Parashah 21: Ki Tissa (When you take)
Exodus 30:11 through 34:35
Parashah 21: Ki Tissa (When you take) - Exodus 30:11 through 34:35.
Haftarah (Writings and Prophets): 1 Kings 18:1-39.
B'rit Hadashah (New Testament): Luke 11:14-20; Acts 7:35 - 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18.
Tanach Scriptures are from Stern's Complete Jewish Bible; B'rit Chadash Scriptures from the Aramaic English New Testament.
Welcome "newbies" and "oldies!" As you all know, 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: Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, transliterated into English as YHWH, and most likely pronounced "Yah-way" (see Exodus 3:13-15). His Son's Name is Y'shua (most likely pronounced "Ye-shoo-ah"). Enjoy this week's Torah portion!
This parashah is a tear jerker, beginning with the first powerful paragraph! As is obvious throughout the Torah, all YHWH ever asked of His People was obedience and, in Exodus 30:11-16, He reiterates the importance of obedience and reminds us that our lives do NOT belong to us but, rather, to Him who made us. Belonging to YHWH means constantly atoning and repenting for our sins. Take a careful look at this entire passage:
Exodus 30: 11 ADONAI said to Moshe, 12 "When you take a census of the people of Isra'el and register them, each, upon registration, is to pay a ransom for his life to ADONAI, to avoid any breakout of plague among them during the time of the census. 13 Everyone subject to the census is to pay as an offering to ADONAI half a shekel [one-fifth of an ounce of silver]- by the standard of the sanctuary shekel (a shekel equals twenty gerahs). 14 Everyone over twenty years of age who is subject to the census is to give this offering to ADONAI - 15 the rich is not to give more or the poor less than the half-shekel when giving ADONAI's offering to atone for your lives. 16 You are to take the atonement money from the people of Isra'el and use it for the service in the tent of meeting, so that it will be a reminder of the people of Isra'el before ADONAI to atone for your lives."
Notice in the above that YHWH is very fair; He says we are accountable beginning at 20 years of age, to "pay a ransom" for our lives. In other words, living for Him requires ACTION and OBEDIENCE. He treats us all equally, rich or poor. Back then, everyone was to pay half a shekel. (Yes, today Yeshua has paid our ransom, but that in no way means we are no longer accountable or don't have to act responsibly in the conduct of our lives for YHWH! We are still required to do something for Him: Keep His Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts and whatever else we still can keep of the Torah, His original Divine Instructions for Righteousness.)
Moving on, in Exodus 30:17-21 we see how adamant YHWH is about the role of His Priests, as He instructs them on the importance of cleanliness before Him:
Exodus 30: 17 ADONAI said to Moshe, 18 "You are to make a basin of bronze, with a base of bronze, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aharon and his sons will wash their hands and feet there 20 when they enter the tent of meeting - they are to wash with water, so that they won't die. Also when they approach the altar to minister by burning an offering for ADONAI, 21 they are to wash their hands and feet, so that they won't die. This is to be a perpetual law for them through all their generations."
In Chapter 31 we are reminded that YHWH chooses people to work for Him, including craftsmen of all sorts whom He endows with the capabilities to produce whatever is required of them. The ONLY requirement was that they accepted Him as God!
Now please pay close attention to this: In this particular parashah alone we see the importance He places on His Shabbats!
Exodus 31: 12 ADONAI said to Moshe, 13 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'You are to observe my Shabbats; for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am ADONAI, who sets you apart for me.
Who are the people of Israel? ALL WHO BELIEVE in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This includes Gentiles. Same God, same rules, as outlined 4 times in Numbers 15:13-16:
Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"
Please re-read the above in case you missed it: Any Torah-less non-Jew/Hebrew/Israelite who does not yet believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an "alien"/foreigner. However, if they do wish to accept Him, then they are to do exactly as those who are already belong to Him! Halleluyah! This means ALL are equal in His eyes!
Continuing with today's parashah:
Exodus 31: 14 Therefore you are to keep my Shabbat, because it is set apart for you. Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people.
Please note that the Shabbat is SET APART for us. Those who participate in Sunday Sabbath and never bother with the actual Seventh Day Sabbath are NOT set apart for God! They can certainly worship on Sunday, if they want, but His Sabbath is and always was on the SEVENTH DAY, and that is to be our day of REST - set apart for Him!
Exodus 31: 15 On six days work will get done; but the seventh day is Shabbat, for complete rest, set apart for ADONAI. Whoever does any work on the day of Shabbat must be put to death.
Exodus 34: "Six days you will work, but on the seventh day you are to rest - even in plowing time and harvest season you are to rest.
NOTE: Lunar Sabbatarians (the theory that the weekly Shabbat is determined by the New Moon each month, rather than by the continuous counting of seven days) need to pay attention to the above two separate scriptures: Count to seven and you reach the Shabbat; it's got nothing to do with the phases of the moon!
Exodus 31: 16 The people of Isra'el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the people of Isra'el forever; for in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested.'"
Notice, the Shabbat is a perpetual covenant! "Forever" and "perpetual" cannot be argued with. Note again YHWH's Shabbat is a SIGN! Why can people not get this? Christians have sent death threats to The Refiner's Fire over this issue! "Jesus rose on a Sunday and that's why we celebrate His Sabbath on Sunday." Well, where is the scripture to support that either Jesus or His Father ever said the Seventh Day was to be changed to the first day? Yeshua was our Final SIN Sacrifice, not someone who came to change the Sabbath or abolish His own original Divine Instructions in Righteousness.
Exodus 31: 18 When he had finished speaking with Moshe on Mount Sinai, ADONAI gave him the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Above, Moshe receives the Ten Commandments that were cut in stone and written by the Finger of YHWH - which he (Moshe) promptly drops and breaks in a moment of rage when he descends the mountain and sees the paganistic idolatry going on below (See Exodus 32).
You would think that after Israel has personally witnessed YHWH's deliverance of them from Egypt's Pharoah, after seeing YHWH part the Red Sea so they could cross over onto dry land, and after He was supernaturally feeding them manna, etc., they would know better than to forge a golden calf! You'd definitely think Aaron, the High Priest would know better....
But what happened? While Moshe was receiving the Ten Commandments, the community was down below, making and worshiping a "golden calf." What's absolutely mind-boggling is that YHWH never chastised or killed Aaron, after Aaron made excuses for his own ungodly behavior (Ex. 32:22-24)!
Aaron blaming the people for causing him to stumble reminds us of another person who attempted to place blame on someone other than himself: Adam! Remember, Adam said, "The woman you gave to be with me - she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12) Typical human nature, isn't it?
Note, however, in Exodus 32:33, ADONAI answered Moshe, "Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book." This is reiterated in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 20: 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21: 27 Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
In other words, we are ALL forgiven through the Blood of the Lamb, but you're still responsible for your own destiny. Once we have the Holy Spirit residing within, we should NOT continue to act in a carnal manner, for there is no Sin Sacrifice for continued, deliberate sinning!
What a contrast to today where most seem to think that they can purposely sin and still be forgiven - such as the many pastors who have "outed themselves as being gay." For instance, people such as Pastor Ted Haggard (and several others) who founded/headed New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, until his affair with a "gay" massage therapist was discovered who have twisted the Word of YHWH in hopes of making it subservient to their own desires.
As an aside about concerning the "slain in the spirit" concept - For those who believe that being "slain in the spirit" means falling over backwards in a faint, here is what the Bible tells us: It's one thing to faint and fall down and to receive visions, etc. But it's quite another to be "bopped in the forehead" by some pastor or "televangelist" and fall backward as if on command! What we must ask ourselves is this: How many times in the Bible have we ever seen ANYONE fall over backwards when in the Presence of God? What we do see in Scripture is people prostrating themselves, falling on their faces - FORWARD, as shown in the following scripture, which is just one example:
Exodus 34: 8 At once Moshe bowed his head to the ground, prostrated himself....
Before we go on, please take a moment to think about what a tremendous honor it was for Moshe to have been chosen to SEE and SPEAK PERSONALLY with our Creator! Take a look at the following and try to imagine yourself there on scene watching the exchange between YHWH and Moshe taking place:
Exodus 33: 17 ADONAI said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." 18 But Moshe said, "I beg you to show me your glory!" 19 He replied, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce the name of ADONAI. Moreover, I show favor to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will. 20 But my face," he continued, "you cannot see, because a human being cannot look at me and remain alive. 21 Here," he said, "is a place near me; stand on the rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you inside a crevice in the rock and cover you with my hand, until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand, and you will see my back, but my face is not to be seen."
And here, our Creator once again pronounces His Name for Moshe, just as He did in Exodus 3:13-15! Please see our article.
Exodus 34: 5 [YHWH, pronounced Yah-way] descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of . 6 passed before him and proclaimed: "YUD-HEH-VAV-HEH!!! Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh  is God, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; 7 showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents' offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations." 8 At once Moshe bowed his head to the ground, prostrated himself 9 and said, "If I have now found favor in your view, Adonai, then please let Adonai go with us, even though they are a stiffnecked people; and pardon our offenses and our sin; and take us as your possession."
Moving on, Exodus 34:12-16 demonstrates what has happened to the Land of Israel and of the "believing" world in that they (and we) have allowed the "people of the land/pagans" to influence how and whom we worship:
Exodus 34: 12 Be careful not to make a covenant with the people living in the land where you are going, so that they won't become a snare within your own borders. 13 Rather, you are to demolish their altars, smash their standing-stones and cut down their sacred poles; 14 because you are not to bow down to any other god; since ADONAI -whose very name is Jealous -is a jealous God. 15 Do not make a covenant with the people living in the land. It will cause you to go astray after their gods and sacrifice to their gods. Then they will invite you to join them in eating their sacrifices, 16 and you will take their daughters as wives for your sons. Their daughters will prostitute themselves to their own gods and make your sons do the same! 17 "Do not cast metal gods for yourselves???.
YHWH constantly warned His People NOT to go anywhere near the customs of the pagans ... and just look around you today at what we have in the way of the myriad "religions"....Ask yourself which ones truly adhere to YHWH and His Holy Commands!
Both today's Haftarah and Brit Chadashah readings echo how YHWH was constantly reaching out to His people. If you haven't done so, we urge you to do so right now.
1 Kings 18: 1 A long time passed. Then, in the third year, the word of ADONAI came to Eliyahu: "Go, present yourself to Ach'av, and I will send rain down on the land." 2 When Eliyahu went to present himself to Ach'av, the famine in Shomron had become severe. 3 Ach'av called 'Ovadyah, who was in charge of the palace. Now 'Ovadyah greatly revered ADONAI; 4 for example, when Izevel was murdering ADONAI's prophets, 'Ovadyah took a hundred prophets, hid them in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 5 Ach'av said to 'Ovadyah, "Go throughout the land, and check all the springs and vadis; maybe we can find grass somewhere, so that we can keep the horses and mules alive and not lose all the animals." 6 So they divided between them the territory to be visited; Ach'av went one way by himself, and 'Ovadyah went another way by himself. 7 'Ovadyah was on the road when suddenly Eliyahu encountered him. 'Ovadyah recognized him, fell on his face and said, "Is it really you, my lord Eliyahu?" 8 He answered, "Yes, it is I; go, tell your master, 'Eliyahu is here.'" 9 'Ovadyah replied, "How have I sinned, that you would hand your servant over to Ach'av to kill me?
10 As ADONAI your God lives, there can't be a single nation or kingdom where my master hasn't sent to search you out; and in each kingdom or nation where they said, 'He isn't here,' he made them take an oath that they hadn't found you. 11 Now you say, 'Go tell your master, "Eliyahu is here."' 12 But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of ADONAI will carry you off to I don't know where; so that when I come and tell Ach'av, and he can't find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have revered ADONAI from my youth - 13 wasn't my lord told what I did when Izevel killed ADONAI's prophets, how I hid a hundred of ADONAI's prophets by fifties in caves and supplied their food and water? 14 Now you say, 'Go tell your master, "Look, Eliyahu is here."' Why, he'll kill me!" 15 Eliyahu said, "As ADONAI-Tzva'ot lives, before whom I stand, I will present myself to him today." 16 So 'Ovadyah went, found Ach'av and told him; and Ach'av went to meet Eliyahu. 17 When Ach'av saw Eliyahu, Ach'av said to him, "Is it really you, you troubler of Isra'el?" 18 He answered, "I haven't troubled Isra'el, you have, you and your father's house, by abandoning ADONAI's mitzvot and following the ba'alim.
19 Now order all Isra'el to assemble before me on Mount Karmel, along with the 450 prophets of Ba'al and the 400 prophets of the asherah who eat at Izevel's table." 20 Ach'av sent word to all the people of Isra'el and assembled the prophets together on Mount Karmel. 21 Eliyahu stepped forward before all the people and said, "How long are you going to jump back and forth between two positions? If ADONAI is God, follow him; but if it's Ba'al, follow him!" The people answered him not a word. 22 Then Eliyahu said to the people, "I, I alone, am the only prophet of ADONAI who is left, while Ba'al's prophets number 450. 23 Let them give us two young bulls, and they can choose the bull they want for themselves. Then let them cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire under it. I will prepare the other bull, lay it on the wood and put no fire under it. 24 Then, you, call on the name of your god; and I will call on the name of ADONAI; and the God who answers with fire, let him be God!" All the people answered, "Good idea! Agreed!" 25 Then Eliyahu said to the prophets of Ba'al, "Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare it first; because there are many of you. Then call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it."
26 They took the bull that was given to them, prepared it and called on the name of Ba'al from morning till noon - "Ba'al! Answer us!" But no voice was heard; and no one answered, as they jumped around on the altar they had made. 27 Around noon Eliyahu began ridiculing them: "Shout louder! After all, he's a god, isn't he? Maybe he's daydreaming, or he's on the potty, or he's away on a trip. Maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up." 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and knives, as their custom was, until blood gushed out all over them. 29 By now it was afternoon, and they went on ranting and raving until it was time for the evening offering. But no voice came, no one answered, no one paid any attention. 30 Then Eliyahu said to all the people, "Come here to me." All the people came up to him, as he set about repairing the altar of ADONAI that had been broken down. 31 Eliyahu took twelve stones, in keeping with the number of tribes of the sons of Ya'akov, to whom the word of ADONAI had come, saying, "Your name is to be Isra'el."
32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of ADONAI. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough for half a bushel of grain. 33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull and laid it on the wood. 34 Then he said, "Fill four pots with water, and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." They did it. "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he said, and they did it a third time. 35 By now the water was flowing around the altar, and it had filled the trench. 36 Then, when it came time for offering the evening offering, Eliyahu the prophet approached and said, "ADONAI, God of Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, let it be known today that you are God in Isra'el, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Hear me, ADONAI, hear me, so that this people may know that you, ADONAI, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back to you." 38 Then the fire of ADONAI fell. It consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones and the dust; and it licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "ADONAI is God! ADONAI is God!"
Brit Chadashah reading:
1 Corinthians 10: 1. And, my Brothers, I would have you know, that our fathers were all of them under the cloud, and they all passed through the sea; 2. And they were all immersed by Moshe, in the cloud and in the sea; 3. And they all ate the same spiritual food; 4. And they all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that attended them, and that rock was the Mashiyach. 5. But with a multitude of them, Elohim was not pleased; for they fell in the wilderness. 6. Now these things were an example for us, so that we should not covet after evil things as they coveted.
7. Neither should we serve idols, as some of them served; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 8. Neither let us commit sexual sin, as some of them committed; and there fell in one day twenty and three thousand. 9. Neither let us tempt the Mashiyach, as some of them tempted; and serpents destroyed them. 10. Neither should you complain, as some of them complained; and they perished by the destroyer. 11. All these things which befell them, were for an example to us; and they are written for our instruction, on whom the end of the world has come. 12. Wherefore, let him who thinks he stands beware or else he may fall. 13. No trial comes upon you, but what pertains to men: and Elohim is faithful who will not permit you to be tried beyond your ability, but will make an issue to your trial, that you may be able to sustain it.
2 Corinthians 3: 1. Do we begin again to show you who we are? Or do we need, like others, that letters of recommendation from us should be written to you? Or, that you should write recommendations of us? 2. You are our epistles, written on our hearts and known and read by every man. 3. For you know that you are an epistle of the Mashiyach, ministered by us; not written with ink, but by the Spirit of the Living Elohim; not on tablets of stone, but on the tablets of the heart of flesh. 4. And such confidence we have in the Mashiyach towards Elohim; 5. Not that we are sufficient to think any thing, as of ourselves; but our efficiency is from Elohim: 6. Who has fitted us to be ministers of the Renewed Covenant, not in the letter, but in the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7. Now if the ministration of death was engraved upon stones in writing, and was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look on the face of Moshe on account of the glory upon his face which vanished away; 8. How then will not the ministration of the Spirit be still more glorious? 9. For if there was glory in the ministration of condemnation, how much more will the ministration of righteousness excel in glory? 10. For that which was glorious was as if not glorious in comparison with this which excels in glory. 11. For if that (condemnation) which is abolished was glorious, much more must, that which abides be glorious. 12. Seeing therefore we have this hope, we the more, speak with boldness; 13. And are not like Moshe, who threw a veil over his face that the children of Israel might not behold the termination of that (condemnation) which was abolished.
14. But they were blinded in their understanding because until this day, when the Ancient Covenant is read, the same veil rests upon them; nor is it manifest (to them), that it (condemnation) is abolished by the Mashiyach. 15. And to this day, when Moshe is read, a veil is thrown upon their hearts. 16. But when any of them is turned to Master YHWH, the veil is taken from him. 17. Now Master YHWH Himself is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of Master YHWH is, there is freedom. 18. And we all, with uncovered faces, behold as in a mirror the glory of Master YHWH; and are transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, as by Master YHWH the Spirit.
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 22: Vayak'hel (He assembled) -Exodus 35:1 through 38:2.
Haftarah (Writings and Prophets): 1 Kings 7:40-50.
B'rit Hadasha (New Testament): 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Hebrews 9:1-14; Revelation 11:1-13.
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