PARASHA: VaYakhel (and he assembled) and P’Kudei (Accountings of)
EX 35:1-38:20 and EX 38:21-40:38………1 KINGS 7:13-8:21…………. MARK 9:1-50
These are the final chapters of Exodus (Shemot) and Moshe talks about honoring the Sabbath day, the prohibition of lighting a fire on the Sabbath, gathering an offering to build the tabernacle and it’s furnishings, the appointment of persons to make certain items, and finally, the building project in detail and the outcome. All these are worth talking about. ” Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to YHVH” ” You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” These are very important statements, commandments repeated from before. Even before the building project begins, YHVH wants his people to know the work days, rules, and regulations. In this “work- a-holic” world in which we live, the believer should know when to stop and rest. YHVH commands it, for our own good and mental soundness. Too many people work all seven days a week, perhaps 10 or more hours each day to make a “lot-of-money” only to spend the extra money at the hospital when they have a nervous breakdown because of all the extra work hours. The Sabbath is a day to spend with the family, at the family’s place of worship., be it at a synagogue or at a church. It is a time to spend with the LORD, to worship, learn from HIS WORD, and fellowship with other believers. It is a time to leave the things of the house alone, perhaps eat out, and return home at the end of Sabbath. It is intended as a “day of rest” so, “rest” means exactly that, “rest”. When we look at the commandment; “Thou shalt kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath” we need to ask ourselves, what was fire used mainly for? Probably for cooking! To boil water, prepare food in different ways. Manna fell from the sky and the Israelites perhaps ate it as is, or boiled it, made it into bread, they probably roasted goats or lambs from the flocks, heated ovens for “Manna flat bread” It was a task and a half to start and maintain a fire, cooking, preparing and all that. So, YHVH is saying STOP! just for the Sabbath, and take a break from it all. Stop slaving over the hot stove and rest, prepare something on Friday, that is why HE gave a “double-portion” of Manna on Friday. Today, how can we put that “mitzvah” into good use without “overdoing it” as some Jewish sects do, not, turning on a light switch, not driving a car, etc. Well, to start, we can prepare meals for Saturday on Friday, and on the Sabbath, just heat them up. Another idea, eat something light like salad and sandwiches. Many churches and synagogues have the custom of eating out or eating “in”. Some Jewish synagogues have “Oneg” a lunch prepared for the members and guests after service. Some church Sunday school classes go out to eat as families after services on Sundays. Why not? Give the house- wife or house-husband a break from kitchen duty! Don’t they deserve it? Anyway, the Sabbath was made for man and woman, to “rest” and take it easy, and mediate on YHVH. The rest of these two Parashot have to do with the Tabernacle. The order to build it, to take up an offering of materials, to assign workers, to “build it” to “put it all together” and finally, to invite YHVH to come down and dwell in it, which he DID, at the close of the book of Exodus. So, go ahead and read the chapters. How can we look at this in light of our lives as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua? The “tabernacle” today is YHVH’s dwelling place which is each and every “Kehilah” (congregation) where born-again believers meet to worship the LORD, singing praises and teaching his WORD. The tabernacle is also the bodies of all believers, with the Ruach HaKodesh dwelling inside of us! YHVH has given each and every believer some gift and talent to “maintain” the “Mishkan of Believers” as YHVH chose different individuals to build the furniture of the Mishkan, so HE has selected different believers with different talents to maintain the Kehilah. The root word of “Mishkan” are the letters SH+K+N, (Shaken) meaning to “dwell with” or one could say “to live among” This is the Hebrew word for “Tabernacle” (Mishkan). If we are to look at this word from an ancient Hebraic view, the letters would be “Sheen” (the all-consuming fire) “Kaph” (anointing), and “Nun” (life). We can see the symbolism in these three letters; “The All-consuming fire (Adonai) wants to anoint the lives (of all believers) through HIS presence and ministry of teaching from his Torah, through his chosen teachers, preachers, rabbis, etc. He inhabited the Tabernacle with HIS divine presence and ministered to the People of Israel through the Levites and the priests. When we look at the gematria for the letters “Sheen” “kaph” and “Nun” we get 300+20+50 = 370. We can look at this sum through symbolism seeing; Elohim (300) who is perfect (7) is eternal (0). 3+7+0=10. 10 is the number of the Law (Torah) His Word is Perfect, for all eternity. So, what does every article of tabernacle furniture symbolize in relationship with Yeshua and believers? 1. The Mishkan itself with the curtains, poles, staves, etc. = A “fence” to keep holiness in and ungodliness out! Once inside, you are in the holy place, where YHVH dwells, and where the priests minister. Our Kehilot are “holy places” where the LORD dwells and where we join for fellowship with other believers. 2. “Aron HaKodesh” (The Ark of the Covenant) the “heart” of the Mishkan, where the tablets of the commandments are kept, together with a pot of Manna, and Aron’s rod. It symbolizes the believer who “should” shine like “gold” both inwardly as well as outwardly. We should be mindful of the commandments to put them into action as “unto good works” Yeshua is our “Manna” the “Bread of Life” and the Rod of Aron as our “Rod of authority, our high priesthood of believers” the “Shekinah glory” which rested above the mercy seat is the everlasting presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 3. “The Table of Incense” it symbolizes our prayers as they go up “like smoke” unto the heavenlies, even to the Throne of Grace. One thing to point out, all the furniture with the exception of the Menorah, was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the wood symbolizes the humanity of Yeshua, and the gold “purity”. The incense was made of various ingredients but making an exact replica of the original substance is forbidden, most worshippers today that use incense use a mixture of Frankincense and Myrrh, which is readily available. It is a relaxing aroma that helps one to go to sleep at night. 4. “The Golden Menorah” was made of one solid piece of gold, hammered and formed into a seven-branch candlestick. It had seven lamps which were filled with olive oil and burned all night. In the morning, the priest would come into the Holy Place and trim the wicks and re-fill the lamps with olive oil. We look at the Menorah as “Yeshua Ha Or Olam” (Yeshua who is the light of the world, the Eternal Light) we are the 6 branches that are on either side of the “Shamash” the helper lamp which is in the middle, Yeshua said, “Ye are the light of the world” that means “every believer is a light in dark places” but our light comes from Yeshua” we have no light of our own, like the moon, moon light is sun light reflected off the lunar surface. The oil symbolizes the Ruach Ha Kodesh, (The Holy Spirit) and the wicks are “us” we need to be in contact with the “oil” in order to have brightness. 5. “The Table of Shewbread” made of hard wood overlaid with gold. Had 12 loaves of bread, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. The table and bread symbolize “Yeshua HaLechem Chayim” (Yeshua the Bread of Life) Even the “unleavened bread” of Passover which symbolizes “Yeshua” who is the unleavened bread” 6. Outside the holy place are two items, the bronze laver and the Brazen Altar. The bronze laver was a huge bronze bowl filled with water. The priests would wash their hands and feet after offering blood sacrifices. It was made of bronze which symbolizes “judgment” when the water was still, the priest would see his reflection in the water. When we look in still water, or in a mirror, we see our reflection, we see who we are, sinners saved by grace, yet we still have the sin nature, and Yeshua went through “judgment” in our place, we have been “washed” in his blood and made clean. Remember that Yeshua washed the feet of his talmidim. 7. “the Bronze Altar” (Mizbeach) (pronunciation = “ach” like Yohann Sebastian Bach) not “beach” which is by the ocean, NO! was made of hard wood overlaid with bronze, symbolizing the humanity of Yeshua who was judged in the “fires of our sin”. The animal sacrifices were performed on this altar, the blood was poured out at the base of the altar and the animals roasted on a grill. Think of the Mizbeach as a big BBQ pit. The brazen altar symbolizes the cross of Messiah Yeshua, the animals symbolizing Yeshua himself who poured out his blood for us sinners, who incurred “our judgment” in his own body. We see the materials that went into building the tabernacle; gold, silver, bronze, fine linen, wood, blue, purple, scarlet, and animal skins, They all have symbolic meanings; Gold=purity (of Messiah) and the goal of every follower of Mashiach, Silver=redemption (Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of sin) bronze=Judgment (Yeshua was judged for our sins, Fine linen= our new nature and our walk with the LORD, wood=Humanity of Messiah Blue=Heaven, Purple=Royalty, (we are royalty in Messiah Yeshua, part of his royal family) Scarlet=blood. Animal skins=the covering of our sins before, but now, our sins have been erased, not just covered. At the end of Exodus, in 40:38 it says that YHVH settled upon the Mishkan in a cloud. Now his presence is visible. Messiah is still with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, WE are the living Tabernacles and the Spirit of God lives in our heart, as well as within the “Kehilot” of believers who come together for worship. There is much more to say, but I better end here, or I’ll be here all night and it is already past midnight.
1 KINGS 7:51-8:21
We see here a repetition of the same building project, but on a larger scale. Solomon builds the first “Temple” for the presence of YHVH. Wherein the tabernacle was a mobile structure (kinda like a mobile home) the Temple was a fixed place. He employed thousands of workers, so there wasn’t much unemployment in Israel during that time. It took many years to build whereas the tabernacle was finished in a matter of months. It takes time to build a ministry, many years sometimes. But if the goal is to share/teach the Word of God to others, to minister HIS word, then the LORD will bless that work, no matter how small or how big, whether a “mobile” ministry or a “fixed-in-one-place ministry, Adonai will bless and it will last.
MARK 9:1-50; 10:1-52
Yeshua takes his three chosen disciples; Kefa, Jacob, and Yochanan (Peter, James, and John) to witness a special event. We know this as the “Transfiguration.” They went up a mountain and the clothing of Yeshua was transformed into dazzling white. He then talked with Moshe and Eliyahu. The scripture does not say what they talked about. We can only imagine. Perhaps, it was the following; Moses represents the Torah, (the first 5 books) and Elijah, the Prophets and writings, and Yeshua, the New Covenant. Altogether, we have the complete Torah, the Complete Word of God! Perhaps Yeshua told the two how He was the one that they wrote about and how all of their prophecies would be complete in HIM. Well, that is just an idea. What do you think they talked about if not that? In Mark 10, Yeshua teaches on divorce. This is a big subject, and a sad subject because many couples do not take marriage seriously any more. “Love” is a “commitment” it is a “conscious choice” to care for a person, it has nothing to do with “feelings”, yet “feelings” can lead two people together in order to “make a “love” commitment” Divorce was allowed out of the “hardness of man’s heart” in biblical times, it was instituted by the man, never the woman, all is different now, get tired of your mate? Bored? Run to the lawyer and get a divorce, look for a new mate, someone more exciting and fuller of life. This is the mentality of the world, but not the mentality of God. The only biblical reason for allowing divorce is adultery, and for unbelief, if there is a mixed marriage and the unbeliever refuses to live with the believer, “let him (or her) depart” for we are not called to strife. All the more reason to be “equally yoked together, believers with other believers” Personally, divorce should be a last choice if one is living in a “hell hole” and the mate is a “unholy terror” but let’s not even go there now, we need to lift up our mates in prayer and pray for understanding one with the other. We are all different, and our mates complement our weaknesses, and through our mates, our weaknesses become “strong”