Archive for Nehemiah 10

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Show Bread

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 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 Temple worship service. Up first is the showbread or shewbread.

Nehemiah 10:33a …for the showbread…

Simply put the term for showbread is “bread” in the original Hebrew. The Hebrew term is lechem. The word is also translated as food or meal. It is bread made from the grain of barley, wheat, or corn.

The original source for the showbread comes from Leviticus 24.

Leviticus 24:5-9 “You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the LORD regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the LORD’s food offerings, a perpetual due.”

Let’s take a look at the specifics of the verses above from Leviticus 24.

There are 12 loaves of bread, 2 piles of 6. The point of the bread is a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD.

The text makes it very clear. This is to be done every week on the Sabbath by the descendants of Aaron or the Levites. The bread is to be arranged regularly. It is a covenant forever for the priests. The bread is to be presented weekly as a perpetual due.

photo: Temple Institute

Fast forward roughly 1,440 years from Moses to Jesus. Christ is about to give the Pharisees more than they can handle. Jesus, of course, is going to choose the Sabbath to make a point.

Matthew 12:1-7 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

If one is hungry, they can eat, even on the Sabbath. The disciples were hungry. It is not illegal to eat on the Sabbath.

But yet, the Pharisees wanted to make an issue of the situation. Jesus chose to use the illegal and sinful example of King David (See 1 Samuel 21 for the incident). David lied and manipulated the situation. Christ also pointed out the hypocrisy of the priests.

Jesus is the Lord. The showbread is a food offering to the LORD. The only crime Jesus committed is He broke the “law” of the Pharisees. Jesus is not breaking the law by eating the showbread on the Sabbath. Taking care of your friends with provision is more important than following a man made tradition.

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

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…

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: The Shemitah

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 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. After the Sabbath, the focus is the Shemitah.

Nehemiah 10:31b …And we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

The violation of this statute is the reason Israel is under God’s judgment, 70 sets of 7’s. It would stand to reason, Israel would be reminded sooner. Keep the Shemitah.

But that is not the case. There were more important issues such as returning to God first. As the Lord sees it, relationships and matters of the heart are more important than economics.

Here is the law as conveyed by God to Moses.

Leviticus 25:1-5 Then the LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. For six years you may sow your field and prune your vineyard and gather its crops. But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard. You are not to reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your untended vines. The land must have a year of complete rest.

Rest“… The word is “shamat” in the Hebrew. It is defined by Strong’s Concordance as: to release, let drop or loose or rest or fall.

The Jewish people also refer to this as “shemitah”. It literally means to release.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed.

“remission of debts…” In the original Hebrew text “of debts” is not present. “of debts” was added by the translators. Shemitah is the Hebrew word for remission. Shemitah as defined by Strong’s Concordance means: cancellation of debts, letting drop of exactions, (temporary) remitting, release (from debt).

Shemitah comes from the root word shamat.

For multiple posts regarding teachings on the Shemitah, click on the link below.

https://paulthepoke.com/?s=shemitah

Under the leadership of Nehemiah, Israel has recommitted to keeping the Mosaic Law.

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Something to think about…

Fast forward to Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets for the Hebrew year 5782 or the Fall of 2021. This will arguably be the start of a Sabbatical or Shemitah year. The land is supposed to rest for one year. The remission of debt will occur on the last day of the year in the fall of 2022 or the Hebrew New Year 5783. Historically, challenging economic circumstances arise.

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: The Sabbath

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 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 getting back to God’s ways. The next step is honoring the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 10:31a And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day.

The concept of the Sabbath was introduced to Israel when they were wandering in the desert for 40 years. This is the first mention of the term “Sabbath”. The specific details are noted in Exodus 16:22-30. God is promising Israel He will provide. Take a day off and rest. It is a gift from God.

Exodus 16:23 then he said to them, “This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a Sabbath observance, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.”

Exodus 16:29 “See, the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”

The word “Sabbath” in the Hebrew is transliterated. It is also “Sabbath” in English. The term is equated with rest. It is to be set apart, sacred, and holy.

God introduced the concept in the creation week. On the seventh day, He rested and reflected on His work. God did not need to rest but He did. The Sabbath is “barak” in the Hebrew or blessed. This day is set apart and clean. The ordinance is best described as given to Moses by God Himself. The context is the 10 Commandments.

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.

Nehemiah is teaching Israel about the Sabbath at the end of the week and the holy days. Economic activity will cease during these days. Sales will come to a halt. God set the standard.

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Marriage & the First Commandment

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 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 getting back to God’s ways.

Nehemiah 10:1a On the seals are the names of Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah…

It is from this verse we learn of Nehemiah’s position and title. We have the term “governor” in English. The original Hebrew text has the word tirshatha which is a Persian word for “governor”. This term is used five times in the Bible and only by Nehemiah and Ezra.

Nehemiah 10:1-27 is a list of people who were willing to seal their name as a commitment to keep God’s laws and commandments. Others willing to commit to God’s law included a pretty comprehensive list. These folks were required to swear allegiance to God with their obedience (Nehemiah 10:29).

Nehemiah 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding…

The first item on the agenda with Nehemiah is marriage. The first item on God’s agenda in the garden was marriage.

Nehemiah 10:30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.

This is a reminder from the Mosaic Law. The law is mentioned in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

Exodus 34:16 …and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods. See also Deuteronomy 7:3-4.

The issue is ultimately worshipping the God of Israel. If a man marries a pagan worshipping woman, he will follow her spiritually. He will turn his back from God and go another way. The result will be a violation of the First Commandment.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

Solomon for all of his wisdom did not follow this command. He intermarried many times over and the result was pagan shrines, temples, and idols being built all over Israel. His heart was with pleasing his wives instead of worshipping and focusing on God.

Granted, we are not under the Mosaic Law today in Jesus Christ. For Christians, the issue is not marrying within our tribe or country. We are called to seek the like-minded in Christ in marriage.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Christians should present themselves differently. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are free from the bondage of sin. He fulfilled the law for us. Jesus imputed righteousness to believers. An unbeliever remains stained with the guilt of sin.

Jesus calls believers to be salt and light for the world. 1 John 1-2 proclaims believers should walk in the light of Christ and keep His commandments. How can an unbeliever illuminate if they are not in the source of light?

In all cases whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament, this is ultimately about having one’s heart set towards God. Place God first in your lives. Stay focused on God. He knows and wants what is best for us.

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