Saturday, February 16, 2019

Shabbat Service 2-16-2019

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service.  Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Grace and Truth in the Torah - Part 4

Part 4 and the final part of our study from our book "Shadows of the Messiah in the Torah, Vol. 4."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Proclaim the House of the LORD


The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/e61vrRzISmk
The reading for this teaching is: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Ezekiel was a priest and prophet who lived in Babylon at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of God. Although Ezekiel wasn’t in Jerusalem to physically see this destruction, he saw it in a vision. Ezekiel also saw a vision of a new temple or house of God. In this portion of the scriptures, Ezekiel 43:10-27, God commands Ezekiel to describe this temple to the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 43:10 NKJV 10 "Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.
A description of the altar follows this interchange, not a description of the temple. Further, why would describing the temple to the house of Israel make them recognize and be ashamed of their iniquities? And what patterns were they to measure?
The word “describe” in this verse we just read is “nagad,” number 5046 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning to front. That is, to stand boldly out opposite and announce, proclaim, expose, explain, or praise. The word “temple” in this verse is “beit,” number 1004 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning house. Ezekiel was to proclaim, expose, explain and praise the house of God! Although a description of this house is included, Ezekiel was to do more than just describe the house! The house of Israel was to be shown the house of God and they were to measure the patterns that they saw.
Let’s go back a few chapters so we can understand the context of this instruction God gave to Ezekiel. These instructions were part of a vision that Ezekiel had on the tenth of the month of Nisan.
Ezekiel 40:1 NKJV 1 In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the LORD was upon me; and He took me there.
The tenth of Nisan is an important day for the children of Israel. This is the day that they selected the Passover lamb while they were still in Egypt. They kept and protected the Passover lamb for the four days leading up to the Passover examining it for blemishes.
Exodus 12:3 NKJV 3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
For Ezekiel the priest, this day would be a day that he would deeply experience the loss of the temple in Jerusalem. Without a temple, the Passover as practiced for hundreds of years could no longer be observed. God commanded that the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which begins at the conclusion of the Passover, be observed at the place where He caused His name to reside. For hundreds of years, that place was at the temple in Jerusalem presided over by the priests. But, nineteen years before this vision, Ezekiel had another vision, recorded in chapters eight through eleven, in which he saw the Glory of the LORD depart from the temple and the city. The Glory of the LORD first crosses over the threshold of the temple.
Ezekiel 10:18 NKJV 18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.
Then the Glory departs from the city to pause on the Mt. of Olives.
Ezekiel 11:23 NKJV 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.
God’s presence was no longer in the house that David and Solomon built for Him! Seven years later, on the ninth of Av, the temple was destroyed. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were still practiced but not at Jerusalem and not at a central temple of worship. Ezekiel, the head of his household, would have selected the lamb for his household on this day that he received the vision of a new house for God! What an incredible joy that vision would have been!
Ezekiel 40:4 NKJV 4 And the man said to me, "Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see."
Once more, we see the instruction that Ezekiel was to “declare” everything he saw. This word, translated “declare” is “nagad” the same word translated “describe” in Ezekiel 43:10.
This opportunity to tour God’s house would be like being invited to tour every nook and cranny of Bill Gates’ brand new house. You are even allowed to measure the size of the rooms and examine the furnishings and share everything you saw! You would certainly take pictures and videos of everything and post them on Facebook! Our son recently returned from a trip to India where he was able to take a tour of the Taj Mahal. He came back with lots of pictures and short videos which he shared with us but he was not allowed to take pictures of the inside of the Taj Mahal.
As Ezekiel completed the tour of the future house of God, he was taken to the eastern gate and witnessed the Glory of God coming to take up residence in His house.
Ezekiel 43:1-2 NKJV 1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
Imagine that once you have finished your tour of Bill Gates’ house, he drives up the driveway to move in and invites you back into the house for a private conversation. This is kind of what happened for Ezekiel except Ezekiel got to witness the arrival of the glory of God!
Ezekiel 43:4-5 MKJV 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose view is eastward. 5 And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner chamber. And behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
Ezekiel was brought into the house, into the inner court, to have a conversation with God!
Ezekiel 43:6-7 ASV 6 And I heard one speaking unto me out of the house; and a man stood by me. 7 And he said unto me, Son of man, this is the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, and by the dead bodies of their kings in their high places;
God explained that the house of Israel would no longer defile His house, the place of His throne. This implies that the house of Israel had defiled God’s previous house, the house that had been destroyed more than twelve years earlier. They defiled God’s house by their whoredom; they were unfaithful to God by worshiping other gods in God’s house. The “dead bodies” of their kings probably refers to both the bodies of the kings and the lifeless idols the kings worshiped. God uses the same word to describe His judgment on those who do not obey God and keep His commandments.
Leviticus 26:30 ASV 30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your sun-images, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and my soul shall abhor you.
God goes on to condemn the house of Israel for violating the thresholds and doorposts of God’s house.
Ezekiel 43:8 NKJV 8 "When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger.
Remember the context of this vision was four days before the Passover. On the Passover in Egypt, they were to kill the lamb selected on the tenth of the month, the day of the vision, at the threshold of their house and put the blood of this lamb on the doorposts and lintels.
Exodus 12:6-7 NKJV 6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
To understand the significance of God’s words of judgment to the house of Israel, we have to understand that the Passover sacrifice is a threshold covenant sacrifice. The lamb was the covenant sacrifice killed at the threshold of the house.
Exodus 12:22 NKJV 22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.
The word “basin” is the Hebrew word “saf,” number 5592, meaning something that contains, a dish, basin, or threshold. This is the same word that is translated threshold in Ezekiel 43:8. The threshold was a shallow trough across the base of the doorway. The late nineteenth century theologian H. Clay Trumbull explains the significance of the threshold in his book The Threshold Covenant. When an honored guest arrived, the resident of the house would meet the guest at the doorway with the sacrificial animal. The animal would be slain at the doorway with the blood draining into the threshold or basin. The host would take some of the blood and put it around the doorway on the doorposts and the lintels. When the guest entered the home, he passed through the blood entering into a threshold covenant. The covenant agreement was that the guest would not harm any of the family and that the host would protect the life of the guest above even those of his own family.
God’s statement that the house of Israel put a threshold by His threshold and a doorpost by His doorpost is that they had violated the threshold covenant and the Passover sacrifice which established the house of Israel as God’s people! Instead, they had entered into a different threshold covenant with their idols! Further, they practiced the worship of those idols inside God’s house putting a threshold within God’s threshold and a wall between them and God even in God’s house! God showed their actions to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 8:9-12 NKJV 9 And He said to me, "Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there." 10 So I went in and saw, and there-every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, 'The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'"
In reality, the elders of the house of Israel were the ones who put the barrier between them and God erecting walls and hiding their eyes from seeing and observing God’s commandments. Instead they entered into a different threshold covenant and shed innocent blood.
Ezekiel 9:9 NKJV 9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!'
As a result of their iniquities, the house of Israel was in exile and the house of God destroyed! However, Ezekiel was to describe, explain, proclaim and praise the coming house of God so that the house of Israel would be ashamed of their iniquities. How would this make them ashamed? God says that they were to measure the pattern. Our first clue to this pattern is that the glory of God approaches the temple from the east. There are two words in Hebrew that are translated as east or eastward. One is the word “Mizrach,” number 4217 meaning sunrise. The second word is “qedem,” number 6924 meaning the front of time or place, before, east, or eternal. Ezekiel uses this second word which is the word used to describe the location of the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:8 KJV 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The use of the word qedem draws the mind toward the Garden of Eden and God’s creation. In contrast, the seventy elders who defiled the house of God, bowed toward the east, qedem, to worship the sun.
Ezekiel 8:15-16 NKJV 15 Then He said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these." 16 So He brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house; and there, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.
God instructed Ezekiel to describe the entire design of the temple including the exits and entrances.
Ezekiel 43:11 NKJV 11 "And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
There were three gates to the house of God on the east, north, and south sides. The entrance through which the glory of God entered was that of the east facing the altar. The steps to ascend to the altar came from the east. The description of the altar uses some unusual words that have a dual meaning. The Stone Edition Chumash comments that “Ezekiel uses symbolic names that are not found elsewhere in Scripture.”[i]
Ezekiel 43:13-17 MKJV 13 And these are the measures of the altar by the cubit. The cubit is a cubit and a span; even the base shall be a cubit, and the width a cubit, and its border by its edge all around shall be a span. And this is the upper part of the altar. 14 And from the base on the ground even to the lower ledge shall be two cubits, and the width one cubit. And from the smaller ledge even to the greater ledge shall be four cubits, and the width one cubit. 15 And the altar hearth shall be four cubits, and from the altar hearth and upward shall be four horns. 16 And the altar hearth shall be twelve cubits long, twelve wide, square in its four sides. 17 And the ledge shall be fourteen long and fourteen wide in its four sides. And the border around it shall be half a cubit, and its base a cubit around. And its steps shall face eastward.
In verse 13, the word for altar is “mizbach,” number 4196 in Strong’s Concordance literally meaning an altar from a word meaning to slaughter. This is not surprising. As we go on, Ezekiel describes two “ledges” around the base of the altar and around the top of the altar. The word “ledge” is the Hebrew word “azarah,” number 5835 meaning a surrounding, enclosure or courtyard. The only other place this word is used in the Bible is in the description of Solomon’s temple to describe the court of the priests and the courtyard containing the altar and the laver. The ledges or courtyard around the altar are there for the priests to walk around the sides.
In verse 15, the first word for “altar” is “har’el,” number 1025 meaning the mountain of God. The second word for “altar” is “ari’el,” number 739 meaning the Lion of God! Ezekiel is describing a courtyard containing the mountain of God upon which is the Lion of God! The priests approach the mountain of God and the Lion of God from the surrounding ledges or courtyard! The Lion of God is the altar on the Mountain of God!
God’s instructions to Ezekiel continue with how to dedicate the altar. The word used for altar in this passage reverts back to the usual word “mizbach.”
Ezekiel 43:18-20 NKJV 18 And He said to me, "Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: 'These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it. 19 'You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me,' says the Lord GOD. 20 'You shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.
The dedication begins with a sin offering brought to the Levitical priests of the lineage of Zadok. Zadok was high priest under David and Solomon. The name Zadok, number 6659, means “just, clean or righteous.” The blood sprinkled on the altar makes atonement for it. This process of dedicating the altar continues for seven days following the pattern of dedicating the altar in the wilderness and the altar in Solomon’s temple.
This sin offering is made on the mountain of God on the altar of the Lion of God! The writer of Hebrews explains that Yeshua, the Passover Lamb, is both the sin and the covenant sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:15-19 YLT 15 And because of this, of a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise of the age-during inheritance, 16 for where a covenant is, the death of the covenant-victim to come in is necessary, 17 for a covenant over dead victims is stedfast, since it is no force at all when the covenant-victim liveth, 18 whence not even the first apart from blood hath been initiated, 19 for every command having been spoken, according to law, by Moses, to all the people, having taken the blood of the calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he both the book itself and all the people did sprinkle,
The pattern of the altar revealed by Ezekiel pointed straight to the Messiah!
On the eighth day, the altar is fully dedicated to the LORD and open to receive the offerings of the people.
Ezekiel 43:27 NKJV 27 'When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you,' says the Lord GOD."
The Lord God will accept not just the offerings but He will accept the people! The word for “accept” is raw-tsaw,” number 7521 meaning to be pleased with, to satisfy a debt, pardon or reconcile. There on the altar of the mountain of God in the presence of the Lion of God, God will declare Himself pleased; that the debt has been satisfied.
Ezekiel 20:40 JPGreen For in My holy mountain in the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord Jehovah, all the house of Israel shall serve Me there; all of them in the land. There I will accept them; and there I will seek your heave offerings, and the firstfruits of your offerings, with all your holy things.
Seeing the pattern of the altar and sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah will cause the house of Israel to be ashamed of their iniquities. They could not pay the penalty for their transgressions; neither can we. However, the payment has been made by the sacrifice of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb of God.
Hebrews 9:28 NKJV 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Yeshua is coming again to bring the realization of the gift of salvation! The patterns in the temple and the altar of God reveal the coming of Messiah! The house of Israel will recognize that the LORD does see them and has not forsaken either them or the land. The house of God will be rebuilt in Jerusalem on God’s holy mountain. His glory will come by way of the East from the Mount of Olives to fill His house! And God will accept His people. All Israel and the nations will know that the LORD is God.

Study Questions:
1. Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah Portion Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:11.
2. There were many connections to creation and the Garden of Eden in this haftarah. The first is the word “nagad” for declare or proclaim God’s house. In Genesis 1:18 where God states that He will make a helpmate “suitable” or “comparable” to Adam. The Hebrew word is “neged” #5048, from the root nagad. How is Eve’s role with Adam similar to Ezekiel’s role in this situation? What are some other connections to creation and the Garden of Eden?
3. How does God convey the importance of the threshold covenant? 
4. Ezekiel was to “describe the pattern” of the house of God. The description of the house of God is in Ezekiel 40-43. What patterns in the house reveal Messiah?

5. What will it mean for the Jewish people when the temple and/or the altar is rebuilt and the sacrificial system reinstated?

© 2019 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved.


[i] The Stone Edition Chumash. ArtScroll Series. Rabbi Nosson Scherman and Rabbi Meir Zlotositz General Editors. Mesorah Publications. ©1998, 2000. P1159.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Shabbat Service 2-9-2019

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service.  Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

You Shall Build Me a House


By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/1RdfqL-uS-c
The reading for this teaching is: 1 Kings 5:12-6:13
The haftarah portion of the scriptures that we will examine today is the account of Solomon building the temple. On the surface, it is uninteresting, merely an account of where Solomon obtained the materials, who did the work, and where it was done. Sort of like telling someone all about the process of building a house, from the first step of choosing an architect and builder, including who actually worked for them; to the selection of the counters, cabinets and fixtures. Really boring—unless you were a builder. So, why is this recorded? What does this tell us about Solomon and the other people involved? What does this tell us about God and His relationship to His people?
As always, let’s start by examining the historical context. Solomon begins to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign. However, the idea and the plans for the temple came from his father David.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains." 3 Then Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you."
Nathan, the prophet of God, endorsed David’s idea and told David to do all that was in his heart. David had a heart to build a dwelling place for God. Why didn’t David actually build the temple? David explains the reason to his son Solomon.
1 Chronicles 22:6-8 ASV 6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for Jehovah, the God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house unto the name of Jehovah my God. 8 But the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
David could not build the house for two reasons; he shed a lot of blood and he made great wars. David was a military man from the time he slew the giant Goliath. He was a general under Saul and, after Saul rejected him, under the Philistines. As king, he conducted the wars that extended his kingdom nearly to the borders of the land God promised to give to the children of Israel. Many of these battles and victories came after David expressed his desire to build a house for God.
Solomon understood David’s answer to be related to this necessity of establishing the safety of the kingdom before building the house of God. The house could not be built until David’s enemies were beaten.
1 Kings 5:3-4 NKJV 3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.
One of the reasons that David could not build the house for God was that it was not the right time! But God had also said that David couldn’t build the house because he had shed much blood. And He said it twice! This is cited as being separate from making wars. In what situations did David shed blood other than war? Two situations come to mind. The first is in the murder of Uriah. David had gotten Uriah’s wife Bathsheba pregnant and tried to cover his sin by having Uriah killed. David had his general Joab leave Uriah stranded in the hottest part of a battle. Uriah wasn’t the only person killed as a result of Joab withdrawing his support. Many of those who fought next to Uriah also lost their lives! Psalm fifty one records David’s repentance of that sin and acknowledgment of his guilt of shedding blood.
Psalms 51:14 NKJV 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
In addition to the deaths of Uriah and the soldiers with him, David was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of men of Israel. David grew proud of all his accomplishments and decided to take a census of Israel against God’s standing orders not to number his people. As a result, David, as leader of the people, had to choose his punishment. He had a choice of three years of famine, three months of defeat in war, or three days of the wrath of God. David chose to put himself in the hands of God and trust to His mercy.
1 Chronicles 21:13-14 NKJV 13 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man." 14 So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.
As the angel of the LORD stood poised over Jerusalem with sword upraised, David acknowledged his sin and interceded for Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 21:16-17 NKJV 16 Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, "Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O LORD my God, be against me and my father's house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued."
Although David repented, he was still guilty for shedding the blood of the seventy thousand men who died in the plague in the wake of his sin. The consequences of his actions included forfeiting the blessing of building a house for God.
God commanded David to build an altar at the site of Ornan’s threshing floor where the angel of the LORD stood with upraised sword. There at the altar he built for the LORD, David declared that this would be the site of the house of God, and as we read in 1 Chronicles 22:6-8, that his son Solomon would be the one to build the house. In fact, God specifically chose Solomon to build His house. God promised David that a son would be born to him who would build this house and that David should name him Solomon.
1 Chronicles 22:9-10 NKJV 9 'Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 'He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'
The name Solomon, Shalomoh in Hebrew, is number 8010 in Strong’s Concordance meaning “peaceful.” Solomon’s birth and reign are intimately tied to God’s promise to David that his son would build a house for God!
David instructs Solomon to ask God for wisdom and understanding for both keeping the Torah of God and building the temple!
1 Chronicles 22:11-12 NKJV 11 "Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you. 12 "Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.
Although David couldn’t build the house for God, he could and did gather materials to build it.
1 Chronicles 22:14 NKJV 14 "Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.
God had even given David the plans for the temple including all the furnishings and even how the temple was to operate!
1 Chronicles 28:11-13 NKJV 11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; 13 also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.
David charged Solomon to begin to build the temple even before he died!
1 Chronicles 22:19 NKJV 19 "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD."
Before his death, David gave generously to the fund for building the temple and encouraged the other leaders of Israel to do likewise.
1 Chronicles 29:3,4b-6 NKJV 3 "Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: … 4b Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?" 6 Then the leaders of the fathers' houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king's work, offered willingly.
Under the wisdom God gave Solomon, Solomon began the task of building the temple by reaching out to David’s friend and ally King Hiram of Tyre.
1 Kings 5:12 NAS95 12 The LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.
Hiram had a personal friendship with David and expressed faith in David’s God.
2 Chronicles 2:11-12 NKJV 11 Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon: Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them. 12 Hiram also said: Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal house for himself!
Moses had written that the nations around Israel would recognize the greatness of God when Israel carried out God’s Torah!
Deuteronomy 4:6 NKJV 6 "Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
Solomon had obtained a worthy and dependable partner in building the house of the LORD. David had already worked with Hiram to obtain the best cedars from Lebanon of Tyre. Solomon utilized the wisdom that God gave him to make decisions about the building of the temple. Solomon selected the best materials choosing the cedars from Lebanon, the best marble, olive wood, cypress, gold and bronze.
Solomon continued in David’s path and worked together with Hiram to organize a labor force that would rotate in and out of Tyre of Lebanon.
1 Kings 5:13-14 NKJV 13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force.
The work force consisted of workers from both Israel and Tyre. Jew and Gentile working together!
1 Kings 5:18 NKJV 18 So Solomon's builders, Hiram's builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.
When all was in readiness, Solomon began to build the temple.
1 Kings 6:1 NKJV 1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
The month of Ziv is currently called Iyar. The name Ziv, #2099 means brightness. The name Iyar has the same linguistic derivation as the word “or” meaning light. Ziv, then, is the month of brightness and radiance. This was the month that the children of Israel left Mt. Sinai to begin their journey to the Promised Land. The foundation of the second temple was also begun in the month of Ziv.
The scriptures record the dimensions of the temple as being twice that of the inner structure of the Tabernacle of Meeting maintaining the three to one ratio of the length to the width given by God in the wilderness.
1 Kings 6:2 NKJV 2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits.
Around the outside of the temple, Solomon constructed rooms for the priests and Levites who would serve in the temple, as well as rooms for storage and working.
1 Kings 6:5 NKJV 5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. Thus he made side chambers all around it.
The plans for all of this were given to Solomon by David under the inspiration of the Spirit of God! As Solomon finished building the temple, God reminded Solomon that the temple was not the most important thing—following God’s Torah was the most important thing to maintain God’s presence in the temple.
1 Kings 6:11-13 NKJV 11 Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: 12 "Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. 13 "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel."
There is currently no temple in the land of Israel. However, there are plans in place to build a temple as soon as the political climate allows them to build once more on the temple mount. But these are man’s plans and not necessarily God’s plans. The building of this temple may or may not ever actually happen. However, God does have plans for rebuilding His temple. Like in the time of David, the timing must be right. One of reasons David couldn’t build the temple was that it was a time of war and the land of Israel was besieged on every side as we read in 1 Kings 5:3.
When Yeshua returns, He, like David, will have wars to fight.
Revelation 19:11-12 NKJV 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
When David took the throne, he did so with all the tribes acknowledging that He was the king of Israel that God had selected.
2 Samuel 5:1-3 NKJV 1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, "Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. 2 "Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.'" 3 Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel.
When Yeshua takes the throne, He will do so to the acknowledgment of all the tribes of Israel.
Ezekiel 39:21-22 NKJV 21 "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.
Isaiah said that this time would be a time of light and radiance, and that the Gentiles will see that light and be drawn to it!
Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJV 1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Like Hiram, the Gentiles will desire to join with Israel to build the temple. They will send their wealth to Israel.
Isaiah 60:5 NKJV 5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
When Yeshua returns, it will be a time of the resurrection of the dead. Paul writes of Yeshua’s resurrection and of the time when all those who belong to Christ will rise from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NKJV 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
Ezekiel describes the temple that Yeshua, the prince, will build at that time. Then, at the end, there will be one more great battle where even death is defeated.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 NKJV 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Death and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and peace, Shalomoh, will reign. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will be its temple.
The account of Solomon building the temple was included in the Bible to remind us that building God’s house is totally in God’s hands. It was written to demonstrate the connection between David’s reign and Solomon’s reign and the integral role that building the temple was to both of them.
We can look forward to the time when Yeshua returns to establish His nation, His throne, and His temple. But even as we wait, God is building His spiritual temple. We are God’s chosen materials and workmen being used to build this temple.
Study Questions:
1. Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah Portion Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19.

2. David’s actions toward Bathsheba and Uraiah “displeased” the LORD (2 Sam. 11:27) The literal translation uses the word “evil.” The literal translation would read, “the thing which David hath done is evil in the eyes of Jehovah. Psalm 51 records David’s repentance of this evil. Discuss David’s “evil” against God and his repentance.

3. What is the significance of the site of the temple as described in 1 Chr. 21:16-22:1? What connection does it have with the actions of David? What connection does it have with the angel standing with raised sword?

4. David said the Spirit of the LORD gave him the plans for the temple (1 Chr. 28:11-13). What were some of the specifics that the Spirit gave to David? How did this influence temple worship? How does it influence our worship today?

5. God gave David’s son the name Solomon meaning “peaceful.” What is the significance of this name? One of the offerings God’s people are to bring is the “peace” offering. Is there any connection between Solomon and the peace offering?

6. Last week, we discussed the Hebrew concept of slavery. David and Solomon both used slave labor in building the temple (1 Chr. 22:2-4 and 2 Chr. 2:17-18) Do you think this was right? How did this act fit in relation to the culture and accepted practices at that time?


© 2019 Moed Ministries International. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Shabbat Service 2-2-2019

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service.  Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Part 3 - Grace and Truth in the Torah

Part 3 of our study from our book, "Shadows of the Messiah in the Torah - Volume 4". The book is available from Amazon.com and select retailers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Better Covenant and a Better Promise


By Dan and Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/0BDaLdA7V1A
The reading for this teaching is: Jeremiah 33:25-26, 34:8-22
One central theme throughout both the Tanach as well as the New Covenant writings is release from slavery. Whether that slavery is literal, such as the Children of Israel being released from Egypt, or in a more spiritual or figurative sense with our release from the bondage of sin, the LORD is faithful to His covenants despite our shortcomings and stubbornness.
In our Haftarah reading this week we return to the book of Jeremiah where it opens with two rather profound and complex verses.
Jeremiah 33:25-26 NKJV 25 "Thus says the LORD: 'If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26 'then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return and will have mercy on them.'"
Why would this Haftarah open with these two verses then skip to a section of the next chapter which focuses on slavery?  What is the connection? As we dig a little deeper, we will see that this Haftarah is about much more than just slavery.
The Torah portion title for this week is Mishpatim which means enactments or judgments and outlines the conditions and dispositions of slavery within the community of God’s people.  How were slaves to be treated?  Specifically, slaves who were themselves counted among God’s chosen people. How are the Biblical regulations of slavery, and this story of Zedekiah in particular, a picture of our redemption from slavery to sin by the blood of Yeshua?
The bulk of this week Haftarah reading is concerning the covenant king Zedekiah made with the people involving the release of their Hebrew slaves. Zedekiah was the third son of the great king Josiah. Josiah was the last truly good king of Judah, leading the people in following the Torah of God. All three of Josiah’s sons would sit on the throne of Judah following Josiah’s defeat and death at Megiddo, but none would ever live up to the example of Josiah.
But who is Zedekiah? Zedekiah was the last of Josiah’s sons who obtained the throne by appointment. During Zedekiah’s reign, Judah was a vassal kingdom, paying tribute as a subordinate to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Zedekiah came to power following a great captivity when Judah had been stripped of most of its army, the entire priesthood, as well as many of their skilled artisans, merchants and politically connected people.  The prophet Ezekiel, a contemporary of Jeremiah, himself a priest, was among the first group taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The name Zedekiah was give to him by king Nebuchadnezzar.
2 Kings 24:15-17 NKJV 15 And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the valiant men, seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths, one thousand, all who were strong and fit for war, these the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah was really stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place. He did not have the support of the people, who had again fallen into rebellion and rejection of the Torah and the LORD’s covenant with them. And he owed loyalty to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar who had put him in power.  What was Zedekiah to do?  How could he survive this contradictory and politically dangerous position? 
To top it off, Zedekiah receives a frightening message from Jeremiah regarding his fate.
Jeremiah 34:1-3 NKJV 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem and all its cities, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3 'And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon.'"'
Perhaps with the help of his closest friends and advisors, Zedekiah decides to enter into a covenant with the LORD and with the people. From the text it is difficult to ascertain his motivation for doing this. Was Zedekiah entering into this covenant out of conscience or for reasons of convenience? Regardless of the motivation, it is clear that Zedekiah entered into a binding covenant with the people and with God.
Jeremiah 34:8-10 NKJV 8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them: 9 that every man should set free his male and female slave-a Hebrew man or woman-that no one should keep a Jewish brother in bondage. 10 Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that everyone should set free his male and female slaves, that no one should keep them in bondage anymore, they obeyed and let them go.
This was a covenant entered into by means of the ancient traditions where a sacrifice is made, the parts of the sacrificial animal are split into two, and the parties walk between them. The understanding was that the one who broke a covenant would then be treated as the covenant sacrifice and cut into two pieces. The covenant that Zedekiah made was to honor the Torah in regard to the treatment of slaves.
It had been more than seven hundred years since the Children of Israel had been released from slavery in Egypt and God had established them in their land and given them a system of laws that were radically different than those common to other ancient Near East cultures. Generally, slavery at this time, and throughout most of history, was a particularly brutal practice. Slave were treated as mere property, not unlike a piece of furniture or any other household item. The practice of slavery in Roman times is well documented and typical of the conditions of slaves in the ancient world.
Since the death of Josiah, the Children of Israel had ignored the Torah laws regarding the indentured servitude of fellow Hebrews and reverted to the common practices of the surrounding nations. These laws are enumerated in Leviticus chapter twenty-five.
Leviticus 25:39-43 NKJV 39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 'As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 'And then he shall depart from you-he and his children with him-and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 'For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 'You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God.
The Torah says that their fellow Hebrew was to be treated with the same respect and dignity that one was to give to a neighbor or even a family member. But the Israelites of Zedekiah’s time were not following the Torah. Zedekiah essentially renewed the provisions of the covenant regarding their brethren as indentured slaves, but their observance of this covenant was to be short lived.
Jeremiah 34:11 NKJV 11 But afterward they changed their minds and made the male and female slaves return, whom they had set free, and brought them into subjection as male and female slaves.
Whatever spiritual revival resulted among the inhabitants of Judah at that time due to this covenant, died right then and there. Jeremiah goes on to give a stern warning and prediction to Zedekiah.
Jeremiah 34:12-16 NKJV 12 Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 13 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 14 "At the end of seven years let every man set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to him; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you." But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear. 15 'Then you recently turned and did what was right in My sight-every man proclaiming liberty to his neighbor; and you made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. 16 'Then you turned around and profaned My name, and every one of you brought back his male and female slaves, whom he had set at liberty, at their pleasure, and brought them back into subjection, to be your male and female slaves.'
By reclaiming their Hebrew slaves, they were violating several provisions of God’s covenant with them. First by forcing their former slaves back into a condition of slavery they were, in effect, kidnapping them! At the point of their release, they had become liberated, or were once again free citizens, not in debt to anyone! They were now being taken into slavery outside of the provisions outlined in Leviticus chapter twenty-five! By reclaiming their slaves, they also profaned the name of God because they entered into this covenant in the precincts of the Temple. And by reclaiming the people as slaves they were also breaking their word to each other.
God’s judgement against the people is severe. But why did God’s judgment fall on them at this time? The Children of Israel had been violating various Torah laws and provisions for centuries.  As we read in the time of the judges and under the reign of all the kings of the northern tribes, and many of those of Judah, their sins against God and each other appear far more extensive than this example in our Haftarah.  Why now?  Was God over reacting in His judgment?  Jeremiah tells them what is to come:
Jeremiah 34:17-20 NKJV 17 "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming liberty, everyone to his brother and everyone to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim liberty to you,' says the LORD-'to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine! And I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 'And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it- 19 'the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf- 20 'I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth.
That is a harsh punishment for a single transgression of the Torah laws regarding slavery! Especially in light of the fact that for centuries prior, both Israel and Judah were engaged in far greater sins including idolatry, murder, and the sacrificing of their children.
Covenants are sacred, and they had made a covenant with God in the Temple! As such, God was a witness and party to this covenant. If people were allowed to treat this covenant lightly, then it would leave the impression that God also treats His covenant obligations lightly.  And this wasn’t just any covenant, it was a covenant which dealt with slavery, the very thing that God released them from when they were in Egypt.  It is interesting to note that among the cultures of the ancient Near East, the Bible is the only document which begins its list of enactments or mishpatim with rules about slavery.
In a commentary by the Jewish Publication Society, Nahum Sarna writes:
“The priority given by the Torah doubtless has a historical explanation: Having recently experienced liberation from bondage, the Israelite is enjoined to be especially sensitive to the condition of the slave.”[i]
As we read in Exodus chapter twenty five, the Torah says that a fellow Hebrew who finds himself as a slave to another Hebrew is to have a special status.  He is a brother and was not to be treated as Israel was treated when they were slaves in Egypt. When the people broke their covenant at this time, they also violated one of the most important Torah provisions and insulted God in the process. No wonder God’s response was so severe! Judgment would come to Judah by the hands of the Babylonians.
Jeremiah 34:21-22 NKJV 21 'And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army which has gone back from you. 22 'Behold, I will command,' says the LORD, 'and cause them to return to this city. They will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.'"
King Zedekiah would face judgment as well, but his life would be spared. His judgment would be to be taken into captivity in humiliation to face the Babylonian king.
Jeremiah 34:2-5 NKJV 2 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3 'And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon.'"' 4 "Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the LORD concerning you: 'You shall not die by the sword. 5 'You shall die in peace; as in the ceremonies of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they shall burn incense for you and lament for you, saying, "Alas, lord!" For I have pronounced the word, says the LORD.'"
Even though the end of this Haftarah reading ends with Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Children of Israel will be defeated, the city of Jerusalem burned and left desolate, and king Zedekiah along with the remaining population taken off to Babylon, we know that this isn’t the end of the story. The opening two verses of this Haftarah reading would be best left to read at the end of this portion. It might serve us well to read them again.
Jeremiah 33:25-26 NKJV 25 "Thus says the LORD: 'If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26 'then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.'"
We can see that God takes His covenants seriously! God kept His obligations under this covenant even though Israel and Judah did not. But how does this Haftarah relate to us and our relationship to God through Messiah Yeshua? When we accepted the sacrifice that Yeshua made, we too entered into a covenant relationship with God. Yes, we fail from time to time because of our flesh and our sin nature. But God is faithful to his obligations under this covenant as well. Our salvation is built upon His promise to never forsake His obligation to His covenants. 
Hebrews 9:15 NKJV 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Just like with Israel, God may prescribe discipline on us, yet just like the promise to the People of Judah in Zedekiah’s time, God will always remain faithful to His people and He will restore them, and we are no exception.
God kept His promises to the Children of Israel and brought them back from their captivity and restored their nation once again. And the modern State of Israel owes her very existence to God’s covenant promises, and so do we. Yeshua reminds us of His covenant keeping promise in John’s gospel.
John 10:26-30 NKJV 26 "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 "I and My Father are one."
We have learned that this Haftarah is indeed about much more than slavery. It is all about the nature of covenants and their importance in our relationship with the LORD of hosts. It is about His unfailing, covenant keeping nature and His promise to all who call on His name. Just as the battered and beaten Israel needed to be reminded of God’s Covenantal promise to them and their relationship to Him through His covenant, so do we who claim to know Messiah Yeshua. Just like with the Children of Israel, we also from time to time will fall victim to our own shortcomings. But by our reliance on, and faithfulness to His word, we are reminded that we have entered into a covenantal relationship with Him through a better sacrifice and, by extension, a better promise, He will forever and always be faithful to that covenant!
Study questions:
1. Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah Portion Mishpatim Exodus 21:1-24:18?

2. Discuss the connection of this teaching with last weeks teaching that included the Northern kingdom of Israel taking captives from Judah.  See 2 Chronicles 28,

3. Why was Zedekiah spared the immediate punishment of death for breaking the covenant unlike the others? What eventually happened to Zedekiah and how is his final disposition a worse punishment? Why do you think God promised Zedekiah that he would die in peace?

4. Why do you think that the return of the Babylonians to sack the city of Jerusalem and take all the remaining people captive is appropriate discipline for breaking the covenant?

5. According to Leviticus 25:39-43 the children of Israel could not, in practice, be actual slaves in the household of another Israelite.  Compare their actual practice of slavery with this passage as well as the words of Yeshua and the apostle Paul.

© 2019 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved.


[i] Nahum N. Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus, p. 118