Studies in Torah

Parashat Yitro (יתרו): Exodus 18:1–20:23

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2 NASB; cf. Isa. 61:10; Rev. 19:7; 21:9; 22:17)

Scripture likens people truly loyal to the Creator of Heaven and Earth to a bride. And the presentation of the Ten Commandments at Sinai is compared to the signing of a  ketubah (wedding contract).

It’s not by coincidence there are a number of parallels between the events at Sinai recorded in this week’s Torah reading — יתרו Yitro (Jethro), covering Exodus 18:1–20:23 — and the Jewish wedding ceremony. Marriage is about transparency, devotion and loyalty, and that’s the testimony of the LORD in the Ten Words of Exodus 20.

The standard parallel reading (haftarah, from the Writings and Prophets) reading for this week is Isaiah 6:1–7:6; 9:5–6.

The following are recorded studies from Hallel Fellowship teachers on passages in and related to Yitro.

Parashat Yitro discussions

Exodus 18:1–20:23: Like Father, like Son

At Mt. Sinai, the Creator testified what “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength” really means. In the Torah reading יתרו Yitro (Genesis 18:1-20:23), we explore how Heaven gives us different tasks and different means to fulfill those duties.Heaven gives us different tasks and different means to fulfill those duties. These are not only money but also talents.

We shouldn’t spend so much energy trying to develop or “correct” someone else’s talents, instead of developing and molding our characters to match the Father’s testimony, broken down to its core in the 10 Commandments.

Journey to the 10

Exodus 12–20 recounts a transformation of Israel from a people in bondage to a truly free nation of ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. This “Journey to the 10” is a path each believer should take before and after baptism to become fully mature, not lacking anything. (Start the series of studies from the beginning.)

Exodus 18–19

God introduces Himself to Yisra’el

When Moshe was on this mountain with the burning bush, which didn’t actually burn, he had to ask God who He was. Now he is back at this same mountain, but this time God has set the entire mountain on fire with smoke. This was not just for Moshe and Aaron, but it’s for all the people to see and respect.

Israel arrives at Mt. Sinai

The Exodus 18 is out of sequence. God has a reason for placing Jethro’s counsel at this point in the narrative, even though Jethro’s arrival was well after God gave Moses the 10 commandments and the people’s rebellions with the Golden Calf. In Exodus 19, Israel arrives at Mount Sinai and prepares to receive the 10.

Exodus 20 and Shavu’ot (Pentecost)

Acts 2: Peter preaches with power purposefully on Pentecost

Peter’s Pentecost sermon not only made A’s for power of the Spirit but also for being “politically incorrect” in condemning the listeners. Why did Peter say what he said this particular Pentecost? What are the consistent lessons of Pentecost, called Shavuot in Hebrew for “sevens” or “weeks”?

Deuteronomy 29: ‘New Covenant’ isn’t entirely so new

This chapter points out that the “New Covenant,” or “New Testament,” isn’t so new and doesn’t replace deals cut between God and Adam, Noach (Noah), Abraham, Moshe (Moses), David, etc. The LORD intended the Torah from the very beginning to be “written” on the hearts (emotions) and minds (reason) of His people.

Ten Commandments

There are so many sermons, books and testimonies out there about practical application of the 10 Commandments. In one way, there isn’t much that hasn’t already been said, but in another way, there’s so much here that there isn’t enough time in the universe to dwell upon all the applications and ramifications of these simple commandments. This simple list of 10 basic commandments give us insight into how God views us, our political institutions and our families.

Arrival at Sinai and the hearing of the 10 — Shavu’ot

Following in Israel’s footsteps, we have arrived at Sinai. Pretend you are listening to the 10 Commandments for the first time. It’s a challenge to hear them anew. Find a new way to make them a part of your life—to bring yourself even closer to Yeshua than you have ever been before.

Shavuot teaches encountering God ‘in spirit and in truth’

This is a special time in God’s calendar. We have reached Shavuot, the “Feast of Sevens.” It’s also called Pentecost, which is Greek for 50th. This feast is, in a sense, a continuation of the fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham. When human beings try to obey God in the flesh without a redeemed spirit, they will inevitably fail. We lift up two loaves at Shavuot, one made of wheat and one of barley. Both are His, and we will give both back to Him. There is so much hope for mankind at this time, even for those who are “not of us.”

Related: other studies on Shavu’ot


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