Friday, February 3, 2017

Death and Deliverance! | Parashat Bo | By His EVERY Word


Parashat Bo  

פרשת בא
“Come”

Torah Portion: Exodus 10:1-13:16

Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28

B’rit Chadash/New Covenant: Luke 22:7-30 and I Corinthians 11:20-34

Shabbat | 4 February 2017 | 8 Sh’vat 5777

Out of Egypt I Have Called My Sons, Israel
The colossal and epic event in Jewish history is the dramatic deliverance of the sons of Israel from Egypt. Heroic and legendary, the exodus story is indelibly etched on the history of the world.
By Adonai’s mercy and grace, the Hebrew slaves were to be freed from physical bondage in Egypt—redeemed by the mighty arm of God. Once redeemed, they will begin their long, arduous journey of learning how to live as a redeemed people—free spiritually from all heathen influences, and consecrated to their God.
Adonai is forming for Himself a people. This is a new epochIt will be commemorated forever in many different ways, beginning with the reckoning of time. 
Forever Israel will remember her Day of Deliverance and her God with the rhythm of the seasons. Israel will keep a unique calendar, given her by her Almighty God, breaking her ties with Egypt (and the rest of the world) as He begins His work of sanctification—imprinting His Name into her character. She will be set apart from all other nations for God’s glory and purposes.


Moses’ primary responsibility is now turned to El-Kol-Adat Yisrael, “the Congregation of Israel,” a term for the sons of Israel, indicating they are to become a cohesive, religious community. Moses must prepare Israel for the final plague and for deliverance, as Adonai prepares Moses himself to lead the sons of Israel out of Egypt after that final terrifying plague when death visits all Egypt at midnight...
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.

Exodus 10  The Plagues Continue—Locusts and Darkness

vv. 1-3 “Now the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD,' So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.  Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory.'” 
Our parasha narrative opens with Adonai sending His servant, Moses, to Pharaoh with the oft-repeated command and warning: 
Let my people go, or behold, I will bring great judgment upon all Egyp! 
By now, Pharaoh has seen the Hand of God move miraculously through the judgment of seven plagues, as well as His mercy and power in the cessation of those plagues. Yet Pharaoh continues to harden his heart against God. With the sixth plague, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that God's power and His Name would be proclaimed through all the earth.
Adonai sends Moses once again, acknowledging that He has hardened Pharaoh’s heart and the hearts of his servants, that He may perform the miraculous signs of judgment, so all Israel will know He is YHVH.


Pharaoh’s Hardened Heart
Why does Adonai issue a warning? Did Pharaoh have a choice?


The Hebrew word hardened כָּבַד kavad, means: [to be] hard, unresponsive, dull ... but also: rich, honorable and glorious. 

Actually, Pharaoh’s heart, though made dull, stubborn, and insensitive by his rebellion to Adonai, is not intractable. Adonai has created man with free will. He will not make a man sin or to be sinful. For Adonai to make it impossible for Pharaoh to obey Him, and then execute punishment upon him, would be unjust and contrary to His Divine Character. 


Adonai, who knows the end of all things, knew Pharaoh’s rebellious heart before he uttered a word

We find Pharaoh hardening his heart to God ten times. With knowledge, he persists in his defiance against God, subduing the voice of conscience to a fine patina, until at last, he is quite resolute. 


God will use his hardened heart to demonstrate His Divine justice, power, mercyas well as His faithfulness to Israel and all who trust in His Name.
Rabbi J.H. Hertz notes: "Man cannot remain neutral in the presence of the direct command of God. He either obeys the Divine command, and it becomes unto him a blessing; or he defies God, and it becomes unto him a curse.” 
From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
The Plague of Locusts
vv. 6-7  The plague of locusts promises to be horrifying. The locusts will cover every inch of the land, eating every plant and tree. They will fill the Egyptian’s homes. Although swarming locusts have been experienced in the region, a plague is promised the likes of which: “neither your fathers nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.”

Pharaoh’s servants know by now that Moses and Aaron are men of their word! They know the grievous consequences of defying Israel's God. They appeal to Pharaoh to capitulate before Egypt is utterly ruined! “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed? 

What Cost Freedom
vv. 8-11 So Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron that they may go, but they must leave their
children behind. 

Freedom was within reach ... But at the cost of their children. They could perhaps justify it—wasn’t it more important to follow Moses and Aaron to the Promised Land where they could have more children? 
This is the fowler’s snare—rationalism—appealing to “reason” as a source of justification. Today, our unborn children are sacrificed for a multitude of “reasonable” justifications ... mostly for freedom ... freedom from responsibility.
Israel’s children have been a particular target throughout history, from the slaughter of her baby boys at the time  of Moses’ birth, to the slaughter of innocents under King Herod in the first century, to Portugal’s children during the Inquisition, to the children who suffered unspeakable experiments and torture in Hitler’s concentration camps.

To Adonai, children are precious. One of the chief purposes of celebrating the miracles of deliverance and proclaiming the faithfulness of God is to teach the children. They carry the heritage, generation to generation.

v. 12 Upon Pharaoh issuing his edict to leave the children behind, Adonai, without warning, commanded Moses to stretch out his hand over the land of Egypt that the locusts may come and eat every plant—whatever was left after the devastation of the hail.

vv. 13-15 “So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD directed an east wind on the land all that day and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled in all the territory of Egypt; they were very numerous. There had never been so many locusts, nor would there be so many again. For they covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left.” 


Pharaoh Confesses His Sin Against YHVH and Asks Forgiveness ...AGAIN!

vv. 16-17 “Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, ‘I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and make supplication to the LORD your God, that He would only remove this death from me.’” 
Pharaoh confesses that he has sinned both against Israel and God. 
He asks forgiveness of his sin, only this once,” and asks Moses and Aaron to intercede with their God to, “remove this death from me.”

Pharaoh asks Moses and Aaron to remove, this death,” from him. In Hebrew this is: mä'·vet מָוֶת  which means, death by violence (as a penalty).” 
This is interesting as it shows Pharaoh clearly knows the plagues are a penalty for his sin from the powerful God of the Hebrews, yet each time he is shown mercy, he once again defies Him!
v. 19 
The LORD drove all of the locusts into the Sea of Reeds in response to Moses’ supplication. “Not one locust was left in all the territory of Egypt.”

The Ninth Plague—Adonai Withdraws All Light from Egypt

vv. 20-23 “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. 


This was a terrifying, supernatural darkness—a darkness which may be felt, in which no light of fire could emanate, or being could see one another. For three days all light was withdrawn from Egypt. But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.

The following description of the Plague of Darkness is from the Wisdom of Solomon 17, found in the Apocrypha:
     "For great are thy judgments, and cannot be expressed: therefore unnurtured souls have erred. For when unrighteous men thought to oppress the holy nation; they being shut up in their houses, the prisoners of darkness, and fettered with the bonds of a long night, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.
      "No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night. Only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful: for being much terrified, they thought the things which they saw to be worse than the sight they saw not.
      "As for the illusions of art magic, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace. For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at. For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents, They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided. For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience...
      "Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently, Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a running that could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things made them to swoon for fear. For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour: Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto themselves more grievous than the darkness."

Egyptians worshiped a pantheon of gods, but none was so revered or adored as Ra, the god of the sun. How stunning a message of the futility of their hope—as contrasted with the sons of Israel, who dwelt in light—were these three days of dwelling in terror of inky darkness and gloom.
vv. 24-29 Not able to endure it any longer, Pharaoh  called Moses saying, “Go, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you.” 

But Moses was not going to back down on any point—no compromise! He insisted that all must be allowed to go, not only their children, but their flocks and herds as well—“not a hoof shall be left behind.” 

Pharaoh’s anger exploded at Moses: “Get away from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face you shall die!” 

Moses does not mistake his meaning, vowing “You are right; I shall never see your face again!” 


Exodus 11  Adonai Prepares Moses for Deliverance

One More Plague...

vv. 1-3 Now the LORD said to Moses, ‘One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.’ The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people. 
Adonai addresses Moses in a grave manner of the things that are now to take place. This final plague will be so devastating that Pharaoh will not merely, “let his people go,” but will, “drive you out from here completely.” 
In spite of the great suffering that Egypt has already borne, Moses and the sons of Israel are not resented. It appears the blame rests on Pharaoh. Moses is, “greatly esteemed” or seen as great, me’od מאד in the Hebrew.
vv. 4-5 “Moses said, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of
Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.’ 



From slave to royalty, to the cattle in the field, the firstborn throughout all Egypt will die. Perhaps Divine justice was served for the wonton slaughter of all Hebrew male babies when Moses was born ... perhaps it was the final mockery of Egypt’s idolatry, as Pharaoh, a self-proclaimed god is utterly powerless to save his own son.

But Adonai is going to once again miraculously set Israel apart, showing His might and mercy to save her.

v. 7 “But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
Does Adonai Play Favorites?
This may seem difficult to understand. It’s tempting to think that God plays favorites and become bitter or frustrated if we don’t look through the viewpoint of the eternal. 
Consider how many times Adonai has revealed that He has done these things in order that “the Egyptians should know that I am God,” or that “His Name would be proclaimed through all the earth.”
Through God’s faithfulness to Israel, He is revealing Himself to the Nations as the One True Almighty God, Merciful and Faithful, Who Keeps His Covenant to All Generations.
vv. 9-10 “Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt. Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.” 


Exodus 12  The First Passover—A Celebration for All Generations

A New Epoch
The colossal and epic event in Jewish history is the dramatic deliverance of the sons of Israel from Egypt. Heroic and legendary, the exodus story is indelibly etched on the history of the world for Gentiles as well. 
By Adonai’s mercy and grace, the Hebrew slaves were to be freed from physical bondage in Egypt—redeemed by the mighty arm of God. Once redeemed, they will begin their long, arduous journey of learning how to live as a redeemed people—free
spiritually from all heathen influences—and consecrated to their God.
Adonai is forming for Himself a People. This is a new epoch. 
A Reminder: Order Your Messianic Haggadah! 
It will be commemorated forever in many different ways, beginning with the reckoning of time.
vv. 1-2 “Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.’” 
Forever Israel will remember her Day of Deliverance and her God with the rhythm of the seasons. Israel will keep a unique calendar, given her by her God, breaking her ties with Egypt (and the rest of the world) as He begins His work of sanctification—imprinting His Name into her character. She will be set apart from the Nations for God’s glory and purposes.
Moses now is turned to El-Kol-Adat Yisrael ָאל–כל–עדת ישראל, the Congregation of Israel. This is a term for the sons of Israel; now indicating they are to become a cohesive, religious community.They will be his new primary responsibility. He must prepare Israel for the final plague and for deliverance, as Adonai prepares him to lead the sons of Israel out of Egypt.

vv. 3-8 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household ... Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 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. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.’”
It is notable that the first ordinance instituted by God takes place within the family, at home. 
It is a theme that will keep the Jewish People connected to their God, their faith, and their distinctiveness as a witness to the Nations throughout time. The weekly Sabbath celebration is a continuum, passing the Scriptures and blessings from generation to generation from the family table, an intimate tabernacle that transcends time.  
Passover is also a family festival, celebrated in the home.  
Whereas the traditional Shabbat, or Sabbath celebration has been a point of contention among many Christians, Passover was clearly observed by the early church, and is mentioned in Paul’s writings. Containing rich symbolism and meaning, Passover is a vital commemoration for Jews and Christians alike.  1 Corinthians 5:6-8
The first instruction Moses gave to Adat Yisrael was to take an unblemished male lamb for every household (family), and keep it with the family for four days before killing it.


Verse 13 says, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live...”
We have to look at the significance of the amazing symbolism of the Passover Lamb in light of the fact that this was not an animal sacrifice for sin. Verse 13 tells us the blood of the lamb is a “sign.”

What a peculiar thingsurely Adonai already knew which were the homes of the sons of Israel—He had kept previous plagues from touching their homes in Goshen. So, who was the sign for? 
The first Passover Seder (traditional dinner) I experienced after coming to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as a new Messianic Believer, was a revelation. I wept through nearly the entire service! Besides seeing, for the first time, the glorious truths in the Scriptures, prayers, and praises that comprise the traditional liturgy, I saw Yeshua, the Lamb of God at the center!
That ancient Passover Lamb whose blood delivered my ancestors thousands of years ago was a picture of Yeshua, the Lamb of God, Messiah of Israel, whose blood delivers ALL who trust in Him!

Read on and watch this mystery unfold!
  
 v. 14  From that first simple Passover, 
“eaten in haste” (v. 11) in Egypt, to our contemporary Passover Seder, this feast is rich with prophetic Messianic signs and symbolism, celebrating God’s faithfulness, sovereignty, and redemption. 
No wonder Passover is to be a memorial to be kept throughout all generations: 
“So this day shall be to you a memorial; 
and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. 
You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”

The Passover Lamb 
and the Lamb of God
v. 5 Each of the families of Israel took a lamb without blemish.” 

Blemish in Hebrew is tamiym תמים, meaning innocent, wholesome, unimpaired—idiomatically, without sin.


We know that Yeshua was without sin, and He is declared the Lamb [of God] in John 1:29 and 1:36, and Revelation 6:9, 7:10, 7:17, 14:4, 14:10, 15:3, 19:9, 21:22, 21:23, and 22:1 among others.

v. 6 The lamb was to be killed at "twilight." 
Twilight in Hebrew in erev ערב, which means evening, late afternoon, before night, sunset.


Yeshua “breathed his last” (Mark 15:37) in the ninth hour—between three and four in the afternoon. This was likely the same time that the Passover lambs were also being slaughtered in the Temple as it was the evening of the Preparation Day (Greek, paraskeuē παρασκευή) for the Sabbath of Passover (ahigh Sabbath.” John 19:31

v. 10 “You shall let none of it remain until morning...”


Just as the Passover lamb was not to remain until morning,
Yeshua had to be taken down from the executioner’s stake before nightfall due to the onset of the High Sabbath of the Passover and the Seven Day Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Leviticus 23:7, John 19:31

The Blood of the Lamb
v. 22 The blood of the Passover lamb was to be gathered into a container and then applied to the doorposts: “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.” 



This is a very interesting picture. John 19:29 records hyssop being used to put sour wine in Yeshua’s mouth: “A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.”

v. 23 Adonai promised Israel that when He saw the blood on the lintel and doorposts, He would not allow death to strike them. “For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.” 

To the Jewish People who understood this powerful symbolism, having kept this feast year after year, Yeshua characterized Himself as the door: “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep ... I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved...” John 10:7, 9

Finally, at His last meal with His Talmidim, Disciples, Yeshua revealed the profound symbolism contained in two of the common elements of the Passover Seder—the matza, unleavened bread (Exodus 12:19-20), and the wine, the Cup of Redemption.




The Bread of Affliction
vv. 15-19 “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. So you shall observe [the Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether [he is] a stranger or a native of the land. 


Luke 22:19: “And when He [Yeshua] had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
The Greek word for bread in this verse is artos ἄρτος, which is matzo, or unleavened bread—flat bread made with just flour and water, contained no yeast or leavening agents. Leaven is symbolic of sin, pride, and corruption.
Matzo is also called the “bread of affliction,” as it hearkens back to the harsh conditions in Egypt.
As the long-awaited Messiah of Israel, Yeshua is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” How apt a picture He chose!
The Cup of the New Covenant
The traditional Passover Seder includes four cups of wine (or grape juice). 

The cup after the meal is called the “Cup of Redemption.” 

Try to imagine how stunned these Jewish Disciples must have been as Yeshua lifted that cup and announced, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Luke 22:20
This had tremendous significance! Imagine, the Jewish People are in the midst of the Passover season—commemorating the greatest event in their history—where God redeemed them out of Egypt and made them His People ... the only thing greater will be when Messiah comes, a deliverer like Moses, and now, while they are under bondage once again would be a grand time... And Yeshua proclaims that by His blood, He is instituting the NEW COVENANT promised in Jeremiah 31!
“‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt...’” Jeremiah 31:31-32
L’Dor V’DorGeneration to Generation
The Privilege of Passing on the Awe of the Lord’s Passover
vv. 24-27 “And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 

“...when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’”


From this Scripture the central format of the Passover Haggadah (the booklet that contains the liturgy and order of service) derives its theme. 
  • The youngest child asks four important questions that spark the “telling”—the Exodus narrative: 
  • “Why is this night different from all others?” 
  • “Why do we only eat unleavened bread?” 
  • Why do we eat bitter herbs?” 
  • “Why do we dip our vegetables twice?”
It is counted a privilege to impart the majesty of Adonai, recounting His deliverance: “This is the LORD’s Passover, YHVH Pesach יהוה פסחthe deliverance by the might and mercy of YHVH, Adonaiwhen He struck the firstborn of Egypt, but passed over the home of our forefathers!”



Just as the sons of Israel spontaneously worshiped the LORD upon this proclamation in Egypt, so too, is that awe to be imparted, year after year,
l’dor v’dor, generation to generation.

Death Comes at Midnight



v. 29 “And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.” 


A great cry emanated from Egypt as throughout the entirety of the land, not a household was spared—including the royal palace. Pharaoh and his servants arose in the night to find death in their chambers with no gods to rescue their loved ones.

vv. 31-32 Pharaoh was finally broken. He called for Moses during the night: “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and
bless me also. 

Pharaoh withheld nothing this timejust as Adonai said, he was ready to drive them out completely! Further, he asked that Moses pray for him.
The Egyptians also urged the sons of Israel a speedy departure, fearing more plagues and more death if Pharaoh changes his mind yet again! 
So more than 600,000 men of Israel, plus women and children, left with their unleavened bread dough, carried on their shoulders, the silver, gold, and clothing the Egyptians had given to them* when the LORD granted them favor, plus a mixed multitude of non-Israelites who had joined themselves to Israel, and flocks and herds.
Did Israel "PLUNDER" the Egyptians?
v.36 “And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them [what they requested]. Thus they plundered* the Egyptians.” 
The Hebrew word translated in the verse as “plunder” is natsal נצל(Also in Exodus 3:22.)  
Natsal occurs 212 times in Scripture. 210 times out of 212 usages it is rendered as: deliver, rescue, or save." 
Only twice is it translated, "spoil," of which this is one, which doesn't make sense considering the context. 
One of the possible renderings in Strong's Concordance is: "deliver from sin and guilt," which is likely the most appropriate.
Hebrew commentaries take exception to the usage of "plunder" in this context, noting that Adonai said they will leave with favor. Exodus 3:21  
If they had plundered Egypt, they would not have left with favor. A cross reference is given to Deuteronomy 15:12-15, commenting that it was normative to send away a faithful slave (which the Hebrews were) enriched.
vv. 39-41 “And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.” 
This is remembered every year in the Passover service: “This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the wilderness, which baked hard in the desert as they fled Egypt.”
“Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”

Israel’s “Birthnight”—A Solemn Observance Forever


v. 42 “It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”
Not only the DAY of Passover is remembered forever, but the NIGHT. As on this fateful night, Adonai shielded the sons of Israel from death, this is the night of Israel’s redemption—her “birthnight”—and every generation since is indelibly imprinted with the awe of its remembrance.
Who May Share in the Passover?
vv. 43-48 “And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'This is the ordinance of the
Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you [and wants] to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.'

Adonai did not want the yearly Passover sacrifice to be received as merely a cultural or religious tradition. It was meant to be regarded as a precious and unique event between Israel and her God. 

Circumcision was a sign of the covenant between Israel and Adonai—setting her apart from the Nations. Only the sons of Israel—the circumcised could eat the Passover. 

There was an exception, however. There were those foreigners who chose to join themselves to Israel and her God, known as ger tzeddek, the righteous proselyte. In the first century, these were known as God-fearers,  such as Cornelius, mentioned in Acts 10.

“Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man…” Acts 10:22

Greek: δίκαιος dikaios dē'-kī-os “righteous, observing divine laws”

Neither Jew nor Gentile
v. 48 “...and he shall be as a native of the land... When foreigners consecrated themselves to the God of Israel, He made no distinction between natural born or foreigner.


This precept was reiterated throughout the Scriptures
  • “...neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you.” Leviticus 18:26
  • There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 24:22
  • “...both for the alien and for the native…” Numbers 9:14
  • “...if any foreigners visit you or live among you and want to present a special gift as a pleasing aroma to the LORD, they must follow these same procedures. Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the LORD and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation. The same instructions and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigners living among you.” Numbers 15:13-16
  • You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them.” Numbers 15:29
  • “But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien…” Numbers 15:30
  • Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORDto minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORDto be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast My covenanteven those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” Isaiah 56:6-7
  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
Gentile Followers of Messiah Have Become "the Israel of God” -- Grafted into the Natural Olive Tree, Israel
For even those who are getting circumcised don’t observe the Torah. On the contrary, they want you to get circumcised so that they can boast of having gained your adherence. But as for me, Heaven forbid that I should boast about anything except the execution-stake of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! Through him, as far as I am concerned, the world has been put to death on the stake; and through him, as far as the world is concerned, I have been put to death on the stake.


"For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a new creation. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra’el of God! Galatians 6:13-16 CJB

IN SUMMATION, An Extravagant Gift of Life, Hope, Adoption and Redemption!
“Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth—called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcisedat that time had no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Israel. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. You were in this world without hope and without God.

"But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood. For he himself is our shalom (peace and wholeness)—he has made us both one and has broken down the m’chitzah (wall of partition) which divided us by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom, and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus in himself killing that enmity.

"Also, when he came, he announced as Good News shalom to you far off and shalom to those nearby, news that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

"So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family. You have been built on the foundation of the emissaries and the prophets, with the cornerstone being Yeshua the Messiah himself. In union with him the whole building is held together, and it is growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord. Yes, in union with him, you yourselves are being built together into a spiritual dwelling-place for God!
Ephesians 2:11-22 CJB

"But if some of the branches were broken off, and you—a wild olive—were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree..." Romans 11:17 CJB

It Has Always Been About Our Heart
Through Yeshua, the Lamb of God who laid down His own life, redemption has come to the world. Romans 10:10 says that it is with the heart that a person believes in righteousness, from which springs his confession unto salvation.

The Torah gives a deeper insight and prophetic understanding regarding circumcision: "Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live." Deuteronomy 30:6 
The issue is our heart. Of course, the LORD desires that we obey His commandmentsJesus clearly said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (John 14:15) And we have all read: "The one who says, “I have come to know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar," and "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 2:4, 5:3) This includes circumcision. 
However, our obedience should spring from a (redeemed) heart of love. Otherwise, it is futilereligious acts performed in the flesh. Let us make certain our heart and our life is consecrated to the LORD and not place our trust in outward acts!
Who TODAY May Share in the Passover?
Those with a circumcised heart through faith in Messiah.

Exodus 13  Consecration of the Firstborn
vv. 1-2 “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel...” 

Adonai gave instruction to “consecrate” all firstborn among Israel to Him. The Hebrew word, Kadash  קדש speaks of sanctification, setting apart (for God’s service), to be made holy, to be dedicated (to God)

The firstborn belonged to Him. They were a testament to His grace and mercy on the night that took the firstborn of Egypt—these Hebrew children will live to proclaim the LORD!
To this day, the Pidyon Ha’Ben tradition is observed among observant Jews—the Redemption of the Firstborn male. The child is named and blessed by the rabbi or elder of the congregation.
Yeshua, Firstborn of Creation, Consecrated According to the Law of the LORD

Yeshua was not only Miriam and Joseph’s firstborn son, Colossians 1:15 calls Him “firstborn of all creation.” Thus, to fulfill righteousness, He had a Pidyon Ha’Ben ceremony, which is recorded in Luke 2:22-39:
“And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD, and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, ‘A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.’ 
"And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, ‘Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation (Yeshua), Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel.’ 
"And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’ And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.”

Once again Adonai reminds Israel that He is going to bring them into a Land flowing with milk and honey which He promised to their forefathers, and immediately repeats the ordinances of Passover. 
Why? They are going into a land of heathen people. What will keep them from taking on their abominable ways? Remembering who they are! They are a people set apart—purchased at a great price—to show the nations the one true God!
Does this sound familiar? Is the call upon followers of Messiah any different? Was your freedom purchased at any less a cost? For whose benefit were YOU ransomed?
vv. 8-15 Israel is to keep the seven days of Unleavened Bread every year, telling their children: “This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt. By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.” 


vv. 9-16 Further, the LORD gave instruction regarding the wearing of tefillin, which are worn to this day when observant  Jewish men pray: “It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.”
An IDF soldier prays wearing traditional tefillin
The officer is Lieutenant Asael Lubotzky from the esteemed Golani Infantry Brigade.
He was seriously wounded in the 2006 Lebanon War. His story was published in From the Wilderness and Lebanon by Yedioth Ahronoth, recounting his personal experiences from the Second Lebanon War. Wikipedia.com
The Exodus is to be more than a mere annual celebration. Its eternal lessons are to be ever before the mind of the Israelite, by means of a “sign” upon the hand, and of a “memento” between the eyes (on the forehead). The reminders on the arm and forehead are called Tephillin, from the Hebrew word for prayer, tephillah תְּפִלָּה. Four sections from the Torah, Exodus 13: 1-10, 11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and 11:13-21, and these four sections have been chosen in preference to all the other passages of the Torah, because they embrace the acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven, the unity of the Creator, and the exodus from Egypt.

Within these Tephillin are placed four sections of the Law, that declare the absolute unity of God, that remind us of the miracles and wonders which He wrought for us when He brought us forth from Egypt, even He who hath power over the highest and lowest to deal with them according to His will. He hath commanded us to lay the Tephillin on the hand as a memorial of His outstretched arm; opposite the heart, to indicate the duty of subjecting the longings and designs of our heart to His service, blessed be He; and upon the head over against the brain, thereby teaching that the mind, whose seat is in the brain, together with all senses and faculties, is to be subjected to His service, blessed be He.” From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938

As long as Israel kept their devotion to God close to their hearts and His goodness before their eyes, they served Him faithfully. Like us however, the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of wealth, and desire for other things (Matthew 13) often captured their hearts and minds—even after seeing mighty signs and wonders.

To be continued...






Haftarah Bo  

Jeremiah 46:13-28


Have you taken stock lately of how when bad things come into our lives, we often expect that the circumstances will end up for our good? We are quick to run to Romans 8:28, the “all things work together for good” passage. Once there we breath a sigh of relief and then sit back to see how God will work it all out in our favor. The caveat to this however, is that we must be genuine children of God (really saved) and be walking in a loving relationship with Him. Just read that verse again. Those two points are the qualifiers.

But there are times when we’re living as God would have us to, and things still don’t turn out the way we think they ought to. So what happened? I think that must be where the good that God promises to bring doesn’t come about right away. Sometimes we have to wait for it. Maybe we won’t even see it until the Bema Seat judgement where we are rewarded for how we handled those bad circumstance. After all, being tied to a stake atop a pile of wood, or being let loose in a den of hungry lions didn’t always lead to the good thing happening right then—yet, history has seen its share of saints meet just such an end.

Now let me ask this. Since we really do know that all things, all the time, whether in this life or the next, do work together for good—given those qualifications above—then what about the truly saved who are NOT at that particular moment walking in a loving relationship with God? Does God still bring “good” out of “bad” circumstances for them? I think our Haftarah passage sheds some light on the question.
Adonai truly loved His Jewish nation. He had created them. He had given them His Law, or “teachings.” He had established His Covenant promises with them. And yet like so many of us today they rebelled, and often. We saw an example of this when the Jewish people grumbled against Moses for the increased suffering brought to bear against them when he interceded with Pharaoh to let God’s people go. This rebellious attitude and its bad results with only periodic repentance was carried on throughout their history. So did God bring good even when they were bad?
In Jeremiah 46, the prophet records yet another of God’s judgements on Egypt at a much later time in Egyptian history. The circumstances were different here. The Jewish nation after its heyday under David and Solomon had been split into two kingdoms. God did this as a consequence for their sin. Then in 609 B.C. Egypt invaded Judah, the Southern kingdom, killing King Josiah in the process. Josiah had been a very good king, instituting many Godly reforms. II chronicles 34:2 says of Josiah, “He did right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David and did not turn aside to the right or to the left.” However, one act of disobedience on Josiah’s part brought God’s chastening upon him. And what was that?

Pharaoh wanted to move his army north through Judah, but Josiah would have none of it (II Chron. 35:20). God warned Josiah through Pharaoh Neco that he should get out of the way. “But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, ‘What have we to do with each other, O King of Judah? I am not coming against you today but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, that He will not destroy you.’ However, Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to make war with him; nor did he listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to make war on the plain of Megiddo.” vv. 35:21-22
Even after his life of service, this one act of disobedience to God cost King Josiah his life. So again I ask the question, does God still bring good out of bad circumstances for those not walking in His will? The answer is, yes, He can, and in this case He did.
In Jeremiah 46:13-28 we see the consequences God brought down on Egypt for that nation’s continued sin and for engaging Judah in war and killing its King. These verses tell of the destruction that was to come on Egypt from an invading Babylon.  “...the sword has devoured those around you,” v.14 “...your mighty ones become prostrate,” v.15 “...the Lord has thrust them down,” v.15 “...they have fallen,” v.16 “For the day of calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment.” v.21 “The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame, given over to the power of the people of the North.” v. 24 While Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian armies never fully destroyed Egypt, that nation was to suffer greatly for it’s sinfulness and her fighting with Judah and killing Josiah, even though Josiah had been told by God not to engage Egypt.

Not only was Egypt to be badly mauled by the Babylonians, but God spoke of future blessing on the nation of Judah. “‘But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, nor be dismayed, O Israel! for, see, I am going to save you from afar, and your descendants from the land of their captivity; and Jacob will return and be undisturbed and secure, with no one making him tremble.  ‘O Jacob My servant, do not fear,’ declares the LORD, ‘For I am with you. For I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you, Yet I will not make a full end of you; But I will correct you properly and by no means leave you unpunished’.” (Jer. 46:27-28) Speaking of the Babylonian deportation (597 BC) which was yet to come God says He will not only punish the nations that deported them, but return Judah, the Southern kingdom to its land (538 BC).

In spite of King Josiah’s disobedience in fighting with Neco and losing his life in the battle, God did bring blessing out of it. He used Egypt’s fighting with Judah as justification to militarily and economically cripple Egypt, something Egypt would have deserved in any case. And God used the predicted punishment of Egypt by Babylon to say that Judah would be returned from a yet to come exile to Babylon.

It is safe to say that it is always best for the Christian to have a Spirit-led walk, showing yourself as one who loves and honors God. Then we can be assured that all things—whether now or later—will work for good. But if adversity comes while not living properly can God still bring good out of it? I think Josiah’s story shows us that He can and well may.


So when adversity comes, whether out of disobedience to Him or while walking in that loving relationship with Him, let us always trust Him for the best. His love for us will never fail. And His ability to bring good out of bad must never be doubted.    



B’rit Chadashah Bo
Luke 22:7-30 and I Corinthians 11:20-34


Our B’rit Chadashah passages are two; Luke 22:7-30 and I Corinthians 11:20-34. The first speaks of our Lord’s instituting what we commonly know today as the Lord’s Supper. The second describes how it is to be administered as one of the ordinances of the Church.

The occasion for the establishment of the Lord’s Supper was the celebration of the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover Lamb was to be sacrificed. Lk. 22:7 This takes us back to Exodus 12 where it all began. Luke 22:8-13 tells us how Peter and John went and prepared the Passover feast, and verses 14-20 give us the actual institution of this church ordinance known as the Lord’s Supper. The bread represented His body that was given. v. 19 The cup of which they drank represented His blood that was to be shed. v.20

The I Corinthians passage gives a detail that the Luke passage does not. In I Corinthians 11:26 Paul tells us, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”  


Think of it. 
Our lives are a sermon on the death of Messiah—Yeshua, Jesus, 
the Lamb of God—every time we partake of this ordinance
 which He established at His Last Supper.


This should cause us to contemplate what it is that we think upon as we partake of that Communion Supper. We’re preaching. What exactly is it we are saying? Let’s consider what the shedding of His blood—represented by the “cup”—means to us and the message we should be conveying to those we are preaching to by way of our actions.

In an article entitled The Blood That Speaks by James Goll of Encounters Network, March 2008, the author lists seven ways the blood of Messiah has benefit for us. Let’s look at his bullet points, his supporting verses, and perhaps add some comment of our own.    

1. Forgiveness  Hebrews 9:22 “All things are cleansed with the blood and without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness.” It is through His blood that forgiveness for all mankind is offered (I John 2:2) and personally applied to each of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. John 1:12

2. Cleansing  I John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The filthiness of sin need not weigh us down any more.

3. Redemption  Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” The shedding of His blood was what redeemed or purchased us out of the penalty for our sin.

4. Justification  Romans 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” There is no experiencing the wrath of God for our sin. We are looked upon by God as “just” because of the blood of Messiah shed for us.

5. Sanctification  Hebrews 13:12 “Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” To be sanctified means to be set apart from something unto something else. Because of the power found in the shedding of Messiah’s blood we are set apart from the old ways of sin so that we may now serve in newness of life.

6. Peace  Colossians 1:20 “And having made peace through the blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven.” The blood of Messiah shed for mankind and  God’s creation gone sinful has brought peace between God and His objects of that peace, both on this earth and in the heavens above.

7. Access  Hebrews 10:19 “Since therefore, brother, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus.” Because Yeshua has shed His blood for us we can  all through prayer enter the very throne room of God to commune with Him. No human, with few exceptions, was ever able to do this before our Savior died and shed His blood for us.
The shed blood of Messiah has applied all of the above and so very much more to all who have received the free gift of salvation. This is a gift that is received by believing that the death of Yeshua (God in the flesh, the perfect sacrificethe Lamb of God) paid the price for all your sins, and that His resurrection from the grave secured for you the promise of your resurrection from the dead.

This is the sermon—at least in part—that we preach each time we participate in the act of communion, in remembrance of Him. Are you preaching this to yourself and not just entering into some mindless ritual? And are you benefiting from it? What about living it out so that others may see in you the benefits of the shed blood of Messiah as it is applied to your life?
The taking of the bread and the cup

 are not just simply acts to be engaged in mindlessly
 
every now and then. 
Yeshua instituted it.
 It pictures not only what we read about
 in the Torah portion above, 

but it commemorates the once for all death

 of the Perfect sacrifice, 

giving His blood to provide for us that eternal life 

and so much more. 
Meditate upon it. 

Live it. 
And by all means
 
show forth the death
 
and resurrected life
 of Messiah
 by preaching it 
through your life.

In Messiah’s Love,
His EVERY Word Ministries