Galatians/5-22, by Rabbi Baruch
On the Festival of Weeks, there are special readings in the synagogue. The portion from the Torah is Exodus 19:1-20:23Exodus 19:1-20:23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
19 1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. 9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. trumpet: or, cornet 14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. 16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. 20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. charge: Heb. contest 22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. 23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. 25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them. 20 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. bondage: Heb. servants 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. 18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. 22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
WP-Bible plugin, the Maftir is Numbers 28:26-31Numbers 28:26-31
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
26 Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: 27 But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year; 28 And their meat offering of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto one bullock, two tenth deals unto one ram, 29 A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs; 30 And one kid of the goats, to make an atonement for you. 31 Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings.
WP-Bible plugin, and the Prophetic passage is Habakkuk 2:20-3:19Habakkuk 2:20-3:19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. let...: Heb. be silent all the earth before him 3 1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. upon...: or, according to variable songs, or, tunes, called in Hebrew, Shigionoth 2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. speech: Heb. report, or, hearing revive: or, preserve alive 3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Teman: or, the south 4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. horns...: or, bright beams out of his side 5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. coals: or, diseases 6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Cushan: or, Ethiopia in...: or, under affliction, or, vanity 8 Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? of...: or, were salvation? 9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. earth...: or, rivers of the earth 10 The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. 11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear. at the light...: or, thine arrows walked in the light 12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. 13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. by...: Heb. making naked 14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. came...: Heb. were tempestuous 15 Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters. heap: or, mud 16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. invade...: or, cut them in pieces 17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: fall: Heb. lie 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. stringed...: Heb. Neginoth
WP-Bible plugin. One should also read from the New Covenant, the book of Acts chapter 2. It is from the New Covenant that I would like to base this article. One reads in Shimon’s (Peter) address a citation from the book of Joel,
“And it will come about in the last days, declares G-d, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your elders will dream dreams, and also My servants and My maidservants in those days, I will pour out My Spirit and they will prophesy. I will give wonders in the heavens above and signs in the earth below, blood, fire and pillars of smoke, the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood, before comes the great and awesome day of the L-rd. And it shall come about, all who call on the name of the L-rd will be saved.” Acts 2:17-21Acts 2:17-21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
It is important to understand Peter’s use of this passage and what he wants to convey and what he is not saying. He is NOT saying that all the events of this prophecy are now fulfilled or will be fulfilled in the near future. What he is revealing is that in one sense the last days are indeed at hand. The intent of this statement is that the message of the Kingdom is now available and HaShem wants people to respond to it. The outcome of this is the giving of the Holy Spirit and His work within the believer. All of this is necessary for people to be prepared and for them to prepare others. This preparation is for what he reveals near the end of this verse, which is that there will be wonders that will take place in the sky, “I will give wonders in the heavens above and signs in the earth below, blood, fire and pillars of smoke, the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood, before comes the great and awesome day of the L-rd.” This time of preparation is still taking place. It began on that Shavuot and it will end with Yeshua gathering up believers prior to the wrath of G-d falling.
The truth of this passage has several implications for you and me. First, have you responded to the message of the Gospel? If you have, then you are equipped with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Messiah is at work in your life. Secondly, you have a mandate to be influencing other people to respond to this message. An important part of these two implications is the fact that there is indeed the Wrath of G-d. It is not a coincidence that more and more people are teaching a perverted message of G-d’s love which removes the reality of a Judgment Day and denies that G-d has wrath. Please understand that such an errant theology is an attack on the richness of G-d’s grace. Scripture foretold that in the end times people would depart from the truth.
Likewise, it is not by chance that upon Shavuot the Ten Commandments are read. These commandments can be grouped into two headings: those which deal with one’s responsibilities to HaShem and those which speak to one’s responsibilities to others. It is vital that the reader understand that he cannot successfully engage in these two matters without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in his life.
Shavuot is a time when one should remember the failings of the Children of Israel in not preparing themselves to receive G-d’s revelation at Mt. Sinai and realize that we may be erring in the same manner by grieving the Holy Spirit and hindering His work in our lives. A good way to take a spiritual inventory and learn if you are in fact hindering Him, is to consider if you have the fruits of the Spirit. Paul writes to the believer that the fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. When one demonstrates these things, he is walking in the Spirit and fulfilling the righteousness of the Law.