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Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared)
Genesis 18:1 through 22:24

Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared) - Genesis 18:1 through 22:24.

Haftarah (Writings and Prophets): 2 Kings 4:1-37.

B'rit Hadasha (New Testament): Luke 17:26-37; Romans 9:6-9; Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 6:13-20, 11:13-19; James 2:14-24; 2 Peter 2:4-10.

Tanach Scriptures are from Stern's Complete Jewish Bible; B'rit Chadash Scriptures from the AENT.

A few weeks ago we started reading the Torah all over again. You learned that Torah was written by Moshe (Moses) and consists of the first five Books of the Bible which contain God's original Divine Instructions in Righteousness. Since this is a Netzarim (Nazarene/Messianic) website, we refer to God by His proper Name: YHWH (most likely pronounced "Yah-way"). His Son's Name is Y'shua (most likely pronounced "Ye-shoo-ah").

In this lesson we learn more about Avraham, who, in the last Parashah, had learned he had been chosen to receive a covenant from YHWH, to be the father of a great, obedient nation. Despite the magnitude of this great honor, we learn that Avraham is but an ordinary man, a frail human, with all the associated human desires, and human erring and human lack of faith.

As the Parashah opens, Avraham recognizes YHWH approaching as "three men" (we can only guess that one was Yeshua and the other two were angels because two of them later left and went to Sodom [see Genesis 18:22 and 19:1]).

Genesis 18: 1 ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. 2 He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground, 3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don't leave your servant.

Now, YHWH had promised that Avraham would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 17:4), so we see YHWH preparing Avraham for the coming birth of his son:

Genesis 18: 10 He said, "I will certainly return to you around this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. "Sarah heard him from the entrance of the tent, behind him. 11 Avraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, "I am old, and so is my lord; am I to have pleasure again?" 13 ADONAI said to Avraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and ask, 'Am I really going to bear a child when I am so old?' 14 Is anything too hard for ADONAI? At the time set for it, at this season next year, I will return to you; and Sarah will have a son."

Wasn't it typically human of Sarah to laugh when she heard that she was to bear a child in her old age? It had to be really embarrassing when she realized YHWH had heard her laugh and then, to make matters worse, she lied and tried to tell YHWH she hadn't laughed (vs. 15)....(Remember, Abraham and Sarah (then "Avram and Sarai") had "jumped the gun" by deciding to take matters into their own hands and have a child with Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar in Genesis 16 - even though YHWH had promised to give "this land" to Avram and his descendants! - Genesis 15:17-20)

Please re-read that last sentence: Is anything too hard for ADONAI? At the time set for it, at this season next year, I will return to you; and Sarah will have a son. When YHWH wills something, it will happen! In the meantime, He expect us to have faith in Him! How often have we humans decided not to wait on Him...and because of that, everything went awry?

Genesis 18:19 is powerful in that, here we learn once again that YHWH simply has our best interests at heart and will go to any lengths to get us to recognize why we need to obey Him:

Genesis 18: 19 For I have made myself known to him, so that he will give orders to his children and to his household after him to keep the way of ADONAI and to do what is right and just, so that ADONAI may bring about for Avraham what he has promised him."

All He ever asks of us is to be holy and set apart by keeping HIS ways. When we obey YHWH's commands, He causes our lives to run smoothly. But when we veer away from Torah, we're on our own!

Next the story turns to S'dom and 'Amora where find Avraham pleading with YHWH to spare the town if only 50 righteous were present. In Genesis 18:20, YHWH explains:

Genesis 18: 20 ADONAI said, "The outcry against S'dom and 'Amora is so great and their sin so serious 21 that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know." 22 The men turned away from there and went toward S'dom, but Avraham remained standing before ADONAI.

What was the "outcry" against S'dom and 'Amora that was so outrageous that YHWH had to investigate? We'll find the answer to that question in a moment, but first...

Avraham, being very bold, and perhaps testing YHWH a bit too much, pleads with Him not to punish the righteous with the wicked, even if just few were found:

Genesis 18: 23 Avraham approached and said, "Will you actually sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Maybe there are fifty righteous people in the city; will you actually sweep the place away, and not forgive it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are there? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing - to kill the righteous along with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Shouldn't the judge of all the earth do what is just?" 26 ADONAI said, "If I find in S'dom fifty who are righteous, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake." 27 Avraham answered, "Here now, I, who am but dust and ashes, have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai.

28 What if there are five less than fifty righteous? "He said, "I won't destroy it if I find forty-five there." 29 He spoke to him yet again: "What if forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the forty I won't do it." 30 He said, "I hope Adonai won't be angry if I speak. What if thirty are found there?" He said, "I won't do it if I find thirty there." 31 He said, "Here now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai. What if twenty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the twenty I won't destroy it." 32 He said, "I hope Adonai won't be angry if I speak just once more. What if ten are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the ten I won't destroy it." 33 ADONAI went on his way as soon as he had finished speaking to Avraham, and Avraham returned to his place.

Two observations: Moshe (who is writing this history), captures that Avraham was clearly pensive in his quest to save the righteous, even if it is only a very few. It is very obvious that Avraham and YHWH had some special relationship! Here was a mere man, conversing with the Creator, attempting to lead YHWH down a path of forgiveness, and we find YHWH, compassionate and caring, offering grace way before Christianity took over the concept as an "end all and be all" which they claim replaced the very Word!

But we find YHWH in complete control, for not only does He stop the discussion as Avraham reaches "10 righteous"; but because YHWH knows the truth of the goings-on in S'dom and 'Amora, and He cuts off Avraham's argument by departing from him.

At this point, however, we finally learn the truth of S'dom and 'Amora, the answer to our question above regarding the "outcry" of which YHWH was aware: The cities are so vile and wicked that the occupants were determined to have their way with the "men" who came to visit Lot:

Genesis 19: 4 But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house - young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S'dom. 5 They called Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us! We want to have sex with them!"

"We want to have sex with them." People - this type of behavior is with us today! The Bible tells us that the Son of Man (Yeshua) would return when the world was once again as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27)....Judging from everything that is happening today, it won't be long before Yeshua returns to snatch the world and its peoples out of the hands of Satan! This is why it is so important for people to "get themselves right with God" now....

Atheists love to use these particular passages to show that we have a "mean" God and that believers can be "perverts" and "hypocries" because in Genesis 19:6-8 we see Lot offering his virgin daughters to the throng who demanded to have sex with the angels. "What kind of a man would offer his virgin daughters to a gang of sex-crazed men?" one atheist asked of our website, The Refiner's Fire.

Our reply: The kind who feared God! This man, Lot, knew that the angels were holy beings, and that Lot and his entire household would be doomed forever if he allowed the angels to be sexually molested while under his roof. Even though it would have killed him to see his daughters defiled, maimed or even murdered, Lot's fear of, and respect for, YHWH overrode everything in this particular situation!

Moving on in Genesis 19, we find that YHWH spared Lot and his wife and two daughters by allowing them to leave Sodom, and He said they were not to look behind them once they left. Unfortunately, Lot's wife did, and she immediately turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).

Beginning in verse 30, we see Lot and his daughters living "in the hills in a cave" and shortly thereafter, we once again see human beings trying to take control of their own destinies, when Lot's daughters decide to have sex with their own father because they apparently didn't trust YHWH to bring them husbands, and they feared they would therefore, never bear children...This is also basically the last time we ever hear of the lineage of Lot!

Genesis 19: 29 But when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Avraham and sent Lot out, away from the destruction, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived. 30 Lot went up from Tzo'ar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, because he was afraid to stay in Tzo'ar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there isn't a man on earth to come in to us in the manner customary in the world. 32 Come, let's have our father drink wine; then we'll sleep with him, and that way we'll enable our father to have descendants."

33 So they plied their father with wine that night, and the older one went in and slept with her father; he didn't know when she lay down or when she got up. 34 The following day, the older said to the younger, "Here, I slept last night with my father. Let's make him drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him, and that way we'll enable our father to have descendants." 35 They plied their father with wine that night also, and the younger one got up and slept with him, and he didn't know when she lay down or when she got up. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The older one gave birth to a son and called him Mo'av; he is the ancestor of Mo'av to this day. 38 The younger also gave birth to a son, and she called him Ben-'Ammi; he is the ancestor of the people of 'Amon to this day.

Note the last two verses in Genesis 19 that reveals Lot's daughters had sons, but ultimately their lineage died out, probably because of the incest. We do see them mentioned again in Deuteronomy, where YHWH assigns a portion of land to each of the sons of Lot:

Deuteronomy 2: 9 ADONAI said to me, 'Don't be hostile toward Mo'av or fight with them, because I will not give you any of their land to possess, since I have already given 'Ar to the descendants of Lot as their territory.'" 10 (The Emim used to live there, a great and numerous people as tall as the 'Anakim.

Deuteronomy 2: 19 When you approach the descendants of 'Amon, don't bother them or fight with them, for I will not give you any of the territory of the people of 'Amon to possess, since I have given it to the descendants of Lot as their territory.'"

The above is a good example of how quickly we can leave God's Path. Although, until the Book of Leviticus, we don't really see the command not to have sex with our own close relatives; however, it still seemed to have been "an unwritten rule" as the years flew by and man's perfect DNA eventually broke down. (As you know, sexual relations between close relatives can result in all kinds of birth defects and problems....)

Moving on to Genesis 21, we see YHWH's promise to Avram and Sarai to have a son - the unfolding of events that would lead Avraham's becoming the father of many great nations and descendants. But first, let's quickly review Genesis 17:

Genesis 17: 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.

7 "I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena'an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God." 9 God said to Avraham, "As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.

10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you.

13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin -that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant."

Back to Genesis 21 and YHWH's promise about a son:

Genesis 21: 1 ADONAI remembered Sarah as he had said, and ADONAI did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the very time God had said to him. 3 Avraham called his son, born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz'chak. 4 Avraham circumcised his son Yitz'chak when he was eight days old, as God had ordered him to do. 5 Avraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitz'chak [laughter] was born to him.

6 Sarah said, "God has given me good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me." 7 And she said, "Who would have said to Avraham that Sarah would nurse children? Nevertheless, I have borne him a son in his old age!" 8 The child grew and was weaned, and Avraham gave a great banquet on the day that Yitz'chak was weaned.

9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom Hagar had borne to Avraham, making fun of Yitz'chak; 10 so Sarah said to Avraham, "Throw this slave-girl out! And her son! I will not have this slave-girl's son as your heir along with my son Yitz'chak!" 11 Avraham became very distressed over this matter of his son. 12 But God said to Avraham, "Don't be distressed because of the boy and your slave-girl. Listen to everything Sarah says to you, because it is your descendants through Yitz'chak who will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation from the son of the slave-girl, since he is descended from you."

14 Avraham got up early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child; then he sent her away. After leaving, she wandered in the desert around Be'er-Sheva. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the child under a bush, 16 and went and sat down, looking the other way, about a bow-shot's distance from him; because she said, "I can't bear to watch my child die." So she sat there, looking the other way, crying out and weeping.

17 God heard the boy's voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What's wrong with you, Hagar? Don't be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation. 18 Get up, lift the boy up, and hold him tightly in your hand, because I am going to make him a great nation." 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went, filled the skin with water and gave the boy water to drink. 20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 He lived in the Pa'ran Desert, and his mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

In Genesis 22 we see an amazing test being perpetrated upon Avraham. Please try to put yourself in his shoes as you read the following:

Genesis 22: 1 After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, "Avraham!" and he answered, "Here I am." 2 He said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz'chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you."

Can you believe that? YHWH told Avraham to sacrifice his own son! Of course, YHWH never planned to let him go through with it, but this was a severe "test" for Avraham who had, by that time, learned to trust and obey YHWH, no matter what the cost! Does the scripture say Avraham laughed and said "You must be kidding, YHWH - you want me to do what?"

No, the very next verses say Avraham packed his donkey and took two men and Yitz'chak and set out in complete obedience. Contrast this with where we read how Sarah handled unbelievable news! Abraham had grown in his old age - in his faith - and had finally learned what YHWH had been teaching him all along.

Genesis 22 serves to not only show that Avraham had learned to TRUST and obey YHWH regardless of the consequences, but it also foreshadows what would happen to YHWH's own Son, Y'shua:

First, we see Abraham being told by YHWH to take his only son Isaac to Mt. Moriah - YHWH gave us His only son on Mt. Moriah, which is in Jerusalem today where the Temple should be on the Temple Mount. This whole story is a picture of the Perfect sacrifice!

In verse 3 Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey - Y'shua rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. In verse 4, we read, "On the third day Abraham saw a place afar off..." Imagine his dread as he, at that point, "saw" his son dead and in the arms of YHWH! (Y'shua arose on the third day).

In verse 6 Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's back - just like the stake was placed on Y'shua's back. In verse 8 Abraham told Isaac that YHWH would provide for Himself a lamb for the burnt offering - Y'shua WAS the Perfect Lamb of YHWH, our final sin sacrifice!

In verse 9 Abraham tied Isaac to the wood (Y'shua was placed on and nailed to the stake). In verses 10 and 11 we see "the Angel of YHWH" (was it perhaps Y'shua?) commending Abraham on his faith and willingness to be totally obedient to YHWH..

Finally in verse 13 we see YHWH providing the ram which was caught in the thicket by his horns. It is interesting to note that the thorns around the ram's head were similar to the crown of thorns placed on Y'shua's head....

This whole passage can be viewed a wonderful picture of YHWH's provision (YHWH Yireh) to our obedience.

Haftarah readings:

This week's Haftarah portion reveals the power of YHWH. Ironically, many "gay" websites suggest that passages such as the below reveal that God condoned homosexuality:

2 Kings 4: The wife of one of the guild prophets complained to Elisha. "Your servant my husband died," she said, "and you know that he feared ADONAI. Now a creditor has come to take my two children as his slaves." 2 Elisha asked her, "What should I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" She answered, "Your servant has nothing in the house but a flask of oil." 3 Then he said, "Go, and borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers; and don't borrow just a few! 4 Then go in; shut the door, with you and your sons inside; and pour oil into all those containers; and as they are filled, put them aside." 5 So she left him and shut the door on herself and her sons. They brought her the containers while she poured. 6 When the containers were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another container"; but he answered, "There isn't another container." Then the oil stopped flowing.

7 She came and told the man of God; and he said, "Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; then you and your sons can live on what's left." 8 One day Elisha visited Shunem, and a well-to-do woman living there pressed him to stay and eat a meal. After this, whenever he came through, he stopped there for a meal. 9 She said to her husband, "I can see that this is a holy man of God who keeps stopping at our place. 10 Please, let's build him a little room on the roof. We'll put a bed and a table in it for him, and a stool and a candlestick. Then, whenever he comes to visit us, he can stay there." 11 One day Elisha came to visit there, and he went into the upper room to lie down. 12 He said to Geichazi his servant, "Call this Shunamit." He called her; and when she arrived, 13 he said to him, "Tell her this: 'You have shown us so much hospitality! What can I do to show my appreciation? Do you want me to say anything to the king for you? or to the commander of the army?" She answered, "I'm happy living as I do, among my own people."

14 He said, "What, then, is to be done for her?" Geichazi answered, "There's one thing - she doesn't have a son; and her husband is old. 15 Elisha said, "Call her." After he called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 He said, "Next year, when the season comes around, you will be holding a son." "No, my lord," she answered. "Man of God, don't lie to your servant!" 17 But the woman conceived and gave birth to a son the following year when the season came around, just as Elisha had said to her. 18 When the child was old enough, he went out one day to be with his father, who was with the reapers. 19 Suddenly he cried out to his father, "My head! My head hurts!" He said to his servant, "Carry him back to his mother." 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he lay on her lap until noon; and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door on him and went out. 22 She called to her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants with a donkey. I must get to the man of God as fast as I can; I'll come straight back."

23 He asked, "Why are you going to him today? It isn't Rosh-Hodesh and it isn't Shabbat." She said, "It's all right." 24 Then she saddled the donkey and ordered her servant, "Drive as fast as you can; don't slow down for me unless I say so." 25 She set out and came to the man of God on Mount Karmel. When the man of God saw her in the distance, he said to Geichazi his servant, "Look, here comes that Shunamit. 26 Run now to meet her, and ask her, "Is everything all right with you? with your husband? with the child?" She answered, "Everything is all right." 27 But when she reached the man of God on the hill, she grabbed his feet. Geichazi came up to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone. She is in great distress, but ADONAI has hidden from me what it is, he hasn't told me." 28 Then she said, "Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn't I say not to deceive me?" 29 Then Elisha said to Geichazi, "Get dressed for action, take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, don't greet him; if anyone greets you, don't answer; and lay my staff on the child's face."

30 The mother of the child said, "As ADONAI lives, and as you live, I will not leave you. He got up and followed her. 31 Geichazi went on ahead of them and laid the staff on the child's face, but there was no sound or sign of life. So he went back to Elisha and told him, "The child didn't wake up." 32 When Elisha reached the house, there the child was, dead and laid on the bed. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to ADONAI. 34 Then he got up on the bed and lay on top of the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands. As he stretched himself out on the child, its flesh began to grow warm. 35 Then he went down, walked around in the house awhile, went back up and stretched himself out on the child again. The child sneezed seven times, then opened his eyes. 36 Elisha called Geichazi and said, "Call this Shunamit." So he called her; and when she came in to him, he said, "Pick up your son." 37 She entered, fell at his feet and prostrated herself on the floor. Then she picked up her son and went out.

It seems we read the story in 2 Kings 4 because it is similar to Avraham in how he went out of his way to help the three holy men in Genesis 18 (2 Kings 4:1-13)...And in the promise to the woman of a prophecy of her bearing a son the next year in a seemingly impossible situation (2 Kings 4:16). The whole chapter is about the righteousness of Elisha and his gift of his obedience to YHWH and how it helped others.

Selection from our Brit Chadashah readings:

2 Peter 2: 4 For if Elohim spared not the Messengers that sinned but cast them down to the infernal regions in chains of darkness and delivered them up to be kept to the judgment of torture; 5. And (if Elohim) did not spare the former world but preserved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the wicked, 6. (and) burned up the cities of Sadom and Amorrah and condemned them by an overthrow, making them a demonstration to the wicked who should come after them; 7. and also delivered righteous Lot who was tormented with the filthy conduct of the Torahless;

8. For that upright man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing from day to day, was distressed in his righteous soul by their Torahless deeds; 9. Master YHWH knows how to rescue from afflictions those who fear him, and he will reserve the wicked for the day of judgment to be tormented, 10. and especially them who go after the flesh in the lusts of pollution, and despise government. Daring and boasting without cause they do not quake with awe while they blaspheme.

We, too, are distressed by the Torahlessness of our society. But as these blessed scriptures declare, YHWH knows how to rescue those who fear Him! Our responsibility is not to "be perfect", for we are human and cannot be perfect (there was only one "perfect"!) Instead, our responsibility is to accept YHWH into our hearts and put forth the effort to live according to His desire, and not fall for the debauchery that surrounds us. In another Brit Chadashah reading today we discover we are the descendants of the promise and that the Word has not failed:

Romans 9: 6 Not, however, that the Word of Elohim has actually failed. For all are not Israel who are of Israel. 7. Neither are they all sons because they are of the seed of Awraham: for it was said, In Yitz'chak will your seed be called. 8. That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of Elohim; but the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. 9. For the Word of Promise was this: "At that time will I come, and Sarah will have a son."

FOOTNOTE: Not all Israelites after the flesh (physical birth) are the Israel of Elohim; see Galatians 6:16. (Also check out our study on Galatians IN CONTEXT.) The next two verses affirm this; it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of Elohim, but the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. Therefore, regardless if a person is born Jewish, Israelite or otherwise, the seed of promise are those who enter into the Malchut (Kingdom) of Elohim in Y'shua and permit Torah to be written upon their hearts."

So we, as was Abraham, are rescued from the demise of society by our willingness to obey and follow the Word! This does not mean we are perfect! As we read on in today's Parashah, we learn more of Avraham...his humanity and imperfection. (Read Genesis 20 where Avraham's fear led him to mislead, if not outright lie, again about Sarah being his wife). Yet, when push comes to shove, as we saw in Genesis 22, Avraham was ultimately willing to be 100% obedient to the point that if YHWH asked him to do something unbelievable, it would be Avraham's faith that proved him righteous!

It is important to note that what YHWH was teaching back then is the same message He is teaching us today: Blessings come to those who obey. For Avraham, see Genesis 22:16-18. For us:

Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are they who do His (Master YHWH's) Mitzvot,45 that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. 15. Without (will be) dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers and manslayers and idolaters, and everyone that loves and does falsehood.

Just as Avraham grew in his faith and became the father of nations, and the recipient of the promise, so can we, though our bodies are human, and our minds weak, grow in our faith and in our obedience to YHWH's great mitzvot, and thus, despite our frailties, obtain our place in the Kingdom.

There is so much more that could be said about today's study, and we wholeheartedly urge you to read the cited scriptures through, if you haven't already done so. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to write! Thank you for reading our Torah study notes for this week, and we pray for you a blessed week ahead, that may you ever grow in your knowledge of YHWH. And, as always, please let us know if you ever see anything in our studies that sounds "off the mark"! Nobody has the market cornered on absolute Truth; we are all learning and obeying to the best of our abilities....

The next Parashah reading will be:

Parashah 5: Hayyei-Sarah (Sarah's life) - Genesis 23:1 through 25:18.

Haftarah (Writings and Prophets): 1 Kings 1:1-31.

B'rit Hadasha (New Testament): Matthew 8:19-22; 27:3-10; Luke 9:57-62.

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