Yahowah’s relationship with Abram began with these words: “And (wa) Yahowah ( ) said (‘amar – called and communicated, asked and proposed) to (’el) ‘Abram (‘Abram – from ‘ab – father, and ruwm – to rise up and to be held in high esteem): ‘It is my request and desire that of your own volition you will literally walk away and genuinely come out of (halak min – I would like you to choose of your own freewill to actually proceed away from so as to separate from and literally come out of) your country (‘atah ‘erets – your land, place, and material realm; the land of Babylon and the realm of confusion and corruption), away from (min) your relatives (‘atah moledeth – your kin and family, your birthplace and origins), and away from (min) your father’s (‘ab) house (beyth – home and household), to God’s (‘el – into the Mighty One’s) realm (‘erets – land and place) which as a result of the relationship (‘asher – as a blessing) I will show you and provide (ra’ah – I will allow you to see, to inspect, to consider, and find delight in).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:1) To be adopted into God’s family, we must be willing to separate ourselves from human entanglements.
Here we find that ‘amar was scribed in the qal stem, telling us to interpret this request literally, and in the imperfect waw consecutive, which denotes the closest thing that Hebrew has to “past tense.” Therefore, this statement is a precondition or prerequisite for what follows. Furthermore, the imperfect aspect of this conjunction reveals that God’s proposal will have unfolding consequences over time if it is accepted, which in the consecutive form will influence Abram.
Further contributing to our understanding, the verbal clause, “halak min – walk away from,” was also written in the qal stem thereby requiring a literal interpretation. Equally revealing, it was scribed in the imperative mood, which conveys a command or exhortation which is subject to volition. In English, the imperative is a request which is subject to freewill. Therefore, Yahowah was encouraging Abram, and through him us, to choose to walk away from home and country to be with Him.
The imperative mood may be the most important and least understood aspect of Hebrew grammar. It is called “the mood of volition” and thus is always subject to freewill. It is therefore a request.
More than this, however, the imperative serves as an expression of what is possible, differentiating it from the current condition. So here God is saying that He recognizes that Abram is currently mired in Babel, which is symbolic of the corruption and confusion of human political and religious schemes. But also that it is possible for him to walk away from Babylon’s ill effects should he choose to do so.
And yet God is not commanding us to obey His order to come out of Babylon. He is simply asking us, encouraging us, recommending to us, that we choose to distance ourselves from all forms of human corruption. And He wants us to know that, while He realizes that we are in a horrible mess, we can extricate ourselves from it. Religion is a deceitful and destructive trap, but it does not have to be deadly or damning so long as we are willing to open our minds, become receptive to Yah’s guidance, and walk away from it.
These things known, when it comes to our participation in the Covenant, there is a very fine line between a request and a requirement. So while this prerequisite is indeed a request which is subject to freewill, if you choose to disregard it, you will be excluded from God’s company. It is impossible to form a relationship with God without first walking away from religion and politics, without coming out of Babylon. God will not allow anyone to drag mankind’s muck into His home.
The same fine line between a request and a requirement exits relative to the seven Mow’ed Miqra’ey which serve as the basis of our salvation. They are invitations from God to meet with Him. So they are requests. And yet should you choose to ignore His invitations, your soul will die, forever ceasing to exist. And so they serve as the terms and conditions, and thus requirements, to eternal life and reconciliation.
Therefore, it would be accurate to render the Covenant’s lone prerequisite, that we “choose to literally walk away from and elect of our own volition to come out of” Babylon, as a request which if not answered will exclude souls from engaging in a relationship with God. And that means that it is a requirement for participation in the Covenant.
Before we consider the full implications of what God was asking Abram to abandon to engage in a relationship with Him, let’s consider what is at stake. There is only one Covenant in the whole of the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms, and thus there is only one way to form a personal relationship with God. And the means to participate in this Covenant is presented in only one place: the Towrah.
As we have already discovered, the Covenant is reaffirmed many times, with Abraham, with Yitschaq, with Ya’aqob, with Yisra’el, and with Yahuwdah. And we have learned that it will be renewed upon Yahowah’s return on the Day of Reconciliations. But there is no mention anywhere of a “New Covenant,” and thus there is no “New Testament.”
Therefore, based upon this testimony, it is impossible to form a relationship with God apart from what He taught us in the opening book of His Towrah. There simply is no other place where, and no other person with whom, Yahowah delineates how to benefit from this ultimate relationship agreement. And that is why throughout the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms we are consistently and repetitively reminded to observe and consider the terms and conditions associated with this Covenant as it is presented in the Towrah.
As we work our way through the directions God gave Abram we will discover that five of the Covenant’s terms and conditions require our consent. The remainder of what is written about the Covenant describes God’s promises to us. And while we will consider all of these, as they are extraordinary, our focus shall be on what is required of us.
“Yahowah communicated with Abram.” God, the source of existence and life, talked with a man named father. Beyond the confirmation that God exists and that He is interested in man, one has to be sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation of what He was going to say, to ask for. We are at the precipice of knowing the answer to the second most important question in the universe. The first has already been answered: does God exist? The second is: what does He want?
Yahowah wanted Abram to leave his world, his place, his people, and his family and come to God’s place, family, and people. We are talking about choice and separation—two of the most important, albeit related, concepts in Scripture. It is the question Yahowah calls on all of us to answer; it is the reason we were created with freewill. Love requires choice. Are you going to cling to and adore the things of man, or are you willing to leave them to be set apart unto God, choosing to become part of His loving family. In whose world do you choose to live?
Yahowah introduced Himself by name. That is significant because it is what one does when they are interested in forming a personal relationship. Abram was on a first name basis with Yahowah, as should we.
This brings up an interesting, albeit controversial, point. Islam claims that Abraham spoke with Allah. Unfortunately for Muslims, that conclusion is in conflict with the evidence.
Abram’s name is based on ‘ab, the first and most important word in the Hebrew lexicon. It means “father.” This name, as is the case with all of Yahowah’s monikers, provides us with a word picture, a metaphor which serves to frame the central issue of this conversation. It’s all about establishing a father-centric family, one that will be raised up to live eternally with God, one which is held in high esteem. The role Yahowah desires most is that of Heavenly Father.
The Covenant is based upon the concepts of father and family, as is the whole of Scripture. In fact, the only reason the universe exists is because of ‘ab—father. Yahowah wants to be our father. He wants to adopt us, care for us, grow with us, commune with us, live with us. The need for a father and mother, and their unique roles in perpetuating, nurturing, protecting, and enjoying life, were designed into human nature so that we would be better able to relate to Yahowah’s purpose.
This is the reason Yahowsha’ suggested that we should begin our conversations with Him by saying: “Our Father, who exists in heaven, set apart is your name ” The whole of Scripture from “In the beginning God created” to “the mercy of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ exist with all,” is about creating a covenant relationship with mankind based upon the structure of a loving family.
This passage also tells us that the covenant was initiated with words. ‘Amar suggests that Abram was talking with Yahowah and that God answered him. This “conversational” aspect of the Covenant will continue with each successive meeting. Further, “walking” with God is the most essential element of the covenant. Yahowah not only wants us upright and moving, He wants us to journey with Him to the Promised Land.
Since God has already presented the first step toward the Covenant, it is incumbent upon us to ascertain precisely what Yahowah was asking Abram to walk away from. And fortunately, the Torah tells us that he was asked to leave: “the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.” (Re’syth / Beginning / Genesis 11:28) This was poetic in a way. The Garden of Eden had been located at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, where their life began. And Ur rose where these waterways discharged into the sea – and thus was where they ceased to exist.
The Hebrew word, min, meaning “out of and away from” is used three times in this verse. That means Yahowah wants His people separated from the realm of deceptive, destructive, desolate, and damning dogmas. To be with Him, we must first come out of moledeth: “the dire circumstances associated with the place we were born.” We, like Abram, must come out of Babylon—the most powerful, political, and religious community on earth.
In Revelation, still speaking of the “Whore of Babylon,” which is a metaphor for man’s demonic politicized religious schemes, Yahowsha’ says: “Come out of her My people so that you do not participate in her sins, and so that you do not receive her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4) Every religion on earth, and most especially Roman Catholicism, is based upon Mystery Babylon. Ur of the Chaldees, the town in which Abram lived, was under Babylon’s dominion. Its people prostrated themselves to Satan in the guise of the sun, moon, and stars. Ba’al, the sun god, was Lord, and Sin, the national lunar deity, was worshiped as divine. Allah wasn’t the first false god to be revered in this part of the world under the symbol of a crescent moon.
But it is worse than that. The notions of controlling people through religion, of bowing down, of worship, of gathering on Sunday, of calling God Lord, of the Madonna and Child, of praying to saints, of infant baptism, of holy water, of crosses, of Lent, of Easter, and of celebrating Christmas, are all direct derivatives of the Babylonian religion Yahowah was calling Abram, and through him, us, from. Today that means we must leave the Church and the religion of Christianity, as they are polluted by this Whore.
The city of Ur became the capital of Sumer five hundred years before this conversation occurred, but now it had been incorporated into Chaldea—a name still used to describe Greater Babylonia – known as “Babel – Confusion” in Scripture. Inclusive of Sumer and Assyria, Babel served as the birthplace of written language, and thus recorded history. The Babylonians and Assyrians were the first international merchants, and they built and deployed the most ruthless militaries to ever march. But most telling of all, it was in Babylon that the counterfeit religious schemes Satan would deploy throughout the ages to undermine Yahowah’s testimony were first conceived. And it was in Ur that the integration of religion and politics was first used as a control mechanism.
Just as civilization flows from one end of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers to the other, from Eden to Ur, God’s marvelously open and meticulously documented conversation with mankind begins in “Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis” and it ends with the Revelation given to Yahowchanan (meaning Yah is Merciful, but corrupted over time to John). And everything in between, from the Exodus to Yahowsha’s testimony, is devoted to encouraging us to walk down the path Yahowah has provided from man’s immoral and oppressive world to the freedom of the perfect Shelter God has created for us.
Recognizing that our Heavenly Father, by way of His Covenant, has been offering to adopt us into His family for nearly four thousand years, all so that we can live with Him, it’s a bit surprising that Revelation concludes with God pleading with humankind to leave Babylon: “Come out of her My people.” What is also surprising is that even though it is obvious that Babylon is used as a metaphor for Satan’s beguiling and immoral religious, political, militaristic, and economic schemes, and that it is inseparable from Roman Catholicism, and associated with Christianity in general; mankind remains oblivious to God’s call—urging us, indeed begging us, to walk away from these damning abominations.
It is also telling that Bible and Babel share the same root, and that they both serve to confuse by inferring that Ba’al is God. It is the most deceitful and damning of counterfeits.
On the positive side, in the Re’syth 12:1 passage, the word Yahowah used for “house,” and indeed the same word which is deployed throughout Scripture, is telling. Beyth (בַּיִת or byth), meaning “home,” and beryth (בְּרִית or bryth), meaning “covenant relationship,” differ only in the addition of an “r.” They are related concepts. The relationship is familial. The covenant is all about building a home based upon marriage, upon father, mother, and children, upon husband and wife. The purpose of the beryth/covenant is for us to live in Yahowah’s beyth/home, adopted into His family.
In Ancient Hebrew, the letter Beth means “house.” The letter Rosh means “head.” The consonant-vowel Yowd is “hand,” representing “power and authority.” And the Taw means “mark.” Thus the beryth Covenant is the home of Yahowah. He is the head of the family. Those who bear His mark, His name, are invited to live there. And we arrive by way of His outstretched hand, His power and authority. We cannot get there on our own.
There is very little consensus among translators on how to render ‘asher. It is one of my favorite Hebrew words because it is the term which motivated me to stop trusting men, and to start relying exclusively on the Spirit and the Word. What I discovered along the way is that by using ‘asher, which denotes relationship, Yahowah was associating Himself with Abram and also with the place He was leading him to. God was saying that the purpose of asking Abram to come out of Babylon was to form a relationship. Being ‘asher/linked to God, connects us to the Promised Land—to eternity in Yahowah’s home. Additionally, ‘asher speaks of “a blessing and of good fortune, even of a favor.”
Our Heavenly Father went on to say: “And (wa) I will choose to genuinely and consistently work through you (‘asah – I want to literally perform what needs to be done with you, I will of My own volition actually and continuously engage with you and consistently act through you (qal imperfect cohortative)) for the purpose of continually increasing and magnifying (la gadowl – to express my desire to consistently distinguish and elevate; from gadal – to empower and lift up, to raise children and help them grow, and do great things with (piel imperfect cohortative)) people from different races and places (gowy – the aggregate human population irrespective of cultural, geographical, or genetic differences).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:2)
God was going to do all the work. Abram would simply be a willing implement. It is the way Yahowah has elected to interact with humankind—even up until this day. He first calls us, introduces Himself, and then makes His request known. We have the option of saying yes or no. We can even negotiate the terms and conditions of the deployment. Then, if we agree to serve, Yahowah accomplishes His mission through us, even in spite of us. The words you are reading now are the product of such an engagement.
There is one glaring exception to Yahowah’s propensity to work through ordinary men. Yahowah, Himself, saved us. It was the one job He did not delegate or even fulfill through a human implement. The Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ was and is the human manifestation of Yah in diminished human form. Yahowsha’ is Yahowah reducing Himself to three dimensions, becoming corporeal, in a desire to facilitate an eternal spiritual relationship.
This statement is normally translated: “And I will make you into a great nation.” But that is not the most accurate rendering of the text. Moreover, it doesn’t describe what actually occurred, and thus obfuscates the purpose of the Covenant.
At issue here is that Abraham fathered Ishmael by way of an Egyptian slave and then Yitzchaq by way of his wife Sarah. Apart from his alleged connection to Islam, Ishmael has been lost to time, and he isn’t therefore the father of any nation. And while Yitzchaq’s son, Ya’aqob, became both Yisra’el and heir to the Covenant, God would never have used gowy in reference to his descendants – as it speaks of people from every place and race, as opposed to one race and place. Further, gowy is singular in the text, excluding the idea that the Covenant’s patriarch fathered multiple nations. And therefore, the notion of making Abram “a great nation” must be rejected.
Turning to the words themselves, we discover that ‘asah, the Hebrew word denoting “work,” was prefixed in the first person singular (I) and was suffixed in the second person singular (you). Since Yahowah is speaking with Abram, God is promising to “work through” him “to do everything which is required to achieve the objective, to accomplish the task, to produce the desired result, and even celebrate what has been accomplished with” Abraham.
Further, while “gowy – people” is usually translated “Gentile,” and may be rendered “nation,” its primary meaning depicts: “people from every race and place on earth.” And that makes “gadowl – to increase and magnify” the operative word in the text—and thus the objective and desired result. Based upon the root gadal, gadowl describes “growth,” which is the residue of the Covenant for both God and for man. By engaging in a relationship with Yahowah, we grow, as does He, becoming more than we would otherwise be bereft of the relationship. Moreover, by way of the Covenant constituted with Abraham, Yahowah has been able “to do great things with people, empowering us, elevating us, and raising us like children” so that we can live in His presence.
God enjoys our company. He loves doing things with us. He adores His growing family. And the whole of Scripture is a testament to ‘asah prefixed and suffixed in this way. Yahowah has chosen to engage with us. He acts through us.
But more than this, ‘asah is the operative verb of the Covenant. To participate in this relationship, we must “respond and engage, acting upon” the terms and conditions of this relationship. A relationship, by definition, is mutual and participatory. It ceases to exist and has no merit when one party does everything and the other fails to respond.
Before we press on to the next verse, it is instructive to recognize that ‘asah was scribed in the qal imperfect cohortative. The qal stem requires us to interpret this statement literally, and see Yahowah’s engagement as actual and genuine. The imperative conjugation speaks of this interaction being continual and consistent, and it reveals that their work together will produce unfolding and ongoing results which will endure throughout time. And lastly, the cohortative serves as an expression of volition which is expressed in the first person. It explains that this is God’s choice, that He, Himself, wants and desires to act through Abram to increase and magnify people from different races and places. It is even permissible to see the cohortative expressing a request, so as to say: “May I work through you?” And this affirms that freewill is at play, that Abram has been given the choice of responding to or rejecting Yahowah’s offer.
The most ironic, and indeed least appreciated, aspect of the Covenant, however, is that God lowers Himself to lift us up—not unlike a loving father getting down on his knees to carefully elevate his child up to his level. Listen: “And I will, of My own volition, consistently kneel down in love, lowering Myself to bless and benefit you (wa barak – I want to bow down, diminishing part of Myself to mercifully and continually favor you (piel imperfect cohortative)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:2)
Since barak is prefixed with in the first person singular pronoun, “I,” and suffixed with the second person singular pronoun, “you,” it is a complete sentence: “I will bless you.”
While barak is simplistically translated “bless” in this context, the primary meaning of the word conveys a vastly more important truth. Barak depicts someone “kneeling down in adoration, diminishing and lowering themselves out of love.” So while religious man is wont to bow down to God, and lift Him up with praise, God is committed to diminishing Himself so that He can elevate the men and women who choose to engage in a relationship with Him. There may not be any truth more profound than this.
And indeed, Yahowsha’ is literally the diminished manifestation of God, Yahowah on His knees. And figuratively, the Ma’aseyah represents God lowering Himself to lift us up. He did this very thing when He fulfilled the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread—His soul descending into She’owl so that our redeemed and reconciled souls might rise up to heaven.
Even though the concept of God bowing down to lift us up is the antithesis of what religions teach, intuitively it is considerably more rational than God wanting man to bow down to Him. Imagine a god so insecure, so needy, he wants beings he created to grovel on their knees and repetitively tell him how wonderful he is. It would be like you and me creating a garden slug, hoping that it would shrivel up in our presence and burp out thoughtless platitudes.
By considering the Hebrew stems, conjugations, and moods, we can learn even more. Barak was written in the piel stem, which expresses the bringing about of a state. The object of the verb’s action, Abram, and thus you and me, experience the effect of the verb’s action, which is to be blessed and favored. And with the piel, the verb’s subject, which is God in this case, is responsible for initiating the process.
Scribed in the imperfect conjugation, Yah’s blessing is continuous because His love is uninterrupted and consistent. This means that His favor provides benefits which unfold throughout eternity.
And once again, we find barak inscribed in the cohortative mood. This tells us that God wants to bless and favor us, and that it was His choice to diminish part of Himself to bow down to us in love and favor us in this way.
Therefore, God is initiating a process whereby He is inviting us to benefit from His love over the whole fabric of time.
But if you were God and created a being in your image for the stated purpose of engaging in a familial relationship with You, wouldn’t You want to diminish some aspect of yourself so that you could better relate to them? Wouldn’t You want to lift them up so that they could get to know You?
I dare say, if you understand and accept this profound reality, most everything Yahowah reveals will make sense to you. The Towrah exists for God to tell us exactly how, why, and when He will do this very thing. This simple statement explains who the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ (the Implement of Yah Doing the Work of Yah to Save) actually is, and why this title and name were chosen. It explains the means Yahowah deployed on Passover and Unleavened Bread to affect this desired result. Everything else we share throughout these volumes will reinforce the fact: Yahowah diminished Himself to bless us.
“And I want to consistently do great things with your (gadal – I have chosen to continually nurture and magnify, desiring to raise your children, I want to see them grow, I want to empower and elevate, magnify and increase by way of your (piel imperfect cohortative)) name (shem – personal and proper designation, reputation and renown), causing it to genuinely exist as (hayah – desiring it to literally be (qal stem denoting a literal interpretation and imperative mood which conveys a request subject to freewill)) a blessed gift (barakah – a blessing and treaty which brings peace between the parties engaged in a relationship, an oath and vow which promotes prosperity, the source of something sought after and the manifestation of the gift which kneels down in adoration).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:2) The Covenant is the “oath which blesses.”
One of the most interesting words in this opening passage is gadowl. It is from gadal, meaning “to nurture and grow, to become important and great, to promote and do powerful and praiseworthy things, to be magnified.” As mortal humans, we are rather limited, very fragile, even weak. Life is short and we are small. Yet time is eternal and the universe is big—as is God. So to live with Him, God magnifies us, making us ever more like Him. It enables us to explore the vastness of His creation.
There are two extraordinarily significant concepts hinted at here. First, the purpose of the covenant relationship is to grow with God. And that means God grows in addition to us. If you think about it, it’s the only rational reason for us to exist.
I realize that this is a very difficult concept for most people to fathom. Most want God to be all-knowing and omnipresent. Yet both of these ideas are inconsistent with Scripture and reason. While God can be most anywhere He wants to be and can know most everything He wants to know, Yahowah specifically tells us that He can no longer see or recall our sins once we are adorned with His Garment of Light. And God cannot exist in the Abyss, the place of separation, by definition.
These things being known, since the purpose of relationships and families is to grow together, it’s evident that God grows with us. If nothing else, our interactions with Him are enjoyable, adding pleasurable experiences to His existence, just as children augment our lives making them better.
The second profound thought is that the purpose of the covenant is to magnify humankind. When we are accepted into Yahowah’s home, He empowers us, increasing our dimensions and energy which in turn makes us more like Him and better able to explore the vastness of the universe.
Continuing to peruse Yahowah’s terminology, barak lies at the heart of the single most misunderstood concept in the Covenant specifically, and in Scripture as a whole. It means “to kneel down.” Barak says that rather than us getting down on our knees to worship God, Yahowah knelt down in love to bless and benefit us. Yahowsha’ is Yahowah on His knees. The message is: God bent down for us so that we could stand with Him. That is the majesty of this story. It’s the purpose for which we were created—the central theme of God’s Word. The moment you grasp the full implication of God bowing down before us so that we could stand with Him, you’ll yada Yahowah.
Let me state this as clearly as words allow: God does not want to be worshiped. He does not want His family to bow down before Him. Barak, kneeling down, is how God enables us to stand. It is the process He uses to bring us into His presence so that He can magnify us. It’s His end of this bargain.
In this initial invitation into the beryth covenant, the association has been defined. God asks us to consider Him as our father, which is why He presents Himself getting down on His knees to hold our hand, to look us in the eyes, and to share comforting words with His children.
Yahowah’s words have already shattered many illusions and we are just beginning. Normally, when referring to Yahuwdym, to the Children of Yisra’el, to the folks we call “Jews,” Yahowah uses ‘am, which means “family” in addition to “people.” Yet in Bare’syth 12:2, He selected gowy, which refers to “Gentiles,” or “people from different races and places,” specially: those who by definition are not “Jews” racially. And while I’ve rendered gowy “people and nations,” this is overly kind. Gowy are often heathen animals, foreigners and pagans. At times it’s not a flattering term.
The reason that this is significant is that the Covenant established with Abram was designed to magnify all people, not just Jews. God has always been concerned about saving lost sheep. And in a more limited sense, Abram would go on to father far more Gowym than Yahuwdym. Ishmael, in particular, is noteworthy because Muhammad claimed him as his forefather and anointed the bad boy patriarch of Islam.
The consequence of living outside the family of Yahowah is hinted at within the etymological roots of the term. Gowy is the base of gewya, meaning “dead body, carcass, and corpse.” Relatively few of Abram’s descendants would be magnified. And before the covenant, outside the covenant, they were and are all walking dead.
Before we move on to God’s next statement, there is more than meets the eye. We already know that Abram is a compound of “‘ab – father” and “ruwm – uplifts.” So it is designed to describe the role our Heavenly Father plays in lifting us up so that we can live with Him. But as a result of being renamed Abraham, the Covenant’s initial beneficiary became the “raham – loving, compassionate, and merciful” “’ab – father” who “hamown – enriches us.” His name became a more complete metaphor for our Heavenly Father’s “love and mercy,” delineating the very attributes which prompted Him to raise us as His children, enhancing every aspect of our lives in the process. Abram, who became Abraham, was a beneficiary of these things, and through this Covenant, so are we.
While Abraham’s name was made great, in the sense of becoming well known, that aspect of this promise was insignificant to God and to this man. But unfortunately, as a direct legacy of misinterpreting the discussion, clerics have promoted the myth that greatness was obtained because there are three “Abrahamic religions.” And yet, based upon this testimony, the participants in this conversation, Abram, Sarah, and Yahowah, never once mentioned a religion, much less three. They formed a relationship—nothing more, nothing less.
Abram served as an example and as a conduit for us to follow. It is what God did through him, not what he did or believed that became the basis of this “blessing.” Abram came to embody the purpose and promise of God – and was so named. He served as the living metaphor of the Covenant. Abraham represented in a very tangible way: Yahowah, of our Loving, Merciful and Forgiving Father serving and enriching His children.
The next verse is among many which are poorly translated. In it, qalal and ‘arar are both rendered “curse” in all English bible translations. By so doing, the message is lost. That said, the positive portion of the passage is clear and direct: “I will voluntarily kneel down in adoration, blessing (barak – I lovingly choose to diminish Myself to mercifully favor (cohortative form expressing Yahowah’s desire to benefit)) those who adore and favor you (barak – who seek to be blessed by you, who seek your favor and mercy).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:3)
This is Yahowah’s promise, His vow, His plan of salvation. Those who adore the Covenant made with Abram, those who accept Yahowah as their father, those who love God, will be blessed and adored in return. Over the next 1500 pages, Yahowah will flesh out this message, presenting it to us in every way imaginable, showing us every wondrous facet.
But, it isn’t all good news. There is another option, another choice, and therefore a different consequence. For love to exist, it must exist.
Yet, before we examine the alternative, this confession: this passage is not extant in the Qumran scrolls so I cannot be certain as to whether qalal or ‘arar, represents the choice versus the consequence. So, I’m going to present the passage both ways. At issue is how the pronouns are applied to the verbs.
“And (wa) those who recede from you, slight and diminish you, disdain and despise you, trivialize you, holding you in low esteem (qalal – trifle with you, show no regard for you, and demean you, those who view you with contempt, considering you of little account, superficially viewing you as insignificant (piel stem, telling us that the object suffers the verb’s action and participle form, revealing that those who disdain are despised)), I will invoke a curse upon with the intent to harm (‘arar – vow to injure, bring misfortune upon (qal imperfect, explaining that this result is genuine and that there are unfolding consequences over time)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:3)
This arrangement of the verbs isn’t consistent with the rest of the message we have been considering, so I don’t think it’s accurate. It sounds more like what politicized individuals and religious institutions would want their god to say: “Toy with me and my god will get you.” It is how Muslims respond to Prophet of Doom.
More appropriately, I think the statement reads: “And (wa) I will recede from, slight, and diminish (qalal – I will view as worthless and insignificant, I will trivialize and show no regard for, I will despise and disdain, I will treat with contempt and hold in low esteem, I will nullify, omit, reduce, decrease, diminish, and terminate (piel participle – causing the perpetrators to suffer and reflect the effect of the verb)) those who actually and consistently curse you (‘arar – intentionally invoke harm or injure you; who genuinely and continually threaten, entrap, bind, punish, and oppress you by way of a religious vow (qal imperative)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:3) Those who curse the Covenant and people associated with it, invoking harm upon it and them, will find God receding from them, having no regard for them.
God’s preference is to gadal, “to promote growth, to nourish, to magnify and empower.” Such is the purpose of the Covenant. But for those who reject Yah’s offer, qalal, the inverse of those things, seems entirely appropriate: “to recede from, to slight and disdain” souls who show no regard for His provisions.
From God’s perspective, from the perspective of the Covenant, life is about growing. That which does not grow, dies. Even Yahowah lives to grow and grows to live. It is one of the many reasons He created man and envisioned the Covenant relationship. We are entertaining to our Heavenly Father—a source of great joy and satisfaction, just as our children are to us.
Like most parents, I have grown tremendously through the experiences and discussions I have shared with my sons. The same is true with Yahowah. To think that God cannot grow is to limit Him. Something that does not grow is by definition finite, and thus not infinite. And to miss the connection between growth and all living things is to miss the promise of the Covenant.
The relevant teaching of this verse is hidden beneath the errant translation of qalal in most bibles and by the misidentification of cause and effect. With the prefixed and suffixed pronouns properly applied, and with qalal accurately rendered “recede from, slight, and diminish,” the passage reveals one of the least understood and yet most important concepts in Yahowah’s Word. The consequence of choosing not to value God’s Covenant is to have one’s soul not valued by God.
Yahowah did not say that He was going to “curse” those who trivialized His Covenant or His people. He did not say that He was going to roast all who don’t accept Him as their Merciful Father, and who don’t embrace His Covenant, in hell. He simply said that if you don’t value Him, He won’t value you.
The souls of those who die without accepting Yahowah’s “source of blessings,” without embracing His Covenant’s “gift of the One who kneels down in adoration and promotes life and growth” will be “qalal—“nullified and reduced to nothingness.” It will be as if they were never born. It isn’t that God despises them; it’s that He doesn’t know them. For if God knew those who do not seek Him, who do not return His love, He would be diminished by them. There is nothing more draining nor disheartening than unrequited love, striving to develop a relationship with someone who does not respond.
A comprehensive review of Scripture leads to a surprising conclusion, one at odds with every religion: there are three potential outcomes for human souls, not just Heaven or Hell. God tells us that the souls of those who come to know Him, who understand and accept His Covenant, who observe and rely on His Torah, will live forever in His home as members of His family. The very reason His Torah, Prophets, and Psalms exist is to present the guidance we need to benefit from this wonderful opportunity. And so over the course of this volume, and throughout Yada Yah, I will continue to guide you toward the path God has provided home.
Unfortunately, however, according to God, relatively few people actually come to know, to understand, or to rely upon the Covenant’s terms and conditions. So recognizing that 99.9999% of us will either ignore or reject His gift, Yahowah warns souls who make no choice, those who have little regard for Him, those who dismiss His Covenant, those who disregard His Torah, and those who never leave the fallen state of their birth (who fail to walk away from human traditions, politics, and religions), that they will simply fade into oblivion. When they die, such souls will cease to exist. Their life source and persona will be diminished and dissipated into nothingness.
Since God does not wish this fate on anyone, there are hundreds of passages in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms which address the many delusions and deceptions which lead to the death and destruction of souls. And we find many more condemnations of religion and politics emanating from Yahowsha’s lips as well which engender the same fate. But most Christians read right past these statements, unwilling or unable to reconcile the fact that the “death and destruction of souls” is an entirely different thing than “eternal torment in hell.”
That is not to say that there is no place of perpetual anguish. There is. And one earns this outcome by leading souls away from Yahowah, and away from the Torah and Covenant. Those who lift up and carry forth the teachings of political and religious deception, which lead to destruction, death, and damnation, will suffer the same fate as the demonic spirit they wittingly or unwittingly serve. Many of these people know what Yahowah revealed in His Word, and yet they have chosen not only to act in opposition to it, they have also drawn others away from God in the process. Yahowah told us that doing so would be an unforgivable sin—etching this reality in stone.
God’s teaching regarding these three eventualities is repeated hundreds of times in Scripture, with a variety of passages showing a different aspect of the same reality. So, since you were introduced to this subject in An Introduction to God, it is simply incumbent upon us to be open to what Yahowah has to say about the consequences of these three choices, and to what one must do to deserve one outcome rather than another.
That said, if you are a Christian or a Muslim, I want you to confront an uncomfortable concept. A god who would say, “Love me or I’m going to torture you forever” would be sadistic. The religious notion that every soul goes either to heaven or to hell is either wrong, or the religious portrait of god is wrong.
So personally, I love the contrast and surprise in these verses. The comparison is between gadal, that which “promotes growth, nourishes, magnifies, and empowers,” and qalal, the inverse of those things—the disdain for and diminishment of” people. And in this regard there is a prophetic confirmation we should consider which is relevant to Yahowah’s admonition. Ponder the plight of the nations who disregarded these words and who invoked harm on the Jews. They are the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Phoenicians, the Hittites, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Romans. Only two of these nations exist today and they are powerless and impoverished. Moreover, in the past century, the Chosen People were ravaged by the Germans—the losers of the last two world wars. They are despised by the French and by the Russians—Germany’s victim twice over and the loser of the cold war. And let us not forget the Islamic nations. Fifty-one of the fifty-two most hellish places to live on earth, the least free, least civil, least prosperous, and most violent, are controlled by Islam—a religion born of anti-Semitism. So when Yah makes a promise, He keeps it.
Moving on to the next passage, we find Yahowah, the Father of the Covenant, still speaking to Abram: “And through you (wa ba – by means of and in association with you), the entire (kol) human family (mishpachah – species and kinds of people) of the earth (‘adamah – those who are of the same substance as ‘Adam, the first man created in God’s image with a conscience) will be adored and blessed (barak – they will receive the benefit of Me kneeling down in adoration, diminishing Myself to mercifully favor them).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:3)
The only one who knelt down, adored, and blessed everyone on earth, regardless of race or nation, was Yahowsha’—Yah-Saves. Yahowah was announcing the arrival and mission of the Ma’aseyah.
The most interesting word in this bold promise is mishpachah. It appears some 300 times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, where it is translated “families” ninety-six percent of the time. So why is it then that those same translations fail to see the connection between the “beryth – covenant” and family, especially since beryth is based upon beyth, the Hebrew word for “family.”
Also telling, mishpat, the word Yahowah consistently deploys to describe the “means to resolve disputes” and mishpachah share the same Mem Shin Peh root. The mishpat convey the means to become a member of Yah’s “mishpachah – family.”
When we contemplate the scope of this promise, we come to realize that the only one who knelt down and diminished Himself out of love, and blessed everyone on earth, the entire extended family of man, regardless of race or nation, was Yahowah through Yahowsha’—Yah Saving us. So in this passage, Yahowah was announcing the arrival and mission of the Ma’aseyah—the One who would Do Yahowah’s Work—which is to bless humankind by way of the Covenant. Those who accept this gift will come to enjoy an eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father and become a member of His family.
It is noteworthy to mention that mishpachah speaks of the human family, the entirety of the species Homo sapiens. It is differentiated in this way from the more prevalent ‘am, which is most often used to describe the family of Yisra’el. So this blessing, like the Covenant and Towrah, is for all humankind—not just for one race, “Yahuwdym – Jews,” or one place, “Yisra’el – Israel,” as those who are opposed to the Towrah and its Covenant portend. Everyone who has ever lived has been given the opportunity to receive these benefits.
Upon listening to God’s invitation, Abram left his ancestral homeland, Ur, the ancient capital of Sumer in the realm of the Babylonians and Assyrians. With his wife, father (whom he would leave behind prior to engaging in the Covenant), and nephew, he traveled north along the River Euphrates, eventually leaving the safety of the great waterway to turn west, crossing today’s Syria and entering the most contested place on earth—the Promised Land. The route he took and the places he visited have all been confirmed by archeologists, providing ample evidence for those who care to find it that Yahowah’s Word is grounded and reliable.
“So Abram (‘Abram – from ‘ab – father who ruwm – uplifts) walked (halak – traveled on a path through life) relationally (‘asher – making a connection and association) as (ka – just as and in the manner) Yahowah ( ) had asked him (dabar – had revealed to him conversationally, described using words).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:4)
In the Promised Land, Abram formed a covenant relationship with God and became Abraham. His people would be called Yahuwdym—those who belong to Yah. And thus began the longest running and most important drama in human history.
It all started because Abram accepted Yahowah’s invitation. He listened to God and then engaged. By walking with God, Abram advanced the work and mission of Yahowah. Many souls were added to our Heavenly Father’s eternal family as a direct result of Abram’s willingness to listen to Yahowah’s voice and respond.
The same thing happens today, albeit in a more modest way. In the midst of my secular life, engaged in the modern-day version of Babylon, Yahowah spoke to me, asking if I were willing to expose and condemn Islam, Satan’s most overt religion. God’s voice resonated from within, perhaps emanating from the Spirit who resides within His children. I told Yahowah that was willing so long as He agreed to accomplish the mission with me. I would not walk or work alone, something He did not require of me or of Abram. And like Abram, by being faithful to the calling and by completing the initial request, I was given a promotion. Today I serve God in a far more enjoyable undertaking—that of witnessing to His Word.
This is the proper response to the most wonderful offer ever made. Yahowah wants us to follow His guidance and “halak – walk” with Him by following His “dabar – Word.”
And let’s be clear: walking is the antithesis of bowing down. This Covenant, like all meaningful relationships, is interactive. To benefit from the relationship, you have to engage and participate in it. And that means “walking in the manner Yahowah described in His Word.”
Also keep in mind: walking is upright. Bowing is downcast. That distinction is essential to understanding the nature of this relationship. God did not ask Abram to bow down to Him, but instead walk to Him.
For those evangelical Christians who would say: “salvation is an unearned gift and thus cannot require anything on our part,” I’d encourage you to read these words again. Abram not only did what God asked, there is no salvation apart from the Covenant relationship.
As we shall learn, once he reached the Promised Land, Abram affirmed his covenant relationship with God. In the process, he became Abraham—the Merciful Father who Enriches. He served as a living portrait of our Father in Heaven. Moving forward through time, the patriarch’s people would be called Yahuwdym—those who relate to Yah.
In this regard, the fourth verse goes on to say that Abram was “seventy-five” when came out of the influence of Babylon. It is never too late to serve.
In Abram’s second, of seven meetings with the Creator occurred in the place we call Israel. “Then Yahowah ( ) appeared to (ra’ah ‘el – became visible to and was beheld by) ‘Abram. He said (‘amar – promised), ‘To (la – concerning) your seed (zera’ – offspring and descendants, children and family), I give (natan – I bestow, grant, and devote, I have produced, assigned, and entrusted (qal imperfect) this land (‘erets – territory, country, place, region, and realm).’ So he built (banah – constructed and established) an altar (mizbeh – place for expressing appreciation) there to Yahowah ( ) who had appeared (ra’ah – revealed Himself) to him.” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:7) Yahowah and Abram had a relationship. They were on a first-name basis.
One of the many things God gave to Abraham and his descendants was the strip of land we call Israel. Since He created it, it was His to give. All other claims to this land, and that would include the so-called Palestinians, are without merit. And while I understand that one of Abraham’s sons was Ishmael, Yahowah was most diligent in specifying the heirs to whom the covenant and gifts applied.
In the next statement, we learn that Abram moved to the mountains which served as the “House of God,” a synonym for the Beryth / Covenant. Today, Bethel is just below what has become Jerusalem. Yahowah’s city, “Yaruwshalaim – the Source of Teaching Regarding Reconciliation,” sits among the mountains of Zion (Tsyown – Signpost Along the Way), Olives (Zayth – the Olive’s Brilliant Light), and Moriah (Mowryah – Revere Yah).
“And from (min) there (sam), he [Abram] moved toward (‘ataq – proceeded and advanced forward toward) the eternal (qedem – ancient and everlasting) mountain range (har), toward (la – among and near) the House of God (beyth-‘el – home, family, and household of the Mighty One; transliterated Bethel).
And he stretched out (natah – spread out and extended) His—the House of God’s—tent (beyth-‘el ‘ohel – God’s home and dwelling place, God’s shelter and household) from (min) the water (yam – the Sea) and from (wa min) the antiquity of eternal (qedem) ruin (‘ay – lifelessness and destruction; transliterated Ai).
And there (wa sam) he built (banah – he set up and constructed) an altar (mizbeah) to (la) Yahowah ( ), and he called out, issuing an invitation (qara’ – he declared a summons to encounter and meet, reading aloud a welcome) in (ba) Yahowah’s ( ) personal and proper name (shem).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 12:8)
As you now know, the operative word of the Towrah is “beryth – Covenant,” which is based upon “beyth – family and home.” And that leads us to several relevant conclusions. The “relationship” Yahowah wants to establish with us is “family oriented.” He wants to be our Father, and He wants us to thrive and grow in His home as His children.
This thereby precludes the notion of religious worship. No sane father wants his children to bow down and venerate him. What’s more, a home is a “shelter.” It is a place a family is “protected,” kept safe and secure. Such is the very essence of the “Covenant,” which is at its heart the “Beyth’el – House of God.”
While we are living in the material realm, God wants us to pitch our tent next to His. He wants nothing more than for us to campout together—now and forever. That is why Sukah, which depicts “camping out,” represents the culmination of the seven “Miqra’ey – Called-Out Assembly Meetings.” And consistent with camping, God’s version of fun is spending time together, telling stories, sharing ideas, exploring the world around us, and reveling in each other’s company. We’ll break bread together, sip some good wine (He’s been known to make it), enjoy the warmth and light of a roaring fire, and ponder the majesty of life and the universe.
Yahowah’s Miqra’ of Sukah, meaning “Shelters” but most often rendered “Tabernacles,” is based exclusively upon this premise. It is a celebratory feast in which God and man come together and campout for one-thousand years beginning on the Sabbath of Shelters in 2033—6000 years after the expulsion of Adam from the Garden of Eden.
The “‘ohel mow’ed – Sheltered Meeting Place” is the name Yahowah chose for His Tabernacle during the Exodus. ‘Ohel is from ‘ahal, meaning “to be clear, to shine, and to reflect light.” God’s children reflect His light, and become a beacon of clarity in a confused and dark world.
Incidentally, if Abram had lived under the dominion of rabbis in the first century CE, during the time when Yahowsha’ arrived at this same place, he would have been put to death for speaking Yahowah’s name. By the first century, men had rejected His Covenant relationship in favor of a stifling religion. And while these self-aggrandizing clerics no longer have the power to kill people for violating their religious edicts, the Roman Catholic Church has also officially banned the use of Yahowah’s name. And since they proclaim Satan’s “Ba’al – Lord” title ad nauseum, it leaves little doubt who they serve.
While I could have taken you directly to the formation of the Covenant, and simply reported the five things Yahowah asks of us in advance of adopting us into His family, I would have failed you as a guide had I done so. You would have missed the foundation upon which this relationship is formed.
Therefore, let’s stay the course en route to God’s succinct listing of Covenant codicils. And that keeps our attention focused upon the third meeting between Yahowah and Abram. Not surprisingly, it also began with a conversation. The man who had shared words with God, and who had walked with God, had proven himself worthy of continuing to be God’s friend and companion.
The third meeting between Yahowah and Abram also began with a conversation. The man who had shared words with God, and who had walked with God, had proven himself worthy of continuing to serve as Yahowah’s implement. So after the patriarch’s successful journey from Ur to Haran and then to the Promised Land, after his visit with pharaoh in Egypt, after his return to Canaan and separation from Lot, after his rescue of Lot from Chedorlaomer, and after Melchizedek’s blessing, we hear:
“After (‘achar – following and pertaining to) these (‘el-leh) conversations (dabarym – communications), the Word (dabar) of Yahowah ( ) came to exist as (hayah – it [the Word] was, is, and will be (scribed in the third person masculine singular (He, addressing Yahowsha’ as the Word) and in the qal perfect, telling us that the Word of Yahowah is literal and complete) God unto (‘el) ‘Abram (‘abram – the father who uplifts) in the form of (ba ha) a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation which could be seen and experienced (machazeh – as a personal revelation of enlightening communication which can be beheld and visualized; as a window or aperture constructed for the purpose of flooding an area with light) to say (la ‘amar – for the purpose of promising and answering, claiming and avowing): ‘Do not be awed (‘al yare’ – do not be frightened or intimidated), ‘Abram. I am (‘anky) a defender and shield, a protective covering (magen – surrounding you, shielding and delivering you from harm; from ganan, to defend and protect by surrounding and covering) for you (la – on your behalf; written in the second person (you), feminine (and thus referring to the Ruwach Qodesh who represents the maternal aspect of God’s revelation)), your exceedingly (ma’od – your most ultimately empowering, energizing, facilitating, abundant, and) great (rabah – increasing and uplifting, making you more than you currently are, multiplicitous) reward (sakar – payment for passage, transit fee paid by a servant or shepherd, by a generous father and reliable doorkeeper).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:1)
Yahowsha’ is the living embodiment of the Torah. And as such, it was Yahowsha’ who visited Abram on this occasion. So by saying that “the Word of Yahowah came to exist as God on behalf of Abram in the form of a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation,” we are not only being introduced to the Ma’aseyah, the diminished corporeal representation of Yahowah, His very nature is being revealed before our very eyes. And few things could be as relevant considering the context. He is on a mission from God, here to facilitate our participation in the Covenant. Yahowah is always precise in His wording, and never more so than when His Word represents Him and His ambition.
Since there is so much here to learn, let’s dissect this passage word by word, beginning with the word for “word,” dabar (or in the plural, dabarym) Of the 2,500 times it is found in the Covenant Scriptures, it is used as a noun (usually rendered: “word”) 1,400 times. It is presented as a verb (describing someone “communicating through the spoken or written word”) 1,100 times. More amazing than this frequency is the diversity: there are more than 120 different English words required to properly convey the full wealth of dabar’s meanings. Some of these connotations are synonyms, but many are not. The only common denominator among them is that every English substitute conveys a sense of “communication.” And that is because listening to God and then responding to Him is the means we are required to use to engage in the Covenant.
The “dabar – Word” of Yahowah is principally found in the Towrah—the book responsible for introducing and describing the Covenant. But beyond this, God’s “towrah – teaching” permeates every book He inspired, including the Prophets and Psalms. To this, we can add the recorded testimony of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha, because Yahowah promised that He would put His words in His mouth, saying that Yahowsha’ would be the living manifestation of His “dabar – Word.” Affirming this, Yahowsha’ cited, paraphrased, amplified, extrapolated upon, explained, fulfilled, and enabled the Towrah with His every breath and deed.
Unfortunately however, with the Greek manuscripts, unlike the Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, we have to be very careful. As we have come to learn, Hebrew, especially with its timeless tenses, descriptive conjugations, relational stems, and volitional moods reflects Yahowah’s nature perfectly. Every letter of every word paints a picture. That is not, however, the case with Greek. It does not adequately reflect Yahowah’s nature or the Covenant’s purpose. And as is the case with English, a great many Greek words emerged from a pagan milieu.
And that is why Yahowah’s language of revelation is Hebrew. It alone is the eternal language of heaven. And while Yahowsha’ constantly quoted the Hebrew Scriptures, and while He often elaborated on them in Aramaic, a language very similar to Hebrew, in the “Christian New Testament,” Yahowsha’s words and Yahowah’s Word were translated into Greek—automatically making them less reliable because something is always lost in the translation.
So then the second issue with the “Christian New Testament” is that Yahowsha’s testimony is found only in Mattanyah (meaning “Yah’s Gift,” but known as Matthew), Marcus, Lukas (which was heavily tainted by Pauline Doctrine), Yahowchanan (meaning “Yah is Merciful,” but known as John), and the Revelation to Yahowchanan (Revelations). Therefore, when referring to the “Word of God,” we must exclude all other Greek texts from consideration. And along these lines, Yahowchanan’s, Shim’own’s (Peter’s), and Ya’aqob’s (James’) letters seldom quote Yahowsha’, and Sha’uwl’s (Paul’s) epistles not only never quote Yahowsha’, they consistently undermine and contradict Yahowah’s dabar.
Third, the Greek eyewitness accounts have been very poorly preserved. The oldest first- through third-century codices differ substantially among themselves, and overwhelmingly from manuscripts scribed after the formation of Roman Catholicism in the fourth century. Moreover, there is considerable and undeniable evidence of religious tampering with the text. As a result, even if we could overcome the language differences and come out unscathed, the text of the Christian New Testament is not even remotely reliable.
And this means that if you want the truth, if you want to turn to testimony you can rely upon, if you want to know the “Word of Yahowah,” then observe the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Apart from occasionally considering Yahowsha’s explanation of them, that is the only place you can turn for irrefutable evidence regarding the Covenant – the single most important opportunity ever afforded humankind. Disregard everything else—especially Pauline Doctrine, Rabbinical Oral Tradition, the Roman Catholic Church Cannon, the Qur’an, and all religious doctrine.
Moving on to the second, third, and fourth words in this passage (names not withstanding), we are told: “the Word of Yahowah came to exist with (hayah ‘el – He was, is, and will be God unto) ‘Abram in the form of a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation which could be seen and experienced (machazeh – as a personal revelation of enlightening communication which can be beheld and visualized; as a window or aperture constructed for the purpose of flooding an area with light).”
Here, the deployment of hayah (which serves as the basis of Yahowah’s name) and ‘el (which is God’s title) in association with dabar, and now with machezeh, indelibly, irrevocably, unequivocally, and ineradicably associates the “Word of Yahowah” with the “visible manifestation” of God, who came to exist, who could be seen and experienced. As such, the Word of Yahowah and the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ have been linked as have the Torah with the Covenant.
Therefore, this entire conversation, and specifically this segment of this passage, is in conflict with the First Principle of Pharisaic Judaism (the surviving variation of the religion practiced today). Since Yahowah has chosen to reveal His name in association with His Covenant relationship, it changes the Rabbinic, and less desirable “know the existence of the Creator,” to the vastly preferable: “know Yahowah.”
This is also in discord with the Second Principle of Rabbinic/Pharisaic Judaism, revealing that the “unity of God” does not prevent God from manifesting an aspect of Himself in the process of developing a relationship with mankind.
It destroys the Third Principle of Rabbinic/Pharisaic Judaism, which is “the denial of physicality in connection with God,” because machezeh speaks of a corporeal manifestation of God which could be seen and experienced.
It does not, however, annul the Fourth Principle of Judaism: “God existed prior to everything. He is eternal.” So as with all lies and liars, an element of truth is woven into the deception to make delusions more beguiling.
This Torah conversation is the inverse of the Fifth Principle of Pharisaic Judaism, which has “God being blessed by the service of man.” The Rabbis would have man “glorifying Him,” rather than the other way around. Further, while Judaism is correct in saying that “prayer should be directed at God alone,” to talk with Yahowah as Abraham did, you have to know and use His name.
This revelation from the Torah invalidates much of the Sixth and all of the Seventh Principles of Pharisaic Judaism, because it directs attention away from Yahowah to say of “Moses” that “Moses is our teacher.” It is even inaccurate to say of him that “he was the father of all the prophets that were before him and that will be after him.” It isn’t even valid to profess that “all prophets are created beings,” or that “all prophets are perfect with regard to their character traits.” Crediting Moseh (meaning “To Draw Out,” but known as Moses) with the Torah (which is the teaching of Yahowah) is the equivalent of ascribing authorship of “the Bible” to the Gutenberg Press. Further, Adam, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph served as prophetic implements many centuries before Moseh was born. And as the visible manifestation of the Word of Yahowah, Yahowsha’ is greater than Moseh with regard to prophecy. Moreover, His Father, Yahowah, is the Source, and thus the Father of prophecy. Additionally, while Yahowsha’ was perfect, Abraham, Moseh, and Dowd (meaning “Love,” but known as David) were not. And while Abraham, Moseh, and Dowd were created, Yahowsha’ was not.
But that was not the end of the religious carnage. This conversation in the context of the Torah renders the Eighth and Ninth Principles of Judaism senseless. As the Word of Yahowah, the Torah is from Yahowah, not “from heaven,” and it was not “given by Moses, our teacher, peace be unto him,” but instead by Yahowsha’—the visible manifestation of God. Moreover, it was provided in person on Mount Horeb, not in or from heaven. And while “the Torah is complete,” there is no Scriptural justification for an “Oral Torah.” In fact, overwhelming proof against the Talmud exists because Yahowah told us implicitly: “Do not add to the Torah nor subtract from the Torah.”
Yahowah’s discussion with Abraham undermines Maimonides’ Tenth Principle of Rabbinic Judaism, which states that: “God knows man’s actions and thoughts and does not remove His eye from them.” Yahowah only knows those who choose to know Him, ignoring everyone else. Had Abram chosen to reject Yah’s offer, God would have ignored him, just as He had and would all of those who remain immersed in Babylon.
The Eleventh Principle of Pharisaic Judaism says: “God rewards those who do the commandments of the Torah, and punishes those who transgress its admonishments and warnings.” And yet, Yahowah has said that He rewards those who walk away from religion and politics by way of the Covenant. The means to be rewarded, and to be invited to enter His home, is to observe His instructions, very few of which are “commandments.” And He hasn’t threatened to punish mankind, but instead to bless the entire human family. To be “ignored and slighted by God” is not a punishment. Moreover, “punishment” from Yahowah’s perspective is nothing more than eternal separation from Him. And even as such, it is not deployed against those who ignore the Torah, but instead at those who lead others astray from the Towrah by altering its message—as is the case with Rabbinic Judaism.
The Twelfth Principle of Judaism, which states that: “the Messiah has not yet come,” is proven inaccurate by this passage. He walked in the Garden with Adam, and is shown here conversing with Abraham.
The Thirteenth and final Principle of Rabbinic thought codifies the idea that the “dead shall be resurrected,” and then states: “if anyone rejects one of these fundamentals (all but one of which this Torah conversation invalidated), he leaves the nation, becomes a heretic, and must be hated and destroyed, killing him physically and financially.” Playing God, the Rabbis who conceived their own personal Torah, also said that those who acquiesce and who adhere to their every rule, will be spared, effectively giving them control over life and death. They were wrong on all accounts.
But if you are a Christian or Muslim, don’t gloat. This passage was equally destructive of your religion. By associating the “Word of Yahowah” with the “visible manifestation” of God, with the Torah with the Covenant, the foundation of both religions was torn asunder. Further, Christianity and Islam have held sway over their devotees by threatening divine punishment on those who don’t capitulate. God does not do such things.
Opening the window of understanding even farther, we discover that machezeh, which was translated “a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation,” is from chazah. It in turn provides us with an even clearer picture of the purpose and nature of this visit. Chazah means: “to see and to perceive, to look upon, to behold, to experience, and to understand.” By implication, chazah conveys the idea of “providing and revealing a prophetic witness.” Further, the ma prefix serves as an interrogative pronoun, suggesting that we should ponder the personal implications of this visit.
Additionally, machezeh speaks of the “enlightenment provided by a window through which one can view the world from the proper perspective.” It is defined as “a rational communication and a personal and individual discussion.” And that makes this statement: “the Word of Yahowah, He came to exist as God with ‘Abram in the form of a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation which could be seen and experienced (machezeh – as a personal revelation of enlightening communication which can be beheld and visualized; as a window or aperture constructed for the purpose of flooding an area with light), ” among the most insightful ever scribed.
As you now know, it speaks of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. He is “the Word of Yahowah who came to exist with” humankind, serving as “a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation” of Yahowah and His Word “which could be seen and experienced.” God is light and His Word provides a portal through which we can see Yahowah as He actually exists. Yahowah’s Word enlightens us, revealing God’s nature, purpose, and plan.
Moving on to the next part of this stunningly illuminating divine communication, we are confronted with an idea which is as close to the heart of the Covenant as it is opposed to religious indoctrination. Yahowah came: “to say (‘amar – promise and avow): ‘Do not be awed (‘al yare’ – do not be frightened or intimidated), ‘Abram.”
There are many different, and yet extraordinarily similar ways to translate yare’ ‘al—all of which are instructive, providing us with a window through which to properly view the nature of the relationship our Heavenly Father is enabling with His Covenant.
While the Hebrew letters Aleph and Lamed can be vocalized ‘al (אַל), and thus serve to negate yare’, and have been presented and translated as such, there is another option. These same two letters can just as easily be pointed ‘el (אֵל), and convey the divine title, “God.” And from this perspective, the statement reads: “Revere and respect God (yare’ ‘el), ‘Abram.”
And that is because yare’ can be rendered in two distinct ways: “revere” or “fear.” On the positive side, yare’ speaks of “showing profound respect for someone who is awesome, of viewing them as worthy and honorable.” Along these lines, it also means: “to refresh and to revitalize someone while they rest.” However, when the context dictates, the negative side of yare’ can be rendered: “be afraid, be frightened, be distressed, be concerned over a painful or unfavorable circumstance, and be intimidated.”
In this instance, yare’ was scribed in the second person masculine singular, and thus was addressing Abram and what he represents. The qal stem was used to convey a real and actual relationship between Abram and the action of the verb. The imperfect conjugation affirms that the effect of ‘al yare’ will unfold over time and will thus deliver ongoing results. And finally, in the jussive, ‘al yare’ is an expression of volition. That is to say it conveys a wish or desire which may be freely chosen. (Also in the interests of full disclosure, the jussive can be used to express a negative command, and thus could simply be saying “Don’t be afraid.”
So now that we know the linguistic pallet available to us, let’s return to this statement, initially considering the options which do not work in the context of our Heavenly Father forming a personal, family-oriented relationship with Abram which was avowed to “defend” him, “protect” him, “reward” him, and “empower” him. The first of these would be 1) “Fear God (yare’ ‘el).” Or 2) “Show no reverence or respect (‘al yare’).” Both renditions are completely inappropriate in this context. And as such, the religious control mechanism whereby believers are cajoled into “fearing God” so that they can be controlled and fleeced is diametrically opposed to Yahowah’s intentions regarding the Covenant.
Yahowah does not want us to fear Him, to be intimidated by Him, or to believe that some painful fate awaits mankind as a result of Him. It is Yahowah’s desire that we freely, of our own volition, choose to: 1) “yare’ ‘el – Revere God.” 2) “yare’ ‘el – Rest, while God renews.” 3) “yare’ ‘el – View God as awesome, worthy and honorable.” 4) “‘al yare’ – Do not be afraid or frightened,” or 5) “‘al yare’ – Do not be distressed or intimidated.”
This is a loving father’s wish with regard to his children. It is what our Heavenly Father desires with regard to us. It is what the Covenant was created to achieve: “a reverence and respect for God’s honorable nature and awesome gift, which allows Him to renew us while we rest.” It speaks of a God who wants to be approached by His children, who wants to walk and talk with His family, who wants His children to rely on Him for their protection. Simply stated: Yahowah’s Covenant depicts a relaxed, personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. Yah wants us to be at ease around Him. Imagine that.
Delineating two of the Covenant’s most wonderful benefits, Yahowah promises: “I am (‘anky) a defender and shield, a protective covering (magen – I am surrounding you, shielding and delivering you from harm and attack; from ganan, I will defend and protect by surrounding you and providing a covering) for you (la – on your behalf; written in the second person (you), feminine (and thus referring to the Ruwach Qodesh who represents the maternal aspect of God’s revelation)), your exceedingly (ma’od – your most ultimately empowering, energizing, facilitating, abundant, and) great (rabah – increasing and uplifting, making you more than you currently are, multiplicitous) reward (sakar – payment for passage, transit fee paid by a servant or shepherd, by a generous father and reliable doorkeeper).’”
Magen describes “a protective covering,” which is not only provided by God, but is in fact God. Yahowah literally said: “I am a protective covering,” “I am surrounding you to protect you,” and “I am covering you to deliver you from harm.” Magen is based upon gan, which is “a protective enclosure.” It was first used to describe the “Gan – Protective Garden Enclosure” of “’Eden – Great Joy.”
The manifestation of God which both provides this “magen – protective covering” is the “Ruwach Qodesh – the Set-Apart Spirit.” She (which explains the feminine pronoun) represents the Maternal aspects of Yahowah’s nature. She as our Spiritual Mother (Ruwach – Spirit is also a feminine noun) is the source of our spiritual rebirth. The Ruwach Qodesh nurtures us, protects us, enlightens us, empowers us, and lifts us up into the presence of God. Specifically, the Set-Apart Spirit adorns us in a Garment of Light, which is comprised of the very essence of God. And it is this light which obliterates the darkness within us, which cleanses us, and which makes us appear perfect in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. This is the living embodiment of the symbolism associated with the Garden of Eden, with the Tent of the Witness, with Yownah’s (Jonah’s) salvation experience, and with the Called-Out Assemblies of both Reconciliations and Shelters.
Magen depicts the method Yahowah uses to make us “ma’od – exceedingly great, to empower us, and to facilitate abundant life.” It is how He goes about “rabah – lifting us up and making us more than we would otherwise be.”
It should also be noted that the same letters which comprise magen can be vocalized megen, and thereby express: “a favor, a gift which is provided freely as a present.” Salvation is the gift of God. His protection is an unearned favor.
This gift is “sakar—the payment Yahowsha’ offered as a ransom, the recompense He rendered, the fare He paid, the service He provided.” It is why He alone is the Father’s Doorkeeper. The path to paradise goes through Him.
Specifically, sakar tells us that Yahowah stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. He personally “sakar – paid the price for our passage” to His home on Passover and Unleavened Bread. He made an exchange: His soul paid the penalty for our sin so we wouldn’t have to. He “sakar – served us by providing the transit fee” from Babylon to Heaven. Yahowah is our “sakar – Servant and Shepherd, our generous Father and reliable Doorkeeper.”
Working together, our Heavenly Father, Spiritual Mother, and Son, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, facilitate our salvation and provide the means for us to live as God’s children in His home. The Covenant is indeed a “ma’od rabah sakar – exceedingly great reward.”
Demonstrating that it is perfectly appropriate to ask God questions, we read: “And (wa) Abram (‘Abram – the Uplifting Father) said (‘amar), ‘My Foundation (‘edonay – my Upright One who represents the upright pillar of the tabernacle), Yahowah ( ), what (mah) are you giving to me (natan ly)? I walk (halak – journey) childless (‘aryry – without a son or daughter) and the child (ben) who will inherit (meseq) my home and household (beyth – my family), he (huw’) is ‘Ely’ezar (‘Ely’ezar - from ‘ezer, one who helps, ‘el, God) of Dameseq (Dameseq – defined in various places as a fine cloth on the edge of a resting place such as a couch or bed).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:2)
Rather than disrupt this conversation with an analysis of ‘edonay, which speaks of the establishment and enlargement of Yahowah’s Tabernacle and Home, I’m going to table it until the end of this chapter, because the emphasis here is on Abraham struggling to understand just how Yahowah’s Covenant promises would apply to him. You see, he had walked away from Babylon at Yahowah’s request, and was childless, so he did not have a family to share his inheritance. Remarkably in this way, Abram symbolized our Heavenly Father who also wanted children, a “beryth – family” to enjoy His company and share His wealth. This then gives us a glimpse into purpose of the “beryth – Covenant.” It is God’s way of building a home and filling it with children.
The reason we are going into such detail here is that once you come to understand the simple requests God makes of us, and the wonderful benefits He promises in return for our participation in this relationship, and come to understand the seven steps He provided to His home, you will know everything which is required to rely on Him to take you there. Everything else God has to say will serve only to demonstrate that you can trust Him to deliver on these promises.
One of the things which make Abraham an exemplar on how to interact with Yahowah in the Covenant relationship is his frankness. People have been conditioned to refrain from talking with God this openly and honestly. And yet, based upon Yahowah’s response, God expects us to speak candidly with Him, just as we should our fathers.
“‘Abram said (‘amar), ‘Behold (hineh – take note), You have not given me (lo’ natan – you have not granted or provided) seed or offspring (zera’ – a descendant (masculine, singular and absolute)). Look, there is (hineh – take note) no son (ben), no family (beyth), and no heir (yaras) with me (‘ethy).’” (Bare’syth / Beginning / Genesis 15:3) The man whose names, ‘Abram and ‘Abraham, incorporate “‘ab – father” was like Yahowah prior to the Covenant. He had no children, no family, and no heirs.
Speaking to Abram as unambiguously and unceremoniously as Abram had spoken to Him, God replied: “Now pay attention (wa hineh – and behold), the Word (dabar) of Yahowah came to him (‘el) to say (la ‘amar), ‘This individual (zeh – speaking of ‘Ely’ezar), he shall not (lo’) receive your inheritance (yaras – be your heir). On the contrary (‘im), the relational (‘asher – associated) brand and owner (ky – the mark and identity of ownership) shall come forth (yatsa’ – shall be brought out and delivered) from (min) your genitalia (me’ym – organs of procreation). He will be your heir (yaras).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:4)
Many aspects of human nature were conceived to serve as a metaphor for the Covenant. These include men and women leaving their parents, finding someone to love, and coming together in a faithful, monogamous marriage relationship as husband and wife with the intent of conceiving children whom, within the confines of their home, they can nurture, protect, enlighten, and enjoy as they encourage them to grow, stand, walk, and communicate with them in a relaxed, family environment, ultimately inheriting everything the parents have to give. The heir to the Covenant would therefore be conceived in this manner.
The purpose of the Covenant Relationship is to bring God and man together. God wants us to walk with Him, to talk with Him, and to explore the universe together with Him.
“And He took him (yasa’ – He relationally led him (written in the hiphil stem denoting the influence of this relationship)) with Him (‘ethw) to a place which is set apart (chuwts – outside to a place which was an extension of the source). And He said (‘amar), ‘Please (na’ – I am encouraging you to) look at and observe (nabat – to gaze upon, consider, and regard) the heavens (samaym – the spiritual realm where God abides, the universe and stars within it) and accurately relate to (capar – make a written record of) the light of the stars and heavenly power (cowcab – the highest and brightest person and place) if (‘im) you are able to comprehend and understand (yakol – capable of and succeed in recognizing the meaning of this information), to (la) recount, record, and reveal the relationship in writing (capar ‘eth – communicate the corresponding message).’ And (wa) He promised him (‘amar – He declared and answered him), ‘In this manner, here and now, and then (coh – thusly, let Me focus your attention on the comparison I’m revealing) He exists as (yhayah – He literally was, He actually is, and He forever will be (qal stem imperfect conjugation (speaking of a genuine and unfolding relationship throughout time) third person masculine singular: He was, He is, and He will be)) your seed (zera’ – your descendant and offspring, your extended family (masculine singular)).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:5)
One of the Covenant’s most indelible themes is “yasa’ chuwts – being led by God to a place which is set apart.” It is why chuwts is based upon a Hebrew word which means “to sever.” Our Heavenly Father wants us to walk away from our familial, political, and religious affiliations, severing those human ties, and thereby setting ourselves apart from the material world, so that we can be set apart unto Him. It is the symbolism behind circumcision, the enduring symbol of the Covenant. It is the purpose of the “Ruwach – Spirit” who is called: “Qodesh – Set Apart.”
Loving relationships require freewill, the choice to value and love, or to disregard and hate, and all shades in between. Love cannot be dictated, coerced, arranged, or even compelled. And that is why God, Himself, said “na’ – please” to man. Na’ “conveys the desire of the speaker (which is God in this sentence).” Na’ is an “entreaty, an overture, an appeal, a proposal which may be freely chosen, and a request,” but it is not a demand or a command. Na’ is an “exhortation in the form of encouraging advice.” It is “counsel from an advocate.” Na’ is a “recommendation.” In Hebrew, na’ (נָא) is just two letters long, and yet it speaks volumes about the kind of relationship our Heavenly Father is endeavoring to enjoy with us.
Lingering here a moment longer, religions have their god coercing men and women into doing what the divinity and his clerics want. The religious god threatens those who don’t capitulate with hellish tortures, while luring those who submit to his authority with promises of a luxurious stay in heaven. This is not unlike political coercion, where compliant nations are bribed with aid, and where defiant ones face sanctions and military invasions. Yahowah, however, does not bribe us or threaten us. We are free to accept His offer or reject Him and it.
We come to know God by “nabat – looking at and observing” His Towrah – Teaching. It is by “nabat – considering” the universe He has created, and by “nabat – regarding” the spiritual realm where God abides that we come to realize who He is and what He is offering.
While capar may not be the most telling term in the passage (albeit that is what the word actually means), it may be the most important to actually understand. It is very seldom simplistically translated “count,” or even more cerebrally as “quantify and measure.” Those are tertiary meanings derived from the proper vocalization of the word: ceper.
Of the 161 times capar is found in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, it is rendered “scribe or write” 54 times, “tell or recount” 44 times, and “relate and declare” on 34 occasions. And that is because a capar is a “written document.” It represents “communication which has been committed to writing,” a “scroll,” and specifically, “the Towrah.” Based upon ceper (and spelled identically סָפַר / סֵפֶר prior to the influence of the Masoretes), the word means: “to relate and recount on a scroll, book, or written document an official communication,” the purpose of which is “to tell someone something by having it carefully inscribed, accounting for every letter of every word, every jot and tittle in Hebrew, so that the message can be recorded accurately and maintained by scribes throughout the years, and thus be proclaimed to others throughout time.”
The very thing we are being asked to understand is dabar Yahowah – the Word of God as it is capar / ceper – proclaimed and written in the Scroll of the Towrah. That is the source of this discussion, and the lone place where the terms and conditions of the Covenant are made known.
Moving on to the next word, cowcab, sometimes vocalized kowkab, was translated “the light of the stars and heavenly power” in this passage. It speaks of “radiant energy” and “light,” of something which “burns brightly.” It is even defined as “branding, a mark which denotes an association and affiliation.”
It should be noted that cowyah, the word right before cowcab in most Scriptural Hebrew lexicons, is “Yah’s protective covering,” and thus is invocative of the power of God to protect us by covering us with the Set-Apart Spirit. Also relevant, cuwl, the word listed immediately after cowcab, speaks of the work of the Set-Apart Spirit, which is: “to receive, to bear, to sustain, to maintain, to supply, to contain, to support, and to nourish” so that we might “comprehend and thus endure.”
The etymology of coh, or koh, depending upon whether you recognize the Babylonian Keph (k - כֹּ) as being distinguished from the Ceph (c - כ), reveals that it is a particle (a word which denotes relationships) and an adverb (a word which modifies the verb, which is in this case hayah – existence). Its definitions convey the idea of “focusing our attention, here and now, then and there, so as to make a comparison.”
Strong’s Lexicon tells us that koh is actually the pronoun “huw’ – he” prefixed with ka, which means “to resemble and to be similar to.” If this is accurate, then this passage is suggesting that “He,” the promised descendant of Abraham will resemble the “light of the stars” and the “realm of heaven.” So with these clues, it’s not hard to figure out where this is leading.
But should you have missed any of these connections, keep in mind that hayah was written yhahah, with the qal stem and imperfect conjugation which collectively speak of “a literal and ongoing relationship.” And since it was scribed in the third person masculine singular, it reads: “He literally was, He continually is, and He will always be.” Neither Yshma’el (Ishmael) nor Yitzchaq (meaning laughter, but known as Isaac) had been conceived, much less born. So this was not spoken in reference to either of them. Moreover, “zera’ – descendant” was singular, not plural, so this was not invocative of the Children of Yisra’el who would one day be descendants of Abraham.
There is only one who “yhayah – genuinely was, who actually is, and who will always be,” who can be equated to the “cowcab – light of the stars and power of heaven,” who “coh – represents” the “capar – Written Word,” and who is in “samaym – heaven” is the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. He tangibly demonstrated and facilitated the Covenant established with Abraham. That is the “’amar – promise” Yahowah was making. “In this manner, here, now, and then (coh – thusly, let Me focus your attention on the comparison I’m revealing), He exists as (yhayah – He literally was, He actually is, and He forever will be) your seed (zera’ – your descendant).’”
This was the story Yahowah wanted Abram to comprehend and to communicate to us. The Covenant would come alive and the Towrah would become incarnate, both personified in this manner. And this is why Yahowchanan would report that the Ma’aseyah is “the Word made flesh.” It is why Yahowsha’ revealed during the Olivet Discourse that upon His return, He will be “as brilliant as a star.”
Bringing it all together without the clutter of undue amplifications or explanations, Yahowah revealed: “And He took him with Him to a place which is set apart. And He said, ‘Please, look at and observe the heavens and accurately relate to the light of the stars and heavenly power if you are able to comprehend and understand, to recount, record, and reveal the relationship in writing.’ And He promised him, ‘In this manner, here and now, then and there, He exists as your seed, your descendant.’”
For those who observe the Towrah’s Teaching, who closely examine and meticulously scrutinize its Guidance and Directions, as if their life depended upon these Instructions, they will be like Abraham
“And (wa) he completely trusted in and totally relied upon (‘aman ba – he displayed complete and total confidence in (scribed in the hiphil stem and perfect conjugation (indicating that the subject of the verb, Abraham, was expecting the object of the verb, Yahowah, to completely and eternally validate his trust and totally reward his reliance upon))) Yahowah ( ). And so (wa) based upon this thinking and His plan, He credited and accounted Her (chashab – He valued, imputed, regarded, and reckoned Her based upon this consideration (scribed in the imperfect waw consecutive (indicating a completed action) third person masculine singular (He – designating Yahowah) with the third person feminine singular suffix (She – designating the Set-Apart Spirit))) to him (law – toward him (third person, masculine singular suffix)) as righteousness and innocence (tsadaqah – as being right, just, and vindicated (feminine singular absolute)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:6)
Recognizing that ‘aman is masculine and tsadaqah is feminine, there is another way to account for the feminine pronoun associated with chashab other than to directly credit the Ruwach Qodesh, which is the maternal manifestation of Yahowah’s nature. “She” could be addressing our vindication.
As such, this response and resulting reward is actually the result of acting upon the Covenant’s initial requirement. It could therefore be correctly presented:
“And (wa) he completely trusted in and totally relied upon (‘aman ba – he displayed complete and total confidence in) Yahowah ( ), and so (wa) based upon this thinking and His plan, He credited and accounted (chashab – He decided based upon this consideration to impute) innocence and righteousness (tsadaqah – being right, just, and vindicated) to him (law).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:6) And in this way, we learn that our vindication comes by way of trusting and relying upon Yahowah.
We have learned that Abram walked with Yahowah to the place which was set apart. He observed the light emanating from the heavens. He came to comprehend the written word. He made the connection between the Covenant and its fulfillment. And he did what we are encouraged to do: “‘aman ba – he completely trusted in and totally relied upon” Yahowah. As a direct result, right then and there, Yahowah saved him. He declared him “vindicated and innocent.” Enveloped in the Set-Apart Spirit, God was able to impute Her righteousness to him.
Abraham had been a flawed individual, but now he was deemed perfect. He was right with God. This, more than anything else, is the gift of the Covenant—its inheritance. So yes, our salvation is a byproduct of the Covenant relationship.
Please be aware that the verb ‘aman speaks of “trust and reliance,” not “faith or belief.” It is used in reference to things which “can be known, understood, confirmed, and verified as being true and reliable.” It speaks of that which is “established and enduring.”
‘Aman is therefore only possible in the aftermath of knowing and understanding. As a result, there is no ‘aman in absence of observation or consideration. And thus ‘aman, as “that which can be confirmed and verified” is the antithesis of “faith or belief.” They are only applicable when knowing isn’t possible.
So in light of the evidence God has provided, it is reasonable to conclude that Yahowah wants us to know that “belief” has no value, and that “faith” is counterproductive. And that is because they forestall knowing and understanding, and they circumvent verifying and confirming, and thus trusting and relying. Simply stated: ‘aman is the reason Yahowah wants us to observe His Towrah’s Instructions.
As a result of these things, we should not be surprised that chashab, which was translated “based upon this thinking and His plan, He credited and accounted” is equally at home being rendered “to consider” or “to impute.” Trusting is the byproduct of thinking, just as vindication is the result of relying.
Also important, chashab was written in Yahowah’s voice. This verb says that God now regarded Abram as being righteous, even vindicated, not only because of Abraham’s decision to trust and rely upon Him, but because of what He had done for him, as rendering him innocent was part and parcel of God’s plan, His thinking. Moreover, chashab was scribed in the imperfect waw consecutive, telling us that this action of making Abram perfect had already occurred—as in past tense. Therefore, the Towrah was fully functional and completely able to resolve the issues of sin, long before the arrival of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’.
Moseh, who documented this discussion in writing in the Towrah, was inspired to deliberately add all of these Hebrew tenses and pronouns to the text. They should not be ignored. God intended to communicate them so that we would better comprehend His Word. Therefore, it is essential that we come to appreciate the fact that Abram was saved (past tense) by his willingness to accept the terms and conditions of the Covenant and rely upon Yahowah’s provisions delineated therein.
So God responded “And He said to and promised him (‘amar ‘el), ‘I am (‘any) Yahowah ( ) who relationally (‘asher) brought you out (yasa’ – descended to serve, having led you away and delivered you) from (min – and out of) Ur (‘Uwr – a heap of burning stubble, used as a metaphor for judgment) of the Chaldeans (Casdym / Kasdym – a synonym for Babylonia; meaning: cunning sages and religious oracles who pretend to be wise through the promotion of magic, sorcery, dream interpretation, and astrology (see Daniel 1:4 and 2:2)) to give (la natan – to freely offer and bestow as a gift) accordingly (‘eth) this (zo’th) land (‘erets – realm) to possess her as an inheritance (la yaras – to receive her (speaking of the land which is feminine) and take possession of her by way of an ancestral agreement).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:7)
In this context, God is telling us that Abram, who was now considered righteous, and thus in perfect accord with the Towrah, was saved because of what Yahowah, Himself, had done. Contrary to what Paul would later write, Abraham was not saved as a result of his faith. It was God who led him away from the babel of religion and politics.
Further, for the land to be an inheritance worthy of the Covenant promise, it has to represent much more than just a contested, rocky and desolate strip of land sitting at the crossroads of the world—where Europe, Africa, and Asia intersect. And indeed it does. The ‘erets represents living in Yahowah’s presence.
While Chaldea is, and always has been, synonymous with Babylonia, and the Chaldeans are known as the people who ruled over Babylon, by examining the etymology of “’uwr casdym – Ur of the Chaldeans,” we quickly discover why Yahowah chose these terms. He was leading Abram away from the fire of judgment which devours the souls poisoned by religion. This is what the Exodus represents as well, and explains why it is similarly conveyed, showing God leading His children away from “mitsraym – the crucible of Egypt.”
Long before Abram had been led away from this place, Ur had been the capital city of Sumer, the world’s oldest known civilization. It was the birthplace of language, politics, and religion. At the time of this discussion, it was part of Babel, known today as Babylon, the ancient world’s most resolutely religious, economically prosperous, politically ambitious, and militaristically brutal society on the planet. Its rituals and traditions still dominate the trappings and ceremonies of every one of the world’s leading religions. After all, it wasn’t called “Babel – Confusion” for nothing.
Affirming that Yahowah considered the Casdym, transliterated “Chaldeans” to be the political, religious, economic, and military rulers of Babylon, in Ezekiel 12:13, we read: “Babylon is the land of the Casdym.” He went on to reveal that it served as a “snare” comprised of “cunning men, sages, fortunetellers, religious oracles, magicians, sorcerers, interpreters of dreams, and astrologers.” (Daniel 1:4 and 2:2) Moreover, Casdym, like Babylon, is called a “whore” in Ezekiel 23:14.
As I am sure you recall, Yahowah’s first Covenant request was for Abram to leave Babylon. It is the last request He will make of us as well. This admonition is scribed in both Bare’syth and in the Revelation to Yahowchanan. Upon the cusp of His return, God is predicted saying: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” And while Babylon finally succumbs in the waning days of the Tribulation, this means that the legacy of Babylon—its religious, political, academic, militaristic, and economic systems—must still be in vogue today. And so they are; they can still be found in the most popular and powerful religious, political, academic, militaristic, and economic institutions. But more on all of this in a moment.
Since trust requires confirming evidence, Abram looked to God for some verification, just as we should look to His Towrah for answers: “So he said, ‘Yahowah ( ), my foundation and upright one (‘edowny), in what way (ba mah) shall I know (yada’ – am I to be made aware of and understand, recognize, acknowledge, and confirm, have revealed and made known) that indeed (ky), I shall possess it as an inheritance (la yaras – I shall receive her (speaking of the land) and take possession of her by way of an agreement)?” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:8)
Prophecy is proof. Only God has witnessed our future. So only He can accurately report what He has seen before it happens in the ordinary flow of time. By telling us in advance what He has observed in our future, when it happens exactly as He predicted, we should realize that we can trust all of the other things He has promised. In other words, He proves that He is trustworthy and reliable through consistently accurate prophetic affirmations.
But this proof was for us, not for Abram. None of these predictions would be fulfilled within his life. Therefore, these prophecies and their accompanying revelations only benefit those who study them in the Towrah. Moreover, without the Towrah, they cease to be of value to anyone. This in turn makes observing the Towrah essential for those who want to form a relationship with God.
Here is what happened: “He said to him, ‘Obtain a heifer (eglah – adolescent female cow) three (shalowsh – third in a series, and probably meaning three years old), a female goat (‘ez), three years old (shalowsh), a ram (‘ayl – a male sheep or lamb) three years old, a dove (towr) and a young bird (gozal).’ And he obtained them all. He cut them in two (batar – divided them) in the middle (tavek) and he offered both haves (bether – parts and pieces), shouting out (rea’) issuing a summons, inviting a special guest (qara’‘ysh), calling out an invitation with a thunderous voice. The birds were not cut in half.” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:9-10)
There was going to be a feast in his honor, so Abram invited the most important individual in his life: Yahowah. In this listing, the ram, as a sacrifical male lamb, represented the Ma’aseyah and Passover. The dove represented the Set-Apart Spirit. And the gozal was selected to demonstrate the Spirit’s purpose, which is to cover and care for Her young. The only other use of the term was in Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 32:11, where God painted a word picture of His maternal nature.
While cutting the heifer, goat (representative of sin), and ram might seem gruesome to us, the purpose was three-fold. First, God wants us to know that sin and separation are serious, and that they lead to death. Second, the Covenant is all about choice—choosing who you want to associate with. And third, God likes to party. If you are going to have a feast, some animals are going to be sacrificed.
“And when birds of prey descended upon the carcasses, ‘Abram drove them away.” Literally, he “dispersed them by blowing and stirring the air, causing a wind.” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:11) “As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon ‘Abram. And behold, a great (gadolah – powerful and forceful, massively energetic) dreaded (‘emah – terror ridden and fearful) darkness (hasekah – absence of light which causes distress) came down around him.” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:12) I can only assume that Satan paid Abram a visit and tried one last time to seduce him to the dark side.
But, it wasn’t to be, so “He said (‘amar – He affirmed): ‘Abram (‘Abram – Father who Lifts Up), ‘You must know with absolute certainty (yada’ yada’ – it is extremely important that you are keenly aware, fully comprehend, and acknowledge) that indeed (ky) as one making a sojourn (ger – as one living and traveling as a temporary inhabitant (singular, masculine, absolute)), your seed (zera’ – your descendant and offspring (masculine singular)), he will exist (hayah) in (ba) a land (‘erets – country and realm) which is not for them (lo’ lahim). And they shall serve them (‘abad – they shall be reduced to servitude by them). And they will respond and seek resolution (‘anah – they will reply, seeking a response) accordingly in (‘eth) four (‘arba’ – to square) hundred (me’owah) years (sanah – repetitions of a completed cycle which leads to renewal and change).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:13)
In order to tangibly demonstrate Yahowah’s plan of salvation, and for every aspect of the arrangement to be fulfilled on schedule, Abram’s seed would be scattered in a rather inhospitable clime for a while—a long while.
While we are on this subject, you should be aware that during the past twenty years, archeologists have found overwhelming evidence attesting to the fulfillment of this prophecy and to the witness of the Exodus which followed. You will find this evidence toward the end of the “Matsah – Unleavened Bread” chapter.
Emphasis in Hebrew is achieved by repeating a word. In this case, yada’ yada’ means: “it is extremely important that you know, that you are completely aware of, and that you fully comprehend” what God is about to reveal. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to scrutinize every detail of this prophetic proof statement, keeping in mind that it has been shared with us for one specific purpose: to provide evidence we can evaluate to know for certain that Yahowah can be trusted, verifying that His Covenant can be relied upon. Precisely how we are to accomplish this will be shared momentarily.
Moving on, I’m sure that you noticed that this time there was an awkward transition. We begin with the singular, masculine, and absolute “ger – one making a sojourn,” moving to the singular masculine “zera’ – your seed, and then to the third person, masculine, singular “hayah – He will exist,” which all flows comfortably up to the plural transition associated with land “lo’ lahim – which is not for them.” So it was either a glaring grammatical mistake, or in the context of yada’ yada’, God is predicting two distinct yet related things, both of which are important for us to understand. And indeed, He is, one of which is symbolically associated with the single “ger – sojourner,” and the other descriptive of the multitudes who were “’abad – reduced to servitude.” There is a prophetic proof statement inherent in both stories.
The third linguistic clue we will strive to understand is ’anah, rendered here using its primary meaning which is “to answer and respond to a summons, to seek answers and resolution by way of a witness’s testimony.” But as we have already discovered, ‘anah’s secondary meaning conveys an entirely different connotation, one which is also telling in the context of the symbolism of the single sojourner and the “’anah – affliction” He would endure in “’anah – response” to the forced servitude of Abraham’s offspring. You see, ‘anah also means: “to bow down,” and it depicts “humiliation, oppression, mistreatment, and becoming downcast.” It is a word whose tertiary meaning tells us that something very important is being disclosed to us: “be preoccupied with and sufficiently concerned about it to the point that you are constantly thinking about how it pertains to your prosperity or duress.” And so this is what we will do.
Also, before we dig in, there is a fourth clue we will have to consider. In order to tangibly demonstrate His Seven-Step Plan of Salvation, and for every aspect of this plan to be fulfilled on His schedule over the course of seven thousand years, Abram’s offspring would be oppressed and enslaved for precisely: “four (‘arba’ – to square) hundred (me’owah) years (sanah – repetitions of a completed cycle which leads to renewal and change).” The number itself is revealing, forever linking forty—a duration of time equated throughout Scripture as the completion of a period of testing—with centuries, themselves, comprised of pairs of Yowbels (seven-times-seven plus one-year increments of time whereby debts are forgiven and captives are freed). These insights, combined with Yahowah’s consistent and all-encompassing Six-Plus-One Formula (man represented by six, plus God who is one, equating to the perfect Sabbath) emblazoned upon His Seven Called-Out Assemblies (a.k.a. God’s Seven-Step Plan of Salvation) and introduced at the initiation of the Covenant and then again at the initiation of the Exodus, provide us with the framework required to properly date every essential step God has taken and will take to save us.
Using this information, you and I can “yada’ yada’ – fully comprehend everything we need to know” to precisely date the year Adam and Chawah (meaning Life Giver; Eve is the name of a Babylonian Mother Earth goddess) were expelled from the Garden of Eden: 3968 BCE (year 0 Yah). Prior to their expulsion from the protective enclosure and their subsequent separation from God, these two individuals were immortal, and thus time was immaterial. And therefore, the timeline to redeem mankind, to repair the relationship, to make humankind both immortal and perfect again, began on the day these things were torn asunder by a pair of rather poor choices—decisions to believe “babel – corruption” rather than trust and rely upon the Word of Yahowah.
The first major event required to reconcile the relationship, and to reestablish trust, took place precisely forty Yowbel (40 x 50 = 2,000 years) later: in 1968 BCE (year 2000 Yah). It was then we are told that Abraham trusted Yahowah sufficiently that he was willing to follow His instructions, even if it cost him the life of his first born and only legitimate son. And thereby the Covenant with Yahowah was ratified on Mount Mowryah, with God, Himself, providing the sacrificial Lamb, just as He would on Passover forty Yowbel later.
And indeed, the three most important days in human history, as well as in Yahowah’s plan of salvation, were fulfilled on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits in 33 CE (year 4000 Yah) by the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, also on Mount Mowryah. While the relationship with the Children of Yisra’el was not reconciled on this date, the consequence of sin, which is death, and the penalty of sin, which is separation from God, were resolved.
Forty Yowbel hence, in 2033 CE (year 6000 Yah), the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ will return to Mount Mowryah on the Day of Reconciliations (on Yowm Kippurym which begins at sunset on October 2nd) to renew His Covenant by reconciling His relationship with the Children of Yisra’el on the basis of the Towrah.
The Millennial Sabbath, symbolic of the Called-Out Assembly of Shelters, will begin five days later. Yahowah will campout with His creation for one thousand years, bringing us to year 7000 Yah, during which time the entire earth will return to the conditions experienced in the Garden of Eden.
Each of Yahowah’s Seven Called-Out Assemblies have been and will continue to be fulfilled in order, on the precise day, and during Yowbel years, with the enactment of the first four separated from the fulfillment of the final two by exactly forty Yowbel. (I said “final two,” not three, because while we do not know what year the Taruw’ah harvest will occur, we know that it will precede Yah’s fulfillment of Yowm Kippurym and Sukah by at least seven years.)
A few additional thoughts are in order before we move on. First, “creation time” is measured in accordance with the Theory of Relativity, making six days from the perspective of the only Eyewitness at the event, just shy of fifteen billion years looking back from our perspective here on Earth. I proved this point in this volume of Yada Yah, so there is no need to repeat that research here.
Second, the Flood was regional and can be dated, located, explained, and proven. It occurred in Mesopotamia in 2968 BCE (year 1000 Yah) and wiped out all but eight Homo sapiens replete with a “nesamah – conscience,” the faculty used to discriminate between truth and lies, right and wrong, and to thereby make moral, just, and rational decisions. An entire chapter of Yada Yah has already been devoted to this millennial marker.
Third, Yahowah’s First Temple was built by Dowd’s (meaning Love, but known as David’s) son, Solomon, in 968 BCE (year 3000 Yah) on Mount Mowryah. The Second Temple, built on the same foundation, was then destroyed in 70 CE, thirty-seven years after its purpose had been made obsolete.
Fourth, in 1033 CE (year 5000 Yah), the waters under the Temple Mount became poisonous, announcing to the world that the polluted religion which had corrupted the words and sacrifice of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ had become adulterous and unfaithful in accordance with the test outlined in Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 5.
Fifth, Yahowsha’ did not say that no one would ever know the day or hour He was going to return. During the Olivet Discourse, He used the present tense in a conversation with His Disciples to say that none of them were currently aware of the timing of the Taruw’ah Harvest of saved souls. So for all of the thoughtless religious devotees out there who dismiss the thousands of meticulous clues that Yahowah has provided so that we might “yada’ yada’ – know for certain,” my advice is to open your minds and refrain from misquoting portions of mistranslated passages out of their context. And for those who remain uncertain, who would like the apparent conflict resolved between knowing and not knowing, in the volume of Yada Yah devoted to His return, you will find five very compelling and equally valid ways to interpret Yahowsha’s predictions in this regard.
The four hundred year “timeout” Yahowah’s wayward children experienced in Egypt was required because the benefit wrought by Abraham’s seed was to rescue God’s people from human bondage and servitude—the derivative of religious, political, economic, and military oppression.
These things known, let’s turn our attention to the “one making a sojourn (ger – the one living and traveling as a temporary inhabitant),” who, as Abraham’s “seed (zera’ – descendant),” is seen “existing (hayah) in (ba) a land (‘erets – country and realm) which is not for them (lo’ lahym).” This rather peculiar treatment was designed to distinguish Yahowceph (meaning Yahowah Increases by Uniting, but known as Joseph) from the masses which became the Children of Yisra’el. There are so many aspects of Yahowceph’s life which mirror Yahowsha’s, that Yowseph (to use the shorter, more familiar form) serves as a prophetic portrait of the Ma’aseyah.
To fully appreciate these similarities, a brief history is in order. Yowseph’s early ordeals, as well as his triumphant life in Egypt, dominate the final one-third of Bare’syth, beginning with the 37th chapter and continuing through the end of the book with Ya’aqob’s and Yowseph’s deaths (In the Beginning 50). As the story unfolds, God is shown being compassionate towards Rachel (meaning loved and compassionate lamb), responding to her cry by “opening (patah – freeing and releasing) her womb,” enabling her to give birth to Yowseph. He became Ya’aqob’s most beloved son, causing his brothers to be jealous. Their scheme to do away with him led to Yowseph being sold as a slave to a group of Midianite (read Arabian) caravaners en route to Egypt. To hide their crime, the brothers dipped the young boy’s “coat of many colors in lamb’s blood” to fool their father, Ya’aqob (Abraham’s grandson), into thinking that his son had been killed.
At seventeen, Yowseph worked as a slave in the home of the commander of pharaoh’s guard. There, Potiphar’s wife made amorous advances towards him, which he rebuffed, causing her to level false accusations of sexual harassment against him. So Yowseph was sent to prison. Then while in an Egyptian jail, Yowseph befriended two prisoners: the pharaoh’s cupbearer and the royal baker—ultimately predicting their futures by interpreting their dreams.
When the cupbearer was released and returned to duty, he overheard pharaoh complain that no one understood his dream. The servant told the king about the Hebrew prisoner who accurately predicted his release. As a result, Yowseph was then summoned to the palace where he promptly told pharaoh that his vision of seven fat cows coming out of the Nile being eaten by seven lean cows, who would also arise from the river, was an indication that the annual rise of the Nile would bring seven bumper crops followed by seven years where plants would not grow. Impressed, pharaoh appointed Yowseph vizier of Egypt. He married Asenath, the daughter of the High Priest, and had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
As the new defacto leader of what the Egyptians called “the Black Land,” and with foreknowledge of what would occur, Yowseph instituted agrarian reform, whereby the nation’s feudal system was replaced by collectivization, making land and food the property of the state. A central administration was established and grain was both collected and doled out. And as a result of the accuracy of his prediction, and the role he played saving the Egyptian people, Yowseph became exceedingly powerful, ultimately building a palace for his family in Avaris—the future capital of Goshen.
The story ends with Yowseph’s brothers, along with their families and livestock, heading to the Nile Delta as the result of a regional climate-induced famine. While they were allowed to settle in Goshen, Ya’aqob’s other sons did not recognize the brother they had sold into slavery years before. Initially we are told, Yowseph held them accountable for their crime, but ultimately he forgave them, reuniting father and son. Both, however, passed away soon thereafter, but Yowseph’s mummified body, per his instructions, was carried back to the Promised Land during the Exodus.
Before we examine the similarities between Yahowceph and Yahowsha’, it should be noted that virtually every aspect of the Towrah’s account that I have just shared with you, right down to the coat of many colors, the massive agrarian reforms, Egypt’s ensuing rise in prominence, and even the foundations of Yowseph’s home, have been confirmed by archeological digs conducted over the past two decades. For those seeking confirmation of the Towrah’s validity, the evidence is ubiquitous and irrefutable.
The long list of parallels between the lives of Yahowceph and Yahowsha’ begins with recognizing that God intervened personally and assisted in both births (Bare’syth 30:22-24 and Mattanyah 1:18-23). Yowseph was the most beloved son of his father. Both men tended their father’s sheep. (Bare’syth 37:2 and Yahowchanan 10:11-14) Both acted as servants.
Yahowceph and Yahowsha’ went to Egypt in their youth to avoid being killed. (Bare’syth 37:28 and Mattanyah 2:13) Both of their families were called out of Egypt by God. Each resisted very enticing temptations. (Bare’syth 39:8-9 and Mattanyah 4:1-11) These men began their ministries around thirty-years-of-age. (Bare’syth 41:46 and Luke 3:23) They were hated by their kinsmen because they were obviously superior to them. (Bare’syth 37:5-8 and Mattanyah 13:55-57) And, of course, they were filled with the Spirit. (Bare’syth 41:38 and Luke 4:1) Both fed their people. (In the final moments before he was murdered for his devotion to Yahowsha’, Stephen drew this specific comparison between Yowseph and his Savior. His speech is recorded in Acts 7:9-14. The record of Yowseph’s role is memorialized in Bare’syth 41:47.)
The brethren of both men conspired to kill them. And both were sold out for money, each for the price of a slave. (Bare’syth 37:18-19 and Mattanyah 26:3-4) (Bare’syth 37:28 and Mattanyah 26:15) Yowseph was sold to the Egyptians on the advice of his brother, Yahuwdah / Judah. Yahowsha’ was abandoned to the Romans by His disciple, Judas. Yowseph didn’t say a word to his brothers when they sentenced him to a life of slavery, and Yahowsha’ was silent at His trial. As with Yahowceph, Yahowsha’ was rejected by his brethren, and He was convicted of crimes He did not commit on the testimony of false witnesses. Both were imprisoned unjustly. (Bare’syth 39:14-19 and Mattanyah 26:60-62 & 27:12-14, Mark 14:55-59 & 15:3-5) Two other prisoners suffered alongside them. (Bare’syth 40:4-5 and Mattanyah 27:38) In both cases, one prisoner would be condemned while the other would be released and find salvation. This portion of the Ma’aseyah’s parallel account is vividly told in Luke 23:39-43.
Yahowceph forgave his brethren, and reconciled himself to them as did Yahowsha’. (Bare’syth 45:5-14) The Ma’aseyah said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) When Mary announced Yahowsha’s return to His disciples, they didn’t believe her. (Luke 24:11) Likewise, Ya’aqob didn’t believe his sons when they told him that Yowseph was alive: “He was stunned because he did not trust them.” (Bare’syth 45:26) Moseh collected Yowseph’s bones from his tomb and removed them from Egypt, seeing to it that they were brought to the Promised Land, just as Yahowah returned Yahowsha’s soul from the place of separation and brought Him home. (Bare’syth 46:29 and Mark 16:19) Yahowceph was neither God nor Savior. Yet his life reflected the nature of God and was prophetic of the Savior.
Therefore, rather than one prophetic statement, by transitioning from the singular sojourner, to the multitudes, God provided us with three relevant predictions whose fulfillments would serve to validate His promises. Even more telling, Yahowsha’, the singular descendant of Abraham, the one who enabled the Covenant’s blessings, the one who became a temporary inhabitant of our world, explains why the meanings of ‘anah are so divergent.
You see, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ voluntarily suffered the consequences of the violation of the provisions Yahowah had established, and He endured the penalties described therein, so that those of us who actually commit these infractions, but who otherwise heed its relational provisions, wouldn’t have to suffer the same fate. So in a way, Yahowsha’ is Yahowah on His knees, God “’anah – bowing down” and diminishing Himself to serve us. God “’anah – humbled” Himself, not only in the process of taking on human form, but as our servant. We “’anah – mistreated” Him, “’anah – afflicting” Him on Passover. And yet, in spite of what we had done to “’anah – denigrate” Him, He allowed His soul to “’anah – be downcast” into She’owl, separating Himself from God on Unleavened Bread. And yet, all God expects of us is to “’anah – answer and respond to His invitation and summons” to attend His seven Called-Out Assemblies, and to “’anah – seek answers and resolution by way of His witness and testimony.” And that is why ’anah’s tertiary meaning tells us: “to be preoccupied with and sufficiently concerned about ’anah, to the point that we are constantly thinking about how ’anah pertains to our prosperity or duress.”
Continuing His prediction, and returning to the Towrah, Yahowah told Abram: “But also (wa gam) with (‘eth) that Gentile nation (gowy – those people [Egypt]) which (‘asher) reduces them to servitude (‘abad – enslaves them [Abraham’s offspring), I will judge (dyn – I will execute judgment). And afterward (‘ahar), therefore (ken), they shall come out (yasa’ – they shall be led and brought out) with (ba) an intensely important (gadowl – tremendously valuable, very significant, and great) possession (rakuws – property (singular)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:14)
The Egyptians were judged by Yahowah, and they paid a heavy price for oppressing and enslaving God’s Chosen People. As with everything God does, He saw to it that they received what they deserved.
While the Chosen People left Egypt with valuable material possessions, some of which were used in the Temple, their most important possession was the Towrah—the most valuable document in the universe. And of course, forty years later, the descendants of Abraham would inherit the Promised Land—symbolic of living in our Heavenly Father’s home.
Speaking of the Covenant, Abram was symbolically afforded the benefit for which it was designed—a perfect, peaceful, and satisfying relationship with our Heavenly Father. “As for you (wa ‘atah), you shall go to God (bow’ ‘el – you shall pursue God, return to and arrive, being brought near God, enter the very presence of God, so as to be included with and be harvested by God), your Father (‘ab), in (ba) peace, satisfied, safe, and saved (salowm – as a friend and companion, under favorable circumstances, restored, renewed, and rewarded, healthy, content, and prosperous, benefiting from restitution).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:15)
There are two translation notes I’d like to share. First, as we have previously discussed, ‘el can be translated “God” or “to” depending upon how the Hebrew letters are pointed. And in this case, since the verb, bow’, communicates the idea of “going to” the Father, ‘el tells us that he is going to our Heavenly Father. Also, and in a related matter, the Masoretic Text reads “your fathers,” plural, which conflicts with the three previous references to “you,” singular in this sentence, and it is senseless in the context of this discussion and of Abraham’s history. Abram had but one earthly father, and he was not only buried in Haran, Abram was told to leave him. Also per God’s instructions, Abram had left his ancestors, his father’s fathers, in Babylon, never to return. Therefore, while it would have been preferable to validate this correction by referencing the Dead Sea Scrolls, no fragments have been found attesting to the 9th through 16th chapters of Bare’syth / Genesis.
As for the reasons behind this glaring error, one might surmise that the impetus for the rabbinic copyedit is that these religious types have always valued “their fathers, and their fathers’ traditions,” more than they have their Heavenly Father and His Towrah Instructions. Given the choice, they would prefer to be with them, than Him. So they made a modest adjustment to the text to reinforce their ambitions and reinforce their religion.
But that is not the intent of the Covenant. And the beauty of this passage is that the purpose of the Covenant with Yahowah has been further defined. The first beneficiary of this familial relationship returned home. He went to heaven. He entered into God’s presence and was included in his Heavenly Father’s family. Moreover, the relationship they enjoyed was modeled on friendship and companionship. Abraham was restored, renewed, and rewarded. He became healthy, prosperous, and content, fully satisfied with this most favorable of circumstances. He became the living embodiment of shalowm.
This story, which forms the very foundation of Yahowah’s Towrah, and defines His Covenant Relationship with mankind, also serves as God’s promise to the rest of the world as well. It is an open invitation. Respond to Yahowah’s Covenant Agreement as Abram has done, and you too will enjoy these benefits.
At first glance, this next line seems to be in conflict with what we have just read. After all, a mere sentence ago, God promised Abraham that he would bring him to heaven, healthy and happy. But now we read that Abraham will be entombed as an old man. “You shall be buried (qabar – you shall be placed in a sepulcher, tomb, or grave) with (ba) grey hair (sebah – as an elderly man), good, moral, beautiful, and pleasing (towb – agreeable, delightful, and viewed favorably).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:15) Abraham’s consciousness, his “nepesh – soul,” would go to heaven, not his body. It would remain on earth in his tomb.
This is actually a scathing indictment of two of the foundational pillars of Pauline Doctrine, and thus Christianity. The “New Testament’s” false Apostle condemns the flesh as being the source of all evil (in accord with Gnosticism), and yet promises bodily resurrection. But Yahowah has put us on notice that before Abraham’s body was to be buried, he, which means his soul or consciousness, would return to “God, your Father.” Further, the patriarch’s entombed body—his flesh—was called “towb – good,” not bad. It was “viewed favorably,” and described as being “moral, beautiful, pleasing, and agreeable.”
Now, keep in mind that all of this falls under yada’ yada’ – things God wants us to know, to be acquainted with, to consider, and to comprehend in conjunction with His Covenant promises. These are all prophetic proof statements which we can use to ascertain the veracity of God’s Word, and impugn conflicting doctrines. So, just as it is important to understand the terms and benefits of Yah’s Familial Covenant Relationship, it is also important that we clear away the religious muck which confuses our thinking and precludes understanding.
As I initially made my way through this material, I began a comprehensive review of the nature of our existence in heaven and found that there is no indication whatsoever that we will have physical bodies in the spiritual realm. However this presentation of Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s position on bodily resurrection and spiritual rebirth became so extensive, to maintain a sense of continuity regarding the Covenant, I felt compelled to table God’s position on material and spiritual things until a later time. So for now, I’d simply encourage you to recognize that the flesh is “towb – good,” but there is a time when it would become a liability.
Speaking of liabilities, the next line is extremely important, as it helps explain the violence attributed to God in the Covenant Scriptures. Also, be aware, God is still communicating to us under the heading of “yada’ yada’ – be certain to know and completely understand these things.” So now in the context of Abraham’s offspring, the Children of Yisra’el, we read:
“And they shall return (suwb – come back and be restored) here (henah – to this specific place) in the fourth (raby’y – from raba’: to rest, to reflect, and to regenerate, making things square and right) generation of time (dowr – to elevate, to live, and to go home, speaking of lineage and time) because indeed (ky – for the reason that) the distortion, perversity, and depravity (‘aown – wickedness and wrongdoing, mischief and iniquity, liability and guilt) of the ‘Emory (‘emory – those who pontificate evil, immoral soothsayers and wicked wordsmiths, transliterated Amorites; from ‘amar – to speak) is not yet (lo’ ‘ad) fully finished or totally complete (salem).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:16)
By comparing the opening of this passage to the thirteenth verse, we find that Yahowah has quantified a “generation” as being 100 years. That is important because Yahowsha’ says that the generation which witnesses world war, the holocaust, and the return of Jews to Israel will be the same generation which witnesses His return. In that these things occurred in the 1930s and ‘40s, this monumental event cannot be far away.
Understanding the second portion of this passage is essential to knowing why Yahowah endorsed the annihilation of a handful of Amorite towns at the conclusion of the Exodus. By the time these people were killed, they were beyond hope. Their culture had become so perverse and depraved, there was no chance that anyone was going to choose right over wrong, God over the Adversary. These religious societies had been so poisoned with human edicts that individuals living within them no longer even had the capacity to see the truth, much less understand it or embrace it. In this regard, the Amorite culture was very similar to those cultivated by Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Socialist Secular Humanists.
While there is no hint of violence in this passage, Yahowah’s description of the Amorite culture 400 years hence, provides the justification for their annihilation. God recognizes what modern man rejects. Tolerating evil is intolerant of good. Displaying mercy toward the wicked is merciless. Perversity and depravity, wickedness and wrongdoing, which rise above individual guilt to societal liability, are the product of religious and political schemes. These dogmas thrive in the minds and hearts of men and women. To eradicate them, the doctrines must be exposed and condemned and their hosts must be rendered incapable of infecting others.
At issue here is that their ‘awon/depravity reached the point that it was “complete and full.” This “beyond hope” condition would be tested by Abraham himself regarding Sodom, when God said it would be spared if just ten upright people could be found there.
Continuing to focus on the 16th verse, we note that the purpose of the Covenant is to bring God’s children home—for them to leave the world of death, destruction, separation, and human oppression, so that they are free to enter our Heavenly Father’s household and live with Him. To demonstrate this goal tangibly in human history, Abraham’s offspring would be enslaved by man in one of the most religious, political, and militant places on earth—a place called “mitsraym – the crucible.” There they would be forced to work for their mortal salvation. Oppressed by men, they would suffer and die separated from God.
But that would not be the end of the story—only its beginning. Just as Abram had been led out and away from the religious, political, economic, and militant milieu of Babylon, and into a Familial Covenant Relationship with our Heavenly Father, so too would the Children of Yisra’el. Temporarily separated from God, and smothered by men for a “dowr – prescribed period of time,” they would return—they would come “dowr – home.” And yet the evil they would endure in the crucible was not yet in full bloom in the Promised Land, so a long intermission was required. But more on that in a moment.
There are hundreds of places throughout God’s Word where time is quantified. This is one of them. And as with all of these presentations, we can assume either that God’s references are of no material or prophetic consequence and ignore them, or we can appreciate the fact that He shared these insights for a reason and then try to ascertain what that might have been. Virtually every Christian will tell you that, since their bibles say “no one knows the day or the hour,” there is no value even trying to determine the dates God’s Scriptural promises have been or will be fulfilled—or even if those dates are relevant in any way. (Paul, after all, claims that Yah’s Feasts are of no consequence.) So the faithful’s head-in-the-sand approach is indicative of their disdain for the Hebrew Scriptures and their universal ignorance of the Greek text underlying Yahowsha’s testimony. In this case, the Ma’aseyah is translated using oida—in the present tense—to say: “no one is currently aware of the day or hour” of His Taruw’ah Harvest or Yowm Kippurym return, depending upon which question you think He was answering. That means mankind’s collective ignorance of these dates was limited to those who were literate and open minded, with access to Yah’s Word in Yahuwdah (Judea) in 33 CE, at a time when the first four Called-Out Assemblies had not yet been fulfilled precisely on the most important schedule in God’s inventory.
God did not say that we were so stupid that we wouldn’t ever be able to put the pieces together. Although He would have been accurate if He had said that not one in a million would bother to consider the countless clues He has strewn throughout His Word. But to suggest that God provided us with a veritable mountain of prophetic evidence and an equal number of precise fulfillments to affirm that He has a consistent and unchanging plan based on a simple mathematical formula, only to suggest that we are too ignorant and irrational to understand any of this, flies in the face of everything we know about Yahowah’s character and Word.
Since there is no penalty for thinking, for evaluating the evidence we have been given and making prudent connections, be aware that, relative to a dowr, the only place a “lifespan” is defined in Scripture is set at seventy years—in full recognition that some people will live longer and shorter lives. But since dowr speaks more of a generation than a lifespan, we should probably focus our attention on the age differences between parents and their children. During their incarceration in Egypt, the average lifespan of Abraham’s offspring was reduced to less than thirty years, and a generation was constrained to less than twenty. Four times twenty, four times thirty, four times seventy, do not equate to four hundred years, no matter how you crunch the numbers. So, either God can’t add, or He is communicating something else He wants us to consider with raby’y dowr.
The simplest approach to resolve this apparent conflict is to render dowr “a generation of time.” We can then divide the four-hundred year period quantified in the thirteenth verse by four, which thereby equates a “generational period of time” to one hundred years. Then, if we are on our toes, we can compare this insight to a statement Yahowsha’ made in the midst of His Olivet Discourse, in which He said that the “generation” which witnesses world war, the holocaust, worldwide outbreaks of terrorism, global climate change (manifest through increased storms, famine, and pestilence), as well as the return of Jews to Israel, would be the same generation which witnesses His return. In that many of the predicted events were fulfilled in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and recognizing that the remainder are being manifest today, escalating in frequency and severity not unlike birth pangs, this monumental event cannot be more than thirty years away.
But more than this, “raba’ – four” and its derivative, “raby’y – fourth” are being reestablished as the length of time a period of testing and reflection will last. This is reinforced by the forty days and nights it rained during the flood, by the four hundred years and four generations the Children of Yisra’el were enslaved in Egypt, by the forty years Abraham’s descendants wandered in the wilderness, and by the forty days and nights Yahowsha’ was tested prior to engaging in His mission. Based upon this precise repetition and consistency, we’d be foolish to ignore this pattern. At some point, it becomes obvious that we should use multiples of four and forty when we seek to understand Yahowah’s timeline.
The word raba’ itself provides some clues. It is similar to what we will learn about Shabat, the Sabbath, in that it is a time to “rest, reflect, and regenerate so that all things can be made square and right again.” It is therefore little wonder then that four, along with seven (the basis of shabat), provides the framework upon which human history and Yahowah’s plan of salvation are unfurled.
Dowr is one of my favorite Hebrew words because it reveals so many things. It is equally comfortable being translated: “generation, lineage, family line, group of related people, pathway, threshold, home, house, dwelling place, to be surrounded and encircled in a spherical object, to reside, to dwell, to live, to abide, a generation or duration of time, a period, an age, or an era.” And as diverse as these concepts may seem, in Yahowah’s Covenant, they are all related. God wants His family to follow the path He has provided over the course of time, and cross the threshold He has enabled so that, as a result of the Covenant’s lineage, we might enter and abide in God’s home for an extended period of time.
Not that God owes us one, but this passage reveals an explanation few consider: “because indeed and for the reason that the distortion, perversity, and depravity (‘aown – the wickedness and wrongdoing, mischief and iniquity, liability and guilt) of the ‘Emory (‘emory – those who pontificate evil, immoral soothsayers and wicked wordsmiths) is not yet fully finished or totally complete (lo’ ‘ad salem).” Those who criticize Yahowah, openly slandering and demeaning Him, do so because of those who were killed on His instructions once His children returned to the Promised Land some six hundred years after this prophecy was given. And indeed, three-thousand four-hundred years ago, over the lifespan of one generation, in a place we know today as Yisra’el, a man named Yahowsha’ (errantly known as Joshua), following Yahowah’s instructions, decimated the inhabitants of a score of villages spread over less than one-one-hundredth of one-percent of the planet’s inhabitable surface.
From a Scriptural perspective, of the 600,000 words in the Hebrew text, and 23,000 verses, redeeming and nurturing terms outnumber hostile ones by over ten thousand to one, and supportive statements outnumber the relatively few which mandate violence by nearly the same margin. So to say that the “Old Testament” is fixated on vengeance and violence is inaccurate to the point of being ignorant.
To put this in perspective quantitatively and geographically, and as a point of reference, today Israel is less than 8,500 square miles (0.01% of the Earth’s landmass), and only a portion of it was conquered by Yahowsha’. By comparison, and as a residue of the Ottoman Empire, Islamic dictators today control over 6,145,000 square miles of territory surrounding Israel in Northern Africa and the Middle East. But long before they oppressed the world, the first Muslims began a conquest which would last one-thousand four-hundred years, during which time Islamic Jihadists murdered, robbed, and enslaved hundreds of millions of people in an area exceeding 12,000,000 square miles (21.05% of the Earth’s landmass)—all on open-ended orders from their god. Their reign of terror, which continues today, was significantly larger in scale, and vastly more brutal, than the conquests of Imperial Rome or the British Colonial Empire at their worst. Even the United States forcibly deprived millions of native peoples of their lives and homes to capture 3,787,000 square miles of territory in what has been justified as “manifest destiny.” But neither Roman, Muslim, Ottoman, British, nor American conquests are criticized much today, only those directed by God.
Beyond the almost incomprehensible differences in the scope of these conquests, as it relates to the area, time, and human toll, there are three distinct differences which serve to exonerate Yahowah. The first of these is obvious. We exist in His universe. He created it. So it is His to do with as He pleases. He did not steal it from anyone and therefore He is free to give a portion of it (0.01% to be exact) to anyone He chooses.
Second, God conceived life. No matter how long or short, our mortal existence is His gift. So, whether our mortality succumbs to natural causes in seventy years, or His actions truncate it at seven, the duration remains an unearned benefit we would not otherwise have had. Suggesting that it is somehow unfair that some live longer than others do is not unlike saying that it isn’t generous to give a family welfare checks for seven years if they are not continued for seventy. Does the money which has been transferred, spent, and enjoyed become less of a gift after seven years, during which time the beneficiaries were neither thankful nor willing to acknowledge their benefactor’s advice, if the charity isn’t extended into perpetuity?
Third, God has provided the means for us to be enriched, to be empowered, to live in peace, and to extend our lives forever. This offer is available to everyone. He has provided the instructions and done all of the work required for us to receive these benefits. So, during our mortal lives, we can choose to capitalize on His Covenant and live forever. We can choose to ignore His offer, and our souls will simply fade into oblivion at the end of our mortal existence. Or we can choose to be completely and totally ‘aown, wicked to the point our “perversity and depravity” risks the lives of others, and where our “distortions” of God’s plan corrupt His message so significantly and so ubiquitously that mankind’s religious counterfeits and political corruptions become pervasive and ingrained within our culture to the extent that all hope is lost. Should these conditions be allowed to spiral out of control everywhere on our planet, God’s Word would cease to be of value to anyone—as it would be essentially unknown. The ‘Emory, from which we derive “immoral,” had not yet reached this place, but they would, which is why their eradication would be delayed.
Mind you, God did not owe us an explanation, but He gave us one anyway—one the ‘Emory today, those who pontificate distortions, want us all to ignore. Human societies can and often do become so deceived and delusional, so corrupt and immoral, so destructive and deadly, that there is absolutely no hope whatsoever for anyone conceived within them. The lethal traditions of parents poison their offspring to the point that when their children become mothers and fathers, they poison their children. Lies are so passionately promoted, and the truth is so aggressively quarantined within such societies, that deadly deceivers become cultural heroes while the few who dare reveal the truth are crucified.
Allowed to fester in evil, everyone’s conscience eventually rots, and with it the capacity to be civil, just, moral, and rational. The ‘Emory would come to epitomize these conditions, as have the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, Muslims, and most recently Maoists, Stalinists, Nazis, and Islamic Jihadists. Showing any of these communities mercy, being tolerant of them, allowing any of these perverse ideologies to endure, is merciless. They not only destroy the lives of their children, they are all covetous, wantonly stealing life, liberty, and property from everyone within reach of their deadly grasp.
The hosts of such evil schemes have always been human souls. We are the carriers of these, the most deadly and destructive diseases. So they cannot be eradicated by burning books or banning propaganda—not even by foreshortening the lives of their leadership. Either the hosts are eliminated and the vessel in which the corruption festered is cleansed, or the disease will spread and infect everyone.
So, God had a choice. He could have allowed new generations of ‘Emory to live, to deceive their children, and to destroy the hope of others, even those living outside their villages. In this case, the delusional and deadly disease which had made them perverse would have immediately spread into the Yisra’elite community, corrupting them. And while this eventually occurred, because they were only briefly separated from this evil, the Children of Yisra’el had sufficient time to become God’s witnesses. They would record and retain the Divine Writ—the path to relationship and salvation, and thus life eternal. And through these implements, as flawed as they may have been, Yahowah was able to reveal His Covenant. And at the same time, with this control group, with this one race and in this one place, He was able to demonstrate the benefits of paying attention to His advice, as well as reveal the consequence of ignoring His instructions.
Once the ‘Emory’s “‘aown – perversity, delusions, depravity, and distortions” were “salem – complete,” the trade God made was to foreshorten by a score of years the mortal lives of a few thousand diseased individuals, none of whom had any hope of salvation, to make it possible for thousands of others to live forever. Had He not done so, you wouldn’t be reading this book. You would not have had any access to the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. The path to salvation would be unknown to you and to everyone else. Equally horrible, without God’s moral compass and restraint, humankind would have already destroyed itself and our planet. He made the most rational, moral, and compassionate choice at the right time and place.
By using “salem – totally complete” after “lo’ ‘ad – not yet,” God was saying that cultures sometimes begin a downward spiral which will eventually put them outside and beyond the reach of salvation. There comes a time when societies become so morally lost, so sexually perverted, so religiously deceived, so politically misguided, so economically selfish, so academically bewildered, so nationalistic and militaristic, that there is no longer any hope for anyone—including children. The ‘Emory were approaching this place, and so are we.
Understanding this sad reality is essential to knowing why Yahowah endorsed the annihilation of a handful of ‘Emory towns at the conclusion of the Exodus. By the time these people were eliminated, their culture had become perverse and depraved to the point there was no chance that anyone was going to choose right over wrong, God over the Adversary. Societies such as these become so poisoned with human edicts that individuals living within them no longer retain the capacity to see the truth, much less understand it, or embrace it. In this regard, the ‘Emory culture was very similar to those cultivated by Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Socialist Secular Humanists, even today.
So while there is no hint of violence in this passage, Yahowah’s description of ‘Emory culture 400 years hence, provides the rationale for their annihilation. God recognizes what modern man rejects. Tolerating evil is being intolerant of good. Displaying mercy toward the wicked is merciless. Wickedness and wrongdoing which rise above the level of individual guilt to societal liability, are the product of religious and political schemes which must be condemned and contained. Such dogmas thrive in the minds and hearts of men and women—even boys and girls. To eradicate them, the doctrines must be exposed, and their hosts must be rendered incapable of infecting others.
Continuing with the conversation, we read: “When it came to be that (wa hayah) the sun (ha shemesh) had gone (bow’ – had come and gone), and it was twilight (wa hayah ‘alatah), then behold (wa hineh), a portable stove and smoker (‘asan tanuwr – fire pot for cooking, a smoker-oven for roasting) and an illuminated torch of fire (wa lapyd ‘esh – portable source of light) which beneficially (‘asher – as a result of the relationship) passed through (‘abar – an illusion to the benefit of Passover) to enlighten for the purpose of promoting understanding between (byn – that which conveys knowledge and encourages discernment by making a connection between) the those separated parts (gezer ‘eleh – those who are set apart unto God).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:17) It was time to party so God brought the barbeque and the torches. And always the Teacher and Guide, He provided “byn – knowledge which yields understanding” making this celebration of the relationship especially enlightening. As proof, pause a moment and consider His selection of words.
And since partying with man is the purpose of the covenant, even the purpose of creation: “On (ba – in) this (huw’) day (yowm), Yahowah ( ) cut (karat) the Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth – nurturing relational agreement, binding promise, solemn oath, and mutual alliance and pledge based upon a marriage vow and home which fosters and encourages) with (‘eth – in association with) ‘Abram (‘Abram – Father who Uplifts) to promise (la ‘amar – to communicate and confirm): ‘To your offspring (zera’ – seed), I give (natan – bestow and devote) therewith (‘eth) this (ze’th) land (‘erets – established realm and firm, reliable place).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:18)
The Hebrew word translated “cut” is karat. It is routinely deployed in connection with the formation of the Covenant and describes the manner business associates or a judge might “cut a deal.” God selected it for two reasons. First, the purpose of the Covenant is to separate God’s Chosen from the world, and to set them apart unto Him. Second, karat is used in connection with circumcision, and circumcision will become the “sign of the Covenant.”
And while it is seldom translated, much less considered, let’s not neglect “’eth – with.” A covenant isn’t something anyone can do alone—even God. It is a relationship, and that requires at least two consenting parties.
Among all of the words found in Yahowah’s Word, beryth may be the single most important. Based upon beyth and barah, the “beryth – agreement” is designed to “barah – nurture” a “beyth – family.” We know this because barah means “to nourish, providing that which is required to live and grow.” And beyth is a “family, home, and household.”
If we were to boil the whole of Yahowah’s witness down to a single term, it would be beryth - Covenant.” God revealed Himself through the inspired writings of prophets and scribes in order to form a family-oriented covenant relationship with mankind. The beryth is a “legally binding and valid agreement between parties to do, or not to do, the things which are specified.” This covenant is a “compact,” a term Webster defines as a “joining together, a thing that is firmly built and solid, something that is expressed concisely to form a close union.”
The dictionary’s definition of “league” is also relevant to our understanding of beryth, as it is a “covenant or compact made between parties for the promotion or maintenance of common interests, for mutual assistance and service.” It is the “aggregation and association of parties to achieve a common goal.”
And lest we forget, by any definition, a relationship is contingent upon the participation of two parties. In this case, it describes a partnership between mankind and God. Yahowah only honors His side of the agreement with those who honor our responsibilities within the relationship. There are very specific things Yahowah has asked us to accept. Unfortunately, however, very few of these conditions have made their way into the any of the popular Christian salvation schemes, where God or the Church does everything, and the participants do almost nothing, save make a profession of faith.
While we have been over this ground before, since it is essential to our relationship with God, and indeed our salvation, recognize that in Ancient and Paleo Hebrew, the script of revelation, the first letter in “beryth – covenant” is Beyth – which also serves as the Hebrew word for “family and home.” Not surprisingly, it was written by drawing a picture of a tent, which was symbolic of a family living securely in a home. It therefore serves to define the beryth, picturing it as a home sheltering and protecting one’s household.
The second letter, Rosh, was scribed by illustrating an individual’s head. It was designed to convey the idea that something is the first order of business, the most important thing to accomplish, and the top priority. Nothing is more important to Yahowah than this “beryth – Family Relationship.”
The third letter, the Hebrew Yowd, was depicted by illustrating an arm and hand. It was used to visually communicate the will, authority, and ability to do whatever is required to achieve a goal. And Yahowah, the ultimate power and authority in the universe, will stop at nothing, save compromising His integrity and infringing upon freewill, to achieve His heart’s desire: the formation of a Familial Covenant Relationship with humankind.
If Taw is the final letter in beryth, it described what had to be achieved to facilitate the priority of enlarging our Heavenly Father’s family. The Taw was drawn in the form of an upright pillar. It designates a doorway and a tent pole, which when erected, serves to enlarge a shelter, while also providing it with a reliable entrance. Yahowsha’ is the Upright Pillar who enlarges Yahowah’s family and home—which in turn is embodied by the Festival of Shelters. He is the Doorway to Heaven—which is represented by Passover.
And should the related Theth actually denote beryth’s final character, then we have a picture of us being protected by Yah and bearing His signature. That would be a fine and fitting conclusion.
While these visualizations are enlightening, no matter how you look at it, God’s top priority is to “karat – cut” His “beryth – familial covenant relationship” with His creation so that, nurtured and protected, we might live forever in His home. As promises and agreements go, there are none more valuable than this one.
As we have discussed, “‘erets – land” is used to describe a literal geographical place, Yisra’el, as well as being symbolic of living with God. It is derived from an unused Hebrew root which means: “firm, reliable, and established.” Similarly, Yisra’el is a material place with a spiritual designation. A compound of ‘ysh sarah ‘el, it describes “’ysh – individuals” who “sarah – strive, engage, exist, and endure” with “’el – God.”
It is exceedingly common for God to use something tangible, such as the ‘erets of Yisra’el, to communicate something which is intangible, such as living with Him in His home. In this vein, He is especially fond of agricultural metaphors—particularly those which relate to preparing the ground so that it is receptive, to pulling the weeds of deception, to tending to the crop, to separating wheat from chaff, and to ultimately harvesting saved souls. Therefore, in this passage which is announcing the “cutting of the Covenant,” we should see the “’erets – land” which has been “’amar – promised” as an actual material place and as the establishment of God’s spiritual family. They both exist, one in the material world and the other in the spiritual. Yahowah wants to campout with those who want to be with Him in both places.
Along these lines, when Yahowah’s prophetic promises are fulfilled, and the Children of Yisra’el are led away from the crucible of human oppression and to the Promised Land, the first step of their journey from bondage to freedom, from death to life, from corruption to perfection, from separation to reconciliation, begins by walking through the Doorway labeled “Passover.” Smeared with the sacrificial blood of an unblemished lamb, Pesach serves as a portal from mortality to immortality.
But even this gateway to eternal life, this first of seven steps leading to God, is of no benefit without Unleavened Bread—which was and is celebrated the following day. Matsah, the second step to living in God’s presence, describes God’s willingness and means to remove every form of corruption from our souls, perfecting us, so that we might exist with Him.
This then leads to the third step on the third day, to FirstFruits, where we are born into God’s family. On Bikuwrym our souls adopted and harvested by Yah.
The fourth step along the Way we are invited to walk to God occurs seven Sabbaths later, which is why it is called Seven Sabbaths. After walking away from human oppression for seven weeks, each day separating ourselves further from religious and political schemes, we find ourselves approaching the very presence of God. And that is why the Children of Yisra’el were given the Towrah on this day—representing the presence of God in our world. So to celebrate, we are instructed to invite everyone we know, regardless of race, age, gender, wealth, or status, to walk with us on this path from man’s material world to God’s spiritual realm. On Shabuw’ah, we are empowered spiritually to accurately present what is known about Yahowah, His relationship agreement, and the way He has provided for us to walk to His home, so that everyone has the opportunity to choose to participate in the “beryth – Covenant.”
And as you now know, the fifth step, called Taruw’ah, but known as Trumpets, like Seven Sabbaths, is both an announcement and a harvest. Those who have followed the path Yahowah has provided are asked to proclaim the good news: God has provided a means to survive our mortal existence and to live forever. He has provided a means to escape judgment and to become vindicated, so that we might come to be perfect in His presence. He has provided the means to adopt us into His family so that we might live as His children. He has invited everyone to participate, so that we might stop relying on man’s promises and start relying on His promises. But since we are free to choose to walk this path from man to God, Yahowah has instructed those who have made this choice to issue a warning to those who have not. There is a consequence of ignoring Yahowah’s seven Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet with God. Reliant on false promises, those who don’t answer these inviations will never enter God’s presence, be cleansed of corruption, escape judgment, or transcend their mortality. The end of their mortal lives will be the end of their existence. Their souls will simply fade into oblivion, ceasing to exist.
We know this because God told us that those who ignore His Invitations to Meet with Him will cease to exist. Specifically, those who reject Yahowah’s summons to come into the presence of our Spiritual Mother, the Set-Apart Spirit, on Yowm Kippurym, which follows Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, Shabuwa, and Taruw’ah, will be cut off from God’s family and their souls will be annihilated. Such is the consequence of choosing to ignore God’s Way—to reject the path He has provided for us to walk away from man’s corruption to His perfection, from separation to reconciliation.
Those who choose to participate in the Covenant, those who decide to walk to God along the path He has provided, will be reconciled with their Heavenly Father. They will be redeemed and renewed, all in preparation for the seventh step along the Way—the destination: Sukah / Shelters. During the Seventh Invitation to Meet with God our walk is over, because we are now camping out with our Heavenly Father. We have reached the Promised Land. We are now God’s children.
Like most of those who were invited to do great things with Yahowah, ‘Abram was a flawed and impassioned rascal. An indiscretion with his wife’s Egyptian maid ultimately led to Satan’s most depraved religion. Ishmael’s descendants would create Islam. But that story is the focus of another book—Prophet of Doom.
As this story unfolded, the moment Hagar conceived, Sarai became jealous. She treated her maid so harshly Hagar fled. In the desert, on her way to Shur, one of Yahowah’s messengers found her crying beside a spring. “Then the messenger (mal’ak) of Yahowah ( ) said to her, ‘Your offspring will be too numerous to count.’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 16:10) And so it would be. Today, Muslims, who claim to be Ishmael’s descendants, are growing in number so rapidly, having an average of seven children per father, that an accurate census is impossible.
“And the messenger (mal’ak) of Yahowah ( ) said to her, ‘You are pregnant with a son. Call his name Ishmael (ysma’e’l – listen and obey, submit and be obedient, i.e., Islam/Submission). Yahowah ( ) has heard of your affliction (‘ani – distress and suffering, poverty and persecution, misery).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 16:11) He has heard of Islam.
Then this haunting prophecy: “He shall be a wild ass (pere’ – donkey) of a man (‘adam). His hand (yad) will be against everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him. And he will live in the presence of howling jackals (‘oah – wild desert killers who scream, fiery companions who inflict woe, countrymen who are enraged acting like yelping hyenas, relatives who are despondent, and brothers who inflict pain as false prophets).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 16:12)
The prototypical Islamic terrorist was described by Yahowah 2,700 years before the first wild ass brayed: “Allahu Akbar!”
The story that continues to unfold is the most compelling ever written. It is literally, the greatest story ever told. In their fourth meeting, Yahowah’s Covenant Relationship continues to be defined and developed. So I encourage you to keep this adoption process and transformation to perfection in mind. It is why, during their fourth meeting, Abram was called a “ben – son.” While he was actually old by man’s standards, he was young by God’s. Our Heavenly Father was in the process of adopting Abram—as He will us. And this serves to remind us that it is never too late. We can come to know Yahowah and serve with Him at any point in our lives. Abraham was a year shy of one-hundred when this conversation occurred
“And (wa) ‘Abram (‘Abram – Uplifting Father) had actually become (hayah – he had literally come to exist as (qal imperfect waw consecutive)) a son of (ben – a child of) ninety-nine years (tish’ym tesha’ sanah – one who observes, regards, and beholds change which leads to renewal).
And (wa) Yahowah ( ) appeared (ra’ah – He revealed himself and was seen) as God to (‘el – as the Almighty to) ‘Abram. And (wa) He said (‘amar – affirmed) to him (‘elyw), ‘I Am (‘any) God (‘el) Almighty (shaday – the most powerful). Choose of your own volition to walk (halak – of your own accord come, travel, journey through life and come to exist as a unique individual engaging and proceeding (hithpael imperative)) to (la – toward) My presence (paneh – approach Me, exist by My side, face Me) and (wa) literally come to be (hayah – actually become as a result of this choice (qal imperative)) perfect (tamym – innocent and unblemished, upright and blameless, whole and complete, healthy, unimpaired, wholesome, and in complete accord with the truth).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:1)
This is the third request Yahowah has made with respect to us engaging in His Covenant. And it is directly related to the first two. If you recall, God began by asking: “I would like you of your own accord to literally walk away from and genuinely come out of your country (the land of Babylon and the realm of confusion and corruption), away from your relatives, and away from your father’s home and household, to God’s realm which as a result of the relationship and as a blessing, I will show you and provide.” Then we were told: “And he completely trusted in and totally relied upon Yahowah, and so based upon this thinking and His plan, He decided as a result of this consideration to impute innocence and righteousness to him.” So now that path leads to: And He said to him, ‘I Am God Almighty. Choose of your own volition to walk to My presence and come to be perfect.’”
This introduction to the Covenant Relationship depicts “Yahowah appearing as God,” with our Heavenly Father “revealing Himself” through His “Word” to Abram so as “to be seen” by him. For this to occur without incinerating His friend, God had to become corporeal—that is to say, He had to transform some of His Spiritual energy into matter. And to talk with him in this way, He had to take on human form. While Abraham didn’t know it, this partial transformation from one state to another was accomplished using a formula whereby the resulting mass was diminished from the source of Spiritual Energy by the speed of light squared.
You will notice that this material manifestation of Yahowah is so diminished from His natural state that the Creator of the universe had to announce that He actually was “God Almighty.” So while the patriarch was able to see and inspect God, there wasn’t enough of the Almighty present to make His identity obvious. By implication then, there was nothing about this human form which visibly distinguished Him as God. Therefore, the only way for such a diminutive representation of the Almighty to actually be “God” is for this corporeal expression to be part of God set apart from Him. That is to say that an aspect of God’s nature was set apart from Him to meet with His creation. This diminished manifestation of God in our material realm, in our space and flow of time, is better known as Yahowsha’. He too represented a part of God, set apart from Yahowah to meet with us. That made Yahowsha’ the diminished corporeal manifestation of the Almighty. But it did not make Him the totality of God, as that would have been impossible and ill advisable.
Should you be curious, collectively God’s meetings with Abraham comprise His second of seven visits to earth. The first occurred when He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam. He would also appear to Ya’aqob during his transformation to Yisra’el. He manifested Himself materially to Moseh to give us His Towrah Instructions. Later, he visited with Shamow’el (meaning Listen to God, better known as Samuel), affirming that reciting His Torah is the best way to meet Him. And then in His sixth visit, Yahowsha’ walked the very same path we are invited to walk to God, beginning with Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths in the Yowbel of 4000 Yah (33 CE). Upon His return in 6000 Yah (2033), He will complete the journey striding through Trumpets and Reconciliations en route to Shelters.
While God manifesting Himself in human form is completely consistent with Scripture, it is totally inconsistent with Rabbinical Judaism. So in this sentence defining the third requirement of the Covenant, Yahowah once again destroyed one of the foundational claims of the Jewish religion. In the third of Thirteen Principles of Faith which define Judaism, Maimonides wrote: “G-d is incorporeal.” That is to say, according to the rabbi, God cannot manifest Himself as a physical being with a body.
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, also known as “Maimonides” and as the “Rambam” (1135-1204 CE), crafted the most widely accepted listing of Jewish beliefs and laws. Many would consider him the father of modern Judaism—although I think that title belongs to another religious leader, Rabbi Akiba, as he’s the individual responsible for facilitating the rabbinical quest to ascribe Yahowah’s authority to man in the first place. It was Akiba, not Maimonides, who came up with a scheme based upon the exercise of freewill, whereby two or more rabbis could out vote God. This resulted in them placing their Oral Law, the Talmud, above the Torah. Akiba is also the religious cleric most responsible for Yahuwdym becoming Jews who were sent into exile for eighteen centuries.
Rabbi Maimonides, after being educated in a Muslim mosque in Fez, Morocco, and living in Cairo, Egypt as the personal physician for the vizier of Muslim Conqueror Saladin, authored the massive (and purposely deceptive and convoluted) Mishneh, a compilation of 613 laws arranged by subject—all of which were designed to turn a family relationship with God into a works-based religion. Spiritually, as a result of Maimonides, Yahuwdym were taken back to Egypt and Babylon. And in this regard, it is Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith that form the most universally accepted manifesto on the Jewish religion. In them, the rabbinical mystic and cabbalist said that God was incorporeal. Therefore, by comparing this verse to Maimonides’ edict, we know that either the rabbi or Yahowah cannot be trusted.
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess who is being deceitful. The sixth of Rambam’s thirteen articles of faith says: “The words of the prophets are true.” Moseh, who was called “the greatest of the prophets” in the seventh article, served as the scribe for this passage. So if what Moseh wrote was accurate, this rabbi’s writings were not. It is as simple as that. There is no other rational option. This is just one of many contradictions in Judaism and Yahowah’s Word which lead to the unavoidable conclusion that Judaism, by its own definitions, is false. And yet, hastening their own demise Yahuwdym, now Jews because they are no longer related to Yah, throughout the centuries have trusted the Rambam more than Yahowah.
Returning to the passage itself, we find God asking Abram to: “Choose to individually walk (halak – of your own accord come, travel, journey through life, coming to exist engaging and proceeding (hithpael imperative)) to (la – toward) My presence (paneh – approach Me, exist by My side, face Me) and (wa) genuinely come to be (hayah – actually become as a result of this choice (qal imperative)) perfect (tamym – innocent and unblemished, upright and blameless, whole and complete, healthy, unimpaired, wholesome, and in complete accord with the truth).”
In that this represents the third of five Covenant requirements, let’s carefully consider the two verbs, “halak – walk” and “hayah – come to be” by exploring their associated stems, conjugations, and moods. To begin, halak was scribed using the hithpael imperative. The hithpael stem, as the reflexive counterpart of the piel, tells us that the subject of the verb, which is Abram, must act of his own accord to achieve the object of the verb, which is to enter Yahowah’s presence. He, without the assistance of anyone else, must engage in this journey as instructed to reach the destination realized by this walk. And in the imperative mood, walking to God must be Abram’s choice, and his choice alone. Otherwise, the desired response implied by the hithpael stem, which in this case is to individually act in the appropriate way to enter Yahowah’s presence and to become perfect, would be a command rather than a choice under the auspices of freewill.
Bringing these ideas together, Yahowah asked Abram, and therefore us, to individually, of our own accord, to choose to walk to Him. This stem and mood also convey the surprising reality that our walk toward the objective of entering Yahowah’s presence influences God’s response to us. We control the outcome and nature of our meeting with God by our decision to act upon this Covenant condition.
The second verb, “hayah – come to be,” was scribed somewhat differently, using the qal stem along with the imperative, and thus volitional, mood. This is important because the object now is perfection. The qal stem not only addresses reality, telling us that this guidance is to be interpreted literally rather than symbolically, but also reveals that there is a genuine relationship between the verb’s subject, which is Abram’s choice to individually walk to God, and the action of the verb, which is to become perfect. In other words, we come to be perfect as a result of our decision to walk to God.
Yahowah asked Abraham “halak – to choose of his own volition to individually walk la-paneh-y – to My presence.” When the Hebrew Lamed appears as a prefix, as it does in connection with “paneh – presence,” it serves as “a marker of a spatial extension toward a goal.” As a preposition, la is predominately translated “to, toward, into, and onto”—all of which are appropriate in this context. However, on some occasions, progress toward a goal can be rendered: “for, on behalf of, with regard to, in reference to, in order to, so that, to the point of, and on behalf of”—none of which fit comfortably between “walk” and “My presence” in this Godly revelation. So, the only appropriate and accurate translation of halak la’-paneh-y is: “walk to My presence.”
Before we contemplate how we are supposed to “choose of our own volition to walk individually to God,” in such a way that we “come to Him and enter His presence,” let’s return to the last two words in this sentence. If “wa-hayah tamym – and come to be perfect” is properly translated there is a path we can walk which causes us to be right with God.
Since “perfect” requires the “right answer to every question” and means “to be in absolute accord with the truth, to be completely sound, lacking nothing, to be innocent and unimpaired, to be totally healthy, entirely unblemished, good in the extreme, blameless, moral, impeccable, honest and truthful,” we should not be surprised that the world’s most reliable lexicons define tamym using these very terms. And to them they add: “upright, unscathed, intact, unobjectionable, sincere, and secure.” Therefore, the path to God which we have been asked to walk must be capable of accomplishing all of these things on behalf of corrupt and flawed mortal beings.
Further, a little due diligence reveals that tamym is based upon tamam, which means: “to obtain and acquire innocence, to be vindicated, to be perfected, to be supported, to be completed, and to be fulfilled,” in addition to: to adhere to another so as to be held upright.” But there is more, because tamam also conveys the ideas of “accomplishing something completely and finishing the task at hand so as to become sound and unimpaired, to become upright and perfect.” Tamym and tamam are also related to tamyd, which speaks of “continuing to live into perpetuity,” and to tamak, which conveys the idea of “being held and supported, being kept and sustained.”
At the heart of His Covenant is Yahowah’s promise to vindicate us, declaring us innocent, saving us, and thereby restoring us to perfection. The message of the Covenant is that Yahowah stood upright for us so that we could stand with Him. That is what these words convey.
Since Yahowah has already revealed how we become “tamym – perfect,” let’s revisit that instruction. We found it in the opening lines of the 119th Mizmowr / Psalm. Those lyrics boldly proclaimed:
“Enjoyable, favorable, and blessed (‘ashry) is the Way (derek) to becoming perfect, entirely innocent and blameless (tamym) by walking (halak) in (ba) the Towrah (Towrah) of Yahowah (Yahowah).
Properly guided (‘ashery) are those who are saved (nasar) by His testimony (‘edah). They genuinely seek to have a relationship with Him and His witness (darash) for all (la kol) time (dowr).
Therefore (‘ap), they do not carry out (lo’ pa’al) that which is harmful or wrong (‘eowlah) by walking in His ways (ba derek halak).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 119:1-3)
Putting all of these pieces together then, it is hard to miss the fact that Yahowah is speaking of walking along the Seven-Step Path He has provided through His “Chag – Festival Feasts” where we are “Miqra’ – Invited to Meet with God” and both perfected and reconciled in the process. It is so obvious, I’m surprised that so few people understand.
Specifically, through the Miqra’ey, our Heavenly Father is inviting us to walk through the Doorway known as Passover, whereby the consequence of sin, which is death, is resolved, enabling us to live forever. He is encouraging us to wipe our feet as we pass over the welcome mat of heaven known as Unleavened Bread, whereby the penalty of sin, which is separation from God, is resolved, with God, Himself, removing corruption from our souls, making us innocent, and indeed perfect. This enables our Heavenly Father to adopt us as His children on FirstFruits. And so long as we continue to walk along this path, away from Babylon and Egypt, away from religion and politics, away from human oppression and deception, we will be enveloped in Yahowah’s Set-Apart Spirit on Seven Sabbaths, empowering us to herald the Good News on Trumpets. This then leads to the Day of Reconciliations, where we are invited to enter the presence of God, our relationship reconciled, so that we can campout with our Heavenly Father on Shelters. It is the destination for those who choose of their own volition to individually walk to God’s presence, causing those who do to become perfect.
Since this represents the third of five conditions for participating in the Covenant, it bears repeating: “And (wa) Yahowah ( ) appeared (ra’ah – He revealed himself and was seen) as God to (‘el – as the Almighty to) ‘Abram. And (wa) He said (‘amar – affirmed) to him (‘elyw), ‘I Am (‘any) God (‘el) Almighty (shaday – the most powerful). Choose of your own volition to walk (halak – of your own accord come, travel, journey through life, exist, engage, and proceed) to (la – toward) My presence (paneh – approach Me, exist by My side, face Me) and (wa) literally, as a result of this decision, actually come to be (hayah – actually become as a result of this choice) perfect (tamym – innocent and unblemished, upright and blameless, whole and complete, healthy, unimpaired, wholesome, and in complete accord with the truth).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:1)
While you may have already noticed, one of the two operative verbs in this statement is hayah—which not so coincidently, serves as the basis of Yahowah’s name. In addition to being translated “become,” hayah means “to exist.” According to this instruction, if we want to “hayah – exist” with Yahowah, who is the Source of all that exists, we must choose to individually “walk to” Yahowah, who has then promised to “vindicate, perfect, and complete” us so that we will be able to “hayah – continually exist” in His presence. Yahowah, therefore, is the force which creates the desired result.
It is fascinating, and indeed telling, that we come to God by walking, active and engaged rather than passive, and on our feet, not on our knees. Nothing could be further from the religious teachings of Christianity or Islam than this.
Unaware of the fact that this instruction is a requirement of the Covenant, and ignorant of the role the Seven Invitations to Meet God play in our redemption, Christians have been led to believe that neither Yahowah, nor His Towrah, provide the means to enter God’s presence or be saved. Clerics changed Yahowah’s name and altered His Word so that His testimony would no longer appear to be in conflict with their religious beliefs. The bibles they have touted to be the “inerrant word of god” were deliberately altered to keep believers from recognizing that it is their religion which is errant.
So to create the impression that God’s Towrah Instructions had to be replaced with religious faith, “hayah tamym – come to exist upright, sound, complete, unimpaired, and innocent,” was not only disassociated from “choosing to walk individually to God’s presence,” it was changed to convey a condition which could not possibly be met by anyone. The Christian god became what Paul had said of him: a cruel taskmaster who enslaved, but could not save, because no one could meet his standard.
And yet, all one has to do is read Yahowah’s next sentence, which we’ll do in a moment, to realize that “vindication and perfection” represent the “gift” He freely gives to those who choose to walk to Him as He has requested. This is all about coming to understand the teaching, following the instructions, paying attention to the guidance which is being offered so that we respond rationally to the invitation. We are being asked to choose, which presupposes an understanding of the offer. Further, to walk toward a goal is to get up and get going by following the directions.
While this requires us to listen and pay attention, even respond and engage, none of this implies that we are “earning” our salvation. Were we required to actually “earn” God’s favor by being perfect, then our salvation would be the result of our efforts, in direct contradiction to the notion of a “gift.” Abraham did nothing to deserve his reward, and nor shall we.
You see, “halak la paneh – walk into My presence” is a request which serves as a condition of the Covenant while “wa hayah tamym – and become perfect” is a benefit of the Covenant. But when wa hayah tamym is convoluted into a condition, as it was in the cited English translations, then we mortals have a problem. None of us are “unimpaired or innocent,” nor are we “complete and sound, blameless and without defect.” Only Yahowah has the power and authority to renew and restore mortal souls to “an unblemished status, to a guiltless state of perfection.” So our merciful Father is not requiring the impossible of us.
Even if we were to soften wa hayah tamym so that it reads “and become upright in conduct and sincere in attitude,” we’d have a fighting chance, but we’d still fall short. Even Dowd failed to meet this standard. Ultimately we’d have to completely neuter wa hayah tamym to suggest that God only wants us to act appropriately in a family setting, maintaining a proper attitude, while being sincere, to have a fighting chance. On our best days we can do those things. We cannot, however, be complete or blameless—at least not without His help.
Currently, we are a work in process—a mere shadow of our Creator. But those of us who have chosen to walk to God along the path He has prepared and enabled will be transformed, magnified in energy and dimensions, becoming more like our Maker. That is why the basis of tamym, the verb, tamam, means “to be finished and to be made complete.”
We are reminded that it is never too late. We can come to know Yahowah and serve Him at any point in our human existence. Yahowah was in no hurry. Abraham was a year shy of one hundred when this conversation occurred.
Yahowah told Abram, and us through him, what the covenant relationship was about, what He expected, and what He was offering in return. Up to this point, we have leaned that Yahowah was insistent that Abram come out of Babylon—the headwaters of the political and religious schemes contrived by man. And while Yahowah has consistently introduced Himself by name, this time He made a special point of confirming that He was and is God—the Almighty. He clearly wanted Abraham to know His name, to use His name, and to know what His name represents.
Based upon this instruction, this covenant requirement serves as a confirmation of what we have read before. First and foremost, Yahowah wants us to walk to Him and then with Him. And there are three aspects to “walking” that I don’t want you to miss. First, those who are walking are standing upright, not bowing down. God wants to be adored as our father, not worshiped as our lord. Second, those who are walking are engaged and active, not passive. Relationships are not for spectators. Third, the covenant is a journey of discovery, a way of life. It is about traveling through space and time with Yahowah.
There is an additional aspect of “walk” that we should contemplate as there are other forms of locomotion. Yahowah did not say “stand at attention,” indicating that we are to be at ease with Him. He did not say “march,” meaning that we are not following orders. God did not say “run,” indicating that he isn’t requiring much from us. He did not say “fly,” suggesting that there is no particular skill required on our behalf. He didn’t even say “jump,” suggesting that we can take our time. And God did not say “ride,” indicating that He will providing whatever transport is required.
Yahowah wanted Abraham to be at ease with Him, to walk along side of Him, to be conversant with Him. He did not ask Abraham to praise Him, to bow before His throne, or to put Him on a pedestal. These instructions are the antithesis of that. I dare say, these may be some of the most important words in Scripture. Yahowah has invited us to have a relationship with Him. He did not establish a religion. Further, this relationship with our Maker is to be on a first name basis. We are to walk side by side, in His presence, conversing with Him. If you get nothing more out of this book than that, my labor and your time will be rewarded in abundance.
Since hayah tamym is a condition, we mortals would have a problem without Yahowah’s intervention. None of us can become “unimpaired or innocent” on our own, nor are we “complete and sound, blameless without defect” apart from Yahowah’s Miqra’ey. Therein, Yahowah reveals that only He can renew and restore mortal souls to “an unblemished status, to a guiltless state of perfection.” And even if we were to soften hayah tamym to be “upright in conduct and sincere in attitude,” then while we’d have a fighting chance on our own, we’d still be missing the point: it’s God who perfects us. Such is the appropriate attitude to exhibit in any family – and God is our Heavenly Father. So even if this softer view were intended, then Yahowah would be asking us to be sincere, upright, moral, and truthful in our approach to Him. We can do those things. We cannot, however, be complete or blameless without His help.
Within the etymology of both words we discover some helpful clues. Hayah is the basis of Yahowah’s name: I Was, I Am, and I Will Be so that you are and so that you can continue to be with Me. Yahowah is the power behind the verb, the force which creates the result.
Likewise, tamym means “to obtain and acquire innocence, to grasp and hold onto perfection for support, to adhere to another so as to be held upright.” At the heart of the covenant is Yahowah’s promise to vindicate us, declaring us innocent, saving us, and thereby restoring us to perfection. The message of the Covenant is that Yahowah stood upright for us so that we could stand with Him.
Additionally, we are a work in process—a mere shadow of our Creator. But those of us who have chosen to walk with God will be transformed, magnified in energy and dimensions, becoming more like our Maker. That is why the basis of tamym means “to be finished and to be made complete.”
The gift promised in Bare’syth 17:1-2 is beryth, meaning “Covenant.” It is based upon two Hebrew words: beyth, “home, family and household,” and barah, meaning “to nourish, providing that which is needed to live and grow.” These things are Yahowah’s present to those who choose to walk with Him.
Speaking of gifts, that’s precisely what a beryth is. It was natan—given to us, made for us, applied, appointed, and assigned by Him for our benefit. He bestowed this gift—Abraham did nothing to earn it or deserve it. Abram’s only contribution was a willingness to walk with Yahowah. That is all Yahowah requires from us as well.
It’s essential that we understand the meaning of the Hebrew word “beryth,” because relationship is the purpose of the Word. A covenant is a compact, a term Webster defines as a “joining together, a thing that is firmly built and solid, something that is expressed concisely to form a close union.”
Interestingly, rabah, one of the last words used in this passage, is the root of rabbi. It is easy to see why men covet the title. In first person, it means “I am great.” While there is the misconception that “rabbi” means “teacher,” that just isn’t so. It is one of man’s most egotistical titles.
In this context, Yahowah is telling Abram, and us through him, that He will “rear us, caring for us so that we grow and live forever.” He is saying that He “will make us exceedingly greater than we are.” It is part of His gift.
By analyzing rabah and ma’od, we discover that Yahowah is not speaking about the quantity of Abram’s descendants, as he has on prior occasion, but instead about demonstrably and substantially increasing Abram’s strength, his energy, his power, his ability to accomplish things. Since Abram lived the rest of his life as a regular guy, a rather typical human, these promises applied to the eternal and spiritual realm. The benefit of the Covenant, its result, is becoming more like God, becoming more powerful and energetic. The beneficiaries of the Covenant will be magnified, inheriting God’s source of energy as they are transformed from mortal to spiritual.
These things known and understood, let’s return to Yahowah’s conversation with Abram. He continued by saying:
“‘I want to actually give (natan – I yearn to genuinely bestow the everlasting gift of, I desire to grant the ongoing reward of, I choose to literally offer the unfolding present of, I choose to ascribe and entrust the eternal endowment of, and I want to devote and dedicate without interruption or alteration, even pay for and consistently provide into perpetuity (scribed in the qal relational stem affirming that this offer is genuine, imperfect conjugation telling us that this gift will have ongoing benefits which unfold throughout time, and cohortative mood, expressing a choice and desire on behalf of the first person singular speaker, a.k.a. God wants to offer) My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth-y – My nurturing agreement, My binding promise, My solemn oath of friendship, and My mutual alliance and pledge based upon a marriage vow and home which fosters and encourages, My constitution, compact, contract, treaty, and partnership (scribed with the first person singular suffix) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn – as the way to recognition and understand this association with Me) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn – for you to examine, consider, understand, and reply appropriately to this relationship).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:2)
Yahowah has asked us to walk individually to Him so that He could give us His Covenant: personally inviting us into His family, adopting us as His children, and making us His heirs. It is what God wants, and He wants it more than anything else.
But before He can do any of these things, before He can welcome us in His home and put His arms around us, He must first perfect us. And that is the reason He has specified the specific path He wants us to follow to meet with Him, naming the doorway He wants us to enter and describing the threshold He wants us to cross en route to Him.
For us to enter into His presence, God must first reconcile, renew, and then transform us from blemished material beings who are subject to sin, death and decay, who are guilty for having failed to live up to His standard, into perfect spiritual beings who are not only innocent and eternal, but who are now unblemished and undying. In other words, since God already is what He intends for us, He must perfect and improve us to adopt us. And that means that salvation, rather than being God’s gift, is simply the means to deliver the real gift, which are the benefits of the Familial Covenant Relationship.
While Yahowah’s “natan – gift” is His Covenant, being vindicated is an essential part of the process. As a result, we are afforded the opportunity to be included in His family and are bestowed the right to live with Him in His home—forever. Beyond this, we will be empowered, enabled, and enriched beyond our wildest expectations – all of which have far-reaching implications.
Written in the cohortative mood, natan expresses Yahowah’s desire to invite us into His home. It tells us that He wants to adopt us as His children. God has chosen to engage in this relationship with us. He is on record, ready and willing to bestow these benefits upon us.
The qal stem serves to make this promise and offer genuine. It literally makes the Covenant a “natan – gift” of relationship.
The imperfect conjugation reveals that the gift of the Covenant has eternal, everlasting, ramifications, the benefits of which unfold over time. Moreover, the imperfect underscores the fact that Yahowah is consistent in this regard, and that the nature of this gift of relationship is uninterrupted, unchanging, and unfailing throughout the whole fabric of time. And that my friends is an insight you do not want to ignore.
Therefore, by using this remarkable verb in this way, Yahowah has told us: “I want to actually give, I yearn to genuinely bestow the everlasting gift of, I desire to grant the ongoing reward of, I choose to literally offer the unfolding present of, I choose to ascribe and entrust the eternal endowment of, and I wish to devote and dedicate without interruption or alteration, even pay for and consistently provide into perpetuity (natan), My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth-y) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond to this relationship (byn).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:2)
A sound argument could be made that “beryth – covenant” is the single most important word and concept in the whole of Scripture. Based as you know on beyth, it describes a “family-oriented relationship.”
Yahowah’s unfolding plan to reconcile His relationship with you and me revolves around this, the one and only “beryth – Covenant.” It serves as God’s binding promise to us, His oath of friendship, His vow of marriage.
You will also note that “beryth – covenant” is singular, not plural. In fact, beryth is never scribed in the plural form. There is only one Covenant. And that means that the notion of two Covenants, of an “Old Testament” and a “New Testament,” is in direct conflict with the Word of God.
It also means that Paul lied in his letters to the Galatians and to the Romans when he wrote of “two covenants,” with the one memorialized here in the Towrah being “of the flesh,” calling it a “curse” and “cruel taskmaster,” which “enslaved,” “had become obsolete,” and which “never had the power to save anyone.” Because Yahowah’s Covenant is the opposite of these things, and because Yahowah’s description of His Covenant is affirmed in His own voice, Paul’s replacement covenant, said to be of the “spirit,” of “faith,” and of “grace,” isn’t worth the papyrus his letters were written upon. Therefore, if you haven’t already done so, this would be a fine time to wipe your mind and soul clean of Paul’s deceptions.
Simply stated, Yahowah’s one and only Covenant is God’s enduring gift—His eternal and binding promise to form a relationship with us. It alone provides the means for us to become members of His family, and for us to live with Him in His home. While it will be affirmed and renewed, that will not happen until He returns on the Day of Reconciliations. And when this occurs, the beneficiaries will be Yahuwdym and Yisra’el, not Christians. And on that day, rather than the Torah being neglected and disrespected, as it is in Christianity, God’s Instructions and Guidance will be placed inside of us.
Before we press on, we’d be impoverished if we didn’t consider the full implications of byn – especially in this context. By way of a reminder, God has just revealed: “I want to actually give the ongoing benefits of (natan) My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth-y) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn – as the way to recognition and understand this association with Me) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond to this relationship (byn – for you to examine, consider, understand, and reply appropriately).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:2)
Byn, which can be simplistically translated “between Me” and then as “between you,” is indistinguishable in the text from the operative word of the 119th Psalm. If you recall, Dowd consistently emphasized the importance of coming to “byn – understand” the Towrah’s teachings. Byn then represents “the means to recognize, to comprehend, and to respond” to the Towrah, its Author, and His offer. To byn is to “carefully observe the evidence, thoughtfully considering the available testimony in a discerning and perceptive manner so that you come to know and understand. It is the basis of rational thought and the means to this relationship.
When you consider that byn speaks of the “means to come together,” and represents an agreement “between individuals which causes one party to come into the midst of the other for an interval of time,” the “recognition and understanding” aspects of byn become extraordinarily relevant, especially in the context of the Covenant. I share this because byn describes the purpose of our nesamah, or conscience, that unique gift of God which gives us the opportunity to know and understand Him. Running on byn, our nesamah enables us to differentiate between fact and fiction, right and wrong, truth and deception, that which is reliable and that which is not, so that we might respond sensibly to the Covenant. Byn, as the means to exercise good judgment and decide, prompts the Towrah observant to accept and embrace the terms and conditions of the Covenant. So byn is not only a prerequisite for good judgment, for logic, for justice, for morality, and for making informed and rational choices, it is the means “to understand” the Covenant, to “know” Yahowah, to engage in a “close relationship with” Him, bringing you into God’s presence.
It must also be said that “byn – discernment” is the antithesis of “faith.” Rather than a belief in the unknown, byn is “a rational response to that which is known.” Our participation in Yahowah’s Covenant is predicated upon knowledge and understanding which lead to trust and reliance.
Yahowah’s Covenant promise to Abram continued with these words: “And because (wa) I yearn to continually increase and multiply (rabah – I will, out of My own volition and desire, as part of a mutually engaged relationship, consistently promote and foster growth throughout time for (hiphil imperfect cohortative)) you in (ba) the extreme and to the uttermost (ma’od ma’od – to the greatest extent possible in power and strength, energy and capability, to the highest point in dimensions and status).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:2) This is why the Covenant is called “God’s Gift.”
Ma’od is an adverb, and as such, it is modifying “rabah – I will continually increase and cause you to grow forever.” Used once, it would make the “increase and growth” “exceedingly significant.” But ma’od was repeated twice, telling us that God plans to magnify our present status, increase us dimensionally, augment our overall amount of energy and capability, so abundantly, the increase exceeds our imagination. Like a loving father, our Heavenly Father wants to help us grow so that we reach our ultimate potential. And nothing is more empowering or designates a higher status, than being God’s child.
By using rabah (especially scribed in the imperfect) in the context of the Covenant, our Heavenly Father is saying that He will “rabah – consistently rear us, continually caring for us so that we grow into perpetuity and reach our full potential over the entire fabric of time, becoming exceedingly greater than we currently are.” Moreover, by analyzing the juxtaposition of rabah and ma’od, we discover that Yahowah is not speaking about the quantity of Abram’s descendants, but instead about demonstrably and substantially increasing Abram’s status (from a human child to God’s son), his dimensions (from 3.5 (stuck as we are in time) to 7.0) his capability (from matter to energy), his life (from mortal to eternal), and his wealth (from owning a flock of sheep to inheriting his own slice of the universe).
The fact that Yah communicated rabah using the hiphil imperfect cohortative speaks volumes. The hiphil stem tells us that the subject of this verb causes the object of the verb to participate in the action as if they were a secondary subject. For example, in the sentence “Yada led you toward understanding,” the direct object (you) participates in the action that the subject (Yada) caused. So since God is the subject of this promise and we are the object, it is by consistently engaging with God in His Covenant that we continually grow. Our ongoing participation in the Covenant with Yahowah enables our Heavenly Father to eternally empower us. And as you know, the consistent, continual, habitual, ongoing, and eternal aspects of this verb are derived from its imperfect conjugation. And even better, by presenting rabah in the cohortative mood, we can revel in the realization that this is what Yah wants to do, as it expresses His desire and yearning.
Yahowah has told Abram, and us through him, what the Covenant Relationship was to entail, what He expected, and what He was offering in return. Up to this point, we have learned that Yahowah was insistent that Abram leave Babylon—the headwaters of the political and religious schemes contrived by man. Now He wants him to walk to Him.
Yahowah has invited us to have a relationship with Him. He did not establish a religion. Further, this relationship with our Maker is to be on a first-name basis. We are invited to walk side-by-side, in His presence, conversing with Him. If you get nothing more out of this book than that, my labor and your time will be rewarded in abundance. If you capitalize on this offer, God will cause you to grow in status and power beyond your imagination.
Considering the Source, the offer of a covenant relationship was very humbling stuff. And that’s probably why Abram reacted the way he did. But pay special attention to God’s reply...
“Then (wa) Abram (‘Abram – Father Who Lifts Up) fell (napal) on His face (‘al paneh – in God’s presence), and (wa) God (‘elohym – the Mighty One) spoke (dabar – talked and communed, shared the word) with him (‘eth), to say (la amar – to respond): ‘Here I Am, look at Me (‘any hineh). My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth – I have formed a personal partnership and friendly association) is with you (‘eth). You shall be (hayah – you will exist as) a father (‘ab) to (la) many enriched (hamown – an abundance of) people from different races and places (gowym).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:3-4)
It’s hard to see up when you are looking down, which is why Yahowah’s directions are the opposite of Catholic and Islamic prostrations. While man is prone to falling down, and has been conditioned to bow down, God wants to lift us up so that we can be with Him and look Him in the eye.
The “beryth – covenant” is a family relationship, and an “’ab – father” serves as a progenitor of a family – which is the reference being made here. In this way, Abram represents our “Uplifting Father” who was soon to become Abraham, our “Merciful Father.” Both serve as metaphors for God, our Heavenly Father, who is the Patriarch of the Uplifting and Merciful Family Relationship known as the “Beryth – Covenant.” This is God’s plan to adopt and enrich us.
The “gowym – people from many races and places” who have embraced Yahowah’s Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship, and who have been adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family, are indeed “hamown – abundantly rich.” As part of our adoption, we inherit Yahowah’s possessions—which include everything in the entire universe. While I don’t know how many thousands of us there are or will be, there is more than enough to go around to exceed the pledge communicated within this verse.
Speaking of this offer, Yahowsha’ affirmed Yahowah’s promise when He said: “I am the Door (associating Himself with Passover). If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved . I came so that they might have life more abundantly.” (Yahowchanan / John 10:9-10)
Throughout Scripture, there are many words and statements which reveal important contrasts, words and ideas which have a light and dark side, depending upon whether the primary, secondary, or tertiary definition is considered. This is one such place. The benefit of the Covenant is derived from hamown’s primary definition: “being enriched with abundant wealth through the accumulation of possessions greatly in excess of what is actually required.” Through the Covenant, we are “hamown – enriched” in this way because God’s children receive their Heavenly Father’s inheritance.
But that is not all hamown means. Its secondary definition is “to create an uproar which confuses the masses, to clamor in a loud and unruly fashion so that many are motivated to riot, inducing hordes of militants plunder their victims.” Then under its tertiary definition, hamown speaks of “political pomp and pontification,” even of “religious pronouncements and processions which mystify and cause the preponderance of people to be agitated.” This connotation defines the result: “turmoil, commotion, tumult, and riots.” So because of the massive cultural damage the dark side of hamown can do to an entire community, indeed to a civilization, the final definitional consideration of hamown reads: “crowd, multitude, masses, and populace.”
Therefore, in the dark and light side of this word, we witness the contrast between the consequence of embracing the Covenant and the result of rejecting it. We are either among the few who are adopted by God and are “hamown – enriched,” or we become “hamown – one of the many depraved victims of man’s caustic religious, political, economic, and military schemes.”
Turning next to gowym, we discover that the primary designation, “people from different races and places,” is the best fit in this godly pronouncement, because “individuals the world over, regardless of their genes or their geography,” have been enriched by Yahowah’s Covenant. But, gowy, the singular of gowym, can also be translated using its secondary connotation which is “nation,” as it is a subset of the word’s primary implication. And as you are probably aware, religious Jews prefer to transliterate Gowym as “Gentiles” and then ascribe the word’s tertiary meaning to those who are not Jewish: “heathen pagans who are uncultured and act as animals.”
Therefore, by using the primary characterization of both words, we know that “gowym – individuals the world over” will choose to be made “hamown – abundantly rich” by Yahowah’s “Beryth – Familial Covenant Relationship.” But many will choose an opposing fate. We discover by considering the implications of the secondary and tertiary connotations of each term, that God is predicting that not all of the gowym who claim Abraham as their patriarch, such as Christians and Muslims do, will benefit. And as usual, He was right.
Before we press on, let’s see how accurately some of the more popular English Bibles did with this extraordinarily important passage. To accomplish this, we should recognize that Yahowah said:
“I want to actually give, I yearn to genuinely bestow the everlasting gift of, and I choose to literally offer the unfolding present of, and I wish to devote and dedicate without interruption or alteration, even pay for and consistently provide into perpetuity (natan), My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth-y) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond to this relationship (byn). And because (wa) I yearn to continually increase and multiply, as part of a mutually engaged relationship, fostering growth throughout time for (rabah) you in (ba) the extreme and to the uttermost, to the greatest extent possible in power and strength, energy and capability, and to the highest point in dimensions and status (ma’od ma’od). (17:2)
Then (wa) Abram (‘Abram) fell (napal) on His face (‘al paneh), and (wa) God (‘elohym) spoke (dabar) with him (‘eth), to say (la amar): (17:3) ‘Here I Am, look at Me (‘any hineh). My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth) is with you (‘eth). You shall be (hayah) a father (‘ab) to (la) many enriched (hamown) people from different races and places (gowym).’” (17:4)
The wealthiest Gowym in the world are those who have embraced the Father’s covenant relationship. While I don’t know how many of us there are, I can attest that we are exceedingly rich.
Abram’s transition from “Uplifting Father” to “Loving and Merciful Father who Enriches” illustrates the nature of our Heavenly Father’s Covenant gift. It represents a “loving act of undeserved favor, of forgiveness provided out of a sense of compassion and affection.”
We know this because God said: “And (wa) no longer shall (lo’ ‘owd) your name (shem – your personal and proper name) be called out (qara’ – be proclaimed, read, or recited, summoned or designated) as (‘eth – by) ‘Abram (‘abram – uplifting father). Your personal and proper name (shem – your designation and renown) shall be (hayah – shall exist as) ‘Abraham (‘abraham – Loving and Merciful Father who Enriches; a compound of ‘ab – father, raham – womb of merciful, forgiving, tender love, affection, and compassion, and hamown – to enrich). I have given to you (natan – I have granted as a gift to you) the designation of (ky – the brand and symbolism designating to whom someone belongs of) the father (‘ab) of many enriched (hamown) people from different races and places (gowym).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:5)
Once again I would like to remind you that God did not and could not have told Abraham that the benefit of the covenant would be to make him the father of many nations, because that is not what occurred. Beyond the fact that the primary meaning of hamown and gowy are as I’ve rendered them in these passages, if Yahowah intended to infer that Yisra’el would become great, then He would not have used gowy or gowym, singular or plural. Apart from using the name, Yisra’el, He could have used ‘am, the familial term for naturally-born children. As you know, gowym speaks of foreign populations, thereby expressly excluding Yisra’el.
More telling still, the number of Yahuwdym/Jews has been and continues to be limited by their religious enemies. So even though I understand that there are over a billion Muslims who mindlessly claim to have descended from Ishmael, they are all adversaries, and thus counterproductive to this partnership. After all, Yahowah dedicated the previous chapter to demeaning Ishmael, so His evaluation of Islam is well attested. Therefore, the only other nations which claim to be from Abraham’s line are expressly disqualified.
The only meaningful message in complete harmony with the words themselves, especially in the context of this Covenant discussion, is that our “Loving, Merciful, Forgiving, and Compassionate Father who Enriches” through this familial relationship, has adopted people from many different races living in many different places into His family, and that these spiritual children, after having been elevated in status, have been enriched, inheriting all that is God’s to give. While we all begin life outside of God’s family and home, and are all foreigners initially, Yahowah has a plan in place for this status to change.
According to Yahowah, not only will those He adopts by way of His Covenant become abundantly rich, and be exceedingly empowered, He will grow as well...
“And (wa) I will grow, be fruitful, and flourish (parah – I choose to grow by branching off and bearing fruit (scribed using the hiphil stem denoting a relationship in which both parties participate in the action; perfect conjugation telling us that this growth will complete God just as children make a family whole; and in the consecutive form which conveys volition; first person singular, affirming that it is God who is choosing to branch off, blossom and grow, be fruitful and to flourish relationally)) with you (‘eth – in association with you) in (ba – with) the extreme and to the greatest extent possible (ma’od ma’od – to the uttermost capacity of energy and capability, to the highest possible and most complete dimension, place, and status).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:6)
Yahowah has defined the purpose of the Covenant from His perspective. Family relationships complete Him; children cause Him to grow, to branch out, to blossom, and to flourish. In anticipation of developing a mutually beneficial and engaged relationship with us, God created the universe. It is the reason we exist. You and I actually provide the means for Yahowah to grow, for Him to become greater than He already is. Without the Covenant, deprived of these relationships, God ceases to be infinite, because by definition, to be infinite, one must continue to grow. Loving relationships, a flourishing family, children to nurture, companions to enjoy, a universe to share and explore with supportive friends, represent the only things God cannot provide for Himself.
The fruit of the Covenant is growth – both ours and God’s. Our Loving and Merciful Father grows and is enriched when His family grows and is enriched. It is that simple. It is that profound.
We know these things because ma’od is an adverb modifying the verb “parah – I will be fruitful and grow.” Just four verses ago, in Bare’syth 17:2, ma’od was used to modify “rabah – I will cause you to increase and grow.” And because ma’od was scribed ma’od ma’od in both sentences, God is telling us that the Covenant will not only cause us to increase and grow beyond our wildest imagination, it will also cause Yahowah to be fruitful and grow to His maximum potential. By helping His children flourish, our Heavenly Father grows. Loving family relationships empower and enrich everyone—including God.
As with most things, however, relationships can also be painful, even counterproductive. For example, have you ever loved someone who didn’t return your love? Have you ever cared about someone who didn’t seem to care about you? If you have, you know that there are few experiences as frustrating or exasperating as being rebuffed, rejected, or just ignored. Trying to initiate and nurture a relationship which is not reciprocated can drain the life right out of a person. And so it would be with God if He personally solicited everyone on earth. So I suppose this is why God loves those who love Him. It is why His mercy has been and will be bequeathed upon thousands, not millions or billions of souls. It is why His family will ultimately be small compared to the number of people who have rejected or ignored His overtures.
Before we complete our review of this statement, I want you to know that most every English bible differs significantly from the way I have translated the passage. It’s not that the words are confusing, but instead that the theologians who rendered them can’t fathom the notion that God benefits and grows as a result of the relationships which are facilitated by His Covenant.
And yet there is no denying that the text begins: “w-h-parah-y – and I will grow and be fruitful.” The “w,” prefix representing the conjunction “and,” indicates the beginning of a new sentence. Then, because parah was scribed in the first person singular, we must recognize and include the pronoun “I” at this juncture in the sentence. And therefore, since Yahowah is speaking to Abraham, He is the one who is growing.
Also, as noted in the text, the hiphil stem speaks of relationships in which both parties participate in the action. Therefore, God is addressing one of the benefits of His Familial Covenant Relationship. Furthermore, the verb’s perfect conjugation reveals that God’s growth will complete Him, making Him whole. And lastly, the consecutive form tells us that God has chosen this result because it is what He wants. In fact, the only rational conclusion which is possible based upon this statement is that God’s growth explains the reason He created us.
The second word in this verse, ‘eth-d, is “‘eth – with” suffixed in the second person singular masculine, meaning “with you” or “in association with it”—in this case referring to ‘Abram and/or his new name: “‘Abraham – the Loving and Merciful Father who Enriches.” The third and fourth words are: “b-ma’od ma’od.” The “b” represents the preposition “in.” And ma’od ma’od conveys: “to the greatest extent possible.”
God yearns to be our Father. It is His desire to share His universe with His children. He wants to grow by helping us grow. God becomes greater by elevating and enriching us. In fact, His plans for us are so spectacular, we will become royalty, heirs to His throne, kings in His kingdom. After all, God’s children should expect nothing less
“And (wa) I will provide and give this (natan – I will actually offer, allow, grant, and bestow this unfolding relational gift (qal perfect, prefixed first person singular masculine and suffixed second person singular masculine)) to (la – on behalf of) people from differing races and places (gowym). And (wa) royal rulers (malakym – those who live like kings) will come forth (yatsa’ – they shall be delivered and find freedom; they will be produced (scribed in the imperfect conjugation, telling us that this process will continue to unfold over time)) from you (min – by this means).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:6)
Once again, Yahowah chose to use the verb “natan – give,” and did not use any of the six Hebrew words at His disposal to convey “make.” The Covenant and its benefits are “gifts” for all humankind, regardless of place or race. Also, since He prefixed natan in the first person singular, God said “I will give.” But that is where certainty transitions into probability. You see, “natan – give” was suffixed in the second person masculine. So the verb must be followed by “you,” referring to Abraham, or “this or it,” referencing something in the immediate proximity which is also masculine singular. Based upon what has come before, the options are: “shem – name,” “‘ab – father,” “hamown – enrichment,” or “‘Abraham – Loving and Merciful Father.” “Gowym – people from different races and places,” is also masculine, but it was written in the plural form, and “beryth – Covenant,” while exclusively singular, is feminine.
Irrespective of its plural designation, since the sentence is senseless written “I will give you to peoples from differing races and places,” and since the “beryth – Covenant” is excluded because it is feminine, the context suggests that the thing Yahowah is giving to individuals from varying places and races is “hamown – enrichment” through His “shem – name.” This occurs because He is serving as our “’ab – Father, specifically, our “’Abraham – Loving and Merciful Father.” When we are adopted into Yahowah’s family, into His Covenant household, we become God’s children and we inherit His home, also known as the universe. Furthermore, as the sons and daughters of the King of Kings, God’s children become royalty of the highest order.
Malakym, the word rendered “royal rulers,” is the plural of malak. Usually translated “king or kings,” it denotes “royalty” and addresses those who are “related, enriched, empowered, authorized, and free to do as they please.” The malak form of wealth and power transfer is always inherited from father to son. As such, it is a fitting reward in this context, especially since the emphasis has been on the “natan – gift” of a “beryth – family relationship,” which provides “hamown – enrichment,” to the “ma’od ma’od – greatest extent possible,” using the “shem – name” of our “’ab – Father.”
But more than this, malak is based upon mal’ak, which describes a “theophonic” or “godly being,” a “supernatural deputy or associate” which serves as a “spiritual messenger or heavenly envoy.” This too is telling because as God’s children we will become supernatural spiritual beings as a result of His message.
It is also noteworthy that yatsa’, rendered “will come forth,” was scribed in the third person, masculine plural, making the subject of the verb the newly conceived “malakym – royalty.” So with “min – from” suffixed in the second person masculine singular, we are reminded of our Father’s enrichment, of His love and His mercy “yatsa’ – producing” these benefits.
Beyond these things, both Dowd and Yahowsha’ were kings. And both were descendants of Abraham. So as with most things Yah, a literal and spiritual interpretation is possible.
Moving on to Yah’s next statement, we are reminded that the “beryth – familial covenant relationship” belongs to God, which is why He is free to give it to us. Moreover, our Heavenly Father uses it to “quwm – restore us and to establish us” so that we can “quwm – stand upright” in His presence. He accomplished this when He “quwm – stood up” for us on Passover and Unleavened Bread, enabling us to “quwm – stand” by His side.
“And (wa) I will stand up and establish (quwm – I will restore, fulfill, and accomplish, I shall ratify and confirm (written in the hiphil stem, whereby the subject (God) is causing the object (Abraham and his offspring) to become established and stand upright)) with (‘eth) My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth – My family and household (feminine singular, suffixed in the first person singular gender inclusive “My Covenant”)) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn – as the way to recognition and understand this association with Me) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn – for you to examine, consider, understand, and reply appropriately to this relationship), and between your offspring, so that they might be observant and responsive (wa byn zera’ – and with your seed, your extended family, encouraging them to explore and understand) after you (‘achar – following you), regarding and on behalf of (la – concerning) their dwelling places and generations (dowr – their protected households and extended families, elevating and extending their lives), for an eternal and everlasting (‘owlam – always enduring and eternally existing) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – familial association (feminine singular)), to literally be and to actually remain (la hayah – to genuinely exist yesterday, today, and tomorrow (scribed in the qal relational stem denoting reality and in the infinitive construct giving the verb the qualities of a noun)) as your (la) God (‘elohym) and (wa) for (la) your offspring (zera’ – seed and descendants) after you (‘aharown – until the very last of you).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:7)
Therefore, the stated purpose of Yahowah’s “beryth – Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship” is to “dowr – to elevate and extend our lives, to enlarge and protect our family,” which is to say that we become part of God’s family. This thereby “dowr – enables generations to abide and endure together throughout time.”
The “beryth – Covenant” is not just singular, affirming that there is only one Covenant, it will “’owlam – endure forever.” That which is ‘owlam is “perpetual,” meaning: “continuously existing and unending.” This of course means that this one and only Covenant was not replaced by a “New Testament.” According to Yahowah, His “Beryth – Covenant” will endure forever – as will its beneficiaries. And not so coincidently, at the heart of “‘owlam – everlasting and eternal,” we find its roots: “‘owlal – child” and “‘am – family.”
Also worth noting, in both instances, beryth was scribed in the construct form which binds it to the words which follow it in the text. In the first instance, the “beryth – covenant” was associated with byn. There, written in the first person, byn conveys that the Covenant is “between and beside Me, in My proximity, and within My defined space and time.” And in keeping with the theme of family, children, and inheritance, on this occasion it was irrevocably linked to “zera’ – offspring.” Then in the second instance, we find beryth yoked to “’owlam – eternally enduring.” These are all wonderful thoughts, albeit all too easily missed.
While I cannot prove it, I suspect that the reason the “beryth – Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship” is feminine is because it is the work of our Spiritual Mother, the Ruwach Qodesh, and it is a derivative of the Towrah (also feminine). We are born into our Heavenly Father’s family in accordance with Yah’s Towrah instructions by way of the Set-Apart Spirit. It and She give us new life. They nurture us, cleanse and purify us, protect and enlighten us. In accordance with the Towrah’s teaching, the Set-Apart Spirit adorns us in a Garment of Light, which enables us to enter God’s home. Working in harmony, the Towrah and Ruwach Qodesh save and empower us so that we might enjoy life eternal in our Heavenly Father’s home.
By saying that He, Himself, is going to “quwm – stand up for and establish” the Covenant Relationship, God is announcing the central plank of the “Mow’ed Miqra’ey – Called-Out Assembly Meetings” which not only predict the arrival of the Ma’aseyah, but also explain His sacrifice. Because God stood up for us on Passover and Unleavened Bread, and because He will stand up for us again on Reconciliations and Shelters, we are restored and established and we are able to walk with Him in a familial relationship which leads us to being raised up to His heavenly home—living forever.
Yahowah is serious about His beryth. He has vouched for it, and He desires it. By saying that He is going to “stand up for and establish” the covenant, He is announcing the central plank of the Miqra’ey, the message of the Ma’aseyah, the means to His plan of salvation.
The Covenant is eternal. It was, is, and always will be. There is no “Old Covenant” and “New Covenant,” just the Covenant—a familial relationship designed to make abundant life everlasting. While the Covenant is about renewal, it isn’t renewed, we are.
The beryth is established on behalf of God, meaning that it was created for His benefit even though we are the primary beneficiaries. That means that Yahowah gains something from these familial relationships. He gets loved. He enjoys companionship. It is the reason we are here.
Moving on to the next verse, we are reminded that the Promised Land serves as a metaphor for eternal life with God in heaven. That is why this gift is listed as one of the benefits of the Covenant.
“And (wa) I will give (natan) to you (la), and to (wa la) your offspring (zera’ – seed) after you (‘achar), this (‘eth) land (‘erets – region and realm) where (‘eth) you are living as an alien (magowr – a stranger and foreigner with minimal status and rights), the entire (kol) land (‘erets) of Can’aow (can’aow – merchant traders who will be humbled; transliterated Canaan) to (la) eternally (‘owlam – to endure forever in and) possess (‘achuzah – to inherit and to be settled within). And (wa) I will exist (hayah – I will be) unto them as their (lahm la) God (‘elohym).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:8)
Since Yahowah and science both reveal that the Earth will not last “’owlam – forever,” the only way this promise can be fulfilled is for the ‘erets to represent the universe, inclusive of the realm known as “shamaym – the heavens.” Therefore, the ‘erets represents the conditions experienced in the Garden of Eden and those which will be experienced during the one-thousand year celebration of “Sukah – Tabernacles and Shelters.” It speaks of living with God, of camping out with Him.
Along these lines, the reason Abraham was currently a “magowr – stranger” in this realm is because he had not yet demonstrated to Yahowah that he was willing to trust and rely upon the Covenant’s provisions. That would not occur for more than a decade, and not until Abraham trusted Yahowah sufficiently for him to walk to Mount Mowryah and perform a dress rehearsal for Passover.
One would have to search the Word of God long and hard to find a more important statement than what follows:
“And (wa) God Almighty (‘elohym) said (‘amar – promised) to (‘el – as God to) Abraham (‘Abraham – Loving, Merciful, and Enriching Father), ‘And (wa) as for you (‘eth ‘atah – regarding you), you should actually and continuously observe (shamar – you should carefully consider, diligently and consistently paying especially close attention to the details so that you understand, genuinely care about, revere, and literally keep your eyes focused upon (scribed in the qal stem which addresses that which is literal and relational, and in the imperfect conjugation which conveys the idea that this close examination is to be ongoing, continuing throughout time so as to always explore)) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y – My mutually binding agreement, My household promise, My relational accord, My marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, eternally binding, connecting, and associating the beryth – covenant with shamar – you should carefully observe; written with the first person singular suffix: My – telling us that the Covenant is God’s)), you (‘atah) and (wa – in addition to) your seed (zera’ – your offspring (singular construct)) after you (‘achar – following you) throughout (la) their generations, dwelling places, and eras of time (dowr – their families, related births, and lives (plural construct)).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:9)
It should be noted that “zera’ – seed” and “dowr – generations, dwelling places, lives, and epochs of time” were both scribed in the construct form, not only linking the zera’ and dowr together, but also linked them with beryth. Therefore, the “Covenant” is the “seed” from which “generations come to dwell throughout time” with Yah.
According to God, our responsibility regarding His Covenant is to “shamar – observe” it – literally and continually. It is the same instruction He gives us regarding His Towrah—which not so coincidently represents the one and only place where we can go to “observe” Yah’s Covenant, as it is the only place where its codicils are recorded.
The means to become a “zera’ – offspring” of the “beryth – family-oriented covenant relationship,” and thereby “dowr – live throughout time in God’s dwelling place” is breathtakingly simple: “shamar – actually and consistently, carefully and diligently observe and examine every detail” associated with Yahowah’s Covenant as it is presented in His Towrah. We should do this, as should our fathers and our children, no matter where or when we live or with whom we are related.
And although “shamar – observe” serves as the operative verb with respect to our participation in the Covenant, shamar is among the least understood words in Scripture. It is almost always translated “keep” in English bibles even though etymologically shamar is based entirely upon the notions of “using our sense of sight to be watchful, carefully examining and scrutinizing that which can be seen,” of “being focused and visually alert by keeping one’s eyes open,” and of “overseeing things from the proper perspective so as to be aware of what is occurring.” The linguistic inference is that those who “carefully observe and diligently examine everything within their purview will come to understand what they witness,” and that “through this understanding, they will protect that which they value and those they love, keeping that which they revere secure.” Shamar conveys the idea that “people should keep their eyes open, that they should always be on guard, and that they should be focused, alert, aware, and perceptive.”
Therefore, shamar is being used to encourage us to “observe” the terms and conditions of the Covenant by using our eyes to read, indeed to focus upon, what is written in the Towrah. God wants us to “examine and consider” the requirements and benefits of the Covenant as they are delineated in His Towrah so that we are secure, protecting those we love.
Shamar is related to shama’, “whereby we are encouraged to use our sense of hearing to listen” to what God has to say to us. Collectively then, the senses of sight and hearing enable us to know Yahowah and understand His Towrah by “qara’ – reading and reciting” it. But there is more: by observing Yahowah’s Guidance, by listening to God’s Instructions regarding His Covenant, by coming to know and understand His Teaching regarding our salvation, we come to trust Yahowah and rely upon His Directions. Trust and reliance then become the Way, the means to our adoption and to our salvation.
You may have noticed that this proclamation from Yahowah regarding what He expects from those who want to participate in His Covenant was direct and unequivocal. Simply stated: shamar beryth is a requirement. If you want to have a relationship with God, you do so by carefully and continually observing His written Towrah testimony regarding His Covenant.
What many miss, and especially those who are religious, is that this statement from God is utterly devastating to Pauline Doctrine. Paul’s thesis, better known as the “Gospel of Grace,” is based upon the notion that Abraham was saved, not because He closely examined and carefully considered what Yahowah had personally revealed to him regarding His Covenant, but instead because he “believed God.” According to Paul, Abraham’s salvation was a product of his faith and not his actions. But “being observant,” especially during personal experiences like this one, leads to knowing, to understanding, to trusting, and to relying, while “belief” is the product of not knowing and of not understanding. In fact, belief all too often leads to faith in things which are neither reliable nor true.
Those who know, trust. Those who do not know, believe. Moreover, the means to “knowing” is “shamar – careful observation.”
God did not ask Abraham to believe Him, nor did He suggest that we should believe Him. He asked Abraham and those who would benefit from the Covenant to carefully observe what He had to say. And to accomplish this, we must read the Towrah, closely examining its every word.
Let’s continue to do what Yahowah requested of us and see where it leads. “This one and only (ze’th – this particular, singular, unique, and specific (feminine singular)) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship of Mine (beryth-y – mutually binding agreement of Mine, My household promise, this relational accord of Mine, My marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, eternally binding, connecting, and associating the beryth – covenant with shamar – careful observation; written with the first person singular suffix, thereby reminding us that this singular, specific, and unique Covenant is God’s)), which relationally (‘asher – by way of making a connection, developing an association, benefiting and blessing) you should actually and continuously observe (shamar – you should carefully and literally consider, you should diligently and consistently pay especially close attention to the details so that you genuinely understand, care about, and revere what you witness throughout the whole fabric of time and that by focusing upon the Covenant you are kept safe and secure (scribed in the qal stem which addresses that which is literal and relational, and in the imperfect conjugation which conveys the idea that this close examination is to be ongoing, continuing throughout time so as to always focus upon the relationship)) between Me (byn – for the purpose of coming to know and understand Me as a result of being perceptive, prudently considering the insights which are discernible regarding Me) and between you (wa byn – to cause you to be aware and to understand), and between (wa byn – for the purpose of coming to know) your offspring (zera’ – your seed (singular construct)) following you (‘achar – after you), for you to actually circumcise (muwl – so that you literally cut off and remove the foreskin of the penis (scribed using the niphal stem which is used to convey the voice of genuine relationships where the subject, which is you, receives the action of the verb, which is circumcision, and the infinitive absolute, which intensifies the action of the verb)) accordingly your every (l-cm-kol) male for them to remember (zakar – masculine human individual who recalls and remembers (singular and absolute)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:10)
Not only was this request clear and unequivocal, not only does this affirm Yah’s previous appeal, not only does it reinforce the uniqueness of the one and only Covenant, it encourages us to be observant and to think so that we come to understand precisely what God is asking of us.
But also, this verse is additive, providing us with the fifth and final Covenant requirement: circumcise our sons so that we and they remember the Covenant. So, I ask you, when Paul screamed out against circumcision in his letter to the Galatians, demeaning it while promoting a second and different Covenant, why did anyone believe him? Why have billions of souls been beguiled into trusting him?
Sometimes, if we pause long enough, if we dig deep enough, if we are especially observant and thoughtful, we learn something we would otherwise miss. Such is the case here. You see, “muwl – circumcise” was scribed using the niphal stem. The niphal, as the passive form of the qal, conveys three ideas. First, it is a relational stem, affirming the fact that circumcision is germane to our relationship with God. Second, it requires a literal interpretation of the testimony, meaning that these circumcisions are actual and not merely symbolic. And third, the niphal, as the reflexive counterpart of the qal, indicates that the subject, which is you and me as parents, receive the benefit of the verb’s action, which is circumcision.
Collectively then, when the niphal stem is used in conjunction with muwl in this context, we discover that by actually circumcising our sons, we as parents benefit from the act. It is as if we, ourselves, are being circumcised. And that is a very good thing, because circumcision is the sign of the Covenant. It affirms our acceptance, confirming our willingness to be cut into this relationship with God. We are in essence saying: we will raise our children to become Your children.
Bringing this all together, God has systematically presented the guidance and instructions necessary for us to know Him, for us to relate to Him, and for us to be saved by Him. After asking us to walk away from all forms of “babel – confusion,” including family traditions, national allegiances, and religious corruption, Yahowah encouraged us to trust and rely upon Him instead. He then asked us to walk to Him and become perfect, with His Towrah providing the directions. God’s fourth request of us, indeed His requirement with respect to our participation in His Covenant, was presented in the previous two verses. He wants us to continuously and genuinely observe His Covenant, focusing upon and diligently considering the conditions and benefits of this relationship. He knows that when we come to appreciate what He is offering that we’ll respond appropriately. And so now to demonstrate our understanding, to help us remember everything He has shared with us, God is asking us to circumcise our sons. Consider it a signature, a vow to accept and embrace this extraordinary gift – the opportunity to engage in a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.
If we want to participate in Yahowah’s Covenant, we must circumcise our sons. It is as simple as that. Written in the infinitive absolute, and followed by “kol – all,” there is no room for negotiation or interpretation. We can either accept Yahowah’s terms or reject them – but we cannot alter them to suit us as Pauline Doctrine has done.
Since Yahowah has established only one prerequisite and four requirements for participation in His Covenant, that we walk away from Babylon (away from mankind’s political, religious, economic, and military schemes), that we come to trust and rely on Him (which necessitates us coming to know Him and understand what He is offering), that we walk to Him (along the specific path which He prepared in the Torah) so as to become perfect, that we carefully and continually observe His Covenant, and that men be circumcised, let’s consider why He has asked this specific thing of us.
“And (wa) you all shall cut off and separate (muwl – you shall circumcise (scribed in the niphal stem which is used to convey the voice of genuine relationships where the subject, which is you as a parent, receives the benefit of the verb, which is circumcision, in the perfect conjugation designating that this instruction shall be followed wholly and completely, and in the consecutive thereby associating it with our basar – flesh)) your foreskin’s (‘aralah – the fold of skin covering the conical tip of the penis) association with (‘eth) the flesh (basar – the physical body and animal nature).
And (wa) this will exist (hayah – this was, is, and forever will be (scribed in the qal perfect, signifying something associated with a relationship which is unchanging and unending) as (la) the sign to remember (‘owth – the example to visually illustrate and explain, the symbol and standard, the pledge and attestation of the miraculous nature (singular, as in there is only one sign, construct form, linking the sign to the...)) the Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – mutually binding agreement, household promise, relational accord, marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, eternally associating the beryth – covenant with ‘owth – the sign of muwl – circumcision)) between Me (byn – for the purpose of coming to know and understand Me as a result of being perceptive, prudently considering the insights which are discernible regarding Me) and between you (wa byn – to cause you to be aware and to understand).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:11)
Yahowah wants us to “muwl – be cut off and separated from” our “‘eth – association with” our “basar – physical bodies and animal nature.” To be associated with God, we must disassociate ourselves from man. Therefore, not only is the “‘owth – sign” of the “beryth – covenant” a reminder that we must walk away from Babylon before we can walk to God, it signifies that to be adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family, we must transition from physical beings with mortal, imperfect, substantially limited, and decaying bodies, to spiritual beings who are elevated, empowered, and enriched by this relationship.
It is interesting to note that while circumcision is symbolic, the act itself is literal and physical. Further, hayah, which was scribed in the third person masculine singular, and was rendered “this will exist” in the passage, was more literally scribed “he shall exist” as the sign. Therefore, when we accept the terms of Yahowah’s Covenant, we become its living symbols.
Furthermore, as those who have read An Introduction to God discovered in the “Dabar – Word” chapter, Hebrew verbs do not designate the past, present, and future, as is the case with English tenses, but instead they reflect truths which remain unchanged throughout all time. Such is the case with hayah, meaning “was, is, and will be” all at the same time. Therefore, we were, we are, and we will always be signs of the Covenant.
“‘Owth – sign to remember” and “‘uwth – to consent and agree” are written identically in Hebrew. So not only is circumcision, this separation from our physical and animal nature, a “visual means to illustrate and explain the miraculous nature” of the Covenant, it is our way of showing our “consent and agreement” to raise our children in compliance with the conditions Yahowah has outlined. Circumcision is a parent’s pledge to honor God’s family-oriented agreement. It is our signature on their adoption papers—telling our Heavenly Father that we want our children to become His children, that we will dedicate ourselves to assuring that this occurs. And not so coincidently, the best way to accomplish this is to recite the Towrah to our children and thereby expose them to its Covenant, sharing its prerequisite, requirements, and benefits.
While we’ve addressed this previously, while virtually every sentence begins with “wa – and,” that is somewhat misleading. The conjunction is used as punctuation, telling us where to end one sentence and start another in a language without upper and lowercase letters and without periods, question marks, or exclamation points. I include the conjunctions mainly because they serve to initiate and link each new thought. Such is the case with the following statement...
“And (wa) a son (ben – a male child) of eight (shamonah – from shamen, meaning olive oil, which is symbolic of the Spirit, of light, of being anointed, and of being rooted in the land) days (yowmym), you shall circumcise (muwl – you shall cut off and separate his foreskin (scribed using the niphal stem denoting a relationship which is genuine and indicating that parents benefit from doing as God has requested, and in the imperfect conjugation which tells us that this must continue to occur over time and that it is designed to produce ongoing results)) with regard to your (la) every (kol) male (zakar – masculine individual; from zakar: to commit to memory, to remind, and to remember) throughout (la) your dwelling places and generations (dowr – your protected households and extended families, elevating and extending your lives), those naturally born (yalyd – those naturalized as a member of an extended family through natural childbirth) in the home (beyth – into the household and family (singular absolute)), and also (wa) those really wanting to be (kasap – those deeply desiring, strongly yearning, and passionately longing to be) acquired and included (miqnah – purchased and obtained), of (min) every (kol) son (ben – male child) of foreign lands (nekar – of places where they are not properly valued and appreciated) who relationally (‘asher – by way of making a connection) are not (lo’) from (min) your seed (zera’).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:12)
In Scripture, eight symbolizes eternity, which is why the symbol for infinity and the numeral itself are so similar. It is why there is an eighth day of celebration associated with the seventh Called-Out Assembly of Sukah – Shelters, which is symbolic of us camping out with God for all eternity. Additionally, the Hebrew word for “eight,” shamonah, is based upon sheman, meaning “olive oil.” In Scripture, olive oil is used as a metaphor for the Set-Apart Spirit because She enlightens us, nurtures us, anoints us, heals us, and cleanses us. The olive tree is not only native to Yisra’el, it is one of the world’s longest lived trees.
We ought not be surprised in that we were designed by the Author of this instruction, but it should be noted that the eighth day is the perfect time to perform this minor procedure. Excessive bleeding is minimized, as is infection, because human blood coagulates most effectively at this time.
You may have noticed that this is the second time Yahowah has used “zakar – male” in association with circumcision. Since the instruction is directed toward, albeit not exclusive to, young boys, literally “ben – sons,” the reason for using zakar only becomes obvious when you study the words etymology. Zakar means: “to establish in one’s memory, to remind, to remember, to reflect, to recall, and to memorialize something important, making it known.” It also conveys the idea that “truth can cleanse and purify, causing us to shine brightly and brilliantly.” When we are enveloped in the Set-Apart Spirit’s Garment of Light, we are cleansed and purified by Her so that we can radiate Yahowah’s pure and brilliant light. Moreover, each time a parent bathes their son, they will be reminded of their commitment to raise him in compliance with the Covenant.
Especially relevant here is that there are two different classes of individuals to be circumcised, which signifies that two distinct groups of people can become part of Yahowah’s Covenant Family. Abraham’s direct descendants through Yitzchaq and Ya’aqob (who became Yisra’el) are “yalyd – naturally born” into Yahowah’s “beyth – family.” But since Yahowah has routinely promised that the benefits of the Covenant would also be available to “gowym – people from different races and places,” He has provided a provision for adoption. That is what “kasap miqnah – those deeply desiring to be acquired and included” from “nekar – foreign lands,” represents. These are adopted children—gowym.
Hiding this reality, most English bibles base their translations of this verse on the Masoretic Text, where the ksp root of “kasap – longing” is pointed “kesep – money.” As kasap miqnah, the clause speaks of those who “really want to be acquired and included.” But as kesep, the order of things has to be reversed, and miqnah kesep becomes a string of nouns: “acquisition money,” which is then corrupted to read “purchased with money.”
And yet while the “kasap miqnah – really wanting to be acquired and included” translation is more consistent with the Covenant and more informative, the miqnah kesep vocalization does address adoption, and thus provides us with two distinct ways to be included in the Covenant: natural childbirth as a literal descendant of Abraham, and by choice through adoption. And thus both renderings are acceptable when viewed from this perspective.
By chance, should you have an aversion to adoptive parents, who value a child more than its natural parents, “purchasing” a child, be aware that this is how Yahowah adopts us. He paid the price for us to live with Him, as His children. This is what Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits represent.
Since both the “kasap – really wanting and therefore choosing” to be included (which speaks of the exercise of freewill), and “kesep” acquired with “money” (which speaks of adoption) provide valuable insights into the Covenant, I was curious as to how the Masoretes’ opinions regarding vocalization managed to rob us of this perspective. How is it that their diacritical markings have come to be considered authorized, even inspired, while other equally valid options have been subsequently ignored? So I checked to see if the basis of Masorete could be found in Scripture. And sure enough, we find it in Yachezq’el 20:37.
But before we begin, you may be interested to know that this prophet’s name, which has been crudely transliterated “Ezekiel,” actually means: “God grows,” the very thing the Covenant enables. The book begins: “the Word (dabar) of Yahowah to Yachezq’el.” And in it we find God using masoret in a most interesting place:
“And (wa) I will extend myself and lead you by way of a specific path (‘abar ‘eth – I will guide you by way of Passover to remove your transgressions and I will carry you away, I will enable you to pass over and travel through) under the auspices of (tahat – I will cause you to succeed using an orderly and logical, non random nor chaotic, arrangement of events over time, pertaining to, on behalf of, relating to, and for the sake of) the (ha) family (shebet – people who are closely related and who are associated with one another by way of the shebet – scepter, staff, branch, and shoot (all of which are symbolic of the Ma’aseyah)). And I will arrive and bring (bow’ – I will return and gather) you (‘eth – through this association and accompaniment) into (ba) compliance with (masoret – agreement with) the (ha) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – mutual agreement, pledge, binding oath and promise (feminine singular absolute)).” (Yachezq’el / God Grows / Ezekiel 20:37)
This is the one and only time masoret appears in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Therefore I find it especially revealing that it is usually translated “bond or fetter.” And that is because the Masoretes have associated it with ‘acar, which means “to tie, to bind, and to harness, to attack, to obligate, and to imprison.”
To “bond” is “to bind,” which is particularly telling in that the English word “religion” is from the Latin word, relegare, meaning: “to bind, to tie, and to fasten.” The related religio is defined as “the obligatory bonds between man and the gods.” So while the most common, although not the most accurate, translation of masoret is “bond,” and the primary definition of “bond” is “to bind,” which is the basis of religion, the secondary meaning of “bond” is actually more appropriate in this context. It speaks of “an affiliation, an affinity, a connection, a relationship, and a marriage union”—all of which are consistent with the Covenant. Even the tertiary definition is synonymous with beryth: “a covenant agreement, a promise and pledge.”
Therefore, Yahowah has told us that He will not only “lead us by way of a specific path, but also that His path includes a promise to “masoret – put us back into compliance and into agreement” with His “beryth – family-oriented covenant relationship.” He is speaking of the forgiveness of sin which results from our observation of Passover and Unleavened Bread, leading to Reconciliations and Shelters. And yet Rabbis calling themselves “Masoret” have usurped this promise, and have instead sought to bind Jews to their rules and to their religion.
This passage from Yachezq’el / Ezekiel, and the one before and after it from Re’syth / Genesis, provide us with a window into the translation process which we’d be remiss for not considering. With kasap versus kesap, both vocalizations and definitions were consistent and insightful, so we were challenged to consider both. But with masoret, the notion of “being in compliance or in agreement” fits, while being “bound” does not. So in the case of masoret, we should translate the term correctly in the text, while taking the time to consider that a choice is being presented—one with significant consequences.
Since we have already been regaled with the amazing benefits of being in compliance with the Covenant, to understand the consequence of being bound to the Masoretic interpretation of things, let’s consider Yahowah’s next statement in Yachezq’el.
“And I will completely purge, wanting to totally eliminate (barar – I will choose to remove entirely from existence (scribed in the perfect conjugation, telling us that this purging and removal will be total and complete, consecutive, demonstrating volition, and in the first person singular, ascribing this act to God)) from you those who choose to rebel audaciously (min ha marad – from you those who consciously resist and boldly disobey My authority, who oppose, strenuously and aggressively attacking, especially in the venues of religion and politics) and also those who are openly defiant (wa ha pasa’ – and those who transgress, violating My instructions and moral code, rising up in clear opposition to My authority and standard, offensive sinners and criminals) against Me from the Land (by min ‘erets – against Me from the material realm and earth). These fear-mongering usurpers (magowr – these unauthorized foreigners temporarily living as aliens who promote animosity and fear, the very mind, heart, and soul of fear), I will take them out (yatsa’ ‘eth – I will cause them to go away). Onto the soil (‘el ‘adamah – upon the ground) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – individuals who strive, live, and endure with God), they will not return or be included (lo’ bow’ – be associated). And You will know (yada’ – you will acknowledge, respect, be familiar with, and understand) for certain that (ky – truly and surly), I Am Yahowah (‘any Yahowah).” (Yachezq’el / God Grows / Ezekiel 20:38)
It should be noted that Yahowah associates fear mongering with rabbinical teaching in Yasha’yah / Isaiah 29:13. Although this translation had to be comprised using 1QIsa, the most complete of the Dead Sea Scrolls, because the Masoretes had changed what God said in twelve significant ways. “And Yahowah said, ‘Indeed, currently these people approach with their open mouths and their lips to honor Me, but their hearts are far away and separated from Me. The fear of Me can be likened to a man-made human commandment which has been taught. Therefore behold, as for Me, I am about to add a marvelous work among the people, a truly wonderful and miraculous event, destroying the cleverness of the shrewd. And the insights of their teachers will vanish, ceasing to exist.’” (Yasha’yah / Salvation is from Yah / Isaiah 29:13-14)
God does not want us to fear Him. That is a religious concept. You cannot love that which you fear. And the Covenant is all about love.
These anti-religious lessons understood, as we return to God’s Covenant testimony, it is important that we consistently approach Yahowah’s Word from the proper perspective and with an open mind. So it is in this light that we should recognize that when a word is repeated in Hebrew, it serves to substantially emphasize its importance. Such is the case with “muwl muwl” in this next passage.
Also, while its primary definition is “to circumcise, to cut off, to separate, and to remove the foreskin,” you may be surprised by muwl’s secondary and tertiary definitions which are listed below. Additionally, because of what we learned about kasap versus kesep, the following translation includes both renderings.
“He (huw’ – third person masculine singular pronoun, addressing fathers) must absolutely circumcise him, definitely cutting off the foreskin (muwl muwl – he must cease what he is currently doing, he must turn him around to face the opposite direction, to ward off threats to his wellbeing by changing his priorities while making a binding promise (scribed with the niphal stem denoting the genuineness of this relationship while stressing the benefit accrued to the parent, in the infinitive absolute which intensifies the importance of the act, and in the imperfect conjugation telling us that this instruction on circumcision will endure uninterrupted throughout time)) of the naturally born (yalyd – naturalized as a member of an extended family through natural childbirth) in your home (beyth – into your household and your family (singular construct)) and also (wa) those really wanting to be (kasap – those deeply desiring, strongly yearning, and passionately longing to be) included (miqnah – acquired, purchased, and obtained) as well as those who are acquired (miqnah – purchased, obtained, and included) with your money (kesep – your precious metals; born out of a deep longing and love).
This shall be (hayah – this was, is, and always will be, this exists as (scribed with the qal stem, denoting a genuine relationship between the subject and the action of the verb which is existence, in the perfect conjugation telling us that this shall endure completely unchanged, in the singular conveying that there are no other options or contingencies, and in the consecutive form, associating our existence with the beryth – family-oriented covenant relationship and its sign muwl - circumcision)) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y – My mutually binding agreement, My household promise, My relational accord, My marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, eternally binding, connecting, and associating the beryth – covenant with muwl – circumcision and hayah – existence; written with the first person singular suffix: My – reminding us that this one and only Covenant is God’s)), in (ba) the flesh (basar – physical realm with humanity), serving as (la – toward the goal of) an everlasting and eternal (‘owlam – forever existing and never ending) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – mutually binding agreement and household promise, relational accord and marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:13)
A “New Covenant” of any kind, much less one where circumcision is not required, is therefore a nonstarter. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise, and that includes Paul. Also, if someone condemns “the flesh,” calling it evil, as Paul is wont to do, please note that Yahowah’s Covenant was cut with us in the flesh.
As we consider Yahowah’s closing statement of circumcision, I’d like to address some of the excuses which are commonly advanced in hostility to it. Some say that God wouldn’t keep a poor old guy out of heaven just because he wasn’t circumcised. Others suggest that unless it’s done by a priest, and on the eighth day, and in a certain precise way, it doesn’t qualify. And many simply side with Paul, and believe that God authorized the self-proclaimed apostle to contradict Him.
The “poor old guy” hypothetical isn’t valid for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it presupposes that there are a material number of elderly individuals out there who have walked away from their religious and political affiliations late in life and who are now trying to observe the Towrah and walk to God along the path He has delineated, who now cannot afford circumcision. The list of such individuals is so short as to be nonexistent. It’s only postured to be argumentative. Further, age is irrelevant. Abraham was one hundred when he was circumcised. So Yahowah has already provided a provision for adults being circumcised in this narrative.
Yahowah never tells us that the foreskin must be cut by a “Levite,” much less a priest or a rabbi. He does not say how much needs to be removed, or how the procedure is to be done. So this argument it moot as well.
God’s instructions have been all encompassing and perfectly clear – especially on circumcision. He simply asked parents to circumcise their sons on the eighth day. The request is easy, safe, and inexpensive when done shortly after birth. It’s man who has messed this up. Very few parents read the Towrah, much less consider its implications. Fewer still observe its instructions or share what Yahowah had to say with their children, as God has so often asked. And as a consequence, circumcision is one of many things which separate the preponderance of people from God.
As for Paul being authorized by God to contradict Him on a subject as essential and the Covenant as its sign, circumcision, you’d have to be a fool to believe this occurred. Yahowah said one thing, and Paul said the opposite. One of them was not telling the truth. Guess who?
Beyond this, if God changed His mind, if He decided to do something new which was counter to His previous promises, He would then cease to be trustworthy or reliable. So the entire notion of placing one’s faith in a god prone to make exceptions to his instructions is indeed a fool’s folly.
God is serious about circumcision. So we should be as well. This next statement is as enlightening as it is unequivocal. And especially relevant is ‘arel, a word which when fully amplified explains the nature of those who are uncircumcised.
“And (wa) the uncircumcised (‘arel – the stubborn, unresponsive, untrusting and un-reliant, the un-listening and un-observing, the un-cutoff, un-set-apart and un-separated) male (zakar – man who fails to remember to do this) who relationally (‘asher – who by association) is not (lo’) circumcised (muwl – willing to change his direction and priorities and make this binding promise) with regard to (‘eth) the flesh (basar – physical, human, and animal nature) of their foreskin (‘aralah), those souls (nepesh – speaking of what makes us unique individuals, alive, aware, and conscious) shall be cut off, be excluded, and banished (karat – shall be severed and cut down, shall be uprooted, die, perish, be destroyed, and cease to exist) from (min) Her (huw’ – speaking of our Spiritual Mother’s Covenant) family (‘am – people who are related biologically and through language).
By way of association (‘eth), they violated and broke, disassociating themselves from (parar – they nullified the agreement, revoking its promises, tearing asunder and thwarting its benefits, splitting away and injuring themselves in the process by severing) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y – My mutually binding agreement, My household promise, My relational accord, My marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, connecting and associating the beryth – covenant with God’s ‘am – family; written with the first person singular suffix: My – reminding us that this specific and unique Covenant is God’s to give or not give as He so chooses)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:14)
There are many questions which are answered by this passage, so let’s pause here and consider them one at a time. First, karat, like so many Hebrew terms, has a dark and light side. The word’s divergent implications influence us differently depending upon the choices we make. On the bright side, karat was used by Yahowah to tell us that He has “karat – cut” a “beryth – agreeable deal” with us—one which separates those who accept it from those who do not.
But as for those who ignore Yahowah’s Covenant, who reject it, or try to change it, they will endure the cutting and divisive side of karat. They shall be “cut off” from Yahowah’s Family. They will be “excluded” from His Covenant. And they will be “banished” from His Home. Those who choose not to sign their name on Yahowah’s Covenant by way of circumcision, those who are unwilling to “muwl – change their direction and priorities” will be “karat – uprooted” from the land. They will “karat – die” and their souls will “perish, ceasing to exist.”
Second, while “muwl – circumcision” is a physical act in the flesh, our “nepesh – souls” are everything but physical. The nepesh represents our “consciousness.” While it is an essential part of our animal nature, as all animals have a “nepesh – soul, a unique personality, and an awareness of their environment,” this consciousness has no physical properties. It has no mass and it is not matter. And yet, by failing to be circumcised, our soul dies, because it is expressly excluded from Yahowah’s Covenant Family. Therefore, the choices we make in our mortal, material bodies influence whether or not we are elevated to a spiritual status.
Third, circumcision is not the means to salvation. But it can be a barrier to salvation. While not all of those who are circumcised will be adopted into God’s family, those who have not been circumcised will not be admitted.
Fourth, we either agree to God’s terms or we nullify the opportunity He has given us to survive our mortality and to live with Him. There is no hint of leniency here, no sense of compromise, no opportunity for a future revision to alter this rule. We either accept it or not. No circumcision, no Covenant. No Covenant, no relationship with God. No relationship with God, no salvation. And therein is why such souls die.
God isn’t about to compromise. He not only isn’t going to change the terms of His agreement, He cannot change them without becoming untrustworthy and unreliable. There is a singular path to life, and we either walk to God along it without wavering, or it is goodbye and good riddance. There is no accommodation for individual approaches to salvation, or for the collective appeal of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.
The implication here is something no Christian or Muslim seems willing or able to appreciate. Most believe it matters not if their beliefs are in compliance with God’s instructions, because He knows their heart. Contradictions become irrelevant. To them, God is God no matter what you call Him. To them, observing the Sabbath is not relevant, and Friday prayers and Sunday worship are perfectly acceptable. Jihad and Grace are both embraced by the faithful, and many paths are thought to lead to God. Sure Christmas and Easter are pagan, but since that is not what they mean to the celebrant, they believe that their god will be understanding. For them mercy invokes a level of capriciousness which they do not see as either unjust or untrustworthy. Their god wouldn’t condemn them for getting some of the details, well actually most everything, wrong.
And yet, all of these musings are inconsistent with the God who inspired these words. With Yahowah, you accept the Covenant on His terms or not at all. Not only are we in no position to negotiate with God over something integrated into His very nature, we have everything to gain if we agree to His terms, and He loses nothing if we don’t.
Fifth, the “nepesh – souls” of those who do not adhere to and rely upon God’s instructions “karat – die, they perish and cease to exist.” Throughout Scripture, this is the prevailing outcome for the vast preponderance of human souls. At the end of most people’s mortal lives, when they die, they will cease to exist, because their souls will simply perish. But this is not a penalty or a Divine punishment. In fact, Yahowah has little to do with this eventuality. It is by “karat – disassociating from” God that this fate occurs naturally. You see, eternal life with God requires us to associate with Him in the specific manner He has delineated. If we don’t accept His terms, if we don’t avail ourselves of the path He has provided, then our souls disconnected from the source of life, will perish, which means that individual consciousnesses will simply cease to exist.
While eternal separation from God is a penalty, having one’s soul perish is not. Each individual is given the gift of life and freewill. Everyone can do with them as they please. If a person chooses to avail themselves of Yahowah’s Covenant, to walk away from Babylon and to walk to Him along the path He has provided, God has promised to give him or her the gift of eternal life, to mercifully forgive their sins, to empower such an individual, to enrich them, and to adopt that soul into His family so that he or she can spend an eternity in His presence.
But if we choose instead to ignore God’s provision, to rely on a different scheme, to alter the deal He has cut with us, or simply reject it, we will be ignored by God and remain unaltered by His Covenant promises. It’s ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Such souls don’t know God and God does not know them. For them, death will be the end of life.
The sixth lesson brings us back to Paul. Circumcision is the fulcrum upon which those who rely on Yahowah’s Word move in a different direction than those who believe the “Thirteenth Apostle.” In Acts, the moment we are introduced to Paul, we learn that he advised against circumcision. As a result, he was called to Yaruwshalaym to explain his departure from Yahowah’s Covenant instructions. So in his initial letter, the one he wrote to the Galatians, he was motivated to demean the message of Yahowsha’s Disciples, especially Shim’own’s (One who Listens known as Peter), Yahowchanan’s (Yahowah is Merciful known as John), and Ya’aqob’s (Yahowsha’s brother, who was renamed “James” to flatter an English king). In Galatians, Paul ruthlessly attacks circumcision, and demeans Yahowah’s Covenant, calling them: “of the flesh,” “a cruel taskmaster,” “enslaving,” and a “curse,” “incapable of saving anyone.”
Therefore, Christians have a choice. They can trust Yahowah, or they can believe Paul. Their claims are diametrically opposed and irreconcilable.
It is also instructive to know that we can’t blame this conflict between Yahowah and Sha’uwl (Paul’s actual name, based upon She’owl and meaning “to question”) on scribal error. While not a word from Bare’syth 8:21 to 17:11 can be found among the Qumran scrolls, these specific passages on circumcision are not only extant, they are unchanged. There isn’t a single discrepancy between the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to the second century BCE, and the Masoretic Text from Re’syth 17:12 through the end of the chapter. And on the other end, we have a complete copy of Paul’s letter to the Galatians dating to the late first century CE.
Moreover, the preposterous notion that Paul didn’t write Galatians, a book he claims to have written, a book which is universally attributed to him, a book which provides the most sweeping panorama of his life, and a book which serves as the most direct rebuttal to the Disciples regarding his animosity toward circumcision, the Covenant, and the Torah, does not exonerate Paul. He is equally opposed to circumcision, the Covenant, and the Torah in Acts and in Romans.
And that means that the conflict between Yahowah and Paul cannot be resolved. If you side with Paul, you will invalidate the benefits of the Covenant. You will be excluded from God’s family. And your soul will cease to exist. And that is why the choices we make in the flesh, while we retain our physical and animal nature, are so important.
Simply stated, as a sign of our desire to participate in Yahowah’s Covenant, we are to be circumcised. The covering of the male genitalia responsible for consummating a marriage and producing children is to be “cut off and separated”—set apart. Our Heavenly Father’s Covenant is about bearing children and building a family by way of a monogamous marriage relationship. Yahowah does not want anyone to miss this point.
So then immediately after discussing circumcision, “God (‘elohym) said to (‘amar ‘el – spoke as the Almighty to) Abraham (‘Abraham – Loving, Merciful, and Enriching Father), ‘Sarai (Saray – from sar meaning princess and patron, noble ruler and leader), your wife (‘ishsah – female individual, woman, mother, and source of warmth and light), you shall not call (lo’ qara’ – you shall not invite or summon, read or recite) her by the name (‘eth shem – her with the personal and proper name), Sarai, but instead (ky – rather) Sarah (sarah – meaning to strive and contend with, to engage and endure with, to persist and to persevere with, to be empowered and to be set free) shall be her name (shem).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:15)
Names are important to Yahowah. Most all communicate something important. For example, Sarah, who serves as the mother of Yahuwdym and Yisra’el, was named “to strive with, to contend with, to engage with, to be empowered by, to persist with, to persevere with, and to be set free”—each of which is a Covenant benefit. Her name forms the middle portion of Yisra’el, a compound term comprised of “‘ysh – individuals” who “sarah – strive with, contend with, engage with, endure with, persist with, persevere with,” and are “empowered and set free by” “’el – Almighty God.”
Speaking of the greater good that would come from Sarah, namely the Ma’aseyah, Yahowah said: “And (wa) I choose to kneel down and bless (barak – I want to lower, diminish, and humble Myself out of love to commend and provide favor (scribed in the piel stem thereby affirming that this blessing will come into being through Sarah, in the perfect conjugation, speaking of the total completion of this fortuitous act, and in the consecutive mood, implying that this is Yahowah’s desire, His choice)) through her (‘eth – in association and with her (speaking of Sarah)). And also (wa gam – moreover), I will literally give (natan – I will actually grant and perfectly bestow (qal perfect)) you a son from her (min la ben – from her to you a son).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:16)
The idea that God diminishes Himself, the notion that He would bow down before men, makes religious people very uncomfortable, as they are compelled to invert His plan. And yet having men and women bow down to God is the antithesis of what God wants.
Man worshiping God not only diminishes our Heavenly Father, it serves no purpose. Let me explain. Can you imagine being so insecure, so inadequate, so self-absorbed, that you would create an inferior being, say garden slugs for example, for the purpose of prostrating themselves at your feet while ritualistically and repetitively telling you how wonderful you are—all the while devouring and sliming up everything you have created. Thirty seconds of such mindless flattery in the midst of such ugliness would be more than enough to make a rational and moral individual so uncomfortable they would recognize that they had made a horrible mistake. They would walk away, saddened, shaken, and indeed diminished by having conceived such a foolish experiment.
But now imagine conceiving beings in your image, and then getting down on your knees, diminishing yourself for a brief time, to show them how much you would like to engage with them. And while on your knees before them, imagine revealing yourself to them, telling them all about you, so that they can come to know you, even enjoy in a relationship with you. Imagine showing them the way to your home and promising to adopt them, to enrich and empower them, even to save them from themselves. And all you tell them that you want in return is for some of them to choose to reciprocate your love so that you and they can grow together. That is the essence of the Towrah, of its Covenant Family, of Yahowah, and Yahowsha’—who is God on His knees.
Retuning to God’s statement, you may have noticed that while Yahowah is committing to bless Sarah, His initial blessing wasn’t for Sarah, but was instead for us through Sarah. Giving Abraham a son through this woman was part of the process God would use to “barak – diminish Himself by getting down on His knees, humbling Himself in love to favor us.” Yahowsha’s great grandmother a hundred times over was this very woman, who in partnership with Yahowah, made it possible for us to engage and live with our Heavenly Father.
Sarah even serves as a metaphor for the Ruwach Qodesh, our Spiritual Mother. Listen...
“And (wa) I want to kneel down and favor her (barak – I choose to lower Myself out of love to bless her (piel, perfect conjugation, consecutive)). She shall be (hayah – she shall exist as) a way to reach out to (la – to move toward) individuals from different races and places (gowym – people everywhere). An empowered and authorized (malakym – royal; from mal’ak supernatural and spiritual) family (‘am – kin who are related biologically and through language) shall come to exist through her (hayah min – they shall be because of her (scribed in the qal stem, imperfect conjugation, telling us that this relational plan will literally unfold over time and produce ongoing results)).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:16)
By producing the first of thousands of children who would be born into God’s family by way of His Covenant, by establishing the lineage which would lead to the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, Yahowah made it possible for “gowym – people everywhere” “hayah – to become” “malakym – empowered and authorized” members of our Heavenly Father’s “‘am – family.” As such, this serves as a succinct summary of God’s “beryth – family-oriented covenant relationship.
At this point, we find absolute confirmation that the Covenant Relationship Yahowah was now enjoying with Abraham and Sarah was a relaxed affair. “And then (wa) Abraham (‘Abraham – the Loving, Merciful, Enriching, and Forgiving Father) fell (napal) on (‘al) his face (paneh – in His presence) and (wa) he laughed (sahaq – he humorously expressed the irony he saw, and he playfully poked fun muttering under his breath), saying (‘amar) to himself (ba ‘eth leb – within his heart), ‘What’s the point or purpose of (ha la – questioning the goal and process of) a son (ben – a child) being born to (yalad) a hundred-year-old (me’ah sanah)? And what of (wa ‘im – and what about) Sarah (sarah – to strive and contend with, to engage and endure with, and to be empowered by and persevere with)? How is (ha) a ninety-year-old (tis’ym sanah) daughter (bath – the female child or a mother) going to conceive and bear a child (yalad)?’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:17)
Yahowah, who incidentally is God, and thus the Creator of the universe and the Architect of life, made a prophetic promise and Abraham doubled over and fell down in laughter, muttering under his breath. That’s funny.
But was he really? Sure a man calling his ninety-year-old wife a “bath – daughter” seems a bit awkward, but not after you consider that the root of bath is banah: “to build a home” with “ben – children.”
Beyond this etymological insight into the purpose of the Covenant, consider the bigger, and more obvious, observation: Abraham poked fun at God without any negative repercussions. In fact, Yahowah responded favorably to Abraham’s sense of humor. It is as if this is what God wanted in the first place: an honest reaction, a relaxed relationship, and some good fun.
But that wasn’t the end of it. After questioning God’s sanity, even His ability, and after falling on his face and laughing at God’s plan, the old guy started negotiating with God, as if he had a better idea...
“Then (wa) Abraham (‘Abraham – Loving, Merciful, Enriching, and Forgiving Father) said (‘amar) to God (‘el), the Almighty (ha ‘elohym), ‘Why not (luw – emphatically exclaiming, earnestly pleading for understanding, and hoping for something unlikely to happen, if only You’d consider and why not the possibility of) Ishmael (Yshma’’el – an individual (ysh) who hears (shama’) god (‘el)) living and being restored (chayah – being revived and renewed, being nourished and growing) to (la) your presence (paneh)?’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:18)
The foundational pillar of “Islam – Submission” is that Muhammad, as a claimed descendant of Ishmael, conveyed the religion which was offered to Abraham unto Arabs. He claims to have been the “ysh – individual” who “shama’ – listened” to “‘el – god” and “qara’ – recited” his message by way of his Qur’an. The name Yshma’’el prophetically warns us about this eventuality. As does the statement Yahowah made regarding the nature of Muslims—those who would claim to be Ishmael’s descendants. “They will be wild asses of men. Their hand will be raised against their brothers, and their brother’s hand will be raised against them. And they will live in hostility with the whole world.”
I also find it interesting, recognizing that Muhammad misquoted everything Yahowah revealed, that the most common mistranslation of shama’ is “to submit and obey.” It is also telling that the Qur’an routinely orders Muslims to “listen to and obey” Muhammad as well as Allah.
Now as we consider Yahowah’s answer regarding Ishmael, and indeed the premise of Islam, be aware that “‘abal – to the contrary” doesn’t just mean “no,” it is indistinguishable from ‘abal, which means “to lament.” So while Yahowah clearly enjoyed His relationship with Abraham, and while He would honor His promise to give him a son, He wanted him to know in no uncertain terms that Ishmael would not be considered. And that is a lethal blow to the foundational premise of Islam.
“But (wa) God (‘elohym) said (‘amar), ‘No, absolutely not (‘abal – to the contrary, strongly communicating a completely contrasting denial while expressing the correct conclusion in an assertive and authoritative voice which leaves nothing to question).’” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:19)
Yahowah customarily layers His responses with multiple levels of potential meanings. He often laces His testimony with prophetic references regarding the Ma’aseyah. He likes to answer questions with analogies, using beautiful mental imagery. He does these things to encourage us to think, and so that we will engage more deeply in the process of getting to know Him, and of growing to trust Him through an appreciation of the unending brilliance and intricacies in His Word. So, when Yah’s answer is nothing more than “No,” it’s pretty darn obvious that He’s making sure there is no mistaking His feelings on this matter.
This answer is not subject to negotiation.
God’s response is as important as any we’ve considered thus far. By Yahowah’s standard, Ishmael was a colossal mistake. First, by fathering a child outside of the marriage covenant, Abram’s example was in complete conflict with the nature of the Covenant. The beryth is about marriage (in the sense of commitment); it’s about faithfulness (in the sense of monogamy); it’s about unity (in the sense of a father and mother becoming one to beget children); it’s about family (in the sense of nurturing, growing, protecting, and sharing); and it’s about love (in the sense of genuine passion and sacrificial devotion). That was all torn asunder when Abram, who was married to Sarai, impregnated a slave girl. That was not acceptable, so Yahowah said emphatically: “No!”
By relenting, and having a child through the younger woman, Abram was demonstrating that he did not trust God to deliver on His promises. As such, Sarai’s alternative plan (the self-reliant solution), with which Abram agreed, violated the primary principle of the Covenant. It served as a wholesale rejection of the Covenant’s initial requirement: Trust and rely upon Yahowah.
God commits to bestowing the following: an enjoyable personal relationship, adoption into His family, restoration and renewal, life eternal, salvation by way of redemption and vindication, an overwhelming increase in power and energy, the opportunity to live with Him in the Promised Realm, and the inheritance of all that is His. To receive these gifts, man must walk away from human corruptions and seek to know Yahowah. We must come to trust and rely upon Him, which requires us coming to understand His teaching. We must walk to God and become perfect in accord with His provisions. We are asked to explore this relationship, while observing and considering all of its requirements and provisions as they are delineated in the Towrah. And He asks us to raise our families in accordance with His Covenant. But in the end, it is God’s offer, His plan, and His gift, not ours. Abraham chose his way over God’s way. That was not acceptable, so Yahowah said “No.”
We have been given the answer to all of these questions: Is God willing to negotiate on His Covenant: “Absolutely not!” Is God willing to alter His Covenant: “Absolutely not!” Is God willing to consider a different means to restoration and life: “Absolutely not!” Is God open to a different approach to living in His presence: “Absolutely not!” Is God willing to compromise with man when it comes to His Covenant: “Absolutely not!” Is there any possibility that God changed His mind and authorized a New Covenant: “Absolutely not!”
Abraham was asking Yahowah to compromise on His core values. Abraham knew, as do I, that God is willing to discuss anything we’d like, but He is not negotiable when it comes to any of His core values. He is not going to change when it comes to His Towrah. So while He loves to engage in give-and-take conversations, as they are essential ingredients to a reciprocal relationship, to a marriage, and of a family, don’t ask or expect God to negotiate with regard to His Towrah, His Covenant, or His Plan of Salvation.
Give and take on other matters, however, such as the day-to-day musings and experiences of life, is what the Covenant is all about. God gives us something and takes something from us in return. We give God something and we take something from Him in the exchange. But, and this is a hell of a but, if you want God to work with you on something, if you want Him to acquiesce to something you want, then don’t ask for something in conflict with His nature or plan. Abram’s proposal was inconsistent with the Covenant Relationship. That was not acceptable, so Yahowah said “No.”
While Abraham was positioning Ishmael to be the beneficiary of the Covenant, the only question he asked Yahowah to consider was whether the bastard child could be “restored” and allowed “to live in His presence.” “No,” was the answer. It wasn’t: “Let me think about it.” It wasn’t: “Maybe.” It wasn’t: “Let’s discuss it further.” It wasn’t, “In consideration of this change of events, perhaps we could ” It was: “No.” Ishmael could not exist in Yahowah’s presence. But why?
Scripture tells us that Ishmael headed toward Babylon and away from the Promised Land. He would spend his life in league with Lord Ba’al. Rather than walking “to God,” he walked away from Him.
When it comes to being adopted into Yah’s family, there are no exceptions. Just because Ishmael was Abraham’s son, just because he was born in the right place and at the right time, just because he was rich, just because he was handsome and handy, just because his dad was connected and pleaded with God, it didn’t matter. When it comes to admission into God’s presence, God does not compromise. He can’t. If He did, His Word, and therefore He, Himself, would become inconsistent, imperfect, unreliable, and untrustworthy. And that’s something a perfect and just being cannot be or do. There is One Way, and only One Way. Nothing else counts. There are no exceptions. Period. End of conversation. “No.”
If you’ve got a problem with that, if you think it’s unloving and intolerant, too bad. Don’t bother complaining to Him or me. It’s His house. You don’t have to go there if you don’t like Him or His rules.
God did not, however, treat Ishmael poorly. While He did not save him or include him, He did not punish him. The “wild ass” came to father twelve sons, and he became rich and powerful. Ishmael became the patriarch of a vast nation—Islam. Billions would “raise their hands in hostility” in Ishmael’s name.
What’s interesting at this point is that God did not give up on Abraham or on His plan. He simply got back to business. This tells us that Yahowah is willing to accept and work with flawed implements. (Thank goodness, or I’d be unemployed.)
“Sarah (sarah – to strive and contend with, to engage and endure with, and to be empowered by and persist with), your wife (‘ishah – your female marriage companion who represents the mother), shall deliver a child (yalad) to be (la – to serve as and represent) your son (ben – progeny to come from you, to bear your name, to represent you, and to engage in your business). And (wa) you shall call (qara’) his name (shem) accordingly (‘eth): Yitschaq - Laughter (Yitschaq – one who laughs; from tsachaq – to laugh, jest, and play).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:19)
“Laughter!” The first child accepted into the Covenant was named for its purpose. We entertain Yahowah; we amuse Him. We bring a smile to His face. We make Yah happy. He enjoys getting to know us. We cause God to laugh and have a good time. The Covenant is for “Laughter!”
But while this is the Covenant’s purpose, Yahowah still has to facilitate our participation. So He promised:
“And (wa) I will stand up and establish (quwm – I want to completely restore and raise up, I choose to totally fulfill and accomplish, I desire to encourage and I shall ratify and confirm (scribed in the hiphil stem, perfect conjugation, consecutive form) accordingly (‘eth) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y – My mutually binding agreement, My household promise, My relational accord, My marriage vow based upon home and family (feminine singular, scribed in the construct form, eternally binding, connecting, and associating the beryth – covenant with quwm – God standing up for us so that we could stand with Him; written with the first person singular suffix: My – telling us that the Covenant is God’s)) with him (‘eth-w – in a personal association with him)—for the purpose of (la – to the point and goal of) an eternal and everlasting (‘owlam – never ending always enduring) family-oriented relationship (beryth – covenant agreement and personal partnership) with and on behalf of (‘eth la) his offspring (zera’ – seed (singular construct)) after him (‘achar).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 17:19)
There are few words in the whole of God’s Word as important as quwm—especially when it is scribed in Yahowah’s voice with the hiphil stem, perfect conjugation, and consecutive form. It tells us that God not only wants to establish His Covenant Relationship, but that He is willing to do whatever it takes to facilitate and enable the relationship. Doing so requires Yahowah to “quwm – to stand up for us so that we can stand with Him.” It represents the complete fulfillment of His plans. Moreover, He did not delegate this work, but instead accomplished it all Himself.
Specifically, the hiphil stem associated with quwm indicates a causative effect whereby the subject, which is Yahowah, causes the object, which is the Covenant, to participate in the action, which is standing up, restoring, and establishing, as an understudy, or reflection of the subject. That is to say that Yahowah is the power behind the Covenant, causing it to work, and that the Covenant reflects Yahowah’s nature.
With quwm scribed in the perfect conjugation, we further discover that Yah’s work is complete, that He has totally fulfilled His promises, and that He has accomplished His mission. His Covenant does everything which is required to enable us to stand, established and restored in His presence. Moreover, the resemblance is absolute. The Covenant represents the totality of Yahowah’s nature, purpose, and plan and its solution is complete, lacking nothing.
Lastly, by using the consecutive form, we know that this is God’s choice. He wants us to rise up and stand in His presence. It is His desire for us to benefit from His Covenant. And He chose to fulfill His promises.
The “beryth – family oriented relationship agreement” Yahowah calls “My Covenant” is “‘owlam – eternal and everlasting”—as are its beneficiaries. As a result, therefore, there is no “Old Testament,” as in something which previously existed, or a “New Testament,” as in an updated replacement.
Since this Covenant is more important to God than the rest of the universe and all that is in it, since it is the very reason we exist, since it encapsulates God’s promise to His creation, let’s review its lone prerequisite, its four requirements, its instructional insights, its answers, its benefits, and its promises.
To set the stage, the Torah says that Yahowah asked Abram to walk away from: “the land of his birth in Ur of the Chaldeans (a.k.a. Babylon, from babel – corruption and confusion).” (Bare’syth 11:28)
Prerequisite 1: Choose to actually walk away from and literally come out of babel, which is national, societal, religious, and political corruption and family allegiances and customs. As a result, you will be able to live with God in the realm He will provide. “Yahowah ( ) said (‘amar) to (’el) ‘Abram (‘Abram): ‘I would like you of your own accord to literally walk away from and genuinely come out of (halak min) your country (the land of Babylon and the realm of confusion and corruption) (‘atah ‘erets), and away from (min) your relatives (‘atah moledeth), and away from (min) your father’s (‘ab) home and household (beyth), to God’s (‘el) realm (‘erets) which as a result of the relationship and as a blessing (‘asher) I will show you and provide (ra’ah).’” (Bare’syth 12:1)
Request/Requirement 2: Come to know Yahowah and understand His Instructions so that you can choose to trust Him and rely on them. As a result of this thinking, Yahowah will consider you to be innocent and righteous. “And (wa) he completely trusted in and totally relied upon (‘aman ba) Yahowah ( ), and so (wa) based upon this thinking and His plan, He decided as a result of this consideration to impute (chashab) innocence and righteousness (tsadaqah) to him (law).” (Bare’syth 15:6)
Request/Requirement 3: Walk to God and become perfect. “And (wa) Yahowah ( ) appeared (ra’ah) as God to (‘el) ‘Abram (‘Abram). And (wa) He said (‘amar) to him (‘elyw), ‘I Am (‘any) God (‘el) Almighty (shaday). Choose of your own volition to walk (halak) to (la) My presence (paneh) and (wa) come to be (hayah) perfect (tamym).’” (Bare’syth 17:1)
Request/Requirement 4: Genuinely explore, carefully examine, and continually consider Yahowah’s Covenant Agreement no matter where or when you live. “And (wa) God Almighty (‘elohym) said (‘amar) to (‘el) Abraham (‘Abraham), ‘And (wa) as for you (‘eth ‘atah), you should actually and continuously observe, carefully examining and considering (shamar) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y), you (‘atah) and (wa) your offspring (zera’) after you (‘achar) throughout (la) their generations, dwelling places, and eras of time (dowr).’” (Bare’syth 17:9)
Request/Requirement 5: Raise your children within the Covenant, circumcising your sons so that they always remember it. “This one and only (ze’th) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship of Mine (beryth-y), which relationally (‘asher) you should actually and continuously observe, carefully and closely considering (shamar) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn), and between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn), and between your offspring, so that they might be observant and responsive (wa byn zera’) following you (‘achar), for you to actually circumcise (muwl) accordingly your every (l-cm-kol) male so that they will remember (zakar).” (Bare’syth 17:10)
Collectively then, the Conditions, Benefits, Promises, Affirmations, and Instructions of the Covenant are:
“Yahowah ( ) said (‘amar) to (’el) ‘Abram (‘Abram): ‘I would like you of your own accord to literally walk away from and genuinely come out of (halak min) your country (the land of Babylon and the realm of confusion and corruption) (‘atah ‘erets), and away from (min) your relatives (‘atah moledeth), and away from (min) your father’s (‘ab) home and household (beyth), to God’s (‘el) realm (‘erets) which as a result of the relationship and as a blessing (‘asher) I will show you and provide (ra’ah).’” (Bare’syth 12:1)
“I will choose to genuinely and consistently engage with you and work through you (‘asah) for the purpose of (la) expressing My desire to continually increase and magnify, distinguish and elevate, empowering and always doing great things with (gadowl) people from differing races and places (gowy). And I will, of My own volition, consistently kneel down in love, lowering Myself to bless you, mercifully favoring you (barak). And I want to do great things with your (gadal) name (shem), causing it to exist as (hayah) a blessed gift, as an oath and vow which promotes prosperity (barakah).” (Bare’syth 12:2)
“I will voluntarily kneel down in adoration, blessing (barak) those who adore and favor you (barak). And I will recede from, slight, and diminish (qalal) those who consistently curse you (‘arar). And through you (wa ba), the entire (kol) human family (mishpachah) of the earth (‘adamah) will be adored and blessed, receiving the benefit of Me diminishing Myself and kneeling down in love to mercifully favor them (barak).’” (Bare’syth 12:3)
“So Abram (‘Abram) walked (halak) relationally (‘asher) in the manner (ka) Yahowah ( ) had asked him (dabar).” (Bare’syth 12:4)
“Yahowah ( ) appeared as God to (ra’ah ‘el) ‘Abram, and He promised (‘amar), ‘To (la) your offspring (zera’), I give (natan) this land (‘erets).” (Bare’syth 12:7)
“And from (min) there (sam [speaking of Shekem, which is the place where burdens are shouldered]), he moved toward (‘ataq) the eternal (qedem) mountain range (har), toward (la) the House of God (beyth-‘el), and he stretched out (natah) his tent, representing the House of God (beyth-‘el ‘ohel), . And there (sam) he built (banah) an altar (mizbeah) to Yahowah ( ) and called out, issuing an invitation (qara’) in (ba) Yahowah’s ( ’s) personal and proper name (shem).” (Bare’syth 12:8)
“After (‘achar) these (‘el-leh) conversations (dabarym), the Word (dabar) of Yahowah ( ) came to exist as (hayah) God unto (‘el) ‘Abram (‘Abram) in the form of (ba) a personal, visual, and illuminating manifestation which could be seen and experienced (machazeh) to say (‘amar): ‘Do not be awed or intimidated (yare’ ‘al), ‘Abram. I am (‘anky) a defender and shield, a protective covering (magen) for you (la), your exceedingly (ma’od) great (rabah) reward, your payment for passage, your transit fee paid by a reliable doorkeeper, a shepherd, and a generous father (sakar).’” (Bare’syth 15:1)
“And He [Yahowah] took him (yasa’) with Him (‘ethw), to a place which is set apart (chuwts), and He said (‘amar), ‘Please (na’) look at and observe (nabat) the heavens (samaym) and accurately relate to (capar) the light of the stars and heavenly power (cowcab) if (‘im) you are able to comprehend and understand (yakol), to (la) recount and reveal the relationship in writing (capar ‘eth).’ And (wa) He promised him (‘amar), ‘In this manner, here, now, and then (coh), He exists as (yhayah) your seed (zera’).’” (Bare’syth 15:5)
“And (wa) he completely trusted in and totally relied upon (‘aman ba) Yahowah ( ), and so (wa) based upon this thinking and His plan, He decided based upon this consideration to impute (chashab) innocence and righteousness (tsadaqah) to him (law).” (Bare’syth 15:6)
“And He said to and promised him (‘amar ‘el), ‘I am (‘any) Yahowah ( ) who relationally (‘asher) brought you out (yasa’) from (min) Ur (‘Uwr) of the Chaldeans / Babylonians (Casdym) to give (la natan) accordingly (‘eth) this (zo’th) land (‘erets) to possess her as an inheritance (la yaras).” (Bare’syth 15:7)
“So (wa) he said (‘amar), ‘Yahowah ( ), my foundation and upright one (‘edowny), in what way (ba mah) shall I recognize and know (yada’) that indeed (ky), I shall possess it as an inheritance (la yaras)?’” (Bare’syth 15:8)
“You (‘atah) shall go to God (bow’ ‘el), your Father (‘ab), in (ba) peace, satisfied, safe, and saved (salowm). You shall be buried (qabar) with (ba) grey hair (sebah), good, moral, beautiful, and pleasing (towb).” (15:15)
“On (ba) this (huw’) day (yowm), Yahowah ( ) cut (karat) the Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth) with (‘eth) ‘Abram (‘Abram) to promise (la ‘amar), ‘To your offspring (zera’), I give (natan) therewith (‘eth) this (ze’th) land and realm (‘erets).” (Bare’syth 15:18)
“And (wa) ‘Abram (‘Abram) became (hayah) a son of (ben) ninety-nine years (tish’ym tesha’ sanah). And (wa) Yahowah ( ) appeared (ra’ah) as God to (‘el) ‘Abram (‘Abram). And (wa) He said (‘amar) to him (‘elyw), ‘I Am (‘any) God (‘el) Almighty (shaday). Choose of your own volition to walk (halak) to (la) My presence (paneh) and (wa) come to be (hayah) perfect (tamym).’” (Bare’syth 17:1)
“‘I want to actually give (natan) My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn).’ And (wa) because (wa) I yearn to continually increase and multiply (rabah) you in (ba) the extreme and to the uttermost (ma’od ma’od).’” (Bare’syth 17:2)
“Then (wa) Abram (‘Abram) fell (napal) on His face (‘al paneh), and (wa) God (‘elohym) spoke (dabar) with him (‘eth), to say (la amar), (17:3) ‘Here I Am, look at Me (‘any hineh). My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth) is with you (‘eth). You shall be (hayah) a father (‘ab) to (la) many enriched (hamown) people from different races and places (gowym).’” (Bare’syth 17:4)
“And (wa) no longer shall (lo’ ‘owd) your name (shem) be called out (qara’) as (‘eth) ‘Abram (‘abram). Your proper and personal name (shem) shall be (hayah) ‘Abraham (‘abraham). I have given to you (natan) the designation of (ky) the father (‘ab) of many enriched (hamown) people from different races and places (gowym).” (Bare’syth 17:5)
“And (wa) I will grow, be fruitful, and flourish (parah) with you (‘eth) in (ba) the extreme and to the greatest extent possible (ma’od ma’od). And (wa) I will give this (natan) to (la) people from differing races and places (gowym). And (wa) royalty (malakym) will germinate and be brought forth (yatsa’) from you (min).” (Bare’syth 17:6)
“And (wa) I will stand up and establish (quwm) with (‘eth) My Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn), and between your offspring, so that they might be observant and responsive (wa byn zera’) after you (‘achar), regarding and on behalf of (la) their dwelling places and generations (dowr), for an eternal and everlasting (‘owlam) Family Covenant Relationship (beryth), to (la) be and to remain (hayah) as your (la) God (‘elohym) and (wa) for (la) your offspring (zera’) after you (‘aharown).” (Bare’syth 17:7)
“And (wa) I will provide and give (natan) to you (la), and to (wa la) your offspring (zera’ – seed) after you (‘achar), this (‘eth) land (‘erets) where (‘eth) you are living as an alien (magowr), the entire (kol) land (‘erets) of Can’aow (can’aow) to (la) eternally (‘owlam) possess (‘achuzah). And (wa) I will exist (hayah) unto them as their (lahm la) God (‘elohym).” (Bare’syth 17:8)
“And (wa) God Almighty (‘elohym) said (‘amar) to (‘el) Abraham (‘Abraham), ‘And (wa) as for you (‘eth ‘atah), you should actually and continuously observe, carefully examining and considering (shamar) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y), you (‘atah) and (wa) your offspring (zera’) after you (‘achar) throughout (la) their generations, dwelling places, and eras of time (dowr).’” (Bare’syth 17:9)
“This one and only (ze’th) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship of Mine (beryth-y), which relationally (‘asher) you should actually and continuously observe, carefully and closely considering (shamar) as a means to recognize Me as the source of understanding with regard to an association between Me (byn) and (wa) between you, to help you observe, think, and respond (byn), and between your offspring, so that they might be observant and responsive (wa byn zera’) following you (‘achar), for you to actually circumcise (muwl) accordingly your every (l-cm-kol) male so that they will remember (zakar).” (Bare’syth 17:10)
“And (wa) you all shall cut off and separate (muwl) your foreskin’s (‘aralah) association with (‘eth) the flesh (basar). And (wa) this will exist (hayah) as (la) the sign to remember (‘owth) the Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth) between Me (bayn) and between you (bayn).” (Bare’syth 17:11)
“And (wa) a son (ben) of eight (shamonah) days (yowmym), you shall circumcise (muwl) with regard to your (la) every (kol) male, so that they might remember (zakar) throughout (la) your dwelling places and generations (dowr), naturally born (yalyd) in the home (beyth), and also (wa) those really wanting to be (kasap) included (miqnah) and acquired (miqnah) with money (kesep) from (min) every (kol) son (ben) of foreign lands (nekar) which relationally (‘asher) are not (lo’) from (min) your seed (zera’).” (Bare’syth 17:12)
“He (huw’) must absolutely circumcise him, definitely cutting off the foreskin (muwl muwl) of the naturally born (yalyd) in your home (beyth) and (wa) those acquired (miqnah) with your money and longing (kesep), even those who strongly yearn (kasap) to be included (miqnah). This shall be (hayah) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y), in (ba) the flesh (basar), serving as (la) an everlasting and eternal (‘owlam) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth).” (Bare’syth 17:13)
“And (wa) the uncircumcised and unresponsive (‘arel) male who fails to remember this (zakar), who relationally (‘asher) is not (lo’) circumcised or changed (muwl) with regard to (‘eth) the flesh (basar) of their foreskin (‘aralah), those souls (nepesh) shall be cut off, be excluded, and banished, uprooted and ceasing to exist (karat) from (min) Her (huw’) family (‘am). By way of association (‘eth), they violated and broke, disassociating themselves from (parar) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y).” (17:14)
“The Almighty (‘elohym) spoke as God to (‘amar ‘el) Abraham (‘Abraham), ‘Sarai (Saray), your wife (‘ishsah), you shall not call (lo’ qara’), her by the name (‘eth shem), Sarai, but instead (ky) Sarah: to strive and contend with, to engage and endure with and to be empowered and set free (sarah) shall be her name (shem).’” (Bare’syth 17:15)
“And (wa) I wish to diminish and humble Myself out of love to provide blessings and favor (barak) through her (‘eth). And also (wa gam), I will literally give (natan) you a son from her (min la ben). And (wa) I want to kneel down and favor her (barak). She shall be (hayah) a way to reach out to (la) individuals from different races and places (gowym). An empowered, authorized, and supernatural spiritual (malakym) family (‘am) shall come to exist through her (hayah min).” (Bare’syth 17:16)
“And then (wa) Abraham (‘Abraham) fell (napal) on (‘al) his face (paneh) and (wa) he laughed (sahaq), saying (‘amar) to himself (ba ‘eth leb), ‘What’s the point or purpose of (ha la) a son (ben) being born to (yalad) a hundred year old (me’ah sanah)? And what of (wa ‘im) Sarah (sarah)? How is (ha) a ninety-year-old (tis’ym sanah) daughter (bath) going to conceive and bear a child (yalad)?’” (17:17)
“Then (wa) Abraham (‘Abraham) said (‘amar) to God (‘el), the Almighty (ha ‘elohym), ‘Why not (luw) Ishmael (Yshma’’el) living and being restored (chayah) to (la) your presence (paneh)?’” (Bare’syth 17:18)
“But (wa) God (‘elohym) said (‘amar), ‘No, to the contrary, absolutely not (‘abal).’ Sarah (sarah), your wife (‘ishah), shall deliver a child (yalad) to be (la) your son (ben). And (wa) you shall call (qara’) his name (shem) accordingly (‘eth): Yitschaq - Laughter (Yitschaq).” (17:19)
“And I will stand up and establish (quwm) accordingly (‘eth), My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth-y) with him (‘eth-w)—for the purpose of (la) an eternal and everlasting (‘owlam) family-oriented relationship (beryth) with and on behalf of (‘eth la) his offspring (zera’) after him (‘achar).” (Bare’syth 17:19)
There have been three questions, five answers, twelve insightful instructions, two affirmations, four promises, two warnings, one prerequisite, four requirements, and sixteen benefits. And while each of these is important, since the five things required of us determine our eternal fate, let’s review them one last time.
We must leave Babylon, which is symbolic of mankind’s beguiling and oppressive religious, political, economic, and militaristic schemes, our societal customs and family traditions. We must completely trust and totally rely upon Yahowah. We must walk to God along the path He has provided to become perfect. We must carefully and continuously observe, carefully examining and considering Yahowah’s Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship, no matter where or when we live. And we are asked to circumcise our sons so that we and they remember the Covenant, in addition to demonstrating our acceptance of it.
If we do these things, Yahowah will lead us, perfect us, lift us up, empower us, adopt us, enrich us, and allow us to live with Him, as part of His family, forever. That is God’s plan. It is His promise.
There is still more to consider, in that we have yet to journey with Abraham to Mount Mowryah. But since that preview of Passover is already presented in the next volume of Yada Yah, we’ll table it for now. That is except to say that the path Abraham walked to God, whereby he demonstrated that he trusted God, leads us to the doorstep of Yahowah’s plan of salvation.
In An Introduction to God, during our review of the Yad chorus of the 119th Mizmowr / Song / Psalm, we pondered something I’d like to reprise here, because it seems to be a fitting conclusion to our presentation of (Yahowah’s Covenant)...
The first letter of God’s name was originally drawn in the form of a hand . And as you know, a hand is comprised of four fingers and one opposable thumb. There is one prerequisite and four requests relative to our participation in the Covenant. We are required to be opposed to religion, to be adverse to politics, and to walk away from the family of man, leaving all things babel and Babylonian. Once we do, we can extend our remaining fingers and grasp Yah’s hand by embracing the four remaining conditions of His Covenant. We are asked to trust and rely upon Yahowah, something which requires us to know and understand Him. We are encouraged to walk to God and become perfect, a path which is facilitated by His seven festivals. Helping us keep our bearings along the way, Yah has directed us to observe and consider every aspect of His Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship. And as parents, we are asked to circumcise our sons, demonstrating that we are committed to teaching them the Towrah and raising them in the Covenant. So Yah’s name was fashioned, as are we, to remind us of the five most essential things we can do in this life.