This year Yom Teruah begins at sundown Sunday, October 2 and ends at sundown Monday, October 3.
GOD’S APPOINTED TIMES
God’s Appointed Times are His moadim, his holy convocations. God’s moadims are Shabbat, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover and Unleavened Bread are often treated as one festival), First Fruits, Shavuot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.
NO EXPLANATION FOR YOM TERUAH
Yom Teruah is the only moadim without an explanation in the Tenahk. Every other feast is explained in Leviticus 23 and elsewhere in the Tenahk. Passover and Unleavened Bread relate to the Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt. Three of God’s moadims relate to the harvest: First Fruits (barley harvest), Shavuot (wheat harvest), and Sukkot. Yom Kipper is the Day of Atonement (a.k.a. the Day of Purging) and is associated with judgement.
God’s holy convocations are dress rehearsals. The spring feasts were fulfilled at the First Coming of the Messiah. Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, was crucified on Passover. He was in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He rose from the dead on First Fruits. He sent the Holy Spirit to empower His followers on Shavuot (Pentecost).
The fall feasts will be fulfilled at His Second Coming.
Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) is intriguing because it lacks an explanation in the Tenahk but suggests one in the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament). “Adonai spoke to Moses saying: ‘Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (Shofaot), a holy convocation. You are to do no regular work, and you are to present an offering made by fire to Adonai'”(Leviticus 23: 23-25, (TLV).
We learn from Leviticus that Yom Teruah occurs in the seventh month, it’s a no-work day, and the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown. Why? The Tenahk is silent.
(NOTE: Yom Terauh is not Rosh Hashanah. Many celebrate Rosh Hashanah, meaning “the head of the year,”on the same day as the Feast of Trumpets. Rosh Hashanah is not mentioned in the Torah.)
THE DAY THAT NO MAN KNOWETH
Yom Teruah is known as “the day that no man knows.” In other words, no one knows the day or the hour when the new moon will appear. “The day that no man knows” is a Jewish idiom, or expression, referring to Yom Teruah. Sound familiar?
Yeshua said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24: 36, KJV).
The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15: 51-52, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed”(TLV).
Yom Teruah is also known as “the Day of the Shout.” Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 4: 16-17, “For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God’s shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first” (TLV).
YOM TERUAH AND THE SECOND COMING OF YESHUA
We cannot know the day, the hour, or even the year when the Messiah will return, but we can know the season. Will He return during the Feast of Trumpets? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Regardless, be ready.
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24: 30-31, TLV).
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and lalnguages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7: 13-14, KJV).
When the Apostle Paul writes about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12, he prefaces his list of the gifts with the following paragraph:
Jesus is Lord
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accused: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.(I Corinthians 12: 1-3, KJV).
If someone comes to you with a word from God, especially someone you don’t know, and you want to make sure that it is God who is speaking to you, 1 John 4: 1-3 provides a similar test to the ones above.
Jesus Christ Has Come in the Flesh
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth the Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world(KJV).
John’s warning was in regard to Docetism (similar to Gnosticism) one of the earliest heresies in the church. Docetists taught that Jesus was only a human being, not divine. They believed that the divine could not occupy a human body. John refutes these heresies not only in his letters but also in his gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”(John 1: 1 KJV).
[We see examples in the Tanahk of God appearing in human form (Genesis 18: 1-22) and also angelic form (Judges 13: 1-23).]
Don’t make the mistake that everything supernatural is from God, and likewise, don’t assume that everything supernatural is from the devil and his minions. Do not call the things of God “demonic” (Matthew 12: 22-32). Sometimes Christians innocently confuse the counterfeit with the real thing and vice versus. Study the scriptures and pray for discernment and remember to “test” the spirits when in doubt.
The Bible is full of examples of supernatural healing. In the Tanakh (Old Testament) people were healed and even raised from the dead. The same is true of the New Testament only more so. Yeshua (Jesus) performed miracles of healing that distinguished him as the Messiah. Before the Messiah came in the flesh, no one had been healed of blindness. Yet, Yeshua opened blind eyes, even the eyes of man blind from birth. He healed a leper by actually touching him, and resurrected a man–Lazarus–who had been dead four days. In fact, Lazarus’ body was so decomposed that it stank! Three days was a stretch (Jonah), but four days was unheard of.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Everyone who needs physical, emotional, or spiritual healing should study the Bible, not only to learn about healing but to have a one-on-one relationship with Almighty God through the Messiah, whose blood atoned for our sins.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 5, NIV). “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases” (Matthew 8: 17, NIV).
HEALING IN THE TANAKH
Miriam Healed of Leprosy
But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes from his mother’s womb! And Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her I pray!” But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward she may be received again.” So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again (Numbers 12: 10-15, NASB).
The Widow’s Son Brought Back to Life
Now it came about after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe, that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance, and to put my son to death!” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him to the upper room where he was living, and laid him on his own bed. And he called to the LORD and said, “O LORD my God, hast Thou also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, I pray Thee, let this child’s life return to him.” And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived(I Kings 17: 17-21, NASB).
The Shunammite Woman’s Son Raised from Death
When Elisha came into the house, behold the lad was dead and laid on his bed. So he entered and shut the door behind them both, and prayed to the LORD. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth and his eyes on his eyes and his hands on this hands, and he stretched himself on him; and the flesh of the child became warm. Then he returned and walked in the house once back and forth, and went up and stretched himself on him; and the lad sneezed seven times and the lad opened his eyes (2 Kings 4: 32-35, NASB).
Naaman Healed of Leprosy
So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. So Elisha sent him a messenger, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be clean.” But Naaman was angered and walked away, saying, “I thought he would surely come out to me, stand and call on the Name of Adonai his God, and wave his hand over the spot and cure the tza’arat. Aren’t Amanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached him and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he told you only to ‘Wash and be clean’?” So, he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God. Then his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean (2 Kings 5: 9-14, TLV).
Hezekiah’s Life Extended
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. So Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says ADONAI: Put your house in order. For you are dying, and will not live.” Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to ADoNAI saying: “Please, ADONAI, remember how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then it came to pass, before Isaiah was gone out of the middle court, that the word of ADONAI came to him, saying: “Return, and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, thus says ADONAI, the God of your father David: ‘I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. Behold, I am going to heal you. On the third day you will go up to the HOUSE of ADONAI. Then I will add 15 years to your life (2 Kings 20: 1-6a, TLV).
HEALING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Yeshua Heals a Leper
When He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a man with tza’arat came to Him and bowed down before Him, saying, “Master, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” Immediately his tza’arat was cleansed (Matthew 8: 1-3, TLV).
Yeshua Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law and Others
And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (Matthew 8: 14-17, KJV). [See also Isaiah 53: 4, 5; 1 Peter 2: 24; Mark 1: 29-34; Luke 4: 38-41.]
Yeshua Casts Out Demons
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them a herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters (Matthew 8: 28-32, KJV). [See also Mark 5: 1-13 and Luke 8: 26-36.]
Yeshua Heals a Paralytic
And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold , they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house (Matthew 9: 1-7, KJV). [See also Mark 2: 1-12.]
Yeshua Heals a Woman Suffering From Bleeding
While Jesus was saying this, a Jewish official came to him, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.” So Jesus got up and followed him, and his disciples went along with him. A woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak [prayer shawl]. She said to herself, “If only I touch his cloak, I will get well.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage my daughter! Your faith has made you well.” At that very moment the woman became well. Then Jesus went into the official’s house. When he saw the musicians for the funeral and the people all stirred up, he said, “Get out, everybody! The little girl is not dead–she is only sleeping!” Then they all started making fun of him. But as soon as the people had been put out, Jesus went into the girl’s room and took hold of her hand, and she got up (Matthew 9: 18-25, GNT). [See also Mark 5: 21-43 and Luke 8: 40-56.]
Yeshua Heals Two Blind Men
Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted. When Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?” “Yes, sir!” they answered. Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen, then, just as you believe!” and their sight was restored (Matthew 9: 27-30a, GNT).
Yeshua Heals a Man’s Paralyzed Hand
Jesus left that place and went to a synagogue, where there was a man who had a paralyzed hand. Some people were there who wanted to accuse Jesus of doing wrong, so they asked him, “Is it against our Law to heal on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered, “What if one of you has a sheep and it falls into a deep hole on the Sabbath? Will you not take hold of it and lift it out? And a human being is worth much more than a sheep! So then, our Law does allow us to help someone on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it became well again, just like the other one(Matthew 12: 9-13, GNT). [See also Mark 3: 1-6, Luke 6: 6-11, and Luke 14: 1-4.]
Yeshua performed most of his miracles in the towns around the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum is beside the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Capernaum and may have healed the man with the paralyzed hand there. The synagogue in Capernaum is a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s house. (Another synagogue is on the site of the foundation stones of the original synagogue. See below.)
Yeshua Heals Blind Bartimaeus
And they came to Jericho. And as He and His disciples and a large crowd were going out from Jericho a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road. And when he heard it was Y’shua of Nazareth he began to cry out and to say, “Son of David! Y’shua! You must right now have mercy on me!” And many were rebuking him so that he would be silent but he was crying out much more, “Son of David, You must right now have mercy on me!” Having stopped, Y’shua said, “Call him.” And they summoned the blind man saying to him, “Be cheerful! Rise, He is calling you.” And responding to him Y’shua said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “My Rabbi, that I would regain my sight.” And Y’shua said to him, “You must now go, your faith has delivered you.” And immediately he regained his sight and was following Him on the way (Mark 10: 46-52, The One New Man Bible). [See also Luke 18: 35 and Mark 10: 46-52 and Matthew 20: 29-34.]
Yeshua Raises a Widow’s Son From the Dead
Then it happened on the next day He was going into a city called Nain, and His disciples and a great crowd were going together with Him. And as He approached the gate to the city, then behold an only son of his mother, who died, was being carried out, and she was herself a widow; and a crowd of that city was with her. And when He saw her, the Lord had pity upon her and said to her, “Stop Crying!” Then when He went over He touched the bier, and those bearing it stood still, and He said, “Young man, I say to you, you must rise immediately!” Then the dead boy sat up and began to speak, and He gave him to his mother (Luke 7: 11-15, The One New Man Bible).
Yeshua Heals a Crippled Woman
And He was regularly teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbaths. And behold there was a woman who had a spirit of sickness eighteen years and she was bent over and not able to stand fully erect. And when Y’shua saw her He called out and said to her, “Ma’am, you have been set free from your sickness,” and He placed His hands on her: and she was immediately straightened up and was glorifying God (Luke 13: 10-13, The One New Man Bible).
Yeshua Heals Ten Lepers
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed (Luke 17: 11-14, NIV).
Yeshua Heals the Royal Official’s Son
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his sword and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.” Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all household believed (John 4: 43-53, NIV).
Yeshua Heals an Invalid at Bethesda in Jerusalem
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie–the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked(John 5: 2-9, NIV).
What was the invalid doing at the Pool of Bethseda to begin with? It was pagan, dedicated to a pagan god. Why had the man been going there year after year for healing instead of going to God’s temple? One thing is for certain. After Yeshua healed him, the man went to the Temple of the Lord nearby and gave glory to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.
Yeshua Heals a Man Blind From Birth at the Pool of Siloam
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing (John 9: 1-7, NIV).
*This is not a complete list of the healing miracles in the Bible. For example, Yeshua healed others, including (but not limited to) the centurion’s servant, and raised Lazarus from the dead. In Acts Yeshua’s followers were empowered to heal and perform signs and wonders following Pentecost. Those scriptures will be examined in a future blog.
**Feel free to download a copy of these scriptures for personal use or to share with someone.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Book of Ruth? Naomi and Ruth? Ruth and Boaz? Reading the Book of Ruth during Shavuot (a.k.a. Feast of Weeks and Pentecost) is a Jewish tradition. Why? The story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz occurs during the spring harvest. You can find references to both the barley harvest (First Fruits) and the wheat harvest (Shavuot/Pentecost) in the Book of Ruth.
THE BARLEY HARVEST/FIRST FRUITS
When they [Naomi and Ruth] arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was just beginning(Ruth 1: 22b, GNT). The beginning of the barley harvest is First Fruits, which occurs the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (In the New Testament, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ occurs on First Fruits. This is why Paul refers to the resurrected Messiah as “the first fruits of those who are asleep”–I Corinthians 15: 20, NASB.)
THE WHEAT HARVEST/SHAVUOT, FEAST OF WEEKS, PENTECOST
Shavuot or Pentecost is a celebration of the wheat harvest. The counting of the Omer, which begins at First Fruits, ends 49 days later at the beginning of the wheat harvest or Shavuot. The spiritual significance of Shavuot may not be obvious at first, but it is a joining of Jews and Gentiles in the Messiah. Consider the following: “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering [First Fruits], count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23: 15-17, NIV).
TWO LOAVES, ONE BODY
The loaves represent Jew and Gentile one in Messiah. In Ephesians 3: 6 (NIV), the Apostle Paul writes that “through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
Paul wrote, “In as much as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you [Gentiles], though a wild olive shoot have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root [Israel]supports you” (Romans 11: 13b-18, NIV).
Notice the references to “dough” and “firstfruits.” First fruits is a term used for both the barley harvest and the wheat harvest.
Ruth was not only a Gentile but also a Moabite. The Moabites were enemies of Israel, but Ruth was an exception. She believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. In that regard, she was “grafted in” to Israel and became the great-grandmother of King David, whose descendant is our Lord and Savior, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah.
THE TANAKH FORESHADOWS THE BRIT-HADASHAH
The Tanakh, the Old Testament, foreshadows the Brit-Hadashah, the New Testament. Many see Boaz, Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, as a Christ figure. The Book of Ruth is a story of redemption. Her name stands out–along with Boaz’s–in the first chapter of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. Matthew begins with the genealogy of Yeshua Hamashiach, our Redeemer. His Hebrew name means salvation.
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever(Isaiah 40: 6-8 KJV).
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (I Peter 1: 24-25 KJV).
What is the first of the Ten Commandments? If you are a gentile, you will probably say, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” If you have a Jewish background, you might say, “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
The Ten Commandments are spelled out in Exodus 20: 1-17 and restated in Deuteronomy 5: 6-21. Do you see the first and second commandment in the first six verses of Exodus 20 (KJV)?
1 AND God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have bought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
From a traditional Christian point of view, verse 2 is the prologue to the Ten Commandments, and verse 3 is the First Commandment. Verses 4-6 state the Second Commandment.
From a Jewish point of view, verse 2 is the First Commandment, and verses 3-6 comprise the Second Commandment.
I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether verse 2 or verse 3 is the First Commandment. Either works for me. What do you think?’
* I collect vintage postcards. These are part of a series on the Ten Commandments (Copyright 1908, By The Rose Co.).
Today as I was reading Numbers, a verse arrested my attention. Moses was a humble man, more humble than anyone else on earth (Numbers 12: 3 GNT). The verse suggests a reason–perhaps the main reason–that God chose Moses to lead the Hebrews (along with many God-fearing Egyptians, by the way) out of Egypt.
It must have difficult for Moses to remain humble and to intercede for those who arrogantly criticized him. In Chapter 12, we find that even Moses’ brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, complained about him. Here is what God said about Moses in response to Aaron’s and Miriam’s criticism:
6 He said, “Hear now My word: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.
7 Not so with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all my household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD” (NASB).
Can you imagine speaking with God mouth to mouth (some translations say “face to face”)? Can you imagine beholding the form of God? (See Exodus 33: 11-23.)
Clearly, humility is a key component in having a close relationship with the Lord.
Here is what Jesus said about humility: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5: 5 KJV). Here’s the same verse in the Good News Translation: “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!”
* I found the illustration of Moses and the burning bush in my grandmother’s copy of “The Holy Bible” (Southwestern Company, Nashville, TN).
This is the cover of my grandmother’s, Effie Bell Butler Wright’s, copy of “The Holy Bible” (The Southwestern Company, Nashville, TN. I couldn’t find a copyright date, but my grandmother gave this Bible to her husband and family in 1910.
Most of what you read in the New Testament is also in the Old Testament. Compare the following verses:
Jesus answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22: 37-40 GNT).
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deuteronomy 6: 5 KJV).
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD (Leviticus 19: 18 NASB).