The Rabbis answers to e-mail inquires from "Ask the Messianic Rabbi"

Index to Questions: Scroll to number you are interested in for answer...

#1 What is your stance on "foot washing" John 13:4-17 It was definitely done by Yeshua at the last supper and He asks that we do if also if we love Him.

#2 Tithing

#3 Rabbi Davis: If Jesus was being kissed and hugged, His feet and legs, that is, in front of the Pharisee, Simon, would Simon have declared Erusin, saying that these two appear to want to be together? Was there at least, a Civil Law Attachment of Jesus to Mary? I believe this to be true, only that Jesus knew she would finally give him up. that is why I believe she later broke the flask, to show Jesus that she understood He was going to be killed. An I believe He permitted this attachment, to fulfill Moses' Law about the Lamb. since this is a very deep subject, I will close and await your reply.

#4  Shalom, I'd appreciate your opinion on the following question: Why are Messianic
congregation leaders called Rabbi? I refer to Matthew 23:8 (KJV) which says
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye
are brethren."

(I found this on the internet in The Hebrew Names Version of the World
English Bible (HNV) translated "But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is
your teacher, the Messiah, and all of you are brothers.")

#5 Baby Dedication = this is offered in the Christian Community... a time where parents pledge in front of the congregation that they will raise their child in the "faith," allowing and believing that the child, himself, has to come to G-d on his own.

Is there something similar to that in the Messianic Community.  I have been researching the Scriptures, and unable to find anything to backup "the above tradition."

Yes, many Torah Scriptures talk about... parents teaching their lifestyle on to their children... generation by generation... but is there a ceremony... sort of like Bar Mitzvah, or a feast etc.?

The "prayer of Hannah" comes to mind, but that is before the child is born.  Would you say... circumcision to be something similar as Baby  Dedication... and if so... what about the female child? 

Thanks for your willingness to read this and to take the time to answer.

brenda

#6 How does one become a Messianic Rabbi? e.g. Where can a person train to be a Messianic Rabbi? And how does a person qualify to train? Ya'acov

#7 Hi, I'll bet you get this one al the time. In Hebrews 9:4 the altar of incense is placed behind the curtain. why is that? Thanx for your time and consideration. Keith

#8. Elaborate on 1st commandment. Jack

#9 Rabbi, Thank you for answering a question that has bothered me for a long time. It came out of a mistaken effort on my part to pin down the date of our Savior’s birth (If Zechariah ws handling the incense [Luke 1: 8-10] and the incense burner was in the Holiest of Holies then he must have been in there on the Day of Atonement and then we add 6 months etc. etc.)

When I read your answer, I felt a powerful blessing when you mentioned the prayers of the people and the curtain no longer being there. Hallelujah! That is the answer the Lord wanted me to find! I can’t thank you enough.

Got time for another? When and where is the temple mentioned in Ezekiel 40 and following? A Messianic Jewish friend of mine opined that this was the Temple promised to the Hebrew people if thye had accepted their Messiah the first time around instead of rejecting Him. Would you concur?

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Keith

#10  Can you help me with a question.  I have heard it said that when the Cohen Gadol would enter the Most Holy Place that a fleece was dipped in blood and hung outside of the temple.  It was for the people to see if YHVH had accepted the sacrifice and offering, and if He had He would turn the fleece white again.  Can you let me know is this in the Torah or was it part of manners and customs from the Rabbinical teachings?

 Shalom, Wayne

#11 Am I correct in believing that Daniel was a eunuch because he was not married and he was under the care of the chief eunuch? Havah

#12 zero wrote:
for years i have been comfortable with christ and G-D

yet always feel estranged to the holy spirit. i cannot

tell if this perception is a lie or i have grieved him.

your thoughts on this would be helpful.

#13 Hello Rabbi Davis,

I am going to a messianic congregation in Tampa, Fl called biet Tahila. I have found your article concerning God's 7000 yrs redemption plan. Your article is very interesting to me as I am doing a study of this subject.

I found it interesting that because of Israel unbelief to take the Temple Mount in 1967, G-d punished them for 40 yrs. Just curious if you still believe the tribulation will still occur in the year 2007? If so, can you provide me with some more information as I would like to present this to my congregation.

Shalom in Yeshua,
Jack

#14 Dear Rabbi, I am very confused as to which holidays to celebrate and how to celebrate them.  Many of the holidays seem to be of the old covenent and yet the Torah says that the Holydays (the seven feasts) MUST be celebrated though all generations.  Did Messiah end these?  Mikaela

#15 Why  we celebrate Simhat Torah?
What significance of closing eyes when praying "Shema"?
Joseph

#16  Dear Keith,You wrote: “who was Jesus’ stepfather Joseph’s father? Matthew 1:16 says it was a man named Jacob; Luke 4:23 says it was Heli. I would be interested in your answer.

#17 Dear Alan, You wrote: Please explain “first fruits” and the relationship to tithing.

#18 I have read about a first Seder and a second Seder. One source said this was because of the number of lambs that had to be sacrificed. Was 15 Nisan (1st day of Unleavened Bread) a High Sabbath? Monte S.

#19 I am very confused as to which holidays to celebrate and how to celebrate them. Many of the holidays seem to be of the old covenant and yet the Torah says that the Holydays (the seven feasts) MUST be celebrated through all generations. did Messiah end these? Mikaela

 

Answers Below

E-Mail Inquirey #1

What is your stance on "foot washing"  John 13:4- 17 It was definitely done by Yeshua at the last supper  and he asks that we do it also if we love him.  Shalom  Eva

Rabbi’s Answer #1:

Because the Passover is about redemption and not about fellowship. The Passover is a picture of being redeemed and reconciled to HaShem of being brought out of Egypt (slavery to sin). The concept of foot washing is the same as "Love your neighbor as yourself," and this concept in many forms is found through out the scriptures, old and new. Yahshua was painting a graphic picture for the talmidim to follow because some were promoting their own agendas. Remember how they were quarreling among themselves and how some family members came to Yahshua to influence him as to who would be the most important in the Kingdom.  Yahshua also said if your right hand, eye, etc. offend thee cut it off or pull it out. Are we literally to cut off our hands or gouge out our eyes if they offend G-d or fellow believers by our lust or stealing? No, we are to reexamine our relationship with the Almighty and repent. It is the concept that matters. It was a teaching tool, and yes, many churches practice foot washing in a legalistic way, but they still harbor grudges, fail to curb their ambitions, and refuse to give place to their fellows. Some denominations handle snakes and drink poison based upon improper use of scripture missing the concept of the teaching, plainly ignoring that G-d said not to provoke Him by challenging Him. If a congregation wants to practice foot washing with the right heart and attitude I see no sin in that, but if they do it because it is a practice they feel compelled to do to maintain form, it would not be “Kosher.”  Even if Messianics required ‘foot washing” by halacha as a mitzvah they as well as the churches that practice it should assume that without the proper heart it probably should not be practiced, for it would lead many into sin and resentfulness. YHVH said sacrifices stink to His nostrils when brought without the proper heart, but there is no curtailment against sacrifices if the offerer’s attitude is proper. Sacrifice without justice, mercy and love is useless. Hasatan used this irresponsible concept of demanding of G-d, of provoking G-d to lure Yahshua into sin in the 40 days in the wilderness. Yahshua replied, that we are not to provoke G-d. Although foot washing is not in the same category there is an analogy and surely we are not to tempt G-d by some irresponsible act designed to test Him. If we like Yahshua advised, live by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of G-d, The Torah, we would not need to be reminded by a word picture like foot washing to know denial of self and self-nullification brings us into the right relationship with YHVH Elohim. Until we can see our worthlessness and sinfulness we cannot experience the depth of the love of G-d for us. We would always put the other fellow first when the situation falls in accordance with Torah.   Shalom, Rabbi Milchama ben David  


E-mail Inquiry #2

E-mail received May 05, 2003 12:49 PM

Subject: Fw: Tithing

Question: Is there any information on tithing in the Massorah, or other Jewish books? I’m doing a study, I feel all three tithes that we were taught in WWCG should have been only one. I think that you take a tenth to the feast and what you don’t use, you leave for the priest. On the 3rd year the priest should use that for the widows & poor

In Heb G-d changes a commandment with the order of “Melchisedec & Abraham gave a tenth to Melchisedec. I have read that we will go to the sme government tht G-d had with Abram when Christ returns. Where the word tithe is plural I think it means where you gave a tithe of five different items not 3 or 5 different tithes of the same item. I need some help with this understanding what do you have?

What does the rabbi teach? ? I think in the new covenant we should use a tithe for all? When a group of people tithe the word could be tithes (plural) for all of them tithing instead of one person tithing. What do you make of Heb 7. Thanks, Rita. (reprinted as received)

 The above was forwarded to me by a third party and requested my answer and also that I include a message I had delivered on the tithe in the synagogue recently. First, I will supply the message and then answer some specific questions in the above.

Rabbi's Answer #2

Ladies and Gentlemen

 Tonight, I want to just talk to you heart to heart. First, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and financial support for the synagogue.

 This I want you to know, and you know who you are, that G-d rewards those that gives out of love and especially those that have given out of need. I want to encourage you in your walk with HaShem, and confer praise upon you, all those that have been consistent in their giving and have done so in the name of G-d, even in the face of so much misunderstanding about the law of tithing. It’s praise you deserve for you have not set back and murmured or become resentful of those that do not give, even though it may feel like the entire load is on your shoulders. You deserve praise for not having become bitter or spiteful, and for that I thank you and praise you. In that you demonstrate the love and understanding that only G-d has given you, for you know some have reservations of how the money shall be administered, or have been told that tithing is an antiquated idea not pertinent to today. Or even that tithing in the Bible was in produce and goods and in this era of a monetary economy tithing is outdated and not commanded. Unfortunately, those who believe such do not understand the scriptures or ignore them because of avarice in their own souls. Tithing then and now comes from all-financial increase either from money or goods or from both for even in antiquity when a system of bartering was predominant, tithing was based on all your increase. I often think it would be nice if we could pay the electric bill with a bushel of tomatoes, but that is not our system is it? So even if you bring a bushel of tomatoes I would need to sell them to raise the money to pay the bill. But my reason here is not to explore all the reasons why people do not tithe but to thank you that can and do, and to tell you that G-d does not stand silently by and allow you to flounder into destitution or experience want because of your faithfulness in following Torah and the law of the tithe. For many of you I’m speaking into the wind because so many of you have first hand experience, and have wonderful testimonies of G-d honoring your lives and finances because you were and are faithful. My own wife has one of the best testimonies I know of. I want you to know that YOU, by honoring G-d’s covenant have heaped rewards upon yourself here temporarily, and in the world to come I can assure you of that for it is Torah. Personally, I want you to know how I appreciate your faith in me, as your rabbi for I know some stumble over tithing because they fear ministers of G-d will abuse the tithes, and surely there are some who have. In the time of Malachi there were those that abused their position and YHVH branded them as those that “despise my name.”  G-d accused them of departing out of the way, and having caused many to stumble at the Torah; corrupting the covenant of Levi,” The heirs of G-d’s appointed priesthood are today’s rabbis and ministers, and many have fallen. Yet, G-d even after having exposed such a priesthood still commanded Israel to bring their entire tithe into the priest’s storehouse (Malachi 3:10.) Why, because the tithe is not dependant upon the priesthood, even if they are not what they should be, it is for the giver that the benefits accrue. Giving of the tithe is more important for the one who pays it than the one who receives it. In fact, the book of Malachi implies that by paying the tithe, G-d’s people (Israel) can eventually turn around its wayward priests/ministers, and become a “delightful land,” which all nations will call blessed (Malachi 3:12).

 So, for you who have been faithful and have not fallen to rationalizations and excuses designed not to give your tithes, I want you to know that the tithe is not an avenue of relationship between you and rabbis/ministers, but between G-d and His people, you. 

 Although, His ministers are rightly ordained to receive and live from the tithes of Israel (the Ekklesia) it is something many believers fail to observe, and even NT only believers are instructed in Galatians 6:6 to provide for those that teach them the truth of G-d’s Torah.

 I collect no salary even though biblically I have every right to use the money received to pay myself for I too must live. Instead, my rebetzin, and I, we who also tithe usually have to add above and beyond our tithes to meet the bills of the synagogue. So to help with this misunderstanding of the tithe let me say the tithe is a transaction. Melchizedek brought Abraham bread and wine (Gen 14:18) a spiritual kiddush and Abraham brought Melchizedek the tithe. Bread represent food or The word of G-d, His Torah the Living and the Written. Wine represents the Ruach haKodesh, joy and fulfillment, and in return Abraham gave his tithes. This transaction proved a wise investment when YHVH blessed the one in covenant abundantly as he did Abraham. If you remember Abraham refused riches from the kings for his service, and after his tithe to Melchizedek he not only received monetary wealth, but something far more valuable, not only to Sarah and himself, but to us: He received the promise of Isaac, something that was far greater than economic wealth. The reward of the tithe includes material reward but Abraham tithed with bigger things in mind. Sha’ul said, “Know therefore, that those which are of faith, the same are children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). We who are of the refreshed, renewed covenant are supposed to be children of Abraham. Now add that to what Yahshua said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham (John 8:39). Since Abraham tithed to Melchizedek it is absolutely necessary for anyone claiming to be a child of Abraham to do the same! How can we tithe to a priest like Melchizedek? By tithing to Yahshua! Yahshua is the “priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4) Yahshua alone is worthy of the tithe of His children He alone has brought us the bread of His body and the wine of His blood. When we tithe to the ministers and rabbis of His name, we tithe to Him, just as our father tithed to Melchizedek. So you faithful I want you to know that your struggle to tithe will be honored by G-d and just as Abraham your reward will exceed material wealth though it does not exclude it for you will receive eternal life for your faithfulness. If you can be faithful where your money is concerned I am assured you will be faithful in all of Torah. Thank you all.

 Now a summary of the question:

 Tithe means tenth, and the commandment is this: "I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation . . . the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto YHVH, I  have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, among the children of Israel they shall have noinheritance"(Numbers 18:21,24).

 A tithe is a tenth of every person's increase, but even more correctly, it is a tenth of all Israel's (the Ekklesia's) increase. In truth, the entire tithe has been paid only when all of Israel (every person of them) has paid their tenth. The tithe belongs completely to the L-RD. "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is YHVH's. It is holy unto YHVH. And if a man will redeem any of his tithes, he shall add unto it the fifth portion thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto YHVH" (Leviticus 27:30-32).

A tithe is a tenth part, especially offered to G-d. When someone fails to or deliberately withholds their tithe for a time they are commanded to pay 1/5 more, in other words to now pay 30% of their increase. It is a penalty commanded of G-d. Tithing is an obligation and responsibility and not subject to the will of the giver. Abraham presented a tithe of war booty to the priest-king of Jerusalem, Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20). Jacob pledged to offer G-d a tithe of all his possessions upon his safe return (Gen. 28:22). The tithe was subject to a variety of legislation. Numbers 18:20-32 provides for support of the Levites and the priests through the tithe. The Deuteronomic code stipulated that the tithe of agricultural produce be used for a family feast at the sanctuary celebrating G-d's provision (Deut. 14:22-27), but that they not forget the Levite in their celebration. The same code stipulated the third year's tithe for care of the Levites, orphans, widows, and foreigners (Deut. 14:28-29). Some scholars think the differences in legislation reflect different uses of the tithe at various stages of Israel's history. However, rabbis of the New Testament period, understood the laws as referring to three separate tithes: a Levitical tithe, a tithe spent celebrating in Jerusalem, and a charity tithe. Malachi 3:8 equates neglect of the tithe with robbing G-d. Yahshua, however, warned that strict tithing must accompany concern for the more important demands of the law, namely, for just and merciful living (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).

Also, through Abraham and Melchizedek, G-d demonstrates that the tithe is only properly paid to Him when it goes to an ordained representative of Him for the representative's own sustenance. This tithing relationship is continued in the commandment to Israel to tithe to/through the Levitical Priesthood. Of course the Levitical system is now obsolete (note in Revelations they are added to the list of Tribes) and have been replaced by True  Believers who trust in the faithfulness of Yahshua, and guard the commandments of HaShem. At the time of Abraham the Levites had not been born, but in Judaism they were considered to be  in the lions of Abraham. Abraham paying tithes to Melchisdek in effect was the same as the Levites paying tithes through Abraham and showed Melchisdek's priesthood's superiority to the Levitical preisthood, therefore Yahshua our High priest has a better or superior priesthood.  We the believers serve as a royal priesthood for Yahshua (see 1 Peter 2:9). The tithe never went to an institution; not even the Temple received the tithe. The tithe is always to go directly to the representatives of YHVH's ministry, of which Melchizedek and the Levites were the forebearers, so that there "may be food in My house," says YHVH. In this way the minister is to make his living from the tithes. Because of the tithe the Yah-ordained servants are be able to continue to provide spiritual up building to the covenant people, who are His house. In this it is their responsibility to pay the expenses necessary to do out of the tithes. Think how much better it would be if rabbis/ministers were not compromised by economics and subject to the pressure of groups within the synagogue/church who control the money. I have earlier address corrupt ministers/rabbis from Malachi. In some instances as Malachi infers ministers/rabbis have been tempted and fallen into corruption because the people have left them without adequate support. It is inexcusable and I’m not making excuses for these men/women, but from a practical point view and as an observer I know this to have happened to men I have known. My only judgment in the matter is that these men had accomplices in the persons of their congregations who blindly failed to adequately provide for the welfare of their ministers and families while spending money on non essentials like carpets, etc, for their edifices.

This has bee a rather lengthy and I’m sure I missed some concerns and may have spent too much time on others, but all questions were addressed, perhaps not in the sequence they were asked in the e-mail.  Happy reading.

Shalom and Brachas, Rabbi Milchama ben David

E-Mail inquiry #3

Rabbi Davis:  If Jesus was being kissed and hugged, His feet and legs, that is, in front of the Pharisee, Simon, would Simon have declared Erusin, saying that these two appear to want to be together? Was there at least, a Civil Law Attachment of Jesus to Mary? I believe this to be true, only that Jesus knew she would finally give him up. That is why I believe she later broke the flask, to show Jesus that she understood He was going to be killed. And, I believe that He permitted this attachment, to fulfill Moses' Law about the Lamb. Since this is a very deep subject, I will close and wait for your reply.
 
Jesus is my Lord, XXXX X XXXXXX

Rabbi's Answer # 3 

Dear Mr. XXX  X XXXX:

 My response to the hypothesis you postulate in your e-mail follows:

 First we need to examine erusin:

 Contemporary Jewish weddings are a combination of two ancient and separate ceremonies. In Talmudic times the erusin (similar to an engagement or betrothal) would take place up to a year in advance of the nisuin (the actual marriage). At the erusin (literally "forbidden," as in (the bride and groom were forbidden to others) the couple signed a document of agreement; the bride accepted an item of value from the groom, usually a coin or a ring; and the blessing over the wine was recited. The couple was legally married but did not consummate the marriage and lived separately for up to a year, during which time the couple prepared a home for their new family. The nisuin was a festive ceremony when the groom escorted the bride to his home. Blessings were recited over wine and the couple was left alone together to consummate the marriage.

In the Shulchan Aruch the foremost authority regarding Jewish Law, Torah Sheb’al Peh (Oral Torah) every man is obligated to get married in order to fulfill the mitzvah of propagation and it is incumbent upon a man from his18th year, and he should not pass his 20th year without getting married. The exception to this law is only if the man is diligently studying Torah and marriage would disrupt him from learning Torah, and you are permitted to delay marriage if you are not overcome with lustful desire.

My thoughts on this as referenced to your E-mail is this:

  1. Simon would not have the authority to declare erusin. Only the perspective groom usually by the authority of his father and with the consent of the perspective bride may do so after signing a ketubah (marriage contract).

2.      Yahshua was pass the age of obligation but His life was consumed and dedicated to the Torah and He would have been excepted, therefore He committed no offense against the Torah Shebikhatav (Written Torah) or against the Torah Sheb’al Peh

3.      There is no report in the Scriptures of any item of value being given by the groom to the perspective bride to consummate or legalize the betrothal.

 I cannot presume from this evidence that there would have been any attachment to “Mary” via “civil law,” or otherwise. Israel was a theocracy and all civil law was deduced from G-d’s Torah. The facts are not in evidence.

 Other Evidence to Consider.

 You did not indicate any biblical citations so I am presuming you are referring to Luke 7:36 to Luke 7:40 regarding this incident. Luke 7:39 reveals Simon’s thoughts. He was concerned that Yahshua who He believed to be a prophet did not know that the woman bestowing her ministrations upon Him was a sinner (euphemism). From the Jewish point of view to be identified as a “sinner” required gross publicly known sin. His attitude might have been different if the woman were not categorized differently.  Such a marriage would have been forbidden to Yahshua because He legitimately could claim He was a Priest by virtue of His Mary’s lineage, which included the royal line and the Levite priestly line.

 I could render more argument for my position regarding the first premise of your e-mail, but I don’t think it necessary, so I will move on to your second conjecture.

 You identify the first “Mary” with the woman in Mark 14:3, whereas a woman in Simon the leper’s house “broke” a flask. There is no biblical evidence to connect the two as the same woman. In fact the citations seem to suggest otherwise. The woman in Bethany is not shouldered with the epithet of a “sinner,” which if she were would have not escaped such a condemnation. Secondly, you are taking your conclusion from the English translated Greek scriptures. Scholarship today, has by and large admitted that the NT was initially written in Hebrew and Aramaic based on evidence found in the “Early Church Fathers’” documents. Many Aramaic sources that predate the Greek Scriptures are extant and I believe give a more precise rendering of the intent and content of the Scriptures. In the case of Mark 14:3 and Matthew 26:9, “And when Yahshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,” we should examine these citations as found in the English texts. One no leper was allowed to live in a city (Lev. 13:46). This would have precluded Simon from being a leper. Two, ancient Aramaic and Hebrew were written without vowel points, so there is no distinction between the Aramaic (the common language of Yahshua and of that time) words Gar’ba (leper) and Garaba (jar maker or jar merchant.) The translators responsible for our contemporary  Scriptures did not perceive the nuances of the language because their translations were made from Greek exemplars that originally had not understood the Hebrew words without vowel points. There are many examples now recognized within mainstream scholarship pertaining to the Tanakh (OT) that was originally translated from the Greek Septuagint. Hebrew writers sometimes found no equivalent word to express the full meaning in the Greek. Sha’ul (Paul) had this difficulty with trying to distinguish between the word   Torah Shebikhatav (Written Torah) and Torah Sheb’al Peh (Oral Torah) translated law in our English translations, which has resulted in Christian’s confusion about the “Law.” In Greek there is no word to express the meaning of Torah as understood in the Hebrew. The word the translators used was “Law” (nomous) a very unfortunate rendering that fails to distinguish between G-d’s instructions and man’s law. Since this is a story of a woman that pours oil from a jar it suggests that Simon was a jar merchant-maker and not a leper.

 Now the rendering in an ancient manuscript of this passage:

 v.3 And while he (Yahshua) was in Beit-Anyah in the house of Shim’on the jar merchant while eating, a woman came who had with her an alabaster jar of pistachio, the best, very costly, and she opened it and poured it on the head of Yahshua. Unlike the Greek-English version there is no mention that she broke the flask. This makes more since in the Aramaic version than in the Greek-English. Your supposition is that she broke the flask to show she understood Yahshua was going to be killed. I think when appropriate we should take the text literally.    

 Summation:

 You seem to have postulated that the woman at Bethany is the same woman in Luke. I cannot see an evidence for this conclusion. There have been many such theories about the identities of these women, but in my opinion there is no evidence to back up those claim or presume they are this Mary or that Mary.

For instant there is a tradition, especially prevalent in western Christianity from about A.D. 500 onward, identified Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50. The text gives no reason for such an association, as the introduction of Mary in Luke 8 is quite removed topically from Luke 7:36. To confuse the interpretative tradition further, the sinful woman in the anointing scene of Luke 7:36-50 is often identified incorrectly with another Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazrus. On all accounts, no evidence exists that the sinful woman of Luke 7 should be identified as Mary.

Yahshua’s permitted Action:

 When you speak of Moshe’s law about the lamb I need more specific information. The citation that you base your conclusion upon.

 Exo 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

Exo 12:4  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Exo 12:5  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

Exo 12:6  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Exo 12:7  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

 Exo 12:21  Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.

 The antitype of the Passover (mo’adim-meaning rehearsal) was fulfilled in the execution of Yahshua who is our Paschal Lamb. It is plain, uncomplicated to understand, and a perfect picture of what Passover represents. Trying to connect an attachment to Moshe’ “law” about the lamb in tandem with the above is confusing for most people and perhaps injurious to promote a valid understanding of the Passover. Shalom and Brachas, Rab Davis 

 

E-mail Inquiry #4

August 23, 03

Shalom,

I'd appreciate your opinion on the following question: Why are Messianic
congregation leaders called Rabbi? I refer to Matthew 23:8 (KJV) which says
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye
are brethren."

(I found this on the internet in The Hebrew Names Version of the World
English Bible (HNV) translated "But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is
your teacher, the Messiah, and all of you are brothers.")
 

I've wondered about this for a long time. Is this is an incorrect
translation, or just what, exactly, does it mean?

Thank you very much for your time.
Jim

Rabbi's Answer #4

Dear Jim:

 You quoted from Matthew 23:8, but to have a better understanding you must include the following verses to verse 10. A literalistic approach to Matthew 23: 8-10 is inappropriate in the reading of this passage for the following reasons. Yahshua also warns against being called “father” or “teacher” in addition to being called “rabbi.” The context leads me to believe Yahshua is prohibiting believers from accepting unearned honors, appropriating titles and offices for which they are not anointed or chosen of G-d rather than outlawing prohibited titles.

 Remember, Yahshua was talking to Jews and therefore dealt with the title that they were most abusing. In the context he addresses here He refers to the then accepted common usage of the word rabbi as “Master.” This was a misappropriation of the term of the title assigning authority not given by G-d. He is not picking on one or two titles out of a multitude of manmade titles and forbidding their usage. He is attacking an ungodly principle involving the mental gymnastics that religious people tend to play. Their desire for titles that men invest with authority, esteem, and self-importance. This is an ungodly attitude and is prohibited by Yahshua. The proof is all the religious personages who prefix their name with the title Doctor that is not earned, yet used to set himself/herself apart from the laity and that is sinful behavior. 

 If Yahshua were bodily present on the earth today, He would say something like this to religious communities: "Do not be called apostles, prophets, most reverend, reverend, pastor or bible school teacher. Why? Because manmade titles and recognition puff up the flesh and are not necessarily, a sign of YHVH’s calling or anointing. In many denominations today the fad is to be designated as an apostle or prophet without the slightest qualifications, anointing or even understanding for such and office.

 Please also remember that “rabbi” means “teacher,” not the appropriated definition “master” as it had come to be used in Yahshua’s day, conferring honors not granted.   Rav Sha’ul (Paul) lists the five fold office gifting in Ephesians 4 at the end of verse 11 and calls rabbis = teachers a gift to Yahshua’s body. Rabbi and teacher are synonymous terms, so what is Yahshua saying? Are we not to use the term teacher at all or did He have something else in mind? The Ruach HaKodesh is the “Teacher,” but G-d uses anointed humans as His agents to teach His torah. If true to the term anointed rabbis. It seems then we must discern between those called of G-d as opposed to those appropriating the title for personal reasons. Rabbis, teachers, leaders, pastors must first be servants of G-d, and not masters. The risen Messiah gave rabbis to the body. Unfortunately, the church has a problem with the Hebrew word "Rabbi," not the concept of teacher. Thereby, revealing their latent anti-Semitism. True rabbis are teachers of      G-d’s word. 

 Finally, in First John 2:13-14, Yochanan calls mature believers in the faith, "fathers". Was not John paying attention to Yahshua? Didn’t Yahshua warn us not to call any man father in Matt 23:9? Does that also include your biological father? Isn’t John contradicting Yahshua? On the other hand, maybe John was in rebellion. No sir! We know that is not the case. He correctly refers to mature believers as fathers of the faith, despite Yahshua’s pronouncement. Therefore it is safe to say when you are a mature believer and are able to lead others as John said, you are a father of the faith. When you walk in the ministry of teaching, within the Messianic Jewish community, given by Yahshua to teach others, you are a rabbi. He is not picking on two titles as evil over and above all the others! He merely is rebuking the principle of arrogance and pride in man’s tendency to issue or appropriate titles, without divine sanction and anointing!

 Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Davis
 

E-Mail Inquiry #5

 August 23, 03

Baby Dedication = this is offered in the Christian Community... a time where parents pledge in front of the congregation that they will raise their child in the "faith," allowing and believing that the child, himself, has to come to G-d on his own.

Is there something similar to that in the Messianic Community.  I have been researching the Scriptures, and unable to find anything to backup "the above tradition."

Yes, many Torah Scriptures talk about... parents teaching their lifestyle on to their children... generation by generation... but is there a ceremony... sort of like Bar Mitzvah, or a feast etc.?

The "prayer of Hannah" comes to mind, but that is before the child is born.  Would you say... circumcision to be something similar as Baby  Dedication... and if so... what about the female child? 

Thanks for your willingness to read this and to take the time to answer.

brenda

Rabbi's Answer #5

 Dear Brenda:
There is no ceremony  to my knowledge, having come from several Jewish disciplines, that  approximates  the Christian one you cite. There are some that  are  perhaps similar in scope but not in particulars.

There is the  "pidyon haben" Redemption of the First Born, but it only applies to male children at 31 days of age and only to the first born male child. After the tribes worshipped the Golden Calf YHVH designated the Levites as His priestly tribe. Originally, it was to be the first born of all Israel who would serve as priests, but because of the sin of the golden calf they were denied this honor.  The firstborn male child was then required to be redeemed through this ceremony. We see Yahshua taken to the Temple for this ceremony in  Luke.

Luke 2: 21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Yahshua, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luke 2:22  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Luke 2:23  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

The interesting phrase here is that He was presented to the L-ord. Could this infer dedicated because the Greek word also means yielded?.

Such a ceremony is not commanded in the Jewish Community because Jewish parents are reminded each Shabbat in the full Sh'ma  by G-d to that we are to raise up our children in His Torah. It is a given and there is no special ceremony appropriating the Christian one of dedication you cite.

Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deu 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.


As you say there is a tremendous amount of  attention and Scripture in the Tanakh to raise your children in the knowledge of G-d. It is not something we are suggested to do, but commanded to do, so I suggest that is why there is no ceremony like the Christian one you cite.
 
Circumcision (B'rit Milah) means "cut covenant." All YHVH's covenants has to be sealed (ratified) with blood, a typology of Yahshua. Females are not required to be circumcised. Remember, Eve was deceived but Adam sinned. Adam is the federal head of mankind who fell and the sin gene is passed through him and not Eve. That is why Yahshua had to be born of a virgin so as not to inherit the sin gene. It's a long thesis, but that is why women are not required to undergo circumcision.

The Bar and Bat Mitzvah is the ceremony whereby a boy or girl becomes of age and enters into the covenant of Torah. They are now accountable to YHVH for their observance of His commandments. This is probably akin to the Christian confirmation ceremony.

I hope I helped you some, although I did not identify an appropriate  ceremony for you. None is in my memory, but I also researched the question and could find nothing in an extensive Jewish library.  If you in your study find something contrary to or approximating  a "Christian Child's  Dedication Ceremony" in  Judaism or in the Bible please let me know for I am a perpetual bible student too.

Shalom v'brachas,

Rabbi Davis (R. Milchamah b'David)

E-Mail Inquiry #6

How does one become a Messianic Rabbi? e.g. Where can a person train to be a Messianic Rabbi? And how does a person qualify to train? Ya'acov

Rabbi's Answer # 6

Dear Ya’acov:

 A simple question, but one that requires a complex answer as well as personal observations.

 First, there is no central authority within Messianic Judaism that grants ordinations. Unfortunately, Messianic Judaism is in a flux at this time. There are at least two primary associations that grant ordinations. Each has its own criteria.  One is the MJAA (Messianic Jewish Alliance of America) and the other MIA (Messianic Israel Alliance). You will have to peruse their websites for details. They stand in opposition on one doctrine, and that is Two House, so your belief system would inform you which to pursue. There is one Yeshiva that has been around for some years; the Messianic Bureau International that has a course of study that results in ordination. Another way is by ordination from a rabbi or congregation. Also, one that shows promise is a Yeshiva that is in the process of being established by Dr. Rabbi John Fischer at the St Petersburg Theological Seminary in St. Petersburg, FL. Link http://www.sptseminary.edu/   This course is offered on line as well. You should inquire of them for details.

 Qualifications:

I’ll tell you what I was told when I considered ordination: if there is anything else you can do, do it! It is good advice, but unfortunately, many do not heed it. Many individuals who are ordained have no real calling for the ministry because they sought ordination for many reasons that involve personal issues and agendas, and do not answer to the outlines found in 1 Timothy.1: 1-9. The Biblical citation of “many are called but few chosen” applies. In general, you need sponsors. Clergy and other established believers who can attest to your character, growth, and spiritual maturity. Biblical knowledge is usually ascertained by test if you are accepted. These courses range from 1-4 years depending on the school and the certificate or degree you are seeking. Graduate study is not necessarily required for ordination. We always have to be aware that not all schools provide the best education. Some ordinations are not accepted by every “covering” (authority). We are talking about the basic requirements. Although some Christian denominations will ordain without any formal education. It is a little different in true Messianic Judaism. On the other hand, education is not the where with all for consideration. There are many highly educated individuals that should not be ministers or rabbis. 

 Problems:

In the broader aspect of Messianic Judaism today, there are those that have absolutely no training in Judaism. My rebettzin coined a phrase for those leaders of congregations as “Messianity,” meaning Christian congregations in focus and doctrine that employ a modicum of Jewish trappings, calling themselves Messianic. Yet, they understand nothing about the doctrines or theology of Judaism. Their theology is as diverse as the 2000 or more Christian denominations in the world today. They cannot teach the New Testament  (refreshed, renewed covenant) from its original source. There is little difference between them and Christian churches except they honor Shabbat, and some keep G-d’s Festivals. They wear tallit and kippas, but are hard pressed to explain the biblical citations proving the practice. They practice different degrees of Torah Observance; some eliminating the dietary laws, no knowledge of Hebrew, which is essential, etc. They are a disservice to Messianic Judaism and give a false impression of what it is. A candidate who truly wants to be ordained into Messianic Judaism must know Judaism as well as Christian doctrines.

 Forgive me for being personal, but in my own case, I was first ordained as a traditional rabbi. I attended Yeshiva for ten years and when I came to place my trust in Yahshua’s faithfulness, I attended Christian colleges and Seminaries for 10 years, which gave me a well-rounded education for a position as a Messianic Rabbi.  I was ordained as a Christian minister as well as a Rabbi. However, none of this would mean anything if I had not been “chosen” in the biblical sense. You might ask how do I know if you are “chosen,” and this goes back to the advice I received, mentioned earlier. Though I was secularly successful by worldly standards I found I could do nothing else, and could not deny my calling. By accepting this call, I gave up financial security and comfort. I believe that candidates for ordination in the Messianic community need both Judaism and Christian perspectives. Too many biological Jewish Messianic Rabbis have little knowledge of the refreshed, renewed covenant (NT), and their ministries suffer because of it. They teach primarily from the Tanakh and cannot correlate the teachings between the Old and the New. Many do not see the foundation of Judaism that is essential to New Testament understanding. One of their greatest drawbacks is that of eschatology (prophecy). We see the opposite, but the same effect when the rabbi is an acculturated Christian with no or incomplete knowledge of Judaism.

 Some governing bodies will not ordain a non-Jew and some will ordain anyone as long as they proscribe to their central doctrine, which may not be belief in the faithfulness of Yahshua that results in reconciliation to YHVH Elohim. So again, it takes investigation on your part as to which governing body you approach.

 I even know of some Messianic Rabbis that do not believe in the deity of Yahshua which should be in my opinion the central belief for Messianic rabbis..

 If a person has the requisite education of both Judaism and Christianity, and meets the spiritual requirements, the most expedient way of ordination is through a Messianic rabbi or body of believers who will set you apart. In most cases the body of believers with which you are associated. When I was ordained many yeas ago, on both occasions I had to appear before a committee of men of letters who grilled me for over three hours to ascertain if I was qualified, and let me remind you that this was after many years of schooling with no guarantee of ordination in either case. I might have answered their questions satisfactorily or even brilliantly, but if I were not “chosen” I would have obtained an ordination falsely, and it would eventually show in my ministry. You will recognize men and women of this caliber when they give the congregation “what they want to hear and not what they need to know.” We need a servant heart and the giving of ourselves for the edification of others. We need to practice self-nullification and be concerned about the welfare of others more so than our own creature comforts. See my answer to “Call no man rabbi” on the Web site in the area of “Ask the Rabbi.” It briefly outlines the attributes of a true rabbi and addresses Yahshua’s statement. In our synagogue, I have ordained two people over a period of five years, and now have a candidate that I recently took on. Initially, I try to discourage a candidate, and if that fails, and if he has the required spiritual requisites, I will take him own. Two underwent three years or more of training plus an additional eight months of training by an Orthodox rabbi. One was a Christian Minister who had a seminary background, but who had to acquire Jewish training. His training took less time. A lot depends on the candidate’s dedication and willingness to sacrifice of himself. This includes the family’s devotion to the candidate’s calling. You cannot over emphasize the importance of the attitude of your mate for the spouse also serves. When I ordain not only does the candidate kneel before the congregation, but the spouse as well. We are echad and the responsibilities of a ministry fall upon both individuals in a marital union. A practical consideration is also the cost, which varies from rabbi to rabbi and institution to institution.

 In closing, if you are “chosen” you will find your way to ordination and a successful ministry. Place yourself under the authority of a G-dly rabbi who can guide you and search out all the institutions that provide such education. Also, learn the practical aspects of leading a ministry. A rabbi has to be proficient in many fields.  

Shalom v’Brachas

Rabbi Davis     

E-mail Inquiry # 7

Hi, I'll bet you get this all the time. In Hebrews 9:4 the altar of incense is placed behind the curtain. Why is that? thanx for your time and consideration.

Rabbi's Answer # 7

Heb. 9: 2-4 A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. 3 Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, 4 which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant,…

Critics have been quick to say that the author of Hebrews did not know his subject well because the text in verse two seems to indicate something contrary to Scripture. In the Torah, it clearly says the Altar of Incense was outside the curtain leading into the Holy of Holies. In fact, the author knew his subject very well. Although the incense altar was used daily for other purposes it was used in a special way by the Cohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, when he would take form it a golden censer of coals and bring them into the Holiest of Holies (Ex 30:10; Leviticus 16:12, 15.

Secondly, we must examine the Greek text for earlier in v.2 it says that the table with the showbread and the menorah were “in” the Holy Place. And in the latter part of the present verse, the Greek text says that the manna, rod and tablets were “in” the ark, But the Greek expression for the relationship between the Holiest Place and the incense altar is not “in which” but “having,” i.e., “having associated with itself.” Like the ark was associated with the Holiest Place. The author did not make the mistake of locating the incense altar in the Holy of Holies, which would have been an error; on the contrary, he chose his words carefully, he associated the incense altar with the Holiest Place, even though it was outside.

Now, that is the pragmatic answer to your question, but consider this, that Yahshua’s faithfulness tore down the middle wall of partition. The censer represents the prayers of the people, and under the Levitical system, all access to YHVH Elohim was represented by the High Priest. He was the only one who could enter into the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year. The Levitical priests' office and representation was only temporary until Yahshua our Messiah came, died, and rose again to take the office of Cohen Gadol in the Heavenlies, after the order of Melchizedek.  Since Yahshua’s faithfulness the curtain (veil, Matthew 27:51) is no longer separating us from direct entrance before G-d. Yahshua cleared the way into the Holy of Holies for everyone (Heb 10:19). The typology of carrying into the Holy of Holies the golden censure of coals on Yom Kippur (Day of Covering) is aptly appropriate for this rendering.   

Keith, for you information, I have never before been asked this question. You’d wonder why wouldn’t you? Maybe because most people are not careful readers. Congratulations!

Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Davis

E-Mail Inquiry # 8

Elaborate on the 1st  Commandment. Jack

Rabbi's Answer #8

Dear Jack,

One might wonder how such a simple request elicits such a long response. First, the Ten Commandments are different in Judaism, Protestantism, and Catholicism. So already, I have a problem, and that is upon which of the First Commandments do I elaborate.

Judaism’s first commandment is actually a statement, which follows. Protestants abridge some of the commandments and Catholics expunge the second dividing the tenth into two commandments to allow for ten.

The first commandment in Judaism is:

I am the L-rd your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage.

The second part of this verse is included in the second commandment, which becomes the first in Christianity.

This is interesting for the “First Commandment” seems to be a statement and that is why in Hebrew the “Ten Commandments” are called Aseret ha-Dibrot, the Ten Statements (Sayings) and not the Aseret ha-Mitzvot, Ten Commandments.

I will address the first from a Jewish perspective. There has been a great deal of squabbling over the “First Commandment” or “Saying” by Jewish scholars since there were scholars to squabble. Some determined that the statement commands belief in G-d, but others ask how can you command belief. Now to cut to the chase and this is a personal belief; it simply is a statement identifying the one true G-d in a pantheon of gods in the ancient world. Therefore, the Hebrews would know from whence these words, sayings, commandments came.

I might add while I am at it that two of the commandments or commonly mistranslated in English, and as such have caused all kinds of confusion. The Sixth Commandment which in Hebrew consists of only two words: Lo tirtzakh, is the one most often mistranslated. Most English translations render it, as “You shall not kill.”  Opponents of capital punishment often recite this commandment in their opposition to capital punishment. Unfortunately, for them, the commandment should read, “You shall not murder.” The bible distinguishes killing from murder that is nonpermitted killing. G-d allows and commands killing for many reasons such as to maintain order and rid society of evil. The third commandment also has been mistranslated. In Hebrew it reads: Lo tissa et shem HaShem Elheikha la-shav.  It is usually translated “You shall not take the Lord your      G-d’s name in vain.  In Hebrew Lo tissa means “you shall not carry. Most people think from the way its translated, “to not take G-d’s name in vain,” means not to cuss. Employing the correct translation, this commandment means much more for we are not to use G-d’s name as justification in selfish causes. Why? When a person commits an evil act, he discredits himself, but if he commits an evil act in the name of G-d, he or she discredits G-d. I think of the belt buckles that the Nazi wore during World War II. Embossed upon them was “Gott mit uns,” (G-d with us). How much more could you carry G-d’s name into discredit than that, killing millions of innocent people in the name of G-d.

Now, for an elaboration of the First Commandment.

The 10 commandments fall naturally into two divisions. The first four legislating

behavior between G-d and ourselves, and the second six between society and ourselves.

The first commandment most people are familiar with is this: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Deuteronomy 6:5,6 tells us, “And thou shalt love the L-d thy G-d with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might, and these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart.” 

Yahshua was asked to address this question:

 

Mark 12:29 And Yahshua answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Mark 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And in:

·        Mat 4:10 Then saith Yahshua unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

From just this little information is derived much about the First Commandment. First, in Hebrew the word-translated heart is lev, which in most case means, “mind.” Our love of  G-d is to transcend the soulish, emotional behavior mentioned later, and we are to love  G-d with all that is within our consciousness, our mind. In other words, He is the overriding occupier of our thought processes that is to rule our lives. He has the priority before others, be they wife, children or “things.” We must also different between soul and spirit. For the soul is the seat of our emotional being while the mind is the seat of our spiritual being (See my study on the “The seat of the Spirit”). The mind is the grand communicator by which we can communicate with G-d, while the soul contains that emotional element, which creates desire for that significant other, thing or circumstance. However, emotions are fickle and easily counterfeited by HaSatan in order to lead us away from G-d. Our desires might change and may become something unhealthy and sinful. That is why in rank of importance the soul is listed in Deuteronomy and Mark after the mind (heart). In Deuteronomy we are told to love G-d with all our mind (heart) and then with all our soul for the mind when wholly G-d centered will not be subject to emotional whims leading us unto false loves. The term “might” used in Deutronomy has mostly been translated by the sages as meaning with all your resources. G-d has given us whatever we posses; our talents, skills, or abilities by which we earn our livelihood and obtain material possessions. Therefore, we are to make all our resources (might) available to Him in the process of bringing in the Kingdom. Yahshua our Messiah, Who according to the sages would interpret Torah for us, added “strength” to the list in Mark 12:30 above. This word in Greek means with all forcefulness or all that is within our power. We are not to be ambiguous or luke warm in our affection for G-d, but ardent, even all consuming in our love. This verse does not negate the giving of our material resources, but additionally commands that we are to Love G-d with all that we are in a forceful and powerful manner not allowing anything to come between G-d and ourselves. This means separating yourselves from any thing that would hinder your relationship with HaShem (G-d). We are to be set-apart unto Him only. 

The end of all this is that anything that we put before G-d in our love, thought or activity even self is a violation of this commandment.

I pray I answered your request to your satisfaction.

Baruch HaShem,

Rabbi Davis 

E-Mail Inquiry #9

Rabbi,Thank you for answering a question that has bothered me for a long time. It came out of a mistaken effort on my part to pin down the date of our Savior’s birth (If Zechariah ws handling the incense [Luke 1: 8-10] and the incense burner was in the Holiest of Holies then he must have been in there on the Day of Atonement and then we add 6 months etc. etc.)

When I read your answer, I felt a powerful blessing when you mentioned the prayers of the people and the curtain no longer being there. Hallelujah! That is the answer the Lord wanted me to find! I can’t thank you enough.

Got time for another? When and where is the temple mentioned in Ezekiel 40 and following? A Messianic Jewish friend of mine opined that this was the Temple promised to the Hebrew people if thye had accepted their Messiah the first time around instead of rejecting Him. Would you concur?

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Keith

Rabbi's Answer #9

Dear Keith:

Thank you for the kind words.

Ezekiel 40 is referring to the future, rebuilt Millennial Temple when Yahshua comes to reign from Jerusalem as King of Kings, prophet, and Cohen Gadol (High Priest). All the promises given to Israel will then be fulfilled.

Christian commentators and scholars all agree that the Temple referred to here is in the future, and many see the start of the rebuilding of the Temple as the last prophetic act before Yahshua’s return. However, they are mystified why there will be Sacrifices. In Ezekiel 47:1-12 it tells us that one feature of the millennial kingdom will be a rebuilt temple, complete with animal sacrifices. This is not to be confused with the New Jerusalem G-d lowers from Heaven at the close of the age when we have a new heaven and a new earth.

Now, let me address the current scholarship regarding this subject from a Christian perspective. My personal understanding and possibilities will follow. I alone stand responsible for those personal views as regards what I will explore on this subject and in no way are they definitive.

Since the Scriptures indicate that much of the typological significance of both the temple and its service has already been fulfilled by Yahshua; Christian scholars have been hard put to answer the question of why the need for a temple or for animal sacrifice in the next age. Some of the conclusions they have published is that the temple might

 (1) Demonstrate   G-d's holiness;

(2) Provide a dwelling place for the glory of God;

(3) Perpetuate a memorial of sacrifice;

(4) Become a center for divine government; and

(5) Assure victory over the curse.

 They offer this illustration and the best consensus of these commentators is that the sacrifices in the Millennium Temple will be a memorial, much as the observance of the Lord's Supper (actually Passover) is a memorial today in Christian churches. When both practices were instituted, they were pointing typologically to the atoning death of Yahshua. They reason that such practices after Yahshua’s crucifixion can have only memorial significance.

 We read in Ezekiel 40:1–42:20, that the new temple includes the traditional outer court (40:5–27) and inner court (40:28–47), as well as the building proper (40:48–41:26), adjacent buildings (42:1–14), outer walls (42:15–20), and altar (43:13–27). The fact that Ezekiel would spend so much space describing the temple indicates its importance to us today. Upwards of 50 chapters in the Bible are devoted to descriptions of the tabernacle and various temples. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet shows clearly that the departure of G-d’s glory from the temple, described in chapters 10 and 11, is reversed in the future Temple when the Spirit returns (43:1–12) and fills it with glory. G-d is not finished with His people. They will yet again see His glory as in the past. 

 Ezekiel’s 40:38, mention of the burnt offering here and in connection with the altar (43:13–27) has proved problematic to Christians. For under the new  (really the  renewed. refreshed  covenant) it is reported of Yahshua  that: “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). The problem is that Christians fail to account for Romans 3: 25

 Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

 and 2 Peter 1:9 (KJV), which plainly tell us that we are forgiven for our past sins only when we accept Yahshua, the result being our being reconciled to  G-d. Since all of our past sins are forgiven forever what about our future sins? It is no different than in ancient times for true repentance will restore us, but unfortunately not for highhanded sin. See my study on the index page web: “Are you a True Believer?”  

 Most Christian commentators relying on the doctrine of eternal security or “once saved always saved” as covering once and for all time, past and future sins come to a faulty conclusion. When the premise is wrong the conclusions are wrong.  It leaves them at a loss as to how one may credibly explain this seeming reversion to the Levitical system of bloody sacrifices? Some have suggested that Ezekiel is merely presenting the worship of the Millennium in terms familiar to himself and his readers. Not so!  .  

 Furthermore, we must consider Ezekiel 44:1–46:24 for we see that only three of the seven great annual feasts of Israel will be included in the new worship: Passover and Unleavened Bread, combined as one feast, and the Feast of Tabernacles. This is an interesting development. The other four,  Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost,) the Feast of Trumpets, and the Day of Atonement are left out, presumably because the initiation of G-d’s millennium program rendered those feasts obsolete. Let us explore that a little.

 The Feasts of Israel are prophetic as the Hebrew word associated with them indicates. Yahshua has literally fulfilled four of them on the prophetic timetable: He is the Paschal Lamb, the sacrifice that reconciles us to G-d, He is the Unleavened Bread (without sin), He is the First fruits of resurrection, and He sent the Comforter, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that empowers us to live Torah in loving obedience to G-d’s instructions (Torah). It is interesting to note that on the first Shavuot (Pentecost) the Law was given on Mt. Sinai, and on Shavuot (Pentecost) in the NT, the Holy Spirit was given to empower us to live Torah. The next item on the agenda is the Feast of Trumpets, (today called Rosh Hashanah) which I believe signals the Translation (rapture) of the “called out ones,” ecclesia, incorrectly translated as “church.” The fourth shall take place before the institution of the Millennium Temple.  The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot  signals G-d’s provision for us. So you can see how they all fit into G-d’s plan , and how various ones  might be included in the Millennium Temple worship.For instance, G-d’s provision for us (Tabernacles) never ends.  (I have more exhaustive studies on the web). 

 Why the Temple? Yahshua is sitting on the throne ruling the world. The called out ones that have been wed to him in the heavenly wedding are priests and co-ruling with Him on earth from Israel during the Millennium. Israel is now the lead nation, the head and not the tail. The Temple has and will be the center of worship for Israel and the people in the Millennium will be required to go up to the Temple for worship. Penalties are provided for those that fail to do so. You might also note that in the Book of Revelation that after Yahshua’s 1000 year reign He turns the Kingdom back over to G-d. That is really an interesting comment. Why the sacrifices? Now for a thumbnail sketch: People living on the earth during this time are like you and me now, humans, with all human failings and faults. They enjoy the perfect government under Yahshua, and are subject to sin as we are, pride, greed and lust. They have the advantage of actually experiencing Yahshua first hand on a physical level as King, Prophet and High Priest. They enjoy the further advantage of HaSatan being bound.  Yet, when he is loosed many will rebel and Armageddon will result. So, why the sacrifices? Since the most learned scholars cannot reach a definitive conclusion on this question, I have contemplated it and explored the following not reaching any definite conclusion but more so to stimulate thought.  Yahshua has already come as Savior and was sacrificed for us as our Paschal Lamb. Though we are saved after the fact by faith in His faithfulness, could it possibly be that during the Millennium Temple era His covering of blood is nullified for those people because this is a different epoch. He has assumed His throne and Place as the Cohen Gadol upon earth, He rules with an “iron hand,” and since remission of sins is achieved only by the covering of innocent blood, the Millennium sacrifices are necessary for the people of that age as it was in ancient times before Yahshua’s advent for the covering of sin.  G-d says He does not change and remission of sins is obtained only by the covering of innocent blood. This is just speculation of course, but someday with more study I hope to come to a definitive conclusion.        

  Ezekiel 47:1–48:35. The final two chapters of the book describe the new land (Millennium Kingdom).

 You asked, “when and where is the temple mentioned in Ezekiel 40 and following.” As you can see that question sparked all of the above, and I apologize, for I could simply have answered with “in the millennium” and in “Jerusalem.”   Perhaps, that would be the better reply for exploring the Word of G-d always opens up new questions, new investigations, and even speculations sometimes. I discern an inquiring mind in you, and a serious bible student. As you apparently know when addressing specific questions, it always opens up other areas of inquiry into G-d’s Word. I just love it don’t you? People who don’t explore the Word of G-d don’t know what they are missing. May G-d bless you and may you persevere for it is written:

 Mat 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Mat 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. it is written   

 YHVH rewards those that persevere.

 Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Davis

E-Mail Inquiry #10

Can you help me with a question.  I have heard it said that when the Cohen Gadol would enter the Most Holy Place that a fleece was dipped in blood and hung outside of the temple.  It was for the people to see if YHVH had accepted the sacrifice and offering, and if He had He would turn the fleece white again.  Can you let me know is this in the Torah or was it part of manners and customs from the Rabbinical teachings?

Shalom, Wayne

Rabbi's Answer #10

In the Jerusalem Talmud (The Yerushalmi, p. 156-157) the following is found. “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the L-rd always came up in the left hand, They would close the Temple gates by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open.” A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states: “Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot {For the L-r] did not come up in the right hand; nor the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western light shine; and the doors of the Hekel (Temple) would not open themselves” (Soncino version Talmud, Yoma 39b) The temple was destroyed in 70 CE.

First, let me explain what these passages are talking about. The first of these miracles concerns a random choosing of the “lot” which was cast on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The lot chosen determined which of the two goats would be “for the L-rd” and which goat would be the “Azazel” or “Scapegoat.” During the two hundred years before 30 CE, when the High Priest picked one of two stones, again this selection was governed by chance, and each year the priest would select the black stone as often as the white stone. But for forty years in a row, beginning in 30 CE, the High Priest always picked the black stone. The odds against this happening are astronomical (2 to the 40th power). In other words, the chance of this occurring are 1 in approximately 5, 479, 584, 800 or about 5.5 billion to one. This was considered a dire event and signified something fundamentally changed in the Yom Kippur ritual. Next the miracle of the red or crimson thread. The crimson strip or cloth was tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was removed from the goat and was tied to the Temple door. Each year the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the animal sacrifices of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the L-rd. The annual event happened until 30 CE when the cloth remained crimson each year until the time of the Temple’s destruction. The traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing the nation’s sins upon the Azazel goat. The third miracle was the Temple doors. The Temple doors according to Jewish authorities swung open every night on their own accord. This too occurred for forty years, beginning in 30 CE. The leading Jewish authority of that time, Yochanan ben Zakkai, declared that this was a sign of impending doom. That the Temple would be destroyed. From a believer’s perspective, the doors might have opened to signify that all may now enter into the Temple even into its innermost sanctuary through our trust in Yahshua’s faithfulness.  There is also the miracle of the Temple Menorah. The seven-bowl Menorah (Western Lamp) went out and would not shine. Every night for forty years, this main lamp of the Temple went out on its own accord even in the face of all attempts to keep it burning.  All of these phenomena are reported in the Talmud and there is no natural way to explain them. The only possible way is supernatural. These events can only point to the great event of our Messiah’s work, His crucifixion and YHVH’s permanent provision for us of a sacrifice, His son, for our reconciliation to Him.    

E-mail Inquiry # 11

Am I correct in believing that Daniel was a eunuch because he was not married and he was under the care of the chief eunuch? Havah

Rabbi's Answer #11 

Dear Havah,

Your statement that Daniel was a eunuch is questionable. The common definition of a eunuch in our modern concept of this word is a male deprived of the testes or external genitals. You asked why do I think the Ethiopian eunuch was whole. Again, we have to have the counsel of the whole of scripture to make an educated guess. When we take something out of context without comparing it to all the scriptures related to the subject we tend to misinterpret scripture. That is the fault of Christian theology as regards the “Law.”  The Torah states that castrated or homosexual men were excluded from serving as priests (Lev. 21:20) and from membership in the congregation of Israel (Deut. 23:1) and this means either by nature or by intent. The Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26) was either   Jewish  or a Jewish Proselyte and if he had been castrated or a homosexual he could not come to Jerusalem to worship as it was against Torah for him to enter the Temple, which  was the purpose of coming to Jerusalem. By extension, the Hebrew word translated eunuch could be used of any court official and was (At Gen. 37:36 and 39:1), where the reference is to a married man. The Greek term translated eunuch is bed-keeper. They had charge of the bed chambers in large homes or palaces. Many rose to higher positions such as the Ethiopian Eunuch who was Queen Candace’s treasurer. The word eunuch was employed to denote persons in such high offices without indicating anything of their proper manhood in both Greek and Hebrew. It could also be employed to denote a castrated man as well.  Therefore, we have to look at the context of the scripture where we find it.

Now, because you read it in the bible does not establish it as being interpreted correctly. So, yes, I disagree with you about your definition of eunuch in this particular case because other scriptures shed a different light on the word. Christians quote the bible all the time, to back up their doctrine of antinomianism and they are dead wrong because they don’t consider all the bible and the scriptures on the subject.

I disagree with you that all European royalty is of the tribe of Judah. If anything, most royals if descended from Israel are from the tribe of Dan. Attributing the royal head to Judah is found within British Israelism. You allege that Mary was an Anglo Saxon is wrong. Mary’s lineage is found in the NT and she obviously was a maid of Judah in  Israel corporate. Many people teach otherwise in order to circumvent G-d’s plan and promises to Judah or to come into the sovereign tribe by the back door for agendas of their own. They do this also to give credibility to their religionist persuasion, and many others try to deny that Yahshua was Jewish. It is a subtle and not so subtle form of anti-Semitism. The line of David is resident in Yahshua and will manifest itself on earth during the millennium. Right now, the Davidic royal line exists in Heaven for HaSatan is still the Prince of earth.

 The reference you speak of in Daniel 1:9  was a minister of state holding the office of chamberlain. See your Strong’s. The root word Rab Saris means chief chamberlain, a Babylon official. Your reference to no wives being mentioned is not compelling proof.  If you observe scripture, women are rarely mentioned in connection with a personage of importance like the prophets etc.. It is superfluous. Therefore, you cannot make a case when a wife’s name is omitted unless she figures somehow importantly in the story.

Shalom, Rabbi

E-mail Inquiry #12

zero wrote:
for years i have been comfortable with christ and G-D

yet always feel estranged to the holy spirit. i cannot

tell if this perception is a lie or i have grieved him.

your thoughts on this would be helpful.

 Rabbi's Answer #12

 First, I would suggest that you go on the web site: http://rabdavis.org/  select "Studies" from the index page and then select " Seat of the Spirit" from the studies page. Most people do not have an informed understanding of what G-d's Spirit is, and mistake soulish behavior as spiritual behavior. I can't be certain, but I suspect that is what you are doing and why you feel estranged.

You referenced  that you may have grieved "him," referring to the Holy Spirit. This presents an interesting example of misunderstanding G-d's Spirit due to what ministers with no Jewish understanding of the Scriptures or understanding of Hebrew teach. In Hebrew, Elohim is identified as that aspect of G-d that is the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Unfortunately, for Christians who do not read Hebrew, the word Elohim is a feminine gender word. Therefore, G-d's Spirit is identified in Hebrew as the Supernal feminine aspect of G-d's unity. Not masculine! Referring to G-d's Spirit as Him is then incorrect. The Tetagramaton.YHVH  also contains both feminine and masculine gender syllables showing us the masculine/feminine aspect of G-d as found in His name. We were created in His image and each of us has both feminine and masculine characteristics. One will dominate. El Shaddai translated as G-d Almighty is derived from a root word meaning "breasted one." If you noticed in Genesis there are two accounts of creating mankind. Initially, Adam was created with this dual  gender and then Eve was removed from him and that is why the Torah teaches us we are to be Echad (united) male and female becoming one. Judaism teaches that no man or woman for that matter is complete without a mate. With so much misunderstanding out there, and so much being taught from the pulpits that is erroneous about the Holy Spirit many people feel as you do. Most of what is being taught as spiritual behavior is nothing more than soulish behavior, emotionalism, and of the flesh. Read the study, and you will see what I mean. Most of what you see passed off as spiritual behavior can also be seen at rock concerts or any other secular activity where G-d is the furthest thing from the participants' minds. You'd have a hard time distinguishing the difference between these activities if not for the location.   

Hope this helps and encourages you, You may be far more spiritual than you imagine. Write me back if you have other questions.
Shalom v'brachas,
Rabbi Davis
 

E-Mail Inquiry # 13
I am going to a messianic congregation in Tampa, Fl called biet Tahila. I have found your article concerning God's 7000 yrs redemption plan. Your article is very interesting to me as I am doing a study of this subject.

I found it interesting that because of Israel unbelief to take the Temple Mount in 1967, G-d punished them for 40 yrs. Just curious if you still believe the tribulation will still occur in the year 2007? If so, can you provide me with some more information as I would like to present this to my congregation.

Shalom in Yeshua,

Jack
Rabbi's Answer #13

Dear Jack,
May G-d bless and keep you.
I am going out of town until Friday next week so I will have to follow up on the material for your study. I have written thousands of articles and many on the subject in which you are interested. I will be happy to share with you what I have, but it takes me some time to locate. For instance, you refer to having read an article that I wrote and I assume you read it on the web site. I looked, but did not readily find it.  However, it need not be there for I have disseminated many teaching articles at conferences, churches, etc., where I have taught. Please refresh my memory and send me the title and location if on the web site.

 Many years ago, I remember attending a meeting at Rabbi Dryer's home. I learned of his death some time after he passed away.  I'm happy to see the ministry of Beit Tehila continuing and being blessed by YHVH.

In reference to your e-mail below. You asked if I still believed that the commencement of the Tribulation would begin in 2007. At this time, I am not adamant as to that date. The reason is that we have no certainty that a biblical generation is 40 years for in some places in the Scriptures it appears to be 60 or even 80. Therefore, we have a time length of between 40-80 years. In the article I may have used 40 as the parameter, but normally use a disclaimer because of the uncertainty of the length of a generation, depending on when I wrote the article. Understanding is ever evolving.  My personal belief is that the Ezekiel 38 war will signal the beginning of the Tribulation. World events are shaping up for that scenario to occur, and it could very well occur by 2007. Old time allies have now become less than friendly, and I refer to Germany, France and recently, Russia (now an ally). These nations have formed a political block against the US, and will be part of the confederation of the Ezekiel 38 war as identified by their ancient biblical names. Israel just a few days ago bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria, which is also a feature of the Ezekiel 38 scenario. There has been no hostile action with Syria since the Yom Kippur war, and the Bible tells us that Damascus has to be destroyed and uninhabitable in the end times. All this seems to be shaping up for such an event. I might add that Iraq a long time ally with Russia is also a part of that confederation that descends upon Israel. This seems to be the only anomaly since we are supposed to be democratizing Iraq. The opposing political camp in this country obviously wants us to vacate Iraq and if there is a change in leadership this next election, I foresee that happening, leaving Iraq subject to her biblical future. The Bible tells us that Russia will descend with her allies Iraq and Iran along with all or part of the other nations and other named nations upon Israel and be defeated. This will be the first of three wars mentioned in the Bible for the end times, and it is my personal belief that this will trigger the Tribulation. The geopolitical configuration of these nations and our own unsettled political future infers this is an ideal time for all this to come together and take place.       

Let me know the title of the article and where you read it and I will get back to you when I return in about 10 days.
Shalom v'brachas,
Rabbi Davis
 

E-Mail Inquiry #14

Dear Rabbi, I am very confused as to which holidays to celebrate and how to celebrate them.  Many of the holidays seem to be of the old covenent and yet the Torah says that the Holydays (the seven feasts) MUST be celebrated though all generations.  Did Messiah end these?  Mikaela

Rabbi's Answer #14
 

Dear Mikaela,

May this e-mail find you blessed.

 Answering your question. Believers must be grafted into Israel and being grafted in they become partakers of the Covenants of Israel.

 Rom 11:17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

 Sha’ul is here speaking of B’nai Israel (the children of Israel-Jew or non-Jew) and if we are to be truly children of Israel, we become betrothed to G-d through the Torah, a ketubah (marriage contract), subject to the conditions of that contract that includes G-d’s instructions regarding His Festivals. 

 You already have the spirit of truth in you for you say the Torah (G-d’s instructions) states that B’nai Yisrael (All the Children of Israel) shall celebrate G-d’s (note that it is not man’s or even Jewish festivals, but G-d’s) festivals for all their generations. If that premise is true and you are a true believer then you are a recipient and partaker of the covenants of Israel making it incumbent upon you to obey YHVH Elohim.  

 I am always uncomfortable with the term “old covenant” for it suggests that the “new” has done away with G-d’s Torah. The word Torah is mistranslated in our English bibles. It should have been translated as “instructions.” This would have a different connotation for us if when misinformed Christians say, “G-d’s Law has been done away with.”   Instead of correctly stating, “G-d’s instructions have been done away with.” We all know it would be lubricious to say, “G-d’s instructions have been done away with.” Furthermore, Yahshua was the living manifested Torah and if the Torah is dead so then would be Yahshua for He is the Torah manifested.

 Messiah came to show us how to live the Torah and not to do away with it. Much of what Christianity interprets as “doing away with Torah and under a new covenant” is misunderstood by them having misinterpreted Paul (Sha’ul). Peter, said in 2 Pet 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” G-d told us He changes not, and Yahshua told us that not one jot or tittle shall be removed from the Torah until there is a new heaven and earth.

 I have many articles on the web site related to this subject. In addition, it may benefit you to read, “There is No Covenant for the Gentile Church” also found on the site.

 G-d also says we are not to change His Holy days, and Christianity by and large has changed the Sabbath from G-d’s Sabbath to man’s Sunday. They have added Easter and Christmas, both pagan holidays and mixed Christian beliefs with pagan beliefs solely to syncretize pagan worship with true worship to make it more palatable to unbelievers. Christians have substituted Passover with the “L-rd’s supper.” Yahshua was celebrating Passover and He said remember me when you partake of Passover and not when you partake of the Eucharist. Most of these replacements were to dejudaize the church and make it a Hellenistic religion more to the liking of the populace.  

 I have served you more than you have asked, and maybe much of what you already know, but since I so not know the beliefs of those that write I sometimes cover more than is necessary. If you are confused about how to celebrate and when to celebrate G-d’s festivals, associate yourself with a good Messianic Synagogue, one that worships as Yahshua did. Make sure it has a rabbi who is fully conversant with Judaism and not one where the congregation merely wants to have a flavor of Judaism, but essentially is Christianity and non-Torah observant.

 Also, the Festivals are prophetic providing us with G-d’s timetable in mankind’s affairs. Remember, that in the millennium Temple, and during that time, we will be celebrating three of G-d’s Festivals while Yahshua rules.

 If you respond, I will be out of town for about 10 days. In the meantime please read the articles on the site and they will give you a very good understanding about how G-d’s “instructions-laws,” holy days, covenants, all fit into our time.

 Shalom v’brachas,  Rabbi Davis

E-Mail Inquiry #15

Why  we celebrate Simhat Torah?
What significance of closing eyes when praying "Shema"?
Joseph

Rabbi's Answer #15

Dear Joseph,

Simchat Torah  means, "Joy of G-d's  Torah" or "Rejoicing in Torah"  We have just gone through an austere time of reflection and introspection during the High Holy Days, examining our lives, repenting and correcting our deficiencies. Confessing and seeking forgiveness from G-d, and those that we may have offended.  This week ends the yearly cycle of our weekly Torah Parashat, and next week we begin the series all over again. We reflect on what we have learned during the year and anticipate what we shall learn in the coming year through Torah study. Simchat Torah represents the past, present and future, and the passing on of G-d's Torah to the next generation. It is  a time of praise, thanksgiving, and joy. As Messianic believers, we celebrate Simchat Torah with both the Living Torah (Yahshua) and Written Torah (G-d's Instructions) in mind.  Simchat Torah is a relative new celebration in Judaism, and is  rabbinical, not ordained to be celebrated by G-d, yet it's purpose might fall in the same category as Chanukah, which is also not  G-d ordained, but was celebrated by Yahshua. There is no indication that this festival was celebrated before the ninth century C.E. However, the symbolic significance of the holiday is unmistakable. To be immersed in the study of Torah is a joyous thing for a believer. It is also a tradition that you do not end a Torah cycle on a sad note, therefore, the joyous occasion of Simchat Torah.

Why some believers cover their eyes during the Sh'ma  is to concentrate totally upon what is said. When the liturgy was evolving after the destruction of the Temple early rabbis understood that repeated recitation of a prayer or blessing led many to a fixed and uninvolved ritual, and the heart was not involved in the process. Therefore, the rabbis taught we practice kavanah.  That is direction or intention or another translation is cleaving to G-d. Covering of the eyes affords some people the ability to focus and direct their intention to G-d.   Some congregations or rabbis teach this, and others do not. I teach it is an individual option. The practice has merit as correlated in the B'rit Chadasha (New Testament) when Yahshua advised us to "go into your closet" when you pray. Some others cover their heads with their tallit to afford an environment of intimacy and privacy.

Shalom v'brachas,
Rabbi Davis 

E-Mail Inquiry #16

  Dear Keith,You wrote: “who was Jesus’ stepfather Joseph’s father? Matthew 1:16 says it was a man named Jacob; Luke 4:23 says it was Heli. I would be interested in your answer.

Rabbi's Answer #16

You have a penchant for finding Bible difficulties. This apparent disharmony has been the source of debate for scholars for hundreds of years and no completely satisfactory conclusion that does not present difficulties of its own has ever been agreed upon.

My own personal conclusion is best illustrated by an earlier reference in Matthew 1:9 where Matthew lists Uzziah as the father of Jotham while in 2 Kings 15: 1-7 and 1 chronicles 3:12 Jotham’s father is called Azariah. Yet, in 2 Kings 15: 32, 34 Jotham’s father is called Uzziah instead of Azariah. The names are different but refer to the same king. He bore both names. Jews when life’s focus changes or some momentous event occurs effect a name change to commemorate this new direction. Azariah means, “YHVH has helped” and Uzziah means, “YHVH is my strength.”  My Hebrew name initially given to me by my father was L’chaim, “to life” and later as my personality developed it became Milchamah, meaning “dressed for battle” because I was so confrontational in theological disputes. My last name ben David is of course “son of David.” There are other examples found through out scripture.

To the example, you cited. Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience and Luke most likely to a predominantly Gentile one. Different perspectives based on cultural differences.  Matthew works forward through time and Luke works backwards. The formats followed by each writer contrasts greatly. Matthew stresses the Davidic line for his Jewish audience while Luke apparently records the genealogical line of Mary, placing the emphasis on G-d as Yahshua’s Father. . [By the way, both Joseph and Mary were from the Davidic and priestly lines] Yahshua had to be born of a virgin because of G-d’s curse of Jeochonia (Coniah) [another example of two names same person] whose descendants would never sit on the throne of Israel, thus eliminating Yahshua, if His lineage were biologically from Joseph. There in, we see the necessity of a virgin birth aside from the doctrine of original sin passed through the father, the male (not the female) as necessary for Yahshua to assume the kingship of Israel because He could never rule if He were descended from the line of Joseph whose ancestors included Jeochonia, which Mary’s did not. If you take note, you will find that HELI was actually Joseph’s father-in law. In Judaism many references are made that are indistinguishable as to a biological father, stepfather or even grandfather. My own grandson who is an Israeli calls me Abba (father) the same as he calls his biological father Abba. No distinction is made linguistically.

One last thought. Matthews’s genealogy is a dynastic list and Luke’s is an actual descendant list. Jewish genealogies were constructed primarily to demonstrate the family’s Jewish origins. Some of the differences noted between Matthew and Luke might be the result of levirate marriages whereas if a man died leaving no male heir to perpetuate his name his surviving brother or another male relative was obligated to marry the deceased’s wife and provide an heir to his brother name (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). This could explain some of the divergences.

Confusing isn’t it? You almost have to be born a Jew to be comfortable with it. It is so important to know the Jewish roots of the Scriptures in order to understand them. Where I see harmony, others might see contradictions.

Keep up the good work!

Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Davis (R. Milchamah b. David)    

E-Mail Inquiry #17  Dear Alan, You wrote: Please explain “first fruits” and the relationship to tithing.

Rabbi's Answer #17

The simple answer followers below. However, the Torah accounts for (3) tithes that not only go to the Levites, but to orphans, widows and those in need. A careful study of annual tithing from the Scripture amounts to about 28% of an individual’s income. There is even a penalty if one fails to make tithes on a timely basis, and that is you must add another 1/5. For example, if you fail to tithe 10% at the proper time you must add a fifth, which brings the total to 30%. Unlike churches today the tithes went to the priests and they were obligated to pay the costs associated with running and the upkeep of the religious institutions. Churches today operate contrary to the biblical model. 

 Now more directly, “firstfruits” may be seen as a metaphor for contemporary believers, but in ancient times “firstfruits” was the best examples of a crop harvested first, and dedicated to G-d. In accordance with Mosaic law, individual Israelites brought to the house of the L-rd "the first (that is, "the best") of the firstfruits of thy land" (Ex. 23:19; 34:26), including grain, wine, and oil, which were used--except for the grain (Lev. 2:14-16)--for the support of the priests (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4). According to Deuteronomy 26:1-11, the offering was brought in a basket to the sanctuary for presentation. The Book of Proverbs promises prosperity to those who honor the L-rd with the firstfruits (Prov. 3:9).

 The application to be made by us is that we are to dedicate and give unto the L-rd the best we have, not the leftovers. As to tithing the first 10% of our gross work income or income from any source is to be given. We are not to give what is left after we pay our debts. Therefore, the “firstfuits” – is our first and best. 

 This runs contrary to the general thinking of professed believers today, but G-d does not change and His Torah (instructions) holds just as true for us now as it did for the ancient Israelites. 

 I hope this helps. If you had a particular Scripture in mind pleas reply for there is an abundance of information in the Bible about tithing and firstfuits.

 Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Davis

E-Mail Inquiry #18

 I have read about a first Seder and a second Seder. One source said this was because of the number of lambs that had to be sacrificed. Was 15 Nisan (1st day of Unleavened Bread) a High Sabbath? Monte S.

Rabbi's Answer #18

The reference to the first and second Seder is to be found in the Bible at:

 

First Passover

 Num 9:3  In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

Num 9:4  And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover.

Num 9:5  And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

The Reason for the Second Passover

Num 9:6  And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the Passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:

Num 9:7  And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel?

Num 9:8  And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

Num 9:9  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 9:10  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the Passover unto the LORD.

Num 9:11  The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Another source said that at the time of Christ the first Seder was the day before the second or regular Passover Seder.

Where can I find out more in old Jewish sources (e.g., Mishnah, Talmud, Josephus) about this practice? Monte

Comment:

Prior Verse 2 in this section stresses the necessity of observing this festival at its G-d appointed time, even under circumstances that might seem to require its postponement, therefore the Pesach offering is brought on the 14th of Nissan even if the day falls on a Sabbath. A rabbinical dispute arose over this question of celebrating Passover on the Sabbath just before Yahshua’s event and Hillel Ha Nasi (Hillel the Prince) ruled that Passover took precedence over the Sabbath and could be celebrated on Shabbat. Pesach sheni is the second Pasach, G-d ordained for people who were ineligible to bring the Pasach offering because of contamination (touching human corpses). This second Pesach would be brought a month after the appointed time of the first Pesach. The second Pesach differs from the first in that there is no festival associated with it, even for the bringing of an offering. Futhermore, although they may not eat leavened food (chametz) with the offering (v. 11) they may possess and eat chametz on the day they bring it. (RashiL Pesachim 95a) The Talmud has two versions of how those referred to in this scripture   became contaminated, either they were the bearers of the coffin of Joseph, who had asked his brothers to bury him in the Land of Israel or they came upon an unattended, unidentified corpse and had fulfilled the commandment of burying it (Succah 25a). Either way they became ineligible of bringing the Pesach offering and since they were engaged in doing a Mitzvah they should not be deprived of participating in the spiritual blessing of Pesach. Since the contamination was not their fault, but required of them. They felt they should be allowed to participate in the Pesach offering (Or HaChaim).  There are parallels to Yahshua’s own Halacha here as seen when He addresses the Pharisees and Scribes on doing a mitzvot on Shabbat. He employs the accepted rabbinical interpretation of kal v’ chomer (light and heavy) corresponding to what philosophers call a fortiori (with even greater strength). Moshe said to them, “stand still and I will hear” and consulted YHVH  and he received the commandment of the second Pesach.

YOU WROTE:

Was 15 Nisan (1st day of Unleavened Bread) a High Sabbath?

The High Sabbath or Shabbat Ha Gadol is the Sabbath that falls immediately before Pesach.

Shalom v'brachas,

Rabbi Davis 


E-Mail Inquiry #19

Dear Rabbi,

I am very confused as to which holidays to celebrate and how to celebrate them.  Many of the holidays seem to be of the old covenent and yet the Torah says that the Holydays (the seven feasts) MUST be celebrated though all generations.  Did Messiah end these? 

 Mikaela

Rabbi's Answer #19

Dear Mikaela,

May this e-mail find you blessed.

Answering your question. The Messiah confirmed these Festivals. Believers must be grafted into Israel and being grafted in they become partakers of the Covenants of Israel.

Rom 11:17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Sha’ul is here speaking of B’nai Israel (the children of Israel-Jew or non-Jew) and if we are to be truly children of Israel, we become betrothed to G-d through the Torah, a ketubah (marriage contract), subject to the conditions of that contract that includes G-d’s instructions regarding His Festivals. 

You already have the truth in you for you say the Torah (G-d’s instructions) states that B’nai Yisrael (All the Children of Israel) shall celebrate G-d’s (note that-it is not man’s or even Jewish festivals, but G-d’s) festivals for all their generations. If that premise is true and you are a true believer then you are a recipient and partaker of the covenants of Israel making it incumbent upon you to obey YHVH Elohim.  

I am always uncomfortable with the term “old covenant” for it suggests that the “new” has done away with G-d’s Torah or covenant. The word Torah is mistranslated in our English bibles. It should have been translated as “instructions.” This would have a different connotation for us if when misinformed Christians say, “G-d’s Law has been done away with.”   Instead of correctly stating, “G-d’s instructions have been done away with.” We all know it would be lubricious to say, “G-d’s instructions have been done away with.” Furthermore, Yahshua was the living manifested Torah and if the Torah is dead so then would be Yahshua for He is the Torah manifested.

Messiah came to show us how to live the Torah and not to do away with it. Much of what Christianity interprets as “doing away with Torah and under a new covenant” is misunderstood by them having misinterpreted Paul (Sha’ul). Peter, said in 2 Pet 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” G-d told us He changes not, and Yahshua told us that not one jot or tittle shall be removed from the Torah until there is a new heaven and earth.

I have many articles on the web site related to this subject. In addition, it may benefit you to read, “There is No Covenant for the Gentile Church” also found on the site.

G-d also says we are not to change His Holy days and Christianity by and large has changed the Sabbath from G-d’s Sabbath to man’s Sunday. We have added Easter and Christmas, both pagan holidays and mixed Christian beliefs with pagan beliefs solely to syncretize pagan worship with true worship to make it more palatable to unbelievers. Christians have substituted Passover with the “L-rd’s supper.” Yahshua was celebrating Passover and He said remember me when you partake of Passover and not when you partake of the Eucharist. Most of these replacements were to dejudaize the church and make it a Hellenistic religion more to the liking of the populace.  

I have served you more than you have asked, and maybe much of what you already know, but since I so not know the beliefs of those that write I sometimes cover more than is necessary. If you are confused about how to celebrate and when to celebrate G-d’s festivals, associate yourself with a good Messianic Synagogue, one that worships as Yahshua did. Make sure it has a rabbi who is fully conversant with Judaism and not one where the congregation merely wants to have a flavor of Judaism, but essentially is Christianity and non-Torah observant.

In addition, the Festivals are prophetic providing us with G-d’s timetable in mankind’s affairs. Remember, that in the millennium Temple, and during that time we will be celebrating three of G-d’s Festivals while Yahshua rules.

If you respond, I will be out of town for about 10 days. In the meantime please read the articles on the site and they will give you a very good understanding about how G-d’s “instructions-laws,” holy days, covenants, all fit into our time.

As to celebrating the Festivals properly attend a Torah Observant Messianic Synagogue and there you will learn the proper way.

Shalom v’brachas,

 Rabbi Davis

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