Friday, November 4, 2016

Rain Man | Parashat Noach | By His EVERY Word

Before we begin, some matters for prayer...

PLEASE PRAY and try to stay informed. 
Our media has been virtually silent 
as an ENORMOUS ONSLAUGHT of ANTISEMITISM has risen worldwide
against Israel and the Jewish people.

Let the priests, who minister to the LORD,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?' ” Joel 2:17

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you. Psalm 122:6
Reports of Jewish travelers being turned away from German Bed and Breakfast guesthouses, and Jewish students having to be rescued by police from a London university from an angry pro-Palestinian mob who trapped them in a meeting hall are merely the tip of the iceberg.
UNESCO, the United Nations' "intellectual" agency whose stated mission is "Building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value..." 
...In 2 historic resolutions at the end of October erased Jewish and Christian history and and any biblical connection to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, establishing them to be sacred MUSLIM SITES AND condemning Israel, "the Occupying Power," in most contemptuous of terms.

In a monumental paradigm shift, Jerusalem is no longer considered "the city of three great religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam," by #UNESCO - #UN World Heritage Foundation, but rather, thousands of years of archaeological, biblical and historic evidence tying Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the Jewish people. Israel, and Christianity has been declared non-existent.

 Even Arab archaeological and historical evidence has been thrown out in favor of the #PLO revisionist narrative, contrived in the 1960s under Yasser Arafat, claiming no historical Jewish ties to the land. In truth,

Jerusalem is NOT sacred to Islam (which wasn't even in existence until the 7th century.) Jerusalem and Israel are are not mentioned even once in the Quran or Hadith. It has been claimed that Mohammed's supernatural "night journey to the far mosque" was referring to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but it wasn't even built in Mohammed's lifetime—that, too, is revised to fit the later narrative.

Jerusalem is, however, mentioned approximately 670 times in the Bible—clearly historically sacred to Jews and Christians.

The reason for the vicious fight on behalf of the "Palestinian" Arabs for the land of Israel, is that Islam believes land once conquered MUST REMAIN MUSLIM.

ISRAEL will always be in contention and Jerusalem a rock of stumbling to the enemies of a God. There can never be a two-state peace plan—Israel has gone to ridiculous lengths to achieve peace, but the Arabs cannot tolerate the Jewish state in their midst and their leaders have said so publicly OVER and over. And made their point clear with an unbroken legacy of bloodshed. 
Next up on the world stage to threaten Israel is Turkey and the aspirations of its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This Arab tenet of land once conquered is a nagging thing. It seems Erdoğan believes he is the anointed leader to restore the Ottoman Empire—and this includes Israel of course—and establish THE Caliphate ... (Where that leaves ISIS is TBD.) 
There have already been dramatic and devastating events that demonstrate this stoic leader's resolve. Watch Turkey. 
As Winston Churchill stated on the cusp of WWII, "There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline Books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history."

Will we learn from history? Do you hear the jarring gong of the coming crisis? The world is clearly at a tipping point. May we recognize the time.



  • Red Alert app   An app for mobile devices developed by two Israeli volunteers sends an alert to your device when a rocket is launched on Israeli communities—in real time.

פרשת נח

Parashat Noach

“These are the records of the generations of Noah. 
Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.”

Torah Portion: Genesis 6:9 - 11:32
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-55:5
B’rit Chadash/New Covenant: Matthew 24:36-46; 1 Peter 3:18-22

Shabbat | 5 November 2016 |  4 Cheshvan 5777

Kristallnacht Commemoration | 9 November 2016 


Noach, Hebrew for Noah, is the second parsha or portion of Scripture in the yearly reading cycle. We have just celebrated Simchat Torah—the Joy of the Torah—as we finished one yearly cycle and lifted the Torah to begin anew another year’s journey in the Word. 

Last week’s parsha (B’reishit) began with the magnificence of creation, with many revelations and nuances discovered looking through the lens of the original Hebrew language. We also discovered the pervasive nature of chaos and wickedness. Although God brought order out of chaos and light into darkness, the heart of man quickly succumbed to temptation, unleashing the power of evil into the idyllic world God had created for them to dwell in, and it grew unrestrained. 

Finally, the Lord grieved that He had even created mankind as he saw the great wickedness on the earth and that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Last week's commentary also contained information on advancing technologies: Transhumanism, DNA sequencing, the highest level of physics being applied to opening portals to alternate universes, etc.—all attempts to evolve man while dehumanizing him. If you missed it, we suggest you take a look! B'reishit: Everything from Nothing!
Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant portion reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.

The traditional blessing pronounced before reading the Torah is as follows:
Bar’khoo et Adonai ham’vo’rakh
(Congregation responds) Ba’rookh Adonai ham’vo’rakh lay’o’lahm vah-ed

Bless Adonai, who is to be blessed.
(Congregation responds) Blessed is Adonai, who is to be blessed, forever and ever.)
Ba’rookh ah’ta Adonai,
El’o’hay’noo me’lekh ha'olam,
a’sher ba’khar ba’noo mee’kol hah’ah’meem v'nah’tahn lah’noo et torah’tow.
Ba’rookh ah’ta Adonai, no’tayn ha’torah.

Blessed are you Lord, our God, King of the Universe who chose us from all the peoples and gave to us His Torah. Blessed are You, Lord, giver of the Torah.

Genesis 6:9-13 A Righteous Man 
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

What does it mean to be righteous, especially when one is living in the midst of utter wickedness and evil? Is there a sliding scale? Does God allow us to choose the “lesser of two evils,” as we often do—is there even such a thing, or is evil simply evil, regardless of the degree? If we unpack this little portion of text, we may gain some perspective.

You may wonder if it is even worth spending the time to delve into this common story that even children seem to know. Yet, Yeshua (Jesus) told us that “the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.(Matthew 24:37)
So the story of Noah is more than a mere children’s story—it’s His story which is also our story, which continues to unfold, revealing the archetypal seeds of empires that will toss man about on seas of conflict and celestial fields of battle until the finale. There is much to be gained by understanding these early foundations and pillars of faith.
The word righteous in Hebrew is tzaddik. It is a very definitive word, used of a judge or king who is just, and is the word often attributed to God’s character in His righteousness and justice
The Rock! His work is perfect, 
For all His ways are just; 
A God of faithfulness and without injustice, 
Righteous and upright is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

We find the foundational precept, “the righteous will live by his faith” in Habakkuk 2:4, and reiterated by Paul in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11.

How do we understand this “Old Testament” concept in light of faith in Messiah? What was Paul communicating by quoting this verse?

We can unearth many treasures when we look at the verses so often quoted in the Apostolic Scriptures as a lexicon or dictionary for understanding of key Christian concepts.

πίστις / πιστεύω
Faith” being the bedrock of Christianity, Paul must have been teaching us something essential
when he chose this verse to repeat three times. 

What is faith? Is it beliefas in belief in Jesus?

It must be more than that, as James explains that even “the demons also believe, and shudder,” yet obviously they do not have any hope of salvation! (James 2:19)

In Greek, the New Testament uses the word πίστις pistis (and πιστεύω pisteuō) translated as “faith” and “believe.” There are a plethora of definitions to choose from in Strong’s Concordance. The most popular connotes a cerebral “belief, knowledge, even conviction of truth,” which even the demons have regarding Jesus. 

The secondary, however, is consistent with the Hebrew word for faith as used throughout the foundational, or Hebrew Scriptures, and that which is used in the Habukkuk 2:4 reference Paul quoted. Pisteuō/pistis can also be translated: fidelity or faithfulness
This is identical to the Hebrew definition of the word faith, אֱמוּנָה emunah (eh-moo-nah): faithfulness, steadfastness, fidelity… 
We see emunah first used in Exodus 17:12 to describe how Aaron and Hur held Moses’ arms up at Rephidim: steady/steadfastly. The second usage is Deuteronomy 32:4, describing Adonai as the Rock, a God of faithfulness

Dozens of times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, we see emunah translated as faith, characterized, not as a passive belief, but an investment—an action, borne of a steadfast commitment. In this context, we can fully grasp James’ heart and admonition regarding faith and works, “faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself … show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works … are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless … For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (cf James 2)
So, by referring to Habakkuk 2:4, Paul was clearly defining how the righteous, or redeemed would live: by faithFULNESS, not simply by what they believed. It would be evident in their fidelity, steadfastness, faithfulness. 

This is what distinguished Noah in his generation—he was blameless.

The word blameless is tammiym in Hebrew. Tammiym speaks of the wholeness of one’s character and integrity being sound; innocent and wholesome; completely truthful; and without blemish or spot. This is the same word used in Exodus 12:5 speaking of the Passover Lamb to be sacrificed—it was to be without blemish or defect.

The phrase Noah walked with God is very poetic, and wonderful to contemplate, but it is not literal. The word halak in Hebrew means the way to live, the manner of life. It is the base of the Hebrew word still used today to describe right[eous] living. It is an idiom: “the way to walk” means “the right way to walk or live before God.”

This Hebraic concept of halakhah is exactly what Paul was conveying to the Ephesians when he exhorted them how to walk: “walk as children of Light,” and “be careful how you walk” (Ephesians 5:8,15).

God puts great stock in righteousness. The wickedness of the age doesn’t temper the call to holiness—rather, how much more is light needed in times of great darkness!

  • “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” (Psalm 1:1)
  • “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).
  • “A righteous man who walks in his integrity—How blessed are his sons after him” (Proverbs 20:7).
  • “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).
  • “...flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called...” (1 Timothy 6:10-12)

God saw that men had become hopelessly corrupted throughout the entire earth. Twice our text says it was filled with violence. Immediately we form a picture in our mind of physical brutality

However, although physical violence is certainly an aspect of it, the Hebrew word used here in the text, chamac, actually means doing wrong, cruelty, and injustice, in addition to physical violence. Again it comes back to a contrast against righteousness, integrity, justice. There was utter lawlessness and depravity among men—physical violence, yes, but also violence to God’s grace, God’s creation and His desire for mankind whom He had blessed.

Somehow Noah managed to remain unaffected by his society. He did not compromise, but walked/lived uprightly, with integrity before God. This had to be a tremendous challenge. Was he careful about the company he kept so that he could maintain his relationship with God? We don’t know. Wisdom tells us, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Yet, unless one lives in a cave, it is impossible to keep totally separated from ungodly influences. In fact, if we withdraw entirely, how will others hear the message of hope that we possess? It’s a balancing act referred to as being in the world, yet kept from the evil of the world, as Yeshua prayed in John 17.  

This is a challenge to us today. Those of us who call ourselves followers of God in Messiah often lower our standards to stay just “above” those of the general society around us. However, God’s standards have never changed. He does not have a sliding scale. He is still looking for men who “walk with Him.” Do we hear compromise in His Word? 

“ not be conformed to this world, 

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

(Romans 12:2).

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. 

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes 

and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world”

(1 John 2:15, 16).

God could have wiped out all creation, but He honored Noah’s righteousness and actually brought him into his confidence! God spoke to Noah about the judgment to come and entrusted him with preserving a remnant of all living creation.

Genesis 6:14-22 An Ark and a Covenant 
“Make for yourself an ark ... This is how you shall make it ... Behold I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven ... But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.”

The Hebrew word ark used throughout the account of Noah and the flood is tava. It is not the same Hebrew word used in Ark of the Covenant, which is aron. Tava is found in only two portions of text in the Bible—as the vessel Noah built and also as the basket in which Moses was placed. (Exodus 2:3,5)

God proceeds to give Noah extremely detailed instructions on the construction of the vessel that is to carry him, his family and the remnant of all creation that He will preserve through the flood.

Behold I, even I am bringing the flood...” (Genesis 6:17) The Hebrew commentaries note the emphatic words deliberately used to make certain that all would know this terrible disaster came as a necessary judgment from the the Hand of God.

In verse 18, we find the first usage of the word and concept of covenant in the Bible. The Hebrew word, b’rit, is a pledge, agreement, constitution or treaty. It is generally made between two parties, however, God here begins His tradition of making a one-sided covenant with man—spontaneous, by His grace, and dependent only upon His faithfulness.

Yet God sees in Noah a faithful man. The words, “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22) are repeatedly attributed to our central figure.

Genesis 7:1-24 The Flood

v. 2 Two by Two? “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female." Genesis 7:2
One would be hard pressed to find a children’s book or song about Noah and the ark portraying the seven clean animals marching into the ark—somehow we chose to focus only on the parade of unclean animals—perhaps the symmetry was more appealing, or it made for better poetry!
Have you ever wondered how Noah knew which animals were clean and which were unclean, as the commandments had not yet been given at Sinai?

v. 11 “...all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” 

שָׁמַיִם shä·mah'·yeem: heaven, firmament, atmosphere, LITERALLY, WATERS ABOVE
I will not go into the various theories, but suffice it to say, this dramatic text has laid the foundation for different avenues of research and postulation among creation scientists. The original Hebrew reveals a uniquely violent and cataclysmic event that could certainly be evidenced by massive upheavals that have left their testimony in the jagged geography and topography of our planet and a sudden shift in our atmosphere as the windows of heaven released the, “waters above.”

v. 16 “...and the LORD closed it behind him." (Genesis 7:16) The Hebrew commentaries bring out the beautiful connotation of Adonai’s Divine protection which encompassed Noah and his family. This Divine act of mercy and love reveals God as deliverer to His people—to those who place their trust in Him.

v. 23 “Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping thing and to birds of the sky ... and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.”
Some use this account to claim that Adonai is a vengeful God. Atheists level accusations that the God of the Bible is bloodthirsty and filled with wrath. Some Christians even draw a distinction between “the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, Jesus,” believing “the God of the Old Testament” to be only a God of judgment, whereas “the God of the New Testament” is a God of grace. This is why it is vital to understand the Scriptures. 
Clearly mankind had grown so evil that it had become hell on earth. Genesis 6:4 reveals the abominations that existed in Noah's day—the offspring of fallen angels and mankind: "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them." These were the Nephilim הַנְּפִלִים. This race of giants were so terrifying that when Israel came to the promised land, the sight of them caused the congregation to wish they had died in the wilderness rather than face them.  (Numbers 13:33-14:1)  
The Scriptures tell us that all mankind (save Noah) had become entirely corrupt and was filled with violenceviolent hybrid giants! Moreover, Genesis 6:12-13 says that all flesh had become corrupted. Some theologians take the literal Hebrew: בָּשָׂר basar (flesh) שָׁחַת shachath (destroyed, corrupted, marred) to mean that the DNA of the Nephilim had corrupted all mankind except for Noah's line. 
Somehow Noah knew the right way to live before God and held on against the great tide of evil. The B’rit Chadashah gives us further insight about Noah, that he was “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) 
So the many years he spent building the ark, he was also preaching about righteousness and the coming destruction, knowing God protected—bestowed grace upon the upright. Yet Noah alone chose to walk uprightly before God in his generation.
Genesis 8 The Ark is Opened

vs. 1-19 After 150 days, God caused a wind to pass over the earth and the water began to subside. The Hebrew word for wind is ruach. Ruach can be translated as wind, spirit or breath. This is the same word used in Genesis 1:2: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters,” and Genesis 6:7: “...wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven...”

With perfect symmetry, it took the same amount of time, 150 days, for the waters to abate as it took for them to deluge the earth.

“And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.” Genesis 8:4

The ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat—where it is still sought to this day. The most famous explorer is probably Apollo 15 astronaut, James Irwin. The Bible doesn’t say that the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, which is the common saying and where most “sightings” have been reported, but rather upon the mountains of Ararat. the Hebrew commentaries explain that Ararat was a region, which is modern day Armenia. The modern city of Ararat is near the border of Turkey with a breathtaking view of Mount Ararat, which towers nearly 17,000 feet above sea level.
In the first century, Josephus, the great Jewish historian wrote: “The ark rested on the top of a certain mountain in Armenia ... However, the Armenians call this place, αποβατηριον 'The Place of Descent'; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day. Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood, and of this ark; among whom is Berosus the Chaldean. For when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischiefs."
After forty days, Noah began to send forth birds to see if the land was inhabitable. He sent first a raven, and then a dove. They returned finding no place to nest. The third time he sent a dove, it returned with a freshly picked olive leaf, so Noah knew the waters had abated and new growth had begun on the earth. He waited seven more days and again sent forth the dove; but she didn’t return this time.

Noah removed the covering from the ark and beheld dry ground. Then, just as He had sovereignly brought Noah and his family and all the remnant of creation to the ark, God spoke to Noah and told him it was time to come out.

v. 17 “ fruitful and multiply on the earth...” It’s interesting to note that this is the second time God has commanded this—the first time, in our last parsha—He was speaking to Adam and Eve. 
The Hebrew commentaries noted that Noah’s name in Hebrew means rest,” and the belief was that with his birth—the first birth after the death of Adam—would come relief from the curse on the earth that was due to Adam, and that Noah would bring a new beginning—that he would be another Adam. This is certainly the case in the physical sense. Of course Noah did not reconcile the problem of sin that entered mankind through Adam and Eve’s rebellion.
vs. 20-21 “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the alter. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.’”
The first thing in Noah’s heart after this great ordeal was to worship his Creator and LORD. Consider the tremendous strain of the reality of the living conditions aboard the vessel, closed in for such a period of time, with animals ... the trauma of living through the mass destruction and total annihilation of life on the earth ... there may have even been moments of fear of never seeing dry land land again—of being adrift forever!
Yet Noah worshiped God through sacrifice—and it pleased God—he found it to be a “sweet smell, a soothing aroma.” And the Lord made an agreement in His own heart never again to curse the ground because of the sinfulness of man, nor to ever again destroy all life.
Although he was pleased with Noah, He also said (to Himself), or acknowledged, resigned Himself to the fact that “the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth.” Genesis 8:21  
The Hebrew word for intent is yetser, revealing the very framework, form, device, and every imagination of man’s heart is ra”malignant, evil, wicked, unkind, and causes pain and unhappiness.
Not a pretty picture! And wisdom for us, lest we become less than vigilant. We, like Cain before us, are on notice: “...sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7
God in His grace has chosen to preserve His creation. His love for his fallen children is evident in His promises, the last verses of this chapter ringing with poetry: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
Genesis 9 A New Beginning

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’” Genesis 9:1

A new beginning for mankind—with the blessing and commandment bestowed upon Adam, now repeated to Noah and his sons. God knows, however, this time is different. Noah and his family do not dwell in innocence in the Garden of His Delight. Nevertheless, in this new paradigm, a new dawn breaks for mankind with God’s blessing.

v 2. Just as Adam was given authority over all the animals of the earth, so this absolute order is reiterated. It bears noting that while this would reasonably carry a profound stewardship responsibility, the “Earth First” and “Green Peace” type of movements today that subjugate man to the earth or the animals are not in balance with Divine order.

v. 3 No Longer Vegans!

“Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”  Whereas man was created a vegetarian when he dwelt in the Garden, God has now given all living (chayah)  things (remes)—creeping things, gliding things (of the sea), and moving things (of the animals) for food.

v. 4 Sorry, Count Dracula, Blood is Verboten!

“Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”

The issue of consuming blood will be covered in more detail when God forms His People, Israel. In Leviticus 17, God says that He will set His face against any person—from the house of Israel or foreigner—who eats any blood, explaining: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” Leviticus 17:11
God is the Creator of life and thus all life is holy. The terrible cost of sin is the shedding of innocent blood to make atonement—the first of which took place in the Garden of Eden when God provided animal skins to cover the man and woman’s shame. The final atoning sacrifice is that of God’s own Son, Yeshua, Messiah of Israel, the Lamb of God. 
It is a mockery of all that is holy to consume the blood, therefore, as if it were food. In this light one can see why the adversary would mock God in making the practice of consuming blood the core of pagan rituals. 
Consider what it may say about our present generation that the top selling novels are about vampires ... vampires are considered romantic ... people are emulating vampires, having their teeth filed, and drinking blood or simulated blood at vampire parties...
This commandment has broad application, speaking against barbaric practices in the way an animal should be slaughtered, as well as being certain that its life has fully departed from it before consuming it, to care that no blood is ingested.

This would be the rudiments of both the Kosher dietary law concerning blood for the Jews, as well as the Noahic requirements for the nations, the goyim, or Gentiles, concerning blood. It would be repeated in Acts 15:20 and 21:25 as requirements for the first Gentiles to be received into the Jewish congregations of followers of Yeshua. Eating meat with the lifeblood was something simply detestable to the Jewish People, so along with the few initial requirements that seemed obvious, such as abstaining from sexual immorality and sacrificing to idols, blood was something that would make fellowship nearly impossible between the Jewish Believers and new Gentile converts to faith.

vs.  5-7 It’s All About LIFE!

God of course knows the problematic characters he is now dealing with. He knows murder, jealousy, avarice, greed, and rage tug at the hearts of every human being. Although He has blessed Noah and his sons, or perhaps because He has blessed them, He must now instruct them and warn them—there is no tolerance for murder. They have been saved by His great grace to be fruitful and replenish life on the earth—a noble, Godly charge!
God’s call to bear fruit is one that we will hear over and over again throughout the Scriptures. Fruitfulness is the evidence of reproducing life. If we bear good fruit that can nourish others, our roots are good, planted in good soil that is tended, watered with the Word, and pruned by the vinedresser (sometimes the difficulties of life!)
vs. 8-17 The Unconditional Covenant
“God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations... When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’” Genesis 9:12,16

God reiterates His covenant, His b’rit, stressing it is everlasting between Himself, all living creatures, and the earth, for all generations to come—unconditionally. Not only mankind, but He will always be reminded of this when the phenomena of the rainbow shines in the sky indicating the relenting of the rain. 

If only our parsha ended here...

vs. 18-29 Another Unfortunate Garden Incident
"Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard." Genesis 9:18-20

Our hero, Noah, the only righteous man on earth, whom God spoke with and entrusted the remnant of all the living to replenish the earth, in being fruitful plants a vineyard. He then proceeds to become intoxicated, and the text says he “uncovered himself inside his tent.” There is really no further detail. The Hebrew word for uncovered, galah, can also mean “exposed,” but it is not explicit. What is clear, is that he was found in a shameful condition by his youngest son, Ham, who “declared, announced, expounded, proclaimed” the condition to his two brothers. The text merely says Ham “told” them, however the Hebrew word, nagad, is far more expressive, indicating he “made conspicuous” his father’s unfortunate state, greatly disrespecting his father.

The text sets the stage for several lessons Adonai deemed worthy to record. Although it is evident that Noah was in a compromised condition himself, he is the patriarch who has been known for righteous behavior and integrity before God. As his father, even in his sorry state, Ham does not have the right to mock and expose him to further shame than what he has already brought upon himself. 

Noah’s two older sons, Shem and Japheth show proper respect, love, and compassion, covering their father’s nakedness and shame—walking backwards with a cloak of mercy to cover their father's nakedness without even looking upon him themselves to save him that shame.

Drunkenness is dealt with ruthlessly throughout the Bible—there is never a good outcome. Here it caused a righteous man dishonor himself, and exposed the sinful heart of his youngest son. Ham’s son, Canaan, would be cursed, while Shem and Japheth would receive blessings.

v. 29 “So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.”

Genesis 10 The Family of Man

This chapter traces all the nations of the earth to Bnei Noach, the sons of Noah. 

In this grand, overarching view of the ancestry of man, individuals become tribes, and tribes become great cities, spreading throughout the Fertile Crescent from Ararat, throughout Turkey and Iran, to Egypt in the west, and east throughout Iraq to the Persian Gulf, spanning untold generations.

We also find the establishment of an empire—Babylon—that will serve as the spiritual center of wickedness in very same way Jerusalem serves as the spiritual center of light, where God has placed His Name forever. 

The Luciferian spirit of rebellion against God, idolatry and harlotry birthed in Babylon will flourish, leaving no age, political or religious system unscathed, challenging God until the very culmination of redemption.

v. 5 Separate Lands and Languages
“From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.”

This event actually doesn’t take place until the next chapter, known as the Tower of Babel. It is noted here, however, as this is an overview of the population of the earth following the flood.

vs. 6-14 The Birth of Nimrod, the Birth of Idolatry
“The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan ... the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth ... He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Genesis 10:6,7,8

In establishing the earth, we find that Cush became Ethiopia, which has figured in Israel’s history, from Moses’ Ethiopian wife (Numbers 12:1), to the Queen of Sheba visiting King Solomon (I Kings 10:1-13), and right up to the present day with the discovery the Ethiopian Jews, the Beta Israel and Beta Avraham.

Cush then fathered Nimrod whose kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar (Babylonia). The Hebrew commentaries record that Nimrod’s vast dominion and ascendency was acquired “by conquest and by the terror he inspired.” Indeed Nimrod became a notorious figure through his exploits. Known in Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian literature, the Gilgamesh Epic has one of the most revealing portraits of this almost mythological character—as ruthless, depraved, and violent.

The verse, “He was a mighty hunter before the LORD may seem to indicate that he was a Godly man, however, the Hebrew word, “paniym,” translated as “before,”  has a great many meanings. Given what is known about him, against the LORD aptly describes Nimrod’s exploits as “a mighty one on the earth.”

vs. 22-24 Abraham’s Line
“Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber...”

Eber was the great-grandson of Shem and ancestor of Abram/Abraham, father of the Hebrew Nation. It is from Eber that the name Hebrew is derived—the name the Israelites were known by. The sons of Shem would come to be known as the Semitic people.

v. 25 The Earth was Divided...
“Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided...”

There are many theories as to the meaning of this verse. The Hebrew commentary suggests that the allusion is likely to the scattering  of the people that takes place after the Tower of Babel event in the next chapter.

v. 32 The Pillars of the Earth
“These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.”
Chief Rabbi J. H. Hertz, notes: This sublime conception of the Unity of the Human Race logically follows from the belief in the Unity of God, and like it, forms one of the cornerstones of the edifice of Judaism. Polytheism could never give rise to the idea of Humanity heathen society ‘was vitiated by failure to recognize the moral obligation involved in our common humanity’ (Elmslie). There is, therefore, no parallel to this chapter in the literature of any other ancient people. It has been rightly called a Messianic document.

While the surpassing importance of this wonderful chapter is religious, ‘the so-called table of the nations remains, according to all results of archaeological exploration, an ethnographic original document of the first rank which nothing can replace’ (Kautzsch).

Genesis 11 The Tower of Babel, the Height of Rebellion

vs. 11:1-9 “Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do ... ‘Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech.’  So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth ... Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth...”

Although God blessed Noah and his family and commanded them to replenish the earth, it seems they migrated together to Shinar—modern day Iraq and decided to stay there. In rebellion to God, humanity devised a plan to consolidate its power against the Divine.

Who came up with such an idea? Who could organize and lead the people? Extra-biblical writings, both Hebrew commentaries and ancient manuscripts place Nimrod at the head of the rebellion. (Nimrod being the human figurehead, carrying the seed forth for the familiar spirit that exalted itself against God in the Garden, the serpent, also known as satan.)

The significance of the Tower of Babel is manifold:
  1. The building project fueled the imagination and captured the allegiance of the masses—a clever strategy utilized by evil, narcissistic leaders that prey on the emotions, seducing men throughout human history
  2.  Nearly all heathen civilizations erected ziggurats, pyramids or obelisks as a symbol of the superior virility and might of the god or gods they served
  3. Ancient writings about the Tower of Babel recount the ruthlessness of the builders in their quest to complete it and storm the heavens in order to wage war against God
Adonai had to intervene once again as mankind became mired in its wickednessonce again. The text says He scattered them abroad and confused the language, and therefore the place of this event was called Babel.

The Hebrew word balel, which is translated as confused means to “mix, mingle, confuse, and confound.” Babel is the same word as Babylon, and it means “confusion by mixing.” In Babylonian, however, it means “Gateway of the God.”

Although the peoples would be scattered, those that remained in Babylon would build it into a great city, known for its excesses and pleasures. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon would be known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Although Babylon had fallen to ruin by the first century, the B’rit Chadashah prophesies her downfall in the distant future. (See Revelation 18.) That’s because there is a spiritual dimension that Babylon represents—that of rebellion to Adonai, harlotry, and idolatry. Through Nimrod was birthed what some call the Mystery Religions which permeate all religions—the vestiges of which can even be found mixed in with Christianity. 

For this is the nature of Babylon—mixture rather than purity, appealing to the sensual nature of man, and a watering down of Divine Truth, i.e., “Did God really say...”

vs. 10-32 On the Way to Canaan...
“Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.” Genesis 11:31

We finally meet the family of Abraham, the father of our faith! An interesting note is that apparently Terah was taking his family to Canaan (which will become Israel), and for some reason only got as far as Haran, where they settled.

To be continued...

Haftarah Noach

Isaiah 54:1-55:5

Well, we have examined the Torah reading and now it is time to move along. We have seen God’s dealing with mankind after He concluded all flesh had corrupted its way.  (Genesis 6:12)

Just eight souls were saved to start the human race all over again.The covenant with Noah was established and man was never to be destroyed again by the water of a flood. (Genesis 9:11) The soul of man, however, was not to change. The Tower of Babel was erected (Genesis 11:5), a grand exhibition of the pride of man. And God had to intervene. Finally, with the introduction of Abram the focus of Scripture narrowed from the story of all mankind to that  of the Jewish people and the redemption that would come through them. And so we now look at this weeks Haftarah, Isaiah 54:1-55:5.

Israel, that nation born of Abraham’s loins, is pictured in Scripture as the bride of God.

Ezekiel 16:8 says, “‘Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread my skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,’ declares the Lord God.’”  These are words that describe wedding night activity in the Jewish tradition. Here, Ezekiel is saying that God took Israel and entered into a marriage contract with her.

Isaiah 54:1-8 is viewing Israel as that bride and declaring the restoration process: “‘For the Lord has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.’” (vs. 6,7) These verses state that there will be a future restoration of the marriage relationship.

Notice in Isaiah 54:9a that God refers back to the promise He made to never again destroy the earth by floods of water—our connection point with the Torah reading. Just as He will never violate that promise, so too, He will not violate this promise. And this promise is found in verses 9b and 10: “‘So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says the Lord who has compassion on you.”

Israel, the “wife” of Adonai, had departed and played the harlot. In Jeremiah 3:20 it is declared of this adulteress nation, “‘Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,’ declares the Lord.” But now God says there will be a day when He will take His wife, Israel, back.

That time of restoration is spoken of in Isaiah 54:11-17. God here makes reference to His work in the Millennial age. In Revelation 21 we are given a description of the new Jerusalem. Verses 19 through 20 describe in part the placement of stones, “The foundation stones of the city were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second sapphire; the third chalcedony; the fourth emerald...” and on it goes

Now read Isaiah 54:11-12 and note this speaks of exactly the same event. What conclusion are we to make? Simply that the bride of verses 1-10 is going to be taken back by her Husband, God Himself, and a city is to be built for her — a city for the Millennium where, “all your sons will be taught of the Lord;” — that’s 100% of them (v.13), where there will be no fear or oppression (v.14), and no weapon formed against this wife will be capable of harming her. (v.17)
As these words are being read by you and me this kind of a setting is far removed from what is going on in the land of Israel right now.  The people of this land, God’s future bride, now have lawless and most likely demonically led Palestinians on the streets running Israelis over with cars, hatcheting and stabbing them, and shooting them down in cold blood. The stated goal of the Muslim Arabs - that of having no living Jew in Israel - looks to be once again under way. This could well be the beginning of the “Third Intifada.” 
This very definitely is NOT the picture painted in our passage by Isaiah. This is today, here and now. Much is still yet to happen before the truths of our Isaiah passage play out. (So let’s watch, pray, and act on this nation’s behalf.)
No, Isaiah 55:1-5 is a crescendo passage to the history of Israel. But the prophet still cries out not only to the people of his day, but to us of this day. His cry is that in light of what YHVH will yet do, you do THIS right now. And this is what he says, “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters,” an invitation of individual salvation right then and there, in the prophet Isaiah’s time frame. Why should any wait, then or now? Why not act upon it right now...if you haven’t already.
There are exciting times ahead for Israel, as the bride of God; and us - the Church - as the bride of Messiah. For Israel she will be taken back by her Husband, Almighty God, and given a place of honor in the Millennial reign of her Messiah, Yeshua, the Son of David. I can’t wait! So, make your decision now, if you haven’t already

B’rit Chadashah Noach
Are You Prepared?
Matthew 24:36-46
I Peter 3:18-22

Over two years ago now and before Sarah and I moved from Southern California to Northern California we would often go for walks on the Oceanside  beach adjacent to our harbor entrance.  Normally the waves are of moderate hight as they roll in on the shore. Their action at the harbor entrance is minimal and safe for passage. But on one such occasion this was not to be the case. A large storm had just passed New Zealand and the wave action from that storm had made its way to our Southern California shores. This afternoon the waves were not only running high as they crashed on the beach, but were as well making any boat’s entrance into the harbor a most treacherous undertaking.

My wife being the avid shutterbug she is caught on record one lone sailboat’s attempt to make it through the harbor mouth, past long fingers of rocks (jetties) on either side, without being capsized or washed up on the rocks. As we watched this drama unfold we saw the thirty-eight foot double-masted ketch be thrown about, and rolled on her side, putting her mast into the water, and one of her two-man crew washed overboard into the roiling sea—fortunately to be picked up by a rescue team who risked their lives to do so.The crew of this sail boat was obviously ill-prepared for this event and definitely did not head the warning signs of a situation that could have taken both of their lives. What’s this story have to do with this weeks Parashat reading? Everything.

Unfortunately many rich truths will have to be bypassed in this week’s B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant or Testament) reading. But what we will look at though, is deep, as it touches upon some of the final dealings of God with mankind. To understand our first text of Matthew 24:36-46, we must back up for a brief review of what was said in Matthew 24:1-31.

Our Lord has just left the Temple. He walks a short distance to the Mount of Olives. As He sits He is asked by his disciples to explain what He had just said at the Temple—that it would be destroyed, leaving not one stone upon another. They ask specifically three questions, all in verse three. Not in the order they are asked, but in the order Yeshua (Jesus) answers them they are (1) What is the sign of the end of the age? (2) What will be the sign of your coming? And (3) When will these things be?

The answer to the first question, “What will be the sign ... of the end of the age?” is answered in verses four through twenty-eight. While it is not my intent to delve deeply into these verses which lead us into verse thirty-six let me share briefly what I believe is being said.

In the beginning of the Messiah’s public ministry He made a legitimate offer of the Kingdom and Himself as King Messiah to the Jewish people (Psalm 89:34-37/Luke 1:32-33/Matthew 4:17) even though it was within God’s plan and Yeshua’s knowledge that this offer would not be accepted by Israel as a whole (Isaiah 53:3/Luke 9:18-22). He then went to the cross as planned to die for the sins of all mankind (Isaiah 53 / I John 2:2). Following His resurrection many of the “natural branches” of the “Olive Tree”—Israel—would not recognize their Messiah, they being blind to the truth. (Romans 11:7-24) God then turned His face from dealing exclusively with Israel. The believing remnant of the Jews were to take the Gospel from Jerusalem, to Judea and throughout the Roman world (Acts 1:8)—salvation would come to the Gentiles fulfilling the promise to Abram that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12:3) It is after His dealing with the Gentiles and the “rapture” - perhaps - (or taking away of the Church, I Thessalonians 4:13-17/Revelation 3:10) that Matthew 24:4 picks up.

In verses 4 thru 28 we have a snap shot view of an upcoming event on God’s calendar with man, that is, after the Church is removed from the earth and taken to heaven. It is generally known as the “tribulation” (Deuteronomy 4:30, “in distress”, NASB) or “the Day of the Lord” (I Thessalonians 5:2) and will last for seven years. Here we have Messiah’s answer to the first question He addressed, “What will be the sign of the end of the age?”  Look at these calamitous events and thank God that those who believe in Christ before this begins will not suffer these things. These events are the sign that the end of the age that we presently live in—and those living during the future tribulation—is coming to its end. For right now, we who make up the Church have salvation from not only Hell but as well the tribulation described in Matthew 24:4-28 (I Thessalonians 4:17). But then there will follow seven years of tribulation on the earth culminating in, “the end of the age.”

The answer to the second question, “What will be the sign of your coming?” implies His coming at the end of the age (when He physically comes back to earth to establish His Kingdom - thus making physical contact with the ground of the earth, if you will). This question is answered in verses twenty-nine through thirty-one.  Starting out, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days...” So what follows comes after the rapture of the Church and the seven years of tribulation described in verses four through twenty-eight.  This particular coming marks the end of the age. It is known as His second coming, that is to earth. It is not to be confused with His first coming, when He was born to Mary, or His coming for the Church at the yet to happen Rapture where He does not return to earth (physically touch the earth), but meets His church in the air.

Notice in verses 30 and 31 that at His second coming, His second coming to earth, all will see Him and all who have not received Him as Savior during that seven years of tribulation will mourn for they have rejected Him and now will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven about to be established on earth. There will as well be a gathering  by the angels of all the saved.. This group will enter the Kingdom of Heaven about to be established on earth, a kingdom that will last for a thousand years.

A non-exact answer to the third question, “When will these things be?” is given in the the first verse of our B’rit Chadashah reading. Christ answers, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (v.36). A  description of that time however is found in Lk. 21:20-24. So while the reality of this all coming to pass is assured, the timing of it is not pinpointed.

We opened with a story of two sailors who were ill-prepared and did not heed the warning signs.  The same could be said of mankind today. The vast majority of folks around today are ill-prepared. They do not have Yeshua as their Savior from sin and Lord of their life. And that vast majority are not heeding any of the warning signs regarding the end of the age and the Second Coming of the King. They go on eating and drinking and marrying as though eternity was never an issue. Their end? As in the days of Noah sudden judgement will come upon them sweeping them away into eternity.  This is what Matthew 24:37-39 warns us of.

The rest of our passage, verses 40-46, carry strong warning.  Some will be saved and taken into the Millennium. Some will not.  Verse 44 says it best.  “For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will."
All of this begs the question, “Are you ready?” To be ill prepared and not heed the warning signs will only ensure one of severe eternal consequences.
Our second passage in the Brit Chadashah is I Peter 3:18-22. Let’s look specifically at verse 21. “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” This verse does not teach that water baptism is a necessary step in the process of being saved. If it did how could the Holy Spirit have already been received by  Cornelius and those with him prior to them experiencing water baptism (Acts 10:44-48)? If it did how could Paul have simply said to his Philippian jailor, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved...” water baptism coming later (Acts 16:27-33)? No, water baptism is and always has been an outward physical act, testifying to what has been accomplished inwardly thru the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation (Titus 3:5). So, how are we to understand I Peter 3:21?

Charles Ryrie, in his study Bible note on this verse gives us a good, short answer. He says, “Though water itself cannot save, baptism with water is the vivid symbol of the changed life of one who has a conscience at peace with God thru Christ.”  Those words, “conscience at peace”, ring so loudly in light of what the believer in Christ will not experience as was described in Matthew 24:4-28. We CAN be at peace knowing that we will not suffer the wrath of God in the tribulation to come. We CAN be at peace knowing that the rapture is the next big event on God’s prophetic calendar.
For those not yet saved there is no good conscience that can be had toward God. Worse, for many they will go on living—eating, drinking, marrying—as they did in the days of Noah, never realizing that the judgement of God is about to befall them. They are ill prepared. They do not heed the warning signs. They are as it were about to be swept away.
Perhaps we all would do well to do as the Apostle Paul admonished and, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (II Corinthians 13:5)

We are all prepared for something when it comes to eternity. And, our preparation is for one of two things. We will either be swept away to destruction as in the days of Noah, OR swept away to glory when the Lord calls His own to Himself. Which of these events are you preparing for?

Blessings and Love in Messiah Yeshua,
His EVERY Word Ministries