During the Exodus, Yahowah reinforced His seven-step plan for our salvation. The journey from human oppression to the Promised Land, and to camping out with God, begins on the fourteenth day of the first month with Pesach / Passover. This is immediately followed by Matsah / Unleavened Bread and Bikuwrym / FirstFruits. Our mortality is resolved on Passover, freeing us from its consequence—which is death. We are redeemed on Unleavened Bread, where a ransom is paid to deliver us from the penalty of sin—which is separation. The result, at least for those who observe the Towrah’s teaching in this regard, is to be adopted, born spiritually, into Yahowah’s family. It is God’s merciful gift to us, whereby the immortal and perfected are prepared to come into the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Seven Shabat later, on the Mow’ed Miqra’ / Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God of Shabuwa’ / Sevens, a grand party is held where everyone is invited regardless of race, gender, age, or social status. Those who have answered the invitations, and who are the beneficiaries of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym are enveloped in Yahowah’s Set-Apart Spirit, enriching, enlightening, and empowering us to become witnesses to the other guests, and then to the world.
On the first day of the seventh month, on the Mow’ed Miqra’ of Taruw’ah / Trumpets, Yahowah’s Spirit-filled troubadours are called to signal a warning and to shout for joy. The caveat is for those who are unaware of the relevance of these meetings, and for those who do not know that their attendance at the next one, Yowm Kippurym, is a life or death decision. And the joyous music is in hopeful anticipation that many will answer the call and enjoy God’s company—now and forever.
Ten days later, on the Day of Reconciliations, all humankind is given a choice. We can come into the presence of our Spiritual Mother and be spiritually reborn into Yahowah’s family, living eternally with our Heavenly Father in His home, or we can choose not to attend the meeting, either by simply ignoring the summons, or worse, rejecting it. The consequence, according to our Creator and Judge, is that upon their death, the souls of such individuals will cease to exist. The message is simple and fair: if you do not value God sufficiently to answer His call to life, He will respond in kind. There will be nothing beyond death.
The conclusion of Yahowah’s seven-step plan of salvation occurs five days later during the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God on Sukah / Shelters. This Festival Feast, known as “Tabernacles,” “Booths,” and “Tents,” is a time where we get to campout with Yahowah. It depicts eternal life with our Heavenly Father.
Sadly, while each religion claims that the Torah was inspired by God, there isn’t one Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or Mormon in a million who answers Yahowah’s invitation to attend any of these annual meetings. The preponderance of believers don’t know God’s name, the names of the Festivals, or understand the role the Mow’ed Miqra’ey play in our salvation. They don’t know that they provide the lone, narrow, unpopular, and seldom traveled path to eternal life in our Heavenly Father’s family and home. Worse still, as a direct result of deliberate religious concealment, corruption, and counterfeiting, the overwhelming majority of these same people celebrate holidays in their place which were conceived in the pagan milieu of Babylon.
It is little wonder that Christians believe that “Jesus Christ” ushered in a new religion on behalf of “the Lord, God” with his birth on Christmas Day, his triumphal arrival on Palm Sunday, his celebration of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday with its initiation of the Eucharist, leading to their god’s death on a pagan cross on Good Friday, a bodily resurrection from hell on Easter Sunday, with weekly worship observances religiously attended every Sunday thereafter throughout the year. The problem with this scenario is that each of these religious aberrations were born and bred in Babylon, and none harmonize with Yahowah’s testimony. Christendom is wrong, and the consequence is deadly.
All religions, from Hinduism to Socialist Secular Humanism, are man-made constructs designed to empower and enrich clerics, kings, elitists, and merchants by bewildering the masses. The tools of confusion are concealment, corruption, and counterfeit—with the latter being the most beguiling. Just as a counterfeit bill is crafted to appear genuine, but is actually worthless, imbedded within the pagan celebrations of Christmas and Easter, there are sufficient Scriptural strokes to fool the casual observer into believing that they are godly. But in fact, these Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman inspired solar nativity, mother of god, Winter Solstice, and Spring Equinox based death and rebirth festivals are worse than worthless, because they mislead and conceal the rightful path to God.
So that you will not be led astray, let’s turn to Yahowah’s Towrah teaching and consider God’s presentation of His Plan of Salvation. His testimony regarding His Mow’ed Miqra’ey began with:
“And (wa) Yahowah ( ) spoke these words (dabar – communicated these statements) to (‘el – as Almighty God to) Moseh (Moseh – from mashah, one who draws us out), in order to (la) promise and say (‘amar – answer and declare), ‘Please convey the Word (dabar – scribed in the piel stem and imperative mood, God actually said: I want you to communicate this message under the auspices of freewill, knowing that My Word will achieve the desired result) of God on behalf of (‘el) the Children (beny) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – from ‘ysh sarah and ‘el, individuals who engage and endure with God).
And so (wa) you should literally and completely convey (‘amar – scribed in the qal stem and perfect conjugation which tells us that these instructions pertain to a relationship, that they should be literally interpreted, that they speak of actual events, promises which are whole and complete throughout time, saying) to them that these Godly (‘el) 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 ( ), which are (‘asher – fortuitous blessings associated with the relationship and are) Set-Apart (qodesh – separating, cleansing, and purifying) Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet (miqra’ey – an assembly to communicate a specific purpose; from qara’, to call out, to read, and recite, to meet, to greet, and to welcome), to be near them (‘eth – and with them), shall be continuously proclaimed by you (qara’ – scribed using the qal stem and imperfect conjugation to say: you shall actually and always, genuinely throughout time, called out, read aloud, and recite this as invitations to meet) as they are My Godly Appointed Meeting Times (‘eleh hem mow’ed – because they represent My fixed assembly and betrothal appointments, My festival feasts at My designated place and time and for the purpose which I assign).’” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:1-2)
There are four names listed in this essential passage. Yahowah is God’s name—His one and only personal and proper name. It means “I Am,” and “I Exist.” As such, it answers the most important question in the universe: Is there a God?
Following the example of the Exodus, our salvation begins with knowing that Yahowah has come to rescue us. More important still, the Mow’ed Miqra’ey / Invitations to Meet and to be Called Out are Yahowah’s. They are not “Jewish religious holidays” the rest of us can ignore. They belong to God. And they were designated for a specific purpose: to call us out of this world so that we could be welcomed into God’s realm.
Moseh was named “to draw out” because he was drawn out of the Nile and rescued by one of Pharaoh’s daughters when he was just a child. In life, Yahowah would use Moseh to draw His people out of the crucible of religious and political oppression, an act which would serve as a historical portrait of the means to salvation for all people and for all time. The path home is depicted in the words and deeds of Yahowah as they were enacted and recorded by Moseh.
The initial beneficiaries of this fortuitous gift were the Children of Yisra’el. Our Heavenly Father’s purpose on Earth is to build a family and to bring His children home. Yisra’el specifies which children are admitted to the Promised Land. Ysh is Hebrew for “individual.” ‘El is Yahowah’s title, meaning the “Almighty God.” Sarah defines the substance which connects us. It’s the additive element in Yah’s salvation formula: six (the number of man) in addition to One (the number of God) equates to seven (completion, rest, and reflection as depicted in the Sabbath). So if we want to be with Yahowah, we need to sarah: “engage and endure with, strive and struggle with, persist and persevere with” ‘el / God.
Some of the descriptive words presented in the list of definitions pertaining to sarah may seem unexpected, so let’s linger here a while. To begin, the primary meaning of “strive” is “to devote serious effort or energy into something.” It means “to exert oneself.” Those who prioritize their relationship with God and invest time in His Towrah and Covenant, become His children. This is the spiritual essence of the Second of Seven Instructions Yahowah etched in stone. In this Instruction, the operative word regarding our attitude toward our Heavenly Father and Spiritual Mother is kabed, meaning “significant.” The message is: if we consider God to be a priority in our lives, we will be a priority to Him, and as a result, we will live with Him for a long time in the Promised Land.
The cornerstone of Yahowah’s Covenant with Abraham came in the form of a simple request: Walk away from Babylon and walk to Me. Walking with someone requires effort. If we want to be God’s children, we have to engage. While Yahowah isn’t asking a lot of us, He is insistent that we stand up, step toward Him, and journey along life’s way in His company.
The second synonym associated with sarah, is “struggle.” It is something we don’t often consider in reference to God. It means that we can wrestle with God, as sons might with their own fathers, and even argue with Him as Abraham did. More importantly, it conveys the idea that this is a reciprocal relationship where we are encouraged to invest the effort required to challenge the obstacles life throws in our path with God’s help. Life in man’s corrupt world is a struggle, which is why the Sabbath calls for and promises a “day of rest.”
Sarah’s third definitive term, “persist,” is related to the fifth, “persevere.” To persist is “to take a stand, standing firm, and being resolute in spite of any conflicting opportunities or resistance.” If we maintain this attitude and character in our relationship with Yahowah, then “we will continue to exist” in His presence. Likewise, to “persevere” is “to stay the course in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement—to be steadfast.” The uniting theme of the Covenant is that Yahowah stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. Reinforcing this thought, in His instructions regarding the Covenant, after God asked Abraham to walk away from corrupting human influences, He asked him to trust in Him and to rely upon Him. And that is because Yahowah’s Covenant promise is to enable those who engage to endure eternally with Him.
But since we are weak and mortal, to “endure” we need to be “empowered by” God. And that is why two of the three times sarah appears in Scripture apart from Yisra’el, it is rendered “to have power and to be empowered.” When we are born spiritually into Yah’s family, we gain direct access to His power, authority, and ability. Most important of all, through Him we gain power over death itself.
Therefore, all who “stand up and step toward God, who devote serious effort and energy into their Covenant relationship with Him, who prioritize Him and remain steadfast, who engage with Him as they would with their own fathers, wrestling their way through life’s challenges together, and those who endure because they are empowered by Him” are God’s children. We are Yisra’el. This message is for us.
In that light, the story Yahowah was communicating to the Children of Yisra’el was emblazoned in the fourth name in His list: Mow’ed Miqra’ey. The primary meaning of mow’ed is “a designated meeting time with an appointed assembly place.” The secondary connotation is “a festival celebration whose purpose is designated by an authority.” Its third definition is “betrothal,” and as such it is related to “marriage.” Mow’ed is derived from ya’ad, meaning “to appoint a fixed assembly meeting.”
Miqra’ey is the plural of miqra’. These Miqra’ey are “invitations to meet and to be Called Out, assembling together with” God. The Miqra’ey are “gatherings for the purpose of reading and reciting,” His Word, and they are designed to “communicate signs and symbols which welcome us into the company of” Yahowah. So in a name, we have the purpose. The Mow’ed Miqra’ey are invitations to meet with God. They are designated meeting times for the Called Out. They are a summons to read and recite the Word, thereby bringing Yah’s family together.
Please note before we move on, mow’ed was repeated two times in this sentence because timing is always important to Yahowah. God’s plan unfolds in a specific order, and on very specific schedule. He is neither ambivalent nor flexible in this regard. He wants us to know these times. He wants us to keep these appointments. It is His desire that we come to appreciate their contribution to our salvation.
The four names Yahowah selected in His opening stanza regarding the Invitations to Meet and to be Called Out were nestled between three communicative terms. Dabar, the Hebrew word for “word,” appears twice in this introductory sentence because the Ma’aseyah and the Set-Apar Spirit working together fulfilled, enabled, and explained the promises associated with these Words. The Mow’ed Miqra’ey predict and describe the role the Spirit and Son played to enable our salvation.
‘Amar, meaning “to engage in conversation and to convey a promise,” is also used twice because the purpose of the Miqra’ey is to convey God’s purpose and plan. During these called-out meetings we are to communicate the way home by reading and reciting the Word.
Third, qara’, which means “to proclaim and to call out,” “to read and to recite,” as well as to invite, to summon, to meet, to welcome, and to greet,” was deployed in this declarative statement to make sure that we wouldn’t miss the fact that qara’, as the root of Miqra’, reveals the purpose and promise of these days.
While this is already a lot to understand, we can learn even more when we consider the Hebrew tenses Yahowah used to convey this message to Moseh. For example, dabar, translated “please convey the Word” was written in the piel stem. This means that the Word of God will act upon and influence the Children of Yisra’el bringing about the desired result. And with the imperative mood, we discover that Yah is expressing His will, and that this exhortation is subject to freewill.
Moving on to ‘amar, rendered “you should literally and completely convey,” it was scribed in the qal stem, and as such, this relational testimony must be interpreted literally. God is therefore speaking of actual events pertaining to the Covenant relationship. More than this, by conjugating it in the perfect, we learn that the promise inherent in this message, in these meetings, conveys a total and complete solution, lacking nothing. Everything which needs to be done to achieve the desired result, which is for us to meet with God, will be accomplished by Him.
The most important verb in this declarative statement was qara’, translated: “shall be continuously proclaimed by you.” Written using the qal stem and imperfect conjugation, this is something that we are being asked to do on behalf of the relationship forever. And also, there are actual ongoing and unfolding benefits associated with these Invitations to Meet and be Called Out by God.
Lastly, as those of you who have read An Introduction to God already know, Hebrew tenses are not stuck in time. There is no past, present, or future tense in Hebrew. Everything Yah says was true, is true, and always will remain true. Yahowah’s Word is just like Yahowah, Himself.
Recognizing these things, and as a reminder, God revealed: “And (wa) Yahowah ( ) spoke these words (dabar) to (‘el) Moseh, the one who draws us out (Moseh), in order to (la) promise and say (‘amar), ‘I want you to communicate this message of God under the auspices of freewill, knowing that My Word will achieve the desired result by on behalf of (dabar ‘el) the Children (beny) of Yisra’el, those individuals who engage and endure with God (Yisra’el). And so (wa) you should literally and completely convey these instructions pertaining to the relationship, that they should be literally interpreted, that they speak of actual events, and that the promises are whole and complete throughout time, saying (‘amar) to them that these Godly (‘el) Appointed and Fixed Meeting Times for Festival Feasts (mow’ed) of Yahowah ( ), are fortuitous blessings associated with the relationship and are (‘asher) Set-Apart, separating, cleansing, and purifying (qodesh) Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet (miqra’ey), to be near them and to be with them (‘eth), so they should be continuously proclaimed by you throughout time (qara’) as they are My Godly Appointed Meeting Times for the purpose I have assigned to them (‘eleh hem mow’ed).’” (Qara’ / Called Out 23:1-2)
Next, Yahowah equates the six-plus-one plan enshrined in the Mow’ed Miqra’ey, with how His work concludes with a restful time where we campout with Him. He is thereby affirming the purpose of the Sabbath—albeit with an insightful twist. Here God is describing the result of the Mow’ed Miqra’ey, telling us who is behind them, while at the same time predicting how they will play out over the course of seven thousand years.
“Six (shesh – addressing the need of mankind who was created on the sixth day to be bleached and then dressed in white linen in order to appear before God) days (yowmym) She shall consistently and actually engage in (‘asar – She shall literally and continually act upon and cause (niphal stem imperfect conjugation)) the service of the Spiritual Messenger (mala’kah – the work of the mal’ak – the heavenly representative and messenger of God). And then (wa) in (ba) the (ha) seventh (shaby’y – speaking of a promise) day (yowm) there will be a Sabbath (shabat – time of rest and reflection based upon the formula of six plus one equates to seven, where once all debts have been settled, we can settle down with God), a Set-Apart (qodesh – separating, cleansing, and purifying) Invitation to Meet and to be Called Out (Miqra’ – an assembly to communicate, to welcome and greet one another, and a summons to read and to recite the Word) as a Shabathown (Shabathown – a time which reflects the message, purpose, and benefit of the Shabat – of Yah’s plan of salvation).
Everything associated with (kol) the service of the Spiritual Messenger (mala’kah – the work of the mal’ak – the heavenly representative and messenger of God) you shall not (lo’) ever engage in or actually do (‘asah – you shall not attempt to accomplish or perform (qal imperfect)). Her (hy’) Sabbath (shabat – time of rest and reflection based upon the formula of six plus one equates to seven, where once all debts have been settled we can settle down with God) is the goal of (la – is an extension of and brings you to) Yahowah’s ( ) in (ba) all of (kol) your dwelling places throughout time (mowshab – wherever and whenever you live).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:3)
In Qara’ 23, Yahowah is introducing and explaining the seven annual Meetings which comprise the path we are invited to walk from our corrupt world to His home. Therefore, if we want to understand this affirmation of the Shabat, and why it was included in this testimony, we must consider the role of the Shabat plays in God’s plan and in our salvation.
From this perspective, nearly “six days” representing six thousand years, have transpired since Adam and Chawah severed their Covenant relationship with Yahowah. And so during the ensuing period, Yahowah’s Set-Apart Spirit has been working to reconcile our relationship. Her job is nearly finished, and will be concluded upon Yahowsha’s return in Year 6000 Yah on the Day of Reconciliations. And that is why the “seventh day,” representing years 6000 to 7000 Yah, are depicted as a “Qodesh Shabathown Miqra’.” God is speaking of the conclusion and purpose of His Miqra’ey, which is to invite and welcome us into His company so that once called out of this world, we can live together. This Qodesh Shabathown Miqra’ is therefore invocative of the thousand-year celebration of Sukah, known as the Millennial Sabbath, were we are restored to fellowship with Yahowah so that we can campout together in perfect peace.
These Shabathown represent the special Sabbaths designated in Yahowah’s Miqra’ey. There is a Shabathown associated with Taruw’ah and two assigned to Sukah, marking the first and eighth days of the concluding Festival Feast. Recognizing that Taruw’ah is designed to call our attention to the Day of Reconciliation which makes Shelters possible, and that Sukah begins and ends in a Shabathown, the unique purpose of Shelters is defined by these associations.
Unlike the weekly Shabat which always occur on the seventh day, a Shabathown can fall on any day during the week. So by linking the Shabat and Shabathown with the Miqra’ey, Yahowah is telling us that these days convey a unified plan—a plan which prevails wherever and whenever we may be.
Moreover, God consistently presents His Shabat in conjunction with “mala’kah – the work of His Spiritual Messenger.” Yah has committed to accomplish what is required for us to be with Him. Yahowsha’ and the Set-Apart Spirit serve as the “mala’kah,” fulfilling and enabling Yahowah’s Towrah promises” relative to the Covenant and our salvation.
It is constructive to note the subtle differences between what we just read and what Yahowah etched in stone as the First Instruction on the Second Tablet. On it, and unlike the Miqra’ey presentation of the Shabat, the initial reference to “work” is rendered with ‘abad, not mala’kah. With His own hand Yah wrote: “Remember (zakar – recall, reflect upon, recognize, and be earnestly mindful) that the Sabbath (‘eth ha shabat – the seventh day, the time of promise where our debts are settled so we can settle down with Him based upon the oath of the) day (yowm) is set apart (qadash – is separated unto God for purifying and cleansing and thus special). (Shemowth / Names 20:8)
Six (shesh – speaking of that which is bleached white or adorned in fine linen) days (yowmym) you can actually and continuously work (‘abad – you can engage in labor) and (wa) you can genuinely act upon the totality of (‘asah – you can do all of, prepare and produce the full extent of, fashion and finish, advance, assign, and accomplish, institute, and celebrate (qal stem perfect conjugation)) all of (kol – the entirety of) your service of representing the Messenger and proclaiming the Spiritual Message (mala’kah – your usefulness as a spiritual envoy; from mal’ak – spiritual messenger and heavenly envoy). (Shemowth / Names 20:9)
While we have already addressed the difference between the Tablet and Miqra’ version of the Shabat, the more familiar we are with Yah’s formula and plan, the more likely it is that we will understand. So here is the rest of what Yahowah etched in stone...
But (wa) the seventh (shaby’y) day (yowm), the Shabat (ha shabat) of (la) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), you should never actually engage in (lo’ ‘asah) any part of (kol) the work of God’s Representative and Messenger (mala’kah) yourself (‘atah), your son (ben), your daughter (bat), your male and female servants and staff (‘ebed wa ‘amah), your means of production (behemah), as well as (wa) those visitors (ger) who relationally (‘asher) are in your home, property, or community (ba sa’ar). (20:10) For indeed (ky) in six (shesh) days (yowmym) Yahowah ( ) acted and engaged, preparing and producing everything associated with completing (‘asah) accordingly (‘eth) the spiritual realm and heavens (ha shamaym) and the earth (wa ha ‘erets), and the seas (wa ha yam), and all (kol) which relationally (‘asher) is in them (ba). And (wa) He became completely settled and He rested after settling all unresolved issues (nuwach) during (ba) the Almighty’s seventh (ha shaby’y ‘al) day (yowm). Therefore (ken), Yahowah ( ) blessed and adored (barak) everything associated with this day (‘eth ha yowm), the Sabbath (ha shabat), setting it apart (qodesh).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:10-11)
The reason that these presentations of the Shabat differ is because the subject is different. On the Tablet Yahowah asked us not to do any of the work of the mala’kah, and in the Towrah He is telling us that the Set-Apart Spirit is responsible for providing this service. The perspective is also different. In the Tablet Yah is providing the guidance we need to walk to Him. And in the Towrah He is explaining what it will be like to live with Him while revealing when our reconciliation will occur.
Based upon these insights, we know that the Miqra’ey present the collective work of Yahowsha’ and the Set-Apart Spirit on our behalf. They include special days set apart from the rest for reflection regarding what Yahowah has done for us. The Miqra’ey follow the same six-plus-one model established in stone pursuant to the Shabat. The message of both the Miqra’ey and the Shabat is that we cannot work for our salvation. Yahowah, Himself, has provided the way home.
After making this comparison, one which also served to establish His prophetic timeline, Yahowah said...
“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)
The Interlinear of the Hebrew-English Old Testament published by the NIV, provides a slightly different, and yet valid rendering: “These called-out assemblies of Yahowah, these set-apart Assemblies, you must proclaim them at their appointed time.” This is so clear, so unambiguous, so vital, I am perplexed as to how Christendom has managed to completely disregard it.
We are being called out of the world of religion and patriotism to meet directly with God. Yahowah has invited us into His company. The Miqra’ey provide the path by which we are prepared to approach our Heavenly Father. And as with all things Yah, an announcement has been made, the terms have been defined, a schedule has been set, and the instructions have been clearly delineated.
The first Mow’ed Miqra’ is Yahowah’s Passover. “In (ba) the (ha) first (ri’shown – and foremost) month (chodesh – time of renewal) [Abyb – the month young barley ears form and green], 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 (la – to move toward and to approach) Yahowah ( ).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:5)
Pesach enables God to pass over, or overlook, our sin, while still remaining just. This merciful provision is celebrated two sets of seven days into the “ri’shown chodesh – foremost time of renewal.” And the Miqra’ commences and concludes at sundown. The reason for this is so that Yahowsha’ would be able to observe its symbolism and fulfill its promise. He celebrated the Pesach meal with His Disciples beginning at sundown, and yet before the sun would set on the fourteenth day He, Himself, would serve as the Passover Lamb.
The primary meaning of Hebrew word vocalized either byn or bayn, isn’t “at” or “between,” even “an interval of time,” as it is typically rendered in most bible translations. Instead, it describes the purpose of the Towrah and of this specific instruction: “as a result of teaching and instruction to comprehend the information which has been conveyed so as to understand the directions and guidance.” Byn implies “being observant, looking carefully and closely, being perceptive and discerning, and then coming to know and ultimately to understand.” Byn is all about “comprehension.” Yahowah wants us to “shamar towrah – observe, examine, and consider His teaching, instruction, guidance, and directions” so that we come to “byn – know and understand” what He is offering.
Those who observe Yahowah’s Pesach instructions, who understand what God is offering, and who respond appropriately to His invitation, are spared by Yahowah’s actions. He has provided immunity for us by allowing our sin to be passed over without consequence.
Now that we know that a little word like byn can make an enormous difference, what about the preposition la, which is most often translated “to.” In this passage, la connects Yahowah to Pesach. This conveys much more than just that these Passover instructions are “according to” Yahowah. God is telling us that Passover “is the way to move toward and approach” Him.
And should you be wondering the reason why Yahowah didn’t identify when the first month of the year would commence on this occasion, it was because He had already done so. This was not the first announcement of Passover. And that is also why nothing more about Passover is said at this time. Yahowah has already told us most of what we need to know.
A Yowbel of days before the Towrah was revealed to Moseh on Mount Horeb, the Children of Yisra’el had personally experienced Passover. Let’s pick up their story with the announcement of the first official observance of Passover.
“In addition (wa) Yahowah ( ) spoke (‘amar – communicated) to (‘el – as God to) Moseh (Moseh – one who draws us out) and to (wa ‘el – and as God to) ‘Aharown (‘Aharown – source of light and choice and thus representing enlightened freewill) in the realm (ba ha ‘erets – in the land and nation) of the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – serving a metaphor for human religious and political oppression and divine judgment), for the purpose of saying (la ‘amar – in an effort to be with them by conveying and promising), ‘This (zeh) month (ha chodesh – time when light is restored to the moon) shall be your first and foremost (la ro’sh – your beginning and most important) time of renewal (chodesh - month). It shall be for you and on your behalf (huw’ la la) the first (ri’shown – initial and foremost) month (chodesh) of the year (ha sanah – time of change).’” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:1-2)
Chodesh, sometimes vocalized as chadash, conveys an essential message with regard to the Mowed Miqra’ey. It means “to renew, to make anew, to repair, and to restore” in addition to designating the “first day of a new lunar month when the initial sliver of a crescent reappears.” The designated purpose of these “Miqra’ey – Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet” with God is to renew our souls, restoring us so that we are prepared to fellowship with Yahowah. And they occur at very specific times, which is why it was important to know how to establish a calendar which was in sync with the Almighty’s. Prior to mechanization and mass communication, the only reliable means of achieving this was by way of the moon phases.
Yahowah had already established the time of year, saying in Qara’ / Exodus 9:31 that the barley crop was ‘abyb, meaning “formed in the ear and yet still green and moist.” Since barley is one of the first grains to flower each year, this occurs annually in the Spring, most commonly near the Vernal Equinox. By selecting the new moon which most closely corresponds to this time, the beginning of the year could be readily established.
However, since a lunar year is just 12 months of 29.5 days (or 354 days per year), it had to be adjusted by adding a thirteenth month every two to three years on average. This procedure was remarkably accurate, making the average Hebrew year over any significant span of time 365.2468 days long, compared to the Gregorian year of 365.2425 days in duration. This was accomplished based solely upon whether the barley was ‘abyb when the first crescent moon of the Spring was sighted. (Since there isn’t a handy barley farmer in proximity to most of Yahowah’s children today, we can calibrate our year to God’s by starting it with the first crescent closest to the Vernal Equinox.)
“Speak (dabar) to (‘el) the entire (kol) witnessing community of (‘edah – assembly for the purpose of providing testimony regarding) the Children (ben - sons) of Yisra’el (‘ysh sarah ‘el – those who strive and struggle with, those who persist and endure with, those who engage and persevere with and are empowered by God), to say (la ‘amar), ‘On (ba – in) the tenth (ha ‘asowr) of this month (zeh ha chodesh – of this moon’s renewal) accordingly (la – to approach) each individual (‘ysh – each person) shall obtain (laqah – shall select, grasp hold of, and receive (qal imperfect requiring a literal interpretation with ongoing consequences)) on their behalf (la – for them) a male lamb (seh) for himself and his home (la beyth – on behalf of their household and family)—a lamb (seh) according to (la) their father’s (‘ab) households (beyth – homes and family).’” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:1-3) (“Children of” isn’t found in the MT but is written in the DSS. Likewise, the end of the 3rd verse was predicated on 4QpaleoGen-Exod rather than on the Masoretic.)
‘Edah, translated “witnessing community,” also means “to provide testimony and evidence,” and thus it describes the role Moseh and the Yisra’elites would play in the revelation of Yahowah’s nature and plan through His Towrah. More telling still, the same three Hebrew letters vocalized ‘adah, convey the purpose of the assembly, which is to “remove and take away” sin by way of the “pass over.”
You’ll also note that there is a direct association between Passover and “beyth – family and home.” Pesach is the Door of Yahowah’s Home, providing access to His family.
Also, God is telling us that on the tenth day of the first month, four days before Passover, the Lamb shall be selected and brought into the home. Yahowsha’ would observe these instructions, arriving in Yaruwshalaim four days prior to Pesach. This instruction was designed to vividly convey the price the lamb would pay to free us from the consequence of sin. During this time, the family would become familiar with the lamb, just as we came to know Yahowsha’ prior to His sacrifice.
There are four lessons we can learn from this next passage. “And if (wa ‘im) the household (ha beyth – the home and family) is too small (ma’at – is too few and impoverished) to endure (hayah – to exist with) with a lamb (min seh), then (wa) he (huw’) and his neighbor (wa shaken) who is near (qarowb – with who is closely related to) the Almighty’s family (‘el beyth – God’s home and household) shall share (laqah – obtain and receive) in accordance with the number (ba mikcah – quantity and value) of individual (‘ysh) souls (nepesh), according to (la) the mouths (peh) to feed (‘akal) in computing the number (kacac – in determining and figuring out the quantity) of lamb (‘al ha seh).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:4)
First, God doesn’t want us investing more than we can afford into this relationship. He never wants us to have any reason to believe that we are making a sacrifice to appease Him. Because in fact, God is the one making the sacrifice on Pesach.
The concern over the number of mouths to be fed affirms that Passover isn’t a sacrifice in the sense that we are giving something of value to God. It is instead is a feast, where we enjoy a meal together.
Second, we are asked to be neighborly and sociable, helping others out while enjoying their company. That is the nature of a party. The Mow’ed Miqra’ey are “chag – celebrations, festivals, and feasts.”
Third, Passover is to be celebrated as a family. Yahowah wants our experience to model His plan and purpose. He wants us to embrace His “beryth – family-oriented Covenant relationship.”
Fourth, the benefit of Passover is the survival of our soul, which is why the number of nepesh/souls was important to God. Yahowah did not reference the “number of bodies,” because Passover isn’t about restoring or resurrecting a body. It was Yahowsha’s soul which was raised from She’owl, not His body from the grave.
Yahowah said: “The lamb (seh) shall exist as (hayah) an unblemished (tamym – without defect, a perfect, blameless, and innocent) male (zakar – to encourage remembrance) son (ben), a year old (shanah). He shall be (hayah – he will actually, always, and continually be (qal imperfect)) for you (la – on your behalf) actually taken (laqah – consistently obtained and received (qal imperfect)) from (min) the male lambs (ha kebes – rams) or from (wa min) the female goats (ha ‘ez – the she goats).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:5)
Since there is no such thing as a “tamym – perfect” lamb, we are compelled to consider why Yahowah selected this term. And the answer is found in Bare’syth 17:1: “And Yahowah appeared as God to ‘Abram. And He said to him, ‘I Am God Almighty. Choose of your own volition to walk (halak) to (la) My presence (paneh) and come to be (hayah) perfect (tamym).’” Here, Yahowah is addressing the result of choosing to walk to Him along the path He has provided – the first step of which is Pesach. When we answer God’s call and respond by walking these seven steps we come to appear “tamym – perfect” in our Heavenly Father’s eyes, and that is the only perspective which matters relative to our salvation. So this path which begins with Passover perfects us. The perfect lamb, therefore, leads the way. And most especially, this Perfect Lamb is the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ – the perfect example of the Towrah who taught us how to become perfect.
The kebes/ram, seh/male lamb, and ben/son who is “tamym/unblemished, blameless, innocent, and perfect” is a stand in for the Son of God, the Sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. Relying upon the work that He did on our behalf during the first three Miqra’ey opens the door to our salvation.
The Hebrew word ‘ez, translated “female goats” above, is symbolic of our Spiritual Mother. She also plays a crucial role in our spiritual transformation and reconciliation with God. Vocalized ‘oz, the term conveys “great power and strength,” as well as describing “a reliable fortification.” ‘Ez and ‘oz are derived from ‘azaz, meaning “to be strengthened, to be empowered, to be made strong, and to prevail.” These represent the benefits of the Covenant and of being reborn by way of the Set-Apart Spirit into our Heavenly Father’s family.
“And he shall be for you, existing on your behalf (wa hayah la), to be kept, cared for, and observed (la mishmereth – to be watched over as your responsibly) until (‘ad) the fourteenth (‘asar ‘arba’) day (yowm) of this (la zeh) month (ha chodesh – time of renewal).
And (wa) the entire (kol) community (qahal – assembly) of witnesses (‘edah – who provide testimony on behalf) of the Children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) shall take his life (shahat ‘eth – shall slaughter him) to encourage understanding around (byn / bayn – to promote understanding near or in the vicinity of) sundown (‘ereb – sunset, twilight, dusk, or early evening).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:6)
It bears repeating: God wanted His people to come to know the Lamb. He wanted them to observe Him. He wanted them to recognize and remember the price that would be paid to exonerate them for their sins. By having it arrive four days before Passover, the family would become familiar with the lamb before they slaughtered it. In the same way, Yahowah wanted the Yahuwdym to become familiar with Yahowsha’ before they called for His murder on Pesach—four days after Daniel’s prophecies predict and the eyewitnesses report that the Sacrificial Lamb of God walked into Yaruwshalaim to fulfill the Towrah. All of this was designed help us “zakar – remember” and “byn – understand” this “‘edah – testimony.”
If that were not enough, every word of what follows is also dripping with portent...
“And they should actually choose to take (wa laqah – and so then they should genuinely opt of their own volition to totally grasp hold of, obtain, and completely receive (the qal stem conveys reality, the perfect conjugation denotes completeness, and consecutive form expresses volition)) some of (min – from and part of) the blood (ha dam) and place it (natan – offer, entrust, dedicate, devote, and give it) upon (‘al ) the two (shanaym – both sides of the) upright pillars of the doorway (ha mazuwzah – door posts, framework of the doorway, the jam, or the standing pedestals) and also (wa) upon (‘al) the lintel (ha mashqowph – the upper post or crosspiece of a doorframe; from shaqaph, meaning that which looks out, looks down, or overlooks) upon (‘al) the (ha) homes (ha beyth – the houses, households, and families) where beneficially and on behalf of the relationship (‘asher) you eat (‘akal – feed upon and consume) it (‘eth) inside (ba).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:7)
Perhaps the most important aspect of this instruction is a derivative of the unique nature of Hebrew tenses. By conveying laqah in the qal perfect consecutive, we learn that the decision to observe Pesach in accordance with Yahowah’s directions is our choice. Participation in the Miqra’ey fall under the auspices of freewill. All God asks is that our responses be genuine and that we buy in completely to the solution He is offering.
A portion of Yahowsha’s blood, the perfect Sacrificial Lamb of God, oozed from His wrists onto the lintel, while more of it poured from the piercings in His feet onto the upright pillar upon which He was hung. It was shed so that we might become immortal, thereby celebrating endless feasts in our Heavenly Father’s home.
Mazuwzah, translated “upright pillars of the doorway” can also be rendered as “the framework upon which a door or gate is anchored and hinged.” This is important because the mazuwzah represents the narrow gate through which we must pass to live with God. It is “anchored and hinged” on Passover. Simply stated, Pesach is the doorway to eternal life and to God’s Home.
The most closely related words to mazuwzah include: mazzown, meaning “provision,” indicating that Pesach is Yahowah’s provision for life. Mezah is a “safe harbor, a place protected from the elements”—just as Yahowah used the Passover to protect His family. And mezew means “to gather in and harvest grain,”—something which is symbolic of the FirstFruits harvest which follows.
Before we leave this passage focused upon the “mazuwzah – upright pillars of the doorway,” I’d be remiss if I didn’t reinforce the association of this Door with the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. While He revealed the following insight regarding the Laodiceans to Yahowchanan in Hebrew, the Greek translation of this association reads: “Behold (idou – indeed, look and see), I put in place, I established, paid for, maintain, acknowledge the validity of, recommend, and stand upright so as to enable others to stand at (histemi – I authorize, abide by, and continue to be present at; [recognize that histemi is the root of stauros, or upright pole, errantly translated cross]) the door (thura – the portal, entrance, opening, and gate) and knock. If anyone (tis – as an individual) hears and pays attention to (akouo – receives this notice and understands) My voice (phone – words) and opens (anoigo) the door (thura – portal), I will come into (eiserchomai – from eis, meaning into or unto and erchomai, meaning come and become known, establish and influence, ultimately raising) him, and will enjoy a feast [speaking of the Chag Festivals which comprise the Miqra’ey] with (meta) him, and he with Me. To him who prevails (nikao) I give to them the gift of (didomi) sitting down (kathizo) with Me on My throne (thronos – seat of authority and power), as I also (kago) prevailed, and even as (hos – in the same way as) I Am sitting (kathizo) with (meta) My Father on His throne (thronos). He who can hear, let him listen to what the Spirit says to those who are called out (ekklesia).’” (Revelation 3:20-22) Yahowsha’ opens Pesach’s Door to Yahowah’s Home.
The reason Yahowah wanted the Yahuwdym to eat the lamb, was so that they would understand that the sacrifice wasn’t a gift to God, or a service to Him, but instead something for them to benefit from, to be nurtured by, and to enjoy in a family setting.
“Then (wa) they should genuinely choose to eat and to be completely nourished (‘akal – they should opt to actually feed upon and to be totally fed (qal perfect consecutive)) by way of (‘eth) the flesh (ha basar – the meat of the animal and its body) during (ba – in) this (zeh) night (laylah – time of darkness following sundown). Roast it over a fire (tsaly ‘esh – cook it using fire), and (wa) always eat it (‘akal – consistently and continually consume it and be genuinely nourished by it (qal imperfect)) over (‘al – with the Almighty’s) Matsah (matsah – unleavened bread without yeast) and bitter herbs (maror – an eatable plant with a bitter taste).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:8)
Since it takes just a tiny bit of leaven, or yeast, to permeate an entire loaf, changing the nature of the bread, leaven is equated to sin corrupting our mortal natures. The unleavened bread represents our sinless state in the aftermath of the redeeming sacrifice of Matsah – which is an integral part of Pesach. And the bitter herbs alert us to the agonizing price Yahowah paid to render us blameless.
When meat is boiled, the water becomes polluted by the animal’s fats and remnants of its blood. Drinking blood is in opposition to the Towrah’s teaching, and consuming fat isn’t healthy. Moreover, there were many positive implications which resulted from roasting the lamb over a fire. First, the fire illuminates the room, making it possible to see one another and read the Word after sunset. Second, it warms all of those around it, and creates a campout ambiance, consistent with our Heavenly Father’s ultimate goal—of us camping out with Him. Third, the smoke rises, symbolically demonstrating that our souls will also rise as a result of the sacrifice. Fourth, fire is the Scriptural metaphor for judgment, from which we are passed over as a result of the lamb bearing the consequence of our sins.
But there is another aspect of the fire I don’t want you to miss. This very same fire will be used to incinerate what remains of the lamb once it has fulfilled its mission of nurturing the family. The same would be true of Yahowsha’s body. After fulfilling Passover, and after His soul was separated to fulfill Unleavened Bread, the Ma’aseyah’s body was vaporized in the tomb. It is why the Shroud of Turin, should it be real, reveals an image of a crucified body which has been subject to enormous energy.
“You should never consume (‘al ‘akal – you should not ever eat (qal imperfect)) any part of it (min) raw or without due consideration (na’ – uncooked or devoid of the proper focus) or (wa) boiled (bashal), cooking it in water (basal ba ha maym), but instead as a condition (ky ‘im – but rather as a requirement), roasting it above a fire (tsaly ‘esh), his head (ro’sh) and his legs (kara’) attached (‘al), and his inner parts (qereb) close by (‘al).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:9)
While the leg or shank of the lamb is edible, God isn’t suggesting that we consume any of the internal organs. The head, heart, and legs are there to help us visualize the price our Savior paid on Golgotha’s upright pole.
Yahowsha’s sacrifice alone is sufficient to resolve the issues which would rob us of our lives. There would be nothing left to do, and thus no sin remaining.
“And (wa) you shall make certain that nothing remains (lo’ yathar – you should consistently assure that there is nothing left over (hiphil stem tells us that we are responsible for creating this result, and the imperfect conjugation reveals the consistent, continual, and ongoing nature of this instruction)) of him (min) prior to (‘ad) morning (boqer – sunrise or dawn). And so (wa) the remainder (yathar – what is left and remains) of him (min) prior to the approach of (‘ad) morning (boqer – sunrise) you shall literally and consistently burn up (sarap – you should always incinerate (qal imperfect)) in (ba) the fire (ha ‘esh).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:10)
On the eve of Passover, Yahowsha’s body was removed from the pole, and placed in a grave. In the morning, His soul was sent to She’owl (Hades in Greek) to endure our punishment in the place of separation.
But there is an essential lesson in this passage which nullifies Christianity’s foundational claim, while at the same time explains some of the “Christian New Testament’s” most troubling dialog. You see, Yahowsha’s body, after having served its purpose as the Passover Lamb, ceased to exist. It was incinerated in a burst of energy before the dawning of the next day. The reason the women who approached the empty tomb on Bikuwrym did not recognize Him, with His mother confusing Him for a gardener, was that He did not inhabit the same body. This also explains why the men on the road to Emmaus were confused, as well as the episode in the upper room later this same evening with Thomas.
Yahowah is interested in our souls, not our bodies. A physical presence in heaven would be counterproductive. More to the point, those who observe Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym become immortal, perfect, and spiritual children of God.
While Yahowah did all the work required to redeem us, if we want to be rescued, we have to be ready to go. The Familial Covenant Relationship is predicated on walking out of man’s realm and walking home to God.
“And (wa) this is how (kakah – this is the manner in which) you should always be nourished (‘akal) by him with (’eth) the tie fastened around your waist (chagar matanaym – fully dressed and girded), with your sandals (na’al – shoes) on your feet (ba regel), and with your staff (maqel – walking stick and branch) in your hand (ba yad). You should choose to eat it, being completely nourished by him (‘akal ‘eth – you should freely and without reservation decide to consume it (qal, perfect, consecutive)) quickly (ba chipazown – in haste, in a hurry as if ready for a flight).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:11)
“This and He is (huw’ – he is or it is) Passover (Pesach – to pass over) according to (la – to approach) Yahowah ( ).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:11)
The final four words in this concluding statement can be rendered several ways, all of which are accurate, relevant, and thought provoking: “He is Passover according to Yahowah.” “He is in accord with Yahowah’s Passover.” And: “This Passover is to approach Yahowah.” It is an allusion to the role Yahowsha’ would play in our salvation.
Yahowsha’ would be the Passover Lamb and the Doorway to Heaven, and thus the Ma’aseyah is the very essence of Passover. Yahowsha’ would be Towrah observant, and therefore He celebrated and fulfilled Passover in complete accord with Yahowah’s instructions.
And while our eye is often caught by the most profoundly important revelations, let’s not be calloused to the opening stanza of this verse. Our time on this planet is relatively short and can end without a moment’s notice. We need to prepare ourselves so that we are ready to respond to God’s invitations. He is not going to call out to us forever.
Nothing is ever per chance with Yah. So all three items on God’s list are significant. Since the last two are fairly obvious, let’s begin with them. The “maqel – staff” is symbolic of the Ma’aseyah and of shepherding God’s flock. This suggests that we ought to follow Yahowsha’s example and be Towrah observant as was He. Also by following the Ma’aseyah’s lead, we will shepherd our Heavenly Father’s sheep, nurturing and nourishing them, protecting them and guiding them.
The reference to sandals speaks of Yahowah’s request that we engage and walk with Him. He wants us up, on our feet, and ready to go. Moreover, the Miqra’ey are comprised of seven steps – steps we must walk if we want to meet God.
Being “chagar matanaym – fully dressed and girded” is especially important, because we cannot enter Yah’s presence naked. Only those clothed in the Set-Apart Spirit’s Garment of Light can exist in God’s presence. But more than this, being properly girded is analogous to being properly prepared.
In Exodus 1:16, we heard Pharaoh tell those responsible for aiding mothers delivering Hebrew children: “If a son is born, you shall kill him.” Yahowah has a long memory and is prone to reciprocation. Love Him and He will love you in return—giving you the gift of life. Reject Him, and He will reject you, the consequence is: you will die.
Therefore “So (wa) I will choose to pass over (‘abar – I will actually elect to completely cross over (qal, perfect, consecutive)) the realm (‘erets – land and nation) of the Crucible (mitsraym – the place of religious and political oppression) during this (ba zeh – particular) night (laylah) and strike (nakah – destroy) every (kol) firstborn son (bakowr – oldest son) in the land (ba ‘erets) of Egypt (mitsraym – the crucible), including (min) man (‘adam) and even animal (wa ‘ad behemah). And upon (wa ba) all of (kol) the gods (‘elohym) of Egypt (mitsraym – the crucible of religious and political oppression), I will execute judgment and render punishment (‘asah sepet – literally engage in the ongoing process of being judgmental (qal imperfect)).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:12)
Passover, like the other six Miqra’ey, is both symbolic and prophetic. Yahowah would sacrifice His only begotten son as the Passover Lamb to save His family.
By saying that He is going to “judge and punish” the “gods of Egypt,” Yahowah is telling us that there is more to them than celestial identifications and graven images. False gods live in the minds of the men who created them and who serve them, and in the institutions which promote them—both of whom were inspired by Satan. False gods embody a very real spirit—that of darkness, deceit, death, and damnation. There would be a consequence for the role Satan and his fellow demons played in promoting them.
The blood of the perfect Passover Lamb serves to identify those who have chosen to identify themselves with Yahowah. Our lives are spared on that account. God said so during the Exodus.
“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).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:12-13)
In this passage, hayah, which was used to affirm that the blood would be a sign, was scribed in the qal stem, demonstrating that this connection should be interpreted literally, that the association is genuine, and that this statement is reliable. Conjugated in the perfect, we know that the blood provides a total solution and that the sign is complete. And in the consecutive form, we discover that God wants us to acknowledge this relationship.
Moving on, “ra’ah – I see,” was written similarly. God wants to see us respond to His instructions. He wants us to benefit from His provisions. He is not only sincere about this; we can count on Him doing everything He has promised.
It should also be noted that the same stem, conjugation, and form were ascribed to pesach, which was translated “I will choose to actually pass over.” It is Yahowah’s inclination, His desire, to be merciful. He finds no pleasure in punishment.
La ‘owth, which was rendered “as a sign,” is so subtle it is usually missed. But la reveals that this ‘owth is for us, not for Yah. It also reveals that the sign on the door enables us to approach God. So Passover is a sign of things to come—of eternal life in the Covenant.
There is more to Passover than simply sparing a life. The plague of sin, which leads to the death and destruction of the soul, is lifted from us. “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).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:13)
Yahowah is the source of life. Sin is the source of death. God conceived life and authored its genetic code. And He provided the means to extend it forever. It was His to give, making it His to take away.
Man, however, through religion and politics, authored the means to death and destruction. Humankind conceived the way to foreshorten and spoil it.
There are two types of life: corporeal and spiritual. Those who survive the first to experience the second do so on Yahowah’s authority. Those who accept the benefits of the Covenant are reborn spiritually from above by way of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym. Those who overtly oppose Yahowah and His Towrah are also reborn spiritually, but from below, and are thus incarcerated with ha Satan. But most people make neither choice. They succumb to the plague of religion, the disease which causes souls to stumble, and which leads to death of the body and destruction of the soul.
While the consequence of ignoring or rejecting Yahowah’s Pesach instructions isn’t something to celebrate, Passover isn’t a somber affair. It is a festival feast. On this day, those who are guided by Yahowah’s Towrah were and are vindicated—declared “Not guilty.” And in this way, God’s children are freed from death and destruction of our soul.
“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 12:14)
Remaining consistent, hayah, which was rendered “will exist,” and was used to tell us that we should always remember the “specific day” known as Pesach, was conveyed using the qal stem, perfect conjugation, and consecutive form. So once again, Yahowah is expressing His will and He is telling us how He’d like us to respond. Therefore, those seeking to do the will of God should choose to remember Passover. Furthermore, this was written to be interpreted literally and responded to genuinely. And that is because Pesach is a complete solution. Yahowah has done everything which was required to accomplish all of its goals.
By saying that this Miqra’ is a zikarown, a “memorial and a reminder” God told us that its lessons should be “remembered because they will help us understand” His plan of salvation.
Not missing a beat or changing gears, “chagag – you should choose to genuinely and completely celebrate,” was scribed using the same combination of qal, perfect, consecutive. While this is God’s will, His advice, the decision as to how to respond is completely up to us. Just don’t be a hypocrite and ask to know God’s will for your life if you choose to ignore His instructions when He provides them.
“Chag – Festival Feast,” is obviously a derivative of the chagag, the verbal form of the word. But by including both, there is no missing the fact that Yahowah views Passover as a “celebration.” Our Heavenly Father wants “to party.” He has planned the event, made all of the arrangements, paid the bill, and has invited you and me to attend. Are you going to RSVP?
By using dowr in this context, Yahowah has made it clear that the Miqra’ of Pesach is for all generations, for all time, and for all places. Further, ‘owlam reinforces the idea that the observance of Passover is never to end. This celebration of life wasn’t to be replaced by anything. Passover is an “engraved prescription for living designed to cut us into the covenant relationship.” It is “‘owlam – forever,” as we will be if we observe it. And that is why the final installment of chagag was presented using the imperfect conjugation and included the first person, masculine, singular suffix (Him). It means that God wants us to “consistently and continuously celebrate this Festival Feast with Him” “‘owlam – forever.”
So why do you suppose the Catholic Church made the celebration of Passover illegal, killing those who observed it? Why did they replace Yahowah’s Passover with the Babylonian celebration of Easter—even retaining the name of the pagan goddess who was called the “Mother of God and Queen of Heaven?” And why do Protestant and Orthodox Christians follow their ungodly example? Is it any wonder we don’t understand the majesty of God’s plan?
Even today, if you do an internet search for “Easter” and “King James,” you will find a plethora of sites justifying the substitution—saying that Easter is an accurate and proper translation of Pesach / Passover, even of Pascha as it is transliterated into Greek. They cite the appearance of “Easter” in Acts 12:4 in the 1534 Tyndale Bible, the 1539 Great Bible, the 1568 Bishop’s Bible, the 1599 Geneva Bible, and also the 1609 King James Bible as evidence of its accuracy—and their perfection. (All this actually confirms is that most translations reprise the same words because familiarity sells.)
And yet these religious publishers and their promoters either don’t mention, or they do mental gymnastics around the fact, that Yahowah undeniably selected the term Pesach / Passover, not “Easter.” And none have the integrity to mention that the celebration of Easter irrefutably dates back to the Babylonian Mystery religion circa 3000 to 4000 BCE.
Not only did the Roman Catholic Church ban the celebration of Passover, they established a formula to make certain that their pagan sun-god and sun-goddess holiday of Easter would never coincide with the fourteenth day of Abyb. So their “Easter” is the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox, unless that coincides with Pesach, and then it is moved forward one week. (Oddly, “Easter Sunday” isn’t actually a counterfeit for Passover, but is instead a corruption of FirstFruits.)
Yahowah established the Miqra’ of Pesach / Passover while religious men in consort with Satan established Easter. They never fall on the same day, and they do not commemorate the same redemptive event. Man justifies one, and Yahowah justifies on the other. While Yahowah is right, this disagreement between man and God demonstrates beyond any doubt that Christianity is wrong. If a religion contradicts, corrupts, conceals, or counterfeits any meaningful tenet of the Scriptures upon which it draws its authority, it is false. Period. End of conversation. End of life.
The only thing more appalling than nearly two-billion people being deceived by the religious rubbish known as “Easter Sunday,” is that the proponents of the Christian holiday, even with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence at their fingertips, still promote the lie. And as a result, nearly two billion people will needlessly experience the same mortal death and destruction of their soul suffered by the Egyptians, and many of their pastors and priests will spend their eternity incarcerated in She’owl with the lord they unwittingly serve. While God told us through the prophet Howsha’ that “His people were destroyed for lack of knowledge,” making ignorance deadly, He told all of us through Moseh by way of the Third Statement He etched in stone that “the promotion of lifeless lies would unforgivable.” (Incidentally, if you are looking for a religious justification for any of the Christian corruptions or counterfeits of Yah’s Word, you will have no trouble finding them. In religious circles, lies are supported more zealously than truth is proclaimed.)
The next verse conveys very specific instructions, rife with prophetic and redemptive symbolism: “And you should choose to take (laqah – under the auspices of freewill, you should genuinely select, obtain, and totally grasp hold of (qal stem, perfect conjugation, consecutive form)) a bunch (‘agudah – a bundle of stems and leaves) of hyssop (‘ezowb – a plant from the mint family (fragrant marjoram) associated with cleansing and purging) and dip it (wa tabal – plunge, soak, and bathe it) in the blood (ba ha dam) which (‘asher – fortuitously as a result of the relationship) is in the basin (ba ha caph – is in the bowl, on the threshold, or is in association with entrance), and (wa) you should of your own volition elect to cause the intended effect by reaching out and touching it (naga’) to (‘el) the upper crosspiece of the doorframe (ha mashqowph – upper beam of the door) and (wa) to (‘el) the two (shanaym) doorposts (ha mazuwzah – upright pillars of the doorway) from the blood (min ha dam) which (‘asher – for your benefit) is in the basin (ba ha caph).
And (wa) no (lo’) individual (‘ysh – person) among you (‘atem) shall ever go out (yatsa’) of (min) the doorway (pethach – portal, opening, and entrance) of their home (beryth – household and family) until (‘ad) morning (boqer – the end of darkness and first light).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:22)
This begins by reminding us that our decision with regard to Yahowah’s Towrah instruction is subject to volition because “laqah – you should choose to take” was also scribed in the consecutive form. And while “naga’ – you should of your own volition elect to cause the intended effect by reaching out and touching it,” also reflects freewill, with the hiphil stem it also conveys the idea that our decisions will cause the intended effect. That is to say that our choices determine our fate. God has put us in control of our souls.
The primary meaning of caph is “threshold” and “entrance.” Passover is the entrance and Unleavened Bread represents the threshold upon which we enter and cross to reach our Heavenly Father’s Home. Likewise, pethach, translated “doorway” above, also means “revelation, unfolding and disclosing knowledge, and understanding specific to the symbolism of a portal.”
This is the “narrow and unpopular gate of life” which Yahowsha’ said “few will find.” And by contrast, the Babylonian, Roman Catholic, and Christian observance of Easter, with its pagan traditions and egg-laying bunny, represents the “broad gate leading to destruction” which “many find.” It is why boqer, the word translated “morning,” means “to seek so that you might find” the “end of darkness and the first Light.” (The difference between the broad and narrow gates, and the passage referring to them will be examined at the end of this chapter.)
Yahowah’s focus remains on the “beyth – family and home.” It is the place where children are born, nurtured, guided, raised, sheltered, protected, grow, and are loved. Once we are allowed to enter God’s home as a result of Pesach and Matsah, our Heavenly Father doesn’t want His children to walk away from His love and protection.
Also pertinent, the lone precondition for participating in the “beryth – Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship” is to come out of and to stay out of mankind’s political and religious institutions. So, not only were the Children of Yisra’el told to celebrate the Passover as a family, they were told to stay inside their homes.
While Passover is a party, it is a serious affair. It is a celebration of life for those who observe our Heavenly Father’s Towrah guidance. But it is also a time to mourn death for those who ignore the Towrah.
“Then (wa) Yahowah ( ) will pass through (‘abar) to plague (nagap – to strike, smite, and afflict) the Egyptians (mitsraym). But (wa) when He sees (ra’ah – notices and considers) the blood (dam) on the lintel of the door (‘al ha mashqowph – upper beam) and on the two (wa ‘al shanaym) upright pillars of the door (mazuwzah – the doorposts) Yahowah ( ) will pass over (pesach) that doorway (ha pethach – portal and entrance) and He will not allow (lo’ natan – permit, cause, or bring about) the devastating destruction (shacheth – corruption and ruin, decay and putrid decomposition) to come inside (la bow’ ‘el – to pursue and arrive within) to plague (la nagap) your homes (beyth – households and families).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:23)
The Hebrew word shacheth, not only means “to destroy and to decay,” it speaks of the “corruptible nature of sin rendering souls impure.” So in a word, we have a definition of the very thing Passover was designed to cure. Sin leads to death and to the destruction of the soul.
As a result of their priests and government officials, their teachers and judges, every Egyptian who suffered this night had already been plagued and was therefore destined to die. Their participation in the Egyptian religion meant that their souls were certain to be annihilated. Their Creator merely shortened their time they would survive as mortals as recompense for their fathers oppressing and murdering His people.
When we come to our review of the narrow and broad gate passage later in this chapter, you’ll want to keep in mind that the consequence of this plague for those who did not follow Yahowah’s specific instructions, was: “devastating destruction, and corruption which leads to decomposition.” Those who do not follow Yahowah’s path, are seldom sent to She’owl, but instead have their souls destroyed upon their death.
The consequence of pharaoh’s rebellion proved high—although it is the same price all of our children will pay if we neglect teaching them Yahowah’s Towrah. God passed judgment, and life ended for the firstborn sons in every household not marked by the blood of the lamb in accordance with His very specific instructions.
This next prescription is clear. It is also in direct conflict with the central plank of Christendom and its “New Testament.”
“You should choose to genuinely, completely, and carefully observe (shamar – while the choice is yours, I suggest that you decide to closely examine and thoroughly consider (qal, perfect, consecutive)) this (‘eth) message (dabar – statement, account, testimony, and the word).
Because this is (la) an engraved prescription for living (choq – an inscribed decree regarding what you should do in life to be cut into the relationship) on behalf of (la) your children (beny – sons) until (‘ad – up to the point of) eternity (‘owlam).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:24)
Choq, translated “an engraved prescription for living,” is based upon chaqaq, meaning “instruction which is inscribed,” literally “cut in stone.” Both speak of “providing the guidance required to be cut into the covenant relationship.” That is the central message found in Yah’s Word. Passover is God’s prescription for life.
While I have shared the opening line of the following passage with you, I’d like you to consider its conclusion, because it is especially revealing when compared to Shemowth 12:24.
Yahowah said: “My people (‘am) are completely destroyed and they will perish (damah – they are cut off and will cease to exist (niphal perfect – telling us that the people have actively participated in their own absolute demise)) because of (min – from) a lack of understanding (bely – corrupted information, inadequate knowledge, and deficient discernment).
Indeed because (ky) you (‘atah) have totally avoided and rejected (ma’as – spurned and despised, literally refused and disdained (qal perfect – revealing that the avoidance was complete and the rejection was literal)) knowledge and understanding (da’at – information and discernment), so then (wa) I will consistently reject you and avoid you (ma’as – I will actually disassociate from you and will rebuff you (qal imperfect)) from serving as priests and ministers (kahan – from acting as counselors and clerics) on My behalf (la – for Me).
Since (wa) you have continually ignored (shakah – you have consistently overlooked and literally forgotten, you have lost sight of the significance of and responded improperly to (qal imperfect waw consecutive)) the Towrah of your God (Towrah ‘elohym – Your God’s Torah Instruction and Teaching, Your God’s Source of Guidance and Direction; derived from: tow – God’s signed, written, and enduring, towrah – way of treating people, tuwr – giving us the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose, yarah – the source of instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction that flows from God, which tuwb – provides answers to facilitate our restoration and return, even our response and reply to that which is towb – good, pleasing, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes us to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, tahowr and tohorah – purifying and cleansing us, thereby towr – providing us with the opportunity to change our attitude, thinking, and direction toward God), I also (‘any gam) will consistently ignore your children (shakah ben – I will overlook your sons, forget about your children, and view them as worthless).” (Howsha’ / Salvation / Hosea 4:6)
There is no more responsible form of parenting than teaching your children to carefully observe the Towrah of Yahowah. And that is why the final and fifth requirement for those wanting to participate in the Covenant is for parents to help their children remember the Towrah by circumcising their sons. That way they will know and understand why it is important for them to accept Yahowah’s invitation to attend Passover.
“Shamar – observation” is the key to knowing and to understanding. So Yahowah revealed:
“Indeed (ky), when (wa) you come to (bow’ ‘el) exist (hayah) inside (‘el) the realm (‘erets – land) which relationally (‘asher) Yahowah ( ) is giving (natan – bestowing and granting, entrusting and devoting) to you according to (la ka) what (‘asher) He has stated (dabar), you should choose to carefully and completely observe (shamar – you ought to consider closely examining and thoughtfully and thoroughly considering, remaining totally focused upon (qal perfect consecutive)) this (zo’th) enormous undertaking (‘abodah – ceremony commemorating the work required to offer this service, the considerable effort which was expended for us to remember, to teach, and to benefit).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:25)
Yahowsha’, setting the example we should follow, and in perfect harmony with the Towrah, carefully and closely observed Passover. And that would make the Roman Catholic notion of the Last Supper nothing more than a religious counterfeit—one designed to obfuscate the relevance of “this enormous undertaking.”
While we are on this subject, contrary to Catholic and Protestant doctrine, Yahowsha’ did not celebrate the Eucharist or Communion, nor did He ask anyone to do so. These religious rituals, called “sacraments” by theologians, are nothing more than human substitutions for God’s instructions.
Yahowsha’s comments spoken during His final Passover observance in 33 CE, presupposed that His audience knew the Towrah, and therefore understood what He was saying and doing. He was the unblemished Passover Lamb. The wine He spoke of represented His blood, shed on this day for the remission of sin. The unleavened bread represented His body, which was broken so that we wouldn’t face the same fate. They were symbolic of Pesach and Matsah, and of Yahowah’s contribution to our salvation.
The unleavened bread did not turn into His body, because if it did, eating it would be cannibalism, and would be a direct contradiction with the Towrah’s teaching, while at the same time, circumventing the purpose of the Miqra’ of Matsah. The wine did not turn into His blood, because if it did, Yahowsha’s instructions would be counter to Yahowah’s Towrah instructions, blemishing Him, and thereby causing Him to suffer for His own sins, not ours.
Therefore, the completely unsubstantiated, arrogant, and erroneous Roman Catholic claims of transubstantiation (first alleged by Hildebert de Savardin, Archbishop of Tours in the twelfth century CE), of priests literally and miraculously transforming wine and bread into “Jesus Christ’s flesh and blood,” is in direct conflict with the Word of God.
The Roman Catholic Church goes to considerable lengths (albeit ignorantly, irrationally, and pathetically) to justify cannibalism and drinking blood during the Eucharist in their copious arguments on behalf of the alleged miracle of transubstantiation. And while a simple scientific test would validate their claim if it were true (something the Church steadfastly opposes), a positive test would prove positively that one of the most essential Catholic rituals was in direct opposition to the Yahowah’s Guidance. And a god who contradicts himself isn’t trustworthy—nor is a religion based upon such a deity. (As an interesting aside, as I was examining such an article, I saw a number of Catholic religious icons appearing sequentially at the top of their website, most all of which featured the sun as a primary design element. The god of Constantine (Mithras—the Invincible Sun), of Babylon (Lord/Bel/Ba’al), of Egypt (Amen Ra), and of Catholicism’s Christmas and Easter holidays, wasn’t very well hidden.)
On a related topic, when I queried the Catholic Encyclopedia for the religion’s position on Pesach / Passover, from which the Eucharist is unwittingly derived, this is what I found: “Pasach or Passover – Jews of all classes and ways of thinking look forward to the Passover holidays with the same eagerness as Christians do to Christmastide (Christmas in late Old English). It is for them, the great event of the year.”
So according to Roman Catholicism, Passover is a Jewish holiday, just as Christmas is a Christian observance. It’s for “them.” Setting aside for the moment the fact that Christmas is entirely pagan in origin, according to Catholics, God must have been lying when He said that Passover was for “all generations, all places, and all time.”
When Yahowsha’ broke the loaf (not circular wafer) of unleavened bread, and when He lifted His glass of wine, and said that one was His body and the other was His blood, it was the same as God saying: “I am the light of the world.” This does not make Him the sun nor any other form of radiant energy. When God said “I am the Rock of your salvation, He was not inferring that He was a mineral. When God equated Himself to love, He was not saying that He is an emotion. When He equated Himself to His Word, that did not make Him a book. God often refers to Himself as a Father, but that is not to say that He has had sexual relations with a woman. In the same way, when Yahowsha’ referred to the bread as His body, and the wine as His blood, He was anticipating that His creation was capable of understanding a metaphor—after all, they were His most common and effective means of teaching. It is why Passover is a “zikarown – a memorial and a commemoration, a reminder of an inheritance right, a means to recall and understand the relationship, a symbol and a proverb” for us. (Over the course of this chapter, we will cover this passage as well, making certain that what Yahowsha’ actually revealed is clearly understood.)
While I do not care what the Last Supper, the Eucharist, Communion, Christmas, or Easter represent; according to Yahowah, the Passover sacrifice represents the first step towards the salvation of God’s family. But don’t take my word on it
“Indeed (ky), when (wa) it happens (hayah) that your children (beny) say (‘amar) to you (‘el), ‘What (mah) does this (zo’th) enormous undertaking (‘abodah – ceremony commemorating the work required to offer this service which was expended for us to remember) represent (la – benefit and concern)?’
You shall say (‘amar), ‘This and His (huw’) sacrifice (zebach – offering) of Passover (Pesach) is according to (la) Yahowah ( ) when (‘asher – by way of relationship) He passed over (pesach) the families and homes (beyth – households) of the Children (beny – sons) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) in the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym)—when (ba) He plagued (nagap – inflicted with a deadly disease or condition) the Egyptians (mitsraym – the people of the crucible) and saved (natsal – delivered and spared, rescued by removing from harm’s way) our families (beyth – households).’” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:26-27)
Should you be curious, I did not translate the concluding segment of this verse as it is presented in the Masoretic Text because the words are not extant among the Dead Sea Scrolls. But should you be curious, even though the Qumran witness to this verse ends just prior to the words “wa qadad ha ‘am wa hawah,” rather than translating them to imply “the nation bowed down and worshipped,” they could just as easily have been rendered: “And the people who were part of those families knelt in reverence and shared what they had witnessed.” It is what we, ourselves, would do to embrace our children on a night like this.
From Yahowah’s perspective, this Passover was an enormous undertaking. The Yisra’elites numbered in the hundreds of thousands and they were being enslaved by the most powerful nation on earth. But it would be another Passover, the one in Year 4000 Yah, where the work required to provide the service of our salvation would be especially onerous. God does not want us to be ignorant or callous of this reality. Because if we slight the effort our God has invested and sacrifice He has made to be with us, we might be prone to ignore Passover. Therefore, the careful observance of Passover is the first step in the path toward our inclusion in our Heavenly Father’s Family, as well as our “natsal – salvation and deliverance, of God rescuing us and removing us from harm’s way.”
Affirming that no one was bowing down in worship, this next statement reveals that Yah’s children were on their feet. They engaged as requested.
“And (wa) the Children of Yisra’el (beny Yisra’el – children who engage and endure with God) walked (halak – conducted their lives), acted, and engaged (‘asah – did) therefore (ken) according to and consistent with (ka ‘asher) Yahowah’s ( ) instructions (sawah – teaching and directions) through (‘eth) Moseh (moseh – one who draws us out) and ‘Aharown (‘aharown – one who brings enlightened freewill).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:28)
If you want to benefit from Passover, engage and follow Yahowah’s instructions. Passover is the lone doorway to eternal life. So answer God’s invitation and act upon His directions if you want to live.
The Children who engaged and endured with God did what we are asked to do—what not one Christian in a million does. And since Yahowsha’ also observed Pesach, it renders the Christian notion that they are “followers of Christ” ridiculous.
“Then when (wa) it happened (hayah) in (ba) the middle (chatsy) of the night (laylah – in the absence of light) that Yahowah ( ) struck and destroyed (nakah – afflicted and ruined) every (kol) firstborn son (bakowr) in the realm (ba ‘erets) of the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym) from (min) the firstborn son (bakowr) of Pharaoh (Par’oh) who was sitting (yashab) on his throne (‘al kec), to the firstborn (‘al bakowr) of the household slaves and prisoners (shabby ‘asher ba beyth bowr), to the firstborn (‘al bakowr) of the domestic animals (bahemah),” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:29)
Thus far the lessons are: God is consistent and trustworthy. He does what He says He is going to do. God has the power to accomplish whatever He promises. And He has just told us that the consequence of ignoring or rejecting His guidance is the death and destruction of the soul. The Egyptians, their slaves, and their livestock were stricken.
Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant Christians, Mormons and Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Secular Humanists have all brought this same fate upon themselves and their children... “Pharaoh (Par’oh) stood up (quwm) during the night (laylah – absence of light), he (huw’), and (wa) all (kol) of his servants and worshipers (‘ebed) in the whole of (kol) the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – the place of human religious, political, military, and economic oppression), and there came to be (wa hayah) a great (gadowl – overwhelmingly significant in quantity and magnitude) cry of distress (tsa’aqah – sorrowful wailing in agony) in the Crucible of Egypt (ba mitsraym) because (ky) there was not (‘ayn) a house (beyth – family) in which (‘asher) there was not (‘ayn) a death (muwth).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:30)
Yahowah’s instructions aren’t something to trifle with, to conceal, to corrupt, to counterfeit, or alter in any way—no matter how copious the justification, rationalization, or popularity. Don’t say that you haven’t been warned. I wouldn’t ignore them either.
Carefully observe Yahowah’s Passover. Do what He prescribes. And while that means that you should never walk into a church again and partake in the Eucharist or Communion, in fairness to the preponderance of our religious and political friends, evidence and reason are superfluous to their beliefs. It’s not that they are unable to study the evidence and evaluate the facts at their disposal logically—it is that they are unwilling. The overwhelming majority of people, provided with undeniable evidence and unassailable logic, proving that their religion or favorite political party is untrustworthy and wrong, continue on as if nothing were said.
Let’s briefly consider the messenger who brought us these instructions. Moseh, the individual Yahowah used to scribe the Towrah, is worth knowing. In this regard, there is an interesting passage in Numbers (or more accurately, Bamidbar—“In the Wilderness”) which not only portrays Moseh’s relationship with God, but also presents the scheme deployed by his critics to override his testimony. The very same tactic is still deployed in Catholicism, Rabbinical Judaism, and Islam, so let’s review it now.
The issue which sparked the assault on Moseh’s authority to speak for Yahowah was racism—not unlike Catholicism’s and Islam’s hatred of Jews and all things Hebrew, or Judaism’s disdain for the Gowym. But the motivation was power. Being Yahowah’s messenger afforded Moseh status that others craved.
“Miryam (Miryam – one who rebels) and ‘Aharown (‘Aharown – Enlightened Freewill) spoke (dabar) against (ba ‘al) Moseh because of (‘odowth – on account of and for the reason of) the Kuwsy (kuwsy – black) woman (‘isah – female) who (‘asher – relationally) he had taken (laqah – selected and accepted) as (ky) his wife (‘isah – woman).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:1)
Just as rabbis have usurped Yahowah’s authority by way of their Oral Law, and popes have claimed to speak for God, making their edicts authoritative and binding, Miryam and Aharown tried the same tactic.
“And they said (‘amar), ‘In reality (‘ak – indeed), has (ha) Yahowah ( ) only and exclusively (raq – restrictively and uniquely, singularly) given the Word (dabar – and spoken) through (ba – with and by way of) Moseh? Has He not (lo’) also (gam – in addition) given the Word (dabar – spoken) through (ba) us?” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:2)
This is reminiscent of the papal claim that one cannot rely exclusively on Scripture, and that the Church’s decisions and traditions must be considered equally valid. And while that’s a rather errant and egotistical position, as well as being invalid Scripturally, it doesn’t deal with the biggest issue inherent in the assertion that God has more than one authorized source: who is right when the claims of various sources are in conflict? And even more crucial, can a person be considered to speak for God when their words contradict God (as most of Catholicism’s, Protestant Christianity’s, Islam’s, and Judaism’s do)?
While the answer to this fundamental question regarding the validity of religions is obvious to those who are appropriately informed and rational, we also have Yahowah’s take on the issue. And for those who would advocate purity of race, you’ll notice that God didn’t so much as mention the matter of interracial marriage.
“Now Yahowah ( ) heard this (shama’).” (Bamidbar / Numbers 12:2) But before He expressed His consternation, He explained why Moseh had been chosen... “Now (wa) the individual (‘ysh – man), Moseh, was and is humble and unpretentious (‘anaw – straight forward and lacking pretence, not arrogant or prideful), significantly more (ma’od – at the extreme end of the scale) than (min) all (kol) the other people (‘adam) who (‘asher) were on (‘al) the face (paneh) of the earth (‘adamah – ground).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:3)
Those who seek religious and political acclaim are never humble, and are seldom unpretentious. As a result, they are useless to God, because God wants us to rely on Him rather than ourselves. And it is why such men and women consider their testimony, their opinions, to be as binding as God’s, even when they contradict Him.
As pretentious as they are with their flowing robes and fancy hats, and as egotistical as they are with their lofty titles, and having people bow before them and kiss their ring, I’ve long wondered how a pope would react if God actually spoke to them. In that regard, it would have been interesting to see Miryam’s and Aharown’s expressions at this time.
“Then suddenly and unexpectedly (pith’om – quickly in a flash), Yahowah said (‘amar) to Moseh, to ‘Aharown, and to Miryam, ‘Come out (yasa’), the three (salos) of you, to (‘el) the tent (‘ohel – home) of the appointed meeting time and place (mow’ed).’ And the three of them went out.” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:4) The Tent of the Testimony and Witness served as Yahowah’s home on earth during the Sojourn in the Wilderness.
“Yahowah descended (yarad – lowered and diminished himself) by way of (ba) an upright pillar (‘amuwd – a vertical, cylindrical column) cloud (‘anan – a visible mass of condensed water vapor in the atmosphere sufficiently dense to be translucent, but not transparent) and stood (‘amad – was present) at the doorway (petah – opening, entrance, and portal) of the tent (‘ohel – home and household). And He called out to (qara’ – summoned) ‘Aharown and Miryam. And the two of them came forward (yasa’).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:5)
For Yahowah to appear in our presence, and not incinerate us, He must diminish Himself. But not in the sense of becoming less than He is; rather by setting apart and sending off a diminished manifestation of Himself. This is the very essence of what the Upright Pillar, the Son, and the Set-Apart Spirit really represent. They are diminished manifestations of God, set apart from Him, to serve us—by way of conversation, revelation, renewal, and empowerment.
The upright pillar symbolism is significant, unifying Yahowah’s Towrah with Yahowsha’s words and deeds. The message is: Yahowah stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. The means is the doorway at which God was now standing. It is the doorway upon which the lamb’s blood was smeared on the upright pillars. It is the doorway to God’s home, comprised of the blood streaked upright pillar upon which He hung as the Passover Lamb. It is why the Greek word stauros, means “upright pillar,” and not “cross,” and why the actual word was based upon histemi—“to stand so as to enable others to stand.” This is one of many reasons why I choose to vocalize ‘dn, as ‘edon, meaning “Upright Pillar,” rather than ‘adon, “Lord.” God is consistent, and so is His message.
The temporary Tabernacle which had been erected during the Exodus was an ‘ohel, “tent,” but also a “home, a dwelling place, and a household.” It speaks of the conclusion of Yahowah’s plan of salvation, which is Sukah / Shelters, or Tabernacles, where we campout with God. It also speaks of the intent of the Beryth / Covenant, confirming that it is based upon “home and family.”
Also unifying Yahowah’s testimony with Yahowsha’s is the fact that we find God standing at the doorway in the Towrah. He is shown standing at the same doorway in Revelation’s open prophetic letter to the called-out assembly of Laodicea—knocking at the door and summoning them. It is the same, narrow, restrictive, and unpopular door which leads to life in the example Yahowsha’ used to conclude His Teaching on the Mount (and which I will cite at the conclusion of this chapter).
“Yahowah ( ) said (‘amar) to them, ‘Please (na’) listen to (shama’ – hear) My Words (dabar). If (‘im) there exists (hayah) a prophet (naby’ – someone who proclaims an inspired message) among you, Yahowah will make Himself known (yada’ huw’ – He will show and reveal Himself) to (‘el) him (huw’) by the way of (ba) a supernatural revelation (mar’ah – visual imagery with verbal content, through an appearance, by way of sight and perspective). And I will speak (dabar – communicate words) with (ba) him by way of (ba) thoughts and images which are communicated (halowm – revelation).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:6)
In other words, prophets are prophets because of what God reveals to them. That is their only credential. And that means that if a prophet’s words differ from God’s Word, the prophet is lying.
Speaking of not telling the truth, the rabbis who authored the Masoretic replaced Yahowah’s name in the beginning of Bamidbar / Numbers 12:6 with the pronoun “he,” thereby drawing less attention to the speaker and His message. The “to them” was also omitted. These are but two of many examples throughout the book of Bamidbar where the Qumran scrolls affirm the Septuagint at the expense of the Masoretic Text.
“That is not (lo’) so (ken) with My servant (‘ebed/’abad – coworker and associate) Moseh. In (ba) My home and family (beyth – household), he is completely (kol – always and totally) truthful, trustworthy, and reliable (‘aman – dependable, true, and verifiable).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:7)
Beyth, “home and family,” is the basis of beryth, “the Covenant Relationship” between Yahowah and His family. The purpose of which is to live eternally together in God’s home and household. And the only way to get there is to trust Yahowah, accept the Covenant’s terms, and rely on His provision. In that regard, we have been told that the prophetic revelations of Moseh are “trustworthy and true, reliable and verifiable.” So why do you suppose the preponderance of Christians ignore the Towrah, preferring instead to trust the words of those only pretending to speak for God—those who contradict God? The Towrah is reliable. That which differs from it, like any one of Paul’s letters, is not.
“With regard (ba) to (‘el) him, I speak (dabar – communicate in words) mouth (peh) to mouth, clearly and openly (mar’eh – in plain sight and in a manner which is easily understood and comprehensible), not in riddles (hydah – generalizations, obscure speech, or mysterious analogies, enigmatic or perplexing questions).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:8)
While my opinion is of no consequence, I share this conclusion. Once you jettison all of the religious muck, and study Yahowah’s Towrah as it was revealed, the pieces all fit perfectly, creating a consistent, clear, and easily understood portrait of Yahowah, His teaching, His instructions, the relationship He wants to develop with us, and His plan of salvation.
“And he has looked upon (nabat – has used his sense of sight to observe, consider, and pay attention to, appropriately regarding) the visual appearance and form (temuwnah – the manifestation associated with, the likeness, representation, and semblance) of Yahowah ( ).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:8)
The “visible manifestation, the representation and semblance, the likeness and visual appearance of Yahowah” is Yahowsha’. It was in His form Yahowah communicated the Towrah to Moseh—mouth to mouth in plain sight. It was His fourth appearance.
(While I’ve stated it before, and will repeat it again, the seven visits of Yahowsha’, of God existing as man, include: God walking in the Garden with Adam. (Bare’syth 3:8) Next, Yahowah appeared to Abraham in the form of a man, standing upright, talking, walking, and eating with him as the Covenant relationship was initiated. (Bare’syth 17 and 18) In a meeting which included a wrestling match with Satan, Yahowsha’ blessed Ya’aqob, renaming the patriarch Yisra’el. (Bare’syth 32) As is portrayed in the previous verse, God met with Moseh for forty days to reveal His Towrah - Teachings. (Bamidbar / Numbers 12 and Shemowth / Exodus 24) God revealed Himself to Samuel near the Ark of the Covenant in Shiloh. (In 1 Shamow’el / Samuel 3 we read: “Yahowah came, stood, and spoke to Samuel...appearing so as to be seen, revealing and disclosing Himself as the Word of Yahowah.”) “A child was born unto us, a son was given to us,” when God came as a man to redeem us on Miqra’ of Sukah / Shelters in 2 BCE. This advent ended with His ascension from the Mount of Olives in 33 CE following His fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. (Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Daniel, Matthew, and John) And seventh, Yahowsha’ will return fulfilling the remaining prophecies regarding Him on Yowm Kippurym in 2033. (Bare’syth 1, Qara’ 23-25, Dany’el 9, Howsha’ 6, Zakaryah, Mattanyah 24, and the Revelation to Yahowchanan))
“So why then (wa maduwa’) are you not (lo’) afraid (yare’ – not appropriately concerned about, showing so little respect and reverence) to speak (dabar) against (ba) Me and against My servant (‘ebed/’abad – coworker and associate) Moseh?” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:8) The same question could be asked of every religious cleric, church leader, and theologian.
“And the anger (harah – displeasure) of Yahowah ( ) was kindled (‘ap – and grew into resentment and consternation) against them. And then He departed (halak – He walked away).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 12:9) There is something worse than angering God. It is when He walks away from you.
As punishment for suggesting that her words and testimony were also from God, and equally valid with regard to the Towrah, even if her message was in conflict with that delivered through Moseh, Yahowah inflicted Miryam with leprosy—clearly, tangibly, and visually demonstrating that no one should even come near her—much less trust her. She was excluded from the community, as will be all others so inclined. And while Miryam was later given a special pardon, and let back in after seven days, keep in mind that all she actually did was question whether God’s word alone, as delivered through Moseh, i.e., the Towrah, was sufficient. That is to say, those clerics who take the next step, and actually propose and support notions which are in conflict with the Towrah, should not count on a reprieve.
Before we contemplate Yahowsha’s precise fulfillment of the Miqra’ of Pesach, let’s see what we can learn from the other references to Passover in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. The first of these is also found in the book of Bamidbar / Numbers. As you now know, the Hebrew title, Bamidbar, means “In the Wilderness.” The book chronicles the Yisra’elite’s forty-year sojourn in the desert. Our English title was derived from the Greek Arithmoi, meaning “numbers”—a reference to the census at the outset of the story. And speaking of Greek, within the cache of Bamidbar / Arithmoi / Numbers scrolls found at Qumran, there are Greek manuscripts in addition to Ancient, Paleo- and Babylonian-Hebrew texts. Hebrew manuscripts were common, but Greek was not.
The discussion which we are going to examine follows a conversation in which Yahowah explained the purpose of the Lowy priests. “You shall separate (badal) the Lowy (lowy – those who join and unite, Levites) from (min) among (tawek – from the middle or center of) the Children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who strive, engage, endure, and persevere with God). The Lowy (lowy – those who unite) shall exist (hayah) for (la – in accord with and on behalf of) Me (‘any).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:14)
Having spared and prolonged their lives in the midst of the worst kind of human religious, political, and economic oppression, the firstborn were now special in God’s eyes. They were symbolic of the Covenant and living reminders that Passover was the doorway to eternal life. But rather than prepare every firstborn child for this mission, requiring them all to fulfill this role in the community, Yahowah authorized the Lowy, whose very name speaks of uniting us with God, to serve in their stead.
And that is why we find the Lowy serving at the “home of the place of the appointed meeting,” a reference to the Familial Covenant Relationship and a metaphor for the Mow’ed Miqra’ey which provide us with access to God’s home.
And then (wa ‘ahar – sometime later), therefore (ken), the Lowy will come (bow’ – return) to work (‘abad – to serve) at (‘eth) the tent (‘ohel – home) of the appointed meeting time and place (mow’ed). And you will be purified with them (taher ‘eth – you shall be cleansed, restored, and renewed along with them). And also (wa) with them (‘eth), to achieve the desired result, you should choose to raise and elevate (nowph – you ought to decide to move to and fro (hiphil, perfect, consecutive)) a wave offering (tanuwphah).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:15)
Because the Covenant is a relationship, we are asked to engage to achieve the desired result. In this case we do so by choosing to raise and elevate the tanuwphah – wave offering. It is used in conjunction with Bikuwrym, revealing that purified souls are lifted up to heaven to be with God. The Bikuwrym connection if then further advanced by the next two statements, both of which specifically address the “bakowr – firstborn.”
“Because indeed (ky), they (hem) are given completely (nathan nathan – are totally dedicated and devoted) to Me (la – to approach Me) from (min) the midst (tawek – from among) the sons (ben – children) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) under the auspices of (tachath – instead of) the firstborn (pitrah) of every womb (kol rechem). Every firstborn son (kol bakowr) from (min) the Children of Yisra’el (beny Yisra’el – children who engage and endure with God) I have chosen and received to be with Me (laqah ‘eth la – I have acquired and accepted for Myself).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:16)
The justification for His claim on the “bakowr – firstborn” was that He had saved them during the first Passover in Egypt. His reason is that He wanted to be with them. Everything Yahowah does is designed to help us to become part of His family. He enjoys our company. Moreover, being “selected and taken” by God sounds like a pretty good thing to me.
So to make sure that we understand the role the “Uniters” were going to fulfill, God spoke of exchanging His claim on the firstborn sons for the Lowy: “I have selected and taken (laqah – accepted and received) the Lowy (lowy – those who unite and join) in place of (tahat – instead of and under the auspices of) all (kol) the firstborn (bakowr) among the Children of Yisra’el (beny Yisra’el – children who engage and endure with God).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:18)
Very early in the Exodus account, we were told that Aharown, like his brother Moseh, was a Lowy / Levite, explaining the following affiliation: “And I have given (natan – chosen to bestow and entrust) the Lowy (lowy – those who unite) as a gift (natan) through ‘Aharown (‘Aharown – enlightened freewill) and to his sons (beny) from (min) among the Children of Yisra’el (beny Yisra’el – children who engage and endure with God) to (la) act upon (‘abad – to engage in and accomplish the tasks related to) the ministerial duties (‘abodah – the work and service) related to (‘eth – of) the Children (beny) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who strive, struggle, persist, endure, and persevere with God) inside (ba) the tent (‘ohel – home) of the appointed meeting time (mow’ed) to reconcile and provide a pardon (kaphar – to make reparation and amends, to forgive and exonerate from guilt, to indemnify and to ransom, even to provide a release) for (‘al – on behalf of and on account of) the Children (ben) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who engage and endure with God) ” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:19)
Kaphar serves as the basis for the name of the sixth Mow’ed Miqra’, Yowm Kippurym—the Day of Reconciliations. Kaphar is a marvelous word, communicating the full range of benefits we receive as a direct result of following Yahowah’s seven-step path home. We are “ransomed,” which means that someone, in this case Yahowsha’, paid the price to free us from captivity and separation. We are “exonerated,” which means that our sins are “forgiven,” making us innocent before the eyes of the Judge. We are granted a “pardon,” indicating that the penalty we would have otherwise paid, has been waived. And as a result of this “atonement,” and “reparation,” this “repair and renewal,” we are “indemnified,” which means that “compensation has been paid to secure us against any loss, damage, or pain.” And this all leads to “making amends,” which is to say that we “are changed for the better and made right” with God, “reconciling” us to our Heavenly Father.
To kaphar/reconcile is “to restore friendship, making a relationship harmonious.” It means “to resolve the outstanding issues and to settle all debts.” It is to be “congruent—in complete agreement, corresponding to and conforming with whatever is required.”
Passover is the first step along the way. Reconciliations is the last. The Miqra’ of Sukah, or Shelters, is the result. Once ransomed and pardoned, once exonerated and forgiven, once renewed and repaired, once amends have been made and reconciliation has been achieved, we are afforded the opportunity to camp out with Yahowah. It was the purpose of the Exodus. It is the plan memorialized in the Mow’ed Miqra’ey. It is the way lived by Yahowsha’. It is the narrow gate which leads to life.
And for those Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, even Muslims, Mormons, and Secular Humanists, who would say that “this plan of reconciliation was only for the Children of Israel,” please consider whether or not you feel comfortable being excluded from “Yisra’el – a compilation of ‘ysh sarah and ‘el, meaning: individuals who engage and endure with God.” If so, the Covenant Relationship, the Towrah Teachings, the Exodus, the Mow’ed Miqra’ey, and indeed, all of Yahowah’s Word, isn’t for you.
“ And (wa) there will not (lo’) exist (hayah) among (ba – with regard to and concerning) the Children (ben) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who strive, struggle, persist, endure, and persevere with and are empowered by God) the plague (nagap – to be smitten, to stumble, and to be infected with a fatal and destructive disease) when the Children of Yisra’el gather together and approach (nagas – come, draw near, and are present, joining altogether) inside (‘el) that which is set apart (qadash/qodesh – the sanctuary which is pure, cleansed, dedicated, and separated).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 8:19) Yahowah’s plan sets us apart from the world and unto Himself, freeing us from the consequence of sin, which is death and destruction.
Within this context, we read: “Yahowah spoke (dabar – communicated with words) to Moseh in (ba) the desolate wilderness (midbar – barren desert) of Synay (synay – a rather mountainous region in the peninsula of Arabia, transliterated, Sinai) in the first (ri’shown – foremost) month (chodes – time of renewal, and new moon) of the second (shemy) year (sanah) after (la) they had come out (yasa’ – been brought and led out) from the realm (‘erets – land and nation) of the Crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – serving as a metaphor for religious, political, military, and economic oppression), saying (‘amar), ‘The Children (ben) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who engage and endure with God) will act upon and attend to (‘asah – will engage in, do, and profit from) the (ha) Pesach / Passover (Pesach) at (ba ‘eth – in accordance with) His (huw’) appointed meeting time (mow’ed).’” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:1-2)
The plural of Synay, Synaym, describes “a people living at the extremity of the known world.” It is most likely derived from the root syr, meaning both “a boiling pot,” and “a thorny brier.” And regardless of what it might mean, or where it might be, at issue here is that every child who wants to live with God has been asked once again by God to attend the festival feast of Pesach at the designated time.
As it relates to this time, Scriptural days begin at sunset and conclude at sundown the following day. Therefore, the fourteenth day of a month would commence at twilight on the thirteenth day after the first sliver of a new crescent moon was sighted in the night sky, and it would end as the sun set on the fourteenth day. Since a lunar month is 29.5 days long, the evening of Passover always occurs during a full moon. From the Exodus perspective, this provided better visibility for the Children of Yisra’el as they walked day and night during their initial sojourn out of Egypt. Prophetically, from the perspective of our salvation, this arrangement enabled Yahowsha’ to observe and attend Passover dinner with His disciples on Thursday evening, in what had just become the beginning of the fourteenth day, and still serve as the Sacrificial Lamb on Friday, which prior to the sun setting, was still Passover.
This unique arrangement which enabled Yahowsha’ to both set an example for us by observing the Passover meal, while also Himself fulfilling its promise the following day as the Passover Lamb, is explained in the next verse.
“On (ba – in and during) the fourteenth (‘asar ‘arba’) day (yowm) of (ba – in and during) this (zeh – specific) month (chodesh – time of renewal), for the purpose of understanding between (bayn – to encourage comprehension during the interval or time between) the (ha) sunsets (‘ereb – evenings), engage in (‘asah – capitalize from) it (‘eth), acting upon it (‘asah ‘ethn – engaging and profiting from it) during (ba) His (huw’) appointed assembly time (mow’ed), according to (ka) all of (kol – the totality and every one of) His (huw’) inscribed prescriptions of what we should do in life to live (chuqah – engraved written instructions which are chiseled out and set in stone, which are designed to cut us into the covenant relationship) and according to (ka) all (kol – the totality of and every one of) His terms and conditions (mishpat – specific codicils of the agreement).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:3) God was very specific, and we must be as well if we want to capitalize on His merciful offer.
The ending of this passage devastates the religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism—all of which claim their authority based upon these Scriptures. By using chuqah, which means to “write a clearly communicated prescription,” “to engrave an instruction,” “to chisel a recommendation into stone,” and “to inscribe directions which are designed to cut us into a relationship,” there is no room for any variance from that which Moseh memorialized in the Towrah. The Oral Law of the rabbis becomes irrelevant. The Babylonian holidays incorporated into Christendom are rendered of no account. Islam’s and Mormonism’s claims providing new, different, covenants are moot.
Further undermining the notion that religions are authorized to alter God’s instructions, Yahowah said that it is “His judgment which counts, His prescriptions, and His terms and conditions.” The “graphic depictions and descriptions” contained in the Towrah are to be observed and understood, and then capitalized upon. Anyone who, or any institution which, says differently, is in direct conflict with the Word of God, and thus is in opposition to Yahowah.
“Moseh (Moseh – the One who Draws us Out) told (‘amar) the Children of Yisra’el (beny Yisra’el – Children who engage and endure with God) to act upon and engage in (‘asah – to gain from, celebrate, and profit from) the (ha) Pesach / Passover (Pesach).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:4)
What follows is a brief discussion of how encountering a dead body is to be equated with touching death—thereby making a person unclean, separating them from the community for a period of time. To resolve the timing issue, Yahowah proposed celebrating the Passover the following month, after the individuals have had the opportunity to properly prepare themselves. This stipulation became necessary during the reign of Chizqyah / Strength of Yah / Hezekiah, as he attempted to reconcile his people with the guidance of the Towrah, and specifically through the proper observance of Passover six centuries hence. We’ll explore that story in a moment.
“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 most compelling aspect of this statement is the precision with which it was rendered. If you are “on the Way,” then you are excused. Missing a Passover will not cause you to be expelled from God’s family. So it is important to recognize that “the Way” is defined by the conditions of the Covenant, the first of which requires us to walk away from Babylon, which God describes as the corruptive influence of religion and politics. The second has us trusting and relying upon Yahowah so that we know how to capitalize upon the third condition which is to walk to God and become perfect.
This affirms that Passover is the doorway to Yah’s mercy, because there is no Matsah without Pesach, just as there is no Bikuwrym without Matsah. So the path which leads to us becoming immortal, to us becoming perfect, to us being reborn spiritually, and to us being adopted into Yahowah’s family begins with Passover and includes Unleavened Bread and FirstFruits.
Even if a person is perfect in every conceivable way, if they fail to act upon and forego Pesach – the doorway to life and to Yah’s home – then they will be excluded from Yahowah’s Covenant and family.
I am also intrigued by chadal because it covers all of the ways a person can avoid the door to God’s home. They can forego it which is passive, and therefore reflects apathy, or forsake it which is active and reflects antipathy.
The Covenant is a relationship, and as such, both parties must engage for it to be meaningful. Therefore, we should not be surprised that those who do not act upon Yahowah’s offer and gift, will be excluded from His family.
Karat, whose primary meaning is “to cut,” was chosen here because of its association with the “beryth – covenant.” Just as the Covenant was cut, and thus established, with Abraham, a person’s response to it determines whether or not they will be afforded access to God’s home or be banished from it. Each of us can choose to side with man and embrace religion and politics, or side with God and embrace His Towrah.
Based upon this statement, Passover is very similar to Yowm Kippurym, the Day of Reconciliations. The only difference is that the soul of an individual who chooses not to attend Pesach is banished from Yahowah’s family, while the soul of an individual who fails to answer the summons to Yowm Kippurym, will have their soul annihilated upon their death. God is serious about His plan, which is why religious corruptions and counterfeits of it are so egregious—so deadly. There is only one way to life, to acceptance into God’s family. There is only one solution for sin. There are many ways to be excluded. Few are saved, and most are lost.
There is a subtlety in this passage worth considering. Timing is important. If “Yahowah’s sacrificial offering [Yahowsha’ as the Passover Lamb] had not appeared and presented [Himself], had [He] not approached [us] and joined [us] together at the appointed time and in the designated place, [we would all] bear the burden of [our] guilt,” and every “soul would be severed and separated from the family.” So it bears restating: there is only one way to be included into our Heavenly Father’s family, and that process begins with Passover and Yahowsha’s fulfillment of it. Our salvation is facilitated by our willingness to act upon and engage in Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym. (To hell with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Last Supper, the Eucharist, Communion, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.)
This next passage speaks to the inclusiveness of Passover. “If (ky) a guest or foreigner (guwr – someone from a different racial, cultural, or geographic community), a newcomer or a visitor (guwr – a stranger) who is with you (‘eth), wants to attend and engage in (‘asah – profit from) the Pesach (ha Pesach – the Passover) to approach (la – of and concerning) Yahowah ( ) in the manner that (ka – in the same way that) the prescriptions were inscribed for living (chuqah – the instructions to cut us into the relationship were engraved in writing) regarding Pesach (Pesach – Passover), and consistent with (ka) His terms and conditions (mishpat – His instructions and directions pertaining to the covenant’s stipulations), then one (‘echad) [Passover] will exist (hayah) for you all—for the guest, foreigner, newcomer, or visitor (guwr – for those from different racial, cultural, or geographic communities) and for the native-born person (‘ezrah ‘erets – citizen of the land, region, and nation).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:14) Catholicism’s “it’s for them” argument has just gone down in flames.
God has made it unambiguous: there are a lot of different people, from a wide range of races and places, but there is only one path to eternal life. And it begins with attending Passover.
He has also affirmed that Pesach is one of Yahowah’s “chuqah – prescriptions for living which cut us into the covenant relationship.” Moreover, observing Passover is one of the “mishpat – terms and conditions of the covenant,” because it is the first step we walk to God to become perfect.
This next passage has nothing to do with the Passover and everything to do with it. “During (ba – in) the day (yowm), the standing (quwm – upright, established, restoring, supportive, enduring, and raised up) Tabernacle (mishkan – dwelling) and Tent (‘ohel – home) of the Witness and Testimony (‘eduwth – revealed evidence) was covered (kasha – adorned) in water vapor (‘anan – a cloud-like mist). And (wa) during (ba) the evening (‘ereb – after sundown at night) there came to exist (hayah) an appearance (mar’eh – clearly comprehensible sight) similar to (ka) fire (‘esh – radiant energy and light) over and upon (‘al) the Tabernacle (mishkan – dwelling place) until (‘ad) morning (boqer – sunrise).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:15)
Yahowah who is one, conveys His presence and nature in different ways. Most are familiar with the Son and Spirit. Here we see a cloud which covers and the appearance of fire. Each represents Yahowah. Each is set apart from Yahowah. Each is a diminished manifestation of Yahowah. One God, one Purpose, one Personality, one Message, and one Way home.
The Tabernacle represented Yahowah’s presence among His people. And like God in the role of the Passover Lamb, our Savior, it “quwm/stood upright, establishing, restoring, and supporting” us, enabling us to “rise up and endure” in God’s “home.”
Our souls become the tabernacle of Yahowah on earth. And in the manner of our Spiritual Mother, once we are reborn spiritually, our personal tabernacle is immediately adorned in the Set-Apart Spirit’s Garment of Light. She “kasha/clothes us, concealing, forgiving, and pardoning” our every sin, making our failures invisible to God. This garment causes us to take on Yahowah’s appearance, radiating His light.
Before we leave this scene, let’s consider one final verse. In it, God is describing our future—a time where we will travel throughout the universe, camping out with God wherever He goes. In a very real sense, He will serve as our tour guide.
“Based upon (‘al) words from the mouth (peh – a metaphor for spoken communication) of Yahowah ( ), the Children (ben) of Yisra’el (‘ysh sarah ‘el – those who strive and struggle with, persist and endure with, who persevere with and are empowered by God) set out (nasa’ – pulled up camp, moved out, went forward, traveled, and tore loose). And based upon (‘al) words from the mouth (peh – spoken communication) of Yahowah ( ), they camped out fortuitously (chanah – they remained near their merciful and friendly encampment).
Each (kol) day (yowm) which relationally (‘asher) the cloud (‘anan – visible mass of water vapor) dwelled and remained (sakan – lived and inhabited, abided and settled down, residing) over and upon (‘al) the Tabernacle (mishkan – dwelling place and home) they enjoyed the generous and accommodating encampment (chanah – remained near their friendly and fortuitous camp).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 9:18)
Yahowah wants to campout with us. It is God’s idea of a good time. And it should be ours as well. When we are in His company, life is good.
This passage serves to suggest that we will spend our eternity exploring the universe with Yahowah, camping out with Him wherever He should take us. As this Bamidbar / Numbers’ Nine discussion develops, we discover that whenever the cloud lifted from the Tent of the Witness and Testimony, the family of God got up and got going—walking along with their Heavenly Father. When He wanted to hang out in one place for a while, they did that as well. There was plenty of time and there were many tales to tell, songs to sing, meals to eat, fires to be warmed by, and new things to see and experience.
The next mention of Passover occurs in Dabarym, which has been twisted and corrupted to “Deuteronomy,” meaning “second law” in Greek. With one exception, the following words serve to confirm what we have already discovered.
“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)
There is an aspect of ‘Abyb few consider. Since it represents the time of year when barley, the grain of which is symbolic of saved souls, is still green, malleable, growing, and receptive to nourishment. We are therefore being encouraged to act upon Yahowah’s offer while we are young, malleable, growing, and receptive. While there are notable exceptions, when we grow old we typically become more set in our ways and are less willing to change.
This verse also serves to tie Yahowah, the Exodus, Passover, and the month of ‘Abyb together, affirming once again that we are called to carefully observe the connections which God has made. There is no other way to know or approach Yahowah. This is the best way to understand His offer and provision.
In what follows we are being afforded some additional information with regard to our celebration of Passover. But to understand what Yahowah wants, we are going to have to think about these words.
“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.”
“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’).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:3)
Hames can also be translated “vinegar,” which is soured wine. That is because, wine is symbolic of the bloodshed on Passover, and only the unblemished blood of the perfect Lamb of God is capable of atoning for our sins, reconciling us unto our Heavenly Father.
The same three Hebrew letters vocalized hamas, also mean “to oppress,” and to be “ruthless and cruel,” to “despise and treat inappropriately,” and as such, it speaks indirectly of religious and political schemes, and specifically of one of Islam’s worst: the fundamentalist Muslim terrorist organization “Hamas.” A related word, hamaq, describes those who “have turned away and withdrawn” from God. They are hamar, “in turmoil, boiling over, and foaming,” even “anointed (daubed, smeared, covered, and sealed up) in black tar and red blood.” This is all metaphoric of them being possessed by Satan, being enraged by him, and then killing for him.
Speaking of “Matsah / Unleavened Bread which not only follows Pesach / Passover, but is an integral part of Yah’s provision, we read: “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 reference to the “bread of oppression” had both historic and prophetic meaning. As a result of man’s political and religious schemes, Yahowah’s children were oppressed in the Crucible of Egypt. God not only wanted to free them from this and every other religious and political scheme, He wants us to leave expeditiously. Not only wasn’t there any time to leaven the bread, God did not want His children to be corrupted by Egypt any longer.
Prophetically, the “bread of affliction” speaks of Yahowsha’s statement of “remembrance,” so let’s consider it now. “And when (hote) the specific (ho) time (hora) had come (ginomai – had come to exist), He [Yahowsha’] reclined to eat (anapipto) together with (sun – in the company of) His apostles (apostolos – messengers, representatives, and envoys). He said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired (epithymeo) and longed (epithumia – hopefully and anxiously anticipated) to eat (esthio – partake in the meal of) this particular (houtos) Pascha (pascha – a transliteration of the Hebrew Pesach, meaning Passover) with (meta) you before (pro) I suffer affliction (pascho – undergo, experience, and endure that which will be done to me).
For indeed (gar) I say (lego – affirm) to you that (hoti) I will absolutely (ou) not (me) eat (esthio) it again until (hoes) everything (hostis) is completely fulfilled (pleroo – fully provided for and finished within the true meaning) in (en – by way of) the power and authority (basileia – rule, reign, and realm) of Yahowah (ΘΥ – used as a placeholder).”
“Grasping hold of and receiving (dechomai – welcoming and accepting, trusting and relying upon) the cup (poterion) in a thankful manner (eucharisteo – beneficial, grateful, acceptable, and pleasing attitude, being mindful of the favor being done), He said (eipon), ‘Select, acquire, receive, and grasp hold of (lambano – prefer, choose, obtain, come to accept, trust, and rely upon, experience and take advantage of) this and distribute (diamerizomai – separate it into parts and share) it among (eis) yourselves.’
He grasped hold of (lambano – chose, came to accept, trusted, and relied upon, experienced and took advantage of) the bread (artos) in a thankful manner (eucharisteo – with a beneficial, grateful, acceptable, and pleasing attitude, being mindful of the favor being done), broke (klao) it, giving it to (didomi – bestowing it as a gift upon) them, saying (lego – affirming), ‘This exists as (eimi – I exist as, this represents, I am and this is a symbol which is closely associated with) My (ego) body (soma – physical being) given of My own accord (didomi – deposited and bestowed as a gift) concerning you and for your behalf (hyper sou – to pay the price to ransom, redeem, and reconcile you).
Attend to, keep, celebrate, accomplish, and consider (poieo – do and affirm this manifestation of this tangible and corporeal act, benefit and profit from) this (houtos) in (eis) remembrance of (anamneisi – in consideration of and as a means of recalling) Me (emos).” (translated from Hebrew to Greek as it is found in Luke 22:14-17, 19)
Yahowsha’ did not say “eat and drink them.” He said “do this,” which in Hebrew would have been “‘asah – engage and act upon this.” And “this” was and is the observation of Pesach / Passover. The promise was being honored, enabled, paid for, and fulfilled. Also relevant, My “body,” which would have “basar – corporeal manifestation of a physical being” in Hebrew, was a reference to it serving as the Passover Lamb.
Returning to Yahowah’s Towrah / Instruction and to Dabarym / Words, we find Yahowah telling His children:
“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).” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 16:4)
Yeast is synonymous with sin, personal wrongdoing and religious indoctrination. The fact that it is being removed from our sinful nature at this time is visually reinforced by the removal of yeast from the perimeter of our very existence. Just as our sin is now longer seen by God, yeast is no longer seen by us during the united celebration of Pesach – Matsah leading to Bikuwrym. That is to say that our sin has been completely removed, making us appear perfect in God’s eyes.
Seven denotes Yahowah’s promise and formula. Six, representing man, plus one, representing God, equals seven – the promise of God to save us from ourselves.
“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)
The purpose of the Passover sacrifice is to make us immortal and empower us to approach God. In its fulfillment, the body of the Passover Lamb was not allowed to remain overnight. After Yahowsha’s corporeal nature had fulfilled the mission of the Passover Lamb and was placed in a tomb, and immediately after His soul had descended into the place of separation on Matsah to redeem us, His “basar – flesh and body” “lo’ lyn – ceased to exist during the night.” Therefore, those who advocate the notion that Yahowsha’ was resurrected bodily, don’t understand Yahowah’s Passover instructions. The holiest day on the Christian calendar is predicated upon a myth, one which deflects believers’ attention from Yahowah’s provision.
What follows is also prophetic of Yahowah’s intent. The only purpose behind sacrificing ordinary lambs was to direct our attention to the Lamb of God who would offer His body and soul on Mount Mowryah on Pesach and Matsah so that we could celebrate Bikuwrym.
Most of this next instruction is not found in Qumran scrolls, so we are going to have to be cautious. The Masoretic, however, seems to suggest that those who are, or at least were, living in Yisra’el, in one of the many towns personally given to them by Yahowah, should observe Pesach in the place Yahowah chooses for His name to abide. But since those to whom this message was initially directed lived and died five hundred years before any edifice in Yaruwshalaim bore Yahowah’s name, we are compelled to consider other options.
“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.
“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)
As the sun set on the oppressive grip of the sun god religion of Egypt, Yahowah freed His people. And as the sun set on the religious state of Judea, Yahowah freed the whole world from the consequence of sin.
As an interesting aside, since Yahowah has brought up the “standing place where He has chosen for His name to abide,” I want to share something from the introduction to the book of Shemowth / Exodus in the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. The editors discovered that Exodus 15:17-18 actually spoke of a “new temple prepared for the Last Days—a time of future glory envisioned as the setting for the Ma’aseyah earthly reign.”
Turning to this passage as it is presented in 4QExod, we find Moseh speaking to Yahowah about His return, and regarding the family He has redeemed, literally “qanah – acquiring them by purchasing them.” “You [Yahowah] will return (bow’) and firmly root (nata’ – pitch a tent, plant, and establish) them in (ba) Your Mountain (har) of Inheritance (nahalah – where by association and relationship heirs receive property, possessions, and power), the foundational site which establishes the basis (makown) for living (yasab – for restoration, renewal, marriage, and dwelling) which you, Yahowah ( ), will accomplish and make (pa’al – perform the work) Yourself—the Temple (miqdash – sanctuary, from qadash, that which is set apart) which You Yahowah ( ) will fashion and form (kuwn – prepare, build, and establish) with Your own hand (yad – power and authority). Yahowah ( ) shall reign as King (malak) forever and ever (‘owlam wa ‘ad).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Exodus 15:17-18)
The first part of this passage is prophetic of Yahowah, in the form of Yahowsha’, returning to personally accomplish and perform the work which is required to firmly root His family in the Promised Land (His Home), and to adopt us (leading to our inheritance of the Covenant’s promises) on the foundational site which provides the basis of living—Mount Mowryah. And while Yahowsha’ has and will serve as the Temple of Yahowah, as part of Yahowah, Yahowsha’ was not “fashioned or formed.” Therefore, the second half of this passage is prophetic of the Millennial Temple which God, Himself, will build.
This account is particularly interesting because apart from the Promised Land, and without a Temple, the Passover sacrifice cannot be kept in complete accord with Yahowah’s instructions. That is partly by design, in that Yahowsha’ perfectly honored, fulfilled, and enabled it. But we know that the Passover sacrifices will be reestablished during the Millennial Sabbath, as a way of looking back at what God has done—just as those which were performed in the days of Moseh looked forward to what the Lamb of God would do. And as I have long suspected, Yahowah, not men, will build the final Temple. He will do so on the summit of the Mountain of Inheritance—directly over the foundational site which He, Himself, established as the basis for living, of restoration and of renewal—over Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. And as it was with the sacrifice on Mount Mowryah, it will be with the Millennial Temple: Yahowah will do the work Himself.
While it is a jot among tittles, the Masoretes replaced the second “Yahowah” in Exodus 15:17 with ‘eden, meaning “upright pillar and foundation,” whereby English translators rendered it “Lord,” as in ‘adonay. Among other things, rabbis detest the notions of Yahowah’s name being spoken, and of Him constructing the Temple with His own hands, as these things collectively destroy three of Rabbinical Judaism’s central planks in a single phrase.
So the moral of the story is: the rabbis didn’t much like the idea of Yahowah “returning” (thereby affirming that He has been here before (and that they tried to kill Him)), of God reestablishing the Temple (and thereby negating the rabbinical negation of it), of Yahowah doing things with His hands (and thereby being corporeal), or of Him reigning forever and ever, emasculating their illegitimate claim on authority.
The Shemowth / Exodus 15:17-18 passage as it is rendered in the Dead Sea Scrolls is equally devastating to Catholicism, because it says that Yahowah’s family is rooted in Yisra’el, not in Rome. It renders the Vatican irrelevant because Yahowah’s Temple will be reestablished in Jerusalem. It demonstrates that the keys to God’s home are on Mount Mowryah, not in the hands of popes. And it proves that the most recent pope was wrong when he stated that Yahowah’s name could not be spoken in any Catholic service. Moreover, Yahowah is the only one who is authorized to rule, now and forever.
The one bright light in the darkness of what would become a religious and political nightmare for the Children of Yisra’el—one brought on by their rejection of Yahowah and His Towrah instructions—occurred during the reign of Yachizqyah / Hezekiah. Here is that remarkable story...
“Yachizqyah (Yahizqyah – Yah Strengthens, Gathers, and Unifies, transliterated, Hezekiah) sent out (salah – dispatched) written (katab – inscribed using an alphabet) letters (‘igarah) to (‘al – toward and before, concerning) all of (kol) Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who strive, struggle, persist, endure, and persevere with God), Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – those who Relate to and are Related to Yah) and also (gam) a written letter (katab‘igarah) to ‘Ephraym (‘Ephraym – second son of Yowseph, reckoned among the sons of Ya’aqob by being given preference over Manasseh, and used to describe the Northern Kingdom during the divided period; meaning: stretcher or litter used to carry those who are sick and injured, transliterated, Ephraim) and Manaseh (Manaseh – son of Yowseph who was adopted by Ya’aqob, the forgotten one who forgets) to come to the house and home (beyth – household and family) of Yahowah ( ) in Yaruwshalaim (Yaruwshalaim – the source of salvation) to attend to, act upon, celebrate, and consider (‘asah – to engage in and affirm, benefit and profit from) the Pesach / Passover (Pesach) with (ba) Yahowah ( ), the God (‘elohym) of those individuals who engage and endure with the Almighty (Yisra’el).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:1)
The kingdom was not only divided, it was separated from God. As with today’s Christian culture, God’s invitations to meet with Him were being ignored—as was the Sabbath. It was so bad back in Yachizqyah / Hezekiah’s day, that there weren’t enough Lowy / Levites trained and available to perform the Passover in harmony with the Towrah’s instructions. It had to be delayed a month by invoking the “touching death” stipulation we considered earlier in Bamidbar / Numbers. They would spend an entire month cleaning the temple of inappropriate imagery—an example Catholics, in particular, would be wise to observe.
The motivation for the restoration and revival wasn’t purely spiritual or nostalgic. Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem would soon be under siege. Sennacherib and his Assyrian forces were poised to descend upon Yahuwdah / Judea, and they had been invincible, sacking a number of outlying towns. The Northern Kingdom had been destroyed, with so many Yahuwdym / Jews being exiled and enslaved, that ten of the twelve tribes were now considered lost.
The name Sin-ahhi-eriba, as it is transliterated from the Akkadian, means “Sin (the moon god) has lost my brothers.” He was the son of Sargon II, and took the throne after his father’s violent death in 704 BCE. Yahowsha’s parable of the Wicked Husbandmen in Mattanyah / Matthew 21:33-41 is directed in part toward his ruthlessness and greed.
Sennacherib had an attitude, so Yisra’el / Israel, rather than relying upon Yahowah for protection, had joined Marduk-apla-iddina II’s Babylonian coalition against Sin-ahhi-eriba. And unfortunately, Sin’s forces had trounced Marduk’s, and Babylon was now part of Assyria. Then to add insult to injury, in 701 BCE, Chizqyah / Strength of Yah / Hezekiah participated in a rebellion backed by Egypt and by the rebellious Babylonians, which is why Sennacherib was on his way with 185,000 troops.
Having seen the Light, Yachizqyah / Hezekiah pleaded with his brethren. “Indeed if (ky) you return to (suwb – turn around, change, and are repaired and restored by) Yahowah ( ), your children (ben – sons) and brothers (‘ah – relatives and fellow countrymen) will find compassion (rachamym – mercy and favor). In the face (paneh) of these captors (sabah – those who take prisoners and enslave them), you will return and be restored (suwb) to (la) this (zo’th) land (‘erets).
And that is because (ky – for the reason that) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym – Mighty One), is merciful (chanusn – kind) and prone to favoritism and forgiveness (rachuwm – compassion and mercy). He will not (lo’) turn away and remove (suwr – reject and depart, forsake and separate) His presence (paneh) from you (min) if (‘im) you return (suwb – turn around, change your attitude, thinking, perspective, and direction) to (‘el) Him (huw’).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:9)
Even in our darkest hour, even when our motivations for returning home may be selfish, our Heavenly Father is always there with open arms. There is nothing He wants more than to restore the broken relationship with His family.
However, there is another thought here worth pondering. As I understand it, the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is impugned by this verse. Rather than man being the recipient of God’s initiative, to be restored, it is man who must turn around and return home. Yahowah has provided the way, but we must provide the initiative. Freewill remains essential, because choice is the foundation upon which love is made possible.
Since God is consistent, and we have every reason to know that He is, if Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches were to abandon their pagan practices (calling Yahowah “Lord,” their use of crosses, communion, the Eucharist, Sunday worship, and the observance of Easter and Christmas, for example) and return to the God of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and trust and rely upon His instructions and provisions, all would be forgiven and the people would be restored.
“And a great number (rab) of people (‘am – family members) gathered together (‘asap – assembled) in Yaruwshalaim (Yaruwshalaim – source of reconciliation) to attend to and engage in (‘asah – to celebrate, accomplish, and consider, to affirm, benefit from, and profit from) the Festival Feast (chag – the celebration and party) of Matsah / Bread without Yeast (matsah – to drain out [yeast, and thus sin]) in the second (shanaym) month (chodesh – time of renewal), assembling to approach (qahal – congregating as a community to draw near) in vast (me’od – great) multitudes (rob).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:13)
Yahowah refers to Passover as the “Feast of Un-Yeasted Bread.” He does so for two reasons. First, Pesach, Matsah, and Bikurym work together as an integrated whole with a single purpose. And second, Unleavened Bread is more important than Passover or FirstFruits. While the consequence of sin is death, the penalty, which is of greater significance, is separation from God. Yahowsha’s Passover sacrifice only dealt with the consequence of sin. But His willingness to pay the penalty for sin, allowing His soul, or consciousness, to be separated from Yahowah’s Spirit on our behalf on Matsah, is what restored us to fellowship—bringing God’s redeemed children back home on FirstFruits.
The reason suwb has been used repeatedly in this context is addressed in the next verse. Before we can be “repaired and restored” by Yahowah, we must first “turn around and away” from our religious traditions and accompanying paraphernalia. Only then, can we “suwb/return” home.
“They stood up (quwm – and took a stand) and rejected and removed (suwr – turned away from, drug off, and abolished) the altars (mizbeah – places of sacrifice to and worship of gods) which (‘asher) were in (ba) Yaruwshalaim (Yaruwshalaim – the Source from which Reconciliation Flows), and all of the incense burners (meqatereth – metal accessories associated with burning fragrant material in worship services).
They rejected and removed them (suwr – turned away from, drug off, and abolished them), hurling them (salak – flinging, throwing, and casting them) into (ba) the Qidrown (Qidrown – the place of darkness and mourning, transliterated Kidron, a valley which served as Yahruwshalaim’s trash disposal site) Valley (nahal – ravine).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:14)
There are more than a million altars to saints, and especially to Mary, and even the Christian Jesus Christ, which deserve the same fate. And while the Catholic and Orthodox Christians are at it, they would do well to dispose of all of their religious icons and incense burners. They all belong in “the realm of darkness and mourning.” Trash them.
But alas, the proponents of the Christian religion have done just the opposite. Rather than rejecting Easter and Christmas, they have discarded Passover and Shelters. Rather than dispensing with the “Lord Jesus Christ,” they have dispensed with Yahowah’s name. And as I alluded to earlier, in 2008 the Catholic Church officially banned the inclusion of Yahowah’s name in any church, cathedral, or ceremony.
It is only after all of the religious trappings are gone, that we are ready to come home. For us to embrace the truth, we must first discard the lies. That is why the prerequisite of the Covenant calls us to walk away from Babel – the corrupting influence of religion.
They would be a month late...“They slaughtered (shachat) the Pesach / Passover [lamb] (Pesach) on the fourteenth day (ba ‘arba’ ‘asar yowm) of the second month (la ha chodesh ha sheny). But (wa) the Lowy (lowy – those who join and unite, transliterated Levites) and the priests (wa kohen – ministers and government officials) had been disgraced and were ashamed (kalam) so (wa) they set themselves apart and dedicated themselves (qadash – cleansed, purified, and devoted themselves), arriving with (bow’ – coming, bringing and bearing) burnt offerings (‘olah – that which elevates by making us acceptable) to Yahowah’s ( ) house (beyth – home, household, and family).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:15) Before a minister, a judge, or a government official can serve God, they must first acknowledge that they and their religion and political associations are a disgrace.
To make things right, we must stand up for what is right. And the definition of what is right in the judgment of God is found in the Towrah.
“Then (wa) they stood up and presented themselves (‘amad) at their stations (‘omed – standing places and assigned posts) according to (ka – in compliance with) the Towrah (towrah – the source of instructions, teaching, guidance and directions), and according to (ka – in compliance with and consistent with) the means to justly resolve disputes (mishpat – the method of exercising good judgments) of Moseh, the man (‘ysh – person and individual) of God (‘elohym).
And with (‘eth) their hands (yad – using their authority), the Lowy (lowy – those who unite, known as the Levite) priests who officiated (kohen) sprinkled (zaraq) the blood (dam) ” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:16)
The point here is that one of the reasons that Moseh was “a man of God,” was that there was no difference between his testimony and conclusions, and those revealed in the Towrah. Therefore, we now know that to become a man of God, at the very least, our testimony and conclusions ought to be “ka/in accord with, compliant with, and consistent with” the Towrah. And since not one Christian cleric in a million can make this claim, you should not believe them when they pretend to be men of God.
“ for indeed (ky – because) there were many (rab – a great number of those) in (ba) the assembly (qahal – community and crowd) who (‘asher) had not (lo’) set themselves apart and dedicated themselves (qadash – cleansed, purified, and devoted themselves). So the Lowy (lowy) performed the sacrifice (shachat) of (‘al) Pesach / Passover (Pesach) on behalf of (la) everyone (kol) who was not (lo’) clean (tahowr – purified and restored), setting them apart (qadash – dedicating and devoting them) to approach (la) Yahowah ( ).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:17)
“Indeed, because (ky) the majority (marbyth – the great preponderance) of the people (‘am – family and nation), including many from ‘Ephraym (‘Ephraym – the Northern Kingdom), Manaseh (Manaseh – the forgotten one), Yisaskar (Yisaskar – 9th son of Ya’aqob, meaning: he exists to bear the burden and pay the fare or fee, transliterated Issachar), and Zabuwluwn (Zabuwluwn – 10th son of Ya’aqob, meaning: to live abundantly, transliterated Zebulun) were not (lo’) clean (taher – purified and restored, shining brightly) when (ky) they ate (‘akal) Pesach / Passover (Pesach). They did so in a manner which was inconsistent with (ba lo’ ka) the written word (katab – engraved and inscribed witness, Scripture).
Therefore (ky), Yachizqyah / Hezekiah mediated and arbitrated (palal – intervened and interceded, providing a justification) for (‘al – or against) them, saying (‘amar) to (la) Yahowah ( ), who is good, moral, generous, and festive (towb – joyous, beautiful, and pleasing), ‘He may eventually (‘ad – ultimately) pardon and reconcile (kaphar) all (kol) those whose hearts (lebab – inner natures, passions, and longings) are prepared to authenticate it (kuwn – ready to be established based upon a rational thought process which leads to a firm conclusion which can be trusted, properly grounded, upright, honest, and steadfast) with regard to (la – concerning) consistently inquiring about the way to (daras – repeatedly reading regarding the path, repetitively seeking information not previously known, habitually looking for and pondering a relationship through the process of diligently studying a written account over and over again regarding) Almighty (‘elohym) Yahowah ( ), the God (‘elohym) of our fathers (‘am). Even though (wa) we were not in accord with (lo’ ka) the cleansing of (tahorah – from taher, purifying restoration and brilliant light of) the Set-Apart Sanctuary (qodesh – cleansing that which is separated).’” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:18-19)
First, it is interesting to note that taher, translated “clean” and “cleansing” in 2 Chronicles 30:18-19, also means: “to shine brightly and to radiate pure light.” Within the context of being “purified, and restored,” these attributes delineate the specific benefits of the Set-Apart Spirit’s Garment of Light. So while the context here may mean nothing more than they had not bathed properly before celebrating the Passover, or that they were still sullied by their former religious trappings, from a prophetic perspective, those who “are not clean” represent people who have not been reborn and restored spiritually.
There is nothing casual or trivial about daras, which is the operative word in this passage. To translate it “seek,” as most English bibles are wont to do, misses its purpose. Daras actually means to “repeatedly read something,” in this case the Towrah. To daras is to “resolutely walk down the exact same path so frequently a trail is tread in the ground,”—that being the way to God which begins with Passover. To daras is to make the quest to yada’ Yah a passion. It is to “repeatedly study the Word of God, while contemplating how each word conveys the nature of the relationship Yahowah seeks. Those who are daras are zealous about the path home.
The diligence which is required to meet the daras standard is further reinforced by kuwn. While superficially it means “to be ready,” the word’s primary connotation is “to be firmly established upright, properly directed and prepared based upon that which is right and verifiable.” It is rooted in the concepts of being “sure and steadfast” so as “to permanently endure.” Therefore, kuwn conveys the idea that we are to trust and rely upon that which is verifiable and true.
Before we ponder the full import of this message, let’s read the passage without the amplification: “Because the majority of the people, including many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun were not clean, so when they ate Passover they did so in a manner which was inconsistent with the written word. Therefore, Chizqyah / Strength of Yah / Hezekiah mediated and arbitrated for them, saying of Yahowah, who is good, moral, and generous, ‘He may pardon and reconcile all those whose hearts are prepared to consistently inquire about the way to Almighty Yahowah, the God of our fathers. Even though we were not in accord with the cleansing of the Set Apart Sanctuary.’”
All of these people had come to Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Their hearts and minds were resolutely focused on studying God’s Word and understanding His plan. And with only one exception, that of being “clean” in advance of the feast, they followed Yahowah’s instructions as they were written in the Towrah. And yet their fate was still uncertain. Therefore, there is no likelihood that Yahowah will save those who continually engage in religious practices – most all of which are in conflict with His Word – no matter how small the error or misunderstanding. So the question becomes: How wrong can a person be and still be right with God?
Today, this question resonates throughout Christendom. Has the replacement of Yahowah with Lord, Passover with the Last Supper’s Communion and Eucharist, and the FirstFruits’ commemoration with Easter, left Christians without a pardon? Have the religious trappings of crosses, Christmas trees, and Easter Bunnies, left Christians sufficiently unclean that their salvation is in jeopardy? Are the various gods of the many religions man has created able to save those who rely upon them?
While it isn’t my job to provide a definitive answer to the question of how much religious corruption a person can endure before it becomes fatal, this I can affirm with certainty: those who walk away from religion, who diligently observe the Towrah and come to know Yahowah sufficiently to trust and rely upon Him, who walk to God and become perfect by answering the seven annual Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet with Him, who come to understand and properly respond to the Covenant’s terms and conditions, and who if they are men are circumcised, all such individuals will be saved. They will be adopted by our Heavenly Father, and invited to campout with Him in His home forever. Therefore, rather than wondering how God will treat those who have been misled, we should instead accurately communicate the plan God assured us will lead to His Home. Anything else is a waste of time.
In the case of those who answered the summons to celebrate Passover, and whose hearts (inner nature, passion, and longing) were prepared to authenticate, (ready to be established based upon a rational thought process which leads to a firm conclusion which can be trusted, properly grounded, upright, honest, and steadfast) that with regard to consistently inquiring about the way to (repeatedly reading regarding the path, repetitively seeking information not previously known, habitually looking for and pondering a relationship through the process of diligently studying a written account over and over again regarding) Almighty Yahowah,” we find:
“Yahowah listened to (shama’) Yachizqyah / Hezekiah and healed (rapa’ – repaired and restored) the family (‘am – and people).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:20) Based upon this example, everyone who observes Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, and who diligently and passionately studies the path to the Covenant relationship and to life in Yah’s Home as it is presented in Yahowah’s written Towrah testimony, will be restored.
“And the Children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who engage and endure with God) who appeared (matsa’ – were found, recognized, and encountered) in (ba) Yaruwshalaim (Yaruwshalaim – the place from which reconciliations flows) acted upon and engaged in (‘asah – celebrated and profited from) the (ha) Festival Feast (chag – celebration, gathering together, and party) of Matsah / Un-Yeasted Bread (matsah – baked flour devoid of yeast) for seven (seba’) days (yowm) in great (gadowl) joy and gladness (simhah – with an attitude of cheerfulness, delight and happiness, rejoicing and merriment) and radiant cheering (halal – beaming praise, shining brightly with a clear and visible light) concerning approaching (la – and on behalf of) Yahowah ( ).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:20)
The primary meaning of halal, which is usually translated “praise,” is “to shine, radiating a clear and brilliant light.” From Yahowah’s perspective, this is what we look like once we have been adorned in the Set-Apart Spirit’s Garment of Light. Our every sin is bathed in His glory, making us appear perfectly pure and clean, as well as fully restored and renewed, in God’s eyes.
“Yachizqyah (Yahizqyah – Yah Strengthens, Gathers, and Unifies, transliterated, Hezekiah) spoke (dabar – shared words) concerning (‘al) the heart (leb – inner person, mind, spirit, soul, and attitude) of all (kol) the Lowy (lowy – those who join and unite, transliterated, Levites) who were prudent (shakal – circumspect, discriminating, judicious, perceptive, and wise), exercising good (towb – sound) judgment (shekel – and understanding, acumen, and wisdom) concerning approaching (la – regarding) Yahowah ( ) ” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:22)
In this passage, shakal and shekel, appear identically in the original text. Further, the primary meaning of the only word which separates them, towb, is “to be desirable, pleasing, friendly, festive, and beautiful in someone’s sight,” as well as to “be good as it relates to values and character.” Therefore, the message could well be that the “leb/hearts, feelings and attitudes” of these Lowy were “pleasing and desirable” to God, because they were “prudent, circumspect, discriminating, and perceptive” which in turn caused them to “understand and be wise.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, to be sakal/prudent, is “to be judicious,” and to be judicious is “to exercise sound judgment.” The same source offers two synonyms to help us better assimilate the meaning of judgment. The first is “discernment,” defined as: “the ability to accurately grasp and comprehend a truth which may not be evident to most people.” Its synonyms include: “discrimination (the ability to distinguish between that which is true and false, right and wrong, good and bad), perception (the ability to visualize the entire picture, including its various shadings, and see how the parts comprise the whole), insight (which provides a depth of understanding), and acumen (which is keenness of perception, discernment and discrimination). The second synonym offered for judgment is “sense,” defined as “the ability to ascertain the conveyed and intended meanings, recognizing those aspects which are important and significant.”
So God is saying that this laundry list of things which are all cerebral, the products of one’s mind, of thinking, also pertain to the heart—which is a metaphor for our feelings, attitudes, and emotions. It is: “I think and therefore I feel.” Or in this case: “I think appropriately and I come to desire God, to be friendly with and pleasing to Him.”
“ and (wa) for (‘eth) seven (seba’) days (yowm) at the appointed place and designated time of the assembly (mow’ed) they ate (‘akal) the redemptive reconciling gift of fellowship (shelem zebach – the restitution offering which makes amends and restores the relationship with promises of a covenant alliance of friendship and peace). And they expressed their appreciation (yadah – gave thanks, celebrating and confessing) to (la) Yahowah ( ), God (‘elohym) of their fathers (‘am).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:22)
The Hebrew letters sh-l-m can be vocalized to mean anything from “perfect peace and safety,” to “a sacrificial ransom,” from “friendship” to “restoration.” It speaks of “recompense (to pay a debt), requital (compensation for a suitable return), of alliances and covenants,” even of “voluntary sacrifices for the wellbeing of others.” It is “to deliver someone, freeing them, by rendering a ransom or paying their debts in full.” It describes what the Lamb of God did for us on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits.
Yahowah’s restored family members were all so happy about the restoration of their relationship with their Heavenly Father, so caught up in the celebration and its significance, especially as it related to their salvation, “the entire assembly (qahal – community) decided (ya’as – determined and concluded after a period of informed deliberation) to engage in (‘asah) it another (‘aher – an additional) seven days—seven days of joy (shimhah – happiness and cheerfulness).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:23)
It is hard to miss the fact that even in their darkest hour, with one of the most ruthless regimes in human history, 185,000 warriors strong, camped outside their gates, everyone who participated in the Passover was having fun. It is a lesson for all of us.
“And everyone (kol) was glad and rejoiced (samah – was elated, expressing a cheerful attitude, happy and merry), the entire community (qahal – assembly), Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – those who relate with and are related to Yah), the Lowy (lowy – those who unite) priests (kohen – who officiate), and everyone (kol) in the crowd (qahal) who came (bow’) from Yisra’el (‘ysh sarah ‘el – individuals who strive and struggle with, those who persist, engage, and endure with, those who persevere with and are empowered by God), even the foreigners (ger – those from other places, nations, and races) who came from the region (‘erets – land) of Yisra’el and who lived (yasab – settled) in Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – meaning Related to Yah, but transliterated Judah).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:25)
This was “trickle down” at its best. One man, albeit an egotistical, self-reliant, and flawed individual (see 2 Chronicles 32:25), decided to clean house (dispense with all religious trappings) and return to the Towrah, its path, and its God. He encouraged others to follow his example and Yah blessed them. While my hope would be that we would do the same, I’ve read the end of this story and know that we don’t.
Once again “And there was (hayah) great (gadowl) joy (simhah – merriment and happiness) in Yaruwshalaim (Yaruwshalaim – the place from which redemption flows).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:26) Things had not been this good since the time of Solomon, Dowd / David’s son.
If you want your voice to be heard in heaven, here is a clue: answer God’s Invitations to Meet with Him. If God actually heard every prayer, no matter the nature or condition of the petitioner, this verse would be superfluous.
“The Lowy (lowy – those who unite) priests (kohen – who officiate), stood up (quwm) and evoked favor (barak – commending) on behalf of (‘eth) the family (‘am – people). And their voice (qowl) was heard (shama’), coming (bow’ – arriving) as a petition (taphilah – plea, prayer, and request), to (la) the set-apart (qodesh) dwelling place (ma’own – abode) of the spiritual realm (shamaym – heaven).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 30:27)
As those who have read An Introduction to God already know, Yahowah does not hear the prayers of those who are not Towrah observant. He listened, however, to these Lowy because they were now focused upon the Towrah.
Speaking of getting God’s attention, consider this
“When they finished (kalah) all (kol) of this (zo’th), they went out (yasa’) to all (kol) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) and the cities (‘iyr – towns and villages) of Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – those who are related to and belong to Yah), and they found (masa’ – obtained) and destroyed (sabar – shattered) the cultic stone pillars (masebah – religious monuments venerating gods), cut down (gada’ – sheared off, felled, and disassociated themselves from) the ‘Asherah vestiges (‘Asherah) and demolished (nathas – tore down) the hilltop shrines (bamah – high places of pagan worship), and altars (mizeah – the places where gifts and sacrifices were offered in religious rituals to pagan deities) from all of Yahuwdah, Binyamym (Binyamym – son at the right hand [the only tribe other than Yahuwdah not associated with the Northern Kingdom]), ‘Ephraym, and Manaseh. And when they finished (kalah), all (kol) the Children (ben) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God) returned restored (suwb – changed, with a new attitude and direction), each individual (‘iysh) to his community (‘iyr – town, village, or city) with his own inheritance (‘achuzah – property, possessions, purchases, and gifts).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 31:1)
Disassociating oneself from religious shrines and objects is as pleasing to Yahowah as is answering His invitation to attend Passover. These Yahuwdym were on their way home.
There was a special significance to destroying everything associated with the worship of Asherah. She represents Easter—the pagan counterfeit for Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. While Asherah was conceived by the Babylonians, and was originally known as Semiramis, she was also worshiped by the Assyrians—the very same people who were preparing to destroy Yaruwshalaim. She was later called “Ishtar” by the Persians. The mother-goddess was the consort of Lord/Ba’al, the sun god, also known as Satan. She was worshiped as Venus (the planet and Roman goddess (who became known as Aphrodite to the Greeks)), which is now called the Morning Star—another allusion to Satan. Asherah was the supposed “source of happiness,” something the Yahuwdym had just experienced for real.
There are some forty condemnations of Asherah veneration in Scripture—most of which are found in Dabarym / Words and Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah. The reasons behind Yahowah’s animosity are obvious. She was the first Madonna (mother with child to be venerated), and she therefore served as the model for the statues of Mary in Catholic Churches. Her likeness is found on countless graven images throughout the Fertile Crescent. She was called Mother Earth, Queen of Heaven, and Mother of God. In her honor, the Roman Catholic Church officially named Mary the “Queen of Heaven” and “Mother of God” in 431 CE—the same year the pope ordered Catholics to worship her.
It was said that this goddess was impregnated by rays of the sun (Ba’al) on the Sunday nearest the Vernal Equinox (at which time the sun crosses the constellation of Taurus the Bull). Nine months later, she is said to have given birth to the son of the sun on the Winter Solstice (known as the nativity of the sun when daylight hours start growing longer). These dates are celebrated today as Easter and Christmas. Small cakes, called “hot cross buns” were eaten in Asherah’s honor (angering Yah in Yirmayahuw 7:17-18), and incense was burned in religious ceremonies venerating the “Queen of Heaven” (drawing Yah’s wrath in Yirmayahuw 44:17).
Asherah was worshiped in sacred groves of trees (from which we get our Christmas tree (condemned by Yah in Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 10:1-9)) and by way of upright poles, crosses, and obelisks, which first caught and last held the rays of the rising and setting sun (from which church steeples were derived). This is why “cut down” and “felled” were used in reference to her shrines in this passage.
Asherah was known to the Phoenicians and to the Canaanites as Astarte—the fertility goddess of sexual love. Her name means “Gracious” in Akkadian, the language of the Assyrians and Babylonians. As such, her mythology serves as the basis of the Greek Charis / Charities, Roman Gratia / Graces, and ultimately the Christian concept of “Faith in the Gospel of Grace.” Asherah was known as Hathor (the Golden Calf) to the Egyptians, where she was considered to be the consort of the sun god Amen Ra. As the Mother of God, and as the Queen of Heaven, her veneration served as the basis for the “Golden Calf” of Exodus infamy. Even today, she is unwittingly venerated by Shi’ite Muslims on Ashurah day, the holiest religious festival on their calendar.
Easter, the Christian substitute for Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits derived its English transliterated name from Eastre, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxons in Northern Europe. She in turn was named after Ishtar, the Persian moniker afforded Asherah. Eastre was also known as the Teutonic Dawn (read: Venus/Aphrodite/Hathor) Goddess of Fertility.
Most pagan sun-god and sun-goddess religions honored Asherah, Ashurah, Ishtar, or Eastre on the Sunday closest to the Vernal Equinox. It was their holiest day of the year. The goddess is said to have conceived Tammuz (from whom Lent was derived), Osiris, Dionysus, or Bacchus on this day depending upon whether the religious practitioner was in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, or Rome. In its Babylonian origins, a bunny with brightly colored eggs (both fertility symbols), became part of the celebration, as did eating ham (Tammuz was allegedly killed by a wild boar), which is one of the reasons consuming swine is discouraged in the Towrah. In commemoration, these pagans made the sign of the cross over their hearts—a reference to the first letter in Tammuz’s name. It is why Scriptures allusion to the “upright pole or pillar” was replaced by a “cross” in the Vulgate, and then in the King James translation which was an indirect revision of it.
Every choice has a consequence. Therefore...
“Yachizqyah (Yahizqyah – Yah Strengthens, Gathers, and Unifies, transliterated, Hezekiah) did (‘asah – engaged in and acted upon) accordingly (ka) these good and valuable (zo’th towb – these pleasing, beautiful, festive, and advantageous) things (zo’th) throughout (kol) Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – those who are related to Yah), being upright and straightforward (yashar – correct and on the right path), faithful and honest (‘emeth – trustworthy, reliable, dependable, and loyal) in the presence (paneh) of Yahowah ( ), his God.” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 31:20)
God therefore views abolishing everything associated with religion as “towb – good, valuable, pleasing, and advantageous.” Those who are “yashar – trustworthy” follow his example. They, unlike the religious, are rewarded by being able to enter Yahowah’s “paneh – presence.”
“And in all of (wa ba kol) the work (ma’aseh – deeds and undertakings (also serving as the basis of Ma’aseyah)) which (‘asher – relationally and beneficially) he initiated (halal - began) in service to and in support of (ba ‘abodah) the household and family (beyth – the home) of God (‘elohym), with (wa ba) the Towrah (towrah – instructions, teachings, directions, and guidance) and with (wa ba) the terms and conditions of the relationship (mitswah –written requirements regarding the covenant) to consistently seek the way to and to consult with (daras – to repeatedly inquire and read about the path, repetitively seeking information, habitually looking for and pondering a relationship through the process of diligently studying the written record over and over again regarding) his (huw’) God (‘elohym) with (ba) all (kol) his heart (lebab – inner being and consciousness), he engaged (‘asah – acted upon and celebrated) and therefore (wa) he prospered and was useful (tsalach – he successfully accomplished the goal and was validated, thriving victoriously).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 31:21)
We all learn from examples, which is why so much of Scripture is filled with them—both good and bad. Chizqyah / Strength of Yah / Hezekiah’s focus, decisions, words, and deeds are worth emulating. He found God’s will for His life in the Towrah – in the same place we should all look. And then he followed Yahowah’s guidance. This is why he was useful and prospered.
Our story ends with the invasion of Yahuwdah / Judah by Sennacherib, the Assyrian king. It chronicles his failed attempt to capture the now resolutely unreligious Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem.
“So (wa) Yahowah ( ) saved (yasa’ – rescued and delivered) Hezekiah (Yahizqyah) and the inhabitants (yasab) of Jerusalem (Yaruwshalaim) from the hand and power (yad) of Sennacherib (Cancheryb – meaning, the moon goddess Sin has lost my brothers), king (melek) of Assyria (‘Asuwr – transliterated, Assur, the sun god equivalent of the Babylonian Bel, Ba’al, and Marduk, represented by a winged solar disk and bull’s head with halo), and from the hand and power of all others, guiding and sustaining (nahal – leading and protecting) them on all sides (sabyb – encasing, encircling, and surrounding them).” (Dabrah Yowmym / Words Concerning the Days / 2 Chronicles 32:22)
And that is the moral of this story. It is the reason Yahowah calls us to observe His Towrah and to His Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. Rather than the Towrah condemning those who were guilty of violating it for most of their lives, it exonerated those who embraced it.
Now that we have considered many of Yahowah’s most interesting teachings regarding Pesach and Matsah, let’s see if the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ honored Yahowah’s Passover and Unleavened Bread promises in harmony with the specific timeline God established. By reading Dany’el / Daniel, brushing up on our history, and doing some fairly simple math, we can pinpoint the Ma’aseyah’s arrival in Yaruwshalaim to the 10th of ‘Abyb, now called “Nisan”—which would have been a Monday, March 28th, 33 CE on our pagan-Catholic calendars. The reason we know this is as follows.
Gabriel told Dany’el: “Know and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Yaruwshalaim until Ma’aseyah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks of years. The way shall be built again, and the means of separation, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks the Ma’aseyah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” (Dany’el 9:25-26)
The date of the “command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” is presented in Nachemyah /Nehemiah. “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I [Nachemyah] said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Yahuwdah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.’ So it pleased the king to send me.” (Nachemyah / Yah Comforts / Nehemiah 2:1-6)
Bereft of much of the detailed historical information we have today, Sir Robert Anderson, a 19th century Scotland Yard director, published a book called The Coming Prince which dated the “twentieth year of Artaxerxes” to 445 BCE. He selected this date since his father, Xerxes, died in 465. But now that we have discovered and translated thousands of cuneiform tablets from the ruins of Babylon, we have come to learn that Artaxerxes wasn’t able to assume the throne until 464. That would make his twentieth year of his reign, and thus the starting date of Dany’el / Daniel’s prophecy, the 1st of ‘Abyb/Nisan, 444 BCE. (The whole sordid affair of what transpired during this ascendency is presented in the “Ma’aseyah – Implement of Yah” chapter, as is a full amplification of Dany’el’s revelation.)
Gabriel’s prediction to Dany’el said: “seven weeks of years and sixty-two weeks of years” because it was codifying two separate, yet related events. So from the ‘Abyb 1, 444 BCE date, we must add “seven weeks of years (49 prophetic years)” until Yaruwshalaim would be rebuilt. Then there would be another “sixty-two weeks of years (434 prophetic years),” for a total of 483 years, “until the Ma’aseyah” would arrive in “troublesome times to be cut off but not for Himself.” To calculate His arrival then, we must multiply 483 (49 + 434) years by the 360 days in Scripture’s prophetic calendar. This equals 173,880 days, or 476 solar years plus an additional 25 days, which we should then add to our starting date in 444 BCE. Since there is no year zero in the Gregorian calendar, the addition of 173,880 days to ‘Abyb 1, 444 BCE sets the arrival of the Ma’aseyah to Monday, March 28, 33 CE, the 10th of ‘Abyb on the Hebrew calendar—the very day the Passover Lamb was to arrive that year.
The eyewitnesses detail the events which transpired on this day for a reason. Each word fulfilled a prophetic promise. The testimony begins with: “When they approached Yaruwshalaim and came to Bethphage and then to the Mount of Olives, at that time, Yahowsha’ sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and you will immediately come upon a donkey tied there with a colt under her. Untie them and bring them to Me . Now this came to pass so that that which was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 21:1-4)
Yahowsha’ was into the details. The reason for the donkey was: “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, daughter of Tsyown / Zion. Shout for joy daughter of Yaruwshalaim. Behold, look and see, your King comes to you Upright, innocent and guiltless, to save you, humble and riding upon a donkey and colt.” (Zakaryah / Remember Yah / Zechariah 9:9) The “humble” reference also ties this prophecy to the “Suffering Servant” predicted in Yasha’yahuw 52 and 53.
Mattanyah’s eyewitness testimony continues with: “And a great multitude spread their garments along the way while others cut down branches (klados – tender shoots, a translation of netser in Hebrew; symbolizing the Ma’aseyah as the branch) from the trees, spreading them along the way. And the large crowds of common people who were leading the procession and those who were following, cried out, ‘Please Save us Savior (osanna – ωσαννά a transliteration of the Hebrew yasha’ na’, meaning “save us Savior please we pray”), Son of Dowd / David. Praise and celebrate, thinking kindly toward the one who comes in the personal and proper name of Yahowah. Please save us Savior (osanna) with the Most High.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 21:8-9) While Greek doesn’t possess the alphabetical characters to write Yahowah, I wrote it in because the crowd spoke Hebrew in this procession, and I’ve read Yasha’yahuw (and so had they).
What the Roman Catholic Church, and her Protestant stepchildren, would errantly call “Palm Sunday,” is really the “Day of the Branch,” symbolic of the Ma’aseyah. In 33 CE it occurred on a Monday. This timing and symbolism was corrupted by Catholicism because Sunday was the day sun gods were worshiped, and palm frowns were routinely held above the heads of men who pretended to be gods all the way back to Babylon. You’ll find proof of this in the drawings on Egyptian temples as well as in papal processions. The “branch,” however, was one of the most common metaphors for the Ma’aseyah. By using them, and by quoting Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 62, the people were acknowledging that Yahowsha’ was the Ma’aseyah—the “Implement Doing the Work of Yah.”
In case you’re wondering, this portion of Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 62 reads: “O Yaruwshalaim remember Yahowah . Do not be silent or rest because you give Yahowah no rest until He prepares and establishes you, making Yaruwshalaim a shining light on the Earth. Yahowah has sworn an oath by His right hand, by His Mighty Sacrificial Lamb . Radiate Yahowah’s light. Passover the gates. Prepare the Way for the family. Lift up the raised highway. Clear it of stumbling stones. Speak among the people and say, ‘Behold, look and see Yahowah . Behold, look and see: Salvation arrives. Behold, look and see, His payment for passage and His work, His compensation which is given to pay for damage incurred, are before Him.’ And they will call them: ‘the cleansed and set-apart family, the redeemed of Yahowah.’” (Yasha’yahuw / Yah Saves / Isaiah 62:6-12)
Mattanyah / Matthew reports: “When He entered Yaruwshalaim, the whole city was shaken . The crowds of common people said, ‘He is the prophet Yahowsha’ of Nazareth (Nazareth – a transliteration of the Hebrew name based upon nazyr, the set-apart one, netser, the tender shoot or branch, and natsar, the one who protects and preserves relationships) in Galilee (Galilaia – a transliteration of Galyl, the one who rolls open the door).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 21:10-11)
While Yahowsha’ arrived in Yaruwshalaim on the 10th of ‘Abyb/Nisan in Yahowah’s year 4,000, the exact day Daniel predicted nearly 600 years earlier, He didn’t stay. According to Mark 14, the Ma’aseyah sought to thwart the desire of the “Chief Priests and Scribes to seize Him by stealth and kill Him” prior to “the Feast of Passover, so as to diminish the likelihood of a riot by the people.” He did this by spending “two days,” those being Tuesday and Wednesday of that year, “in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper.” (Mark 14:1-3) While the Ma’aseyah was willing to sacrifice Himself on our behalf, He was not willing to have any aspect of His fulfillment of the three days depicted in the Miqra’ey / Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits to occur on days other than those previously specified.
According to Yahowchanan / John, the Ma’aseyah returned to town for Passover. He was about to be the sacrificial Lamb. “Now while He was in Yaruwshalaim at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and trusted in His name, believing in Him.” Mattanyah also tells us that Yahowsha’ returned to Jerusalem to eat Passover dinner (which would have been Thursday evening, the 14th day of ‘Abyb/Nisan, or March 31st in 33 CE).
As evidence that this was Passover, consider what Mattanyah recorded Yahowsha’ saying: “Moreover, before Unfermented Bread (azumos – Un-Yeasted Bread, the inclusive name of the seven-day celebration which includes Pesach, Matsah, and Bikurym), the disciples approached Yahowsha’ and asked, ‘Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat Passover (Pascha – a transliteration of the Hebrew Pesach (pronounced peh sakh), meaning to pass over)?’ And He said, ‘Go into the city (polis [i.e., Jerusalem]) and say to someone, “The Teacher affirms that the fixed and definite day for (kairos – the due measure of time, the opportunistic occasion, the awaited epoch for) Me is imminent. I will produce (poieo – author and render, constitute, create and construct) Passover (Pascha) advantageously with My disciples.”’ So they made the necessary preparations for Pesach / Passover and yea, when evening (opsios – sunset) had come, He reclined at the table to eat with the twelve disciples.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 26:17-20)
Yahowsha’ and His Disciples not only thought about, discussed, and observed Passover, they recorded these things so that we would follow their example. It is only within the context of Passover that the “remembrance of Him” makes sense with regard to “broken bread” and “wine.” If you partake in the Catholic Eucharist under the misguided notion that this is a religious ritual which should be performed, regardless of the day, you have been deceived. Likewise, you have been beguiled if you believe that a priest changes an ordinary wafer of round bread into “the body of the Lord” or changes wine into His blood. The Church does not transform or save, only Yahowah does.
The Ma’aseyah was translated as having used the definite kairos rather than the generic word for time, chronos, in the Mattanyah / Matthew 26:17-20 passage, because He was aware that Passover in 33 was the appointed epoch predicted in the fourth day of creation. It was exactly forty Yowbel from Abraham’s foreshadowing of Passover on Mount Mowryah with his son. And He knew that it would be exactly forty Yowbel from this sacrifice to His return. Further, it was in precise accord with Daniel’s famous prophecy detailing the specific time “the Ma’aseyah would be cut off but not for Himself.” The “opportune occasion,” the “awaited epoch,” the “due measure of time (40 Yowbel),” and “the definite and fixed day” was “imminent.”
It is also important to understand that while Yahowsha’ and His Disciples “observed” the Passover, that is not what these words say. The Greek text reveals that He was the Passover. He “constituted” it, “establishing it, giving it form and substance.” Yahowsha’ “authored” the Passover, dictating the words to Moseh. He “rendered” the Passover, which means He “delivered it by furnishing the necessary consideration (payment) for approval by way of a judicial verdict.” The diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah “prepared and produced Passover”—the means to enliven mankind, just as surely as He created mankind.
Later that evening, a Thursday night by our way of reckoning time, Yahowsha’ walked across the Qidrown / Dark / Kidron Valley (the very place where all of the religious rubbish was dumped during Chizqyah / Hezekiah’s celebration of Pesach – inferring that He would bear all of the guilt associated with religion) to Gethsemane where He was arrested. He was tried by Chiaphas and the Sanhedrin Council, spending the wee hours in the High Priest’s dungeon. By reading Mattanyah 26, and by studying rabbinical law, it becomes readily obvious that He was accused of blasphemy—that is of actually speaking the full and proper name of God. He said “Yahowah,” quoting from Mizmowr / Psalm 110:1 (“Yahowah says to my Sovereign [Me as in Yahowsha’], ‘Sit at My right hand while I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”) and from Dany’el 7:13 (“Behold, in the clouds, the Son of Man is coming.”)
Then on Friday morning, which was still Passover, the 14th of ‘Abyb by the Scriptural standard, April 1st on our pagan calendars, Yahowsha’ was taken to Pilate, the Roman Prefect over Yahuwdah. Declared innocent, the perfect Passover Lamb was slaughtered that same afternoon at Golgotha—the place of the skull—beneath the summit of Mount Mowryah which lies just outside the Damascus Gate. Mattanyah 27 tells us that around the ninth hour, or three o’clock in the afternoon in today’s parlance, Yahowsha’ gave up His Spirit after reciting the opening line of the Song which predicted and depicted His sacrifice. The Lamb of God had fulfilled the Passover promise right on schedule.
Mark 15 and Luke 23 reveal that this occurred the end of the “Preparation Day, that is the day before the Sabbath was to begin.” In 33 CE, the Shabat, or seventh day of the week, and the Special Sabbath commemorating the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were coterminous. It wasn’t a coincidence.
Before the sun set and these aligned Sabbaths began, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Council, received Pilot’s permission to remove the Yahowsha’s lifeless body from the upright pole from which it hung. Then after completing the burial preparations, Yahowsha’s corpse was placed in Joseph’s family’s tomb. And we were told: “And on the Sabbath they rested according to the Commandment.” (Luke 23:56) They rested because on this Miqra’ of Matsah, it was Yahowsha’s time to work on our behalf—paying the price to redeem us. Passover and Unleavened Bread were thus fulfilled precisely as they had been predicted, performed on the specified days, in the specific ways, and for the reasons prescribed. We know this because we have the benefit of looking forward from the Scripture’s perspective and back historically from our own.
But the Yisra’elites were not without an important perspective of their own—one that should have taught them the same lessons we derive from Yahowah’s Word. During the days immediately before the first Passover, the Yahuwdym were told to trust and rely upon Yahowah to save them from the specter of death. It is the message of Passover still. Self-reliance or the reliance upon the teachings of men (a.k.a. politics and religion) is a disease, a plague from which we must be freed. It ultimately destroys us, snaring and corrupting us, leading to separation from Yahowah—which is why the Yahuwdym of Chizqyah / Hezekiah’s day destroyed every religious relic they could find.
Our Creator conceived and authored a merciful provision for us—one which begins with Passover. Just as the blood of the Exodus Passover lambs were smeared on the doorposts and lintels in Egypt as a token of what was to come, God sacrificed Himself, becoming the Passover Lamb, looking down from the horizontal beam from which He hung, becoming the doorway to life.
Then, as now, when God saw the blood on the upright pillars and lintels of their doorways, He knew the people trusted His promise to keep death at bay. God said to them: “The blood shall be a sign for you .” He was screaming that the Passover was prophetic of things to come.
What was lost on so many, at least until after the fact, was how exquisitely the detail of the prophecy matched its fulfillment. Yahowsha’s triumphal entry into Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem coincided with the day the paschal lamb would have been brought into the household, on the tenth day of ‘Abyb, when, just as they had in Chizqyah / Hezekiah’s time, large crowds had gathered in Yaruwshalaim / Source of Guidance on Reconciliation. He lived and walked among the people. They got to know Him. And as the sun set, and the fourteenth day of ‘Abyb began, He observed the Passover feast with His disciples, even telling them that they should remember the role He would play in it. Then, at the end of the “examination period,” Pontius Pilate pronounced, “I find no fault in Him,” declaring in effect, that the Passover Lamb was indeed without spot or blemish. Yahowsha’s sacrifice corresponded perfectly to the designated time of the slaughter. It was just before sunset on the fourteenth day of ‘Abyb that He surrendered His mortal body and Yahowah’s Spirit.
The prophecy of the first Miqra’, of Pesach / Passover, was fulfilled literally, right down to the last detail. There was no mistaking what He had done—at least for those who “daras/consistently inquired about the way to God, who repeatedly read the Towrah so as to ascertain the right path, who repetitively sought information, habitually looking for and pondering the relationship through the process of diligently studying the written Word over and over again.”
Today, since the blood of the Perfect Sacrificial Lamb—Yahowsha’—has been shed so that we might live, we do not need slaughter another lamb. But we do need to observe the Miqra’ of Pesach and keep the appointment with Yahowah. The date is not difficult to establish. Passover is marked on most every secular calendar as the 14th day following the renewal of the moon closest to the Spring Equinox.
On that day each year we should observe the Pesach symbolically. I recommend doing as much of what Scripture says as possible. Celebrate the Feast with your family, eating a meal of roasted lamb and unleavened bread, just as the first celebrants did. And while you and your family are reminiscing over the promise of life eternal, read about the first Passover in Shemowth / Exodus 12 and 13. Then qara’/read the prophecies in Yasha’yahuw / Isaiah 53 and Mizmowr / Psalm 22 that speak so vividly of what actually happened, and why it occurred that way. Follow this by reviewing the eyewitness accounts which demonstrate His love and provision, starting with Mattanyah 20-28, Mark 11-16, Luke 18-24, and then Yahowchanan 11-21.
Strike Easter from your vocabulary and your calendar and follow Yahowah’s instructions and Yahowsha’s example. Answer the Invitation to Meet with God and celebrate the Miqra’ of Pesach each and every year.
Before we turn the page, there is one last thought I’d like to share by way of a reminder. As an essential element of His Teaching on the Mount, Mattanyah records a translation of Yahowsha’ saying...
“Therefore (houto) let your light (phos) shine (lampo – brightly) before (emphosthen) men (anthropos – humankind) so that they can see (horao – become acquainted with, experience, and pay attention to) your good (kalos – moral, fitting, advantageous, profitable, generous, beautiful, sound, and important) works (ergon – deeds, actions, that which you attend to, your undertakings and activities which are profitable) and thereby appreciate and honor (doxazo – come to conclude something positive and praiseworthy as a result of thinking judiciously about) your Father in Heaven (ouranos).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 5:16)
Throughout His presentation of the celebration of the Passover, Yahowah, who Yahowsha’ called “our Father in Heaven,” has used the Hebrew term ‘asah, to implore us to “engage in and act upon” Pesach. He has used the Hebrew word for “good,” towb, to convey that its observance is “good, moral, advantageous, joyous, beautiful, and pleasing.” And we have heard Him speak of how the Passover celebration led to “halal, radiant cheering and beaming praise,” with the participants “shining brightly with a clear and visible light.” Mattanyah’s recording of Yahowsha’s public proclamation affirms all of these things.
In this context, please consider: “Do not (me) assume (nomizo – suppose or acknowledge, following as a custom or tradition) that (hoti) I have come (erchomai – have arrived and appeared) to weaken, dismantle, invalidate, or abolish (kataluso – loosen, tear down, or dissolve, put an end to, do away with, or annul) the Towrah (nomos – nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used by heirs, precept which was apportioned, established, and is received as a means to be proper and approved, prescription to become an heir; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) or the Prophets (prophetes – those who spoke for God). I have not come to do away with (kataluso – invalidate or abolish) it, but instead (alla – on the other hand) to completely fulfill it (pleroo).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 5:17)
Yahowsha’ came to honor, to fulfill, and to enable the promises made in the Towrah and Prophets, but then religious men came along and annulled them—replacing Scripture’s instructions with religious “traditions and customs” which far too many have “assumed” to be valid. Passover was abolished by Catholic clerics, and then it was replaced with the Last Supper, the Eucharist, and Good Friday. Unleavened Bread was annulled by religious clerics as if nothing happened on this day. And then FirstFruits was invalidated to make way for Easter—all in direct contradiction to Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s testimony. Therefore, if God was telling the truth, the religion of Christianity isn’t.
Yahowsha’ was as unequivocal as words allow. He came to earth as a man for the primary purpose of representing the Towrah. And any intelligent review of His promises and His life leads to the conclusion that foremost on His agenda was the fulfillment of the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym with His sacrifice as the Passover Lamb, His journey into She’owl on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, and subsequent reconciliation with Yahowah on FirstFruits. And yet Christian clerics abrogate the idea that God prioritized the Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet with Him in this way by suggesting that “to fulfill” means to “do away with and move on to something else.” But not only isn’t that a reasonable connotation of fulfill, their conclusion is in direct conflict with the first half of the passage, and even the first half of the last sentence—“I have not come to do away with it [the Towrah and Prophets].
“Truly (amein – this is reliable and trustworthy), I say (lego – affirm and convey meaning with these words) to you, till (hoes) heaven (ouranos) and the earth (ges) pass away (parerchomai) not (ou) one (heis) jot (iota – the smallest letter, or Yowd in Hebrew) nor tittle (keraia – the top stroke or horn of Hebrew letters) shall be passed by (parerchomai – be ignored, disobeyed, or be disregarded) from (apo) that which was established in the Towrah (nomos – allotment which is parceled out, inheritance which is given, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used, precept which was apportioned, established, and is received as a means to be proper and approved, rule or prescription to become an heir; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) until the time and place (hoes) it all (pas) happens (ginomai – comes to exist and takes place, is manifest in public in the context of history).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 5:18)
The reference to “jot and tittle” is to Hebrew, as opposed to Greek, Latin, or English. These strokes and details are exclusive to the alphabet of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms—affirming an essential truth: Scripture was written in Hebrew. In Hebrew, Yowd, the first letter in Yahowah’s name, became a “jot,” a letter which is only one-third of normal height. “Tittles” are the upper extensions on the Hebrew letters: Beyth, Dalet, Rosh, Heh, Peh, Thaw and Qoph.
The Ma’aseyah came for a singular reason, and it wasn’t to start a new religion. He came to engage in that which was written about Him in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Towrah and by the Prophets. He did so in part by becoming the Passover Lamb, by removing sin from our mortal nature on Unleavened Bread, and by enabling the blessing of FirstFruits where we become our Heavenly Father’s children. It is the message which lies at the heart of the Towrah. It is the message foretold by the Prophets. It is the purpose of the Covenant.
While it isn’t necessary for you to grapple with it at this time, the reason that Yahowsha’ said that every part of every Hebrew letter which comprises every word written in the Towrah will remain valid “until heaven and the earth pass away,” is because the existing Towrah Teaching is designed to take us from our world to God’s home. But once we are there, once we are empowered and enriched as Yahowah’s children, we will need supplemental towrah directions which will guide us in the Spiritual realm. But that won’t occur until this universe is replaced with a new one.
These past two statements, and the one which follows, completely destroy the foundation of the Christian religion, as well as Judaism, Islam, and Mormonism. “Therefore (oun), whoever (ean) dismisses (luo – does away with, dissolves, invalidates, or abolishes) the least (elachistos – smallest and least significant) of these directions (entole – precepts, prescriptions, ordinances, and authoritative directions, from entellomai, things which must be accomplished) or teaches (didasko – indoctrinates or instructs) people (anthropos) to do the same (houto – in like manner), they will be called (kaleo – referred to, designated, labeled, and named) the least important (elachistos – so small as to be insignificant, undignified) in (en) the kingdom (basileia – dominion) of heaven (ouranos). And whoever performs (poieomai – accomplishes and celebrates, practices and profits from) them, and teaches (didasko – instructs) them (houtos), they will be called (kaleo – referred to, designated, labeled and named) the greatest and most important (megas – extraordinary and dignified) in (en) the kingdom (basileia – dominion) of heaven (ouranos).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 5:19)
It isn’t that the religious deceivers are among the least honored guests in heaven, it’s that those who are in heaven, see them as insignificant and undignified. And this means that they will be excluded from heaven.
“Because (gar) I say (lego – profess and promise) to you, that (hopi) unless (ean) your righteousness (dikaiosyne – integrity, legal standing, uprightness, and adherence to the relationship) is abundantly superior to (perissseuo – substantially greater than and in excess of) and more appropriate than (pleion) the religious teachers, judges, and high-ranking political officials (grammateus – experts, scribes, and scholars) and Pharisees (Pharisaios – members of a fundamentalist political and religious party comprised of hypocritical Jews who coveted authority, were overtly religious, set rules which others had to abide by, established religious rituals and traditions, and interpreted Scripture to their liking), you will never (ou me) move into or experience (eiserchomai) the realm (basileia – or kingdom) of heaven.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 5:20) Today, you may rightly consider this impoverished list to include: popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, religious scholars and professors, publishers, media professionals, judges, presidents, senators, congressmen, and governors.
And that means that there is a way to heaven which bypasses both religion and superlative behavior. I think God spoke of the Doorway labeled Passover in the conclusion to His Teaching on the Mount. Yahowsha’ told us of a door which would be opened. “Ask (aiteo – make an earnest request) and it shall be given (didomi – granted as a gift) to you. Seek (zeteo – search for the information and location) and you will discover and experience it (heuriskomai – know the truth and find the place). Knock (krouo – request acceptance at the door) and it will be opened for you (anoigo – you will be granted entrance to the place and given access to understanding). For then (gar) all (pas) who make an earnest request (aiteo – ask) receive (lambano – will be acquired and accepted, will be taken by the hand and carried away). And those who search for the information and location (zeteo – seek and desire to obtain) will know the truth and find the place (heuriskomai – discover and experience it). Those who request acceptance at the door (krouo – knock) will be granted entrance and given access to understanding (anoigo – and it will be opened).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 7:7-8) This door is Pesach. It is the doorway to life and to Yah’s Home.
At this point, Yahowsha’ tried to put this wonderful gift of eternal life in the company of our Heavenly Father into a human context we could all understand. He said: “What man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him as stone? Or if he should ask for a fish, would give him a snake? If then you being morally corrupt (poneros – bad, evil, diseased, and guilty, annoying, and prone to laborious harassment) know and understand how to (eimi) give good (agathos – valuable, upright, and generous) gifts to your children, how much more (mallon – by way of contrast) will your Father who is in heaven produce and give (didomi – pay to allow you to experience) valuable, upright, and generous (agathos – good) gifts to those who ask (aiteo) Him? Everything (pas), therefore (oun), to the degree (hosos) or case (ean – possible set of conditions by which) you choose and desire (thelo – propose, decide, want, and wish for) as a result of (hina) the actions and acts (poieomai – practices, performances, work, results, and accomplishments) of men (anthropos – human beings), in like manner (houto) you do (poieomai – bring about) for them.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 7:9-12)
Within the context of gifts given by our Heavenly Father, there is none greater than what He did for us when He became the Passover Lamb and ransomed us from the penalty of sin on Unleavened Bread. Through His sacrifice He provided the way home—a path which begins with us answering the invitation, acting upon, engaging in, and benefiting from Pesach, Matsah, and Bikurym and concludes with us answering God’s call to meet with Him and participate in Taruw’ah, Kippurym, and Sukah. Here then, is that path
“For then (gar) this (houtos) is (eimi – was and will be, exists as) the Towrah (nomos – share which is parceled out, inheritance which is given, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used, precept which was established and is received as a means to be proper and approved, prescription to become an heir; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) and the Prophets (prophetes – those who spoke for God): enter (eiserchomai – start with and experience the first step in the journey) through (dia – by the way and means of) the (ho) narrow (stenos – exacting and specific requirement) door (pyle – gateway, portal, and entrance) ” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 7:12-13)
Throughout Yada Yah, you will discover that there are a number of consistent themes which permeate Scripture. And very few of them are as essential as the truth imbedded within the Hebrew word quwm and its Greek equivalent histemi: “to stand upright so as to enable others to stand.” God stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. In Mattanyah 7:13, the root of the Greek word stenos, translated “narrow,” is histemi—something it shares with stauros, meaning “upright pillar,” but errantly rendered “cross.” So the message is: just as the lamb’s blood during the first Passover was smeared on the upright pillars and lintel of the doorway which led to life, so it was on Mount Mowryah that the blood of the Lamb of God on the upright pole has become the narrow doorway, the place where God stood up for us, meeting the exacting and specific requirements for us to stand with Him.
The narrow door is Passover. Our path home begins here: “For then this is the Towrah and the Prophets: begin by entering through the narrow, exacting, and specific doorway ”
“ because (hoti) the gateway (pyle – doorway, portal, and entrance) is wide (platys – crafted and molded to be broad, expansive, open, and unreliable) and the path (hodos – road, way of life, journey, and route) is broad (eurychoros – wide open, ample, spacious, existing as a roomy realm) which leads away (apago – which deceives and influences someone to go astray) to the point of (eis – toward) destruction and perishing (apoleia – wastefully and needlessly destroying, squandering, eliminating from existence, and annihilating something valuable), and most (pleistos – a very great number, the vast preponderance, serving as the superlative of polus, many) are those (eimi – who exist) entering and experiencing (eiserchomai – starting the first step in their journey) through (dia – by way of and on account of) it (autos).” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 7:13)
Platys, translated “wide” in Mattanyah / Matthew 7:13 is based upon the Greek word plasso, from which we derive the English word “plastic.” It means “feigned,” as in “fictitious, not genuine or real.” It conveys the notion that the expansive gate was “formed and molded,” having been “crafted by men from clay and wax,” making it “artificial and unreliable.” The wide gate is symbolic of man-made religious schemes.
Apago, which tells us that the “unreliable gate and broad path” “leads away and astray by way of deceptive influences” is a compound word based upon apo and ago. Apo conveys “separation” which is the penalty paid by those who fail to capitalize on the “narrow, specific, and exacting portal” which leads to life with our Heavenly Father. Ago describes the process of “leading someone by taking hold of them, even accompanying them, guiding them” to “apo/separation” from God. And while that is descriptive of clerics and their religious schemes, and ties them to the “fictitious and expansive” gate “they have crafted and molded,” it also facilitates the conveyance of another aspect of apago: “to cause someone to be punished.” While the consequence of trusting man’s expansive religious schemes is the “wasteful destruction and annihilation” of your soul, the “punishment” for doing so is “separation” from God.
Simplified, the second portion of this essential pronouncement reads: “ because the doorway is crafted to be wide, artificial, and unreliable, and the way of life is wide open which deceives and influences someone to go astray to the point of destruction and perishing, needlessly squandering their existence, and the vast preponderance of people start the first step in their journey through it.”
Yahowsha’s next statement confirms that popular religions like Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Christianity, Mormonism, and Islam do not lead to life: “The (ho) door (pyle – gate, portal, and entrance) is narrow (stenos – exacting and specific) and the path (hodos – road, traveled way of life, journey, and route) goes against the crowd (thlibo – is compressed, restricted, and narrow) which leads to life (zoe), and few (oligos) discover, learn about, attain, and experience (heuriskomai) it.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 7:14)
Thlibo’s primary meaning isn’t “narrow” as it is most often translated, but instead “goes against the crowd,” so as to be unpopular. As such, those who take this path through life are often “oppressed,” a secondary connotation of the term. They “suffer hardship” and “are persecuted” because they “cause trouble” for the political, religious, and academic establishment.
There is an implication inherent in heuriskomai, which suggests a “careful examination, scrutiny, and observation which leads to understanding and recognition.” It is not an act of blind faith or the product of belief. Life is awarded to those who come to recognize who Yahowah is, and what He has done for us, based upon what He has revealed in the Towrah and Prophets. As a result of what they come to understand, they pass through the doorway which is called Passover.
The final portion of Yahowsha’s declaration reveals: “The doorway is exacting and specific, and the way of life is unpopular, which leads to life, and few experience it.” Bringing it all together then, we find the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ affirming that Yahowah’s path as specified in the Towrah leads to life, while man’s more popular religious route leads to the annihilation of its victim’s souls.
“For then this is the Towrah and the Prophets: begin by entering through the narrow, exacting, and specific doorway,
because the doorway is artificial and unreliable, and the way of life is wide open which deceives and influences someone to go astray to the point of destruction and perishing, needlessly squandering their existence, and the vast preponderance of people start the first step in their journey through it.
The doorway is exacting and specific, and the way of life is unpopular, which leads to life, and few experience it.”
The “narrow, exacting, and specific doorway” through which we must pass to fellowship with our Heavenly Father leads away from religion. Our first step home must pass through the gate labeled “Pesach – Passover,” demonstrating our reliance upon the path God Himself has provided.