Saul’s ‘Conversion’

I don’t like the word conversion, but I use it because so many use this word when one comes to faith in Yeshua (‘Jesus’). Saul already feared Yehovah, and he believed in Him, having the greatest fervency for the Torah (which he never lost). He did not have a covering for sin, however, and he and his friends were ‘hit men’ on assignment to find, arrest, try, then slaughter all Jewish folks who demonstrated faith in Yeshua.

Continue reading “Saul’s ‘Conversion’”

Genesis 18b The Judge of the Whole Earth

The Judge of the Whole Earth

 

 

Background and Printed Text: Genesis 18

 

Genesis 18:16 And the men arose from there. And they peered upon the faces of Sodom (Scorch). And Avraham (Father-Of-A-Crowd) walked with them to send them.

 

17And Yehovah said, “Am I covering what I am doing from Avraham? 18And Avraham, becoming, shall become to a big and powerful race! And all the races of the land will be blessed via him! 19For I knew him in order that he will command his children and his house after him. And they will guard Yehovah’s way to do righteousness and justice in order that Yehovah has brought upon Avraham what He spoke concerning him.”

 

20And Yehovah said, “The scream of Sodom and of Amorah (Gomorrah, meaning Her-Sheaf-Binding)! For she multiplied! And their sin! For she is very heavy!─ 21I will descend, na. And I have seen. According to her scream coming unto me, have they finished? And if not, I will know.”

 

22And the men turned from there. And they walked Sodomward. And Avraham yet stood himself to the faces of Yehovah.

 

23And Avraham approached. And he said, “Wilt thou even scrape-off a righteous-one with a culpable-one? 24Perhaps there are fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city. Wilt thou scrape-off, and wilt not forgive to the place for-the-sake-of fifty of the righteous-ones who are in her midst? 25Profanation to Thee from doing according to this speech—to kill a righteous-one with a culpable-one, and as a righteous-one will be as a culpable-one—profanation to Thee! The Judge of all the land will not do justice??” 26And Yehovah said, “If I will find in Sodom fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city, and I will forgive to all the place for their sake.”

 

27And Avraham answered. And he said, “Behold, na, I resolved to speak unto my Lords. And I am dust and ash. 28Perhaps fifty of the righteous-ones will lack five. Wilt Thou slaughter via the five all the city?” And He said, “I will not slaughter if I will find there forty and five.” 29And he gathered again to speak unto Him. And he said, “Perhaps they will find forty there.” And He said, “I will not do for the sake-of the forty.” 30And he said, “Do not, na, heat to my Lords, and I have spoken. Perhaps they will find thirty there.” And He said, “I will not do if I will find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Behold, na, I resolved to speak unto my Lords. Perhaps they will find twenty there.” And He said, “I will not slaughter for-the-sake-of the twenty.” 32And he said, “Do not heat to my Lords, and I will speak but the stroke. Perhaps they will find ten there.” And He said I will not slaughter for-the-sake-of the ten.”

 

33And Yehovah went just-as He finished to speak unto Avraham. And Avraham sat to his place.

 

 

 

I. The Haunting Engagement (verse 16)

 

The visitors finished their meal and resting. They arose. They peered (looked at something very hard, as if it were very distant and very important) upon the faces of Sodom. The fields around Sodom were fertile; it was an agricultural community with a walled city for protection. Those men knew their assignment. Many would be dead in a very short time.

 

Avraham accompanied them to send them on their journey. He knew nothing about their mission.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why didn’t the men tell the reasons for their journey?

 

2.   Why did they look at the distant city and settlement of Sodom in that way?

 

 

 

II. The Facts about Avraham (verses 17-19)

 

Yehovah spoke, though there is no indication to whom He said this. He asked Himself a question: “Am I covering what I am doing from Avraham?

 

Yehovah’s reasons for telling Avraham what He was about to do were these:

 

  • Avraham will become a big and powerful race.
  • All the races of the land will be blessed by means of him.
  • Yehovah knew him.
  • Avraham will command his children and his house after him,  and they will guard Yehovah’s way to do righteousness and justice in order that Yehovah has brought upon Avraham what He spoke concerning him.

These things will set the right conditions for Yehovah to bring upon Avraham the Promises.

 

None of these things seems to have anything to do with Yehovah’s plan for Sodom. Yet every one of these things has everything to do with Yehovah informing this man.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Yehovah say these things instead of just doing them?

 

2.   What is a race?

 

3.   How will all the races of the land be blessed by means of Avraham?

 

4.   What is important about Yehovah knowing Avraham? Doesn’t He know everyone?

 

5.   What will Avraham command his house and his children?

 

6.   When will he do this?

 

7.   What is Yehovah’s way?

 

8.   What is righteousness?

 

9.   What is justice?

 

10. What will Yehovah bring upon Avraham? What did He say He would bring?

 

11. What is required for Yehovah to bring that upon Avraham?

 

 

 

III. The Scream (verses 20-21)

 

The Bible mentioned two cities: Sodom and Gomorrah. It will mention five cities in a later text: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim and Zoar.

 

Sodom and Gomorrah scream. The scream multiplies (gets louder). The sin of the inhabitants is very heavy (important; it weighs much).

 

Yehovah determines to descend in person. Have the inhabitants finished sinning, doing what she was screaming they were doing? Yehovah will find out.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   What was Sodom screaming?

 

2.   Why was Sodom screaming?

 

3.   Can cities speak to Yehovah? Are they alive?

 

4.   Did Sodom agree with what Sodom’s citizens were doing? Explain.

 

5.   Was Gomorrah also screaming?

 

6.   What multiplied?

 

7.   What is the definition of sin in the Bible?

 

8.   What sin is this? (Only one sin is mentioned.) (Hint: Somewhere in Ezekiel, a text speaks of this sin.)

 

9.   Why did Yehovah need to descend to see? Can’t He see all things?

 

10. If they finished, what would they finish?

 

11. If you sin, does Yehovah know?

 

12. Does Yehovah know you?

 

 

 

IV. The Facts about Avraham (verses 22)

 

The men arrived from an unknown location, and ate. They then turned from the camp of Avraham. They went on their journey toward Sodom.

 

Avraham did not leave the one who stayed behind; he stood there directly in front of him.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Avraham stand in front of the remaining man?

 

2.   Was Avraham upset?

 

3.   Did Avraham know who this is?

 

4.   Why did the men turn from there?

 

5.   Why did one stay? Did Avraham detain him?

 

 

 

V. ‘Scraping Off’ and Profanation (verses 23-26)

 

Avraham reasoned with his Guest about justice. He called Him “the Judge of all the land” in verse 25. Therefore, Avraham now knew the identity of his Guest.

 

He asked, “Wilt thou even scrape-off a righteous-one with a culpable-one?” Avraham desired to know what He would do if there were fifty righteous persons in the midst of the city.

 

Avraham discussed only two possibilities: scraping off, and forgiving the place.

 

He then spoke very strongly: “Profanation to Thee from doing according to this speech—to kill a righteous-one with a culpable-one, and as a righteous-one will be as a culpable-one—profanation to Thee!” I know of no other place in the Bible where one speaks so strongly to this God!

 

The word profanation is a form of the word profane, meaning secular. Anything that is secular isn’t spiritual—it doesn’t relate to things of God, but only to physical life on earth. For example, reading a good novel is secular. There is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, there are secular activities that are wrong. Being cruel or mean to someone is also secular; it is therefore profane. Using language that is considered profanity (another form of the word profane) is also a secular activity.

 

Avraham recognized that Yehovah would be behaving secularly, profanely, if He killed a culpable (guilty) person with a righteous person, even if Yehovah became very angry with what was occurring in a city. The Judge of all the land must do justice, and that wouldn’t be justice.

 

Yehovah responded using Avraham’s number: “If I will find in Sodom fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city, and I will forgive to all the place for their sake.” That didn’t satisfy Avraham, however, as the next sections will show.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   What does scrape off mean? Is this a good description?

 

2.   How can you tell whether a person is a righteous person or a culpable person?

 

3.   What does forgive really mean (literally)?

 

4.   How can one forgive a place?

 

5.   What does righteous really mean (literally)?

 

6.   Are fifty righteous persons normally in a city? Explain this well, and think about this before you answer.

 

7.   Does Yehovah do anything that is secular/profane? Explain.

 

8.   Does Yehovah always do justice?

 

9.   What does judge really mean?

 

10. Should you judge? Think very carefully before you answer.

 

11. Was Avraham’s challenge of Yehovah’s justice (verses 23-25) right? Did Avraham have the right to do this, or did he sin by doing this?

 

12. Is it a sin to be angry with God?

 

13. Is bargaining with God wrong?

 

 

 

VI. The Minimum Number (verses 27-32)

 

Avraham resolved to speak to his Lords (plural). He had to ask more questions. Yet, he knew that he consisted of dust and ash!

 

What if only five less than fifty were present? Would Yehovah slaughter all the city because five were absent? Yehovah assured him that He will not do that.

 

Avraham continued with the countdown until he came to ten. Avraham went no lower.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why is the word Lords plural? (It is used in that form throughout the Bible.)

 

2.   What does resolved mean?

 

3.   Why did Avraham call himself “dust and ash”? Is he?

 

4.   Why did Avraham stop with ten instead of lowering the number to five?

 

5.   What would Yehovah do if He found (say) eight righteous persons? Would He slaughter the eight with the culpable ones (the culprits)?

 

6.   Avraham seemed to be concerned that Yehovah might anger with him for his continuing to speak (verse 30). Was there a danger of this?

 

7.   Avraham never mentioned Lot in this entire discussion. Why?

 

8.   Would you be considered among the righteous were the city in which you live to be targeted for Yehovah’s destruction?

 

 

 

VII. Finished (verse 33)

 

Yehovah left when he finished speaking. Avraham sat ‘to’ his place. This wasn’t the type of ‘goodbye’ a reader might expect.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Avraham just sit there?

 

2.   Was Avraham pleased that Yehovah had just visited him?

 

3.   Would you be pleased if you had relatives in a city that you knew would be targeted by Yehovah to destroy it, and Yehovah had just visited you to let you know?

 

4.   Did Avraham fear for his relatives?

 

5.   Why didn’t Yehovah reassure Avraham that Lot would be safe?

 

 

 

Genesis 18b The Judge of the Whole Earth QA

The Judge of the Whole Earth

With Questions and Proposed Answers

 

 

 

Background and Printed Text: Genesis 18

 

Genesis 18:16 And the men arose from there. And they peered upon the faces of Sodom (Scorch). And Avraham (Father-Of-A-Crowd) walked with them to send them.

 

17And Yehovah said, “Am I covering what I am doing from Avraham? 18And Avraham, becoming, shall become to a big and powerful race! And all the races of the land will be blessed via him! 19For I knew him in order that he will command his children and his house after him. And they will guard Yehovah’s way to do righteousness and justice in order that Yehovah has brought upon Avraham what He spoke concerning him.”

 

20And Yehovah said, “The scream of Sodom and of Amorah (Gomorrah, meaning Her-Sheaf-Binding)! For she multiplied! And their sin! For she is very heavy!─ 21I will descend, na. And I have seen. According to her scream coming unto me, have they finished? And if not, I will know.”

 

22And the men turned from there. And they walked Sodomward. And Avraham yet stood himself to the faces of Yehovah.

 

23And Avraham approached. And he said, “Wilt thou even scrape-off a righteous-one with a culpable-one? 24Perhaps there are fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city. Wilt thou scrape-off, and wilt not forgive to the place for-the-sake-of fifty of the righteous-ones who are in her midst? 25Profanation to Thee from doing according to this speech—to kill a righteous-one with a culpable-one, and as a righteous-one will be as a culpable-one—profanation to Thee! The Judge of all the land will not do justice??” 26And Yehovah said, “If I will find in Sodom fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city, and I will forgive to all the place for their sake.”

 

27And Avraham answered. And he said, “Behold, na, I resolved to speak unto my Lords. And I am dust and ash. 28Perhaps fifty of the righteous-ones will lack five. Wilt Thou slaughter via the five all the city?” And He said, “I will not slaughter if I will find there forty and five.” 29And he gathered again to speak unto Him. And he said, “Perhaps they will find forty there.” And He said, “I will not do for the sake-of the forty.” 30And he said, “Do not, na, heat to my Lords, and I have spoken. Perhaps they will find thirty there.” And He said, “I will not do if I will find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Behold, na, I resolved to speak unto my Lords. Perhaps they will find twenty there.” And He said, “I will not slaughter for-the-sake-of the twenty.” 32And he said, “Do not heat to my Lords, and I will speak but the stroke. Perhaps they will find ten there.” And He said I will not slaughter for-the-sake-of the ten.”

 

33And Yehovah went just-as He finished to speak unto Avraham. And Avraham sat to his place.

 

 

 

I. The Haunting Engagement (verse 16)

 

The visitors finished their meal and resting. They arose. They peered (looked at something very hard, as if it were very distant and very important) upon the faces of Sodom. The fields around Sodom were fertile; it was an agricultural community with a walled city for protection. Those men knew their assignment. Many would be dead in a very short time.

 

Avraham accompanied them to send them on their journey. He knew nothing about their mission.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why didn’t the men tell the reasons for their journey? They did and said what they were told to do and to say. They didn’t volunteer information. Avraham didn’t need to hear from them what they intended to do.

 

2.   Why did they look at the distant city and settlement of Sodom in that way? They were about to walk there, and they were about to do a very terrible (frightening) act. They peered because the city was quite far away, though it was still visible from where they were located.

 

 

 

II. The Facts about Avraham (verses 17-19)

 

Yehovah spoke, though there is no indication to whom He said this. He asked Himself a question: “Am I covering what I am doing from Avraham?

 

Yehovah’s reasons for telling Avraham what He was about to do were these:

 

  • Avraham will become a big and powerful race.
  • All the races of the land will be blessed by means of him.
  • Yehovah knew him.
  • Avraham will command his children and his house after him,  and they will guard Yehovah’s way to do righteousness and justice in order that Yehovah has brought upon Avraham what He spoke concerning him.

These things will set the right conditions for Yehovah to bring upon Avraham the Promises.

 

None of these things seems to have anything to do with Yehovah’s plan for Sodom. Yet every one of these things has everything to do with Yehovah informing this man.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Yehovah say these things instead of just doing them? Yehovah is telling readers of the Bible what He was thinking at that time. If the Bible didn’t show these things to readers, readers wouldn’t be able to get to know the mind (thinking) of Yehovah.

 

2.   What is a race? A race is a large group of individuals who all have a common set of parents (one mother and one father). Every race starts with two: a male and a female. They form a family. Children of that family tend to stay close to each other, and soon they have enough family members to be a tribe. The tribe grows; women marry the men of the tribe, and the tribe still tends to stay more or less together. When the tribe has become very large, it is now considered a race.

 

3.   How will all the races of the land be blessed by means of Avraham? Avraham’s offspring will do actions, will make inventions, and will participate in social and political functions that will benefit other races and will give them what they need to prosper in greater ways than they would have without Avraham’s offspring. Also, Avraham’s faith and behaviour will become a model for all races of the land. Besides these things, the Salvation of Yehovah from sin and unto righteous living will come through Avraham.

 

4.   What is important about Yehovah knowing Avraham? Doesn’t He know everyone? Yehovah knows everyone in one way: He created the personality of every person. Yet, Yehovah knows those who are His—those who fear Him and belong to Him; this description doesn’t cover most humans. The word know in the Bible shows great intimacy. Yehovah is not on an intimate level with very many (since most don’t fear Him). Yehovah knew Avraham.

 

5.   What will Avraham command his house and his children? He will command his house and his children to live according to the Teachings of Yehovah, to fear Yehovah, to do righteously, to refuse to sin, to look for the fulfilling of the Covenant that Yehovah made with Avraham, to do justice, to love Grace, and selflessly to walk with Yehovah.

 

6.   When will he do this? He has been doing this throughout the centuries. Those who are the children of Avraham aren’t necessarily the ones who have Avraham as an ancestor; those who have the faith and practice of Avraham are the children of Avraham:

 

      Galatians 3:6 Abraham believed God. And it was thought to him for righteousness. 7Know ye therefore that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham!

 

      Romans 9:6 They are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7neither are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham. But rather, “Thy seed shall be called in Isaac.” 8That is, They who are the children of the flesh—these are not the children of God, but rather, the children of the promise are counted for the seed!

 

      Those who hearken to the faith and righteousness of Avraham are commanded by Avraham; they are the house and the children of Avraham.

 

7.   What is Yehovah’s way? Yehovah’s way is to do righteousness and justice; it is to keep His Covenant; it is to love Grace; it is to save lives. Those who walk (that is, continuously live) in Yehovah’s way will do likewise. Those who guard Yehovah’s way will always be watching in order to do these things.

 

8.   What is righteousness? It is the state of being and doing right—that is, doing what is right (moral) and appropriate (ethical) at all times. No one achieves righteousness by doing nothing (including by not sinning), but rather by doing something (including not sinning, and instead doing what is right) toward others.

 

      A person who was formerly unrighteous can become among the righteous by justification—that is, by an act of another that takes an unrighteous person and pays for the unrighteousness debt of the person. Yet, it is now up to that person to live righteously and to demonstrate righteousness.

 

9.   What is justice? It is rendering (that is figuring out and concluding) a right decision based upon facts (that is, based on the truth). That right decision can be to justify a person (to state that the person did right), to condemn a person (that is, to declare that the person did wrong), or to declare that the person wasn’t involved. No Biblical form of justice ever assumes that a person is “innocent until proven guilty;” that is a violation of justice. Instead, Biblical justice assumes nothing, and first hears the facts (truth) in every case.

 

      Also, Biblical justice includes this: If a person testifies in any court session, if that person lies either to help get a guilty person from suffering the penalty for a crime, or to help convict an innocent person, once that testifier has been discovered to have been lying, whatever sentence that person was trying to help another avoid, or was trying to help get an innocent person convicted, the sentence of the other person will be carried out on him/her!

 

10. What will Yehovah bring upon Avraham? What did He say He would bring? Yehovah said a number of things that He will do concerning Avraham. For example, see Genesis 17 to see just part of Yehovah’s Covenant with Avraham!

 

11. What is required for Yehovah to bring that upon Avraham? Both Avraham’s house and Avraham’s children must guard Yehovah’s way to do righteousness and justice. This includes all the Israelis (since they are Avraham’s house through which the promises made to Avraham, and confirmed in Isaac and then in Jacob will be fulfilled). Until all Israel is in faith, Yehovah will not bring the blessings of the Covenant upon Avraham. Avraham must await this. This includes the resurrection from among the dead! Thus, all who have the faith of Avraham must have their very hope (expectation) in Israel’s restoration and faith!

 

 

 

III. The Scream (verses 20-21)

 

The Bible mentioned two cities: Sodom and Gomorrah. It will mention five cities in a later text: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim and Zoar.

 

Sodom and Gomorrah scream. The scream multiplies (gets louder). The sin of the inhabitants is very heavy (important; it weighs much).

 

Yehovah determines to descend in person. Have the inhabitants finished sinning, doing what she was screaming they were doing? Yehovah will find out.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   What was Sodom screaming? Sodom was screaming because of the sin going on in her. She desired that Yehovah quickly do something about this.

 

2.   Why was Sodom screaming? She desired for the sin and violence occurring in her to stop. Locations hate it when humans living in them become violent, and innocent blood and bodies are put into their soil without retribution.

 

3.   Can cities speak to Yehovah? Are they alive? Yes, they can and do speak to Yehovah. They are alive in terms of the following:

 

  • Cities can respond to events occurring inside of them
  • Cities can prosper or harm humans living in them, depending on whether those humans are doing good or bad in them
  • Cities can destroy all their inhabitants if the violence becomes bad enough and lasts long enough
  • Cities can sin and are therefore moral creatures (see Ezekiel 14:13)
  • Yehovah holds cities responsible for aiding violent humans by giving them food, water and shelter unless the cities turn from that aid
  • Cities are viewed as separate from the humans who occupy them in quite a few texts

Thus, they are alive if the Bible is Truth.

 

4.   Did Sodom agree with what Sodom’s citizens were doing? Explain. Sodom didn’t agree! The citizens were not calling out to Yehovah; they didn’t believe in Yehovah! The cities did believe in Yehovah. Certainly, the citizens would not have requested Yehovah to judge them! The scream of Sodom brought Yehovah’s action to annihilate everyone in the cities!

 

5.   Was Gomorrah also screaming? The land under both Sodom and Gomorrah was the same; they were sister cities, and therefore they both were shouting, but as one land.

 

6.   What multiplied? The scream multiplied! It became louder and louder as the land screamed to Yehovah.

 

7.   What is the definition of sin in the Bible? Sin is:

 

  • any transgression of Yehovah’s Teaching (1 John 3:4)
  • knowing to do good and refusing to do it (James 4:17)
  • doing any unrighteousness (1 John 5:17)
  • doing anything that is contrary to Scriptural faith (Romans 14:23)
  • a high look, a proud heart, the ‘light’ of a culpable person (Proverbs 21:4)
  • any violation that causes death that Yehovah has warned either to not do or to do.

(One can sin against a ruler or a king; that may or may not be sin against God.)

 

8.   What sin is this? (Only one sin is mentioned.) (Hint: Somewhere in Ezekiel, a text speaks of this sin.) The text in Ezekiel is the following:

 

      Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity [true guilt of a sin] of thy sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters. And she didn’t strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50And they were haughty! And they did abomination to my faces! therefore I took them away as I saw!

 

9.   Why did Yehovah need to descend to see? Can’t He see all things? He can and does see all things! Yet, He takes very personally the destruction that He must do. He went there to personally see in order to show readers that He personally interacts with those made in His image when it comes to life-and-death issues.

 

10. If they finished, what would they finish? If they finished in this text, it would be finalizing their great sin! Yehovah sees and knows a point where those who do sin can no longer return from doing it. They have finished their evil and violent works; giving them more time will do no good, and will only give them more opportunity to increase sinning.

 

11. If you sin, does Yehovah know? He knows; He takes all sin and sinning very personally. (After all, He paid a terrible price for every sin that anyone does.)

 

12. Does Yehovah know you? If Yehovah knows a person in the Bible, it is because that person is His property by purchase. Anyone who has been purchased by Yehovah has been willing to receive the love of the Truth, and has received that love. Thus, the person has also received the Truth, has believed the Truth, and has been born from above. This is true of very few folks—not because it is hard, but because most have no interest in receiving the love of the Truth.

 

      2 Thessalonians 2:10 They didn’t receive the love of the Truth that they might be saved.

 

 

 

IV. The Facts about Avraham (verses 22)

 

The men arrived from an unknown location, and ate. They then turned from the camp of Avraham. They went on their journey toward Sodom.

 

Avraham did not leave the one who stayed behind; he stood there directly in front of him.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Avraham stand in front of the remaining man? Avraham understood what was about to occur from the conversation; Avraham had a close relative and his family living in Sodom. He had questions.

 

2.   Was Avraham upset? He was very upset. Knowing that a close and loved relative is in danger of being killed is upsetting.

 

3.   Did Avraham know who this is? He did! He knew that he was conversing with God. (He is about to call Him the Judge of all the land.)

 

4.   Why did the men turn from there? They were on their way to do their slaughter errand; they were headed toward Sodom.

 

5.   Why did one stay? Did Avraham detain him? Avraham did detain Him; Avraham had questions for Him. He, Yehovah, stayed, because Yehovah desired for the conversation to take place in order to teach readers Yehovah’s justice regarding slaughtering entire cities.

 

 

 

V. ‘Scraping Off’ and Profanation (verses 23-26)

 

Avraham reasoned with his Guest about justice. He called Him “the Judge of all the land” in verse 25. Therefore, Avraham now knew the identity of his Guest.

 

He asked, “Wilt thou even scrape-off a righteous-one with a culpable-one?” Avraham desired to know what He would do if there were fifty righteous persons in the midst of the city.

 

Avraham discussed only two possibilities: scraping off, and forgiving the place.

 

He then spoke very strongly: “Profanation to Thee from doing according to this speech—to kill a righteous-one with a culpable-one, and as a righteous-one will be as a culpable-one—profanation to Thee!” I know of no other place in the Bible where one speaks so strongly to this God!

 

The word profanation is a form of the word profane, meaning secular. Anything that is secular isn’t spiritual—it doesn’t relate to things of God, but only to physical life on earth. For example, reading a good novel is secular. There is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, there are secular activities that are wrong. Being cruel or mean to someone is also secular; it is therefore profane. Using language that is considered profanity (another form of the word profane) is also a secular activity.

 

Avraham recognized that Yehovah would be behaving secularly, profanely, if He killed a culpable (guilty) person with a righteous person, even if Yehovah became very angry with what was occurring in a city. The Judge of all the land must do justice, and that wouldn’t be justice.

 

Yehovah responded using Avraham’s number: “If I will find in Sodom fifty righteous-ones in the midst of the city, and I will forgive to all the place for their sake.” That didn’t satisfy Avraham, however, as the next sections will show.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   What does scrape off mean? Is this a good description? It is to remove by violence. In this case, it refers to rapidly removing all citizens from several cities as if they are scum on a dish. This is a very good description, since Yehovah will be sanitizing the locations by removing human scum!

 

2.   How can you tell whether a person is a righteous person or a culpable person? A righteous person does righteousness; a culpable person (one who is guilty) will do acts that are wrong, and often will try to cover up his/her guilt if that guilt would make him/her look guilty.

 

3.   What does forgive really mean (literally)? It literally means to carry—that is, to agree with the one who did wrong to carry the offense so that there is no longer a debt between them regarding that one issue. True forgiveness is an agreement.

 

4.   How can one forgive a place? In this case, it is to agree to carry the place—that is, to continue to sustain it so that humans can live there. If Yehovah refuses to carry the place, He will destroy life from it.

 

5.   What does righteous really mean (literally)? Righteous has to do with something being plumb, straight (like in a plumb line used in construction, a string with a weight on the end). The standard of righteousness comes from a supposed god or the One True God, for all righteousness goes back to some god (be it false or real).

 

      Yehovah holds the standard of Biblical righteousness. The word justified is the same word. One who is justified is viewed as righteous. To justify is either to bring a guilty person (or group) into the state of being righteous, or it is to declare an innocent person (or group) as innocent, straight (before the god/God who holds the standard).

 

6.   Are fifty righteous persons normally in a city? Explain this well, and think about this before you answer. This is very rare! While it may seem that cities with a larger population might have fifty righteous folks in them, that number is still very high!

 

      There is a great difference between religious folks and righteous folks. Most who are religious are not righteous; those who are righteous are rarely religious.

 

      Being religious has to do with advertising: making oneself look as if he/she has a continuous interest in God/god. Being righteous has to do with what one does and whom one serves. Religious folks draw attention to themselves; righteous folks serve others made in the image of God in order to give them opportunity to live.

 

      Most cities of the world have few righteous folks in them; some have none.

 

7.   Does Yehovah do anything that is secular/profane? Explain. Whatever is secular has nothing to do with ownership. The word profane means the same thing: unowned; for public use. Thus, public restrooms are profane restrooms; they are secular restrooms. They are for anyone to use. (While the city in which they are located owns them, they can be used freely by the public as long as they are not harmed.)

 

      Yehovah doesn’t do secular/profane things; He always deals with persons, creatures, land, planets, stars, angels, etc. as His creation. Yet, those who rebel against Him are declaring that He doesn’t own them, and He often doesn’t interfere with them for a while until it is time to judge them. Humans who live as if Yehovah isn’t their creator and owner will either live secular lives (lives that show no ownership) or religious lives (lives that claim to be owned by some god, but not the true and Living God). Yehovah isn’t that way; He isn’t religious, and could not be. Thus, He never does what is secular or profane; He would have to deny Himself as the owner of all things in order to do that.

 

8.   Does Yehovah always do justice? Yehovah always eventually does justice. If He immediately did justice, humans wouldn’t live long enough to even consider faith in Him. Thus, He waits. When He does act, however, He does justice.

 

9.   What does judge really mean? Biblically, to judge is to render (that is, to give and carry out) a right decision based on all true facts.

 

10. Should you judge? Think very carefully before you answer. Every person with sense must judge! Anyone who doesn’t judge is either a fool, is incapable of judging because of a mental condition that lacks what is necessary to judge, or very gullible (that is, a sucker).

 

11. Was Avraham’s challenge of Yehovah’s justice (verses 23-25) right? Did Avraham have the right to do this, or did he sin by doing this? Avraham’s challenge was right, and he did have the right to do this. He did not sin by challenging Yehovah’s justice. That is the only good way to get to know His justice! Yehovah put this text in the Bible to show this very thing!

 

12. Is it a sin to be angry with God? It absolutely is not a sin as long as the person who is angry with God does what is right before Him, and makes peace with Him. (Those who stay bitter against God will reject their own Salvation.)

 

13. Is bargaining with God wrong? It absolutely is not wrong.

 

 

 

VI. The Minimum Number (verses 27-32)

 

Avraham resolved to speak to his Lords (plural). He had to ask more questions. Yet, he knew that he consisted of dust and ash!

 

What if only five less than fifty were present? Would Yehovah slaughter all the city because five were absent? Yehovah assured him that He will not do that.

 

Avraham continued with the countdown until he came to ten. Avraham went no lower.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why is the word Lords plural? (It is used in that form throughout the Bible.) This title is plural to show the willingness to serve (slave for) the lords in all areas possible. Since a lord is a sir (or ma’am), and since this indicates higher rank, one who calls another lord is admitting that the person has higher rank, and must be served. If the person calls another my lords, that person is admitting that the higher rank is in all areas, and that the person must be served in all areas possible. (That never includes sinning against Yehovah who is the Highest Sirs.)

 

2.   What does resolved mean? That means finally determined to do something after getting enough boldness to do it.

 

3.   Why did Avraham call himself “dust and ash”? Is he? Every human is physically made of soil—that is, of the dust of the land. Since ash is the weakest substance known to man (a piece of ash can be torn with the greatest ease), ash shows weakness and the possibility of being blown away with the slightest breeze. All humans are as ashes before Yehovah; the breath of Yehovah can blow humans entirely off the earth.

 

4.   Why did Avraham stop with ten instead of lowering the number to five? Avraham knew that ten was low enough; insisting on five righteous folks being in a city in order to save the entire city wasn’t reasonable to him. He knew that nine or less could be removed from a very evil and vile city, and that the city’s population then deserved to be destroyed while the nine or less were being rescued.

 

5.   What would Yehovah do if He found (say) eight righteous persons? Would He slaughter the eight with the culpable ones (the culprits)? No; he would send to remove and rescue them, and then slaughter the rest.

 

6.   Avraham seemed to be concerned that Yehovah might anger with him for his continuing to speak (verse 30). Was there a danger of this? There wasn’t danger, but Avraham didn’t desire to show disrespect toward the One before whom Avraham himself will later be judged. Avraham was being very bold; Yehovah desired this. This kind of boldness is for justice and not for evil.

 

7.   Avraham never mentioned Lot in this entire discussion. Why? The issue wasn’t Lot himself, but rather Yehovah’s justice. Had Avraham mentioned Lot, the reader might have gotten the impression that Yehovah’s justice can be twisted by personal relationships. Yehovah’s justice is never perverted; it is always straight.

 

8.   Would you be considered among the righteous were the city in which you live to be targeted for Yehovah’s destruction? (Each student must answer this question for himself/herself.)

 

 

 

VII. Finished (verse 33)

 

Yehovah left when he finished speaking. Avraham sat ‘to’ his place. This wasn’t the type of ‘goodbye’ a reader might expect.

 

 

Questions

 

1.   Why did Avraham just sit there? There was nothing he could do. Yehovah will do what is right; nothing Avraham could have done would have been superior to what Yehovah will do.

 

2.   Was Avraham pleased that Yehovah had just visited him? The text doesn’t indicate this; Avraham now knew of the great danger to Lot and his family. The visit to Avraham was about life and death; such a conversation isn’t ‘pleasing.’

 

3.   Would you be pleased if you had relatives in a city that you knew would be targeted by Yehovah to destroy it, and Yehovah had just visited you to let you know? (The answer, of course, depends on whether the person loves these relatives.)

 

4.   Did Avraham fear for his relatives? The text doesn’t state that he did, but he knew the characters of his relatives. Lot was righteous, but that said nothing about Lot’s wife or about Lot’s daughters (and sons-in-law).

 

5.   Why didn’t Yehovah reassure Avraham that Lot would be safe? Lot will be harmed by the events about to occur—not Lot himself, but Lot will suffer a great loss.

 

Must Pastors Have Believing Children?

Must Pastors Have Believing Children?

 

The Text in Three Renderings

Titus 1:6 (KJV) If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly…

 

Titus 1:6 (Darby) if any one be free from all charge [against him], husband of one wife, having believing children not accused of excess or unruly.

 

Titus 1:6 (Youngs Literal Translation) if any one is blameless, of one wife a husband, having children stedfast, not under accusation of riotous living or insubordinate–

 

Titus 1:6 differs in three translations. Someone is confused. How the text is translated will determine whether the text mandates pastors to have believing children in order for them to qualify as pastors.

 

Berry’s Rendering

Berry did a literal rendering that I have found trustworthiest:

 

“…if anyone is unimpeachable, husband of one wife, having believing children, not under accusation of dissoluteness or insubordinate.”

 

The Greek word Greek Pistos does not give help since it can be rendered faithful or believing with equal ease. The same would be true in Hebrew.

 

Solving the Mystery

In order to solve the mystery, I knew that I had to look at the words surrounding this section of text. I looked up the word translated riot, excess and dissoluteness (Greek Asotias). Thayer stated this:

…(the character of an Greek Asotos, i.e. of an abandoned man, one that cannot be saved,… hence prop. incorrigibleness), an abandoned, dissolute, life; profligacy, prodigality…

 

Next, I looked at the word translated unruly, insubordinate (Greek Anupotakta). Thayer stated regarding this word,

 

“not made subject, unsubjected … that cannot be subjected to control, disobedient, unruly, refractory.”

 

One in faith would not be classified with these words. I then checked one more word that was rendered accused or accusation (Greek Katygoria). Thayer stated that this word meant accusation, charge, and the idea of a formal court accusation was part of the meaning. The accusation, then, was very severe. I was able to arrive at a conclusion from this. This is how I did it.

 

The King James version said “having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” This made it sound like the faithful children might or might not be accused as riotous or unruly regardless of whether they were. The words for riot and unruly eliminated the possibility of the children being Saints. Therefore, one could not be a faithful person (in either the secular or the Spiritual sense) and be properly accused of these two things. The faithfulness of the children was not a matter of faith in God (if we accept the King James Version rendering that does not demand that they be in faith, but rather that they only be faithful), but their lifestyle must show the opposite of the repugnant behaviours.

 

I then considered the Darby translation, “having believing children not accused of excess or unruly.” This translation made it sound like one could be a Saint and yet be accused of the two repugnant behaviours (which behaviours eliminate one from having salvation). This was impossible. If the text referred to believing children (that is, to Saints), they would not be justly accused of things that would prove that they are unsaved. I therefore knew that Darby had rendered the text wrong.

 

If I were to suppose, however, that Darby understood the Greek to say, “having believing children not [that is, in contrast to being] accused of excess or unruly,” this would fit. I knew that one could be an unbeliever, and still could be a contrast to anyone accused of excess or unruliness. The text, then, would have given only one option: the children must be Saints and they must not be rotten to the core. The other option—that they could be well-behaved children while still yet not being in faith—is not allowed if the two phrases are contrasts to each other. If the text only allows for believing children, and not also for well-behaved unbelieving children, a pastor would have to quit his pastorate if even one of his sixteen children were unsaved no matter how well behaved he (or she) was. Since salvation cannot be commanded into a child by a parent, the calling of the pastor would be rescinded by Yehovah due to the child’s lack of faith. The verse that states, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29) would prove untrue. Moses, David, Samuel, Noah—none of these men of the Bible would have been able to be a pastor. And whether Paul met the criteria or not in these regards would be left up to extra-Biblical stories.

 

Moses was a shepherd (pastor) as Isaiah prophesied:

 

Isaiah 63:11 Then He remembered the days of old, Moses, His people: “Where is He who  brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He Who put His holy Spirit within him, Who led by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting Name?

 

Young’s translation, “if any one is blameless, of one wife a husband, having children stedfast, not under accusation of riotous living or insubordinate,” makes the most sense to me. It does not eliminate any major or minor category or possibility, and it would not rule out most all of the pastors in the Bible.

 

‘New Testament’ Usage

I then considered the usage of the ‘New Testament’ word translated faithful to see if John MacArthur’s footnote was correct. He states in his footnote,

 

“Faithful” is always used in the New Testament of believers and never unbelievers, so this refers to children who have saving faith in Christ and reflect it in their conduct. Since 1 Timothy 3:4 requires children to be in submission, it may be directed at young children in the home, while this text looks at those who are older.

 

The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Publishing, 1997

 

 

 

The following sections show what I found:

 

Section 1. Texts that Refer to God As Faithful

1 Corinthians 1:9   God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

 

God obviously is a believer. The remaining texts of this section are similar:

 

1 Corinthians 10:13   There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

 

In this text, faithful denotes an action, not a status.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:24   Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do [it].

 

2 Thessalonians 3:3   But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from evil.

 

2 Timothy 2:13   If we believe not, He abideth faithful. He cannot deny himself.

 

Hebrews 10:23   Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised…)

 

Hebrews 11:11   Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

 

1 Peter 4:19   Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

 

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Revelation 1:5   And from Messiah Yeshua the faithful Witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…

 

Revelation 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God…

 

Revelation 19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him is called Faithful and True. And in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

 

Hebrews 3:2   …Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, as also Moses in all his house.

 

 

 

Section 2. Texts that Refer to the Word of God As Faithful

1 Timothy 1:15   This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

The Word of God is also faithful in every way. It cannot be viewed as a “believer,” since a believer refers to one who is a cognizant living being. But the usage of the word must consider such texts. The remaining texts of this section will be similar in nature:

2 Timothy 2:11   [It is] a faithful saying. For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him]…

 

Revelation 22:6   And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

 

1 Timothy 4:9   This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

 

Titus 1:9   Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

 

Titus 3:8   [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

 

Revelation 21:5   And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

 

 

Section 3. Texts that Refer to Saints As Faithful

Acts 16:15   And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought [us], saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide [there]. And she constrained us.

 

The word faithful in the above example is modified by to the Lord, which shows that one must know to what or to whom one is faithful. The text writers do not assume that the word faithful is always used of believers, else the modifiers (such as to the Lord) would be completely redundant. The same rule will be noticed in the following texts:

 

1 Corinthians 4:17   For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in the Messiah, as I teach every where in every church.

 

Ephesians 1:1   Paul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Messiah Yeshua

 

This text implies that there are some who are faithful—but not to Messiah Yeshua. One could be faithful to other things and/or people.

 

Ephesians 6:21   But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things…

 

Colossians 1:2   To the saints and faithful brethren in the Messiah which are at Colosse: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Messiah Yeshua.

 

Colossians 1:7   As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of the Messiah

Colossians 4:7   All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, [who is] a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord

 

The following texts are not modified (they do not describe to what one is faithful), and the word faithful continues to refer to Saints:

 

Galatians 3:9   So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

 

Avraham is called faithful, and this goes along with they which be of faith. Therefore the word faithful is, in a way, modified.

 

Colossians 4:9   With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is [one] of you. They shall make known unto you all things which [are done] here.

 

The term brother is used with faithful, so that both terms are recognized to refer to attributes of a Saint (a believer).

 

1 Timothy 1:12   And I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…

 

This text does not explain in what categories he was found faithful. It is fair, therefore, to assume that Yehovah found him faithful in every category which pertained to ministry and to good reputation with unbelievers (secular faithfulness). If the term faithful means believer or believing, we should be able to replace one of these into this text, and it should make sense:

 

And I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me believing, putting me into the ministry…

 

This makes no sense to me. [Note: another wrote, “Why? I see how it could to some. One would need to be believing before being put into ministry…”]

 

1 Timothy 6:2   And they who have believing masters—let them not despise, because they are brethren, but rather do service because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

 

This text, with the next text, produces a problem. The same word is rendered by the King James translators in two different ways in the above verse: “believing” and “faithful”. This is not honest. Joseph Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, rendered the verse as follows:

 

And they that have believing (Greek Pistous) masters, let them not despise [them], because they are brethren; but rather let them serve [them], because believing (Greek Pistoi) [ones] they are and beloved who are being helped by the good service.

 

I was about to commend Dr. Thayer for his consistency, when I checked the next text to see how he rendered it. In the King James, it reads:

 

2 Timothy 2:2   And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.

 

Dr. Thayer rendered it this way:

 

And the things which thou didst hear of me with many witnesses, these commit to faithful (Greek Pistois) men, such as shall be competent also to teach others.

 

Why didn’t he render it in the following way?—

 

And the things which thou didst hear of me with many witnesses, these commit to believing (Greek Pistois) men, such as shall be competent also to teach others.

 

Is it because he realized that the issue was faithfulness to the task, and not belief, since all who were being discussed were recognized as being in the faith, but not all were apt to teach? Must not the men not only be faithful (saved), but also be secularly faithful to their responsibilities? If this is the case, the word pistoV does not have to refer only to believers when used in the New Testament.

 

1 Peter 5:12   By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

 

3 John 1:5   Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers…

 

This sounds all-inclusive, and covering much more than merely the status of being saved. This word is an adverb rather than an adjective, but the thrust of the word will be the same if it is from the same root.

 

Revelation 2:10   Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison that ye may be tried. And ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

Revelation 2:13   I know thy works and where thou dwellest, where Satan’s seat is. And thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith even in those days wherein Antipas is my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

 

Revelation 17:14   These shall make war with the Lamb. And the Lamb shall overcome them. For He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. And they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

 

This describes believing ones with three different characteristics. Faithfulness is an attribute of the believing one, not the belief itself.

 

 

 

Section 4. Texts that Refer to Those Who are Faithful in Secular Responsibilities

Matthew 24:45   Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

 

This text is one of several that has nothing to do with ‘modern Church’ doctrine, since the ‘modern Church’ (whatever that is) was not yet formed. The faithful and wise servant is faithful and wise in terms of his master’s affairs. The issue of the servant’s faith is not part of this text. The text continues,

 

Matthew 24:48   But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, “My lord delayeth his coming!” and shall begin to smite the fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

This evil servant is still a servant. The word servant, in this case, obviously does not imply one who is born of God. The faithful and wise servant was put in charge of the entire household to give food to them in the appropriate season. This does not sound like a general description of a Christian or the Christian’s responsibilities. This text is a warning to the Israeli leadership of the End Times regarding doing responsibilities to provide food. (Adopting, or better, stealing Christian theology from texts referring to Israel is a common anti-Semitic Replacement Theological tool.)

 

Matthew 25:21   His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 

Matthew 25:23   His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 

These texts are a comparison of a man traveling into a far country and the Kingdom of Heaven (or so the added text assumes). The coming of the Kingdom of Heaven, in this case, accompanies a reward for the good and faithful servant and damnation for the evil servant. (This cannot refer to Christian theology since an “earn your salvation” concept is repugnant to salvation by Grace. These texts pertain to Israel in the End Times, which is far beyond the scope of this paper.) If faithful means having saving faith in Christ, the parable-type comparison of the man traveling into a far country and leaving his servants to do his work is ruined, since this would be anachronistic (outside of a right sense of time and timing). The same is true in the next text.

 

Luke 12:42   And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season?

 

Luke 16:10   He who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]? 12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

 

If faithful indicates having saving faith in Christ, this text makes no sense.

 

Luke 19:17   And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant. Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

 

1 Corinthians 4:2   Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

 

The steward is born of God. Why, then, must he also be found faithful if, by faithful, saving faith in Christ is implied? Is this not saying the same thing twice?

 

1 Corinthians 7:25   Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord. Yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

 

1 Timothy 3:11   Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

 

If faithful indicates Salvation, this text makes no sense. How can one be “saved in all things”? Can one be partially saved?

 

Hebrews 2:17   Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto the brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Yeshua was a faithful High Priest in things of God. The word faithful must not refer to saving faith, since this text would then make no sense.

 

Hebrews 3:5   And Moses verily is faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after…

 

3 John 1:5   Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers…

 

When I put the above evidences together, I was unable to agree with Dr. MacArthur’s footnote regarding this word. I see no proof that an elder or a pastor must have children who have saving faith in Christ. I see much proof that they must have children who are faithful in ways that are the opposite of “dissolute or insubordinate” (Greek Asotias E Anupotakta).

 

Exodus 17 Water and Hands of Faith

Water and Hands of Faith

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 17

 

Exodus 17:1 And all the Witness of the children of Israel journeyed from the Thorn Desert to their journeys according-to the mouth of Yehovah. And they camped in Spreads. And there is no water to ‘water’ the people. 2And the people fought with Draw [Moshe]. And they said, “Give-ye water to us! And we have drunk!” And Draw [Moshe] said to them, “What? Ye will fight with me? What? Will ye tempt Yehovah?” 3And the people thirsted there for water. And the people lodged upon Draw [Moshe]. And he said, “Why is this? Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!”

 

4And Draw [Moshe] screamed unto Yehovah to say, “What shall I do to this people? A little further, and he will stone me!” 5And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Cross-over to the faces of the people. And take from the elders of Israel with thee. And take thy rod via thy hand that thou smote the canal via him. And thou shalt walk! 6And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry. And thou shalt smite into the rock. And waters shall exit from him. And the people shall drink.” And Draw [Moshe] did, established, to the eyes of the elders of Israel.

 

7And he called the name of the place Temptation and Her-Fighter concerning the fight of the children of Israel and concerning their tempting Yehovah to say, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?”

 

8And Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] came. And he warred with Israel in Spreads. 9And Draw [Moshe] said unto Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua], “Choose men to us! And exit-thou. War via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] tomorrow. I am positioning upon the head of the hill. And the rod of the Gods is in my hand!” 10And Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua] did just-as Draw [Moshe] said to him to war via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek].

 

And Draw [Moshe], Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] and Cave [Hur] ascended the head of the hill. 11And he was, just-as Draw [Moshe] will elevate his hand, and Israel will prevail! And just-as he will rest his hand, and Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] will prevail!

 

12And the hands of Draw [Moshe] are heavy! And they took a stone. And they put under him. And he sat upon her. And Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] and Cave [Hur] supported via his hands, from this: one, and from this: one. And his hands were faith unto [until] the sun came! 13And Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua] disabled Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] and his people to the mouth of a sword.

 

14And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Write this remembrance in a scroll, and put into ears of Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua]. For blotting, I will blot the remembrance of Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from under the heavens!”

 

15And Draw [Moshe] built an altar. And he called his name, Yehovah My-Ensign. 16And he said, “For a hand is according-to an estimate of Yah! War is to Yehovah via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from generation to generation!”

 

 

 

I. A Fight with Moshe (verses 1-3)

 

The group of the children of Israel (being one witness) journeyed from Thorn Desert to the rest of their journeys as Yehovah gave instruction. They camped in a place called Spreads. This place had no water to ‘water’ (give drink to) the people.

 

The people of Israel became angry and fought with Moshe. They said, “Give-ye water to us! And we have drunk!” Moshe responded, “What? Ye will fight with me?” Moshe couldn’t supply them with water, and fighting with him didn’t make sense. He also said, “What? Will ye tempt Yehovah?”

 

The people of Israel thirsted there for water. And the entire group lodged upon Moshe, coming closer to violence. The people said (as if one person), “Why is this? Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does “according to the mouth of Yehovah” mean?

 

2.    Why did Yehovah lead the Israelis to a place in which there was no water?

 

3.    Why did the people fight with Moshe since Yehovah was the One Who led them to the place with no water?

 

4.    What does tempting Yehovah involve, and what is wrong with this?

 

5.    Verse 3 states, “And he said, ‘Why is this? Thou “ascended” us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!’” Who is he in, “And he said”?

 

6.    Since the entire group spoke as one person, were the Israelis unselfishly demanding that Moshe and Aharon do something about the lack of water?

 

7.    When the people stated, “Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst,” he (the people) did a great wrong that often ruins relationships. What did he do?

 

 

 

II. The Command to Smite the Rock (verses 4-6)

 

Moshe screamed unto Yehovah, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little further, and he will stone me!”

 

Yehovah told Moshe what to do: “Cross-over to the faces of the people. And take from the elders of Israel with thee, and thy rod that thou smote the canal via him. Take via thy hand. And thou shalt walk! And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry. And thou shalt smite into the rock. And waters shall exit from him. And the people shall drink.”

 

Moshe did what Yehovah said to the eyes of the elders of Israel.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What did Moshe mean by, “What shall I do to this people?”

 

2.    What does stoning involve?

 

3.    Yehovah told Moshe to cross over “to the faces of” the people. If the Israelis are angry enough to stone him, how could he do this without them attacking him while he walked?

 

4.    Why would the elders of Israel go along with Moshe?

 

5.    Why was taking the rod so important, and why did Moshe have to take the rod via his hand, as if there were some other way to take the rod?

 

6.    Why did Moshe have to walk?

 

7.    Who is speaking and saying, “And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry”?

 

8.    What is the benefit of smiting into the rock?

 

9.    How can an ordinary rod break a rock?

 

10. How can enough water come out of a rock to water that many humans and their cattle?

 

11. The text continues, “And waters shall exit from him.” Who is him?

 

12. What is this rock?

 

13. If the answer to the previous question is true, what was this water?

 

14. What benefit will the people of Israel gain from drinking this water from this rock?

 

15. What did Moshe do to the eyes of the elders of Israel?

 

16. Why is Yehovah’s standing on that rock so important?

 

17. Did the Israelis understand the importance of these things?

 

18. Will the Israelis later understand these things?

 

 

 

III. Tempting Yehovah (verse 7)

 

Moshe called the name of that place Temptation and Her-Fighter because of the fight of the children of Israel, and because they tempted Yehovah by saying, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Moshe call the name of the place Temptation?

 

2.    Why did Moshe call the name of the place Her-Fighter? Who is Her?

 

3.    Why did Moshe name the place?

 

4.    What were they asking when they said, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?”

 

 

 

IV. War with Amelek (verses 8-10)

 

A group called Amalek came to do battle with the Israelis. And Amalek warred with Israel in the place called Spreads. Moshe knew one of the Israelis whose name was Joshua (Yehovah is Salvation) and who was either a military fighter or was willing to become one. Moshe told him, “Choose men to us! And exit-thou. War via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] tomorrow. I am positioning upon the head of the hill. And the rod of the Gods is in my hand!” Joshua did exactly what Moshe said, and went to war with Amalek.

 

Questions

 

1.    What does Lick-Lapped mean?

 

2.    Why did Amalek war with Israel? Was Israel threatening Amalek?

 

3.    What was Spreads?

 

4.    Why did Moshe tell Joshua to choose men and to go to war?

 

5.    Why didn’t Moshe go to war with Joshua?

 

6.    Why did Moshe tell Joshua that the rod of the Gods is in his hand? Why was that important?

 

7.    Again, why is it called the rod of the Gods (plural)?

 

8.    What did Joshua do that was so significant (in verse 10)?

 

9.    Should one always obey a spiritual leader?

 

 

 

V. Prevailing Hand (verses 10-11)

 

Moshe, Aharon, and another man named Hur ascended the head of the hill to watch the battle. Whenever Moshe will elevate his hand, Israel will be winning the war (will prevail), and whenever Moshe will rest his hand, Amalek will prevail!

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did the three men ascend the head of the hill?

 

2.    Who is Hur?

 

3.    Did Moshe elevate only his hand?

 

4.    What caused Israel to prevail (to be winning) when Moshe raised his hand?

 

5.    Why did Moshe rest his hand if Amalek prevailed when he did this?

 

6.    Was the rod magic?

 

7.    What, then, or who, then, gave Israel success when Moshe’s hand was elevated?

 

 

 

VI. Hands are Faith (verses 12-13)

 

Moshe’s hands are heavy. Thus, the two men, Aharon and Hur, took a stone and put it under Moshe. Moshe sat on the stone. Aharon and Hur supported the rod by means of Moshe’s hands, one on one side and the other on the other side. Moshe’s hands were Faith until the setting of the sun!

 

Joshua disabled Amalek and his people “to the mouth of a sword.”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why are the hands of Moshe heavy?

 

2.    Who are they who took a stone?

 

3.    How big was this stone?

 

4.    What does “And Aharon and Hur supported via his hands, from this: one, and from this: one” mean?

 

5.    According to the text, what gave Israel the power to prevail when Moshe’s hand was elevated?

 

6.    How long were Moshe’s hands faith?

 

7.    What does “to the mouth of the sword” mean?

 

8.    What did Joshua do that disabled Amalek?

 

 

 

VII. Blotting the Remembrance of Amelek (verse 14)

 

Yehovah told Moshe, “Write this remembrance in a scroll, and put into ears of Joshua. For blotting, I will blot the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens!”

 

Questions

 

1.    What remembrance did Yehovah tell Moshe to write?

 

2.    Why does this need to be written in a scroll?

 

3.    Why must it be “put into ears of Joshua”?

 

4.    What will Yehovah do to Amalek?

 

5.    Has Yehovah already done this?

 

6.    When will Yehovah do this?

 

7.    What does blot mean?

 

8.    Now, since Yehovah recorded about Amalek in the Torah (Teaching) given to Israel, and since Yehovah will write that entire Torah on the heart (mind) of every Israeli throughout the Millennium, how can Yehovah blot the remembrance of Amalek as long as the Torah keeps reminding folks of Amalek?

 

9.    Why did Yehovah so hate Amalek, that He determined to do this blotting when there have been other races who were worse than Amalek toward the Israelis?

 

 

 

VIII. The Hand and Yah’s Estimation (verses 15-16)

 

Moshe built an altar, and he named the altar Yehovah My Ensign. He then stated, “For a hand is according-to an estimate of Yah!” Moshe added, “War is to Yehovah via Amalek from generation to generation!”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Moshe build an altar at this time?

 

2.    What is an ensign?

 

3.    Why did Moshe name the altar Yehovah My Ensign? Is naming an altar Yehovah right to do?

 

4.    What does Moshe mean by a hand in, “For a hand is according to an estimate of Yah”?

 

5.    Who is Yah?

 

6.    What does “War is to Yehovah via Amalek from generation to generation” mean?

 

Exodus 17 Water and Hands of Faith QA

Water and Hands of Faith

With Questions and Proposed Answers

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 17

 

Exodus 17:1 And all the Witness of the children of Israel journeyed from the Thorn Desert to their journeys according-to the mouth of Yehovah. And they camped in Spreads. And there is no water to ‘water’ the people. 2And the people fought with Draw [Moshe]. And they said, “Give-ye water to us! And we have drunk!” And Draw [Moshe] said to them, “What? Ye will fight with me? What? Will ye tempt Yehovah?” 3And the people thirsted there for water. And the people lodged upon Draw [Moshe]. And he said, “Why is this? Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!”

 

4And Draw [Moshe] screamed unto Yehovah to say, “What shall I do to this people? A little further, and he will stone me!” 5And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Cross-over to the faces of the people. And take from the elders of Israel with thee. And take thy rod via thy hand that thou smote the canal via him. And thou shalt walk! 6And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry. And thou shalt smite into the rock. And waters shall exit from him. And the people shall drink.” And Draw [Moshe] did, established, to the eyes of the elders of Israel.

 

7And he called the name of the place Temptation and Her-Fighter concerning the fight of the children of Israel and concerning their tempting Yehovah to say, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?”

 

8And Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] came. And he warred with Israel in Spreads. 9And Draw [Moshe] said unto Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua], “Choose men to us! And exit-thou. War via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] tomorrow. I am positioning upon the head of the hill. And the rod of the Gods is in my hand!” 10And Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua] did just-as Draw [Moshe] said to him to war via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek].

 

And Draw [Moshe], Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] and Cave [Hur] ascended the head of the hill. 11And he was, just-as Draw [Moshe] will elevate his hand, and Israel will prevail! And just-as he will rest his hand, and Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] will prevail!

 

12And the hands of Draw [Moshe] are heavy! And they took a stone. And they put under him. And he sat upon her. And Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] and Cave [Hur] supported via his hands, from this: one, and from this: one. And his hands were faith unto [until] the sun came! 13And Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua] disabled Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] and his people to the mouth of a sword.

 

14And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Write this remembrance in a scroll, and put into ears of Yehovah-Is-Salvation [Joshua]. For blotting, I will blot the remembrance of Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from under the heavens!”

 

15And Draw [Moshe] built an altar. And he called his name, Yehovah My-Ensign. 16And he said, “For a hand is according-to an estimate of Yah! War is to Yehovah via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from generation to generation!”  

 

 

 

I. A Fight with Moshe (verses 1-3)

 

The group of the children of Israel (being one witness) journeyed from Thorn Desert to the rest of their journeys as Yehovah gave instruction. They camped in a place called Spreads. This place had no water to ‘water’ (give drink to) the people.

 

The people of Israel became angry and fought with Moshe. They said, “Give-ye water to us! And we have drunk!” Moshe responded, “What? Ye will fight with me?” Moshe couldn’t supply them with water, and fighting with him didn’t make sense. He also said, “What? Will ye tempt Yehovah?”

 

The people of Israel thirsted there for water. And the entire group lodged upon Moshe, coming closer to violence. The people said (as if one person), “Why is this? Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does “according to the mouth of Yehovah” mean? This means according to whatever Yehovah told them to do. Yet, Moshe was a prophet. A true prophet is the mouth of Yehovah, speaking the speeches that Yehovah gives him/her to speak. Thus, Moshe was acting as the mouth of Yehovah.

 

2.    Why did Yehovah lead the Israelis to a place in which there was no water? Yehovah later explains,

 

       Deuteronomy 8:14 “And thy heart shall elevate. And thou shalt forget Yehovah thy Gods—thy Exiter from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves, 15thy ‘Walker’ in the big and terrifying desert—burning serpent and scorpion and thirst—that there isn’t water, the Exiter of water to thee from the Rock of the flint, 16thy Feeder of män in the desert that thy fathers didn’t know in order to humble/answer thee and in order to test thee to thy doing-good during thy afterward!”

 

       Thus, Yehovah led the Israelis to a place in which there wasn’t any water in order to both humble and answer Israel, and to test Israel so that Israel will do good during Israel’s ‘afterward’—that is, during the End Times (many centuries from now) when doing good will be the riskiest it has ever been in earth’s history.

 

3.    Why did the people fight with Moshe since Yehovah was the One Who led them to the place with no water? They couldn’t see Yehovah, and they couldn’t ‘get at’ Yehovah. Therefore, they went after those most closely associated with Yehovah: Moshe and Aharon. This is normally what folks do!

 

4.  What does tempting Yehovah involve, and what is wrong with this? Tempting Yehovah is doing something wrong before Yehovah that will push Yehovah to react in violent anger. In this case, the Israelis were about to attack Moshe and Aharon, and were speaking to them with great contempt. Since Yehovah placed them there, and since Yehovah would not permit the Israelis to attack them, they were tempting Yehovah to attack them in order to rescue Moshe and Aharon!

 

5.    Verse 3 states, “And he said, ‘Why is this? Thou “ascended” us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!’” Who is he in, “And he said”? He refers to the people of Israel. The word people is singular, and refers to the entire group. (Peoples is plural.) Yehovah views the entire group of Israelis (the people of Israel) as one person.

 

6.    Since the entire group spoke as one person, were the Israelis unselfishly demanding that Moshe and Aharon do something about the lack of water? The wording of what the people said answers this: “Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst!” They were thinking of themselves, and not of their Israeli brethren.

 

7.    When the people stated, “Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst,” he (the people) did a great wrong that often ruins relationships. What did he do? The great wrong is claiming to know the motives of others. Not too long from now, you will likely see this happen. Someone will tell someone else why some person did something, and that person will be convinced that what he/she said is true. More often than not, the person will be wrong. This will cause some great problem or ruin of a relationship, and can easily lead to violence. When folks are ‘put on the defensive,’ some of them lash out and attack instead.

 

       In the text, the accusation, “Thou ‘ascended’ us from Egypt to kill me and my children and my cattle via thirst,” is an example of claiming to know motives. We readers know that Moshe and Aharon didn’t ascend the Israelis from Egypt to harm them, but rather to save them; yet, that didn’t matter to the accusers of Moshe and Aharon. They had their reasons for saying what they said, and their actions nearly got Moshe and Aharon killed (except that Yehovah would have attacked the Israelis instead, had they tried).

 

       Never claim to know the motives of others, especially if the motives you think are true are also bad motives. Instead, look at the behaviours and not the motives. Wrong behaviours are wrong, regardless of the motives; good behaviours are good, regardless of the motives!

 

 

 

II. The Command to Smite the Rock (verses 4-6)

 

Moshe screamed unto Yehovah, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little further, and he will stone me!”

 

Yehovah told Moshe what to do: “Cross-over to the faces of the people. And take from the elders of Israel with thee, and thy rod that thou smote the canal via him. Take via thy hand. And thou shalt walk! And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry. And thou shalt smite into the rock. And waters shall exit from him. And the people shall drink.”

 

Moshe did what Yehovah said to the eyes of the elders of Israel.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What did Moshe mean by, “What shall I do to this people?” He didn’t intend any harm; we would say, “What shall I do for this people?” Moshe desired to benefit them and to allay (to calm down and make much less) their fears.

 

2.    What does stoning involve? It involves picking up rocks and throwing them at a person who is in the middle of a circle of folks all doing the same rock throwing. (Eventually, hitting the head is the objective.) The idea is to kill the person by hitting him (usually in the head) enough times until he can’t recover. It normally showed outrage at the person for some violation.

 

3.    Yehovah told Moshe to cross over “to the faces of” the people. If the Israelis are angry enough to stone him, how could he do this without them attacking him while he walked? Yehovah made certain that none of the Israelis interfered with Yehovah’s orders and plan.

 

4.    Why would the elders of Israel go along with Moshe? They were also viewed as part of the trouble! They knew that Moshe had been right to this point.

 

5.    Why was taking the rod so important, and why did Moshe have to take the rod via his hand, as if there were some other way to take the rod? The Hebrew word for rod is matteh, indicating an ‘incliner’ (something that makes one incline or bend toward a direction or view). It is also used as a word indicating a tribe (of Israel, for example). Yehovah will use the tribes of Israel to incline non-Israelis toward Yehovah and toward Truth as the tribes of Israel do what is right. The tribes will also demonstrate an inclination (a leaning) toward Yehovah and Truth.

 

       Taking this via Moshe’s hand shows that Moshe had the power to direct that rod and to use that rod as Yehovah commanded. Taking anything by the hand is manipulation; this is always good when it is done for benefit and with beneficial results.

 

6.    Why did Moshe have to walk? Moshe had to leave the camp of Israel in order to approach this rock. He could not approach it by standing still or staying where he was. He had to leave his location to go to the place where it was positioned.

 

7.    Who is speaking and saying, “And behold, I am standing to thy faces there upon the rock in Dry”? Yehovah is saying this! He is the One standing to Moshe’s faces (right in front of him), and He is the One standing upon the rock which is located in the dry region (outside the camp, I propose).

 

8.    What is the benefit of smiting into the rock? This will show a vital picture. That rock isn’t an ordinary rock; it is a very special rock. Smiting that rock with the rod of Yehovah will teach very important teachings about Yehovah and about His Messiah. (I will ask a question about this in a short time.)

 

9.    How can an ordinary rod break a rock? It can’t—not without Yehovah causing it to have that kind of power.

 

10. How can enough water come out of a rock to water that many humans and their cattle? It can’t—not without Yehovah causing it to occur, or, not without that rock being a special rock that is unlike any other rock.

 

11. The text continues, “And waters shall exit from him.” Who is him? That refers to the rock.

 

12. What is this rock? The Bible much later explains,

 

       1 Corinthians 10:1 “Now, I don’t desire you to be ignorant, brethren, that all our Fathers were under the cloud. And all passed through the sea. 2And all were baptized to Moshe in the cloud and in the sea. 3And all ate the same spiritual food. 4And all drank the same spiritual drink. For, they drank of a spiritual, following rock! And the rock was the Messiah! 5Yet, God wasn’t well pleased with most of them, for they were strewed in the desert!”

 

13. If the answer to the previous question is true, what was this water? It was the greatly sought waters of life! Yet, if those drinking the waters of life don’t have Biblical faith, the waters don’t give everlasting life.

 

       Some explorers used to travel the world looking for the ‘fountain of youth.’ They didn’t know that those who drink from the waters of life and have Biblical faith have, or will obtain, everlasting life; everlasting youth will be what they obtain in the resurrection of life.

 

14. What benefit will the people of Israel gain from drinking this water from this rock? They will get the same benefits as anyone who has a good, clean, good-tasting source of water from which he/she drinks.

 

15. What did Moshe do to the eyes of the elders of Israel? He smote into the rock. Yehovah was standing on that rock.

 

16. Why is Yehovah’s standing on that rock so important? Because the rock is Messiah Yeshua Himself, this shows that Messiah Yeshua must be smitten directly in front of Yehovah in order for the Israelis to obtain the waters of life (or better, the waters of lives). Moshe did what all Israel did: he smote the Messiah!

 

17. Did the Israelis understand the importance of these things? No! They still haven’t understood the importance of these things! Almost no readers have really grasped what Yehovah was showing!

 

18. Will the Israelis later understand these things? Yes!

 

 

 

III. Tempting Yehovah (verse 7)

 

Moshe called the name of that place Temptation and Her-Fighter because of the fight of the children of Israel, and because they tempted Yehovah by saying, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Moshe call the name of the place Temptation? The Israelis tempted (strongly and dangerously tested) Yehovah!

 

2.    Why did Moshe call the name of the place Her-Fighter? Who is Her? Her refers to the temptation (which is feminine in Hebrew). The Israelis became the temptation’s fighter, fighting for the temptation that they were doing as if it were a person. They were fighting for the right to tempt Yehovah (which is a good way to get killed).

 

3.    Why did Moshe name the place? When very significant events occur in particular locations mentioned in the Bible, those locations are often named according to the events (even if the locations already have names).

 

4.    What were they asking when they said, “Is there a Yehovah via our approach, if there isn’t?” They were asking whether Yehovah even existed in the location to which they were coming closer! Humans often associated gods with particular locations, and thus they often believed that gods of one location were not in another location. They were suspicious that Yehovah wasn’t located in the places to which they were going!

 

 

 

IV. War with Amelek (verses 8-10)

 

A group called Amalek came to do battle with the Israelis. And Amalek warred with Israel in the place called Spreads. Moshe knew one of the Israelis whose name was Joshua (Yehovah is Salvation) and who was either a military fighter or was willing to become one. Moshe told him, “Choose men to us! And exit-thou. War via Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] tomorrow. I am positioning upon the head of the hill. And the rod of the Gods is in my hand!” Joshua did exactly what Moshe said, and went to war with Amalek.

 

Questions

 

1.    What does Lick-Lapped mean? The work Amalek can be divided into two words in Hebrew: Am, meaning people, and Lek or Lak, which I propose is from Lakak in Hebrew with the following meanings: to lap or lap up; to lick. Now, I propose that the original person who was given the name Amalek (from which the entire people of Amalek came) was given that name either at birth or shortly after birth. I can think of a reason for being named this way, although I don’t have any evidence of this without the Bible telling me. Suppose that the little newborn baby both licked milk and lapped it up with his tongue, just like a puppy would do. I could see his parents naming him from this, and placing it with the word people, hoping that he will become a great people. Thus, I propose that this is what occurred; again, I have absolutely no evidence except that the name has importance.

 

2.    Why did Amalek war with Israel? Was Israel threatening Amalek? When one very large group came to the territory of another group, that group felt very threatened. Suppose that this very large group decides to stay there? Where will they get food except by taking food that the group already there has grown? Thus, Amalek felt very threatened by the Israelis. They didn’t ‘waste time’ asking the Israelis what they were doing there; they just attacked them. That way, if Amalek won, they would have both slaves and property, including much cattle! Amalek had much incentive (reasons that push a person to do something) to attack Israel!

 

3.    What was Spreads? It was a location. (I can only guess why it was called Spreads. One guess would be that different persons had spreads—that is, fields—for growing crops. Another guess would be different ranges for cattle; those could be called spreads.)

 

4.    Why did Moshe tell Joshua to choose men and to go to war? Joshua was a young military fighter. He somehow learned military techniques, like sword fighting, handling a shield, etc. Joshua was also an able commander of men; others were willing to be under his leadership.

 

5.    Why didn’t Moshe go to war with Joshua? Moshe was quite old! He was over 80 years old! He would have been a concern for the young men who went to war.

 

6.    Why did Moshe tell Joshua that the rod of the Gods is in his hand? Why was that important? That was the instrument by which most (if not all) the other miracles had been performed. That information gave Joshua confidence.

 

7.    Again, why is it called the rod of the Gods (plural)? It is the rod of all the Gods there are! Yehovah is the God of the land, the God of the sea, the God of cities, the God of war, the God of protection, the God of judgment, etc.

 

8.    What did Joshua do that was so significant (in verse 10)? He did just as Moshe commanded him—that is, just as Yehovah commanded him. He obeyed.

 

9.    Should one always obey a spiritual leader? No! Many spiritual leaders have led followers to their deaths. Every head of a gang is a spiritual leader (like it or not), since he leads his followers to do moral and/or ethical works! If they rob someone, that is unethical, and it is immoral. If they murder someone, that is immoral. If they illegally buy and sell drugs, that is immoral. All things that are immoral and/or unethical are morally wrong and/or ethically wrong! Thus, a member of a gang follows the spiritual leader of the gang. There have been pastors of congregations who had led their followers to death, too. Only follow a spiritual leader if you know that the leader isn’t corrupt, isn’t arrogant, handles the Bible properly, doesn’t claim Israel’s position in Bible promises, fears Yehovah, etc. If you don’t know all these things, determine whether you will follow him in each individual case. (You certainly can ask for assistance regarding each case; ask someone who has sense and who isn’t under that leader, or who is independent of that leader.)

 

 

 

V. Prevailing Hand (verses 10-11)

 

Moshe, Aharon, and another man named Hur ascended the head of the hill to watch the battle. Whenever Moshe will elevate his hand, Israel will be winning the war (will prevail), and whenever Moshe will rest his hand, Amalek will prevail!

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did the three men ascend the head of the hill? They wanted to watch how the battle went!

 

2.    Who is Hur? He is another wise and Yehovah-fearing man who believed Yehovah.

 

3.    Did Moshe elevate only his hand? Yehovah had told Moshe to take the rod with him. I propose that he elevated his hand with the rod in it!

 

4.    What caused Israel to prevail (to be winning) when Moshe raised his hand? I could say that Yehovah did this, but verse 12 will give another answer; we will cover this when we get to verse 12.

 

5.    Why did Moshe rest his hand if Amalek prevailed when he did this? Moshe didn’t know that this would occur until he had done this several times! Yehovah hadn’t told Moshe that this would occur.

 

6.    Was the rod magic? No! It wasn’t at all magic. Such magic is against Yehovah! Moshe’s hand also was not magic.

 

7.    What, then, or who, then, gave Israel success when Moshe’s hand was elevated? This will be answered in the next verse. (See if you can figure it out.)

 

 

 

VI. Hands are Faith (verses 12-13)

 

Moshe’s hands are heavy. Thus, the two men, Aharon and Hur, took a stone and put it under Moshe. Moshe sat on the stone. Aharon and Hur supported the rod by means of Moshe’s hands, one on one side and the other on the other side. Moshe’s hands were Faith until the setting of the sun!

 

Joshua disabled Amalek and his people “to the mouth of a sword.”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why are the hands of Moshe heavy? The battle went on for quite a while. Moshe also held the rod in his hand (at least, this is my impression). Try raising your hand and keeping it straight up for quite a while!

 

2.    Who are they who took a stone? Aharon and Hur took a stone.

 

3.    How big was this stone? It was big enough that Moshe sat upon it! That stone must have weighed a lot!

 

4.    What does “And Aharon and Hur supported via his hands, from this: one, and from this: one” mean? First, if Aharon and Hur supported via his hands, that indicates that Moshe did have the rod in his hands. Secondly, Aharon and Hur didn’t take the rod out of Moshe’s hands, but they instead held onto Moshe’s hands, and Moshe’s hands held onto the rod! I am thinking that they held Moshe’s wrists. Thirdly, “from this: one” means that Aharon stood on one side (“from this,” referring to “from this side”), and held one hand; Hur did the same from the other side. The word this is used twice, once to refer to one side and once to refer to the other side.

 

5.    According to the text, what gave Israel the power to prevail when Moshe’s hand was elevated? The text states, “And his hands were Faith unto [until] the sun came.” Thus, when either hand or both hands were elevated, the Israelis had faith, and therefore they fought with much less fear. When both hands were not elevated, the Israelis didn’t have faith that they could win. Thus, Moshe’s hands were faith—faith for the Israelis!

 

6.    How long were Moshe’s hands faith? They were faith until the sun ‘came’ (the Hebrew way of describing a sunset, since the light from the sun appears to come down to the land or sea—that is, it appears to come down to the horizon.

 

7.    What does “to the mouth of the sword” mean? The sword eats its victims (in Hebrew). Therefore, it is described as having a mouth (since very young children would imagine the sword eating with a mouth if they heard and understood this in Hebrew). Every person killed by the sword was eaten by the sword; that required the sword to have a mouth, though swords don’t physically have a mouth.

 

8.    What did Joshua do that disabled Amalek? Joshua kept prevailing, and Amalek kept losing. Amalek wasn’t able to prevail, and was therefore disabled from victory. Amalek kept losing its best fighting men (Israeli swords ‘ate’ them).

 

 

 

VII. Blotting the Remembrance of Amelek (verse 14)

 

Yehovah told Moshe, “Write this remembrance in a scroll, and put into ears of Joshua. For blotting, I will blot the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens!”

 

Questions

 

1.    What remembrance did Yehovah tell Moshe to write? He told Moshe to write what He is about to say in the next sentence: “For blotting, I will blot the remembrance of Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from under the heavens!”

 

2.    Why does this need to be written in a scroll? This way, it is a written record that isn’t just a piece of paper (or better, animal skin); it is actually a scroll that is formally made.

 

3.    Why must it be “put into ears of Joshua”? Joshua must also remember this!

 

4.    What will Yehovah do to Amalek? He will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens!

 

5.    Has Yehovah already done this? No, He hasn’t, since we can easily remember Amalek, and we are under the heavens!

 

6.    When will Yehovah do this? He will do this in the future, although I don’t know when.

 

7.    What does blot mean? Blotting always has to do with a liquid that can be soaked up. A paper towel is designed to blot liquids—that is, to soak them up so that the surface will be dry. Some things that Yehovah writes are written in blottable ink; if some of those writings are blotted, there isn’t even a mark indicating that they had ever been written. An example is the names of folks who are all written in the Book of Life; most will die without faith, and their names will be blotted from that book. Thus, the Book of Life and another Book, the Lamb’s Book of Life will agree by the end of the Millennium! Until then, there will be many whose names are still in the Book of Life because they haven’t yet died in unbelief.

 

8.    Now, since Yehovah recorded about Amalek in the Torah (Teaching) given to Israel, and since Yehovah will write that entire Torah on the heart (mind) of every Israeli throughout the Millennium, how can Yehovah blot the remembrance of Amalek as long as the Torah keeps reminding folks of Amalek? This problem goes one step further; for, the Torah will continue into the New Earth. Yet, this text states, “from under the heavens,” which indicates this earth, since this earth is under the heavens.

 

       Part of the answer is that Yehovah will not permit any archaeological artifacts (items left over that humans left behind) to be found in the soil. That will keep archaeologists (folks who study civilizations from years ago) from finding any signs of the Amalekite civilization. This still doesn’t solve the remembrance problem, however.

 

       I propose this as an answer: The Israelis, who will have the Torah written on their minds, and all readers of the Torah will be able to read about the Amalekites and to recite the Torah. Yet, they won’t be able to remember anything about this race; it will be impossible for them to remember anything apart from what they will read in the Torah; and even this will be gone from their memory shortly after they have read about this race. If I am right, it is like what occurs with a woman who births a child. She sometimes goes through terrible pain, but after she has birthed the child, she is no longer able to remember the pain. (That is why women are willing to become pregnant again.) Now, if she sets her mind to it, she can reconstruct the pain, but she has had it blotted from her mind in such a way that it doesn’t affect her the way other pain issues in life affect folks.

 

       Yet, there is one other way to solve this problem. Look at the word remembrance. It is exactly the same word in Hebrew as male. Now, if this is the correct rendering, it would be: “For blotting, I will blot a male of Lick-Lapped-People [Amalek] from under the heavens!” That means that Yehovah will destroy every male of Amalek, and Yehovah will not permit any male to come to old age. He will blot out the male—removing him from the Scroll of Life—and He will do this in every generation! Thus, if a male among the race of Amalek has children, the male himself will then be blotted (more than just killed), and his children will grow just enough to keep the race going, each male then likewise being killed. (See verse 16.)

 

9.    Why did Yehovah so hate Amalek, that He determined to do this blotting when there have been other races who were worse than Amalek toward the Israelis? Another text may give the reason:

 

       Deuteronomy 25:17 Remember-thou what Amalek did to thee in the way in your exiting from Egypt 18who happened-upon-thee in the way. And he tailed into thee—all the feeble-ones after thee. And thou art tired and weary. And he didn’t fear Elohim! 19And he shall be via Yehovah resting to thee from all thine enemies from around in the land that Yehovah thy Gods [Elohim] gave to thee an inheritance to possess her, thou shalt blot a remembrance/a male of Amalek from under the heavens. Thou shalt not forget!

 

       Amalek tailed the Israelis, killing off the most feeble of them who were the slowest. Yehovah therefore determined to ‘pick off’ every male of Amalek as long as the earth lasts.

 

 

 

VIII. The Hand and Yah’s Estimation (verses 15-16)

 

Moshe built an altar, and he named the altar Yehovah My Ensign. He then stated, “For a hand is according-to an estimate of Yah!” Moshe added, “War is to Yehovah via Amalek from generation to generation!”

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Moshe build an altar at this time? Moshe saw the great victory that Yehovah gave to Israel over this race that had well-developed guerilla tactics (attacking and running, attacking and hiding, attacking and picking off the weakest). Moshe saw that a group’s strength is according to Yehovah’s measure, and not according to the capabilities of enemies.

 

2.    What is an ensign? It is something lifted up that signifies (stands for) something. It is used as a signal, as a flag, as a banner, or a sign to give information to others.

 

3.    Why did Moshe name the altar Yehovah My Ensign? Is naming an altar Yehovah right to do? Moshe was prophesying. Yehovah Himself will be Israel’s ensign in several cases during the Tribulation. When He reveals Himself in the heavens on His way down to Mount Zion, He will be Israel’s ensign, showing that Israel will certainly win and Israel’s enemies will certainly lose! When Yehovah appears as a high-towered rock in which Israelis and friends of Israelis will take refuge, and into which enemies will not be able to come, Yehovah will again be an ensign—an ensign in the form of a giant rock! Perhaps you will be able to find other texts that give other examples of Yehovah being physically seen as an ensign!

 

       Naming the altar with this name is right because the name is prophetic. (Calling any object or person Yehovah other than Yehovah Himself would not be right unless the name/title is prophetic.)

 

4.    What does Moshe mean by a hand in, “For a hand is according to an estimate of Yah”? The Bible uses hand in many ways, and nearly all have to do with power. View an adult’s hand from the perspective of a very young child; that hand can do anything and everything! It can move objects that the young child cannot move; it can fix things that the child cannot fix; it can rescue the child; it can chastise the child; it can console the child and show affection to the child… The hand of an adult can do anything, in the view of a very young child. Since the Bible uses words from the perspective of young children, the hand is used for many things in Hebrew.

 

       Now, Moshe raised his hand, and Israel began to prevail. When Moshe lowered his hand, Israel began to lose. Yehovah did the estimating of the importance and power of Moshe’s hand.

 

5.    Who is Yah? He is Yehovah. Yah is a contraction (a shorter form) of Yehovah.

 

6.    What does “War is to Yehovah via Amalek from generation to generation” mean? Yehovah will never have peace with Amalek because of what this race did to the Israelis, and because Amalek will never turn and confess the evil the Amalekite forefathers did. Thus, in every generation, Yehovah will attack and kill the males of Amalek.