Yitro 7 February 2015 18 Shevat
Exodus 18:1-20:23 2 Kings 12:1 (11-21)-17 (16) Luke 7:18:3
Verse 1 establishes Jethro, the priest of Midian, as Mosche’s father-in-law. Since there is no ‘j’ in Hebrew, it is written with a ‘y,’ “Yithro or Yitro.
We see Yitro bringing Mosche’s wife, Zipporah and his two sons, Gershom and Eliezer to the mount of God where Mosche and the priests are worshiping.
The mount of God; Sinai or Horeb? Mosche struck the rock to procure water for the people at Rephidim which lies close to Horeb.
A messenger sends word to Mosche that his father-in-law is bringing his wife and two sons. In verse 7 we see that according to custom, Mosche went out to meet his guest to show respect. He bowed down and kissed him and they ask about each others welfare.
I like the picture here as it was Abraham who also sent a messenger to find his son, Isaac, a wife. And, that messenger’s name was Eliezer. At one time, Abraham thought it would be Eliezar that Adonai’s promises would come through since Sari was barren for ninety years. It would not Abraham’s Eliezar that the lineage would flow and it will NOT be Mosche’s Eliezar that will continue into his role as a priest with his father in the Tabernacle in the desert. In fact, both of Aharon’s sons will be offered up (killed) for their offering of a ‘strange’ sacrifice. Not only was it a ‘strange’ fire but it seems to be on the wrong day. They decided on the day for God to show up and God removed them for their audacity. Do men today decide on what day and how to worship God? I think so! Perhaps they should check with their Creator.
In fact, men even choose the day to celebrate His birth. He never ask for that day to be celebrated, but He did tell us to remember and celebrate his Passing over our sins… Yes, the Seder represents Passover which is in direct relationship with Messiah’s death on the stake….Nissan 15.
Yitro is also a picture about the father bringing the bride. The bride and children are delivered when Mosche was on holy ground. Messiah Yeshua will be on holy ground when His father delivers Israel as a holy people (Bride). There is but one way to the Father and it is through the son. When we see the Son, we see the Father as they are ONE.
We also see that it was normal to celebrate goodness from God with a burnt-offering and sacrifices to God. When Mosche sets up the tabernacle in the desert the instructions will be that there is only one-burnt offering and it is on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement/Tishrei 10. Jethro is a priest and knew about burnt offerings.
They were passed over on Nissan 15 as the blood on their doorposts from the lambs they slew saved their first born from dying and also looked forward to Messiah’s dying as the Passover lamb. They were baptized (Mitvah) through the Reed Sea and now they have had experiences finding good water and eating meat which sickened them.
We see our process of salvation in this picture. We are saved by Messiah blood, baptized into his death and resurrection and fill ourselves with that water of Torah and the Holy Spirit. It is as individual of a salvation as that Passover night. But, we also see a nation coming out as whole community together known as The Bride.
Mosche already has his priests making offerings and is also dealing with the quarrels and needs of the Hebrews. Time has passed and now the Bride is delivered.
Housekeeping is in order and Yitro helps Mosche learn to delegate authority. We now see this priest help set up the order of legislation. It could be called the order of law, also known as Torah. Torah means, instruction. Torah does not just represent the DO NOTS and CANS from God as people perceive.
Exodus 18:8 “And Mosche told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.”
All the travail would include the events connected to Marah, Massah, Meribah and Rephidim.
Yitro rejoiced because of the goodness shown by God to Israel, not because of the Egyptians being punished.
Verse 10 is hand (yood). It is confirmed by Yitro that it was Adonai that delivered them (Aaron, Mosche and the people) from Pharaoh. Yitro confirms that it was the ‘hand’ of God that was greater than all gods because of how proudly they were dealt with.
Yitro was a priest in his community, but now he sees the living God of Mosche and joins in this covenant meal to join Mosche’s God. He will now be the God that Yitro also turns to. Is Yitro the first convert from outside the congregation?
They now move to Mosche camp (tent) and all the leaders come and break bread, offer the burnt offering and sacrifices at the altar Mosche had already prepared. It is said that Yitro now becomes a proselyte.
It is now the morrow that Mosche begins to judge, perhaps acting single-handed as leader and judge to inquire of God matters of dispute among the people. This pictures Yom Kippur, known as The Day of Judgment, Tishrei 10. Mosche sets up atoning and yet clearing disputes in seeking God’s judgments (decisions). He is pictured as Messiah Yeshua when He returns to settle all worldly and spiritual disputes.
These Israelites already had definite rules against theft and violence long before the Decalogue was announced. These would be His laws. Hebrew (toroth) to be delivered for special circumstances.
The phrase, “God be with thee,” shows God will help Mosche, if thou (Mosche) wilt follow this advice as God’s representative before the people. In normal Semitic society, the ruler was both leader in war and arbiter in disputes. In Israel, justice was considered as belonging to God; Deut I 17. We witness a new type of government being set up.
Mosche takes on the role of instructor. To have a decentralized government, Mosche now needs to ‘look out’, select, appoint leaders that have certain qualities. It will be with ‘prophetic vision’ which God’s gives thee.
Men of fundamental piety and humanity, incorruptible and above the suspicion of bribery who hate unjust gain.
This elaborate system of judges and assistant judges are placed over subdivisions of people.
At all seasons… as cases arise.
This system would allow Mosche to live a long life and endure the responsibility, and it would allow the people to get quicker answers and go home in peace in their answers.
Yitro returned to his own land in Midian. This wise plan of decentralization has never been antiquated and works very well in even today’s world.
In the third month would be the month of Sivan. In the same day would be the first day of the month of Sivan. God is wanting a specific time period to be known. The arrival at Mt Sinai marks the beginning of Israel’s spiritual history. This will be the core of the Covenant by which the priest-people were created. The Kingdom of God is now defined for God’s children on how to live on the earth. They will know acknowledge how to worship the God of their fathers, IsraEL, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham.
This wilderness area is known as Jebel Musa and is probably the plain known as Er-Rahah situated 5000 feet above the sea. The plain is one-and-half miles long ad one mile broad while adjacent valleys would accommodate the tents, animals and baggage for this number of people.
Yitro’s visit is after this as we see they have departed Rephidim and now Mosche is go up the mountain to bring back the message that God is declaring that He did these things to bring them to Himself.
They were eye witnesses and not just listeners to old traditions.
God’s relationship to them was witnessed in Him bearing them up as eagles will carry their young protecting them from arrows. God’s children were carried to His safe abode for them where they would learn to know Him and learn the ways of safety on the earth.
What are they to do?
Exodus 19:5, “Now therefore, if ye will harken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all people; for all the earth is Mine.” They would be a peculiar (segullah) treasure to denote a precious object that is one’s own possession. The Jews are God’s instrument, but the work is far greater than the instrument.
Oh to think we are grafted into that peculiar treasure and yet they are set-apart even more peculiar being the Bride.
The cloud covers the mountain when the Israelites arrive. The Israelites are known as the House of Jacob only here and is a poetical synonym of ‘House of Israel’. This mountain has a light glowing through the cloud that covers it. It will be symbolized again as the lights of the temple will glow softly from the cloud presence from the incense of the priests.
Things are the same but different. These are the things I love to see in Hebraism. My life needs to have that glow that shines in a clouded world.
This is an interesting note about women from, Pentateuch & Haftorahs, Hertz; “The house of Jacob is understood by the ‘house of Israel’. Mosche is bidden to approach the woman first, as it is they who rear the children in the way of Religion. God asked Israel, “What sureties have you to give that you will keep My Covenant?” They offered the Patriarchs, the Prophets and their righteous Rulers as their guarantors. But, all of them were rejected. It was only when they offered their children as sureties for the permanence of the Covenant, that these were accepted.”
For all the earth is Mine in verse 7 declare God as the Creator of all things and the Father of all mankind. Israel is in common with the others nations, but set-apart in a special degree to be ‘a light unto the nations’. Their call has been to martyrdom and service, not one of privilege and rulership.
A kingdom of priests that are charged with bringing the people closer to God and Righteousness. The spiritual Kingdom is the highest mission of Israel. Since men fail, it is God that is recognized for Israel’s achievements and this is what the nations MUST recognize about IsraEL in every generation.
It was not the Israelites that saved themselves, but the living God and Creator of the universe. No man can offer himself up to save Himself. It is in being a servant ready for martyrdom that allows our God to display His glory on the earth. He raises up those for ‘such a time’ as this.
We are to be like the Israelites separated from false beliefs and the idolatry of the other nations. We are to cleave to God and obey His instructions (Torah).
Mosche informs the elders of God’s purpose and they inform the people. The entire nation must accept or reject this Divine message. This was not a secret message for the priests, but a message for the old and young, poor or rich and learned or unlearned.
By accepting all that the LORD hath spoken they were freely expressing their will to join God’s Covenant. The acceptance of this Covenant becomes a conviction that is conscious in Israel all through their history. Mosche returned to the mountain even as God knew their reply and revealed His intentions in the hearing of the people. There was no longer a messenger or intermediary but a personal experience by the nation in hearing God speak to them.
The people believe as they heard the Voice from the cloud and the fire and would never doubt Mosche’s mission as they realized his direct communication with God.
This is a wonderful picture of Yeshua’s direct communication with our Father God. We can trust that communication. Forever would mean that the Law of Mosche would not be changed nor would there ever be any other Torah from the Creator.
Verses 10-15 render the people fit for approaching was the future news. The ceremonies and warnings were to impress God’s holiness upon their untrained minds. Sanctify themselves would prepare them for meeting God. Today and tomorrow would be 4 Sivan and 5 Sivan. Washing their garments was an outward symbol implying purification by bathing and abstinence from bodily pleasure.
Again the third day would take them to the three days of preparation to 6 Sivan when God’s glory would be revealed in fire.
These are very interesting verses as we can see the end from the beginning. This is the beginning and as we live near the end, what do we see? Even though Sivan 6 is not declared as Shav’uot, some note it as Shav’uot as being Sivan 6. The Counting of the Omer is to start on the Sunday after First Fruits and thus the 50th Day is not always on Sivan. But here we see Sivan 6 being the day of God being revealed in fire. It is on the 50th Day of the Counting of the Omer that we see the Ruach HaChodesh being given after Yeshua raises up in the cloud on the 40th Day of the Counting of the Omer. Thus….these are days to give special attention to since God set them apart for a similar purpose. We see the spirit Father here, physical Yeshua next ascending, and spirit Ruach HaChodesh indwelling man.
This is fun stuff….Please be sure to note in verse 11 that this occurs on the third day of their preparation. Watch for this ‘third day’ throughout the bible. What day do you think we live in? Will it be Yeshua’s Second or Third coming? Was Yeshua at Creation? Is Yeshua present here speaking to the people? We know Yeshua in the flesh came at the Feast of Tabernacles and lived around 33 years leaving on the 40th day of the Counting of the Omer. It is He that returns in the form of the spirit TEN (yood) days later on Shav’uot. Do you think He will return as King Messiah on any of these special days in the future? Hmm! Some believe so, so they are called, “Watchmen.”
In verse 12 the people are given bounds as this area will become like a sanctuary of sacredness and unapproachable like the Ark and the Holy of Holies later in the Tabernacle.
The trespasser who touched the mountain was not to be touched, but stoned or shot through. We see that their sin or uncleanness was passed on as is pictured again with the priest touching something defiled must be re-cleansed in order to serve again. Sin is a BIG issue with our Creator. We must come before Him in purity of heart.
The ‘soundeth long’ would be a signal of the same tone drawn out for a long time. It would then be safe to return to the area if they chose.
Verses 16-19 will be natural things that occur during this Revelation.
16 tells of a ‘thick cloud’ as no mortal can gaze on the unveiled majesty of God. This Revelation takes place in a thunderstorm of exceptional grandeur with overwhelming natural phenomena such as lightning, thunder, earthquake and fire as seen with Elijah in I Kings XIX, 11-13.
This reads like the picture of Messiah’s return that will be seen with lightening from the east skies.
‘The voice of the horn’ is a shofar, ram’s horn used to signal and accompany important event such as the proclamation of a king. We see it here at Sinai when God’s Kingdom was installed. On the New Year, the shofar is used to proclaim God’s sovereignty and at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement (Tishrei 10). It proclaimed Israel’s emancipation from sin and freedom for the slave (Lev 25: 9,10).
The people took their ‘stand’ within the bounds of the camp to meet toward God. Mosche would speak to God and God would speak loud enough over the sounds of the horns so the people could hear. They were not to break through the breach to even get a closer, even though dim, view of God. It required sanctification to come nigh to God.
Mosche was called up to be told once again to NOT let the people breach the barrier. Mosche reminds God of the people’s promise, but God, knowing man’s heart, has Mosche repeat the message to the people.
We now study, The “Ten Words’ or Commandments or the Decalogue. (from deka, ten, and logos, word.) These are supreme concepts from the Torah that were revealed during thunderings, lightening, shofars blowing, fire and the quaking of the earth. “It is known as the Birth-hour of the Religion of the Spirit to illumine the souls and order the lives of all the children of men.” They prepared three days to now witness the presence of God. It is likened to the preparation of the bride. We will shortly witness PURIM as the month of Adar approaches. Esther is likened to our preparation to go before our “KING.”
This mountain experience shows us the picture of Yeshua’s death on the stake. The sun was covered with clouds for three hours with the bible giving account to the earth’s quaking. There had to be thunderings and lightening as the Birth-hour of our Salvation had come. I’m sure the shofars were blown in the heavens. A grave was prepared that would only hold Him for three days and then He presented His blood on the altar of God. Oh how we should meditate on these pictures….they will be witnessed again.
We started with the priest Yithro showing a new order of legislating the people so all could live in peace. Mosche had already received and was implementing God’s instructions as Yitro arrived with Mosche’s bride and two sons.
What another beautiful picture of how we are already here on earth under this legislation of rule and then the Bride returns with the children she birthed. And, it is when Mosche was standing on Holy Ground, and it will be when they say from Zion, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of ADONAI.”
Beautiful picture or the future seen from the past.
Next…The Ten Words…..
Thoughts from Pentateuch & Haftorahs edited by Dr JH Hertz.
Jewish Tradition considers, “I am the LORD thy God” as the first Ten Words.
From this we have a positive precept that is accepted: To believe in the existence of God.
The God of Israel is not impersonal. God is not an IT known as, Nature. This God is not disrespected by even say ‘God’ whenever man feels like it. It is a revered name that is a source of power and life and even more powerful in Judaism consciousness, ethical action, moral purpose and in a man’s personality.
The words thee and thou in the King James bible is taken very literally. ‘Thy’ is also very important because God is claiming to be ‘your’ God. It is for every soul in every generation to claim.
It will be in these instructions that God shows His love for man. It is in these instructions that man will be able to live safely on the earth and enjoy life as God had designed. And since God gave man free-will He knew there would be differences of opinions. Thus, the instructions are laid before the people to accept or reject.
These instructions would bring blessings or cursing.
The first thing we see from our Creator was the need to establishing respect (fear) for their Creator. Thus, He came in thunderings and lightening…the earth quaking and the mountain smoking with the shofar blowing as He spoke to them. They could not look upon Him. They saw Him perform in opening the waters as they crossed the Reed Sea. They witnessed their passing free from the first-born’s curse of being taken in death. They witnessed many things that showed God ‘real’ in their lives. But, it would now be that they would have individually asked to present themselves as clean instruments before their Creator and yet as a Nation in it’s entirety.
“The reference to the redemption from Egypt is for ALL mankind. Israel’s Divine Message is the proclamation of the One God as the God of Freedom.”
“This God of Freedom is the light of truth in our entire human history. The history of our world becomes one continuous Divine revelation of gradual growth of freedom and justice on earth.”
The FIRST TABLE: Duties Toward God
1. First Commandment – Recognition of the Sovereignty of God.
2. Second Commandment – “Thou shalt have no other gods.”
“Before me or besides me” negates recognizing any other material or spiritual entity in ones life shall receive worship.
“Nothing shall receive the worship due to Him. Neither angels nor saintly men or women are to receive adoration as Divine beings; and the Jew is forbidden to pray to them. This Commandment also forbids belief in evil spirits, witchcraft, and similar evil superstitions. Furthermore, he who believes in God will not put his trust in Chance or ‘luck.”
I find this comment by Hertz very interesting since I was raised Catholic and venerated the statues of Mary and Joseph as I heard mass every school day. I loved Jesus, it seems correct to pray to those closest to Him.
This second commandment is removed from the Catholic’s version of the Ten Commandments….
As a Christian I have never encountered a so-called devil. We see that Yeshua cast demons out of people. Scripture tells us that if the house is left empty then more came back. This house does not have the Holy Spirit in it.
We seem to recognize Mary and Joseph and demons for who they represent. We do NOT bow down to them nor pray to them in reverence or fear. I concentrate on filling myself up so my house is NOT empty. What do I fill it with? God’s Ruach HaChodesh (Holy Spirit).
When I open God’s Word (the Bible), I find it so interesting as it instructs me and gives me encouragement on how much my Creator loves me. If people find his commands too difficult, is it because they are not His? He says His yoke is easy and He will carry us. I personally find much peace in this.
I found peace in my visit to Israel in 2009. I was not fearful in Cairo Egypt in 2000.
My husband could not keep his hands off of me when I returned from Cairo. I felt so bad for him as I did NOT realize he loved me so much that he feared my demise there. We are always safe when in His will. I don’t worry about death because when God’s purpose for me here is done…it is finished. Until then, I work to please Him because of what He first did for me on that stake…..with lightenings, thunderings and earthquakes to show HE truly is thee I AM that is in charge of ALL things.
PTL…as my husbands always says.
My husband just told me that Prime Minister BB Netanyahu just announced a plan for allocating somewhere around $46 million to help Jews to make Alyiah back to their homeland. There are 16 million Jews in the world now with 5.7 million living in the United States. 6.1 million live in IsraEL. The Jews in Europe are very minimal since the Holocaust. It has been 67 years since they have returned home.
God has a plan. The Jew has a choice. They are either carried home or buried outside their land. They must go home as a nation as we see in these Torah portions. BB Netanyahu is calling them home. Mosche called them home. Some argued and an earthquake swallowed them and others were removed by the sword. Today, we have the same situation. The comments, “Why should be live in Israel when there is war and not peace for us?”
The answer is right here in these Torah portions we’ve been studying this last month. They are to come out of slavery to the world. They are to come out to be the example to the world on how to worship. They are to come out of the world to BE FREE!
If they don’t come out on their own, they will be shaken….as we see the attacks on synagogues around the world. Christians are the strangers that attached themselves to the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. They chose to serve the same Living God who showed His power through them. Today, we must do the same. We will stand by to see Messiah’s feet ministering on that Holy soil as Mosche did when his earthly father, by a marriage covenant, came to help set up the legislative rule.
What better picture do we want Christians. We have a job put before us to help set up IsraEL in her land. She is to return and we are to go with her. We are joint heirs to this covenant. She is the Bride being brought through the wilderness and we are her attendants. We must realize our place at the wedding so as not to take away from the beauty of this beloved Bride and all that she mans in her return. Her husband has built her a house and He can NOT return without her being there. He can NOT find her welcoming arms if she does NOT come to the home He built for her.
Be cursed in a foreign land or trust God to provide safety in the land that HE has chosen for her. She is to establish herself where God chooses….not where she wants to make a ‘strange’ offering. Aharon’s sons were removed from the priesthood just for this reason. God has shown us His pattern to righteousness and we must follow His paths and not lean on our own understanding.
For sake of time and length of this writing I will cover the rest of the First Table: Duties Toward God in a separate writing.
Be sure to study on your own the verses indicated above that will harmonize the Yitro study.
Next study in Shevat is Mishpatim meaning ‘Judgments’. It will be Shevat 19 – 25. Oh yes, my favorite time to see the Hand of God…Shevat 24 is known for The Four Horsemen – being released on the earth to take peace from it.
Why would God take peace from the earth?