Category Archives: Torah

Numbers 16: Korah rebels against God’s anointed

The betrayal by Korakh (Korah) against Aharon (Aaron) mirrors the rejection of Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus) by leaders of Yisrael (Israel) at in the first century A.D. We can see a foreshadowing of Yeshua’s grace through Aharon’s reaction to the rebellion.

Thought questions

  • What is the situation in this chapter?
    • From the people’s perspective, who were doing the actions and calling the shots?
    • Who else beside Moshe (Moses) and Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus) could speak and death would come?
  • What are the two challenges in this chapter?
    • Why is the challenge between Korakh and Aaron significant? Who is “holy unto the LORD’?
    • Is the challenge similar to the predicted challenge between Messiah and anti-Messiah?
    • Between Miriam and Aharon on one side and Moshe on the other?
  • How did Aharon “make atonement” for the the people to stop the plague? What is the incense for?
    • How is Aharon’s action similar to Messiah’s? Who does Moshe represent in this incident?
    • How is this symbolism of Moshe and Aharon similar what we see in the 10 plagues in Mitzraim (Egypt)?
  • Where does Moshe’s power to open the earth come from?
    • What was Peter’s greatest miracle?
  • Why did the whole family of Korah die for his rebellion?
    • Do children need baptism before adulthood to protect them?
    • What about the instruction in the Torah to execute a rebellious child (Deuteronomy 21:18–23)?
    • Are rebellious teenagers doomed to destruction?
      • Do they know the difference between right and wrong?
    • How does the Bible passage “I can kill and make alive again” (2nd Kings 5:7) affect popular culture’s view that God warrants wanton destruction of the innocent?
    • How does the prophecy of the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37 help us understand this dilemma better?
    • What will happen to those who die or are killed while in rebellion or apart from God at the resurrection?
    • Is a rebellious person evil?
    • What are “sins that lead to death” that we read about in apostle Yochanan’s (John’s) writings?
  • What does the Psalm of the Sons of Korah (Psalm 84) tell us about the tragic impact of Korah’s rebellion?
  • What does a “young man dying to save him from the trouble that is coming” have to do with the deaths of the women and children of the rebellious and wicked?

Numbers 15: Of tassels of blue, Sabbath reverence and offerings

After the accounts of rebellion and fear in trusting God’s leading into Canaan (Numbers 13–14), there’s this passage talking about types of offerings, tying blue-corded fringes on clothes and setting aside a memorial portion of each loaf, called challah. These may seem like grab-bag topics, but they all are connecting to a life of faith.

Thought questions

  • What is the purposed of the whole congregation’s offering a bull?
    • What does a bull represent?
  • What does the she-goat represent?
    • Why a male goat for the nation and a female goat for the person?
  • What does the Passover lamb symbolize?
  • What’s the difference between the burnt (khol), grain (minkhah), guilt, sin and fellowship (shalom) offerings?
    • Are these sacrifices obsolete, as many Christians teach?
    • What are the sacrifices we offer today, in light of Romans 12:1 and Hebrews 13:15–16?
    • What about freewill offerings?
    • What is the equivalent today?
  • Isn’t killing someone for collecting wood on the Sabbath unreasonably harsh?
    • Why do violations of the Ten Commandments bring death when restitution is available for theft?
  • What is challah bread?
    • Why do we lift the bread to God when we bless it?
  • What are the tassels (in Hebrew, tzitzitot) described in Numbers 15 for?
    • Do they have relevance for us today?
    • What is the blue cord in the tassel?

Reader: Jeff. Teacher: Richard Agee.

Numbers 13–14: Trusting in God and His apostles

The shockwave of Israel’s shrinking back from entering Canaan under the LORD’s protection reverberated for the next 40 years of wandering and throughout time. It’s all about trusting God when the task seems too big and the means so meager.

This faith in God’s apostles — shelakhim, or “sent ones” — is crucial to entering God’s rest. At the helm of that mission recorded in Numbers 13–14 was Yehoshua, whose name and role foreshadowed the greatest of all God will ever send, Yeshua (Jesus) the Mashiakh (Messiah).

Thought questions

  • What is an “evil report”?
    • Why did the 10 spies give this “evil report”?
    • Why did they exaggerate the potential perils of the Promised Land?
    • Why do we often presume the LORD’s blessing when we’re doing things that are divergent from His will?
    • What is the significance of the 40 days of the spies’ mission?
    • What is causing the people to continue to want to go back to Egypt?
    • Who wanted to send spies into Canaan, Moshe or the people?
  • Who are the spies, and why weren’t they the previously mentioned leaders of the tribes?
    • What time of year was this spying?
    • How were the people of Canaan similar to manna, the “daily bread” God gave Israel each morning?
  • How were the reports of Caleb and Yoshua like “pearls before swine”?
    • What kind of spirit did Caleb have, and how was it different from the spirit in the rest of the people?
    • Why did Moshe change Yehoshua’s name?
    • How was Yehoshua’s role similar to Messiah Yeshua’s?
  • What’s the difference between the rebellious of Israel receiving punishment “to the third and fourth generation” and the teaching in Ezekiel that each will die for his own sin?

Reader: Jeff. Teacher: Richard Agee.