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.

Matthew 2: Magi from Parthia visit the toddler Messiah

It was a shocking event when a sizable delegation of scholars from the empire of Parthia, a competitor with Rome, visited the land of Israel looking for a recently born “King of Yehudah.” It turns out that this was the legacy of the prophet Daniel. Another prophet foretold “Rachel” would be weeping for her children, and that prophecy was fulfilled not only with the killing of newborns and toddlers in Beit Lekhem (Bethlehem) but also the driving out her descendants into the nations with the Assyrian exile.

Thought questions from the recorded discussion

What did the magi — the “wise men” — know about the coming Messiah, and when did they know it?

What’s the significance of Daniel’s being the teacher of the wise men, the magi, of Babylon? What did Daniel teach them?

Why doesn’t Judaism consider Daniel to be a prophet?

What “star” did the magi see? Why didn’t anyone else, even in Israel see it?

What “signs” are there among the stars? What is the connection between the signs Abraham, the magi and those who witness the Day of the LORD will see in the sky?

Why did the magi bring baby Yeshua gifts? Why did they bring gold, frankincense and myrrh? Why does Messiah get gold and frankincense, but not myrrh, when He returns?

What does the long-standing conflict between the Roman and Parthian empires over the Euphrates River have to do with the statement the appearance of the magi in Jerusalem looking for “the King of the Jews”?

What does the prophecy of Rachel weeping for her children — Joseph and Benjamin — have to do with Herod’s killing of infants and toddlers in Bethlehem to kill the young Messiah?

What is the connection between that prophecy in Jeremiah 31 and the New Covenant predicted in the same chapter?

What’s the link between the Jeremiah 31 predictions of Rachel’s children’s being “no more,” the return of Ephraim and the New Covenant, and the Matthew 2 account of King Herod’s attack on children in Bethlehem?

Why is God’s son — Israel literally and in prophecy and Messiah literally — called out of Egypt? Is this prophecy misapplied?

Matthew 1: Deep meaning among the names in Yeshua’s ancestry

The long list of names of ancestors of Yeshua can be tedious to read, but it is an important statement about what God was doing by sending the Messiah.

Thought questions from the recorded discussion

What do all the “begat” or “father of” references have to do with anything?

Why is Zerubbabel one of the most important ancestors Yeshua?

Why are there five women, four of which weren’t Israelite mentioned in the lineage of Messiah Yeshua?

What is so important about the generations from Abraham to David, from David to Babylon and from Babylon to Yeshua?

Some Jews say that Yeshua’s lineage through cursed kings makes Him ineligible to become the Messiah King. What does the prophecy of Immanuel from Isaiah have to do with this? What that prophecy good or bad?

Why does Matthew’s genealogical list differ so much from Luke’s?

Why didn’t Mary get sentenced to death for having a child outside marriage, as God’s law required?

Sukkot: Why Do We Celebrate a Wedding Feast?

Hallel Fellowship celebrates a “wedding feast” after the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles has ended, i.e. after sunset. What is this all about? How is this connected to Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and His promises to return? Daniel Agee explains from the Bible. Continue reading Sukkot: Why Do We Celebrate a Wedding Feast?

Sukkot: Timing of Yeshua’s and Yochanan’s births

Daniel Agee explores the timing of the births of Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) and Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) from descriptions in the Apostolic Scriptures and the prophetic messages of the Biblical celebrations of Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles and Chanukah.

Sukkot: Controlling Anger

David De FeverDavid De Fever, coordinator of Hallel Fellowship, passes along what he’s learned about managing his anger and helping other believers in God to do likewise. He talks about the roots of anger, how it is expressed and answers audience questions about specific manifestations of anger in our lives.  Continue reading Sukkot: Controlling Anger