Friday, December 25, 2020



Once appointed as Pharaoh’s deputy, with all the appropriate regalia, Joseph was also given a new name: Tzofnat Pa’a’ne’ach (transliteration according to the Hebrew original), which in Modern Hebrew means “the decoder of the hidden”. There is much about the story of Joseph which is associated with “codes” that require decoding. For starters, of all the various figures in Scripture who prefigure Yeshua, Joseph is one of the most obvious. But even with that, the text has to be examined quite closely in order for a clear picture to emerge. Another such example is the vision cast by Joseph’s life upon the eventual destiny of his progeny, and that of the progeny of those related to him. Here too a close deciphering is required of text and facts.


When it comes to Joseph, the Hebrew narrative is very deliberate in its vocabulary, especially in certain episodes. One such example is the usage of the root letters shin, bet/vet, resh – which form the word “sheh’ver”, with its primordial meaning being “to break” or “to sever”. Joseph’s specific role as well as his family’s efforts to obtain sustenance is couched in this term with its variety of meanings, such as: sell, grain, buy, provider etc. Moreover, in chapters 41-44 of Genesis it appears 18 times, although Joseph himself uses this term only once (in 42:19).


Admittedly, the repeated usage of such a term to describe the situation that revolved around Joseph is indeed strange, and therefore begs the question: Why? What is its significance?  There are two more times in which this term is used by the Sacred Text related to Joseph. Psalm 105:16-23 tells the story of Joseph with some additions, such as: “They hurt his feet with fetters. Iron pierced his soul, until the time that his word came to pass, the word of YHVH tested him” (vs. 18,19). This passage is introduced by: “He [Elohim] called a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision, - sheh’ver – of bread” (v. 16).


The next passage is in Amos 6:6. Those of the house of Israel, in Samaria, are being chastised in the entire chapter for being self-serving, selfish, complacent and living in ignorance of their impending judgment. The thrust of the charge leveled at them (‘them’ being those who were part of the “house of Joseph”) was for not grieving over the “affliction of Joseph – the shev’ver – the brokenness, the fracture, the crisis of their own household. And indeed they suffered the consequences. “Their house was left desolate to them” and they ended up scattered and lost.


Thus we see that decoding the usage of sh.b/v.r in Joseph’s story leads to more than just provision, buying, selling, grain etc. but to a very serious crisis of near annihilation that YHVH expects His people to be very concerned about – then AND now. The Hebrew word used in Amos 6:6 is “ne’ch’lu” – literally to become sick and weak, over the fate of the entity called Joseph. Our Father seems to regard this issue very seriously, can we do any less?

One more “she’ver”, which appears in Scripture, is found in Judges 7, when a dream that Gideon happens to overhear confirmed to him his assured victory over Midian by the hand of YHVH.  Gideon is said to have heard the telling of the dream and “its interpretation” – shivro… (v. 10).


Decoding, or interpreting (discerning), is also what is before us at this present time, so that the only “breaking” will be that of the “heart”, as YHVH isnear to those who have a broken heart” (Psalm 51:17; 34:18). That contrite heart and humble spirit is of utmost import at a time such as we are in, a time which is not unlike the seven years of famine that prevailed in the world covered by the Biblical narrative. In the midst of tribulation, the faith and humility of Joseph and the brokenness of Judah stand out as major traits that were needed for the events to take their course.


Viewing these events of the seven year famine from a historical perspective, it is quite clear that this upheaval had as its central pivot the family of Jacob/Israel, for the sake of their ultimate destiny - to be formed into a nation. This of course took place not without having its effect far and wide, just as things are in our day. From Genesis 48:14 we learn that further on into the famine, Joseph took gradual managerial steps in order to be ‘on top” of the situation. He first gathered all the money that was ‘floating’ in Egypt and Canaan and handed it over to Pharaoh (v. 14). When the people found themselves bereft of sustenance, both food and money, Joseph appropriated all of their livestock in exchange for food (v.17). Shortly after, when there was nothing left to pay with and the people offered themselves and their land, in exchange for seed. And although it is not recorded that Joseph had actually made them into slaves, he did buy all the land and turned it over to  Pharaoh in return for seed (vs. 20, 23). “And as for the people, he moved them into the cities, from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end” (Genesis 47:21). This was nothing short of population transfer, which caused the now totally weakened people to become even more subject to governmental control. A firth of the produce that, they were to grow from the seeds that Joseph provided for them was to be handed to the monarch (v. 24).


Joseph’s methodology is quite totalitarian, but under whose orders was he operating? It does not say anything about Pharaoh instructing him thus. Was Joseph getting his ideas from a “Higher Power”? Remember Psalm 105:16, and who “called famine on the land”? Even so today, no matter what is happening and ‘fixing’ to happen in the near future, our trust is in Elohim Almighty who is navigating our ship to the port that He has in mind. With that said, it is worthwhile to note that in Judaism, and especially now, the Messiah is said to not just “come”, but mainly “to be revealed”. We wait for the Greater Son of Joseph to reveal Himself to His brethren, perhaps at such a time as this, just as Jacob’s favorite son did during the days of adversity to his brothers. But before we sign off, there is another question that comes to mind: “Could this prospective revealing come, at least partially, through the Body, the “sons of the living Elohim”, whose head is Messiah? Here again sh.v/b.r helps us to do some “decoding”. There are two passages where this root word comes into play: “Today is a day of trouble, rebuke and disgrace. Children are ready to be born – “mishbar”, but there is no strength to bring them to birth” (2nd Kings 19:3), and especially Hosea 13:12-13: “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hidden. The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth – mishbar - of sons”. However, Revelation 12:5 tells us of a birth that is not aborted. Let us therefore get ready for the birth, and remember to decode the hidden things!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Focusing Our Aim


Shalom Fellow Israelite,

In our group zoom discussion the other night, a question was raised in regards to the massive focus on the American Constitution which is currently consuming Christians and Messianic Believers in the United States. The Republic of the US was founded on Judeo/Christian values, statutes and ordinances. These principles of freedom have their roots more specifically in the Torah of Moses. However, much of the Christian population in the United States does not live by what is written in those sacred writings, and in fact has even chosen to discard them under the doctrine of “not being under the law”. Thus, at this time when seeking justice looms large in the eyes of American Believers, the question must be raised: “Can lawlessness combat lawlessness? Is there a flawed foundation in the godly motivations of those trying to correct injustice and unrighteousness in the US, and does that affect the potential for a successful outcome…?” Thank you, Kay B. for asking! To drive this point even more poignantly, Kay also added another question, quoting from Mark 3:23: “How can Satan cast out Satan?”

I would like to add another point that came up in this week’s meeting. What about the role of the Ephraimites, who likewise are pursuing American identity at this time, rather than their own ancestral one? What is more important in these days of the restoration of the whole house of Israel, than the everlasting covenants and promises that are yet to be fulfilled? In regards to the House of Israel in the nations, especially the USA, Rimona had a word a couple of days ago – “diversion”.  Is it possible that the entire upheaval which is sweeping the world at the moment, is actually for the purpose of ultimately gathering YHVH’s people and setting up His everlasting kingdom in its designated location? Let us remember that in the midst of preparations for a time of calamity (famine) in Egypt, our ancestor Joseph was said to have “stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea…” (Gen. 41:49). This evokes the promises to his fathers that their seed would be “like the sand of the sea”. It is no coincidence that the verse which follows Joseph’s “ingathering” action reports the birth of his two sons, to whom the above irrevocable promise pertained.  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Scriptures for Lighting the Chanukah Candles


When Lighting the Chanukah Candles read each evening, as each candle is being lit:

 When lighting the Shamash candle:  "And now YHVH says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him…Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Nations, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"(Isaiah 49:5-6). "Then Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12) "In Me is life, and the life is the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:4-5).


 First Candle:  "But you/we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you/we may proclaim the praises of Him who called you/us out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but now the people of Elohim, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (1Peter 2:9-10).


Second Candle:  "For so YHVH has commanded us [body of Messiah]: 'I have set you as a light to the Nations, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth" (Acts 13:47) "to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:18 a word commissioned to the Apostle Paul but by inference to all of us).


Third Candle:  "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you/we do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your/our hearts" (2Peter 1:19).


Fourth Candle:  "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness"(John 12:46). "For you/we were once darkness, but now you/we are light in the Lord. [We should then] walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).


Fifth Candle:  "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand, that those who come in may see the light" (Luke 11:33). "He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him" (1John 2:10)."For if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Messiah Yeshua  His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1John 1:7).


Sixth Candle:  "If you/we extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your/our light shall dawn in the darkness, and your/our darkness shall be as the noonday…(Isaiah 58:10) "Therefore let your/our light so shine before men, that they may see your/our good works and glorify your/our Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).


Seventh Candle:  "Then Yeshua said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light" (John 12:35-36).


Eighth Candle:  "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12). "For you/we, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you/us as a thief.  You/we are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness" (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5). "O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of YHVH" (Isaiah 2:5). "For Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"(Psalm 119:105). "Arise, shine; for your/our light has come! And the glory of YHVH is risen upon you/us" (Isaiah 60:1).

Friday, November 27, 2020

Abiding Fellowship


“But if we walk in the light as He [Elohim] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua the Messiah, His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

We are to walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, and then we will have fellowship with one another.  He, however, is not only ‘in’ the Light, He is the very Light Himself. The Greek word for “fellowship” is koinonia, that is to have: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.  The reason that, relationships which are in the Light are an expression of positive intimacy is because of the nature and character of the Light.  We all know, and perhaps have memorized, Galatians 5:22-23: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness” etc. In his writings John ‘lumps’ them all together into one word - “love”.  He concludes that if we walk in the Spirit of the Light, these characteristics will bind us together in perfect harmony with one another.  Even though we cannot attain to these characteristics of the Light on our own, we receive them by the Spiritual oneness with Messiah Yeshua. “Elohim is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua our Messiah and Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). 

Yeshua said: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 emphases added). The Greek word for “abide” is men'-o; a primary verb: to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand.  The generic understanding of ‘abiding’ refers to a living entity which exists in a given place.  How much more for us, who “live and move and have our being in Elohim”! (Acts 17:28).  Thus, if we dwell/abide in the Light all the attributes of Light will, or should, be manifesting from our mortal being.  However, we do have a problem, in that Sin is still a power that also works within us, that is in our flesh.  Yet Sin is easily discernable, because its nature is marked by “unloving” characteristics.  Our opening scripture instructs us that we need to always keep in mind and believe that the Blood of our Heavenly Father’s Son, Yeshua, cleanses us from all unloving expressions. We are not to let sin rule us, or to have its way in the members of our soul (mind, will, and emotions), as we are spirit beings, living in a spiritual Light House that Yeshua prepared for us.  Abiding in Him, the power of His resurrected presence of Light drives out the spirit of darkness, so that our soul can enjoy the rule of “Shalom”.  “And let the peace of Elohim rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

Thursday, October 29, 2020

It Is Not Polygyny – It Is Bigamy


It Is Not Polygyny – It Is Bigamy (check the dictionary)

As you can tell from the title we are back again discussing the issue of multiple wives in the Messianic Body of Messiah.  My question to Abba was, why are You dragging me back into this controversy, when this subject has already been thoroughly aired?  Please bear with me and forgive me for bringing up this issue once more, but some additional, and to my mind important points, from a biblical perspective have come up.

In the wake of my previous article I received a very long rebuttal with all sorts of ‘exhortations’ from Pete Rambo, which he also made public.  After some research I discovered a number of articles and audios by excellent and qualified teachers, who DO NOT condone this practice.  If you are interested in reading and listening, you can look up:   Apologist John McKee: The Aberration of Polygamy  An article by the late Brad Scott Position Paper on Polygamy   119 Ministries: Does the Bible Endorse Polygamy  

Admittedly, there are many examples in the Tanach of men who had more than one wife, and in addition also a concubine, or two, or more.  YHVH does not seem to condemn these relationships (at least not within the cultures in which this was a common practice); case in point are our forefather Jacob and King David.  However, none of those (and other) polygamous households exemplified harmony, happiness, or contentment.  Strife, contention, and even murder, were the results in some cases.  But it was actually not the multiplicity of wives which gave rise to this state of affairs. These families’ problems were the outcome of man’s natural heart condition.  This is the point that I want to address here.

After the flood, “YHVH said in His heart ‘I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth(Genesis 8:21-22 emphasis added). Yeshua confirmed the existence of this condition, saying: "What comes out of a man that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:20-23).    Please note that even though “man’s heart is evil from his youth”, almost in the same breath Elohim’s mandate to the Adamic/Noahic family was to:  “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Wow, can you imagine, Elohim, who knows that man’s heart is evil, still blesses him and sends him off to multiply on His beautiful earth?!  Perhaps this is so “because the foolishness of Elohim is wiser than men, and the weakness of Him is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).   

In the same letter to the Corinthians, Paul defined the Almighty’s order of sowing human kind on the planet: “… the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual” (15:46).  A couple of verses back he compares natural man to a seed: “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (15:44).    Paul also makes a distinction between the two, noting that that which is natural is corruptible, dishonorable, and weak but the spiritual is incorruptible, honorable, and strong (see verses 42-43). In verse 51 Paul calls it a “mystery”. I call it botany. (Yeshua also explained the kingdom in horticultural terms.)

Understanding Paul’s insight into this mystery and Divine order, we now can go back to the beginning of Scripture to view the history of humanity from this perspective of, “first the natural, fleshly, in Hebrew basar, or beastly side”.  YHVH knew exactly what He was doing when He created the natural man with the potential of becoming spiritual; for a seed to transition from one state to another, requires that the seed die. This is why the natural man is governed by the “law of sin and death”, and the spiritual man by the law of Elohim, the law of life, law of liberty (please study Romans 7:1-25). Hence we need to pay close attention to the New Covenant instructions in regards to marriage.  One man one woman, as it was in the beginning.

So what does this have to do with the current resurgence of   bigamy/polygamy/polygyny etc?  On the level of the animal kingdom, which natural man is part of, there is an easy answer. The Creator put into them “male and female” all the necessary ‘ingredients’ to multiply, such as passionate desires, mixed it with hormones, called it “love” and walla the process of sowing began! Thus we have a bible full of the history of YHVH’s faithfulness to His word to Adam, Noah, and Abraham, i.e. “to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth”.  Certainly today’s population of billions originates from that seed.

Procreation was the only command of Elohim that man was ever obedient to.  YHVH did not condemn polygamy in Israel, most likely because He knew only too well the condition of their heart, and that they were of “flesh” (natural) and subject to YHVH’s command to multiply.  Elohim left it up to carnal man to decide how to accomplish this multiplicity. So “male and female” did. Thus the proliferation of the population took place under a variety of conditions, one of which is to have multiple wives and concubines.     

However, this poses a problem after we are “born again”, or when the “seed-man” falls into the ground, dies, and then sprouts up as a “new creation” – a spiritual entity.  This transformation can only happen through faith’s identity to Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection.  So on the one hand we are a new creation, but on the other we are still in this flesh and blood body.  

I could end this letter by suggesting you read Romans 8:1-14:  Here are just a couple of the verses:  “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim; for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please Elohim” (Romans 8:5-8). “And those who are Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25).  Or as said by Yeshua to Nicodemus: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).

YHVH doesn't call polygamy "sin", but He does call "lust, pride, and self-righteousness" sin. In addition, for those living in most western nations - the law forbids polygamy which is defined as “bigamy”. Those who profess to be believers in the New Covenant Gospel and to be Torah observant but don't keep or honor the laws of the nation they live in, are not exactly walking in the paths prescribed by the Torah and apostolic writings.

  “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against YHVH” (Proverbs 19:3).

P.S. I believe that the invasion of the spirit of Islam into the Western Judeo-Christian world is playing a major part in the sudden interest in multiplying wives.   

Friday, October 16, 2020

A Lesson Learned


This past week I had one of the scariest and most disconcerting experiences ever. But before I begin to share this experience, I need to give you a little background.  My teenage years were basically from 1957 to 1964.  Like many other young people, in those years I tried to “find myself”, or define who I was. That is, I was looking for “who is the you that others are relating to”.  During those impressionable years our experiences impact us in ways that tend to leave indelible marks on our mind, memory and character.  But in our latter years, in our 60’s or 70’s, a ‘thing’ called nostalgia sets in and we look back at those significant teenage or earlier years;  glancing through old photos, videos, play some of our yester-year favorite music all of which bring back some of the good-old, fond memories. 

A few months ago we decided to disconnect from all of our television channels (tell-a-vision), we canceled our subscription (or should I say, prescription) and started using the internet only as the source of our cyber information.   It did not take long to realize that our cell-phone and computers not only took up the TV watching time, but soon became a morning to bed time companions.  Between these two communication devices our past could meet our present and influence our future in one click.  Obviously the amount of information that is available is astronomical. But being limited in our/my capacity as to how much of that world we/I want or can entertain, we/I pick and choose our/my topics of interest while the cyber world knows how to ‘expand our horizons’ by directing us to other options.  Of course at the same time there is another unseen reality that is working behind the scenes to subtly and deviously entice our interests, passions and desires.  Probably the most influential is what is called the YouTube application.   If you have any experience with this user app (or abuser app?) you know what I mean. 

This brings me to the point of an early morning experience that I will never forget.  Six months of being under varying degrees of lockdown, one finds themselves more and more dependent on the internet for many things.  For entertainment I started looking into documentaries related to famous and influential people of my past (way past).  Music was my favorite area of interest.  And so, the other night YouTube introduced me to one of their many choices of 50’s and 60’s music.  One could listen all at once to excerpts of 100 songs, each lasting about 10 seconds.   I clicked and started to listen, which meant around two hundred songs, some repeats. Although it was a very short time span, yet I went to bed with many of those songs playing in my mind.  The following morning, upon waking up from a dream in which I was walking in my parents’ house singing a Ricky Nelson song “Hello Marylou Goodbye Heart”,  I suddenly realized that my mind was locked into hearing song after song, after song and I could not shake it off.  I thought that my mind and memory fused and that I had become a permanent juke box.  This went on for about five to ten minutes, before I started crying out to YHVH in the name of Yeshua for help.  Suddenly it was as if someone pulled out the plug and it stopped.  I took a deep breath and started praising and thanking Yeshua for the divine intervention.  Needless to say, this was a lesson learned in what could have been a “hello new reality, good bye heart”!

A couple of days later I started thinking about the YouTube, and why this application was so named.  We know what the “you” refers to, but why the “tube”? What is a tube? I remember going swimming with an inner-tube, which was a rubber tube from a tire which when filled with air made a great play toy.  When I studied biology, I encountered many tubes in the body’s anatomy. Tubes are found in science, in the home, everywhere there are tubes.  Their simple definition is, “a long, hollow cylinder of metal, plastic, rubber, glass etc. for holding or transporting something chiefly liquids, gases” and I might add “spirits”.  Perhaps our brains and our minds are like a tube.  In the beginning they are empty and hollow, but as we experience life they begin to be inflated, until their content defines our “you”.  Thus the simple idea behind the YouTube is to help us discover a new reality as to who we are according to the image and likeness that the internet algorithm determines.  I realized that when it comes to the use of this tool, one has to really pay attention to whether one has the permission from the Holy Spirit to make that “click”.  Yeshua’s words to me after that episode were: 

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah…  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim    …To Yeshua the Messiah be the glory both now and forever.  Amen” (2nd Peter 3:17-18; Romans 12:2).  

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Grand Finale'


Just before we go back to where it all began – to the B’resheet – let us pause and come under the blessing which was announced and bestowed upon all of Israel’s tribes. Even though allocated to each individual tribe, it is still called “this blessing”, singular. “Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of Elohim blessed the children of Israel before his death” (Deut. 33:1).  This seems to indicate that every thing which is said to each individual tribe is actually applicable to the destiny of the nation as a whole.  In other words, when the tribes are joined together as one people (sons of Jacob) they share or complement one another, with their individual blessings. 


Thus, it is possible that these words never failed to accompany the descendants of Bney Yisrael, even in their dispersion and oblivion as to their identity and heritage.  Is it possible that these words, which aside from being blessings are also prophetic utterances, defined historical destinies for the ones whom YHVH recognized and determined as those whose lot was to be cast by these words? How much more so nowadays, when the identity is being restored and the recipients of the blessing/pronouncements actually embrace these words and are watching for their on going and progressive fulfillments! The various parts of the one blessing form a tapestry that by necessity interconnects the ‘lot’ of all the tribes, a tapestry that one day will be held up before the whole world as a banner over the Bride as she enters the wedding chupah (canopy) with her Bridegroom. 


Before Moshe ventures into the specific blessings, he “the man of Elohim”, recaps in verses 2 and 3 (of Deuteronomy 33) the central theme of the wilderness journey and takes us to spiritual mountain-tops, from where he unravels an overall view of what he had been called to do:  to reveal to the nation of Israel the Elohim of their forefathers.  To begin with, he advances three phases of YHVH’s appearing to the nation: "YHVH came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran…” (33:2 emphases added). Even with the citing of Sinai, Seir and Paran, this overview is pointing to spiritual peaks upon which Elohim met – and will meet again - His people.


It is actually the non-too clear articulation of this short passage that makes it necessary to dig and search for the treasures hidden therein, and thus to uncover them. The first phase points to YHVH’s “coming” - denoted by the simple and direct “ba” – being in both past and present tenses.  This expresses His continual “coming” to His called out ones, until they become as He is, conformed to His image and likeness (1 John 3:2), which was His original intent at creation.   Thus, at each of His comings He reveals aspects of His nature, His purpose, His character and His glory.


In the second part of the verse, YHVH is said to have “shone” or “risen”, employing a verb that is used mostly for the sun’s appearance. This is being echoed by Isaiah’s:  “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of YHVH is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but YHVH will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2 emphases added).


In the third phase it says that, “He shone forth from Mount Paran”. This verb speaks of radiating as if from darkness, just as we saw above in the words uttered by Isaiah. This time, however, He is not alone. The Hebrew rendering adds another “coming”, but switches to the Aramaic – “atta” – such as in “maranatha”. And where is He said to have come from (yes, “from” and not “with”) this time? From the “ten thousands of holiness” (no, not “holy ones”), which is a curious term indeed! What is this multiplicity of “holiness”? It seems to indicate that His holiness is with or in the multitudes of His people, like a great cloud of witnesses, or messengers, that have actually become the message/the word - an expression of Himself.  In this way He is revealing His glory which emanates from those who have been conformed to His image and likeness, does this sound familiar? “Then Elohim said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion’” (Genesis 1:26).  Only now at the end of the Torah, do we see how this might be realized in the future.


We continue reading in verse 2 (in its literal translation, with a certain necessary modification): “By His right side/hand is/was a blazing/gleaning/glowing fire”.  Obadiah verse 18 states that, “the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame”. Moreover, verse 3 continues to ‘enlighten’ us regarding YHVH’s hand: “Yes, He loves the peoples; all its [that is the nations’] holy ones [those called out from the peoples/nations] are in Your hand”.  Habakkuk 3:3-4 adds to this: “Elohim came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.  His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden”. Amazing! All His power, His kingdom authority and the light of His glory hidden in the palm of His hand and ready to be cast forth as flashing fiery arrows against the darkness, piercing through and destroying the works of the devil! (ref. 1 John 3:8).


One would think that by being placed in YHVH’s hand the “holy set-apart ones” have now come to full rest. However, our text continues (still in Deut. 33:3) to say (literal translation): They are struck down at Your feet; elevating Your utterances/speech” (emphases added). Like Yeshua, their Redeemer, who was “struck by Elohim” (Isaiah 53:4, using the same root of the verb “struck”), these ones also have to be humbled-struck some more in order to elevate – lift up – His utterances, His speech. The word used here is “mid’bro’techa” – Your “midberot” – words/speech/utterances. Interestingly, in Song of Songs the Bride is addressed by her Groom, who says (literally): “Your lips are like a strand of scarlet and your speech - mid’barech - is lovely” (4:3). “Midbar” is singular for “midbarot” – referring to the Bride’s speech. In the days to come the Bride, sitting at His feet, is destined to have her Groom’s Word on her lips.


This brings to an end Moshe’s summation-cum-prologue or grand finale, to which is added: “Moses commanded a Torah for us, a heritage of the congregation of Jacob” (verse 4), and lastly, what can only be a prophetic expression (literal translation): “And there was a King in Yeshurun, when the heads of the people gathered, together the tribes of Israel”. We just read YHVH’s declaration that He loves all peoples and nations, but from and out of those nations He has called a people whom He separated unto Himself.  He then humbles them, causing them to lie down at His feet in order to receive His Word/Torah, which is their heritage as the united community of Jacob. And even though past tense is used here, Jacob obviously has not yet been straightened, so as to be in an upright-straight posture, his heads have not been gathered and neither have the tribes come together. But once the leaders and the tribes are reunited in the Oneness of His holiness/righteousness, YHVH will show Himself as King in Yeshurun.  We look forward to the day of this great fulfillment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

More on Polygyny

 A brother left the following comments on the blog, reinforcing the message that we posted on Polygyny. Most of you will not have read these comments, so I asked him if it would be okay to post it as an article. Thus with his permission we are very blessed to share this with you.  I just want you to know that he is a research physicist at one of our universities here, so the examples that he uses are backed by his professional expertise.


Thank you for standing up for this matter! The break down of the family unit seems to be high up on the enemy’s agenda, causing the downfall of this generation, providing him easy access to the coming generation. As he worked this through Balaam to destroy the nation of Israel, likewise he seeks to break down the Elohim-ordained unity of the family since then, in various ways.

To the many good points quoted above, I would like to add some more - to share with those who may consider going that way, to save them, their families, and the body of Messiah from harm.


1) We husbands still fall terribly short of loving our wives according to our Master’s standard. We still fail the commandment to love our wives “as Messiah the Congregation”! How could we then ever think about adding another wife, which will make us even fail more in love! A husband trying to serve the one wife’s special need, will unavoidably neglect the other. Focusing on the needs of the one, he will have to draw his attention from the other. As one cannot serve two different masters equally, one cannot love two different wives equally. Adding a wife is going in the wrong direction concerning our goal of growing in love and “becoming one”.


2) We are created, both husband and wife, with a desire to be exclusively loved: SoS 8:6 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is strong as death… and the verse continues  jealousy is cruel as Sheol. From all the examples of the resulting jealousy we find in scripture and the world around us, how could we –if we love our wives– even consider taking this risk, thinking that “touching this fire will not burn us”? Human jealousy is a destructive force that man cannot endure (Prov 6:34-35), destroying the key foundations of marriage – the underlying trust on both sides, quenching love. In men it causes “rage, uncontrollable anger” and Elohim gave special instructions for when the spirit of jealousy overcomes a man (Num 5:14...). Don’t cause your wife to suffer something that you are not even able to handle or endure. Don’t invite this spirit into your house, for –whether to man or to woman– its fire is painful to the depth of the soul!


3) We cannot look back and apply the same standard to us, which Elohim in his mercy had for a fallen creation with “hard hearts” in the old covenant. Messiah’s answer (concerning the granted divorce which Elohim hated, but allowed because of their hard hearts) was “…but it was not this way from the beginning”. Our Father send the redeemer, to create in us a new heart, no longer hard as stone, to renew our mind according to the mind of Messiah, to restore us back to His perfect will, according to which He created us in the beginning when He made us, in Eden: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife [Singular!] and they shall become one (echad, unified) flesh. We no longer should live as a fallen creation, but we are restored – We are a NEW creation!


4) Our Master’s last prayer for us was that, we would “become one”. In the context of Marriage between husband and wife, this starts with “becoming one flesh”. Our own physiology, that is the way we were created, already shows that we are meant to be one husband and one wife. The first time husband and wife come together, the hymen breaks and the blood is shed and both become literally one flesh, one human organism. Now being one, every consecutive time they come together is like a memorial of this blood covenant.

There is no physiological way a normal man can be physically one with more than one wife, simultaneously.

Complete physiological unity in marriage works only between two, one man and one woman. If you add another woman, maybe the man can be physiologically one with each one of them at different times, but the two women can never be physiologically one with each other. Hence, the husband+2wives triplet can never be physiologically completely one.

As the incompatibility in physiology between the two wives already warns, the examples of polygyny in scripture strongly points to the emotional incompatibility in marriage to the same man. And so the problem of incompatibility between the two wives will consequently become a key problem to the whole family, which will fail trying to “become one”. This must be a strong warning to us husbands, for we will not be able to fulfill our responsibility to lead our family in unity. Polygyny will rather destroy it and will undoubtedly hurt our wives and our children and our children’s children. And eventually we will have to give account for it.


5) The fundamental concept of “two united” we find not only in our physiology, but is revealed even in the lowest level; in the very matter which Elohim formed our bodies out of. Proton and Electron (the basic particles forming the atoms) are electrically charged particles – of opposite charge. As these opposites attract, one Electron and one Proton will form a stable union, the Hydrogen atom. The Proton being the heavy center, around which the Electron oscillates. Both are attracted and kept stable together by their opposite charge.

Now, it is true that you can temporarily form a weakly stable Hydride atom, in which two Electrons oscillate around one Proton - but it will strongly react with its environment and its structure will quickly fall apart. And as long as it exists, both Electrons will indeed try to come as close as they can to the Proton, but stay as far as they can apart from each other.


6) Now, the unity between Proton and Electron goes even deeper. The closer Proton and Electron come together, the stronger is the attracting force between them. When one Proton and one Electron come extremely close to each other, the force will be extremely strong and they will combine to form a new particle, the Neutron. The Neutron is no longer electrically charged - as a unit all opposites in charge are eliminated. As Elohim separated the first Adam into two human beings, man & woman, also the human characteristics are being divided between two humans of opposite kind, being attracted to each other by their complementing differences. As they become one, they form the complete human being, no longer individually incomplete but a complementing unity.

Back to the matter of the elementary particles our bodies consist of: This unity only works between one Proton and exactly one Electron, not two.


7) Beside all the warning examples of polygyny in scripture, it is further interesting to note that the first polygyny of mankind appears in the cursed line of Cain. While the seventh from Adam in the obedient line, Enoch walked with Elohim, the seventh in the cursed line, Lamech, chose to become a murderer and take two wives. The one followed life, the other death. The one lineage (seed) was saved through the flood, the other ended with it. As the article states, the restored creation started again with couples of one husband and one wife. And not only for mankind, but also for all the animals, who were saved in pairs!

As husbands, let us not allow the enemy to harm the miracle of Elohim, who made each of us one with his wife. Rather, let each one of us work with more with his heart to love his wife as Messiah His congregation.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

It Is Not Polygamy – It Is Polygyny

 It seems that every couple of years, the necessity arises to address one more unsavory issue plaguing the Hebrew Roots Movement, and especially the precious Israelite Identity adherents. The enemy is relentless in trying to turn this group into an esoteric-cum-occultic sect and having everyone in it vilified by virtue of association with those who espouse strange and nonbiblical ideas.

 Among all the various questionable forms of beliefs and associations which have sprung up during the past few years, there has been one that many of you are no doubt aware of, and that is polygyny. And so that you will not be mistaken as to what this term means, let me clarify that it is not referring to a general multiple-spouse relationship “polygamy”, but specifically to a multiplicity of wives. One man—several wives!

 Do we need to belabor the point that at Creation there was one man and one woman? Is it necessary to quote Scriptures which point out that the sacred union between husband and wife is likened to the Messiah and His Bride? Should we point out that in the New Covenant it states very clearly that he who aspires to be a spiritual leader must be the husband of one wife? Or is there a need to mention that Elohim seemingly tolerated some of the customs of this sinful world, even within His own Israelite community, and did not forbid this kind of union but also never really favored it, pointing out that if one man has two wives, one will be loved but the other hated? (I will elaborate on the above comments in this article). 

Nevertheless, even though you are probably quite clear about this matter, and most likely are not in favor of such an arrangement, please let me expound some more on this issue since it has reared its head again in the “House of Joseph/Ephraim”.

 In today’s society, polygyny is no longer recognized as a moral issue but a sociological one. However, a man who wishes to have more than one wife and is a believer in the Word of Elohim (the Bible), especially the New Covenant, has very little to stand on as far as justifying himself biblically. I do not condone this practice for the following reasons.

 The Creator took only one rib out of Adam’s side, from which He formed one woman to be his companion (wife), so that they would become one flesh. This would be impossible if another person were added to the “equation” or union—even chromosomes come in pairs. 

Noah is said to have entered the ark with his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; his wife; and three daughters-in-law. Although YHVH, no doubt, desired to repopulate the earth after the flood, He did not allow Noah and his sons to have two or more wives each in order to hurry up the process.

 Abraham had only one wife, and that was Sarah. Hagar was not recognized by YHVH as Abraham’s divinely given mate. Nor was Ishmael recognized as a legitimate son. We know this from what YHVH said to Abraham when instructing him to take Isaac, his “only son” (Genesis 22:2), and give him back to Himself. It was not Abraham’s idea to take Hagar. He did not initiate the relationship. When Abraham did take another wife, it was after Sarah’s departure.

 Isaac had only one wife—Rebecca.

 Jacob ended up with two wives, not by choice but by trickery, and then proved the veracity of Deuteronomy 21:15—that man is only capable of loving one wife while . . . hating the other. I do not even want to mention what happens when one wife is favored over the other; it is an open door for the spirits of envy, jealousy, resentment, rejection, hatred, murder (with the tongue), etc. Entertaining any of these spirits is sin, which will result in curses and, of course, bad fruit. The following from the Song of Solomon 8:6: “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as Sheol [the bottomless bit]”, points very clearly to jealousy within a love relationship. Thus if a husband really loves his wife, why would he subject her to such potential cruelty? Any spirits coming from the nature and power of sin are cruel and tormenting. One such example is the relationship between Peninnah and Hannah, Elkanah’s wives. Those two are called “rivals,” or in Hebrew, “tzarah”—that is, “trouble, anguish, distress.” They were each other’s “trouble” (1 Sam. 1:4-6). Elkanah loved Hannah more than Peninnah (v. 5), and thus jealousy, strife and contention ensued. We could also mention the conflicts between Hagar and Sarah, and Leah and Rachel.

 In Ephesians, Paul addresses husbands, admonishing them to love their wives since it is a testimony of Messiah’s relationship to His bride, not brides. Some claim that the Messiah has two brides—Israel and the Church. If that is the case, then somehow they will have to squeeze into the same wedding dress, “for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). I don’t see “brides” or “wives” in this Scripture, nor does YHVH add another one on any other occasion. He is very consistent and faithful to the one nation/bride that he betrothed at Sinai. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Messiah and His ecclesia [or in Hebrew “Kahal”]. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:31-33).

 Cain's progeny, Lamech, was the first to have more than one wife. Esau and Ishmael, had multiple wives, as did many pagan kings and those who could afford to “own” them. In polygynous relationships, women became a commodity and a source of pride and power to the male ego. Some kings would have only one wife, who was given the status of queen, while the other women made up a harem of concubines.

 In today’s world, polygamous/polyganous marriages are not seen as a moral issue but rather a sociological problem. There are many secular scholarly studies on the effects such families have on a society. You can check out this article on the internet: It states, “As marriage historian Stephanie Coontz has pointed out, polygyny is less about sex than it is about power.” Quoting cultural anthropologist Joe Henrich, the article notes that ethnographic surveys of 69 polygamous cultures reveal “no case where co- wife relations could be described as harmonious.” The article further states that “polygynous households foster jealousy and conflict among co-wives.” Polygyny also destabilizes the social and economic norms of a community, which is why nations and states have passed laws against such unions. One report says that monogamous marriage actually reduces crime biblical idiom and truism that a “thing” is known by its fruit is borne out in the above observations of secular scholars. If evidently even the “wisdom of this world” (1 Cor. 3:19) rejects polygyny, how much more true would that be regarding the “wisdom that is from above” (James 3:17)?!

 When the world is calling “evil good, and good evil” (Is. 5:20), and then describes as “marriage” some of the most horrendous combinations—like polyamory (open and multi-partner relations), homosexual, and lesbian relationships—then a man who wants two women to join him in a dual marriage doesn’t sound so bad after all. However, the scriptural definition for adultery is a husband having a relationship with another woman, and the same applies to a wife who has a relationship with a man other than her husband. There is no excuse for a born-again, believing husband to look to marry/take another woman. Not only will this most certainly result in divorce, but worse—it is also committing adultery. A friend pointed out that many times cult leaders tend to surround themselves with multiple wives. I thought this was quite perceptive and also confirmed the power and control issue. However, as mentioned before, even in New Covenant biblical times it was declared that if someone aspired to some kind of leadership position in the body of Messiah, he could not have more than one wife and needed to raise his children in a godly way (see 1 Timothy 3:9-12).

 Yes, we are living in a fallen world, where the power of sin has a grip on the human soul. But for a redeemed believer in the blood of the New Covenant, there is no reason, nor justification, for polygyny, polygamy, or any other “poly.” We are to bear witness to principalities and powers in the heavenlies of the righteousness and holiness of our Messiah—qualities that are to be seen in a marriage between one man and one woman. As new creatures with a new heart, being conformed to the image of Messiah by the indwelling Spirit of Elohim, we leave behind us the ways of the world, walking on a restoration path toward the more ideal template which Elohim has set for humanity from the Beginning. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). Yeshua uses the same scripture in both Mathew 19:1-9 and Mark 10:2-12. (Please read both). In Mark’s verse 10 it says: “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” This is exactly what happens when taking a second wife, it breaks YHVH’s ordained union of one man and one woman.

 Many people are leery of Covid-19 vaccinations, which may contain unknown and harmful components, potentially altering our DNA. Sin will do the same if it is passed on from generation to generation. The Creator wrote His Word into every living thing, and we need to pay attention to it (the Word) without adjusting or modifying our behavior to accommodate our fleshy desires or carnal instincts.

 The word of Elohim tells us that YHVH hates divorce: “YHVH Elohim of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence” (Malachi 2:16). YHVH’s distain of divorce stems from His hatred of adultery, which is what marriage to two or more wives actually is!

 A husband needs to “walk in the light as Yeshua is in the light" (1 John 1:7), and thus his wife will have for her companion a humble servant who undergirds the family in love and treats her as he would his own body. It must be a non-hierarchal relationship, where each lays down their life for the other, until the Spirit washes, cleanses, and purges every vestige of sin.

 YHVH is moving in this hour to identify and restore the whole House of Israel, among the nations and here in the Land. But when those who are being drawn by YHVH hear that polygyny is accepted (even if tacitly), they may turn away from the path that YHVH has ordained for them. Let us be bold enough to stand up and declare that this is an intolerable practice in the body of Messiah and in the Hebrew Roots Restoration Movement.