Archive for Moses

Teshuvah 5781/2021

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2021 by paulthepoke
Israeli Moon Society

The new moon has been sighted and confirmed by a couple of different groups in the land of Israel. Trained spotters from the Israeli Moon Society and the website http://whenisthenewmoon.com/ are in agreement. The new moon was spotted on the evening of August 9, 2021 on our western Gregorian calendar.

But there is disagreement with the month. The Israeli Moon Society says it is the beginning of the month of Elul.

The Temple Institute relies on the Israeli Moon Society. Secular Hebrew calendars and our western Gregorian calendars proclaim the month to be Elul.

http://whenisthenewmoon.com/ says it is the beginning of the month of Av.

Imagine that, humanity disagrees on how to tell time as God has directed. Personally, I don’t know who is right. I will defer to God …But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. -Matthew 24:36

Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. Jewish tradition points to the name of the month to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” a quote from Song of Songs 6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine… 

In Aramaic, the vernacular of the Jewish people at the time that the month names were adopted), the word Elul means “search”. Per Strong’s Concordance, Elul means “nothingness” in the Hebrew. The month is mentioned one time in the Bible. 

Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 

http://www.jewfaq.orghttp://www.myjewishlearning.com .

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The month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah. The point of the season is to prepare for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

It is a time to return toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. The 40 day period starts on Elul 1 and ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur.

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There are many examples of the significance of the number 40 in the Bible. Notice, the examples ultimately demonstrate a turning away from sin and a return to God’s word. The result is a changed mind, a lifestyle consistent with obedience to God.

On three occasions, Moses went up to Mount Sinai for 40 days and met with the LORD. Israel had worshipped a golden calf and committed idolatry against God (Exodus 32). Moses pleaded with God for mercy against His chosen people. He turned to God and instructed the people of Israel to turn from their sin. The golden calf was destroyed (Exodus 32:20). After the destruction of the golden calf, Jewish tradition has Moses ascending Mount Sinai on Elul 1 to Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur) to receive a second set of tablets. Moses came down from Mount Sinai when the people had repented (http://www.chabad.orghttp://www.hebrew4christians.com).

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With a lack of faith in God, Israel was left to wander in the desert for 40 years. God told them He would help them take the Promised Land. Only two men believed, Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 32:12). The others did not turn and trust God. 

Numbers 32:13 So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed. 

It was considered “evil” to not believe God. When this came to pass and the last one died. God brought His people back to the land for the taking. 40 years later, the Jewish people returned to God and His word. Course of nation Israel had changed. The Law, God’s word, was reintroduced to the people before they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy).

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Noah and his family were in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights during the rain and flood. The world was being judged for sin. The corruption of mankind is described in Genesis 6. Noah and his family had 40 days and nights to contemplate their watery environment as a consequence. They turned and responded to God. Their lives were spared in the ark. They had nowhere to go and plenty of personal time for self-reflection.

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Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Every time Jesus was tempted by Satan, He turned to God the Father and quoted Deuteronomy. Jesus’ responses to temptation were to turn to the word of God (Matthew 4:4), to not put the Lord your God to the test (Matthew 4:7), and to worship and serve the Lord you God only (Matthew 4:10). Jesus resisted the tempter and was obedient to His Father.

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Feasts (Trumpets/Teruah, Many Names)

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Fall Feasts, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus is on God’s appointed holidays. This week, the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah is the topic. Many know the day as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil New Year. This is the second of three posts on the initial Fall Feast.

Leviticus 23:23-25 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”

Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.

Image: Getty

The shofar is blown 100 times on the Feast of Trumpets.  There are three different sounds (Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah). Each is blown three times for a total of 9 blasts. This pattern is completed 11 times for a total of 99 blasts. The last blast is set aside. It is the longest and loudest. It is known as the “Last Trump”. References provided by (El Shaddai Ministries).

This holiday has many different names. Some of the names are listed below. Jewish tradition has Rosh Hashanah as the birthday of the world and the head of years.

It is known as the “Coronation of Messiah”. Traditionally, kings of Israel have been appointed on Yom Teruah. King David was coronated on this new moon holiday. Israel’s Messiah comes from the lineage of King David.

Psalm 47 O clap your hands, all peoples; shout to God with the voice of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us and nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.

God has ascended with a shout, the Lord, with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.

It is known as the “Hidden Day”. Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger.

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It is known as the “Wedding of the Messiah”.  Joel 2:15-16 Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber.

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Feasts (Trumpets/Teruah, Day of Blowing)

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus is on God’s appointed holidays. This week, the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah is the topic. Many know the day as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil New Year. This is the first of three posts on the initial Fall Feast.

Leviticus 23:23-25 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”

Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.

And blow the trumpets they do. This holiday has many names. It is called the Feast of Trumpets by Christians. It is recognized as the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. In Judaism, it is called Yom Teruah which means the “Day of Blowing”.

The directions for the holiday are straight forward.

  1. It is to be a day of rest or a Sabbath.
  2. The day is a holy or separate day. It is a convocation. The Hebrew word for convocation is miqra’. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: rehearsal, convocation, a reading, a calling together, or sacred assembly.
  3. It is a memorial and reminder to blow or shout. The Hebrew word is teruah. It means: alarm, signal, a sound of tempest, shout of joy, blast of war, alarm, joy, war-cry, or battle-cry.

Judaism recognizes three trumps: first trump, the last trump, and the great trump. Each one of these named trumps represents a specific day. The “first trump” is blown on the Feast of Pentecost (Exodus 19:19). The “great trump” is blown on Yom Kippur and signals the return of Christ to Earth (Matthew 24:31). The “last trump” is synonymous with Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah (1 Corinthians 15:52). Resources: Festivals of the Jewish Year, Theodore Gaster; The High Holy Days, Herman Kieval.

This God appointed holiday is the only new moon observance. This is not some Old Testament warm and fuzzy tradition. God has a point and a reason. He has not forgotten. The Apostle Paul makes note of this holiday. 

Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

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God has singled out this appointed holiday for some big time fireworks! Judaism has been rehearsing this holiday for thousands of years since Moses.

Has the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed) connected the dots… (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.)

Resurrection and rapture on the Feast of Trumpets???

The Patient God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: EXODUS 7:14-25

Key verse: Exodus 7:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go”

God has limitless ways of bringing a man into subjection. He allows the wicked to ply his trade and carry on as if the whole world is under his control is to prove His attribute of being a long-suffering Father.

If He had wanted to crush all Egypt to liberate Israel, He would have done so. It was not difficult for Him to strike all the Egyptians with blindness to free the Israelites. But He knew what He was doing by bargaining with Pharaoh. Even before Moses opened his mouth to tell Him that Pharaoh had remained adamant, He knew. He was being patient and wanted Pharaoh to exhaust his period of grace. God is a righteous Judge. He would not destroy Egypt without sufficient reason. Eventually, Pharaoh refused and rejected all the entreaties to release the people.

Wikipedia

There are Pharaohs all over the places who carry out their wicked and rebellious activities on a day-to-day basis, thinking it is in their power to do so. These Pharaohs oppress, intimidate and hinder the progress of God’s people. Sometimes, believers would wish for instant judgment against them. Far from it! We must see the pattern of God’s dealings with man. He gives man a long time to repent. It is after He must have exhausted all avenues of bringing Pharaoh to his senses that He allows him to stew in his own juice. Believers must have the mind of God by suffering long and waiting on Him to dispense judgment.

Wait on God and wait for Him. Do not run ahead of Him. He will surely deliver you. Despite Pharaoh’s headiness and high-handedness against Israel, at the end, he bit the dust. By the same token, all those who have elevated themselves to the status of Pharaoh against your progress will bow and you will laugh last.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: In His time, God makes all things beautiful. 

Tisha B`Av/9th of Av, 5781/ 2021

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2021 by paulthepoke

Tisha b’Av:  To the Jew, this is a date, the 9th of Av.

Av is a Hebrew month. It is the 11th month of the civil calendar or the 5th month of the religious calendar. The date usually occurs during July or August on the Gregorian calendar. The month of Av is not named in the Bible.

This year, the 9th of Av begins at sunset on Saturday, July 17, 2021 and ends at sunset on Sunday, July 18 on the Gregorian calendar.

The 9th of Av is a day of mourning in Israel. Tragedy came about because of the account of Numbers 13-14. This event occurred immediately after God had delivered Israel out of bondage in Egypt.

The short story is the Lord told Moses to send a group of spies to go scout the Promised Land. The spies came back and proclaimed the Jews could not take the land because of the inhabitants of the land were too big and too strong. The people rebelled against Moses. The people stated they would rather go back to Egypt. The nation (except Caleb and Joshua) did not believe God to give them the Promised Land.

Numbers 13:20 …and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

We know it occurred during the grape harvest per the text (Numbers 13:20). This event is said to have occurred on the 9th of Av. God pronounced judgment on the nation at that time. And this date is said to be a reminder of nation Israel’s lack of faith in God.

Historically, the date has been challenging for the Jewish people.

Here is a list of Jewish history on the 9th of Av/Tisha B `Av.

  1. 586 BC, the first Temple was destroyed.
  2. 70 AD, the second Temple was destroyed.
  3. 135 AD, Betar fell. It was the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt.
  4. 136 AD, one year after the fall of Betar, the Temple area was plowed.
  5. 1290 AD, Jews were expelled from England.
  6. 1492 AD, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B’Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil.
  7. 1914 AD, World War I began the downward slide to the Holocaust.
  8. 2005 AD, Israel turns over the Gaza Strip.

References for dates courtesy of (http://www.jewfaq.orghttp://www.chabad.orghttps://www.templeinstitute.org)

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Recently, the Temple Institute has chosen to look to the future and the promise of the building of the third Temple on Tisha B`Av or 9th of Av. They have chosen to post videos of the reconstruction of the third Temple. This year is no different.

Below is a video and commentary from the Temple Institute. Rebuild the Temple…

https://templeinstitute.org

Commentary below from the Temple Institute:

A hot cup of coffee, a glance at the internet, a leisurely morning – what could we possibly be missing? Why the Holy Temple, of course! Time for all of us, not just the kohanim (Temple priests) to get up and get to work – rebuilding the Holy Temple in our day!

Be part of the action!

A big shout out to Samara and to Yosef and his amazing crew and our great actors for making this video shine!

Special thanks to Dena Davies of Debu Designs for the beautiful priestly garment!

Note: In the days of the Holy Temple the kohanim on duty sleep and get dressed each morning in the Beit HaMoked on the Temple Mount. Depicting a kohen getting dressed at home and carpooling to the Holy Temple was for illustrative purposes, only!

http://www.templeinstitute.org/

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Feasts (Pentecost, Beginnings)

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus has shifted to God’s appointed holidays. First Fruits was covered last week. This week, Pentecost is in focus. This is the first of two posts on what is known as Shavuot in the Hebrew.

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Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

Other provisions for the holiday include two loaves of bread, sacrificial lambs, a bull, two rams, a goat, and a drink offering of wine. The holiday is also a day of rest with no work (Leviticus 23:17-21).

In the Old Testament and in the Hebrew, this holiday is referred to as Shavuot. The word means: weeks.

Shavuot is one of the three holidays where Jewish men are required to come to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17). The men were to make their presentation and sacrifice before God at the Temple.

As stated in the Leviticus passage, it is seven weeks after the Sabbath. It is a celebration of the completed grain harvest. The holiday is also a celebration of God giving the Torah (instruction or law) to nation Israel. Because of this, Shavuot is considered as the beginning or birth of Judaism.

The Law was given on Mount Sinai roughly 1,500 years before Christ. Nation Israel honored this holiday every year. Eating and drinking dairy products are part of the celebration of Shavuot. Many think the custom of dairy products is in reference to Bible verses in Exodus referring to a promised land flowing with milk and honey.  

Exodus 3:8a “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/why-dairy-on-shavuot/

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Fast forward to 33 AD. Nation Israel is celebrating and living the holiday. Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they (apostles) were all together in one place. In the Greek New Testament, Shavuot (Hebrew) is translated as Pentekoste (Greek). Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: the fiftieth day; the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest. We have transliterated the word to Pentecost (English).

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This is the day promised by Jesus of the giving of the Holy Spirit. 

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

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Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 

It is seven weeks after the death of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus. Shavuot or Pentecost is also the day God the Father gave the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Pentecost is considered the beginning or the birth of the church (believers in Jesus Christ).

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Sabbath Offerings

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus is Temple worship service. The grain offering has been reviewed. Next, Nehemiah reminds the Jewish people of the Sabbath Offering.

Nehemiah 10:33b …the Sabbaths…

The concept of the Sabbath has its roots in the creation week. The Sabbath is “barak” in the Hebrew or blessed. This day is set apart and clean. Even God rested. He set the precedent. He was not tired. God blessed the seventh day.

Genesis 2:2-3 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

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The Sabbath offering is a bit different than the daily offering.

In both cases, two male lambs without blemish are sacrificed.

What is different is the amount of flour. The daily offering has 1/10 of an ephah. The Sabbath offering has 2/10 of an ephah. As a reminder, an ephah is roughly one bushel or 8 dry gallons or 35 liters or 8 pounds. Multiply x .2. We are looking at 1.6 gallons or pounds or 7 liters of flour.

There is a progression of the amount of flour from the daily offering to the Sabbath offering to the monthly offering. The daily offering has 1/10 of an ephah. The Sabbath offering has 2/10. And the monthly offering has multiple recipes pending the sacrifice being offered. In the case of the monthly offering, more fine flour is offered.

The fine flour is mixed with an amount of oil that is not defined.

There is also an undefined amount of wine as well.

The text is clear with a reminder. The daily offering is different than the Sabbath offering.

Numbers 28:9-10 On the Sabbath day, two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering: this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.

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The Sabbath is unique in that it was created and written before the law. Its foundation is in the creation week. The Sabbath was instituted before the Mosaic Law. If anything the Sabbath law in the 10 Commandments is a reminder.

Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Fast forward roughly 1,440 years from Moses receiving the law on Mount Sinai to Jesus. The context of the discussion is a wheat field with the disciples and the religious leaders on the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27-28 And He (Jesus) said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

See also Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5.

Jesus is the author of the law as given to Moses. The Sabbath was created for man to rest. Jesus fulfilled the law. It is good for us to rest in Him.

Christ is the Creator. Jesus is greater than traditions of men or the Sanhedrin in this context.

John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

As believers in Christ we have our Sabbath in Him because of His death, burial, and resurrection.

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: The Temple Tax

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The Shemitah has been revived. Up next is the reinstatement of the Temple Tax.

Nehemiah 10:32 We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God:

Under the leadership of Nehemiah, the Temple Tax was reinstated. Let’s look at what Nehemiah is proposing compared to what Moses states in the law.

Exodus 30:13-16 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the Lord. Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves. You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”

Here are the specifics of the Temple Tax for service.

  1. Tax of 1/2 Shekel is cost.
  2. Men 20 years of age and older shall pay.
  3. No sliding scale of taxation. Rich and poor pay the same.
  4. Yearly contribution required.
  5. Purpose is for atonement of personal life.

Everything appears to be in alignment with one exception. Moses said 1/2 shekel and Nehemiah says 1/3 shekel. Why the difference? Is Nehemiah being disobedient or cheap?

There are many theories and conjectures as to why the difference. The most reasonable explanation may come from Ridgeway’s Origin of Currency and Weight Measures.

In Moses’ day, Jews contributed a beka or a half shekel.

Exodus 38:26 a beka a head (that is, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary)…

One beka or a half shekel equals 5.67 grams or about 65 grains.

Roughly one thousand years had passed from the Exodus and Moses (1440 BC) to Nehemiah’s return to the Promised Land (440 BC).

In Nehemiah’s day, the Babylonian Empire standard was the stater or shekel. This would have been the relevant currency for the Israelis of the time. The stater weighed about 173 grains. One third of a stater or shekel would be 58 grains.

One beka or a half shekel equals 65 grains verses one third stater or shekel equals 58 grains. These two measurements relative to their time and cultural influence are essentially equal.

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Fast forward about another 470 years to the time of Jesus. The Roman Empire is in control over the region of Israel and the city of Capernaum. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus made the following observation.

‘The emperor commanded every Jew to pay the two drachma annually to the Capitol which they had before been accustomed to pay to the Temple at Jerusalem.’

Matthew 17:24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?”

This had to really irritate the Jews, specifically Peter and the apostles. The trap had been set. The Roman tax collectors knew who Jesus claimed to be. Jesus was the Jewish King and Messiah. Would Jesus bow to the Romans and pay the tax?

The two-drachma tax is known as the δίδραχμον/didrachma in the original Greek text. The didrachma was a silver coin during the life and times of Jesus that was equal to one half shekel.

We know how the rest of the story goes. Jesus had Peter go fishing. No problem, Jesus and Peter’s tax was paid.

Historical research provided by Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges via Bible Hub.

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So here we are roughly 2,000 years later from the time of Christ. Israel is back in the land. Jerusalem is their capital. The modern day Sanhedrin has reconvened. The Temple Tax and the beka are back in the news.

The modern day Sanhedrin issued a Temple Tax back in February 2017. They even minted 1,000 coins with the images of Cyrus the Great and President Donald Trump. They are raising money for the promised third Temple.

So a tax written by Moses as told to him by God over 3,400 years ago, still relevant…

Teshuvah 5780/2020

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Prophecy, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2020 by paulthepoke

The Hebrew month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah. This is the Hebrew word for repent.

The point of the season is to prepare for the Jewish New Year/Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah and the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur. It is a time to turn toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. Teshuvah is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin and turn to obedience in God’s word. The 40 day period starts on Elul 1 and ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement.

On a Gregorian calendar in the year 2020, Teshuvah will possibly initiate at sunset on Friday, August 21 if the sighting of the new moon is confirmed by two witnesses. In the purest sense, determining Elul 1 and the start of a month is not a mathematical function. The issue is a legal matter of truthful verification as far as God is concerned.

Deuteronomy 19:15 A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

It is Jewish custom to blow a shofar (ram’s horn) one time every day during the season of Teshuvah. The trumpet is blown every day except Shabbat or the Sabbath (Saturday for us in western culture) and the last day of the month of Elul. The trumpet is blown after the morning service. The shofar is blown frequently…

The blowing of the shofar started with Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The blowing of the shofar is associated with God descending to Mount Sinai and the gathering of nation Israel. This is where Moses is called to ascend the mountain to meet God (Exodus 19:13-19). This is when and where Israel received the law.

The blowing of a shofar signaled many things in Biblical times. The shofar blast was a call to war and the prospect of danger. 

Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near…

The shofar was a way to call soldiers. The trumpet preceded the Ark of the Covenant. 

2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.

The trumpet blast signified the beginning of the month (Numbers 10:10). Psalm 81:3-4 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. Some form of a trumpet blast(s) is used at Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement.

A trumpet blast also signals the beginning of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).

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One of the customs of Elul is to visit a cemetery. This is quite interesting in light of the Jewish belief that the resurrection of the dead will occur during the period of Teshuvah. Specifically, the resurrection of the dead is to occur on the new moon holiday of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah. Christians refer to Rosh Hashanah as the Feast of Trumpets.

Orthodox Jews do not believe in Jesus Christ let alone the New Testament. Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians would confirm their tradition. 

1 Corinthians 15:52b at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Red Heifer Update: And There Were Two, June 2020/Tammuz 5780

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Prophecy, Temple with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2020 by paulthepoke

The Temple Institute has not one but two red heifer candidates. Before the third Temple will be built, a red heifer must be burned for purification. The third Temple is prophetic as promised by the prophets and Jesus Himself. We are getting closer, a sign of the times…

For articles dating back to 2014… https://paulthepoke.com/?s=red+heifer

The following is from the Temple Institute YouTube Channel.

“HaShem spoke to Moshe and Aharon, saying: This is the statute of the Torah which HaShem commanded, saying, Speak to the children of Israel and have them take for you a perfectly red unblemished cow, upon which no yoke was laid.”

Commentary below is from The Temple Institute.

Thus we are taught in Numbers 19 the laws of the red heifer, whose ashes when prepared properly by Temple priests can achieve for Israel the highest level of biblical purity attainable.

Equipped with the ashes of the red heifer the entire nation of Israel, men, women and children will be able to participate in the three pilgrimage festivals, and enter into the inner courtyards of the Holy Temple, fulfilling the Torah commandment to see and be seen by G-d three times a year, as we read in…

Deuteronomy 16:16: “Three times in the year, every one of your males shall appear before HaShem, your G-d, in the place He will choose: on the Festival of Matzot and on the Festival of Weeks, and on the Festival of Sukkot, and he shall not appear before the HaShem empty-handed.”

Five years ago the Temple Institute began its Raise a Red Heifer in Israel project. Just under two years ago we announced the birth of our first red heifer candidates, two perfectly red heifers, eligible for the historic role of being THE red heifer who returns to Israel, after 2000 years, the ability to achieve the highest level of Torah purity.

Since their birth, the rabbinic experts of the Temple Institute have been keeping a close watch on these heifers, for any non-red hair that a heifer sprouts, or any minor injury that the heifer sustains will disqualify it from being a kosher red heifer.

This past week, (June, 2020), we visited our two most advanced red heifers and filmed them. In the upcoming weeks they will receive another visit from the Temple Institute’s experts for yet another close inspection. Should either or both of these red heifers remain eligible candidates, we will soon be ready to advance toward the stage of actually preparing the ashes.

From the footage we are looking at our two heifers seem perfectly red, but clearly they need to be cleaned up and properly inspected to truly determine their status.

How wonderful to imagine that these two innocent, unsuspecting creatures, could, in the very near future, advance Israel and the world to the next stage of the redemption and the building of the Holy Temple.

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