Tag Archives: census

Numbers 25:10-29:40: A ‘snake’ again becomes an icon of salvation

Serpents are quiet, cunning, quick to act when a threat is imminent. A serpent bought a curse on mankind (Genesis 3) and we now meet a “serpent” who boldly and decisively saved his people from those who would deceive them to destruction. Later, Eliyahu (Elijah) also learned that God’s preferred way to communicate with His people is not through thunder and lightning but a “still small voice.”

The Torah reading פינחס Pinchas (“Phinehas,” Numbers 25:10–29:40) starts with the culmination of the events in the prior portion (parashah). The culmination of Israel “playing the harlot” with idolatry ended when Pinchas (Phineas), Aaron’s grandson, speared a Shimonite chieftain and a Midianite chieftain’s daughter through with a spear. Both of them were mentioned by name so they were both people of reputation.

“While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.” (Numbers 25:1 NASB)

This event was so significant, it’s even spoken about in the book of Revelation (Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14). We can miss the why if we don’t understand the why of the original event.

Continue reading Numbers 25:10-29:40: A ‘snake’ again becomes an icon of salvation

Exodus 30:11–34:35: You are not ‘just a number’ to God

How are we made holy or “set apart”?  Our good deeds or the good deeds of an illustrious ancestor? It isn’t by genealogy, John the Baptist made that clear. He counts us among His people when we answer God’s call upon our heart and actions through Messiah Yeshua. The foundation for that holiness through the Messiah is put down in Torah reading כי תשא Ki Tisa (“when you take,” Exodus 30:11–34:35).

Continue reading Exodus 30:11–34:35: You are not ‘just a number’ to God

2nd Samuel 24 part 1: David’s census mistake leads to purchase of Temple Mount

The Torah says that a census can not count people, only the coins they give (Ex. 30:12). David knew this, and Yoab (Joab) did too. Why did David proceed after Yoab calls him out on this? What does it have to do with the strange land purchase in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)?

Continue reading 2nd Samuel 24 part 1: David’s census mistake leads to purchase of Temple Mount