This week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Balak (Micah 5:6-6:8). The portion begins with Micah drawing from the song of Moses to illustrate what the remnant of Jacob will look like—“as showers upon grass.” The prophet also provides a list of things that will be cut off “in that day.” And lest we think biblical idolatry is obsolete, Gordon and Johnson provide modern day examples that masquerade as piety. We learn the uses of the paragraph divisions of “samech” and “pei” and Gordon scours the Tanakh for other uses of “in that day.” Continue reading
In this Support Team study, I share how a Passover Seder when I was eight marked my life and ministry. This Passover experience was a seed that grew and eventually opened a crack in my Litvak intellectualism. It allowed me to recognize that true spiritual encounters can be real, powerful, and life changing. But we need to have discernment between true encounters with our creator, emotional manipulation from others, or from “demonic” deception. While I don't have all the answers, I know what Scripture says—all authentic spiritual experiences must line up with Torah—and I hope this study begins a fruitful dialogue. Please share your thoughts and ideas (along with verses) in the comments—after listening to the study. Continue reading
This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Ki Tisa covering 1 Kings 18:1-39. True to their word to do “whatever it takes” to complete Prophet Pearls, Gordon and Johnson convene in Jerusalem to examine the brassiest display of prophetic prowess in the Tanakh. We are drawn into Elijah’s confrontation with Ahab as if for the first time. Hebrew word-plays jump off the page and demand attention. Gordon connects puzzle pieces to propose a fascinating and completely plausible reading of Obadiah’s back story. Who was he and what great news for mankind does he represent? Continue reading
This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayeira covering 2 Kings 4:1-4:37. The miracles of Elisha yield fascinating pearls as Gordon and Johnson discuss the similarities and differences of Elisha’s and Elijah’s stories, the measure of spirit that Elisha really asked for, whether the Shunammite was full of faith or just evasive—and why her travels on Shabbat present problems for both rabbis and Karaites. Gordon looks at other instances of resurrection in the Tanakh and gives chapter and verse explaining how the books of the Tanakh are grouped according to three fields of knowledge. We also learn that whether the prophets are considered “classical” or “literary,” these guys completely expected to be kept in the loop. Continue reading
In Part 5 of the Open Door Series, Nehemia Gordon teaches on the name that is the source of all blessing and at the heart of the Priestly Blessing. Gordon explains the literal meaning of God’s personal name and the power inherent in its uniqueness. With accounts from the lives of Abraham and David, he addresses the problems of ambiguity and syncretism (the spiritual mixing of seed) that arise when only the titles of God are used. Gordon discusses the great unlikeliness of the Smithfield revival and reveals a 30-year secret about a shut door — and his commitment to not shut the door again.
Open Door Series - List