The reading of the Torah is from Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21 – 7:89. From the prophets (Haftarah), it is from Judges 13:2-25. The reading from the New Testament is from Acts 21:17-26.
The Torah portion from Numbers has some important teachings for us today:
- The numbering (taking the census) of the priests and the Levites in this Torah portion is a very interesting and a divine revelation to understand the Lord God of Israel better. After counting the numbers of each of the family of the priests and Levites we find out the reason for this census:
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore, the Levites shall be Mine, because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the Lord.’” – Numbers 3:11-13 [NKJV]
- What we have here is extremely interesting and extremely ignored by most Christians. The Lord delivered Israel in the last and tenth plague from Egypt. The firstborn of Egypt died by the hand of the Lord. Now God commands Moses and Aaron to count the men of the tribe of Levi and sanctify them for service to the Lord. Each priest and Levi will redeem the firstborn of Egypt that died in the tenth plague. This was the purpose of this special counting of the men of the tribe of Levi and the sons of Aaron.
- Because there was more Egyptian firstborn who died in the tenth plague, every firstborn in Israel had to be redeemed with the five shekels of silver in order to fulfill the number of the Egyptian firstborn who died.
- What do we learn from this about the Lord and His sense of justice and righteousness? The tenth plague that killed all the firstborn of Egypt killed innocent people in order to deliver the children of Israel from slavery and because the hardness of the heart of Pharaoh. Now, God wants to redeem those firstborn of Egypt by sanctification of the Levites and priests from the tribe of Levi, the tribe of Moses and Aaron. The Lord does this by taking away the personal choice and freedom of the sons of Aaron and the tribe of Levi, and making them servants in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. This is also the reason why every firstborn male child in Israel has to be redeemed with five shekels of silver even to this very day.
- God doesn’t suffer injustice and innocent death even when this death was necessary to free Israel from Egyptian slavery. Every injustice and every innocent wronged, will be redeemed by a life in exchange. The sons of the tribe of Levi are dedicated to the service of the Lord and by this the firstborn sons of Egypt who died in the tenth Plague, are redeemed.
- The “sotah” is a woman whose husband is suspicious that she committed adultery. How can this issue be resolved? Once a person is suspicious of something it is very difficult to either prove him wrong or prove him right. This is especially true in the family. There is no forensic evidence that will elevate the husband or the wife from their suspicion. The Lord devised a system that is the ordeal of bitter water or ordeal of jealousy as described and prescribed in the book of Numbers chapter 5. The ashes of the red heifer (Numbers chapter 19) are mixed with water and the woman drinks from this water and according to the woman’s reaction it becomes clear if she is guilty or not. It is a very interesting psychological test that works on the same principle as a polygraph. I find this narrative fascinating and although some would say that it is “magic” or “witchcraft” – I find God’s instruction in this case extremely modern and interesting. It is the use of psychology to conjure the inside feeling and hidden emotions of a person’s heart and bring them up to the surface.
- The Nazarite laws (Numbers 6:1-21) sets the laws of the Nazarite. The most famous Nazirite in the bible is Samson (Judges 13:2–24) one of the judges that has this very interesting story of an angel that announces to Samson’s mother that she will be pregnant and that her son will be a Nazarite, a person who will have a special life style. He will not drink wine or even grape juice or have a haircut. Manoah, Samson’s father, was not happy that the angel came to talk to his wife first. So, he demanded that the angel come to him in person and give him the news. So, the angel of the Lord complied and came to talk to Manoah in person and to confirm the message that he has given to Samson’s mother. In this story there are so many interesting parallels to the annunciation of the Angel of the Lord to Mary the mother of Yeshua. Samson was born and raised as a Nazarite and didn’t cut his hair until he fell for a Philistine barroom prostitute that deceived him and got him drunk and cut his hair, which was the source of his strength.
The Torah is full of background information important for understanding the rest of the Bible, and especially understanding of the New Testament.
The reading from the prophets this Shabbat is connected to Samson. The reading from the New Testament is from Acts chapter 21:17-26.
Paul and seven non-Jewish disciples arrive in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks). Upon their arrival in Jerusalem a delegation of leaders of the community of the faithful from Jerusalem comes to greet them at the entrance to the city.
Among the chief people who came to greet Paul and the disciples was Jacob (James) the brother of Yeshua. Paul tells Jacob (James) of the great success that He had among the gentiles in Asia Minor and Greece.
Jacob (James) tells Paul the following:
“And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law…’” – Acts 21:20 [NKJV]
This is an amazing revelation for most Christians. Jacob and the delegation that came to greet Paul and the disciples tell Paul that there are tens of thousands of Jews who “believed” in Yeshua and continue to be zealous for the Torah.
This is a very important bit of information that has been ignored by the Christian churches since the early 4th Century after Christ. It can’t be deleted! It can’t be hushed and hidden, but it can be ignored malignantly by the leaders, pastors, elders, cardinals, and popes.
The implications of this text are very far-reaching for Christian history. This information that the Holy Scriptures reveals to us in this text proves that the historical post-Constantinian church and all her daughters (the Protestant churches) have by design and premeditation, twisted the Word of God.
If they would have affirmed this scripture, there couldn’t have been the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition that burned many tens of thousands of Jews alive because the wanted to celebrate the Passover or eat kosher food. I could go on and on with this issue, but I will hold my peace and ask you to renew your mind and focus on the Word of God.
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.