PARASHA: “Chukat” (ordinance of)
Numbers 19:1-22:1…………………Judges 11:1-33………………Luke 21:1-38
There are several themes in this Torah study. Number one is the “Red Heifer” This was for members of ‘B’nei Israel” that came into contact with the dead. We need to be reasonable since death was a common experience with Israel as with all of us, it is part of life. Death is the twilight of our existence. If death is our twilight, then our “sunrise” will be in the “World of Come” the “Eternal Heavenly Kingdom. If Yeshua is our Messiah and LORD and Savior, death is just a passage to eternal life with our king, Master, LORD, friend, husband, and Redeemer.
The priest had to sacrifice and burn up completely a cow, converting it to ashes. With this sacrifice there were very important ingredients to be mixed with the ashes; Cedarwood, hyssop, and crimson. So, we now have cow ashes, cedarwood, hyssop, and crimson. These would be mixed with water and this mixture would be applied to a person who had to touch a dead person, (for the reason of preparation and burial). After that, the person would be “tahor” (clean) and could re-enter the camp, since the person had to be outside for seven days. It is interesting to note that the priest applying the mixture would be considered “Tamei” (unclean) until the evening! How does this illustrate Yeshua HaMashiach?
We have the animal sacrifice, which always symbolizes our Messiah, then the cedarwood symbolizing the cross of Calvary, HE was our sacrifice for sin and was nailed to a wooden cross. The hyssop reminds us of the first Passover when lamb’s blood was applied to the doorposts of Israel’s Egyptian dwellings. Without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sin. The “crimson stuff” reminds us of the blood, which was shed on the cross, His sinless blood was applied to our sins. There was an exchange, our “unrighteousness” for His “righteousness” Just as the priest remained “unclean” until the evening, so our Messiah became “unclean” for those few hours on the cross, because He bore our sins, past, present, and future. Our “uncleanness” was exchanged for “cleanness” through Yeshua.
Chapter 20 deals with the death of Miriam. A leader, some say, can only take so much until tempers explode. He (Moshe) has lost his beloved sister, the people are complaining “again” they want water, understandable, we all need water to live. Adonai understands, and speaks to Moshe “Take Aaron and your staff, go to “The” Rock and speak to it, and it shall bring forth water.” Seems like it was not just any rock, it was “THE” Rock. Oral tradition says that this rock followed the congregation where ever they went and water flowed from “The Rock”
It is interesting that the Hebrew word is not the usual word “Tzur” or “Aven” used for “Rock” or “stone” but the word “Selah” is used, this word means a “large stone or rock fortress or stronghold”. It also means a “rock that contains water.
This “Selah” reminds us of Mashiach who is the “living water”. Also, when we look at the Hebrew spelling of the word “Selah” we can see “Mayim” (water) in the middle of the letters. So, what do we mean by that? Well, let’s spell out the word “Selah” in Hebrew, this word contains three Hebrew letters “Samech (s) Lamed (l) and “Ayin” (ah) let’s look at the middle letters in these words; “saMech” “laMed” and “aYin” we have the letters M+M+Y, and when we rearrange the letters and add the vowels, we get “MaYiM” which is the word “water” in Hebrew. When we add up the number value in Gematria, we get 40+10+40 = 90, “9” points to Yeshua who is “Emet” (The Truth), and “0” is the number of “eternity” because it has no beginning nor end.
In the area of Mt Sinai, in North East Saudi Arabia, one can see a “large strong, rugged Rock” with a crack down the middle of it. It seems like it is at least 30 feet tall. It is believed that “This” is “The Rock” (HaSelah). Moshe, however, in his anger, did NOT obey the voice of HaShem. Instead, he said to the people;
” Listen you rebels, shall WE get water for you out of this rock?” and then struck the rock TWICE, with his staff. Water still came out, God still had compassion for His people, YET…Moshe and Aaron were in deep trouble! This spill of anger cost Moshe his entrance into the promised land. The ROCK symbolized YESHUA who is our SOLID ROCK, our FORTRESS! (Selah) who was struck only ONCE, for our sins He died ONCE, was crucified ONCE! For ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. Moshe misrepresented YHVH, he said, “are WE to get water for you…” The people saw “Moshe and Aaron” so, they probably thought’ ‘Moshe and Aaron got water for us’ Let’s hear it for Moshe and Aaron, nice going guys!” so they got the glory instead of Adonai.
The high cost of ANGER, resulted in Moshe not entering the promised land. He was the leader, the representative of God, therefore, the cost of greater. Many times, we get angry and we do things that we ought not to do, and many times, it costs us something. We may break things, or "break" relationships". All because we do not keep our tempers in check.
However, we know that Moshe DID enter the promised land, 1500 years later, at the Mt. of Transfiguration
He appeared with Eliyahu, Moshe represented the Torah, and Eliyahu HaNavi” (The Prophets), and of course, Yeshua represented the New Covenant, all three symbolize the “Whole complete WORD of God” with nothing lacking!
Chapter 21 talks about the “fiery serpents” in the desert, that were sent as punishment by God to bite the people who were “again” complaining. (Oi vey, when will they stop already?!) As soon as the people repented, God told Moshe to make a “bronze serpent” and place it on a pole and erect it so that ALL could see. In all places in scripture, the “serpent” symbolizes HaSatan, with exception of this ONE time, this time, the bronze or copper serpent (seraph) symbolizes Yeshua, as he said in John; “As the serpent was lifted up in the desert, so the Son of Man will be lifted up” He was both “lifted up” on the Cross of Calvary, and “lifted up” into the Heavenlies in his ascension.
It is interesting that the word for “fiery serpent” is “Nachash Seraph” probably because on biting a person, the bite burned like fire. The “Seraphim” are angels that are related to “fire”. The Torah tells us that YHVH sent “N’chashim” (serpents) to bite the people. But during this fierce judgment, the people repent and plead to Moshe, “Tell YHVH to take away the “Nachash!” (21:7) in the English and Spanish, the word “serpent” is written in the plural “serpents” but NOT in the original Hebrew, in the Hebrew, the word is singular, “Serpent” this is interesting, why singular” were there not many snakes around biting the people? Yes, but the singular word and phrase, “intercede with YHVH that He remove the “serpent” from us” This points us to the symbolism of “HaSatan” who is “The Serpent” the same that was in the Garden of Eden. The people repent and in a way are saying, “remove Satan from our midst”
This is what happened at Calvary when our Messiah took upon himself all the “Bites of HaSatan, the “Nachash” to heal us so that we might have eternal life. The image of the beast that caused death was also the source of life! Yeshua became death so that we might have life.
There is also a relationship between the Hebrew words “Mashiach” and “Nachash” in the gematria, “Mashiach” (mem, sheen, yod, chet) and “Nachash” (nun, chet, sheen) both add up to 358! (mem=40, sheen=300, yod=10, chet=8) 40+300+10+8 = 358. “Nachash’ is (nun=50, chet=8, sheen=300) 50+8+300= 358! What does Mashiach give us? 3 (He is part of Elohim) who gives us “grace” (5) for a new “beginning” (8). Also, 3+5+8=16, and 1+6=7, “7” the perfect number of YHVH!
Interesting to note that probably not all the Congregation of Israel could visibly “see” the serpent, being the encampment perhaps 4 or 5 miles square do to the number of people and cattle, so, even “looking in the direction “ of the serpent would have served the purpose of receiving healing from the snake bites (my thought) . Today, our faith is our “healing” to receive salvation through trusting in Yeshua/Jesus who was “lifted up” and bore our sins.
This lesson is about “Yephtah” who was bullied and mistreated by his brothers and was excluded from his father’s inheritance, he ran away and got together with a gang of thugs and became like the “Jessie James gang” However, when trouble started back home, who did the brothers look for? Yes, Yephtah! In spite of the fact that he was mistreated, he didn’t let a negative attitude take control, he returned and became their commander.
Then he “vows and vow” “If you deliver the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house I will offer up to you as a burnt offering” the Israelites won the war, and when Yephtah returned home and his “only daughter came out to greet him”. There are mixed emotions and opinions over this. Some suggest that He DID offer his daughter as a burnt offering, he killed r and burned her body on the altar. BUT… would the Holy GOD of Israel accept this kind of abomination? A human sacrifice? I would say NO! (my opinion)
So, what MIGHT have happened? Some believe that he did “offer up” his daughter, but to serve as a servant in the tabernacle of YHVH, perhaps helping the Levites or something similar. Again, just an idea, but no one knows for sure, we’ll find out the truth in Heaven! Others say that in the original translation, the words were misunderstood, and the phrase, “Whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in peace, it shall be the LORD’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” was really, “it shall be the LORD’s “OR” I will offer it up as a burnt offering! Which explains why
Yephtah might have offered up his daughter to serve in the Tabernacle for all her life, had an animal, like a lamb or a goat had come out, THAT animal would have been offered up as a burnt offering, but again, this is just an idea.
What does this teach us? Be careful of what we “vow” we might end up “swallowing” our words, best not to promise anything, and again, not to hold a grudge against those who have mistreated us, forgive them who have mistreated us.
Yeshua talks about the “end times” “Watch out” he warns, things will be getting worse before it gets better. Many think that we will be looking forward to better times, yet Yeshua says just the opposite! Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, etc., the world is going downhill fast, not only physically, but morality is taking a tailspin downward,
We need to take heed and be faithful, await the coming of Messiah Yeshua AFTER He returns, the world will enter a thousand-year time of real SHALOM. Yeshua taught all of this in the temple in Yerushalayim and would camp out on the Mt. of Olives during the night. What an interesting life! I think it would have been great to have seen and heard Yeshua in person back then. Yet we can still hear his voice through HIS WORD.
Shalom... Ben Avraham
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