Torah Pearls #36 – Beha’alotecha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

In this episode of The Original Torah PearlsBeha'alotecha (Numbers 8:1-12:16), where are the teaching priests today? Move with the cloud – what was the purpose of the trumpets? Quail and “the graves of lust” – was the mixed multitude framed? Why did Miriam, and not Aaron, suffer the consequences of speaking against Moses? Also, listen to Nehemia as he highlights God’s grace during the 2nd month Passover of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 30!

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Torah Pearls #36 – Beha’alotecha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

You are listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

Jono: G’day to Edwin in Tennessee, and Brian in Florida. And wherever you may be around the world, it is good to have your company. It is time for Pearls from the Torah Portion with Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon. G’day, fellows.

Keith: G’day! G’day.

Nehemia: G’day! Great to be here, Jono, to join you and Keith. It amazes me each time we do this, we’re on three different continents - I’m over in Jerusalem, Keith is in Charlotte, North Carolina, and you’re like upside down somewhere in Australia, right?

Jono: That’s right.

Nehemia: I want to shout-out to all the people around the world who are listening to us. We’ve got Elvira and Rebecca, Margaret, Pattie, and Garry. Thank you, guys, for sharing the Torah Pearls over on Facebook, and keep listening.

Jono: Yeah. Excellent. And so today we are in Beha’alotecha, is that right?

Nehemia: Something like that. Beha’alotcha.

Jono: Beha’alo-echa. Oh, man. Numbers, chapter 8, verse 1, all the way to the end of chapter 12. My goodness it’s a long one. And it begins like this… now, Keith, it begins with a little bit of candle arrangement here. “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron, and say to him, When you arrange the lamps, the seven lamps, you shall give light in front of the lampstand.’ And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face towards the front of the lampstand, as Yehovah commanded Moses. Now this workmanship of the lampstand was hammered gold; with its shaft and its flowers, and it was hammered work according to the pattern which Yehovah had shown Moses, he had made the lampstand.”

So, there it is, and then it’s kind of an interesting little interlude there, isn’t it, about the lamps? Then all of a sudden, we’re talking about cleansing and dedication of the Levites, right?

Keith: Yes. Wait, Nehemia, you’re really going to let us fly pass that section? And you’re over in Israel, and you’re not going to talk about the golden lampstand? Are you really going to let me do this?

Nehemia: I think we talked about that, didn’t… Jono, you said it was the picture of one of the Torah Pearls episodes that the lampstand over in…

Keith: Okay. Well, then everybody, listen, Nehemia is given a pass, he doesn’t want to talk about the golden lampstand.

Nehemia: We’ve talked about that.

Keith: So, I’m going to talk about that for a second.

Nehemia: Okay. Go ahead.

Keith: No, let me talk about it for a second. So, here’s what hits me in this, and Jono, this is contextual for me because one of the things that I have been working on, obviously as we talk a lot about this whole issue of time. And one of the things that I did when I was over in Rome is, I stopped by the most famous arch there, the one named Titus, who was overseeing the destruction of Jerusalem. And, of course, what they did in those days is they would come back into Rome and they would have this triumphal procession and they’d go by what’s called The Sacred Way. The Sacred Way was where every general would walk through Rome, and they’d come back from, and they’d bring, and they would have their spoils of war.

And one of the things that was so eerie for me was to go under this particular arch, where I wasn’t supposed to go and eventually got kicked out. But I went under the arch and I’m sitting and I’m looking up at it and you look and you see, of course, this thing, this image of this lampstand that is actually carved into the stone of this Roman - who became a Roman emperor - and there it is. And I’m saying, and I’m sitting and looking up at it and thinking, why did they take that particular thing? So, I had asked the question, why did they take the lampstand? And I’d asked Jono that, and I’d asked Nehemia that, just based on what we’re reading right here.

Nehemia: Well, I don’t know if it’s based on what we’re reading. But what I can tell you from history is that the lampstand became the symbol of the Temple, and hence by extension, the symbol of the people of Israel. You know, we think today of the Star of David as the symbol of Israel, but that’s really only a symbol that’s been used for about 200 years.

The earliest symbol we find of the Jewish people is the lampstand, the seven-branch Menorah, or candelabrum. You find that on the Hasmonean coins from the 1st century BC, and then you find it etched on as a decoration on the walls of priests who lived in the 1st century, who served in the Temple, who knew exactly what it looked like. This was the symbol of Israel. There were really two symbols; there was the lampstand, this Menorah, and there was Scripture.

The Romans took both of those as booty. It’s very interesting because Josephus describes this; he describes how they took these things and they marched them through Rome and afterwards, the Scripture that they had taken from the Temple was actually taken to the royal palace, the Imperial Palace in Rome. It was kept there for over a hundred years until it was finally returned to Israel by an Emperor named Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century.

But the lampstand, the Menorah, was brought out every year. Every year they brought out the Menorah from the Temple, and they would parade it through the streets of Rome. This continued probably up until 1204, when one of the crusades ransacked Constantinople because, at some point they moved it from Rome to Constantinople. So, every year for over a thousand years, they would parade this in the streets of Rome to remember that they conquered the Jewish Temple. This was the symbol of the people of Israel. To this day if you look on a coin of the state of Israel, that’s the symbol of Israel, that’s the real symbol. You’ll never see a Star of David on an Israeli coin; you’ll always see the candelabrum, the Menorah.

Keith: Well the other thing that hit me, and Jono, I’m not sure if you have anything to say about it, but the other thing that hit me is, so here you’ve got this symbol, this amazing symbol, and we’re going to talk a little bit, there’s even the connection a little bit further in Scripture here. But the other thing is it was made of hammered gold. Nehemia, we talked about this when I was over in Israel, they’ve got another Menorah that’s been set up; the Temple Institute has created this. And what they’ve done is they’ve got a gold-plated, I think is what they’re saying.

Nehemia: Right. Theirs is gold plated, and that’s simply because a talent of…

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: …solid gold would be, you know, more than they could afford. But the real one is going to be solid gold.

Keith: Solid gold. So, come on. So okay, one is it’s a symbol of Israel, but I guarantee you that if that candelabrum had been made of simple wood, maybe they’d bring it, maybe they wouldn’t, but I guarantee you when they see that this thing is made of…

Nehemia: Wouldn’t it burn if it was made of wood?

Keith: ...pure… yeah it would burn. So pure gold, I mean yeah, it’s a symbol, but it’s also pretty expensive. I mean this is a big… this is treasure.

Jono: It’s a trophy. It’s a trophy?

Keith: Yeah, oh, it’s a huge trophy.

Jono: Sure.

Keith: I mean, and it’s solid gold.

Nehemia: Well, yeah.

Keith: It’s a solid gold trophy.

Nehemia: What I think of here is that what the people wanted to do, what there maybe is an instinct for us to do, is to take gold, and what they did in the desert; make that into an idol and worship that. So I think what maybe God is doing here - I’m just thinking out loud - is that He’s directing that instinct that we have towards something positive and saying, instead of worshiping an idol, use this and put it in the Temple and it’ll become a source of light in the darkness. So, I think maybe this is redirecting that instinct into something positive.

Keith: And Jono, here what I’m telling you now, he just gave me the softball because, you know, what are we supposed to be? What’s supposed to happen? We’re supposed to be... Nehemia, the people of God - they’re supposed to be a light unto the nations, right?

Nehemia: Come on with that! Whoo!

Keith: The idea that they’re to be a light unto the nations.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: And so, it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen either way. But I think what’s really cool about this, and I will talk about it a little bit later, it’s really cool about the fact that this thing was created... Yehovah didn’t just say from heaven, *snaps fingers*, I now put into being a hammered gold lampstand. No. What did He do? Come on tell me where this came from guys? How did they make it into hammered...?

Jono: Well, He showed Moses the specifications, and He put his spirit upon the artisans to produce it, right?

Keith: Aha, you’re getting close.

Jono: A skilled artist to produce the...

Keith: So where did the gold come from, Nehemia, and Jono?

Jono: Aha! So...

Nehemia: Well, it says they took out their earrings and their nose rings…

Jono: That’s right.

Nehemia: …and they donated them.

Jono: And those things probably came from... were plundered from Egypt, right?

Nehemia: And there was so much there that, eventually, they had to say, “stop giving, we’ve got more than we need.”

Keith: And so, this is the problem we would like to have with what we’re doing here, and I want to say something, I want to say something. So, here’s an example where, and I think of this... when I was in Rome and I see this thing, it’s like I get goosebumps because you’re not talking about some ancient fairytale that didn’t happen. Here you’ve got this instruction; here in the Torah Pearls in Numbers, chapter 8, and before, where He says, “make this golden lampstand.” So, there’s so many things I could talk about, why certain people say, “oh, there was never a Temple”, “oh this was all made up”, “this is Jewish mythology.” No.

Nehemia: Who says that?

Keith: You’re...

Nehemia: Wait, hold on, I’ve got to stop you.

Keith: What are you talking about?

Nehemia: Who says there was never a Temple?

Keith: What are you talking about? I was just in a place where there were people saying, “oh, this was never the Jewish Temple.” I’ve met people who say that Nehemia, that this is all fairytale, there are people who say that. There are people who say... hey, like, there are people who say the Holocaust never happened.

Nehemia: Okay.

Keith: There are people who say, you know, Solomon never had his Temple there. There’s all kinds of people who say that. Now, what they’re trying to do is, do what? Take away the fact that God placed His name, placed His people, placed His Temple there. But what was so amazing to me was to be in this faraway country and to have this etched into stone, and it was a picture for me. It’s etched into stone that they took it from Israel, they brought it to Rome, and, as you say, they paraded it out and they did many other things under that arch, which we can talk about another time.

But where did this come from? The people that God called out of Egypt, He said to them, “Now, bring this to Moses,” so that what? These things could be created, and they were created for what purpose? I’m being like a good Methodist - I’m asking you guys a question: what was the purpose that they were created for?

Jono: Okay. So, they were created for the purpose of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, they were created...

Keith: And then what was the Tabernacle supposed to be? In other words, here we’ve got the Creator of the universe saying, “I’m going to let you be a part of what I’m doing.” I mean I always think it’s amazing when we get an invitation to be a part of what God is doing. So that golden lampstand was the people being a part of what God was doing; they brought in their gold, that gold was made according to specification, that lampstand was used as a picture. And Nehemia said it, it’s literally the picture of the symbol for all of Israel.

And then this was thousands of years ago, and yet today, to this very day, we can see that this was something that happened. So, for me, I get kind of excited about this, it was something for me that was a bit of an eye-opening experience...

Jono: Sure.

Keith: …that isn’t me reading my Bible and saying, “yeah, at some point this happened, and yeah, I believe it.” Like Nehemia says, “I believe it, but I haven’t seen it,” but there’s some things you see; this was something to actually, physically see, and it really caught my attention. And I think a lot about just how it happened. Those people had to come, they had a willing heart, they gave, and as a result of giving that was made into that golden lampstand, and as a result that was in the Temple. And then again, eventually, it was taken out of the Temple. And when the next Temple is created, I think that we’ll probably see one again. Amen.

Jono: Amen. And it’ll serve its purpose again.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: Amen. Go ahead.

Jono: “Then Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them.” Now I’ve got in italics here, “cleanse them ceremonially.” It’s not as if they needed a bath. And it goes on to say, “Sprinkle the water of purification on them, shave the body, wash their clothes, and take a…”

Nehemia: We’ve got to stop there just for a second.

Jono: Okay.

Nehemia: It’s really interesting, I’ve talked about this a few times, about how the book of Numbers isn’t in chronological order. In Numbers 19, a section that we’re going to get to later, we hear about the waters of purification and what they are. That’s not the water that was blessed by a priest; it’s really a solution consisting of the ashes of the red heifer, intermixed with various other things, and mainly water.

Then that’s sprinkled on the people as a form of purification from the dead. Now the concept of becoming impure from the dead is something we haven’t even really been told explicitly about. It appears in Numbers 19 with all of its details. In this section it’s kind of alluded to - they’re going to serve in the Temple, they’ve got to be purified from having touched a dead body; that’s the waters of purification. And in the next chapter, it’s going to become the central subject…

Jono: Right.

Nehemia: …that people have become impure from the dead. What that tells you is that Numbers 19 had to have been revealed before Numbers 8 and 9, otherwise, I mean...

Jono: That’s a good point, yeah.

Nehemia: …it doesn’t make sense. Yeah. And, you know, it’s clearly being structured more according to some principle of association, and possibly by topic, rather than chronologically.

Jono: Sure, yeah. That’s a very good point.

Nehemia: There it is.

Jono: And so, then there’s the sin offering, and there’s the flower. And the thing is, now Nehemia, can you help me understand this? It says in verse 10, “So you shall bring the Levites before Yehovah, and the children of Israel shall lay their hands upon the Levites; and Aaron shall offer the Levites before Yehovah like a wave offering.” Now...

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: Now, what is the difference between a wave offering and a heave offering? Are they the same things?

Nehemia: A wave offering is the Hebrew word ‘tnufa,’ and the heave offering is ‘truma;’ it’s a different word. And ‘truma’ is to lift something up, ‘tnufa’ is to wave it. How exactly they waved it, we don’t know exactly. Maybe he took them in and moved them back-and-forth, I don’t know, swung them over his head like a chicken, I don’t know.

But what I find interesting is verse 10, “And the children of Israel shall lay their hands,” literally, “they shall lean their hands upon the Levites.” This image of leaning the hands is something that we see later on, that Moses does when he passes his authority on to Joshua. The word for ‘to lean the hand’, “samach,” “smicha,” that’s the Hebrew word for ordination. So, you could also translate this, “and the children of Israel shall ordain the Levites...”

Keith: Come on.

Nehemia: Which I find amazing because, in many religions it’s the people who are in authority, who then essentially rule over and have authority over the people. Here, the people are coming to the Levites, and they’re the ones ordaining them. They’re deriving their authority from the people of Israel who are saying, “We need someone to do this for us, there’s a service here that needs to be done, there’s a lot of rules and a lot of regulations and the average person can’t really do these things; we need a group of people who are going to be dedicated to protecting the holiness of this Tabernacle. We’re going to authorize you, we’re going to ordain you to do that for us. And that’s essentially what this verse is saying - the children of Israel, they’re the ones who lean their hands upon the Levites and say, “okay, it’s your job now.”

Keith: I wonder if that’s one of the reasons why it was easier for the people of Israel, and this is a pretty amazing thing, just this idea of them laying their hands on them, but I wonder if that’s why it was easier for the people to say, “yes, we will have this, and this group as the set apart...” you know, in my tradition, it’s kind of like - well, here’s the bishops and the cardinals, and here’s all these people, they’re the special people over there, and they’ve got the authority, as it says. I was listening to the Pope in Rome, sorry for bringing him up again, but they opened the conversation and they said, “now, he’s sitting in this chair in succession of Peter, so, therefore, you don’t want to mess with him.” Basically, the idea being it’s a top-down, top-down, he’s there, so you can’t get up to him.

But in this situation, I wonder if it was easier for the people to see the Levites, as Nehemia just mentioned, all this work they’re doing, all the specifics they’re doing. They’re doing stuff they have to know the ins and outs of stuff that the average farmer wouldn’t know. And so, when they lay their hands on them saying, “yes, we affirm the fact that you’re going to be in this role, and we’re going to support it.” In other words, they’re sending them, but they’re also supporting them.

And, now, here’s the way it happens in my tradition, there’s sort of the putting down the stake and saying, “well, I’m the Levite so therefore here’s what you got to do,” versus “no, you’re the Levite and here’s what we want you to do.” It’s just a different way of looking at it.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Top-down versus the bottom-up.

Jono: Certainly.

Nehemia: They were chosen by God, but the point is that the Israelites come together and essentially, the Israelites are the ones who have to put them in the place of this situation of being Levites; they’re essentially the ones who are ordaining them as Levites. So, yeah, I think it’s profound.

I think we in the western world have this idea that government gets its authority from the people, and that was bizarre - even just a hundred years ago if you would’ve gone to Tsarist Russia and said that, that would’ve been enough to get you killed. And here this was being spoken and taught, this principle in Scripture 3,500 years ago, that the people on the top aren’t supposed be lording it over the people, they’re supposed to be serving the people.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: I know somebody who taught that.

Nehemia: Come on with that. You mean me? Or who are you talking about?

Keith: He’s in the back of the book. He’s in the back of the book, you know about that.

Nehemia: Oh, that guy.

Keith: No, I love that because here again this is this concept, and again one little line, Jono, just one little line, one little line: “And the Israelites are to lay their hands on them.” See, that’s an example of why we have Torah Pearls, that’s an example of why we have...

Nehemia: Torah Pearl, Torah Pearl, Torah Pearl.

Keith: No, that’s why we have Torah Pearl red light, that’s why we’re doing this program, that’s why it’s exciting to be doing this. And it’s no small thing, Jono, that you’ve been able to pull this together. You pulled this together, and I know people have different thoughts and ideas - there’s always perception and reality - but the truth is you’re functioning in a role of helping us to come together to give the information for the people. So, again, you have to be commended for that, Jono, that we’re not taking this lightly. But here’s this one little line, how often do people talk about this one little line, there it is right there. So that’s an example of the Torah Pearl that comes off the page as a result of what you’re doing; I want to thank you.

Jono: Thank you, my friend.

Nehemia: Yeah. Thank you, Jono. Can I share a little story? I was talking and…was asked, “Well, Jono serves the people, what is it that... how is he able to do that? You know, is Jono independently wealthy? He’s able to spend hours on end editing these programs and dedicating his time.” And I said, “I don’t know, maybe, his father...he’s an heir of some large fortune or something, I don’t know.” And I come to find out that he’s dedicated his life to doing this, and he’s kind of like Keith and me, squeezing by by the skin of our teeth. So, I want to thank you Jono, for stepping out on faith, which is essentially what you’ve done. If you would’ve told me five years ago about stepping out on faith, I would say those are just a bunch of words, I don’t know what that means. Now, having been doing that for three years and having intimate knowledge of what that means, I really appreciate what you’re doing.

Jono: Thank you. Thank you, my friend.

Keith: Well, and with that in mind, I want to say that people do have a chance to support, and Jono won’t say it, so I’m going to say it. Those that are listening, and I know we do have a lot of folks that are listening and there’s some people that, you know, a click on the button is nothing for them, there’s other people that would be a challenge and a struggle, we certainly are not calling any Levitical authority for anyone to do that.

But there is a way for you simply to support what’s happening here, and I wish it was that it didn’t take any effort and there was nothing we needed to know and it could just happen, and it just falls out of the sky. It’s like the Menorah that no one knows, but the hammered gold actually comes from people. The way that we’re able to do this is people do support it.

And so for those that have been listening, that are willing to push the button, you just simply push the donate button, and I’m going to ask you to do something - if you push the donate button there’s a little place that you can put in the memo for Torah Pearls, and that’s going to help us know that in fact there’s at least a couple of you out there that are listening and, hopefully, appreciating it.

And again, I wouldn’t have Jono say it, I’d like to say it on behalf of Jono, who is not independently wealthy, but has been digging in the field, and I want to tell you that I think that we can come and bring support to this just like we do to other things. And just like the people brought to the tent of meeting; I’m not calling this the tent of meeting, I’m calling it an idea to enter in where God is working, and we’re working. We need your support, we want your support, and if you’d be willing to push that button and support us, and you put a little note saying it’s for Torah Pearls, it will be greatly appreciated. And heck, if I see you do that, I’ll even give you a shout-out.

Jono: There we go.

Keith: So that’s my plug.

Jono: Look, thank...

Keith: I’m only shouting-out from now on for those that are willing to push the button; I’m not doing shout-outs. Now, we can move on.

Jono: Look, I appreciate that, guys; I appreciate it. And now, since you brought it up, something does come to mind and it’s always, for those that to do contribute to Truth2U, I just want to thank those who do. And I’ve always wondered which program and what was said that blessed you, please let us know because I do understand there’s a place that you can leave a little message, please let us know what it was specifically that blessed you, and what program in Truth2U, what Torah Pearl were you listening to? I’d love to know that kind of information, and...

Keith: And can I say something, one other thing? If anyone really is moved could you, in the memo, could you give a shout-out to Keith, just say: “SHOUT-OUT TO KEITH, I HEARD YOU. HERE’S SOME MONEY, BROTHER. PRAISE BE TO GOD.” Listen, I know that, I’d like a shout-out...

Nehemia: Here’s an earring, from my ear for your ear.

Keith: Here’s my nose ring, I’m supporting the move.

Nehemia: And please don’t send nose rings.

Jono: Please don’t send nose rings, it’s just a special little shout-out to Keith will make him happy...

Keith: There you go. I appreciate it you guys, please let us know. Now we can move on…

Jono: Warm and fuzzy. Okay. So now, Yehovah says, “the Levites shall be mine,” we know that instead of the firstborn he goes into detail there, and then he goes on to say, now in verse 19, “And I have given the Levites,” who are mine, “I have given them as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the work of the children of Israel in the Tabernacle of Meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, that there be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come near the sanctuary.” Now if we had to put it in a nutshell, Nehemia, is that fair? If we had to put it in a nutshell, is that it?

Nehemia: Well, their function is to assist; I think verse 26, that’s the nutshell. Their function, the function of the Levites, is to assist the priest. It says, literally, here in verse 26, “And he shall serve his brethren, in the tent of meeting, to guard the ‘mishmeret’,” the thing that needs to be guarded, “but he shall not serve. Thus shall you do to the Levites in their guarding.” Then we can actually see a living example of this, and I was going to wait to bring this, until we get to the next section, which talks about the Passover, but we can actually see some examples of this over in 2 Chronicles chapter 30 and, I think it’s chapter 30 and 35. Maybe we’ll go into more detail when we get to the next chapter, but there we can actually see how the Levites function - that they’re helping the priests out. That the priests are sprinkling the blood, that’s the job of the priest, but there are so many sacrifices there, they need someone to help them, so the Levites are skinning the animals and slaughtering them and doing all the grunt work. Then that leaves the priests open to actually do what they do best, which is doing the sprinkling of the blood. And going back to what Keith said about how... I think you are, in a sense, Jono, a Levite, in that you’re doing the skinning of the animals, which is the editing of these programs, and allowing Keith and me to do best.

Jono: There you go.

Nehemia: To go back to that analogy, not that you’re a literal Levite. But anyway, that’s their function - they’re doing the grunt work like the editing, they’re cutting up the animals and skinning them, and allowing the Levites to do what they do best. So, they’re essentially assistants to the priests; they can’t replace the priests, and that becomes a big issue later. It sounds like a subtle difference, but it becomes a huge issue later in the story of Korach, which we’ll get to later in Numbers...

Keith: Yeah.

Nehemia: …where there’s a family of Levites who says, “wait a minute, we’re also descendants of Levi. Why is Aaron, and his brethren, and why are they the ones who actually get to perform the sacrificial service and we’re just the assistants? We want to be elevated as well.” And it doesn’t end well for Korach.

Jono: It doesn’t end well. In fact, there’s also a case for elevation later on that doesn’t end well; we’re going to get to that. But before we jump into chapter 9, I just want to... last week we were talking about the census of the Levites from the age of 30 to 50. But here in verse 24, it says, “This is what pertains to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and above one may enter to perform service in the work.” So basically, it’s from 25 to 50 that they serve, right?

Keith: But it talks about...

Nehemia: Here it talks about them definitely coming and serving in the tent of meeting, and I guess there’s some kind of subtle difference there between the ones who are serving between the ages of 30 and 50, and then 25 and up...

Keith: Yeah, but all I got to say is this, and this is my favorite verse, verse 25, “But at,” say “but at.”

Nehemia: But at.

Keith: “But at the age of fifty years…”

Nehemia: “The age of fifty.”

Keith: “…they must retire.”

Jono: They get to retire. I mean, not only do they retire, it says, “performing the work, and shall work no more.” They retire.

Keith: And you know what it’s interesting about that that...

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: We’re talking about them doing the work of… which obviously was no small thing, it wasn’t an easy thing to be physically doing this stuff that they were doing. This isn’t like today where you walk into a church and the hardest thing you do it turn the key in the lock and step in. No, these guys are doing some serious, serious work, and so at 50, they got a chance to retire. And I don’t think at 50 that meant they didn’t...

Jono: Yeah.

Keith: …they didn’t still continue to share with people, talk with people, “hey, tell me about what you did in the Temple when you were doing…” I mean, I’m sure they did that sort of thing, but this idea of the grunt work, the labor, the up-until-midnight-work, they didn’t have to do that anymore after 50.

Jono: Now, this is the thing. Actually, when Nehemia says they’re the ones skinning the animals, for example, and that’s just one of the many, many things that they have to do...

Nehemia: Right.

Jono: …so that the Kohen can really focus on what they have to do so that they do not die, as it says in the Torah so many times.

Keith: Yes.

Jono: And it’s so, so important that they do focus on even the smallest of details. And skinning an animal, just taking that as an example, I mean I’ve done that and it’s a real job…

Keith: See. See what I mean? I knew it, Nehemia! You hid...

Nehemia: He’s a Levite.

Keith: He’s a Levite, for God's sake. You mean to tell me...

Nehemia: I’m already seeing 10 percent.

Keith: Honestly, hold on. No, no. Hold on. So, you’re telling me seriously, and now this really is squeamish for me... Jono, are you telling me you’ve actually skinned an animal?

Jono: What are you talking about? Keith, I’ve got goats. I’ve got goats in my...

Keith: What are you talking about? That you’ve skinned an animal?

Nehemia: I thought they were your pets.

Jono: I slaughter them; I skin them; I butcher them; I put them in the freezer; I eat them.

Keith: Oh, my gosh.

Jono: They are delicious.

Jono: Hey, guys…

Nehemia: Hey, so going back to the original question…

Jono: Hey, listen. Hey, hey, when you come to my house, we’re having goat, right?

Nehemia: I’m going to hold you to that.

Keith: Wow.

Nehemia: Hey, going back to the original question here, you’re right - it does mention repeatedly that it’s from 30 to 50 that you count them. In verse 24, it says from 25, in 24 and 25, it says, from the age of 25 through 50 they’ll serve. And to be honest with you, I’m going to confess something here in the interest of full disclosure: I don’t have all the answers.

Jono: You don’t have an answer to that one. But you have to admit it’s curious right? Because why not count from 25 up?

Nehemia: I do have an answer to it, but I don’t have all the answers is my point. I had noticed this before because it repeatedly says from 30 to 50, and here throughout chapter 4, for example, and that’s when it comes to the counting. And look - my off-the-cuff answer, my gut reaction, would be to say that they’re serving in Tabernacle beginning at the age of 25, but they only get counted from the age of 30. I mean, that’s the simplest answer.

Jono: Okay. So...

Keith: I’m now giving the answer.

Jono: It’s a five-year apprenticeship.

Keith: Guys. Guys!

Nehemia: There could be a five-year apprenticeship. Could be.

Keith: It’s like what they do in the Methodist church, I’m telling you, we got this from there.

Nehemia: I thought you did ten years...

Keith: No, first you’re a local pastor, then you get a chance to be a probationary member, then you get to be a deacon, and you don’t get to be official until you’re called an elder. So that’s about a 4 to 5 year process. That’s what happens, that’s what the deal is, and 25+25 is 50, a witness for heaven and earth.

Jono: There it is. Chapter 9, the Second Passover, here we are, “Yehovah spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first...” Keith, are you ready for this?

Keith: Yes.

Jono: There’s a whole lot of time here.

Keith: Yes.

Jono: “…the first month...”

Keith: Yes.

Jono: “…of the second year, after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, ‘Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month...’”

Keith: I’m going to interrupt you because you know what? We’ve talked about Passover, but I want to get to verse 6, and you got to hurry up and get to verse 6.

Jono: Here it says, “Now there were certain men,” we’ve done Passover that’s true, “who were defiled by a human corpse,” as we were talking earlier on, “so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day.” And they said, “what are we going to do? We’ve been defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of Yehovah at its appointed time of the children of Israel?” And Moses said to them... now, Nehemia, here’s another example of what you were talking about before...

Nehemia: Exactly.

Jono: …in a previous Torah Pearls, “And Moses said to them, ‘Stand still, that I may hear what Yehovah will command concerning you.’” And there’s another case that not everything was disclosed to him on Sinai.

Nehemia: Right, and there are actually five examples of that. One of them we’ve already seen - Leviticus 24:12, where the man who cursed the name, and Moses didn’t know what to do, he had to go ask God. Numbers 9:8 - here’s a second one. The third one is the man who is gathering the sticks on Shabbat, we’re going to get to that soon. Numbers 15:34. The fourth example is Numbers 27, verse 5, where we have the daughters of Zelophehad, where they don’t know what to do, and their cousins come later in Numbers 36:5. And in all five of those cases Moses clearly doesn’t know what to do, and what does he do? He goes and he asks God.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: And through revelation, he gets the instruction of what he’s supposed to do. To me as a Karaite Jew, this is one of the key passages in the Bible for me. And really, the reason is that I was raised with this idea that Moses received everything on Mount Sinai, all the details and all the instructions were revealed to him on Mount Sinai, and when he came down the revelation was complete.

That’s clearly not the case. He clearly didn’t have this part of the revelation until after these incidents, issues, came up. This is something that’s actually talked about - if you’ll give me a minute here, cut me a little bit of grace here, and then I’ll let Keith talk - I know he’s got something burning inside him, but if we can cut over real quick to Deuteronomy 17 there’s whole description there beginning in verse 8. It says, “When a matter is too difficult for you for judgment between blood and blood, etc. - matter of strife in your gates - you will rise up, and you will go to the place that Yehovah your God will choose, and you will come to the Levitical priest, and to the judge who will be in those days.”

So, we’ve got two people you can come to get an answer. You’ve got the Levitical priest at the Temple, that I call the high priest, and you’ve got the “judge who will be in those days.” Read the book of Judges; you can see what that is. It says, “And you shall seek, and they shall tell you the matter of judgment. And you shall do according to the matter which they tell you from that place that Yehovah chooses. And you shall diligently do according to all that they teach you.”

So here we have, essentially, a system set in place when you don’t know what to do. When you’ve got a man who’s been gathering sticks on Shabbat; when you’ve got a situation like, there are people who are ritually impure and they can’t bring the Passover sacrifice, what do we do? You go and you ask the high priest and he’ll give you a judgment.

Now, where does he get that judgment from? Does he just pluck it out of the thin air? Well, no, the answer is given in Numbers 27, and there is actually what we were talking about where, “Moses leans his hands”, those are the exact words in verse 18. Moses leans his hands upon Joshua to pass his authority over to him. I want to quickly read that passage, starting in verse 18, it says, “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, ‘Take to you Joshua the son of Nun,’” say Joshua; Joshua that’s Yehoshua, say Yehoshua.

Jono: Yehoshua.

Keith: Yehoshua.

Nehemia: “Yehoshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and you shall lean your hands upon him.” Same words as it talked about with the Levites. “And you shall stand him before Eleazar the priest,” Eleazar is the high priest, “and before all the congregation. And you shall instruct him,” or command him, “before their eyes, and you shall give some of your glory upon him in order that they will obey, in order that all the congregation of the children of Israel will obey.”

And it says, “And before Eleazar the priest he shall stand, and he shall ask the judgment of the Urim before Yehovah.” So where does he get this judgment? When you come to the judge and you get this information and you have a question - he goes and he asks the high priest through the Urim and Thummim, through this prophetic device. Well, we actually have a living example of that in Ezra, chapter 2, where there’s a case of these people who have a tradition. Say tradition.

Jono: Tradition.

Nehemia: They’ve got a tradition that they’re priests, but they can’t prove through a direct line father-to-son, father-to-son, the names of who their ancestors are to prove that they’re real priests. It says in verse 62, of Ezra, chapter 2, “And these sought their writing of the genealogies, and they were not found,” because they had these genealogical scrolls, “and they were banished from the priesthood. And the governors said to them, they must not eat of the most holy things until a priest stands with Urim and the Thummim.”

So here was a situation where they didn’t know if these priests were genuine priests; they had a tradition that they were priests, but they couldn’t prove it. And they said, “We need a priest with the Urim and the Thummim, we can’t just make it up, we can’t just pluck these things out of the air, we need a priest with the Urim and the Thummim.”

That really creates a question of, what do we do today? For me, as a Karaite Jew, this is something I’ve struggled with. The rabbis, what they’ve done is, they’ve actually taken the authority of the high priest, and the Urim and the Thummim, and taken that authority as their own. They say that it’s up to us, we’re the ones. They actually talk about Deuteronomy 17, when you go to the Temple. They say, “That’s us; we’re not at the Temple but we have the authority of the Temple, the authority of the high priest and of the high judge.” And I say, “No, that’s not what Scripture says.”

There’s actually a reference to this in 2 Chronicles, chapter 15, a very obscure prophecy of a relatively unknown prophet, Azariah, who’s the son of Oded, and he says - literally what it says in Hebrew in verse 3, it says, “And many days shall be for Israel without the true God and without the teaching priest and without the Torah.” I would say that we are in that situation. We are in the situation where we don’t have the teaching priest, and a lot of us don’t have the Torah. And a lot of us worship a God who’s a God of our own creation, and in that sense, we don’t know the true God.

In other words, we worship a God who, we’ve put words in his mouth; we said, he spoke these things at Sinai. And he didn’t actually speak these things. I think that’s what it’s saying - not that they worship some other completely different God, but what they’ve done is, they’ve essentially falsified what God has spoken, and we end up with this situation where we don’t have the teaching priest.

I’m waiting for that day where we have the teaching priest once again, and he comes, and he teaches us the truth. And we’re going to - and this is something Keith and I have discussed quite a bit, how in his tradition he’s got the whole concept of the Messiah, and in my tradition... he’s waiting for the Messiah to return in his tradition, and where I come from we’re waiting for the Messiah to come. But what we can both agree on is that one of the figures that’s going to come is going to be the king, and the king takes on the role of the judge, that’s very clear...

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: …in the books of Samuel and Kings, and so Deuteronomy 17, “the judge who will be in those days,” that will be the king. I’m going to read the prophecy everybody agrees is a prophecy about the Messiah, because that’s one of the issues when we talk about all the Messianic prophesies - Christians have a list that they believe are Messianic, the Jews have a different list, that they are Messianic, and they’ll argue, is this Messianic, is it not Messianic, meaning is it referred to the Messiah or not referred to the Messiah. We can go on from now to the time immemorial and argue about that.

But one passage everyone agrees is Isaiah, chapter 11. It says, “A shoot shall go forth from Jesse; and a branch shall blossom from his root.” Jesse, of course, is the father of David. “And the spirit of Yehovah shall rest upon him,” the spirit of Yehovah is going to rest upon the Messiah.

It says, “The spirit of wisdom and knowledge, and the spirit of counsel and might, and the spirit of understanding and fear of Yehovah,” I’m reading from the Hebrew. It literally says, “and the fear of Yehovah shall breathe into him,” or shall blow into him, “and he shall not judge by the sight of his eyes,” meaning he’s not going to look and say, “okay, that seems to me this way, or appears to me this way,” “and he’s not going to rebuke by the hearing of his ears, but he shall judge the poor in righteousness,” meaning, he’s going to be judging with the spirit of Yehovah. It goes on to explain that this is very clear, this person is going to have a spirit that allows him to speak the word of Yehovah. And it’s not just going to be his opinion - these are going to be prophetic judgments.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: He’s going to be similar to Moses in that, when he doesn’t know what to do, he’s not just going to make it up and say, a majority of sages have said such and such. What he’s going to do is ask his Father in heaven and say, Creator of the universe, what is to be done in this judgment? Or maybe he’ll just know it. I mean, I don’t know, he may just know it because he’s got the spirit of Yehovah on him.

But it’s not going to be “by the hearing of his ears,” and “by the sight of his eyes.” He’s going to judge through the prophetic spirit. I think that’s why this is such an important passage over in Numbers because it’s a clue, it’s a hint, that this is what Moses did. I think, in that sense, Moses is a picture of the Messiah.

Jono: Fair enough. Keith?

Keith: Hello?

Jono: That’s a Torah Pearl. Thank you Nehemia for that. It was brilliant. That really...

Keith: No, the thing that’s awesome about that is this idea… and you know in my tradition, I say “my tradition,” I think a lot of people that are listening, and we also await this opportunity when, and I think more than anything, I just have to confess this, more than anything, the thing that excites me is that Yehovah is going to be One, his name is going to be One.

Nehemia: Amen! Whoo! Hallelujah.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: There’s not going to be any question about who’s running the show…

Jono: Amen.

Keith: …who’s set up as Messiah. But in the meantime, you know, and we happen to be during that time, I think as this show is being played, we’re very close to having just happen, sorry for the dates, but this idea of Shavuot, wherein we have this picture in the Tanach of Moses coming and hearing from the word, and then the people saying, “we don’t want to hear from God, we just want to hear from you.”

And I think what’s so powerful about the idea of hearing from Yehovah, as Moses heard from Yehovah, our understanding the Torah as His word, the word of God, and allowing our minds to be massaged, our hearts to be massaged through the spirit. And I use the word “through the spirit,” the ruach hakodesh, you know, the spirit of truth, of light, that would help us to get an understanding of what these Scriptures means. It’s just an amazing thing. So we’re doing that now, sort of while we’re in exile, but will it be like when we’re not in exile and we don’t have to wait for Torah Pearls, whether we’re going to hear or understand, but rather we could actually hear the word of God as it was meant to be.

Jono: Now, speaking of... let me read in verse 10. It says, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If any of you is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep Yehovah’s Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month.” Now, what does that mean for us?

Keith: This was where I was waiting for, verse 6, because it says, “some of them could not celebrate the Passover because they were unclean.” And so, I remember some years ago, it must’ve been about 8 years ago, there was this issue regarding the times - what time it was in. And I think, Nehemia, it was in 2005 or so, I don’t remember what the year was, but there was a full month between the Rabbinical celebration of Passover and the Biblical, according to the sighting of the moon and the barley being Aviv, and there was a huge controversy.

But one of the things that was so amazing about it, for me, was just this concept, this idea, that even... we’ve talked about Passover and we don’t have to talk about the whole concept of Passover all over again, but this is a new idea. The new idea is hey, some people weren’t able to celebrate Passover, and that the Father then gives this opportunity for them, Moses goes back and checks with Him, he says, “hey, what are we going to do? There’s these people, this is an important thing, they were on a journey, they were ceremonially unclean.” And He says, “hey, I’ve got another opportunity for them, they can have a Sheni Pesach, a second Passover, a second opportunity to do that.” And when I hear that I kind of think of the character of our Father, that He says, “okay, you know what, life happens.” I could use a different word, there’s children, “life happens...”

Nehemia: What’s the other word?

Keith: What are you talking about? Forget it, I don’t want you to know, you’ll use it. So life happens, things happen, and as a result of things happening, circumstances, people are listening to this show right now, who because, bad situations, something happened with their family and they were planning on having Pesach and they had to go on a journey because something happened with their family or someone was sick; something happened where they couldn’t do it, and there’s a second opportunity. I love that concept; I love the idea that right here in the book of Numbers, the book that many people in my tradition don’t even read, is grace, is an intervention. And even like what we dealt with Aaron and his sons, hey, you know what, Aaron says, “look, are you kidding me? I was mourning my sons, isn’t there some opportunity for grace?” We talked about it before in an earlier portion.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: In this situation that he would say, “there’s a second opportunity,” and isn’t that life? Isn’t this a picture of life? Listen, if you’re hearing me, say “Amen”, I don’t need Nehemia or Jono. If you’re listening to me and you know what it means to sometimes need a Sheni Pesach, a second opportunity.

Nehemia: Pesach Sheni.

Keith: This is what he’s just…you just had to do that… Okay.

Nehemia: I’m sorry. Pesach Sheni. The adjective comes after the noun: Pesach Sheni.

Keith: I’m talking to my Methodist brothers and sisters. Okay? The English speakers of the world, okay? It’s the second Pesach, for God’s sake, Nehemia. We’re not talking about - Jono, listen. No, but the cool thing is, and I’ll stop here, is that He looked at them and said, “life happens and there’s a second opportunity.”

Nehemia: So, this is amazing... I love this passage because this is one of the passages that then refers to something else in the Scripture where this was actually implemented. So, can we look at that and take a little bit of a detour and look at 2 Chronicles chapter 30? And maybe you or Keith can read it. Because 2 Chronicles, chapter 30, describes a Pesach Sheni that actually took place in the time of King Hezekiah, and this is in the situation where they wanted to keep the Passover. They hadn’t actually been keeping it and they realized, “this is really important, we better do this, but we’re a day late and a dollar short, we’re not going to make it in the first month.”

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: We’ve got a seven-day period of purification; that’s just not going to happen in time. So, they end up doing it in the second month. And so maybe one of you guys can read 2 Chronicles, chapter 30. It’s a powerful passage.

Jono: Verse 13, is that where we’re going from?

Nehemia: No, I don’t…read the whole thing, it’s quick.

Jono: Oh, wow. What, the whole chapter?

Nehemia: Yeah, read the whole thing, this is...

Jono: Okay. Here it comes.

Nehemia: No, this is golden, this chapter. What are you talking about? Read it fast.

Jono: Hezekiah. Okay, so, “Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Yehovah at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover of Yehovah, Elohim of Israel. For the king and his leaders and all the assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in the second month. For they had not kept it at the regular time, because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together in Jerusalem. And the matter pleased the king...”

Nehemia: So, they got both reasons there - they’re ritually impure, the priests, and the people are far away on a journey. It’s almost a mirror of Numbers, chapter 9.

Jono: There’s both of them.

Nehemia: It’s like they’re quoting Scripture here.

Jono: “And so the matter pleased the king and all the assembly. So, they resolved to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to Yehovah Elohim in Israel at Jerusalem, since they had not done it for a long time in the prescribed manner. Then the runners went throughout all Israel...”

Nehemia: Hold on, I got to stop you. Is that what you got there, Keith, “prescribed manner”?

Keith: No, I don’t know. I’m still back in Numbers, I’m listening to...

Jono: I’ve got prescribed in italics.

Nehemia: Chapter 30, verse...

Keith: What does it say in italics?

Nehemia: Okay. So, what it literally says…here I’ll read to you from the King James, which has a more literal translation. “For they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.” That’s what it says, in the Hebrew, “kakatuv,” “as it was written,” or “as it is written.”

Jono: Wow.

Nehemia: So, they’re dealing with the Torah here. They read in the Torah that this is what they’re supposed to do and they’re like, “well we haven’t done this; we’ve got to do it.” Okay, sorry, go on. I’ll let you go on.

Jono: “Then the runners went throughout Israel and Judah and the letters from the king to his leaders and spoke according to the command of the king. And the children of Israel return to Yehovah, Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel and then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the king of Assyria. And do not be like your fathers or your brethren, who trespassed against Yehovah the Elohim of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to Yehovah; and enter into His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve Yehovah your Elohim that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. For if you return to Yehovah, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who led them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for Yehovah...”

Nehemia: So, bear in mind, this is a time when a lot of people have already been taken captive to Assyria. He’s writing to the remnant. He’s actually a lot like Keith, Hezekiah; he’s speaking to the remnant.

Jono: There it is.

Keith: To the remnant, yes.

Jono: “Yehovah your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him. So, the runners...”

Nehemia: And here’s my favorite part.

Jono: “So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them and they mocked them.”

Nehemia: They laughed at them. They were like, “you want us to leave our homes and not sacrifice at our local little Temple here on top of every high hill and under every leafy tree?” Because that’s what they were doing. And he’s like, “no, you got to come to Jerusalem, it’s in Scripture, there’s only one place that Yehovah has chosen to place His name, you can’t just sacrifice wherever you want, on top of every hill and under every leafy tree.” And that’s in Deuteronomy 16, it reiterates that - the Passover, even though in Egypt you did it in your houses, from now on the Passover has to be done at the place Yehovah chooses. And there’s only one place like that. It was originally mobile in the form of the Tabernacle, we’ll read about that later in the chapter, but from the time of Solomon, it was permanently in Jerusalem.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: Okay. Sorry.

Jono: “Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also, the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the...” that’s great, isn’t it? I’m going to read that again, “Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of Yehovah. Now many people, a very great assembly, gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took away all the incense altars...”

Nehemia: The idolatrous altars.

Jono: Aha. “…and cast them into the Brook of Kidron. Then,” we turn the page, “they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sacrificed…” wait, what? Hang on, “The priests and the Levites were ashamed,” I’ve got here, “The priests and the Levites were ashamed and sacrificed themselves...”

Nehemia: That’s what it says. No, “sanctified themselves.”

Jono: Oh! Sorry. Thank you.

Nehemia: “…sacrificed themselves,” what?

Jono: I’m thinking, I’ve never read this before...

Keith: I can’t believe you got... Look, Nehemia, Jono’s got to read this stuff, you tell him, read the entire chapter, his eyes are crossing, it’s after midnight to him, for God’s sake.

Nehemia: No. This is golden, this chapter.

Keith: You can’t tell him to read another whole chapter.

Nehemia: It’s one of those beautiful chapters in Scripture, when we get to the end, you’re going to...

Keith: “Beseder.”

Nehemia: Keith, when we get to the end of this chapter, you are going to shout. Write it on a piece of paper...

Jono: Okay. So, fortunately, I’m so relieved they didn’t “sacrifice themselves,” they “sanctified themselves and brought the burnt offerings to the house of Yehovah. They stood in their place according to their customs, according to the Law of Moses the man of God...”

Nehemia: And it says, of course, “the Torah of Moshe, the man of Elohim.”

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: It says, “The priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.” You know, the Levites are doing all the work, they’re collecting the blood in little basins, and the priest is just sticking his hand in and sprinkling, he’s like a sprinkle machine. Because there’s thousands of Israelites there, and you know, how many priests were there, after all?

So, the Levites are like slaughtering these animals, and there’s a whole description here, you know. I’ll let you read on, but this is exactly a picture of what we just saw in Numbers 8, and in Numbers 9. I mean, wow! I mean, how could we not read this chapter in this Torah portion? Can I get an Amen?

Jono: Amen. “For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore, the Levites had charge of the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to Yehovah. For a multitude of people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah...”

Nehemia: So now we’ll see that in Numbers 19, and also even in Numbers 9, that if you’re ritually unclean from the dead and you haven’t done the whole ritual of the red heifer, you can’t eat the Passover - even in the second month; it’s forbidden. This is a very severe thing to eat the Passover, but they realize, “wait a minute - if we enforce this, no one’s going to be able to eat the Passover.”

Jono: No one will be there, yeah.

Nehemia: No one will do it, and they haven’t been doing it anyway; we’ve got to draw the people back to the Torah. So, we’re kind of in this quandary, we’re in this difficult situation, and I love what they did next. So, I’m going to let you read it.

Jono: So, it says, “…contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May good Yehovah provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek Elohim, Yehovah of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.’ And Yehovah listened to Hezekiah...”

Keith: Yes.

Jono: “…and healed the people.” Oh, my goodness.

Nehemia: Whoo!

Jono: There it is.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: He healed the people. This wasn’t according to the letter of the Torah, but it was according to the spirit; the people were doing the best they could under those circumstances.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Hezekiah prayed and asked for grace, and Yehovah responded by healing the people. Even though they were ritually unclean, He accepted their sacrifice. And now I’ve got to jump over, and when I’m done with this, I’ll let Keith talk for the whole rest of the program. Hosea chapter 14, we’ve read this before, it’s the prayer that Hosea teaches the people.

Jono: Yes! I love this. Yeah, let’s read this again.

Nehemia: “Return, Israel, to Yehovah your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity,” is the literal translation from Hebrew, “take with you words and return to Yehovah.” “Take with you words,” which means pray, and, “return to Yehovah,” means repent. “Say to him,” this what you say to him, “forgive all inequity,” you’re asking for forgiveness, “and receive good,” meaning, I’ve done some righteousness in place of the evil that I’ve done. You’re asking Yehovah to accept that. “Receive good,” or take good, “and let us pay for the bulls with our lips...”

Keith: There it is.

Nehemia: …meaning, instead of the sacrifices you can’t bring, please accept this prayer. And you might say, well, that’s not the letter of the Torah, that’s no good. But if you skip ahead to verse 5, Yehovah responds to the prayer. He says, “I will heal…” say heal.

Jono: Heal.

Keith: Heal.

Nehemia: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely,” or as a free-will offering...

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: “…for My wrath has returned from them.”

Jono: Wow.

Nehemia: And that’s interesting to me because, here it’s the same concept. They’re saying, “we can’t fulfill all the exact prescriptions of the Torah; we’re all going to burn in hell!” No. Pray to Yehovah and ask for forgiveness and ask Him to accept what you can do, and he’ll heal you and accept you.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Hallelujah!

Jono: Amen! That is great. I’m so glad you brought up that up again, that is just something that we cannot emphasize enough. Keith, you heard him say that you were going to be able to talk for the rest of the Torah Pearls.

Nehemia: …you’re not shouting now.

Keith: No, no. No, I mean listen - Nehemia’s over in Jerusalem, legitimately excited, and people are saying, you can’t be excited, you can’t be excited, your eyes are not open. I think your eyes are open.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Jono is at midnight, after midnight, and he’s excited. I’m in the morning, I’m excited. I mean, this is an example again of the hidden things that come from the Torah; that was a beautiful and masterful connection of this portion here in Numbers 9, going to Chronicles, connecting the whole issue of the second Passover, and then the idea of our Father having this grace, this mercy, this care for His people, and then bringing Scripture to back it up. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about? Isn’t that what this living, breathing book is supposed to be about, that it makes sense?

Jono: Amen.

Keith: That was wonderful.

Jono: That’s awesome.

Keith: Nehemia, you’ve got to pray for us, you’ve got to pray that our eyes are open like that, that we can shout.

Nehemia: Yehovah, Eloheinu, ve-Elohei avoteinu, Avinu shebashamayim, ana Yehovah, gal eneinu ve-nabi-tah niphlaot mi-Torahteha. Yehovah, our God, and the God of our fathers, our Father in Heaven, please Yehovah, open our eyes that we may see the wonderful hidden things of your Torah.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: Whoo!

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Keith, you’ve got center stage, my friend, tell us about the cloud and the fire, the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire.

Keith: (singing) The cloud of glory is moving...

Jono: Hey.

Keith: (singing) …move with the cloud, move with the cloud. The cloud of glory is moving, move with the cloud. This is a powerful passage that is an example of present-day life. You guys should read it for yourself. It’s the idea that when the Tent of the Testimony was set up to move it says that the cloud moved with it. And in verse 17, “whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; whenever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle, they remained in camp. And when the cloud remained over the Tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out. Sometimes...” say sometimes, Jono.

Jono: Sometimes.

Nehemia: Sometimes.

Keith: Nehemia, it says, “Sometimes the cloud was over the Tabernacle only a few days…”

Nehemia: Oh.

Keith: “…at the LORD’s command they would encamp,” and, you know, I think I should do the readings sometime because I like this, “and then at His command, they would set out.” I’m going to be done in a minute. “Sometimes,” say sometimes...

Jono: Sometimes.

Keith: “…the cloud stayed only from evening till morning,” now, this is deep guys, “and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle for two days or a month or a year,” listen to that, “two days, a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with His command.”

Now, let’s get practical here, guys. We’re all Israelites. We’ve got the tribe of… Nehemia’s a Judah, and Jono you’re with the Levites, you’re doing the work, and just let’s say for right now, I’m a, I don’t know… What tribe can I be?

Nehemia: You’re Aaron. You’re the priests.

Keith: I’m a…

Nehemia: You’re a Kohen.

Keith: No, I don’t want to be. No, no. So, here’s the practical side of this. So, the folks that are listening, I want you to imagine this. You got your camp spot, and I mean we’re by the waters, I mean it’s beautiful, and you got the spot right by the water and you got your kids and your family, and you set up your tent and your tent is right by... I mean you’re so happy because you’re closer to the water than your neighbors. We settle in and 24 hours later you hear the trumpets and they’re saying, “we’re moving out.”

Jono: No! But I had such a great real estate here and we’re moving already...

Keith: Yeah, I mean, look, you had great real estate. Then, listen to this - the next camp, man, you’re by the... you’re not in a very good spot at all, and you’re thinking, “boy, I sure hope we move quick.” And you stay there for a year, and your neighbor’s got the good spot. But here’s what... I just want to do this, you guys, because when I read this passage, I think of this - what would you rather do - stay in the good spot when the cloud isn’t there, or move with the cloud?

Jono: Move with the cloud.

Keith: And this is a life application passage.

Nehemia: Move with the cloud.

Keith: Here’s the point - the best place to be, and excuse my excitement, is to be in the center of God’s will.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: If God’s cloud has moved, you better learn to move.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: If God’s cloud doesn’t move, you don’t move. But from a practical standpoint, be the people of Israel. Man, I’ve got a great spot, we’re only here two days? Are you kidding me?

Jono: Nehemia just fell over.

Nehemia: That was too powerful a message; I just fell over. Whoo!

Keith: So, when the cloud moves, Nehemia moves, ladies and gentlemen. When the cloud moves, he moves. If the cloud doesn’t move, he doesn’t move. And I just think this is powerful because think about the people, just practically - it takes a lot to set up a camp, but if the cloud moves, you move.

Jono: If the cloud moves, you move. You know what else occurs to me, Keith, when I read this? I think of surrounding nations, surrounding cities, and they hear about what’s happened to Egypt and they hear about this great multitude of people, and they go and send some spies to go and check them out. And the spies are there and they’re looking down upon the camp and there’s this pillar of fire or there’s a pillar of cloud.

Keith: Yes.

Jono: And when it moves, they go with it and when they set up again it’s still there. You’d be going, “I’m not going near those people, that’s some serious stuff going on there. I don’t think we’re going to win.”

Keith: And maybe it means that we’re...

Nehemia: Let’s think about the ones who did attack them. Wow. I mean...

Keith: Oh gosh.

Nehemia: …think about Amalek, the Amalekites who came and despite seeing the pillar of fire...

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: …and the pillar of cloud said, “we’re going to attack the weak ones.” That’s what they did, they attacked the weak ones and the old people and the stragglers. They’re like, “well, we’re not going to go into the center of the camp with that cloud, but we’re going to go after the weak ones.” Man...

Jono: I know.

Keith: You see, and again I just wanted this last verse, before you go to chapter 10, Jono, it’s says here, “At Yehovah’s command they encamped, and at Yehovah’s command they set out.” What if we just simply had that as our life? At His command, we camp.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: At His command, we set out. If He doesn’t command it, we don’t move. If He commands it, we move, even when it’s inconvenient, even when it doesn’t look comfortable. I mean that is a powerful... I mean they were trained to hear, and it says this, “They obeyed,” at this part of the passage, “they obeyed, in accordance with His command through Moses.” I, again, want to give some credit to those Israelites who were inconvenienced, who probably at times thought, “you got to be kidding me? For 40 years we’re doing this?” So, anyway, now for my next favorite part since this is the...

Jono: That’s what I was going to say, I’m sticking with you here, Keith, because we’re talking about trumpets, right?

Keith: Nehemia, we’re going to need your help here because this is a big one. What is it about these little trumpets?

Nehemia: Trumpets?

Keith: The trumpets.

Jono: Well, okay, so what I want to know is, are we talking about silver plated shofars or we talking about silver...

Nehemia: Oh, no, no. These are silver trumpets.

Jono: Okay.

Nehemia: There’s two different words in Hebrew, actually three words; there’s ‘shofar,’ which is a little ram's horn, but really shofar could be any horn. Then you have ‘yovel,’ which you could translate it as a Jubilee horn. And ‘yovel’ is specifically the horn of an antelope, and so that tends to be longer than a ram’s horn, but ‘yovel’ is a type of shofar. Then you have ‘hatzozrah,’ say that ten times fast, ‘hatzozrah.’ I can’t even say it in Hebrew ten times fast, hatzozrah. That’s a trumpet; that is a legitimate trumpet. And here in this passage it isn’t shofar, isn’t yovel; it is hatzozrah, which is an all silver - in this case - it’s a silver trumpet, made of all silver.

Jono: Okay. Sure.

Keith: So, let me tell you two something funny. When I was in Israel, I had this passion and desire to want to proclaim Yehovah’s name in the places where they told me I couldn’t. So, I was told you can’t ever pray, and you can’t speak, and you certainly can’t bring shofars up to the Temple Mount, so what did I do? I went up to the Temple Mount, and I wanted to proclaim the Name, and so I brought... I didn’t have my shofar and they wouldn’t let me bring my shofar, they wouldn’t let me bring my little shofar. So, I just brought my video camera and put it in front of the Temple Mount and proclaimed the Name nice and loud.

But I tried to take my big shofar, my yovel, into the southern side of the Temple, and this was really interesting, you guys. So, as I’m preparing, I’m doing this section on the southern side of the Temple, I’ve got all my stuff, I’ve got my camera, whatever, and I’ve got my shofar. And they stop me at the gate. And I’m like, why are you stopping me at the gate, what’s the big problem? He’s like you can’t bring that in there. Well, why can’t I bring it in there? Because you might blow it. And...

Nehemia: Of course, I’m going to blow it.

Keith: And what’s wrong with me blowing it? You can cause an international incident. I’m like, “what are you talking about?” So, they confiscated my yovel and they made me put it in the office. Well, of course, why was this such a big deal for me? Because I’m going to the southern side of the Temple, and ten years ago when I was there in Israel, Nehemia showed me something that was really powerful. Yoel showed it to me again and did an even further explanation when I was there - Yoel who does the show with you Jono, Yoel ben Shlomo, who lives over in the Old City of Jerusalem, teaches Hebrew, wonderful guy. I had him in the project with me on one day, and he brought onto the southern side of the Temple over to the very corner, and Nehemia, we got to talk about this because this is connected to this section.

Over in the corner, when the second Temple was destroyed, they threw down the stones. They threw down, I mean, they just completely desecrated that area, and you can actually see spots on the southern side of the Temple where the stones make an impression - Jono, you’ve got to come with us on tour over there - where the stones make an impression in the actual ground. So, you see the cracked sidewalk, the area where the stones came down and just literally made these huge impressions.

Well, one of the stones that they threw down was one that was a bit on the top corner of the Temple, and on that stone, you actually see engraved the priest blowing the silver trumpet, if I can say. And it’s another one of those amazing pictures where you’re looking at something here we’re reading about what the silver trumpets did, and I’ll let Nehemia talk about this, or Jono, if you’d like to, but then I want to give the application - because what was the purpose of the trumpets? Nehemia, do you know?

Nehemia: Well, so before you get to that, so what you’re talking about is a stone that was pushed down from the Temple Mount by the Romans because they wanted to destroy the Temple, and even destroy the stone foundations. So, they pushed these stones down and some of them came down 10 stories. If you go to my Facebook page and you look in my album called Israel Places, I actually have a photograph of that stone, and it says “lebeit hatkiya,” - for the place of trumpeting. It’s the place where the priest would stand, and we know this from Josephus; at the beginning of Shabbat he would stand there and he would blow the shofar to indicate, now the Sabbath is beginning. That was an announcement essentially to everyone; the sun is setting, Shabbat’s beginning, and he would blow the shofar from there on the Temple. And the place that he would blow it from, that stone, it was uncovered by archeologists down at the bottom, just outside the Temple Mount, exactly where the Romans had pushed it 2,000 years earlier. So, you can see that in the Israel Places album. I think it’s one of the coolest finds that they found in Israel.

Keith: So, what does it say, Jono? It says that, what were these used for? It says this, “then you will be,” it says here, I’m sorry, verse 8, “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow these trumpets.” The trumpets. “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.” Like, that’s where I want, like, to stop, “a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.” What’s the ordinance and what is it that they’re supposed to do?

Nehemia: Blow the trumpets? The silver trumpets.

Keith: Exactly. And they blow the silver trumpets. And when you blow the trumpets, what do the people do? They hear the sound and what does that mean?

Jono: Well, I suppose different sounds mean different things, right?

Nehemia: Right.

Jono: Because if it sounds like one thing it means they’re calling a certain class of people, if they blow both of them, I think that everybody is supposed to come, if they blow it in a certain way it could mean war, there’s an enemy who’s coming, and if they blow it in another way, it could be in joyous... it says here in verse ten, “Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts… you blow them as well.” So, there’s a number of different applications I suppose.

Keith: Yeah. And so why was I excited about this? I just want to tell you that the other thing that the people don’t talk about at this arch of Titus is, not only do you see the Menorah, you also see the silver trumpets engraved in stone.

Nehemia: That’s true, yeah.

Keith: Yeah. So, you see these...

Nehemia: The Romans took that.

Keith: Yes, they took the silver trumpets, they took the Torah, they took the Menorah, they took the table of showbread, supposedly, the table. But the point is, again, they said, “hey, listen, they’re going to take the gold, we’re going to take the silver. They took these things, and what I think is so, how can I use this word, that’s so, well, I’m not even going to say it. I’m going to just let that sit for there for right now. But the point is that these were also taken from the Temple, and it’s actually engraved in stone.

Nehemia: Wow.

Keith: So, I know we’ve been going for a while so we can move on.

Nehemia: Oh, my gosh. Are you kidding? The next verse is... I’m so excited for the next verse. Numbers, chapter 10, verse 9, I am so excited about that, it says, “When you go out to war in your land against an enemy who oppresses you,” or who vexes you, you could literally translate it, “the vexer who vexes you,” is the literal translation, “you shall blow the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before Yehovah your God and you shall be saved from your enemies.” That...

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Come on, can I get a shout from Johnson?

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: What’s happening?

Keith: No, I’m telling you...

Nehemia: Get your shofar, Johnson.

Keith: I don’t have my shofar.

Nehemia: Where is your shofar? What are you talking about? Now, I’m not a priest, so I’m not going to do it on the trumpet, but if you’ll allow me, I’m going to blow my shofar.

I’m going to blow the shofar because we have an oppressor, both a physical one and a spiritual one; a spiritual enemy who is oppressing us, who’s trying to get at us, who’s trying to shake our faith, and get us into a bad situation and is testing us. I’m going to blow the shofar, and you know, it says, “and you shall be remembered before Yehovah,” the word “remember” also means “to mention.” So, you could translate that as, “you will be mentioned before Yehovah,” he’s going to hear that shofar and say, “that’s My servant Nehemia, I’ve got to save him from his enemy.” Here it is, Yehovah.

Nehemia: He knows I’m asthmatic, I’m doing the best I can, but I know he’s hearing it.

Keith: Amen. Okay.

Nehemia: Johnson, help me out here. Blow the shofar for me.

Keith: May Nehemia be mentioned, so he doesn’t have to blow the shofar anymore.

Jono: Quickly, save him so he can breathe...

Keith: Quickly save him, Father.

Nehemia: I have been saved, Yehovah, from the enemy.

Jono: Clearly in need of saving, clearly.

Nehemia: Hallelujah.

Keith: Okay. Amen.

Jono: There it is. Thank you for blowing the shofar. Hey, now they get moving, okay, from verse 11 they get moving to... now, I want to, we’ve got to sort of move this along, is there anything...

Keith: Yes.

Jono: …that you want to pull out of these verses? Or am I going to jump to verse 29?

Keith: Go ahead.

Nehemia: 29? Yeah, go ahead.

Jono: Okay. I want to know, what is this about? I’m confused, did I miss something? “Moses said to Hobab…”

Nehemia: Hobab.

Jono: “Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law.” What’s going on?

Nehemia: So, you’ve got Jethro, and Jethro has, according to some people, as many as seven different names. He is referred to as, “Yitro,” as “Yether", which is obviously a variation of “Yitro;” it’s like, I don’t know, ‘Jack’ and ‘Jacob’. But then he’s also called "Reuel", which could be translated as ‘the shepherd of God’, so maybe that was one of his titles or his honorific name. This is Hobab, the son of Reuel, and so it sounds like this is Moses’ brother-in-law, and he’s been hanging out with the Israelites all this time, for over a year. And Moses is like, “I’d love to let you go but I don’t trust you enough. I want to trust you, but I can’t afford to trust you, you better stick...”

Jono: So, stick around. Yeah.

Nehemia: Stick around.

Jono: Stick around for a while.

Nehemia: This becomes really significant later on because we’ve got two stories that have to do with Hobab and that clan of people who are the Kenites, who are a specific type of group of Midianites. One of them is Yael, or Jael; she becomes a hero later on when the Kenite, in Judges, chapter 4, he trusts her because he thinks, well, you know, she’s not a real Israelite. She just kind of lives with those people, she’s not really one of them, she’s a sojourner and I’m going to trust her, the Kenite general thinks, and he gets a peg in the head...

Jono: She’s got a big hammer…

Nehemia: Yep. Then the other story that comes up later on is, we have this group called the Rechabites who are one of these factions of Kenites who apparently were stuck, in the time of Moses - Moses is like, “you can’t leave, I’m not going to let you leave.” So, they say, “okay, if we’re going to live among the Israelites, and we’re not going to have land like the Israelites have land, we’re going to take a vow that we won’t be dependent upon the things related to the land. And they undertake, instead of being renters of someone else’s property - because remember, we read this already, you can’t buy property in the land of Israel according to the Torah system, it’s only inherited and then you can lease it for 49 years, and then it returns to the inherit owner. These people didn’t have an inheritance. They were not descendants of Jacob, and they didn’t have a land inheritance and so, this is in the book of Jeremiah, they undertake that they’re not going to drink wine because that can only be grown by sedentary people. They undertake to be itinerant; to be nomads, where they don’t need land, where they’re traveling around in different areas, constantly moving.

That becomes a picture that Jeremiah brings and he says - or Yehovah says through Jeremiah - he says, “if only Israel was as obedient to my commandments as the descendants of Rechab the Kenite” - who’s one of the cousins of Hobab - as obedient as they were to their ancestor. These people took a voluntarily vow that their ancestor asked them to take, and they followed it. And the Israelites, which were commanded to do something…it wasn’t voluntarily. God has…the Creator of the universe is telling you; this is what you must do to be obedient to me, and they weren’t even doing it. So that became a picture of what it meant to be faithful to the God of Israel, the descendants of this man, or of this clan, of this extended family of Hobab. So that comes later on.

Jono: So, Moses says to Hobab, verse 32, “‘And it shall be, if you go with us—indeed it shall be—that whatever good Yehovah will do to us, the same we will be done for you.’ And so, they departed from the mountains of Yehovah and journeyed three days; and the ark of the covenant of Yehovah went before them for the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of Yehovah was above them by day when they went out of the camp. And so it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said, ‘Rise up, Yehovah! Let Your enemies be scattered and let those who hate You flee before You.’ And when it rested, he said, ‘Return, Yehovah, to the many thousands of Israel.’”

Keith: Amen. Amen. Amen.

Nehemia: We’ve got to talk about this passage. I mean, this is one of the key passages. First of all, just to talk totally about the technical side - these two verses, 35 and 36 of Numbers 10, are set off from the rest of Scripture with what’s called an upside-down “nun”; there’s one before it and one after it.

Jono: Oh. Right.

Nehemia: This is very unusual. It also appears in the book of Psalms, but it’s a very unusual thing. It’s an upside-down “nun” that says, okay, this is a separate section. Stop and take a look here. So maybe we can do that; stop and take a look.

So, and I’m going to read it literally from Hebrew. It says, “And it came to pass when the ark would travel and Moses would say,” and here’s what he would say, “Arise Yehovah and scatter Your enemies and let those who hate You flee from before You.” That’s interesting - the ark is rising up and he’s addressing Yehovah, and Keith has a whole teaching on this that maybe he’s willing to share about where it talks about in the book of Samuel, if I’m not mistaken. So, it says, “the ark which is called by the Name,” you sure about that Keith?

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Yeah, no, I mean that’s...

Nehemia: Like, where they get that is here. Then he says that, when it would rest he would say, “Return Yehovah of the tens of thousands of the thousands of Israel,” you know, “the one who is the God of the tens of thousands of Israel.” So, can you share that thing about how that became, exactly...

Keith: Well, no - what’s powerful about this is that it’s the issue of the connection of the ark and the Name; meaning that the ark itself was called by the Name. But the idea of calling Yehovah... certainly here they didn’t say this: “Arise, Lord, arise Adonai, arise Hashem, arise, the title.” No. “Yehovah rise”.

And that to me… and I think it’s kind of cool, I’m actually looking in the Hebrew Bible here when Nehemia was speaking about this upside-down “nun”. And you’re reading and you’re going about your business and then there’s this... it’s there, it’s just like two of them, like between brackets.

But the idea being that this is something that Moses did each time, and I wonder if there’s not some significance to the fact that he’s speaking this in front of the people of Israel. I mean, how many times did this happen? How many times did he have the ark rise and bring back? I mean we don’t know exactly how many times, right?

Nehemia: Well, they wandered for 40 years, so it must’ve been a lot.

Jono: It must’ve been a lot, yeah…

Keith: It must’ve been a lot of times. I mean...

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: So, the people heard his name, they heard what it was that they were asking Yehovah to do, and that’s exactly what happened. Now, I will say something, and not to get into promotion, but one of the things that Nehemia’s speaking about, and we’ve talked about a bunch of different things, Jono, and that is that we now have available eighteen and a half hours of teaching on this Open Door series, which has been made available through A Rood Awakening.

And why is that important? Because there are so many things, like Nehemia says, he’ll share this teaching with you, or I’ll say, Nehemia, tell them about this... and the truth is there’s no way, and what we’ve already done on the radio, who knows, about six hours just on this Torah portion, there’s no way to spend all of the time talking about this...

Nehemia: Now, wait, what...

Jono: And we’re only halfway.

Keith: Listen, Nehemia wants us to read the entire...

Nehemia: So, you don’t have to give the whole teaching, Keith.

Keith: Oh, no...

Nehemia: You don’t have to give the whole teaching, Keith, but what is the name of that video that people can get?

Keith: That’s what I’m telling them right now, Nehemia, so the...

Nehemia: Because I don’t even know the name of the video, to be honest with you.

Keith: No, no. So, the Open Door series...

Nehemia: I know we did it over Shavuot or something, right?

Keith: It was done over Shavuot; it’s now an entire series that has all of this stuff that we talked about regarding the Name, regarding so many different things. The Open Door series is available, and you actually can get that. But I want to say, I know folks are listening, they’ve got to be thinking, we’re only in chapter 10, we’ve still got 2 more chapters, so…

Nehemia: There’s not really anything to talk about in 12, but because we did 12.

Keith: What are you talking about…

Jono: Hang on.

Keith: “…nothing in 12”?

Jono: Keith, Keith. Wait, you just talked about a video.

Nehemia: We did 12 - we talked about leprosy.

Jono: Hey! Just pull it back a little bit; you were talking about a video - where can people get that?

Keith: So, at this point, it’s available at A Rood Awakening, and you can get it, it’s the Open Door series; it’s the three-part DVD, eighteen and a half hours of teaching, myself and Nehemia. And it really is what I like to say, “they caught lightning in a bottle” - Shavuot, Yom Teruah and Hanukkah, where we got a chance to come and share. Listen, eighteen and a half hours, it really is powerful, and I appreciate them doing that, they put it, and it is specifically us. They’ve separated an opportunity for us to have just us teaching.

Jono: Brilliant.

Keith: So that’s really all that’s on the video, so it really is an awesome...

Jono: That’s one worth getting, no doubt. Excellent. Thank you for that.

Nehemia: I’ll tell you, that’s eighteen hours, and I guess I did something like nine of that, or maybe it was like eleven, I don’t know. But whatever it was nine or eleven, that was some of the best teaching I’ve done in my life, and some of the most moving. And I’ve been asked to come places and, “do what you did on Shavuot,” and I’m like, “I can’t. It just happened. I can’t reproduce that.”

Jono: Caught up in the moment.

Nehemia: One of the verses that Keith brought there, and it was very powerful, is 2 Samuel 6:2. I’ll just read some of it. It says, “And David arose and went with all the people,” etc., etc., “to bring up the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of Yehovah of Hosts, that dwells between the kruvim,” or literally, it sits between the kruvim. So, the ark is called by the name of Yehovah. That’s a powerful, powerful verse, and that references back to this passage here in Numbers; that’s where they got that idea.

Jono: Chapter 11, oh, my goodness, we’re going to have to fly through it, but there’s so much in here, let me just tell you in a nutshell what happens. Well, they start to whinge, they start to have a bit of a whine and they start to complain, and they make our Father angry, and that’s not a good thing to do, is it, Keith? I’ll tell you what, boy, “His anger was aroused.” And it says, “So the fire of Yehovah burned among them,” and it actually burned among them - I mean, we’re not talking about some sort of spiritual fire and He was there fuming away; it actually consumed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. “And there was a fire, and Moses prayed, and the fire was quenched. And they called the place…” now what’s this, Nehemia, is it ‘Taverah’?

Nehemia: Taberah.

Jono: Taberah.

Nehemia: “Va-iba-er” which means “to burn”.

Jono: To burn, okay. Now, it’s almost like a disowning happens here in verse 4, “The mixed multitude,” it’s their fault, it wasn’t necessarily the mixed multitude...

Nehemia: Oh, wait, hold on, hold on. It doesn’t say, “the mixed multitude,” I’m sorry.

Jono: That’s what I’ve got here, Nehemia. It says here...

Nehemia: Are you kidding me? It doesn’t, I don’t believe you. It doesn’t say that.

Jono: I’m telling you what it says, it says, “Now the mixed multitude...”

Nehemia: Mixed multitude? What is mixed multitude?

Jono: Keith, what have you got? What do you got in verse 4?

Nehemia: Wow. That is libelous. That’s outright libelous to translate that…

Jono: Keith, what have you got in verse 4? What do you got?

Keith: It says, “The rabble with them...”

Nehemia: Okay. I’ll take “the rabble,” no problem. Now, I’m going to tell you what happened here. There’s a group called, “the mixed multitude,” who came up with Israel out of Egypt.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: They were non-Israelites who were joining the people of Israel. They were the sojourners who were circumcised, and they partook of the Passover sacrifice, and then it said there was one Torah for the native-born and the sojourner. So, they were part of what’s called the congregation of Israel; they became part of Israel, even though they weren’t physical descendants of Jacob. That’s the mixed multitude.

In Numbers 11:4, the word in Hebrew is “erev rav,” which means “many mixed”; literally you could translate that, a mixed many. The word here is “asafsuf,” which means, literally, it’s from the word “asaf,” which means to gather, so you could really translate “asafsuf,” as the mob. It’s a group of people who had gathered together and through the pressure of their gathering, of being a large crowd, they’re essentially trying to put forward an agenda; that’s “asafsuf”. Now the person who decided to translate “asafsuf,” as “mixed multitude” is slandering the name of the mixed multitude, of the genuine mixed multitude who were righteous people. One of the mixed multitude was Caleb, who we’re told was a Kenizzite. The Kenizzites were originally one of the ten Canaanite tribes at the time of Abraham who had gone down to Egypt, been enslaved by the Egyptians, and decided to leave Egypt with the Israelites. So, Caleb was not a physical descendant of Jacob. Yet he was able...

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: …he was allowed to be the representative of the tribe of Judah when they went on the spying mission. We’ll read about that later in the book of Numbers. He was one of only two who was loyal to Yehovah, and the other one was Moses’ sidekick. So really, he’s the only genuine spy there who was being loyal to Yehovah, and he was one of the “erev rav,” the mixed multitude. He was not one of the “asafsuf,” one of the rabble; one of the mob, the rabble - that’s a completely different group.

Now I know where they got that translation, and where they got that translation, frankly, is from a rabbinical tradition that teaches that the “asafsuf,” the rabble, are the same as the “erev rav,” the mixed multitude. And why do they say that? Because they don’t want to take the blame of their ancestors being the ones who caused this problem in the desert. They want to say, “that’s the gentiles who joined us, that wasn’t really us.”

But that’s not what it says; it was us. We’ve got to take credit, we’ve got to own it, we sinned, we weren’t faithful, and what we need to do is repent, not try to blame somebody else. You know, the only thing we can say about some of the gentiles who joined us is, when we were sinning and not trusting Yehovah in the incident of the spy, one of them was loyal and faithful. And we should hold him up as a picture of what we want to strive for, just like the story of the Rechabites, rather than trying to put them down and slander them and say that they’re the ones who rebelled against God. So now, I’m done.

Jono: Sure.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: There it is. And so, the mob, then, let’s refer to them as the mob, “Now the mob who were among them yielded to intense craving; so, the children of Israel also wept again and said: ‘Oh, man, who will give us meat to eat? Because, remember the fish that we had, and oh, we ate freely and the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, oh, great stuff that…’”

Nehemia: I’ve got to point out something ironic here. So, we’ve got the word “hinam;” say “hinam.”

Jono: Hinam.

Keith: Hinam

Nehemia: Hinam, which means free. It says, ‘we ate freely’, which means, we ate without money. So, they’re throwing out the word free here, but they’re slaves.

Jono: Right. Sure.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: So, they’re eating for free, but they’re not free men, and that’s what they’re yearning for, “oh, the great days, and we ate for free in Egypt.” But now you’re free and so, you know what? As free men, there’s consequences to freedom.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: The slave doesn’t have to worry about what he’s going to eat; he’s fed by his master. Now these are free men, they’ve got to stand up as men. Sometimes it’s not as comfortable as being a slave, but it’s worth the freedom.

Jono: And so, they...

Keith: Amen.

Jono: They said, you know, all we have is this manna, and so they’re actually…in a sense, they’re mocking the provision of Yehovah, right?

Nehemia: Yep.

Jono: This is not a good thing. And it talks about the manna, you can read it there in verse 7, 8, and 9. “Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent and the anger of Yehovah was greatly aroused and Moses was displeased. So, Moses said to Yehovah, ‘Why have You afflicted Your servant?’” Oh, my goodness, these people! “And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ and the land which You swore to their fathers? Where am I to get meat for all these people? They weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, we may eat.’”

Poor Moses, I really feel for him. This is what he says, “I am not able to bear these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me, oh, kill me now, because if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!” And so, he’s at the end of his tether, and he’s saying, “oh, look, these people, honestly, too hard, please just kill me, it’s just I don’t want to do it anymore.”

Keith: Aha.

Jono: Keith?

Keith: That’s what he says.

Jono: That’s what he says, it’s that bad. And so Yehovah says, “look, I’ll tell you what, go get me seventy men of the elders, and I’m going to put that spirit, what you’ve just conveyed to me, I’m going to put that on them.” But the interesting thing that happens here, Nehemia, He says, “I’m going to give them so much meat by the way,” verse 19, “You shall eat, not one day, nor two, nor five nor ten nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised Yehovah who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, ‘Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?’” In any case…

Nehemia: So, you know what this reminds me of when I read this? I think this is from a movie, and I want to say it’s Brewster's Millions from like the 80s, I don’t remember.

Jono: Okay.

Nehemia: But there’s this movie where he catches the boy smoking and instead of saying, don’t smoke, what he says is, “you want to smoke?” Okay. He locks him in a closet and gives him a box of cigars, and he says, “don’t come out until you’ve finished all the cigars.”

Jono: Oy.

Nehemia: And that’s what God did. He said, “you want meat? Okay. I’m going to give you some meat; you’re going to eat that meat until it’s coming out of your nose.”

Jono: And even Moses says to him, “how are you going to that? I mean how many people are there?” and verse 23, “And Yehovah said, ‘Has Yehovah’s arm been shortened?’” What are you talking about? “Now you shall see whether what I say will happen…”

Nehemia: I love that line.

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: I love that line. It literally says, “Has the hand of Yehovah become short?” I can do anything. I can reach out my hands and do whatever I want; I am the Creator of the universe.

Jono: There you are, sunshine. It’s going to happen, and believe me you’ll know when it happens. But in the meantime, the spirit that was on Moses is now put on the seventy elders and they’re prophesying. Keith, they’re prophesying!

Keith: Amen.

Jono: What are they prophesying? What’s going on?

Keith: It says they’re prophesying.

Jono: Okay. So, they’re prophesying, they’re prophesying in the camp, and there’s a couple of guys that didn’t go to the Tabernacle, they’re still in the camp, they are prophesying. And it’s reported back to Moses, and Joshua says in verse 28, “these guys - they’re prophesying, Moses, forbid them from doing it.” And Moses this rings a bell for me, and maybe it’ll ring a bell for you, Keith, and maybe we won’t go there, but it says, “Moses said to him, ‘Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all Yehovah’s people were prophets and that Yehovah would put His Spirit upon them!’ And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel.”

Keith: Okay. So one thing that I think is interesting is we’re talking about the people… and this is what’s so cool about the Torah when I’m reading it… so you’re talking, originally the presenting problem is people are asking for meat and then while the presenting problem is still in existence, there’s another whole thing that happens. The other whole thing that happens, He says, “hey, real quick, I’m going to deal with that meat thing, but listen, go get 70 men, and the way you get the 70 men, I’m going to do this…”

Oh, and by the way, there’s another story within that story - two of the men don’t end up being there, who knows why they didn’t make the 70 trip, whatever it was, they were outside the camp, wherever they were, and the spirit fell upon them. Why? Because they were selected as the 70, so His word still is good there.

Then while that’s happening, we get back to the quail. So, it’s like you have two pieces of bread, and then the middle is the meat of the situation regarding the 70, then you get back to the other piece of the bread. And then of course the other piece of the bread - and I’m trying to be kind of cute here - is that he’s going to send bread from heaven. So, it’s like as you’re reading it this is why it’s hard to rush, because it’s such a powerful, creative way of communicating this information. Again, imagine you’re hearing this story...

Jono: Amen.

Keith: … and as you’re hearing the story, you remember the quail, next thing you know, you’re in a discussion about the 70, then from the 70 you’re in a discussion about the 2, and then you got Joshua saying, “hey, this is not good,” and Moses saying “hey, don’t worry about me,” then we’re right back to the quail.

Jono: And finally, everyone prophesies. So here we are. And then there’s a wind that went out from Yehovah, “and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey,” and so what happens is, it says here about... Nehemia, what is a cubit?

Nehemia: That’s a good question because there are different cubits; there was the Egyptian cubit, and the Babylonian cubit, and the cubit of the Temple. But a cubit, roughly, the literal meaning of the word “amah,” cubit, is ‘forearm.’ We measure things in the western world, or I guess in America they do, they measure it in feet. And the Hebrews, they measured it in the size of a forearm.

Jono: So that’s vaguely the same, right?

Nehemia: So, I’m guessing different forearms are different sizes, just like different feet are different sizes.

Jono: Sure. Different feet are different sizes. But if we say a couple of feet, I think...

Nehemia: But it’s roughly…they say, I think, it’s something like 18 inches, or a half a meter, or something like that.

Jono: Okay. So maybe two and a half feet, but I mean there’s at least two feet above the surface of the ground of quail. Two feet of quail! Like, one quail isn’t even a foot. I mean - that’s a lot of quail.

Nehemia: Well, that’s a lot of quail.

Jono: That’s a lot of quail.

Keith: Well, one thing I just want to say is, again, and this idea of what’s happening in the story as we’re reading the narrative here is that the words that jump off that tie these things together - there’s one word that jumps off in both stories that ties the story together. So if you start with the issue of the need for the people that begin to complain, and He says, “I’m going to send this quail,” and in the middle of the quail you have the discussion about the Spirit falling on the men, and what’s the connector? It’s the “ruach”, it’s the wind, it’s the Spirit.

Jono: The ruach, Elohim, yeah.

Keith: So, the ruach falls upon the men and the ruach brings the quail. So, this wind... in the beginning, in Genesis, it says, ‘and the ruach was hovering over the face of the deep’, the Spirit. And so, what’s so cool about this is that if I’m reading it in my NIV, of course, I may not see the connection between the Spirit and the wind, but if I’m reading it in the Hebrew I definitely see the connection between the English word “spirit” and “wind” because it’s this idea of this breath, of this blowing-ness. And where does that come from? The one who sent it - the ruach and the wind, is Yehovah. So that’s a connector in the chapter.

Jono: And it adds to the... I mean, it’s deliberate, right?

Keith: Absolutely.

Jono: And it says, in verse 33, “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of Yehovah was aroused against the people, and Yehovah struck the people with a very great plague. So, he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah.” Is that correct, Nehemia?

Nehemia: Kivoth Ha-taavah, which means, “the graves of lust”.

Jono: The graves of lust.

Nehemia: Because they were lusting for the meat.

Jono: Wow. How about that? I mean, what do you make of that? So, okay, I’m going to send you meat and just when you’re about to eat it, I’m going to knock you off.

Nehemia: Well, to me, this story is about being ungrateful. I mean, they literally had manna from heaven. I mean, not figuratively - they literally had manna from heaven. And they said, we’re sick and tired of this manna from heaven; we want some good old meat and potatoes. And you know, God is just like, “are you kidding me?”

Jono: And there it is. Chapter 12 - we’ve finally arrived at chapter 12, and here it is; Miriam. Now, straightaway there’s a question. Keith, there’s a “did I miss something” moment here in chapter 12 verse 1, “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman”.

Keith: Because of his Kushite wife.

Nehemia: It literally says, ‘the Kushite woman’. Kush was a kingdom in what, today, would, I think, be eastern Sudan and Northwestern Ethiopia. She was an African woman. The question this really raises is, what was their issue with her? It’s not exactly clear. They’re speaking against Moses because of the Kushite woman - well, what about her? And we don’t know. Was she…

Keith: Now, how many wives did Moses have, as far as we know?

Nehemia: Two that we know of. He had Tzipora, and now he’s got the Kushite woman.

Jono: And we don’t have her name, right? We don’t have her name here.

Nehemia: We don’t have her name. Now, some people have said, well, the Kushite woman was Tzipora, because Kush and Midian are near each other, but they’re actually not really near each other. They’re actually significant distances - one is in today’s Northwestern Saudi Arabia, and the other is in Northwestern Ethiopia…

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: …spilling over into Sudan, so it’s really two different parts of the Middle East.

Jono: Yeah. Sure. We don’t know what the complaint is, right?

Nehemia: We don’t know what the complaint is, but their response is very strange. They say, “Has Yehovah only spoken to Moses? Hasn’t He also spoken to us?” So, you’ve got to wonder - what was it about this Kushite woman that made them think, “Well, wait a minute, Yehovah has also spoken to us, not only to Moses”? Well, what was this issue? And it doesn’t tell us. Everyone at the time must’ve known what the gossip was, but I guess it’s not important for the story. What’s important is that there was gossip going on here, and God’s not pleased with the gossip.

Jono: Yeah, no, not at all. Not pleased at all. And that’s what they said, “And Yehovah heard it.” It says, and they said these things, “‘Has He not also spoken through us?’ And Yehovah heard it.” And, oh, my goodness, Keith, now, have you ever said…you’ve got three boys, right? I’m sure you can think of instances when in your household you have said, “right, my sons, you three boys, you come here and meet me in the lounge-room.” Have you ever said that?

Keith: Yeah. Yeah, “let’s talk.”

Jono: “Let’s talk,” and boy, do they know they’re in trouble, or what?

Keith: Yeah. Yeah, and what I think is just interesting is what He says, and I’ll just quickly read in the NIV if it’s okay?

Jono: Please.

Keith: It says, “When they stepped forward, He said, ‘Listen to my words.’” In other words, don’t turn your head from Me, listen to what I’m about to say. I’m just giving you the NIV version here. “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. When I speak with him, I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles,” that’s what it says in the NIV. “He sees the form of Yehovah.”

Now, I think we should stop there, just to ask, what does it say in Hebrew? But He says, “Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” In other words, “you’re speaking against him, but listen, it’s a different category with him; he and I were face to face dialogue here. So, were you not nervous that you were speaking against him, knowing that he speaks directly to Me? Or, maybe you’re not afraid of Me.”

Jono: Yeah.

Keith: So.

Jono: Boy, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Nehemia: You know, I think this is a pretty important and amazing passage because Moses has...

Keith: Wait, wait, there’s nothing in chapter 12, you said, there was nothing in chapter 12.

Nehemia: Well, we’ve talked about this before, but now that we’re talking about it again, I’ve just got to reiterate. So, he says, literally, “mouth to mouth I will speak with him,” and then, “oe-mar-eh,” which means appearance, or vision. So, in “vision,” but not in “riddles,” and ‘the image of Yehovah he looks upon’. What does that mean? I don’t know what that means.

So, what this brings to mind for me is the last verses of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, which, really, I think, repeats this. It says in chapter 34, in verse 10 in the Hebrew, “And there never again arose a prophet in Israel like Moses, who knew Yehovah face to face.”

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: And what that means in plain old English is, Moses was unique in the entire history of prophecy.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: A lot of scholars look at this and they say, “this is the prophetic past,” which is a thing in Hebrew when you want to say something that’s so certain as there’s no doubt about it, you say it in the past tense. I mean because think about it - Joshua’s writing, “and there never arose a prophet like Moses,” I mean, big deal.

But this is prophetic past. Really what it means is, “absolutely there never will arise a prophet in Israel like Moses, who will know Yehovah face to face. He knew Yehovah face to face.” We don’t even know exactly what that means, but it’s a unique form of prophecy. All the other prophets - it’s in visions and riddles, and we see how that works, we see some of the ways that the prophets received their revelation. Like, for example, Jeremiah talks about, and some of the other prophets talk about, how they would stand in the heavenly court, and they’d see Yehovah surrounded by His angels, and hear Yehovah speaking to the angels, and they’d be listening in on the counsel of Yehovah. With Moses, He’s not talking to the angels; it’s a one-on-one conversation directly with Moses.

Keith: Amen. Amen.

Jono: And yet Miriam and Aaron spoke against him in some capacity, “and the anger of Yehovah was aroused against them, and He departed, after He said this to them. And when the cloud had parted from above the Tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam,” remember this is his sister, “and there she was, a leper. So, Aaron said to Moses, ‘Oh, my Lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!’ So, Moses cried out to Yehovah, saying, ‘Please heal her, O God, I pray!’”

Nehemia: Whoo!

Jono: “And then Yehovah said to Moses, “If her…” Now what does this...

Nehemia: Wait, hold on, we’ve got to stop here.

Jono: Okay, before we go on, this is verse 13. Yeah?

Nehemia: Oh my gosh.

Jono: “Please heal her…”

Nehemia: So, Moses is shouting out to Yehovah, saying, “el-na re-fana,” it’s four syllables. Then he says, “lah,” to her, five syllables, he shouts out, praying. What a beautiful prayer, what a short prayer. I mean, wow, what a short, beautiful prayer. And he’s shouting out, this is his visceral reaction, he’s praying to Yehovah, “el-na re-fana,” those four beautiful syllables, which means ‘O Please El’, mighty one, El is mighty one, ‘O Please mighty one, please heal’, “el-na re-fana.” I know we already had our prayer in this session, but I want to... can I have one more second just to pray?

Jono: Please.

Nehemia: Yehovah, for all those out there who are listening to this program who are going through some kind of illness or sickness, “el-na re-fana.” I love this prayer.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Thank you. And so, “Yehovah said to Moses, ‘If her father had spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days?’” Now, what…is there some background to that statement?

Nehemia: Well, I think it’s the culture of... it’s kind of obvious.

Keith: Yeah, it’s seven days. I mean, he spit in her face…

Nehemia: She’d be ashamed at least seven days, maybe more than that.

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: Okay. “‘Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be received again.’ So, Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again. And afterward the people moved from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.” Wow.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Well, then you know, guys…

Keith: Well, this is something...

Jono: I’m just going to say, isn’t that just another example of the grace of Yehovah? He doesn’t leave her in that situation; He hears the prayer from Moses, and it’s only seven days, and then she’s restored.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Wow. Amen.

Keith: So, can I just say one little thing?

Jono: Please.

Keith: And this is just something for the people to think about. So, there were two that sinned, there was one that carried the leprosy. So, Aaron and Miriam both sinned, and Aaron himself said...

Jono: That’s right

Keith: “…we have sinned.” So, why is the leprosy on Miriam and not on Aaron?

Nehemia: I think Miriam was the instigator, and I think there’s evidence that...

Keith: “Anee” think, “anee” think, mah, I think. What are you talking about?

Nehemia: No. So, in the Hebrew, and I won’t get into a whole lecture about this, but Hebrew is very specific about gender when it comes to verbs; every verb has a gender and a number. What it literally says in verse 1 is, “and she, Miriam, and Aaron spoke.”

Keith: And see this is...

Nehemia: But she is the one who is the major speaker here, and Aaron is just kind of like joining in, and you know, he’s involved…

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: …but she’s the one who’s the main subject of the verb, grammatically. And hence, you know, she’s the instigator.

Jono: Okay.

Keith: So, you see, you give him the softball; he’s supposed to hit it, and…

Nehemia: Oh, boy.

Keith: Okay. There it is. Alright, folks, let’s move on. Thank you so much. Now, let me say something to the group, this has got to break the record for Torah Pearls.

Jono: I think this has got to be...

Keith: And this is why I need people to send something to us and give a shout-out and say, “Shout-out to Keith, we appreciate the time that we’re spending,” and this will help support Torah Pearls, Truth2U, and everything that we’re doing. And I thank you in advance; I look forward to hearing from you.

Jono: Thank you, my friend. And listen, before we go, that does conclude our Torah portion, but while we have the opportunity, Keith, can you just remind everybody your website and your newsletter?

Keith: Yes, it’s, you can go there, there’s a bunch of stuff there, information, videos, all this stuff. A newsletter, I haven’t had much communication there because I’ve been working on this project, but soon you’re going to get updated in an amazing way. So, sign up for the newsletter And of course, the books, the DVDs are there. And I appreciate your support.

Jono: Nehemia?

Nehemia: So, my main website is, and you can sign up there for the free nehemiaswall newsletter, which is now, we’re actually pushing 15 years now on the newsletter, maybe we’ve actually broken that.

Jono: Wow.

Nehemia: And have over nine thousand subscribers and come and join and find out, you get monthly information about the new moon sightings, and I send out all kind of other valuable information. Sign up to the nehemiaswall newsletter.

Keith: Awesome.

Nehemia: And come over to the nehemiaswall website, and you can also pop over to my Facebook page - Nehemia Gordon, the one where I’m wearing the suit, that page, and I’ve got all kinds of interesting information there, we’ve got the Israel Places, and all kinds of interesting things, so come over and visit.

Jono: So, there it is. And next week we are in Shlach, Numbers 13, verse 1, to 15 verse 41. And until then, dear listeners, be blessed and be set apart by the truth of our Father’s word. Shalom.

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  • Raoul says:

    I thank our Father in heaven for this programme. This is definitely one of my favourite episodes so far.

  • Fred Childress says:

    Psalms chapter 2. This is about the Anointed One.

  • Bill Avery says:

    Arise Yhvh scatter your enemies, make those who hate you flee from you…

    Nehemia, Keith and Jonah, the reason they referred to the Ark as Yhvh, is because Yehovah is Torah(The book of Nehemiah 8:9 …for you(Yehovah are righteous(“just”)(Strongs Hebrew Dictionary: 6662, tsaddiyq); 6663 tsadaq) and Romans 7:12.

  • Klodjana says:

    I prefer the sound of the Shofar, I mean aesthetically, comparing it to the church bells ringing at 4.00 or 5.00 a.m; or comparing it to the songs of the mosques at 3.00 or 4.00 a.m.
    I pray the day of the public shofar blowing comes soon! I pray that the day when all the altars and the false ‘high places’ of Jerusalem will fall, shall come in our lifetime!

  • Debra Koch says:

    Thank you so much for all you’ve done in this! What a blessing! Love all three of you! Debra

  • Catherine Fassino Ozment says:

    Just listened to this Torah Pearls and this spoke to me:

    “what would you rather do – stay in the good spot when the cloud isn’t there, or move with the cloud?”

    It always seems so attractive to stay in the “good spot”, but the best place to be is in the middle of the cloud even if you’re flying blind until you get there.

  • Matt Gee says:

    I agree with your information about those who are given leadership are to serve. I have come out the modern view, even of Torah Keeping groups, that the “church” is from the top down, and it goes down from there. I have found that this contradicts Ephesians 2: 19-20. The Greek word “foundation” there means “substructure” which is about what holds up the fellowship up. A modern view is that the fellowship holds up the ministry, but that is not what Ephesians 2:19-20 says.

  • Praise Yehovah! <3

  • Ben Hofer says:

    2 Chron 30
    They celebrated both the Passover as well as the 7 day feast for 14 days.
    These people decided to celebrate the feast not just Passover a month late when the instruction was only for the Passover not the feast which followed. They then decided to keep it an extra 7 days. The Israelite’s made this determination on their own ,clearly going against scriptural instruction yet they were not condemned.
    In light of the different ways in which the calendar is determined,how do we see this chapter. How does God see us in our festival observance which in effect has different people keeping the feasts on different days and in some cases different months. What is Gods take on all of this and what does He value.
    Is this intended to be instructive for us today?

    • Lucile says:

      To Ben Hofer. I think our problem today is that we are celebrating feasts that are disconnected from they biblical roots(I mean we people who are Jews). Those dates were not set because of any major impediment. Those who came up with the idea didn’t want the gentile church to know the root and significance of the feast. So it’s more a ritual that true celebration. I believe that people in chronicles were over joyed to have rediscover the instructions of the Almighty that they give themselves extra days or may be there is another reason. That is not our case today. I heard about the second month celebration of Passover in Israel in our time. I don’t know if it was for people who couldn’t do it the first time. I just want to believe that if we don’t have certain circumstances that force us to stick strictly to the period, an extra time to celebrate together the goodness of the Father wouldn’t be a problem for Him. We have heard that He didn’t punish people for certain things. He is compassionate Father. Shalom

  • Neville says:

    I am looking for some light to be shed on the proper interpretation of the very end of Numbers 11:25.

    I pulled the examples below from Bible Hub for the parallel translations and

    In Young’s Literal, KJV (incl. NKMV, KJV2000, etc.), Douay-Rheims (precursor to KJV and largely a translation of the Vulgate), Jubilee Bible 2000, etc. the passage says that the 2 men prophesied and “did not cease”.

    In JPS, NIV, NASB, NLT, NET, etc., the wording is (a variant of) “but they never did it again.”

    Below is BH’s interlinear presentation, with Strong’s reference #’s and the Hebrew text taken from the Westminster Leningrad Codex.
    5012 [e]
    and they prophesied

    3808 [e]
    but not

    3254 [e]
    did so again

    The Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament (IHOT) disagrees, giving “did not cease”.

    Not being a Hebrew reader, I usually try to resolve differences in the English by first comparing YLT and JPS1917. In this case, they give 100% opposite.meanings.

    The problem here seems to be the word יָסָֽפוּ׃ , or yâsaph. BDB defines this as “to add” or “to do again”, “to continue”, etc. In fact, the KJV adheres to that general definition everywhere, it seems, except in Numbers 11:25. I could chalk that up to a mistranslation in the Vulgate or Douay Rheims, etc. that got carried over into the KJV, BUT … I also found references to Rashi and “the Targum” rendering this phrase as “did not cease”.

    Can someone, anyone, bring some clarity to this mud?

  • Charles Atkinson says:

    This portion indicated the Passover was observed for its 2nd time. Is there reference to it being observed again before arriving at the Promised Land? Why was it necessary for the people to be circumcised in the Promised Land if they had been observing Passover every year of the 40 years?

    • Rocky says:

      They are getting ready to enter the land was only a matter of days journey, that took 40 years
      As a result of Unbelief!

    • Neville says:

      I am not aware of any reference to Passover being observed again until after entering the land under Joshua. If it is there, it is well hidden (well, from me, at least, but maybe I just missed it).

      It seems to me that if they had continued observing the Passover, it would have caused a big problem, though, as ever year more and more eligible (circumcised) men would die off, so that fewer and fewer would be able to participate. The younger men/boys would certainly notice the dwindling, and probably ask why they were not allowed to participate. Upon receiving the answer, they would at least have to weigh the cost of obedience and disobedience, and I would imagine that some would want to be circumcised so that they could participate.

  • Aaron was not stricken with leprosy because he had the annointing and wore the high priest robes. The moment Aaron took off the robes, he died.

    • Neville Newman says:

      Hmm. After nearly 40 years of never being taken off, those must have some really smelly robes!

  • Irene says:

    Nehemia, on Numbers 10:1, two silver trumpets: In the word trumpets there are two tzadis and a vav. It seems this is the only time the word “trumpets” has a vav. Is this true (the only time)? Could it possibly mean a reference to the second Exodus, and Moshe will be one of the two witnesses (with Elijah) who will blow the trumpet during that time?

  • Nicholas Mansfield says:

    Nehemia’s comments @ about 30 min. are very relevant but also relate to the revelation of the Way (Ex.18:20, 32:8, 33:13, Deut.28:19), an ongoing process.

    Jono’s comments about goats lead me to ask what he believes about kosher slaughter methods. I am not aware of records that teach us about slaughter methods employed by early goyim followers of Yeshua, but it seems logical they were in line with halaal methods, halaal being a lesser form of kosher. I believe there are different kosher methods of slaughter, just to further confuse the issue. Does Jono pronounce the most sacred name @ the time of slaughter? The Torah only seems to denounce one portion of an animal as being non-kosher.

  • Margie Loubser says:





  • Nicholas Mansfield says:

    Here are some Karaite questions:

    If Moses had an Ethiopian princess as his first wife (Num. 12:1) then would he not have had children by her? Since Moses was a prince in Egypt and his wife an Ethiopian princess then the child would be an aristocrat, royal by birth. Would that child not be an Epher in the Egyptian language? Would that child not have been a leader amongst the Israelites?

    These questions are taken from Kahana’s “A Karaite Reading Of Exodus” on Hubpages.

  • Peter Phiri says:

    Nehemiah and Keith, l came to know of you both through the Rood Awakening Ministry. I thank Yehovah for blessing us with such Berean followers who continually search the scriptures and the Torah emet. I am encouraged and edified every time l listen, meditate and share on the great work of Ruach HaKadosh. Your personal journeys are strengthening people like me, who seek Yehovah to use us in the places where we are (where “churchianity” still goes on). I am made fun of for learning Hebrew, for observing the feasts of Yehovah, etc… Whatever, names l am called, listening to both your stories has fired me up, l know that l am not alone and that even though we are in the minority, we are on the winning team because Yehovah is on our side, who can be against us? Yeshua is my messiah. May Yehovah bless and keep you, may Yehovah cause his blessings to overflow in the divine encounters that are ahead of you. Coincidence is not Kosher, so every encounter is sent from above. Remember Yehovah orders the steps of his tsedek. I’m grateful for being grafted into the Branch. Brothers, keep on praying and doing the will of Avenu. Shalom Aleichem

  • Kellie Murphy says:

    A shout out to Keith and love and blessings to you all. Thank you so much for all of this. It is the first time I have listened and what a blessing. It was so good to learn with such knowledgable and good humoured teachers, thanks. May The Lord of all, Yehovah himself, bless you as you bless others. Thanks again.

  • Anna M Peterson says:

    Big shout out to bro Keith and thanks bro Jono & bro Nehemia for the blessing of Torah Pearls you bring us each Shabbat. Learning so much about YAH’s heart & mind behind the giving of Torah. As one who has joined Israel (been grafted in to the rich root of the olive tree – from the back of the book) it is so refreshing to hear the Word of YAH taught in simple, everyday language.
    Every blessing to your ministries. Shalom

  • Mark Blue says:

    With re: Numbers 11, where the people are crying and whining, God is disgusted and Moses asks God to ‘just kill me’, this is a lesson on traveling with others. There is always a point during a tour or vacation when people stuck together have some serious contention with each other, and their dispute is generally irrational. Good lesson. Good thing to know when you are planning a tour.

  • Shout out to Keith and smiles to Jono and Nehemia. Thank you all! First time I listened and enjoyed it so much that I invited others to listen along with me.

  • Barbara Giffin says:

    Enjoying the program very much. Torah Pearls for sure.

  • I really enjoyed the discussion. I would like a more in-depth discussion by Nehemiah on 9:4. I really appreciate discussing the practical outworking of this from Chronicles. When I say a more in depth discussion I am specifically asking for a response to the rabbis using this as an internal Torah reference to the oral law. Your line of reasoning during the the discussion tied in the priestly use of the thumen when there appeared a situation that was not clearly delineated in the written Torah.since we obviously do not have a Cohen with his tools to ask these fine points of law the rabbis see this as evidence for the existence of the oral law? Thanks ishie

    • Actually, the rabbis claim that when the high priest with the Urim and Thumim or any prophet appears in the future, they will not be able to override a single letter of rabbinical rulings. If God Himself told the rabbis they were wrong about their interpretations, they would ignore Him. In fact, if you believe the Talmud this very thing happened in the incident of the Oven of Achnai (Google it, or watch my video on the Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus). Ezra 2:61-63 referencing the High Priest with the Urim and Thumim is a direct contradiction of the rabbis’ claim to authority. I find it interesting that nowhere in all of the early rabbinical literature is there an attempt to explain the Ezra passage. They just ignored it because it didn’t fit.

      • James says:

        Actually, the rabbis claim that when the high priest with the Urim and Thumim or any prophet appears in the future, they will not be able to overrid”e a single letter of rabbinical rulings. If God Himself told the rabbis they were wrong about their interpretations, they would ignore Him.”

        Actually that’s what happened when John the Baptist and Yeshua showed up.

        • Ilse says:

          James, this is exactly what popped into my mind when I read what Nehemia wrote… ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. One thing’s for certain, the word of Yehovah is sure and He does not change. He is gracious, ‘His arm is not shortened that it cannot save’. His will is that ‘all shall come to the knowledge of the truth’, everything in it’s time. We can each only respond to His call and walk in the understanding He gives us. Hallelujah!

      • Neville says:

        Hello, Nehemia, this is a bit of a tangent, but I’ve wondered about this for a while. I refer to the argument that Hebrew word puns found in the Greek new testament texts are evidence that the original language of Matthew’s book was Hebrew. But why, if a clever Hebrew-fluent translator was working with a Greek original text, would he/she not recognize the opportunity for a Hebrew word pun, and simply translate it that way?

        I would like to think that the original language was Hebrew, but I just don’t understand why this is considered such strong evidence. I am not a professional translator but I think that if I could choose legitimate words in my translation that would also serve to draw in native readers of my translation, I would choose that option.

  • Pam Means says:

    Wonderful Shabbat study after morning Torah study at church.
    Many new notes added to my Bible!
    Thanks guys

  • Batyah Kyla says:

    Todah rabah for this teaching, i have waited a long time to find someone who will not only share their insights but also discuss Scripture with others! I learned much today in this portion that I had not gleaned before. This is a Shabbat blessing to me.

  • Florence Avalos says:

    Blessed Shabat and Shavuot!

  • yzwisey62 says:

    Hey guys I’ve been listening for a couple years even though, at one point, you thought you were entertaining the thought to separate. Just want to say I am blessed as are we all that listen. I love the banter and friendship speak. Believe it or, not you three share much through this. Kieth (!) A shout out ! To Jono, and Nehemiah. Thank you guys for all you do. Yolanda

  • Owen Murphy says:

    In the sacrificial system – a ‘heave’ offering seems to be rightly named. A hind quarter of a bull would weigh a lot, whereas a goat or a lamb would be very light. Talk about ‘weight training’ for the Levites, 25-3o years of age – learning how to lift as in weight lifting – technique is a must.

  • Owen Murphy says:

    Great program, Acts 6.3 Seven men selected by the people and appointed by the Apostles..In the Worldwide Church of God-Pasadena HQ the sequence was – Local elder – preaching elder – pastor – evangelist. Some started as deacon.