CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER THREE
YAHWEH’S PEOPLE ISRAEL
Four centuries after the death of Israel (Jacob), his twelve sons had become a large nation. At that time, they were being oppressed in the land of Egypt. They had been slaves there for many years when YAHWEH called Moses to lead them out of Egypt and take them to the land of Canaan. This was to fulfill the promises that YAHWEH had made to Abraham many years before.
In the third month, after they came out of Egypt, YAHWEH made it known to them that HE had chosen them to be HIS people.
Exo. 19 (5) Now therefore, if ye will obey MY voice indeed, and keep MY Covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto ME above all people: for all the earth is MINE: (6) And ye shall be unto ME a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
While Israel was still at mount Sinai, YAHWEH again made known HIS laws to HIS people. The evidence that HIS laws already existed is clearly seen in the following scripture concerning the patriarch Abraham.
Gen. 26 (5) Because Abraham obeyed MY voice, and kept MY charge, MY Commandments, MY statutes, and MY Laws.
According to the twentieth chapter of Exodus, YAHWEH gave HIS people HIS ten basic commandments at mount Sinai. In chapters twenty-one through twenty-three, HE related to them HIS statutes and judgments concerning the enforcement of these basic commandments. The first four commandments show how to love YAHWEH by having no other Elohim before HIM, by not making any images (nor bowing down to worship them), by not taking HIS name in vain, and by not polluting HIS hallowed Sabbath. HE wanted HIS Sabbath to be a reminder that HE created (or fashioned) the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, blessing and sanctifying it.
Exo. 20 (I) And [YAHWEH] Elohim spake all these words, saying, (2) I am YAHWEH thy Elohim, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other Elohim before ME. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I YAHWEH thy Elohim am a jealous El, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate ME; (6) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love ME, and keep MY Commandments. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of YAHWEH thy Elohim in vain; for YAHWEH will not hold him guiltless that taketh HIS name in vain. (8) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the Sabbath of YAHWEH thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days YAHWEH made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore YAHWEH blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The next three show how to love thy neighbor by honoring one's parents, by not killing one's neighbor, and by not committing adultery with the spouse of one's neighbor.
Exo. 20 (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YAHWEH thy Elohim giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The last three commandments also teach one to show love for one’s neighbors by not stealing, nor coveting anything that belongs to them, nor bearing false witness against one's neighbors.
Exo. 20 (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
These last six commandments protect one's neighbor from one's self the same as they protect one's self from one's neighbor. They benefit the whole human race!
YAHWEH'S Sabbath was also for a sign between HIMSELF and HIS people forever.
Exo. 31 (12) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, (13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily MY Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between ME and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am YAHWEH that doth sanctify you. (14) Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to YAHWEH: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. (16) Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. (17) It is a sign between ME and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days YAHWEH made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day HE rested, and was refreshed.
Not only did YAHWEH give HIS people HIS Sabbath as a sign between them and HIMSELF, HE gave them annual Sabbaths, called the Feasts of YAHWEH. They were to be observed as days of rest and days for holy convocations (holy gatherings). These are also called annual Holy Days. HE said that they were HIS feasts. HE also included the weekly Sabbath as one of HIS feast days.
Lev. 23 (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of YAHWEH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY feasts. (3) Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of YAHWEH in all your dwellings. (4) These are the feasts of YAHWEH, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
The first three Feast days (annual Sabbaths) coincided with the early harvest. The first night of the first day of the Days of Unleavened Bread was preceded by a day of preparation for the Passover. This was the day that the Passover lamb was slain and prepared to be eaten on the first night of the first day of Unleavened Bread. The first two annual Sabbaths are the first and seventh day of the Days of Unleavened Bread
Lev. 23 (5) In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is YAHWEH'S Passover. (6) And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto YAHWEH: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (7) In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (8) But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
On the day after the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread, the priest was to take a sheaf of the firstfruits and wave it before YAHWEH. Fifty days later, when the early harvest (the barley harvest) was ready to be harvested, they were to celebrate the third annual feast. This Feast of YAHWEH is called the Feast of Weeks of the Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest in Exodus 34.
Lev. 23 (9) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, (10) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: (11) And he shall wave the sheaf before YAHWEH, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. … (15) And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: (16) Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto YAHWEH. … (21) And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be a holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (22) … I am YAHWEH your Elohim.
The last four Feast days coincided with the late harvest in the Fall of the year. The fourth annual Sabbath was celebrated as a (zikrown:H2146-Memorial) of (teruw'ah:H8643-Clamor") (It has also been called Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets, a Day of alarm and/or Day of shouting in which trumpets were always used.). The trumpets were used to begin and end the observances of the Holy Days, to warn of danger, to call together the troops of the army, and to assemble the people for holy convocations.
Lev. 23 (23) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, (24) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a "Memorial of Clamor," a holy convocation. (25) Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH.
The Day of Atonement which is the fifth annual Sabbath, is not a day of feasting, but it is a day for fasting, resting, and coming together in a holy assembly. This was the only day of the year that the high priest went into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled the blood from the sacrifice furnished by Israel. This ceremony symbolically portrayed the cleansing of Israel and of the entire human race of their transgressions (sins) by the One mentioned in Isaiah chapter 53. The Mashiach was to be the One Who was to be cut off (sacrificed) for the transgressions of His people. The ceremony was portraying the Mashiach symbolically taking His own blood into heaven to the FATHER to redeem the entire human race from the death penalty. That was part of the Mashiach’s duty as Priest of the Most High EL, after the order of Melchizedek.
Lev. 23 (26) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, (27) Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH. (28) And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a Day of Atonement, to make an atonement for you before YAHWEH your Elohim. (29) For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. (30) And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. (31) Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (32) It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.
The sixth annual Sabbath was the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. It was a memorial of the children of Israel dwelling in temporary dwellings when YAHWEH took them out of Egypt. The Israelites were to dwell in the booths for seven days. The seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles is followed by the seventh annual Sabbath.
Lev. 23 (33) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, (34) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto YAHWEH. (35) On the first day shall be a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (36) Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH: on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. … (39) Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto YAHWEH seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. (40) And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YAHWEH your Elohim seven days. (41) And ye shall keep it a feast unto YAHWEH seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. (42) Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: (43) That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am YAHWEH your Elohim. (44) And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the Feasts of YAHWEH.
For their good health and holiness, YAHWEH gave HIS people some basic dietary laws. The first one is very simple. A beast that does not chew the cud, part the hoof, and be cloven footed is not to be eaten.
Lev. 11 (I) And YAHWEH spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. (3) Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
Things that move in the waters that are to be eaten must have both fins and scales.
Lev. 11 (9) These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. (10) And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: (11) They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. (12) Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination to you.
Concerning the fowls not to be eaten:
Lev. 11 (13) And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, (14) And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; (15) Every raven after his kind; (16) And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (17) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, (18) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (19) And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (20) All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.
Only a few flying creeping things that goes on all four that jump are to be eaten. Lev. 11 (21) Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; (22) Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. (23) But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
Everything that goes upon all four feet that has paws are unclean to eat. Also, the things that creep upon the earth that are unclean are listed in the following verses.
Lev. 11 (27) And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. (28) And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. (29) These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, (30) And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. (31) These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
Lev. 11 (41) And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. (42) Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
The following verses explain why YAHWEH gave HIS people these dietary laws. The reason is that HE wants HIS people to be holy as HE is holy!
Lev. 11 (44) For I am YAHWEH your Elohim: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (45) For I am YAHWEH that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your Elohim: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. (46) This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: (47) To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
YAHWEH did not just create these laws for Israel. They were probably the same ones that Abraham kept, but YAHWEH did add unto them ceremonial and sacrificial laws to be administered by the Levitical Priesthood. These ceremonial and sacrificial laws only ceremonially cleansed Israel from their sins. They only portrayed Israel's cleansing until the Mashiach would cleanse them from their sins by being the supreme sacrifice that YAHWEH would provide.
YAHWEH issued specific commands concerning all the instructions that HE had given HIS people to do to stay under HIS protection and blessing. HE commanded them neither to change that which HE had given them, nor use any other customs and tradition in their worship. This was expressed both in the Torah and through the prophets. YAHWEH makes those commands very clear in the following scriptures.
Deu. 4 (I) Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which YAHWEH Elohim of your fathers giveth you. (2) Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YAHWEH your Elohim which I command you.
Deu. 12 (29) When YAHWEH thy Elohim shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; (30) Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their elohim, saying, How did these nations serve their elohim? Even so will I do likewise. (31) Thou shalt not do so unto YAHWEH thy Elohim: for every abomination to YAHWEH, which HE hateth, have they done unto their elohim; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their elohim. (32) What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
YAHWEH spoke through the prophet Jeremiah concerning the ways and the customs of the heathen. This did not only concern carved idols, but it also concerned all the religious customs and ways of the heathen. The heathen's religious customs and traditions originated from the ancient City and Kingdom of Babylon during the time of Nimrod and shortly after his death.
Jer. 10 (I) Hear ye the word which YAHWEH speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: (2) Thus saith YAHWEH, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (3) For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. (4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. (5) They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
According to the laws and instructions that YAHWEH gave HIS people through his prophets and in the Torah, HE does not want to be worshipped by mixing HIS holy days, HIS customs, and HIS laws for living a holy life with tradition and customs of the heathen! HE most certainly does not want HIS Holy Sabbath, HIS Holy Days, and HIS Holy Laws replaced with heathen days, heathen customs, and heathen teachings from ancient Babylon that have been given new religious sounding names and meanings! Any changes, if any, in the worship of YAHWEH must be made by YAHWEH or by the Mashiach, whom YAHWEH swore would be priest, forever, after the order of Melchizedek.
Evidently something went wrong after all the good things that YAHWEH did for HIS people Israel. They mixed heathen customs and heathen worship with the instructions for worship that YAHWEH gave them. YAHWEH sent prophets to warn them, but they rejected those prophets. It seems as though HIS people would want to listen and believe what HIS prophets told them because YAHWEH said that HE would reveal HIS secrets to HIS prophets.
Amos 3: (7) Surely my Sovereign YAHWEH will do nothing, but HE revealeth HIS secret unto HIS servants the prophets.
The prophets prophesied what would happen if Israel did not repent. Because they did not repent, Israel was split up into two nations. The ten northern tribes were then called Israel and the southern two tribes, which actually composed of two and one half tribes, were called Judah. Israel was carried captive by the Assyrians and over a hundred years later Judah was carried away captive by the Babylonians. YAHWEH gave them the opportunity to come back seventy years later. Some came back and some did not. Most of those that did come back soon returned to the same idolatrous worship. When they did this, they went out from under YAHWEH’S protection and blessing. For this reason, they were under the rule of the Romans at the time of the prophet YAHshua, the most misunderstood and the most controversial figure in the history of the human race. ("YAHshua" means "YAH’S Salvation" or "YAHWEH saves." "YAH" is short for "YAHWEH" and "shua" means "saves" or "salvation.")
Israel did not listen to Him either. Approximately 40 years later they lost their temple and their nation just as He predicted. Is it possible that YAHshua was the Mashiach that was to come?
CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR