Parashah #36: B’ha’alotkha (When you set up) B’midbar (Numbers) 8:1-12:16

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue

Parashah #36: B’ha’alotkha (When you set up) B’midbar (Numbers 8:1-12:16)
Haftarah : Z’Kharyah (Zechariah) 2:14-4-7
B’rit Chadashah: Yochanan (John) 19: 31-37 Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 3: 1-6

Beginning this Parashah, we see another regulation, which indicates that the Bible is not written in chronological order. We are dealing with the Menorah and Adonai tells Moshe how the lamps are to be set up in front of the Menorah in order to cast the light toward the central stem. This is explained also in Exodus 25:37 where the three wicks on the right and the three on the left are directed toward the center. Because the light was spread out, the Menorah symbolized that G-d, the Source of all light or the Ein Sof as we learn in Kabbalah, did not need it to illuminate His Tabernacle (Rashi). Perhaps this could also represent grace and law, Gentile and Jew coming together to redirect their part of the Light given them by the Ruach back to the Source YHVH. According to Sforno the right symbolizes those engaged in spiritual pursuits, while the left symbolizes temporal activity. By having both sides of the Menorah give light to the center, the Torah teaches that all of our activities should be directed toward the service of YHVH. Moreover, the Menorah symbolizes Yahshua as represented by the Servant Lamp in the center while the left and right look to Him. We also see this confirmed in John 1:4-5.
In Num. 9:11 we see the Paschal Lamb was to have no bones broken. If we look in the B’rit Chadashah in John 19:31-37 we note that when Yahshua’s body was approached by Pilate’s guards, He was already dead and His bones were not broken. Thus this fulfilled the prophetic regulation in Torah as described in Exodus 12:46. We also see a description of how Yahshua was to die by being lifted up on a stake. This was a Roman form of execution and not Jewish. Remember the Jews took their guidance from YHVH on who was to be killed and how. This was accomplished by stoning. Under Roman rule the Jews were not given the authority to decide who was to die. This should give caution to those that call Jews “Christ Killers.” The spiritual element is that Yahshua had to die in order for us to be reconciled to YHVH Elohim by trusting in His faithfulness. But on a practical level Yahshua was executed for political reason as He presented a threat to the stability and order to the Roman order. In the book of Daniel you will read that the “Anti-Christ” will come out of the people who destroyed the Temple and executed Yahshua. This is the Roman culture.
When the soldier stabbed Yahshua’s side at once blood and water flowed out. In Lev. 17:11 Adonai says, “ For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls for it is the blood that maketh and atonement for the soul.” What is very clear is that atonement was costly. We see just how costly was the crucifixion of Yahshua as He foretold in Mat.26:28 and Luke 22:20. In Heb. 13:20 the blood is described as “an eternal covenant,” and in Heb. 9:14 “blood that cleanses the consciousness”; these being metaphors in the language of sacrifice. In legal language we have “redemption” (Eph. 1:7) and “justification” (Rom. 5:9). These metaphors show that only G-d could provide atonement; and Yahshua/G-d was both Priest and Offering.

Haftarah Zechariah 2:14-4-7

The Haftarah speaks of the vision of a Menorah and an angel’s prophetic interpretation of that vision. Zechariah is shown the Menorah, complete with a bowl containing oil, tubes providing oil to the seven lamps, and two olive trees to provide a continuous supply of fuel. According to the Chumash, this symbolizes that all mans’ needs are provided by YHVH. Man however must have the eyes to see it. And if G-d wills it, impassable mountains become hospitable plains. Furthermore this is symbolic of the fact that victory against our enemies will be achieved with the Spirit of YHVH Elohim and not by might or force.

B’rit Chadashah: Heb. 3:1-6

In the B’rit Chadashah in Heb. 3:1-6 we see a comparison made between Moshe who was faithful to G-d’s house and Yahshua who was faithful over G-d’s house, to G-d who appointed Him. Of course Yahshua is greater than Moshe just as the builder of the house is greater than the manager of the house. (Isaiah 41:8-9, Isaiah 8:17, Num. 12:7). Moshe was faithful to G-d’s house as a servant, but Yahshua was faithful as the Messiah and Son. There is a comparison between a son and a servant in Gal. 4:1-7 and John 15:15. Yahshua, like Moshe was YHVH’s emissary, conveying YHVH’s truth and wishes to the people of Israel. In this respect Yahshua fulfills the role of Prophet, as was Moshe predicted in Deu. 18:15-19. Yahshua intercedes for the people like Moshe (7:25) and as such fills the role of Cohen just as Moshe did when the people worshipped the golden calf (ex.32: 32).

Drawing a connection to the Levites and the purification/atonement process, in order to act as a substitute for the firstborn in serving G-d and transporting the Tabernacle, they required a sacrificial ritual, as did the consecration of the Kohanim. These servants needed purification (water) and atonement (blood). In the B’rit Chadashah in John 19:31-37 again we see that blood and water mentioned. In this instance it is from Yahshua’s side. Why this repeated reference to blood and water? Water is the cleansing component or another metaphor for the Ruach. Blood is the covering or atonement. We must come under the covering of the blood of Yahshua in order to be set apart for His service, and then we are cleansed with the “water” or Ruach. We can see the correlation between the Kohanim and ourselves. In 2 Peter we are described as priesthood; a people set apart for the service of G-d. We are then no less obligated by the same regulations for cleansing and atonement in order to be set apart for the service of YHVH Elohim. As part of the new priesthood, we are also held responsible for “protecting” G-d’s people and the Torah.

Exactly one year after the people of Israel departed from Egypt, they commemorated the Passover. Those who were contaminated or otherwise on a long journey were allowed by G-d to celebrate Pesach one month later. All others were commanded to celebrate Pesach, including strangers and natives (Num. 9:14). This begs the question of how Christian clergy can in good conscious teach their people that Pesach and all the other designated times of G-d are “only for the Jews who are under the law?”

Think About This!

1. What do true believers in YHVH/Yahshua have in common with the moon?
2. How is leprosy as experienced by Miriam related to sin? Why didn’t Aharon get struck with it?
3. Do you think the water and blood that flowed from Yahshua’s side poured out separately? Why or why not?
In the Parashah, before and after the passage “Va’yehi bin soa ha’Aron “and when “Aaron began to move” (10:35, 36) there is an upside down “nun.” According to some of the commentaries, this passage is so important it is a separate book of Torah. That would mean that there are not five, but seven books in the Torah: B’resheit. Sh’mot, Va’yikra, B’midbar Chapters 1-10:34, B’midbar 10:35-36, B’midbar 11-36 , and D’varim.
“…we remember the onions and garlic that we ate.” (11:5)
Why did B’nai Yisrael complain that they didn’t have these things if the manna could taste like anything they wanted? The Sifri says that the manna didn’t taste like onions and garlic because it’s unhealthy for women who nurse their babies to eat onions and garlic.


V’zeh ma’aseh ha’Menorah, “And this is the workmanship of the Menorah” (8:4)

G-d tells Moshe how the Menorah is to be constructed. The word V’zeh has the numeric value of 18. The Menorah was 18 handbreadths high.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart