Those who wish to participate in the Covenant are invited to attend seven annual meetings with their Heavenly Father. Spread out over the course of seven months, these family gatherings serve as prophetic signposts, dating, explaining, and facilitating the path home. The first four were memorialized in the life of Yahowah’s Chosen People and have been fulfilled. All serve to enhance our relationship with God.
The first three Called-Out Assemblies—Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits serve as a cohesive whole. They depict the door Yahowah has opened to heaven, the threshold of perfection, and the promise of adoption. They foreshadow the Ma’aseyah’s redemptive advent. These feasts explain how Yahowah made us immortal, removed sin from our souls, and enabled His Coveant. And while it is all good news, according to our Heavenly Father, those who miss the Spring Feasts, and wander away on a different path, will be excluded from His family, and thus be kept out of heaven.
Since the Miqra’ey represent the path to God, it’s always wise to set each of the seven into context. As such, the fourth Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God—Seven Sabbaths—completes the Covenant’s promises, enriching and empowering us to grow and to become more effective witnesses. During this all-inclusive Festival Feast, the beneficiaries of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym are enriched by Yahowah’s Towrah and empowered by Yahowah’s Spirit, which in turn equips and enables us to share Yahowah’s message with the rest of the world.
The fifth Invitation to Meet with God is called “Taruw’ah,” but it is more commonly known as “Trumpets.” During this Miqra’, Yahowah’s family is asked to signal a warning and to shout for joy. The good news is that salvation is a gift, and it is available to the Covenant’s participants. The warning is that there is but one narrow, restrictive, and seldom tread path home.
The Day of Reconciliations is a “do or die” affair. The souls of those who do not respond to Yahowah’s summons cease to exist. And those who answer the call, however, have their relationship with Yahowah reconciled, preparing them to live forever with our Heavenly Father. Yowm Kippurym is prophetic of Yahowsha’s return to Earth to save His family, especially Yisra’el and Yahuwdym, while vaporizing those who will have chosen a different spirit with whom to associate. This day also denotes the day the Covenant will be restored, a time when Yahowah will place a copy of His Towrah – Guidance inside His children.
These six steps conclude with an Invitation to gather together as a family, camping out with our Heavenly Father. It is a time to rest, reflecting upon Yahowah’s companionship, deliverance, and provision. Prophetically, the Millennial Sabbath begins on the Festival Feast of Sukah - Shelters in the Yowbel of 6000 Yah—just five days after Yahowsha’s glorious return.
While God is immortal, time is important to Him. These dates are fixed—preordained and predetermined. Everything which is important to Yahowah occurs on this schedule—one that He published nearly 3,500 years ago.
Numbers are also important to God. There are seven Miqra’ey which play out over the course of seven months. There are seven days in a week (which were designated by number, not by name at the time)—with the seventh being the most important—foreshadowing the fact that man cannot work for his or her salvation.
Collectively, religious clerics almost universally refer to the seven Miqra’ey as “Jewish Holidays” or as the “Feasts of Israel.” But that treatment is a dead end—albeit a popular one. This myth represents “the wide, unreliable, man-made path which leads to destruction.” The resulting Christian apathy and animosity toward God’s Set-Apart Appointments is therefore tragic, causing more than a billion souls to wander away from life, and toward their own demise.
Also erroneous is the rabbinical process of disassociating these Miqra’ey from the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. They not only abhor Him, rabbis don’t want to be reminded that the Temple, the centerpiece of the Passover celebration, was just a building—one which is now in ruins. And most religious Jews are running from the reality that Yahowsha’ is the Tabernacle of God on earth. Fewer still realize that Yahowah tabernacles with those who have chosen to embrace the terms and conditions of His Covenant.
The fourth Miqra’, Shabuw’ah, is mostly ignored in Judaism—although many recognize that this denotes the time Yahowah first revealed His Towrah to the Children of Yisra’el. The fifth was renamed by the Jews during their Babylonian captivity, changing Yahowah’s seventh-month announcement of Taruw’ah to Rosh Hashanah, or New Year’s Day.
Since the Yowm Kippurym has not yet been fulfilled, it isn’t “tainted” by the Ma’aseyah, so it is still duly noted by Rabbinic Judaism. But it is not observed in accordance with Yahowah’s instructions. Rabbis have mistranslated God’s Word to suggest that our Heavenly Father wants men and women to “afflict their souls,” something which is the antithesis of His plan to lift us up. Even worse, this corruption circumvents the profound truth that Yahowah has a soul, one He afflicted during Unleavened Bread to redeem us.
Tabernacles is no longer popular with religious Jews either—having been replaced in timing and fervor by Hanukah—along with that festival’s counterfeit menorah (with nine candles rather than seven lamps). I suspect that religious Jews don’t want to be reminded that Yahowah divorced the Chosen People, separating them from the land in which they had been invited to campout with their God.
Although Yisra’el would be the first to learn about Yahowah’s Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God, in His Towrah, Yahowah plainly states that these are His festivals. They embody the benefits of the Covenant and fulfill many of God’s most important promises. They are fixed annual appointments between mankind and God. And they are to be observed for all time, in all places, and by all those who wish to engage in a relationship with the Creator. The Miqra’ey are personal and communal celebrations which are designed to lead us home.
Unfortunately, and mostly as a result of Pauline Doctrine, Christians see the Torah as a set of onerous laws, all of which have to be strictly obeyed. And since that is impossible, they have been beguiled into believing that the Torah condemns, and is therefore an enslaving curse. What they don’t understand is that the seven Miqra’ey, and Matsah especially, is God’s merciful provision, the means to redemption, vindication, indeed salvation.
All seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with our Heavenly Father exist in direct opposition to man’s secular and religious observances: New Year’s, St. Valentine’s Day, Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. The history of our festivals is actually Satanic—most of which were born and bred in Babylon.
The Towrah is clear. If you want to have a relationship with Yahowah, if you want to participate in His Covenant, if you want to spend eternity living with God, then you should respond to the Miqra’ey and abstain from Satanic rites. Unfortunately, “Christians” the world over ignore all seven appointments with God. Many don’t even know their names, and most don’t understand their significance. Moreover, Jews almost universally ignore their connections to Yahowah and Yahowsha’.
While we will be listening to what God has to say relative to the dates of these meetings, I am convinced that He is considerably more concerned with us acknowledging that these Invitations to Meet with Him exist, that we realize that they are vital and come to understand them, and that we respond to Him and attend, than He is that we do precisely the right thing at the right time.
In this light, the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, and perhaps even Shab’uwah, work together in support of Yahowah’s Covenant. One without the others isn’t helpful. So if they were viewed as events associated with a wedding, they would represent the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon.
With the Miqra'ey, at least among the first three or four, one without the others has no lasting value. What good is it to be perfect and yet still be mortal? What good is it to be immortal and yet still be imperfect? Why would someone want to be reborn spiritually if not into the Covenant? Why be adopted if not to grow?
Therefore, I don’t want to contribute to any misconceptions by emphasizing the unique purpose of each event, when in reality, it is only when they are observed collectively, with each Miqra'ey making its contribution, that we receive the intended benefit in association with the Covenant. Also, as is the case with observational or astronomical determination of the timing of these days, no matter how a person interprets Yah’s instructions they will seldom be more that one day early or late. And Scripture tells us that two weeks late didn’t bother Yahowah a bit. Therefore, our focus will be on presenting God’s plan so that it can be more readily understood. Equipped with this information you will then be prepared to exercise freewill and make an informed decision – one that will determine the fate of your soul.
The second step in our journey home is Matsah. It is the threshold of the doorway to life. Those who cross it are perfected because this day is symbolic of sin being removed from our mortal nature.
So as we pass through the doorway labeled “Passover,” we are freed from the consequence of sin, which is death. But to live with our Heavenly Father in heaven, we must also be freed from the penalty of sin—which is separation from God. And that is the purpose of the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God of Un-Yeasted Bread. Our souls are unleavened, affirming that all forms of corruption are removed.
In our quest to fully appreciate what was done for us on this day, let’s turn to the Heart of the Towrah. In Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus, we learn that Matsah begins the day after Pesach. In fact, one could conclude that Pesach is actually the first day of Bread Without Yeast.
“These Godly (‘eleh) Appointed Meeting Times (mow’ed – fixed assembly and betrothal appointments, festival feasts at a specific designated time and place which focus on the purpose assigned by the Authority) of Yahowah ( ), are Set-Apart (qodesh – separating, cleansing, and purifying) Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet (miqra’ey – assemblies to communicate a specific purpose; from qara’, to call out, to read, and recite, to meet, to greet, and to welcome), for the relationship and for your benefit, for you to be called out and welcomed (‘asher qara’ – for you to proclaim, to meet, to read, and to recite (qal imperfect)), approaching with them (‘eth) in their appointed time (ba mow’ed – on the scheduled meeting date).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:4)
“In (ba) the (ha) first (ri’shown – and foremost) month (chodesh – time of renewal) [‘Abyb – the month young barley ears begin to form], on the fourteenth (‘arba’ ‘asar) of (la) the (ha) month (chodesh – time of renewal) for the purpose of understanding at (byn / bayn – between and within the interval of as an aid to comprehension at) twilight (ha ‘ereb – sunset), is Passover (Pesach – act of sparing and providing immunity; from pacach, to pass over) according to and to approach (la – concerning and to move toward) Yahowah ( ).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:5)
So then “The fifteenth (chamesh ‘asar – the fifth plus tenth) day (yowm) of this same (zeh) month (chodesh – time of restoration and renewal) is the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of Un-Yeasted Bread (Matsah – bread without yeast which is symbolic of sin and corruption) to approach (‘al – according to) Yahowah ( ). Seven days shall you eat bread without yeast (matsah).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:6)
Since it is the essence of the issue, it’s worth restating: the Passover sacrifice was designed to free us from the consequence of sin which is death, while Unleavened Bread is symbolic of the removal of sin from our souls, thereby freeing us from the penalty of sin which is separation from God.
Chag is a provocative term. While it is accurately translated “feast or festival” in the previous verse, its root suggests something more. According to the most respected lexicons, chag is “the genuine expression of relief which turns to spontaneous joy one would experience once they realize that, against all odds, they have escaped from a long and seemingly hopeless ordeal.” As such, it is used to convey the idea of “gathering together to celebrate a pilgrimage—a journey which leads from oppression to safety in God’s presence.” But more than that, a chag “commemorates the completion of a terrifying sacrificial act.”
As such, chag’s etymology hints at the sacrifice Yahowsha’ made on this very day. It was a Sabbath, the day after Passover, when His soul descended into She’owl or Hades (depending upon whether you prefer the Hebrew or Greek title for the place of separation) to be afflicted on our behalf. By allowing His soul to be separated from Yah’s Spirit, Yahowsha’ “completed a terrifying sacrificial act” through which a ransom was paid to remove corruption from our nature (symbolized by the elimination of leavening-yeast from bread). God thereby freed us from paying the same penalty ourselves—so that we might “express our relief for having escaped” what would otherwise have been “a long and hopeless ordeal.” And yet, in the realm of Christendom there is no “spontaneous expression of joy,” no “gathering together,” no “celebration,” of the “journey which leads from oppression to safety in God’s presence.” To the detriment of many, the solution Yahowah made manifest, “commemorating its completion,” on this Sabbath is universally ignored.
Matsah, the Hebrew name for the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread, means much more than “bread without yeast.” Matsah speaks of the “rebellion and contentiousness” that must be removed from our nature for us to live as children in our Heavenly Father’s household. And it is important to keep this concept of rebellion in mind, because it is listed as the specific burden Yahowsha’s soul removed from us on this day.
The secondary definition of matsah is: “quarrelsome and embittered conflict which is divisive”—the very thing which separates us from God. It is “strife and discord based upon a rivalry for superiority.” Matsah thus conveys the idea of man becoming belligerent and competing with Yahowah for power and authority rather than trusting and relying upon Him. It is this attitude which serves as the source of most sin, and as the basis of every religion. Matsah must therefore be expunged from our souls for us to accept the provision Yahowah has provided.
To benefit from this merciful gift, we must stop competing with God. We must not only recognize that we have failed to meet our Creator’s criteria for admittance into heaven, we must acknowledge that mankind’s contentious religious and political standards, those related to being a good person who does good deeds, carry no weight whatsoever with Yahowah. And in so doing, we must be humble enough to admit that we do not have the power, the ability, or the authority to save ourselves—nor does any human institution.
God’s solution to mankind’s dilemma is restricted to the Miqra’ey. To be saved, we are required to know Yahowah, to trust Him, and to rely exclusively upon the means He has provided—His seven-part plan. Matsah is simply the second of seven steps we are invited to walk in our journey from human corruption and oppression to an eternal celebration in God’s presence.
The work completed on the Called-Out Festival of Unleavened Bread by the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ is considered complete and satisfactory by God, in and of itself, to remove all corruption from our mortal souls, past, present, and future. That is why Yahowah says:
“The first, foremost, and primary (ri’shown) day (yowm) exists as (hayah) a set-apart and cleansing (qodesh) Invitation to Meet and be Called-Out (Miqra’ – an occasion for a unified collection of people to gather together for a specific purpose, a summons to read, recite, and communicate the news and message). You shall not (lo’) engage in (‘asah – perform, fashion, accomplish, or produce) any of (kol) the work (‘abodah – deeds done in service to another) of the business of the heavenly messenger (mala’kah – the service of the mal’ak, the theophanic representative, the visible manifestation of God, [i.e., Yahowsha’]).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:7)
Salvation is a gift – a byproduct of the Covenant. It was paid for and delivered by Yahowah manifest in human form. It is a direct result of the work Yahowah performed on the Miqra’ey of Pesach and Matsah—where His body served as the Passover Lamb and His soul was damned, thereby separated unto She’owl on our behalf.
Considering the anguish associated with Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Pesach and especially Matsah, one wouldn’t think that Yahowah would have to tell us not to do His work. But God provided this instruction, not once but twice, because He didn’t want anyone to be beguiled by the claims to the contrary made by Sha’uwl, the founder of the most popular religion in human history. Not once, but twice, Paul presents himself as co-savior.
The first of these two claims came in Galatians, Sha’uwl’s first letter. In the midst of demeaning the Towrah, he wrote: “I then by and because of the Towrah’s allotment and inheritance, myself, actually died and was separated in order that for the purpose of God I might currently live. In Christo I have actually been crucified together with.” (Galatians 2:19) Then Paul takes this arrogant and erroneous “co-savior” notion to the extreme of religious mythology in Colossians by writing: “Now, I rejoice, embrace and hail, in the sufferings and misfortunate afflictions, the evil calamities and adverse emotional passions, for your sake, and I actually complete, making up for that which would otherwise be deficient and that which is lacking and left to be done due to prior failures and inferior performances of the afflictions of the Christou in my flesh for the benefit of the body of Him who is the called-out, of which, I, myself, conceive and bring into existence as a servant extended down from the administration and arrangement of this god, the appointment having been produced and granted to me to you all to complete and fulfill the word of the god.” (Colossians 1:24-25) Therefore, Yahowah warned us about Sha’uwl here in the Towrah and elsewhere in the Prophets.
Since it is critical to our salvation, it bears reemphasizing. Miqra’, the title Yahowah chose to describe His plan of salvation, is based upon qara’, a verb which conveys the act of “calling someone out to read and to recite a message.” It tells us that we are “to proclaim the news, to convey the essential meaning, and to issue a summons and invitation.” Qara’ also means to “call by name,” so as “to be chosen,” thereby “encountering and meeting” God in a personal way. As such, the Scriptural title of Yahowah’s path to paradise describes how God wants us to celebrate each step along the way. And to that end, for those who are unaware of, elect to ignore, or who choose to be hostile to Yah’s plan of salvation as it is embodied in the seven Miqra’ey, the related term miqreh describes “an unforeseen meeting at the end of life which designates the fate or destiny of those who did not choose” to answer God’s summons.
It should be noted that Yahowah used qodesh to further define the purpose of this Miqra’. It reminds us that this day exists to “set us apart from the world and unto God by cleansing and purifying us.” Worth noting in this regard, qodesh is the adjective God selected to describe His Spirit—the Qodesh Ruwach, or Set-Apart Spirit.
We should also be cognizant of the fact the Towrah’s most important title, Miqra’, has a counterpart in the Greek eyewitness accounts, that being ekklesia, meaning: “Called-Out.” If you are one of the many who are unfamiliar with this term, it is because rather than translating or transliterating ekklesia, which represent the only appropriate actions, every English bible replaced this descriptive word 115 of the 119 times it appears in the Greek with the meaningless and man-made title “church”—a word completely devoid of a Scriptural basis.
The Miqra’ey make the ekklesia possible, just as the Towrah provides the basis for understanding Yahowsha’s words and deeds. By errantly, and indeed arrogantly, substituting “church,” which is neither a translation or transliteration of ekklesia (klesia is a derivative of kaleo, meaning “to call,” and ek means “out”), the purpose of God’s Invitations to be Called Out and Meet was lost, as was the obvious connection between Yahowah’s promises and Yahowsha’s fulfillments. Man’s unjustified tinkering with God’s Word was not without consequence.
The last word in the Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:7 passage is not ma’aseh, which is invocative of the “ordinary endeavors of men.” It is mala’kah, “the service of heaven’s messenger,” Yahowsha’. There is no mistaking that mala’kah (מְלָאכָה) is based upon mal’ak (מַלְאָךְ), which is Yahowah’s “envoy, representative, and heavenly messenger—a supernatural being who proclaims God’s message.” A mal’ak is a “theophany (defined as “a visible manifestation of God”), the tangible and corporeal representation of divinity.” In this case, the mal’ak is Yahowsha’. He is unleavened (without sin), and therefore He alone was qualified to unleaven our souls. This profound truth is pervasive throughout Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s testimony. But to appreciate this truth, you have to seek out the full meaning of the words Yahowah communicated to Moseh.
To reinforce the concept that mala’kah is Yahowah’s work, not mankind’s, God defined the term the first time He used it: “On the seventh day God ceased, having completed (kalah – finished and accomplished) His mala’kah which by way of relationship (‘asher) He had fashioned and accomplished (‘asah – prepared and produced). And on the seventh day He rested (sabath – ceased and desisted) from all (kol) His mala’kah which relationally (‘asher) He had prepared and produced (‘asah – fashioned and accomplished).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 2:2)
While we are not to do our ordinary work on the seventh day of each week, Unleavened Bread begins with a special Sabbath in which we are invited to celebrate the Savior’s service. The message is that man cannot save himself. God bequeathed this provision, providing His solution to our rebellion as a gift. He is obviously offended when we tell Him that we want Him to consider a religious solution instead. Considering the sacrifice He made, and the magnitude of the gift, it’s insulting and rude. And in this light, the Roman Catholic Church’s claim to hold sway over a person’s salvation is insolent (contemptuous and arrogant), impudent (meaning that it demonstrates a cocky disregard for others), and impertinent (conveying the fact that it is rude and improper). Few things are as synonymous with the hierarchy of Roman Catholicism as are an improper and arrogant display of power, control, and wealth. The keys to heaven lie in the recognition of who the Ma’aseyah is, and in our reliance upon what He has done.
The next verse in Qara’ / Leviticus relative to the Miqra’ of Matsah would be redundant if not for the inclusion of ‘iseh—a word which will become the focus of the “Kippurym–Reconciliations” chapter. “Come near and be present with (qarab – approach and appear before) the adoptive mother who enlightens and elevates (‘iseh/‘isah – the feminine aspect of God’s light) unto (la – according to and to approach) Yahowah ( ) for seven (seba’ – from saba’, to swear an oath and make a promise) days (yowm).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:8)
There are many possible interpretations of ‘isah, ’iseh, ‘ishah, and ’isheh, depending upon how these three Hebrew letters are vocalized. One is “fire,” a common metaphor for judgment—something we avoid when we capitalize on the redemptive nature of Unleavened Bread. Fire separates that which is valuable from the dross, just as we are either separated unto Yahowah or unto death depending upon what choice we make regarding the provision our Heavenly Father has provided. The fire and separation metaphor is also related to Mitsraym, where Yahowah led His family out of the oppressive Crucible of Egypt—and thus to the historic basis of Matsah.
As it relates to “fire,” it was the ancient world’s source of light and of warmth. Fire was used for cooking, and thus is symbolic of being nourished. So, by using ‘iseh, Yahowah could be saying that He is enlightening us with His Word, warming us with His presence, and nurturing us with these truths—in addition to separating us from man’s oppressive regimes and unto Himself. Further, since the smoke of a fire rises, God might also be saying that the result of unleavening our souls is that we will rise up to live with Him.
Textually however, ‘iseh (אִשֶּׁה), the feminine noun designating “fire” and ‘isah (אִשָּׁה), the Hebrew word for “female individual, woman, mother, and wife,” are indistinguishable in the original text. As such, ‘isah might well symbolize the role our Spiritual Mother—the Set-Apart Spirit—plays in cleansing and purifying our souls. She is responsible for enlightening us, nourishing us, comforting us, purifying us, and for elevating us so that we can become part of our Heavenly Father’s family.
So, since it makes no sense to “appear before and approach” a “feminine fire” or a human “wife or woman” in the context of a Called-Out Assembly dedicated to removing sin from our mortal souls, “the adoptive mother who enlightens and elevates” rendering of ‘iseh/‘isah, is appropriate. And while this instruction is valuable as it pertains to the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread, a proper understanding of ‘iseh/‘isah becomes life or death when considered in the context of Yahowah’s presentation of the sixth Miqra’—the Day of Reconciliations. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation of ‘iseh/‘isah will be forestalled until the “Kippurym – Reconciliations” chapter where it is germane to our very survival.
Continuing on with His Towrah’s instruction regarding Matsah, Yahowah revealed: “The seventh (shaby’y) day is a set-apart (qodesh – cleansing and separated, purifying and dedicated) Miqra’ (Miqra’ – Invitation to be Called Out and Meet for reading and welcoming; from qara’, to call out, to recite, to read, and to summon by name, to meet, to greet, and to welcome). You shall not (lo’) do (‘asah – engage in, institute or accomplish, prepare or produce, perform or bring about) any (kol) of the work (‘abodah – labor) of the service of Heaven’s Messenger (mala’kah – the theophany, the visible manifestation and representative of God).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:8)
Yahowah has given us a way home. He wants us to come near and approach Him using the seven steps He has provided. It is the message, the purpose, and the product of the Miqra’ey.
Let’s step back in time to the Exodus and consider how freedom from the oppressive crucible of Egypt was first celebrated. As the life and death issues associated with Passover were resolved, Yahowah spoke of Unleavened Bread.
“I am (‘any) Yahowah ( ). The blood (dam) will exist (hayah) for you (la) as a sign (la ‘owth – as a token, a miraculous signal, an illustration, a nonverbal symbol conveying important information) on (‘al) the homes (beyth – households and families) where you by way of relationship (‘atem ‘asher) are at that time (sham). So when (wa) I see (ra’ah – when I view and consider) the blood (dam) I will choose to actually pass over (pesach) you on that account (‘al – on that basis and for that reason).
And the plague (negeph –pandemic disease which strikes people and causes them to stumble) leading to (la – concerning) death and destruction (mashchyth – ruin or incarceration) shall not exist (lo’ hayah) among you (ba) when I strike (ba makah – when I afflict and wound) in the realm of the Crucible of Egypt (ba ‘erets mitsraym). This (zeh – specific) day (yowm – beginning and ending at sunset) will exist (hayah – was, is, and will always be) on your behalf (la – for you) as a memorial and reminder (la zikarown – as a commemoration of an inheritance right, a means to recall and understand the relationship, as a symbol and a proverb).
And (wa) you should choose to genuinely and completely celebrate (chagag – I’d like you to throw a comprehensive party (qal perfect consecutive)) with Him (‘eth) a Festival Feast (chag) to approach (la) Yahowah ( ) throughout all of your lives and generations (la dowr – dwelling places throughout time). Continuously and genuinely celebrating the Festival Feast with Him (chagag – you should actually and always revel in His party (qal imperfect)) as an engraved prescription for living (chuqah – a clearly communicated and inscribed recommendation of what you should do in life to be cut into the covenant relationship) forever (‘owlam – eternally).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:12-14)
“Seven (sheba’) days (yowmym) you should consistently consume (‘akal) Matsah (matsah – bread without yeast). Indeed (‘ak), on (ba) the first (ri’shown – foremost) day (yowm) you should continually observe by removing (th-shabath-w – you should put an end to, ceasing the actions of) yeast (se’or – the fungus and fermenting agent) from (min) your homes and households (beyth – houses and families).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:15)
Here, th-shabath-w was scribed as a verb (in the hiphil stem, imperfect conjugation, second person masculine plural), and was thereby addressing our actions and their ongoing consequences in association with our observance of the Sabbath. If Yahowah had wanted to simply convey “remove,” and nothing else, He could have used any one of twelve different verbs, including: cuwr, cabab, cuwb, nacag, gowlah, or muwsh, among others. Therefore, it would be reasonable to conclude that this actionable form of shabat was chosen to convey some or all of the following: “shabat – this is a time to rest and reflect, observing all of the promises associate with seven, to be settled knowing that our debts have been settled, to cease, putting an end to everything associated with” the fungus and corruption of yeast.
God did not, however, refer to this day as a Shabathown, or special day among the Miqra’ey, which would be observed as if it was a natural Shabat. So while there is a great benefit in taking this day off work so that we can focus upon its enormous benefit, we are only being asked to closely examine and carefully consider what it means to remove yeast from our homes.
Also relevant, every significant aspect of Yahowah’s plan and timeline is based upon the formula of six, representing mankind and toil, plus one, representing unity and God, equates to seven, which is the Sabbath—a time of rest and reflection. And that is why the day immediately following Passover is described using the verbal basis of shabat, all to remind us about the promise God has made to unleaven our soul, which is akin to “removing” yeast from our homes. These ideas are connected through the Ma’aseyah. He worked on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread to remove the corruption of sin so that we could rest assured of our salvation, reflecting upon the unearned gift God has generously provided.
While we have been over this ground before, let’s consider anew why Yahowah used the metaphor of “yeast” in conjunction with bread as a symbol for how sin infects us. Yeast is a unicellular, eukaryotic microorganism, which is classified as a Fungus. As such, to live, it feeds off of organic substrates, most commonly, dead matter. Its primary purpose in nature is the decomposition of that which was once alive. In this way, it represents what happens to the souls of those who die estranged from Yahowah—they disintegrate and are destroyed as their bodies decompose and their souls dissipate into nothingness. Further, as a fungus, yeast thrives in darkness. This is consistent with the plethora of corrupt religious schemes which are corrosive to our souls—especially the impetus for them: Mystery Babylon.
In human hands, yeast is most commonly used in the presence of oxygen to aerate baked bread, making it rise, and to carbonate beer through the production of carbon dioxide – which is a deadly gas when it depletes the oxygen we breathe. The leavening process in dough causes a foaming action which permeates and softens the entire loaf. This is done through fermentation, biologically changing the chemistry of the dough as the yeast first reproduces through the consumption of carbohydrates in the flour, and then reacts with water, heat, and acidity to produce either carbon dioxide or ethanol gas. In the absence of oxygen, yeasts turn the sugars and carbohydrates in beer and wine into alcohol (actually ethanol: C2H5OH) through the fermentation process. The first lesson is that it doesn’t take much yeast (read “sin”) to permeate the entire loaf of bread (read “mortal nature”). The second is that the byproduct of yeast in beer and wine, alcohol, isn’t the most desirable spirit with whom to associate.
Species of yeast are known as opportunistic pathogens, and can cause infections in humans. There are a number of “killer yeasts,” which secrete toxic proteins which are lethal to receptive cells. Crytococcus neoformans, for example, is a yeast pathogen which kills some ten percent of AIDS patients. Yeasts of the Candida genus cause irritating oral and vaginal infections. In many foods, and most notably with regard to cheeses and meats, the presence of yeast leads to spoilage. As these things relate to sin, the consequence is not only death, but more importantly, sin spoils our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Adding insult to injury, yeast was used very early on in Egypt—the very place from which Yahowah rescued His people. There, yeast exists as a natural contaminant in flour. It was used to brew beer, the most prevalent beverage among the Egyptians at the time.
Making sure that He had made His point, the same three Hebrew letters which comprise “yeast,” sa’or, vocalized sa’ar, mean: “to exalt oneself, rising up in power, authority, and majesty, to covet and to crush,” and as a result, “to be left behind.” Pharaoh had exalted himself by claiming to be the son of the sun. He lived majestically in religious and political splendor. He not only coveted the free labor his Israelite slaves were providing, crushing them became his way of rebelling against God. And as a result, he, his people, and their religion, were left behind as Yahowah led His people to the Promised Land, leaving Egypt in ruins.
Speaking of the corruptive nature of this fungus, God would go on to say: “Indeed (ky – because), any and every (kol) soul (nepesh) who consumes (‘akal – eats and feeds upon, is nourished by) yeasted bread (hames – bread which includes yeast and has become soured) shall be cut off and separated (karat –banished, cut down, severed, and uprooted; will face death and destruction upon being eliminated) from (min) Yisra’el (‘ysh sarah ‘el – individuals who strive, struggle, persist, endure, and persevere with and are empowered by God), from the first (ri’shown) day (yowm) until (‘ad) the seventh (shaby’y) day (yowm).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:15)
This message is as unequivocal as it is unaccommodating. Those who ignore Yahowah’s instructions regarding Un-Yeasted Bread “shall be cut off” from the source of life. They shall be “separated” from God and “banished” from His presence. “Cut down, severed, and uprooted” from the vine which is Yisra’el, they will “die,” and they will find their bodies and souls “destroyed.” Those who ignore Yah’s Miqra’ of Matsah instructions will not be among “Yisra’el – individuals who strive, engage, persist, endure, and persevere with and are empowered by God.”
Yahowah has provided a plan—a seven-step path home. Follow it as He laid it out and fulfilled it, and you will live. Ignore it, change it, or reject it and when you die; your soul will be destroyed. Such is the consequence of man’s oppressive schemes, and most especially religion.
For those who may protest at this point, saying that the penalty is simply expulsion from a country from which they have no affinity, I say there is a reason why Yahowah coins names which convey meaning. Yisra’el represents every “individual who lives and endures with God.” Therefore, to be “cut off from Yisra’el” is to “be severed from the source of life”—from our Heavenly Father’s family. Moreover, God will go on to add “foreigners,” those who come from different “races, places, communities, and cultures,” to the list of those who will be excluded from the source of life if they ignore His invitation to Matsah.
This was not the first time, nor will it be the last time, God has been or will be so direct regarding a departure from the very specific path He has described in the Towrah. His first such proclamation occurred in the discussion of Pesach. He said:
“The individual (ha ‘iysh – the person) who, himself (‘asher huw’ – as a result of the relationship), is clean (tahowr – morally pure), but (wa) does not exist on the way (lo’ hayah ba derek – is on the path) when (wa) he abandons and fails (chadal – he forsakes and foregoes, declining) to act upon (la ‘asah – to engage in and capitalize upon) Pesach (Pesach – Passover), that soul (nepesh – consciousness) will be cut off and separated (karat – severed, uprooted, banished, and eliminated) from (min) Her (hy’) family (‘am). And that is because (ky) Yahowah’s ( ) offering to approach (qaraban – sacrifice and gift which brings us close; from qarab – to draw near and enter the presence) was not present to bring him near (lo’ qarab – was not offered so he could not approach) at the appointed time (mow’ed). That individual (ha ‘ysh) will bear (nasa’ – he will incur and suffer) his guilt (huw’ chet’ – his sin and offenses).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:13)
The same message is repeated in Yowm Kippurym. Regarding souls not answering the summons and appearing before our Spiritual Mother, Yahowah said: “Because (ky – indeed) any (kol) soul (nepesh) who does not respond to the summons and answer (‘anah – reply to the call and make a thoughtful declaration, verbally communicating) on this life sustaining, corporeal, and empowering (‘esem – very substantive, invigorating and healing, essential, mighty, and abundantly powerful) day, these shall be cut off and be separated (karat – excommunicated and banished, uprooted and exterminated, vanquished and expelled) from the family (min ‘am).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:29)
The message is as consistent as it is convicting. Those who choose not to answer Yahowah’s invitation and attend His annual meetings will be separated, excommunicated, and banished from His family and His presence—their souls ceasing to exist at the end of their lives. Therefore, the fate of those who celebrate New Year’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, Lent, Palm Sunday, the Last Supper (by way of the Eucharist and Communion), Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Halloween, and Christmas instead of Yahowah’s seven Miqra’ey, has been clearly articulated. Three of the seven meetings which have been established by God are replete with “do or die” clauses. One would have thought, considering the source, that this would have been sufficient to gain our undivided attention.
These statements alone are more than adequate to demonstrate that the lone, narrow, restrictive, and unpopular path to life in God’s presence is predicated upon the Miqra’ey, and that all other paths lead to death and to the destruction of one’s soul. But, when these three passages are considered alongside Yahowsha’s Teaching on the Mount, all hope of the Christian solution vanishes. It was there and then that Yahowsha’ was translated as saying: “Do not assume (nomizo – suppose or acknowledge, following something as a custom or tradition) that I have come to weaken, dismantle, invalidate, or abolish (kataluso – loosen, tear down, or dissolve, put an end to, do away with, or annul) the Towrah or the Prophets. I have not come to do away with (invalidate or abolish) them, but instead to completely fulfill them.” (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 5:17)
Please note, however, that Yahowah didn’t say that He was going to kill these people. God didn’t say that He was going to torture anyone in hell, either. From His perspective, every soul is free to live their life and to make their own choices. All Yahowah has said is that when the life of a soul who retains sin because they ignored His provision is over, it’s over. Their soul will perish.
“On (ba – in and during) the first (ri’shown – foremost) day (yowm – beginning and ending at sunset) there is (hayah) a set-apart (qodesh – separated and dedicated, purifying and cleansing) Invitation to Meet and be Called Out (Miqra’ – a summons to gather for the purpose of being welcomed, for reading and reciting) and on (ba – in and during) the seventh (shaby’y) day (yowm) there is the set-apart (qodesh – separated and dedicated, purifying and cleansing) Invitation to be Called Out (miqra’ – a summons to meet and to gather for the purpose of being welcomed, for reading and reciting) for (la) you. Do not (lo’) do (‘asah – perform or assign) any (kol) of the service of the heavenly representative (mala’kah – from mal’ak, duties of God’s messenger) during (ba – in and on) them (hem).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:16)
The most essential, life-sustaining work performed by Yahowah’s representative, Yahowsha’, was completed on the Miqra’ of Matsah. We cannot add to it and should not attempt to compete with it.
“Only (‘ak) that which (‘asher) is consumed (‘akal – eaten) by (la) each (kol) soul (nepesh) alone by (bad – separated and apart by) himself (huw’) may be done (‘asah) by (la) you.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:16) While there are aspects of this Miqra’ which are celebratory, each soul is to consume their piece of unleavened bread alone. The reasons are twofold. First, Yahowsha’ suffered alone on this day—going to the place of separation—which is something God wants us to understand. Second, since people can eat and souls cannot, by using nepesh in this context Yahowah was alerting us to the fact that the lone mention of His soul is provided in the context of this day. In this regard, toward the end of this chapter, we will examine the profound nature of what is being predicted in these words.
“Carefully examine, consider, and observe (shamar – revere, pay attention to, keep focused upon, cling to, and be secured by) those things which are associated with (‘eth) Matsah / Unleavened Bread (Matsah – baked bread without yeast) because (ky – indeed) on (ba – during) this (zeh) essential and foundational (‘esem – skeletal and very substantial, mighty and empowering, vastly important and corporeal) day (yowm) your hosts (saba’ – multitudes who go forth and serve under the command of a leader) were brought out (yasa’) from the realm (‘erets – land) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym).
Carefully examine, consider, and observe (shamar – revere, pay attention to, keep focused upon, cling to, and be secured by) those things which are associated with (‘eth) this (zeh) day (yowm) throughout (la) your generations, households, and lives (dowr – homes, dwelling places, and periods of time). It is an eternal (‘owlam – everlasting and perpetual, permanent and never ending) prescription for living (chuqah – a clearly communicated recommendation of what you should do to live, engraved and written advice chiseled in stone designed to cut you into the relationship).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:17)
This is the first time Yahowah has used ‘esem in association with a Miqra’—here in reference to Matsah being an “essential and foundational” day. Considering the scope of the sacrifice God made on Passover, this means that there is something about Unleavened Bread which makes it even more important—and as essential as Yowm Kippurym, the Day of Reconciliations. ‘Esem is based upon, and in the text is identical to, ‘asam, meaning “to become vast and powerful.” Vocalized as ‘esem, the Hebrew word is most often translated “bones.” It is used to convey the “essential nature of a living organism—designating the skeleton and foundation upon which life and limb hang.” Used in this context, it means that our ability to stand with God is predicated upon what happens on this day. When it comes to our eternal fate, the decision to “carefully observe, revere, pay attention to, keep, cling to, and be secured by” Matsah is literally life and death.
As such, the Miqra’ of Matsah is to be revered and carefully observed “forever, throughout our generations, households, and lives.” The Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread is a “never ending statute which has been chiseled in stone” by our Maker. It is “a clearly communicated prescription of what we should do if we want to live” in the company of our Heavenly Father. It is God’s written invitation to eternal life, free of human religious and political oppression.
God’s instructions in this regard are so simple, it becomes clear that yeast is a metaphor for something far more important, and that the essential and empowering nature of the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread isn’t based upon what little is required of us, but instead upon what God would do, and now has done, for us on this day.
“In the first (ri’shown – foremost) month (hodes – time of renewal), on the fourteenth day at (ba) sundown (‘ereb – in the evening starting at sunset), you are to eat (‘akal) bread without yeast (matsah – unleavened bread) until (‘ad) sunset (‘ereb) on the twenty-first day of the month.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:18) Be assured, before our review of the Miqra’ of Matsah is complete, we will delve deeply into the scope of the sacrifice God made to remove sin from our mortal natures.
This removal of sin is a serious affair with eternal ramifications that only Yahowsha’ could solve. “Seven (sheba’ – based upon saba’, a sworn oath to affirm the truth and promise to do something) days (yowm) there shall be no (lo’) leavening yeast (sa’ar – nothing remaining or left behind) found (matsa’ – uncovered or discovered) in your homes (beyth – households and dwelling places). Indeed (ky), any (kol) soul (nepesh) who consumes (‘akal – who devours or is consumed and destroyed by) anything leavened (mahmeset / hametz – that which embitters, grieves, and oppresses) shall be cut off and banished (karat – shall be severed from the source of life, be taken away and be permitted to perish, be destroyed, eliminated and separated) from the community of (‘edah – assembly of witnesses who testify together with) Yisra’el (‘ysh sarah ‘el – individuals who strive, struggle, persist, endure, and persevere with and are empowered by God), including (ba – along with) foreigners (ger – temporary inhabitants and newcomers without inherited rights, people from different races, cultures, and places) and natives (‘ezrach – those rising out) of the Land (‘erets).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:19)
The message is: follow My instructions or you will die. One’s race, culture (read: politics and religion), citizenship, and location are irrelevant.
There are two very different words translated “leaven” in this passage. The first, sa’ar, conveys the idea of “retaining something,” in this case sin, which “sours” our souls. It speaks of “leaving it behind” so as “to be spared.” But sa’ar isn’t just the Hebrew word for “yeast,” it also means “remnant, remainder, and residue,” as well as “to remain” and “to rest.”
Both mahmeset and hametz are based upon hames. And while the root can mean “anything with yeast added,” hames principally describes the nature of those who rebel against God. They harbor “hateful and bitter feelings which cause great sorrow”—the result of leading souls away from Yah. They “oppress, treating people ruthlessly and cruelly, causing trouble for others.” As a result, they are “stained crimson by the blood” of those they “abuse.” Vocalized differently, homes is descriptive of “soured wine” or “vinegar,” indicating that the atoning blood of Passover is wasted on those who “hames/oppress.”
If this were not important, God wouldn’t have repeated Himself: “Consume (‘akal – eat) nothing (lo kol) with yeast (mahmeset / hametz – that which embitters, grieves, and oppresses) in all (ba kol) your assemblies and communities (mowshab – geographic locations and households), eating (‘akal – consuming) only un-yeasted bread (matsah – bread without yeast).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:20)
So why do you suppose that most all of those who claim to be following God’s instructions, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons, ignore these Godly instructions? Is their god absent-minded, having forgotten what he said? Is their god capricious and unreliable, having changed his mind? Or have they made a god in their own image—a religious god who has an entirely different message? And if this is the case, how reliable do you suppose the message of that god will be when it comes to a devotee’s salvation?
As we are now aware, the Festival Feast of Unleavened Bread was initiated and memorialized during the Exodus from Egypt. The departure was so sudden, the Children of Yisra’el didn’t have time to let their bread dough rise, much less prepare provisions for the journey. The Egyptians, having been stricken for their continued rebellion, were not interested in receiving another lesson. In the immediate aftermath of the Passover, they wanted the Chosen People gone, and now
“Based upon what had happened (‘al – on account of what had transpired) the Egyptians (mitsraym) were resolute and severe (hazaq – were harsh and firm) with the people (‘am – family), hurriedly (mahar – anxiously and quickly, impulsively) sending them out (salah) of the land (‘erets), saying (‘amar), ‘Because (ky) we shall all (kol) die (muwth – be put to death prematurely, be executed and separated from the living).’ So (wa) the people (‘am – family) took and carried off (nasa’) their dough (baseq – grain mixed with water) before (terem) it was leavened (hames – soured and embittered by yeast)—having their kneading bowls (mis’ereth) bound up (sarar – wrapped up and confined) in (ba) their garments (simlah – clothing) and on (‘al) their shoulders (shakem – backs).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:33-34)
Yahowah has once again connected these dots for us. He has confirmed what we have come to recognize. Hames, the Hebrew word for “leaven,” drives to the heart of the issue God is raising. He’s got nothing against yeast, per se; His issue is with hames’ additional connotations: “ruthless oppression and cruel behavior, which embitters, creating hateful feelings, great trouble, and sorrow.” Embittered, defiant people harbor animosity against God which in turn leads to separation and emotional anguish. When covetous people enter the realm of politics and religion, all too often they become ruthless and oppressive, prospering by treating people cruelly. The Miqra’ of Matsah focuses on the work Yahowsha’ would do on the Sabbath to remove this horrible and deadly stain from the souls of all those who would elect to rely on Him. Similarly revealing, the same three Hebrew consonants can be vocalized hamas—a word which means “to devise an unjust plot or plan which leads to the mistreatment of others, plundering them, destroying their land and possessions, while terrorizing and killing them without any hint of morality.
“In this manner (ka), the Children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who endure with and are empowered by God) observed and accomplished (‘asah – profited from) the Word (dabar) and they asked for and received (sa’al) clothing (simlah), cooking vessels (kaly – and implements), and objects (kaly – including jewelry) of silver and gold (kesep wa zahab). Yahowah bestowed and granted (natan – gave as a gift) a favorable acceptance (chen – merciful and generous reception) for the family (‘am – people) in the sight (‘ayn – eyes and perceptions) of the Egyptians (mitsraym – the crucible of oppression) .” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:35-36)
Listen to God, and follow His instructions, and He will welcome you into His presence and bestow the gift of life. Those who do, will not only be liberated from oppression and freed from the crucible, they will be showered with the most wonderful inheritance in the universe. They will be adopted as Yah’s children.
As their journey to the Promised Land began “The Children (ben) of Yisra’el set out (naca’ – picked up, removed themselves, departed, and traveled) from (min) Ramases (Ra’mases – (רַעְמְסֵס) the son of the sun) ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:37)
The inclusion of “Ramases” in this passage, as well as in three others, initially led many historians and theologians to discount the Exodus account, categorizing it as fable rather than history. And that is because Scripture places the Exodus in 1447 BCE, but Ramesses the Great did not ascend to the throne of the Black Land until 1279 BCE using the Conventional Chronology—a gap of 168 years. (Based upon the New Chronology, Ramases ruled in the early tenth century.) However, synchronism is immaterial at this juncture, because Ramases was just the name of a place—in this case the location from which the Exodus began. So while Scripture lists the names of countless other potentates, the Towrah never actually reveals the name of the pharaoh of the oppression. Frankly, his name is irrelevant. Only the arrogant and oppressive religious and political culture of Egypt, from which we have been saved, is relevant.
That is not to say that we shouldn’t be curious, or that we shouldn’t try to verify Scripture’s veracity by investigating the history of Egypt. And to that end, in the “Salah – Freedom” chapter, relying upon the work of archeologist Manfred Bietak (Professor of Egyptology at the Austrian Institute in Vienna) and historian David Rohl (author of A Test of Time) and others, we determined that in all likelihood, Dudimose was the pharaoh who lost his duel with God.
More important however, we learned that overwhelming and irrefutable archeological evidence has been unearthed at the dig at Tell ed-Daba to prove that Yisra’el’s sojourn did in fact commence from Ra’meses—a place named after the Egyptian god Ra, not after the pharaoh. The pharaohs who bore this name were named after the god, not the other way around. So what’s significant, is that Yahowah provided us with Ra’meses’ name, some 3,300 years before the 1799 CE discovery of the Rosetta Stone enabled modern man to pronounce the moniker of Egypt’s principle god. It is one of many confirmations that Scripture can be trusted.
With regard to this passage, the metropolis of “Rameses,” which was once known as Avaris, spans a period of time from the 12th to the 20th Egyptian Dynasties. At its peak, Avaris/Rameses was one of the largest cities of the ancient world, covering some ten square kilometers. It reached a zenith in the 15th century BCE as a result of the work done by the large Hebrew slave population. It fell into lean times following the plagues and the dearth of Egyptian power in the aftermath of the Exodus, only to be rebuilt again by Rameses the Great centuries later.
Returning to the text of Yahowah’s message, we find that the Yisra’elites left the realm of the “son of the sun” to go: “ to Sukoth (sukowth – from sukah, the shelter, tabernacle, tent, and dwelling place) with about (ka) six hundred thousand (shes me’ah ‘elep) individuals (geber – men) on foot (ragly) besides (bad – in addition to) little children (tap – infant boys and girls who take quick little steps).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:37)
Sukoth is a rabbinical variation of Sukah, which in turn serves as the name of Yahowah’s seventh and final Miqra’—the festival which celebrates mankind dwelling with God in the Promised Land. This tells us that the pathway to paradise which begins with Passover and Unleavened Bread leads to sukah—to camping out with God. Just as Abraham was called out of the political and religious milieu of Babylon before he could walk with God to the Promised Land, the Yisra’elites were led out of an equally corrupt realm in which the sun and stars had been considered gods before they were allowed to campout with Yahowah.
As an interesting aside, since geber can mean “men” in addition to “adult individuals,” the passage is often rendered “six-hundred thousand men in addition to women and children.” However, tap, means “infants,” not “women and children,” so, it would be wrong to conclude that there were six-hundred thousand men alone, even more women, and twice that many children. What we know for sure is that “six” is the Scriptural number of mankind—and represents the unique animal conceived with a conscience on the sixth creative day. And we know that six-hundred thousand Yisra’elite adults were led from Rameses to Sukoth in addition to their children.
Until recently, it was considered laughable to think that there were six hundred thousand Yisra’elite slaves in Egypt, but now the evidence is ubiquitous. Digs in the Upper Nile region—especially the gravesites unearthed in Avaris—demonstrate that hundreds of thousands of Hebrews were enslaved there. Some have even claimed that satellite photos of the Sinai reveal evidence of an ancient migration of hundreds of thousands of people. And based upon those same satellite images, everyone with a computer can now look for themselves and see that the beach at Nuweiba was of sufficient size to accommodate this multitude. Not only is the mountainous route which leads to this area consistent with the Scriptural account, there is a land bridge across the Gulf of Aqaba at this location, replete with remnants of Egyptian chariot wheels encrusted in coral beneath the waves. This gradual grade across the northeastern arm of the Red Sea is suitable for a massive population to cross into Arabia. Moreover, massive stone columns were erected on the Eastern and Western shores by Solomon, thanking Yahowah for the role He played in freeing His people.
“They baked (‘aphah) the dough (batseq – grain flour mixed with water) which (‘asher – by way of making a connection) was brought out (yatsa’) of (min) Egypt (mitsraym – the oppressive crucible) as flat loaves of (‘ugah – quickly prepared) un-yeasted bread (matsah – loaves without yeast). Indeed (ky), there was no (lo’) yeast added (hames – their loaves were not embittered, oppressed, stained red, ruthless, or cruel) because (ky) they had been expelled (garish – driven and cast out) from (min) the crucible (mitsraym – oppression of Egypt), and would not (lo’) have prevailed (yakol – overcome, succeeded, or endured) if (la) they had delayed (mahah – lingered or hesitated). Moreover (gam), they had not (lo’) fashioned and prepared (‘asah – produced by way of their labor) any provision (tseydah – food).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:39)
Unleavening ourselves of sin is Yahowah’s job, His provision. Those who come to rely on His rescue plan, are not only freed from human oppression, their every need is met.
This passage also seems to suggest that God does not want us to hesitate when it comes to His summons and plan of salvation. He wants us to capitalize upon His fortuitous gift before it is too late—before we become too set in our ways, or worse, before we die. Life is short for those who are not properly prepared.
The Septuagint and the Samaritan Pentateuch include the three generations from Abraham to Ya’aqob in the 430-year period depicted in this next verse, Shemowth / Exodus 12:40. While the Masoretic Text does not, it differs from the Dead Sea Scrolls by eliminating the phrase “the realm of” which is witnessed in the older manuscript, 4QExod. “The time interval (mowshab – period) of the children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) in which (‘asher) they remained (yashab – dwelled and inhabited) in (ba) the realm (‘erets – land) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym) was four hundred years (‘arba’ me’ah shanah) and thirty years (selosym shanah).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:40)
Yahowah not only timed the Exodus from Egypt to occur on the Miqra’ of Matsah, on the day following Pesach, He provided another confirmation of the pattern He would use throughout time. He has told us that forty, from ‘araba’, meaning “squared,” depicts “the time interval” which designated “the completion” of “a time of testing.” It matters not if it is forty days, forty years, forty decades, or forty Yowbel.
While the oldest Hebrew text reads four hundred and thirty years, the first thirty wasn’t included in the time of testing. Yowseph had earned the position of regent in Egypt and his family members were treated like royalty for thirty years before the regime changed and they became slaves. Thirty simple tells us that there will be three sets of forty Yowbel in the 6,000-year history of man’s toil upon the earth—six millennia separating mankind’s two stays in paradise.
So it is this pattern of “forty,” depicting the “time of completion of a period of testing,” especially as it relates to this essential day, which is being established in Shemowth / Exodus 12:41. Further, we shouldn’t be surprised that Yahowsha’s service to humanity began exactly thirty years after His arrival on the Feast of Sukah, or Tabernacles, in the waning days of mankind’s fourth millennia.
Forty Yowbel, known as Redemptive Years, separate Adam’s and Chawah’s fall and their exodus from the garden, from Abraham’s confirmation of the Covenant with his son Isaac—the relational agreement which enables us to return to paradise. Another forty Yowbel, or 2,000 years, separate Abraham’s faithfulness on Mount Mowryah from Yahowsha’s actual fulfillment of the first three Miqra’ey on the same site—providing the means to our salvation. And the fortieth Yowbel year (that being 2033 on our calendars, year 6000 to Yahowah) following the Passover and Unleavened Bread sacrifice in 33 CE (God’s year 4000) will mark the final Redemptive Year in which Yahowsha’ can return and still do so within the lifespan of the generation which witnessed the return of the Yisra’elites to the Promised Land. These represent the most telling three “forties,” in human history which is why I suppose that the Yisra’elite stay “in the realm of the crucible was four hundred years and thirty years.”
Timing is important to God, especially when it relates to the days the most important redemptive events for humankind are played out. In this light, the Called-Out Assemblies provide the framework upon which all prophecy is established.
“And then (wa) it came to pass (hayah – it came to exist and to be), that at (min – from) the completion (qes – the finish, duration, and end) of the four hundred years and thirty years, on (ba) this one (zeh) very substantial, essential, and foundational (‘esem – that which provides the skeletal framework for the empowering, vastly important, and corporeal) day (yowm), it came to be (hayah) that all (kol) who go forth and serve (saba’ – those who are inclined and willing to be summoned and perform on behalf of) Yahowah ( ) came out (yatsa’) from (min) the realm (‘erets – the land and region of) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:41)
This is the second time Yahowah has used ‘esem in association with the Miqra’ of Matsah. As we discovered in our review of Shemowth / Exodus 12:17, ‘esem denotes the “essential nature of a living organism—the skeleton and foundation upon which life and limb hang.” It also conveys the idea of “becoming vast and powerful.” Our ability to stand with God and endure forever with Him is predicated upon our response to what He did for us on this essential day. ‘Esem lies at the heart of how we were constructed as well as how God facilitated our ability to stand with and relate to Him.
These passages confirm that even over the course of four centuries, Yahowah’s sense of timing was directed toward a singular day—the most essential and substantial day in human history. No not this day, the 15th of ‘Abyb 1447 BCE, but this same day in 33 CE. The first Miqra’ of Matsah was a dress rehearsal for that which was to come. The Miqra’ey would provide the skeletal framework from which the redemption of mankind would be fleshed out.
Yes, Passover is vitally important. It is where those who rely upon the blood of the lamb are passed over—escaping death. But that alone isn’t sufficient. Our rebellious nature needs to be purged, and the penalty we have earned for our crimes against God and our fellow man needs to be paid. That is the purpose and symbolism of Unleavened Bread. Our souls have been removed from the oppressive crucible of She’owl / Hades, from death and damnation, because Yahowah’s soul went there to redeem His Covenant children. He became our provision. He paid our penalty. He removed our leaven so that we would be free to answer His summons and serve—to walk with Him and stand with Him.
Returning to the Exodus presentation, what follows is fascinating. Yahowah uses “night” rather than “day” to describe the ordeal that is foreshadowed by the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread. And this is because His suffering intensified at sunset, at the dawn of the Sabbath of Matsah. It would be the longest night in all creation—the time Yahowsha’s soul descended into the lightless realm of the crucible of She’owl in our stead, to save us from having to go there ourselves. (While His sacrifice will be addressed toward the end of this chapter, if you’d like to read how this all transpired, turn to the “Tsadaq – Vindication” and “Yasha’ – Salvation” chapters and contemplate the sobering prophecies contained in Mizmowr / Psalms 22 and 88, and in Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 53.)
This next verse seems to be predicting that Yahowah, Himself, will be vigilant, saving us, during the evening of Unleavened Bread, and that because of this, we are being asked to acknowledge what He has done on our behalf. The first three words are: layl-“night,” simowrym-“protective vigils for the purpose of salvation,” and huw’-“he, himself, it, or itself.” These words are followed by la-“to, unto, concerning, or by the means of” and then by Yahowah’s name.
Therefore, the verse begins: “It’s (huw’) a night (layl – a time of darkness and shadow devoid of light; from luwl, a staircase from which) to hold a protective evening vigil to save (simowrym – an evening watch whereby people are guarded through the darkness with the expectation of salvation; from shamar, to keep, guard, protect, save, preserve, treasure, and celebrate life) unto (la) Yahowah ( ),” or: “He, Himself (huw’), will hold a protective evening vigil to save (simowrym – an evening watch whereby people are guarded through the darkness with the expectation of salvation; are protected, saved, preserved, and treasured in a celebration of life) at a time devoid of light (layl –darkness) by (la – concerning, according to and on behalf of) Yahowah ( ) ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:42)
Either way, both of which would be accurate, the passage continues with: “ who brought them out (yatsa’) from (min) the realm of the oppressive crucible (‘erets mitsraym – the land of Egypt).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:42) The crucible of Egypt, while real, serves as a metaphor for She’owl and the abyss. It is the place of separation, the result of judgment, the realm from which Yahowsha’s sacrifice on Unleavened Bread has saved us.
“This is (zeh – henceforth, accordingly is) the night (layl – the period away from the light) He (huw’), Yahowah ( ), will hold a protective evening vigil (simowrym – watch throughout the night to save, guard, preserve, treasure, and celebrate life) for (la – on behalf of) all (kol) the children (ben) of Yisra’el (those who engage and endure with God) throughout your generations (dowr – offspring, households, dwelling places, and time).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:42)
I am humbled by His plan, by His love, by the power of His Word. I have asked Yahowah to forgive me for not caring enough to keep this vigil and for the wisdom and strength to never let it happen again. The night of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath, the 15th of Abyb in Yahowah’s year 4,000, Yahowsha’s soul went to the place of separation and darkness to unleaven my soul and yours of sin so that we could live forever with Him. It was the darkest and yet brightest time in all creation.
Now that we have been liberated from the consequence of sin by what He has done for us on the Miqra’ of Matsah, our Heavenly Father wants us to joyfully commemorate the victory. In Shemowth 13:3 we read:
“Moseh, say (‘amar) to (‘el) the family (‘am), ‘Remember (zakar – record, recall, and be mindful of), this unique (zeh) day which by relationship (‘asher) I brought you out (yasa’) from (min) the realm (‘erets) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym). Because indeed (ky), by (ba – with) the powerful and authoritative (hazaq – firm and resolute, strong and miraculous, repairing and renewing) hand (yad – control and authority) of Yahowah ( ), you were delivered (yasa’) from (min) this. And therefore (wa), do not (lo’) consume (‘akal) yeast (hames – leaven, that which sours, irritates, embitters, grieves, or oppresses) this day (yowm) in (ba) the month (chodesh – time of renewal) of ‘Abyb (‘abyb – when barley gain is ripe, soft, moist, and still green) when you came forth (yasa’).’” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:3-4)
We are saved by the hand, the power and authority, of God. The least we can do is remember what He has done on this day, and refrain from corrupting ourselves further at this time. (It should be noted for those who are verifying these translations by way of the Masoretic, the phrase “the realm of” is included in the Dead Seas Scrolls before mitsraym, but the Masoretic addition of “and from the house of bondage,” is not found in the older manuscripts.)
The Promised Land is symbolic of Paradise, and with camping out with God. Speaking of this desirable destination, Yahowah said: “ which by way of relationship (‘asher) I swore an oath (shaba’ – made a promise) to your fathers (‘ab) to give (natan) you the land (‘erets) flowing with (zuwb – abundant in) milk (halab – food produced by mothers to nurture children) and honey (debas – that which is sweet).
So (wa) engage in and act upon (‘abad – perform) these (ze’h) duties (‘abodah – services) in this month (chodesh – time of renewal). Seven (shaba’ – from shaba’, oath and promise) days (yowm) you shall consume (‘akal) unleavened bread (Matsah – food without yeast). And on (ba) the seventh (shaby’y) day (yowm) celebrate a festival feast (chag) to (la – according to and concerning) Yahowah ( ).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:5-6)
The Festival Feast of Unleavened Bread has a singular purpose—to exonerate us so that we can capitalize on our Heavenly Father’s promise to live with Him in the Promised Land—Heaven. This was accomplished on the Sabbath following Passover, when Yahowsha’s soul descended into the lightless realm of She’owl.
There is but one time a year in which Matsah is to be celebrated—during the seven days associated with God’s Passover sacrifice. Therefore, the daily and weekly Catholic observance of the Eucharist, where bread is alleged to become flesh, is wrong on all accounts.
Passover is about solving the consequence of sin, which is death, and thus is all about the flesh. Unleavened Bread, on the other hand, is focused on exonerating us from the penalty of sin, which is separation from God. It is about facilitating the union of our mortal soul to our Heavenly Father’s eternal Spirit.
Yahowah continues His presentation of the Miqra’ of Matsah with these words: “Unleavened Bread (Matsah – bread without yeast) shall be consumed (‘akal – eaten) for (‘eth) seven (sheba’ – meaning sworn oath or promise) days (yowm). And there shall not (lo’) be seen (ra’ah) among (la) you any yeasted food (hames – leaven, that which sours, irritates, embitters, grieves, or oppresses). Yeast (hames) shall not (lo’) be found (ra’ah) in any part of (kol) your territory (gebuwl).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:7)
Our salvation, our escape from judgment and the crucible of Sheowl (the place of separation), is Yahowah’s doing. And while He personally led His family out of Egypt, the Miqra’ of Matsah is a commemoration of the fact that God is willing to free all of us from the consequence of human oppression. This next verse makes an amazing transition to first person, reinforcing this essential truth. “Tell (nagad – report to and inform) your children (ben – sons) this on (ba – in) this (huw’) day (yowm), saying (‘amar), ‘For the sake of the participants who benefit from this occasion (‘abuwr – because of this, and on behalf of this event) of Yahowah’s ( ) doing (‘asah – service), and for (la – on behalf of) me (‘any), when (ba – and because) I (‘any) was brought out (yasa’) of (min – from) the crucible (mitsraym).’” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:8)
While salvation is offered to everyone, it remains personal. Every individual, regardless of status, race, place, age, or time, who has chosen to rely on Yahowah’s plan of salvation has been removed from the crucible, and therefore has escaped judgment.
So that there is no misunderstanding, while the benefit of Matsah is offered to everyone, very few people will actually capitalize upon this opportunity. Acceptance is predicated upon two things. First, we must come to trust God, and that means we must come to know Yahowah and understand the path He has provided. Then we must choose to rely exclusively on Him and upon His Way. No changes, corruptions, concealments, or counterfeits will qualify.
“And it shall exist (hayah) on your behalf (la ‘atah) as (la) an awe inspiring and miraculous sign (‘owth – a non-verbal symbol designed to communicate an essential truth) on (‘al – near, before, and concerning) your hand (yad – power and authority), and (wa) as (la) a memorial reminder and commemoration for explicit retrospection, a record worth remembering (zikarown) for comprehension between (bayn – to aid in understanding in the midst of) your eyes (‘ayn – perspective and understanding) so that (ma’an – for the intent and purpose that, in order that) the Towrah (towrah – instructions, teachings, guidance, and directions) of Yahowah ( ) exists (hayah) in (ba) your mouth (peh). Indeed because (ky) the powerful, strong, and resolute (hazaq – mighty, forceful, capable, courageous, firm, and encouraging, the earnest, consistent, persistent, and confirming) hand (yad – authority and power) of Yahowah ( ) brought you out (yasa’ – led you away) from (min) the crucible (mitsraym – the oppression of Egypt).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:9)
The enactment and the fulfillment of the Miqra’ of Matsah remain “awe inspiring” events within the fabric of history. The Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread exists as a “sign,” as a “symbol designed to convey the essential truth” that this day designates the “miracle” of salvation which is so eloquently described and predicted in the Towrah.
This verse also serves as a great example of religion run amuck. Orthodox Jews wear Phylacteries, or Tefillin, on the back of their hands and on their foreheads—each with Towrah passages contained in them—not understanding that the reference to one’s eyes and hand was similar to the mouth. The places between our eyes, on our hands, and in our mouths, serve as metaphors for how we should use the Towrah to properly view the world (our eyes), to tell us what we ought to do while we are in it (our hands), and what we should say to others while we are here (using our mouths).
Rabbis go so far as to claim that Shemowth / Exodus 13:9 demonstrates the need for their Oral Law, and books such as the Babylonian Talmud, because the Towrah doesn’t explain how to build these boxes, how they should be worn, or what verses should be contained in them. Desperate is too kind a word.
Yahowah simply wants us to recognize the essential role the Miqra’ of Matsah plays in our salvation. He is telling us that it serves as an awe inspiring sign of the miraculous deed Yahowsha’ would do, and now has done, for us on this day. That is why the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread is a memorial and a reminder worth commemorating—a festival feast worth celebrating. Further, God wants us to understand how His consistent and confirming work on this day fits into the whole fabric of the Towrah—so that our every thought, deed, and word is shaped by it. For it was on this day that Yahowah led us away from the crucible which separates—enabling us to live with Him in the Promised Land. All of that is lost when we demean His service and desecrate His Word by wearing it inside of boxes, or corrupt it in religious ceremonies such as the Eucharist and Communion.
“Closely examine, carefully consider, and consistently observe (shamar – be aware of and focus upon, cling to and revere) this (‘eth) clearly communicated prescription of what you should do (chuqah – written inscription chiseled in stone regarding the process of being cut into the relationship) concerning (la) this (zo’th) appointed meeting time (mow’ed – appointment which serves as a sign and signal) for (min) days upon days (yowm yowm).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:10) Yowm yowm is Hebrew for forever—an unlimited number of days.
The Miqra’ of Matsah is foundational to Yahowah’s Towrah—His Word and His prescription for what ails humankind. This is the day we were vindicated. It is the day which must be made conspicuous so that it is known to all who wish to live with God. And that is why we were told that “this clearly communicated prescription of what we should do” was “chiseled in stone.” God doesn’t change His mind; He isn’t capricious. We can rely upon what He has written.
And therein lies the problem of the Christian religion. There is no call from pastors or priests to heed Yahowah’s summons to observe Passover, Unleavened Bread, or FirstFruits—not even any sermons predicated upon understanding them. Instead, Christian pastors and priests ask their parishioners to participate in Palm Sunday celebrations, in Maundy Thursday observances, Good Friday services, Communion, the Eucharist, and last, but not least, to attend Easter Sunday worship. If God is right, if God can be trusted, they are wrong. And if God is wrong, if God cannot be trusted, neither can they be trusted because they all claim to speak for Him. For the Christian Church, and for Christians, this is a tragic lose-lose scenario. And the wager has been billions of souls.
“And (wa) indeed (ky), it shall come to exist (hayah) that Yahowah will arrive and bring (bow’) you to (‘el – God) the realm (‘erets – land) of Kana’any (kana’any – Cana’an, i.e., the Promised Land) according to (ka) this sworn oath and promise (saba’) to (la) you and to (la) your fathers (‘ab), giving (natan – bestowing) her to (la) you.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:11) While the Promised Land is real, and indeed, Canaan became Israel as promised, it serves as a metaphor for Paradise, for Heaven, for a return to the Garden, for an eternity camping out with God.
Still speaking explicitly about the Miqra’ of Matsah, and its basis, which is God’s willingness to lead us away from human religious and political oppression and resulting bondage and into the Promised Land, the Creator suggested: “And when (ky) it occurs (hayah – happens and comes to exist) in the future (mahar) that your children (ben – sons) ask (sa’al – inquire and question) you, saying (‘amar), ‘What is (mah) this (zo’th)?’ Say (‘amar) to (‘el) them (huw’), ‘By (ba – in) the powerful, authoritative, and resolute (hazaq – mighty, forceful, capable, courageous, firm, and encouraging, the earnest, consistent, persistent, and confirming, the repairing and renewing) hand (yad – authority) of Yahowah ( ) we were delivered (yasa’ – lead away) from (min) the crucible (mitsraym – Egypt) and from (min) the house (beyth) of bondage (‘ebed / ‘abad – slavery, service to others, and worship, work, servitude, and burdens).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:14)
The purpose of Passover and Unleavened Bread is to free us from human bondage, from works-based survival, from religious and political oppression, from judgment, and from the resulting separation these things cause. I know this because God just told us so. He freed us from ‘ebed and ‘abad, meaning: “bondage and slavery,” which is “compulsory service to others.” These terms convey “worship, work, servitude,” and “burdens”—from which, God delivered us.
We were also rescued from mitsraym—the plural of mitsra. Mitsra is derived from mitsraph and matsowr. Let’s consider their implications.
Mitsraph is a crucible, a word which embraces three related definitions. The first is the most obvious: “a vessel subject to fire used for refining metals, separating that which is desirable from the dross.” This speaks of judgment, which is to separate fact from fiction, good from bad, that which is worthy from that which is not.
Second, a crucible describes “a severe test.” It is our response, the choices we make under trying circumstances, which determines our fate. Under public pressure, do we acquiesce to the ways of man, or choose the ways of God? Do we flow with the tide of humanity or swim against it?
Third, a crucible is “a place or situation in which forces interact to cause or influence change in attitude, ability, or personal growth.” When we are challenged in tough situations, we either capitulate and surrender with a “woe is me” attitude, or we aspire to triumph over our plight. God is offering us a way out of the mess we have created for ourselves, but to capitalize, we must first make the responsible decision to properly assess our situation, and the cause of it, and then properly consider God’s offer.
It is interesting to note that “crucible” is from the Latin, crucibulum, which shares a common root with crucifigere—to “crucify.” While there is no crux, or cross, in Scripture, there was a crucifixion. The death of Yahowsha’s body as the Lamb of God, on Passover on the Upright Pole, serves as the crucible of fate for all human souls. Just as Yahowah led His family out of the crucible of Egypt, Yahowsha’ led us away from judgment by enduring the ultimate test and trial.
Matsowr, mitsraym’s other root, means “to be besieged and fenced in.” It in turn is based upon suwr, meaning “to confine, bind, and imprison an adversary showing hostility, treating the prisoner as a foe.” In a word, it is to “oppress” to the maximum extent possible. It describes the penalty Yah’s soul endured on this day—and the sentence we would have endured had He not done so.
Therefore, we can objectively conclude that the purpose of Passover and Unleavened Bread is to free us from human bondage, from works-based survival, from religious and political oppression, from judgment, and from the resulting separation these things cause.
“And (wa) when (ky) Pharaoh (par’oh – the Great House) was (hayah) stubborn, refusing (qasah – cruel, harsh, and oppressive, unwilling) to release us (salah – set us free), Yahowah ( ) took the lives of (harag – put to death) all (kol) the firstborn males (bekor) in (ba) the land (‘erets – realm) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym), from (min) the firstborn (bekor) humans (‘adam – males) to (‘ad – and including) firstborn animals (behemah).
Likewise, therefore (ken), based upon this (‘ad), I (‘any) will offer a sacrifice (zabah) on behalf of (la – to) Yahowah ( ): all (kol) the firstborn (peter) males (zakar) of the womb (rehem) and all (kol) my (‘any) firstborn (bekor) sons (ben) for redemption (padah – to pay the ransom required to deliver from bondage, to provide a rescue by way of making a payment).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:15) Yahowsha’ is Yahowah’s firstborn son, His sacrifice made to redeem us.
“And this will exist (hayah) as (la) a sign (‘owth – a miraculous symbol, a wondrous example, illustration, and metaphor) upon (‘al – concerning) your hand (yad) and as a symbolic way of remembering (towtapoth – a non-verbal means of communication, a band often called a phylacteries) and understanding between (bayn – for comprehension in the midst of) your eyes (‘ayn – perspective and understanding) that indeed (ky), by way of (ba – within) an encouraging, earnest, consistent, persistent, and confirming (hazaq – a mighty, forceful, capable, courageous, and firm, a powerful, authoritative, and resolute, a repairing and renewing) hand (yad – source of authority), Yahowah ( ) brought us out (yasa’) from (min) the crucible (mitsraym – oppression of Egypt).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 13:16)
According to the only individual in the universe who can legitimately claim the title of “God,” its creator and designer, the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread serves as an illustration and an example, as a symbolic way of remembering, as a means to obtain a proper perspective, that Yahowah is consistent and persistent, that He is capable and resolute when it comes to repairing and renewing us, and to bringing us out of the crucible of oppressive human schemes and judgment. No other individual or institution can honor such a claim.
Speaking of God and His claims, according to the Qumran Scroll 4QExod, some of what He revealed following what we label “Exodus 13:16,” was removed by Masoretic rabbis. The omitted sentence reads: “Then Moseh and the children of Yisra’el sang this song to Yahowah, and spoke, saying, ‘I will sing to Yahowah for He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and his rider, He has cast into the sea.”
It was time for a celebration and to show one’s appreciation. But the rabbis, in their crusade to make saying Yahowah’s name a crime punishable by death, couldn’t bear the thought that those who actually knew God, those who had been saved by Him, shouted it out in song.
Before we investigate what more Yahowah had to say about His second of seven Miqra’ey, let’s linger a moment longer and continue to review our Creator’s preview of His upcoming festivals during the Exodus. The subject of Unleavened Bread arose once again ten chapters later in Shemowth / Exodus 23. This time, to emphasize just how essential the cessation of work is in relation to the redemptive purpose underlying the Miqra’ey, Yahowah inspired Moseh to set their celebration within the context of a Sabbatical year.
“Six years you shall sow (zera’ – productively seed) your land (‘erets) and gather in (‘acaph – harvest, collect, remove, and receive) the produce (tabuw’ah – the harvested grain) thereof. But on the seventh (shaby’y), you shall let it rest and lie fallow (shamat – release it and let it fall), forsaking it (natash – rejecting and abandoning it), so that people (‘am – the family members and relatives) in need (‘ebyown – who are poor and oppressed requiring deliverance) may eat and be nourished, the remainder (yathar – that which saves and preserves) restoring life (chayah – causing renewal and providing sustenance), nourishing them from the land (‘akal sadeh). Do the same (‘asah ken – accomplish and produce the similar results) with your vineyards and olive groves.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:10-11)
With these words, God is reinforcing an essential truth. His six plus one plan nourishes those who are in need, and it restores us to life. Further, harvesting grain is to be seen as symbolic of harvesting souls, just as vineyards and olive groves, which produce wine and oil, are symbolic of atoning and anointing those who are saved.
From start to finish, Yahowah’s redemptive plan is based upon this formula. “Six days you shall do (‘asah – accomplish and produce, fashion and effect, institute and bring about) your work (ma’aseh – pursuits, undertakings, businesses, customary practices, and deeds), and on the seventh day you shall rest (shabath – cease and desist) so that your ox and your donkey [your means of production] may have a break, and the sons of your servants [your employees], and foreign visitors (ger – those without the inherited rights of citizenship who come from different places, races, and cultures), may be refreshed (napash – be able to breathe, returning to life, recovering and retaining consciousness).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:12)
Please note that the word Yahowah chose to describe our “work”—ma’aseh differs from mala’kah, the term He has and will continue to use to warn us not to perform His work throughout the Towrah.
One of the interesting implications of Shemowth 23:12 is that by observing Yahowah’s plan of six days of work followed by a day devoted to rest and reflection, the shabath, those who were not Yisra’elites by birth, the “ger – those without inherited rights of citizenship who came from different places, races, and cultures” would be “napash”—would be refreshed, be able to breathe and return to life, recovering and retaining their consciousness.” This is life after death. In fact, napash is indistinguishable in the revealed Hebrew text from nepesh, the term which designates our “soul and consciousness.”
This passage is saying that as a direct result of the example of those of us who know Yahowah, and who understand His Word, the example of those who follow His instructions as they relate to the salvation formula embodied in the Sabbath, many of those who are currently estranged from God will come to know Him. And as a result, they will have their souls refreshed—their consciousnesses will return to life after death.
I believe that this is why Yahowah saw to it that His people were sent into exile for seventy years as a consequence of them having chosen to ignore the life restoring nature of the Sabbath. It is why Yahowsha’ observed the Sabbath, setting an example for us to follow. And it is why the Church’s insistence on Sunday worship is so destructive—so incongruent with God’s instructions.
Next, Yahowah says that the Miqra’ey are not optional. “And in all things (kol – in the totality of that) which by relationship (‘asher – that which is linked and connected to what) I have said (‘amar – spoken, promised, answered, intended, and avowed) to you, observe them (shamar – carefully examine and consider them, be a watchman, keeping focused upon and guarding them, save your life through them).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:13)
The Sabbatical year is linked to Creation, to the First of Seven Instructions written on the Second of Two Tablets, to the Miqra’ey, and to the salvation of our souls. Everything is related. As Albert Einstein so accurately stated: “God does not roll dice.” He has established a formula. He is following it. So should we.
So the question may be asked, since Yahowah’s plan is obvious, why does His path home lie in direct opposition to most all religious teaching, and why are there so few people willing to address the discord between God and religion? Again, let’s turn to Albert Einstein, who said: “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity [balance and composure] opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” Religions permeate most every aspect of society, making them difficult to remove from the minds and hearts of their hosts.
The following speaks to the First Three Statements written on the First of Two Tablets: “Do not bring to mind (zakar – remember or recall, mention or memorialize, humanize or proclaim) the name of other (‘acher – of another or different) gods (‘elohym); neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:13)
In the first of three summary statements, God tells us that He is unique, that He has but one name—Yahowah—and that a god by any other name is false. Lord, or Ba’al, therefore, is not God. Allah is not God. “Jesus Christ” cannot be God, either, as that is a different name. But Yahowsha’, meaning Yah-Saves, is the diminished human manifestation of Yahowah.
In this context, our Heavenly Father introduced the three Spring, one Summer, and three Fall Miqra’ey. “Three times a year (sanah – times of renewal) you shall stand before Me (regel – walk along side and set foot in My presence) celebrating a Festival Feast (chagag) with Me. You shall observe (shamar – be aware of and attend to, closely examine and carefully consider) the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of Unleavened Bread (Matsah).
Seven days you shall eat bread without yeast (matsah) as I instructed (tsawah – constituted with) you, at the time appointed for the meeting (mow’ed – fixed meeting appointment established as a sign; from ya’ad, to meet for a marriage betrothal or judicial summons) in the month (chodesh – from chadash, the time of renewal and repair) of ‘Abyb (‘abyb), for in it you came forth (yatsa’) from the crucible of Egypt (Mitsraym – plural of matsowr, the place of oppression and siege, the crucible).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:14-15) There is nothing random, or optional, about this.
As we discovered previously, Matsah, the name of the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread, means more than “bread without yeast.” Matsah speaks of the rebellion that must be removed from our nature for us to live in harmony with God. Matsah conveys: “strife and quarrel based upon verbal contentiousness.” These are all relational concepts which communicate the nature of the “embittered dissention, belligerent discord, hostile argument, and wearisome debate” that separate God’s wayward children from their Heavenly Father. Men, especially religious and political men, have created a self-serving competitive rivalry with God. Matsah thus presents man competing with and contending with Yahowah rather than trusting and relying on Him. It is the source of all sin. It is this discord that must be removed from our lives for us to live as part of God’s family.
‘Abyb defined the time of year Yahowah’s annual calendar began. ‘Abyb means: “the ripening of fresh, tender, green barley, the time young new barley ears are formed and become ripe.” It speaks of the season “barley remains water-laden and thus soft.” Barley is the first grain to bear fruit and ripen in the spring—dependably near the Spring Equinox. So ‘Abyb, later named Nisan, commenced at the new moon closest to March 22nd on our calendars—when ears of barley formed a fresh green kernel. It was literally the first fruit of the Land.
What follows is most always mistranslated and thus misunderstood. “None shall appear before Me (ra’ah panym – shall be seen in My presence and behold My face, none shall be considered or regarded by Me) as an empty vessel (reyqam – from reyq, void, with an unfilled space, worthless, useless, futile, vain and conceited; without a marker demonstrating the relationship).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:15) Reyqam is usually translated “empty handed” yet there is no reference to yad, meaning “hand,” in the word. God isn’t looking for us to bring Him anything.
Reyqam was first used in Bare’syth / Genesis 37:24. That passage reads: “They threw him into a pit, but the pit was empty (reyqam); there was no water in it.” Replace pit with soul and water with Spirit and you’ll understand Yahowah’s warning. Without His Spirit, no one can exist in His presence.
Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 29:8 makes this connection for us. Speaking of those who fight against Zion, Yahowah says: “The disheartened and broken (ka’ah – those deceived by false doctrines), and the hungry (ra’eb – those who lack proper nourishment) dream of being restored to health (chalam), but behold, he who devours and consumes (‘akal) awakens too late for the harvest (qayts – in the hot season of summer), with his soul (nepesh) empty (reyq – with a space which is unoccupied).” Yahowah created man with a void, one perfectly suited to accept His Spirit. Those who are not born from above by way of our Spiritual Mother will not enjoy the company of our Heavenly Father. Empty vessels are vain—as in failed and arrogantly self-reliant.
God paints a word picture which is designed to help us understand His redemptive plan. “You shall observe (shamar – closely examine and carefully consider) the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of the harvest (qatsyr – the time of reaping that which was sown, of gathering in the crop of), the FirstFruits (Bikuwrym – the initial gathering of grain) of your labors (ma’aseh – your work, undertakings, and pursuits) which (‘asher – by way of making a connection) you sow (zera’) in the field, and the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of ingathering (‘acyph), at the end of the year, when you gather in (‘acaph – receive and accept) your labors (ma’aseh) out of the field. Three times a year (mishlosh pa’am shaneh) all (kol – everyone) shall remember to (zakar) be seen (ra’ah – be inspected and considered) before (panym – in the presence of) Yahowah ( ).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:16-17)
Bikuwrym, the plural of bakowr, is from bakar, meaning “the first children who are born.” Yahowah is speaking about reaping souls who have been born anew into His family. The FirstFruits harvest was the first of two ingatherings foretold in the Miqra’ey. The second is Taruw’ah. The Festival of FirstFruits was fulfilled concurrent with the Ma’aseyah’s reunification with Yahowah, while the harvest associated with the Miqra’ of Taruw’ah, better known as “Trumpets,” is still on our horizon.
As a warning to those who rely exclusively upon the popular Strong’s Lexicon and Concordance to translate Scripture, their definition of bikkuwr errantly associates this Feast with “the ritual of Pentecost.” Bikuwrym, or FirstFruits, predicts and commemorates Yahowsha’s soul being reunited with Yahowah’s Spirit following His Pesach and Matsah sacrifices. Shabuwa’, meaning Seven Sevens, and often translated “Weeks,” is to be observed, and was fulfilled, seven-sevens plus one day from Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. And it provides the lone basis for Pentecost—Greek for “Fifty.”
Returning our focus to Shemowth / Exodus 23:16-17, you’ll notice that Yahowah used a different word for “harvest” when He described the Fall Feasts, which commence with the Miqra’ of Taruw’ah. ‘Acyph is from ‘acaph, and it speaks vividly of what evangelical Christians have come to call “the rapture.”
The Greek term for this harvest is paralambano. By comparing the Hebrew word to the Greek term we discover that this is speaking of the same event. ‘Acyph/’acaph means: “to gather together, to be accepted and to be received, and then to be removed.” It speaks of “collecting and gathering in, assembling together, and then taking the harvest away.” ‘Acyph is a relational term which conveys the idea of “moving a mass of people from one place to another, withdrawing them from others, so that they can be received, joining and gathering them together as a family for the purpose of developing close relationships.”
Paralambano, the term Yahowsha’ is translated as using to describe the still-future harvest in Mattanyah / Matthew 24 where “one will be taken and the other will be left,” speaks of people being “acknowledged and accepted, taken away to associate as companions.” It is a compound of para, meaning “to be by, beside, and near” and lambano meaning “to be taken by the hand and carried away, to be welcomed and removed in an accepting way so as to become an associate; to claim, procure, and receive someone.” So, when we examine these words closely, the connection is pretty hard to miss. (To read more about Yahowsha’s use of paralambano in reference to the harvest of souls known as the rapture, turn to the “Erchomai – Comings and Goings” chapter.)
By introducing the Fall Miqra’ey, beginning with Taruw’ah/Trumpets, using a term for “harvest” which is indistinguishable from the word used to describe the harvest in the last days, Yahowah has confirmed that Taruw’ah, like the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym, is a harvest, and He has implied that a gathering in and carrying away of souls will commence on both days.
And while it’s helpful to know this, to be “received and accepted” during either the FirstFruits’ or Trumpets’ harvests, you will need to be filled with the Spirit of God. To understand why, let’s turn to Yahowchanan / John, because by doing so we will come to appreciate the “void” which must be filled for us to enjoy His company.
Yahowchanan, which means “Yahowah is Merciful,” wrote: “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Yahowsha’ at night and said, ‘Master, we know you are from God, a teacher. For no man could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not inside of him.’ In reply Yahowsha’ declared, ‘I will tell you the truth, no one can see God unless he is born from above.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be reborn.’
“Yahowsha’ answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter into the presence of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born from above.’ The Spirit blows like the wind and breathes life wherever He [the Father] desires. You are endowed with the faculty to hear the voice and to know the language, yet you do not know the household of God or what He makes known. In this manner he who is to have eternal life, each and everyone is born, brought forth, and delivered by the Spirit.’” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 3:1-11) Yahowsha’ explained what Nicodemus, as a Towrah scholar, should have known, because this very message is the one being described here in the Towrah.
Yahowah has told us that we have been summoned, but also that we are not to arrive as an empty void, that we must be filled with His Spirit to come into His presence. Therefore, with these words in the Towrah, and with their explanation and confirmation in Yahowsha’s testimony, Yahowah has issued His instructions and established His plan. We can then choose whether these Miqra’ey will represent a court date, a trial at which we will be judged, or a betrothal ceremony, one in which we are married into His eternal family. The Spirit’s presence determines which fate we will endure.
And we have learned that all seven Called-Out Assemblies work together to achieve a common goal. Passover and Unleavened Bread lead to FirstFruits—to our souls being gathered in by God. Specifically how Yahowsha’ facilitated this way home shall become the focus of the next chapter when we examine the remarkable passages which follow the Shemowth 23:16 and 17 harvests. Stay tuned
One way to ascertain whether something is important to Yahowah is to consider how many times, and in how many ways, He shares the same information. As we turn the page from Shemowth / Exodus to Bamidbar / Numbers we read: “On (ba) the fourteenth (‘araba ‘eser – to be square and to tithe) day (yowm) of the first (ri’shown – foremost and beginning) month (hodes – time of renewal) is Yahowah’s ( ) Passover (Pesach). And on the fifteenth (hames ‘eser) day (yowm) of (la) the month (hodes – time of renewal), this (zeh) is a Festival Feast (chag – celebration) for seven (seba’ – promise and sworn oath) days (yowm) of consuming (‘akal – eating) Unleavened Bread (matsah – bread without yeast).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:16-17)
It is interesting that the Hebrew word for “five,” hames, is textually identical to hamas, the name of the popular Islamic terrorist group which continues to deny the right of Israel to exist. I also find it interesting that hamas/hames means “terrorist and terrorize,” and that Muslims were told that Friday, the fifth day of the work week, was Allah’s special day.
The dual meaning of seba’, Hebrew for “seven,” reminds us that Yahowah’s plan is predicated on six plus one (of man with the addition of God) equating to seven (which is perfection), and that the promise of Unleavened Bread is redemption. It is a sworn oath upon which we can rely.
In the name of consistency and by way of confirmation: “On (ba – in and during) the first (ri’shown – foremost and beginning) day (yowm), is a set-apart and cleansing (qodesh – separated and purifying) Invitation to be Called Out and to Meet (Miqra’ – summons to gather for the purpose of being welcomed, for reading, reciting, and communicating).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:18)
A redemptive promise lies at the heart of God’s business. Salvation is His doing, not ours. And that is why both Hebrew words for work, ‘asah and ‘abodah appear along with mal’akah in this passage. “You shall not (lo’) do (‘asah – perform) any (kol) of the work (‘abodah – labor) of the service of the Heavenly Messenger (mal’akah – from mal’ak, spiritual theophanic messenger, representative, and envoy).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:18)
The next verse begins very similarly to Qara’ / Leviticus 23:8, a passage we examined at the beginning of this chapter. “Come near and approach (qarab – advance, draw close, and appear before) the adoptive mother who enlightens and elevates (‘iseh/‘isah – the feminine manifestation of God’s light) unto (la – toward, into, on behalf of, according to, and in relation to) Yahowah ( ), making an offering which ascends (‘olah – making an acceptable sacrifice). For (la) you there shall be (hayah) two (senaym) young bull (ben par – adolescent male bovine) cows (baqar), one (‘echad) ram (‘ayl), and seven (seba’) male adolescent (ben) lambs (kebes), each a year old (shanah), perfect, without any defect (tamym – unblemished, innocent, guiltless, and pure).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:19)
In this passage, ‘olah, translated “an offering which ascends,” is not only based upon ‘alah, it is indistinguishable from its root in the original Hebrew text. ‘Alah means “to go up, to ascend, and to rise.”
The Miqra’ of Matsah lasts seven days, and it is inclusive of and thus inseparable from Passover, which is the reason for the sacrifice of seven lambs in addition to the one ram. God wants us to know that a price has to be paid for the remission of sin—a life had to be sacrificed to save our lives.
Our souls are equated to fine grain, which is why yeast, as something which permeates and can sour a loaf of bread, is used as a metaphor for corruption. Likewise, olive oil, which can heal, nourish, and provide light, is a symbol of the Spirit.
Therefore, God said: “Make (‘asah – profit from) an offering (minhah – present a gift) of fine flour (solet – grain with the hulls removed, leaving only the pure inner kernel) mixed with (balal) three (salos) tenths (‘isarown) olive oil (semen) with the bull (par) and two (shenaym) tenths (‘isarown) for the ram (‘ayl). Ten tenths (‘isarown ‘isarown) shall be included and offered (‘asah – shall benefit) with each (‘echad) of the seven (seba’) male lambs (kebes).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:20-21) The Lamb of God provides complete vindication which is why ten tenths of oil is to be included with it. It is symbolic of being completely immersed in the Spirit.
While Yahowsha’ was the perfect, sacrificial Lamb of God, and not a goat when He paid our penalty on Passover and Unleavened Bread, He became a “scapegoat” for us, purifying us by accepting our iniquity upon Himself.
So, God said: “And make a sin offering (hata’th – purify your iniquities and offenses, and absolve yourself of judgment and punishment) for (‘al) yourselves of one (‘echad) male goat (sa’yr – a satyr or scapegoat) to make reconciliation (kapar – to atone, pay a ransom, annul and reconcile a disagreement, and to make amends).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:22) In so doing, the Yisra’elites were given the opportunity to appreciate the role the Savior would ultimately play in their salvation.
When it comes to the perfect fulfillment of the Called-Out Assemblies of Passover and Unleavened Bread, once would be sufficient. As a result “Other than (bad min – except for) making the offering which ascends (‘olah – making an acceptable sacrifice) in the morning (boqer), which (‘asher) is for (la) the duration of time (tamid – is to leave you blameless and innocent forever), do and profit from (‘asah – perform) these (‘eleh) things (‘eth).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:23)
While it is just a suggestion, it’s a very good one: “Offer (‘asah) things like (ka ‘eleh) a loaf of bread (lehem – grain flour mixed with water and baked) for (la) the seven (sheba’) days (yowm), spiritually accepting and receiving (ruyach – approaching and enduring with; from ruwach, the Spirit), reconciling the relationship with (nyhoah – pleasing and resting quietly with) the mother who enlightens and elevates (‘iseh/‘isah – the feminine manifestation of God’s light) unto (la – toward, into, on behalf of, according to, regarding, and in relation to) Yahowah ( ).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:24)
“Because (‘al) His (huw’) offering which elevates (‘olah – the acceptable sacrifice which rises) endures continually (tamyd – is forever and constant into perpetuity), covering the chosen (nasak).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:24)
The Hebrew letters n-s-k, vocalized nasak, mean “to pour out,” “to cover,” and to “be chosen for a special relationship.” Vocalized as nesek or nasik, these same three letters convey “a metal representation of a pagan god” and a “drink offering.” While I may be wrong with regard to a “drink offering,” the context seems to elevate the former options over the latter ones. When we “approach, accept, and receive” the Set-Apart Spirit, our “adoptive mother who enlightens and elevates” us “unto Yahowah,” “covers” those who have “chosen this most special of relationships,” causing us to “rise up” and “endure forevermore.”
The Miqra’ey, like Matsah, exist to encourage us to come into God’s presence and to take the time to read His Word, so that we might better understand His gift. But the result is His doing, not as a result of anything we do for ourselves or others. “And (wa) on (ba – in) the seventh (shaby’y) day (yowm), there exists (hayah – was, is, and will be) a set-apart and purifying (qodesh – separate and cleansing) Invitation to be Called Out and to Meet (miqra’ – summons to gather together and read, recite, and communicate) on your behalf. Do not (lo’) do (‘asah – perform) any (kol) of the work (‘abodah – labor or service) which is the heavenly representative’s responsibility (mal’akah – service of the spiritual messenger and envoy, the corporeal manifestation of God).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:25) This all brings us to FirstFruits, which is both the result of Unleavened Bread and the subject of the next chapter.
The Towrah’s triumphant trilogy of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym is presented one final time in Dabarym / Words. The instructions are consistent and reinforcing as always.
“Carefully observe and thoughtfully consider (shamar – keep focused upon and closely examine, care about and be preserved by) the Pesach (Pesach – Passover) of Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), engaging in and acting upon (‘asah – celebrating and profiting from) it in association with (‘eth) the month (chodesh – time of renewal) of ‘Abyb (‘abyb – time of year when the grain of the barley plant is in the ear and yet still soft, green, and moist), because (ky) in (ba) the month (chodesh – time of renewal) of ‘Abyb (‘abyb), Yahowah ( ), your God, brought you out (yasa’ – descended, extended Himself, came forth and served you, to deliver you) from (min) the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – religious and political, economic and military oppression) during the night (laylah – time of darkness).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:1)
Most every Christian theologian says that the “Feasts are Jewish holidays.” But once again, according to Yahowah, Passover, like Unleavened Bread, is His.
Yahowah would not only provide the Lamb, He would meet His people in the place He chose. But to appreciate these things, we are going to have to delve deeply into the words, just as we did when we reviewed this same material in the Pesach chapter.
“I would like you to choose to genuinely accept the totality of the gift of the Pesach sacrifice (zabach Pesach – under the auspices of freewill, I would like you to receive the offer of the endowment of the Passover Lamb (qal perfect consecutive) to approach (la – unto) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:2)
Zabach, which is normally translated “offer a sacrifice” due primarily with its association with Pesach, is actually based upon zab, which speaks of “endowing and bestowing a gift.” Passover, like Unleavened Bread and the rest of the Miqra’ey, is God’s gift to us. Pesach represents God’s endowment and is therefore the doorway to life.
Here, zabach was spoken using the same qal stem, perfect conjugation, and consecutive form Yahowah’s used in His presentation of Pesach throughout His Towrah. Therefore, we are witnessing God’s will – an indication of what He wants. And yet, this statement is the antithesis of a command, because by using the consecutive form, we are being given the choice to ignore, accept, or reject our Heavenly Father’s gift. Also, in the qal, we should view this request literally and respond to it genuinely. With the perfect, we are being put on notice that God’s offer is complete, lacking nothing.
“The lamb is a sign (tso’n – the act of shepherding sheep communicates a message; from tsyown – signpost) in addition to (wa) the morning (boqer) in (ba) the (ha) place (maqowm – site, home, and source) where by association (‘asher – and as a blessing), Yahowah ( ) chooses and prefers (bahar – desires and selects (qal imperfect)) His name (shem – designation, reputation, and renown) to live (la sakan – dwell and abide, to remain and to reside).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:2)
While a tso’n is a “small mammal,” to accommodate the fact that it is singular, it is usually conveyed as “the flock of lambs” rather than “the lamb is a sign” as it is rendered in this amplified translation. My reason for doing so was that tso’n is related to tsyown which is a “sign along the way.” There is no more important sign on the way to life and on the way to God’s home than Passover.
Similarly, while boqer is usually vocalized baqar which speaks of a “large mammal,” and is often rendered as “the flock of goats,” the letters which comprise this word are used throughout this same Towrah text to convey “morning.” The morning served as a sign of Bikuwrym, where the Lamb’s soul and Yahowah’s Spirit were reunited before He, Himself, returned to God. It reflects how we are born again from above Spiritually so that we can be adopted into Yah’s Covenant family.
And so by choosing these definitions, the message makes sense. It is both profound and prophetic. The lamb was a sign of Pesach and the means to approach Yahowah. And in the morning He showed us the way home.
These things both occurred on Mount Mowryah – the place where Yahowah’s name resides. Further, they were facilitated by Yahowsha’. The place means “Revere Yahowah” which the name conveys “Yahowah Saves.” So from my perspective, this makes much more sense that Yah caring that His name endures in the place from which flocks of small and large mammals forage.
Also, so that there is no misunderstanding, there are two additional places on earth where Yahowah has chosen for His name to live. These are His Tabernacle which became His Temple and Yahuwdym – the place and people where God’s name resides. Yahuwdym means “to relate to and be related to Yahowah.”
Time and time again, Yahowah connects the dots for us, explaining that the purpose of Passover and Unleavened Bread is to free us from human oppression, and from the resulting persecution and suffering we would otherwise endure in the crucible or abyss. In this picture, it is God, Himself, who is rescuing us.
“You should not ever eat in association with it (lo’ ‘akal ‘al – you should never consume it with (qal imperfect)) yeasted bread (hames – that which includes yeast and has become soured). For seven (seba’ – also meaning oath which attests to a friendship, a covenant relationship, and a promise of innocence) days (yowm), you should consistently consume (‘akal – eat) Matsah / Unleavened Bread (matsah – bread without yeast) in addition to (‘al) it (huw’). It is the bread (lechem – loaf, grain, or food) of affliction and oppression (‘ony – of misery, hardship, poverty, persecution, great effort and pain). For indeed (ky – because), you were brought out (yasa’ – led away) from (min) the realm (‘erets – land and region) of the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – serving as a metaphor for religious and political oppression) in (ba) a hurry (chipazown – quickly in anxious anticipation). In response to this (lama’an – based upon receiving this answer and with regard to the intent of this witness and account), you should always remember to proclaim this (zakar ‘eth – you should continually assert the message publicly so as to recall this and remind yourself of this) all (kol) the days (yowm) of your lives (chay), that on this (‘eth) day (yowm), you were brought out (yasa’ – led away) of (min) the land (‘erets) of the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – from human oppression).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:3)
The connection between leavened bread and the consequence of sin is further advanced in this verse. God has called Matsah/Unleavened Bread: “the bread (lechem) of oppression, persecution, and suffering (‘ony).”
‘Ony is from ‘anah, meaning “to be bruised” and “to be cast down.” It speaks of “humbling humiliation” by way of “human oppression and suppression.” Yahowsha’ was bruised by the whip and by the nails driven through His wrists and ankles on Passover, only to find His soul cast down into She’owl / Hades on Unleavened Bread. At the time, an oppressive political and religious regime of Romans and religious Jews, had chosen to suppress God’s message and plan by persecuting Him, causing unimaginable suffering.
But more telling still, ‘anah and ‘any convey “a commitment to humble oneself and to bow down to respond to and serve those who are downcast, poor, weak, meek, and needy.” Yahowsha’ endured these very things so we, the souls who are in need, wouldn’t have to, and on this very day—the second of three fateful days in 33 CE. And that means that Yahowsha’ is Yahowah on His knees, bowing down to serve us, just as He promised in Bare’syth / Genesis.
The reason mitsraym continues to be translated “crucible,” rather than simply Egypt, should be obvious. Unleavened Bread represents the day Yahowah led us away from judgment and separation—the crucible, metaphorically.
To completely purge us of sin, removing all record of guilt from our account, Yahowsha’s soul was separated from His body, from Yahowah’s Spirit, and from the land of the living as the sun set on Passover and the long night of Unleavened Bread began.
And that is why “And (wa) no (lo’) yeast (sa’or – a fungus and fermenting agent) shall be seen (ra’ah) among (la) you in all (kol) your territory (gabuwl – within your borders) for seven (seba’ – representing the oath and promise) days (yowm). And (wa) the flesh and body (basar – the corporeal manifestation of a physical being) which beneficially as a result of the relationship (‘asher) is endowed as an ongoing gift as part of the sacrificial offering (zabach – is provided and given sacrificially (qal imperfect)) during the night (ba ha ‘ereb – while the sun is setting) in the first and foremost day (ba ha yowm ha ri’shown) shall never actually remain overnight (lo’ lyn – literally shall not ever stay, ceasing to exist and occupying space in the physical world, till morning (qal imperfect)).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:4)
God never misses an opportunity to remind us that His plan is predicated on His universal formula. It is the model of Creation, of the Sabbath, and of the Miqra’ey. As a result of what God has done for us, sin is no longer seen in our presence.
This next verse has profound implications. If I have rendered it correctly, in this context, it strongly suggests that the Passover sacrifice should only be offered on Mount Mowryah. And that means that since the Second Temple has been destroyed, since Muslims prevent all non-Muslims from stepping foot on the Temple Mount, and since Yahowsha’ has fulfilled the Miqra’ on Mowryah, that Yahowah’s summons to carefully observe Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym is to be answered symbolically. That is to say, we should respond to God’s call and meet with Him. We should set these days apart from all others, reading and reciting Scriptures which are relevant to the gifts Yahowah is providing. And we should dine on lamb and matsah during this time. But, we are not to bring a live unblemished lamb into our homes, and then sacrifice it for the remission of sin, if we are not doing so on Mount Mowryah.
So that there is no misunderstanding, this passage comes to us from Dabarym, not Shemowth. Therefore, it looks forward to the time the Yisra’elites would live in the Promised Land, not backwards to their wilderness wanderings with Moseh. And in that light, the first Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym celebrated after crossing the Jordon River, was in full view of Mount Mowryah, something we will contemplate in the next chapter.
While we have been over this material before, it bears repeating...
“You will consistently fail to properly experience and actually understand (lo’ yakol – you will never attain the ongoing meaning of, consistently prevail or continually endure by accomplishing (qal imperfect)) that which is associated with (la ‘eth) the gift of the sacrificial offering (zabach – the endowment) of the Pesach / Passover (ha Pesach) through (ba) one of (‘echad) your means to reason and calculate the full measure of something (sha’ar – doorways, towns, or assemblies, gateway openings and entrances to villages where people assemble, but more likely your thinking about that) which beneficially and relationally (‘asher) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), is giving (natan – is bestowing and offering) to you (la).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:5)
To begin, scholars are wont to render lo’ yakol as “you shall not dare.” But negated, yakol more accurately conveys “you will not be capable of successfully experiencing or understanding nor grasping and processing the meaning of [the gift of Passover] so as to prevail, to overcome, to be empowered, and to endure by acting upon it.” Here lo’ yakol was scribed in the qal imperfect, which speaks of an actual and ongoing condition which is not resolved by time.
Next, to understand what Yahowah is saying, we must recognize that Pesach is “zabach – a gift which provides an endowment by way of a sacrificial offering.” We are not personally making a sacrifice. We aren’t offering God anything other than a proper response. This gift is from God. Yahowah is making the sacrifice. It is His offer of an endowment.
Then there are many potential meanings associated with sha’ar. It speaks of “a gate, a door,” and thus of “an entrance.” The concept of “town” is therefore derived from the idea that many villages at this time were walled, and thus accessible through gates. People “assembled and congregated” in these protected environments. However, had “city, town, or village” been what Yahowah wanted to convey, He would have used ‘iyr, the Hebrew word for “city, town, or village.”
But that isn’t the end of the possibilities. And that is because the verbal form (which almost always defines the noun derivative) of sha’ar (which is written identically) denotes “thinking, reasoning, and calculating the full measure of something.” This then reinforces the “understanding” aspect of yakol. And speaking of connections, natan, which speaks of “bestowing a gift” reinforces the notion that zabach is “a gift which is offered as an endowment.”
“But rather (ky – indeed, surely and truly, the physical sign of belonging) upon the condition of (‘im ‘el) the (ha) place, site, source, home, and human abode (maqowm – direction, dwelling, and standing place) where relationally and beneficially (‘asher) Yahowah ( ), your God, prefers and has chosen (bahar – desires and has selected) for (la) His name (shem – His personal and proper designation) to abide (la sakan – to live, dwell, campout, stay, and remain).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:6)
Once again, we are going to have to think to understand. And in that light, we must recognize that this statement flows out of the previous one, and it must therefore be considered in context.
Turning to the words, ky can mean “but rather,” “indeed,” or “truly and surely.” And yet most lexicons suggest that its primary connotation describes “a physical sign, a brand or stigma, associated with belonging.” Names like Yahowsha’, Yahuwdym, and Mowryah all bear Yahowah’s brand. They are all associated with Him and belong to Him. And that is especially true with Yahuwdym because it literally means “belongs to Yah.”
‘Im is a “conditional term.” So our understanding of Passover is “conditioned” upon appreciating the “maqowm – place, site, source, home, and human abode” “‘asher – beneficially associated” with Yahowah, and the “sakan – life which lives” in His “shem – name.” Yahowah’s favorite “place” is Yisra’el – Individuals who Engage and Endure with God. His favorite “site” is Mount Mowryah – where we Revere Yahowah. God’s “source” of all things related to His name is the Towrah – the Source from which Teaching, Direction, Instruction, and Guidance Flow. As such, He may well be speaking of Yaruwshalaim – the Source of Reconciliation. Yahowah’s “home” is embodied in His Beryth – Family Oriented Covenant Relationship. The Tent of the Witness and Temple were both symbolic of this protective shelter. But let us not forget the “human abode” where Yahowah’s name endures: Yahuwdym – those Who are Related to Yah and Who Belong to Yah and Yahowsha’ – Yahowah Saves. It is only from the perspective of these places where Yah’s name lives – and most especially Yahowsha’ and Yahuwdym – that we can come to fully appreciate Passover.
God did not say that we should not observe the Passover or Unleavened Bread. After all, He has already told us that those who ignore or reject His summons will die, and that they will be excluded from His family. So, what our Heavenly Father is telling us is that the Miqra’ey are not arbitrary with regard to time or place. The Called-Out Assemblies were, and they will be, fulfilled and observed precisely when, where, how, and why God directs.
It all comes down to the broad and narrow gates: one which leads to life and one which results in death. God has a very specific, time sensitive, and costly plan—one which He conceived and fulfilled. We can accept it just as He designed it, or not. But don’t dare change it. Don’t replace Passover with Easter, Unleavened Bread with the Eucharist and Communion, the Called-Out Assemblies with religious rites of any kind, or at any other place or time. And don’t substitute Jerusalem for Rome, America, or any other location on earth.
“There is where you shall consistently offer the sacrifice (sham shem zabach – behold and pay attention to the name associated with the gift of the sacrificial offering) associated with (‘eth) Pesach (Pesach – Passover) in (ba) the evening (‘ereb – twilight) as (ka) the sun (shemes) goes down (bow – departs), at the appointed meeting and designated time (mow’ed) you were brought out (yatsa’) of (min) the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – serving as a metaphor for human religious, political, military, and economic oppression).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:6)
Yahowah chose to fulfill the first four Miqra’ey, and will fulfill the final three through Yahowsha’ on Mowryah for Yahuwdym. “Cook (basal – prepare) and eat it (‘akal – consume and be nourished by it) in (ba) the (ha) place (maqowm – site, area, home, and dwelling) which relationally (‘asher) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), chooses (bahar – desires, prefers, and selects) concerning (ba – for) Him (huw’) .” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:7)
What follows is intriguing. Panah is most often translated “presence,” and is most often used when Scripture asks us to come into the presence of God. But panah can also mean “face,” and to “turn around.” To “face” God, and to come into His “presence,” we must first repent, which is to turn away from everything which has led us from God. More interesting still, Yahowsha’ is both the “face” of God and the Passover Lamb. Those who understand Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits know that Yahowsha’ rose so that we could come into His presence and walk with Him during the spring Feasts, a sacrifice and miracle which brings us home. “ Turn around and face Him (panah – prepare to look upon and enter His presence) in (ba) the morning (boqer – at sunrise) and walk (halak) to (la) your tent, home, and household (‘ohel – encampment and family).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:7)
The seven Called-Out Assemblies are a celebration of God’s love, where we all gather together. And the pattern of the Sabbath, of six plus one equaling seven, tells us that we cannot work for our salvation—that our redemption is God’s doing.
Therefore, “Six (shes) days (yowm) consume (‘akal) unleavened bread (matsah – bread without any yeast), and (wa) on (ba) the seventh (seba’) day (yowm) meet together (‘asarah – assemble for a festive and celebratory appointment) with (la) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym). And do not (lo’) do (‘asah – perform) any of (kol) the service of the spiritual messenger (mal’akah – the work of the heavenly representative, the corporeal manifestation of God) on it.” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:8)
Unlike the copious and complementary eyewitness accounts regarding the fulfillment of Passover and FirstFruits, the Greek texts provide very little information regarding how Yahowsha’ fulfilled Unleavened Bread—expecting us to glean what we need to know from Yahowah’s Towrah and prophetic presentation. And for this, one of the most revealing places to turn is to Mizmowr / Psalms 22 and 88 as well as Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 53. And while this material is the focus of three upcoming chapters: “Tsadaq – Vindication,” “Yasha’ – Salvation,” and “Ga’al – Redemption,” since this chapter is dedicated to the Miqra’ of Matsah, providing an overview of the sacrifice God made on our behalf during the Invitation to be Called Out and to Meet on Unleavened Bread is also useful at this time. What follows, therefore, is a preview of what is contained in the Salvation volume.
As is the case with all Scripture, if we jump in and out, considering nothing more than the specific references to what occurred on Unleavened Bread, we will forgo the rich tapestry into which all prophecy is woven. So, please bear with me as we approach the most essential of days.
The message inherent in this prophetic announcement in Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah is that whoever relies upon the assertion that Yahowah would take the form of a man to save mankind will come to see all of God’s revelation as if it were an open book. “Whoever (my) trusts in and relies upon (‘aman – verifies and is supported by, is established in, and made firm through; endures faithfully with and is affirmed by way of) our (‘anahnuw) announcement (shemuw’ah – report, news, tidings, and message) concerning (la) the sacrificial Lamb (zarow’a) and (wa) Yahowah ( ) is to (‘al) whom (my) revelation has been made clear (galah – has been uncovered, opened, displayed, and disclosed).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:1)
While we have come to see zarow’a as “the sacrificial Lamb of God,” I would have had no issue with zarow’a being the “arm” of God in this verse if it weren’t for the fact that wa, meaning “and,” lies between it and God’s name. After all, Yahowsha’ is the physical manifestation of Yahowah, the arm of God, and the sacrificial Lamb.
Speaking of Him, Yasha’yahuw predicted that He would enter our world as a tender shoot—both as a child and as the Ma’aseyah. He says that His roots would be grounded in the Land, which is Israel. “He grew up in your presence (panym – before your face and eyes) like a tender shoot (yowneq – a young branch), like a root growing (sheresh – suggesting firmness, permanence, and productivity in a place) out of the parched (tsyah – dry, desolate, lonely, and solitary) land (‘erets – earth).” The land was “desolate” because its people had abandoned their God—the source of life.
Since Yahowah was diminishing and humbling Himself to become a man—the primary object of His love—there was no reason to be anything other than an ordinary one. “He has no physical characteristics (to’ar – shape, form, or figure), majesty or splendor (hadar – beautiful manifestations by way of ornamented adornments) that we should look upon (ra’ah – notice or gaze at) Him, nor visual appearance (mar’eh) that we should be attracted to Him (chamad – find Him desirable).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:2) Unlike clerics in fancy robes, God isn’t into pretense.
Even humble, “He was despised (bazah – regarded with contempt and considered despicable, vile and worthless), rejected and forsaken (chadel – neglected, deserted, and refused) by mankind (‘iysh – mortal men), a man of pain and suffering (makob – physical affliction and emotional anguish, sorrow and grief), and one who personally knew (yada’ – could relate to and empathize with, was intimately familiar and acquainted with) sickness, wounds and affliction (chaly – grief and disease). We hid (masater – turned away) our faces (panym – presence) from (min) Him. We despised Him (bazah – held Him in contempt, lightly regarded Him, saw Him as despicable, vile, and worthless) in our thinking and schemes (chashab – planning, calculating, inventing, judgment, imagination, and consideration). We did not value Him.” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:3)
The reason Yahowsha’ was “personally acquainted” with “sickness and disease” is that He assumed ours. God voluntarily accepted, and took upon Himself, the sin of all mankind—past, present, and future. And even today, His insistence that He was God in the flesh, and our Savior, is rejected by most.
Prophecy is unique with regard to the tenses selected by its source. To Yahowah time is. In that way He is like light, His most common and apt metaphor. Past, present, and future exist simultaneously. So certain is He of what will be, He speaks of the future in past tense as if it already was. While it is comfortable today reading this in past tense, as the sacrifice occurred nearly two thousand years in our past, we must not lose site of the fact this prophecy was written 750 years before it was fulfilled.
Christians view the so-called “Old Covenant” as “Law” and their “New Testament” as “Grace,” but this verse begs otherwise: Yasha’yah, meaning the “Savior is Yah,” transliterated “Isaiah,” predicted: “Surely (‘aken – nevertheless, truly, and indeed) our sickness and maladies (choly – anxieties, infirmities, diseases, wounds, afflictions, and grief) He, Himself, lifted from us, accepted, and bore (nasa’ – lifted up, sustained and carried away), and our pain (mak’ob – physical suffering and emotional anguish) He carried away (cabal – sustained the load, dragging our burdens from us).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:4)
Nasa’ conveys three primary thoughts: “to lift up,” “to bear, carry, and support,” and “to accept, so as to remove by carrying away.” It means that Yahowsha’ personally “lifted” our sins from us and “bore” them Himself, “carrying them away.” It is the miracle of Matsah.
“Sickness and disease” are synonyms for the corrupting and deadly consequence of sin. By accepting ours and sweeping these things away from us, Yahowsha’ redeemed us. And as a consequence, the physical pain and emotional anguish we would have suffered had we been held accountable for our thoughts, words, and deeds, has been dragged away, no longer even remembered. We have been vindicated and declared “Not Guilty!”
Considering His merciful gift, this prediction is haunting: “We plotted and contrived, thinking up schemes (chashab – planning, calculating, imagining, inventing, and considering plots) to see Him assaulted (naga’ – traumatized, plagued, and wounded), and struck down (nakah – smote, beaten, scourged, punished, murdered, and destroyed) by God (‘elohym) and abased (‘anah – bruised, humbled and put down, stopped, subdued, and silenced).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:4)
The consequence of mankind’s oppressive religious and political schemes has never been more vividly portrayed. The religious priests who plotted and contrived to murder the Ma’aseyah, to stop and silence Him, wanted the world to believe that the punishment they inflicted, and that He endured, came from God.
Dowd, Zakaryah, Dany’el, and Yasha’yahuw share a common thread. They all predicted that man would “pierce” the human manifestation of Yahowah. “He was pierced through (chalal – fatally wounded by the penetration of sharp objects into the body; He was profaned, defiled, desecrated, and dishonored), for our revolt (pasha’ – national, moral, and religious rebellion, sin and transgression), He was crushed (daka – broken and bruised, beaten to pieces and diminished, humbled) for our sin (‘awon – immorality, iniquity, depravity, and guilt).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:5)
When Dany’el predicted that the Ma’aseyah would “make atonement for ‘avon/sin and iniquity,” and “put an end to pasha’/revolt and transgression,” this verse is what He was talking about which is why he used the same words. Dany’el correlated “the bringing in of everlasting tsadaq/vindication” with the “Ma’aseyah,” whom Yasha’yahuw named “Yashuw’ah” in the previous chapter.
Thankfully, Yahowah loves us more than he hates our perversity or none of this would have been possible. What follows is Scripture’s most concise description of redemption, of unearned mercy and the gift of life. “The punishment (musar – chastisement and rebuke, discipline and correction) fell upon Him for our renewal (shalowm – restoration and well-being). And by His scourging blows (chaburah – stripes from a whip that wounds and leaves black and blue welts) we are cured, healed, and repaired (rapha’ – mended and made whole; having all sickness and disease removed promoting complete renewal and restoration).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:5)
God’s willingness to endure my punishment to cure me, as undeserving and flawed as I am, is beyond comprehension. But since He did it, the least I can do is accept His gift gratefully.
We are sheep of the worst kind: an unruly flock of stubborn goats, feasting upon the rubbish of religion and politics—the ways of man. Through self-delusion and through the purposeful deception of our human shepherds, we have stumbled, walking away from God, intoxicated by Satan’s poisonous brew of lies. The consequence of “turning to the way of man” is judgment, resulting in either punishment or death.
“All (kol – everyone) of us like sheep (tso’n – flocks of goats) have gone astray (ta’ah – erred by wandering away, staggered while intoxicated, deceived ourselves, having been misled, faltering). Man (‘iysh – mankind) has turned (panah) to his own way (derek). But Yahowah ( ) has caused the guilt and punishment (‘awon – liability, perversity, depravity, iniquity, and the consequence of the sin) of us all (kol) to fall on Him (paga’ – to encounter Him for Him to make intercession so as to spare us).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:6) Halaluyah! This is the synthesis of Scripture which is why Yasha’yahuw 53 sits at the very center of Yahowah’s message to man.
In the next series of verses, Yasha’yah reveals that in the Ma’aseyah’s mock trials, which would be seven hundred years hence, and during the beatings that followed, Yahowsha’ would not attempt to defend Himself. He would go to the slaughter willing to sacrifice Himself.
“He was driven and harassed (nagas – tyrannized and oppressed, the victim of demanding religious and political pressure). And He was afflicted and humbled (‘anah – submitted to browbeating and was forced to kneel down while being struck, suffering pain and anguish while being humiliated and mistreated). Yet He will not open His mouth, like a lamb (seh) that is led to and bears (yabal – being delivered over to) slaughter (tebach), as like a ewe (rachel – a mature female sheep) that is silent (‘alam –unable to speak, voiceless and mute) before (panym – facing and in the presence of) its shearers (gazaz – those who cut off and destroy, and those who fleece), so He does not open His mouth.” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:7)
The politicized religious clerics of the day demanded that Yahowsha’ pay for exposing and repudiating them. So the Ma’aseyah, God in the flesh, was tied to a whipping post, forced down on His knees, while the very men He had created and was saving, struck Him with blow upon blow. Deceived by the ways of men, men mistreated the way to God.
I have descended into the ‘oser, the rock-hewn pit in the basement of the priest’s home, in which Yahowsha’ was cast prior to his mock trial. I can still smell its lingering odor, see the contrast of light and shadows on its walls, and feel its abrasive texture.
“He was fetched from (laqach) a barren enclosed prison (‘oser – restrained by coercive religious or political forces in a lifeless cell compelling choice), from (min – because of) the verdict of the court (mishpat – sentence, judgment, and decree pronounced by those), who (my) in this generation (dowr – time and age) mediated and complained (syach – mused and spoke, putting forth thoughts) against (‘et) Him.” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:8)
‘Oser depicts the conflict between the coercive religious and political authorities and the teaching and example of God. It compels a choice. Whether the Hebrew text is vocalized ‘oser or ‘asar, the word speaks of “coercion and oppression,” the residue of religion and politics. It means “to be unreasonable and to be unjust.” ‘Oser and ‘asar convey the use of “excessive, burdensome, crushing, abusive, and cruel dictatorial political power and religious authority to deprive people of their freedoms and freewill, dominating them, compelling and incarcerating them through threat and force.”
As a result of this, people can acquiesce and convert, complying with societal norms, and thereby facilitate their own separation, imprisonment, and death at the hands of cleric and king, or they can accept Yahowsha’s gift of life, relying on God, not men. Men declared God “guilty.” Men sentenced God to “die.” God declares men “not guilty.” God allows men to live.
This next verse takes us directly into the realm of what happened during the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread. “For indeed (ky), He was cut off and separated (gazar – removed and excluded, divided away from and snatched away by decree, was cut down and set apart) away from (min – out of) the land (‘erets – world or realm) of the living (chay – life) because of (min) the revolt and rebellion (pasha’ – national, moral, and religious defiance, sin and transgression) of My family (‘am – flock and people) to (la) whom (huw’) the stroke (nega’ – blow, wound, and infliction; plague and disease; trauma) was due.” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:8)
Yahowsha’s body was dead and buried at the same time His soul was cut off from the realm of the living, with the latter sacrifice designed to fulfill the promise of Unleavened Bread. The Set-Apart Spirit removed Herself from Yahowsha’ at this time, which is why He cried out: “My God why have you forsaken Me?” This action separated the perfect and eternal aspects of God from the sin and death Yahowsha’s soul was about to endure in She’owl during the Miqra’ of Matsah. Based upon the decisions of men, His soul was separated from the source of life, from God Himself, as the result of the choice Yahowah had made to save us.
Especially interesting as it relates to the fulfillment of the Miqra’, one of gazar’s meanings is directly related to the symbolism of Unleavened Bread: “to eat and satisfying hunger.” Matsah became the symbol of Yahowsha’s body, broken off from the world of the living to remove sin from all mankind. Just as is the case with our sin under Matsah’s provisions, His body ceased to exist.
“His place of dying and death by violent means (maweth) was assigned (natan – permitted and apportioned) to be with the condemned (rasha’ – guilty criminals), yet His tomb (qeber – burial site and sepulcher) was with a rich man (‘ashyr – wealthy person).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:9)
Qeber is used in the 88th Mizmowr / Psalm to depict “the place where” Yahowsha’s “soul approached She’owl.” In the Song, qeber, represents the place and time where “His soul was troubled, and His life was drawn to She’owl to be reckoned among those who go down to the pit.” That is important because it was at Golgotha where Yahowsha’ was “assigned to be with condemned criminals,” not in His temporary tomb, that of the rich Joseph of Arimathea, where His broken body was vaporized.
Had Yahowsha’ been imperfect in any way, had he died among rich men and been buried among thieves, He would have been disqualified as the Ma’aseyah. He would have suffered for His own sins, not for ours. Only a perfect sacrificial Lamb can take away the sin of others.
“Although on His account (‘al – notwithstanding on His behalf, and concerning Himself), He had done (‘asah – accomplished, effected, prepared, and produced; instituted and ordained) nothing wrong (chamas – no cruel, unjust or violent act; destructive, deadly, lawless, plunderous, terrorist, or immoral deed), nor was there any deceit (mirmah – guile or deception, deliberate dishonesty or misleading treachery) in His speech, yet Yahowah ( ) was willing to (chaphets – inclined to, pleased to, delighted in, was willing and eager to) crush, break, and shatter Him (daka – to make Him contrite, humbled for the sorrow of sin and offenses; the application of pressure to a person, who if alive, is crushed into dust, virtual nothingness), making Him weak, sick, and diseased (chalah – wounded, injured, afflicted, suffering, and grieving).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:9-10)
The only man in human history to live a life which could be considered “sinless,” completely without “guile, error, immorality, lawlessness or injustice” is the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. No other man even postures such a claim. As Yahowah in human form, Yahowsha’ was perfect, the embodiment of truth, the living Word of God, the Light of the world.
Providing additional insights into what occurred on the Miqra’ of Matsah, it’s important to recognize that Yahowsha’s body was not crushed on Passover. It was whipped, pummeled, and pierced, but not ground into dust. So it was His soul which suffered this indignity in She’owl on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread.
The tenth verse concludes with Yahowah confirming that His suffering Servant—the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’—would offer His soul as payment for our guilt, accepting the punishment for our crimes. “When, as a concession (‘im – surely and verily, in the larger context of an oath) He shall render (suwm – place, direct, and extend; appoint and pledge) His soul (nepesh) as a guilt offering (‘asham –suffering the punishment) for sin.”
Consistent with Mizmowr 22, Yahowah/Yahowsha’ rendered His nepesh/soul as the guilt offering for sin, not His body nor His Spirit. Yahowah’s Spirit is immortal. God cannot die. Yahowah’s Spirit had to abandon Yahowsha’ at the point of death, forsaking Him, separating the Spirit from Yahowsha’s soul, so that God’s nepesh could suffer the indignity of separation in the realm of the dead. So it was on the Invitation to be Called-Out Meeting with God of Unleavened Bread that sinners were exonerated.
Now that Yahowah’s soul has been rendered as a guilt offering on our behalf on the Miqra’ of Matsah, it’s time to celebrate Bikuwrym with His reunification spiritually with Yahowah. Yahowsha’s soul returned to the realm of the living to be re-immersed in the Set-Apart Spirit. In so doing, God enabled others to live through Him. “He will appear and see (ra’ah – will be revealed, present Himself, and be seen; He will inspect and find delight in) His offspring (zera’ – the result of what He has sown, His children and posterity). He will prolong (‘arak – lengthen and maintain) His days (yowm). And the will (chephets – good pleasure, delight, desire, and longing) of Yahowah ( ) will be advanced, coming mightily forth (tsalach – be pushed forward making progress with overpowering force) in His hand (yad – power, means, direction, dominion, and fellowship).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:10)
Because of what He would do, and now has done, over the course of three days—Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym—we are freed from the consequence and the penalty of sin, freed to rise up and appear before our Heavenly Father, freed to live forever.
God is a spiritual being, and yet, without a soul, Yahowah could not have become a man. Nepesh, the Hebrew word for a human soul, or consciousness, is used in the next verse, because Yahowsha’s soul, not Yahowah’s Spirit, was the guilt offering, doing “hard labor” for our crimes. “Out of (min) the toil (‘amal – hard work, great effort, suffering labor, misery and distressing experience) of His soul (nepesh – consciousness), He will see (ra’ah – experience) light (‘owr) and find satisfaction (saba’ – be fulfilled).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:11)
Consistent, albeit evil and beguiling, the Rabbinical/Masters did their best to hide this truth. Their altered text reads: “He will see some of the suffering of his soul.” Having the soul of the suffering Servant descend into the darkness of death and then be reunited with the Spirit and thus see the ultimate light was too obvious a clue that Yahowsha’ was the Ma’aseyah. The Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh perpetuated the Masoretic deception with a translation that is completely disconnected from the actual text: “Out of his anguish he shall see it,” removing “soul” and “light.” Hebrew scholars know that nepesh is “soul,” not “his,” as “his” is huw’, but they don’t much like the notion of Yahowah having a soul as it suggests that God has a human, or corporeal nature. And they don’t care for the idea that their soul isn’t immortal. And yet the Septuagint and the Qumran Scrolls say “He will see light.” So, if it was so obvious that Yahowsha’ didn’t fulfill these prophecies, why did they need to alter Yasha’yahuw’s prophetic testimony about Him?
“And through knowing (yada’ – recognizing and acknowledging relationally) the One Who Vindicates (tsadaq – the Righteous One who makes others right), My Servant (‘ebed), many (rab – a great abundance of people) will be vindicated (tsadaq – be made right with God, will be cleansed and justified) as He will bear (cabal – drag and carry away the burden of, incur and be laden with) their guilt and punishment (‘awon – iniquity, the consequence of sin, perversity and depravity).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:11)
This is the crescendo of the single most important event in prophecy. Yada’ Yah is the answer. To be vindicated and to be made right, we must know the One Who Vindicates—our Redeemer and Savior: Yahowsha’—and recognize what He did for us on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. It is the Way. It is the Good News of the Towrah. It is our path home.
Yahowsha’ paid the price and when He was rewarded for it, He chose to share the abundance with those He had just saved. Because His soul suffered the penalty of separation for our rebellion, descending into She’owl, because He was tormented for our crimes, sacrificing Himself in the ultimate act of intercession, His gift of life will be inherited by many. “Therefore (ken – this is right, just, honest, true and verifiable), I will apportion and share (halaq – assign and allot) Him abundantly (rab), and He shall share (halaq – apportion, assign, and allot) the value (shalal – the gain and great benefit, and the spoils taken from the adversary) with (‘asher) numerous people who will become mighty (‘asuwm – with a vast number of individuals who will be made stronger).” The gift of life was meant to be shared abundantly.
Maweth foreshadows crucifixion: “Extending His hands and arms and spreading Himself out in our place (tahath – in an exchange for our benefit) and relationship (‘asher – association with us), He exposed and poured out (‘arah –left abandoned and destitute) His (huw’) soul (nepesh) unto (la) the (ha) the penalty of death and judgment (maweth – to be plagued, destroyed, and oppressed).” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:12)
His body was pierced but it was Yahowsha’s nepesh/soul which was “’arah/abandoned and left destitute, exposed and stripped away.” It was “poured out unto” “maweth/the place of death, judgment, plagues, destruction, and oppression” on the Miqra’ of Matsah.
Upon the completion of their mortal existence, the souls of those who retain a record of sin, who have not capitalized on the gift of Passover and Unleavened Bread, will be judged. Most, because they have abandoned the path home, will find themselves destitute, which is to be separated from the source of life. As a result of not accepting and relying upon Yahowsha’s willingness to stand in their place, their souls will die and be destroyed.
Sandwiched between thieves as He hung on the upright pole, and surrounded by throngs of rebellious onlookers “He was numbered (manah – counted and assigned) with those who rebel (pasha’ – revolt in open defiance of the authority and agreement), Himself (huw’) lifting up and bearing (nasa’ – taking and carrying away, forgiving) the crimes and penalties (chet’ – guilt, offences, condemnation for sin; mistakes and failures) of many, and He interceded for (paga’ – suffered unto death to spare; intervened to reconcile; encountered the Adversary to bear the burdens of) those who are in rebellion (pasha – those engaged in national, moral, and religious revolt, sin and transgression). Shout for joy.” (Yasha’yahuw / Yahowah Saves / Isaiah 53:12 -54:1)
There are many reasons these prophecies are important. They explain the nature of, and the reason for, what would occur on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, better than any of the Disciples’ writings. The fate of one’s soul rests on these events and one’s willingness to accept Yahowah’s provision. They bring the Towrah promises and Yahowsha’s fulfillments together. In the Towrah sin is temporarily atoned, and the debt is only partially paid. But with Yahowsha’s perfect fulfillment we are completely redeemed, permanently restoring us to favor with God.
These prophecies prove that Yahowah inspired His Scriptures. Only God can accurately and consistently predict the future as if it were history—and as if He were an eyewitness, even a participant, in what would occur. These improbable predictions were written centuries before the event they describe occurred. And since these events occurred as they were predicted, we should have every confidence that predictions yet unfulfilled, those dealing with the last days, are simply future history. There is therefore, much we can know of that which is to come.
The specificity of the prophecies, and the exactitude of their fulfillment, reveal how we should interpret unfulfilled predictions. God is precise and He selects His words with great care so that they reveal profound truths. That known, we also have to be cautious because we have discovered that English bible translations are inaccurate, and that they are not nearly as revealing or robust as the original.
When we view Yahowah’s Word as a whole cloth, we come to understand that there is just one story—that of God facilitating a relationship with mankind. The seven Festival Feasts, the Called-Out Assemblies, these Meetings with God, provide the way home, a journey which Yahowah personally enabled at a tremendous cost. Follow in His footsteps. Observe Passover and Unleavened Bread so that your soul is included in the FirstFruits’ harvest.
The two most vivid explanations of Yahowsha’s sacrifice emanate from the haunting prose of the twenty-second and eighty-eighth Mizmowr / Song / Psalms. The lyrics which were penned by Dowd open with the Ma’aseyah’s last words on Golgotha’s upright pole and explains why He was hanging there. “My God (‘el – Mighty One, singular), my God (‘el), why (mah – by what means, for how long, and to what end) have You forsaken (‘azab – abandoned and relinquished Me, left Me desolate, separated from Me and departed from Me, damned and deserted) Me?” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:1)
Yahowsha’ knew why. This question was rendered for our benefit. When you come to know the answer, you will yada’/know Yahowah.
The use of ‘el, singular for “God,” is significant, because it is relatively uncommon. Even in the Dabarym 6:4 verse, where Yahowah declares that He is one unity, He uses the plural ‘elohym to designate the fullness of His Deity. But in this case, the Ma’aseyah’s question is being addressed to Yahowah as the Father by the Son regarding the departure of the Set-Apart Spirit.
The Hebrew word mah is as much about how and what as it is about why. David’s words-eye-view of the crucifixion will explain the means by which Yahowsha’ was able to redeem us from our sins; how He was able to take the penalty upon Himself, and why He was willing to do it. He will explain the nature of the separation as well as the ends it achieved.
Azab, translated “forsaken” above, may be the most damning word in Scripture. It is synonymous with “damned” and it means “to be separated, abandoned, and deserted.” When the context is “from God” the result is “desolation,” or “lifelessness.” Azab’s Greek equivalent in Mattanyah / Matthew 27:26 and Mark 15:34 is enkataleipo, meaning “to be totally abandoned, completely deserted, and utterly forsaken.” Enkataleipo is a compound of en and kataleipo. En is a “relational term denoting a position in space or time.” Kataleipo means “to depart and leave behind, to cease supporting so as to leave someone in a lurch, and to be called away without taking another with them.” Collectively then, azab and enkataleipo present the Spirit’s departure from Yahowsha’ just prior to His last breath, leaving a man and his soul hanging on the precipice of death.
The next line confirms as much. “Far (rachowq – remote in distance and time, separated in space; alienated and no longer in a state of close association; from rachaq, meaning to be removed and distant, to be sent off and to go far) away from (min – out of and separated from) Yahowsha’, My salvation (yashuw’ah (יְשׁוּעָה) – Yahowsha’; a compound name derived from Yahowah and yasha’ to save, salvation, and Savior) are the words of my groaning (sheagah – roaring anguish). O my God (‘elohym), I call out (qara’ – summon) in the daytime (yowmam), but You do not answer (‘anah – respond); and by night (layl) but I have no rest (dumyah – silence or relief; repose from laying down in death).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:1-2)
What’s interesting is now that the Set-Apart Spirit has returned to Yahowah, God has become plural again: ‘elohym rather than ‘el. Also, deprived of the Spirit, the Ma’aseyah no longer considers Himself Yahowsha’. Fortunately, however, this horrible beginning has a happy ending. Spirit and soul will be reunited during Bikuwrym.
Yashow’ah (יְשׁוּעָה) with the addition of an “h” at the end appears 77 times in the Covenant Scriptures—almost always in the context of Messianic prophecies like this one. Yashuw’ah is based upon the Hebrew verb: yasha’, Savior and salvation, and God’s name, Yahowah.
The use of day and night in this verse confirms that the pain Yahowsha’ endured during the day, occurred on Passover in 33 CE, before the sun had set. It also demonstrates that the torment that His soul bore in the darkness of the long night depicted His fulfillment of Unleavened Bread as the Sabbath dawned at sundown. The Hebrew word translated “night,” layl, actually defines She’owl—“the adversity of being away from light.” There would be no rest for Yahowsha’s soul as it descended into the darkness of the pit—the one place God’s Spirit cannot go. This Pit, which is transformed into the Abyss, is the lightless home of the Adversary. Yahowsha’s soul would suffer there, as His body had suffered on the upright pillar.
The soul sentenced to suffer in our stead, said of the Father: “You are the Set-Apart One (‘attah qodesh). You live and remain (yashab – dwell throughout time; inhabit and establish a home and restore). You are the praise (tahillah – songs of adoration and thanksgiving) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who engage and endure with God). In You, our fathers trusted (batach – relied upon, were confident and secure in). They trusted (batach – and relied); You delivered them (palat – brought them into a place of security and safety; rescued them, helping them escape and survive). To You, they cried out (za’aq – called for help, assembled together, and were summoned) and were spared (malat – delivered, rescued, and saved). In You, they trusted and relied (batach) and were not disappointed (buwsh – put to shame, suffering emotional distress and despair).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:3-5) Trust, not faith, reliance, not belief, is the essence of salvation. Batach is repeated three times so that we would not miss the message.
Before the Ma’aseyah was nailed to the death stake, He was beaten to a bloody pulp. “I Am but a crimson grub (towla’ – a bloodied scarlet pulp), and not extant, present as a person (‘iysh – a man, husband, or champion [i.e., I’m now less than human]), rebuked and reproached (cherpah – scorned and taunted, disgraced and dishonored as contemptible, insulted with slurs) by man (‘adam - humankind), and despised (bazah – disregarded, held in contempt, and ridiculed; seen as worthless, lightly regarded, and considered of little value) by the family (‘am – kin).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:6)
Roman crucifixions were performed along roadways so that the victim’s humiliation would increase, and because of the deterrent effect their pain would have on the eyewitnesses. That is why Yahowsha’ is predicted to say that people would be gawking at Him, shaking their heads, and saying senseless things—mouths running faster than their brains.
“All who see Me (ra’ah – gaze at, look upon, and inspect Me) deride and mock (la’ag – speak unintelligibly about, disparaging, scoffing and ridiculing) Me. They shoot off their mouths (patar saphah – flap their lips) and shake their heads, saying, ‘Commit your removal (galal – roll yourself down and away) to the God (‘el) Yahowah ( ). Let Him deliver (palat) Him. Let Him snatch Him away (natsal – rescue Him). Surely He delights in (chaphets – desires and is pleased with) Him.’” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:7-8)
Consistent with Yasha’yahuw’s “a child is born to us, a Son is given to us” David affirms that the redemptive manifestation of God will begin in the womb. “Indeed (ky), You [God] caused me to come forth (gyach) out of the womb (beten). You caused me to trust (batach) upon my mother’s breast. I was thrown down (shalak – off and away) out of (min) the point of origin (rechem – womb as in matrix, a spatial position indicative of the source; from racham, meaning love, mercy and compassion). You have been My God (‘el) from my mother’s (‘em) belly (beten – womb).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:9-10) Yahowsha’ is saying that Yahowah sent Him via a woman’s womb from the matrix—an eternal four dimensional construct which is the point of origin, the source of love, mercy, and compassion.
With foreboding words, the then future and now past sacrificial soul pleads with Yahowah, asking Him not to abandon Him. He recognizes that He is headed to a rendezvous with Satan, the Adversary, where He will be afflicted. He knows that nothing exists that can protect Him from this tribulation. “Do not remove Yourself (rachaq – sever, recede and distance Yourself, go away) from (min) Me, because the Adversary’s affliction (tsarah – the enemy’s anguish and oppressor’s tribulation; suffering) is near (qarob – personal and imminent in space-time). For indeed, no one (ayn - nothing) can help (azar – protect, support, or aid) Me.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:11)
And that is the moral of the story. Only Yahowah can spare us from Satan’s sting. He alone can be counted on to help in our hour of greatest need. And yet, Yahowah could not, and still cannot, go into Satan’s lair—as it is the place of separation. However, since separation from God is the penalty prescribed for sin, Yahowsha’s soul would have to go there to redeem us. All God’s Spirit could do was open and close the door. Once inside, Yahowsha’ would be on His own.
The use of qarob in this passage reveals that Yahowsha’s anguish at the hands of the Adversary was “imminent” and it would be “personal.” At “a place and moment in space-time of uncertain location and indeterminate duration from the perspective of the participants,” bad things were going to occur.
The Song has focused on the anguish involved in Yahowah separating Himself from Yahowsha’. Initially, this abandonment was aggravated because the Ma’aseyah was being whipped by men. And now it’s because He is on the cusp of being tortured by the Adversary. But then to add insult to injury, His creation continues to humiliate Him, while ripping the flesh from His body.
“Many strong bulls (par) surround Me (cabab – assemble around and encircle Me), aggressively attacking (‘abir – with powerful supernatural warring) serpents (bashan). They have besieged and crowned Me in hostile fashion (kathar – gathered about and hostilely hemmed Me in, placing a circular crown on My head).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:12)
Yahowsha’ would wear a crown of thorns, a crown comprised of the same intertwined thorn bush that caught the Lamb on Mount Mowryah when Abraham and Isaac first enacted the words of this Psalm, performing a dress rehearsal for the seminal event of human history.
The Satanic sun god, Lord / Ba’al, has most always been represented as a “strong bull.” This bull, and the serpent, are tied together here, and are associated directly with the Adversary, because Yahowah wanted us to appreciate the magnitude of the Ma’aseyah’s sacrifice. To redeem the entire world He would have to endure the worst tortures Satan and his full cadre of demons could muster.
Even the men who were wielding the Roman flagellums were possessed by demons, doing Satan’s bidding. Still speaking of the Bulls (sun-god worshipers) and the aggressively attacking supernatural serpents (demons), the prophet David reveals: “They opened (patsah) their mouths (peh) against (‘al) Me, plucking and tearing Me to pieces (taraph – mangling Me, ripping apart My soft tissues with sharp objects, violently flailing Me so as to inflict an abhorrent death) like a raving and roaring lion (‘arayeh – destroying assassin, beast who preys on others).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:13) The Song is saying that the demons, and the men they control, would be spouting destructive and lifeless lies, words which deceive and lead to death.
One of crucifixion’s most telling attributes is that it causes the victim’s bodily fluids to drain into their lungs, leaving them parched. While dying of thirst, they drown. Bones are not broken, but both shoulders are almost always dislocated. Oxygen depletion occurs because the victim is unable to stretch their diaphragm while hanging by their arms, causing a carbon dioxide toxin to build up in the bloodstream. This results in strength melting away, starting with the heart muscles. We know this today, but not 3,000 years ago, which is when these words were inscribed by David. That makes his prediction extraordinary.
“I am poured out and emptied of (sepeq) water. Whole (kol) limbs (‘etsem – bones) are stretched, separated and out of joint (parad). My heart is melting like wax (downag). It is growing faint and wasting away (masas – dissolving and liquefying). Internally, (tawak – inside My midst) in My abdomen (me’eh – internal organs around the belly; i.e., the diaphragm isn’t working), My vigor and strength (koach) are withered and failed (yabesh – dried up without moisture and incapacitated) like sun-baked dust (cheres – a broken sun-hardened vessel of earthenware). My tongue cleaves (dabaq – is made to stick) to my gums. They have placed Me (sapat – set and established Me) as (shaphat) the dust and debris (‘aphar – the powdery ash and rubbish) of death (maweth).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:14-15)
This is precisely how crucifixion kills, right down to its most unique symptoms. The victim’s inability to inhale robs their body of oxygen, and thus energy, causing koach—“a helpless and powerless incapacity to perform any needed function.” Likewise, yabesh describes: “a withering paralyzed state in which the body no longer responds to the brain’s motor function commands.”
The character of political and religious people hasn’t changed much over the years. “For the contemptible and abased yelpers (keleb – loud and attacking, unfaithful pagan dogs; evil prostitutes of a lowly status and violent nature) have surrounded (sabab - encircled) Me. The socio-religious assemblage (‘edah –congregation) of corrupt, injurious evil doers (ra’a’) go around Me and peel off My skin (naqaph).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:16)
It’s painfully clear that the Mizmowr was predicting public flagellation followed by crucifixion, Roman style. “They pierced (kuwr) My hands and My feet.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:16) They struck blows, pounding nails into Yahowsha’s wrists (which were considered part of the hand) and heels, piercing them. Kuwr speaks of “boring into the flesh with a dull piercing instrument of metal which has been forged in a smelting furnace.” A Roman nail fits this description perfectly.
While using such a device in this excruciating fashion is repulsive and reprehensible, there remains a far greater crime here than merely mutilating and murdering the Ma’aseyah by flailing God alive and then nailing Him to a pole while spewing political and religious rhetoric. If you are a Jew, faithful to the religious and rabbinical traditions of your people, what I’m going to share ought to make you angry. To keep you in the dark, from recognizing Yahowsha’, and from salvation, rabbinical Jews knowingly and purposely altered the passage to read: “Like a lion are my hands and feet.” Lion is ‘aryeh (אַרְיֵה). Pierced is kuwr (כּוּר). The word for “like” does not appear in the text and “lion” and “pierced” aren’t even remotely similar. This was not a mistake. It was done on purpose.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share Zakaryahuw / Zechariah 12:10 before we complete the Song. Yahowah is speaking to Yahuwdym in the last days: “I will pour out upon the house (beyth – family and home) of Dowd and upon those who dwell in Yaruwshalaim, the Spirit of Mercy. And they shall look upon (nabat – pay attention to and regard, understand and appropriately respond to) Me whom (‘asher – by association) they have pierced (daqar – wounded by driving objects through), and they shall mourn (sapad – wail and lament in a state of sorrow) for Him as one mourns for an only begotten son (yachyd), and shall bitterly weep, suffering anguish over Him as one who suffers over their firstborn.”
Yahowah is telling us that we nailed Him to Mowryah’s pole, that He, the Spirit, and the Son are One, and that His sacrifice is directly linked to our salvation. He is announcing that His people will become His family again as they come to appreciate the basis of: tachanum/mercy.
Returning to Golgotha on Passover in the Yowbel of 33 CE, we find that Dowd, who the world knows as “David,” predicted what the Disciples confirmed. “I can count (saphar – record, measure, and make an accounting of) all my bones [i.e., nothing is broken]. They stare at Me and gloat.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:17)
The Apostles tell us that the Romans who crucified Yahowsha’, cast lots for the garments they had stripped from Him. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. Mizmowr 22:18 predicted it: “They divide (chalaq – plunder, assign, and distribute) My garments among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
With the Ma’aseyah’s last words on the upright pole, Yahowah’s Spirit departed, leaving Yahowsha’s soul to bear the sins of all mankind. So He pleads: “Yahowah ( ), do not distance Yourself (rachaq – sever and remove Yourself, avoid me and stand aloof) from Me. My ‘Eyalut (‘eyalut – feminine form of ‘eyal used as a title meaning Your Strength and Your Helper, She Who Provides Aid), come quickly (chuwsh – act swiftly, swooping down, hastening to rush upon and prepare Me, making Me ready) assisting and helping (‘ezrah – providing relief for) Me.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:19)
‘Eyalut (pronounced eh·yaw·looth) is being used in parallel with Yahowah, and it is being used as a title. And it appears only once in Scripture. ‘Eyalut is the feminine form of ‘eyal, and is focused on the work of the Spirit, making ‘Eyalut a descriptive title for the Qodesh Ruwach—the Set-Apart Spirit. She is our Helper, our Counselor, our Spiritual Mother, the one who provides aid in our time of need. She is an essential part of Yahowah and His plan of redemption. She was thus an essential part of Yahowsha’—that is until She abandoned His soul to fulfill the Miqra’ of Matsah.
The Psalm has therefore delineated the specific elements which had to come together to comprise Yahowsha’—the human manifestation of Yahowah. And it explains the relationship between them, their purpose, and their disposition before, during, and after the events surrounding Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits in Yaruwshalaim during the Yowbel Lamb’s Redemptive Year of 33 CE.
She would return to rescue Her Son, assisting and empowering Him, preparing Him for the Towrah’s promise of Bikuwrym. Knowing this, He pleads with Her: “Snatch away and save (natsal – rescue, spare, defend, and deliver) my soul (nepesh) from waste, desolation, and ruin (charab – from becoming desolate and devastated), Your only begotten Son (yachyd) from the power (yad) of the contemptible and abased yelpers (keleb).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:20)
The reasons Yahowah’s Spirit had to depart are: Yahowah by definition can’t go to the lightless place of lifelessness and separation. Yahowah’s Spirit is immortal and thus by definition cannot die—so to fulfill Passover, a mortal body was required. And for God to use Himself as a ransom to redeem us, He had to have a soul like us and then damn it on our behalf. So, Yahowsha’, as Yahowah in human form, had a body, a soul, and a Spirit right up to the precipice of death and separation. Then the Spirit departed allowing the body to die and the soul to be punished in She’owl in our stead on Unleavened Bread. Yahowsha’s soul was then retrieved from She’owl and was reunited with Yah’s Spirit on FirstFruits.
Collectively, this is the how behind our redemption. It is the why which underlies the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’s final words on Mowryah’s upright pole. The Scriptures He was referring to were the only Scriptures which existed at the time, the Tanakh, and more specifically, Mizmowr 22 and 88, and Yasha’yahuw 52 and 53. At His execution, the Ma’aseyah even quoted the lyrics of the Song so that we wouldn’t miss the mechanism behind the miracle of our salvation.
While Yahowsha’ was willing to sacrifice His body and soul, He never forgot that Yahowah alone can save us from Satan’s deadly deceptions or that His Word is always the best defense. “Save Me (yasha’ – deliver, rescue, and liberate Me) from the lion’s (‘arayeh – destroyer’s and assassin’s) mouth, for You have responded to (‘anah – answered, testified about, and born witness to) Me from (min) the horns of light on the summit of the mountain (qeren – sending out brilliant rays of light, from the trumpet which conveys a message) and lifted Me up (ra’am).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:21)
The condemnation of the “lion-destroyer,” who we will soon discover is Satan, damns our souls, not our temporal bodies. Yahowah’s ‘anah/testimony provides the answer, acquitting us of his charges. And qeren was used to tie the first Passover with the last—Abraham’s prophetic enactment with Yahowsha’s ultimate fulfillment.
Yahowsha’s body was broken and His soul had descended into Satan’s lair. But reliant on Yahowah’s testimony, trusting in the witness that was made on this very mountain forty Yowbel Redemptive Years ago, acknowledging the answers that were provided in the Miqra’ey, Yahowsha’ was ra’am/lifted up—His soul raised from She’owl.
Before we complete the glorious conclusion to this Song, I want you to appreciate the significance of ‘arayeh. It is often translated “lion” but also means “destroyer, a beast which hunts and maims its prey.” As such ‘arayeh describes “someone involved in an assassination—of wrongly taking an innocent life.” It forms the basis of ‘Arydatha’, a name of Babylonian origin which tells us a great deal about the nature of this beast. The founder of the Babylonian Mystery Religion was Satan himself. The primary symbol for Babylon’s god was a winged lion. The very gates of the city were adorned with enormous winged lions.
Be assured, this solitary soul was no ordinary man being flayed alive, pierced, crucified, tormented in She’owl, and then reunited with Yahowah. We are told that those who revere Yahowah will praise Him—something that would violate the First, Second, and Third Statements Yahowah etched in stone if the willing sacrificial victim were not God. Dowd said: “I will relate (saphar – record, recount, reckon, rehearse, declare, proclaim) Your name (shem – your personal and proper designation, reputation, renown, fame, glory, status, and dominion) to my brethren (‘ach – brothers, relatives, kin, and tribe) in the midst of the assembly (qahal – congregation, convocation, and community), radiating Your brilliant source of clear light (halal).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:22)
David continued to portray the Passover Lamb and the Bread of Life as the Ma’aseyah, as God in the flesh. The following verse proclaims that Yahowsha’ would have parity with Yahowah—making Him God. “You who revere (yare’) Yahowah ( ) radiate His light (halal – make His brilliant source of illumination clearly visible).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:23)
What a beautiful picture. It says that when we come to revere Yahowah we will radiate His light. David is describing the function and nature of the Set-Apart Spirit, Her Garment of Light, and Her ability to empower us, teach us, comfort us, and protect us, rendering us perfect in Yahowah’s eyes.
Halal means to “radiate light,” not reflect it. To produce light we must have the light source within us. When we are born anew from above in the Set-Apart Spirit, She lives within us, becoming the source of our light. Such is the purpose of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym.
Next, we are reacquainted with kabad, the first word of the Second of Seven Instructions written on the Second of Two Tablets. It defines the esteem we must show for our Heavenly Father and Spiritual Mother to live perpetually in the Land. “All descendants (zera’ – seed, children, offspring, and family) of Ya’aqob (Ya’aqob – One who Digs in his Heels [who became Yisra’el]) consider Him worthy of respect and massively significant (kabad).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:23)
The textual consonants that comprise kabad (כָבֵד) give rise to an important series of derivatives. Collectively they convey: “weightiness, massiveness, significance, worth, value, abundance, glory, and greatness.”
Not only do these concepts form the basis of this Instruction, they frame the issue of choice. If we see Yahowah as significant He promises to view us the same way. If we respect Yahowah’s massive energy and power, He will share it with us. Value Him and we will inherit His abundance. Acknowledge His greatness and He will bring us into His presence and clothe us in His glory. But, if you trifle with Him, He will trifle with you. If you see Him as insignificant you will become so insignificant it will be as if you never were. Disrespect His massiveness and you will be reduced to nothingness.
“Gather together and dwell with Him (guwr) all you descendants of Yisra’el.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:23) Such is the basis of Yisra’el, and the means to living forever in the Promised Land.
“Indeed (ky), He has not held in contempt or disdained (bazah), nor has He detested and counted as filthy (shaqats – having an aversion for) the afflicted, bruised, and suffering (‘enut), the oppressed, poor, needy, unpretentious, and straightforward (‘any – those who are not arrogant, prideful, or filled with hubris).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:24)
Bazah is the opposite of kabad. The basic meaning is “to accord little value to something.” Rendered in the negative, it means that Yahowah valued us more than most of us value Him. So, the moral of the story is Yahowah helps those who acknowledge that they need assistance, that they are incapable of saving themselves. To be saved we must recognize that we need a Savior, recognize who the Savior is, and then revere and rely upon Him.
“Neither has He concealed His presence (pany) from him. When he cried out for help (shawa’) to Him, He listened.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:24) This completes the equation. While it is true that to be saved we must: recognize we need a Savior, recognize who the Savior is, and then rely upon Him, we must also ask Him for His help. When we do, we live forever in His presence.
“My song of adoration and thanksgiving (tahillah), together with (‘eth) and because of (min) You, shall be abundant in the assembly.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:25) He acknowledged, valued, and loved God, and God reciprocated. “I will restore and repay, providing restitution, finishing and fulfilling (shalem), making a freewill offering (neder – to make a choice on one’s own accord) conspicuously, in full view (neged – before and in the presence) of those who revere Him.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:25)
“I” is Yahowsha’ and “Him” is Yahowah. The Son restored us to fellowship with the Father by ransoming us. Through His sacrifice, He provided restitution for our transgressions, paying our debt. It was the ultimate freewill offering, one made conspicuously, in the presence of those He was redeeming. And it was done so that we might reciprocate His love.
The Song continues with prophetic echoes of the Teaching on the Mount. “The poor, needy, meek, humble, weak, lowly, and afflicted (‘anaw) shall be fed (akal) and be completely satisfied (saba).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:26) It is only right that an excerpt from Yahowsha’s most famous public proclamation should follow a prediction of His most important deed.
In the whole of God’s Word, this is one of my favorite verses. “Those who seek, consult with, follow, and rely upon (darash) Yahowah ( ) radiate His brilliant and clear light (halal); their consciences (lebab – inner nature and person, heart, mind, and soul, their thoughts, feelings, and passions) shall live forever.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:26) It is the synthesis of Scripture.
This prophecy shall be fulfilled on another set of Miqra’ey, those of Yowm Kippurym, the Day of Reconciliations when Yahowah returns, and of Sukah, meaning “Shelters,” where mankind will campout with God during the Millennial Sabbath. “Everyone (kol) from the most distant lands (‘epesh ‘erets – from the far extremity of the earth) will remember (zakar) and (wa) return (suwb) to (‘el) Yahowah ( ). And all families of people from every race and place (kol mishpachah gowym) will announce their intensions (wa chawah – and they will use words to explain themselves and inform) to approach Your presence (la paneh).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:27)
We began this Psalm in the deepest depths of despair. As the sun set on Passover, Yahowah removed His Spirit from Yahowsha’, forsaking His soul. The Ma’aseyah had been reduced to a bloody pulp by the blows of men He had created. He was nailed hand and foot to a pole, suffering the excruciating agony of crucifixion while those He was saving were scoffing at Him. Satan, and his full assemblage of demons, surrounded Him, falsely accusing God. Yahowsha’s body finally broke, and His soul descended into the lifeless and lightless realm of She’owl to fulfill the promise of Unleavened Bread. After being tortured by the Adversary, something wonderful happened. Before the sun rose on the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits, Yahowsha’s soul was reunited with the Set-Apart Spirit, demonstrating the way we too will be reborn spiritually. And now, according to this prophetic Song, a day will come when everyone will recognize and appreciate what He has done—Yowm Kippurym which leads to Sukah.
“For Kingship (maluwkah) is Yahowah’s ( ). He has dominion (mashal – reigns, exercises authority, and governs) over the Gentile nations.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:28) Although the opening verses were focused on Yahowsha’s Redemptive Advent, on Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, the celebratory close describes His return. Yahowah will not exercise dominion, overtly governing the earth’s nations before the waning days of the Tribulation—starting on the Miqra’ of Yowm Kippurym. Today, men rule nations. That will not always be the case.
Those who seek, consult with, follow, and rely upon Yahowah are anointed in Yah’s Spirit. “All the anointed (dashen – the chosen harvest, those who are covered, the prosperous, vigorous bodily, and mentally acute) on earth shall be fed (‘akal) and be rewarded (sahah).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:29)
Over these last few verses, Yahowah has stated that His provision satisfies, that those who rely upon His bread will be nourished, lacking nothing. He has also said that those who revise their way of thinking will be restored.
Yahowchanan would write: “Yahowsha’ said to them, ‘I Am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who relies on Me shall never thirst . For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son, and who relies on Him, may have eternal life.’” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 6:35, 40)
All those who descend (yarad – go down, are lowered, prostrate themselves, are subjugated and conquered, and who are brought down) to dust (‘aphar – powder, ash, and rubbish) will kneel (kara’) before Him, as no one can keep his soul alive (nepesh chayah).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:29)
There are two equally profound thoughts presented in these words. If you are a Muslim or Catholic and lower yourself, bowing down, prostrating yourself in religious worship, a day will come when you will kneel before God. And on that day of judgment, your soul will be extinguished. If you subjugate and conquer others, you will receive the same fate. But more than that, this verse is proof that souls are mortal. Immortality requires being born anew in Yahowah’s Spirit.
David, speaking of the Savior, said: “Posterity shall serve Him, and it shall be recorded and recounted (saphar – inscribed and proclaimed) to the foundation of the Upright One (‘edon), for a place to dwell over a revolution of time (dowr – a house, dwelling place, tabernacle, and a generation). They shall come conspicuously announcing, exposing and declaring (nagad – explaining and manifesting) His vindication (tsadaqah – declaration of innocence, justification, and truthfulness) to a family (‘am – people) that shall be born that He has accomplished (asah – instituted and bestowed) this.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 22:30-31)
Yahowsha’s body died, fulfilling the role of the Passover Lamb, while His soul suffered the penalty of separation so that we might become perfect and live, born anew based upon what He accomplished, dwelling timelessly in God’s home.
There is yet another Psalm dedicated to explaining the what, where, how, and why of the Miqra’ of Matsah. It begins with the two most important names in creation, along with their title: “Yahowah ( ) ‘Elohy ( ) Yashuw’ah ( ).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:1) Yahowah is ‘Elohym/God, as is Yahowsha’, the diminished manifestation of God in human form.
The reason we know that Yahowsha’ is the diminished form of Yahowah is because He said so. “I and the Father are One.” (Yahowchanan / Yahowah is Merciful / John 10:29-30) “The Father is greater in dimensions, mass, power and stature (megas) than I.” (Yahowchanan 14:28)
The opening salvo continues with Yahowsha’ speaking with Yahowah, pleading as He did the eve of His crucifixion for this cup to be removed from Him: “I have summoned You for help (sa’aq – cried out) day and night before (neged – the near and conspicuous presence of) You.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:1)
But, as He drew His last breath on Mowryah’s upright pole, and Yah’s Spirit departed, Yahowsha’ cried out: “Return (bow’) Your presence (paneh) to (la) Me, I pray (tapilah – petition and request). Incline (natah – extend) your ear (‘ozen) to my pleading (rinah – plea for intercession).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:2)
The moment the Father’s Spirit deserted the Son, Yahowsha’s soul was laden with our sins. As a result, it was headed to She’owl, to pay the penalty for sin. In this way, during the Miqra’ of Matsah, Yahowah, via Yahowsha’, paid the price to redeem all mankind. “Because indeed (ky), My soul (nepesh) has been filled (saba’ – is overwhelmed) with (ba) evil (ra’ah – sin, perversion, and all things malignant), and My life (chayah) is reaching out to and touching (naga’ – is approaching and arriving at; is about to fall into) She’owl (she’owl – the abode of the dead; from sha’al, to plead and to be questioned).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:3) The penalty for sin is separation from God. She’owl is the place of separation. Yahowsha’s soul would go there to redeem us, but only after He had accepted our burdens.
The Psalmist reveals: “I am reckoned (chashab – counted) among (‘im – with) those who go down to (yarad – descend and are lowered, prostrating themselves to) the pit (bowr – the prison of shame and disappointment).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:4) Burdened with our sins, Yahowsha’s soul would suffer with sinners.
These are words only the Ma’aseyah could say, because only He was both the Mighty One, Yahowah/I Am, and now bereft of the Spirit, a man forsaken by God: “I Am (‘ehayah – I exist, the basis of Yahowah’s name) as a great man (geber – strong, powerful, and mighty man who confirms, strengthens, and prevails) without (‘ayn – devoid of) strength and help (‘eyal – vigor, health, and assistance).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:4) ‘Ehayah is how Yahowah initially introduced Himself to Moseh, making this declaration all the more poignant.
As He hung on the upright pole of our salvation, on the door to paradise, the most powerful and mighty man who ever lived was deprived of His strength and helper—the Set-Apart Spirit. She forsook Him just as His soul was laden with our rebellious nature and was about to descend into She’owl on the Miqra’ of Matsah.
In this passage, ‘eyal (אֱיָל) is textually identical to, and is based upon, ‘ayl (אַיִל). ‘Ayl is: “the Ram, the male sheep who serves as the perfect sacrifice, the Upright Pillar, the Door Posts, and the Shepherd who leads his flock.” The full symbolism of Passover and the Ma’aseyah resides in this word. And let us not forget, ‘Eyalut – feminine form of ‘eyal is the name David ascribed to Set-Apart Spirit in Mizmowr / Psalm 22:19. They are related.
“Forsaken and separated (hapasi – abandoned) unto death (muwth) like (kamow) those who are pierced and profaned (chalal – fatally wounded and defiled) lying down in their graves (qeber – tombs and sepulchers) who relationally (‘asher) You remember (zakar) no more (halo’ ‘owd). They are cut off and separated (gazar – cut down and destroyed) from (min) Your hand and power (yad).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:5) This passage serves to affirm that those who don’t know Yahowah aren’t known by Him.
As Yahowsha’s soul began the torment of Unleavened Bread, He acknowledged what has just occurred. “You have put Me in (shyth – caused an event or condition to occur that places Me in) the lowest part of (tachty) the Pit (bowr – the prison of shame and disappointment), in the darkest place.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:6) This Pit is “dark” because it is devoid of Yahowah’s light.
The promise of the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread is that the Ma’aseyah accepted and bore the punishment we deserved for having rebelled against God. “Your indignation (chemah – anger and displeasure) was laid upon and upheld by (camak ‘al – was embraced, and sustained by) Me. And You have afflicted (‘anah – bruised and humbled) Me with crushing annihilation (mishbat – extreme pressure which diminishes), rejecting and repudiating Me, and tossing Me aside (selah – making Me insignificant).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:7) In this context, selah can also mean: “used Me as a possession to pay for and buy” the redemption of all mankind. And therein lies God’s remedy—His gift.
“Sent far away (rachaq – removed and distanced) from (min) You knowing Me in a relational sense (yada’), You have laid upon Me (shyth – placed on Me) disgusting things, abominations (tow’ebah – the wickedness of unclean idolatrous worship and the repulsiveness of unfaithful marriages; error, confusion, and perversion; lies which mislead; and all the things God abhors and detests). Restrained and shut up (kala’ – restricted and refused, forbidden to escape, confined and withheld in a state of cessation), I cannot get out (yatsa’ – leave).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:8) This is the horrible fate God endured on our behalf as He separated His Spirit from His soul, and sent it off to She’owl during the Miqra’ of Matsah.
Languishing in the darkness of the Pit, God’s consciousness, His soul, reveals: “My eyes have become faint (da’ab – unused and suffering from neglect, dispirited, depressed, feeble, and weak) on account of (min) My affliction, impoverishment, and misery (‘ony – persecution and pain).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:9)
Human eyesight begins to fail after a few days of total darkness. And while Yahowsha’s experience in She’owl would transpire over the course of a day as measured by a clock on the earth, the pit is a crushing place, where the pressure would slow time to a crawl—to the point it would seem to stand still.
“Yahowah ( ), I have called out to You by name (qara’ – summoning You) all day (kol yowm). I have stretched out the palms of My hands. So finish the job, accomplish the mission, prepare the way (‘asah), perform the marvelous and extraordinary wonder for (pala’/pele’ – surpassing all human understanding on behalf of) the dead (muwth) so that the souls of the departed (rapha’ym – a class of mortal souls who possess the Spirit but no material substance) rise (quwm – arise and stand upright, become powerful and mighty, are confirmed, ratified, and established, roused to life and restored) confessing and thanking You, lifting You up in exaltation (selah).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:9-10)
The purpose of the sacrifice of Unleavened Bread, the result it accomplished, was to prepare the Way to miraculously redeem mortal souls, renewing them to the point of perfection. It remains Yahowah’s most wondrous, marvelous and extraordinary accomplishment.
The most revealing part of the verse is the Hebrew word, rapha’ym. Those who rise from the dead on Bikuwrym as a result of Matsah are “deceased souls who possess the Spirit.” It is the plural of rapha’ (רָפָא), speaking of those who are: “healed, mended, restored, repaired, and renewed.” The rapha’ are the “beneficiaries of redemption and its resulting restoration.” The rapha’ have been “reborn” in Yahowah’s Spirit. The rapha’ therefore represent the offspring of our Spiritual Mother—the union of God and man. It is the reason for the formula: six (for man) in addition to one (for God) equals seven (the perfect result intended by creation).
“Your loving kindness and goodness (checed – loyal and unending love, affection, mercy, and devotion based upon relationship and favor) shall be counted on and related, declared and rehearsed (caphar) in the grave (qeber), and Your fidelity and faithfulness (‘emunah – the state of being exacting, dependable, and resolute, honest and true) in the place of destruction (‘abaddown – the place where corrupt people perish, are exterminated, and vanish; from ‘abad, meaning to blot out and do away with in Divine judgment).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:11) Even in our darkest hour, even in the most horrid of circumstances, we can trust Yahowah and rely upon His mercy.
“Your marvelous and extraordinary wonders (pala’/pele’ – surpassing all human understanding and power) shall be known (yada’) in darkness and obscurity, and Your vindication, justification, and salvation (tsadaqah – justice and truth) in the realm (‘erets – world and land) of forgetfulness (nashyah – oblivion).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:12)
This means that Yahowah will be known even to the people who dwell in the land of Yisra’el, one of the darkest and most forgetful communities on earth. I remain astounded that the folks who witnessed Yah’s miracles, and who benefited from them, became deaf, dumb, and blind. But fortunately, a brighter day looms on the horizon.
Aware that the victory over death will be won, but also cognizant that His sacrifice is the reason for the miracle of reunification, the Suffering Servant agonized over the price He would pay on this day, the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread in 33 CE, to ransom mankind. “Unto God (‘el), I cried out for relief, requesting help (shawa’ – desperately imploring His aid), praying (taphilah) to come before and be received by (qadam) Yahowah ( ) in the morning (boqer – break of day, sunrise).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:13)
And so it would be: “Now late on the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for a messenger of Yahowah descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his garments as white as snow. He said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Yahowsha’ who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen.’” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 28:1-6)
While the miracle of the morning release from She’owl was predicted and fulfilled, the Ma’aseyah was still separated from Yahowah at the time He spoke these words, words which are echoed in Mizmowr 22:1, Mattanyah 27:46, and Mark 15:14: “Yahowah, why (lamah) cast off, reject, and spurn (zanach) My soul (nepesh), concealing (satar – vanishing so as to be unknown) Your presence (panym) from (min – out of and away from) Me?” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:14) The Suffering Servant knew the answer, so this question was for our benefit.
To be rapha’ym/a restored soul joined with Yahowah’s Spirit, we need to understand the nature of the sacrifice Yahowsha’ made on Pesach and Matsah, and appreciate why Yahowah’s presence, His Spirit, had to be removed from the Ma’aseyah before His soul could suffer the indignity of death and separation as a ransom for our redemption. This awareness represents the first two steps home.
He demonstrated sacrificial love, He did it for us, so that we might return to Him “Humbled, weak, and afflicted (‘any – completely unpretentious, devoid of arrogance, hubris, and pride; persecuted and pained, suffering great hardship), ready to die (gava’) in My youth (no’ar), I bear and carry away (nasa’) terrible horrors and dreadfully sick things (‘eymah).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:15)
Yahowsha’ said: “No greater love has one than this, that He lay down his life for his friends.” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 15:13)
Yahowsha’ did more than fulfill the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread; He explained it, revealing the source of the yeast which has to be cleansed from our mortal souls for us to live with Yahowah in the Promised Land. For this essential insight, let’s turn to the sixteenth chapter of Mattanyah.
“The Pharisees [conservative religious leaders] and Sadducees [liberal political leaders] came to test Yahowsha’, asking Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered, ‘When it is evening, you say, ‘Fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot for the signs of the times. A worthless and wicked (poneros – morally corrupt) adulteress (moichalis – unfaithful) generation seeks a sign, but I will not produce it, except for the sign of Yownah. Then He left them and went away....” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 16:1-4)
The entire Towrah had pointed directly to Him, but the religious and political leaders, being immoral adulterers with regard to their relationship with Yahowah, couldn’t, or wouldn’t, recognize or acknowledge this.
It is interesting to note, however, that the sign of Yownah is a fascinating study—one which takes considerable research into the texts of both the Tanakh and the Greek eyewitness accounts to understand. It was used to predict that Yahowsha’ would spend three days and three nights in the heart of the Land—in Jerusalem. And He did. He arrived on Thursday night to celebrate Passover, dining on lamb, breaking unleavened bread, and drinking wine with His disciples. On Friday, He became the Passover Lamb, and was nailed to an upright pole. On the Sabbath, He observed Unleavened Bread by paying the penalty of sin which is separation from God. Then after removing all forms of yeast from our souls, He celebrated FirstFruits and was spiritually reunited with Yah’s Spirit before the sun came up on the first day of the week. But He did not rise up to the Father, and thus leave Jerusalem, the heart of the Land, until that afternoon, when He was seen explaining the past three days to the men on the road to Emmaus from the perspective of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Therefore, His fulfillment of the first three Miqra’ey was the sign He was giving them.
“The disciples crossed to the other side, forgetting and neglecting to take a loaf of bread. Now Yahowsha’ said to them, ‘Pay attention and understand (horao – come to see this with your mind’s eye, learn and be aware of this, recognize this): Be alerted to and turn away from (prosecho apo – beware of, guard against, and distance yourself from) the yeast (zyme – leavening fungus) of the Pharisees (Pharisaoios – a transliteration of the Hebrew parash, meaning to separate, to pierce, and to scatter; they were a conservative, overtly religious order which observed the Oral Rabbinical Law) and Sadducees (Saddoukaios – a transliteration of the Hebrew sadah, meaning to lie in wait and to lay waste; they were a worldly-minded, liberal political party who promoted an enlightened aristocracy, who rejected the religious laws, and who promoted the immortality of all souls, regardless of their relationship with Yah, as well as manifest destiny).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 16:5-6)
So what we have revealed here for the first time, is an actual declaration of what the yeast being removed by the Miqra’ of Matsah, is actually comprised. And come to find out, it is the substance of religion and politics—the legacy of religious and political customs, traditions, laws, edicts, teachings, dogmas, and pontifications. Yahowsha’ asked His disciples to pay attention to this reality, to beware of it, and to flee from it.
“Reasoning and conversing (dialogizomai – thinking, discussing, and arguing) among themselves, they said that they had neither acquired nor received any (ou lambano) bread. Knowing this (ginosko – understanding and acknowledging this), Yahowsha’ said, ‘What (tis) kind of thinking is this (dialogizomai – from dia, meaning by way of, and logizomai logical reasoning)? You lack confidence and conviction (oligopistos – you are not trusting; from oligos, meaning you have little and diminished, pistis, conviction in the truth, trust and reliance) because (hoti) you don’t possess (echo) any bread? (Mattanyah / Yah Gives /Matthew 16:7-8)
Yahowsha’ had just illuminated one of the most profound truths to be found anywhere in His Word—that the corruption He removed from our souls on the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread was derived from religious and political schemes and their leaders, and yet His disciples were focused on not having something to eat. If it frustrates me, and it does because political and religious schemes still corrupt most every soul on earth, can you imagine Yahowsha’s reaction?
Until and unless, we remove religious and political corruptions from people’s minds, the seeds of truth won’t take root and grow. There was a reason that Yahowah’s initial request at the initiation of the Covenant was for Abraham to leave Babylon—the most religious and politicized place on Earth. There is a reason that Yahowsha’s final request at the end of His Revelation is the same: “Come out of Her [the Whore of Babylon], My people.”
It should also be noted that the reason Yahowsha’ admonished the disciples for their lack of trust, was that if they weren’t willing to rely on Him doing something as mundane as feeding them, how were they going to understand, and thus trust and rely on Him removing religious and political corruption from their souls on Unleavened Bread? Moreover, the primary reason Yahowah established the Towrah’s instructions on what was good and not good to eat, and the primary reason Yahowsha’ fed those listening to Him, was to affirm that the Word of God contains the spiritual nourishment we need to consume to be healthy and to grow with Yah.
“Can’t you (oupo – are you still unable or unwilling to) think (noeo – to direct your mind and be perceptive and judgmental, to reflect rationally and consider logically so as to comprehend and understand, to ponder and then reach a valid determination, to recognize and realize something thoughtfully)? Don’t you remember (mnemoneou – and recall) the five loaves of bread and the five thousand, and then how many baskets you received? Or the seven loaves of bread and the four thousand, and how many baskets you collected? (Mattanyah / Yah Gives /Matthew 16:9-10)
And therein lies the problem. Given the capacity to think, given a nesamah or conscience, far too many people don’t think. When Jews, Muslims, and Christians are confronted with irrefutable evidence that their religion is untrustworthy and unreliable, that it is false, they are either unwilling or unable to process the information or reasoning.
More important still, according to Scripture: we have to think our way to God. We have to be willing to change our perspective, to change our attitude, and then think differently. If we refuse to think, if we don’t observe and process sufficient accurate information and then make the proper conclusions by way of making connections, there is no way to understand Yahowah’s provision. And it is impossible to trust in something or someone you don’t actually know, making it impossible to rely on them.
Since we have been admonished to think, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that there was a reason for the thousand to one multiplier in both examples. It is yet another reinforcement of Yahowah’s plan where the seven days of creation equate to seven thousand years of human history upon which the seven Miqra’ey are manifest.
Yahowsha’ was blunt, unapologetically blunt: “How is it that you did not think so as to understand (noeo – use your mind to comprehend) that I was not speaking about a loaf of bread when I said ‘Be alerted to and turn away from (prosecho apo – beware of, guard against, and distance yourself from) the yeast (zyme – leavening fungus) of the Pharisees (the overtly religious leaders) and Sadducees (the worldly-minded, liberal political leaders)?” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 16:11)
There are few symbols more important than yeast, few days more essential than Unleavened Bread, and few lessons more essential than religious and political doctrines corrupt. Fortunately, once they were chided, the disciples came to recognize what politicized Christians fail to understand—even unto this day. There is an indivisible connection between the Towrah and Yahowsha’s life, between the delineation of the path to God and its enablement.
“Then they put the pieces together to be intelligent, and realized (syniemi – drew connections in their minds and come to understand) that He had not told them to be alerted to and turn away from (prosecho apo – to beware of, guard against, and distance ourselves from) the leavening yeast of bread, but instead (alla – to the contrary) to separate themselves from (apo) the doctrines and teachings (didache – the instructions, explanations, and discourses) of the Pharisees (the conservative religious leaders) and Sadducees (the worldly-minded, liberal political leaders).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 16:12)
Just as yeast is a metaphor, the seven Miqra’ey are signs, all designed to help us “see” God and recognize the path He has provided home. As we look at these signs then, let us not fall into the same trap Yahowsha’s disciples did, of being focused upon the mundane rather than the spiritual, and of not trusting Yah to do everything He has promised and more. Let us dig beneath the surface as we continue to explore what Yahowah is really teaching us through His Word.
In conclusion, the Miqra’ey of Pesach and Matsah point to a gift we need to accept if we want the Spirit to fill our void and make us whole, if we want to be cleansed of sin, and arrive before the Judge debt free.
Yahowsha’ represents unleavened bread. He had no yeast or sin corrupting Him so He became Yahowah’s perfect sacrifice. On the fifteenth of ‘Abyb, 33 CE, His flesh no longer lay in Joseph’s sepulcher. Like the Passover Lamb, His body had been broken for us, His blood had been shed on our behalf, and now that it had accomplished its mission, it was vaporized. Then His soul departed and was tortured in the Pit, paying the penalty we would otherwise have endured.
It is therefore little wonder the Ma’aseyah used the word “remembrance” when He spoke these words to His disciples at Passover: “Yahowsha’ said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired and longed to eat this particular Passover with you before I suffer affliction. For indeed, I say to you, I shall never again eat it until everything is completely fulfilled in the power and authority of Yahowah.’ And having taken some bread in a thankful manner, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This exists as My body given of My own accord concerning you and for your behalf. Celebrate and consider this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way, He took the cup and after they had eaten, said, ‘This cup which is poured out for you exists as the Covenant in My blood which is to be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Luke 22:15-20 / Mark 14:24 / Mattanyah 26:28)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a seven-day celebration, starting at sundown on Passover and ending on a special Sabbath. Although the Exodus record doesn’t say so, my guess is that the seventh day marked the Yisra’elites’ miraculous deliverance via the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of Egypt’s army. It was a defining moment: proof that their slavery was a thing of the past. It was proof that Yahowah was trustworthy and that reliance upon Him brought salvation.
Today, when we celebrate this now fulfilled Feast, we should eat Matsah, unleavened bread, during the week following Passover, breaking it in remembrance of our Savior. And we should study the Exodus story, celebrating our deliverance from the crucible of judgment. We should keep the night vigil reciting Songs 22 and 88, as well as Yasha’yahuw 53, agonizing over the price He paid to ransom us, while celebrating the fact He did it.