Continuing our weekly study of the Turah, breaking down each chapter to have a deeper understanding of the Turah of our Creator YHWH. As usual, we will study both the Masoretic Text, and the Greek Septuagint (LXX).
Verses 22-23 — What not to Serve or Seek
And YHWH said to Mosheh, “Say this to the children of Y’shral: ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from the heavens. You do not make besides me mighty ones of silver, and you do not make mighty ones of gold for yourselves.'” (Masoretic)(TS2009)
And [YHWH] said to Moses, “Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and thou shalt report to the children of Israel, ‘Ye have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. Ye shall not make to yourselves gods of silver, and gods of gold ye shall not make to yourselves. (LXX)
Who are the Children of Y’shral?
Here we have a clear distinction between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, and this is in v. 22, with the mention of the house of Jacob (or, Yakub) in the Septuagint, where it is absent in the Masoretic.
In Greek, the word here for house is οικος (Oikos) which means “House: as in a place or dwelling and/or a family (which would reside in such a house)” These two definitions can exist separately, or together, and in this case it is speaking about the family line which came from Yakub, as this idea of a “house” being a family is also an Eberyeh (Hebrew) concept. Yakub is the paternal lineage—the bloodline from which the blood of the twelve tribes comes from. Israel (Y’shral) however, is a different group, and this is understood by the renaming of Yakub in Genesis/Bereshith 32, where Yakub wrestles with the temporarily incarnated YHWH. Y’shral is the people group who is “upright, righteous before Al (YHWH)” and who are “made straight by Al” and will “rule with Al” (⇒click this link for our article on the meaning of Y’shral’s name⇐) These people of Y’shral are not all of the blood of Yakub; and yet, not all of the people who are of the blood of Yakub are going to be Y’shral. Think in Eberyeh: can you be “upright and righteous” before YHWH if you do not obey His commandments? No, so you cannot be Y’shral if you do not obey His commandments. But can you be of the house of Yakub if you do not obey YHWH’s commands? Yes, because no matter what, you cannot change who you were descended from.
Another important point that is the cause of much disobedience to YHWH by women, and the reason of false instruction by men from interpretations of when YHWH says: “speak to the children of Israel“. Because the word here for “children” is בנ “ben”, the assertion is that this masculine word does not address women, as the word is masculine, and has a feminine counterpart, בת “beth”, which typically means “daughter”, therefore making “ben” sons. However, the word “ben” is also used with great frequency to simply describes descendants of a people, and in fact the word is also the root of בנה “benah” which means “to build up”. So it is not just the male children of Y’shral that are addressed, but rather all the descendants of Y’shral, and furthermore, all the people built up from Y’shral.
This is paralleled in the Greek Septuagint text, as the “children of Y’shral” is written “υιοις Ισραηλ” with “υιοις” literally being “sons of”, yet this same Greek word was used by the Greeks to define the same concept shared by Eberyim: that of general building of a name, a people, etc. through descendants, which was recognized through sons, but not therefore reckoning only the sons as descendants.
If it were the case that These addresses were only for the males, then a woman could eat whatever things she desired, extort or rob their neighbor, drink blood, sacrifice her children to other mighty ones (by killing them or dedicating them to service), etc. Anywhere where YHWH addresses: “speak to the children (בנ ben) of Y’shral”, then a woman, by this fallacious logic, would not have to listen to these commands. This is a great evil, to ignore YHWH’s commands, for they were given not just to the males of Yakub, but to those who are of the building of the house of Y’shral, both man and woman.
Now, we see YAH say “you yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from the heavens”. The word here for “seen” is ראה “Rahah” which means not only to see with eyes, but “to take notice of, perceive, witness, encounter, know, etc.” For those of us who have been reborn spiritually, we now know YHWH, and this awakening He has given us is akin to Him saying that we “have seen Him speak from Heaven”. YAH spoke to us through His spirit, and has enlightened us. We have witnessed His workings in our lives. We have seen His works. Therefore, having been revealed the truth of YHWH through His spirit, it would be a great error to then turn and make mighty ones of silver and gold. This word for “mighty ones” is “אלֹהי” which in the masoretic text is missing a letter, and should sound as “Aluhahyeh” and means “your strength/strong one”. These “strong ones” are not to be silver or gold.
In the language of the Eberyim, silver is כספ “keseph” meaning “silver, money, wages, price” and also “greed, lust, desire” and “longing fear (for such things as money, things, being provided for, etc.)” The word כספ is also rooted in כס, “Kes” which is “a throne, plush cushion, fine plump seat” and this word spawns all forms of words for luxuries and comforts. This gives greater understanding to Yahushwa’s parallel to Turah when he said his famous statements about worrying about our lives, and that we cannot serve YAH and money, (Matthew/Mattithyahu chapter 6) and as well made many similar statements. And as well, when he told us to pray “give us this day our daily bread” meaning that we should seek for YHWH to give us what he will to sustain us, when meanwhile the spiritual things are more important. YHWH is not saying in the Turah only to not make a silver statue and worship it (though this could be understood) but rather, in a deeper, truer sense, to not make our strength and our mighty one to be money and luxuries and desires for things, and to not have the longing fear for these things be our mighty one, for we have perceived YHWH. We have taken notice of Him, and now we are to fully trust in the living Aluah.
As for making our “strength or strong one” of gold: this word is זהב Zahb, literally meaning “shimmering, gold, attractive (like gold is attractive)” and is related to other words of brilliance, and is rooted in the word זה “Zah” which, among its meanings, is : “this or that, thus and such, another, these others”. So does YAH not want us to make statues of gold? Albeit He does not want us to do that, He was also (and more-so) saying that he does not want us to make our strength nor our mighty one to be the shimmering things, the gilded things that we see with our eyes, which see and think “Ooh! Pretty!”. Whereas silver is attributed to more existential gains, greed and lust, for comforts and money; gold is representing even more lavish and grandiose things, which seep to be especially shining and appealing. As this word for gold is similar to זֹהר or זוהר “Zohar” it is fair to understand various religious philosophies of so-called “enlightenment” to be glittering golden things that seem very appealing, yet are not to be served, because they are rooted in nothing but lies and demonic forces. We are not to abandon YHWH and His promises to us, which he clearly revealed to us, and we noticed it (ראה rahah), so as to follow vain things of “glimmering appeal”. Its interesting that the phrase “all that glitters is not gold” is so popular in secular society, seeing as how this saying has two meanings: the scriptural one being that the metal called gold is not the only thing that the word זהב describes. As much as many people abide by the secular principal of “all that glitters is not gold”, they are not aware that they are led to chase down much “gold” as their life’s service. Let’s not make that choice. Lets stick with YHWH, and be strong.
Verses 24-26 — How to Approach YHWH, and His Pleasing Sacrifice
“Make a slaughter-place of earth for me, and you shall slaughter on it your ascending offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause My name to be remembered I shall come to you and bless you. And if you make Me a slaughter-place of stone, do not build it of cut stone, for if you use your chisel on it, you have profaned it. Nor do you go up by steps to my slaughter-place, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.” (Masoretic) (TS2009)
“You shall make to me an altar of earth; and upon it you shall sacrifice your whole burnt-offerings, and your peace-offerings, and your sheep and your calves in every place, where I shall record My name; and I will come to you and bless you. And if you should make to me an altar of stones, you shall not build them hewn stones; for you have lifted your tool upon them, and they are defiled. You shall not go up to my altar by steps, that you might not uncover your nakedness upon it.” (LXX)
The Altar and its Offering
Here we begin with being told to make a slaughter-place of earth, (this being for the time in the wilderness without the temple to YHWH) If we look at the Hebrew for this, things become more profound. Here the Hebrew reads: מזבח אדמה תעשה-לי.
מזבח-Mezbech: “altar” however, literally it means “from slaughter/ from offering
אדמה-Adamah: Red earth/dirt/soil
תעשה-Thwashah: “you will make/commit/do”
לי-ley: To me/for me/ belonging to me
An interesting note: the letter א (Aleph) also serves as a prefix for the word “I” (such as אהיה : I (א) Am Existent (היה). The Hebrew word דם (Dam) means blood. A-Dam means I/blood or I bleed/I have blood. As well, Dam means guilt, thus, I am guilt/guilty. דמה (Damah) means “compare/liken/consider” Thus, adamah means I like/compare/consider, or “I am a likeness/comparison”
As well, the hebrew character Aleph symbolically represents strength, making Adam “Strong blood”
Now we know Yahushwa was called the son of Adam, and that through him we lose our identity as the first man, and become the second man (1 Corinthians 15:45-48), and that Yahushwa said we must be reborn as new beings (John chapter 3) and that we must lose our lives to find life (Matthew 16:25, Luke 9:24).
So it seems as though YHWH was declaring what would happen to Yahushwa, and as well what should happen to us, through this command. And it is upon this “altar” that we are told to make “ascending offerings (עלותיך)” and Peace offerings (שלמיך)”.
These are, in Hebrew:
עלותיך-weluthyek: ascents/ascending/increase/lay up/store up/burn/offer/exalt, etc. (all plural and possessive)
שלמיך-shelemyek: peace/thanks/rest/kindness/friendliness/goodwill/perfection/completion/finish (All plural and possessive)
These are the two things which are “from the slaughter/offering”. The nature of the slaughter place being defined as an article which brings “something from what is slaughtered” rather than being “a place for putting slaughters” denotes the active nature of YHWH, for it is not merely a lifeless slaughter-place, but rather something that brings things from it. This is the importance of the next part of the selection, in which YHWH commands us not to build them of hewn stones, as this would imply us doing work with our own hands to make the place from which YAH sends FROM, so as to make it better. But meanwhile, YHWH has provided plenty of rocks and dirt lying around, formed by Him and not by us. Therefore, let us use what YHWH has fashioned, rather than what we choose to fashion of our own hearts, and then, as YHWH says:
“In every place In every place where I cause My name (אשם)to be remembered (אזכיר) I shall come to you and bless you.”
אשם-ashem: my name/nature/character/appellation/individuality/honor
אזכיר-azeke’yer: I cause to be remembered/considered/contemplated/though upon/ burn incense (to)/brought to mind
ברכתיך-barakthyek: I will bestow on you multiple blessings/kneeling/congratulations/good things
“I call upon you therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Aluhayim, to present your bodies as a living offering—set apart, well pleasing to Aluhayim—your reasonable worship.” (Romans 12:1)
YHWH told us how to begin to do this in His Turah, in the very beginning of His giving of the commands, and we must keep studying it deeply so that we may be such acceptable “living sacrifices” or “offerings” to YHWH, and the way to this is through spiritual rebirth, for a man or woman who is solely minded in flesh and blood has not offered that worldly mind away as a sacrifice, and therefore has not received from the offering the gifts which YHWH promised. This promise was fulfilled through Yahushwa (fulfilled meaning brought to its perfection, the place where it was always meant to be, and where it is greatest; it does not mean finished and done away with).
Animals of the Offering
We are told to offer on this “altar” cattle (בכר) and sheep (צאנ).
בכר-bakar: “large plow animal, also inspect/inquire/search out/ admire/ break forth/ spread out [hence, ‘plow’]”
צאנ-Tsaan: “sheep, also go out/seek/go to and fro/go about/ (amble and search and wander, looking for the guide, as a sheep does)”
These are the things which go upon the slaughter place. This is what must be in our spirit: this nature; a nature seeking to find YHWH, with our life’s purpose to seek YHWH and find Him. By this we receive from the “slaughter”.
Yahushwa said, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:8).
How not to Approach YHWH
Finally, this chapter is closed with YHWH telling us not to go up to his slaughter place by “stairs”, or else our nakedness would be exposed.
The word for stairs is: מעלת-mwaleth, and means: “from elevation, traveling up, as in a hill, high degree, journeying upward, coming to glory (all of these plural)” and as well, has relation to “treachery, sin, secrecy, covertly, sneakily (all of these plural)”
So if we approach YHWH’s altar as a “sacrifice” to Him, it must not be in these ways, or we will certainly have our nakedness exposed as we proceed. Having ones privates exposed is especially shameful, and if we try to approach YHWH in the manners which were described as “stairs”, then at some point along the way, we will be humiliated.
No, YHWH seeks for his servants who dedicate themselves to Him to approach him with humility.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
“YHWH resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble (Proverbs 3:34)
So these are the things which YHWH told Mosheh as soon as he entered the cloud. Let us meditate on these things as we seek YHWH, and continue to study the Turah, and seek out wisdom and truth and understanding. YAH, YHWH be praised for His great and unending wisdom! Have a blessed Shabbath!