Tag Archives: Books of Moses

Bamidbar (In the Wilderness)

This Torah portion that will be read in synagogues around the world this Shabbat.

BAMIDBAR (In the Wilderness)
Numbers 1:1–4:20; Hosea 1:10– 2:20 [2:1–2:22]; Romans 15:1–7
“Adonai spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert [Bamidbar].”  (Numbers 1:1)
After the Book of Leviticus with Parasha Bechukotai, the Jews start studying the fourth of the five books of Moses, Bamidbar, which means in the desert or wilderness.  While this name is taken from the fifth Hebrew word in verse one, it reflects one of the themes of this book.
The Counting of the Army
Bamidbar is called “Numbers” in English because the first four chapters mention censuses of Israelites, the first of which number the men who are able to bear arms.  An older Hebrew name for Bamidbar — Sefer Hapikudim (Book of the Countings) — also reflects this theme of counting.
The Tabernacle that the Israelites Built (illu...

The Tabernacle that the Israelites Built (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter one of Bamidbar, the Israelites still camp at Mount Sinai after having received the law, built the Tabernacle, and been instructed in worship.  Now before they move forward to the Promised Land, they must be prepared for the threats that lie ahead on the journey.

The Lord commands Moses to take a census of all Israelite males able to bear arms from ages twenty and up.
“And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai.”  (Numbers 1:19)
The census results reveal that the Israelites are mighty in number.  The men capable of battle are listed by tribe, totaling 603,550 men:
  • Reuben: 46,500
  • Simeon: 59,300
  • Gad: 45,650
  • Judah: 74,600
  • Issachar: 54,400
  • Zebulun: 57,400
  • Ephraim: 40,500
  • Manasseh: 32,200
  • Benjamin: 35,400
  • Dan: 62,700
  • Asher: 41,500
  • Naphtali: 53,400
The Elite Service of the Levites
“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His resting place will be glorious.”  (Isaiah 11:10)
The Levites are not counted in the census since they are not to be conscripted into the military.
The Levites who descend from Aaron are anointed as priests and given priestly duties (Exodus 28:1, 29:9).
Those Levites who do not descend from Aaron function in subordinate roles to the Aaronite priests as their servants.  These Levites replace the firstborn sons of Israel who were originally given this task but lost that privilege due to their worship of the Golden Calf.  The Levites, however, remained faithful during that time and earned God’s favor.  (Exodus 13:2, 13:11–13, 32:25–26; Numbers 3:12–13)
Only Levites allowed to approach the Tabernacle
As servants to the priests, the Levites are placed in charge of the furnishings and structure of the Tabernacle — taking it down, carrying it, and setting it back up as the Israelites moved through the wilderness.
This is such a holy assignment that only the Levites are allowed to approach the Tabernacle.  Any unauthorized person coming near would be punished with death.  (Numbers 1:47–51)
A depiction of the Jewish priests
A depiction of the Jewish priests
The Levites are also required to set up their tents around the Tabernacle (not in one location as the other tribes).  They form a barrier to prevent the Israelites from coming too close to the Tabernacle in order to prevent the wrath of God from falling upon the Israelite camp.  (Numbers 1:53)
All Israelites are to camp at a specified distance from the Tent of Meeting — far enough away to protect the holiness of the Tabernacle and yet close enough for the Israelites to come for the meetings on foot.
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:  ‘The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.’”  (Numbers 2:1–2)
According to Divine placement, the 12 tribes of Israel camp beyond the Levite circle in four groups of three tribes each:
  • Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun to the East
  • Reuben, Simeon, and Gad to the South;
  • Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin to the West; and
  • Dan, Asher, and Naphtali to the North.
Because light comes from the East, that is where Moses, Aaron, and his sons camp, since they are great, holy men responsible for carrying the light of God to the nation.
The 12 tribes encamped around the Tabernacle
The 12 tribes encamped around the Tabernacle
Each tribe has its own prince or leader (nasi / Numbers 2:3) and distinctive flag or banner (degel / Numbers 2:2) with its own particular tribal emblem and color.  The colors are thought to correspond to the precious stones on the breastplate of the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol).
These symbols are considered a sign of God’s great love for each tribe of Israel, as it says in the Song of Songs:  “His banner [degel] over me is love.” (v. 2:4)
Even while traveling, the Israelites kept to their particular formation around the Tabernacle.  According to Rabbinic commentary (Midrash), that formation allowed Korah (a Levite) to conspire with Datan, Abiram, and On (Reubenites) to mutiny against the leadership of Moses (Numbers 16:1).
Since they lived in close proximity on the south side of the Tabernacle, they used the opportunity to foment a rebellion.
Of course, this is a perfect illustration of the importance of carefully choosing our companions.  The Bible teaches us that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
A Jerusalem mosaic with emblems of the 12 Tribes of Israel
A Jerusalem mosaic with emblems of the 12 Tribes of Israel
– Messianic Bible
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A voice cries out: context

In many countries a new year heaving started in September or October, with the advent, they take time to think about the Nazarene man who was given by his heavenly Father. God can not be tempted nor die, but his son who had a beginning, more than 2000 years ago, was born, was tempted more than once, was tortured to death and was taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father, the Only One Divine God.
The gospel of Marcus let us see the importance for mankind of that figure born in Bethlehem, without his willingness to do not his will, but the will of his heavenly Father, we could not have salvation and the Grace of God coming in this way, he took care of.

We may not overlook the beginning of Mark’s Gospel where we can discover, not the manger scene, but the meaning of a gospel as proclamation, and the importance of the titles “Christ” and “Son of God.”
As the writer of the article says:

“Mark reminds us that gospel originally meant “good news.” “

Too often Christians forget to look at the older books, the Old Testament. By doing that they also miss out very important knowledge and do not come to see clear who Jesus really is and what he really did.

As a Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) did not want to bring a new religion. and his disciples did not begin with a “new book”. Though the evangelist John might have looked at it as starting a new Book. At least he wanted to start a “new Chapter”. He looked at the world of Christ as a new world or Renewed world, given by God, made possible by Christ Jesus his ransom.
John started his book as Moses did, by the Voice of God. God speaking made everything in existing. Now the world could hear God’s Voice again. In the Garden of Eden God had already spoken and given His promise that a solution for Adam’s sin would come. As such that speaking from God, in the beginning of the world was also the Word of God which came unto mankind some 2 millennia ago,

Jesus was the fulfilment of that Word from God. As such the evangelist in his gospel (John 1:1) begins with an unmodified “theos” without the article, writing:

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)

Denoting Jesus was a special person, like Moses and Pharaoh, who are also called gods (=high placed person). Jeshua, though a simple workman’s son, was so important because he was the only human person who managed to keep the commandments of God and to do only the will of the Most High Elohim. He, as son of man and son of God, knew very well how we human beings felt but also how we should all come closer again to the Creator of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham. Jesus clearly showed the world who is God was and why we also should come to honour only this One and Only True God. He also showed the world his God was a God of Love, prepared to give the world a “New Start” a fresh “New Beginning”. With Christ Jesus the world was given a 2° Adam. This second only begotten son by God brought us a “New Message”, the one that salvation was at hand. He showed us to the Way to the Kingdom of God. We either can keep our ears and eyes closed, or hear the message and see what we can do, to become partakers of that Kingdom of God. It only demands of us making the right choices.
Advent is the time to think about those matters, matters of importance, priority and matters of eternal life.

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Please do read also:

  1. Only one God
  2. God is one
  3. God of gods
  4. Plain necessary food of the gospel
  5. God’s promises
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  8. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  9. Jesus Messiah
  10. Who was Jesus?
  11. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  12. Kingdom of God what would it be like
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  • The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:” (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    John, after seeing a throne surrounded by a green rainbow, with God’s glory shining forth as a jasper and sardine stone, now sees the presence of God manifest by lightnings, thunderings and voices.   This scene is very similar to the display of God’s greatness that was seen by the Israelites in Old Testament times…
  • The Messiah (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The Hebrew word means “anointed” a rescuer, sent from God to save His people.

    The Greek word for ‘anointed’ is ‘christos’, from which we get Christ.

    People only need saving when they are in peril, and many times in the history of the Old testament, God people were constantly under attach and oppression. between the New and Old testaments, God’s people were under occupation of foreign powers. Their cries for a Messiah to come, became more and more often.
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    Jesus was recognized by many as the Messiah. Jesus tried to play down those expectations and was reluctant to apply the term to Himself. This was because He was not the figure they wanted Him to be. Jesus had no intention of being connected with violence and insurrection. Jesus preaching was a revolutionary message, and He was setting up a New Kingdom, but it was not the way the people were expecting.

    It was through Christ Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, that His followers understood that He was the Messiah.

  • What Is The Gospel? (dailytwocents.com)
    The meaning of the word “Gospel” simply means Good News. A good news for a very bad situation and predicament.

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    It is often confused with the entire Bible. No, the Bible contains the good news, it is not the good news.

    It is sometimes mixed up with the commandments of God. No, the Gospel is Good News. It’s not a good command.

    It is often associated with the gospel records of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Nope. Not everything written by these four writers is the Gospel. They contain the Gospel, but not everything they wrote about is the Gospel.

  • Christ in You, the Hope of Glory (theeyesoffaith.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the Word of God, the Bible refers to Jesus Christ with several different comparative names or descriptive titles to help us know and understand Him better.

    The Bible tells us that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer, and the Savior.

    Jesus is the Messiah because He is the anointed and consecrated prince whom God promised through Daniel’s prophecy that He would send.

    He is the Christ because He is the anointed fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the New Testament.

    Jesus is the Redeemer because He is the kinsman who purchases back the lost possessions in the Old Testament and He is the fulfillment of the kinsman in the New Testament.

  • Reading the Old Testament with Martin Luther (cwoznicki.com)
    Why should we read the Old Testament? It seems pretty obvious to us today, but  in 16th century Germany there was a tendency to look down upon the value of the Old Testament. (No doubt Luther’s Law/Grace dichotomy had something to do with this…) Nevertheless Luther advocates for a figural sort of reading of the Old Testament, in other wrods he asks us to read the Old Testament in light of the New

friarmusings

jbaptistmafaMark 1:1-8   1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God). 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 3 A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” 4 John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 6 John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 7 And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to…

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