B'ha'alotcha / In Your Setting Up
1 Corinthians 10:6-13
This Torah portion is rich with instructions that should preface our lives today. Without studying the Scriptures in their entirety, we often negate the substance of the Torah and its directions. We form our own opinions regarding Scripture concerning the Brit Chadasha. Picking and choosing becomes habit within denominations, and foundations are flimsy if any at all. We choose our habits, and our habits become our future.
In the beginning of chapter eight, there is the arrangement of the lamps, which are to be facing towards the lampstand. Not behind or next to, but towards: ‘the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.’ And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses.’ Numbers 8:2-3. Notice this comparison regarding the lamps and burning before the throne in Revelation 4:5b ‘Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.’
Numbers chapter nine contains the instructions for the second Passover. This is for a person that is unclean or away on a journey during the first Passover so that he may still keep the Passover. God strictly states that if that person is able and does not keep the Passover, he shall be cut off. Numbers 9:9-13. God again reiterates that there is one ordinance for all in Numbers 9:14.
Matthew 28:19-20 ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Psalm 19:9 ‘The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.’ 2 Kings 17:37 ‘The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods.’
Chapter nine continues with the cloud and fire, which we can remez to the Brit Chadasha. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ‘…and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.’ Matthew 3:11-12: ‘I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ Matthew 26:64 ‘Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.
In chapter ten there is an interesting dialog between Moshe and Hobab where he explains the goodness, grace and mercy of Adonai according to the promises to Israel. Numbers 10:31-36 So Moses said, “Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 And it shall be, if you go with us—indeed it shall be—that whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same we will do to you. So they departed from the mountain of the Lord on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them for the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the Lord was above them by day when they went out from the camp. So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: “Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.” 36 And when it rested, he said: “Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel.”
Israel He loves, Psalm 47:4 ‘He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.’ Romans 11:1 ‘I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.’ Isaiah 11:12 ‘He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.’
Chapter 11 contains the gift of manna, the seventy elders and the provision of quail. We see references to this in: John 6:31 ‘Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ John 6:50-51 ‘This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.’ Revelation 2:17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
In Luke 10:1 Yeshua make a connection to seventy elders, ‘After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go…’
B’ha’alotcha closes with the infliction of skin disease upon Miriam. We see cases of Yeshua cleansing the person inflicted with a skin disease in Luke 17, Mark 1, Matthew 8 and more. However, Yeshua never deviated from the Torah as He instructed the cleansed person to show themselves to the Priests.
What is the foundation that we build on? It must start from the beginning.
Luke 6:46-48 ‘Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.’
Ephesians 2:10 ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:20 ‘Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone…’
The conversation between Yeshua and the woman at the well also shows us the importance of studying and living by ALL of God’s Word. The Samaritan woman asks Yeshua how it is that He can ask for a drink of water from her. Rightly so, He says in John 4:13 that He is the Living Water, and then He questions her marital status. He lets her know that she used to be married to five husbands, the Torah, then went astray, as Hosea prophesied about God’s people leaving Torah and committing adultery with other gods. Profoundly, He answers: John 4:21-24 ‘Yeshua said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
What is truth? John 17:14-17 ‘I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.’
B’ha’alotkha / In Your Setting Up
HafTorah Portion Zechariah 2:10-4:7
Brit Chadasha 1 Corinthians 10:6-13
This is the 36 parasha, ‘In Your Setting Up’, or ‘When You Kindle’. This portion contains the setting up of the lamps, the setting apart of the Levites, the second Passover and the cloud that covered the Tabernacle. Chapters 10 through 11 contain the two silver trumpets, the Israelites leaving Sinai, fire from the Lord and the gift of quail. In Numbers 12 we read about the opposition of Mirian and Aaron against Moshe. This Torah portion is filled with dynamics that enlightens our path as we walk towards and with Adonai.
Numbers 9: 9-13 states: ‘Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the Lord’s Passover. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.’
This is the gift of a second Passover for those for whatever reason were unable to partake in the Passover. If the person makes the choice to not partake in any Passover, they will be cut off from among the people. This is really non-debatable, as God finishes this part with: ‘‘And if a stranger dwells among you, and would keep the Lord’s Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land.” One set of ordinances for all people who love the LORD.
All peoples who claim to know the Lord are expected by God to do the Passover. There is one ordinance directed by God for His people. However, sadly the ordinances were neglected and changed.
In the Christian world, Passover was changed when Easter became the holiday of the nations. The history of Easter and the egg goes as far back as ancient Egypt and other civilizations. The pagans believed all creation came out of a giant egg. Believers in God inculcated eggs into the holiday to symbolize both life and death. Briefly, the introduction of Easter Sunday first began after Roman Emperor Hadrain crushed a Jewish rebellion known as the Barkokeba revolt (132 - 135 A.D.). After his victory Hadrian rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and expelled all Jews.
Passover became Easter.
At the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 Roman Emperor Constantine and the Catholic Church established Sunday as a day of rest. And at the Council of Laodicea around 365, the Catholic Church made it illegal to “Judaize” or be idle from work on the seventh-day Sabbath.
“Historian Paul Johnson details some of this influence: “Constantine was almost certainly a Mithraic, and his triumphal arch, built after his ‘conversion’, testifies to the Sun-god, or ‘unconquered sun’. … Constantine never abandoned sun-worship and kept the sun on his coins. He made Sunday into a day of rest, closing the lawcourts and forbidding all work except agricultural labour” (A History of Christianity, 1976, pp. 67-68).” So, a royal decree to rest and worship on Sunday instead of Saturday was made by the Roman emperor, a sun worshipper. Fast forward, now thanks to Constantine, Christians are celebrating on the same day the Mithraics (Roman mystery religion centered around the god Mithras) worshipping the sun. This is a blatant example of pagan influence in Christian practices.
“Surging anti-Semitism in post-apostolic times also played a major role in the change to Sunday. The Council of Laodicea in A.D. 365 decided: “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day, and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be Judaizes, let them be anathema (hateful/repugnant) from Christ” (Canon XXIX).
So, keeping the Sabbath on Saturday was considered “Judaizing,” which was considered a great evil. Constantine, at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, was reported by the historian Eusebius as saying, “It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast [Passover] we should follow the practice of the Jews … Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd.” Sabbath became Sunday.
Exodus 12:49 ‘The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”
Leviticus 19:34 ‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 24:22 ‘There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the Lord your God.’
Deuteronomy 4:35 ‘To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.’
Deuteronomy 32:39 ‘See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.’
In Numbers 11, Moshes pleads and complains to Adonai regarding the people and meat to eat. At one point, he suggests that God just kills him right there on the spot. In Numbers 11:23 during the discussion God declares: ‘And the Lord said to Moses, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” Some verses translate: Is the LORDS arm too short?’ This can also be translated: ‘Is the LORD’S power limited?
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה הֲיַ֥ד יְהֹוָ֖ה תִּקְצָ֑ר עַתָּ֥ה תִרְאֶ֛ה הֲיִקְרְךָ֥ דְבָרִ֖י אִם־לֹֽא׃
The arm of God is a mighty vision of His power.
Isaiah 59:16 ‘He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.’
Deuteronomy 4:34 ‘Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?’
What power is revealed in the arm of God? Isaiah 53:1 asks: ‘Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’
The word arm in Hebrew comes from the primitive root zawrah - Strongs #2232. It means to sow; to disseminate (publicize, announce, declare, advertise), plant, fructify:—bear, conceive seed, set with a sower, yield.
Each Hebrew letter has a distinct meaning.
ZAYIN -Sword of the Spirit, Dagger, Weapon or Seed.
RESH - Head, Chief, Beginning, Highest, Most Important’
AYIN - Eye, to See, Understand, Experience, or to be Seen, Window of the soul.
One God, one life, one ordinance, one way. “I and My Father are one.” John 10:30.
Beha’alocha / When You Kindle
Haf Torah Zechariah 2:10-4:7
Brit Chadasha 1 Corinthians 10:6-13
Beha’alotcha contains the instructions of the lampstand, dedication of the Levites, the instructions for the second Pesach, the making of the two silver trumpets, the departure from Sinai, manna, quail, murmuring and the dissension of Aaron and Miriam.
This parsha opens with the directions of the lampstand. ‘And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to Aaron, and say to him, ‘When you arrange the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.’ ” 3 And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses.’
The importance was to arrange the lights so that the light shines in front of the menorah. Not behind it, but in front of it. What a metaphor for our lives. The menorah is the main component, and the seven lights shine from it. There is one light and we are to shine from it, outwardly, for the Main Light does not need our light, but rather we need the base of The Main Light and we represent that true One Light.
Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Isaiah 60:1 ‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.’
John 8:12 ‘Then Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Acts 13:47 ‘For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’
We cannot shine His light without walking in the truth, His ways. The light of the menorah alludes to the Torah, the light of which is the eternal flame, lighting the pathway of men. The whole and truth of God’s instruction is to be the spiritual light of man. King Solomon speaks of God’s grace in giving His Torah His people: Proverbs 6:23 - “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.” God’s commandments are clear as they “enlighten the eyes” as Psalm 19:8 states.
In chapter 11 the people complain and long for the lifestyle they had in Egypt. Interesting that God consumed the people outside the camp‘…when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.’ Numbers 11:1.
However, the complaining continues at which point Moshe pleads to God ‘I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!” Moses seems to blame God, blames himself and asks for death in a self-pity mentality.
In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron are filled with jealousy and speak negatively about Moshe. Miriam is stricken with leprosy, where she is placed ‘outside’ the camp. Leprosy is a form of death, caused by lashon ha’ra, and therefore, as in Numbers 11:1, she is outside the camp.
These three incidents are the polar opposite of the light coming from the Menorah and the seven lights shining in front of the One True Light. These three incidents represent the flesh, the human mindset of self, where the light represents the oneness of Elohim.
Haven’t we all murmured? Haven’t we all had self-pity? Haven’t we all spoken negatively regarding someone? Are we consumed with jealousy? Do we let entitlement and desires of the heart rule our thoughts?
Adonai seems to preface this Torah portion with the Light of the World, His perfect Light, and the perfect example for us. Psalm 119:130 ‘The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.’ Psalm 37:5-6 ‘Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.’
May we find favor from Elohim as we walk in His light and shine in the darkness.
Behaalotcha/When You Kindle
B’ha alotcha has several translations, ‘When You Kindle’, ‘When You Set Up’, ‘When You Step Up’ and begins with the instructions for the seven lamps which are to cast their light in front of the lampstand. Psalm 139:7-12 speaks of the spirit and the light of God, never ending, never dulling even in the dark, just as the light of the lampstands were never ending. Psalm 139:11-12 ‘If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me;12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.’
Chapter Eight continues with the consecration of the Levites as they themselves become the wave offering. They also become the holy firstborn unto Elohim. ‘Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the Lord. 14 In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.15 “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting.16 They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman. 17 Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel. ‘
Chapter Nine gives instructions for the Passover when a person is unclean. In Numbers 9:14 God is clear that His statues are for all and not to be debated. Fast forward to Yeshua, and He becomes the Passover. Yeshua’s lineage, His teaching, His grace and love are for all, just as His death was for all. This is in conjunction with Numbers 9:14; the Passover is a statue for all, to be carried out the same for every person that comes under the guidance of the Torah. Yeshua’s death cannot be regulated according to man. ‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the Lord’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’ Numbers 9:14.
One – Echad. One Torah, Exodus 12:49. One right ruling, Leviticus 24:22. One Torah and statutes, Numbers 15:15. All in One, Galatians 3:28. One flock under One Shepherd, John 10:16. ‘I and My Father are One’ John 10:30. Analytically and logically speaking, how could there be two separate teachings from One God?
In Numbers 11 Moses becomes distraught and it seems to be the lowest point in his life, for he begs The Lord in verse 15 to kill him. Numbers 11:14-15 ‘14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
Even though it was the people that were giving him grief, Moses turns to God, equating his despair directly on God. ‘If You treat me like this…’ But what was the difference between the role of Moses in Exodus and Numbers? In Exodus, the problems were so large that only God could solve it. God sent signs and wonders, the 10 plagues, He divides the sea, He sends manna from heaven, and water from The Rock. When a problem arose, God gives Moses the solution, God does the solution. In Numbers however, Moses has the chore of getting the people to change. They have gone through the Exodus, reached Sinai, and made a covenant with God, and are on their way to the Promised Land. Moses’ role is now different. He has to get the people to change, to take responsibility, to learn to do things for themselves while trusting in God, instead of relying on God to do things for them. But he realizes that they haven’t changed at all, for they are still complaining about the food, just like they did before Mount Sinai, before their covenant with God, before they themselves had built the sanctuary, which was their first amazing undertaking together.
This is an unconventional role, not expected by Moses. Is it foresighted by any of us? It seems that we are fine when God solves all the problems for us, but when the responsibility is upon our shoulders, it is easy to shrink and wonder. But the Psalmist has the cure in Psalm 121. ‘Where does my help come from? It comes from The Lord.’
This parsha ends with the lashon ha’ra from Miriam and Aaron in regards to the Ethiopian woman that Moses married. Numbers 12 begins with the complaining and the statement that ‘the Lord heard it…’ He calls the three out and asks Miriam and Aaron why they' weren’t afraid' to speak against Moses? That’s an interesting question that God posed to them. So, why aren’t we afraid to speak against someone that is clearly appointed by God to serve God? Do we not fear the consequences? Maybe it wasn’t just that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, but that they weren’t afraid to speak against him, they had no fear/awe/Yirah of God, therefore being haughty, thinking they were on an equal playing ground with God, they could speak how they wanted.
Behaalotcha ends with the leprosy of Miriam, the waiting of the people to move and finally the moving of the camp of the Israelites.
We are, we were and we will be likened to the children of Israel. In our light that shines, in our murmuring, in our complaining, gossiping, in our obedience of One Torah, one right-ruling and One God, and of course His love. It is because we have such a merciful God, whose loving-kindness is never-ending, that we are allowed the full grace that He offers.
May you be richly blessed as you study B’ha alotcha!