Category Archives: Torah

Numbers 31: Israel battles Midian after prurient sneak attack

The call for Israel to attack Midian, located on the southwestern coast of modern-day Saudi Arabia, comes after Midian’s plot to send in women to lure Israel away from the LORD. That, in turn, came because the LORD wouldn’t allow Bilam (Balaam) to curse Israel.

Numbers 30: Daughter of Zion and the Father’s prerogative

Asking for a father’s permission to marry his daughter is viewed as comically anachronistic today. Likewise, these instructions for a father’s ability to annul a daughter’s vow seem a relic of yesteryear. Yet God teaches through object lessons, and what’s being communicated here is far more important than a surface impression.

Parallel passages: Deut. 23:21-23; Eccl. 5:1-7

Thought questions

  • How do these instruction on vows relate to the fact Adam sinned and Eve was deceived?
  • How do these instructions relate to our lives today?
  • Who are these vows to?
  • Does a widow or divorced person need permission from her father to remarry (see Num. 30:9)?
  • Is marriage different than a vow?
  • How is the relation between a man and wife as well as between a father and daughter?
  • Is Israel “married” to Messiah?
    • If so, how does that relationship work?
  • Why is Jerusalem called the “daughter of Zion”?
    • Who set up Zion?
  • Is the assembly of Israel to respond emotionally and rashly?
  • How should we approach our prayer life if we are like a bride or a daughter to God?
  • Do these instructions on vows relate to obedience of a wife or daughter or to blessings?
  • What lessons in mercy and commitment are there for husbands and fathers?

כל עולה kol ’olah (whole burnt) offerings and life today

  • What are the requirements for an עולה ’olah (burnt) offering?
    • no disfigurement
    • entirely burnt up
  • How does that relate to apostle Paul’s instruction to be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1)?
  • What happens if you have sinned and are no longer “spotless” how can you present yourself as a “living sacrifice”? (Read 1st John 1:9.)
  • When we present ourselves, shouldn’t we ask whether our thoughts and words and actions are pure and true?

Numbers 29: Messiah in offerings on Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles

Learn how to see Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) in the קרבנות qorbanot (offerings, sacrifices) presented in the Tabernacle on the מועדים moedim (appointed times, festivals) of יום תרעה Yom Teruah (Day of Blowing Trumpets), יום כפרים Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement) and סכות Sukkot (Tabernacles).

These annual memorials of God’s action pointed forward to what Yeshua would do, has done, is doing and will do in the last days.

Thought questions

  • What patterns are there in which sacrifices are offer on which Holy Day? What do those patterns tell us?
  • Why must each grain/minhakh offering have salt, and what does it have to do with Abraham?
  • Should we “count the omer” between Firstfruits or count the weeks heading to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost)?
  • What’s the significance of 14 lambs offered each day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)? How does that relate to apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 8:36 that he was like sheep “killed all day long”?
  • Where did the animals for the sacrifices come from? How many animals did each family have? What responsibility did the leadership have in this regard?
  • What do each of the offerings represent?
  • What happens to a priest who acts contrary to the will of the LORD?
  • How are the leaders reconciled? Why are five different offerings required of errant leaders? What if there is not “peace” between a leader, and God when the leader approaches with a peace/fellowship offering?
  • Why were there so many dynasties in the Kingdom of Israel (the northern kingdom) and only one in the Kingdom of Judah (the southern kingdom)?
  • How do these offerings relate to us today?What do we offer God for sin today?
    • Chol offering = whole body, all of us
    • Minhakh/grain offering = sincerity & truth
    • Sin/guilt offering = eliminate half of the offering and burn the rest on the altar to eliminate it from your life
    • Repentance/fellowship offering = turn around
  • What’s the process for reconciliation with our High Priest, Messiah Yeshua?
    • How does this relate to the two greatest commandments?
    • Can Yeshua offer us without repentence of sin, transgression and iniquity, if the high priests of Israel couldn’t do so?
  • What is the object of the Holy Days? How much does God require of us?

Numbers 28:11–31: Meaning behind monthly, Passover and Pentecost offerings

Learn how to see Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) in the קרבנות qorbanot (offerings, sacrifices) presented at the Tabernacle of Israel on each ראש חדש Rosh Chodesh (New Moon), פסח Pesakh (Passover) and שבעות Shavu’ot (Pentecost).

These monthly and annual memorials of God’s action pointed forward to what Yeshua would do.

Numbers 28:1-10: Messiah in daily and Sabbath offerings

Learn how to see Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) in the תמיד tamid (continual, morning and evening) and שבת Shabbat (Sabbath) offerings.

These daily and weekly memorials of God’s action pointed forward to what Yeshua would do and is doing.

Numbers 26–27: Accounting for light and righteousness in Israel

After various plagues and judgments over the 40 years of wandering in wilderness, God called for Israel to be counted again. It was also time to divide the Promised Land among the 12 tribes, based on the wisdom of God’s light and righteousness.

Thought questions

  • What does it mean to divide the land by lots?
  • Is the count by אלף elef, by clans or by thousands adding up to 601,000?
    • What is the significance of the word census in Num. 26:2 being the Hebrew word ראש rosh, which means “head”?
    • How many “heads” or “divisions” did each tribe have? (Compare the use of אלף elef in Joshua 6:15.)
  • If the Hebrew words Urim and Thurim mean “light” and “righteousness,” respectively, how does the use of decision-making objects named after those words relate to the division of the Promised Land among the tribes?

Numbers 25: Perpetual priesthood of peace and mercy for wayward Israel

Have you been “dragged away and enticed” by something that seems irresistibly appealing? Feel like God could never take you back? A false prophet enticed Israel away from God with sex, but God’s ambassador was there to mend the relationship. 

Thought questions

  • What is the significance of the covenant of peace with Phinehas?
  • What was Peor?
  • How does that play into Baalam’s knowledge of the LORD?
  • What does Ba’al mean?
  • What does “hang them in the sun” mean in Num. 25:4? Which direction does the tabernacle face?
  • Why is the Midianite woman who went in the an Isarelite man named?
  • What does “worship” mean?
  • How did Phinehas make atonement for Israel by killing the rebellious Israelite man?
  • What does “whoredom” or “play the harlot” mean in Num. 25:1? What does “adultery” mean?
  • How does this meaning play into the prophet’s and Messiah’s use of the word to describe rebellious Israelites?
  • Why were the leaders weeping at the door of the Tabernacle?