sabbath (I’ll give you a hint… Constantine did). I’ll leave you with this final thought and let you pray and study it out yourself…
Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Please ignore what you have been taught (it is all commentary, including what I am saying), and get into the Word and study this out. If it appears that parts of the New Testament contradict what I am saying, return to Yeshua’s words. NOTHING can contradict His words… so if an apostle appears to be… then we have to question our understanding of that apostle’s words. Here is what Yeshua said:
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
So many want to stop at Matthew 5:17, but read the very next verse. Till HEAVEN and EARTH PASS… and then He goes on to expound on those very commandments that so many want to say are not required. Please read the rest of Matthew 5 … and all of His words. Learn and understand what He said. He always pointed us back to the Father’s kingdom. Read the Rich Man and Lazarus parable….
Luk 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
Luk 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Luk 16:3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
Luk 16:4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
Luk 16:5 So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
Luk 16:6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Luk 16:7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
Luk 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
Luk 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
Luk 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Luk 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luk 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luk 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
Luk 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
Luk 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
You can’t simply dismiss Yeshua’s own words. This is in Luke… Yeshua is telling them Torah still applies. Please pray and study y’all. This is such an important topic and I could continue… but I’ll stop here. I pray that my thoughts were a blessing to you and that it leads you to study His Word.
Until next time…